Tag Archives: DC hikes with Kids

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 17-21

"Soundsuit" is part of the current "Over, Under, Next" Experiments in Mixed Media" exhibit

“Soundsuit” is part of the current “Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media” exhibit at the Hirshhorn



Monday – See some modern art at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It might not be the first gallery that comes to mind for an outing with kids, but there are plenty of interesting, colorful, and quirky works that all ages can appreciate on some level. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, 7:30am – dusk in the garden. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Let the kids bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $6/child. (This also takes place on Wednesday at the same time.)

Wednesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo — visit the animals,ride the Speedwell Conservation Carousel, play in the Giant Pizza Playground. And be sure to check the schedule of daily programs for special activities. Zoo grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit buildings 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking is $16 for the first three hours for non-members. Look for street parking nearby to curb the cost or take Metro — both the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations are a short walk away.

Thursday – Take a hike at Turkey Run Park. Located right off the GW Parkway near 495, it contains nearly 700 acres of woods, easy trails that ramble along the Potomac, streams that flow down from the woods to the river, great views from the shoreline, and a variety of wildlife (though sightings aren’t guaranteed). Hours are 6am -10pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Make a splash at Yards Park. The fountains and wading pool are open again after being closed for renovations for several months. Bring along food for an al fresco riverside picnic or pick up sandwiches at nearby Potbelly. If you can’t make it during the day, go for the Friday Night Concert series from 6:30-8:30pm.

Hanna Andersson

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

Hit the Trail at Turkey Run Park

Making our way down to the Potomac Heritage Trail, which runs through the park

 

This weekend’s spell of nice weather prompted this post about an area hike. As I discussed a long while back, going hiking is one of our favorite ways to seize the day outdoors. It’s important to Levi and me that our city kids get a regular dose of nature, plus walks in the woods always make for great family outings. They’re such an easy, peaceful, fun, and active way to spend time together — in a pretty outdoor setting.

Family tramping

Turkey Run Park is a great option for hiking with kids. Located right off the GW Parkway near 495, it contains nearly 700 acres of woods, trails that ramble along the Potomac, streams that flow down from the woods to the river, great views from the shoreline, and a variety of wildlife.

Pretty Potomac views

Bigs rocks by the river to are nice rest stops

Cutest guide on the trail

Hikes are fairly easy, and you can opt for trails anywhere from about one to four miles long. We usually start from Parking Lot C, taking the “stairs” down to the river before walking along the banks for awhile and up through the woods,  then hopping on a trail that leads back to the lot, about a 3-mile jaunt altogether. There are clusters of big rocks on the riverbanks where it’s nice to stop and take in the views (or have a picnic if you’re so inclined). There are sometimes fallen trees to scramble over or walk upon and a few small footbridges to cross over streams. Birds and squirrels are easy to spy, and we always keep our eyes peeled for deer.

Skipping along a patch of sunlight

Navigating the rocks together

A stream runs through it

A few picnic areas with tables are perfect for lunch al fresco, and there’s also some open space to toss a Frisbee or kick a ball around.

Plenty of room for a picnic

And frolicking, too.

Turkey Run Park is accessible via the GW Parkway, right before the Beltway. Hours are 6am -10pm. There is no admission fee. Check out the trail map ahead of time to help plan your visit there.

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Filed under All ages, Free, Outdoor, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Weekend Picks

The museums are heavy on special family activities this weekend, but with the glorious weather forecast for the next few days, I’ve got several suggestions to get you outdoors, too.   Happy Weekend!

Family Day: Kites of AsiaGo fly a kite! And make one, too. This free event at the National Air & Space Museum on Saturday welcomes guests to discover the artistry of kites from across Asia. Indoor kite flying, story telling, and hands-on art activities, kite-making included, are on the day’s agenda.  The event runs from 10am – 3pm.

Take a Hike – It’s going to be excellent weather for tramping in the woods, though be choosy about where you go — I heard the line of cars waiting to get into the Maryland side of Great Falls last weekend was all the way out to MacArthur Boulevard.  For more suggestions on where to walk in the woods, including several that don’t attract large crowds, check out this post about good area hikes with kids.

Goya: Awakened in a DreamThe National Gallery of Art’s Film Program for Children and Teens presents a movie about the artist Goya this week. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the screening will take place in the East Building Concourse auditorium at 10:30am on Saturday and 11:30am on Sunday.  The program is free, and seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Everyone’s PlaygroundEnjoy the sunshine and one of the best playgrounds in the area. If you have young children, and you haven’t been to Clemyjontri Park, I highly recommend taking them there.  The play possibilities will seem endless to little ones.  The carousel doesn’t open for another couple of weeks, but kids will be so enchanted with other parts of the park, they won’t miss riding the wooden horses.

Mail FemalesDiscover the history of women who have played important roles in the nation’s mail service.  The National Postal Museum is hosting Women’s History Month Family Day from 11am – 3pm on Saturday.  Guests can hear stories about postal women and try their hand at some of the jobs they performed.

DC United Opening DayKick off the start of the soccer season at RFK on Saturday evening.  Tickets are still available for the 7:30pm game, including a couple of packages that come with freebies when you buy at least four tickets.  For more information, see this post from a couple of days ago.

Reptile & Amphibian DayLearn about reptiles and their important role in the ecosystem at this annual event at the National Aquarium. On Sunday from 10am – 4pm, guests can enjoy a variety of activities, including storytime and fun crafts.  Aquarium staff will be on hand to answer questions and give talks throughout the day. Special highlights: The alligator exhibit and a shark feeding at 2pm. The event is free with admission – $9.95/ages 11 and up, 4.95/ages 3-11, children under 3 are free.

Picnic, Play, & PlanesHave you been to Gravelly Point, the small park along the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport?  The beautiful spot along the river is nice place to spread out a picnic, people watch, and kick around a soccer ball  — if you really like airplanes.  I have to warn about this one:  it’s hit or miss with kids (and adults, for that matter).  The park is located just beyond the airport runway, so planes take off or land (depending on which way they are going that day) literally right overhead. That’s the hit or miss part.  It’s loud and potentially scary for those who don’t like the looks of a plane coming right at them, but quite exciting for those that love a thrill.

Portrait Story DaysDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery anytime from 1-4pm on Sunday to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. Rachel Carson, founder of the modern environmental movement, will be the subject this weekend.

CHAW Artday Concert – Catch a free Singing Lizard concert on Saturday morning at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. The Singing Lizard’s live shows are fast-paced, fun, and full of exciting songs that both kids and adults enjoy. The concert is from 10-11am in CHAW’s Black Box Theater.

On the Big Screen – Rain or shine, an IMAX film is great entertainment. Both the Johnson IMAX Theater at the Natural History Museum and Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater at the Air & Space Museum have several movies playing all weekend.  For a couple of reviews, see my post about Arabia 3D and another one about Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D.

Live Entertainment – A few new theater and musical shows recently opened on local stages.  This post about spring entertainment from last week has info on what and who’s playing and where.  Also be sure to check this post from a couple of months ago listing winter productions, several of which are still running.

Stories in ArtSculptor David Smith is again the subject for this week’s children’s program at the National Gallery of Art. The workshop will start with a reading of “Half of the Elephant,” about an elephant on a humorous journey to find his missing half.. From there, the group will explore the work of David Smith, then build a sculpture with wood and metal. Hour-long sessions begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm on Sunday. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day and will continue until all spaces are filled.  No admission fee required.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Play, Weekend