Tag Archives: DC Area Parks

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 28 – September 1

Enjoy some beach time – and great fossil hunting! – at Purse State Park



Monday – Get to a special summer exhibit or museum program while you can! Several around the area will come to an end after Labor Day. Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum thanks to the Summer Fun Deal (and get a deal on adult admission here). See Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC at the Hirshhorn. Look for fairy houses and enjoy more artistic delights at Annmarie Sculpture Garden. Visit HIVE at the National Building Museum. Find info on even more soon-to-be over activities in the 2017 Summer Guide.

Tuesday – Enjoy mountains of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, the recently opened facility in Rockville has it all! Hours are 9am – 6pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $22.50/child and $12.50/toddler.

Wednesday – Take a hike at Riverbend Park. The Great Falls locale may not be as popular as its national park neighbor, but it’s just as fantastic a place to enjoy some time in nature, especially with kids. Trails are mellow for little hikers, the views are lovely, there are plenty of nice picnic spots, and admission is free. And if you want to see the magnificent falls up river, they’re an easy two-mile walk in the woods away. Riverbend Park hours are 7am to dusk.

Thursday – Catch a lunchtime performance by Step Afrika! as they make a stop at Pepco Edison Place Gallery during the Step Xplosion tour that takes them through all 8 Wards in DC. Showtime is 12pm, and tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance.

Friday – Spend what’s one of the last days of summer break for many local kids at the beach! Several places within day trip-distance from DC are great for sand and surf. Enjoy picturesque views of the Bay Bridge along with beach fun at Sandy Point State Park. Head out to Calvert County for a day at Flag Ponds Nature Park, including some fossil hunting. Head a little further out to North Beach or Brownies Beach (Bayfront Park). You can also play paleontologist and look for prehistoric fragments along the Potomac at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 21-25

Stop and smell the stinky plants at the U.S. Botanic Garden



Monday – Behold the Great American Solar Eclipse! Events where you can observe and celebrate the phenomenon are happening around the area, and many are providing free glasses (while supplies last), too. This KFDC post has details on where to experience this stellar occasion.

Tuesday – Stop and smell the stinky plants at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Three corpse flowers are on display in the conservatory, and at least one is now blooming (ie, open and letting off its stench), and the other two will follow this week. Word is the odor is at its strongest in the first hours after it opens, but the bloom is said to be spectacular. While you’re there, be sure to tour the rest of the USBG’s lovely collections and make time to play in the newly renovated Children’s Garden. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and there will be extended hours until 10pm during the peak bloom, so be sure to check on that. Admission is free. You can also watch the progress of the plants on the live web cam, but you need to go to get the full sensory experience!

Wednesday – Witness animal migrations from a hot air balloon, submerse into the deep sea to study marine life, discover new species in the rain forest, and gear up for a polar expedition at the National Geographic Museum. The Earth Explorers exhibit, running for just a few more weeks, offers a glimpse into the work and passion of explorers in the field through a variety of hands-on displays and interactive installations. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, free for children under 5.

Thursday – Get a glimpse of the past on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Kids and adults will enjoying seeing the cannons and other historic sights within the grounds along the river. Hours are 8am – sunset. Admission is $5/vehicle.

Friday – Say arrrrh! to a pirate voyage on local waters. You have some options on where to go: In DC, take a Family Treasure Hunt Cruise on the Boomerang Pirate Ship (look for a deal here). Head out to Annapolis for Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake. Go for a jaunt with Urban Pirates in Baltimore or stay closer to home where they’re invading National Harbor. Times and rates vary by tour.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 14-18

Enjoy a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park



Monday – Wander, play, and explore at Green Spring Gardens. Tucked away behind a strip mall in Alexandria, VA, it’s a lovely oasis amid the suburban sprawl. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and pick up instructions for a kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – All aboard for Beach Bound Rail Adventures at the B&O Railroad Museum! The program at the Baltimore venue features special hands-on activities for children all week, plus train rides on Thursday and Friday that depart at 11:30am. Hours are 10am – 3pm. Admission is $18/adults, $12/ages 2-12, free for under 2.

For an activity with older kids, go on a cultural adventure at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center. Their new exhibit, From Sinbad to the Shabab Oman: A Seafaring Legacy, showcases Oman’s seafaring history over the last millennia. Learn about some of history’s most famous explorers and navigators as their stories are interwoven with items from Omani ships and shipbuilding, and discover Omani history, Omani mariners, and the Omani vessels they sailed. On view through September 30, hours are 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday. Admission is free. The Center is located at 1100 16th St NW.

Wednesday – Take the kids out the ballgame! The Nats play the Angels at 1:05pm, and it’s a great chance to catch some mid-week afternoon baseball! Ticket prices start at $12. Before you go, see what’s fun for families at the ballpark. And check out these KFDC tips on doing a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Thursday – Hang out 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 $42/ages 7-9, $49/ages 10-11, $55/ages 12 and older.

And if you’re looking for fun with little ones (or a cheaper option), experience adventure on a smaller scale at the Cabin John Regional Park Playground. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run amid the lovely wooded setting, and the miniature train that guests can ride ($1.75/passenger) is a fun bonus.

Friday – Wind down summer break (DCPS students, anyway) with a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Swim in the Chesapeake (or just dip the toes if it’s jellyfishy), build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is one of several places in that area where you can search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 6pm, and admission is $8/car. Get more info and logistics in this post.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Trains, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 7-11

The lovely Fairy Lolly at Annmarie Sculpture Garden



Monday – Experiment with hands-on fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA. Kids of all ages can explore a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through fun, engaging, interactive exhibits and activities. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $12 (under 2 are free).

Tuesday – Take a day trip out to Solomons, MD, to Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an enchanting array of artistic delights. View eye-popping works, both indoors and out, hunt for fairy houses, play in the delightful Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Trust me, it’s worth the hour-plus drive. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, 10am – 5pm at the arts center. Admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free for 5 and under.

Wednesday – Get on board the Regal Summer Movie Express while you can! There are only three weeks left of the summer series that presents family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters. This week’s flicks are The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The Adventures of Tintin.

Thursday – Hang out at Georgetown Waterfront Park. Let the kids run through the sprays of the interactive fountain, play on the grassy areas, follow the paths of the in-ground labyrinth, and watch the boats and ducks go by on the river. After (or before, depending on when you go), have a bite to eat or do some shopping in the neighborhood full of restaurants and retail.

Friday – Enjoy some recreation on local waters. There are a bunch of places around the area to rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, rowboats, and pedal boats. Check out this KFDC post for details of where you can go with the flow in DC.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Free, Ongoing, Outdoor, Summer, Weekdays