New Year, new schedule. This may be old hat for the school age kiddos in your brood, but even little sisters and brothers can take advantage of the incredible array of extra-curricular choices and talented teaching pool that only the Nation’s Capital has to offer. The new semester starts soon, so be sure to check out this list of awesome only in D.C. adventures where you can spend quality family time as your preschooler rubs elbows with zoo animals, and professional singers or actors, or hob knobs like the political elite.

Photo: Abrakadoodle

Art with an Attitude
Abrakadoodle arts class providers cater specifically to the under five set with Twosy Doodlers for those free spirits age 2 to 3, and Mini Doodlers for ages 3 and up. Several weekday and weekend sessions are set to run with start dates in January and February across Northern Virginia, including McClean, Herndon, Centreville, and Springfield locations.

Online: abrakadoodle.com

Design Envy
Meet up with all your posh pals at this Woodley Park neighborhood estate, once the home of wealthy insider Marjorie Merriweather Post. Many politicians and others among D.C. elite were guests of Hillwood, but your toddler’s secret clearance is good for three Wednesday or Thursday mornings only when the Preschool Series featuring themes like Spectacular Statues and Treasure Quest is in session.

Online: hillwoodmuseum.org

And We’re Gonna Stay All Day
If your little monkey likes to hang with the orangutans or trumpet like the ellies on a visit to the zoo, go a little deeper with Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) sponsored classes designed just for them. Conveniently scheduled on weekends or weekdays, families can choose from one day or weekly classes, exploring the habitats and eating habits among residents of this conservation based institution.

Online: nationalzoo.si.edu

Run, Forrest, Run
When your littlest guy or gal needs to blow off steam, check out Just for Kids for players as young as 18 months. Offering a Sports and Movement class, along with tee ball for 3 -5 year olds, lacrosse starting at age 4, and everything in between, Just for Kids picks up indoors this Winter where the local soccer clinic or community center leaves off. Classes are at locations across Northwest, as well as Capitol Hill and Northern Virginia.

Online: justforkidsdc.com

Meet me at the Smithsonian
Choose from an array of educator-led and age appropriate weekend family workshops sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Early Enrichment Center. Ranging from Infant Investigators to Preschool Pioneers, the sessions are specially designed to expose kids to developmentally and age appropriate topics, like Winter Animals for 4 -12 month olds , or Polar Bear, Polar Bear for 3-5 year olds, where kids will read the Eric Carle story of the same name, and then study arctic specimens at Natural History.

Online: seecstories.com

S-I-N-G!
Get a first class music education from members of the Washington Conservatory of Music in residence at Glen Echo Park. Conservatory Kids is an early childhood music class for babies as young as 3 months, and 3- 4 year olds with an interest in playing an instrument can sign up for Meet the Orchestra. Also, check out Glen Echo’s new play-based “STEAM” focused pre-school prep program called PAGE, for children and their caregivers.

Online: ssreg.com

All the World’s a Stage
An always popular and enjoyable experience for stars of stage and screen as young as one year, Imagination stage offers over two dozen different classes catering to both caregiver and child, with You and Me classes like Build and Boogie, or My Friends and Me classes, where preschoolers fly solo with options like Rumble in the Jungle, or Elephants, Piggies, and Pigeons, based on Mo Wilems‘ characters. Check out also the Saturday Song Circle and Sunday Fun-Day weekend workshops for families.

Online: imaginationstage.org

—Carolyn Ross