Prepare to be fascinated at the Maryland Science Center
Monday – DC public pools and spray parks are now open daily! Jump in or splash around for free (or a small fee in you’re not a DC resident). Check the DC DPR website for locations and hours — find pools here and spray parks here.
Tuesday – Enjoy a flick for a buck with the Regal Summer Movie Express. At participating Regal theaters, you can catch a family movie for just a $1 every Tuesday (and Wednesday) at 10am. Visit the website to find a theater near you and see what’s playing this week.
Wednesday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where your crew can explore a variety of fun and fascinating hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie, and more. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $18.95/adults and $15.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. Younger children might prefer Port Discovery, Charm City’s other fantastic children’s museum with multiple levels of interactive fun. Even better, Goldstar has a great discount on tickets for all dates through the end of this month!
Thursday – Be hugely entertainment at Imagination Stage where The BFG is opening this week. The production will run through August 10. Tickets start at $10.
Friday – Spend the day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival where the annual celebration of living cultural heritage is full of activities, performances, demos, and much more from June 25-39 and July 2-6. Enjoy it from 11am – 5:30pm each day. Admission is free.
Monday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a perfect outing while kids are still on summer break, since tours are only offered on weekdays. This post has all the background and details you need to plan for it.
Tuesday – Explore and play at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington. Hike the short trails and let the kids romp on the playground, then visit the nature center where you can see turtles, snakes, and other creatures in terrariums and discover more about the natural world in the Kids Cave. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum while you can. The Kids Free Summer Fun Deal, which ends after Labor Day, waives the regular $12.95 entrance fee for youth with one paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. With little ones: Head to the National Building Museum for fun in the Building Zone ($3/person) and the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit ($5/person).
Thursday – Head to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to tour the historic ships. There are four vessels that welcome visitors to explore — the USS Constellation, USS Torsk, USCGC Taney, and LV116 Chesapeake. Admission to tour one ship is $11/adult, $5/ages 6-14, free for ages 5 and under, and you can add on for just a few dollars more per ship.
Friday – Observe the 199th anniversary of the Burning of Washington one day early at a locale associated with the event: Fort Washington Park. Kids (and adults!) will enjoy seeing the cannons and other historic sights within the grounds. Hours are 8am – sunset. Admission is $5/vehicle.
Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. Guests can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and more. Keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.
Tuesday – Beat the heat for a buck with the Regal Summer Movie Express. At participating Regal theaters, you can catch a family movie for just a $1 every Tuesday (and Wednesday) at 10am. Visit the website to find a theater near you and see what’s playing this week.
Wednesday – Fly to Neverland at Imagination Stage where Peter Pan & Wendy will be entertaining audiences through early August. Showtime is 10:30am, and tickets start at $10.
Thursday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where your crew can explore a variety of fun and fascinating hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie, and more. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $16.95/adults, $13.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under.
Friday – Splash, slide, swim, and have a blast at a water park! All of the local parks are now open for the season, and there are several throughout the area — the 2013 Summer Guide has a list of and links to all of them.
Musical and theatre performances, museum programs and special events, adventures in Charm City, trail time, and Spiderman training are all among this round of recs for fun with the kiddos. And don’t forget to check the Everyday Play page for even more ideas. Happy Weekend!
NSO in your neighborhood
Where: Several DC neighborhoods
When: Throughout the weekend
The National Symphony Orchestra is presenting a week of free activities in the U Street, Shaw, Howard, and Logan Circle neighborhoods through January 14, offering more than 40 activities to the public, many inspired by the area’s rich cultural history, and several of them programs that kids can enjoy, too. on the schedule this weekend is a percussion workshop, a violin ensemble performance, jazz and chamber music, an electric violin show, community concerts, jam sessions, and more. See the schedule for times and details.
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
The National Gallery of Art is kicking off its Winter Drop-In Programs with this session for kids ages 8-11. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then sketch their own masterpiece. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium beginning at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.
