Tag Archives: Summer Activites

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 6-10

A refreshing run through the sprays at The Wharf



Monday – Stay cool on the hot day at a sprayground! There are a bunch of places in the DMV where kids can enjoy interactive fountains and splash pads. Find a round-up of them in the Guide to Summer in DC.

Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too — walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Later on, join DCPS Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander and author Jason Reynolds as he discuss his books “Ghost” and “ish” for the DCPSReads Summer Book Club Series. The session will take place at Benning Library at 4pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Stretch out at a morning of outdoor yoga hosted by Bright Horizons at Democracy Center. Learn from an instructor from Thrive Yoga and meet the Center Director Natalie Newell. The session runs 10:30-11:30am. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome.

You can also attend the grand opening of The Alcove, an experiential pop-up experience in the heart of Rosslyn. Beginning at 11:30am will be live music, a kombucha bar from MTO Kombucha, and DIY workshops from the Lemon Collective and Arlington Public Library’s Makers Program —all open to the public. Festivities will end at 2:00 p.m, but the space will remain open until 8:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy “Anime for All” the Library of Congress. The celebration of east-Asian culture, mythology, pop culture, and inspiration will showcase Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern day forms of art. The exhibition is running Wednesday through Friday with special activities each day, so be sure to check the schedule. Admission is free. Read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Free, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
July 30 – August 3

Hit the trail at and enjoy the views at Roosevelt Island





Monday – Enjoy a hike and a dose of history all at once at Roosevelt Island. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm, and admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids. And a KFDC tip: Stop for lunch at The Italian Store (Lyon Village location) just a little ways up the Parkway then Spout Run for some of the best sandwiches and pizza in the DC area.

Tuesday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center and explore a variety of neat hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, and so much more. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $24.95/adults, $18.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family of 4 goes just twice in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums around the country.)

Wednesday – See the city from a new vantage point at the Old Post Office Clock Tower. It’s free to visit and go up to the observation deck of the third tallest building in DC. It’s located in what is now a hotel, but the Clock Tower is operated independently by the wonderful National Park Service. Open daily from 9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday this time of year (12-6pm on Sunday). Just head to the location at 12th and Pennsylvania NW and follow signs once inside.

And for some lunchtime entertainment, head to the Ronald Reagan Building for the first installment of the Live! Concert Series on the Plaza. From salsa to strings, and blues to swing, the program will feature hot entertainment for the downtown DC community everyday weekday from 12-1pm through September 28. There is plenty of outdoor seating, so take the Metro, grab lunch, and spend the afternoon grooving.

Thursday – Experience Fractal Worlds, the current digital exhibit at ARTECHOUSE. The installation is a “visual journey through mind-bending sci-fi worlds and infinite 3D geometric patterns.” Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm (21+ 5:30-10:30pm), and admission is timed entry. Tickets are $15/adult, $8/child.

Friday – Explore the grounds and gardens, and let kids play in the delightful Children’s Garden, 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.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 23-27

A tower of books all about Abraham Lincoln is part of a Ford’s Theatre tour





There’s a lot of rain in the forecast this week, so along with these daily recommendations, I suggest keeping The Great Indoors list in your back pocket, too!

Monday – Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, restaurant, vintage store, and hotel all in one. And visitors are welcome to explore (and shop!) it all. Tours are offered 11am – 3pm. Self-guided tours start at $15. Purchase tickets in advance online.

Tuesday – Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre. Self-guided tours of the National Historic Site include the museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and Petersen House across the street where Lincoln died. It’s open daily 9am – 4:30pm. Tickets can be reserved online in advance for $3, or same-day are available for free at the Box Office, which is open 8:30am – 5pm. (FYI: This is still the busy season, so they recommend reserving in advance.)

Wednesday – See the SWAGFUNK Band perform their musical mix of funk, jazz, rock, pop, R&B, and reggae at Discovery Theater! Recommended for ages 5-16, showtimes are 10:30am and 12pm. Tickets are $3-8. Plan to spend some time exploring the Freer|Sackler Gallery before or after — the venue is located in the Smithsonian Ripley Center connected to the museum. (And note that there are shows Tuesday – Friday.)

Thursday – Play paleontologist for a day at Purse State Park, where you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth and other fragments of prehistoric sea creatures. Be sure to check the tides before you go (look for Potomac River and Liverpool Point), as there’s not much beach at high tide. There are no concessions or facilities there, so plan accordingly. Admission is free.

