March Guide to Family-Friendly Reopenings and Events

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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 as well as a few events. 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 10 am and 5 pm. See the 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. Check out their website for a list of Spring 2021 Virtual and In-Person nature classes and activities.

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 March 8th and 9th, Mount Vernon will welcome homeschooling families to discover the 18th century by exploring the Farm at Mount Vernon.

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, including requiring all visitors and employees to wear a mask and maintain social distance.

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 from sunrise to sunset (7 am – 5 pm) for your enjoyment, relaxation, and exercise. 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

ARTECHOUSE
ARTECHOUSE has opened with a limited capacity and it has taken additional safety measures in light of the current pandemic. You can now purchase tickets for a new installation running from March 15th – September 6th. “Renewal 2121” seeks to inspire hope amid a global pandemic and concerns of climate change. Transporting visitors 100 years into the future, it immerses them in an industrial city where nature fights to survive amid an overdeveloped metropolis. There is a hopeful message to be discovered as blossoms are seen peeking through the plastic, concrete, and neon lights, ready to renew the season with the help of those willing to take action.

Drive-In at Park Potomac
MoCo’s Founding Farmers and Pike Productions have joined together to present a family-friendly drive-in movie experience. Every Wednesday in March, a family-friendly movie will be screened at 6:30 pm (gates open at 5:30). Tickets must be purchased in advance. The price per car is $40, which includes a $10 food credit for MoCo’s Founding Farmers to be delivered directly to your car during the movie. There are a number of safety protocols and requirements you will want to familiarize yourself with before purchasing your ticket.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
This installation is a 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular featuring two-story projections of the artist’s most compelling works in 360 degrees. It aims to be appropriate for all ages. The experience is all digital, hands-free, and instituted a number of COVID safety measures. Tickets are available online and will be released for sale at noon on March 5th.

The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has canceled 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 Wednesday through Sunday. 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.

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.

MUSEUMS

Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum Presents “Men of Change: Taking It To The Streets”
This exhibition presents a nation’s story through the profiles of revolutionary African American men and the cultural stories they illuminate. In heralding the contributions of notable African American men, from W.E.B DuBois to Ryan Coogler, “Men of Change” highlights deep parallels between the past and present. Originally intended as an indoors exhibit, it has been reimagined for outdoors installation in Ward 7 and can be viewed 24 hours a day now through May 31st. It features multiple stand-alone and fence displays on six streets, including the campus of Ron Brown High School. See the website for more information about the men who are profiled, as well as a map of the installation.

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 is open Thursday through Monday and advance ticket purchases are recommended. 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 EVENTS AND REOPENINGS

National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Petal Porch Parade
This year, the Festival will run from March 20th through April 11th. Organizers have created an innovative format that honors the tradition of the Festival while prioritizing the health and safety of participants amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It will incorporate both virtual and personal experiences for everyone to enjoy this spring. The Petal Porch Parade invites residents of the DMV to unleash their creativity and celebrate their cherry blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, or windows. The Festival will produce a virtual map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches, so you can plan a walk or drive around your neighborhood to see and share in the celebration of spring. On the weekend of April 10-11, a Petal Procession will drive through select Petal Porch Parade neighborhoods in and around DC. Register by March 15, and get your neighbors involved too for the chance to have the Petal Procession cruise through your neighborhood!

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 events and reopenings going on around town? Please comment below or add them to our community calendar here!

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