Category Archives: Story Time

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 3-7

Enjoy a special story time session at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building on Friday


Monday – Get outside to take advantage of warmer temps! Oxon Hill Farm near National Harbor is an ideal place for it. Visit animals, roam the lovely grounds, check out exhibits of old farm machinery and local history, and enjoy activities in the Visitors Center. Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free. And for more places to opt outside on a lovely day, see the round-up of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.

Tuesday – Watch local kids recite Abraham Lincoln’s speeches at the Lincoln Oratory Festival. The annual event brings together students from the DC area to perform on the Ford’s Theatre stage some of Lincoln’s most important speeches, including both his inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address. The public is invited to be part of their audience. Reserve free tickets in advance online or get them at the Box Office. (Note: This also takes place on Wednesday.) Make a day of it and plan to tour the historic site, too — the museum adjacent to the theatre and Petersen House across the street welcome visitors daily, offering a fascinating glimpse into the life and death of Abraham Lincoln. Read a KFDC write-up about it. Tickets are free at the Box Office, $3/online in advance.

Wednesday – Celebrate Black History Month at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. During the off-peak season (September – February), passes are not needed for weekday admission. Be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Thursday – Join local children’s entertainer Uncle Devin on a musical journey through the wide, wonderful, and boisterous world of percussion instruments at Discovery Theater. Showtimes are 10:15am and11:30am (on Friday, too), and tickets are $3-6/chid, $8-9/adult.

In the evening, join Green Hedges School in Vienna at 6pm for a free screening of the documentary film Like, an IndieFlix Original that explores the impact of social media on our lives with a goal to to inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self-regulate. The public is invited, and children are welcome, though the film is intended for students in grades 4-8. RSVP in advance.

Friday – Enjoy a Storytime at the National Gallery of Art. Together with staff, you’ll read a book aloud (in both English and Spanish), move, and play.  All ages are welcome, especially the youngest visitors and nursing parents. The session runs 10-11am and will gather at the East Building entrance. Admission is free. Plan to stay and explore the East Building after — see more about it in this KFDC post.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Story Time, Theatre, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 13-17

The National Arboetum is a great place to enjoy warmer-than-normal weather


Monday – Go to Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Taking place every Monday, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Of course, stay to explore the rest of the museum, which is full of interactive exhibits that appeal to all ages. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Take kiddos to bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play workshop is a great way for kiddos to be active indoors (it was a regular outing for us when the kids were younger)! The session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am and Fridays at 4:30pm. Read more about the open play sessions here.

Wednesday – Spend what’s forecast to be a warmer-than-normal winter day at one of the prettiest places in DC, the U.S. National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections on nature walks, view the bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, check out the old Capitol columns, 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! — as well as this post and this one.

Thursday – Explore the local environment at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. Afterwards, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Friday – Rock out with local kids’ fave Rocknocerous at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. You can also nosh while you’re there — the smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available. Showtime is 10:30am, doors open at 10am. Tickets are $5.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 3-7

Igloo building teamwork at the National Museum of the American Indian





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.

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Filed under 2018, Christmas, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Story Time, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 29 – June 1

All ages will dig the imaginative works in the Renwick’s No Spectators exhibit



Tuesday – Take toddlers to story hour at East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill — the weekly book readings are perfect for ages 1-4. The session starts at 11am, and admission is free. After, stay to browse the inventory, then head next door to Labyrinth to check out their great selection of games and puzzles or grab a bite at one of many nearby eateries.

Wednesday – Spend the forecasted rainy day at Badlands Play Space, where there are mountains of indoor adventures for kids. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, the enormous facility in Rockville has it all! Hours are 9am – 6pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $20/child and $12.50/toddler.

Thursday – Check out No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at the Renwick Gallery. The big, bold, imaginative works originally showcased at the annual festival in Black Rock City wow viewers of all ages. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Enjoy a “summer” activity and hit a sprayground! There are a bunch open for the season within the DC Department of Parks and Rec that have areas where kids can splash around. (Open at 10am, free admission.) Find a list of even more interactive fountains and splash pads around the area in the 2018 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Story Time, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays