You can’t beat the lovely outdoor setting of Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Monday – Deliver on fun at the National Postal Museum, where they just debuted a brand new exhibit. “Behind the Badge” showcases the work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation’s oldest federal law-enforcement agencies. The exhibit features lots interactives, giving visitors opportunities to try their hand at a variety of skills that are part of a postal inspector’s repertoire, like spotting fraud and other mail scams, identifying crime suspects, and analyzing crime scenes. And the rest of the exhibits are always a hit with all ages. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Explore the nearly 200-year-old history of Decatur House. The White House Historical Association is offering tours of the historic home on Tuesdays and Fridays through September 30 as part of the bicentennial of the burning of Washington and the “Star-Spangled Summer.” Discover its connections to the War of 1812 and its Slave Quarters, one of only a few remaining examples in an urban setting. Tours begin at 11:00am, 12:30pm, and 2pm. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a perfect outing during the summer break from school, since tours are only offered on weekdays. This post has all the background and details you need to plan for it.
Friday – Explore the grounds and play in the gardens, specifically the Children’s Gardens, at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as lovely as they are fun. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Zip among the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
Monday – Play it cool at a spraypark! The Palisades Playground includes a wet area with a water slide, sprinklers, and get rave reviews. And the dry area sounds super fun, too. Hours are 10am – 7pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for play and storytime. The Book of the Month program takes place in the Building Zone at 10:30am and 11:30am with readings of Who Stole My House by Barbara Veit and Anna Laura Cantone. Admission to the Building Zone ($3/non-members) is timed and on the hour, and after you can head up to the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit (for non-members: $8/adult, $5/child; free for members) or hang out in the magnificent Great Hall.
Wednesday – Hang out in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. For $49, children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $39/ages 7-9, $44/ages 10-11, $49/ages 12 and older. And if you’re looking for fun with little ones… Experience adventure on a smaller scale at the Cabin John Regional Park Adventure Playland. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run amid the lovely wooded setting, and the miniature train that guests can ride ($1.75/passenger) is a fun bonus.
Thursday – Take a day trip out to Luray Caverns to behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Hours are 9am – 7pm. Admission for the caverns is $24/adults, $21/seniors, $12/ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and under. Other attractions cost extra.