Where to Play During the Government Shutdown

Spend a shutdown day at River Farm, the American Horticultural Society's headquarters

Spend a shutdown day at River Farm, the American Horticultural Society’s headquarters



It’s official: The government has shut down. Which means that many go-to spots to hang with kiddos (Smithsonian museums, National Park Service locales) are closed as well, including some of this week’s recommendations (Roosevelt Island and the Air & Space Museum). But fear not! There are plenty of fantastic alternatives to enjoy in the meantime, however long that may be. You might even discover a new favorite among them. Here are places that are still open while many others are closed…

National Building Museum – Today’s recommended place to play is open, and the monthly storytime program is still on, too.

National Geographic Museum – See the current free photo exhibitions Lions & Tigers & Bears: Through the Lens with National Geographic
and One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity. Or pay to check out a New Age of Exploration.

International Spy Museum – Explore the intriguing world of espionage right in Penn Quarter.

Boogie Babes – If the shutdown continues through the week, you can find musical entertainment for tots at Union Market on Wednesday, Eastern Market on Thursday, and the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday. All at 10:30am. Admission is $5.

Yards Park – The beautiful recreational space in the Navy Yard remains open to the public. The fountains are turned off for a few hours on Tuesday mornings for maintenance, but you can still bring a ball to kick around the open green spaces and enjoy a riverside picnic. Admission is free.

Dumbarton Oaks Gardens – Looks like we’re in for some great shutdown weather, and these fairytale-esque gardens in Georgetown are the perfect place to enjoy it. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 2-6pm. Admission is $8/adults, $5/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under.

Newseum – The venue dedicated to news and journalism is still welcoming guests, and there are a few exhibits that children might enjoy here, which are mentioned in this post.

Charm City, Baby – Baltimore’s museums for kids are not government funded, so Port Discovery, the Maryland Science Center, and the American Visionary Arts Museum are all open. This is also a great time to tour the ships on the Inner Harbor.

Get Artsy at Little Loft – Sign up for crafting sessions at the creative space for kids on Capitol Hill. Both fixed and flex plans are available for weekday classes.

River Farm – Explore the grounds of the American Horticultural Society headquarters. Kids will love playing in the Children’s Gardens and taking in sweeping views of the Potomac. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.


1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

One Response to Where to Play During the Government Shutdown

  1. J.C. Gaskins

    Would love for children to attend that have not had an opportunity to attend an event such as this.

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