Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 25-29

The first tinges of spring at the National Arboretum



Monday – Go for a swim! 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.

Tuesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their fantastic playground. Located on the grounds of the National Cathedral, the school welcomes the public to enjoy its outdoor facilities when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Join the Hirshhorn for a special STORYTIME session that’s part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival programs. Take a trip to the depths of the earth and discover what can grow from it. Visit the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, hear a reading of Call Me Tree by Maya Christina González, then do a related hands-on activity. The program runs 10-11am, and admission is free.

Thursday – Get out and enjoy the day at Great Falls Park, which boasts some of the most magnificent nature in the area. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Take in spectacular views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. For more places to get a dose of nature, see this post about local walks in the woods.

Friday – Enjoy early spring at one of the prettiest places in DC, the National Arboretum. Flowers are just beginning to bloom and the cherry trees are budding in the area around the Ellipse Meadow, where the striking Capitol Columns are located. Be sure to explore the rest of the Arb, too! Take nature walks among the plant collections, view the impressive bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, picnic in the Grove of State Trees, and so much more. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read even more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list!


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