A giant blue rooster, a roof top space, and great views from it…all new at the NGA
Visit the recently reopened East Building of the National Gallery of Art
! Full of modern art with bold colors and captivating designs, it’s a great museum to visit with kids. Be sure to stop in the new Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes spin and dazzle. And, of course, don’t miss the giant blue rooster — and fabulous views of the Capitol — on the roof top. Hours are 10am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.
Tuesday – Explore and play at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington. Hike the short trails and let the kids romp on the playground, then visit the nature center where you can see turtles, snakes, and other creatures in terrariums and discover more about the natural world in the Kids Cave. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.
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 $7/child. (This also takes place on Tuesday at the same time.)
Thursday – Catch a performance of Aquarium at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and interactive props, children and caregivers will delight in the magical underwater world the play creates. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $10. Afterward, grab some lunch at a nearby H Street eatery — Maketto, Bullfrog Bagels, and Shawafel are a few of our faves.
Friday – Head to Cabin John Regional Park for play time and Halloween fun. Begin with some time on the awesome sprawling playground amid the lovely woods. Then starting at 1pm, you can take a ride on the “Eye Spy” Halloween Train, which features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Park hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is free. Train rides are $6, and I recommend purchasing tickets in advance online.
Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays
Little ones can relate “Harold and the Purple Crayon” to artist Linn Meyers’ hand drawn wall art at the Hirshhorn Museum’s STORYTIME+ program
Take advantage of the surprise warm weather and go geocaching. It’s like a scavenger hunt, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors with a little adventure. Even better, you can pick and choose where and when you want to do it. This KFDC post
has all the info you need to get started.
Tuesday – Enjoy STORYTIME+, the Hirshhorn Museum’s new program that invites the youngest artists (ages birth – preschool) and their caregivers to explore contemporary art through stories and movement. Museum staff will read a book aloud, introduce children to an artist in the collection, and lead an activity. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is this session’s featured book, and little ones can explore and participate in Harold’s misadventures through hands-on fun and close-looking with an original wall drawing created for the Hirshhorn by artist Linn Meyers. Meet in the lobby at 10am. Admission is free.
Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, see 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 for free. (Unfortunately, pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but staff at the stables always welcome visitors.)
Thursday – Experiment with hands-on fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Kids of all ages can explore a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through fun, engaging interactive exhibits and activities. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $12 (under 2 are free).
Friday – Catch a performance of Hansel & Gretel, the latest Main Stage production at The Puppet Co. Showtime is at 11am. Tickets are $12. Plan to stay after to picnic (BYO and buy from the cafe) and romp on the Glen Echo Park playground.
Filed under All ages, Art, Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Preschoolers, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays
O, say can you see… the amazing historic sights at Fort McHenry
Take a day trip up to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry
, where “The Star Spangled Banner” was inspired and site of a key battle in the War of 1812. Learn about the history of the national monument through all kinds of interesting exhibits, both in the Visitors Center and throughout the grounds. Children will especially enjoy seeing the cannons, exploring underground spaces, and touring the barracks that now house neat exhibits. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is $10 for ages 16 and up. And as part of Maryland Fleet Week
, you can see a “Salute to Schooners” from 9am – 12pm as schooners fire a cannon salute to the Fort while students sing patriotic songs. (You can also see and possibly tour U.S. and Canadian Navy ships at the Inner Harbor starting on Wednesday.)
Wednesday – Go to the National Archives’ monthly story time series for littles! Children aged 3-5 with accompanying adults can listen to a book reading, participate in group activities, and create a craft — all with a Halloween-in-the-White-House theme. The session takes place 10-11am in the Boeing Learning Center. Admission is free.
Thursday – Get a unique dose of nature in the city at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast DC, just off the BW Parkway. Go on a nature walk among the ponds and marsh areas filled with giant lily pads and other interesting water plants. Look for geese, egrets, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, and small fish on the way. Hours are 9am – 5pm this time of year. Admission is free.
Friday – Enjoy the autumn day at the enchanting Clark’s Elioak Farm, where children will feel like they’ve stepped right into a nursery rhyme with recovered installations from an old storybook park scattered throughout the grounds — that they can play in and on, too! There are also hayrides, cow train rides, pony rides, mazes, a petting farm, a playground, and even more delights for all. Open 10am – 5pm. Admission is $6, some rides are extra. Read more about the farm among the round-up of the best outdoor places around the DC area.
Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Free, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Weekdays
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