*The Pope in DC this Tuesday through Thursday is going to have a huge impact on transportation in the city and generally getting around. Be sure to check details on the Papal Visit — including the Pope’s schedule, road closures, public transportation adjustments, and more — to help you plan for it. This Washington Post article also has good tips.
Monday – Celebrate the official start of autumn at Ticonderoga Farm’s Fall Festival. Whiz down slides, bounce on jumping pillows, go on a hayride, pick a pumpkin from the patch, romp on the playground, visit goats and chickens, and much more. Admission is $9.95 on weekdays ($16.95 on weekends and holidays), hours are 9am – 6pm.
Tuesday – Get outta dodge as the crowds descend on DC for the Pope’s visit and head up the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. Explore a variety of cool hands-on exhibits, join the Kiddie Collaborations program at 11am or 2pm, play in the Kids Room, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $20.95/adults, $16.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family visits just three times in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums all around the country.)
Wednesday – Hike the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Turtles, frogs, and birds are among the wildlife you could see. Stop by the visitor center for even more exhibits and animal encounters. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free.
Thursday – Join the Moms Clean Air Force contingent on the National Mall and have fun with other concerned moms and dads while enjoying speakers and musicians — and the Pope’s address via Jumbotron. The Rally for Climate Justice coincides with Pope Francis’ address to the U.S. Congress, as he previously has called for swift action to protect our planet and the world’s most vulnerable from climate change. A wide swath of people across faith, secular, environmental, youth and other sectors are expected at the rally to show support for his core message and heighten global attention. Register here ASAP to see where to meet, reserve T-shirts, and ensure you’ll get a follow-up email with logistics and speaker/musician line-up. Drop in anytime 8am – 12pm. Admission is free. If you don’t want to be in the middle of the Papal hoopla, hang out at a playground instead. The Meanest Momma blog has an amazing compilation of playground reviews, so pick one and go have fun!
Friday – Enjoy a musical morning with Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to the Atlas Performing Arts Center at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Bonus while you’re there: A wonderful art installation of 50 mobiles, which many neighborhood kids got to work on during school field trips. (FYI: You can also catch a Boogie Babes show at Union Market on Wednesdays and Eastern Market on Thursdays.)