Tag Archives: DC Kids Activities

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 14-18

Owen & FDR

Owen & FDR



Monday – Wake up really early to see the supermoon!

Later on, indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim times at all of them, and I recommend calling ahead to confirm there are no random closings.

Tuesday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, catch an IMAX film, and be sure to take advantage of FREE entry on Tuesdays to the Butterfly Pavilion! (Tip: Get tickets when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away.). Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Wednesday – Let the kids burn some energy at Dynamite Gymnastics Center in Rockville. Tumbling mats, trampolines, the jungle crawl (a huge tunnel to run through), and more equipment will keep them active during Open Gym time. Sessions take place 12-12:50pm and 2-2:50pm. Admission is $8/child, $12/participating adults.

For some evening entertainment, head to The Hamilton for a family-friendly old fashioned style country & western concert. Riders in the Sky will combine music and comedy in their all-ages show. Doors open at 6:30pm, show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $17.

Thursday – Get a dose of nature in an unexpected place at Winkler Botanical Preserve. Located just off 395 and Seminary Road in Alexandria, the park is a nice outdoor surprise in an area full of office complexes and strip malls. Hours are 8:30am – 4pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Take a stroll around the Tidal Basin and visit some of DC’s memorials — Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson are all honored there. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day, and park rangers are on hand to answer questions from 9:30am – 10pm. Admission is free.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 7-11

Only in DC: 2nd grade biking field trip to the U.S. Capitol

Only in DC: 2nd grade biking field trip to the U.S. Capitol


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 – VOTE!

And in the spirit of democracy, take a tour of the U.S. Capitol. Even if you can’t get on a guided tour day-of, there still are interesting exhibits and statues to see in the Visitor’s Center, which is open 8:30am – 4:30pm daily. Both admission to the Center and tours are free.

Wednesday – Wander around the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. Stop by the art center’s many galleries to view all kinds of works in a variety of mediums — you may even see the artists, too! Plan to grab lunch in the area at one of the many dining options nearby. And take a stroll by the waterfront for scenic views and boat watching.

Thursday – Play, picnic, and enjoy the surrounding scenery at Hains Point. Drive all the way down, almost to the tip, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid a large grassy area with picnic tables and bathrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. Admission is free.

Friday – Observe Veterans Day by visiting the sites that honor those who have served our country. Make the rounds on the Mall at your leisure or attend special ceremonies — they will take place at the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorials, and Korean War Memorial from 2-4pm, and they’re all within easy walking distance from each other. And the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is offering special family-friendly tours of The Wall — several times slots are available for the free activity (they are also being offered all day Saturday, November 12).


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 31 – November 4

A walk in the woods at Woodend Nature Sancutary

A walk in the woods at Woodend Nature Sancutary



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Monday – Make it a musical morning with the Boogie Babes as Mr. Gabe performs for the kiddie crowd. Showtime is 10:30am at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Admission is $6/child, free for siblings 6 months and under. (And I’d guess at least some of the show will be inspired by the day’s main event.)

Later on, get your Halloween on! Head to the International Spy Museum store for Spy Fright, where you can learn tricks of the trade from make-up and disguise artist, Roger Riggle. Then you’ll be all set for a Gymboree party or trick-or-treating at Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria boutiques, Leesburg Outlets, Gateway DC, or the Pentagon City Mall! Details about all of these events are in the guide about Wicked Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween in DC.

Tuesday – Visit the largest library in the world to see the #1 children’s author in the world! Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, is coming to the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium from 10am – 12pm, for a one-hour program and book signing. Seating is limited for the public, so get there early! Admission is free.

Wednesday – Go for a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bees nests and bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Then from 4:30-5:30pm, take children ages 5-12 to the Shaw Neighborhood Library for a fun afternoon of music with the DC Youth Orchestra! Kids will have the opportunity to check out and play a variety of orchestral instruments with the help of the DCYO’s specialized instructors. Admission is free.

Thursday – 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 ages 6 and under, 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.

Friday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a great outing with kids on the DCPS day off, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 2pm this time of year. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. This post from one of our outings there has more details about the experience.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 24-28

A giant blue rooster, a roof top space, and great views from it...all new at the NGA

A giant blue rooster, a roof top space, and great views from it…all new at the NGA



Monday – Visit the recently reopened East Building of the National Gallery of Art! Full of modern art with bold colors and captivating designs, it’s a great museum to visit with kids. Be sure to stop in the new Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes spin and dazzle. And, of course, don’t miss the giant blue rooster — and fabulous views of the Capitol — on the roof top. Hours are 10am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Explore and play at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington. Hike the short trails and let the kids romp on the playground, then visit the nature center where you can see turtles, snakes, and other creatures in terrariums and discover more about the natural world in the Kids Cave. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Let little ones 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 $7/child. (This also takes place on Tuesday at the same time.)

Thursday – Catch a performance of Aquarium at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and interactive props, children and caregivers will delight in the magical underwater world the play creates. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $10. Afterward, grab some lunch at a nearby H Street eatery — Maketto, Bullfrog Bagels, and Shawafel are a few of our faves.

Friday – Head to Cabin John Regional Park for play time and Halloween fun. Begin with some time on the awesome sprawling playground amid the lovely woods. Then starting at 1pm, you can take a ride on the “Eye Spy” Halloween Train, which features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Park hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is free. Train rides are $6, and I recommend purchasing tickets in advance online.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 17-21

Little ones can relate "Harold and the Purple Crayon" to artist Linn Meyers' hand drawn wall art at the Hirshhorn Museum's STORYTIME+ program

Little ones can relate “Harold and the Purple Crayon” to artist Linn Meyers’ hand drawn wall art at the Hirshhorn Museum’s STORYTIME+ program



Monday – Take advantage of the surprise warm weather and go geocaching. It’s like a scavenger hunt, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors with a little adventure. Even better, you can pick and choose where and when you want to do it. This KFDC post has all the info you need to get started.

Tuesday – Enjoy STORYTIME+, the Hirshhorn Museum’s new program that invites the youngest artists (ages birth – preschool) and their caregivers to explore contemporary art through stories and movement. Museum staff will read a book aloud, introduce children to an artist in the collection, and lead an activity. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is this session’s featured book, and little ones can explore and participate in Harold’s misadventures through hands-on fun and close-looking with an original wall drawing created for the Hirshhorn by artist Linn Meyers. Meet in the lobby at 10am. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, see the night sky, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. If you’re keen on seeing stars, there’s a planetarium show at 4pm. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center for free. (Unfortunately, pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but staff at the stables always welcome visitors.)

Thursday – Experiment with hands-on fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Kids of all ages can explore a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through fun, engaging interactive exhibits and activities. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $12 (under 2 are free).

Friday – Catch a performance of Hansel & Gretel, the latest Main Stage production at The Puppet Co. Showtime is at 11am. Tickets are $12. Plan to stay after to picnic (BYO and buy from the cafe) and romp on the Glen Echo Park playground.

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