Category Archives: Outdoor

Take the Kids to Explore Congressional Cemetery (Yes, the Cemetery!)



A cemetery might not be the most obvious place for an outing with kids. But when one is full of history, graves of notable people, lovely grounds, and even geocaching opportunities, it’s a pretty cool place to go.

Congressional Cemetery in southeast Capitol Hill has all of that and then some. Deemed a National Historic Landmark in 2011, burials first started at the 35-acre location over 200 years ago, and more than 67,000 have taken place there since, including some for famous DC residents. John Phillip Sousa, J. Edgar Hoover, Choctaw Chief Push-ma-ta-ha, Mathew Brady, Marion Barry, many members of Congress, and Civil War heroes are among those for whom the cemetery is their final resting place. There are also cenotaphs, which are memorials — the word actually means “empty tomb” — for even more remarkable people who are buried elsewhere.

The grave site of U.S. Marine Band leader John Phillip Sousa, aka March King

Information panels provide background on the Cemetery

It’s a beautiful place, and not too far from where we live, so we occasionally go there to roam around and, every now and then, attend an event. The Cemetery hosts a lot of community gatherings throughout the year, from Day of the Dog in the spring to movie nights in the summer to Soul Strolls and the Dead Man’s Run 5k leading up to Halloween to an annual birthday celebration for John Phillip Sousa to Yoga Mortis sessions to live entertainment to book clubs.

Ready for the Dead Man’s Run held every October

From April through October, free docent-led walking tours are available to visitors on Saturdays at 11am. Free tours focusing on the Civil War are also available on the third Saturday of the month at 1pm from April through October. You can also take a self-guided tour using brochures that you can pick up near the entrance — they suggest significant graves to visit and provide background on the people buried there. You can also find the brochures online if you want to print them out in advance.

Tour brochures help you explore on your own

Dogs sightings abound — the Cemetery is well known for its K9 Corps dogwalking program

Meeting goats in the graveyard

The Cemetery was also known for its Goats in the Graveyard, when they would bring in a herd of goats in August to help with maintenance. They ate vines, poison ivy, ground cover, and even fallen debris, while also “depositing” fertilizer. It was fun (and funny) to see them in such an unexpected place.

Our first attempt at geocaching in the Cemetery nearly two years ago

Back again recently to complete it (her color choices haven’t changed much!)

Sasha and I visited most recently at the beginning of Winter Break. We’d started a geocaching adventure there a couple of years ago, but never found the cache, because my phone, ironically, died mid-quest. This time, I made sure my battery was well charged, and we used GPS via the Geocaching.com app to navigate to the hidden treasure, stopping to look at some of the tombstones on the way. It’s interesting and often moving to read the epitaphs, note the birth and death dates, and see the design and artistry of the graves — some of them simple, others very ornate.

When we discovered the cache, I realized I forgot to bring along a pen to log our find (but I made a note on the app) — just mentioning that, so you don’t forget one if you go. There are actually a couple more geocaches in the Cemetery, but we decided to save those for another time — and a new stroll through the grounds.

Mission accomplished!



Congressional Cemetery is located at 1801 E Street SE on Capitol Hill. It’s open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free, though some special events require fees. For more information about geocaching, see this KFDC post.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend: December 28-30

Feelin’ the love at Georgetown GLOW



The “Round-Up” part of this post title is missing for a reason, and that’s because this is not a regular Weekend Round-Up. I’m keeping it simple for this last weekend of the year — but I’m definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will lead you to plenty of info and inspo to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want. You can also check KFDC on Facebook and Instagram for any updates or extra ideas. Happy Last Weekend of 2018!

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2018

The 2018 KFDC Guide to Holiday Season in DC

Winter Entertainment

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

Indoor Playgrounds

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Ice It at These Skating Rinks Around the DMV

Walks in the Woods

*Be sure to check out the just posted Family New Year’s Eve Celebrations to Ring in 2019 to make your Monday plans!


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Go & What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2018



If you’re going to be in town over the Winter Break from school, you’ll likely be looking for activities to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes parents)! Hence, I’m bringing back this guide from last year, but with updated info and some new inspiration.

Many of these ideas are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. Among the recommendations are holiday activities that keep the spirit going a little longer, exhibits and shows that are hot tickets right now, outings that take advantage of the season, adventures to keep your gang active no matter what the weather, and places and experiences that kids who are in school all day can’t get to easily, and movies (an obvious one, but I’ve included quick links).

Of course, the rest of the blog is packed with suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) entertained during the time off — or on, depending how you look at it. 😉 Happy Winter Break!

Holiday-Inspired Happenings

The Mansion on O gets festive for the holidays

Holiday Hunts
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Through December 31
Admission: $35

Look for special goodies found only at O Museum in The Mansion on a festive holiday treasure hunt. Both the Santa’s Elves and Chai Treasure Hunts run through December. The self-guided tour lets you explore the many fantastic themed rooms and secret doors. Bring your own shopping bags — everything is for sale! See more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you haven’t yet made it to Season’s Greenings, the annual holiday exhibit at the U.S Botanic Garden, you still have time to go — and it’s one that all ages will love. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, including a new botanical inspired Union Station. But the highlight is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s All Aboard-themed exhibit features train stations from around the U.S. — all made from plant materials, of course. Be sure to tour the rest of the plant collections while you’re there — not only are they gorgeous to view, there are some pieces from the holiday exhibit sprinkled throughout!

Magical Holiday Express
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: $18/adult, $17/senior, $12/age 2-12, free/B&O members


At a venue dedicated to locomotives, you know the holiday model train exhibit is going to be special. Trains are magical during the holidays, and the museum invites all aboard the B&O’s Magical Holiday Express, a spectacular celebration in the B&O Roundhouse devoted to trains of all sizes and shapes, holiday festivities, and a winter wonderland of family fun and activities. There is something to see and do every day at this annual holiday event! Be sure to look for special events like North Pole Adventures, Winter Royal Adventures, Frosty Fest, and WinterFest Wonderland on the website.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Through December 31
Admission: Online – $18/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free/ 5 & under

They do it up for the holidays at George Washington’s old digs. During the day, tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demos, and meet Aladdin the Camel. FYI: Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Year’s Day!

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through January 1
Admission: Free, though some activities cost extra

National Harbor goes all out during the holidays. ICE! might be the big attraction, but there’s also plenty to do there to warrant a visit without the frozen entertainment. Most of it takes place in the Gaylord National Resort, which is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a spectacular glass Christmas tree, nightly tree lightings, the Potomac Express train offering rides for guests, photo ops with Santa, indoor snowfalls, fountain shows, and more. (Read about a KFDC experience there during a Christmas season past.)


Special Exhibits

Interactive digital art at the ARTECHOUSE New Nature exhibit

Feel the Pulse
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

This exhibit that recently opened at the Hirshhorn will capture your heart, kind of literally. It’s comprised of three large-scale installations that use heart rate sensors to produce audiovisual experiences from visitors’ own biometric data. It’s beautiful, thought provoking, and unlike any exhibit I’ve experienced before. With interactive elements, cool visuals, and an interesting combination of science and art, kids and adults alike will be wowed.

New Nature
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE invites you to experience nature in a whole new way — through a colorful digital menagerie of nature-inspired creatures and plant life. It’s full of stunning imagery and fun interactives that all ages will find delightful. Even if you don’t plan to go this weekend, plan a visit for later, and snag tickets now. And FYI: If you go Sunday through Thursday you can get a family package — 20% off an adult and child ticket.

Q?rius
Where: National Museum of Natural History | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The interactive and experiential learning space is designed for kids ages 11 and up (though some younger ages could enjoy it, too). During winter break, it opens earlier at 10am (instead of 2pm). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Read the KFDC take on Q?rius.



#OptOutside

This year’s Light Yards installation, here thru January 4, gives new meaning to “tread lightly”

Lights On!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings through
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are are a staple of the season and some continue to shine into January. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. While some you tour by car, others you can walk through for a truly enchanting experience. See where you can see the lights around the area.

Ready, Set…Hike!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

If you agree with the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” like I do, there are no excuses for not getting outdoors during winter. And a great, easy way to do so is on a hike. Hit the trail in places with scenic views, tramp and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods and other places with the kids.

Grounds for Play
Where: Playgrounds around the DMV
When: Daily
Admission: Free

Let the kiddos burn some energy and get some fresh air at one of many awesome area playgrounds. Beauvoir, Clemyjontri, Watkins Regional Park, Hains Point,Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in NoVa and Maryland are great places to swing, climb, run, slide, romp, and even more!

