Monday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, as there’s barely a crowd on weekdays. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing or pick your animal visits as you go. Grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit building hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations.
Tuesday – Welcome some new dinos to the Natural History Museum! It’s opening day for The Last American Dinosaurs exhibit at the museum on the National Mall, a great way to get a prehistoric beast fix while the National Fossil Hall is closed for a five-year renovation (read more about it in this Washingtonian article). Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free. Tip: While you’re there, get timed tickets for the Butterfly Pavilion, where entry is free of charge on Tuesdays.
Wednesday – Spend a potentially snowy day in a fun, cozy place. The National Building Museum is a go-to destination in any weather. Little ones can toil away in the Building Zone, while kids of all ages will enjoy the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit. And the Great Hall is always, well, great for other building-related activities, having lunch, or just hanging out.
Thursday – Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden on opening day! Go while the turkey is cooking at home (with someone staying behind to watch it, of course) or head over for some post-feast holiday cheer. Get an idea of what to expect from this post about last year’s exhibit. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is free.
Friday – See The Nutcracker on strings at The Puppet Co. Be among the first audiences to catch a performance of the annual holiday production. Showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm. Tickets are $10.