Tag Archives: DMV Kids

Regularly Occurring Museum Programs for Kids Around the DC Area

Make your own art at the National Gallery of Art

 

Not only are we so lucky to have a wealth of world class museums right here in DC, many also offer special programs to explore them even more.  Among them are sessions especially for kids that take place on a regular basis — monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, and a couple even more often.  There are story times, art activities, and all kinds of opportunities to discover the museums’ collections and related topics in new, fun ways.  So, if you’re looking for a weekday activity with little ones or something for the whole family on the weekend, there are a bunch of great options.  Even better, just about all of them are free. Here are details… and be sure to bookmark, too!

 

Get inspired at the National Portrait Gallery

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
Where: 8th & F Strets NW | Penn Quarter, DC

Weekend Workshops
When: Most Saturdays & Sundays, 11:30am – 3pm
All ages are welcome to drop in and get creative at these workshops. Learn about artists and change-makers, then create art inspired by their stories.

Storytime in the Explore! Family Space
When: Mondays, 1:30-2pm
Admission: Free

Immerse in tales of artists, presidents, inventors, athletes and more! Plan for a longer visit in the family space before or after story time to play and learn about portraiture. Read more about the Explore! space here.

National Portrait Gallery Kids
When: Select Mondays, 11:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Children and families are invited to learn, play, and create at the Portrait Gallery!  Join educators to explore topics like colors, emotions, STEM, and history through art viewing, hands-on activities, music, and movement. This program is a fun way to engage with art and each other.

Teen Conversation Circles
When: Every other Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Teen English language learners ages 13-19 are invited to join NPG educators and friends all over the world in person and via ZOOM. Together, use portraiture to learn about U.S. art, history and culture. Meet new friends and learn about different cultures while practicing English. Note that some sessions are virtual.

 

 

Say hello to fun at the Postal Museum

NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM
Where: 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE | National Mall, DC

Hello, Museo
When: Every other Tuesday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

This bilingual program features music, stories, crafts, and gallery exploration. It’s designed for children ages 1-3 and their caregivers, but all are welcome! Read more about the National Postal Museum in this KFDC post.

 

 

Explore natural history on a Play Date

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Where: 1000 Madison Drive | National Mall, DC

Playdate at NMNH
When: Tuesdays, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Early learners and their caregivers are invited to explore elements of nature with museum educators, usually in the Q?rius activity space or the Explorer Theatre in the Sant Ocean Hall.

 

 

Tinker away in the Spark!Lab

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Where: | National Mall, DC

Spark!Lab
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm

While this isn’t a special program, the activity center is a special space within the museum where kids ages 6-12 are invited to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent. STEM activities are integrated with art, museum, and creativity.

Wegmans Wonderplace
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm

Again, this is not a special program, but the space for children ages 0-6 is full of features that cater to curious young visitors, incorporating play and learning in the museum’s American history context. Read more about it in this KFDC post.

 

 

Take kiddos for storytime and more at the Hirshhorn

HIRSHHORN MUSEUM
Where: 7th & Independence SW | National Mall, DC

Storytime
When: Wednesdays, 10-11am
Admission: Free

The Hirshhorn’s one-of-a-kind storytime experience offers a fun and fresh theme for kids (from birth to age 8) and their caregivers. They encourage everyone to get hands-on with their art maker projects inspired by the museum’s collection, plus enjoy read-alouds filled with music, tales, and lots of movement.

 

 

Hear stories about air and space

NATIONAL AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
Where: 6th & Independence SW | National Mall, DC

Story Time 
When: Thursdays, 11am
Admission: Free

Bring little ones to hear a children’s story that’s related to air and space. Some sessions include hands-on activities and play time, too. Note that the same story is repeated throughout the month.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
When: Thursdays & Sundays, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Join Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from “Zhima Jie,” the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street. Together they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. They also journey to Zhima Jie to learn about the similarities in our view of the sky.Note that it’s always the same show, but kids can pop in now and then and maybe discover something they previously missed.

