Looking for something to do during Spring Break to get out of the rain on the way? Take the kids to Great Kids Village where they can Play for a Cure. All this week, through April 24, half of the admission fee at the Columbia location will be donated to the American Cancer Society-Relay for Life.
In case you’re not familiar with Great Kids Village, it’s an interactive play space for children of all ages. There are various pretend play areas where kids are encouraged to use their imaginations, a few active play areas, reading and art areas, and more. Read this review of the former Silver Spring location or visit the Great Kids Village website to learn more.
Admission is $15/child ages 9 months to 10 years, $7.50 for siblings, free for babies under 9 months and kids/adults over 10. Get a pass after 1pm, and it’s good until noon the following day. Print out and bring the attached flyer with you.
Great Kids Village is located at 6570 Dobbin Road in Columbia, Md.
And though I’m not sure how this would factor in, Eversave has a deal today for Great Kids Village – two admissions for just $11. Even if it’s not good toward the fundraiser, it’s still a fantastic offer to make use of another time.
3. Head to the National Building Museum for some play time in the Building Zone or other activities in the Great Hall. (Note: linked post contains info about past events, as well as a description of what’s currently there).
In case you haven’t noticed, I love me a good deal. And not just because I get things for a discount, but because they also get me to try new things. Sometimes it turns out to be a waste (albeit a discounted one), but more often it works out in my favor, and I discover new experiences that enhance my — and my family’s — life.
One of these very deals came from LivingSocial’s Family Edition a few weeks ago. It was an offer for a one-month membership to Great Kids Village. Even though I had mentioned the indoor play space here on the blog several times, I had yet to take the kids and wanted to check it out for myself. So, of course, I jumped at the deal and relished the timing — both the cold and winter break would have me looking for more indoor activities to keep the kids entertained. There are two GKV locations, one on Silver Spring, newly located in the former Mayorga Coffee space, and one in Columbia that I hear is much larger.
We finally put our deal to use last week when we headed to the Silver Spring venue for a morning (and early afternoon) of play. From the moment we walked in, it looked promising. It was like gravity pulled the kids straight to the rock climbing apparatus in the middle of the room; they were scrambling up it immediately, no cares that their coats and hats were still on. I took the opportunity to register, which was a quick and easy process, even with the LivingSocial deal — the staff gave me a rundown on what the membership entailed and promised a receipt would be emailed to me within minutes (which it was).
Captain of play
With sign-in stamps on our hands and outerwear finally shed, the kids began to explore more play areas. The whole place is actually one really big room, with various kinds of play in different areas. There is a stage, which holds a dress-up and music area, along with open space where kids can dance. Nearby is a “rollercoaster,” a small plastic car that zips down a ramp for a mini thrill. In another area is a small play structure that kids can climb on, slide down, and pretend to drive. Next to that is a grocery section with mini shopping carts and play food items. Continue on from there, and you’ll come to the art center, where kids can color, do stickers, and other small crafts. Around the corner is a reading nook, a big doll house, and more toys. The train section was also very popular, with a train table, Thomas tent, and other locomotive fun. Both of my kids happily played in every part of the place.
But it’s not all DIY at Great Kids Village. At 11:30, the staff hosted “playgroup” and invited anyone who wanted to participate to an open area by the stage where they had a song and dance session. A bunch of kids joined in, including mine, and the staff led them through a good half-hour of musical fun. They boogied down, danced a couple of loops around the space, then got the crowd amped with some parachute fun. It was definitely a highlight for my little rug-cutters.
We followed the dance session with more play, then wound down our visit with lunch in the cafe. I brought food from home, as I wasn’t sure what they offered, and it turned out to be a good move; they only had drinks and some small snacks, but there are plans to offer more lunch choices soon (the Columbia location already has a regular cafe menu).
I should mention that, along with open play, Great Kids Village also offers all kinds of classes for children of various ages. They also host parties, with several different options available.
Needless to say, we will be going back. Even after the deal expires.
If you want to see for yourself what Great Kids Village is all about, check out this deal from Mamapedia: $12 for One All-Day Child Admission plus $10 Credit at the Café or Toy Store at Great Kids Village ($25 Value). It applies to both locations, though expiration dates are different for each.
The snowstorm may have been a bust, but the cold and wind over the next couple of days will still have many of us seeking indoor activities for the kids. Here are some ideas for having fun and staying warm.
The Nutcracker on Strings – Tickets are still available for The Puppet Co’s production of the holiday classic. Showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm daily through December 31. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.
Nature Indoors – Just because it’s too cold to be out in nature doesn’t mean kids can’t still enjoy it. A couple of area parks are offering programs at their nature centers. On Tuesday, December 28, Meadowside Nature Center invites presents Spider Time! from 9:30 – 10:30am. Recommended for ages 3 -7, guests learn about spiders through a story and meet Meadowside’s own Rose Haired tarantula, then create a craft to take home. Cost is $5, and space is limited. On Wednesday from 1:30 – 2:15pm, Brookside Nature Center will hold Under the Ice where kids of all ages can discover what animlas and plants do under the ice all winter. Limited space, cost is $4.
Indoor Play Spaces– If the kids have energy to burn from being cooped up, head to an indoor gym where they can run, tumble, and get their bounce on. See this post for a list of places in the area. For indoor play that’s less physical and more imaginative, both Great Kids Village (locations in Silver Spring and Columbia) and the Playseum in Bethesda welcome drop-ins.
IMAX Movies – Feel like you’re roaming with dinos, soaring through the sky, rafting through the Grand Canyon, hanging with Buzz and Woody, or performing wizardry with Harry. The Smithonian IMAX theatres — at the Natural History and Air & Space Museums – have schedules full of daily entertainment. Make a day of it and explore some exhibits, too – many of the museums have special extended holiday hours this week. See the Smithsonian website for details.
Tudor Place– There is still space in some of the special holiday programs taking place at the historic Georgetown mansion Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 28 – 30. For details on Story Time with Ms. Peter and the Gingerbread House Workshop, see this post from last week.
Holiday Exhibits – Christmas may be over, but many of the associated displays around the area are still running. Check out this post to see what going on, and for a few specifics, read about Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden and Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor.