Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 16-20

Emulate Max Scherzer at Play Ball Park

Monday – Get excited for the MLB All Star game at the Play Ball Park, a 56,000 square foot interactive area in the Capitol Riverfront area that is loaded with fun baseball-inspired activities. Practice pitching, take some swings in a batting cage, experience a virtual reality adventure, sample Nathan’s hot dogs and soft drinks, enjoy giveaways, and more. Hours are 10am – 8pm. Admission is free, and it’s conveniently located at M & 1st Streets SE near Yards Park and Canal Park (where kids can cool off in the fountains after!), lots of eateries, and more fun in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. (Note: This runs through Tuesday, so you’ve got a couple of days to go.)

Tuesday – Continue the celebration at the All Star Fan Fest at the Washington Convention Center. Meet MLB Legends, enjoy lots of ball-themed activities, get free autographs, receive daily giveaways, and much more. Hours are 9am – 8pm. Admission is $35/adult, $30/child (Note: This is also happening on Monday.)

If you’re all baseballed out, explore Air & Space beyond the National Mall (and escape the crowds) at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the museum. Showcasing even more fascinating artifacts of flight, you can see all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Wednesday – Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where the lotus flowers and water lilies in bloom are a stunning sight! The wonderful, annual festival to celebrate it is this coming weekend, but it’s also nice to take in the beauty of it all without the crowds. Meander through the park to see ponds full of giant lily pads and dazzling flora, walk out on the boardwalk to take in views of the acres of marshland, and look out for turtles, great blue herons, frogs, and other wildlife. And did I mention this gorgeous oasis is all right in Northeast DC? Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

In the evening, catch a concert by the DC Youth Orchestra at the Lincoln Memorial, their first time playing at the iconic spot! Music at the Monument selected the DC Youth Orchestra to perform in fulfillment of its mission of encouraging and expanding access to its priority populations: youth, veterans, and underrepresented groups within those populations. The music begins at 7pm, and there will be an instrument petting zoo prior to the show.

Thursday – Venture out to Calvert County, MD, to Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an enchanting artistic adventures. View eye-popping works, both indoors and out, hunt for fairy houses, play in the delightful Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Trust me, it’s worth the hour-plus drive. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, 10am – 5pm at the arts center. Admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free for 5 and under.

Friday – Harvest some fruits at Homestead Farms. Blackberries and peaches are the current pick-your-own offerings at the locale in Poolesville, MD. See goats, chickens, and pigs and enjoy the pretty scenery, too. Hours are 9am – 5pm, and admission is $3/person, and that’s applied to your total at check-out. While you’re out that way, head down the street to McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, where a sea of sunflowers (30 acres of fields!) is sure to put a smile on your face. Admission to that is free.


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