 

 

Udvar-Hazy hosts story time and more

UDVAR-HAZY CENTER
Where: 14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy | Chantilly, VA
Admission: Free, but note that parking is $15

Story Time
When: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11am & 11:30am
Admission: Free

Bring little ones to hear a children’s story that’s related to air and space. Some sessions include hands-on activities and play time, too. Note that the same story is repeated throughout the month.

Second Saturday Sungazing
When: Second Saturday of the month, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Become an astronomer and observe the sun safely with a filtered telescope. Join museum staff outside at the entrance to view a variety of features on the sun. Knowledgeable staff are there to answer questions and guide observing.

 

 

 

Get crafty at a First Saturday

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
Where: East Building, 4th & Constitution NW | National Mall, DC

First Saturday
When: First Saturday of the month, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The museum’s monthly program is a special day-long affair with multiple free programs for visitors of all ages. There is a morning story time for little ones, hands-on art projects, sometimes films especially for kids, a pop-up library, and activities centered around a new theme or exhibit each month.

 

 

 

Discover the art of Asia through museum kids’ programs

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART
Where: 1050 Independence Ave SW | National Mall, DC

Art & Me Workshops
When: Select Saturdays monthly, 11am – 12:30pm & 1-3:30pm
Admission: Free

This program is back in person, exploring works in the museum then returning to the ImaginAsia studio to learn more through a hands-on activity. There are currently workshops scheduled for January and February, but check back soon for more to be added to the schedule.

Discovery Days
When: Select Wednesdays monthly
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of discovery and experiential learning at the National Museum of Asian Art. Choose your own adventure and explore the galleries at your own pace — there will be activities and interactions with pop-up museum educators along the way. You can also select a time slot for a thirty-minute guided art activity. This would make a great field trip — a room for eating brown-bagged lunches can be arranged upon request as well as free bus transportation for DC public and public charter schools.

 

 

Enjoy STEAM fun in a stunning space

NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM
Where: 401 F Street NW | Judiciary Square, DC

STEAM Saturday
When: Second Saturday of the month
Admission: Free with museum admission ($7/child, $10/adult)

Join the museum for STEAM activities. that challenges kids to think creatively and experimentally using principles of design thinking and engineering. The program is targeted towards 2nd-8th graders and their caregivers.

 

 

Drop in for play at the Zoo — and visit the animals, too!

NATIONAL ZOO
Where: | Woodley Park, DC

Little Critters Nature Play
When: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 9:30am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Little zoogoers can drop in to explore animals and nature through creative, free-choice activity stations, water play, and story times. Designed for kids ages 0-8.

 

Art to explore indoors and out at the Kreeger

KREEGER MUSEUM
Where: 2401 Foxhall Road NW | Foxhall, DC

First Studio: Art, Story, and Workshop
When: Select Saturdays monthly, 10-11am
Admission: $10

Young artists ages 3-5 and an adult companion are invited to use their imagination as they explore the paintings, sculpture, and architecture of The Kreeger Museum. Each program focuses on a theme supported by a story, works of art from the collection, and a hands-on art-making experience. Read more about the Kreeger Museum in this KFDC post.

 

A new story and theme every month

CAPITOL JEWISH MUSEUM
Where: 575 3rd Street NW | Judiciary Square area, DC

Story Time at CJM
When: Second Thursday of each month
Admission: Free

Playing is learning! Children and their caregivers are invited to join the museum for stories, songs, and exploratory play as a means of reinforcing early literacy skills. Each month features a different theme and book suited for children of all backgrounds as they learn about themselves and the world around them. Most appreciated by kids aged 5 and under.

 

Explore aviation through special programs

COLLEGE PARK AVIATION MUSEUM
Where: 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive | College Park, MD

Cub Corner
When: Third Saturday of the month, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5/adult, $2/child

Enjoy a short story and craft in the museum’s gallery. Designed for younger learners 5 & under.

