Childrens' Birthday Parties maryland Parenting Party Ideas

Birthday Party Place Ideas for Prince George’s County, Maryland

Planning your child’s birthday party can be a fun and exciting experience! Prince George’s County in Maryland offers many options to ensure your little one’s special day is memorable and enjoyable. With various venues catering to different age groups, there is something for everyone. We have compiled a list of 18+ fantastic party ideas to help you find the perfect location for your child’s celebration. Be sure to check around and compare options to find the best fit for your family. Don’t forget to add some unique party favors from to make the event even more special!

  1. Pump It Up A fun-filled indoor inflatable party venue with private party rooms.
    Age Range: 3-12
    Location: Bowie
    Party Favor: [Hoppy Inflatable Bounce Balls]
  2. My Gym An interactive fitness center with structured games and activities.
    Age Range: 1-10
    Location: Gambrills
    Party Favor: [LED Light Up YoYo]
  3. College Park Aviation Museum A museum dedicated to the history of aviation with birthday party packages.
    Age Range: 4-12
    Location: College Park
    Party Favor: [Foam Glider Airplanes]
  4. Artworks Studio A creative space offering art-themed birthday parties.
    Age Range: 4-12
    Location: Hyattsville
    Party Favor: [Mini Canvases and Easels]
  5. Greenbelt Recreation Department Offers various party options at the Greenbelt Community Center.
    Age Range: 3-12
    Location: Greenbelt
    Party Favor: [Foldable flying discs]
  6. Imagination Stage A theater that offers birthday parties with drama, dance, and music activities.
    Age Range: 3-12
    Location: Bethesda
    Party Favor: [Theater Masks – You may want to provide decorating paints, etc.]
  7. Six Flags America A thrilling amusement park with party packages.
    Age Range: 5-14
    Location: Bowie
    Party Favor: [Spy Pens]
  8. Skate Zone An indoor roller-skating rink with party packages.
    Age Range: 4-14
    Location: Crofton
    Party Favor: [Roller Skate Keychains]
  9. The Little Gym A gymnastics facility offering fun and engaging birthday parties.
    Age Range: 1-12
    Location: Bowie
    Party Favor: [Gymnastics Stickers]
  10. The Magic Putt An indoor mini-golf venue with a magical twist.
    Age Range: 5-12
    Location: Hyattsville
    Party Favor: [Multi-color Pens]
  11. The Playseum An interactive and imaginative play space. Age
    Range: 1-10
    Location: Annapolis
    Party Favor: [Puzzle Cubes]
  12. Watkins Regional Park A beautiful park with playgrounds, a train, and a carousel.
    Age Range: 1-10
    Location: Upper Marlboro
    Party Favor: [Train Whistles]
  13. M-NCPPC Montpelier Arts Center Offers arts and crafts-themed birthday parties.
    Age Range: 4-12
    Location: Laurel
    Party Favor: [Make Your Own Bouncy Balls]
  14. Bowie Baysox Baseball Club A minor league baseball team offering birthday party packages during games.
    Age Range: 4-12
    Location: Bowie
    Party Favor: [Baseball Stress Balls]
  15. Glenn Dale Splash Park A water-themed park with party packages during the summer months.
    Age Range: 4-12
    Location: Glenn Dale
    Party Favor: [Beach balls]
  16. Diven’s Den An indoor play area with various activities and party packages.
    Age Range: 1-12
    Location: Laurel
    Party Favor: [Magnetic Pen Boards]
  17. Laugh Out Loud Stations
    A family entertainment center with games, rides, and inflatables.
    Age Range: 3-12
    Location: Greenbelt
    Party Favor: Mini Emoji Plush Keychains
  18. National Wildlife Visitor Center An educational wildlife center with interactive exhibits and birthday party options.
    Age Range: 4-10
    Location: Laurel
    Party Favor: [Sunglasses]

[See more party ideas in nearby Anne Arundel County, Howard County, and Montgomery County and other party favor ideas]

Conclusion: We hope this list of birthday party venues in Prince George’s County, Maryland, along with some unique party favor suggestions, helps you find the perfect location for your child’s special day. Remember to explore and compare different options to ensure you select the best venue that meets your needs and budget. Happy planning, and may your child’s birthday be filled with laughter, fun, and unforgettable memories!

