Monday – Get a glimpse of the past on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Kids (and adults) will love seeing the cannons and historic remnants of the old fort within the grounds along the river. Hours are 8am – sunset. Admission is $10/vehicle.
Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too — walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.
Wednesday – Enjoy mountains of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, including a cafe, the enormous facility in Rockville has it all! Hours are 9am – 6pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $20/child, $12.50/toddler, $5/adult.
Thursday – Explore the local environment 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 weather permits, take the fun outdoors afterwards 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 – Kick off Memorial Day weekend and get into the swing of “summer” 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.)