Winter Break Activities for Kids (5+ years old) in Maryland & DC!

School’s almost over for the year and winter break is creeping closer, which may have you spending a LOT of time together with the kids. Now, we can debate how healthy time together with family is for you (jkjkjk), but what we do know is that this list of 10 fun things to do with kids in Maryland and DC over winter break is just what you need to make it to the other side, or at least back to work in the New Year. Stay strong – and share this list with a friend!

Spark Lab Museum of American History
Exploring and inventing at the Spark Lab!

10 Fun Winter Break Activities for DC & Maryland Kids (ages 5 and up)! 

Before we get to the list of fun winter break activities, know that these activities are not just for the five years-old and up crew, just that this age group will like them the most (based on personal experience). Hours vary, so call ahead to confirm status. And FREE means that there’s no admission fee while “$” denotes an admission fee.


1.  Head to the Maryland Science Center ($) for a full day exploring the mysteries of science! A Route One Fun reader recently visited with her 8 and 6-year old kiddos and shared that had a great time – spent almost 4 hours there! (⭐Heads-up: currently a great Groupon for family annual membership.)

2. Pinball. ($) Lots of Pinball. Over 29 pinball machines to play inside the awesome Pinball Room inside of MOM’s Organic Market in College Park. (⭐ Bonus: Afterwards, you can indulge in a delish vegan meal from their Naked Lunch Cafe or tea and coffee from their Witches Brew Cafe. More info here.)


Pinball Mom's Organic Market College Park
Pinball Wizard right here….

3. Take a Hike! 🤣 If the weather permits, take this opportunity to enjoy the outdoors at one of the many great parks we have near us! Explore the four different trails at Greenbelt Park or one of the many trails at Watkins Regional Park (where you can hike and then check out the Festival of Lights come evening) or perhaps head to Fort Washington or do a little Hike, History and Hops Tours of Ellicott City, like we did as shared in this post, here!

4. The Spark! Lab at the National Museum of American History (FREE) is full of ways for your budding scientists to test their problem-solving skills with fun, hands-on experiments and more. (If you happen to have a younger kiddo, too, know that the Wegmans Wonderplace is in next room – so can divide and conquer or do both.)

Spark Lab National Museum of American History
Spark Lab Fun! (even younger siblings will enjoy.)

5. Check out incredible ice sculptures and ride the ice slides at ICE! featuring a Charlie Brown Christmas ($) at National Harbor. Over 2 million pounds of colorful Charlie Brown-themed ice sculptures, 4 ice slides and a full nativity scene. Build in time to catch Cirque Dreams (FREE). (⭐Read my tips for a great visit to ICE! here. (Best for ages 5 – 8.)

6. Board Game Fun at the Board and Brew ($). Introduce your young’n to the joys of playing board games! With over 500 board games including Operation, Perfection, Catan, Hungry Hippos, Stratego, etc., we always have a solid time here. Somuchso that I wrote a post about the Board and Brew here. ⭐Bonus: Their coffee is 💯 and their craft beer list is just as delicious.

The Board and Brew College Park
So many fun games to choose from!

7. Climb to great heights at Climbzone ($) in Laurel. You can even join in on the climbing fun should you dig heights. Which I don’t. So I’ll see you at the bar later. 😂

8. Love it or hate it, your kids (and my kids) love Chuck E. Cheese ($), so it’s making this list. The variety of video games to play is pretty much a home run with my older kiddo, plus the Takoma Park (University Blvd) location is clean (which he doesn’t care about, but I do…). You’re welcome. 😉

9. Let’s Go Bowling! ($) Check out the still new-ish bowling alley at Bowlero in College Park (in old AMF bowling location) for some good, ole’ bowling! They’ve also got an arcade section. And the food was better than expected! 🙂

Bowlero College Park
Groovy colors & lights, perfect for bowling!

10. Indoor Water Park Fun at Rollingcrest Chillum! ($) My older kiddo loves this place! Water slides, water games, water mayhem. It can get crowded but you’ll deal because it’s December and you’re wearing a bathing suit. 😁

BONUS: Perfect time for some ice-skating! The Herbert Wells Ice Rink ($) in College Park is huge and perfect for newbies to test out their skills. (Check the schedule for the public skating sessions; the super saver and/or family sessions are great value!)

Herbert Wells Ice Rink College Park
Lace up your skates and get movin!


So there you have it! Eleven great ways to have fun with your kiddo over the winter break! 🙌 If you have any more ideas to add to this list, please enter them in the comments; I’ll update the list ASAP.

🎄 Still in the holiday spirit? There are still fun, festive events happening in our area! Check out Route One Fun’s 2018 Holiday Events Guide for more great ideas!

👀 Searching for ideas for the toddler and preschool-aged crew? Then this post is the one for you: Winter Break Fun in Maryland and DC for Route 1 Toddlers and Preschoolers!

Always call or check the event website before heading out;
Event information is subject to change or weather cancellation.

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