Monday – Head to National Harbor for an afternoon of all-request Rockin’ music at Bobby McKeys, where they’re hosting a FREE ‘School’s OUT for Summer’ family show! You book the seats and bring the kids, they’ll supply the entertainment & air-conditioning. Doors open at 12:30pm, the dueling piano show will jam from 1-3pm, and the lunch menu will be available. Reserve your spots here.
Tuesday – 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 $32.95 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. Adult tickets are $22.95, but you can get a $14 deal on them here.
Wednesday – Discover Milestones in Aviation and Space at the National Air & Space Museum’s special Family Day. Learn how aviation and space exploration changed the world through a variety of activities, including interactive shows, astronaut talks, story time, and lots more hands-on fun. The program runs 10am – 3m. Admission is free.
Thursday – Take advantage of what’s expected to be awesome weather, courtesy of the Polar Vortex, and play outdoors. A great spot to go is Yards Park, where you can enjoy water play in the fountains and land play in the green spaces. Bring along a picnic lunch or pop into one of the new nearby eateries.
Friday – Roam around the lovely grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, and visit the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under. Hours are 10am – 8pm.
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.
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!
Tuesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, as there’s barely a crowd on weekdays. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing or pick your animal visits as you go. Grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit building hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $16 for three hours, $22 beyond three (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations.
Wednesday – Head out to Dulles for Air & Space exploration beyond the District. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases flight artifacts they can’t fit into the museum on the Mall. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.
Thursday – Join the Boogie Babes for a morning of music and more fun at Eastern Market as The Singing Lizard plays her kiddie pop tunes in the North Hall. Showtime is 10:30am, and admission is $5/child, siblings 6 months and under are free. Stay after for lunch in the market or at a nearby eatery. (Note: There will also be shows on Wednesday at Union Market and Friday at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, also at 10:30am.)
Friday – See a fairytale classic on strings at The Puppet Co. The theatre is currently presenting Pinocchio with half life-size rod puppets, performed in the Italian “Comedia del Arte” style. Showtimes are 10am and 11:30am. Tickets are $10.