Education Featured Parenting Summer Camps - No School Camps

Summer Camps in Howard County for Summer 2023

26+ High Quality, “Don’t Miss This”, Great Summer Camps

Summer 2023 is approaching, and so is summer vacation–so I have made a list of summer camps in Howard County (as well as near me in adjoining counties). The camps include academic sessions for the many Howard County GT students, sports, drama, arts, crafts, and music.

As a former teacher, I can tell you that summer break can damage your child’s academic skills.  Every year too many kids come back to school with lower reading and math abilities than they left with the previous school year.

The reason this happens will be obvious to most parents who have spent their childhood summers watching videos, hanging out with friends, and avoiding anything remotely academic. Some of this is great, but not too much it seems.

[Need gift ideas for the brainy kids in your life? See my list of present ideas for toddlers, kids, and teens]

Of course, there were always a few kids who did not suffer from the summer effect and still had time to relax and be kids during summer.  These were the children whose parents were on top of making sure that some of the kids’ summer experiences would actually add to what they had learned in the previous school year.

With that in mind, my friends and I have been discussing the fun and interesting summer camp options available these days around Howard County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore, Maryland.

Please drop me a comment if you know of any camps that I missed. BTW, I am only listing camps that I have first-hand knowledge of–these aren’t paid listings, but just interesting summer camps that I think kids will benefit from attending–some are learning camps for gifted and talented (GT / TAG) kids, and others are just general fun camps.

[BTW, if you’re looking for birthday party ideas for kids in Howard, Baltimore, Montgomery County, or Anne Arundel County, I have been keeping a list!

You may also want to read my review of Google Fi Mobile Phone Service]

  1. Idea Lab Kids – A friendly place with loads of options. Great STEM Camps in Ellicott City. Here is their camp schedule.  They also have a great aftercare program. 👍
  2. Thrifty TeacherEvery session includes a guided painting class, a snack, a guided craft, and independent crafting time. In Laurel on All Saints Road. 👍
  3. Launch Business Camp – This one is standout for its unusual nature. There are two locations for the camp, one of them in Columbia, Md. Kids aged 8 – 17 will learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and running a business.
  4. Glenelg Country School –  In Ellicott City, this school has some amazing choices for summer learning fun, including theater, GT math, dance, chess, robotics, and sports. I highly recommend checking out their offerings. The school has a wonderful campus in the forest in a rural part of Ellicott City. Camps run until the end of July. 👍
  5. Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth  –  Great offerings for gifted and talented kids around Maryland, including classes in Baltimore and Sandy Spring Friends School.  Students must be specially admitted to the program before they can attend the summer camps, and that won’t be possible for kids who aren’t advanced in academics.  CTY camps are renowned in the USA, and we’re lucky to have them right in our backyard. BTW, if you’re looking for an alternative to the CTY camps, there is also SIG Day Program at the Woods Academy in Bethesda. 👍
  6. Howard Community College – These are very popular summer GT camps and summer classes–popular like a rock concert–the registration begins. Ten minutes later, it’s “sold out”…Check out the options.  Many of them are very good! For 2023 registration opens on January 30, 2023. Don’t miss your chance–review the options and get ready to sign up in time! 👍
  7.  MICA in Baltimore – Great camps for kids and teens interested in art and design. They take place on the campus of MICA in Baltimore and at the St. Paul’s Schools.
  8. Imagination Stage – This Bethesda, MD venue is a promising place for fun and creative learning. This is not in Howard County or even Baltimore, but if you happen to work out that way in Montgomery County, consider sending your kids there for a week or two. Registration for 2023 is now open.👍
  9.  Howard County Art’s Council Center for the Arts IN PERSON –they have all sorts of art camps, including acting. There is very limited space for these summer camps that go from late June until Mid August. If your child is interested in the arts, this is a “don’t miss” summer camp!

    [Need a gift for the brainiac child in your life? I’ve handpicked over 75 educational presents.]