Afternoon Aviators
When: Last Saturday of the month, 1-2pm
Explore a variety of STEM and aviation-themed sciences with a short lesson and hands-on activity. Ideal for learners ages 8-12.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Museums, Virginia

Catch a Day of Fun at the National Postal Museum’s Baseball Family Festival!

 

Swing into the 2023 baseball season with Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum this Saturday, April 29, as they present a special Baseball Family Festival highlighting a recently opened exhibition!

Baseball: America’s Home Run explores our national pastime through a unique, postal lens. Using material from the National Postal Museum’s collection; original stamp art from the United States Postal Service; and artifacts loaned by other Smithsonian museums, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and private collectors, this exhibition explores the surprising ways that baseball and postal history have been deeply intertwined since the early twentieth century.

The Baseball Family Festival will offer fun for all ages with activity stations, crafts, music, and virtual author readings. In-person American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for the author readings.

  • Baseball Bingo: Check off the activities you complete on a bingo card in the event program. and claim a prize (while supplies last) for completing any row of three!
  • Play Ball: Practice pitching, batting, and running the bases in the Historic Lobby using plastic bats and beach balls.
  • Baseball Stamp Puzzles: Flex your puzzles skills with postage stamp puzzles of famous baseball players.
  • Baseball Sewing Activity: Craft a baseball  by sewing together two small paper plates with yarn.
  • Make Your Own Pennant/Stamp: Design your own postage stamp and sports pennant.
  • Tattoos & Trivia: Display your baseball pride with a temporary tattoo and test your baseball knowledge.
  • Book Corner: Explore baseball history with a wide variety of baseball-themed children’s books.
  • Virtual author readings and Q&A: At 1pm, Barb Rosenstock will read her book The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero and at 3pm, Rob Skead will read his book Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio.  These will take place on Zoo, and both will answer questions afterwards.

There will also be activities from the museum partners, the National Museum of American History and National Portrait Gallery. Explore the role that Latinos have played in the history of baseball with hands-on crafts and real objects from the American History’s exhibit Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues/En los barrios y las grandes ligas. And guests can try on baseball uniform pieces and pose like a baseball player for an instant portrait to use for making a baseball trading card.

Of course, be sure to visit the Baseball: America’s Home Run exhibit and tour the rest of the National Postal Museum, a KFDC favorite for all ages — read more about it here and here!

Baseball Family Festival
Where: National Postal Museum | 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, DC
When: Saturday, April 29, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reserve a spot!

 

This post is sponsored by the National Postal Museum, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Spring, Weekend

Music & Stamps Family Day at the National Postal Museum this Saturday!

 

Save the date for this coming Saturday, August 6!  The National Postal Museum is hosting its first in-person Family Day in over two years — and if it’s anything like its pre-pandemic events, it’s sure to be a festive, well organized, and super fun time.

The United States Postal Service recently issued a series of five postage stamps depicting mariachi musicians. Designed by the Postal Museum’s Guest Artist, Rafael Lopez, the stamps joyfully celebrate the vibrant colors and sounds of mariachi music and Mexican culture.

This weekend, you can join Rafael for Music & Stamps Family Day, a celebration of Latinx music and the new mariachi stamps.  He’ll be at the museum leading visitors through stories, musical performances, crafts, and games.

Keeping visitor comfort in mind, a Take-A-Break space will be available throughout the program for anyone who needs to step away from the festivities. And, of course, the rest of the museum is fantastic to explore — I’ve always recommended it as an especially great one with young children.

Music & Stamps Family Day
Where: National Postal Museum | 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, DC
When: Saturday, August 6, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

 

This post is sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Museums, Special Event, Summer, Weekend

Local Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day that Kids (& You) Will Love

DIY Valentines from a past Postal Museum workshop

 

Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to celebrate (and prep for) the day, here are some ideas — both virtual and IRL — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day!

