Parenting  |  Things to Do

Weekend With the Kids: Thomas the Tank & Calling All Pirates

Plus tons of other spring-break planning ideas

Spring Break at Port Discovery (Baltimore)
If you haven’t spent a day at Port Discovery in Baltimore, I’d suggest you place this at the top of your to-do list. It’s shameful that despite all the museums we have in DC, we still don’t have an interactive kids museum (yeah, I know they’re building one at National Harbor, but still). Port Discovery is a treat for kids of all ages, and it always surprises me that getting to Baltimore is effortless and quick. From April 18 through 25, Port Discovery is offering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into Spring, a week of activities appealing to kids of all ages. The museum also has extended hours, open from 9:30 to 5 every day that week. Event participation is first-come, first-serve, so I’d recommend getting there early. Admission is $12.95 for ages two and up, free for those under two Though large themed kids events in our area often quickly turn into my own personal nightmare, Port Discovery events and exhibits are always so well-organized, age-appropriate, creative, and fun that it’s worth battling potential crowds and tantrum-throwing children.

Spring Break Story time at the Diner (Adams Morgan)
Hat’s off to the Diner for offering kid-friendly activities and attracting parents during off-peak times. Every Tuesday at 4, you can head to the Diner for story time. A friend of mine took her three-year-old a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed a casual afternoon of story times (that day featured books by Eric Carle, always a kid-crowd pleaser), and there were food and drink specials for kids and parents. The Diner also offers Pajama Party Cartoon Brunch for kids and families starting at 7 AM Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, parking in Adams Morgan is easy during these off-peak times.

Chesapeake Pirates (Annapolis)
On Saturday, April 16, Chesapeake Pirates will resume its season offering 75-minute boat tours around the Chesapeake Bay in search of treasure and that stinky scoundrel, Pirate Pete. We took our girls on this pirate tour last year and loved it. The crew is in character from the time you arrive, kids participate in face-painting and dressing up like pirates for 30 minutes before the boat departs, and they’re engaged and entertained the entire boat ride. You need to call for a reservation in advance; tickets are $19 per person and $12 for kids two and under. The boat departs every 90 minutes between 9:30 and 5, and group rates are available for parties of 30 or more. Parking is free in the lot next to the dock.

Day Out With Thomas (B&O Museum, Baltimore)
For all the train lovers out there, get your tickets now for a 25 minute-ride with Thomas the Tank April 29 through May 1 and May 6 through 8. Admission also includes a moon bounce, spin art, petting zoo, pony rides, and live music, to name a few. The train departs throughout the day from 9:15 to 4:45, and I noticed many of the morning spots are already sold out on both weekend days. Tickets are $19 for ages two and up, and advanced purchase is required. The B&O Museum offers a useful list of popular questions and answers here, including parking and stroller information. The train departs rain or shine.

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