I have compiled a list of things to do with babies/toddlers on the Hill and beyond. This neighborhood has tons of fun activities for our little one and many of the Smithsonian Museums are accessible by public transportation that you can take your stroller with. It took me a while to figure out regular go-to spots. I hope this list can be useful for new moms in the neighborhood. This list includes Smithsonians, local libraries, playgroups, parks and recreation centers, hang-out spots, a guide to public transportations and so on.
If there is anything that I am missing, I’d love to hear from you and add it to my list 🙂 And thanks to all the moms who helped me make the list.
★Smithsonian Museums etc.
・American Indian Museum – imagiNATIONS Activity Center on the 3rd floor is an educational play space for kids (Closed Mondays). Carpeted and crawlers-friendly. The cafeteria on the 1st floor is spacious, delicious, and has tons of high chairs.
・Building Museum – Toddler-friendly play areas on 1st & 2nd floor. Tuesday Morning story times. The atrium has a bakery and is a big carpeted area with tons of places to sit, crawl or roam around. $10 entrance fee. The accessible entrance is on G Street.
・Postal Museum – Storytime on Mondays. The museum is low-key and usually not as crowded and plenty of areas for toddlers to roam around. A lot of interactive activities such as “make your own stamp”. Located right next to Union Station.
・Natural History Museum – Discovery Room on the 2nd floor is full of educational materials like fossils, shells and international instruments for toddlers. Lots of quality books available for babies to enjoy with moms. The Butterfly Pavilion with live butterflies is free on Tuesdays. The accessible entrance is Constitution Avenue side.
・American History Museum– Wegman’s Wonderplace is a fun indoor playground. There is a small designated area for small babies, a bench in the corner for nursing moms and a big bathroom with a changing table. Museum ABCs on Tuesdays, hiSTORY time are offered on Saturdays.
・Portrait Gallery – There is a room called Explore! Family Space for babies and toddlers. Storytime is offered Tue-Fri afternoons. Its beautiful courtyard is equipped with a cafe, lots of tables and chairs, and streaming water area for toddlers to splash their little feet in. The accessible entrance is on G Street side, very easy to find from the elevator from Gallery Place Metro Station platform. Read about our experience here.
・Air & Space Museum – Storytimes, Sesame Street’s short movie at its planetarium available.
・African American History and Culture Museum – Explore More! is an interactive educational space which could be fun for toddlers. Read about our experience here.
・US Botanic Garden – Children’s Programs, Children’s Garden during spring, BYOB in winter (Bring Your Own Baby – tours for moms with babies in a baby carrier).
・Hirshhorn Museum – Storytime on Wednesdays. Its outdoor sculpture garden is stroller-accessible.
・National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden – This beautiful garden is a perfect spot for a stroller walk/toddler roaming. Pavilion cafe inside of the garden is spacious and has a bathroom (no changing table).
・Smithsonian’s Zoo – Classes for toddlers available.
・Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
・Northeast Library – Offers free story times, Library Playdates, Music & Movement (check the calendar for schedule.kids’e programs require registration). The kids’ area on the 2nd floor is a nice hangout spot. Stroller accessible entrance is on Maryland Avenue side.
・Southeast Library – Offers free story times, Library Playdates, Music & Movement (check the calendar for schedule. Some programs require registration). Stroller accessible entrance is on D Street side.
・Rosedale Library – Offers free storytime on Mondays at its kids area. This cute and tiny library is next to a DC-themed outdoor playground, swimming pool, and community recreation center.
・Folger Shakespeare Library – Shake Up Your Saturdays
・Young Readers Center at Library of Congress – Storytime on Fridays, make sure to arrive early and expect a big crowd!
・Free Forest School – Hiking & exploration of nature at Kingman Island on Thursdays. Baby carrying moms welcome. More times & locations available, be a member on their FB page.
・Our Village Playgroup – Organized by FIT4MOM, various crafts activities and moms’ coffee hour get-togethers.
・MOTH Playgroups : Eaters & Sleepers (0-6 months), Rockers & Rollers (6-18 months), Movers & Shakers (18-36 months) -Join the MOTH list serve for details
・La Leche League of Washington D.C. – Not exactly a playgroup, but the local meeting could be a wonderful place to meet other nursing moms for support.
★Parks and Recreation Centers
・Sherwood Recreation Center – Outdoor playground and indoor gym. Free open gym play time for toddlers 10:30-12:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. “Tiny Tots Need Recreation, Too!” program for 1.25 – 4 yr olds on weekdays requires registration on Dpt of Parks and Recreation online portal.
・Rosedale Community Center – “Tiny Tots Need Recreation, Too!” program available for for 2 – 5 yr olds. 10:30-12:30 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration required for each season on the online portal.
・Capitol Quarter Community Center – Newly built outdoor playground with cute swings, and some indoor rooms.
・Lincoln Park – The Fenced playground for kids. There could be quite a few unleashed dogs outside of the playgrounds (just in case).
・Stanton Park – The Fenced playground for kids. Expect a big crowd after school hours.
・Lovejoy Park – Simple park at 12th & E, NE. Small fenced playground with benches and green, usually not too crowded.
・Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens – Good for a nice outdoor walk, especially during summer with its famous lotus flowers. Most areas are stroller-friendly.
・Barre3 Studio Union Station – Offers childcare in the morning time slots.
・Hill Center – dance, soccer classes etc.
・Capitol Hill Arts Workshop – Tiny Tots Dance Classes etc.
★Bookstores and Toy stores
・Solid State Books – Storytime & Singalongs with BearSong
・East City Bookshop – Storytime on Tuesdays and Saturdays
・DC Metro – No need to fold strollers but of course, avoid rush hours. Elevators could be under repair, you can look up the service status on the link below.
・Street Car on the H Street – No need to fold strollers. Free of charge.
・DC Circulator – Circulator red line is very convenient when going to the Smithsonian museums from Union Station (the stop is on E Street and Mass. Avenue next to Columbus Circle). Stroller friendly.
・Whole Foods Market on H Street – 2nd-floor bathroom (there’s an elevator) has a changing table. The eat-in area on the 1st floor has high chairs available.
・Eastern Market – North Hall is a great indoor hang-out spot. There is a changing table in the bathroom located between the North Hall and the market main street.
・Union Market – Indoor area has high chairs and a bathroom with a changing table. The outdoor area is also a great hang-out spot for families.
・REI – Spacious stroller-friendly shopping area and clean family bathroom with a changing table.
・Union Station – Could be a nice indoor walking space. East Hall (next to the big main hall) is a quiet area perfect for a diaper change.
・Boogie Baby Concert at Eastern Market – could be too chaotic for newborns.
・The Atlas – Theater for the Very Young
・SkillZone – Members only indoor playground and more.
・Angelika Cinema Center Pop-Up – Crybaby Matinee on Wednesdays
・Well Dressed Mamma – an in-home nursing boutique for moms
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