Most of us dread that date in Fall that creeps up and turns our strict routine into havoc; Daylight Savings. For parents, it’s a few months where our time spent outdoors comes to a halt and we wonder how to occupy the remainder of the evening (that used to be so sunny) with our children. And contrary to popular belief, the answer is not an earlier bedtime. Let’s be honest, you can only put on an afternoon movie so many times. Here are a few ideas I’ve compiled from readers and my own DST adventures to help you get out of the house with your Bambino(s) this Fall & Winter. Don’t forget to check out our Indoor Fun Guide for even more options!
Ideas for fun outside of your home-
1. Go for a dip at Wilson, Marie Reed or any of DC indoor swimming pools.
2. Bloombars has evening classes, events and performances.
3. Drop by a pet store to observe the animals and maybe see some dogs getting groomed.
4. DC Library holds late afternoon family programs and events.
5. Isn’t Target obvious?! (Try not to buy everything).
6. Grab a lane and try for a strike at Pinstripes. Dinner is served alongside bowling. Location in Georgetown & Bethesda.
7. Reserve a room at a public library and have a play date with friends. DC Library is open until 9pm Mon-Thur.
8. Hotel lobbies can be fascinating, especially around the holidays. Plus, they have bathrooms and heat.
10. Child’s Play and Politics and Prose can be great places for your kids to check out new toys and books. Child’s Play has many toys out and welcome kids to play with them. Again, try not to buy everything =)
11. Go out to dinner at one of these DC restaurants that offer entertainment for kiddos.
12. Speaking of dinner, there are so many restaurants that offer KIDS EAT FREE throughout the week and weekend.
13. Grab a flashlight and go on an adventure walk. Bonus if you have time to create a scavenger hunt.
14. Check the bus route and take a random ride.
15. Fairmont Hotel has a piano and a pretty garden, is fairly tolerant of children climbing up and down the stairs and enjoying the lobby’s holiday decorations.
16. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage has free, daily shows that usually begin at 6:00pm. Catch the show or just part of it, explore and walk the long foyer and look at the mirrors, ramps, etc. Go outside onto the terrace and watch the cars on the bridge or boats on the water.
17. Lace up those skates and go ice skate!
19. Dare I say, grocery shop….but my kids love making lists and my youngest loves pushing the cart while I pick up everything she knocks over with said cart. Bonus if you know of a store with a fun kid-car or kid-cart (Giant grocery stores are all I can think of).
20. Go see a movie! Splurge for some popcorn.
21. Drop into a Pearachute class
22. Happy Hour doesn’t have to wait until 5pm….Early dinner or apps (see $12)
Ideas for fun in your home in case you can’t escape-
1. Bake or cook something with your Bambino(s).
2. Make a fort, add pillows and blankets and watch a movie, grab a flashlight and/or read stories.
3. Put on a play, get out that old camcorder and record them– your iPhone will suffice too.
4. Arts and crafts can provide endless fun and messes (put your OCD tendencies aside).
5. Make your own play doh.
6. Download some educational apps on your device and set a timer.
7. Have your child help organize/fold socks when you’re doing laundry.
8. Get bath paints or crayons and let your child get artsy and messy in the bath– bonus they can get clean while having fun.
9. Playdates help the time go by, (unless the kids don’t play together) and in that case you’d rather be doing one of the above mentioned activities
Winter camps & classes