Spreading Kindness: Virtual Valentine Greetings
Where: At home
When: Through February 14
Admission: Your time and card making/baking efforts

Celebrate the Valentine’s Day by giving back with Eliana’s Light. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to create cards, poems, and paintings for children who have to be in a DC, MD, or VA pediatric hospital over the holiday. Pre-pandemic, these pieces of art would be delivered to their recipients, but this year volunteers should email them instead, and they will be shared through social media and email to give a boost to those who have been going through a lot over the past year due to the effects of COVID-19. This small act of kindness can have a big impact. More details about the program are here.

Virtual Workshop: Valentine Card Making
Where: The Paper Source | Online
When: February 10, 8-9:30pm
Admission: $30

Feel the love with some Valentine fun at Paper Source’s annual workshop. Perfect for virtual a hang out with friends or some cozy solo crafting time. Make one-of-a-kind cards that you can gift to your bestie, significant other, or family on Valentine’s Day. Recommended for ages 14+. You will need to pick up recommended supplies.

Valentine Cupcakes
Where: Sprinkles | Georgetown, DC
When: Order by February 9
Cost: Depends on your order

Sprinkle love to people you adore with Sprinkles Cupcakes seasonal boxes. They have special mixes, or you can customize your own. Orders must be places by February 9, and delivery or pick-up must be scheduled by February 14.

V’Day Sweet Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Make-Your-Own Sweet Treats
Where: Take home from Ice Cream Jubilee | DC & VA
When: Pre-order for pick up or local delivery Feb 11-14
Cost: $18

Craft some sweeties with your sweetie! Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a make-at-home ice cream cookie kit especially for the holiday. It comes with sugar cookie dough, a heart cookie cutter, dark chocolate, Valentine’s sprinkles, and a pint of Bold Vanilla. Makes around 4 mini-sandwiches.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12, 13, & 14
Admission: $19

Watson Adventures’ wildly popular Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is going virtual for the first time ever! Explore museums all over the country on a fun, flirty quest for beautiful and bizarre nudity in art. You might bump into a bronzed Adonis, encounter an incontinent Cupid, serenade moonlit sirens, walk in on handsy Egyptians, marvel at medieval codpieces, run across randy revelers, and see much more. Note: Participants must be clothed.

Virtual Nature Valentines
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Online
When: February 13, 1-2pm
Admission:Free

Consider collecting outdoor items to create your very own nature valentine. Before the program, go on a walk and collect nuts, sticks, and other natural items. During the program, participants will share why they collected items and assemble valentines. A suggested list of supplies will be emailed before the program to help prepare. An adult may need to assist the participant. This program will take place using Microsoft Teams. Recommended for ages 5+.

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grive Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 14, 2-5pm
Admission: $2/person

Looking for a little adventure? Work together with (or challenge!) your Valentines to nature trivia in a heart-themed scavenger hunt — it’s this month’s nature-themed Hike & Seek series puzzle. Register by Friday, February 12, to schedule a time slot and to receive a prize for completing the hunt. No drop-ins on the day of the program. Note that natural surface trails are not stroller accessible. See more about the program here.

Sweetheart Stroll
Where: MLKing Jr. Recreational Park | Silver Spring, MD
When: February 14
Admission: Free

Looking for a heart-healthy and fun activity for Valentine’s Day? Sign up for the Sweetheart Stroll at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park on February 14th. Starting at 2pm, guests can walk or run along the 0.8-mile HeartSmart Trail. Be entertained and enchanted by multiple photo stations, string lights, and LOVE-ly decorations along the way. Watch for heartwarming messages along the path and a sparkling butterfly garden, too! Registration is required — see available time slots here.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6pm
Admission: $8

What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world? Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these techniques and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Register in advance. Recommended for ages 4+.

Virtual Cake Pop Class
Where: Baked by Yael | Online
When: February 14, 4:30pm
Admission $39.95

Have your cake and eat it, too, at a virtual Baked by Yael cakepop class! They’ll teach you how to crumble the cake, mix it with frosting, and then roll, dip, and decorate your cakepops. The exact number of cakepops will vary depending on what size you choose to make your cakeballs. Some people end up with 12+ cakepops! The registration fee includes materials for one participant, a Home Cakepop Kit with baked cake, frosting, candy melts, edible glitter/sprinkles, cakepop sticks, and cakepop drying stand. (Please note that the gluten-free & vegan cakepops do not use frosting.). For just $25 more, we’ll include enough cake, frosting, candy melts, and cakepop sticks for an additional participant! See the website for more details.

