February Guide to Family-Friendly Reopenings

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Health and safety concerns in our communities have caused many typical family-friendly events and activities to be canceled or closed. This month, we have compiled a list of family-friendly reopenings in our region. Before venturing out, make sure you carefully review the safety protocols and requirements of each facility. If you want to spend some family time outdoors, please check out our guide to 80+ Places to Explore Nature with Kids Around the DMV and Ice Skating Rink Guide. And be sure to look at our community calendar for other events too.


ANIMALS

Glen Echo Park Aquarium
The aquarium is open by appointment only. Dates and times are limited, but they will work with you to arrange a visit between 10am and 5pm. See website for contact info and COVID policies.

Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center
Visit Alexandria’s very own Nature Center where you can see live animals up close and learn about the cultural and natural history of the neighboring Dora Kelley Nature Park. Currently, interactive exhibits and play spaces are closed. The Nature Center is also limiting the total visitor capacity, conducting temperature checks at the door, and requiring face masks and maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance while inside the Center.

HISTORIC HOMES AND GARDENS

Heurich House Museum
The Heurich House Museum remains closed, but its gardens are open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to 5 pm. See website for details. Also, you can take a virtual tour of the Museum online.

Mount Vernon
George and Martha Washington’s Estate and Gardens are open. The facility has adopted a number of new safety protocols that you will want to review before your visit. Your family can tour the grounds and the gardens, the first floor of the mansion, and view museum exhibits. Purchase tickets online. On February 15th, you can visit the estate for free in celebration of George Washington’s Birthday. Tickets are limited and must be obtained online. If you can’t attend in person, you can celebrate virtual during an online ceremony on February 22nd.

National Arboretum
If you are looking for open park space, look no further. The National Arboretum is now open daily from 8 am-5 pm. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum and Administration building will continue to be closed to the public. Visitors are still required to follow all posted guidelines designed to maximize the safety and health of all visitors and employees. We will continue to monitor daily visitors and restrict total numbers, as necessary, to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
The grounds of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are now open from 8 am-4 pm. The park is limiting the number of visitors. Some areas, such as all buildings, restrooms, and the boardwalk, remain closed for public safety (note that there are porta-potties available). Read about these and other visitor expectations on the park’s website.

Brookside Gardens
The Gardens are open for your enjoyment, relaxation, and exercise. However, the visitor center building is closed through February 28th and there are no restroom facilities. Also, they are limiting the numbers allowed in their parking lot. See their website for a list of prohibited activities, a map, and a list of areas that are accessible in the gardens.

ENTERTAINMENT

Trapeze School New York
TSNY at the DC Navy Yard is reopening after many months. It has taken steps to help keep the rig a healthy and safe place. All staff, students, and spectators must adhere to their safety protocols while attending classes or visiting their space.

ARTECHOUSE
ARTECHOUSE has opened with a limited capacity and it has taken additional safety measures in light of the current pandemic. It continues to monitor and follow recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and local health departments and government agencies. The current exhibit is “Crystalline,” inspired by Pantone® Color of the Year 2020 Classic Blue. Inspired by blue’s dependable qualities, Crystalline in D.C. explores the color’s connection with earth and crystals through a journey that is both an adventure and a contemplation.

The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has cancelled all previously scheduled full-capacity programs through April 25, 2021. Additionally, much of the late spring and early summer touring programs have been canceled. However, you can still visit the REACH Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Check the website for access information and COVID policies.

National Harbor
Some of the restaurants at the National Harbor have reopened with patio seating and/or to go ordering options. The Capital Wheel is open. The facilities have taken steps to create social distancing and improve cleaning/sanitizing practices. Take a look at their website to review what COVID-19 measures they have implemented. See National Harbor’s website for additional family-friendly activities.

MUSEUMS

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden
The Museum’s building may be closed for the moment, but its sculpture garden is open daily from 10 am – 4:30 pm. Visit hi.si.edu on your personal device during your visit for a self-guided experience. Also, #HirshhornInsideOut is a way for us to remain connected through artist- and curator-led insights, innovative digital artworks, online events, and hands-on art activities for adults and kids of all ages, all from your phone, tablet, or computer.

Lincoln’s Cottage
The interiors are now open Wednesday through Monday for timed, self-guided tours. Space is limited to allow space for social distancing and reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Purchase tickets online.

International Spy Museum
New safety measures are in place including capacity limitations, social distancing guidelines, mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning protocols. The museum recommends advance ticket purchases and there are no extra online fees. The museum’s website has more information about specific ways families can plan for their visit and stay safe including wearing a mask, providing a stylus to each visitor for use on all of the Museum’s touch screens, and more.

SEASONAL FAMILY-FRIENDLY REOPENINGS

Pentagon Row Ice Skating
The rink is open 7 days a week, but you must make reservations in advance. Reservations open 2 weeks in advance. Check out the website for reservations and other policies.

Silver Spring Ice Skating
The rink is open 7 days a week, but you must make reservations in advance. Reservations open 2 weeks in advance. Check out the website for reservations and other policies.

Do you know of other family-friendly reopenings going on around town? Please comment below or add them to our community calendar here!

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