Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 1-5

One of our favorite parts of the National Gallery

One of our favorite parts of the National Gallery

Ergobaby Stowaway

Monday - Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets in Takoma or Hyattsville, Md. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving! (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, Va, the last Tuesday of every month.)

Tuesday - Go ice skating under (hopefully) sunny skies! Enjoy art as you glide at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Several local rinks offer push aides to help newbie skaters. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area, including bonus activities to enjoy while you’re there.

Wednesday - See a show especially for little ones at The Puppet Co. The lights stay on, and doors remain open during Tiny Tots performances for the youngest audiences. Winter Wonderland is this week’s production. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5 for everyone, including babies.

Thursday - Visit the animals, roam the peaceful grounds, and possibly join in a children’s program at Oxon Hill Farm near National Harbor. Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Friday - Check out some art at the National Gallery. Plan on spending most of your time in the West Building, as the East Building is currently undergoing renovations (the atrium, gallery shops, and cafes remain open). Be sure to take a walk/ride on the moving sidewalk for a dazzling light show, always a delight for kids (and adults, for that matter). Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, Babies, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 29-31

One more Snowzilla shot before the thaw

One more Snowzilla shot before the thaw

Get up to $500 from Allstate (Phoenix, Louisville, Cincinnati and Nashville only)

It’s been a long week for many with schools closed Monday through Friday in some districts, so weekend F-U-N will be especially welcome. And with temps warming up — in the 60′s by Monday!? — and a bunch of great events going on, we’ll be all thawed out before we know it. Happy Weekend!

P.S. Don’t forget to submit your Snowzilla pics to the KFDC Blizzard of 2016 Photo Contest — Sunday is the last day to enter.

Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The annual Washington Auto Show has zoomed back into town. And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. Other activities, like Ride ‘n Drives and celeb appearances, give guests even more to do and see. There will also be fun especially for kids and pop-ins by some of their favorite characters along with the autos. This post about one of our experiences at a past show has more about what to expect.

Spy Fest
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Friday, 6-10pm
Admission: $14

Is your child the next 007? Find out at the Spy Museum’s annual event! Kids ages 5 and up can get an inside glimpse of the secret world of espionage at the Spy Museum’s annual event. Mini-missions, tradecraft demos by the experts, and the chance to try spy skill challenges will give KidSpy agents and their handlers an insider’s peek into the shadow world of spying — and who knows, there just may be a spy or two in your midst…

Behind the Hangar Doors
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free (but parking is $15)

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar0Hazy Center. For one day only, visitors will have a chance to see what goes into restoring, preserving and displaying America’s aviation and space treasures at the Chantilly arm of the museum. Tour areas that are usually off-limits to the public, see demonstrations, and presentations, and take part in hands-on activities for all ages.

Chinese New Year Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the American Art Museum as they open our their to the Chinatown and DC community to celebrate the 2016 Lunar New Year! Help “awaken the lion” and ring in the year of the monkey with fun craft activities, traditional performances, artists, and demonstrations.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* See Pinocchio on strings at The Puppet Co.
* And Magic Toyshop is the featured Tiny Tots show a the Glen Echo venue
* Wake Up, Brother Bear is entertaining little audiences at Imagination Stage
* OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist is a South American take on the Dickens classic at the Kennedy Center

Hit the Slopes
Where: Liberty Mountain
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Take advantage of winter and enjoy a quintessential seasonal activity — skiing! Liberty Mountain is one of the more convenient places to go with the kids, especially if they are newbies. Just over an hour from DC in PA, it’s easy to get to for a one-day venture on the slopes, the runs aren’t too difficult, and kids can do a couple of hours of ski school (be sure to sign up in advance). Get the scoop on their children’s programs here.

Ice It
Where: Local Ice Skating Rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

It’s going to be a great weekend to get out and glide. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note that both at Canal Park and Washington Harbor are hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Our American Girl
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $35/youth, $25/adult

Kids and their dolls can head to George Washington’s old residence for a special event on Saturday. Join Mount Vernon’s own American girl, Nelly Custis, on a tour of his estate! Enjoy refreshments with “Lady Washington” and create colonial crafts along with the walk around the grounds and mansion.

Nando’s Family Fun Day
Where: Nando’s at Yards Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free, but plan to purchase food

Join Nando’s Peri-Peri at 300 Tingey Street SE for their 1st Annual Family Fun Day Enjoy board games, entertainment, and a visit from the Nando’s mascot, Barci. For every 1 adult entrée purchased, kids 12 and under get a free entrée.

Puzzle Party
Where: Labyrinth Games & Puzzles
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the best game store in the city for a National Puzzle Day Celebration! There will be all kinds of puzzle-themed activities – race to win in a puzzle battle, learn to build with Q-Ba-Maze, make your own Tangram puzzle, solve the Soma Cube, and more! Plus, get a free puzzle gift when you buy any puzzle-y item January 29-31. Open to all ages, but best for 6 to adult.

Twelve Years Tours to Treasure
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Families can enjoy a docent-led tour of the exhibition Twelve Years That Shook and Shaped Washington. Afterwards, kids can go on a self-guided treasure hunt with an exhibition family guide to test their knowledge and receive a free gift for completing the hunt. Each Tours to Treasure program lasts approximately 60 minutes and is recommended for families and children ages 6 and up). Tours are available at 11am and 2pm – sign up for one here.

Polar Bear Plunge
Where: Sandy Point State Park
When: Saturday, 8am – 2pm
Admission: $75 to plunge, free to spectate

If you want to take a quick dip in the cold, cold Chesapeake Bay for a good cause or want to watch others endure a frigid swim, head toward the Bay Bridge on Saturday for the 20th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. All ages can participate in this event that raises funds for Special Olympics Maryland. And you can still donate if you don’t want to plunge in.

Family Block Party
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $12

Join the family dance party that brings big and little people in the community together. DJ Louie Flaco will spin “real” music, and there will be dancers, lights, and a disco ball! Enjoy balloons, a play area, crafts, and other activities to enhance this celebration of movement, children, and our village. Interact with the DJ and try the equipment, too!

A Boatload of Fun
Where: Baltimore Convention Center
When: Friday/Saturday, 10am – 8pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $14/adult, free for 15 and under

It’s a weekend of boating fun at Maryland’s longest-running boat show! The Baltimore Convention Center will be packed with more boats, more exhibits, and more family fun than ever before. Find the boat of your dreams and everything to go with it – you can check out tons of boats and nautical gear. Plus, educational seminars and kids activities offer something for all ages.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Penn Quarter museum to listen to a story from friends with the DC Public Library and complete a hands-on art project. During this week’s session, learn about Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in major league baseball.

The Ins & Outs of DC
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Looking for ways to stay active and entertained, but avoid the snowy remnants of Snowzilla? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 70 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you want to take advantage of warming temps, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.

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Enter to Win a 3-Month Subscription to Kiwi Crate!

Kiwi Crate Family Brands >>

We are huge fans of Kiwi Crate here on the KFDC home front. But if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile (or even a short time) you probably already knew that. I started recommending the monthly activity boxes for kids a few years ago after my mom surprised Owen and Sasha with a subscription, and I raved about them as recently as this past holiday season when they topped the KFDC Gift Guide.

But in case you’re a new reader or just haven’t heard of Kiwi Crate yet, here’s the gist: Every month, a box with all the materials and inspiration needed for a project is delivered. It’s a new theme each time, and the kit includes supplies, a little magazine with background info about the theme, and ideas for kids to build on when their project is complete.

Experimenting with color

Experimenting with color

It started with just Kiwi Crate, mostly creative craft projects for children. Now, there are four kinds of boxes available. Koala Crate includes play and learn activities for ages 3-4. Kiwi Crate has the creative and educational projects for ages 5-8. Doodle Crate contains art and design DIY’s for ages 9-16+. And Tinker Crate has hands-on STEM-focused projects for ages 9-16+.

Sasha still receives the Kiwi Crate and has made all kinds of cute crafts and fun games. Owen started getting Tinker Crate last year and has conducted interesting experiments and built some pretty neat gadgets, like a trebuchet and a drawbot. And, for the most part, both of them can follow the instructions and complete the projects on their own — though I find it fun to work on them, too!

Setting up a drip migration system and learning about hydroponics

Setting up a drip migration system and learning about hydroponics

If you’re interested in trying out Kiwi Crate for yourself, now is a great time to do so. KidFriendly DC readers can get 30% off the first month’s subscription to any of Kiwi Crate’s four products with the code FRIENDLY30. You can also try to win a 3-month subscription through the giveaway below!

