Tag Archives: Free Things to do in Washington DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 15-19

The fountains at Georgetown Waterfront Park are a cool for play on a hot day


An idea per day keeps the boredom away! Keep in mind that most of these recommendations can be enjoyed any day of the week. And for even more suggestions for things to do, check out these go-to posts:
The Great Indoors
The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Monday – Take little ones to a special Rise & Rhyme with Culture Queen at Busboys & Poets. Join her at the Hyattsville location to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King through music, movement, storytelling, and chance to win promotional giveaways. This event begins at 9:30am and will be free of charge for guests on this day only.

For an outing with older kids, take a time trip back to ancient Egypt at National Geographic Museum. The current Queens of Egypt exhibit highlights the mighty queens of that era and the hidden role of women in all aspects of Egyptian society. Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $15/adult, $12/student, $10/age 2-12.

And PS: It’s Amazon Prime Day! On July 15 (& 16) you can score some amazing deals on all kinds of products!

Tuesday – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Visit the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall, where Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic mission. Plan to tour the rest of the museum, too, full of fascinating exhibits and interactives. hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free. (And note that there will be special activities going on all week to commemorate the half-century mark.)

In the evening, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face. This will happen Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:30-11:30pm.

Wednesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, where there are some extra special creatures to see right now. Dino Summer features two dinosaur experiences of prehistoric proportions — DinoRoars is an outdoor exhibit of six massive animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar, and Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live is an experiential theater production featuring a larger-than-life dinosaurs. Of course, you can also just go to visit the animals. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can chat with a bear keeper, visit the shocking new Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab, meet a small mammal, and more. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 8am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $25 (free for some member levels). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.

Thursday – See SOLE Defined perform a high-energy dance show that fuses tap and body percussion at Strathmore’s Backyard Theater for Kids in North Bethesda. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8-10.

Friday – 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.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
July 8-12

The sunflower bloom at McKee-Beshers is a guaranteed smile inducer


Monday – Head to the Freer|Sackler Gallery for Open Studio: Working in Watercolor. The workshop welcomes all ages (with adult companion) to explore how painting in watercolor can help us look more closely at the world in Whistler in Watercolor. Drop-in anytime from 11am – 1pm to learn the basics with teaching artist Lubna Zahid and then create your own artwork. Of course, plan to explore the rest of the museum dedicated to Asian art, too. Admission is free.

Tuesday – See a sea of sunflowers at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, MD. The annual bloom has begun, and the sight of thirty acres of bright yellow blooms stretching gloriously through the fields will make your day! Plus, admission is free. Plan to pair the outing with some berry and peach picking at Homestead Farms, located just a few minutes away. Bring along some lunch to eat in the covered pavilion, and make time to visit the farm animals there, too. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission to the PYO fields is $3/person, but it’s deducted from the cost of the berries you pick to bring home. Update per reader comment below: Admission to the PYO fields is now $2.

Wednesday – 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.

Thursday – Join the annual Play-In for Climate Action on the National Mall. The event includes a fun, free morning of activities for families — parachute play, yoga, hula-hooping, music, and more. Latin Grammy-winning children’s musician Mister G will perform, followed by short speeches from some of the most inspiring voices in clean air. This year, youth climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor and her mother will be speaking. Free water and snacks will be provided. This will take place at 3rd St SW & Madison Dr NW from 9-11am. RSVP here!

Friday – Make it a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Located about an hour from DC in Lusby, MD, it’s a great place to enjoy sand, surf, and some easy hiking (it’s a flat, nature-filled 2-mile walk from the parking lot to the beach) without having to make a trip to the ocean. Plan to do some fossil hunting while you’re there — you can find shark teeth and other Myocene Era remnants along the shore. Bring along a picnic, as there are no concessions. Hours are sunrise to sunset, and admission is $5/vehicle for MD residents, $7/vehicle for non-residents.

***PLAN AHEAD!***
French Immersion Class and Bastille Day Party
Where: Les Petites Marionnettes | 3020 N Pershing Dr | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, July 13, 10–11am
Admission: Free/adult & child

Join Pia and Nairouz, founders of Les Petite Maritonnettes, for an hour of fun en Français and stick around for a Bastille Day celebration. Children will learn about France’s National Holiday while participating in engaging activities including song, dance, puppetry, arts & crafts, and more! The whole family will be invited to enjoy a crêpe after class. Geared for children ages 3 to 6 with little to no exposure to French. Registration is required. Check the website for more details!


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
July 1-5

Enjoy a quick boat ride to The Wharf (and avoid parking hassles) via the Jitney


Monday – Hang out at The Wharf. Let the kids run through the in-ground fountain sprays, play large-scale board games on the Transit Pier, grab lunch at one of the many eateries, rock on swinging benches, and enjoy the waterfront scenery. You can also opt for a paddling excursion if you’re up for it. Just about all of it is accessible all day and evening, and all but paddling are free (though plan to pay for your meals, of course.) KFDC Tip: Park for free at East Potomac Park, then ride the free Jitney over to The Wharf. You get a nice little boat ride and avoid the headache of finding a parking spot.

Tuesday – Get on board the Regal Summer Movie Express! The series begins this week, presenting family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters during the summer. See what’s playing at a one near you — there are two movie choices every week. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office, and all movies in most locations start at 10am.

Wednesday – Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum! The annual Summer Fun Deal, which runs July 1 – Labor Day, waives the entrance fee for youth with one 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. For a museum outing with littler ones, head to National Postal Museum, a fantastic but often overlooked museum full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Celebrate Independence Day! This round-up of July 4th events will guarantee you have a blast, fireworks or not.

Friday – Keep the holiday spirit going with a day trip to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry, the birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner” and site of a key battle in the War of 1812. Learn about the history of the national monument through all kinds of interesting exhibits, both in the Visitors Center and throughout the grounds. Children will especially enjoy seeing the cannons, exploring underground spaces, and touring the barracks that now house lots of neat exhibits, including several interactives. Hours are 9am – 6pm. Admission to the historic area is $16 for ages 16 and up.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 24-28

Check out The Life of Animals in Japanese Art exhibit at the NGA


Monday – Reach new heights of fun at ClimbZone. Kids and adults will have a blast scaling the many colorful, whimsically-themed walls at the indoor climbing center in Laurel, MD. Hours are 10am – 8pm. Admission is $25/age 6+, $12/5 & under for a three-hour session.

Tuesday – Enjoy a show especially for kiddos under a lovely canopy of trees at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA. The Gottabees’ Squirrel Stole My Underpants will be the performance at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, the summer series that brings entertainment to the outdoor stage every Tuesday – Saturday at 10:30am through August 3. Recommended for ages 1-8, tickets are $8-12.

Wednesday – Explore The Life of Animals in Japanese Art at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibit is full of whimsical, beautiful, and intriguing works in a variety of mediums that will delight kids and adults alike. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Browse books and more at the Capital Book Fest. The pop-up sale will be held on Wilson Plaza from 10am – 6pm with over 12,000 gently used books, CDs, and DVDs with something for everyone — children’s books, teen reads, brand-new bestsellers in amazing condition, classic vintage hardbacks, and more. All on sale for under $6.

Friday – Play it cool at Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington’s Upton Regional Park. Slides, pools, splash areas, and more wet fun will keep kids happy for hours. Plus, there’s mini golf, a batting cage, and a snack shack, too! Hours are 11am – 7pm, and admission starts at $7 (free for under 2).


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