Ice It Up
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Enjoy a quintessential winter activity: Ice skating under the sky! Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s cool rink; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Show Time

Step Afrika will have everyone stomping with joy!

Elf the Musical
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 6
Tickets: Start at $59 (look for a discount)

Based on the hit Will Ferrell movie, Elf the Musical has quickly entered the pantheon of holiday classics, and for good reason. This warm-hearted family musical tells the story of Buddy, a human accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby who grows up believing himself to be an elf, despite his large size and sub-par toy-making. Upon learning the truth from Santa, Buddy journeys to New York to find his father and help the

My Father’s Dragon
Where: Synetic Theatre | Rosslyn, VA
When: December 4 – January 6
Tickets: $20

Dragons are real and imaginations soar in this wordless Family Theater Production directed and choreographed by Company Member Tori Bertocci. Adapted by Company Member Ryan Sellers, “My Father’s Dragon” is based on the book of the same name by Ruth Stiles Gannett. The story follows the adventures of Elmer Elevator as he stows away to Wild Island in an attempt to rescue a captive baby dragon. This production is a part of Synetic’s Family Theater series and is recommended for ages 5+.

Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Through December 30
Tickets: $25-45

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a KFDC fave! This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The show features friendly, furry characters, plus there is pre-show instrument-making workshops, photo ops, and even a dance party. It is so much fun for both kids and adults and great entertainment even after the holiday has past!

Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through January 6
Tickets: $25

What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles-and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Oohlala! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Recommended for all ages.

Timbalooloo Live
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 26-31
Tickets: $20 (look for a deal)

Instruments speak through music in this interactive, immersive concert for young audiences. Grammy Award®–winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin and his band use games, stories, songs, and movement to teach children rich musical and cultural heritage. Examining sounds from Mozart to Willie Nelson to Herbie Hancock, children will explore how music is as unique and magical as their own imagination. Recommended for ages 3+.

Cinderella
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 6
Tickets: $17-35

This wacky retelling of the beloved fairy tale takes Cinderella on a royal adventure complete with a wisecracking rat, evil stepsisters, and a smitten prince. When Cinderella’s stepmother forbids her from attending the ball, her fairy godmother convinces here that if the shoe fits- wear it! True love may await her if only she can put down her sword. Just the right fit for the holiday season! Recommended for ages 4+.

Miss Saigon
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 10
Tickets: $49-$175

Experience the acclaimed new production of the legendary musical Miss Saigon, from the creators of Les Misérables. This is the epic story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim. In a bar run by a notorious character called The Engineer, Kim meets an American G.I. in an encounter that will change their lives forever. Featuring stunning spectacle, a sensational cast, and a soaring score including Broadway hits like “Last Night of the World,” “The Movie in My Mind,” and “The Heat Is on in Saigon,” this is a theatrical event you will never forget. Recommended for ages 12+.

Indoor Action

Badlands in Rockville offers mountains of fun

Mountains of Fun
Where: Badlands | Rockville, MD
When: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/child, $12.50/toddler, $5/adult

Enjoy all kinds of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, the facility has it all. They also have a cafe to get a bite to eat while you’re there and where adults can hang out while they watch their kids play (if kids are old enough to playon their own). Best for children about preschool age to 10.

Reach New Heights
Where: ClimbZone | Laurel, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Admission: $25+tax ($12+tax/toddler)

The enormous facility is filled literally floor to ceiling with colorful themed climbing walls and moon bounces. Climbers can ascend Mt. Rushmore, reach the Jolly Roger on a pirate ship, conquer a game of Tetris, shimmy up a giant guitar, scale Jack’s bean stalk, negotiate a rope wall, and experience peak fun on a variety of other climbing areas.

Play in the Zone
Where: ZavaZone | Rockville, MD & Sterling, VA
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Starts at $19.50

Guests have their pick of fun at this indoor adventure park for ages 5-105. There are ninja courses, ropes courses, trampolines, climbing challenges, zip lines, and more under one soaring roof. Usually just open in the afternoons during the week, morning time slots will also be available during Winter Break week.

