Monday – Visit the Sackler Gallery on the National Mall. The Smithsonian museum houses a great collection of Asian art as well as special exhibits, like the current Chinamania. Be sure to head all the way downstairs to an area full of stations that encourage visitors to touch and get a close look. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Go to Tudor Place for Tudor Tots. The weekly program at the historic estate in Georgetown invites little ones to learn about the world around us through songs, stories, crafts, and movement, all tailored to growing tots with a different theme each session. The fun takes place 10-10:45am, and admission is $5/child (accompanying adults free).
Wednesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.
Thursday – 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.
Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where The Three Billy Goats Gruff begins its month-long run this week. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If the weather is nice, plan to stay at Glen Echo Park, where the theatre is located, for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch — BYO fare or buy food from the Praline Bakery on premises.
Monday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Winter Break and head to their fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Hit the trail for a hike. It should be a great day for it as the mercury rises a bit. Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, and Roosevelt Island are all great for tramping with kids. And this post has even more recommendations for local walks in the woods.
Wednesday – Head up to Baltimore on a Winter Break day off! Learn about the city’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. If you prefer some fresh air, take a tour of Fort McHenry, birthplace of the National Anthem. The park is open 9am – 5pm. Admission is $10/adult, children 15 and under are free.
Thursday – Get Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. During winter break, the interactive and experiential learning space opens earlier at 10am (instead of 2pm). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. It’s recommended for ages 11 and up, but some younger ages could also enjoy it. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Friday – Reach new heights of fun at ClimbZone in Laurel, MD. Kids and adults will have a blast scaling the many colorful, whimsically-themed walls at the new indoor climbing center. Hours are 10am – 9pm (10am – 8pm other weekdays). Admission is $25/ages 6 and up, $12/5 and under for a three-hour session.
Exploring the exhibits in imagiNATIONS at the National Museum of the American Indian
Tuesday – Play the day away at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.
Wednesday – Join Step Arika! for a special storytime for toddlers that combines reading and creative movement. The 10:30am session at Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library is part of Step Xplosion!, a tour of all 8 Wards to kick off their new season. Admission is free. (Note: This also takes place on Thursday at 4pm at Mount Pleasant Library.)
Thursday – Enjoy a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Explore a new mansion room or garden each week through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this three-session Fanciful Heroes-themed series, children will hunt for dragons, make a hero’s cape, and explore a fantastical world of adventure. The series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult (($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on September 8, 15, and 22.
Friday – Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of interactive pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center in the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
*Want to cool off in the sprays? With expected high temps this coming week, DC DPR announced that operations will continue at public spray parks in the District through September 11! Hours are 10am – 7pm daily. You can also find a list of other spraygrounds in the area here.
Monday – Experiment with hands-on fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Kids of all ages can explore a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through fun, engaging interactive exhibits and activities. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $12. (under 2 are free).
Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum, for their monthly Little Builders Storytime. Readings of a A Little Prairie House will begin at 10:30am & 11:30am. Get there early for play time, as entry is on the hour ($3/person). Afterwards, stay to hang out in the magnificent Great Hall or the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs ($10/adult, $7/child). Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission for members is free, and I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum at least a few time per year.
Wednesday – Romp on the playground and in an old train car, discover some history of the area, and take a pontoon boat tour at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. The free rides on the water are offered Tuesday – Friday from 12-12:45pm through October 31. Admission to the park is also free. (Update! The free boat tour days have changed, and they are only offered Thrusdays & Fridays during the week now. Perhaps, hit the American Indian Museum today, head to Bladensburg tomorrow.)
Thursday – Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of hands-on pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Friday – Spend the day at Flower Mart, the annual spring festival presented by the All Hallow’s Guild of the National Cathedral. Don’t let the name fool ya — along with plant sales and floral and horticultural displays, there is tons of fun for all ages. Music and entertainment, games and rides, tasty foods, the All Hallows Guild antique carousel, and other activities will delight the younger set. Admission is free, though concessions and some activities will cost a fee. Read about our experience there last year.
Comparing hand prints in cave dwellings at the Natural History Museum
Monday – Wander around the beautiful grounds, play, and relax at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and ask about the kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Play the day away amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. The Miniature Train is currently only open on weekends, but the playground alone has plenty to keep children happy. Bring along food for a picnic — there are several tables right there, or you can spread out a blanket in a nearby grassy area. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Head to one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, view the amazing National Geographic Into Africa photography exhibit, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans, see an IMAX film, and so much more. Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm.
Thursday – Spend the morning at wacky magic show as The Great Zucchini performs at Jammin’ Java. Doors open at 10am and the fun begins at 10:30am. General admission tickets are $5. The full lunch menu will be available, so plan to eat there, too.
Friday – Celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Toys”R”Us at Tanger Oulets National Harbor with special savings and activities at the store. There will be appearances and photo ops with Geoffrey the Giraffe, balloon giveaways, and an opening day discount for shoppers. Store hours are 9am – 9pm, and admission is free.