Tag Archives: Experience DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 29 – February 2

Peek into the rooms of a historic house with ties to George Washington for just $1!

Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Go to one of three locations: Brookland in DC or Takoma Park or Hyattsville in MD. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving. (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, on the last Tuesday of every month, which is this week!)

Tuesday – See a movie on the really big screen — you’ve got your choice of IMAX films playing right now. Both the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall and the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, are showing the following films that kids can enjoy: DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World 3D, To Fly!, Journey to Space 3D, Aircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Sea 3D, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Tickets are $9.50/adult, $7/child ($15/adult, $13.50/youth for Star Wars). Of course, plan for some time before or after to explore the museums, too. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission to both is free.

Wednesday – Indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you get a taste of summer on a cold winter day. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim times at all of them, and I recommend calling ahead to confirm there are no random closings.

Thursday – Take a tour of Tudor Place for a buck! All through February, enjoy a guided visit of DC’s only historic house museum with family ties to Martha and George Washington for just $1 in celebration of his birthday this month. Kids can do a History Hunt along the way, and they’ll also love winding through the garden paths outdoors. Tours are offered all day — sign up for one in advance online.

Friday – Head out early to celebrate Ground Hog Day! Potomac Phil, a stuffed groundhog, will return to Dupont Circle park for his annual appearance and to offer weather and political predictions (hey, it’s DC). There will also be presenters in top hats, a puppet show, polka music, and cookies and coffee. Festivities run 8:30-9:15am, and admission is free. From there, make your way to the nearby Phillips Collection to enjoy some art off the beaten museum path. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is $12/adult, free for children. Read more about the gallery in this KFDC post.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 22-26

Lots to explore at Badlands!

Monday – Savor the warmer weather at a great outdoor place: River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as lovely as they are fun. Explore the grounds and play in the gardens — little ones will love the Children’s Garden, with lots of neat little areas that encourage climbing, crawling, and pretend play. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Tuesday – Hang out at a museum that’s not impacted by the government shutdown, though the National Building Museum is a great place to spend any day. Little ones can enjoy a free story time with DC Public Library and engage in all kinds of interactive play in the Building Zone. The PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs is always fun for kids. And Around the World in 80 Paper Models sounds like a cool one to check out as well. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission, including Building Zone, is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members. During the shutdown, Federal Employees with ID get in free. (KFDC tip: Check out membership options — if you frequent the museum a few times or more per year, it’s so worth it.)

Wednesday – Enjoy mountains of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, the enormous facility in Rockville has it all! Hours are 9am – 6pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $20/child and $10/toddler.

Thursday – Check out your local library. Drop in for story time, sing-a-longs, arts & crafts, and other activities, or just go to browse for books. See this post from the very early KFDC days for a little background and quick links to libraries around the area. Hours vary by location, admission is free.

In the evening, the JO Wilson Elementary School PTA is hosting their 4th Annual Summer Camp Fair! It’s a chance to visit over 50 camp exhibitors representing a wide variety of summer programs, ranging from traditional camps to academic, arts, music, sports, early childhood, and special interest camps. The Fair is from 6-8pm, and admission is free. JO Wilson Elementary is located at 660 K St. NE on Capitol Hill.

Friday – See some entertainment just for kids at The Puppet Co., where Tales of Beatrix Potter is the current Main Stage production. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If weather permits, plan to stay after to picnic (BYO or buy from the Praline Cafe on premises) and romp on the Glen Echo Park playground.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 16-19

Photobomber spotted at the American Art Museum 🙂

Tuesday – Take your tots to story hour at East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. The weekly children’s book readings are perfect for future readers ages 0-4. The session starts at 11am, and admission is free. After, browse the inventory then grab a lunch nearby — 7th Hill is a fave, and District Taco, Eastern Market, and Tortilla Cafe are also good spots to go with kids. (FYI: Story time takes place on Saturdays, too, at the same time.)

