1. Watch Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp come alive at the Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Maryland. Tickets start at $19.50.
2. Visit the National Museum of American History. Every first and third Saturday of the month, they offer a fun hiSTORYtime, a program for children ages 0 to 6, that has story time and hands-on crafts and activities.
3. Step back in time with a visit to Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia. Mansion tours begin at 10am daily and discuss the lives of the families who owned the Oatlands.
4.Take on the Escape Room challenge. With locations all over the DC Metro area, you’ll have no problem finding a cool room theme to undertake with your teen.
5. Enjoy a round of bowling. Bowlero just opened a new location in Centreville and John desperately wants to visit it, mostly for their famed 5lb burger and 2 foot long Coney Mega dog!
6. For your creative child, visit Color Me Mine in Sterling, Virginia and let them paint their very own pottery piece.
7. Get up close and personal with the animals at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston, Virginia. They have an open air bus that gives you a narrated tour through a free roaming safari.
8. Take a spin on the Capital Wheel for breathtaking views of Washington, DC, the Potomac, and planes flying into Reagan Airport. Adults are $15/person; children (11 and under) are $11.25/person; Seniors and Military are $13.50/person; and the VIP gondola (it’s glass bottomed & you get to skip the line) is $50/person.
24. Reflect on our amazing world at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
10. Don on a lab coat and conduct an experiment at the Maryland Science Center. Tickets are $24.95/adults and $18.95 for children, ages 3-12. But, on the First Friday of every month, admission is only $10 from 5:00-8:00 PM.
11. Discover some of the ingenious ways a cattail was used at one of the hands-on carts in the National Museum of the American Indian.
12. Climb a three-story urban treehouse and explore their interactive exhibits at Port Discovery in Baltimore, Maryland. Tickets are $14.95/person; but on the THIRD Friday of every month, general admission is just $2 per person from 4pm – 7pm.
13. Play, Work, Build at the National Building Museum. Their exhibit offers a hands-on block play area, and an original digital interactive that allows visitors to fill an entire wall of the exhibition with virtual blocks—and then knock them down. Tickets are $10/adults and $7/children.
14. Take on a new identity at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. They even have a Spy-In-Training program for your creative, energetic teens.
15. Be a news anchor for the day at the Newseum.
16. Enjoy a Spring Walk of Lights at Ticonderoga Farms. Starting April 7th through April 30m, their Farm Town comes alive as you wander past the notorious pirate ship adventure and enjoy the tunnel of amaze.
17. Fly down a roller coaster at one of the five amusement parks in the area. Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens both offer free preschool passes, for children, ages 3-5.
18. Hunt for Easter eggs at one of the many parks in the DC Metro area.
21. Tour the (relatively!) new National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC. Passes are free, but you’ll have to snag them online at 6:30am on the day you want to visit.
22. See the Mars Pathfinder or watch a movie in their IMAX theatre at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
23. Explore Northern Virginia’s Children’s Science Center in Fairfax, Virginia. They offer everything from exciting STEM Day Camps during Spring Break to cool hands-on exhibits for the whole family. General admission is $12/person.
24. Get the wiggles out at Kid Junction, a children’s indoor playground in Chantilly, Virginia. My words of wisdom? Make sure your child is wearing socks, or you will have to purchase a pair there. Even Miss A, at the ripe old age of 9, still enjoys their huge jungle gym (even adults comfortably fit in it!).
25. Take a hike at one of the National Parks. In honor of National Park Week, admission to all national parks will be waived on April 15-16 and 22-23, 2017.
26. Enjoy a free show on the Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center.
27. Volunteer at a local food bank. Some that are looking for help are: Loudoun Interfaith Relief, Capital Area Food Bank, DC Diaper Bank (they take volunteers of all ages and even have a play area for your little ones!), and Maryland Food Bank.
28. Cross your fingers that Burnside Farms does indeed open next week, so you can pick tulips as a family!
29. Get a new updo or enjoy a spa day with the kiddos at Sweet and Sassy in Leesburg, Virginia.
30. Hug a baby dromedary camel at the Natural Bridge Zoo then visit the nearby Natural Bridge caverns.
31. Learn about the Civil War at the Manassas Battlefield by taking one of their daily guided tours.
32. Learn about the early playwrights when you visit the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.
33. Marvel at Yayoi Kusama’s magnificent Infinity Mirrors display at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. You’ll have to stand in line for free passes but it’s definitely worth the wait.
34. Drink in the gorgeous nature photography by some of the world’s top photographers at the National Geographic Museum.
35. Learn how the coin is made at the US Mint in Washington, DC.
36. Grab a plant passport at the US Botanical Gardens Conservatory and find seven different plants to learn about plant parts and function.
37. Take a free 40-minute tour of the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing and grab a some shredded money!
38. Learn the secrets and stories behind the National Gallery of Art’s museum collection with their Family Guides, geared towards young ones.
40. See how quickly you can sort letters at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.
41. Don’t have time to schedule a tour of the actual White House? The White House Visitor’s Center, also located on Pennsylvania Avenue, offers a window into the President’s iconic home.
42. Tour the historical areas of the Capitol beyond the Capitol Visitor Center by either scheduling a tour in advance through your Congressman or snagging same-day tour passes at the Information Desk located on the lower level of the Visitor Center.
43. Meet a President (well – at least the wax sculpture of him) at Madame Tussauds in Washington, DC.
44. Paddle boat around the Tidal Basin and get a different perspective of the monuments and our Capital.
45. In order to not repeat history, we must first know about it. While one of the most sobering museums I’ve visited, the US Holocaust Museum is also one of the most important you’ll ever tour.
46. Take a guided tour of the Pentagon. (Keep in mind, you’ll have to book your tour in advance! They are quite popular.)
47. Connect with art at the Phillips Collection with their free Discovery Pack, available at the admissions desk. An interactive, all-ages set of cards that features works of art from the permanent collection, the pack guides you and your family through the museum with engaging and exciting questions and fun activities.
48. Take a train ride on the Mile One Express at the B&O Railroad and immerse your family in everything train-related.
49. Step back in time as you visit George and Martha Washington’s gorgeous Mount Vernon estate.
50. Spark your child’s curiosity through creative play at the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester, Virginia.