Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in the Washington DC Area

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.


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

The Weekend Round-Up: April 14-16

Tulips abloom at Burnside Farm

Tulips a bloomin’ at Burnside Farm



It may be Easter weekend, but there’s way more going on than egg hunts and bunnies (though there are plenty of them, too). Have fun at Nationals Park — and in national parks. Go to a flower filled festival. Join a bird walk or bike ride. See a show. Enjoy some recreation on the water. Fling some discs on a course…. These are just some of many ways to enjoy the next few days — and some QT with the kids. Happy Weekend!

Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Where: Burnside Farm
When: Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
Admission: $6/Friday $8/Weekend

Experience Holland in Haymarket, VA! The bloom has begun at Burnside Farm, where their annual Festival of Spring showcases the season’s flowers. Stroll through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy. Along with the flowers, there are bouncy features, a playhouse area, cornhole games, and authentic Dutch wooden shoes to try on, concessions for sale, and a picnic area.

Egg-cellent Celebrations
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

Egg hunts, bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season are happening all around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for the whole fam. Join a Bird Egg-stravaganza at Woodend, hunt amid storybook installations at Clark’s Elioak, enjoy loads of spring fun at Ticonderoga Farm, hop on a Bunny Train, fill a basket at an Eggstravagnza, feast at Pinstripes, or find another event where you can celebrate here.

Nats vs. Phillies
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats host the Phillies all weekend with games Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Sunday’s game is going to be extra egg-citing. Not only is it Kids Day, Screech’s Birthday, and Kids Run the Bases, after the game young fans can join the first-ever egg hunt in the outfield at Nationals Park! This requires purchase of a special ticket, and adults must buy it, too (though the hunt is just for kids). Be sure to check out these KFDC tips for doing a Nats game without breaking the bank. And consider signing up for the Jr. Nationals Kids Club, too.

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
Where: Southwest Waterfront
When: April 15, 2-9:30pm
Admission: Free

The final event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place on the Southwest Waterfront at the District Wharf and the Titanic Memorial. It’s an afternoon and part-evening affair with free live music and family-friendly festivities, including water-related activities, cultural experiences, and delicious foods. The grand finale will begin at 8:30pm when the National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Show lights up the night sky.

Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $7

Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Bring the whole family for fun including games, music, wildflower walks, wagon rides, live animals, and more. Read more about Riverbend in this KFDC post. And to see what else is going on at other Fairfax County Parks, go here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: FREE!

It’s National Parks Week through April 23, so there will be no entrance fee at national parks where they usually charge to get in this weekend and next. Take advantage of complimentary admission and celebrate our parks by visiting a local natural treasure. Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive, explore Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry. For more ideas of places to visit, see the National Park Service website.

Breakin’
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Spring Break is winding down for some kids, but just kicking off for others (incuding mine!), and there are a bunch of great ways to take advantage of the time off from school. See a special exhibit, hit the beach, take a cool day trip or overnight, and more. Check out the guide with ideas for where to go and what to do around DC during Spring Break 2017.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Your wish for all-ages entertainment has been granted: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp is at Adventure Theatre
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Bunny Business is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* The Broadway hit Chicago is at the Kennedy Center for one more weekend
* A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage is a great option with older kids or for a date night

Spring Bird Walk
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Sunday, 8-10am
Admission: Free

Bird nerds and those who enjoy a nature walk in a lovely place can join the National Park Service every Sunday in April and May from 8-10am to explore Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Marsh to find resident birds and arriving spring migrants from the tropics. Binoculars and gird guides provided. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Ride with Recess Outings
Where: Capitol Hill
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10-11:30am
Admission: $30-40

Join Recess Outings on a bike ride! If you’ve just starting to cycle with little ones in tow, the Precious Cargo ride on Saturday is an introduction to biking with toddlers. On Sunday, To Market, To Market is designed for anyone up for a leisurely exploration of DC, with world-class markets serving as the bookends along the route as you meander from Eastern Market to Union Market and back again. Get more details about both rides here.

Furnished with a Firelock
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child, free for 2 and under

Learn about the militia in Colonial Virginia right before the American Revolution at this new educational and fun event. Witness the sights and sounds of an 18th century militia encampment and help the soldiers with their camp duties – then fall in to learn the manual of arms.

Go with the Flow
Where: Potomac, Anacostia, South, & Patuxent Rivers
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore! A bunch of places around the area that rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons have opened for the season! Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also row from Key Bridge Boathouse, which just opened for the season. Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has paddling options. And if you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island.

Disc Golf
Where: Local parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family. Read about one of our outings playing the Frisbee-Golf combo. We’ve also enjoyed it at Seneca Creek State Park and Burke Lake Park. Not only is disc golf fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty places with lots of opportunities for more active recreation.

