Tag Archives: DC Weekday Activities with Kids

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 19-23

Explore the exhibits in the Fossil Hall at the Natural History Museum


Monday – Take little ones ages 2-5 to Lincoln’s Cottage for their new Social Studies program. The initiative aims to nuture social and emotional intelligence through interactive storytelling, games, and hands-on lessons that help foster self-awareness, self-management, relationships, and responsible decision-making skills. The session runs 10:15-11:30am, and admission is $5.

For an outing with older kids, visit the Newseum and take advantage of the Summer Fun Deal. Through Labor Day, the entrance fee for youth is waived with paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. Adult tickets are $24.95, but look for a discount here.

Tuesday – Head up to Baltimore for play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome, hands-on exhibits will keep kids entertained all day long. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $17.95 for ages 2 and up, free for under 2. And if you think you might go a few times this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.

Wednesday – Have some fun on the farm at Frying Pan Farm Park. Get a glimpse of 20th-century farm life as you visit animals, take a wagon ride, play on kid-sized tractors and playgrounds, and much more. The locale in Herndon is a guaranteed hit with little ones. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, the farm is open 9am – 5pm, wagon rides 10am – 4pm. Admission is free, though the wagon rides cost $3.50.

In the evening, join the Capitol Riverfront BID from 6-8pm for a Bubbles & Jazz at the middle block of Canal Park. Pack a picnic or grab dinner at a local restaurant, and head to the to the park for a live jazz performance by the Bryan McEntire Quartet and plenty of bubbles for all ages. In keeping with theme, there will be sparkling wine, bubbly water, and Atlas Brew Works beverages for adults 21+, as well as bubble activities for the little ones.

Thursday – Go see the dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History. If you haven’t been to the recently reopened David H. Koch Hall of Fossils-—Deep Time (or even if you have), it’s a must-do. The exhibition is full of skeletal beasts plus hundreds of smaller prehistoric remnants and cool installations that present 3.7 billion years of life on Earth. Of course, plan for time to explore the rest of the museum, too! I always recommend the Insect Zoo, where kids love opportunities to hold live creatures and the Hall of Human Origins where they can see what they’d look like as a Neanderthal in a special face morphing photo booth. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Summer Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 12-16

Fun in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring


Monday – Go see the dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History. If you haven’t been to the recently reopened David H. Koch Hall of Fossils-—Deep Time (or even if you have), it’s a must-do. The exhibition is full of skeletal beasts plus hundreds of smaller prehistoric remnants and cool installations that present 3.7 billion years of life on Earth. Of course, plan for time to explore the rest of the museum, too! I always recommend the Insect Zoo, where kids love opportunities to hold live creatures and the Hall of Human Origins where they can see what they’d look like as a Neanderthal in a special face morphing photo booth. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

If you have time for another museum on the National Mall (or want to enjoy an evening activity), stop by the National Gallery of Art, where The Life of Animals in Japanese Art exhibit is in its final week! It’s on view through August 18 and open until 8pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Head north to Charm City for a time trip through Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city. It’s full of fun and interesting exhibits and installations, many with hands-on elements, that appeal to children and adults alike. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. Look for a deal here.

Wednesday – Bring little ones to Canal Park for some Midsummer Magic. Shakespeare for the Young brings the entertainment to this week’s installment of the Kids in Canal series. The fun begins at 10:30am and lasts for an hour. After, head over to the dancing water fountains for a refreshing splash. Admission to all of it is free.

If you’re with older kids, enjoy some recreation on local waters. There are a bunch of places around the area to rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, and pedal boats. See this KFDC post for details of where you can go with the flow in DC. And check out one of our recent kayaking adventures here.

Thursday – Enjoy the day roaming the enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. The grounds don’t open to the public until 2pm, but you can play at nearby Montrose Park or grab a bite to eat on M Street beforehand. I promise, it’s worth waiting for the afternoon visit. Admission is $10/adult, $5/child to the gardens, but there’s never an entry fee at Montrose.

