Gravelly Point is a great place to watch airplanes, play ball, and just hang out and relax
Monday: Get started on Summer Reading with DC public libraries. The program presents special events for kids of all ages all summer long. Check the calendar to see what’s on the schedule at your local library this week.
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 Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stohl Walsh. 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: Watch the airplanes, kick a soccer ball, have a picnic, or just hang out at Gravelly Point. The park located just off the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport is a great place to enjoy a nice day, offering views of the river and airplanes taking off or landing right overhead. (Warning: Some kids find that part exciting, others might be frightened by the loud noise and sight of an airplane coming right at them.)
Thursday: Play in the sprays at Canal Park. The recreational space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood has both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones, plus a bigger one for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Admission is free. Get a glimpse of it here.
Friday: Visit the National Arboretum on one of the two weekdays it’s open to the public; recent budget cuts prompted its closing Tuesday-Thursday. Go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, romp in open green spaces and at the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees… so many ways to enjoy one of the loveliest places in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.
An underwater view of a sea lion at the National Zoo’s American Trail
Monday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo. Visit your favorite animals, including the seals, sea lions, and other aquatic mammals in the relatively new American Trail Habitat. Crowds are always smaller during the winter, and when you need to warm up, just pop into one of the animal houses. Be sure to check the schedule before you go to see what daily programs are going on. Zoo grounds are open 6am – 6pm, exhibit buildings 10am – 4:30pm. Admission is free, though parking is $16 for the first three hours for non-members. Look for street parking nearby to curb the cost or take Metro — both the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations are a short walk away.
Tuesday – See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more at the U.S. Navy Museum. Located on the Navy base in southeast DC, it’s a treasure trove of fascinating exhibits. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Seize what’s forecast to be a nice day at the National Arboretum. Go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, romp in open green spaces and at the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees… so many ways to enjoy one of the loveliest places in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.
Friday – Join a sonic celebration with Billy Jonas at the Ripley Center. The concert, part of Discovery Theater’s Jammin’ at the Smithsonian series, is recommended for ages 2-6. Showtimes are 10:15am and 11:30am. Tickets are $3-8 and can be purchased online — and they usually sell fast, so get yours soon. (Note: This takes place on Thursday, too!)