School is back on for many area kids, but there are still some enjoying a last hurrah this week before returning to the classroom. These suggestions for weekday play have them in mind with several ideas specifically for older children. And for those of you with little ones, have no worries — for every big kid recommendation, there’s an alternate to accommodate younger tots, too.
Monday – See Titanic: 100 Year Obsession, the National Geographic Museum’s fascinating exhibit on display for just a couple more weeks. Admission is $8/adults, $6/members & military, $4/ages 5-12, free for children under 5. The museum is open 10am – 6pm daily. With little ones: See Savage Gardens, the U.S. Botanic Garden’s exhibit about carnivorous plants that features plenty of interactives and big, colorful displays. And be sure to stop by the Children’s Garden while you’re there. Admission is free, hours are 10am – 5pm.
Tuesday – Stroll the beautiful grounds, tour the plant collections, view wildlife in the ponds, and visit the new Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under. Hours are 10am – 8pm.
Wednesday – Take advantage of the Newseum’s Kids Free Summer Fun Deal while you still can — it’s over after Labor Day. The promotion, which waives the regular $12.95 entrance fee for youth with one paid adult admission, benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. With little ones: Head to the National Building Museum for fun in the Building Zone ($3/person). Entry to the play space is limited and timed, beginning every hour, so plan accordingly.
Thursday – Go apple picking, an activity that all ages can enjoy. The fruits are ripe at many local farms and orchards, and guests are welcome to come pick their own. See this post from last week with a list of places to go. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good that day.
Friday – Hang out in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. Kids as young as 5-years-old can now experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. Owen and I went last week and had a BLAST! (Read a review here.) For $34, children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses for 90 minutes. Older kids can do even more for longer time. Hours are 9am – 8pm, and admission is $38/ages 7-9, $43/ages 10-11, $48/ages 12 and older. With little ones: Experience adventure on a smaller scale at the Cabin John Regional Park Adventure Playland. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run amid the lovely wooded setting, and the miniature train that guests can ride ($1.75/passenger) is a fun bonus.