Tag Archives: Things to do with Kids in DC

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 1-5

One of our favorite parts of the National Gallery

One of our favorite parts of the National Gallery



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Ergobaby Stowaway


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! (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, Va, the last Tuesday of every month.)

Tuesday – Go ice skating under (hopefully) sunny skies! Enjoy art as you glide at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Several local rinks offer push aides to help newbie skaters. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area, including bonus activities to enjoy while you’re there.

Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones at The Puppet Co. The lights stay on, and doors remain open during Tiny Tots performances for the youngest audiences. Winter Wonderland is this week’s production. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5 for everyone, including babies.

Thursday – Visit the animals, roam the peaceful grounds, and possibly join in a children’s program at Oxon Hill Farm near National Harbor. Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Check out some art at the National Gallery. Plan on spending most of your time in the West Building, as the East Building is currently undergoing renovations (the atrium, gallery shops, and cafes remain open). Be sure to take a walk/ride on the moving sidewalk for a dazzling light show, always a delight for kids (and adults, for that matter). Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, Babies, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 25-29

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?

Do you want to build a tiny snowman?



[Note: Regular hours should resume at most places by Tuesday, January 26, but in these post-storm situations, I always recommend calling ahead to confirm. Also, I’m still accepting submissions for the KFDC Blizzard of 2016 Photo Contest — enter your best shots by emailing them to kidfriendlydc@yahoo.com!]

Monday – Take advantage of Snowzilla’s outcome before it gets too slushy. Build a snowman, go sledding, have a snowball fight! But if you want a break from the snow, go bounce some energy off at Flight Trampline Park. They are open today starting at 12pm, and it’s Open Jump all day! I recommend buying tickets and signing waivers online in advance.

Tuesday – Let the kids take the wheel at the Washington Auto Show. The annual event showcasing the newest models of cars and trucks will be at the Washington Convention Center through January 31. Kids (and adults) can sit in the driver’s seat, pretend to cruise around, check out dashboard details, and more. Open this week 12-9pm Tuesday – Thursday (12-10pm on Friday and varying hours on the weekend). Admission is $12/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Read more about what to expect in this post about one of our past experiences there.

Wednesday – Show the kiddos relics from the nation’s past at the National Museum of American History. Explore the new Innovation Wing and gets hands on in the Spark!Lab, take little ones to play in Wegmans Wonderplace, see the progress of transportation in America on the Move. Toys and games, items from pop culture past, sports memorabilia, and the star spangled banner will also grab young kids’ attention. The museum is open from 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Get a nature fix indoors at Watkins Nature Center. There, you can see and learn about birds, reptiles, and other creatures that inhabit the surrounding area. If possible, head over to the Wizard of Oz-themed playground to romp outdoors and Old Maryland Farm where ponies, cows, chickens, rabbits, and other animals live. The Nature Center is open 8:30am – 5pm, the Farm 9am – 4pm, the playground dawn to dusk. Admission to everything is free.

Friday – Visit the National Geographic Museum, where Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World opens on January 27. Don’t miss the captivating images of Photo Ark and Pristine Seas while you’re there. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $15/adult, $12/senior, $10/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under, and it gets you into all of the exhibits. Look for a discount on adult tickets here.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 19-22

Ready to explore Ancient Egypt at Port Discovery

Ready to explore Ancient Egypt at Port Discovery



Tuesday – Feel like you’re outdoors in the comfort of pleasant temps at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora (without requiring a hat and gloves) and stop in the “Plants in Culture” exhibit, where you can smell the scents of herbs and spices and learn about their everyday uses. Hours at the USBG are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Venture up to Baltimore for a day of play at Port Discovery! The children’s museum is full of neat interactive exhibits for all ages. And a special Wonderful Wednesday program invites babies through 6-year-olds to develop early learning skills with art, music, and literacy activities. Museum hours are 9:30am – 4:30pm. Admission is $14.95 for ages 2 and up (free for under 2).

Thursday – Bring little ones to enjoy Theatre for the Very Young at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, where Marmalade is running through January 24. Showtimes are 10am and 11:30m. Tickets are $9. Plan for lunch on H Street afterward — there are plenty of kid-friendly places nearby, including The Argonaut, Shawafel, Taylor Gourmet, and Red Rocks.

Friday – Take advantage of Tots Playtime at Pinstripes in Georgetown. From 10am – 12pm most weekdays, ALL kids can bowl for just $5 (plus $5 shoe rental), and parents are free (limit 4 kids per adult). Stay after for lunch — they have a good kids menu and a pretty extensive main menu, too.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Theatre, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 11-15

Fun and learning in Newton's Alley at the Maryland Science Center

Fun and learning in Newton’s Alley at the Maryland Science Center



Monday – Join National Park Service Rangers at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site for the weekly Reading Ranger series. Geared toward children under 5 and their caregivers, the sessions include a fun and educational story time as well as a craft activity. Start time is 10:30am, and admission is free. The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House is located at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW.

Tuesday – Let little ones jump the morning away during Toddler Time at SkyZone. The trampoline park has locations in Columbia, Gaithersburg, and Manassas, and they all offer the special sessions for ages 5 and under from 9:30-11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Admission is $5.