  10. Club SciKidz – Space explorer, science chef, and other great days of fun await your child at this camp in Ellicott City. Deep space robotics? 3-D Printing? Minecraft? Emergency Vet? YES! My kids have really enjoyed their camps. 2023 registration is now open!👍
  11. Columbia Academy  Columbia Academy in Columbia, Maryland, has some wonderful summer camps for of all ages kids. For more about Columbia Academy–see my post about private schools in Howard County. 👍
Camp IO Hands on Science and Yoga Camp in Maryland
Great Summer Camps in Central Maryland
  1. Camp IO– Yoga and science camp in Columbia, MD for kids ages 6-11. This camp looks great for boys and girls who love science and need more balance in their lives-mandalas and model rockets, a brilliant combination! My kids have enjoyed their camps in the past (including their School’s Out camps).
  2. Howard County Conservancy has some great camps.  They are nature-themed and take place in Woodstock, MD, and Elkridge, MD. Conquer the trails of the Patapsco Valley, learn about some of the amazing beasts in our forests and streams, go green! My kids have enjoyed their camps in the past (including their School’s Out camps).  
  3. Circle D Farm – Day camp comes highly recommended. In Woodbine, Md. 👍
  4. On Target Fencing Camp – Fencing camp for beginners or intermediate fencers. Located in Annapolis Junction. 
  5. IDTech  – Computer programming summer camps for kids and teens. In College Park and Towson. Great for gifted and talented kids.
  6. Howard County Parks and Recreation –  Affordable and interesting camps for younger and older kids.👍
  7. Howard County Public Schools – Want to learn Chinese this summer? How about a biomedical skills camp? Only at HCPSS! 👍
  8. Karate Camp – Wilde Lake Karate would be a great place to learn martial arts this summer. Check it out!  👍
  9. Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University – Great summer music sessions held in Baltimore. 👍
  10. Drama Learning Center – Great camps where kids can hone their drama skills in Columbia/Ellicott City.

[Looking for gift ideas for the brilliant kids in your life? Check out my huge list of ideas for kids of all ages]

  1. Columbia Association –  Columbia Association offers many nature and art camps that I have heard good things about. This year’s program looks fantastic.👍
  2. Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts / Toby’s Dinner Theater camp – Summer intensive. Great way to get into some great acting skills.
  3. Walters Art Gallery – Not sure if this is happening in 2023…The Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore has summer camps!  Sold by the week, these camps are very interesting for kids in first grade and older.  This looks like a wonderful experience!
  4. Terrapin Adventures – If you’ve never been to Terrapin Adventures in Savage (near Savage Mill), you’re in for a high-flying treat. Their camps are full of outdoor fun, exercise, science, and more. This looks really cool. Very limited space.
  5. Loyola University – Reading skills for elementary aged kids and speed reading camps for grades 6-8th taking place in June and July. Call 800-834-3693 for camp information (Ellicott City, Columbia, Elkridge, and Catonsville).
  6. YMCA Camp – The YMCA in Ellicott City has several options for traditional summer camps. You may also be interested in the camps at Lifetime Fitness in Columbia.
  7. Camp Oasis – Music, drama, and other fun in Columbia.
  8. Sleepaway Camp – I have heard great things about the Echo Hill camp on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Camp Letts in Edgewater (Held by YMCA) is also getting good reviews.
  9. Doodle Hatch camp – In Long Reach. 

Here are some additional camps that I have come across but have less information about/don’t know anyone who has attended. Nevertheless these may be of interest to you:

  1. Echo Hill Outdoor School – Located in Worton, MD, Echo Hill Outdoor School offers a variety of nature-based summer programs for children and adolescents. Campers will participate in activities such as canoeing, hiking, environmental education, and team-building exercises.
  2. Barrie Camp – Situated in Silver Spring, MD, Barrie Camp provides a diverse range of activities for children aged 4-14. The camp offers opportunities to engage in swimming, sports, arts and crafts, theater, and various specialty camps such as coding, robotics, and horseback riding.
  3. Cutaway Bike Summer Camp – Located in Boyds, MD, this camp is perfect for kids aged 6-14 who love biking. Campers will learn bike safety, maintenance, and repair while participating in bike rides, games, and activities.
  4. Indian Creek School Summer Camp – Situated in Crownsville, MD, Indian Creek School Summer Camp offers a variety of programs for children aged 3-18. Campers can participate in traditional day camps, sports camps, arts and crafts, theater, and academic enrichment programs.
  5. McDonogh Summer Programs – Located in Owings Mills, MD, McDonogh Summer Programs offer a wide range of activities for kids aged 4-18. Programs include traditional day camps, arts, sports, equestrian, and academic enrichment camps.
  6. Chesapeake Bay Envoironmental Center Camp – This camp, located in Annapolis, MD, focuses on environmental education and water-based activities. Campers will learn about the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, participate in water sports, and engage in conservation projects.

