Monday – Take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy tons of fun at Watkins Regional Park. Kiddos will love frolicking on the adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground. You can walk from there to Watkins Nature Center to view lots of cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. (Old Maryland Farm, which also has animals to visit, is closed on Mondays). Park hours are dawn to dusk and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of hands-on pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian. Kids can weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, build an igloo, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Plan on lunch or a snack at the Mitsitam Cafe, where they serve indigenous cuisines of the Americas that are interesting and tasty! Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm (cafe 11am – 3pm). Admission is free.
Wednesday – Go to Story Time at Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle. The weekly program features a different children’s book and various fun activities for little ones. They’ll watch your kids while you grab a coffee (or, if its that kind of morning, a mimosa) from the great Afterwords Café. The session starts at 10:30am, and admission is free. All ages welcome.
In the evening, attend the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting! The ceremony will take place on the West Lawn at 5pm. It’s fairly short, so arrive on time if you hope to catch it.
Thursday – Indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you can take a dip on a cold day. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim hours and make sure there are no random closings, which happen occasionally.
Friday – See a performance of The Nutcracker — on strings! The Puppet Co. presents its delightful version of the holiday classic through December 30. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. Plan for some time on the Glen Echo Park playground afterwards and grab lunch at Praline, the café on premises.