In a few days I will transition into being a full-time stay at home mom while I continue my search for a job. Despite this being one of my biggest fears and something I did not expect, I am welcoming this opportunity with open arms! I will finally be able to spend guilt free moments with my son, without work, school or any other major responsibility looming over my head. Although I hope this is only temporary, I want to make sure I make the most of this hopefully rare moment in our lives!
I started to get excited and started looking for things to do with my soon to be two-year old. I began at the local recreation center, but they did not have anything for his age group. I know of a few other child friendly places, but they were pretty expensive, and we are trying to have the most fun, using the least amount of money possible. So, I did a little research and found plenty of inexpensive things to do in the DMV area with children 2 or around that age.
1. Your Local Library
Many of us remember going to the library as a kid, but as we grew up and the information age expanded to in home computers, iPads and endless cable channels, we forgot about this FREE gem that is the center of many communities. Check your local library for age appropriate weekly events for your child and some may have special events that make spending time at the library even more fun.
We will be attending Toddler Story Time and a special event with a magic show and balloonery coming up in early August!
2. The National Children’s Museum at the National Harbor
The National Harbor is a work in progress, but one thing that they already have that is perfect for young children is the National Children’s Museum. This museum focuses on engaging and educating children 8 and under through activities and programs that spark the imagination. Although it is not free, it is moderately inexpensive with $10.00 tickets per child and adult. For those who are local and may find themselves there a few times a year, a yearly membership for one adult and one child is $75 and $155 for a family of 6.
Thinking of investing in a yearly membership to get the most out of all the events that they have to offer.
3. The Carousel and Playground at the National Harbor
There is more fun to be had at the Carousel and Playground at the National Harbor. This activity is only $5 for your child and free for the accompanying adult. Your child can enjoy unlimited time on the carousel and even more fun at the newly built playground that is bound to wear them out. This site also has a nice set of picnic tables, if you want to pack a lunch and make it a full day at the Harbor.
This is high on the list of things to do when I need him to take a good nap for the day, so that I can get a few things done around the house!
4. To Be With Me Playseum
This amazing and interactive place was created by a mom who could not find places to go with her young children where she could stay and be involved. Out of her void came a unique place where children can create, play or read and parents can connect or read books while their children are nearby. General admission is only $7 per person, but they have a daily happy hour full of deals that fall within everyone’s budget! There are two locations, one in Barracks Row and another in Bethesda.
We will be frequenting this place with our DC friends and saving money by using a Happy Hour special!
5. Great Waves at Cameron Run Regional Park
Who knew that there was a water park in the metro area?! I have never heard of this place, but I am super excited to get in at least one day at a fun water park with the kid! Especially since I heard he was uncomfortable this summer when our family took him to one down south. Well, here is my chance to introduce him to the fun in the sun and water at Cameron Run! They have an age appropriate Kid Zone and the prices are not out of this world, $11.50-$15 for weekday or weekend passes.
We have to get one day in here just to say we went!
6. Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake
Annapolis is a unchartered territory for many of us DMV transplants. Even with a car, we can’t seem to find a reason to go “all the way” to Annapolis for anything. But from what I hear, the food is amazing, the views are priceless and they even have fun things for the kiddies. Jake and the Neverland Pirates is one of my son’s favorite shows and this would be an awesome adventure for him to experience. Although I would love to say I went to Annapolis this summer with him, I think I am going to save this experience for his 3rd birthday party! Great location, decorations provided, perfect theme and a moment he will hopefully cherish through memories or pictures. (I will take it either way!) This activity is a little more on the pricey side, but not completely out of reach. General admission is $20 and $12 for children under 3.
7. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The Zoo is an interesting place, but I am not sure how well a 2 or 3-year-old will do in such large crowds, mostly outside and around animals they may have not been introduced to yet. Some parents may think this is a great idea, but I am going to lean towards waiting a little while longer before we experience the Zoo. The admission into the Zoo is FREE but the parking costs $22. There are two metro locations that are within a 1/2 mile but taking the metro with a child in a stroller is an adventure. An adventure worth taking is up to you to decide.