I’ve always been fortunate enough to live not far from our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Lately it seems I’ve had more and more people asking me for suggestions on kid-friendly activities in the area. Unfortunately the Smithsonian’s Children Museum will not open till 2013, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t fun stuff to do!
Check out some suggestions below!
National Zoo: If your kid loves animals, be sure to check out this FREE zoo! The National Zoological Park is home to 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 different species. They are best for their giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang.
Rock Creek Park: Speaking of the zoo, it is nestled in DC’s Rock Creek Park. There are exhibits inside the Nature Center, plus the “Discovery Room” geared for ages 2 to 5. Inside the Peirce Barn, kids can try on old- fashioned clothing and play with 19th century toys. In addition, there children’s programs, such as the planetarium shows, animal talks, exploratory hikes, crafts, as well as hands-on natural and historical programs.
National Arboretum: This 450 acre arboretum contains a beautiful variety of plant, tree, and flower collections. Your kids will love the fountains, pillars, and little footbridges over the small creeks to play among. The koi pond and bonsai exhibits are much fun and the Groove of State Trees is quite cool!
The National Mall: Home to the Smithsonian Museums, the mall is just a fun area to gather and enjoy. If your kids loves flowers, be sure to stop at the Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. They can also take a ride on the carousel for a small fee. Be sure to rent a paddle boat and cruise around the Tidal Basin as well. Don’t forget to climb up the Washington Monument!
National Museum of Natural History: Animals, rocks, dinosaurs, and more! With FREE admission and an IMAX theater, this is one museum you don’t want to miss. Great by the giant elephant, your kids will see 80 foot dinosaur skeletons, a prehistoric great white shark, and the Hope Diamond!
Nationals Park: It’s always fun to take in a baseball game. Why not head on over and cheer on the Washington Nationals? During the 4th inning, watch the Racing Presidents scramble around. There is a Family Fun Area for interactive games and activities, as well as a Jungle Gym full of tunnels, slides, and climbs. Don’t forget the JumboTron for lots of entertainment.
Cabin John Regional Park: Okay, so this one is a little outside DC over in Rockville, MD. Still fun! Cabin John Park is overall beautiful and has quite a fun Adventure Playland. Great place to enjoy a family picnic. There is also a miniature train that offers a fun ride through the woods.
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens: Another naturally beautiful setting. This park is full of aquatic gardens and ponds, filled with giant lilypads and lotus flowers. Great for nature walks where your kids will spot turtles, frogs, turtles, blue herons, and more!