Tag Archives: Winter 2022

Valentine’s Day Activities & Events Around DC that Kids (& You) Will Love

 

Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the occasion, here are some ideas — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day! XOXO

Love, Georgetown
Where: Around the Georgetown neighborhood, DC
When: February 7-14
Admission: Varies by place/activity
During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day (and on the day itself), more than 35 Georgetown restaurants, shops, and services are participating in Love, Georgetown – offering Sweetheart Specials (two-for-one-deals), $14 featured items, and additional Valentine’s Day promotions and events. Some of the lovely specials include heart-shaped pancakes at Martin’s Tavern; love letter ravioli at 1310 Kitchen & Bar, an Officina cooking class; three Escape Game tickets for the price of two; a Crumbs & Whiskers cat party (complete with break-up music playing); hotel packages; discounts on treats, jewelry, and clothing; and more!

Love from the Library
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Several DC Public Libraries are giving out take-home Valentine-making kits and activity packets. Stop by Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (Feb 8 only), Takoma Park Library, or Capitol View Neighborhood Library to pick up a set for your kids.

Won’t You Be My Owlentine?
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: February 12, 1-2pm
Admission: $7

Love is in the air, and literally, for the beautiful birds of prey! Join Potomac Overlook staff as they discuss the mating habits of owls during their breeding season and get a picture with a live bird of prey! Register in advance, as space is limited. And be sure to explore the rest of the park while you’re there — it’s great for kids of all ages. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post.

Sir Rulean’s Valentine’s Day Card Soiree
Where: The Station at Riverdale | Riverdale, MD
When: February 12, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join The Station for this family friendly Valentine’s Day Card Soiree in Bear Square. Decorate and design your own Valentine’s Day cards with glitter pens, gems, and The Station branded Sir Rulean stickers for someone you love. After participating in the event, redeem a complimentary hot cocoa made with love by Starbucks at The Station.

Unshrink My Heart – Shrinky Dinks Workshop
Where: Gateway Arts Center | Brentwood, MD
When: February 12, 2pm
Admission: Free

The DIY arts and crafts icon from the 80’s is back! And nothing says “love” like a hand-made pre-shrunk Valentine. Families are invited to create beautiful jewelry, key chains, and other Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. Children will receive their first 2 sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks free, additional sheets will be available to purchase for 50 cents each.

Valentine Maker’s Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: February 12, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Find thoughtful and handmade gifts for all the sweeties in your life at this Valentine Maker’s Market. Shop a variety of options, including small batch chocolates, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, clothing, and much more! You will find vendors offering a wide selection of homemade, handmade or homegrown products, and every vendor is from the DEL-MAR-VA region. Be sue to tour the grounds, check out the Arts Center inside, and take kids to play in the Fairy Lolly while you’re there — it’s all fantastic. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture garden here and here.

Paw-some Treats
Where: Steadfast Supply | The Yards, DC
When: February 12, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Steadfast Supply, the store stocked with items by independent brands and designers from around the world, is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing their love for thei paw-some customers. They’ll be giving out FREE puppuccinos (whipped cream) & dog treats to furry friends! While you’re there, shop for gifts for your human loved ones, too!

Lonely Hearts: White House Scandals (Adult Rec!)
Where: Downtown DC
When: February 12, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Name Your Own Price

Love can suck sometimes. DC by Foot’s Lonely Hearts tour is perfect for a night out with friends to hear the stories of affairs and scandals from around the White House (historic only!). Hear about heartbreak, scandalous love letters, even a president who was married to two different women at the same time. The tour ends near the White House South Lawn, perfect for catching a reservation at one of downtown DC’s restaurants.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: February 12, 2-3pm
Admission: $10

Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center | Annandale, VA
When: February 13, 2-3pm
Admission: $7

Same event as above, but a different date and location! Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12
Admission: $19

Watson Adventures’ wildly popular Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is going virtual for the first time ever! Explore museums all over the country on a fun, flirty quest for beautiful and bizarre nudity in art. You might bump into a bronzed Adonis, encounter an incontinent Cupid, serenade moonlit sirens, walk in on handsy Egyptians, marvel at medieval codpieces, run across randy revelers, and see much more. Note: Participants must be clothed.

