Tag Archives: Summer Break Activities

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 26-30

Just one more week to hang out on the LAWN at the National Building Museum


Monday – Experience Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens, the wonderful exhibit featuring live caterpillars and butterflies from all over the world. Hours are 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s beautiful grounds! The gardens are open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. See more about the exhibit and Brookside here and here.

Tuesday – Head to the Udvar-Hazy Center, the Air & Space Museum arm in Chantilly, VA, to see one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows flying Hawk fast-jets in awe-inspiring formations and stunts. For this event, they will do a flypast of the museum, then three Red Arrows Hawk T1s will be on display on the ramp outside. Visitors can explore the aircraft up close, talk to the ground crew and engineers, hear from the Red Arrows pilots, and more. The museum opens at 9:30am, the flypast is at 10am, and the planes will be on display by 10:30 (departing at 3pm). Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Wednesday – Go to a special summer exhibit or museum program before they come to an end after Labor Day. Hang out on the LAWN at the National Building Museum. Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum thanks to the Summer Fun Deal (and get a deal on adult admission here). Look for fairy houses and enjoy more artistic delights at Annmarie Sculpture Garden. Find details on these and even more soon-to-be over activities in the 2019 Summer Guide.

Thursday – Kick start your child’s love of playful learning and find out how to support your baby’s development now and every step of the way at Tinkergarten Babies<. This unique outdoor class is designed to provide a safe, stimulating playscape in which your baby can discover the natural world. If you are close to the Alexandria area and have a 6-18 month old baby, join a free Tinkergarten Babies trial from 10-11am at Belle Haven Park. If you can’t make this one, learn more or find other trial classes here. If you have an older child, trial classes are also available for the core class designed for children 18 months to 8 years old — see the schedule to sign up!

Friday – Catch a lunchtime performance by Step Afrika!, the world’s first professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The show is part of the annual Step Xplosion tour of all eight wards in DC, this one celebrating the 25th anniversary season. Enjoy this exciting, interactive experience from 12-1pm, then grab a bite at the museum’s Mezzanine Café. 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 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