This spring, spring breaks in the DC area are taking place over several different weeks. While this may create headaches for parents with children in different schools, for many parents it means that many activities occurring this spring will be less crowded than in past years. Here are some ideas for enjoying your child's spring break and the rest of the spring as well.
• Find a New Playground: The District of Columbia is renovating every single playground in the city. New playgrounds feature tons of climbing equipment and other innovative features. Check out this parent-written playground guide including many of the new parks in DC and playgrounds throughout the area.
• See a Play: The DC area has a couple of truly amazing theaters for children. This spring you have the chance to see some classics onstage. Adventure Theatre MTC is showing a modern, reimagined adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Imagination Stage is showing the adventures of Sinbad: The Untold Tale and younger children will enjoy the funny and highly interactive Blue. The Puppet Co. is showing "Jack and the Beanstalk" on the main stage and has Tiny Tots shows on Wednesday and Saturday morning for the little ones.
• Explore a Hidden Garden: There are some gorgeous gardens in DC that are often overlooked as great places for kids to explore. Check out Tregaron Conservancy, The Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral, and the Franciscan Monastery -- great free options that offer beautiful settings for spending the day with kids. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, Tudor Place, and Dumbarton Oaks are also lovely gardens to explore. They do charge admission but also regularly run programs for children that are worth checking out.
• Get Fancy: Plan a special outing where children can feel like a prince or princess for a day. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens has a very reasonably priced High Tea with kid-friendly treats. A Children's Ball will be held at Imagination Stage on May 9th support their programing for children with rooms full of kids activities. The American Girl store's café has a sweet tea that runs only on weekdays making it a great spring break activity - and if you don't have a doll they will provide a girl (or boy) of your choice to dine with.
• Go Bowling: Pinstripes Bistro Bocce Bowling in Georgetown has a great deal for kids on weekday mornings at 10:00 a.m. where kids can bowl for just $5 including shoe rental and parents bowl for free. It's a great way to spend a morning off of school. More kid-friendly bowling is at White Oak Duckpin Lanes in Maryland where lanes can be rented by the hour for a group of kids at a reasonable rate.
• Be a Tourist: Look beyond the cherry blossoms! The DC area has so much to offer that even longtime residents can still find something new to explore. Great resources for researching family-friendly activities about which you may not be aware are Our Kids which gives access to an incredible amount of information for the equivalent for fifty cents a week and the exhaustively researched Kid Trips Northern Virginia.