Monday – 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, visit the Newseum, where admission is free for ages 18 and under through Labor Day. The Summer Fun Deal waives the entrance fee with a paid adult admission. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Adult tickets are $24.95, but look for a discount before you go.
Tuesday – Catch a flick at the Regal Summer Movie Express! The summer series that presents family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters is running through August 29. See what’s playing near you — there are two movie choices every week. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office, and all movies in most locations start at 10am.
Wednesday – 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 $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 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.
Thursday – Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Be sure to stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. Go for a spin on the carousel, take a ride on the miniature train that winds through woods, and play mini golf. Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free, but rides and mini golf are a small fee.
Friday – Take a hike at Riverbend Park. The Great Falls locale may not be as popular as its national park neighbor, but it’s just as fantastic a place to enjoy some time in nature — especially with kids. Trails are mellow for little trampers, the views are gorgeous, there are plenty of nice picnic spots, and admission is free. Plus, if you want to see the magnificent falls up river, they’re an easy two-mile walk in the woods away. Riverbend Park hours are 7am to dusk.
And if the weather isn’t conducive to a nice walk in the woods, take a tour of the U.S. Capitol! You can usually get on a guided tour day of, but even if you can’t there are still plenty of interesting exhibits and statues to see in the Visitor’s Center, which is open 8:30am – 4:30pm daily. Both admission to the Center and tours are free. Before you go, be sure to read these guidelines on what you can and can’t bring with you.
Bonus: On Friday afternoon, join a Summer Swap Shop from 2-6pm at Wunder Garten (1101 First St NE) — a great opportunity to shed your children’s outgrown clothing! The event will bring together people from the DC community to trade clothing, shoes, and accessories. Bring items in any condition — ‘unswappables’ will go to a textile recycling table hosted by DC Sustainable Fashion Collective. There will also be a clothing and accessory repair table in partnership with Stitched with Style — sign-ups are on the event page. Entry is free and the venue is dog, kid, and bike-friendly. Enjoy swapping, live music, and great food and drinks!