The apple doesn’t fall far from DC…
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.
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
Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets
Get a great nature fix at Riverbend Park
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 – Hit the trail 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 gorgeous, there are plenty of nice picnic spots, and admission is free. Plus, 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.
Wednesday – Check out your local library. Drop in for story time, sing-a-longs, arts & crafts, and other activities, or just go to browse for books. See this post from the very early KFDC days for a little background and quick links to libraries around the area. Hours vary by location, admission is free.
Thursday – Catch a production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre. The all-ages production adapted from the classic book begins at 10:30am, and tickets are $19.50. If weather permits, stay to play at Glen Echo Park after the show and have a picnic lunch — BYO or pick up a bite at the Praline Cafe there.
Friday – Enjoy a free screening of One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure at the Einstein Planetarium in the National Air & Space Museum. Showtime is 10:30am every Friday (and Sunday, plus the first Saturday of every month). It only lasts about 20 minutes, so explore the many impressive exhibits and discover How Things Fly, a room full of hands-on activities with major kid appeal, while you’re there.
Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays
Exploring the National Gallery of Art
Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum
. It’s a perfect place for young visitors, with eye-popping displays and hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and much more. Keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.
Tuesday – Get another, but different museum of experience at the National Gallery of Art. Head to the West Wing as most of the East is still under renovation, but be sure to take the “sparkly walkway” in between the two — that’s often kids’ favorite part (adults love it, too). Stroll among sculptures and stop to view works by many of the masters. There’s a cafe in the museum, but I recommend heading elsewhere for better value or BYO. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Enjoy a musical morning with Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to The Angelika Pop-Up @ Union Market at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. And did you know the program is now run by the DC Diaper Bank? Proceeds from the shows support the organization’s mission to help families in need. (FYI: You can also catch Boogie Babes shows at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Mondays and Eastern Market on Thursdays.)
Thursday – Celebrate the official start of the new season at a fall festival! The Pumpkin Village Fall Fest at Leesburg Animal Park runs daily, and weekdays are a great time to go when you won’t encounter crowds. Slides, wagon rides, moon bounces, a maze, and pedal carts are among the seasonal fun. And, of course, animals are part of the mix with pony rides and furry friends to pet and feed. It’s open 9:30am – 6pm. Admission is $12.95/adult, $9.95/ages 2-12, and free for children under 2.
Friday – Play in the sprays at Canal Park. The recreational space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood in southeast DC has both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones, plus a bigger one for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Admission is free. Grab a bite to eat at Il Parco on premises or at another nearby eatery — there are options right across the street and food trucks in parked right in the area often — or pack lunch for a picnic.
Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays
What’s not to love about the sculpture gardens on the National Mall?
Enjoy the outdoors on the National Mall. View art al fresco — kids will love the whimsical creations at the National Gallery of Art
and Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Gardens
. Stroll along the paths at the Haupt Garden
behind the Smithsonian Castle. Take a spin on The Carousel
for $3.75 a ride. And, of course, pop into a museum (or two or three) while you’re there.
Venture up to Baltimore for a day of play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits will keep the kids entertained for hours! Open 9:30am – 4:30pm. Admission is $14.50 for ages 2 and up (free for under 2).
Update: Port Discovery is closed for exhibit maintenance. Instead, check out the Baltimore Museum of Industry, a fun little time trip through the city’s early business days with lots of interesting, interactive exhibits. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Tour on your own — admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under — or join the Wee Workers program for preschoolers 10:30-11:30am (free for kids, $5/adults).
Wednesday – Catch a free concert for little ones as the Teddy Bear Band plays a lunchtime show, perfect for children ages 2-5 and their families. Pack some snacks and join the fun in the McLean Central Park Gazebo at the McLean Community Center. Showtime is 12:30pm. Admission is free.
Thursday – Hit the playground at Wheaton Regional Park. Two levels of slides, climbing nets, monkey bars, swings, and more fun features will appeal to all ages and abilities. Pack lunch to eat at nearby picnic tables under the lofty trees. It’s open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.
Friday – Head to the National Portrait Gallery for some creative fun at an Open Studio Friday session. All ages are welcome to explore a different art medium each week with all kinds of neat projects. Drop in anytime from 1-6pm. Go earlier or stay after to explore the museum’s collections and hang out in the Kogod Courtyard. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter gallery in this KFDC post.
Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays
Exploring the exhibits in imagiNATIONS at the National Museum of the American Indian
Play the day away at Clemyjontri
, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.
Wednesday – Join Step Arika! for a special storytime for toddlers that combines reading and creative movement. The 10:30am session at Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library is part of Step Xplosion!, a tour of all 8 Wards to kick off their new season. Admission is free. (Note: This also takes place on Thursday at 4pm at Mount Pleasant Library.)
Thursday – Enjoy a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Explore a new mansion room or garden each week through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this three-session Fanciful Heroes-themed series, children will hunt for dragons, make a hero’s cape, and explore a fantastical world of adventure. The series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult (($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on September 8, 15, and 22.
Friday – Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of interactive pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center in the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
*Want to cool off in the sprays? With expected high temps this coming week, DC DPR announced that operations will continue at public spray parks in the District through September 11! Hours are 10am – 7pm daily. You can also find a list of other spraygrounds in the area here.
Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays