1. The U.S. Capitol grounds are accessible again! The fence that was erected around it after the January 6 attacks was taken down this past weekend. It’s so great to be able to walk up close to view the building, hang out on the lawn, and just stroll the area around the People’s House once again. It feels like we’ve gotten a big, special part of the neighborhood back. No word on when/if tours of the Capitol will be offered again, but I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.
2. An iconic attraction that is reopening: The Washington Monument! Starting tomorrow, July 14, it will operate daily 9am – 5pm. Timed-entry tickets will be required and are available through Recreation.gov. You must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Read more about it in this post from a past reopening after renovations. And get a glimpse inside the Monument (and views of DC from within) here.
Hanging on the front plaza at the Library of Congress, which reopens next week!
1. The Library of Congress’ annual Summer Movies on the Lawn series begins this Thursday, July 8, and it’s kicking off with a classic: The Princess Bride! BYO blanket and join the free event on the North Lawn (along East Capitol Street) at 8pm. Even more LOC news: the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building reopens to the public next Thursday, July 15! Hours will be 10am – 4:30pm Thursday – Saturday, and free, timed-entry passes will be required to visit. Read all about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.
1. The lotus and water lilies have begun to bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens! This is my very favorite bloom of all the big blooms in the area, the park stunningly gorgeous when it’s bursting with the pink, white, and peach-hued flowers. It hasn’t yet reached the peak, but it’s still so pretty to see, plus now is a good time to get an early look before the crowds descend. And, FYI, the annual festival to celebrate it will be virtual this year. See scenes from a past bloom here and read about a great way to combine a visit with another activity here. (PS: If you go and post photos on Instagram, please tag @kidfriendlydc (and #kidfriendlydc) to let folks know where you heard about it — and so I can see your pics! 🙂).
2. Glenstone, the indoor/outdoor modern art museum sprawling gloriously over 300 acres in Potomac, releases it’s next batch of tickets on July 1 at 10am. These will be for visits in September, and the free tickets go fast, so be ready to get them here. And note that children under 12 are not permitted, but I highly recommend a KidFree visit there if your kids aren’t old enough to go.
The view from the Potomac Heritage Trail at Turkey Run Park
1. Turkey Run Park is a great local place to hit the trail. I’m always surprised at how few people seem to know about it. Like most of our outings there, we encountered barely any other visitors on our Father’s Day hike. Located right off the GW Parkway on the Potomac, it’s a beautiful park with trails that stretch along the river banks and through the woods. We always park in lot C-1, then usually start our hike at the northwest corner, where a path leads down to the Potomac Heritage Trail. We follow it about a mile and a half to a creek area (that’s actually flowing more than usual right now), then take the trail up the hill and follow it back through the woods to the parking lot. Of course, you can do the loop the other way or even just wander around, play, and picnic in the open spaces. Park hours are 6am – 10pm, and admission is free. Check out the trail map ahead of time to help plan your visit there.
2. As you’re reserving tickets for the many reopened museums, don’t forget about Planet Word, one of the newest on the DC scene. The museum all about language is full of fun and interesting exhibits, most of them interactive. There are elements that all ages will love, though tween ages and older will get the most out of it , having more grammar lessons under their belts and generally better comprehension. It’s now open Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Admission is free, but you need to book tickets in advance. Right now there are some available for a few weeks out, and more will be released July 1. A limited number of day-of, walk-up passes are available on the half-hour.
Reunite with some (very) old friends as the Natural History Museum reopens!
1. The National Gallery of Art East Building reopens this Friday, June 18! Free, timed-entry passes will be required for admission, and you can reserve them here. The museum will be open daily 11am – 4pm. See more about the East Building in this KFDC post about a different reopening.
2. Also reopening this Friday: The National Museum of Natural History! Hours will be 11am – 4pm Wednesday – Sunday. Free, timed-entry passes are required, though currently sold out. But consider this your heads-up to check back for them — they are released throughout each day, starting at 8am, for time slots 30 days out.
3. The Washington Nationals’ Summer Reading Program returns for another season! The team has partnered up with libraries around the DC area to promote reading during the summer break from school. Programs vary by library system, but most encourage kids to read at least 20 minutes a day (or have parents read to them) — from books to magazines to blogs — and many offer the chance to win prizes like tickets to future Nats games.
4. Want to watch Euro 2020 and Copa America with other local soccer fans? Washington Post has a round-up of places around the area that will be showing the matches.