What are some fun day time activities in the DC are for kids?
July 2, 2013 3:16 PM   Subscribe

I have a ten-year-old boy staying with me for the next month in a Maryland suburb of DC. I would love to hear any and all suggestions for activities in the DC area (especially if anyone knows about any kind of baseball day camp or one day programs, anything baseball related). We have been having fun exploring the area but new ideas would be awesome. Thank you.
posted by TallyH to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The UMD campus if full of kids at various camps during the summer. It looks like there is a baseball camp July 8-11. http://thestamp.umd.edu/gh/family/summer_camps and http://www.johnszefcbaseballcamps.com/?DB_OEM_ID=29700
posted by florencetnoa at 3:30 PM on July 2, 2013

MD suburbs? Bowie Baysox!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:52 PM on July 2, 2013

National Children's Museum at National Harbor?
posted by brownpau at 4:12 PM on July 2, 2013

I really like Bethesda's Big Train stadium, which is very small-timey. Once I won the chance to announce an inning! They do have summer camp options too.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:14 PM on July 2, 2013

The Nats do a pretty great ballpark tour. I think it's $10.
posted by troika at 4:15 PM on July 2, 2013

I've heard the Children's Museum is terrible. Anyone heard otherwise?

What about the Zoo, the Spy Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Native American Museum, and the Air & Space Museum?

Any public pools in your area?
posted by semacd at 4:45 PM on July 2, 2013

The orioles have a great tour, too, if you are up by Baltimore. Frederick Keys if 270 is convenient, many games have fireworks or giveaways, and the Nationals had an inexpensive arrive-early , day-of rate.

DC Chinatown
Folklife festival
Smithsonian has tons of family events, concerts - mine the website
Air & Space, Natural History, American History are good for this age, as is Native American museum

National Zoo, great for walking & talking

The spy museum is great fun, but has a fee.

Lunch: Native American museum, or one of the congressional cafeterias after visiting his reps, though ethnic cuisine after an embassy visit or drive-by from heritage or home-country is cool.

Holocaust museum is better on bright, sunny days.

Cryptological Museum is near Fort Meade.

Great Falls is a fun park, as is Jane's Island. MD parks have a summer park quest, look up what's near you/of high interest.

Bike ride a section of the canal, or the trails in Alexandria.

If you are part of a faith community, attend services at a place of historic/architectural significance.

Take what you like & enjoy!
posted by childofTethys at 4:51 PM on July 2, 2013

In addition to Baltimore and DC's major league teams, there is a ton of minor league baseball within easy day-trip distance of DC. Every park is different, and they are cheaper than major league games. You could make a point of going to as many parks as you can - look on their websites to find out if they are running fun promotions and plan your visits for those days, or just wait for good weather.

Nationals teams -
Potomac Nationals - Woodbridge VA, single-A
Hagerstown Suns - Hagerstown MD, single-A
Harrisburg Senators - Harrisburg PA, double-A, (more of a drive but a cool park on an island in the middle of a river)

Orioles teams -
Aberdeen Ironbirds - Aberdeen MD, single-A short season - this is Cal Ripken's team
Frederick Keys - Frederick MD, single A
Delmarva Shorebirds - Salisbury MD, single-A
Bowie Baysox - Bowie MD, double A (I was very impressed by how well their park is run, their on-field promos are really fun and fast, and the food is good iirc)

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs - Waldorf MD, Atlantic League team, not affiliated with MLB
Salem Red Sox - Salem VA (near Roanoke), single-A Red Sox affiliate
Lynchburg Hillcats - Lynchburg VA - single-A Braves affiliate
Richmond Flying Squirrels - Richmond VA, double-A Giants affiliate
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs - Allentown PA - triple-A Phillies affiliate
York Revolution - York PA, Atlantic League team, not affiliated with MLB
Lancaster Barnstormers - Lancaster PA, Atlantic League team, not affiliated with MLB
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:52 PM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

(Also, in case you don't know - many minor league parks have other attractions for kids, like moon bounces, merry-go-rounds, etc, and face painting; they often have fireworks after the game on weekends and holidays, and they usually let kids run the bases after the game. They have funny on-field games throughout the game, etc. Kids can try to catch or chase down foul balls and keep them, etc.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:58 PM on July 2, 2013

Just remembered, there is a regional women's baseball league, The Baltimore Blues are near me & am blanking on the other team names. Great games for talking with kids who are passionate about the game.
posted by childofTethys at 5:01 PM on July 2, 2013

What about science? Check out Science in the Summer!
posted by kat518 at 5:02 PM on July 2, 2013

Takoma Park has a great and fun parade for the Fourth of July.
posted by OmieWise at 5:28 PM on July 2, 2013

You local parks and rec department should be running all kinds of summer camps.
posted by COD at 5:37 PM on July 2, 2013

The Babe Ruth house in Baltimore!
posted by brujita at 6:30 PM on July 2, 2013

If you're not busy on a Sunday Sunday SUNDAY, there's Capitol Raceway in Crofton. When I was 10 I enjoyed video games and pinball machines, like those at Crabtowne USA in Glen Burnie. Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill has climbing stuff and zip lines. There's always Medieval Times, just like in the Cable Guy!

My personal suggestion is to take an hour and watch the Intercounty Connector being built! I work across from the Virginia Manor Road Realignment (pdf map) project in Beltsville, and it is awesome to watch. They brought in a crane today and it was on 5 trailers. Multiple construction vehicles of every description.

Also, to welcome your 10 year old friend to our state, Maryland has graciously decided to raise tolls, the gasoline tax, and tax your storm water runoff (we call it Rain Tax) effective the first of this month. Welcome to Maryland!
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:37 PM on July 2, 2013

Mrs. 1367 and daughter visited the National Children's Museum last March when we were staying at National Harbor. It is fine for younger children to explore and dress up, but probably wouldn't hold an interest for a 10 year old. It is also a bit pricey, with tickets priced at $10 for everyone 1 and older.
posted by 1367 at 8:12 PM on July 2, 2013

I recently discovered Glen Echo park which is an old amusement park turned into a national park. They have a kick butt carousel, and have kid friendly artsy stuff, such as a puppet theatre. Its near Potomac MD, west of Bethesda-ish.

Im also having kid visitors soon, and the natl Building museum, zoo, air and space museum, and newseum were recommended in DC, as was Port Discovery in Baltimore.
posted by NikitaNikita at 10:00 PM on July 2, 2013

Glen Echo has fun dance events too.

The Udvar Hazy building of the Air and Space museum - near Dulles - is great too. Tons of planes and a space shuttle you can walk right up to. (and free)

Another fun activity with kids is pick-your-own farms ("u pick") - berries, peaches, etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:18 PM on July 2, 2013

There's a Dinosaur Park in Laurel that's open to the public on the first and third Saturdays each month. Visitors can look for fossils, and paleontologists and volunteers are on hand to help identify what you've found. I took my nieces and nephew (ages 12, 9, and 7 at the time) and everyone had fun, and the kids all got permission to take a piece of petrified wood home.
posted by amarynth at 5:29 AM on July 3, 2013

House of the Temple (D.C.) and/or the George Washington Masonic Memorial (Alexandria VA) if he liked 'National Treasure' or is a fan of impressive architecture.
posted by usonian at 6:56 AM on July 3, 2013

The New York Times' Frugal Traveler has some interesting takes on DC with young kids, including this (adorable) update from today. (Previous articles are linked within it.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:14 PM on July 3, 2013

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