Tag Archives: DC Area Parks

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 10-14

Behind the waterfall at Yards Park

Behind the waterfall at Yards Park


* Along with these recommendations, be sure to check out the Spring Break guide with more ideas for things to do with kids off from school this week!

Monday – Go hang out at Yards Park. The recreational space in the Navy Yard is a perfect place to spend a beautiful spring day. Play in the sprays, hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water or go for lunch at one of the many new nearby eateries. Admission to the park is free.

Tuesday – Hit the beach on the 80-degree day! The water may still be too chilly for swimming at Flag Ponds Nature Park, but you can build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic by the water, spot wildlife in the woods, and do some fossil hunting — the park in Calvert County is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 4pm (beach closes at 3:30pm), admission is $6/car. (Update! The park may be closed on Tuesday, so call head to confirm day/hours. If it is, head to Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis for beach fun instead.)

Wednesday – Catch a performance of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre. Showtimes for the all-ages production are 11am and 2pm. Tickets are $19.50. The show runs through May 21.

Thursday – Head to Upton Hill Park for an egg-citing event. Activities will include coloring, games, a moon bounce, and pictures with the Easter Bunny. The fun starts at 11am, and an Egg Hunt begins at 11:30am. Admission is $13 in advance, $14 day of. Add on a mini-golf and food voucher for $7 more and get a great deal on lunch (pizza, chips, and choice of drink) and two hours of mini-golf from 12-2pm.

Friday – Make a day of it at the National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections, go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, and see the old Capitol columns. There are so many ways to enjoy one of the loveliest places in the city. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list!


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 3-7

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center



Monday – Bring little ones to play at Wegmans Wonderplace in the National Museum of American History. Designed especially for children 0-6 years old, the activity center is full of fun and interesting features that cater to curious young visitors. If you’re with older kids, check out the Spark!Lab right next door. Hours at Wegmans Wonderplace are 10am – 4pm, and free admission is on a first come, first served basis, so there may be a short wait to get in. If that’s the case, there’s a whole museum to explore in the meantime!

Tuesday – Take a time trip through Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under.

Wednesday – Enjoy a hike and a dose of history all at once at Roosevelt Island. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm. Admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids. (Update: Just learned the parking lot is closed at Roosevelt Island, and while you can still get there — see parking/walking recommendations on the website — you may want to opt for an alternative hike to avoid any hassle. The Walks in the Woods post above has plenty of ideas!)

Thursday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. And if weather permits, continue the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo! Check the Daily Events schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can see an elephant training demo, meet a farm animal, watch feedings, and more — or pick your animal visits as you go. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm this, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 27-31

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery



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Monday – Visit the Sackler Gallery on the National Mall. The Smithsonian museum houses a great collection of Asian art as well as special exhibits, like the current Chinamania. Be sure to head all the way downstairs to an area full of stations that encourage visitors to touch and get a close look. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Go to Tudor Place for Tudor Tots. The weekly program at the historic estate in Georgetown invites little ones to learn about the world around us through songs, stories, crafts, and movement, all tailored to growing tots with a different theme each session. The fun takes place 10-10:45am, and admission is $5/child (accompanying adults free).

Wednesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.

Thursday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where The Three Billy Goats Gruff begins its month-long run this week. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If the weather is nice, plan to stay at Glen Echo Park, where the theatre is located, for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch — BYO fare or buy food from the Praline Bakery on premises.


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 6-10

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum



Monday – Go for Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Occurring the first Monday of every month, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Stay after to explore the rest of the museum, full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – See an all-ages art exhibit with scientific themes and enjoy some reading time at the National Academy of Sciences. The organization is hosting Igniting the Imagination, an exhibition of 28 children’s book illustrations from the collection of the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. The show looks at the power of images and stories to ignite the imagination of young people, and all of the works in the show relate to science, engineering, or medicine in some way. Copies of the books will be on hand in the gallery for families to read along with comfy couches and chairs. The exhibit will be on view March 6 through August 7. Hours are 9am – 5pm, and admission of free. The Academy is located at 500 Fifth Street NW 2101 Constitution Ave NW.

Wednesday – Play the day away at Anacostia Park. The locale stretching along the Anacostia River in SE DC is full of opportunities for recreation with a pirate-themed playground; two other playgrounds; a skating pavilion; a nature center; tennis courts; and fields for playing ball or tossing a Frisbee. Plus, you can walk, run, or bike along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail or just find a table or nice spot in the grass to relax, have a picnic, and take in the views. Hours are dawn to dusk, 11am – 5:45pm for skating, and 10am – 2pm at the Education Center. Admission is free.

Thursday –Let Arts on the Horizon entertain little ones with Nutt and Bolt, a new production about robot rivals who realize that by working together the world becomes full of possibilities. Showtime is 10:30am. Tickets are $9 (free for 12 months and under). The show runs from March 8-25 at The Lab at Convergence located at 1819 N. Quaker Lane in Alexandria, VA.

Friday – Roam around the lovely grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, visit the Korean Bell Garden, and check out exhibits in the Visitor Center at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under.


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 27 – March 3

It's a jungle in there at the U.S. Botanic Garden

It’s a jungle in there at the U.S. Botanic Garden



Monday – Let imaginations run wild with pretend play at the Playseum in Bethesda. Little ones can visit the pet shop, bake in the kitchen, dress up in costumes, enjoy story time, and do some art projects — all possibilities in the many themed rooms and crafts areas. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/person.

Tuesday – Cruise over to the U.S. Navy Museum, where there will be a special program about sailors’ lives aboard ship during World War II from 11am – 1pm. You can also see the museum’s amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. Be sure to note requirements for access to the base and museum.

Wednesday – Drop in for an open play session at SkillZone, a brand new children’s activity center in the heart of Capitol Hill. Welcoming little ones from babies up through 6 years old, the space includes slides, towers, racing ramps, and water play with a section just for toddlers. Hours are 10am – 6pm (M/W/Th/F & 11am – 4:30pm Sat/Sun). Admission is $20/1st child, $15/siblings, free for infants.

Later on… Do you think BIG thinks? And dream BIG dreams? Do you LOVE Dr. Seuss? If so, join Northeast Neighborhood Library from 3:30-5:00pm for an afternoon of crazy crafts, silly snacks, and goofy games! There will also be music, giveaways, a reader’s theater, and birthday cake in honor of the man who loved words, rhyming, and imagination. RSVP is required! Stop by the Children’s Desk on the second floor or call 202.698.0183 to RSVP.

Thursday – If you can’t make it to the Wednesday event, celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on the actual day by visiting your local library. There are special programs at many of them — story times, crafts, and more — that pay tribute to the beloved children’s book author. This post has background on our early experiences at and links to area libraries.

Friday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there’s plenty to enjoy both indoors and out. Walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora, and see the beautiful collection of orchids in the annual exhibit. If weather permits, take a stroll through the National Garden outside, too. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.


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