Summer gives kids—of all ages—license to do silly things; things that just don’t fly during the school year. Popsicles for dinner? Sure! Sleep in a backyard tent for two weeks straight? Of course! Wear pajamas (over swimsuits) all day? You know it! If you and your crew haven’t quite let loose yet, now is as good as a time as any. There are just a few weeks left before your little scholar has to get school serious. Before then, check some of these awesome antics off of your to-do list.


#1 Have a family date night at Warwick Pool.
The 25-yard outdoor watering hole is an Alexandria, Va staple. Adjacent to a picnic area and playground, it’s the perfect place to celebrate the last days of summer…with splashy cannon balls and grilled burgers on the side.

#2 Dig for dinosaur bones.
On the first and third Saturdays of each month The Dinosaur Fund, an organization that raises money for dinosaur research in D.C., offers digs where kids search for real bones and fossils. Talk about a show-and-tell to remember—any dino artifacts you find are yours to keep.


#3 Candy store hop.
D.C. is awash with candy stores of various stripes. Whether kiddo likes chocolate, gummies, or taffy, there’s something that will get their sweet tooth throbbing. Worried about cavities? Strike a deal with them—one piece of loose candy per store (if they promise all A’s on their first report card).

#4 Ride the rails.
If you haven’t already, pack up your train-loving crew and check out the brand new Silver Line. Go during the day when rush hour crowds are at their lowest.


#5 Tour the city by land (and water).
On a D.C. Duck tour you’ll catch a ride on an amphibious vehicles (originals used during WWII) to various spots around the District—from Union Station to Gravely Point. The coolest part is when the bus/boat plunges into the Potomac River without skipping a beat.

#6 Nosh on Ethiopian food.
…And order injera, a bread that is eaten with your hands. Try out a back to school meal at kid-friendly Meskerem. It just might go down as the best meal you’ve had in ages.


#7 Bounce around (for hours) at a trampoline park.
Come September you’ll likely have to come up with other ways to keep kids from jumping off of your coffee table. Until then, let them get their fill of high-flying fun at Flight Trampoline Park or Rebounderz.

#8 Go fish at Leesburg Petting Zoo.
If you have animal lovers in your brood, you’ve probably already spent an ample amount of time at the zoo. But, have you gone fishing at the zoo? On Aug. 30-31 meet at the Leesburg Zoo’s pond for a fishing derby where kids can catch their own guppies. There are even incentives (in the form of prizes) for the biggest catches.


#9 Aaaargh your way through a Pirate Adventure Cruise.
In Annapolis, Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake is an awesome place to get carried away for the day in real life adventure (they’ll actually have to follow a treasure map to find their way around. .

#10 Go glamping.
It’s like camping without the “roughing it” part, so that newbies—young and old—can appreciate the process on their own terms. Ones to try: Rose River Farm, Rock-n-Creek Cabin, and Primland Resort. Bonus: If melting s’mores fireside isn’t cutting it, you can always pop them into the microwave or stove.

What are your plans for the last few weeks of summer? Tell us in the comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photos courtesy of Pirate Adventures via Facebook, DC Ducks, Woodleywonderworks via Flickr, Flight Trampoline Park via Facebook, Lars Ploughmann via Flickr