Friday – 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. 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.

And if you’re looking for fun with littler ones (or a cheaper/free option), play the day away at Clemyjontri. The sprawing, vibrantly colored 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.

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Where to Play on the Weekdays:
August 5-9

Electronic Superhighway at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


Monday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play in and with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too, as you walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Tuesday – Take little ones to hear Stories in Strawberry Park at the Mosaic District. The live interactive performances by a group of unique storytellers take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month and are designed for kids 10 and under. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free. Plan to stay for fun in the interactive fountain and lunch at one of the many eateries there.

For an outing with older kids, hit the Billy Goat trail at Great Falls. The hike on the Maryland side of the park is challenging but fun, and offers fantastic views of the Potomac River’s Mather Gorge. Be sure to bring water, and pack a picnic lunch (or grab a bite at the snack bar there). And stop in the Visitor Center after for some insight into the area’s history. Hours are 7am to 30 minutes after sunset, the Visitor Center is open 10am – 4pm. Admission is $20/vehicle.

Wednesday – Plan an outing to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Take little ones to Story Time in the Explore! activity space at 11:45am, and plan for play among the interactive stations after. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, one of DC’s most stunning spaces where you can hang out with kids. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter galleries in this KFDC post and this one.

Thursday – Head on down to the Howard Country Fair! Weekdays are a great time to go when the crowds aren’t overwhelming and the entry fee is cheaper. Enjoy rides, magic shows, pig races, pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and much more. Daily hours are 8am – 11pm. Admission on weekdays is $5 before 5pm, $7 after. And if you can’t make it, there are more county fairs coming up — get the scoop on all of them here.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 29 – August 2

Walking the shoreline at Purse State Park in search of shark teeth


Monday – Play paleontologist for a day at Purse State Park, where you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth and other fragments of prehistoric sea creatures. Be sure to check the tides before you go (look for Potomac River and Liverpool Point), as there’s not much beach at high tide. There are no concessions or facilities there, so plan accordingly. Admission is free. (Update per a KFDC reader: “…when you’re almost there, 5 miles away, you run into a “ROAD CLOSED” sign and need to u-turn and follow detour signs around the closed road. It was about 15-20 extra minutes. The sign said road closed since June but didn’t seem to have an end date.”)

Tuesday – Spend a hot day enjoying some cool play indoors at The St. James in Springfield, VA. The Super, Awesome, and Amazing activity center is full of climbing structures, obstacle courses, and bouncy areas for all ages, and the indoor interactive waterpark is a blast for everyone from toddlers to teens to adults, too! Admission to each is $15 before 3pm, $23 after 3pm. Hours are 9am – 9pm Sunday – Thursday (9am – 10pm Friday & Saturday).

Wednesday – Experience hip-hop dance in a fresh new way as Culture Shock DC brings its groundbreaking style to the outdoor stage at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap. Showtimes is 10:30am, and tickets are $8. PS: This is the final week of the summer entertainment series!

Thursday – Hang out on the LAWN at the National Building Museum. The big summer installation transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation, whatever your preference. Frolic along the turf, roll down hills, play lawn games, get bird’s eye views, enjoy lemonade and ice cream, or just relax in a hammock and listen to stories of summer. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, and that gets you into all of the museum exhibits, so plan to check them out while you’re there!

For an adult event in the evening, join Room & Board from 6:30pm – 8:30pm for an art reception with Mid City Artists, a volunteer-based art collective in the heart of DC. The reception will showcase pieces from some of the most talented local artists in the area. Admission is free.

Friday – Take kids ages 4-7 to Art Investigators, the National Gallery of Art’s wonderful drop-in program for children. This week, they’ll explore works by Thomas Moran, hear a related story, then create their own art inspired by it all. Sessions are at 10:30am, 11:30am, and 12:30pm. Sign-up begins at 10am in the West Building Rotunda. (Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly.) And if you’re with kids who are too old or young for the program, then just tour the museum on your own — there’s plenty for all ages to love! Admission is free.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays