Tag Archives: DC Museums for Kids

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 26-30

Hanging out in the Asian Collection at the National Arboretum



Monday – 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 this 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.


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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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 5-9

Spray fun at Canal Park, where a new kids' series kicks off this week!

Spray fun at Canal Park, where a new kids’ series kicks off this week!



Monday – Go bowling! It’s a great indoor activity for a day with rain in the forecast. Take advantage of Kids Club Bowling at Pinstripes in Georgetown. From 10am – 12pm Monday – Thursday, kids can bowl for $3/hour ($3/shoe rental) and parents are free (limit 4 kids per adult). Eat while you bowl or stay after for lunch — they have a good kids menu and a pretty extensive main menu, too.

Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for all kinds of kid fun. The monthly Little Builders Storytime takes place at 10:30am & 11:30am in the Building Zone, where children can also enjoy areas that encourage pretend play with dress up and props inspired by some of the displays. And the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs is always fun for kids. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members. I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum a few times per year.

Wednesday – Bring kiddos to the kick off of Kids in Canal, a new 12-week series of kid friendly entertainment at the city park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Every Wednesday from 10:30-11:30am, enjoy a live show for littles — kids music, science demos, magic shows, and puppetry are all part of the summer lineup. Of course, top it all off with water play in the fountains and sprays. Admission is free, and the program takes place in the middle block of the park. For more about Canal Park, see this KFDC post.

Thursday – Experience the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens. The seasonal display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world always delights all ages! While you’re there, stroll the beautiful grounds, play in the Children’s Garden, see turtles in the pond, and more. Admission to the park is free, but entry to the butterfly exhibit is $6/adults and $4/ages 3-12 (check CertifiKID for a deal before you go). Hours are 10am – 4pm for Wings of Fancy, 9am – 5pm at the Visitor Center, and sunrise to sunset for the grounds. For more about the annual exhibit and the rest of Brookside Garden’s offerings, see this KFDC post.

In the evening, join Capitol Hill Cooperative Nursery School for Family Movie Night at Miracle Theater on Barracks Row. Enjoy a screening of Muppets Take Manhattan along with a pizza dinner, plus a number of kid friendly activities. Doors open at 5:30, and the movie starts at 6:15. Single tickets are $15 each, family tickets are $48. 

Friday – Take a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The living history museum welcomes visitors to explore the grounds, where there is a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, and animals. Guests can also interact with a family portraying life as it was in the 1700’s. Hours are 10am – 5pm Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $5/adults, $3/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under. Read more about the farm in this post about our first experience there.


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

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