Giveaway: Want a chance to win a 3-month subscription to one of Kiwi Crate’s products? Simply leave a comment below telling me your child’s favorite artsy activity. To be eligible, you must also “like” KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (sign-up is to the left). The giveaway will run until next Thursday, February 4, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: KidFriendly DC is an affiliate of Kiwi Crate, however, all views expressed here are entirely my own.


Filed under Discount, Giveaway, Product, Product Review

What’s Open Today – Quick Update!


Is cabin fever setting in? Are ready to do something that doesn’t involve snow? Here’s a quick update on some places open today, Tuesday, January 26, where you can get out for some indoor fun with the kiddos.

Smithsonian Museums: A few of the museums are opening back up today: The Air & Space and Natural History Museum (10am – 5:30pm) and the National Portait Gallery and American Art Museum (11:30am – 7pm) are welcoming visitors again.

Movie Theaters: Many area theaters are open, but be sure to confirm hours before you go.

DC Public Library: Opening late today. Hours at most locations will be 12-7pm. Rosedale, Deanwood, and Northwest One will be open 1-7pm.

Arlington Public Library: Open at 12pm, though all programs for children are canceled through Wednesday.

(Alexandria, Fairfax, PG, and Montgomery County Libraries still closed)

DC Aquatic Centers: Indoor public pools in the District are opening back up today, though some are delayed, so be sure to check hours before you go.

MagicGround: The new play space in Columbia Heights has resumed its regular hours.

SportRock Climbing Centers: The Alexandria location is open, and the Sterling site will make a decision later today.

Kettler Capitals IcePlex: Open with several Freestyle sessions, but be sure to check the schedule before you go.

Port Discovery: If you feel like making the drive to Baltimore, the children’s museum and play place will open at 12pm.

SkyZone: The trampoline park in Columbia, MD, is open 11am – 8pm.

As mentioned in Where to Play on the Weekdays, the Washington Auto Show is back on as of today through January 31, and Flight Trampoline Park is open.

*Also of note: DC Public Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch to students and families at 10 schools across Washington, DC, from 10am – 12pm.

Do you know of any other places open today to bring the kids? Let us know in the comments!

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 25-29

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?

[Note: Regular hours should resume at most places by Tuesday, January 26, but in these post-storm situations, I always recommend calling ahead to confirm. Also, I'm still accepting submissions for the KFDC Blizzard of 2016 Photo Contest -- enter your best shots by emailing them to kidfriendlydc@yahoo.com!]

Monday - Take advantage of Snowzilla’s outcome before it gets too slushy. Build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight! But if you want a break from the snow, go bounce some energy off at Flight Trampline Park. They are open today starting at 12pm, and it’s Open Jump all day! I recommend buying tickets and signing waivers online in advance.

Tuesday - Let the kids take the wheel at the Washington Auto Show. The annual event showcasing the newest models of cars and trucks will be at the Washington Convention Center through January 31. Kids (and adults) can sit in the driver’s seat, pretend to cruise around, check out dashboard details, and more. Open this week 12-9pm Tuesday – Thursday (12-10pm on Friday and varying hours on the weekend). Admission is $12/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Read more about what to expect in this post about one of our past experiences there.

Wednesday - Show the kiddos relics from the nation’s past at the National Museum of American History. Explore the new Innovation Wing and gets hands on in the Spark!Lab, take little ones to play in Wegmans Wonderplace, see the progress of transportation in America on the Move. Toys and games, items from pop culture past, sports memorabilia, and the star spangled banner will also grab young kids’ attention. The museum is open from 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday - Get a nature fix indoors at Watkins Nature Center. There, you can see and learn about birds, reptiles, and other creatures that inhabit the surrounding area. If possible, head over to the Wizard of Oz-themed playground to romp outdoors and Old Maryland Farm where ponies, cows, chickens, rabbits, and other animals live. The Nature Center is open 8:30am – 5pm, the Farm 9am – 4pm, the playground dawn to dusk. Admission to everything is free.

Friday - Visit the National Geographic Museum, where Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World opens on January 27. Don’t miss the captivating images of Photo Ark and Pristine Seas while you’re there. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $15/adult, $12/senior, $10/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under, and it gets you into all of the exhibits. Look for a discount on adult tickets here.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Discount, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter