Tag Archives: IMAX

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 1-5

Is it me, or is summer just zooming by?  There are merely weeks left to hang with the kids on the weekdays before they head back to school and to enjoy many activities that only have a seasonal run. Gotta get out there and savor the rest summer!

Here are some suggestions for where to do just that this week, August 1-5:

Monday – Stay cool at an IMAX movie. Several films are playing at the Smithsonian’s two theaters, the Samuel C. Johnson at the Natural History Museum and the Lockheed Martin at the Air & Space. Born to Be Wild 3D, To Fly!, Grand Canyon Adventure, Legends of Flight, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 are all on the really big screen now.  Check the schedules for showtimes.

Tuesday – It’s the final workshop of the Stories in Art summer program at the National Gallery of Art (there is one on Monday as well).  This week’s theme is Everyday Life: Join a Party in the series that explores Dutch life through art. See this post for more details on the program and info on signing up.

Wednesday – Take advantage of the Newseum’s Summer Fun Deal, where kids get in free with a paid adult admission. This post has more about the deal and recommended exhibits for younger visitors.

Thursday – Go peach picking at a local farm. Many of the farms listed in this post have pick-your-own peaches, but it’s always a good idea to check the website or call ahead to see what’s available.

Friday – Take a day trip to a swimming spot out in nature. Get ideas for places to go from The Natural Capital blog.




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Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

The Building Zone at the National Building Museum is a great rainy day play option for little ones


Note: This list has been updated. Find a bigger, better version here.

Looking for activities for the kids on a foul-weather day?  Here are some ideas…

1.  Let them burn some energy at an indoor gymThis is a good list to get you started.

2.  Take in a show at Glen Echo Park — see what’s currently on stages at The Puppet Co. and Adventure Theatre.

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).

4.  Check out your local library.

5.  Catch an IMAX like Born to Be Wild 3D or one of several other great films currently playing at the Smithsonian IMAX Theaters.  See the Smithsonian website for details.

6.  Visit a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall (or elsewhere in the city). They are free, fantastic places to stay dry.

7.   Take a tour of Tudor Place, and be sure to check the calendar for special events.

8.  See an exhibit or a few at the National Geographic Museum.

9.  Go ice skating at the Kettler Iceplex, in College Park, or at Cabin John Ice Rink.

10.  Shake your thang with the Boogie Babes. They bring children’s musicians to Eastern Market every Thursday morning and to the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays.

11.  Let imaginations run wild with pretend play at the Playseum. Locations are in Capitol Hill and Bethesda.

12.  Explore space at a planetarium. The Albert Einstein Planetarium at the Air & Space is open every day.  The Rock Creek Park Planetarium has free shows on weekends and Wednesdays at 4pm.  And the David M. Brown Planetarium is in Arlington, though open only during the school year.

13.  Jump in at an indoor pool. (Note: DC DPR closes aquatic centers if there is thunder).

14.  Romp in the play area and ride the Express Train at Tysons Corner Center.

15.  Wing it at the College Park Aviation Museum.

16.  Paint some pottery at Color Me Mine, All Fired Up, or Clay Cafe.

17.  Rock out at a Jammin’ Java kids show.

18.  Get in touch with nature at the U.S. Botanic Garden, where many of the plant collections make you feel like you’re not just outdoors, but in a whole other region altogether.

19.  Nuture the next 007 at the International Spy Museum. (Best for about ages 6 and up.)

20.  Go below the surface, literally and figuratively, at the National Aquarium in DC, located in the lower level of the Department of Commerce Building.

21.  Have a blast at Port Discovery in Baltimore.

22.  And speaking of Baltimore and aquariums, the National Aquarium in Fells Point gets its own spot on this list.

23.  As does the Maryland Science Center, also on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Visit the new traveling bug exhibit along with a host of cool permanent collections.

24.  Deliver on fun at the National Postal Museum, where lots of interactive exhibits and an easy-to-explore space make it a perfect outing for little ones.

25.  Watch a movie screening especially for kids or parents with brand new ones. Read about special movie series in the area.

26.  Explore imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at that National Museum of the American Indian.

27.  Enjoy Theatre for the Very Young, the new program for little audiences at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

28.  Get your game on at Labyrinth, the Capitol Hill shop specializing in games and puzzles for all ages. Demo a few at tables set up in back for just that purpose.

29. Experience the outdoors inside at a nature center. Find one near you with the help of  The Natural Capital blog.

30. Frolic in the new 1,200-square-foot play area at Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Va. (And while you’re there, do a little outlet shopping, too!)

REI Outlet Just Reduced!


Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Play, Theatre, Weekend

Have Fun, Stay Warm

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.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Indoor Play, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Winter