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 – 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.
Kids can do more than look at the pretty flowers in the Children's Garden at the USBG
Monday – It’s the final week of Stories in Art at the National Gallery. Kids ages 4-7 can explore the works of Vincent Van Gogh at the summer drop-in program. They’ll enjoy a reading of the book, “Katie and the Sunflowers” by James Mayhew, then join Katie’s imaginative adventure through museum masterpieces, exploring van Gogh’s still-life paintings. After, guests will make their own flower-filled works of art to take home. Sessions begin at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm on Monday (and Tuesday). Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 1oam, and will continue until all spaces for all five time slots are filled. Read a KFDC review of the program here.
Tuesday – Make it a movie day! Catch a flick for just $1 with the Regal Summer Movie Express, which presents family movies on the cheap Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am through August 22 — go here to find a theater near you and see what’s playing. Parents with really little ones can take advantage of AMC Theater’s Bring Your Babies Matinee, which occurs the first Tuesday of every month.
Wednesday – Play and get a little glimpse into the past at the newly renovated Jones Point Park in Alexandria. We haven’t been yet, but Preparing for Peanut has a great write-up about the locale just off the George Washington Parkway under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Open dawn to dusk, admission is free.
Thursday – Experience Suprasensorial, the super cool interactive exhibit at the Hirshhorn, before it closes on August 12. A walk through doesn’t take very long, so head over to the nearby U.S. Botanic Gardens after to tour the plant collections, check out the Savage Gardens exhibit, and play in the Children’s Garden. Hours at the Hirshhorn are 10am – 5:30pm, at the USBG 10am – 5pm. Admission is free at both places.
Friday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo. Visit your favorite animals, and see the new cheetah cubs — zoogoers can now view them at 10am and 1pm as they explore their yard. Be sure to check the website before you go to see what other daily programs are going on. The Zoo grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit buildings 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking is $16 for the first three hours for non-members. Look for street parking nearby to curb the cost, or take Metro — both the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations are a short walk away.
A glimpse of the incredible Luray Caverns... and this shot doesn't begin to do it justice.
Monday – See the magnificent cascades, stroll along the Potomac, and/or take a light hike through the woods at Great Falls. Both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the park have trails that are easy for little legs to tramp, as well as great overlooks for viewing the falls. Bring along food for a picnic lunch or grab a bite at the snack bar. Admission is $5/vehicle.
Tuesday – 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. I promise, it’s worth the drive.
Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones as The Puppet Co. Playhouse presents Baby Bear’s Birthday as this week’s Tiny Tots production. The lights stay on and doors stay open during these performances for the youngest audiences. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5 for everyone, including babies.
Thursday – 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.
Friday – Enjoy one of summer’s best offerings: water play! Jump in at a public pool, splash around at a sprayground, or ride waves and flumes at a water park. This post about seasonal activities has all the specifics you need for wet recreation.
Monday – Go peach picking at a local farm! The fuzzy fruits are ripe this time of year and ready for picking at just about all of the farms listed in this post from last summer. However, it’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go.
Tuesday – Drop in for play date at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone. Kids can experience a fantastic day of playing and building with foam blocks and other loose parts in the Imagination Playground. Hours are 11am – 4pm, and admission is free. For afternoon entertainment, head to the National Portrait Gallery for Portraits Alive!, a theatrical tour of the museum’s collections performed by teens from DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Everyday through August 3, visitors can join the group on a journey that explores a variety of works as the students become the portraits — performing original, student written play, they will portray the people represented in the photos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints displayed in the museum. Sessions begin at 2:15pm, and admission is free.
Wednesday – Celebrate Peruvian culture at the National Museum of the American Indian as the 2nd annual Kaypi Perú Festival kicks off for six days of performances, hands-on activities, animal exhibitions, and traditional food. Be sure to stop by the imagiNATIONS family activity center on the third floor for programs especially for kids. The festival runs daily through July 30. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.
Thursday – See The Puppet Co.’s latest production, Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, a fun, sideways view of the classic fairytale. Showtimes are 10am & 11:30am (Thursdays and Fridays). Tickets are $10.
Friday – Take the kids to play amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. They can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. And don’t miss a ride through the woods on the Miniature Train, just $1.75 per passenger.