Monday – 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.
Tuesday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a great outing with kids while they’re on summer break from school, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. Read more about the experience in this KFDC post about one of our outings there.
Wednesday – See art come to life at the National Portrait Gallery through Portraits Alive!, a theatrical tour of the museum’s collections performed by teens from DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The journey takes visitors to a variety of portraits as the students perform biographical portrayals of the people represented in the photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. Tours are at 12-1pm and 1:30-2:30pm, and they’re being offered Tuesday – Friday this week. Admission is free. And if you’re with really little ones who might get antsy on the tour, take them to the museum’s Explore! with the Portrait Gallery activity space especially for young visitors.
Thursday – Watch The Amazing Max perform his extraordinary magic show at Strathmore’s Backyard Theatre for Children. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8.
Friday – Join Bonjour Mama to celebrate Bastille Day, Le 14 Juillet, with French stories and songs led by Madame Jackie from the popular French storytime at the Cleveland Park library. The session takes place from 10:30-11:15am at the Bon Jour Mama French Bookstore in Kensington, MD. Admission is free.
For an activity with older kids, go to Great Falls. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Enjoy scenic views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. Read a bit more about Great Falls Park in this post on the area’s best outdoor spots to spend a beautiful day with the kids.