Taking in the spectacular bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
, where the lotus flowers and water lilies in bloom
are a stunning sight! The wonderful, annual festival to celebrate
it is this coming weekend, but it’s also nice to take in the beauty of it all without the crowds. Meander through the park to see ponds full of giant lily pads and dazzling flora, walk out on the boardwalk to take in views of the acres of marshland, and look out for turtles, great blue herons, frogs, and other wildlife. And did I mention this gorgeous oasis is all right in Northeast DC? Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a great outing with kids while they’re on summer break from school, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. Read more about the experience in this KFDC post about one of our outings there.
Wednesday – See art come to life at the National Portrait Gallery through Portraits Alive!, a theatrical tour of the museum’s collections performed by teens from DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The journey takes visitors to a variety of portraits as the students perform biographical portrayals of the people represented in the photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. Tours are at 12-1pm and 1:30-2:30pm, and they’re being offered Tuesday – Friday this week. Admission is free. And if you’re with really little ones who might get antsy on the tour, take them to the museum’s Explore! with the Portrait Gallery activity space especially for young visitors.
Thursday – Watch The Amazing Max perform his extraordinary magic show at Strathmore’s Backyard Theatre for Children. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8.
Friday – Join Bonjour Mama to celebrate Bastille Day, Le 14 Juillet, with French stories and songs led by Madame Jackie from the popular French storytime at the Cleveland Park library. The session takes place from 10:30-11:15am at the Bon Jour Mama French Bookstore in Kensington, MD. Admission is free.
For an activity with older kids, go to Great Falls. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Enjoy scenic views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. Read a bit more about Great Falls Park in this post on the area’s best outdoor spots to spend a beautiful day with the kids.
Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Story Time, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays
Fort McHenry, the birthplace of The Star Spangled Banner
Get ready for the holiday with a day trip to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry
, the birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner” and site of a key battle in the War of 1812. Learn about the history of the national monument through all kinds of interesting exhibits, both in the Visitors Center and throughout the grounds. Children will especially enjoy seeing the cannons, exploring underground spaces, and touring the barracks that now house lots of neat exhibits, including several interactives. Hours are 9am – 6pm. Admission is $10 for ages 16 and up.
Tuesday – Celebrate Independence Day! This round-up of July 4th events will guarantee you have a blast, fireworks or not.
Wednesday – Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum while you can! The annual Summer Fun Deal, which runs July 1 – Labor Day, waives the entrance fee for youth with one paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. Adult tickets are $24.95. For a museum outing with littler ones, head to National Postal Museum, a fantastic but often overlooked museum full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.
Thursday – See a reimagined version of Beauty and the Beast under a canopy of trees at Wolf Trap. Enchantment Theatre Company brings their take on the classic tale to the outdoor stage of the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods summer series, and you can catch other exciting acts every Tuesday – Saturday at 10:30am through August 5. Tickets are $8-12.
Friday – Drop in to the National Gallery of Art as the museum’s wonderful program for children ages 4-7 returns — with a new name! Formerly called Stories in Art, Art Investigators introduces kids to art and encourages them to make observations and use their imaginations as they discover different works. During this session, explore the art of Helen Frankenthaler. This program will run Friday – Monday from July 7-31. Read a KFDC review of the program from the early KFDC years (it’s old, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same). Sessions are at 10:30am and 12pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am. Admission is free.
Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays
Hanging out in the Asian Collection at the National Arboretum
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!
Tuesday – Get on board the Regal Summer Movie Express! The series begins this week, presenting family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters during the summer. See what’s playing at a theater near you — there are two movie choices every week.
Wednesday – Head to the National Museum of American History, where they’ve joined forces with LEGO Systems for visitors to experience The Nation We Build Together. A nine-foot-tall LEGO Statue of Liberty model will be displayed, and guests of all ages are invited to take part in a hands-on building activity and have a chance to take home their very own miniature LEGO brick-built Statue of Liberty. Festivities begin at 10am. Building activities begin at 12:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is free.
Thursday – Make it a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Swim in the Chesapeake (or just dip the toes if it’s jellyfishy), build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 6pm, and admission is $8/car. Get a glimpse and read more about it in this KFDC post.
Friday – Spend the day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival where circus arts and the movement of people in America are the focus. The annual celebration of living cultural heritage is full of hands-on activities, performances, demos, and much more from June 29 – July 4 and July 6-9, 11am – 5pm each day, with the opening ceremony at 10am the first day, and evening dance parties at 5:30pm and circus performances most nights at 7pm. Find it all on the National Mall from 7th to 12th Streets. Admission is free.
Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Discount, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays