What mom doesn't dream of dressing up in a gorgeous, expensive designer gown? The next best thing might be seeing how America's First Ladies dressed for their President husbands' inaugurations.
Starting with the white chiffon one shoulder floor-length gown worn by Michelle Obama, and going through 23 other first ladies, the "First Ladies at the Smithsonian" exhibition features a total of 24 dresses actually worn by our First Ladies, along with other objects including portraits, White House China, and personal possessions. For nearly a century the First Ladies Collection has been one of the most popular attractions at the Smithsonian Institution.
The U.S. Botanic Gardens, on the Mall next to the Capitol Building, is where Mom can see beautiful and exotic flowers from all over the world, including lilies, rare orchids, huge tropical rainforest flowers, and strange-looking jungle blooms.
The National Arboretum exhibits plants that are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes, including cherries, giant hollies, and lovely uncommon wildflowers.
Right along Constitution Avenue are the Constitution Gardens. Covering 50 acres, the landscaped grounds include an island and a lake. These gardens actually border the Reflecting Pool, and include the Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial. Alluring and tranquil, the Constitution Gardens are the perfect place for Mom to find real relaxation.
Part of the National Gallery is the 7-acre Art Sculpture Garden on the Mall, where seventeen major sculptures are on display by internationally renowned artists, amid a beautifully landscaped informal garden. During the summer on Friday evenings, Mom can be entertained by jazz musicians along side the reflecting pool.
(Photo credit - americanhistory.si.edu)