With colder temperatures coming, check out some of these great things to do indoors with kids in DC — and beyond!
Burn Some Energy!
Kids ages five and up will enjoy this fun and unique opportunity to “escape” from Hollywood-style rooms, complete with themes like Sherlock Holmes and the Wizard’s Apothecary. Purchase tickets here.
Flight Trampoline Park
7200 Fullerton Road, Springfield, VA 22150
With more than 15,000 square feet of fun, Flight offers something for every member of the family. Kids can jump to their heart’s content on Flight’s wall-to-wall trampolines, in the arcade, or play games like Airborne Dodgeball, Slam Dunk Basketball, Race Course, and Battle Beam. Flight also has a special “Kidz Zone” for those under four and special times during the week just for kids under age six. A 60-minute open jump is $19. Purchase tickets online here.
Offering open play, parties, and camps, Scramble is the perfect rainy day destination. It is a European-style indoor playground where kids can burn off lots of energy! Scramble’s hours of operation can be found here. Prices are $10 weekday/$12 weekend for infants; $12 weekday/$14 weekend for toddlers; $14 weekday/$20 weekend for children ages 4-10; and just $2 for adults!
Pump It Up
2000 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314
This indoor playground full of bounce house attractions and giant slides offers open play, birthday parties, and Parent’s Night Out. Check out its “Open Jump” (just $10 per child) schedule here.
The St. James
6805 Industrial Road, Alexandria, VA
The St. James is a huge fitness and recreation center down in Springfield. Part of the St. James is the Super, Awesome, and Amazing, a center for kids activities. Super, Awesome, and Amazing has a waterpark, virtual reality, climbing and obstacles, event space and more.
Lee District Rec Center
6601 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 22310
This Fairfax County Rec Center offers plenty of indoor activities including an enormous pool, basketball courts, racquet/wallball courts, and a “soft play” room, which is perfect for the preschool set. This room is filled with age-appropriate gymnastic equipment that encourages young children to tumble, climb and build to their hearts’ content! Be sure to return in nice weather for Chessie’s Big Backyard is fully accessible and the playground! Memberships are available or just pay a drop-in fee.
1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
Sophisticated art meets the latest technology involved in powering bright, multihued illuminations that flash on the massive walls of Artechouse DC, displaying an ever-changing display of dancing skies, animated cherry blossoms and life-size neurons, depending on the theme. The kids will love jumping up and down, having their shadows frozen in the scene and racing all around to see how the art looks from different angles.
LEGO Discovery Center
6500 Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA 22150
Known as the ultimate LEGO playground, small builders will love learning to play, solve puzzles, and build with LEGO bricks. Kids can even make their own minifigure, or watch LEGO movies at the 4D cinema, and everyone will enjoy taking a break and grabbing some food at the LEGO cafe.
Any Smithsonian Museum
Various Locations in DC and Virginia
All of the Smithsonian museums are a free and fun way to spend the day learning for kids of any age. From the air and space museum to the museum of natural history, there’s a museum for every kid out there. See the full list of Smithsonian museums here.
International Spy Museum
700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024
This perennial favorite among kids features fascinating exhibits such as The Briefing Room, Spying That Shaped History, and Stealing Secrets. Adult tickets are $24.95; youth tickets are $16.95. Children under six are free. Senior and military rates are also available. Purchase tickets online here.
Glen Echo Park Aquarium
7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812
The Glen Echo Park Aquarium is a Chesapeake Bay Discovery Center in historic Glen Echo Park. The Aquarium features live animal exhibits, static and interactive displays, activities, a live touch tank, a giant sandpit, a submarine, and a pirate ship in a tree, all designed to help our visitors learn about the nation’s largest estuary, Chesapeake Bay. Visits are by appointment only – call or text 571-334-8713 to schedule your visit. Tickets are $8, children under two years of age are free.
National Building Museum
401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Kids love this museum which celebrates the impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, planning, and design. Check out current exhibits here. Admission is free for museum members; $10 for adults; $7 for youth ages 3-17.
In May 2023 the National Building Museum opened, BRICK CITY, created (entirely from LEGO bricks) to celebrate iconic architecture from around the world. Young builders can build their own masterpieces out of LEGO bricks at the end of the exhibit. Plus, an expansive “graffiti wall” will provide a canvas to create pixelated art using the toy bricks.
Kid Create Studio
724 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA
Kid Create Studio is an art studio that specializes in children’s art classes, camps, and art-themed birthday parties. They have classes and activities for kids of all ages.
Several Locations Throughout Alexandria
The local libraries have regularly scheduled events that promote reading at a young age. Check out their website for a list of kid-centric activities and events.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore
501 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD
Allison’s two boys love visiting the aquarium up in Baltimore. At the National Aquarium, kids and adults can learn about animals from all all-depths of the ocean and the impact they all have on our world. Tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for children.
College Park Aviation Museum
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD 20740
This great museum is located on the grounds of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport in College Park, Maryland, founded in 1909 when Wilbur Wright came here to give flight instruction to the first military aviators! In the 1 1/2 story exhibit space, you’ll find a display of unique aircraft and artifacts that tell the story of the airport’s many firsts in flight to today. The museum also contains historic and reproduction aircraft, as well as hands-on activities for children of all ages. Tickets are $5 for adults: $5; $4 for seniors, and $2 for children (children under 1 are free). Note that the museum is closed on Mondays.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
At Mount Vernon the family can discover interactive exhibits that make learning about colonial history fun! Pick up an adventure map when you arrive at the orientation center for a scavenger hunt. Nine stops make up the hunt, and if you solve a word puzzle about George Washington, you win a prize. You can take a mansion tour, admire the dollhouse version of the mansion in the lobby, and even play in the hands-on history center, including dressing up in colonial costumes.
National Children’s Museum
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20004
Of course we have to mention this hands-on museum. The museum is all about sparking creativity and curiosity, with a a three-story “dream machine,” with slides that whisk you to the exhibit space, a virtual slime machine, a race car track that experiments with height and weight, a Nickelodeon-sponsored Art + Tech space, a green-screen experience where children can control the weather, a batting cage that teaches the mechanics of a home run hit (courtesy of the Nationals), and more.
Did we miss your favorite things to do indoors with kids in DC? Please drop us a line and let us know so we can check it out!