The National Gallery concourse - just as enthralling as the museum's art!
Monday – Stay cool and enjoy Stories in Art at the National Gallery. The summer drop-in program welcomes kids ages 4-7 to explore scenes of France through works of art, hear stories about French artists, and create a souvenir to document the adventure. Sessions are at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am and continues until all spaces for all time slots are filled. For more at the museum with kids, check out Alexander Calder’s mobiles and sculptures and the funky modern works in the East Building. Be sure to stroll the concourse between the museum’s two buildings — the moving walkway, dazzling lights, and waterfall right out the window are just as exciting to little ones as the art.
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 – Head to Baltimore for a Summer of Even More Irresponsible Science at the Maryland Science Center. Along with the amazing permanent exhibits, like “Dinosaur Mysteries” and “Body: The Inside Story,” the museum has extra demos and hands-on activities throughout the museum to thrill visitors of all ages. Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $16.95/adults, $13.95/ages 3-12, free for members.
Thursday – Visit the animals, roam the peaceful grounds, and possibly join in a children’s program at Oxon Hill Farm. Hours are 8am – 4:30m, and admission is free.
Friday – Seize the day at the National Arboretum. Go for nature walks through the woods, bike along the winding roads, romp in open green spaces and at the old Capitol columns, visit the Washington Youth Garden, picnic in the Grove of State Trees… so many ways to enjoy one of the loveliest places in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.
Monday – Explore the history of mail at the National Postal Museum. It’s a perfect outing for all ages — the museum isn’t very big and overwhelming, there are numerous interactive exhibits to keep young guests engaged, and it’s off-the-Mall location makes for an uncrowded venue. Open 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Go for a spin on the Chesapeake Carousel, take a train ride through the woods, play mini golf, hike the trails, and visit the Old Maryland Farm animals at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md. If it rains (or even if it doesn’t), take shelter and see the birds and reptiles at the Watkins Nature Center. The rides are open 10am – 7pm, the farm 9am – 4pm, and the Nature Center 8:30am – 5pm. Admission to the park is free; the rides cost $1.75/person and mini golf is $4.50/person Get more background on Watkins in this post from awhile back.
Wednesday – 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.
Thursday – Be among the first audiences to attend this summer’s Backyard Theater for Children at Strathmore. A cappella rockers, Snowday, are performing at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8.
Friday – Venture to the National Air & Space Museum for Mars Day. The annual celebration of the Red Planet will feature hands-on activities, talks with scientists from the museum and NASA, and more. Hours are 10am – 3pm, admission is free.
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:
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.