Monday – Go to the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria for their Tavern Toddler program from 10:30-11:30am. Explore the historic ballroom and enjoy playtime featuring a story, dancing, and craft as well as time for free play. Recommended for walkers through 36 months. Admission is $7 for a group of three, must include one adult.
Tuesday – Let the kids 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 Wednesday at the same time.)
Wednesday – No matter what the weather outside, it’s always pleasant in the U.S. Botanic Garden. Walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora without a drop of precipitation falling on you, unless you count the misters in the jungle. Be sure to stop in the “Plants in Culture” exhibit, where you can smell the scents of various plants and learn about their everyday uses. Hours at the USBG are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.
Thursday – Sign up for a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Explore a new mansion room each week through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. The three-session series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult, or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on 2/13, 2/20, & 2/27.
Friday – Celebrate Valentine’s Day on ice! Temps are expected to rise by the end of the week, making for perfect outdoor skating weather. Take newbies to Washington Harbour or Pentagon Row, where they can get a little help from “push” penguins or buckets. Experienced skaters will enjoy any of the area rinks listed in this post about recreation on ice. No matter where you end up, treat the kids (and yourself) to hot chocolate, lunch, a snack, or all of the above — just about every location boasts great eateries onsite or nearby.