Out and About
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Between the glorious weather and the blooming everything (it seems, right?), it’s a great time to be outdoors. Plan for some al fresco adventures — the round-up of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids has ideas galore!

***Good Stuff to Know***
* There’s an awesome giveaway going on right now to celebrate Mother’s Day coming up. Enter here for a chance to win a $200 gift card to Bliss Spa and $100 in babysitting credit from Chime by Sittercity (note: it doesn’t have to be used on Mother’s Day)!
* Thomas the Tank Engine & friends are rolling into Baltimore for Day Out With Thomas at the B&O Railroad Museum April 28-30 and May 5-7. (Note: The giveaway has ended, but find ticket links in the post).
* There are lots of great shows coming to local stages this season — save your seats in advance!
* We dig the The Brig! The family-friendly beer garden near Barracks Row has a nice selection of brews, good food, live music on Saturdays, and a 25-foot screen for viewing sports games. Yay.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 10-14

Behind the waterfall at Yards Park

Behind the waterfall at Yards Park


* 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 hang out at Yards Park. The recreational space in the Navy Yard is a perfect place to spend a beautiful spring day. Play in the sprays, hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water or go for lunch at one of the many new nearby eateries. Admission to the park is free.

Tuesday – Hit the beach on the 80-degree day! The water may still be too chilly for swimming at Flag Ponds Nature Park, but you can build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic by the water, spot wildlife in the woods, and do some fossil hunting — the park in Calvert County is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 4pm (beach closes at 3:30pm), admission is $6/car. (Update! The park may be closed on Tuesday, so call head to confirm day/hours. If it is, head to Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis for beach fun instead.)

Wednesday – Catch a performance of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre. Showtimes for the all-ages production are 11am and 2pm. Tickets are $19.50. The show runs through May 21.

Thursday – Head to Upton Hill Park for an egg-citing event. Activities will include coloring, games, a moon bounce, and pictures with the Easter Bunny. The fun starts at 11am, and an Egg Hunt begins at 11:30am. Admission is $13 in advance, $14 day of. Add on a mini-golf and food voucher for $7 more and get a great deal on lunch (pizza, chips, and choice of drink) and two hours of mini-golf from 12-2pm.

Friday – Make a day of it at the National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections, go for nature walks through the woods, visit the Washington Youth Garden, and see 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. Read more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list!


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Enter to Win Tickets to Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre!

Photo by Sarah Straub/Adventure Theatre

Photo by Sarah Straub/Adventure Theatre



Adventure Theatre is getting ready to bring their spring production to the stage — along with the some Arabian magic. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp opens this coming weekend with assistance from Middle-Eastern cultural consultants from Iran, India, Morocco, and Egypt among others.

Directed by Roberta Gasbarre and supported by the Weissberg Foundation’s Fund for Diversity in Theatre, the show is based on the original story, Book of One Thousand and One Nights. The multicultural cast and production team presents Aladdin as you’ve never seen it before… Aladdin and his love, the princess Adora, must outsmart an evil Magician who wants to use the genie in Aladdin’s lamp for his nefarious schemes! Will he get away with it? Get ready for love, magic, and mystery in this production for all ages.

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp runs at Adventure Theatre April 7 – May 21, 2017. Recommended for all ages, there will be performances on weekends and weekdays, including during Spring Break. Tickets are $19.50 and available for purchase online or at the Box Office.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below letting me know which performance — date and time — you would prefer to see the show. To be eligible, you must subscribe to KFDC (see sign up on the left). Get an extra entry by also commenting on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page. This giveaway will run through Thursday, April 6, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 3-7

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center



Monday – Bring little ones to play at Wegmans Wonderplace in the National Museum of American History. Designed especially for children 0-6 years old, the activity center is full of fun and interesting features that cater to curious young visitors. If you’re with older kids, check out the Spark!Lab right next door. Hours at Wegmans Wonderplace are 10am – 4pm, and free admission is on a first come, first served basis, so there may be a short wait to get in. If that’s the case, there’s a whole museum to explore in the meantime!

Tuesday – Take a time trip through Baltimore’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.

Wednesday – Enjoy a hike and 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. (Update: Just learned the parking lot is closed at Roosevelt Island, and while you can still get there — see parking/walking recommendations on the website — you may want to opt for an alternative hike to avoid any hassle. The Walks in the Woods post above has plenty of ideas!)

Thursday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses 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.

Friday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo! Check the Daily Events schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can see an elephant training demo, meet a farm animal, watch feedings, and more — or pick your animal visits as you go. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm this, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays