Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 21-25

Skipping seashells by the seashore at Flag Ponds Nature Park

Monday – Get a glimpse of the past on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Kids and adults will enjoying seeing the cannons and other historic sights within the grounds along the river. Hours are 8am – sunset. Admission is $10/vehicle.

Tuesday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, check out marine life in Sant Ocean Hall, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, get hands on in Q?rius (or Q?rius Jr. for little ones Tues – Fri). KFDC Tip: On Tuesdays, you can get free entry to the Butterfly Pavilion, and I recommend getting tickets for it when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away. Admission to the museum is free, the Butterfly Pavilion is $7.50/adult, $6/child. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, Q?rius hours are 2-5pm.

Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones at The Puppet Co. The lights stay on, and doors remain open during Tiny Tots performances for the youngest audiences — Panda-Monium is this week’s production. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $6 for everyone, including babies. Plan to stay after to picnic (BYO or buy from the Praline Cafe on premises) and romp on the Glen Echo Park playground.

Thursday – Hang out at Hains Point! Play, picnic, and enjoy the surrounding scenery where the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers converge. Head all the way down, almost to the tip of the park, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid a large grassy area with picnic tables and restrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. You could even make a longer day of it, and visit the nearby Tidal Basin to explore the Jefferson, Roosevelt, and MLK Memorials. Admission to all of it is free.

Friday – Kick off Memorial Day weekend and enjoy the DCPS day off from school with some beach fun at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Swim in the Chesapeake (or just dip the toes if it’s too cold or 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 – 4pm, and admission is $8/car. Get more info and logistics in this post. And PS: After Memorial Day, the park will be open daily! (Until then it’s open Friday-Monday.)

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