DIY Valentines
Where: At Home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs is the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community. We’ll miss it this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some arty supplies and get creative at home. And make your loved ones’ (or a stranger’s — see the top listing) Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again), see this KFDC post.

The Valentine Dine
Where: Restaurants in Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: February 12-14
Admission: $20-60

Love the one your with this Valentine’s Day Weekend and enjoy favorite Capitol Riverfront restaurants while you’re at it. Whether you’re planning to spend the day with your sweetheart, friends, or family, they’ve curated a list of the sweetest dining deals sure to send Cupid’s arrow through your heart. Choose from a romantic dinner-for-two options at Bammy’s, Maxwell Park, or Osteria Morini; daytime dining choices at Jackie, La Famosa, Scarlet Oak, or Slipstream; and the ultimate indulgence from Coldstone Creamery, Ice Cream Jubilee, and Jeni’s. The best part? ALL gift card options come with awesome discounts, plus complimentary desserts or drinks included with several deals. Order in advance!

Valentine’s Day Specials
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: The cost of your meal
Many of the restaurants at The Wharf have special meals and deals for Valentine’s Day, both dine in and take out are available, depending on the place. Visit the websites of Colada Shop, Del Mar, District Doughnut, Hank’s Oyster Bar, La Vie, Mi Vida, Moon Rabbit, and The Grill for specifics and note that some need to be pre-ordered.  Also, Shop Made in DC and Diament Jewelry  have great last minute Valentine’s Day gifts including jewelry, travel sets, candles, and more.

Socially Distanced Date Nights for Everyone
Where: Restaurants in Adams Morgan, DC
When: February & March
Admission: Varies by place and activity

Adams Morgan is a great place for a date in DC, whether you’re a mom and daughter out for ice cream, a first date, or a married couple celebrating a double-digit anniversary. The Adams Morgan Partnership presents DATE NIGHTS with all kinds of specials, promotions and date lineups throughout the neighborhood during February and March 2021. Visit the website for a chart full of suggestions.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Virtual Programs, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Make Your Own Valentines at the National Postal Museum this Weekend!


Our local museums host some fantastic events and activities for families. One that I especially love is the annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop at the National Postal Museum. For one weekend every February, the museum provides a bountiful spread of supplies — patterned papers, postage and rubber stamps, gems and other 3-D embellishments, special cut-out scissors, washi tape, stickers, markers of every color (with a surplus of hearts, red and pink!) — for designing one-of-a-kind Valentine greetings. All guests need to bring is their own creative instincts and readiness for a good time.

This year’s workshop will be held on Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9, from 10am to 4pm both days. You can drop in anytime to the open house event, and it’s appropriate for all ages. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults come out for this one, and there’s always a great sense of community. The layout of the card-making stations and supply tables fosters sharing and friendliness, not to mention the theme of it all lends to a love-ly vibe.

The workshop takes place in the museum’s lower-level Atrium, which, for those new to the National Postal Museum, is full of various postal transports from over the years, including a real train car, semi-truck (yes, kids can climb in and pretend to drive!), a horse-drawn carriage, and airplanes hanging from the ceiling. And the museum’s pleasant staff and volunteers are always available to answer questions, provide examples of beautiful completed cards, or help in any other way.

A handmade card can be hard to come by these days. But this event is the perfect environment in which kids (and you!) can express their love for friends and family with a heartfelt note of affection and appreciation. They can also experience firsthand the satisfaction of crafting their very own unique creations from start to finish — and the pure joy of giving it to someone special.



Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum | 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, February 8-9, 10am – 4pm
Admission: FREE!

* Plan to stay and explore the National Postal Museum — it makes for a great family experience! Read more about it here.


This post is sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Free, Holidays, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Weekend, Winter