Things to Do

National Arboretum by Moonlight

Hike under the moonlight with the guidance of the US National Arboretum staff.

Why you might roll your eyes:

Hiking in the dark sounds dangerous—and how will you see the forest or the trees?

Why you’ll love it:

The 412-acre plant-and-flower preserve looks lovely in the daytime, but during full-moon toursoffered a few nights a monthit takes on a mysterious, otherworldly glow. Sign up early for the popular two-hour group hikes, which trek past meadows, woods, and a ghostly group of circa-1828 Corinthian columns that once graced the US Capitol. As your eyes adjust to the dark, your other senses get sharper, adding to the experience. “I became really attuned to soundwater rushing, an owl hooting,” says Capitol Hill’s Jeff Miller, who took a trip last year.

Tours take place three nights a month in the early evening around a full moon (except in July and August) and cost $22 a person; see usna.usda.gov for more information or to book.

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