Where: Local theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
There’s lots of great entertainment around the area this weekend. Encore Stage & Studio’s Honk, Jr. opens tonight (look for a Goldstar deal here). Cinderella is still being fitted for her glass slipper at Olney Theatre. Wake Up, Brother Bear will delight kids ages 1-5 at Imagination Stage. Elksa, who’s been described as the “Bjork of kids music” is performing at Jammin’ Java. And the Kennedy Center presents an NSO Kinderkonzert. Find details and links for all of these productions in this post about live entertainment for kids this winter.
Happy Birthday, Nat Geo!
Where: National Geographic Museum
Admission: $8/adults, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under for exhibits
As if the exhibits weren’t already a huge treat, the National Geographic is celebrating 125 years by giving out cupcakes made especially for the occasion by Georgetown Cupcakes (while supplies last) along with photo props that allows users to add the iconic National Geographic yellow border to “Frame What Matters.” And don’t miss the current exhibits while you’re there — Birds of Paradise and 1001 Inventions, plus stunning photography on display are all pretty sweet, too.
Where: Several Charm City attractions
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
Because the kids and I recently enjoyed a couple of great outings up to Baltimore (and I did write-ups on them), a Charm City venture makes the Round-Up this week, and you’ve got a good selection of options. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or tour the historic ships at the Inner Harbor.
Walks in the Woods
Where: Local trails
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
Get some exercise and enjoy the warmer temps on a nature walk – there are plenty of great places in the area where you can hit the trail with the kids. This post from awhile back lists some of the ground we’ve covered. And another not on the list, but perfect for family tramping is Turkey Run Park, which you can access from the GW Parkway, not far from the Beltway. You can do a four-mile loop along the Potomac and through a pretty wooded area or pick a shorter route. Pack lunch and plan to picnic — tables are available near Parking Lot B, or find some big rocks by the water and have a riverside meal.
Family Paint Day
Where: Merlot’s Masterpiece
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
The U Street painting studio is hosting its first Family Day event on Sunday afternoon. Guests will participate in a two-hour instructor-led painting experience, with refreshments included. Sign up for the class here.
Farm to Table Family Day
Where: Kogod Courtyard
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Join the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery for their second annual farm-to-table event. Enjoy live music, learn about the “slow food” movement from local community organizations, and participate in hands-on activities that get your hands a little dirty. You’ll be ready to eat fresh, local, and healthy with recipes you can take home. And don’t forget to find delicious artworks on the Fruit and Veggie Scavenger Hunt.
Where: SportRock Climbing Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $5-25 discount with a Certifikid deal)
This recommendation is inspired by a deal I just saw on Certifikid for open climb sessions in the SportRock Sterling location. Whether you want to get in on the deal or just scale walls or belay indoors, you’ve got plenty of opportunity this weekend (and every Saturday and Sunday, for that matter). Sterling offers Open Climb sessions for $25, and Alexandria has Open Belay for $5. Both rates include rental gear. Visit the website for the rest of the details on practicing Spiderman skills.
The Wright Stuff
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
It’s Super Science Saturday, the monthly program at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles. There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities that immerse children in science and technology topics related to aviation and space exploration. on Saturday, it’ll center around January’s theme, “From the Wright Brothers to the Right Stuff.”
Around the World with Wilbur Wright
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
See the world without even leaving the museum! Participate in a fun and educational tour of the College Park Aviation Museum, where you can make your own passport, visit places around the world, and learn a little bit about aviation history.
Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, hear a story illustrated by artist Keith Haring (1958-1990).
As 3-year-old Sash would say, "It's the Washington U-Monument!"
Celebrate our former Presidents, sharpen the science and engineering skills, drop in for a museum program, enjoy nature both outside and in, catch some live entertainment, discover the charm of Baltimore. There’s plenty to enjoy with the family this weekend. Even better, you have an extra day to do it. Happy Weekend!
Where: Various locations
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event
From special activities at George Washington’s old digs to a parade through Old Town to museum programs, there are several family-friendly ways you can celebrate George and Abe’s big days throughout the long weekend. See this post from earlier this week for an overview of events all around the area.
