A couple of chicks playing in the giant nest at the National Arboretum’s Youth Garden
Monday – Visit the National Arboretum on one of the two weekdays it’s open to the public since budget cuts prompted its closing Tuesday through Thursday. Go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, romp in open green spaces and at the old Capitol columns, and enjoy one of the loveliest outdoor spaces in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.
Tuesday – Celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of several events around town that not only welcome kids, but in most cases, center around them. See this post for a list of family-friendly options to ring in 2014.
Thursday – See some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. The colorful, quirky works — some of them interactive — can be appreciated by art buffs of all ages. Hours are 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $15.95/adults, $13.95/seniors, $9.95/students & children 7 and up, free for ages 6 and under
Friday – As the temps dip, stay warm and entertained at an IMAX movie. You’ve got your choice of several playing right now: Flight of the Butterflies 3D, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D, Titans of the Ice Age 3D, and Jerusalem 3D are all playing at the Natural History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theatre. And the Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theatre presents Air Racer 3D, Hubble 3D, Hidden Universe 3D, The Dream Is Alive, and To Fly! Be sure to check schedules for showtimes.
The National Christmas Tree (photo, courtesy my awesome friend, Torey)
Monday: Go bowling! It’s a perfect activity on a rainy day. Lucky Strike in Penn Quarter sets up ramps and bumpers for little bowlers, as do BowlMor AMF and Bowl America, both with several locations in Maryland and Virginia. Or try duck pin bowling at White Oaks Lane in Silver Spring.
Tuesday: Watch Santa have some fun on the water before his big night out. For the 28th year, Santa will water ski his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all from National Harbor at 1pm sharp. While you’re there, stop by the Gaylord National Resort for the Christmas on the Potomac holiday extravaganza (there is plenty to enjoy sans ICE, too).
Thursday: Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where your crew can explore a variety of exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $16.95/adults, $13.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under.
Friday: Catch a performance of Lyle the Crocodile at Imagination Stage. Recommended for ages 4-12, showtimes are 1:30pm and 4pm. Tickets start at $12.