Wednesday – Take your baby to see a movie. Well, really take yourself to see the movie, but feel comfortable bringing your baby along at a Crybaby Matinee. The Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market hosts the weekly series so moms with tiny ones can relax and enjoy a flick without worrying about unexpected tantrums or feedings in the dark. This week’s screening of When Marine was There starts at 12pm, and admission is $8. If your babes are older, take them to see a movie on the really big screen. There are always several IMAX films playing at the Natural History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theater and the Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater. Tickets are $9/adults, $7.50/youth. Be sure to check schedules for showtimes. And, of course, plan for some time before or after to explore the museums, too.

Thursday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center to explore a variety of cool hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, check out the new Science & Main exhibit, 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.)

Friday – Join 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, too! Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter gallery in this KFDC post.


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Filed under All ages, Art, Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Play, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 8-10

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday



With the hubbub of the holidays completely over, it’s time to delve into some 2016 fun! Happy Weekend!

NSO in Your Neighborhood Museum
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, all day & 7:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this time in Penn Quarter. The American Art Museum will be one of the hosting venues on Saturday with family programming all day, including an instrument petting zoo, a concert for children, and pop-up performances leading up to the grand finale – an evening concert by the full orchestra in the Kogod Courtyard!

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual exposition celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center all weekend. There will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to try new sports, giveaways, and lactivities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow line to the Mount Vernon stop.

Open House
Where: Royalty Learning Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Looking for early education options for your little one? Royalty Learning Center in Maryland is hosting an Open House on Saturday, where you can learn more about their programs that focus on education and uniqueness of each child. Meet the director and lead teachers, tour the center, and gain insight into their curriculum. Children are welcome, too! Light refreshments will be served.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 12:45pm
Admission: Free

Get an up-close and personal taste of what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage – they promise you’ll have a blast! Sample camps are 20 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production. Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here.

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $10

The “cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss” is back with his unique multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations, and storytelling. Plan to dine along with the show — the full lunch and drink menu will be available.

NSO Kinderclassics: Break it Down
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

If your kids love to tinker, they’ll enjoy this high-energy concert, where they delight in dissecting the pieces and parts of music and instruments! There will also be pre-show fun in the Hall of States: Starting an hour before the concert, a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage, from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Star Wars on the Really Big Screen
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/child

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet (or if you have and are ready for a repeat), Smithsonian’s IMAX theaters are easily among the best places in the area to view them. Some of the key sequences of the film were shot using IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world, so only in IMAX theaters will those scenes expand vertically to fill the entire screen for a truly immersive experience. (Plus, Star Wars in the museums that showcase space!)

Ice It
Where: Local Ice Skating Rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Get out and glide. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note that both at Canal Park and Washington Harbor are hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Rock Creek Explorations
Where: Peirce Mill
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get a glimpse of Rock Creek Park’s past on a visit to the historic Peirce Mill. Tour three-levels of 19th-century machinery and find out water from the creek powered the mill to make flour and meal. Plan on some hiking, too — the site is situated right next to a couple of nice trails. This new post has details on an outing there.

Snow White
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Take your kids to see other kids perform as Encore Stage & Studio theatre brings a fairytale classic to the stage. Their signature by kids for kids is great for young audiences. This show is recommended for ages 4 and up, and there are a few performances throughout the weekend.

InterAct Story Theatre
Where: Wheaton Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Enjoy the 4th installment of Wheaton Family Theatre Series as Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries with “The Giggling, Wiggling Book Worm,” a dynamic arts and literacy program for all ages. Combining a dramatic live storytelling performance with an engaging post-performance literacy workshop for kids and families, Arianna and fellow Story Tapestries artist Suzanne Richard leads guests in a literary adventure. Kids and adults alike will dance, sing, wiggle, and giggle as their inner bookworms read, write, draw, dance, and make music about new, exciting stories.

On the Imagination Stage
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $14

This weekend is the last chance to catch A Year with Frog & Toad at the Bethesda theatre — the musical inspired by the acclaimed children’s books is coming to a close. The youngest audiences will enjoy Wake Up, Brother Bear that includes hands-on activities along with the performance.

Jonathan Blum Retrospective
Where: Caos Gallery
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

I love the work of Jonathan Blum and wanted to give him and his retrospective exhibit a shout-out. You may be aware of his art – the DC native now residing in Brooklyn occasionally sells his whimsical portraits (often of half-faces or animals sitting on serious heads) at Eastern Market and has some hanging in venues around town. Go to shop his art, or just to enjoy viewing it – kids will appreciate the fanciful faces just as much as you.

The Day the Dinosaurs Came to Noyes
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $15/family donation requested

Join the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation for a fantastic family event featuring dino-mite activities and crafts, plus a theater workshop by the teaching artists of Imagination Stage, based on the book “How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?” RSVP on the Noyes Facebook page.

NSO Goes Undercover
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Sunday, 4-5pm
Admission: Free

So, they may not be undercover, but members of the National Symphony Orchestra will again be playing in a different context as part of the NSO In Your Neighborhood program. A small ensemble will perform an espionage-themed concert for this family-friendly event. And patrons who attend this one will also receive a coupon for $5 off the price of admission to visit the museum’s exhibits!

Wizards vs. Raptors
Where: Verizon Center
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Start the weekend with some hoops action as the Wizards host Toronto. And the Verizon Center is within the NSO in Your Neighborhood area, so expect a pre-game bonus: Members from the National Symphony Orchestra will be performing during the warm-ups!

Caps vs. Senators
Where: Verizon Center
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

There will be some extra Senators in DC on Sunday as the Caps host Ottowa’s hockey team at the Verizon Center. And you can get a T-shirt along with seats to view the action on ice through from Certifikid.


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