Tag Archives: DC Museums with Kids

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 12-16

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Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets in Takoma or Hyattsville, MD. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving. (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, the last Tuesday of every month.)

Tuesday – Bundle up for some time outdoors at the U.S. National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections, go for nature walks through the woods, have fun in the natural playground at the Washington Youth Garden, and play among 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.

Tuesday evening, visit Season’s Greenings, the U.S. Botanic Garden’s annual holiday exhibit. On most Tuesdays and Thursdays in December, hours are extended until 8pm for seasonal concerts and after dark touring. It’s a wonderful time to go, both for the music and to walk through the jungle area while the dome is illuminated with colorful lights.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle...

In the jungle, the mighty jungle…

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 $6/child. (This also takes place on Tuesday at the same time.)

Thursday – Celebrate Bill of Rights Day with the Newseum! On the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, enjoy a day of family-oriented programs, tours, and reenactments — see the schedule of the website for specifics. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is $22.95/adult, 13.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under. (KFDC Tip: Goldstar has discount tickets, but you need to buy them at least a day in advance.)

Friday – Catch a performance of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Adventure Theatre. The holiday classic is brought to life on stage in a fun and clever two-actor show recommended for all ages. Showtimes are 10:30am and 12:30pm. Tickets are $19.50


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre

Scenes from the National Gallery of Art East Building

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 3-7

The apple doesn't fall far from DC...

The apple doesn’t fall far from DC…



Monday – Take a hike and get a dose of history all at once at Roosevelt Island. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm. Admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids.

Tuesday – Be among the first guests to join the National Museum of American History’s brand new weekly program for children. Museum ABCs is a fun, drop-in program for ages 3-6 and adult companions that introduces early learners to the museum collection through letter learning. In October, A is for Automobile: Read all about things that go, play with toy cars, and create a car craft. Sessions are 11am – 1pm and 2-4pm. Admission is free. If your child is too young or old for the series, go play in Wegman’s Wonderplace or explore the museum exhibits! (Update: Wegmans Wonderplace is closed on Tuesdays.)

Wednesday – Visit the animals, roam the peaceful grounds, and possibly join in a children’s program at Oxon Hill Farm. Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Catch an interactive, bilingual show for children at Discovery Theater, located in the Ripley Center next to the Smithsonian Castle. Fábulas Fairy Tales is a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish through storytelling, math, music, and more. Showtime is 10:15am & 11:30am. Tickets are $3-8. (Note: This also takes place on Friday and October 12-13.)

Friday – Go apple picking! We recently visited (and loved) Waters Orchard in Germantown, and there are plenty of other area farms and orchards that welcome guests to gather their own fruit. This list of places to PYO has details on a bunch of them. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good that day.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays