Tag Archives: Where to Go with Kids DMV

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
August 5-9

Electronic Superhighway at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


Monday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play in and with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too, as you walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Tuesday – Take little ones to hear Stories in Strawberry Park at the Mosaic District. The live interactive performances by a group of unique storytellers take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month and are designed for kids 10 and under. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free. Plan to stay for fun in the interactive fountain and lunch at one of the many eateries there.

For an outing with older kids, hit the Billy Goat trail at Great Falls. The hike on the Maryland side of the park is challenging but fun, and offers fantastic views of the Potomac River’s Mather Gorge. Be sure to bring water, and pack a picnic lunch (or grab a bite at the snack bar there). And stop in the Visitor Center after for some insight into the area’s history. Hours are 7am to 30 minutes after sunset, the Visitor Center is open 10am – 4pm. Admission is $20/vehicle.

Wednesday – Plan an outing to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Take little ones to Story Time in the Explore! activity space at 11:45am, and plan for play among the interactive stations after. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, one of DC’s most stunning spaces where you can hang out with kids. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter galleries in this KFDC post and this one.

Thursday – Head on down to the Howard Country Fair! Weekdays are a great time to go when the crowds aren’t overwhelming and the entry fee is cheaper. Enjoy rides, magic shows, pig races, pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and much more. Daily hours are 8am – 11pm. Admission on weekdays is $5 before 5pm, $7 after. And if you can’t make it, there are more county fairs coming up — get the scoop on all of them here.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 29 – August 2

Walking the shoreline at Purse State Park in search of shark teeth


Monday – Play paleontologist for a day at Purse State Park, where you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth and other fragments of prehistoric sea creatures. Be sure to check the tides before you go (look for Potomac River and Liverpool Point), as there’s not much beach at high tide. There are no concessions or facilities there, so plan accordingly. Admission is free. (Update per a KFDC reader: “…when you’re almost there, 5 miles away, you run into a “ROAD CLOSED” sign and need to u-turn and follow detour signs around the closed road. It was about 15-20 extra minutes. The sign said road closed since June but didn’t seem to have an end date.”)

Tuesday – Spend a hot day enjoying some cool play indoors at The St. James in Springfield, VA. The Super, Awesome, and Amazing activity center is full of climbing structures, obstacle courses, and bouncy areas for all ages, and the indoor interactive waterpark is a blast for everyone from toddlers to teens to adults, too! Admission to each is $15 before 3pm, $23 after 3pm. Hours are 9am – 9pm Sunday – Thursday (9am – 10pm Friday & Saturday).

Wednesday – Experience hip-hop dance in a fresh new way as Culture Shock DC brings its groundbreaking style to the outdoor stage at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap. Showtimes is 10:30am, and tickets are $8. PS: This is the final week of the summer entertainment series!

Thursday – Hang out on the LAWN at the National Building Museum. The big summer installation transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation, whatever your preference. Frolic along the turf, roll down hills, play lawn games, get bird’s eye views, enjoy lemonade and ice cream, or just relax in a hammock and listen to stories of summer. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, and that gets you into all of the museum exhibits, so plan to check them out while you’re there!

For an adult event in the evening, join Room & Board from 6:30pm – 8:30pm for an art reception with Mid City Artists, a volunteer-based art collective in the heart of DC. The reception will showcase pieces from some of the most talented local artists in the area. Admission is free.

Friday – Take kids ages 4-7 to Art Investigators, the National Gallery of Art’s wonderful drop-in program for children. This week, they’ll explore works by Thomas Moran, hear a related story, then create their own art inspired by it all. Sessions are at 10:30am, 11:30am, and 12:30pm. Sign-up begins at 10am in the West Building Rotunda. (Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly.) And if you’re with kids who are too old or young for the program, then just tour the museum on your own — there’s plenty for all ages to love! Admission is free.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 22-26

This week may be your last chance to enjoy this view


Monday – Take in some of the best views of the DC area while you can. Word has it the Observation Deck at CEB Towers will no longer be open to the public after July 26 —- which is a bummer. The 30+ story high space in Rosslyn offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic vistas plus neat interactive and immersive experiences to enjoy them even more (and just about all of it is indoors). Hours are 10am – 8pm, and admission is $21/adult, $11/age 5-13, $16/seniors & military, free for children under 5 (they are $1 more at the box office). Look for a deal here. But if you’re an Arlington resident, admission is FREE!

Tuesday – Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s life and death at Ford’s Theatre. Self-guided tours of the National Historic Site include the museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and Petersen House across the street where Lincoln died. It’s open daily 9am – 4:30pm. Tickets can be reserved online in advance for $3, or same-day passes are available for free at the Box Office, which is open 8:30am – 5pm. (FYI: This is the busy season, so reserving in advance is recommended.)

Wednesday – Hit the trail at Riverbend Park. Make that your starting point for a 2-mile hike to Great Falls, where you can take in magnificent vistas, visit the nature center, and have a picnic. Or just explore the area around Riverbend and enjoy the Visitor Center and views there. Park hours are 7am to dusk, Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy Anime for All, a celebration of East Asian culture, mythology, pop culture and inspiration, at the Library of Congress. See a film screening of the newly released GKIDS animated film “Okko’s Inn” along with a collection display of rare Japanese graphic art, a panel discussion on the emergence of Japanese hip-hop ,and a live Studio Ghibli performance. It’s a showcase of the evolution of Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern forms of expressions and overall pop-culture fandom. This will all take place from 9am – 4pm on Thursday and Friday. Free tickets can be reserved here — they are not required, but space for some activities is limited. Read more about the Library of Congress here.

One more late addition: Check out the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s 25th Anniversary of the Annual Thingamajig® Invention Convention, where more than 3,000 children and 200 volunteers will use their imagination, creativity, and strategic thinking skills to showcase their inventions from constructed recyclable materials. This takes place at Showcase Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD, from 9am – 3pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Head to Watkins Regional Park for all kinds of fun adventures. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have little ones frolicking for hours. Be sure to stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. Go for a spin on the carousel, take a ride on the miniature train that winds through woods, and play mini golf, too! Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free, but rides and mini golf are a small fee.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Free, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays