Tag Archives: Kids Activities in DC

Scenes from a Visit to the Old Post Office Tower

 

We first went up in the Old Post Office Clock Tower almost 10 years ago.  As mentioned in this post about that visit, I learned about it from a now-defunct deal site, but I didn’t know anyone who had yet been, so it was kind of a great discovery then.  We’ve visited many times since — not only did the Tower become a back pocket place to take out-of-town guests for impressive views of the city, it’s also an easy stroll from the National Mall and the downtown area.

However, until this week, it had been a few years since we visited, as the Tower was closed during Covid and just reopened to the public again in early June. Sasha and I had to run an errand nearby downtown, so we decided to pop in (or should I say up?) and enjoy those city vistas and add a little fun to our outing.

Look for this sign on 12th Street NW to find the entrance

Some things have changed since that first visit I wrote about, so I thought a new post would be a good idea.  It is still operated by the National Park Service, but the building it’s within is now a hotel.  It was the Trump Hotel, but it recently changed hands (sigh of relief!), and is now a Waldorf Astoria.  And you used to access the Clock Tower through the front entrance, but it now has its own entrance at the back of the hotel.

Once inside past security, there’s a long walkway with displays about DC history, the building, and the area where it’s located (did you know it was called “Murder Bay” in the 19th century?).  That leads to the National Park Service area, where a ranger greets and guides guests to the elevator that leads up to the Tower.  It was from the ranger that I learned the NPS was ready to welcome visitors back to the Clock Tower last year, but the Trump organization wouldn’t renew the contact for security at the entrance.  It wasn’t until the Waldorf Astoria took over that security was hired again, and the Tower could officially reopen.

The elevator takes you to the 9th floor, where you can peer down to see the hotel lobby far below and get a good view of the gorgeous glass-paned roof.  From there, you take another elevator to the observation deck.  In the middle is a glass case with all the gears and inner workings of the clock.  [Side note: We once happened to be there when it was time to set the clock to fall back, and they let the kids help turn it — how cool is that?!]

Of course, the main features of the observation deck are the sweeping views of the city from every direction.  You can see so many major structures, and there are displays to help you locate them if you’re not familiar with layout of DC.  Get a glimpse of it all in the photos finishing out this post, but I can assure you these scenes are way better in person.

Old Post Office Clock Tower
Where: Within the Waldorf Astoria Hotel | Downtown DC
Access: Enter at 12th & C Streets NW (on 12th between Pennsylvania & Constitution NW).
When: Daily, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

 

A view of the Clock Tower on our way downtown (PS: love the Ukrainian flags lining Pennsylvania Ave along with the US & DC flags)

 

The front of the Waldorf Astoria (but not the entrance to the Clock Tower)

 

North view… so neat to see the rooftop patios

 

South view through plexiglass…museums and more

 

East view, with the Capitol in the distance

 

West view (well, slightly southwest) and the Washington Monument

 

Northwest view… the National Cathedral in the distance

 

Snapping city vistas

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Filed under All ages, DC

Go “Inside the Wardrobe” for a Fun & Unique Fashion Experience

Give David some new duds at Inside the Wardrobe. XO

 

As we emerge from the pandemic — and our comfy “house” clothes — many of us are ready and excited for new, unique experiences.  One just opened in Georgetown, and it’s timely, relevant, and so much fun to explore: Inside the Wardrobe, an interactive art installation and fashion funhouse celebrating the return to getting dressed in real clothes and going out again.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard about the “journey through more than 20 interactive experiences focused on the fun and tactile nature of engaging with your closet.”  But I was intrigued.  I like clothes and fashion (though actually being fashionable is another story), plus I love checking out new things around town, especially after missing them for so long. So I visited with my friend, Torey, last weekend (my kids were way at camp) and we had a blast exploring it all!

The 20,000 square foot space in Georgetown Park contains more than 20 exhibits/spaces, all them wildly creative, fashion-inspired, interactive, even kind of trippy.  It’s meant to be very Instagrammy — there is even a Hall of Selfies and placemarks on the floor for getting your best shots — which is not usually my thing; I prefer to be behind the camera.  However, the imaginative environments and fun experiences had me both snapping and posing away!

There are interactives and photo ops galore as you explore different components of fashion. You can try on paper doll cutouts, play with size in a fun house, get a close look at beautiful handiwork, take pics in whimsical and delightful settings, strut the catwalk, and so much more.

I can’t wait to return with my kids when they get back — I know they’ll dig it, too.  (Though I can also see this being something teen friends would love doing on their own.)

