Tag Archives: Kid Friendly Adventures in DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 9-13

Take little ones to see the little trains at Union Station


Monday – Go see the holiday model train display at Union Station. Located smack in the middle of the grand lobby next to the Christmas tree, it’s a delight for kids to view. Pair that with a visit to the National Postal Museum right across the street — you can join a storytime at 10:30am & 11am, or just go to explore the exhibits that are great for all ages. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post. And plan to have lunch at Union Station, where there are several eateries children will enjoy.

Tuesday – Join Social Studies for Little Learners at Lincoln’s Cottage. The program aims to nurture 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 10-11am, and admission is $5. (Note: This will also run on December 14 & 17.)

Wednesday – On what’s forecast to be a snowy day, catch a special holiday movie screening of The Snowy Day at Discovery Theater. Tickets are still available for the 12pm showing and cost $3-8. (Note: It’s also showing Thursday and Friday, December 12-13 and Tuesday and Wednesday, December 17-18.)

Thursday – Spend a musical morning with Boogie Babes at the Miracle Theater. King Bullfrog will bring the entertainment to the Barracks Row venue on Capitol Hill this week. The high-energy acoustic duo plays folk, blues, world, and original music for children and their grown-ups. The fun starts at 10:30am (doors open at 10am), and admission is $6/child, free for siblings 6 months and under. Plan on lunch after at one of the many nearby eateries or head over to Eastern Market for a bite. (Note: King Bullfrog is also performing at Big Bear Cafe on Monday, December 16, 10-11:30am — admission is $15.)

Friday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. There are nearby trails for walks in the woods if weather permits. You can also visit the residents at the nearby Horse Center — guests are welcome to stop by the stables, though pony rides are not offered this time of year.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 2-6

A walk in the woods at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve



Monday – Indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you can take a dip on a cold day. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim hours and make sure there are no random closings, which happen occasionally.

Tuesday – Enjoy a late fall hike at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve. The locale in Great Falls offers a nice dose of nature in a short drive from the city, with trails that meander through the woods, peaceful spots to hang out by the river (including a waterfall), and pretty views of the Potomac. Open from just before sunrise to just after sunset. Admission is free. For a shorter hike with young children, park in the second lot (further away from 495) and follow the fire road next to the creek that leads to the river. The first lot leads to trails that wind through the woods, some that might be tough for little legs to navigate.

Wednesday – Head to a local go-to for fun and educational recreation: The National Air & Space Museum! It’s filled literally floor-to-ceiling with fascinating exhibits and amazing artifacts from of flight and space. Explore the collections, and be sure to stop in the fantastic “How Things Fly” gallery with loads of cool interactive stations that kids always dig. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

In the evening, attend the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting! The ceremony will take place on the West Lawn at 5pm as the tree is lit by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. It’s fairly short, so arrive on time if you hope to catch it.

Thursday – Explore the world and do some holiday shopping at Winternational. This lively midday festival in the Ronald Reagan Building is a celebration of international culture, travel, tourism and trade. It has the atmosphere of an international bazaar with each country showcasing their culture and traditions via visual arts displays, foods, handcrafts, as well as travel and tourism information. Hours are 11am – 3pm, and admission is free.

Friday – See a performance of The Nutcracker — on strings! The Puppet Co. presents its delightful version of the holiday classic through December 29. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. Plan for some time on the Glen Echo Park playground afterwards and grab lunch at Praline, the café on premises.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 25-29

#OptOutside at the Dumbarton Oaks gardens on Black Friday — for free!



Book the Whole House for the Whole Family

Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Catch a show at any of three loations: Enjoy Music2LittleEars in Brookland, Frolic the Fox in Takoma Park, and Miss Theresa in Hyattsville. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving.

Tuesday – Visit the animals, roam the lovely grounds, check out exhibits of old farm machinery and local history, and enjoy activities in the Visitors Center at Oxon Hill Farm near National Harbor in Maryland. According to the forecast, it’ll be a great day to be there! Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Spend the day at the National Building Museum. Kids especially enjoy the PLAY WORK BUILD gallery upstairs, but all of the exhibits are included in admission and worth exploring. You can also hang out in the Great Hall and take in the grandeur of the stunning space. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members.

Thursday – Have some pre- or post feast fun! Find a bunch of ideas here for activities ton Thanksgiving Day. The post was originally written in 2016, but links have been updated, and all of the recommendations are relevant (and excellent!) this year, too.

Friday – Take a cue from REI and #OptOutside on Black Friday. The compilation of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids easily has you covered on this one. (And if weather isn’t conducive, or you just want an indoor outing, The Great Indoors list has loads of ideas, too.)


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 18-22

You don’t need warm weather to enjoy waterpark fun at The St. James!


Monday – Take the kiddos to The St. James for a day of active fun. 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 (get a deal for $13-17 here). Hours are 9am – 10pm Friday & Saturday (9am – 9pm Sunday – Thursday).

Tuesday – Go ice skating! Many local outdoor rinks are open and welcoming folks to glide. Several offer push aids to help newbie skaters, and most are located in places with even more to do beyond the rink. This post has all the details on all of them.

Wednesday – 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. Even better, admission is free to both — there’s never an entry fee at Montrose, and Dumbarton waives it from November 1 – mid-March.

Thursday – Join a Story Time session at Solid State Books on H Street NE. Spend the morning listening to stories read by staff in the adorable children’s section. From 10:30-11:30am, they’ll read a few books, sing songs, and do some activities to keep everyone moving. Admission is free. After (or before), grab a snack at the cafe there, or plan on lunch at one of the many nearby eateries.

Friday – Get in the spirit of next week’s holiday with a performance of Grandma’s Thanksgiving Visit at Discovery Theater. Show times are 10:15am and 11:30am, and tickets are $3-9. Plan to stay and explore the Freer|Sackler Gallery right next door or hit some of the other nearby museums to make a day of it on the National Mall.


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