Tag Archives: Baltimore Attractions

The Weekend Round-Up: January 12-13

On the trail at Turkey Run Park

On the trail at Turkey Run Park


Musical and theatre performances, museum programs and special events, adventures in Charm City, trail time, and Spiderman training are all among this round of recs for fun with the kiddos. And don’t forget to check the Everyday Play page for even more ideas. Happy Weekend!

NSO in your neighborhood
Where: Several DC neighborhoods
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra is presenting a week of free activities in the U Street, Shaw, Howard, and Logan Circle neighborhoods through January 14, offering more than 40 activities to the public, many inspired by the area’s rich cultural history, and several of them programs that kids can enjoy, too. on the schedule this weekend is a percussion workshop, a violin ensemble performance, jazz and chamber music, an electric violin show, community concerts, jam sessions, and more. See the schedule for times and details.

Artful Conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: Free

The National Gallery of Art is kicking off its Winter Drop-In Programs with this session for kids ages 8-11. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then sketch their own masterpiece. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium beginning at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

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

There’s lots of great entertainment around the area this weekend. Encore Stage & Studio’s Honk, Jr. opens tonight (look for a Goldstar deal here). Cinderella is still being fitted for her glass slipper at Olney Theatre. Wake Up, Brother Bear will delight kids ages 1-5 at Imagination Stage. Elksa, who’s been described as the “Bjork of kids music” is performing at Jammin’ Java. And the Kennedy Center presents an NSO Kinderkonzert. Find details and links for all of these productions in this post about live entertainment for kids this winter.

Happy Birthday, Nat Geo!
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Sunday
Admission: $8/adults, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under for exhibits

As if the exhibits weren’t already a huge treat, the National Geographic is celebrating 125 years by giving out cupcakes made especially for the occasion by Georgetown Cupcakes (while supplies last) along with photo props that allows users to add the iconic National Geographic yellow border to “Frame What Matters.” And don’t miss the current exhibits while you’re there — Birds of Paradise and 1001 Inventions, plus stunning photography on display are all pretty sweet, too.

Baltimore, Hon!
Where: Several Charm City attractions
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Because the kids and I recently enjoyed a couple of great outings up to Baltimore (and I did write-ups on them), a Charm City venture makes the Round-Up this week, and you’ve got a good selection of options. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or tour the historic ships at the Inner Harbor.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Local trails
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Get some exercise and enjoy the warmer temps on a nature walk – there are plenty of great places in the area where you can hit the trail with the kids. This post from awhile back lists some of the ground we’ve covered. And another not on the list, but perfect for family tramping is Turkey Run Park, which you can access from the GW Parkway, not far from the Beltway. You can do a four-mile loop along the Potomac and through a pretty wooded area or pick a shorter route. Pack lunch and plan to picnic — tables are available near Parking Lot B, or find some big rocks by the water and have a riverside meal.

Family Paint Day
Where: Merlot’s Masterpiece
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: $25

The U Street painting studio is hosting its first Family Day event on Sunday afternoon. Guests will participate in a two-hour instructor-led painting experience, with refreshments included. Sign up for the class here.

Farm to Table Family Day
Where: Kogod Courtyard
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery for their second annual farm-to-table event. Enjoy live music, learn about the “slow food” movement from local community organizations, and participate in hands-on activities that get your hands a little dirty. You’ll be ready to eat fresh, local, and healthy with recipes you can take home. And don’t forget to find delicious artworks on the Fruit and Veggie Scavenger Hunt.

Climb On
Where: SportRock Climbing Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $5-25 discount with a Certifikid deal)

This recommendation is inspired by a deal I just saw on Certifikid for open climb sessions in the SportRock Sterling location. Whether you want to get in on the deal or just scale walls or belay indoors, you’ve got plenty of opportunity this weekend (and every Saturday and Sunday, for that matter). Sterling offers Open Climb sessions for $25, and Alexandria has Open Belay for $5. Both rates include rental gear. Visit the website for the rest of the details on practicing Spiderman skills.

The Wright Stuff
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

It’s Super Science Saturday, the monthly program at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles.  There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities that immerse children in science and technology topics related to aviation and space exploration. on Saturday, it’ll center around January’s theme, “From the Wright Brothers to the Right Stuff.”

Around the World with Wilbur Wright
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission:

See the world without even leaving the museum! Participate in a fun and educational tour of the College Park Aviation Museum, where you can make your own passport, visit places around the world, and learn a little bit about aviation history.

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

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, hear a story illustrated by artist Keith Haring (1958-1990).


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Hands-On at the Maryland Science Center

Solving "Dinosaur Mysteries" in one of the most popular exhibits

Solving “Dinosaur Mysteries” in one of the most popular exhibits



Even with all the wonderful, free museums and other offerings for kids right in our backyards here in DC, it’s nice to have a change of scenery — and activity — now and then. We usually find it just 45 minutes away in Baltimore, where there are several places to experience play, learning, culture, and more, much of it in environments created especially for children.

In-your-face models of dino skeletons

In-your-face models of dino skeletons

One of those places is the Maryland Science Center, located right on the Inner Harbor. And while I’ve previously covered it on the blog, I’ve never given it a proper general overview. There’s really nothing like it here in DC — on such a large scale, anyway. MSC presents various topics of science through an array of exhibits, just about all of them hands-on and appealing to young visitors. It’s not a museum with collections of artifacts and tangible history; rather, there are models, demos, and interactive displays that encourage learning through engagement. (For the record, I believe both have great value, they just offer different experiences.)

"The Body" covers everything from germs to stress reactions to poop.

“The Body” exhibit covers everything from germs to stress reactions to poop.

Space exploration

Space exploration

A close look at the Maryland blue crab (yum)

A close look at the Maryland blue crab (yum)

Dinosaurs, the earth, physics, the body, energy, and space are some of the main areas on exhibit. There is also a Kids Room full of all kinds of hands-on fun for children in a safe enclosed space, including a special area for the under-2 set.

Playing in Newton's Alley

Playing in Newton’s Alley

Wild winds in the hurricane simulator

Wild winds in the hurricane simulator

So many ways to learn through play

So many ways to learn through play

IMAX movies, planetarium shows, and activities offered by museum staff round out the offerings. You can easily spend an entire day exploring and playing and not even see/do everything. But that just gives you good reason to go back!

In the Kids Room: Little doctors get an inside look

In the Kids Room: Little doctors get an inside look

Digital interactives for all ages

Digital interactives for all ages

Face to face with fish

Face to face with fish

The Maryland Science Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm, and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Hours change in the spring, so be sure to check the schedule. Admission is $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under. If you think you’d go often, membership is worth checking out.

A few things to note:

Beakers Cafe offers lunch and snacks — hotdogs, sandwiches, salads. Prices aren’t terrible, but after paying relatively steep admission (we’re so used to everything being free), you might want to save a few bucks and BYO.

– The Science Center validates parking at nearby garages. Street parking is also available, but it’s a two-hour limit in most areas and, chances are, you’ll be there longer than that.

– The MSC can get very crowded, especially on weekends and holidays off from school, so be prepared.

– IMAX movies and a few activities, like the hurricane simulator, cost extra. Credit cards accepted.


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