Tag Archives: DC Attractions

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 17-20

Enjoy warmer weather and avoid crowds downtown at the National Zoo this week

Enjoy warmer weather and avoid crowds downtown at the National Zoo this week



Tuesday – Put some color in what’s forecast to be a gray day on a visit to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Housing some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around, the vibrant, quirky collections — including interactive pieces — 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 & ages 7 and up, free for 6 and under.

Later in the day, Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes is celebrating their 10th Anniversary with fun for the whole family from 4-7pm. There will be live music, face painting, raffles, delicious samples from local vendors, and a cake cutting. Plus, you can enjoy exclusive sale items all day and get a free pint glass with any food purchased from the store’s sports bar, seafood shack, or cheese grille.

Wednesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, while the weather warms up and the weekday crowds thin out. Check the Daily Events schedule before you go to help plan your outing or pick your animal visits as you go. Grounds are open 8am – 5pm, exhibit building hours are 9am – 4pm, and the Visitor Center 10am – 4pm. 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.

Thursday – Enjoy the day at Watkins Regional Park! The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will keep little ones frolicking for hours. While you’re there, stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals and the Watkins Nature Center to view some cool creatures and birds. Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 8:30am – 5pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free.

Friday – As the 45th president is sworn in on Inauguration Day, head to Alexandria (and avoid the crowds of DC) to visit the home of the nation’s first POTUS, George Washington. Mount Vernon is hosting special activities, including scavenger hunts, exhibits, photo ops, and more, not to mention the ongoing programs and exhibits will be available, too! This program runs January 19-22. Hours are 8am – 5pm. Admission is $20/adult, $10/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under at the door, but $2 less if you purchase tickets online. And if you’re planning to take in the action at the U.S. Capitol, I recommend checking out this guide.


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 9-13

Taking in the view at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden

Taking in the view at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden





Monday – Jump with joy at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions, when the whole park is open only to children under the age of 6, from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Special pricing starts at $8/30 minutes ($10/hour), and an accompanying adult jumps free! I recommend buying tickets and submitting waivers online in advance to save time when you get there.

Tuesday – Take your toddlers to story hour at East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. The children’s book readings are perfect for future readers ages 0-4. The session starts at 11am, and admission is free. After, browse the inventory then grab a lunch at one of many nearby eateries.

Wednesday – Join wacky citizen-scientist Professor Wingnut and his friend Seymour Seagull as they explore the amazing science of flight! This show presented by Discovery Theater fittingly takes places at the National Air & Space Museum. Tickets are still available for the 1pm performance (on Thursday, too!) and cost $3-8, depending on age. If they sell out, you can catch a different kind of show at the museum’s Albert Einstein Planetarium or just explore the amazing space 😉 . Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy what will hopefully be a warmer, sunnier day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Go on a nature walk among the ponds filled with giant lily pads and other interesting marsh plants and look for geese, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and tiny fish on the way. Open 8am – 4pm this time of year, and at 2pm you can join a Garden Walk with a park ranger. Admission is free.

Friday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center, which I just posted about last week. The facility in Alexandria boasts 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.


1 Comment

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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 2-6

Exploring pointillism at an Open Studio Friday session

Exploring pointillism at an Open Studio Friday session



Monday – Go see a movie on the really big screen. You’ve got your choice of several IMAX films playing right now: Dinosaurs Alive 3D, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D, and National Parks Adventure 3D are all playing at the Natural History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theater. And the Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater presents A Beautiful Planet 3D, Journey to the Stars 3D, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Tickets are $9/adults, $8/seniors, $7.50/youth ($15/adult, $13.50/youth for Rogue One). Be sure to check schedules for showtimes. And, of course, plan for some time before or after to explore the museums, too.

Tuesday – Venture up to Baltimore for a day of play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits will keep the kids entertained for hours! Open 9:30am – 4:30pm. Admission is $14.95 for ages 2 and up, free for under 2. And if you think you might go a few time this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.

Wednesday – Explore the grounds and play in the gardens, particularly the Children’s Garden, at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as lovely as they are fun. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Thursday – Enjoy a musical morning with Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to Eastern Market at 10:30am. Admission is $6/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Plan on lunch after at the market or nearby — there are lots of options for a tasty bite.

Friday – Head to the National Portrait Gallery for some creative fun at an Open Studio Friday session. All ages are welcome to explore a different art medium each week with all kinds of neat projects. Drop in anytime from 1-6pm. Go earlier or stay after to explore the museum’s collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter gallery in this KFDC post.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 26-30

Checking out some of the Q?rius collection

Checking out some of the Q?rius collection



Monday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Winter Break and head to their fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Hit the trail for a hike. It should be a great day for it as the mercury rises a bit. Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, and Roosevelt Island are all great for tramping with kids. And this post has even more recommendations for local walks in the woods.

Wednesday – Head up to Baltimore on a Winter Break day off! Learn about the city’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. If you prefer some fresh air, take a tour of Fort McHenry, birthplace of the National Anthem. The park is open 9am – 5pm. Admission is $10/adult, children 15 and under are free.

Thursday – Get Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. During winter break, the interactive and experiential learning space opens earlier at 10am (instead of 2pm). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. It’s recommended for ages 11 and up, but some younger ages could also enjoy it. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Reach new heights of fun at ClimbZone in Laurel, MD. Kids and adults will have a blast scaling the many colorful, whimsically-themed walls at the new indoor climbing center. Hours are 10am – 9pm (10am – 8pm other weekdays). Admission is $25/ages 6 and up, $12/5 and under for a three-hour session.

Leave a Comment

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

Scenes from the National Gallery of Art East Building

nga_east_wow

It’s been a few months since the reopening of the National Gallery of Art’s East Building. The wing that houses museum’s modern and contemporary collections was closed for several years while it was being renovated. The upgrade didn’t just enhance the interior; it also added over 12,000 feet of space. There is now a rooftop with views of the Capitol, Smithsonian Castle, and downtown DC, as well as two tower galleries — one of them dedicated to Alexander Calder’s mobiles, the other showcasing Mark Rothko’s abstract works. Both excellent additions to an already remarkable place.

nga_east_calder

nga_east_rothco

We visited the updated museum the first weekend it was open and have been back several times since. (I really can’t express enough how incredibly lucky we are to have world-class museums right in our backyard that we can easily pop into without having to pay an admission fee. Sometimes we go on whim when we’re out on a bike ride or happen to be driving nearby and see a free parking space.) I’m just now, though, getting around to posting some photos from our visits.

nga_east_stairs_view

nga_east_rooster_capitol

Surely, by now you’ve seen pictures of the giant, royal blue cockerel that stands on the rooftop (a sculpture called Hahn/Cock). It’s quirky and cool, for sure, but there are plenty more eye-popping, beautiful, and evocative works to view. Here’s a glimpse of some of them. But you need to pop in or make a plan to go and experience it all for yourself.

The National Gallery of Art is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, and Sunday 11am – 6pm. Admission is free.

nga_east_america

nga_east_gallery

nga_east_sculptures

nga_east_car

nga_east_owen

nga_east_couple

nga_east_sketching

nga_east_sunset


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Ongoing, Weekdays, Weekend