Monday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo! Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can view an elephant training demo, see the furry residents of the Kids’ Farm, watch feedings, and more — or pick your animal visits as you go. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center runs 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.
Tuesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. (This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 1:30pm.) Read more about open play at PG here.
Wednesday – Enjoy a musical morning with Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to Eastern Market at 10:30am. Kidsinger Jim will get little ones dancing along fun tunes. Admission is $6/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Plan on lunch after the show — there are lots of options at the market or nearby for a tasty bite. (FYI: Boogie Babes shows now take place every Wednesday & Thursday at 10:30am at Eastern Market, and all shows benefit the DC Diaper Bank.)
Thursday – Summer isn’t quite officially over according to the calendar — or the weather — so savor the last of it at Yards Park. Play in the sprays and wading pool, hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water or go for lunch at one of the many nearby eateries.
Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Sunscreen and hat recommended.