Friday – Roam around the gorgeous grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, visit the Korean Bell Garden, and check out exhibits in the Visitor Center at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Hours are 10am – 8pm this time of year. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Maryland, Music, Nature, Summer, Theatre, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 16-20

Emulate Max Scherzer at Play Ball Park

Monday – Get excited for the MLB All Star game at the Play Ball Park, a 56,000 square foot interactive area in the Capitol Riverfront area that is loaded with fun baseball-inspired activities. Practice pitching, take some swings in a batting cage, experience a virtual reality adventure, sample Nathan’s hot dogs and soft drinks, enjoy giveaways, and more. Hours are 10am – 8pm. Admission is free, and it’s conveniently located at M & 1st Streets SE near Yards Park and Canal Park (where kids can cool off in the fountains after!), lots of eateries, and more fun in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. (Note: This runs through Tuesday, so you’ve got a couple of days to go.)

Tuesday – Continue the celebration at the All Star Fan Fest at the Washington Convention Center. Meet MLB Legends, enjoy lots of ball-themed activities, get free autographs, receive daily giveaways, and much more. Hours are 9am – 8pm. Admission is $35/adult, $30/child (Note: This is also happening on Monday.)

If you’re all baseballed out, explore Air & Space beyond the National Mall (and escape the crowds) at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the museum. Showcasing even more fascinating artifacts of flight, you can 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.

Wednesday – Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where the lotus flowers and water lilies in bloom are a stunning sight! The wonderful, annual festival to celebrate it is this coming weekend, but it’s also nice to take in the beauty of it all without the crowds. Meander through the park to see ponds full of giant lily pads and dazzling flora, walk out on the boardwalk to take in views of the acres of marshland, and look out for turtles, great blue herons, frogs, and other wildlife. And did I mention this gorgeous oasis is all right in Northeast DC? Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

In the evening, catch a concert by the DC Youth Orchestra at the Lincoln Memorial, their first time playing at the iconic spot! Music at the Monument selected the DC Youth Orchestra to perform in fulfillment of its mission of encouraging and expanding access to its priority populations: youth, veterans, and underrepresented groups within those populations. The music begins at 7pm, and there will be an instrument petting zoo prior to the show.

Thursday – Venture out to Calvert County, MD, to Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an enchanting artistic adventures. View eye-popping works, both indoors and out, hunt for fairy houses, play in the delightful Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Trust me, it’s worth the hour-plus drive. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, 10am – 5pm at the arts center. Admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free for 5 and under.

Friday – Harvest some fruits at Homestead Farms. Blackberries and peaches are the current pick-your-own offerings at the locale in Poolesville, MD. See goats, chickens, and pigs and enjoy the pretty scenery, too. Hours are 9am – 5pm, and admission is $3/person, and that’s applied to your total at check-out. While you’re out that way, head down the street to McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, where a sea of sunflowers (30 acres of fields!) is sure to put a smile on your face. Admission to that is free.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
July 9-13

Beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park





Monday – Take a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bees nests and bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Take a tour and go for a “swim” at Fun House, the National Building Museum’s big summer exhibition. Timed entry tickets are $16/adult, $13/child and good for an hour in the house, but admission gets you into all of the museum exhibits, so be sure to make time for those, too!

Wednesday – Head to Capitol Hill for outdoor play, kids activities, a performance by 4SW featuring students of Northwest High School, a concert by children’s musician Mister G, and a great lineup of speakers at the Play-In for Climate Action sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force. This family-friendly protest against the air pollution that causes dangerous climate change will showcase exactly what’s at stake as temperatures and sea levels rise: our kids. View more info and register here. The event takes place on the National Mall at 3rd Steet NW & Madison Drive NW. Admission is free.

Thursday – Watch JoJo and the Pinecones play a family-friendly concert at Strathmore’s Backyard Theatre for Children in North Bethesda. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8-10.

Later on, get artrageous at Art Attack! From 5-9pm, leave your mark on Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington as they say goodbye to the 1950s and hello to a major 21st century upgrade. All ages are invited to leave a community footprint on the space before it is demolished with paint bombs, murals, a D.J., food trucks, and more!

Friday – Make it a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park. It’s a great place to enjoy sand, surf, and some easy hiking (it’s a flat, nature-filled 2-mile walk from the parking lot to the beach). Plan to do some fossil hunting while you’re there — you can find shark teeth and other Myocene Era remnants along the shore. Bring along a picnic, as there are no concessions. Hours are sunrise to sunset, and admission is $5/vehicle for MD residents, $7/vehicle for non-residents.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays