Monday – Wander, play, and explore at Green Spring Gardens. Tucked away behind a strip mall in Alexandria, VA, it’s a lovely oasis amid the suburban sprawl. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and pick up instructions for a kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – All aboard for Beach Bound Rail Adventures at the B&O Railroad Museum! The program at the Baltimore venue features special hands-on activities for children all week, plus train rides on Thursday and Friday that depart at 11:30am. Hours are 10am – 3pm. Admission is $18/adults, $12/ages 2-12, free for under 2.
For an activity with older kids, go on a cultural adventure at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center. Their new exhibit, From Sinbad to the Shabab Oman: A Seafaring Legacy, showcases Oman’s seafaring history over the last millennia. Learn about some of history’s most famous explorers and navigators as their stories are interwoven with items from Omani ships and shipbuilding, and discover Omani history, Omani mariners, and the Omani vessels they sailed. On view through September 30, hours are 10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday. Admission is free. The Center is located at 1100 16th St NW.
Wednesday – Take the kids out the ballgame! The Nats play the Angels at 1:05pm, and it’s a great chance to catch some mid-week afternoon baseball! Ticket prices start at $12. Before you go, see what’s fun for families at the ballpark. And check out these KFDC tips on doing a Nats game without breaking the bank.
Thursday – 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. Ages 5-6 are free with a paid accompanying adult and have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $42/ages 7-9, $49/ages 10-11, $55/ages 12 and older.
And if you’re looking for fun with little ones (or a cheaper option), experience adventure on a smaller scale at the Cabin John Regional Park Playground. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run amid the lovely wooded setting, and the miniature train that guests can ride ($1.75/passenger) is a fun bonus.
Friday – Wind down summer break (DCPS students, anyway) with a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Swim in the Chesapeake (or just dip the toes if it’s jellyfishy), build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is one of several places in that area where you can search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 6pm, and admission is $8/car. Get more info and logistics in this post.