Spring Time
Where: Flight Trampoline Park | Springfield, VA
When: Daily
Admission: Starts at $11

Kids of all ages can jump, play, even flip for joy at Flight Trampoline Park. The huge space resembles a skate park, with an industrial look of exposed pipes and cinder block walls sprayed with graffiti. But where you’d find ramps, rails, and concrete to facilitate skills and tricks, there are trampolines instead. Be sure to check the schedule for any special jumping times, and buy tickets/sign waivers in advance online to avoid a line there.



See Some Sports

Cheer on our local (or visiting) teams!

Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 22, 28, 29 & January 2
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards have a few home games over the break, so catch some exciting action on the court. They host the Phoenix Suns on December 22, Chicago Bulls on December 28, Charlotte Hornets on December 29, and the Atlanta Hawks on January 2.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capital One Arena, DC & Eagle Bank Arena, VA
When: December 26 & 28
Tickets: $25 and up

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are on the road for their action packed tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Join Globetrotter stars after the game where they will stay for an autograph, photograph and high five session for fans (subject to availability).

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 27 & 31, January 3
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Hockey fans can see the Caps play a couple games. The Carolina Hurricanes will be here on December 27, and the Nashville Predators on December 31.

Hoops, NCAA-Style
Where: Universities around the DMV
When: Throughout the break
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on. Here’s where you can check out schedules and look for tickets:
University of Maryland (Go, Terps!)
George Washington University
Georgetown University
American University
Howard University
George Mason University

Museums & More DC Sights

The Newseum is full of fascinating exhibits, many of them interactive

Focus on News and Media
Where: Newseum
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-19, free for 6 and under

The museum dedicated to all things news and journalism is fascinating — and one of my personal favorites in DC. Much of the collection is better appreciated (and understood) by older children, so while they have off from school is a good time to take advantage of an outing there. Read more about the Newseum in this KFDC post. And (look for a deal) on admission!

Mission: Fun
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 31, 10am – 6pm (Closing after for relocation)
Admission: $21.95/adult, $14.95/age 7-11, free/6 & under

Go undercover to explore the intriguing world of espionage. Discover some the tricks of the trade, view gadgets used to keep secrets and disguises to hide identities, and learn about some of the most famous spies and their missions. Look for a deal on admission before you go!

African American History & Culture
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Daily, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

This phenomenal museum is a must-see on the National Mall. Advance passes are currently unavailable, but with the kids home and open days ahead of you, it’s a good time to try for day-of admission — up to four(4) same-day timed entry passes are available online everyday starting at 6:30am until they run out. A limited number of walk-up passes are also available beginning at 1pm on weekdays. (Heads-up: The release for April 2019 passes is on Wednesday, January 2 at 9am.)

A Local & National Treasure
Where: Library of Congress
When: Monday – Saturday
Admission: Free

Explore the largest library in the world and one of DC’s most iconic attractions. Not only does the Library of Congress have a whole great space dedicated to kids, it is a trove of knowledge, art, history, and culture — and the public is welcome to enjoy it all, and for free! Open Monday through Saturday, 9am – 4:30pm.

Tour the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Daily, 8:30m – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Take a tour of the U.S. Capitol! You can usually get on a guided tour day of, but even if you can’t there are still plenty of interesting exhibits and statues to see in the Visitor’s Center. A tour lasts about an hour, and includes a short film, walks through the The Rotunda and National Statuary Hall, and a peek into the Old Congress Chamber. Before you go, be sure to read these guidelines on what you can and can’t bring with you. KFDC Tip: You can walk through an underground tunnel to get to the Library of Congress and make it a bigger outing on the Hill. (Note: Tours will not be available while the government shutdown is in effect.)

Abe’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free – $3

Ford’s isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through exhibits about the president, the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and that fateful night at the theatre. The National Historic Site features a museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and guests are welcome to explore it all. Best for about ages 8 and up. Reserve tickets online in advance for $3 or get them at the Box Office for free. (Note: Ford’s Theatre tours are operated by the National Park Service, and therefore not available during the government shutdown.)

* Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo, and the National Gallery of Art (which actually is not part of the Smithsonian) will be open during the partial government shutdown through January 1. I’ll keep you updated as more information comes out on their status beyond that.


