Monday – Take advantage of this relative heat wave and spend the day outdoors at a playground or park. The Meanest Momma has TONS of reviews of places where kids can climb, run, swing, and slide, mostly in Virginia, but a few in DC and Maryland as well. And for even more ideas for recreation outdoors, this KFDC post is always a good reference.
Tuesday – Book it to Potomac Yard in Alexandria for Children’s Storytime at Barnes & Noble. The free, weekly readings start at 11am around the charming little “stage” area in the kids’ section at the back of the store. Arrive early or linger after for train play on the Thomas table and to browse the books and toys for potential holiday gifts. (Note: Storytime sessions take place at B&N stores all around the DC area on various days of the week. Find more times and locations here.)
Thursday – Visit Season’s Greenings, the U.S. Botanic Garden’s seasonal exhibit. (I know this is a becoming a repeat recommendation, but it is deserving.) See the Garden Railway, easily one of the best train displays around. Stroll the festively adorned conservatory and admire replicas of DC landmarks built entirely from plant materials. Watch another model train zip around the lofty Christmas tree, one of the tallest indoor trees in the city . And, for some extra holiday magic and free entertainment, go in the evening for the first of many concerts that will take place on most Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout December. This week, swingin’ jazz quartet Laissez Foure will liven up the Garden Court from 6-8pm.
Friday – Explore the history and customs of holiday traditions around the world through Discovery Theater’s Seasons of Light show. Performances are at 10:15am and 11:30am at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center, and tickets are $3-9, depending on age and Smithsonian Associate membership. (Note: The show runs Monday-Friday through December 23 and usually sells out, so be sure to reserve your seats soon!)