What’s your favorite outfit?

 

Inside the Wardrobe runs through August 29 September 26 (extended!) in Georgetown Park located at 3720 M Street NW (across from the DMV). Hours are Thursday – Friday 5-9pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 9pm. Admission is $28/adult | $24/students, seniors, military | $19/age 4 and up — a little steep, but worth it if you’re looking for something unique and delightful to do.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Exhibit

{Giveaway} LEGO Mania Returns to BrickFair ’14

brickfair14

Calling all LEGO enthusiasts! BrickFair, the nation’s largest annual LEGO fan festival, is retruning to the area August 2-3. And you have a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the event.

BrickFair ’14 will bring together LEGO fans from across the country to showcase their amazing brick constructions, from tiny intricate works to elaborate, towering creations. Over one thousand exhibitors will be there to display their designs, along with vendors selling all things LEGOS — T-shirts, hats, mini figures, models, and more.

It’s not all just looking and buying. Visitors can get hands on in the Stay-n-Play Area chock full of bricks so you can build with and get creative. And some of the models are interactive, inviting guests to examine them even more closely (but be gentle!).

This will all take place at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va, August 2-3 from 11am – 4pm both days. Tickets are $12/ages 4 and up, free for ages 3 and under, but right now you can get a discount through Goldstar and try to win a four-pack for your family through the giveaway.

GIVEAWAY: I have two four-packs of tickets for BrickFair ’14 up for grabs. For a chance at winning one of them, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite summer activity. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. This giveaway will run through July 6, then the winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Exhibit, Giveaway, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Get Down and Dirty at Merrell’s Obstacle Course & Mud Run this Summer

Plenty of mud and fun at the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race

Plenty of mud and fun at the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race



Who’s up for a good physical challenge? Given the amount of interest in a recent post about a family obstacle course challenge held in the area, I’d say a whole bunch of you — and your kids — are ready to conquer some obstacles, get muddy, and have a blast doing it.

You’ll be able to do all of that and then some at the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race on July 21. The seventh stop across the nation on the series’ tour will be an inaugural one for Washington, DC, as the race comes to the area for the first time. And one of the best things about it is that kids can get in on the fun, too.

merrell_wall

For the grown-up crowd, the exhilarating racing series features 5K and 10K off-road courses filled with military-style obstacles, commanding cargo climbs, wild water crossings, and tons of mud. For children ages 4-13, there’s the Adventure Kids series, featuring tike-size obstacles for a 100 yard dash or 1 mile course.

The event also helps raise funds for Operation Gratitude, an admirable charity that sends personalized care packages to military personnel deployed in hostile regions overseas.

merrell_mud_pit

The Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race will take place at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, Maryland on July 21. Packet pick-up is 7am, and racing begins at 8am. If you register by June 30, cost is $55 for the 5k and $65 for the 10k, going up $5 every two weeks after that. Registration for the Adventure Kids 1-mile race (ages 7-13) is $28 by June 30/$30 after and $20 for the 100-yard dash(ages 4-6).

More information, plus a great video of what to expect for all ages, can be found on the website.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Merrell Down & Dirty Obstacle Race, however, I only promote activities, events, and services that I sincerely enjoy and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Annual, Charity, Competition, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Sports, Summer, Weekend

Heads-Up on Local Closings

Due to sequestration, the National Arboretum will be closed Tuesdays, Wednesday, & Thursdays

Due to sequestration, the National Arboretum will be closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays



Within just the last few days, I’ve learned about a couple of closings to keep in mind — both are places among the KFDC compendium for family recreation.

As of this week, the U.S. National Arboretum will be closed to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as a result of the sequester and budget cuts to the federal Agricultural Research Service, a U.S. Agriculture Department bureau that operates the Arboretum. It was being reported that an entrance fee would also be instituted, but admission will remain free. You can read more about the reduced public visitation hours here.

The National Aquarium in DC, located in the lower level of the Department of Commerce, will close its doors for good on September 30, due to renovations in the building. The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either National Aquarium in Baltimore or other accredited aquariums. And while I realize that some folks aren’t impressed by the relatively small display of marine life, I consider it a loss. The compact space and simple exhibits are perfect for little aquarium-goers, a great introduction to the underwater world. (Hey, my kids get excited about the lobster tanks in seafood restaurants.) If you haven’t yet been, and your babes are fascinated by fish, go check it out while you can. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 9am – 6pm and Friday – Saturday 9am – 7pm. Admission is $9.95/adults, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for under 3.

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Filed under DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend