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The Great Indoors: My Top Three Favorite Indoor Playspaces (0-6 years)

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The Great Indoors: My Top Three Favorite Indoor Playspaces (0-6 years)

Oh my gosh!

I think I’m melting.

It will be in the mid 90’s all this week in DC so it’s as good a time as ever to share with you my three favorite indoor play-spaces for the 0-6 crowd.

3. ImagiNATIONS activity center at The National Museum of the American Indian

 

Hok-Noth-Da Story Time

 

ImagiNATIONS is housed in the visually stunning Museum of the American Indian where, it should also be mentioned, the cafeteria is top notch offering foods representative of indian tribes that once populated North America by region. The playscape offers many hands-on activities, all with a view of the Capitol building. Build an igloo, test your core strength on a simulated fishing kayak and come early to listen to a story or make a craft, click here for their activity schedule.

Website: ImagiNATIONS

When:

Tuesday – Sunday: 10am-5pm

Closed December 25th

Getting there:

Metro (L’Enfant Plaza blue, orange, green, yellow lines)

Parking (Mall parking can be reserved ahead of time via parking panda )

Cost: Free

Additional Supplies: None

Nursing Friendly: Sure, plenty of places to sit but no designated spots

Attention Level: Medium

Disclaimer- I have created a level of alertness scale; low, medium, high.  based on factors such as play area location in relation to traffic, strangers, dogs, etc. A low rating in no way indicates you should not keep an eye on or engage with your child, it simply means your child is in less danger here should you become distracted.

 

2. Wegman’s Wonderplace at the National Museum of American History

 

WegmansWonderplace

 

Wegman’s Wonderplace, an indoor playscape for ages 0-6, debuted in January 2016 as a permanent exhibit at the American Museum of History. Funded by grocery giant Wegmans the exhibit has many features highlighting  the food system, literally from farm to table, and can serve as a talking point about where food comes from. Children have the chance to “harvest” carrots and potatoes from a faux garden bed, collect chicken eggs, browse for peaches, and after purchasing their produce they can head over to a toddler sized replica of Julia Child’s kitchen where they can pretend to cook it all up (Julia Child’s actual kitchen is located upstairs). This exhibit is particularly family friendly; stroller parking, large private restroom complete with changing table and toddler toilet, enclosed baby area with mirror and pull up barre, and my personal favorite the nursing bench including boppy nursing pillows. Wegmans Wonderplace is a great place to come, sit down and recharge and the level of alertness required here is low. The play area is contained with an attendant at the entrance, timed ticketing is required on busy days i.e. visiting on off hours will yield the best results.

Website: Wegman’s Wonderplace

When:

Everyday:10am-4pm

Closed on Tuesdays and December 25th

Getting there:

Metro (Federal Triange blue, orange, silver lines)(Archives-Navy Memorial green, yellow lines)

Parking (Mall parking can be reserved ahead of time via parking panda )

Cost: Free

Additional Supplies: None

Nursing Friendly: Yes, includes a specific and comfortable area for nursing

Attention Level: Low

Disclaimer- I have created a level of alertness scale; low, medium, high.  based on factors such as play area location in relation to traffic, strangers, dogs, etc. A low rating in no way indicates you should not keep an eye on or engage with your child, it simply means your child is in less danger here should you become distracted.

1. The National Building Museum

 

Play Work Build

 

The National building is my new favorite go-to museum, so much so that I became a member (it’s not a Smithsonian) and at $90/year (entry for two adults and four kids every visit) its a screaming good deal. They have two designated play rooms; Play Work Build and The Building Zone. The Building Zone, a playscape designed specifically for kids 0-6 requires timed entry tickets good for 45 minutes, the tickets are   included in your entry fee, I recommend getting entry for two time blocks in a row (the 45 minutes will fly by).  While you’re waiting to get into The Building Zone I recommend you go upstairs to check out Play, Work, Build where your children can play engineer with oversized blocks, get techie with the dance pad or kick it old school with lincoln logs.

 

Website: Building Museum

When: 

Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 11 am–5 pm

The Building Zone
closes at 4 pm.

Getting there:

Metro (Judiciary Square red line)(Gallery PL-Chinatown green, yellow, red lines)

Parking (Mall parking can be reserved ahead of time via parking panda )

Cost:

$16/adult

$13/Children, students, seniors

2 and under are free

Includes admission to all exhibits, and Icebergs

Additional Supplies: None

Nursing Friendly: Sure, plenty of places to sit but no designated spots

Attention Level: Low-Medium

Disclaimer- I have created a level of alertness scale; low, medium, high.  based on factors such as play area location in relation to traffic, strangers, dogs, etc. A low rating in no way indicates you should not keep an eye on or engage with your child, it simply means your child is in less danger here should you become distracted.

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