Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a great place for young visitors, with eye-popping displays and lots of hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and much more. 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! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2/children, free for ages 1 and under.
Tuesday – Visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture, where museum educators will lead engaging drop-in activities for children ages 0-5 every Tuesday and Thursday in September! On Tuesdays from 11am – 1pm, drop by the pop-up Little Leaders Library on the 4th floor to read children’s books inspired by the museum collection. (On Thursdays, join for a colorful craft activity in the Cultural Expressions gallery from 11am – 1pm!.) Both programs are part of Walk-up Weekdays, which allows admission without passes Monday through Friday during the month of September, so take advantage! Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.
Wednesday – Experience Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens while you still can! The wonderful exhibit featuring live caterpillars and butterflies from all over the world closes after September 16. Hours are 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s beautiful grounds! The gardens are open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. See more about the exhibit and Brookside here and here.
Thursday – Pick out some new reads at the Beatley Central Library’s Fall Book Sale! Over 20,000 books, plus CDs, DVDs, and audio books will be available for anywhere from 50 cents to $3. Plan to join a storytime session, too — there are several for children throughout the day. The sale runs Tuesday through Sunday, and hours vary by day, so be sure to check the schedule when you plan to go. The Library is located at 5005 Duke Street in Alexandria, VA.
Friday – Go to the National Portrait Gallery for some creative fun. Take little ones to play in the Explore! activity space for children 18 months to 8 years and enjoy Story Time at 11:45am. And all ages can join the Open Studio Friday session in the Education Center, where guests are welcome to drop in anytime from 1-5pm and explore a different art medium with all kinds of neat projects — this week is painting clouds. Of course, make time to tour the collections (in the American Art Museum section, too!) and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter galleries in this KFDC post and this one.