Tag Archives: DC Kids Activities

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 30 – June 2

Take a hike and take in the scenery at Riverbend Park

Take a hike and take in the scenery at Riverbend Park



Tuesday – Go to the National Museum of American History for Museum ABCs. The program for ages 3-6 and adult companions introduces early learners to the museum collection through letter learning. This week, S is for Sesame Street: Drop by from 11am – 1pm for a Sesame Street story and create your own character! If your child is too young or old for the series, go explore the museum exhibits. (And on other days of the week, take little ones to play in Wegman’s Wonderplace and older kids to Spark!Lab for hands-on fun — both are closed Tuesdays, but open daily otherwise.). Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – 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 allows, continue the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Thursday – Take hike at Riverbend Park. The Great Falls locale may not be as popular as its national park neighbor, but it’s just as fantastic a place to enjoy some time in nature, especially with kids. Trails are mellow for little hikers, the views are lovely, there are plenty of nice picnic spots, and admission is free. And if you want to see the magnificent falls up river, they’re an easy two-mile walk in the woods away. Riverbend Park hours are 7am to dusk.

Friday – Head to the National Portrait Gallery for some creative fun. Take little ones to play in the Explore! activity space designed for children 18 months to 8 years. And all ages can join the Open Studio Friday session in the Education Center, where guests are welcome to drop in anytime from 1-6pm and explore a different art medium with all kinds of neat projects. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, too. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter gallery in this KFDC post.


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

The Weekend Round-Up: May 26-29

High five, it's a 3-day weekend!  (Okay, so they're comparing hand sizes, but yay for the weekend, anyway!)

High five, it’s a 3-day weekend! (Okay, they’re comparing hand sizes, but, still, yay for the weekend!)



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Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer, when some of the season’s best activities begin — swimming under the sky, splashing around in spray parks, catching music and movies in the open air. Along with these staples of the warm months, there are many special events going on over the next few days — holiday tributes and observances, a celebration of JFK, a strawberry fest among them. And, of course, there are ongoing activities galore to help enjoy some quality time with the kids. Happy Weekend!

“Summer” Fun
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

It may not be official on the calendar, but “summer” is underway! Water fun, outdoor concerts, movies under the stars, and more ongoing seasonal treats have begun or are about to begin in DC. Start the weekend with free music at the Yards Park’s first concert of season or Jazz in the Garden on the National Mall. Make a splash at a public pool or a sprayground, see a family flick outdoors at National Harbor on Sunday night, and so much more. The KFDC 2017 Guide to Summer in DC has the scoop on where and when you can experience all the joys of summer.

Celebrate JFK at 100
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 12–10pm
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center welcomes the public to a free Open House in celebration of John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday. Explore and experience the performing arts in the halls, theaters, and plazas of the Kennedy Center through more than 30 free performances, activities, and events for all ages and tastes, featuring artists from the DC region, across the U.S., and abroad.

Memorials Tour
Where: National Mall, DC
When: All Weekend
Admission: Free

Tributes to those who have served our country will take place at the many memorials and monuments on the National Mall throughout the weekend. Times vary, but you can look for schedules on the National Park Service website. The Mall will likely be crowded, so plan accordingly.

May the Force be with Nationals
Where: Nationals Park | Navy Yard, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are playing at home for the holiday weekend, and you can catch games against the Padres on Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (4:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm). Saturday is Star Wars Day when there will be costumed characters and special nods to the Force. Be sure to check out KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank. And if you go on Sunday, plan to stay after for Kids Run the Bases when children can loop the infield after the last out.

El Galeón Ship Tour
Where: City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child, free for under 5

El Galeón, a full-size reconstructed Spanish sailing vessel used in early Colonial times, will be docked at the City Marina in Old Town Alexandria as she makes a stop there on a journey up and down the East Coast. Visitors are welcome to tour five of the six decks of the 16th century Spanish galleon replica. Advance tickets are available online.

Delaplane Strawberry Festival
Where: Sky Meadows State Park | Delaplane, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $25/car

Spend Memorial Day weekend at the 24th Annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival! In addition to having delicious, gourmet-sized strawberries for sale, the festival features live music, a corn hole tournament, children’s games, hayrides, pony rides, a 4-H petting zoo, crafts, strolling entertainers, a 5k trail run, and much more.  

Hometown Holidays
Where: Rockville Town Square | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

A music festival, the Taste of Rockville, and Memorial Day events make up most of the festivities at the Rockville Town Center this weekend. Kids activities, food, and more fun will also be part of the lineup. View the website for the complete schedule of events.

Homefront Street Cars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $5/child, $7/adult

Recall the role of the transit industry during wartime in observance of Memorial Day. Enjoy Tilley the Trolley and Billy the Bus, a wartime production of the Capital Transit Company, and Ten Seconds to Go, a wartime production of Kansas City Public Service. The special exhibit, Homefront Street Cars, will also be on view.

Blast Off!
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum in Chantilly for Making STEM Magic, a weekly program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. On Saturdays this month Blast Off!: Propulsion is the theme, and guests will earn about rockets and propulsion in the May design challenge.

