Tag Archives: Fun Around the DMV

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 19-23

See the only Da Vinci in the U.S. at the National Gallery of Art!





Monday – Catch a performance of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre. The show recommended for all ages starts at 10:30am. Tickets are $19.50. If weather allows, plan to picnic and play at Glen Echo Park afterwards. BYO food or purchase lunch at the Praline Cafe there.

Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to enjoy indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the newly renovated Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play with lots of new features. Explore the different plant collections, too — 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.

Wednesday – Celebrate the first official day of summer with a quintessential seasonal activity: Swimming! Jump in at a public pool, which as of this week are open daily through Labor Day. Even better, they’re free (or a small fee if you’re not a resident of the District or county where it’s located). Check out the 2017 Summer Guide for links to public pools in the area and be sure to note open swim times, as they may vary from pool to pool.

P.S. Registration for Artful Conversations, the National Gallery of Art’s program for ages 8-11 starting July 7, opens at 12pm.

Thursday – 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. Sunscreen and hat recommended.

Friday – Get an art fix at the National Gallery of Art! The East Building is full of contemporary works with bold colors and captivating designs. Be sure to stop in the Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes will dazzle, and don’t miss the giant blue rooster on the roof. The West Building houses more classical pieces, the collections featuring many of the masters, including the only Leonardo da Vinci painting on public view in the U.S.! Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 12-16

Stay cool in the sprays at Turkey Thicket playground

Stay cool in the sprays at Turkey Thicket playground



Monday – Cool off on the hot day at a spray park. There are a bunch of playgrounds within the DC Department of Parks and Rec that have areas where kids can splash around. See locations here, and find a list of other interactive fountains and splash pads around the area in the Guide to Summer in DC.

Tuesday – Venture up to Baltimore for a day of play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits, including the current KLUTZ: Amazingly Immature! Exhibit, keep kids entertained all day long. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $14.95 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 – Jump with joy at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions, when the whole park is open only to children under the age of 6, from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Special pricing starts $10/hour, and an accompanying adult jumps free! I recommend buying tickets and submitting waivers online in advance to save time when you get there.

Thursday – Roam the enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown while you still can — starting July 10, they will close for renovations until March 15, 2018. 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/ages 12 and under. No entry fee for Montrose Park.

Friday – Play with light and technology at XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, the debut exhibit at the brand new ARTECHOUSE. All ages will be dazzled by 10 digital installations that are meant to be manipulated (and awed!) by guests. Hours are 10am – 4pm, and timed tickets are required. Admission is $15/adult, $10/child.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 5-9

Spray fun at Canal Park, where a new kids' series kicks off this week!

Spray fun at Canal Park, where a new kids’ series kicks off this week!



Monday – Go bowling! It’s a great indoor activity for a day with rain in the forecast. Take advantage of Kids Club Bowling at Pinstripes in Georgetown. From 10am – 12pm Monday – Thursday, kids can bowl for $3/hour ($3/shoe rental) and parents are free (limit 4 kids per adult). Eat while you bowl or stay after for lunch — they have a good kids menu and a pretty extensive main menu, too.

Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for all kinds of kid fun. The monthly Little Builders Storytime takes place at 10:30am & 11:30am in the Building Zone, where children can also enjoy areas that encourage pretend play with dress up and props inspired by some of the displays. And the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs is always fun for kids. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members. I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum a few times per year.

Wednesday – Bring kiddos to the kick off of Kids in Canal, a new 12-week series of kid friendly entertainment at the city park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Every Wednesday from 10:30-11:30am, enjoy a live show for littles — kids music, science demos, magic shows, and puppetry are all part of the summer lineup. Of course, top it all off with water play in the fountains and sprays. Admission is free, and the program takes place in the middle block of the park. For more about Canal Park, see this KFDC post.

Thursday – Experience the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens. The seasonal display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world always delights all ages! While you’re there, stroll the beautiful grounds, play in the Children’s Garden, see turtles in the pond, and more. Admission to the park is free, but entry to the butterfly exhibit is $6/adults and $4/ages 3-12 (check CertifiKID for a deal before you go). Hours are 10am – 4pm for Wings of Fancy, 9am – 5pm at the Visitor Center, and sunrise to sunset for the grounds. For more about the annual exhibit and the rest of Brookside Garden’s offerings, see this KFDC post.

In the evening, join Capitol Hill Cooperative Nursery School for Family Movie Night at Miracle Theater on Barracks Row. Enjoy a screening of Muppets Take Manhattan along with a pizza dinner, plus a number of kid friendly activities. Doors open at 5:30, and the movie starts at 6:15. Single tickets are $15 each, family tickets are $48. 

Friday – Take a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The living history museum welcomes visitors to explore the grounds, where there is a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, and animals. Guests can also interact with a family portraying life as it was in the 1700’s. Hours are 10am – 5pm Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $5/adults, $3/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under. Read more about the farm in this post about our first experience there.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Story Time, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 30 – June 2

Take a hike and take in the scenery at Riverbend Park

Take a hike and take in the scenery at Riverbend Park



Tuesday – Go to the National Museum of American History for Museum ABCs. The program for ages 3-6 and adult companions introduces early learners to the museum collection through letter learning. This week, S is for Sesame Street: Drop by from 11am – 1pm for a Sesame Street story and create your own character! If your child is too young or old for the series, go explore the museum exhibits. (And on other days of the week, take little ones to play in Wegman’s Wonderplace and older kids to Spark!Lab for hands-on fun — both are closed Tuesdays, but open daily otherwise.). Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. And if weather allows, continue the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Thursday – Take 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.

Friday – Head to the National Portrait Gallery for some creative fun. Take little ones to play in the Explore! activity space designed for children 18 months to 8 years. And all ages can join the Open Studio Friday session in the Education Center, where guests are welcome to drop in anytime from 1-6pm and explore a different art medium with all kinds of neat projects. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, too. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter gallery in this KFDC post.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays