Tag Archives: Toddler Activities DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 22-26

In plane view at Gravelly Point

In plane view at Gravelly Point

Monday – Watch the airplanes, kick a soccer ball, have a picnic, or just hang out at Gravelly Point. The park located just off the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport is a great place to enjoy a nice day, offering views of the river and airplanes taking off or landing right overhead. (Warning: Some kids find that part exciting, others might be frightened by the loud noise and sight of an airplane coming right at them.)

Tuesday – Let the kids bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $6/child. (This also takes place on Wednesday at the same time.)

Wednesday – Catch the opening show of The Night Fairy at Imagination Stage. Based on the book by Laura Amy Schlitz, the play is running at the Bethesda theatre through October 26. Showtime of this premiere performance is 10:30am. Tickets are $10-25.

Thursday – Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the building it calls home. They are marking the occasion with a lunchtime program of fun and educational events. There will be live music by the Capitol Hillbillies, architectural tours, a historic printing press demo, and a slideshow of historic photos. And no celebration is complete without cupcakes — visitors can enjoy free petite cupcakes by Sweet Lobby while supplies last. Of course, the museum exhibits are always great to check out, too! The anniversary event runs from 12-2pm, and the Postal Museum is open 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Check out a city playground you haven’t yet visited. There are places all over DC where little ones can climb, swing, hang, slide, ride, and more. View the extensive list of them on the DC Department of Parks and Recreation website.


Filed under All ages, Birthday Parties, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 8-12

In the Natural History Museum's Butterly Pavilion, where admission is free on Tuesdays

In the Natural History Museum’s Butterly Pavilion, where admission is free on Tuesdays

Monday – Visit the animals, roam the peaceful grounds, and possibly join in a children’s program at Oxon Hill Farm. Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Head to one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans, watch an IMAX movie, and be sure to take advantage of FREE entry on Tuesdays to the Butterfly Pavilion! (Tip: Get tickets when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away.) Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm.

Wednesday – Let little ones burn some energy during an open gym session at Sport Bounce of Loundon, where a massive roomful of giant inflatables is a blast for kids. Open gym time is 10-11:30am, and admission is $10/ages 2 and up, $6/18-23 months. And while open gym occurs every weekday, the time varies, so be sure to check the schedule if you go a different day.

Thursday – Sign up for a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Explore a new mansion room or garden each week through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During the three-session Fanciful Heroes series, children might hunt for dragons, discover animals and fantastical creatures, or prepare for a royal ball while exploring the glamorous world of kings and queens. The series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult, or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on September 11, 18, & 25.

Friday – Go apple picking! There are plenty of area farms that open their orchards to guests. This list of them was posted awhile back, but all of the locales are still recommended, and links and dates have been updated. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good that day.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Indoor Play, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 2-5

Getting cozy at the National Building Museum's PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit

Getting cozy at the National Building Museum’s PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit

Shutterfly Labor Day 40% Off - 300x250

Tuesday – Beat the heat on what’s probably going to be one of the hottest days this summer at the National Building Museum. The Book of the Month program invites children to a special storytime in the Building Zone. During this session, there will be readings of Tools Rules by Aaron Meshon. Stay to romp in the play space for kids, head upstairs to the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit, or hang out in the magnificent Great Hall. Book of the Month runs from 10am – 12pm, admission is $3/person. Admission to other exhibits is $8/adult, $5/child (Certifikid currently has a $4 deal). Museum hours are 10am – 5pm.

Wednesday – Spend the morning grooving with the Boogie Babes! After a brief hiatus, they are back with kiddie entertainment at Union Market presenting Unos, dos, tres…con Andres. Showtime is 10:30am, admission is $5/child. (You can also catch Mr. Skip at Eastern Market on Thursday and The Singing Lizard at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday.) Later on, skip the cooking and eat pizza at a family-friendly happy hour at Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan. Some toys provided, plus you can BYO! Your host will be Moms Clean Air Force, an organization that fights climate change with mom-power. The DC Field Organizer will be happy to chat with moms and dads about how to get involved in the organization in ways big and small. Drop in anytime between 4:30-7pm. RSVPs appreciated to jhantman@momscleanairforce.org.

Thursday – Enjoy reading, singing, and fun at The Plaza at City Center’s Kids Corner! The weekly program promotes early language and literacy skills through stories, songs, rhymes, and other delights for kids — bubbles, parachutes and coloring — with a librarian from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Starts at 11am, and admission is free. The Plaza is located at I Street between 9th & 10th Streets NW.

Friday – Get a nature fix, indoors and out, at Long Branch Nature Center. Peek inside terrariums for a close look at snakes, turtles, frogs, and toads, and see fish swim in a small indoor pond. If weather permits, continue your viewing outdoors at the larger pond and hike the nearby trails. Hours are 10am – 5pm (Tuesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday), and admission is free.


Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 25-29

A peaceful moment at the National Arboretum

A peaceful moment at the National Arboretum

Monday – Visit the National Arboretum on one of the two weekdays it’s open to the public (it’s closed Tuesday – Thursday). Tour the plant collections, visit the Washington Youth Garden and play in the natural playground, romp at the old Capitol columns, see the details of the bonzais. There are acres upon acres to explore! Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Play in the sprays at Canal Park. The recreational space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood has both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones, plus a bigger one for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Admission is free. Grab a bite to eat at the Park Tavern on premises at another nearby eatery (there are options right across the street and food trucks often in the area), or pack lunch for a picnic.

Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones at The Puppet Co. Mother Goose Caboose is this week’s Tiny Tots, where the lights stay on and doors stay open during performances for the youngest audiences. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5 for everyone, including babies. Plan to hang out at Glen Echo Park for some fun on the playground afterwards.

Thursday – Go play at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

Friday – Get creative at a National Portrait Gallery Open Studio Friday session. All ages are welcome to explore a different art medium each week with all kinds of fun projects. Drop in anytime from 1-4pm. Admission is free.


Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 12-16

Checking out exhibits at the Postal Museum

Checking out exhibits at the Postal Museum

Monday – Explore the history of mail at the National Postal Museum. It’s a perfect outing with little ones — the museum isn’t very big and overwhelming, and there are numerous interactive exhibits to keep young guests engaged. Plus, 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.

Tuesday – Bounce on over to Joyful Jumps in Bowie, Md. The indoor play center offers Open Play everyday, just drop in for a two-hour session of amusement on their bouncing inflatables, slides, and obstacle courses. Admission is $8.50/ages 17 mos. – 16 years, $6.50/12-16 mos. and on a first come, first served basis. Hours are 10am – 1pm and 4-7pm Monday – Thursday. (10am – 1pm & 4-8pm Fridays).

Wednesday – Book it to Clarendon Market Commons for Puddle Pug Storytime at Barnes & Noble. The free, weekly readings start at 10am in the kids’ section. Arrive early or linger after to browse and sample the books and toys. (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.

Thursday – Take the kids to play amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. They can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. Unfortunately, the Miniature Train doesn’t open until Memorial Day, but the playground alone has plenty to keep children happy. Bring along food for a picnic — there are several tables to eat on, or you can spread out a blanket in a nearby grassy area.

Friday – Get creative at a National Portrait Gallery Open Studio Friday session. All ages are welcome to explore a different art medium each week with all kinds of fun projects. Drop in anytime from 1-4pm. Admission is FREE.

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