Tag Archives: National Aquarium Washington

Heads-Up on Local Closings

Due to sequestration, the National Arboretum will be closed Tuesdays, Wednesday, & Thursdays

Due to sequestration, the National Arboretum will be closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays



Within just the last few days, I’ve learned about a couple of closings to keep in mind — both are places among the KFDC compendium for family recreation.

As of this week, the U.S. National Arboretum will be closed to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as a result of the sequester and budget cuts to the federal Agricultural Research Service, a U.S. Agriculture Department bureau that operates the Arboretum. It was being reported that an entrance fee would also be instituted, but admission will remain free. You can read more about the reduced public visitation hours here.

The National Aquarium in DC, located in the lower level of the Department of Commerce, will close its doors for good on September 30, due to renovations in the building. The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either National Aquarium in Baltimore or other accredited aquariums. And while I realize that some folks aren’t impressed by the relatively small display of marine life, I consider it a loss. The compact space and simple exhibits are perfect for little aquarium-goers, a great introduction to the underwater world. (Hey, my kids get excited about the lobster tanks in seafood restaurants.) If you haven’t yet been, and your babes are fascinated by fish, go check it out while you can. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 9am – 6pm and Friday – Saturday 9am – 7pm. Admission is $9.95/adults, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for under 3.

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Filed under DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 14-18

The College Park Aviation Museum

 

Monday –  Children up to age 5 can become Young Portrait Explorers and discover the National Portrait Gallery through history and art. During this session they’ll learn about French artist Henri Matisse by viewing his portrait,  listening to a story about him, and participating in a related hands-on activity.  The free workshop starts at 10:30am.

Tuesday – Join Paige Hernandez at the Havana Hop, an interactive dance performance at the Atlas Performing Arts Center that follows the journey of a young girl to Cuba, where she learns to salsa. Recommended for children ages 2-5, the show is part of the Atlas’ new Theatre for the Very Young program. Showtime is 10:30am, tickets are $8.  (Note: the show opens on Monday and runs through Sunday, November 20.  See the schedule for showtimes.)

Wednesday – Learn about the early days of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum.  Check out historic and reproduction aircraft from some of the world’s first aeronautical adventures and enjoy all kind of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities related to flight. And keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.  Open 10am – 5pm.

Thursday – Take a tour of America’s Aquatic Treasures, DC’s very own National Aquarium.  While it doesn’t compare to its Baltimore counterpart — the entire facility is housed in the Department of Commerce building’s lower level — there’s still plenty of marine life to fascinate young visitors, including sharks, eels, colorful fish, and many more oceanic creatures.  Admission is $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under.  Open 9am – 5pm.

Friday – It’s the opening day of ICE!, the National Harbor’s frozen holiday wonderland. Be among the first to experience this year’s interactive world of ice sculptures featuring DreamWorks Merry Madagascar.  Tickets on peak days (Friday – Sunday) are $35/ages 13 and up, $30/ages 4-12, free for children 3 and under ($25/adult, $20/kids on non-peak days). Timed entry is every half-hour, opening day hours are 10am -10pm.

 

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Filed under Art, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Preschoolers, Seasonal, Theatre, Toddlers, Weekdays

Weekend in Washington

Peachy keen on the farm

The title of this post might seem obvious, but the distinction makes sense from my vacationing perspective. I must note that we’re missing out on some fun stuff while we’re out of town.  Hope those of you at home enjoy it.  Happy Weekend!

Swim in Nature’s MidstAdd some adventure to your next swimming experience by seeking out a natural spot to submerge. The Natural Capital blog has a fantastic list of places where you can take a dip and enjoy the great outdoors in one fell swoop.

The Wizard of Oz x 2You can catch two different productions of the classic show this weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the last chances to see the play performed by the talented young cast of the Act III Theatre Company. And The Puppet Co. presents their own fun version through September 4 with several show times over the weekend. Tickets are still available for all of performances. Read the KFDC review of both productions.

Shark Weekend On Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm, celebrate Shark Weekend at DC’s National Aquarium by getting up-close and personal with several shark species. Learn from leading experts on the history, lives, and habits of one of the world’s most fascinating ocean dwellers. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt, touch an actual shark tooth and other artifacts, make arts and crafts, and more.  Admission to the Aquarium is $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for children 2 and under. There is no fee beyond that for the event.

Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches – It’s peach picking time at many local farms; the summer fruits are at their ripest from late July to early August. If you want to get them at their peak, check out this list of local farms that offer pick-your-owns.  (Note: the post is about blueberry picking, but many of the same places are harvesting peaches now. But it’s always a good idea to check the website for updates.)

Classic TennisSee some exciting sports action served up at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. The annual tournament begins on Saturday at 10am , and continues through August 7.  Tickets for the first round of matches this weekend are still available ranging from $10-45. 

Art for Families: Design a Button BraceletBe your own jewelry designer at the Textile Museum on Saturday while recycling grandma’s buttons into something fashionably hip.  Participants will create a bracelet with buttons of all sizes, colors and textures and walk away wearing their new work of art.  The free activity takes place from 2-4pm.

Family Fest at the Postal Museum Hop on board for a rail-riding good time with Owney the dog, the subject of one of the Postal Museum’s most popular exhibits.  This celebration includes such fun activities as designing an Owney tag, sorting mail in the Railway Post Office, making a stamp collection, and more. Enjoy the free event on Friday and Saturday from 12-3pm.

Livin’ Large Kids ArtOn Saturday from 11am – 1pm, children are invited to render their own abstractions influenced by artist Tory Cowles’ work, which is currently on exhibit at the Torpedo Factory. With inspiration her imagery, kids have an opportunity to experience the same thrill from the act of painting that Cowles’ herself does and has portrayed in her own bold canvases.

Jump on the Park Wagon  – I’ve recommended Riverbend Park in Fairfax as a great place to spend a day outdoors with the kids, and now there’s one more reason why:  Visitors can board a tractor-pulled wagon for a naturalist-led tour of the park. Rides are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm. Cost is $4/person, children 2 and under ride free. Rides run approximately 30-45 minutes.

Get Up and Go! –  On Friday and Saturday at 11am, the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone invites families to discover fun summer activities to make them healthy and strong. Activities like spoon and “egg” relays, freeze dancing, Simon Says, and jumping jack contests will take place throughout the day. And, weather permitting, guests can also enjoy a Hippity Hop Course. This free event runs from 11am – 6pm.

For even more ideas for fun with the kids, check out these popular KFDC posts:

Joys of Summer

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

Stay Entertained Through Summer


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, 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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