Tag Archives: Best Ideas for Activities with Kids in Washington DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 15-19

🌷Immerse in tulips at Burnside Farms 🌷

* Along with these recommendations, be sure to check out the Spring Break guide with more ideas for things to do with kids off from school this week!

Monday – Catch a performance of Winnie the Pooh at Adventure Theatre. Showtime for the all-ages production is 11am, and tickets are $20. Plan for a picnic (BYO food or buy from the Praline Café there) and some fun on the Glen Echo Park playground after the show.

For an activity with older kids, visit the Newseum, which is chock full of interesting and interactive exhibits in the context of journalism and media, from installations about some of the world’s biggest news stories to the opportunity to “Be a TV Reporter” to an arresting display of Pulitzer Prize winning photos — and so much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Tickets are $24.95/adult, $14.95/age 6-18, free/5 & under, but be sure to look for a discount before you go.

Tuesday – Spend the day in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Kids as young as 5 years old can experience fun and challenges on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Ages 5-6 are free with a paid accompanying adult and have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $12/age 5-6, $47/age 7-11, $56/age 12+. Read more about the Adventure Park here.

For little ones who aren’t quite ready for a treetop adventure, visit the enchanting Clark’s Elioak Farm! Complete with hayrides, cow train rides, pony rides, farm animals to pet, a playground, and recovered installations from an old storybook park, it’s sure to delight kiddos. Open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Friday (10am – 5:30pm Saturday – Sunday). Admission is $7, some rides might be extra.

Wednesday – Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Be sure to stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free.

Thursday – Experience a bit of Holland in Northern Virginia at Burnside Farms’ annual Festival of Spring! Blooming tulips stretching along acres of fields in an array of colors and varieties is absolutely stunning. Even better, you can pick your own to bring the beauty home ($1 per stem). Admission also includes bouncy fun, a playhouse area, cornhole games, and authentic dutch wooden shoes to “klomp” around in. A cow train and wagon rides are an extra $2. Hours are 10am – 6pm daily (and weather permitting, so be sure to call ahead if it looks iffy out). Advance admission is $8 for weekdays ($10 weekends) + $2 extra if you purchase there.

Friday – Hang out at The Wharf. Let the kids run through the in-ground fountain sprays, play large-scale Jenga and board games, grab lunch at one of the many eateries, cruise the Potomac on a free Jitney ride, and enjoy the waterfront scenery. Just about all of it is accessible all day and evening, and it’s all free (though plan to pay for your meals, of course.)

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 8-12

Hike (or floss) among the bluebells at Riverbend Park

Monday – Take kiddos to Yards Park. The recreational space in the Navy Yard is a perfect place to spend a nice spring day with them. Play in the sprays, hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water or go for lunch at one of the many new nearby eateries. Admission to the park is free.

Tuesday – Do some flower peeping at Riverbend Park while the bluebells add a brilliant pop of color to an already lovely place. Make that your starting point for a 2-mile hike to Great Falls, where you can take in magnificent vistas, visit the nature center, and have a picnic. Or just wander around Riverbend and enjoy the Visitor Center and views there. Park hours are 7am to dusk, Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Enjoy A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood at Discovery Theater. Meet the butcher, baker, pizza dough maker, and all of the friendly people who make our neighborhoods terrific places to live every day at this show recommended for children 3-6. Showtime is 10:15am and 11:30am (on Thursday and Friday, too). Tickets are $3-8.

Thursday – Play the day away at Clemyjontri. The vibrantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean, VA, accommodates kids of all abilities with all kinds of climbing structures, swings, and other apparatuses that encourage activity and imagination. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

Friday – Jet out to the Dulles area to explore Air & Space beyond the National Mall at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the museum. Showcasing even more fascinating artifacts of flight, you can see all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
April 1-5

The Tidal Basin at sunset

Monday – Go see the cherry blossoms! The famous flowers are peaking this week — and it’s gorgeous. Head to the Tidal Basin and National Mall for quintessential views, and enjoy touring the memorials while you’re there. You can also go to an off the beaten blossom path place for less crowds. These KFDC tips for families has all the info you need for a peak viewing experience.

Tuesday – Head up to Baltimore to see some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. The vibrant, quirky collections — including interactive pieces — can be appreciated by art buffs of all ages. Hours are 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $15.95/adults, $13.95/seniors, $9.95/students & ages 7 and up, free for 6 and under.

Wednesday – Wander, play, and explore at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticulture Building and pick up instructions for a kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Grounds are open dawn to dusk, the Horticulture Building 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Take a FREE trial class of Tinkergarten Babies. This unique outdoor class is designed to provide a safe, stimulating playscape in which babies ages 6-18 month can discover the natural world. The class will take place 10-11am at Belle Haven Park in Alexandria. Register in advance. (Trial classes are also available for children 18 months-8 years old, and you can find the schedule here.)

Friday – Join fish and wildlife biologists from the Department of Energy & Environment for Family Matters to explore the diversity of aquatic animal families and groups — including fintastic fathers, brave babies, and mothers willing to give the skin right off their own back — at the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) in Anacostia Park. The program runs 10:30am – to 12pm and will include a Circle of Life aquarium tour with feedings, Ohana Means Family group presentation, and themed crafts and activities. Discover what aquatic animal families look like and which babies can make it all on their own. Advanced registration is required and participants must be accompanied by an adult. Plan for some play time at Anacostia Park after — with three playgrounds, a skating pavilion, large grass fields, tennis and basketball courts, and a walking/biking path along the river, it’s a great place to enjoy outdoor recreation.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays

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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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays