Tag Archives: DC July 4th

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 1-5

Some of the fancy wings at Brookside's dazzling butterfly exhibit

Some of the fancy wings at Brookside’s dazzling butterfly exhibit

Activity ideas for the week ahead, and by the looks of the forecast, the indoor list will be a good one to keep in your back pocket, too.

Monday – Walk among hundreds of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s “Wings of Fancy” exhibit. Witness the butterfly life cycle and see species from North America, Central America, and Asia. Extend your stay at Brookside to stroll the beautiful grounds, spot turtles in the pond, and play in the Children’s Garden. Admission to the park is free, but it’s $6/adults and $4/ages 3-12 for the butterflies. Hours are 10am – 4pm in the butterfly exhibit, 9am – 5pm at the Visitor Center, and sunrise to sunset for the grounds.

Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for play and storytime. The Book of the Month program takes place in the Building Zone at 10:30am and 11:30am with readings of Harvey the Carpenter by Lars Klinting. Admission to the Building Zone ($3/non-members) is timed and on the hour, but if you don’t make it in, just head up to the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit (for non-members: $8/adult, $5/child; free for members) or tee up for indoor Mini Golf ($5/non-member, $3/members and reduced with exhibit).

Wednesday – Spend the day at the Smithsonain Folklife Festival where the annual celebration of living cultural heritage is full of activities, performances, demos, and much more from July 3-7. Enjoy it from 11am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Come “fourth” and celebrate! This post has a list of ways to do so throughout the DC-Metro. Happy Independence Day!

Friday – Hang out in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. Kids as young as 5-years-old can now experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. Owen and I went last summer and had a BLAST! For $49, children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $39/ages 7-9, $44/ages 10-11, $49/ages 12 and older. And if you’re looking for fun with little ones… Experience adventure on a smaller scale at the Cabin John Regional Park Adventure Playland. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run amid the lovely wooded setting, and the miniature train that guests can ride ($1.75/passenger) is a fun bonus.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 2-6

The Aids Quilt at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which will be back on the Mall July 4-8.


Monday – Evade the heat, humidity, and possible storms at a movie on the really big screen.  Smithsonian’s IMAX theaters in the Natural History and Air & Space Museums have regular showings of films that all ages can enjoy.  We recently saw Coral Reef Adventure loved it! Even if little ones can’t follow the whole narrative, the brilliant scenes of sea life and underwater adventure will keep them mesmerized throughout the 45-minute show.

Tuesday – Bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $6/child. (Update: The Open Play schedule has changed for the summer – see this post for new times/dates. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience!)

Wednesday – Celebrate Independence Day!  This post has the scoop on family-friendly July 4th events around the area.

Thursday – Tee up at the National Building Museum, where a new mini-golf course inspired by architectural and landscape-oriented themes will be a cool way to have fun at the NBM July 4 – September 3.  Cost is $5/round per person, $3/round with purchase of exhibition admission ticket. Museum members play for $3. Those who want to see the course without playing can do so as long as they have exhibition admission tickets.

Friday – Visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall (from July 4-8). There are special exhibits, workshops, performances, demos, and more, including many hands-on activities especially children. For specifics, see the festival schedule.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Summer, Weekdays