Tuesday – Take a day trip up to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry, where “The Star Spangled Banner” was inspired and site of a key battle in the War of 1812. Learn about the history of the national monument through all kinds of interesting exhibits, both in the Visitors Center and throughout the grounds. Children will especially enjoy seeing the cannons, exploring underground spaces, and touring the barracks that now house neat exhibits. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is $10 for ages 16 and up. And as part of Maryland Fleet Week, you can see a “Salute to Schooners” from 9am – 12pm as schooners fire a cannon salute to the Fort while students sing patriotic songs. (You can also see and possibly tour U.S. and Canadian Navy ships at the Inner Harbor starting on Wednesday.)
Wednesday – Go to the National Archives’ monthly story time series for littles! Children aged 3-5 with accompanying adults can listen to a book reading, participate in group activities, and create a craft — all with a Halloween-in-the-White-House theme. The session takes place 10-11am in the Boeing Learning Center. Admission is free.
Thursday – Get a unique dose of nature in the city at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast DC, just off the BW Parkway. Go on a nature walk among the ponds and marsh areas filled with giant lily pads and other interesting water plants. Look for geese, egrets, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and small fish on the way. Hours are 9am – 5pm this time of year. Admission is free.
Friday – Enjoy the autumn day at the enchanting Clark’s Elioak Farm, where children will feel like they’ve stepped right into a nursery rhyme with recovered installations from an old storybook park scattered throughout the grounds — that they can play in and on, too! There are also hayrides, cow train rides, pony rides, mazes, a petting farm, a playground, and even more delights for all. Open 10am – 5pm. Admission is $6, some rides are extra. Read more about the farm among the round-up of the best outdoor places around the DC area.