Monday – Head out to Dulles for Air & Space exploration beyond the District. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases flight artifacts they can’t fit into the museum on the Mall. 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 – 6:30pm through September 1. Admission is free, but parking is $15.
Tuesday – See a kids flick at the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market. Their GKIDS Animated World series has a screening of My Neighbor Tutoro, a tale of two girls who move to a new house in the countryside. Showtime is 11am. Tickets are $7. The pop-up is an interim hub for the Angelika’s mix of specialty film programming and unique events. (And it’s a great little temporary theater — I checked it out recently when I saw Chef, which I recommend). The full-scale Angelika Film Center is expected to open in late 2015 at Union Market.
Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, take a hike, visit the horses, and take a pony ride at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. You can visit the Horse Center for free, and pony rides are $20 at 3pm $ 3:30pm. Visit the website for details on reserving.
Thursday – Play, picnic, and possibly more at Hains Point. Drive all the way down, almost to the tip, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid big grassy areas with picnic tables and bathrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. You can also swim at the public pool from 1-7pm or play some mini-golf. Admission to Hains Point and the playground is free. Mini-golf is $7/adult, $6/child. The pool is free for DC residents, a small fee for non-residents.
Friday – Do something special to close out the summer break (for many area students, anyway) and go for a spin on the Capital Wheel. National Harbor’s new big attraction offers a thrilling ride and fantastic views of the area. Make it extra fun by getting there via water taxi from Old Town Alexandria (or vice versa). Tickets for the Wheel are $15/adult, $11.25/ages 3-12, 2 and under are free. Open 10am – 11pm.