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 as well as my own Daylight Savings 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:
2. Bloombars has evening classes such as yoga and Bollywood for kids.
3. Drop by a pet store to observe the animals and maybe see some dogs getting groomed.
5. Isn’t Target obvious?! (Try not to buy everything).
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 laid 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. (updating this soon)
13. Grab a flashlight and go on an adventure walk. Bonus if you have time to create a scavenger hunt and if not check out these.
14. Check the bus route and take a random ride. All DC Circulator rides are $1, DC Students (with Kids Ride Free SmarTrip® Card) – free to school and school-related activities and children under 5 – free (with paying adult rider). Metro is also a fun option!
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 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. Be sure to take a look at the new addition; REACH. 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! (will update to 2021 soon)
18. Enroll in a winter class.
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 & Trader Joes grocery stores are the only one I can think of).
20. Go see a movie! Splurge for some popcorn and a later bedtime.
21. Happy Hour doesn’t have to wait until 5pm….Early dinner or apps (see #11 & #12).
22. Head to a Mall; head to the Apple store, food court or movie theatre. This Mall has a great family area. Chevy Chase Pavilion is a 3-story mall that will keep little kids attention with flashy lights and escalators and even has an underground tunnel that will take you across Wisconsin Ave. to more stores. Of course Tyson’s Corner is the mecca for shoppers but a trek for most of us.
23. Drop-in and play at The Lane.
24. One of these indoor spaces is a great option but check their hours before heading out.
Ideas for fun in your home in case you can’t escape:
5. Put on a play– get out that old camcorder and record them. Your iPhone will suffice too 😉
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. My littlest loves to “wash” dishes; fill the sing with plenty of soap and give them a sponge or brush and have them wash those dishes that may have piled up.
8. Make a fort, add pillows and blankets and watch a movie, grab a flashlight and/or read stories.
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.