Thanks for reading my list of summer camps. I also have a list of school’s out camps in Howard County.

Education Parenting Recommendations Reviews

FamZoo: A Debit Card for Your Kid’s Allowance

My Review of FamZoo – An Allowance and Finance Education Solution for Families

Looking for advice and ideas on making more out of giving your child a weekly allowance or rewarding them for meeting goals or doing chores? Look no further than

FamZoo is an excellent solution for families to handle this time-honored tradition. Not only does it provide an excellent, easy-to-manage system for giving your kids money, but it also teaches financial literacy and encourages charitable giving.

FamZoo is an innovative financial education platform that helps families to manage their children’s allowances and finances. The platform provides a user-friendly solution for distributing funds, tracking transactions, and promoting financial literacy safely and securely. This innovative approach to managing allowances and finances offers a number of benefits for families with children, including the promotion of responsible financial habits and the development of good spending and saving habits.

The first key benefit of FamZoo is that it provides a simple and convenient way to manage children’s allowances. With a MasterCard debit card for each child, FamZoo makes it easy to transfer funds to your child’s account, monitor their spending, and teach them about responsible money management. The platform’s web, Android, and iOS applications provide a user-friendly interface for managing accounts. The instant-disable feature means that parents can quickly and easily disable a lost or stolen card, minimizing the risk of theft or fraudulent use.

Another benefit of FamZoo is that it promotes responsible financial habits by encouraging children to save and give to charity. With the ability to create savings and charity accounts, families can set aside a portion of their child’s allowance for these important financial goals. Parents can also set an “interest rate” for their child’s savings account, which teaches children about the value of saving and the importance of investing for the future. Additionally, the ability to automatically divert a portion of a child’s allowance into savings and charity accounts helps to reinforce good spending and saving habits and encourage children to develop a charitable spirit.

Using FamZoo can also help children to develop a better understanding of how to manage their finances. With the ability to track transactions and monitor spending in real time, children can learn about budgeting, saving, and spending in a safe and secure environment. This can provide a valuable foundation for developing good financial habits and making informed financial decisions later in life. Furthermore, the MasterCard debit card provides a practical, real-world way for children to learn about the responsibilities and benefits of using a debit card, preparing them for managing their finances as adults.

In addition, FamZoo offers several features designed to help families manage their finances more effectively. For example, the platform offers a checkbox in the app/web account that can instantly disable a lost or stolen card, ensuring that children’s funds are secure and protected. The debit card is also part of an ATM network (MoneyPass), which provides access to cash as needed, and eliminates the risk of overdraft fees or accidental debt. With these important features, FamZoo provides a comprehensive solution for families looking to manage their children’s allowances and finances more effectively.

Finally, FamZoo provides a valuable educational tool for families looking to promote financial literacy and encourage responsible financial habits in their children. Whether you are looking to help your children save for the future, give to charity, or simply learn about budgeting and spending, FamZoo provides a simple and effective solution. With its user-friendly interface, real-time tracking and monitoring, and secure and safe environment, FamZoo is the ideal platform for families looking to promote good financial habits and encourage responsible financial decision-making.

In conclusion, FamZoo is a valuable resource for families looking to manage their children’s allowances and finances. Whether you are looking to teach your children about saving and budgeting or simply manage their allowances more effectively, FamZoo provides a simple and convenient solution that offers several benefits for families with children. Try FamZoo today with a 30-day trial, and start building a foundation for a secure financial future for your family.

Watch the video below to learn more about how FamZoo works:

Interested in a 30-day trial? Click to learn more about FamZoo.


kids activities Parenting

Five Ideas to Keep a Digital Record of Your Child’s Growth and Best Memories

I love the idea of keeping track of my kid’s best memories, growth, and accomplishments with a digital record. Below are some ideas I use in hopes of creating future-proof records for family and friends to enjoy.

  1. Conduct a yearly video interview with your child. We do ours every New Year’s eve. Sometimes it can be difficult to think of questions to ask. I always ask about how school was going, their favorite teachers and classes, but I like to include more philosophical questions as well. This year, I asked my friends on Facebook for help. I got some great ideas:

“Do you feel the movie Wonder Woman empowers girls & young women to be smart & strong?”

