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International Museum Day

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International Museum Day

Looking for the best museums with kids in DC, VA, and MD? Well, look no further! The weather is warming up which means the tourists are all on their way, too!  We love our region and sometimes it’s fun to “play tourist” along with the rest. Today on the blog we share some hidden gems of things to do in and around DC for International Museum Day:

fun kids activities in DC
Doula Jacquelin Knighton with her family at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Doula Jacquelin Knighton with her family at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

  1. Hirshhorn Museum & National Portrait Gallery- If you’ve lived in the DMV for any amount of time we are sure you or your young ones have your favorite Smithsonian museum and in all likelihood it has lions, tigers, and panda bears or dinosaurs; or maybe it has Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers or space shuttles. But the National Zoo, the Natural History Museum, American History Museum, and two Air and Space Museums are just the tip of the iceberg for kid-friendly Smithsonians.  One of our favorite gems is the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a focus on contemporary and modern art.  They have two weekly story times among other activities.  (Jacquelin Family Pic) If you’re staying with the art exploration, we encourage you to go visit Pop-Up children’s museum at the National Portrait Gallery where they have a program designed for children every Tuesday and festivals in Fort Totten neighborhood in May, June, and August.  

  2. National Building Museum- They have story time for early learners ages 5 and under weekly, however, our favorite event of the year is their Discover Engineering Family Day held every February.  Kids can expect to meet scientists, engineers, and perhaps an astronaut or their favorite PBS character!  (Kids with Curious George pic)

  3. City of Manassas Museum Kid’s Fest Spring Festival- As this post is coming out on May, 18 we would be remiss to mention the festival being held TODAY in Manassas, Virginia.  This is a small museum but offers a scavenger hunt for children and an overview of Civil War era history for the whole family including a tribute to an enslaved African American who established a school.

  4. Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA.  Not only does this facility have well developed children’s area, there’s a large playground outside with shade where your little ones can run around after you tour the museum.  A note, some areas of the museum may be intense for the youngest museum-goers, or those with sensory challenges, as one room (not in the children’s area!) walks through a war-zone with sights and sounds to create the experience.  

  5. Fredericksburg Children’s Museum- If you’re going to go as far as Quatico, VA you may as well take the rest of the day and head down to Fredericksburg. Really geared toward the preschool and early elementary aged, this small museum has tons of hands on activities for young minds.  

  6. College Park Aviation Museum- Ok, so I haven’t actually visited this one but it’s on all the lists and seems to have a good range of activities for preschool through older kids.

  7. Chesapeake Children’s Museum- Located in Annapolis, MD, they have activities for scouts, weekly story time, and be sure to check out their free festival on June 1st!  

  8. Port Discovery Children’s Museum- Baltimore, MD, So maybe not so “hidden” but still a gem for our region!  Iif you’re up for a drive to Baltimore we highly recommend this museum. It has it all and will be a fun-filled day for the whole family!  

  9. The Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park- Frederick, MD located.

  10. Last but not least we are REALLY anticipating the National Children’s Museum opening in Fall of 2019!    If you’ve taken a sneak peak at some of the plans for the museum we know a favorite will be the Bubble Room!  


Bonus:  Artechouse- An immersive art and technology experience that will impress children and adults alike!  Be sure to grab tickets now for their cherry blossom exhibit “In Peak Bloom”, which ends May 27, 2019.  

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Earth Day Activity- DIY Birds Nest Balls

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Earth Day Activity- DIY Birds Nest Balls

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We are pleased to celebrate Earth Day and created this fun activity to do with the little ones using natural and up-recycled materials while providing a valuable contribution to the environment around us. Whether you live in the city or beyond the beltway, the nature walk can be a fun, healthy activity to do together while the weather is lovely.

These DIY Birds Nest Balls are filled with small objects, both natural and recycled, which the neighborhood birds can come and collect for building their nests. Then, when you see already built nests in you yard or on your street, you may recognize some of the colorful fabric or string you gave the birds for their creations.

What you’ll need:

  • Decorative grape-vine balls for filling

  • String for hanging the balls

  • Paper scraps or fabric scraps. Think thin strips less than 1/4” wide and 2” long so they aren’t too heavy for the birds to carry.

  • Small twigs, straw, feathers, or even untreated human hair or pet hair. Nothing with chemicals like flea and tick medicine.

  • Scissors

  • Flowers, pinecones, grass clippings

Fabric scraps, string, ribbon, left over crinkle paper from Easter baskets are all good ideas for this project.

Fabric scraps, string, ribbon, left over crinkle paper from Easter baskets are all good ideas for this project.

These grapevine balls be found at many craft stores and often at the thrift store, if you’re looking to reduce your “footprint.”

These grapevine balls be found at many craft stores and often at the thrift store, if you’re looking to reduce your “footprint.”

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