Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a great place to go with young children, with eye-popping displays and hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and more. The current Gamera: A Monstrous Achievement exhibit features a human-powered helicopter that guests can test out. 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! The Museum is open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2/children, free for ages 1 and under.
Tuesday – Hear Stories from 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. During the winter, the program is held at the Angelika Film Center. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free.
Wednesday – See local students recite Abraham Lincoln’s speeches at the Lincoln Oratory Festival. The event brings together students from the DMV area to perform Lincoln’s own on the Ford’s Theatre stage. After an in-classroom residency with a Ford’s Theatre teaching artists, 300 kids hit the stage to perform some of Lincoln’s most important speeches (including both his inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address) — and the public is invited to be part of their audience. The events are part of the larger Ford’s Oratory programs, a powerful example of how public speaking can help young people gain self-confidence and enhance their historical education. See the schedule and reserve tickets online.
Thursday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. If the weather is good for it, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.
Friday – Visit the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress, to explore children’s books, see interesting exhibits, and marvel at one of DC’s most beautiful buildings. The Young Readers Center is open 9am – 4pm and welcomes visitors to read books and hang out in the cozy space — you can also join a free story time 10am (takes place every Friday). And be sure to spend time checking out the rest of the LOC, too — it’s truly magnificent and a must-see for both locals and visitors to DC. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.