“Do you think Mariah Carey nails her New Years singing after last years debacle ??”

“2017 was the year of the fidget cube, fidget spinner, slime, and squishies.
Which was your favorite, and why? What do you predict will be the next kid craze?”
(Jennifer S)

* What advice would you give your parents?

* What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?

* Why do you like being your age?

* What is your happiest memory?

* Who do you like to hang out with the most?

* What is your favorite thing to wear?

“What traits do you value in your friends? What do you like about yourself?”
(Mary Anne)

“If you could meet one person who would it be?” (Leigh De)

“What is your favorite meal, including beverage and dessert? “(Melissa)

“Are there any accomplishments that you will be striving for this year? “(Svetlana)

“What are your favorite words? Least favorite words this year?”

2) Like the other ideas, this isn’t original, but it’s a great way to keep track of your kid’s accomplishments–set up an email address on Gmail when they are born (may improve the chances of them getting something remotely close to their name. And whenever you have a thought about them, or they’ve reached a milestone, accomplishment, etc, you can email accolades and artifacts to that address. When they reach the right age, give them the username/password to the account. If you’re going to do this with Gmail, you need to use the Family Link feature. Otherwise, you’ll have an issue when you put in their birthday–you need to be 13 to have a full Gmail account!

3) Tag them in their Facebook photos. Eventually they’ll have an account and they can go through and see.

Photo Wall of Childhood Pictures4) Take a yearly photo for a photo wall. The secret to this idea is to purchase a whole bunch of matching picture frames that you’ll store until they’re needed. Each year, take a photo of your child for the wall. This could be done by taking “the same” photo every year as they age, or by just selecting one or two of the best photos from every year to put on the wall.

5) Use Google Photos to Back Up Photos of Events and Great Times. Google photos is an excellent way to backup all of the photos you take, especially those taken with your mobile phone. Aside from being free, several other things make it great:

  1. Any photo you take with your phone can automatically be backed up to the cloud.
  2. Google has done an amazing job of making the photos searchable–you can search for things that are IN the images (that you haven’t tagged with text)…want to find photos of people on the beach? Just search for beach. Want to find photos of people on the beach wearing sunglasses? You can search for that too.
  3. Google’s photo assistant will automatically gift you with animations and videos. It will even find similar photos of when your kids were younger and create a new photo that shows the old picture and new picture side-by-side. It also makes videos about my kids…since it knows their faces, it finds pictures of them and puts them together in a video with music and transitions (it also recognizes family pets–I get an occasional “meow movie”).

6) Use Google Photos to Back Up Art and Writing – Google Photos is also a great way to backup your child’s artwork, writing and other school projects.

If you’re like most parents, it can be difficult to part with the various schoolwork projects your child brings home. On the other hand, after you have accumulated boxes and boxes of art, it becomes a bit of a space issue, and perhaps in some cases a fire hazard.

Snap a photo or two using your phone’s camera or using Google’s special app just for taking photos of documents. If it happens that the item in question was created digitally, just make a folder in your Google Drive to house it.  Eventually, you’ll want to just share that Google Drive directory or photo album with your child’s Gmail account (when they finally have their own.)

kids activities Parenting Phone Bills Technology

Parental Control Apps to Monitor and Control Your Child’s Screen Time

As a parent, I hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it did. Screens have invaded the minds of my two girls, and I needed to get control over it. Since my kids switch between a few devices and types, I needed to use a combination of things to reign this in. Here is what I was up against:

  1. Mobile Phones – My kids both have mobile phone devices from Republic Wireless. That means they can use either mobile data plans or WiFi to access the internet. I needed to be able to control the apps they use, the time of day they can use them, the websites they visit, and be able to update the time they can use these devices as needed, such as when the schedule changes temporarily or to reward good behavior.
  2. Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets – The cost of the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets is so low (especially on Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday or if you get a refurbished unit) that we got one for each of them. They also got Amazon Freetime Unlimited for Kids so they do lots of reading on the devices. But they also spend time doing other things including using some educational apps that I recommend anytime, and some not-so-educational things, like watching Rhett and Link videos on YouTube.
  3. Chromebooks-I LOVE chromebooks in case you were wondering. They are quick, virus-free, and reliably do what they are designed to do–run a chrome web browser and Google Docs. Unfortunately, the parental control options are quite limited, so this required some thought.

