With winter break in effect for all children, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids busy once the initial excitement over new Christmas toys wears off. Here are some of my favorite places to look for activities to keep my little ones busy. In addition to the resources listed below you can also check whether your local library and recreation center will be holding any story times or other special events over break. With so many cheap and free sources to find fun in our area, no one should have a problem getting out to play over break!
The Live Butterfly Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History
Our Kids: Our Kids is the gold standard for listings of kids events in the D.C. area. The site has extensive database of hundreds activities each week, including open playtimes, live performances, story times, and kid-friendly museum exhibits. Our Kids goes beyond just telling you what is out there by also letting you know exactly where and when specific events are taking place. You can sort activities by location (D.C., V.A., or M.D.) or date. Our Kids is subscription-based, but at just $26 a year you're only paying fifty cents per week. The time savings of having to sort through all the activities and events in our area makes it a great deal. Our Kids also offers many giveaways including free admissions, dvds, and movie screenings -- my subscription has more than paid for itself in "extras."
DC With Kids: This app from www.FamilyiTrips.com is a gem for locals and visitors to D.C. alike. A mere $3.99 gets you access to over 250 ideas for activities for children in the D.C. area and free updates whenever new activities are added. You can search for things to do by age (young children, grade schoolers, and teens) or by using a number of other categories including the "Top 11," seasonal events, seasonal happenings, and free activities. The app offers practical advice, such as where to find family-friendly places to eat near attractions. This is a good choice to help find attractions on the go. If your holiday travel includes Boston or New York City, you can find similar apps for those cities here.
Kid Friendly DC: Kid Friendly DC offers quick-and-dirty descriptions of the best activities each week. Highlights of the blog are the "Where to Play on the Weekdays" and "Weekend Round-Up" that are updated weekly. These listings can all but plan your activities for you day-by-day. A brief description of each activity is given along with practical information such as admission fees and hours.
A Parent in Silver Spring: A Parent is Silver Spring has both a calendar and a list of activity ideas. Although based in Silver Spring, the blog provides reviews and ideas for activities across the D.C. region. The blog contains reviews of activities and events which are informative.
Super NOVA Mommy: With a tagline of "Free and Cheap Activities in the Northern Virginia Area" this blog is a good source of activities for families in Northern Virginia. This local favorite was voted the Best Blog of Northern Virginia in 2012. There is a section of the blog dedicated to indoor activates as well.
Smithsonian: The Smithsonian includes 19 museums and the National Zoo. With so much to choose from, the Smithsonian is a great place to explore when the kids get antsy. Nearly every day there are several events for kids at many museums and the zoo. These range from Imax movies, to a live butterfly pavilion, to live performances and story times.