Where should I take my 5-year-old on a Saturday afternoon?

April 23, 2013

We get dozens of questions from readers during our Thursday Got Plans? chats -- more than we can answer in our allotted 60 minutes. Rather than let these queries go unanswered, we're going to start responding to them here. Please chime in with your suggestions in the comments below.

If you have questions of your own, join us this Thursday at 1 p.m., send your question to goingoutguide@washpost.com or tweet them to @goingoutguide using #gotplans. 

Date with a five-year old?
Any suggestions on things to do Saturday with my five-year-old? I was thinking the College Park Aviation Museum, but thought you might have other ideas. We recently saw a play, so that's probably out. Thanks!

 

Weekend's Amy Joyce responds: The College Park Aviation Museum was a big hit with my son. Not only is it usually pretty quiet and open, but it's sunny and inviting. Some of the highlights include being able to sit on a real airplane, use simulators and do a few crafty things on your own. At the end of the fun, take your art to the front desk and receive a "prize." (Yes, it's another bag full of plastic doodads you probably don't need, but my goodness, they love that stuff.)

Other things I like for 5-year-old dates: A Nats game. The food, the atmosphere, and the relatively inexpensive tickets if you can nab them are all a great thrill. (They're home to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.) Hains Point (East Potomac Park) is actually a ton of fun. Not sure what your 5-year-old is like, but mine loves the mini-golf there, or the driving range (hit from the top and it feels like you're really hitting that golf ball pretty far) followed by a grilled cheese in the "clubhouse." You're also close to paddle boats at the Jefferson Memorial.

And my secret weapon: The newly reopened playground at the Beauvoir school on the National Cathedral grounds. It's only open to the public on the weekends. Amazing climbing structures, huge slides, a zip line and an artificial turf field. But beware: The closest bathrooms that I've found are in the cathedral, which is quite a hike.

For a quieter date, the National Gallery of Art and the sculpture garden are fun to walk around and 5-year-olds actually get a lot out of it. Love the cafeteria at the gallery -- sit closest to the waterfall and have some nice gelato for dessert.

Hope this helps!

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Ryan Little · April 23, 2013