Day Trips

Go big at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

Charm City, Hon!
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: Daily
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are lots of great places to spend a day off. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Tour the historic ships moored at the Inner Harbor. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry.

Hit the Slopes
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies

A fun, active way to take advantage of winter: Skiing! There are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and if you have a 4th or 5th grader, be sure to sign up for the SnowPass that offers free skiing opportunities. Some resorts to check out, both with or without the pass: Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Bryce, Snowshoe, and Wisp.

Go Underground
Where: Luray Caverns | Luray, VA
When: Daily, 9am – 7pm
Admission: $27/adults, $23/seniors, $14/ages 6-12, 5 and under free

Behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system at Luray. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Admission does not include attractions beyond the cavern. KFDC Tip: Be sure to make a pit stop before going into the caverns, because it can be a long walk out to a restroom, and once you’re out, you may not be able to go back in.

Art & Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert County, MD
When: Daily, except Christmas
Admission: Varies by locale

Make a day of it in Calvert County, where you can visit a couple of places for fun, fascinating, hands-on adventures. Annmarie Sculpture Garden is full of artistic delights. Tour beautiful works, both indoors and out, play in the Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, and admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free/5 & under. Also out that way is the Calvert Marine Museum, where you can see interesting exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. There’s also a play area and a real lighthouse to tour. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under.

Screen Time

Catch cool, often educational films (and wear some rad glasses) at an IMAX movie

(I)MAX Out
Where: Smithsonian IMAX Venues | National Mall, DC/Chantilly, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $9.50/adult

See a movie on the really big screen. You’ve got your choice of IMAX films playing right now. Both the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall and the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, are showing the following films that kids can enjoy: Pandas 3D, Journey to Space 3D, Aircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Sea 3D, D-Day: Normandy 1944 3D, and Aquaman. Tickets are $9.50/adult, $7/child ($15/adult, $13.50/youth for Star Wars). Of course, plan for some time before or after to explore the museums, too. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission to both is free.

In Theaters Near You
Where: Cinemas around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by theater

There are a bunch of movies out now (or opening any day) that are good for families with both young children and t(w)eens. Here are quick links for them:
Mary Poppins Returns (PG)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (PG)
Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PG-13)
Bohemian Rhapsody (PG-13)
Robin Hood (PG-13)
Welcome to Marwen (PG-13)
Bumblebee (PG-13)
Aquaman (PG-13)

Extra Tips
* If you’re looking specifically for ideas for foul weather days, see The Great Indoors list or the round-up of Indoor Playgrounds
* And for where to hang outside, check out The Best Places to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
* The Smithsonian Event Calendar is always worth checking before you head to the museums or the Zoo
* Look for deals and discounts on CertifiKID and Goldstar.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Playground, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 19-23

The cozy Young Readers Center in the Library of Congress





Monday – Visit the Library of Congress, where they will recognize the 155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address with a one-day celebration. View the earliest known draft of the historic speech and participate in a live interactive crowdsourcing challenge of Lincoln’s manuscripts. Be sure to take kiddos to the Young Reader’s Center while you’re there to explore books in the cozy space. And tour the rest of the grand building — one of the District’s most magnificent! Read more about the Library of Congress, a local and national treasure, in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Get excited for the upcoming holiday at a performance of Grandma’s Thanksgiving Visit at Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater. Tickets are still available for the 11:30am show (and two times on Monday!). Cost is $3-8.

Wednesday – Go ice skating! Many local outdoor rinks are open and welcoming folks to glide. Several offer push aids to help newbie skaters, and most are located in places with even more to do beyond the rink. This post has all the details on all of them.

Thursday – Have some pre- or post feast fun! Find a bunch of ideas here for activities to do on Thanksgiving. The post was originally written in 2016, but links have been updated, and all of the recommendations are relevant (and excellent!) this year, too.

Friday – Take a cue from REI and #OptOutside on Black Friday. The compilation of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids easily has you covered on this one.

And if weather isn’t conducive to outdoor adventures (or you just want some indoor fun), head to the National Building Museum to view the results of Canstruction, a creative design-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank as teams from DC architecture and design firms use their skills to build sculptures out of cans of food. You can vote for your favorite with the donation of a canned good. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free/members — and it’s “buy one get one free” for the day with the canned good donation!


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Holidays, Indoor Play, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays