Monday – Walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary to enjoy the lovely fall day. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, MD, is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.
Later on, see “Balloons,” a melodic and playful production for children by Estonian theater group Must Kast. It starts at 5pm at the Sitar Arts Center in Kalorama. The show is part of the Kids Euro Festival that brings free entertainment by artists from the EU to venues all around DC through November 10.
Tuesday – Watch the airplanes, kick a soccer ball, have a picnic, or just hang out at Gravelly Point. The park located right off the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport is a great place to savor a nice day, offering views of the river and airplanes taking off or landing right overhead. (Warning: Some kids find that part exciting, others might be frightened by the loud noise and sight of an airplane coming right at them.) Admission is free.
Wednesday – Join a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, where they’ll explore a mansion room through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this session of the three-part Kings and Queens-themed series, they’ll enter the glamorous world of kings and queens as they prepare for a royal ball and discover glittering treasures. The whole series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult ($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on November 6, 13, and 20.
Thursday – Zip up to Baltimore for a day of play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome, hands-on exhibits will keep kids entertained all day long. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $17.95 for ages 2 and up, free for under 2. And if you think you might go a few times this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.
Friday – See the city from a new vantage point at the Old Post Office Clock Tower. It’s free to visit and go up to the observation deck of one of the tallest buildings in DC. It’s located in what is now a hotel, but the Clock Tower is operated independently by the National Park Service. Open daily from 9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday this time of year (12-6pm on Sunday). The entrance for the Tower is at 12th and C Streets NW (on 12th, btwn Pennsylvania & Constitution Avenues).