The parental control that works for us

Given the mix of devices above, there isn’t one complete solution. Especially because of the mobile data on the kids’ phones, I needed to come up with something extra for that, but here is what works in our household:

Google WiFi – I have to say I am very pleased with Google’s WiFi product. It was easy to setup and depending on the size of your home, you can add additional “nodes” around the house to get full coverage–it sets up a mesh network around your home very easily.  You can purchase either one node at a time or buy them in sets of three. Three will do quite well for most medium and larger homes. Once you’ve setup your Google WiFi, you control it through an app on your phone. Among other things, that app allows you to easily pick out devices on your network and schedule the time they are able to access Wifi. For most of the things my girls do on their Chomebooks, Phones, no WiFi means things aren’t going to work. They definitely won’t be watching videos on YouTube for example if they have no WiFi. This takes care of alot of the issue, but not all of it.

Parental Time Limit App for iPhone and Screen Time – I really like this kid-supervision app. It is installed on the mobile phones and works on Android and iOS devices. It allows us to set a limit for the total amount of time the kids can spend on their phone using apps. You can restrict app installs, and set limits for specific apps. You can also use this app to schedule the time the phones can be used.

There is an easy “pause” button that allows you to turn off access on the kids’ phones–great for dinnertime. When you click it, you can set the amount of time the phone will be in pause mode. You can also add time if you like. In fact, one great feature is that you can setup tasks that. The app costs about $4/month with discounts for multi-month purchases.

There is a limited free version of the app that will let you get the hang of the app, and is potentially all you need.

Kid’s FreeTime App – This is specific to the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. It is more difficult to use than the ScreenTime app mentioned above, however the basic version is free and included with the Kindle Fire Tablets. It limits time in apps, and also prevents kids from installing their own apps or books. The Kid’s FreeTime Unlimited add-on allows kids to choose their own books and movies based on Amazon’s pre-selected titles that it feels are okay for children.

Education Engineering Parenting

Two Great Interactive STEM Exhibits at the Smithsonian

If you are a parent in central Maryland and you’re reading this, odds are you’ll share the refrain I hear so often “The Smithsonian museums are so close to us, yet we only go if guests are in town.” It’s really sad when parents say this, because their kids are missing out on so much great stuff.

I’d like to recommend two relatively new exhibits at the Smithsonian that are truly outstanding. They are especially good because they are interactive and unusual, not to mention fun. The exhibits in question are at the National Museum of American History and at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History.

Spark!Lab: Become an inventor at the National Museum of American History. This exhibit is great for young people to be creative while learning STEM concepts. There are several stations they have created that mostly coincide with the current theme. For example, when we visited, the theme was “things that roll”, so there were several stations dedicated to wheels, pulleys, etc. My kids had a great time inventing a skateboard that they made out of cardboard and then got to test on a miniature skateboard ramp. They also had to use pulleys and wheels to create something that would roll along a “high wire”.

[Looking for gift ideas for your child’s birthday? See my list of educational presents for kids of all ages!]

There was also a station where the kids have to invent a controller for a video game. This was our favorite. The kids are shown a video game and given a controller box along with some “parts”…they can plug things into to the controller box and learn to control the characters on the screen with their invention. There was a staff member at the station to help guide them as they worked through what worked and what didn’t. We spent about 25 minutes at this station and the kids loved every minute of it.

We can’t wait to go back when they change the theme to see what else they can learn there. The museum is open every day but Christmas day (December 25), but note that the exhibit isn’t open on Tuesdays and that this exhibit’s operating hours are 10am-4pm.

Q?rius (pronounced “curious”): This exhibit found in the basement of the Natural History Museum is fantastic for kids of all ages. They have powerful microscopes and thousands of samples for visitors to explore including, birds, fish, bones, insects, sand, rocks and more. To say it’s “cool” is an understatement. They also have quite a few preset activities and the kids can sign up to get a badge and an account to track their investigations.  Bring your kids and check it out for yourself. The exhibit hours vary quite a bit depending on day of the week and time of the year. You can see the hours here, but mainly note that the exhibit is closed on Mondays.

As a bonus, you’ll want to check out the WONDER exhibit at the Renwick art gallery, complete with wallpaper made up of thousands of insects arranged in interesting shapes.

Want to know more about what’s going on at the Smithsonians. They have a calendar of events that I find very helpful.