Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens | VISITOR CENTER

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

The Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center is housed in the original 1913 sales office of W. B. Shaw Water Lilies of Kenilworth. Close to the building is a row of greenhouses, also built in 1913. The greenhouses are still in use today by the National Park Service. They are not open to the public on a regular basis.

OPERATING HOURS

April 1 – October 31: 9 AM to 5 PM

November 1 – March 31: 8 AM to 3:30 PM

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Times can always change, so before making travel plans, be sure to get the latest schedule by visiting the official National Park Service Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

AMENITIES

  • Ranger-staffed information desk where you can pick up a brochure on the Aquatic Gardens and Anacostia Park
  • Posted schedule of daily Ranger-led activities and special events
  • Exhibit area
  • Small gift and souvenir store
  • Restrooms
Visitor Center book and souvenir shop

Visitor Center book and souvenir shop

EXHIBITS

There are two small exhibit rooms at the Kenilworth Gardens Visitor Center. The first room has a handful of information panels about the history of the gardens and the plants you can expect to see.

Exhibits at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

Exhibits at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

Exhibits at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

Exhibits at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center

A second room is dedicated to Helen Fowler, garden founder Walter Shaw’s daughter and eventual business partner. Fowler managed the gardens from 1912 until the property was purchased by the U. S. government in 1938. She was instrumental in making W. B. Shaw Water Lilies of Kenilworth one of the largest growers and sellers of water plants in the country. In addition to information panels about Fowler are some of her water lily pastel drawings.

Pastel drawing by Helen Fowler

Pastel drawing by Helen Fowler

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

The 1913 sales office is a small building, so there is not that much to see inside. You can read through all of the information panels in about ten minutes. Add another five minutes to get a brochure and talk with a Ranger about what there is to see. You should be in and out of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center in no more than fifteen minutes.

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Last updated on April 26, 2020
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