Tuesday – Celebrate Teddy’s big win last week with a visit to Roosevelt Island. Hike the easy trails, look out for wildlife, and explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of our 26th president. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Rooselvelt Bridge. It’s accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm, admission is free.
Wednesday – Explore 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. Hours are 10am – 5pm, admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.
Thursday –Enjoy the great fall weather at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Go on a nature walk among the ponds filled with giant lily pads and other interesting marsh plants and look for geese, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and tiny fish on the way. Open 7am – 4:30pm, admission is free.
Friday – Join the dance party for tots at the Atlas on H Street as the Boogie Babes present Marsha Goodman Wood. Showtime is 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under. Afterwards, plan to grab a bite at one of the many nearby eateries: H & Pizza, Argonaut, Shawafel, Taylor Gourmet, and Star & Shamrock are all good bets for eats with kids.
Mail transportation on display at the National Postal Museum
Monday – Take the kids to play at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Pack food for lunch in the picnic pavilion (the few vending machines only serve juice and water). Admission is free, hours are 7am to dusk.
Tuesday – Enjoy storytime at the National Building Museum’s Book of the Month program. Readings of Rapido’s Next Step by Jon-Luc Fromental will begin at 10:30am & 11:30am followed by a hands-on activity. Get there early for play time in the Building Zone, as entry is on the hour. And don’t forget that admission is $3/person.
Wednesday – Take advantage of smaller weekday crowds at one of several fall festivals that are already underway. See this post to find out where you can celebrate the season.
Thursday – Deliver on fun at the National Postal Museum. It’s a perfect outing for little ones — the museum isn’t very big and overwhelming, there are numerous interactive exhibits to keep young guests engaged, and it’s conveniently located next to Union Station, so you can also grab lunch and get there easily via Metro. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, admission is free.
Friday – Hike along the Potomac, enjoy nature indoors and out, have a picnic, and hang out and relax at Riverbend Park. The Fairfax County locale makes for an ideal outing with little ones — easy trails, great nature viewing, and never a big crowd. The Visitor Center is open 9am – 5pm on weekdays.
Thursday – Jam out at the Smithsonian as Discovery Theater presents Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips as part of their “Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian” series. As this post goes live, tickets are still available for 11:30am (and there are two shows on Friday, too). Tickets are $8/adults, $6/ages 2 and up, $3/children under 2.
Friday – How about storytime at the largest library in the world? The Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress hosts readings every Friday at 10am and 11am. The free sessions are designed for babies and toddlers (0-3 years old), but older children are welcome, too. Each lasts about 25 minutes, with 20 minutes of play afterwards, then clean-up. The Young Readers Center is located in the Jefferson Building (Room LJ G29) at 10 First Street SE.
View from a water taxi about to dock at the Alexandria waterfront
Monday – Read, build, and play with LEGO DUPLO as they host free, fun-filled programs for little ones at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library from 10-11am and the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library from3-4pm. (And programs will take place at several DC Public Libraries every day this week and at the National Book Festival this weekend. Go here for locations and times.)
Tuesday – Attend Mommy & Me (& Daddy Too!), the Rockville Town Square’s free monthly program for kids. Storytime, interactive movement, arts & crafts, and merchant sponsored activities are part of the active learning and creative play. The program runs 10am – 12pm on the third Tuesday of every month. Admission is free. Go early at 9am to try a free Stroller Strides workout before the session begins (tomorrow only).
Wednesday – Cruise the Potomac from National Harbor to Old Town Alexandria (or vice versa) on a water taxi adventure. The Potomac Riverboat Company operates daily between the two destinations at various times throughout the day — see the schedule here. Tickets are $7/ages 12 and up, $4/kids under 12 each way (infants are free), and you can get a $2 discount on online round trip ticket purchases. Plan to hang out, have a bite to eat, shop, and play while you’re on land.
Thursday – Take a tour of the Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer that will be sailing into the Washington Navy Yard and docked there later this week. Free general deck tours will be available to the public from 1-4pm on Thursday and Friday. The ship can be reached by the Riverwalk Trail, along the Anacostia River.
Friday – Celebrate the official start of autumn at Ticonderoga Farm’s Fall Pumpkin Festival. Take a hayride, pick a pumpkin from the patch, play on the Noah’s Ark playground, guzzle some yummy apple cider, and much more. Admission is $8.95 on weekdays ($14.95 on weekends and holidays when more attractions are open), hours are 9am – 6pm.
A view of the grounds and Potomac River at Fort Washington
Monday – Get a glimpse of the past on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Kids will love seeing the cannons and other historic sights within the grounds. Hours are 8am – sunset. Admission is $5/vehicle.
Tuesday – Experiment with music and science at Jammin’ Java as Ryan Buckle & Friends present “Science You Can Sing To,” a show that curious kids of all ages can enjoy. Showtime is 10:30am. Tickets are $5 and only available at the door.
Wednesday – Visit the newly renovated American Trail at the National Zoo. Seals, sea lions, beavers, and gray wolves are some of the animals you’ll see there. You can also dip your toes in a tide pool and grab a bite to eat at the Seal Rock Cafe serving Chesapeake Bay seafood. Read more about the new exhibit here. The Zoo is open 6am – 8pm. Admission is free, but parking for non-members starts at $16. For alternatives, look for nearby street parking or take Metro — both the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations are a short walk away.
Thursday – Enjoy Story Time for Families at the National Museum of the American Indian. The readings that take place most Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 11:15am feature books by or about Native Americans. Sessions take place in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center on the 3rd floor. Plan to spend time before or after exploring the many hands-on exhibits in the center geared toward children. Admission is free.
Friday – Stop by to see horses, ponies, donkeys, peacocks, chickens, bunnies, llamas, and more at Old Maryland Farm in Watkins Regional Park. If weather isn’t conducive to outdoor recreation, head to the park’s Nature Center instead. There, you can see turtles, owls, snakes, lizards, and more woodland creatures. The farm is open 9am – 4pm Tuesday – Friday (9am – 4:30pm on Saturdays, 11:30am – 4:30pm on Sundays and holidays), and hours at the Nature Center are 8:30am – 5pm Monday – Saturday (11am – 4pm Sundays). Admission to both are free.