Valentine’s Day Cooking Class
Where: Dawson’s Market | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 11-1pm
Admission: $60

Drop your Tiny Chef off at Dawson’s Market (225 N Washington St) for a fun time with Tiny Chefs! They will make Heart Shaped Pizzas for lunch, then Sweetheart Tarts, and while those are baking they will make Valentine’s Cards. At the end of the event Chefs will package up their Tarts and Cards to give to someone they love for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to register in advance – space is limited!

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grove Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 2-5pm
Admission: $3/person

Looking for a little adventure? Work together with (or challenge!) your Valentines to nature trivia in a heart-themed scavenger hunt — it’s this month’s nature-themed Hike & Seek series puzzle. Register by Friday, February 11, to schedule a time slot and to receive a prize for completing the hunt. No drop-ins on the day of the program. Note that natural surface trails are not stroller accessible.

Love Stories Walking Tour
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 4-6pm
Admission: $35

Join DC By Foot for a stroll through the genteel neighborhood of Georgetown, hearing stories of love — from a true Beauty and the Beast story to motherly love to scandalous love affairs. A perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) date night. The tour ends near the main commercial corridor so you can also enjoy a romantic dinner or grab something to go.

Valentine Card Crafternoon
Where: Shop Made in DC | Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 12-3pm
Admission: Free 

Join Shop Made in DC for a Sunday crafternoon session to make your own Valentines. Bring a project or make one at their classroom table – they’ll have various art supplies available for you to craft in their space at 1353 Wisconsin Avenue. Note that proof of vaccination is required to participate. Register in advance.

Van Gogh & Valentines
Where: Rhode Island Center | Logan Circle, DC
When: February 14, 4-7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $80 

Love is in the air and flowers are so last season. Treat yourself or that certain someone to a one-day special that takes Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience to the next level with a live concert performance. Talented musicians performing beautiful classical pieces live in the Immersive room, including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. Immersion in Van Gogh’s iconic masterpieces with digital displays, sound effects, interactive video mapping, and more as you enjoy the music. Tickets for February 14 are on sale now, along with a special couples package that includes a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6-7pm
Admission: $8

What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world? Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these techniques and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Register in advance. Recommended for ages 4+ with an adult.

Window Shops
Where: Storefronts around Adams Morgan, DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Take a walk around Adams Morgan to see all storefront decorated especially for Valentine’s Day! The Adams Morgan Partnership BID is sponsoring a window decorating contest for all businesses facing the street. Enjoy a family outing to the neighborhood to walk around and see them all, then grab at bite at one of the many eateries there. You can also vote on your favorites through an online poll on our website from Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13!

Valentine’s Cupcake Boutique
Where: Sprinkles | Georgetown, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on your order

Sprinkle love to people you adore with Sprinkles Cupcakes’ special boxes just for Valentine’s Day. Options include a decorate-at-home kit, red velvet cookies and cupcakes, limited-time raspberry chocolate chip cupcake bundles, and more sweet yumminess. Be sure to pre-order in advance as pick-up and delivery times will fill up fast! From Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14, Sprinkles will have an exclusive Valentine’s Day menu for local orders — check Order.Sprinkles.com or visit locations for further details. Note that curbside pick-up will not be available from Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14.

The Love Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Make-Your-Own Sweet Treats
Where: Take home from Ice Cream Jubilee | DC & VA
When: Pre-order for pick up or local delivery
Cost: $14

Craft some sweeties with your sweetie! Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a make-at-home ice cream cookie kit especially for the holiday. It comes with sugar cookie dough, a heart cookie cutter, dark chocolate, Valentine’s sprinkles, and a pint of Bold Vanilla. Makes around 4 mini-sandwiches.

Ice Skate Date
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Through February 14
Admission: Varies by rink

If you just want to do something fun, active, and sweet with your kids, plan an ice skating date. Go to the Sculpture Garden, then enjoy photo ops by the AMOR sculpture. Glide along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park, then get a bite to eat at one of the many eateries nearby. Skate by the Potomac River at Washington Harbour, or over the Potomac at The Wharf — and both have even more to do beyond skating at their waterfront locations. Get details for all of the DC rinks, plus more in Maryland and Virginia in this post about ice skating around the DC Area.

