by Claudine and Micaela
There is nothing like a January snowfall to remind us that winter is far from over! And while the charm of the snow can be enchanting, the reality is the cold weather can catch up with the young and old alike and make for a less than comfortable family-friendly day. After you have built your snowman, spent hours sledding and have thrown a few snowballs, it might be time to find some more climate friendly activities for your crew.
And we have tons of options for you! To start, the Kid Trips Northern Virginia book lists many local museums and hidden gems in Northern Virginia as well as Washington DC.
Check out some of our Top Ideas to Discover Winter Fun in DC and Beyond below:
1) Take advantage of the off-tourist season. The Metro DC Smithsonian Museum destinations are all free and offer endless opportunities for learning and discovery.
2) For something even closer to home, let the kids spread their creative wings at a paint your own pottery location (Chapter 14 in the Kid Trips Northern Virginia book.) Kids can create the perfect Valentine's Day gift for a grandparent, teacher or friend.
3) If you need something for wee ones and preschoolers, we have long loved storytimes. With coffee and cappuccino for the adults and train sets and books for the kids, what's not to love? Most of the larger book stores, such as Barnes & Noble, host storytimes and performances throughout the week. Here's a link to event calendars of the 21 Barnes & Noble stores in our area.
4) If you have a budding thespian or just a bored child, why not try some local theater options? The National Theatre in Washington DC offers FREE Saturday morning shows at 9:30am and 11am. Also, check out our author Micaela's article "6 Family-Friendly Shows Coming to NoVA and Beyond" in Northern Virginia Magazine.
5) Nature centers can also intrigue and excite young minds. Take a cold day and turn it into an adventure at your local nature center. Make notes and follow up with books on the reptiles and creatures that your children learned about. (See Chapter 3 in your Kid Trips Northern Virginia book for information about local nature centers.)
6) If your kids need to simply run, jump and play, why not try a local movement class from our sponsors at My Gym or attend an open gym time at Sport Bounce of Loudoun. Another great indoor playground option is the free play at the PlayN'Learn Playground Super Store. The Chantilly location has free admission for two time slots on Thursdays. Reservations are required online. (For a multitude of more indoor opportunities, please Chapters 5 & 6 in the Kid Trips Northern Virginia book.)
7) Our area has a rich offering of local children's performers. From the Great Zucchini to Rocknoceros, we have them all! Note, the hosting venues are typically kid friendly. They include coffeehouses, toy stores, libraries, malls & restaurants. We love the kids' shows at Jammin' Java, the Mover & Shakers Kids Club at Manassas Mall, Boogie Babies at Union Market DC & the Kidgits Club at Potomac Mills to name a few.
8) Let your child get interactive with learning at The Animated Child. Hands-on opportunities to discover, imagine, and create await families at this bright exploration center.
9) Swim at a local recreation center or head south to Williamsburg and take advantage of winter savings by doing an overnight at the indoor water park at The Great Wolf Lodge.
10) Finally, a quick day trip always raises the spirits. A day trip could include a visit to Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore, the Shenandoah Discovery Museum in Winchester, or the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.
Be sure to visit our other article Kid Trips Top Picks for Winter Family Fun for information highlighting specific local events. And if you don't have an updated copy of our book, check it out on Amazon today!
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Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
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