Tag Archives: DC Parks

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 24-28

Butterflies return to Brookside Gardens this week

Butterflies return to Brookside Gardens this week



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. (The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, the last Tuesday of every month, which is this week!)

Tuesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. (This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 1:30pm.)

Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, view the night sky, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. If you’re keen on seeing stars, there’s a planetarium show at 4pm. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center. (Pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but guests are welcome to stop by the stables.)

Thursday – Experience the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens! Walk amid a garden of butterflies in the annual display of live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world. It’s a guaranteed delight for all ages. The exhibit opens April 26 and runs through September 17. Hours are 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds and be sure make time to play in the adorable Children’s Garden. The gardens are open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. Read about one of our experiences at the exhibit and Brookside.

Friday – 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.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Playground, Seasonal, Spring, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 17-21

Skip among the spring flowers at Dumbarton Oaks

Skip among the spring flowers at Dumbarton Oaks



* Along with these recommendations, be sure to check out the Spring Break guide with more ideas for things to do with kids off from school this week!

Monday – Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park. There is so much for all ages to enjoy. Visit the animals at Old Maryland Farm, then head to the Watkins Nature Center to view some cool creatures and birds. Along with animals inside, look for frogs in the pond right outside and do some bird watching and visit the owls, then hike the short trails nearby. And the adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will keep little ones frolicking for hours. Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 8:30am – 5pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free. (Update: The farm is closed Mondays, but the park is still worth a visit — the Nature Center and playground are fantastic. Or enjoy it all a different day of the week.)

Tuesday – Experience a bit of Holland in Haymarket, VA, at Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring. The blooming tulips are absolutely stunning, stretching along acres of fields in a striking array of colors and varieties. Even better, you can pick your own to bring the beauty home ($1 per stem). Admission also includes bouncy fun, a playhouse area, cornhole games, and authentic dutch wooden shoes to “klomp” around in. A cow train and wagon rides are an extra $2. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $8.

Wednesday – Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, restaurant, vintage store, and hotel all in one. And visitors are welcome to explore (and shop!) it all. Tours offered 11am – 3pm. Self-guided tours start at $15. Purchase tickets in advance online.

Thursday – Meet a variety of reptiles and learn about their habitats around the world at Ecosystems Alive, an educational live animal show visiting Discovery Theater. Recommended for ages 6-11, showtimes are 10:15am and 11:30am (on Friday, too). Tickets are $6/child, $8/adult, $3/ages 2 and under. For live entertainment with littler ones, The Three Billy Goats Gruff is the current show at The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo Park. Showtime is 11am. Tickets are $12.

Friday – Frolic on the playground and sprawling fields and do some light hiking at Montrose and Dumbarton Oaks Parks in Georgetown. Both are fun, easy places to enjoy a nice day with little ones (and big ones, for that matter). Admission at both locales is free. Plan to grab a bite at one of the many nearby eateries on M Street or Wisconsin Ave. If you want to make a longer day of it, visit Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, too. Located right next to Montrose, the grounds will be popping with color this time of year, making an already beautiful place even more exquisite. Hours are 2-6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $10.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 9-13

Taking in the view at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden

Taking in the view at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden





Monday – Jump with joy at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions, when the whole park is open only to children under the age of 6, from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Special pricing starts at $8/30 minutes ($10/hour), and an accompanying adult jumps free! I recommend buying tickets and submitting waivers online in advance to save time when you get there.

Tuesday – Take your toddlers to story hour at East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. The children’s book readings are perfect for future readers ages 0-4. The session starts at 11am, and admission is free. After, browse the inventory then grab a lunch at one of many nearby eateries.

Wednesday – Join wacky citizen-scientist Professor Wingnut and his friend Seymour Seagull as they explore the amazing science of flight! This show presented by Discovery Theater fittingly takes places at the National Air & Space Museum. Tickets are still available for the 1pm performance (on Thursday, too!) and cost $3-8, depending on age. If they sell out, you can catch a different kind of show at the museum’s Albert Einstein Planetarium or just explore the amazing space 😉 . Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy what will hopefully be a warmer, sunnier day at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Go on a nature walk among the ponds filled with giant lily pads and other interesting marsh plants and look for geese, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and tiny fish on the way. Open 8am – 4pm this time of year, and at 2pm you can join a Garden Walk with a park ranger. Admission is free.

Friday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center, which I just posted about last week. The facility in Alexandria boasts fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. And if weather permits, continue the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.


1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 26-30

Checking out some of the Q?rius collection

Checking out some of the Q?rius collection



Monday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Winter Break and head to their fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Hit the trail for a hike. It should be a great day for it as the mercury rises a bit. Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Huntley Meadows in Alexandria, and Roosevelt Island are all great for tramping with kids. And this post has even more recommendations for local walks in the woods.

Wednesday – Head up to Baltimore on a Winter Break day off! Learn about the city’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. If you prefer some fresh air, take a tour of Fort McHenry, birthplace of the National Anthem. The park is open 9am – 5pm. Admission is $10/adult, children 15 and under are free.

Thursday – Get Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. During winter break, the interactive and experiential learning space opens earlier at 10am (instead of 2pm). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. It’s recommended for ages 11 and up, but some younger ages could also enjoy it. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Reach new heights of fun at ClimbZone in Laurel, MD. Kids and adults will have a blast scaling the many colorful, whimsically-themed walls at the new indoor climbing center. Hours are 10am – 9pm (10am – 8pm other weekdays). Admission is $25/ages 6 and up, $12/5 and under for a three-hour session.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 28 – December 2

Walk among "icebergs" at the Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit

Walk among “icebergs” at the Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit



Designed for maximum fun and minimum difficulty. Shop PUBLIC Kids' Bikes from $129 Today!

Monday – Zip over to DC’s big train station to check out the little trains. Union Station’s annual Holiday Train Show is back in the West Hall, featuring an elaborate Norwegian mountain landscape. Plan to grab a bite to eat at one of many options there or pop over to the National Postal Museum next door for more fun. Admission is free to both the train exhibit and the Postal Museum.

Tuesday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center to explore a variety of neat hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, build in the Science & Main area, and so much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $20.95/adults, $16.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family of 4 goes just twice in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums around the country.)

Wednesday – Head to the Hirshhorn to view the Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit. The must-see for modern art fans is a mix of performance art, video installations, paintings, dioramas, and more inspired works that are intriguing, moving, and visually stunning. After, treat kiddos to a ride on the carousel located on the Mall very close to the museum. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Watch the airplanes, kick a soccer ball, have a picnic, or just hang out at Gravelly Point. The park located right off the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport is a great place to enjoy a nice day, offering views of the river and airplanes taking off or landing right overhead. (Warning: Some kids find that part exciting, others might be frightened by the loud noise and sight of an airplane coming right at them.) Admission is free.

Friday – Enjoy a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The living history farm welcome 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 back then. Hours are 10am – 4:30pm Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $3/adults, $2/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under. Read about our first experience there in this post.


2 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Union Station, Virginia, Weekdays