Tag Archives: 2012 Washington Auto Show

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 25-29

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?

[Note: Regular hours should resume at most places by Tuesday, January 26, but in these post-storm situations, I always recommend calling ahead to confirm. Also, I’m still accepting submissions for the KFDC Blizzard of 2016 Photo Contest — enter your best shots by emailing them to kidfriendlydc@yahoo.com!]

Monday – Take advantage of Snowzilla’s outcome before it gets too slushy. Build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight! But if you want a break from the snow, go bounce some energy off at Flight Trampline Park. They are open today starting at 12pm, and it’s Open Jump all day! I recommend buying tickets and signing waivers online in advance.

Tuesday – Let the kids take the wheel at the Washington Auto Show. The annual event showcasing the newest models of cars and trucks will be at the Washington Convention Center through January 31. Kids (and adults) can sit in the driver’s seat, pretend to cruise around, check out dashboard details, and more. Open this week 12-9pm Tuesday – Thursday (12-10pm on Friday and varying hours on the weekend). Admission is $12/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Read more about what to expect in this post about one of our past experiences there.

Wednesday – Show the kiddos relics from the nation’s past at the National Museum of American History. Explore the new Innovation Wing and gets hands on in the Spark!Lab, take little ones to play in Wegmans Wonderplace, see the progress of transportation in America on the Move. Toys and games, items from pop culture past, sports memorabilia, and the star spangled banner will also grab young kids’ attention. The museum is open from 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Get a nature fix indoors at Watkins Nature Center. There, you can see and learn about birds, reptiles, and other creatures that inhabit the surrounding area. If possible, head over to the Wizard of Oz-themed playground to romp outdoors and Old Maryland Farm where ponies, cows, chickens, rabbits, and other animals live. The Nature Center is open 8:30am – 5pm, the Farm 9am – 4pm, the playground dawn to dusk. Admission to everything is free.

Friday – Visit the National Geographic Museum, where Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World opens on January 27. Don’t miss the captivating images of Photo Ark and Pristine Seas while you’re there. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $15/adult, $12/senior, $10/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under, and it gets you into all of the exhibits. Look for a discount on adult tickets here.

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Baby, You Can (Pretend) Drive My Car

O finally gets to takes the wheel at the 2011 Washington Auto Show


The 2012 Washington Auto Show begins this Friday, January 27, and runs through Sunday, February 5.  And before you dismiss this information, thinking you can’t bring your kids to this adult event, keep an open mind and read on.

Beep, beep... outta my way!

Sure, the show is intended for adults to see all kinds of makes and models of cars, but if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, the Washington Auto Show is it. I know this from firsthand experience; our family went to the show last year, and we practically had to drag the kids out of there when it was finally time to go.

It’s like a Truck Touch, but with autombiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out.  This means you and the kids can take the wheel, inspect dashboard details up close, be backseat drivers, go on a pretend road trip, and maybe even find your family’s next ride. At the event last January, Owen and Sasha had a blast crawling into the front seats of all kind of vehicles, pretending to take us ‘rents for a drive, and pushing all the buttons we don’t let them play with in our car.

But checking out the cars is just the main part of the event.  On weekends and weeknights, kids can also enjoy Playland, a special area filled with games, toys, videos, and cuddly mascots, including some from the PBS show SuperWhy! Last year, there were also fun interactive shows for kids, that included magic tricks and a dance contest, which (I can’t help but boast) Owen won.

Super fun with SuperWhy!

These characters will also be making special appearances throughout the Auto Show, along with several other celebrities who adults will be excited meet, Washington Capitals and Redskins players among them. And this weekend, guests can enjoy Lion & Dragon Dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year. See the website for the full schedule of performances and celebrity appearances.

Wait, there’s even more!  Guests will have Ride N’Drive Opportunities to test out select cars (passengers must be at least 8 years old), plus chances to win prizes in contests and giveaways.

The way I’m pushing this event, you’d think that I was getting paid to promote it, but I can assure you that’s not the case. It’s simply a really fun time, so I wanted to share the details.

This all takes place at Washington Convention Center January 27 – February 5.  Tickets are $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and under.   The Convention Center is located at 801 Mount Vernon Place NW.  Go here for parking and Metro information.


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