Tag Archives: Things to do with Kids in Maryland

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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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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 4-8

sash_7

As you’re probably aware, I don’t usually get super personal or sappy here — except for this time of year, when we celebrate some special days, one of them this week. So, along with the weekday ideas, I wanted to share a bit about one of my very favorite people in the universe.

My graceful ballerina has one of the fiercest kicks on the soccer field. And whether or not she makes the goal, she’ll skip gleefully down the field, jazz hands fluttering. Her top request from Santa was eye shadow. She dribbles her basketball, the pink and purple one, pretty darn skillfully. She makes up some of the funniest sounds and does the best Christina Aguilera impression (without even knowing who that is) — but only for people she deems special. I’m so lucky to be one of them. Her favorite subject in school is math. She wants to work at Rita’s when she grows up, so she can have all the water ices she wants. She likes fairies and unicorns and believes in magic. And, sometimes, when those brown eyes sparkle with wonder and joy at both the simplest delights and biggest thrills, she makes me believe in it, too. Happy Birthday, my sweet Sashi.

And here’s where to play this week…

Monday – Go for Story Time at the National Postal Museum. The program includes a book reading, plus other activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Stay after to explore the rest of the museum, full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Story time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Go for a swim! It doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside when there are plenty of indoor pools in the area that are open to the public. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim times at all of them, and I recommend calling ahead to confirm there are no random closings.

Wednesday – Let the kids burn some energy at Dynamite Gymnastics Center in Rockville. Tumbling mats, trampolines, the jungle crawl (a huge tunnel to run through), and more equipment will keep them active during Open Gym time. Sessions take place 12-12:50pm and 2-2:50pm. Admission is $8/child, $12/participating adults.

Thursday – Learn about the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a perfect place for young visitors with impressive displays and hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and more. Keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.

Friday – Take a tour of the Capitol. Even if you can’t get on a guided tour day-of, there still are interesting exhibits and statues to see in the Visitor’s Center, which is open 8:30am – 4:30pm daily. Both admission to the Center and tours are free. And something fun to do as well: Walk the tunnels between the Capitol and Library of Congress to show the kiddos a “secret” way to get from building to building.


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Filed under DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Weekdays