DIY Valentines
Where: At Home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs has been the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community as you share tables with others there to celebrate love. We’ll miss it again this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some artsy supplies and get creative at home — and make your loved ones’ Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again; the museum is temporarily closed), see this KFDC post.

 

Do you know of a great Valentine’s Day event or activity not listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Five Things for Today: February 2, 2022

Orchids and sketching in the Kogod Courtyard back in 2019

 

1.  The Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum is always a stunning space to visit, and even more so now as the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens’ annual orchid exhibit is hosted there.  Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women “highlights unsung horticultural heroines and solidifies their ongoing influence on orchid collections.” Several hundred varieties of orchids will be on view through April 24 along with stories of women with notable connections to orchids — horticulturalists, scientists, painters, and more . It’s always beautiful, and past exhibits have included opportunities to sketch the orchids (the photo above from a few years ago offers a glimpse).  That’s likely not being offered now, so perhaps bring along some pencils and paper for drawing.   And, of course, plan to tour the museums, too — see more about both here and here.  Current hours are 11:30am – 7pm Thursday – Sunday.  Admission is free.

 

2.  February is Black History Month!  In case you missed it a couple of days ago, there’s a new post with all kinds of ideas for celebrating with kids around the DC area.

 

3.  The enchanting Annmarie Sculpture Garden has put out a call for entries for this year’s Fairies in the Garden. The annual outdoor exhibit is always the most delightful collection of all things magical, whimsical, and fun, from fairy houses to dragon lairs to gnome homes to elf abodes. Kids can submit entries for the Children’s Fairy Garden that will showcase works in the sweet Fairy Lolly play area. Let imaginations run wild to create something wonderful!   Read more about Annmarie and view scenes from Fairies in the Garden here and here.

 

4. Want to get your kids ages 5 and up on two wheels?  REI offers a How to Ride a Bike for Kids class and has some spots open at area locations in March.

 

5. Happy Groundhog Day (and 2.2.22)!

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Celebrate Black History Month Around the DC Area (2022)

A recent family visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture

 

February is Black History Month, and there are so many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. Here’s where many are happening over the next few weeks.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing | Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture may just be the best place to learn about Black history and culture in America, covering everything from early slave trading to modern day achievements by Black people.  If you’ve never been, this month is a great, meaningful time to go.  And if you have been, there is so much to be gleaned, teach to kids, contemplate, and celebrate, you can never visit too much — we’ve been many times over the years, most recently on MLK Day.  It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go. Free, timed-entry passes are required, and they are available online here.  You can reserve in advance or try for same-day tickets — a limited number are released day-of beginning at 8:15am.

Museum & Memorial Tour
Where: African American Civil War Museum | Shaw, DC
When: Ongoing | Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Take a tour of another museum dedicated to the contributions of more than 200,000 members of the United States Colored Troops. The African American Civil War Museum tells the stories of the historic roles these brave men played in ending slavery and keeping America united under one flag. A collection of artifacts and documents, plus primary sources and technology create a meaningful learning experience for visitors about the period from the American Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond. Be sure to stop by the nearby African American Civil War Memorial, too.

Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active, Covid-safe way to spend time outdoors.  On February 19, Woodlawn Manor will be hosting a special Black History Month Family Day, when you ca stop in the Visitors Center to pick up take-home activities for kids as well as a trail map (though you can also print that out at home if you go a different day).

Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Ongoing | Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes

This exhibit about Rosa Parks goes well beyond her famous stance of not giving up her seat on the bus. Learn about Parks’ early life and family as well as her activism and achievements through a variety of displays, including photographs, old documents, newspaper clippings, and rarely seen materials. Find it in the gallery just beyond the Thomas Jefferson Library on the second floor.

Library Programs
Where: Public Libraries throughout DC
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of offerings for kids of all ages. Pick up craft and STEM kits, coloring pages, and maps to help you explore Black history in DC.  Join virtual story times. Catch a flick in the Black Love Film Series (recommend for adults, but teens could likely join, too). Visit the website to see what activities are being offered at each library.

Visit BLM Plaza
Where: 16th Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The two blocks along 16th Street NW, between K Street and Lafayette Park just across from the White House, was emboldened with the giant yellow BLACK LIVES MATTER statement in the summer of 2020 as the BLM movement began to swell after the murder of George Floyd. It’s since been repainted and become permanent.  The pedestrian area is now a site of historic significance in DC, a meeting place and focal point of protests and other events, and a location providing good context for a conversation with kids about BLM.

Tour Memorials
Where: Several locations in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Tour some memorials around the city that highlight notable African Americans and related historic events. Head to the MLK Memorial at the Tidal Basin, where you can view the grand sculpture of Dr. King and read some of his most inspiring quotes engraved in surrounding walls. From there, head to the Lincoln Memorial, where even more MLK words, “I Have a Dream” are etched into the steps where he gave his famous speech. In the Shaw neighborhood, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who served in the U.S. Army and Navy.  On Capitol Hill, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park isa tribute to the civil rights leader.

Visit the Grounds of Frederick Douglass’ Estate 
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site | Anascostia, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $1

Visit the Frederick Douglass Historic Site in Anacostia.  While the Visitor Center and Cedar Hill remain closed, the grounds are open on Fridays and Saturdays for the public to explore.  Since no tours are currently being offered, get background on Douglass’ life and the estate before you visit to discuss with kids while you’re there.

Discover Women’s Landmarks
Where: Various locations around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The Wander Women Project, which maps the HerStories of worldwide wonder women, has a round-up of places honoring pioneer black women in the DC area area (and slightly further). This includes museums, memorials, call boxes, and online exhibits — both indoor and outdoor sites, so there are plenty to visit without Covid worries.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

There are a few major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour.  Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.

Black History with PG Parks
Where: Sites around PG County, MD & Online
When: Through February
Admission: Varies by location

Celebrate and honor African American heritage with the PG County park system during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are a lot of exciting events and activities planned both in person at locations throughout Prince George’s County and online.

Celebrate with Dance
Where: Maryland Youth Ballet In Person & Online
When: Throughout February
Admission: Varies by event

To celebrate Black History Month, Maryland Youth Ballet is presenting virtual and in-person masterclasses, plus performances and talks led by black dance artists. It will bring together numerous dancers, choreographers, and teaching artists from throughout the metropolitan DC region as well as nationally to celebrate and recognize the culture and contributions of Black people in dance. Events will take place at various locations around the DC area and online — see the website for specifics.

African Americans at Walney Walking Tour
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 5, 11am – 12pm
Admission: $8

The Fairfax County Park Authority regularly offers programs for families, and during February, there are a few that focus on Black History. During this one, hear the names and stories of many African American families who lived and worked at Walney. Learn about slave tenancy and hear stories of resistance and survival.

Black History in the Kid’s Room
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout February
Admission: $19.95/age 3-12, $25.95/adult

All through February, the Maryland Science Center is celebrating Black History Month with activities to celebrate the achievements of black scientists in their Kid’s Room. This area of the children’s museum is dedicated to young children and learning through play. Check the Kid’s Room schedule on the door during your visit to see what activities are planned for the day. Read more about the Maryland Science Center in this recent post by KFDC writer Emily Moise and this one from when my kids were little.

The Slave Memorial
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see this on a visit to George Washington’s estate. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage.

Show What You Know: African American Inventors
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When:  February 5
Admission: $19.95

Head to the children’s museum in Baltimore for all kinds of kid play, including this fun game being offered during February: Test your knowledge in this museum floor game show. Match and learn about famous inventions from African American men and women throughout history. Play with others for the chance to win multiple prizes! Read more about Port Discovery in this recent post.

Young Portrait Explorers
Where: National Portrait Gallery Online
When: February 9, 16, & 23, 11-11:30am
Admission: Free

Join the National Portrait Gallery virtually for this program geared toward toddler and preschoolers up to age 5.  Learn about African Americans who have made significant contributions to society as you take a close look at their portraits — Michelle Obama on February 9, Barack Obama on February 16, and George Washington Carver on February 23,  Movement and art-making are part of the sessions, too! Register in advance for each session.

Black History Month Sneaker Exhibition
Where: Sole Wash | Capitol Hill, DC
When: February 19-20, 5-8pm
Admission: $35

Sole Wash “Sneaker Laundry” is hosting its Annual Sneaker Exhibit highligting the rise of sneakers within black films, sports, hip-hop music, fashion, and more. Make an evening of it if you go — the sneaker cleaning and restoration business is located on Barracks Row near a bevy of family-friendly restaurants.

 

*Do you know of a Black History Month event or activity that you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share in the comments!

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Five Things for Today: January 25, 2022

 

1. The REACH Winter Lanterns are returning to the Kennedy Center in celebration of the Lunar New Year!  Starting this Thursday, January 27, through February 6, the outdoor grounds of the REACH will be illuminated by 100 lanterns made up of 10,000 colored LED lights, all crafted by Chinese artisans. You may remember this event from pre-Covid 2020 — pandas, butterflies, flowers, frogs, flamingos, sea creatures, and more luminescent designs will be on view, and it’s delightful and dazzling to stroll among them.  There will also be special  activities and Millennium Stage performance on select dates to ring in the Year of the Tiger.  Admission to all of it is free.  See more info here.   And view scenes from the 2020 exhibition here.

 

2.  In case you missed it over the weekend, there’s a new guest post from KFDC contributor Emily Moise about Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!, a new exhibit at the National Children’s Museum!

 

3. The National Portrait Gallery is hosting its triennial Teen Portrait Competition, which is open to students ages 13-17.  Teens are invited to submit original portraits in the medium of photography to the national competition. Gand-prize winners will have their art displayed in the Portrait Gallery this summer nearby the special exhibition “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today,” which showcases portraits made by artists ages 18 and older. There is no fee to enter, and submissions are limited to one per person. Works must be submitted via email to NPG-TeenPortraitCompetition@si.edu by March 29.   Winners will be selected by the National Portrait Gallery’s Teen Museum Council, a group of 20 high school students from DC, Maryland and Virginia, who create interactive programs and events inspired by the Portrait Gallery’s collection to increase teen engagement with the museum. The winners, along with those awarded honorable mentions, will also have their work featured on the museum’s website.

 

4. From Eater DC: 18 D.C. Restaurants With Heated Patios to Keep Diners Warm All Winter.

 

5. SNL’s super funny cold open (around 6:40 is especially good).

 

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Explore the Rails with Thomas & Friends at the National Children’s Museum

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here,  and here.

 

Attention all train lovers: Thomas has entered the National Children’s Museum!   Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails!, an interactive exhibit created at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and geared for ages 2-7, is open now through Sunday, May 15. If you have a Thomas groupie like I do, or if you just want to discover the magic of the #1 blue engine and his friends, get your tickets to get on board today.

The large-scale Thomas and Percy trains will grab your kids attention immediately. Thomas is equipped with life-like levers that activate life-like train sounds. Percy is engineered to teach a science lesson through people-power. Spin wheels to input coal and water into the engine, creating enough steam to hear Percy roar. On the other side, Percy’s wheels need fixing to get him back on track.

The train set to put your train set to shame is likely where your kids will spend most of their time. We identified a few must-haves for our tracks at home, before prodding my son along to the rest of the exhibit. We also loved a smaller track set up for experimenting with ramp angles to get trains over a hill. For the littlest ones, you’ll find a confined space with toddler-appropriate engines.

Aside from the STEM-oriented play, pretend play is found throughout with a ticket booth, train cars, costumes, and props. And history buffs, or parents who have spent a lot of time with Thomas, will appreciate the corner of memorabilia and information on the creators, iterations, and celebrity narrators. There are also books and a viewing screen if your child needs a break from the action.

 

 

Covid Safety: The museum recommends purchasing tickets in advance to ensure admission with reduced capacity and timed sessions. Masks are required for all visitors ages 2+. You can learn more about the museum’s COVID safety protocols here. And you can read more about the National Children’s Museum in this KFDC post.

 

National Children’s Museum
Where: 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20004
When: Thursday – Sunday, 9:30am – 12:30pm & 1:30-4:30pm
Admission: $15.95/ages 1+, free/under 1 & members

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Exhibit, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Winter