Got bad weather? Forget popping in a DVD or plopping the kids in front of the computer. There are plenty of places to go and things to do for you and the kids whenever bad weather strikes DC. Grab the kids and consider heading out to one of these kid-friendly DC-area destinations, especially perfect when the weather outside is a bit frightful.
International Spy Museum
800 F St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
What better way to beat the bad weather blues than with a trip to a spy museum? The International Spy Museum features a variety of interactive exhibits that demonstrate the important role spies have played throughout history. Sign up for Operation Spy and watch the kids work together to help capture the bad guy. Decrypt secret audio, escape a high-security compound and interrogate the suspect. The museum also offers the largest collection of international spy artifacts on display as well as a special exhibit on James Bond. Check out the lipstick pistol, pigeon camera and the Bond Car. Once you complete your mission, stock up on all of your international spy gear at the gift shop.
YMCA National Capital
1711 Rhode Island Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Let the kids burn off all that pent-up energy at the YMCA. Stop by the pool or sign them up for a sport. The facility offers a wide variety of activities for kids including martial arts, flag football, tennis and kickball. The YMCA National Capital also offers special camps during school holidays and Saturdays, teen enrichment services, a LEGO league and art classes for children ages three to five. Adults can get in on the fun as well with activities including a fitness center, group exercise studios, indoor track, rock climbing wall, massage services and racquetball. The YMCA National Capital also offers mommy/daddy and me gymnastics.
U.S. Botanic Gardens
100 Maryland Ave S.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Stop and smell the roses—literally. The U.S. Botanic Gardens is a great place for the kids to learn about nature and what happens when it rains. The Conservatory features plants from all over the globe, including a tropical rainforest, succulents, grasses and shrubs from the desert, plants native to Hawaii and Mexico and plants that have survived more than 150 million years. The Conservatory also features a Children’s Garden, where the little ones can explore the gardens, use gardening tools and water the plants with a watering can. The U.S. Botanic Gardens also features beautiful outdoor gardens, group tours, educational programs and interactive activities.
The Puppet Company
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 20812
Amaze and entertain your kids with a visit to the Puppet Company, a critically acclaimed and award-winning venue for kids. The venue hosts a variety of kid-friendly puppet shows including “The Nutcracker,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “Pinocchio.” Each show incorporates hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes as well as masks, costumes and a variety of other special effects to create a truly awe-inspiring experience for both parents and kids. The Puppet Company also offers shows for children under the age of four. These shows run shorter and do not contain loud noises or dark rooms. Birthday planning packages are also available.
22400 Davis Drive
Sterling, VA 20164
Kids jumping off the walls? Why not take them to Rebounderz where they can jump off giant trampolines instead. With more than 24,000 square feet of jumping space, the kids will enjoy performing flips and kicks as they bounce around from trampoline to trampoline. The facility also features Air Dodgeball and Basketball Slam, where kids will feel like Mike and make an incredible slam dunk. With high-quality materials and superior engineering, safety is the number one goal of Rebounderz. All jumping areas are covered with protective padding and trained staff are on watch at all times. Birthday party packages and summer camps are also available.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.