Where to Play on the Weekdays:
August 5-9

Electronic Superhighway at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Monday – 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 in and with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too, as you 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.

Tuesday – Take little ones to hear Stories in 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. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free. Plan to stay for fun in the interactive fountain and lunch at one of the many eateries there.

For an outing with older kids, hit the Billy Goat trail at Great Falls. The hike on the Maryland side of the park is challenging but fun, and offers fantastic views of the Potomac River’s Mather Gorge. Be sure to bring water, and pack a picnic lunch (or grab a bite at the snack bar there). And stop in the Visitor Center after for some insight into the area’s history. Hours are 7am to 30 minutes after sunset, the Visitor Center is open 10am – 4pm. Admission is $20/vehicle.

Wednesday – Plan an outing to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Take little ones to Story Time in the Explore! activity space at 11:45am, and plan for play among the interactive stations after. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, one of DC’s most stunning spaces where you can hang out with kids. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter galleries in this KFDC post and this one.

Thursday – Head on down to the Howard Country Fair! Weekdays are a great time to go when the crowds aren’t overwhelming and the entry fee is cheaper. Enjoy rides, magic shows, pig races, pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and much more. Daily hours are 8am – 11pm. Admission on weekdays is $5 before 5pm, $7 after. And if you can’t make it, there are more county fairs coming up — get the scoop on all of them here.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

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