I know what you’re thinking (if you think like me, anyway): Crap, it’s going to rain ALL weekend!? It’s hard to revert back to our winter ways after an awesome stretch of weather. And it can be tough to keep the kids entertained when activities are limited to indoors and they’ve caught a spot of spring fever. But I’m taking a stand. Here are a few ideas for fun, despite the %@$#! rain.
Visiting the U.S. Botanic Garden on a rainy day kind of feels like pulling a fast one on the weather gods. While it’s pouring outside, you and the kids can walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora without a drop of precipitation falling on you, unless you count the misters in the jungle. And right now you can catch the hugely popular exhibit, “Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey.” More than just a showcase of the equisite bloom, it’s also a study of its influence on people and culture around the world. From there, head to one of Capitol Hill’s many family-friendly eats. On 8th Street SE, Matchbox, Café 8, and Molly Malone’s are always good bets for the whole brood.
Glen Echo Park has some shows to check out. The Puppet Co. is presenting “Beauty and the Beast” at 11:30am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $10. The “New Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” is being performed at the Adventure Theater, also at 11:30am and 1pm. Tickets are $15/adult, $12/children under 12. All tickets can be purchased online or by calling 301.634.5380.
For something more hands-on, the National Postal Museum has plenty to keep the kids engaged. I like to think of it as a local secret, since it’s often overlooked by tourists and overshadowed by its Smithsonian counterparts on the Mall. A few highlights are an old mail truck and train car to climb aboard, the Pony Express “trail” that takes you through its history, and an interactive exhibit that creates and stamps a cool postcard. When you’re done there, grab a bite to eat next door at Union Station or across the street at the Irish Times or Dubliner to get into the St. Patrick’s spirit.
And speaking of everyone’s favorite Irish holiday, the 39th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place Sunday between 12pm – 3pm, rain or shine. Floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and members of the police and fire departments will make their way from 7th to 17th Streets NW along Constitution Avenue. I recommend bringing an umbrella.