Monday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, check out marine life in Sant Ocean Hall, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, get hands on in Q?rius (or Q?rius Jr. for little ones Tues – Fri). KFDC Tip: If you save this outing for Tuesday, you can get free entry to the Butterfly Pavilion, and I recommend getting tickets for it when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away. Admission to the museum is free, the Butterfly Pavilion is $7.50/adult, $6/child. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, Q?rius hours are 2-5pm.
Tuesday – Head to BloomBars in Columbia Heights for a shadow puppet stage show. Featuring a variety of characters and menagerie of traditional and original songs, the performance explores themes that center around the seasons, the environment, as well as learning components of music. The show takes place 10-11am, and admission cost is usually a donation.
Wednesday – 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 Tuesdays at 11:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 1:30pm.) Read more about open play at PG here.
Thursday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. There are nearby trails for walks in the woods. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center. (Pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but guests are welcome to stop by the stables.)
Friday – Take advantage of warmer temps and enjoy some outdoor play at Clemyjontri. The brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean accommodates kids of all abilities with all kinds of climbing structures, swings, and other apparatuses that encourage activity and imagination. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.