Winter break is here! Hopefully this season is full of relaxation and making memories. I’m sure holiday traditions and playing with new toys will fill the days with fun. However, if you find your kids are getting bored, here are some ideas to help inspire fun and opportunities to play, learn and grow!
OURDOOR PLAY IDEAS
- Parks & Playgrounds– There are a number of amazing playground to travel to around the DMV area. For those local Southern Maryland families looking to explore close to home I recommend Pisgah Park and White Plains Park for Charles County families. I recommend Pisgah because of its fun walking path with imaginative play grounds stationed through out the trail. White Plains is a great options if you are looking for more than just a play ground. White Plains has a skate board park and tennis courts! My suggestion for Calvert residences and those willing travel there is Hollowing Point Park and Dunkirk District Park. These too playgrounds are unique and offer hours of fun. Wieck Park is our favorite in St. Mary’s Families. My favorite PG County parks are Walker Mill and Watkins Regional.
- Monuments & National Parks– I highly recommend touring the monuments around DC and even the Arlington Cemetery. Additionally, Fort Washington is a lot of fun too.
- Ice Skating- There are a handful of outdoor ice skating rinks to test out your skills. The most local to Southern Maryland families are at the Washington Harbour George Town ($10), Washington DC National Gallery of Art Ice Rink ($12, and the Wharf Ice Rink ($13).
INDOOR PLAY IDEAS
- Action Jaxx– This family run indoor play center is perfect for getting out that excessive energy. See their Facebook page for holiday hours and specials.
- Aquatic Centers– Southern Maryland families have a few options for a splashing good time. Charles County pools have holiday swim hours, be sure to check out their calendar. Edward T Hall and Brandywine Aquatic Center’s both have holiday hours and really awesome leisure pools with slides and water features. Also, close in Alexandria is Super, Awesome and Amazing.
- ARTful PLAYhouse– ARTful PLAYhouse is a creative studio offering classes and workshops for children to engage in experiences that inspire imagination, spark curiosity, celebrate play, and promote art exploration. Visit their page for hours and program information.
- AR Workshop– Check out their calendar for individual Youth or Family Friendly workshops.
- Badlands– This one is a further drive. But super cool. If you haven’t visited this epic 30,000 square foot indoor play space yet than you will definitely want to check it out!
- Bowling- There are a few bowling centers, including: AMF, Lord Calvert Bowling, and even bowling alleys on base for those with base access have some awesome specials and events.
- Capital Clubhouse– From a indoor ice rink to rock wall this indoor sports center has it all. Be sure to check out their calendar for open public skate hours, totsicles and more.
- Chick-fil-A- Most of the indoor play places are open and offer a safe and super cheap way to play!
- Chuck- E-Cheese– This pizza and arcade center offers a lot of fun!
- Imaginarium– Drop in, enjoy the free coffee and wifi, and let your children burn some energy while letting their imaginations soar! Book online to guarantee a spot when you arrive. Stay as long as you’d like during our Open Play hour at this fabulous indoor wooden play center. This is a family favorite…I highly recommend!
- Hyper Kidz– Hyper Kids is an indoor playground that offers a chance for kids ages newborns and up, to get their energy out in a safe space.
- Pump It Up– Indoor inflatable play center has holiday hours for open jump and glow jump, see their calendar.
- RH Escape Room– Test out your problem solving skills at this unique escape room experience.
- Scary Strokes– This glow in the dark indoor mini golf course is so much fun. Not to mention they have a great arcade with cool prizes!
- Skyzone-This indoor trampoline park is a great option. See their hours for open jump, glow jump and toddler times.
- Super, Awesome and Amazing– Did you know that there is super, awesome and totally amazing active entertainment zone for kids right here in the DMV area! Recently built in 2019, The St. James in Springfield, VA houses a massive indoor sports complex.
LEARNING & EXPLORING IDEAS
- Calvert Marine Museum– The Calvert Marine Museum is a hidden gem to Southern Maryland families. CMM is offering special winter break programming running December 28, 2022- December 30, 2022. Learn about hibernation, horseshow crabs, megalodons and more. Be sure to also check their schedule for Little Minos and Sea Squirts program that runs all year long. If you are a member, don’t miss out on this years Noon Years Eve Party!
- Library– Southern Maryland has remarkable library resources. Depending on what county/town you are in will most likely determine which branch you will want to check out for hours, events and extras. Calvert County link. We enjoy the Prince Frederick location which offers stellar programming, children’s section with hands on activity centers. St. Mary’s County link, the new library in Leonardtown is phenomenal! The kids section is so fun with ships to climb on and music garden on the back patio; you could easily play in the children’s section and keep little ones entertained for an hour. Charles County-link, one of my favorite branches is Waldorf West. There is a children’s section with a train theme, as well as a imagination room you can sign-in to play at. During select times you can also use the room to play on the Nintendo Switch.
- Maryland Science Center– It’s Decemb-Brrrrr and Maryland Science Center is the perfect place to play with science of the season through a fun program called ‘Tis the Season of Science’. This program is available December 26, 2022- January 1, 2023. Stay cozy and warm inside the Kids Room while you enjoy icy, snowy, freezing fun!
- Museum of Illusion– Designed to amuse, amaze, and stimulate the senses, the Museum of Illusions features more than 50 unique visual and educational installations appealing to locals and tourists of all ages. MOI was designed with two aims: to educate and to entertain. Our exhibits unveil the mechanics behind mind-bending illusions while also shocking the senses and playing on perception. The Museum of Illusions Washington DC is like no place you’ve been before. Open through out December most days 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM.
- Nature Centers– PG County has two awesome nature centers. The first is Clear Water Nature Center you can reserve a slot to visit or sign-up for a program see their calendar for details on events such as live animal shows and Noon Years Eve Campfire. Watkins Park Nature Center & Maryland Farm are another options. Their hours may be limiting due to the Winter Lights festival, so be sure to check out their page.
- Port Discovery Science Center– Grab your thinking winter hats and come out to Port Discovery, where there is warm winter break family fun for all! The museum has special winter art projects planned, entertaining educational shows on the main stage and seasonal stations in addition to their usual exhibits.
- Smithsonian Museum– Last but not least. Enjoy the many free museums right in our nations capital. With over a dozen museums to choose from; whether art, history or science there’s something for everyone. Additional museums downtown that cost money but are fun include Museum of the Bible and the International Spy Museum.
- All Aboard!– Take a train ride or enjoy a holiday train display. See this guide to know where to go.
- Lights Displays- Be sure to enjoy aspectual sparkling lights this year. A great option is Annmarie Garden in Lights or Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park!
- Visit a theme park- Both Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens are great options. Enjoy dazzling lights displays, rides and seasonal shows.
- St. Clements Island Museum– This is a holiday must. Not only is St. Clements a great museum all year round. Right now they have a really cool Christmas train and doll display.
TAKE A TRIP
Consider taking a little weekend vacation to one of these locations:
- Williamsburg, VA- Nothing is more beautiful than a colonial Christmas. Visit Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.
- Strasburg, PA- This is such a beautiful town filled with lots of things to do. We love staying at the DoubleTree hotel to enjoy the indoor splash ground and pool, be sure to grab a meal at Speckled Hen or Agape Cafe. Visiting the National Toy Train Museum and Strasburg Railroad is a must!
- Washington, DC- Stay locally at the nations capital and enjoy all that DC has to offer. Stay at the Embassy Suits DC Convention Center hotel for free parking, breakfast, happy hour and more. Plus they have a pool!
- December 22, 2022- January 1, 2023- Beauty and The Beast at Olney Theater $
- December 22, 2022-January 1, 2023- A Christmas Carol at Olney Theater $
- December 22, 2022- January 1, 2023- All Day A Retro Christmas Exhibit at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum $
- December 23, 2022- 5PM-7PM Pictures with Santa at Dentsville EMS
- December 23, 2022- 7PM-9PM Kids Jump /Parents Sip & Paint $25
- December 23, 2022- 7PM Pajama Party at Ruddy Duck
- December 24, 2022- 9AM-11AM Little Leapers Winter Party at Skyzone in Waldorf $10
- December 27, 2022- 9:30AM -11AM Morning Story Time Schedule at CCPL Potomac Branch FREE
- December 27, 2022- 10AM LEGO Block Party at Leondardtown Library Free
- December 27, 2022- 2PM Hair Braiding Workshop at CCPL Potomac Branch Free
- December 27, 2022- 6PM Teen Pizza & Pajama Party at CCPL Waldorf West Branch Free
- December 28, 2022- 9:30AM-11AM- Morning Story Time Schedule at CCPL PD Brown Branch Free
- December 28, 2022- 11AM Hibernation at Calvert Marine Museum $
- December 28, 2022- 2PM Advanced STEM Homeschool Club at CCPL Potomac Branch Free
- December 28, 2022- 6:30PM Reading Buddies at Prince Frederick Library Free
- December 28, 2022- 6:30 PM – Laser Tag at Imaginarium in Solomons $25
- December 29, 2022- 9:30AM -10:30AM Morning Story Time Schedule at CCPL La Plata Branch
- December 29, 2022- 11AM-3PM Horseshoe Crabs Program at Calvert Marine Museum $
- December 29, 2022- 2:30PM-4PM Indoor Snowball Battle at North East Community Center in Chesapeake Beach Free
- December 30, 2022- 2PM Winter Wonderland at CCPL Potomac Branch Free
- December 30, 2022- 11AM-3PM Winter Programming: Megalodon at Calvert Marine Museum $
- December 30, 2022- 11:30 Noon Years Eve at SMPL Lexington Park Branch, Charlotte Hall Branch &Leonardtown Branch Free
- December 31, 2022- 9AM & 11AM New Years Party at My Gym Waldorf $
- December 31, 2022- 10AM & 12PM Noon Years Eve Party at Imaginarium in Solomons $25 (Register now! Sells out fast!)
- December 31, 2022- 11AM-7PM Family New Year Bowling Party at Lord Calvert Bowling $
- January 3, 2023- All Day Take and Make Playdough Snowman at CCPL Waldorf West Branch
- January 7, 2023- 9AM-12PM Snowball Game Build at Home Depot Waldorf Free
- January 12, 2023- 11AM Homeschool Snowball Battle at Elite Gym in Waldorf- $10
- January 21, 2023- 10AM-12PM Snowman Picture Frame Build at Local Lowes Free
***Happy Holidays! Thank you for following The Playful Parent a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates learning through play and family bonding by providing AD free information, family resources, events and more. To keep this organization running join as a member on Patreon or support The Playful Parent with likes and comments on Facebook and Instagram.***