School’s Out this Friday! Activities & Playgrounds Await Your Exploration!

School’s out this Friday (10/20/17) for PGCPS students! Here are my recommendations for free/low cost, kid-friendly things to do and explore along Route 1 (and some beyond) on this fine day! πŸ™‚

Gametime at Board & Brew (All ages but best for 5+ crowd)
With over 500 board games including Operation, Perfection, Hungry Hippos, etc., you’ll easily eat up an hour or two of a cold, winter recess day!  Speaking of eating up, they also have a good menu of kid-friendly options. And for my fellow coffee afficionados, they rotate between Ceremony, Mad Cap and Counter Culture coffee – so you’ll be sure to get a tasty, quality brew while you’re there! 
When: Opens at 7 am
Where: 8150 Baltimore Ave, College Park Cost: $2.50 p/p for games + the cost of whatever you may order from menu.

National Zoo (All Ages)
Heading to the Zoo on a weekday and when other schools are in session = winner! In addition to learning about all of the animals, kids can enjoy a ride on the Carousel ($), running/crawling through Prarie Dog Tunnel & more! Tip: If want to explore the area for lunch, head to Vace in Cleveland Park for slices of delish pizza. No seats though a bench across the street by the library! 
When: 8am-5pm
Where: 3001 Connecticut Ave, NWCost: Free! (Travel by Metro to Woodley Park/Zoo or by car & park in lot ($$))

Riverdale Park Public Art Initiative
Pack a picnic and explore the 5 sculptures on display throughout Riverdale Park until the end of October – including the “Reclaimed Wood Micro House” and Slices of Heaven – which is conveniently adjacent to a playground! Great photo opps and way to check out this local arts initiative with your young’n(s).
When: Dusk to Dawn
Where: Throughout Riverdale Park, see here for map.
Cost: Free!

Patuxent Research Refuge (All Ages)
If the above program’s not for you but you still want to get outdoors and explore the Patuxent Research Refuge, check out my review & ideas on prep here!
When: 9am-4:30pm
Where: 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708
Cost: Free!

Family Fun: Things that go bump in the night! (All Ages)
Many of the animals at Patuxent are active at night and they must navigate to find food in the dark. Learn how they do it, and test your senses with handson activities, games and crafts for all ages. This is a drop-in program — come when you wish and leave when you’re ready.
When: 10am-1pm
Where: National Wildlife Visitor Center, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel
Cost: Free!

Rollingcrest-Chillum Splash Pool (Ages 3-17)

Credit: M-NCCPC

Maybe you want an indoor option today. Then check out this awesome indoor waterpark, right here in PG! Specialized water play area for pre-schoolers with slides and spray features, family pool with water slides and spray features, a vending area and shower /changing facilities with lockers (lockers are available but require you to bring your own lock).  While parts of the facility are dated but the kids always have a blast.
When: 12pm-8:30pm
Where: Rollingcrest Chillum Splash Pool, 6122 Sargent Road, Chillum
Admission: 2 & under are free! Ages 3-17: $5. Adults:$6

Smaland at College Park’s Ikea (Typically ages 3-6)
Free, 1 hour, supervised, enclosed, safe & clean play area near the entrance. Enjoy some shopping or just relax/eat/peoplewatch at the restaurant upstairs while your young one(s) has a blast at Smaland. Children must be potty trained and be 37” to 54” tall (so children typically b/w ages of 3-6). Tips: (1) Best to arrive earlier on in the day as day progresses, so do the entrances lines; & (2) Join Ikea Family & kids get extra 30 minutes to play (depending on capacity) & you get free coffee!
When: 10:30am – 7pm
Where: 10100 Baltimore Avenue, College Park
Admission: Free!

Open Gym at PG Sports & Learning Complex (Ages 1-12)

This place is HUGE. Great for 1-12 years old. Two climbing walls. Two foam pits. Tons of equipment for curious ones to explore and blow off some steam. Very clean. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Adults are to be on the floor with the children (Max 3 child:1 adult).
When: 4:30-5:30pm
Where: PG Sports & Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover
Cost: $7 per child.

Mask Making Party (All Ages)
Expose yr kid(dos) to some hands-on, printmaking fun with this mask making party!
When: 6pm
Where: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Hyattsville
Cost: Free!

Minecraft Night (Typically ages 6+)
Join us an evening of fun as we play our way through some Minecraft challenges, explore new worlds, and test some new local modifications. When: 6-9pm
Where Greenbelt Makerspace, 125 Centerway, Greenbelt
Cost: Free!

Xtreme Teens: Monster Mash; Ages 10-17
Whether you’re singing with the “Crypt-Kicker Five” or doing the “Transylvania Twist,” don’t miss this freakishly good time at the Monster Mash! Wear your Halloween costume and compete to win a $25 gift card for best costume.
When: 7-10pm
Where: PG Plaza Community Center, 6600 Adelphi Rd, Hyattsville
Cost: Free! w/ M-NCPPC Youth ID


Indian Creek Playground (All Ages)
Any time this weekend, check out this really fun and creative playground designed after Berwyn Heights’ earliest residents – a group of Algonquian people known as Nacotchtank. Kiddos will have a blast climbing teepees, in an out of canoes and up and down dream catchers.
When: Sunrise to sunset
Where: 8900 56th Avenue, Berwyn Heights
Cost: Free!

Watkins Regional Park Playground (All Ages)
This. Place. Is Awesome. Truly awesome Wizard of Oz-themed playground where you literally follow the yellow brick road under a rainbow arch as the Scarecrow shows you the way to your choice of six fun areas: Dorothy’s Farm House, Munchkin Land, the Emerald Forest, the Emerald City of Oz, the Balloon Escape, the Ruby Red Shoes. Playground, nature center and farm are free to explore and enjoy!
When: 9 am – 6 pm
Where: 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro
Cost: Free!

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail – Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (All Ages)
Head to Bladensburg Waterfront Park (BWP) and explore the new 4-mile segment of the Trail now connecting the District with BWP! We packed lunches, parked at BWP and then walked the Trail all the way to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. It was lovely! No traffic – just folks outside loving this new addition! Grab a bit of respite at Kenilworth, maybe eat that lunch you packed and then head back to BWP, where the kids can play/climb/laugh in an old B & O caboose.
When: Sunrise to Sunset
Where: Start at BWP, 4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg
Cost: Free!

Lake Artemesia 
Take a stroll, walk, bike, crawl around Lake Artemesia. Tons of nature to explore and cool info sections along the various trails, telling you about the butterflies, birds, etc. 
When: Sunrise to Sunset 
Where: Berwyn Rd & 55th Ave, Berwyn Heights
Cost: Free! 

Please note, I do my best to ensure the accuracy of events’ dates and times. That said, some things change without notice so call ahead to make sure an event is still on – that’s your way of ensuring a happy day! πŸ™‚

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