Discover Engineering Family Day Where: National Building Museum Great Hall When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4pm Admission: Free, suggested donation of $5
The National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to debunk the myths of engineering and discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality. Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on and fun-filled festival on Saturday from 10:30am – 4pm. Discover Engineering Family Day is a free drop-in program, though a $5 donation is suggested. Recommended for children ages 5 to 13 with adult supervision.
African American History Month Family Day Where: National Postal Museum When: Saturday, 12-3pm Admission: Free
Discover the struggles and achievements of African Americans in the postal service with a variety of mail-themed activities — design a stamp honoring your heritage hero, make a stamp collection, and sort mail in the Railway Post Office. Guests can also meet sixth grader Jackson Davis V, who was inspired by a school project to begin a campaign to honor York, an enslaved African American who traveled with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, on a U.S. postage stamp.
Artful Conversations Where: National Gallery of Art When: Saturday, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm Admission: Free
The theme of this week’s drop-in program for kids ages 8-11 is Dashing Diamante. Guests, along with an accompanying adult, will learn about a work of art and participate in a related poetry-writing activity. Sessions are at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 10:00 a.m., and will continue until all spaces are filled.
Stories in Art Where: National Gallery of Art When: Sunday, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm Admission: Free
The drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 is once again exploring the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Guests are encourage to see the natural world as the artist did as they hear a reading of the book Through Georgia’s Eyes, then create watercolor drawings inspired by plants. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.
Curtain Calls Where: Various local theatres When: Throughout the weekend Admission: Varies by venue
Local stages will be filled with all kinds of live entertainment this weekend. It’s your last chance to see The Puppet Co’s fantastic marionette interpretation of Peter and the Wolf (read the KFDC review here). P.Nokio has been a hip-hop hit at Imagination Stage. The Wings of Ikarus is at the Kennedy Center for one more weekend. 1st Stage presents an a capella version of Three Bears. And Disney on Ice is delighting crowds at the Verizon Center. Find details and ticket info for all of these shows is in this post.
Charm City Fun Where: Baltimore When: Throughout the weekend Admission: Varies by activity
I recently posted about two cool experiences we had in our sister city to the north: The new bug exhibit at the Maryland Science Center and ship tours at the Inner Harbor are both fun and interesting adventures for kids and adults alike. Follow the links above for more details and ticket information.
Magna Carta Family Activities Where: National Archives When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm Admission: Free
The focus is on the Magna Carta at the National Archives, with a day full of activities for all ages. Listen to 13th-century music performed by Consort Anon or write a royal proclamation just like King Edward I. Watch The Revenge of Robin Hood, an episode of the 1960s sci-fi television series The Time Tunnel, or try your hand at making a pin wheel, rolling candles, or playing Queek, a game played by 13th-century children.
Memorable Photos Workshop for Kids Where: Corcoran Gallery of Art When: Saturday, 10:30am-12pm & 1-2:30pm Admission: $8/member, $10/non-members (free for accompanying adults)
Everyone loves sorting through old photographs and reliving the memories. In the Corcoran galleries, families will look at photographs taken when Abraham Lincoln was president and discuss how things have changed. In the studio, guests will create new art from old photographs – bring a couple of photographs to incorporate into your work! There are two sessions on Saturday, one at 10:30am for ages 8-12, and one at 1pm for ages 5-7. Sign up online to reserve a spot.
Back to Nature Where: Area Nature Centers When: Throughout the weekend Admission: Varies by venue, some are free
Just because the weather may not be conducive to outdoor fun, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the outdoors. Nature Centers are great places to experience the environment outside indoors. See furry, feathery, and scaly critters and learn about their natural habitats, and in some cases participate in classes geared towards kids. The Natural Capital blog has a comprehensive list of nature centers around the DC area.
Portrait Story Days Where: National Portrait Gallery When: Sunday, 2-5pm Admission: Free
Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about African American scientist and botanist, George Washington Carver.
In & Out
As always, you can find even more ideas for weekend recreation in a couple more go-to posts: Go here for outdoor activities and here for indoor suggestions.