Tag Archives: Baltimore Kids Activities

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 30 – January 3

A couple of chicks playing in the giant nest at the Arboretum's Youth Garden

A couple of chicks playing in the giant nest at the National Arboretum’s Youth Garden



KidFriendly-go-coming-soon-web-ad-300x250

Monday – Visit the National Arboretum on one of the two weekdays it’s open to the public since budget cuts prompted its closing Tuesday through Thursday. Go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, romp in open green spaces and at the old Capitol columns, and enjoy one of the loveliest outdoor spaces in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of several events around town that not only welcome kids, but in most cases, center around them. See this post for a list of family-friendly options to ring in 2014.

Wednesday – Enjoy a New Year’s Day brunch (or lunch) with the kids. This thread from last year on the KFDC Facebook page generated a lot of recommendations for good places to have a family feast. Plus, a few more: Ted’s Bulletin, Carmine’s, and Cactus Cantina. And it’s probably a good idea to make a reservation or call ahead.

Thursday – See some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. The colorful, quirky works — some of them interactive — can be appreciated by art buffs of all ages. Hours are 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $15.95/adults, $13.95/seniors, $9.95/students & children 7 and up, free for ages 6 and under

Friday – As the temps dip, stay warm and entertained at an IMAX movie. You’ve got your choice of several playing right now: Flight of the Butterflies 3D, The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D, Titans of the Ice Age 3D, and Jerusalem 3D are all playing at the Natural History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theatre. And the Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theatre presents Air Racer 3D, Hubble 3D, Hidden Universe 3D, The Dream Is Alive, and To Fly! Be sure to check schedules for showtimes.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, New Years, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 23-27

The National Christmas Tree (photo, courtesy my awesome friend, Torey)

The National Christmas Tree (photo, courtesy my awesome friend, Torey)



Monday: Go bowling! It’s a perfect activity on a rainy day. Lucky Strike in Penn Quarter sets up ramps and bumpers for little bowlers, as do BowlMor AMF and Bowl America, both with several locations in Maryland and Virginia. Or try duck pin bowling at White Oaks Lane in Silver Spring.

Tuesday: Watch Santa have some fun on the water before his big night out. For the 28th year, Santa will water ski his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all from National Harbor at 1pm sharp. While you’re there, stop by the Gaylord National Resort for the Christmas on the Potomac holiday extravaganza (there is plenty to enjoy sans ICE, too).

Wednesday: Have yourself a merry little Christmas… and enjoy some activities out of the house, too. The Botanic Garden and Mount Vernon are open. You can bundle up and get out for a hike. Or spend the day as I did growing up, with Chinese food and a movie.

Thursday: Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where your crew can explore a variety of exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $16.95/adults, $13.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under.

Friday: Catch a performance of Lyle the Crocodile at Imagination Stage. Recommended for ages 4-12, showtimes are 1:30pm and 4pm. Tickets start at $12.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 16-20

Trains on a smaller scale at Union Station

Trains on a smaller scale at Union Station



Monday: Head to the big train station to check out the little trains. Union Station’s annual Holiday Train Show is back in the Main Hall, featuring 3 G-Scale LGB Steam Locomotives running on 200 feet of track, a mountain landscape with 40 new structures, 25 trucks and vintage cars, 100 trees along with people, even dogs and cats. After (or before), grab a bite to eat or pop over to the Postal Museum next door.

Tuesday: Climb inside a life-sized snow globe at Google’s Winter Wonderlab. A holiday season treat at Westfield Annapolis Mall, it’s one of multiple entertainment zones that feature games, music, and videos. Inside the snow globe, kids and parents can create a personalized slow-motion video they can share with friends or relatives. Free and open during mall hours.

Wednesday: See Drumming with Dishes: Holiday Edition, an interactive play geared toward children ages 1-5. Presented by Arts on the Horizon, performances take place a few days this week at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE. Showtime is 10:30am. Tickets are $8.

Thursday: Bundle up and hit the trail. Great Falls is a great place to hike and enjoy the outdoors any time of the year. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side of the park along a breathtaking stretch of the Potomac, you’re guaranteed some of the best vistas in the area. Be sure to stop in the Visitor Center where you can learn about the history and nature of the area. Hours are 7am – dark. The Visitor Centers are open from 10am – 4pm. Admission is $5/vehicle.

Friday: Venture up to Baltimore for a Family Fun Friday at Port Discovery. Along with many levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits, there are special things to take advantage of, including literacy programs, storytime, music sessions, and painting. Opens at 9:30am. Admission is $13.95 for ages 2 and up, though if you go after 4pm, you can enjoy a Target $2 Family Fun Night until 8pm!

3 Comments

Filed under All ages, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Play, Seasonal, Theatre, Trains, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 23-27

An early autumn walk in the woods at Rock Creek Park

An early autumn walk in the woods at Rock Creek Park



Monday – Go play at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Let the kids bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $6/child. (This also takes place on Wednesday at the same time.)

Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife and enjoy hands-on activities at the Rock Creek Nature Center. With all kinds of animal and plant exhibits, plus a Discovery Room full of books and toys, there is plenty to keep kids engaged. If weather permits, hike a trail on the grounds around the center, too. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Catch a colorful magic show with The Great Zucchini at Jammin’ Java. Doors open at 10am and the fun begins at 10:30am. General admission tickets are $5.

Friday – Venture up to Baltimore for a Family Fun Friday at Port Discovery. Along with many levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits, there are special things to take advantage of, including literacy programs, storytimes, music sessions, an exploration station, and kite making. Hours at the children’s museum are 9:30am – 4:30pm this time of year. Admission is $13.95 for ages 2 and up.

2 Comments

Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Park, Play, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Family-Style at the Shamrock Shindig

Shamrock-Shindig-Flyer_Waterfront-Kids-2013-1

Looking for a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day properly (you know what I mean) that is also family-friendly? If that’s a yes, then mark your calendar for Sunday, March 10! That’s when the 2nd Annual Shamrock Shindig will take place at Pierce’s Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. And from the sounds of it, this definitely will be worth the trip up to Charm City.

The host of the event, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, planned it with families in mind, offering festivities for both grown-ups and children in one of the city’s coolest new parks. Celtic band Barleyjuice will bring the live entertainment, plus there will be food trucks, adult bevvies, a Shamrock Alley with kids activities (cookie decorating, games, etc.), stilt walkers, a strolling leprechaun, and much more.

And the location couldn’t be better. Opened this past May, Pierce’s Park is a true delight for all ages. The one-of-a-kind space was designed for play, with a musical fence, an interactive funnel sculpture, willow tunnels, and more.

Running through the willow tunnel at Pierce's Park

Running through the willow tunnel a Pierce’s Park

Guests can enjoy all of it from 11am -2pm. Following the event will be 58th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which kicks off at 2pm at the Washington Monument (yes, Baltimore has its own smaller version).

Admission to enjoy the band and strolling entertainment at the Shamrock Shindig is free. However, other activities cost extra, but you can enjoy them all with one easy pass (or wristband) for each family member: The Shamrock Pass for children in just $6 and includes parade gear including a shamrock derby hat, green beads, Irish button, Irish flag, Irish fun brand bracelet; two crafts; a temporary tattoo; and cookie decorating. An Unlimited Drink Wristband for Adults is $15 and includes beer, wine and mixed drinks.

Both passes and wristbands can be purchased here, and you can get $1 off each one by entering the discount code KIDFRIENDLYDC.

4 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, Eats, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Park, Weekend