The Jungle Book
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $15-30

This weekend is the last chance to see the show about Mowgli, a human child brought up in the jungles of India by a family of wolves. Recommended for ages 4 and up, there are performances both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm and 4pm.

Shows on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/Cinderella, $6/Tiny Tots

Cinderella is the Main Stage production at the Glen Echo puppet theatre with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Old McDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots show on Saturday at 10am

Market Days
Where: Central Farm Markets | Rockville & Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Visit these farmers markets that help support local communities with activities, events, and programming that help to educate, give back, and fight hunger. Shop for seasonal produce and more, and don’t miss the Kids Club with activities for children ages 4 and up from 10am – 12pm — this week they can enjoy a rainbow craft project while supplies lasts. The Pike Central Farm Market is on Saturday in the REI parking lot, and the Bethesda Central Farm Market is on Sunday in Downtown Bethesda.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Fool For All
Where: Gallaudet University Theatre | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Faction of Fools Theatre Company for the 8th Annual “Fool For All” One-Day Fest: Tales of Chaos & Cannoli. Among the festivities that celebrate Commedia is a kid’s workshop offering a primer on the theatre tradition. Participants will learn about stock characters, how the plays are made, and even get to make a mask they can take home!

Take Your Pick
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Strawberries are ripe and ready for harvest, and many area farms welcome guests to come PYO. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also paddle from nearby Thompson Boathouse and Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45. If you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. And you can see where else you can explore by water in this round-up of great places to row.

National Memorial Day Concert
Where: West lawn of the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8-9:30pm, gates open at 5pm
(or Saturday for the dress rehearsal)
Admission: Free

Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? The 2017 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday from 8 – 9:30pm. Laurence Fishburn is hosting the event this year, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country. If you’re planning to go, the FAQ page on the concert website is worth a read. KFDC Tip: If you can’t make Sunday’s show or don’t want to deal with the crowds, Saturday’s dress rehearsal is also always open to the public — gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Memorial Day Weekend Fun
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm & Monday, 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $14.95/ages 2 and up

Bring the whole family to the children’s museum in Baltimore for a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, enjoy lively music from Mr. Norman, enjoy the signature story time, and learn about rhythm at an interactive Jingle Jangle Music Time! On Monday, the Museum is OPEN, and you can kick off the unofficial start to summer with with Mr. Daveed at the interactive Percussion Garden, create a shrinky dink dog tag in honor of those who’ve served, enjoy the lively Jingle Jangle Music Time, and much more.

Memorial Day Observance
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Monday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Observe the holiday at one of the most iconic spots to honor those who have served. A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30am, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11am followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery here.

National Memorial Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th to 17th Streets | Downtown DC
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. Get a curbside view of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans as they travel up Constitution Avenue.

We Remember
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

On Memorial Day, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will teach people how to preserve veterans’ keepsakes. In the program “We Remember,” experts from the museum and the Library of Congress will advise visitors on how to care for letters, photographs, medals, uniforms and other memorabilia from family members. Informal information sessions will be held throughout the event, which will take place in the Potomac Atrium. Visitors are invited to bring their objects to the museum for caretaking advice.

***More Good Stuff to Know***
* Plan ahead for the Occoquan Arts & Crafts Show taking place next weekend, June 3-4!
* Check out Lunch Squares, a brand new blog by a local mom, with kid-friendly lunch box recipes and more based on seasonal fruits and veggies.
* Read about and get a glimpse of Luray Caverns, one of the region’s most spectacular natural landmarks.
* Did you know May is Bike Month? It is — and Public Bikes is celebrating with a great sale!
* No Monsters in My Bed recently posted a round-up of cute tops for summer!


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 22-26

Even after countless visits, he's still in awe of the Air & Space Museum

Even after countless visits, he’s still in awe of the Air & Space Museum



Monday – View amazing artifacts of aviation and space, discover How Things Fly, take a virtual journey among the stars, catch an IMAX film, see a planetarium show, and much more at the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall. There’s good reason why it’s one of the most popular of the Smithsonian museums (and in the world)! Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, though there are fees to ride flight simulators ($7-12) and see movies ($9/adult, $7.50 child).

Tuesday – Put some brilliant color into what’s forecast to be a gray, rainy 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.

Wednesday – Take little ones to see a show on strings at The Puppet Co. The series is designed for the youngest theatre patrons (ages 0-4), so performances are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. This week’s featured show, Old MacDonald’s Farm, begins at 10am and tickets are $6. If weather cooperates, plan to stay and play at Glen Echo Park afterwards and bring along a picnic lunch or grab food from the Praline Cafe on premises.

Thursday – Go strawberry picking! The time is ripe for gathering the fruits at several area farms — Schlagel, Westmoreland, Wegmeyer, Great Country, and Green Truck — and you can find info on all them in this post about PYO opportunities. And I always recommend calling ahead to confirm the patches are open and good for picking that day.

Friday – Tour El Galeón, a full-size reconstructed Spanish sailing vessel used in early Colonial times, as she stops in Alexandria on its journey up and down the East Coast. The 16th century Spanish galleon replica will be docked at the City Marina May 25-29 and open to visitors 10am – 7pm daily. Admission is $10/adult, $5/child, free for under 5.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays