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The Best Things to do With Kids in Washington, D.C. This August

Things to Do DC/MD/VA
Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia

August . . . our final month of summer vacay before entering into another year of (likely) virtual school. Who would have thought, right? It took our family a bit to settle into the new reality of the Summer of COVID-19 without the usual carefree fun of constant pool time and all of our usual beloved summer events and festivities. But there are still lots of fun and safe ways to enjoy summer with the fam.

Check out our list of family-approved August activities and events in the Washington, D.C. area, and soak up that last bit of summer fun! 

Re-connect With Your Favorite Animal Friends at the National Zoo

We know there are many kiddos out there who will be very happy to hear that you can once again visit your favorite animal friends at the National Zoo! The zoo reopened at the end of last month with new safety guidelines in place, including a requirement to reserve free timed entry passes or a paid parking pass in advance for crowd control purposes. Face coverings are required for guests ages 6+. The zoo has also implemented enhanced cleaning protocols for bathrooms, door handles and high-touch surfaces and installed new hand-sanitizing stations throughout the park. 

Relax With a Drink Overlooking the Potomac at the REACH

Being able to have some semblance of adult time while always having kids in tow can be challenging. That's why we love things like Victura Park, a family-friendly outdoor pop-up and wine garden at the REACH at the Kennedy Center. Grab a picnic or café table or spread out a blanket on the grass at this winery-inspired space overlooking the Potomac River and enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail and a light snack at this culinary collaboration between The Hilton Brothers and Chef Erik Bruner-Yang. The menu includes some kid-friendly items as well, like lemonade, apple juice and ice cream. Once Washington, D.C. enters phase three of reopening, the REACH's River Pavilion will open up for hour-long Sunset Concerts, including Wednesday evening Millennium Stage/Arts Across America shows. 

'Read Through the Galleries' at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

August is the last month of the NMAAHC's 2020 summer reading challenge. Created for 3rd through 12th graders, kids must read three books to conquer each month's challenge. Book selections are curated to provide enjoyment and enrichment about African American history and culture. Record your book selections and submit to the NMAAHC by September 15 to receive your downloadable certificate. Check out our article on 2020 Summer Reading Programs for Kids for more summer reading challenges and rewards.

Visit the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center 

While the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall remains closed as of this writing, its Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia is now open! Like the National Zoo, you will need a free timed entry pass to visit, and visitors ages six and older are required to wear face coverings. The Udvar-Hazy Center has thousands of aviation and space artifacts to explore, including kid-favorite Space Shuttle Discovery. 

See a Drive-in Movie at RFK Stadium

We told you about some fun local drive-in options in last month's article. Since then, Broccoli City Partners and Events DC have partnered to launch yet another at RFK.  Park Up DC is the nation's capital's one and only drive--in movie and live event pop-up featuring a massive 45-foot HD digital LED screen. Coming up in August are some family favorites like "Paddington and "Secret Life of Pets 2." Tickets and snacks are sold online only - no walk up/in-person sales, and snacks will be delivered right to your car!

The Mansion is Now Open at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Phased reopening has continued at Mount Vernon to allow tours of the Mansion's first floor with timed entry tickets. Other open areas include the historic area, Upper and Lower Gardens, the Museum & Education Center, and more, and historic trade demonstrations and outdoor experiences and tours are also available. 

Get Cultured at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art reopened the Ground Floor of its West Building to guests at the end of July. Free, timed passes are required for entry and are released each Monday at 10 a.m. for the following week. Face coverings are required for all visitors ages 2 and up. The West Gallery includes a selection of impressionist still life paintings, a showcase of 19th- and 20th-century sculpture and more.

Healthcare Workers Visit the Museum of the Bible for FREE 

The Museum of the Bible is open with a new commandment, "Thou shalt practice social distancing," and they are offering free admission for healthcare workers in appreciation for their tireless efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Simply present your work identification card at the ticketing counter to be admitted free (applies to healthcare workers only; excludes spouses, family members, or other guests with the group). The Museum of the Bible is great for kids, offering a special Kid's Track version of its Digital Guide, as well as an interactive children's exhibit. Read all about it in our Real Mom Review.

Hunt for Shark Teeth at Purse State Park

Located about 45 minutes south of Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River on Wades Bay, Purse State Park is an area favorite for fossil hunting. Visit at low tide to hunt for fossilized sharks teeth, bones and shell fragments in the rocks and sand along the waters edge. It's a very skinny beach, so avoid coming at high tide, as there will not be any beach to hunt on! The mellow river water is great for a quick dip to cool off, so be sure to wear your swimsuit!

Take a Family Graffiti Art Tour

While it may be hard to visit art inside these days, lucky for us, art is aplenty outside in our nation's capital in the form of vibrant wall murals in some of the city's neighborhoods. And let's face it, a tour of wall graffiti art is much more fun for kids! Ben's Chili Bowl's ever-evolving mural celebrating notable Black Americans is perhaps the most famous. Check out this article for a list of other places to visit on your tour.

Ride the Rails With the Walkersville Southern Railroad

Walkersville Southern Railroad is a longtime partner of ours, and their Excursion Train Ride is getting rave reviews from our CertifiKID families as a perfect social distancing-friendly family outing. Your one hour-ride will take you past picturesque Maryland farm country with a view of the Catoctin Mountains and over a bridge high above the beautiful Monocacy River. 

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Beat the Heat with Indoor Play

We know many families are understandably apprehensive about indoor activities and attractions, preferring to play it safe with outdoor fun. However, for those who are ready to venture inside, many of our favorite local play places have reopened with heightened COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, including capacity restrictions, face covering requirements, social distancing policies, and upgraded deep cleaning and sanitation protocols. Here's a list of some money-saving offers for some of our favorite local indoor play centers:

Jolly Yolly Kids Indoor Playground in Fairfax, VA (53% Off)
ZavaZone in Sterling, VA (46% Off)
Be With Me Playseum in Bethesda & Annapolis, MD (50% Off)
ClimbZone in Laurel, MD (50% Off)
Hyper Kidz Indoor Playground in Columbia, MD (50% Off)
Totsville Indoor Playground in Glen Burnie, MD (36% Off)
NEW! Kidz Jungle World Indoor Playground in Randallstown, MD (47% Off)

Cool Off With a Visit to a Local Swimming Hole

With many neighborhood pools closed this summer or operating with strict capacity restrictions, we are all desperate for the kids to cool off and play in the water. Check out this article from our friends over at KidFriendly DC for some great local options for places to cool off.

Stay at the Resort Where "Dirty Dancing" Was Filmed!

Remember that famous scene from the movie where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey practice their lift in a lake? Well, fun fact, Mountain Lake in Pembroke, Virginia where that scene took place went bone dry over a decade ago . . . but, mysteriously, just recently started filling up again! Come see it for yourself, as well as the rest of the resort where "Dirty Dancing" was filmed, with a family getaway to Mountain Lake Lodge! Mountain Lake Lodge, located not far from Virginia Tech, offers the perfect blend of comfortable convenience and rustic charm with spectacular views of sprawling forests and mountain peaks. There is plenty of outdoor space to spread out with your family and all sorts of family-friendly recreational activities, including a swimming pool, archery, treetop adventures and more. 

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Check out CertifiKID From a Distance to save up to 50% off social distancing-friendly activities and events, getaways, camps and classes, birthday parties and more.

Tags: Family Friendly Events Washington DC Kids Activities August 2019


CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!