Wednesday – Head someplace warm, cozy, and colorful: The American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery in Penn Quarter! Explore the art collections and be sure to bring little ones to Explore! With the Portrait Gallery, an activity space just for small children. Make time to hang out in the Kogod Courtyard, one of the loveliest indoor spots in the city. Hours are 11:30am – 7pm, and admission is free. (KFDC Tip: If you want an artsy activity there on a weekday, save this for a Friday when they host Open Studio sessions, inviting guests of all ages to create art with a new medium each week. Of course, you can also bring along a sketch book and crayons/pencils and let your child get creative with inspiration from the art around them.)

Thursday – Go to Marcee’s Fruity Vegetable Party at Discovery Theater in the Smithsonian Ripley Center. The show featuring songs, follow-along play, and some great ideas for fun food is recommended for ages 3-7. Showtimes are 10:15am and 11:30am (Wednesday, too), and tickets are $3-8.

Friday – Join Poppy and Branch from DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls at Canal Park Ice Rink from 12-2pm for dancing and giveaways to help them celebrate their new show, Trolls: The Beat Goes On! There will be music playing from the film and new television series, cotton candy, hot cocoa, photo opportunities with Poppy and Branch, dancing, and special Trolls giveaways! This is a free event — no purchase necessary to attend. However, ice skating admission and skate rental rates still apply for those who wish to skate. Hot cocoa and cotton candy are first come, first serve.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 8-12

Getting an overview of Sant Ocean Hall at the Natural History Museum

Monday – Visit 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, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, check out marine life in Sant Ocean Hall, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, get hands on in Q?rius (or Q?rius Jr. for little ones Tues – Fri). KFDC Tip: If you save this outing for Tuesday, you can get free entry to the Butterfly Pavilion, and I recommend getting tickets for it when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away. Admission to the museum is free, the Butterfly Pavilion is $7.50/adult, $6/child. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, Q?rius hours are 2-5pm.

Tuesday – Head to BloomBars in Columbia Heights for a shadow puppet stage show. Featuring a variety of characters and menagerie of traditional and original songs, the performance explores themes that center around the seasons, the environment, as well as learning components of music. The show takes place 10-11am, and admission cost is usually a donation.

Wednesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. (This also takes place on Tuesdays at 11:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 1:30pm.) Read more about open play at PG here.

Thursday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. There are nearby trails for walks in the woods. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center. (Pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but guests are welcome to stop by the stables.)

Friday – Take advantage of warmer temps and enjoy some outdoor play at Clemyjontri. The brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean accommodates kids of all abilities with all kinds of climbing structures, swings, and other apparatuses that encourage activity and imagination. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Playground, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 2-5

Start a stamp collection a the National Postal Museum!

Tuesday – Explore the history of mail at the National Postal Museum
it’s a great outing with kids of all ages. The museum isn’t very big, so it’s not overwhelming for little ones. Plus, there are numerous interactives and big installations that appeal to both children and adults. Bonus: It’s conveniently located next to Union Station, so you can also grab lunch and get there easily via Metro. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center to explore a variety of neat hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, and so much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $24.95/adults, $18.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family of 4 goes just twice in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums around the country.)

Thursday – Kick off a new year of Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to Eastern Market at 10:30am. Rainbow Rock Band will have little ones moving, laughing, and learning as they play fun tunes. Admission is $6/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Plan on lunch after the show — there are lots of options at the market or nearby for a tasty bite. (FYI: Boogie Babes shows now take place every Thursday at 10:30am at Eastern Market, and all shows benefit the Greater DC Diaper Bank.) . UPDATE: This show has been cancelled. Find other things to do indoors on this snowy day here.

Friday – Experience the Imaginary World of the Nutcracker before it closes after this weekend! It doesn’t even matter that the holiday season has eneded; the art installation at ARTECHOUSE is beautiful, enchanting, and interactive with a little bit of magic that kids and adults will love. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm (21+ 5:30-10:30pm), and admission is timed entry. Tickets are $15/adult, $8/child.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Weekdays, Winter