We don’t think twice about packing up the kids and doing stuff outside when the weather warms up. But, there’s nothing like seeing your little one turn into a sweaty, red-faced mess during a family outing to bring on the parental guilt. If it’s too hot for you, you know it’s too hot for them. Before the summer heat really hits in the District (you know, when it’s above 95 degrees for a week straight), go with the kids on one of these better-on-temperate-days outdoor adventures.
Go for a Long Bike Ride
Bike riding takes a ton of energy (especially if you’re pulling a buggy behind you on a steamy day). So before it gets too hot to tote a caravan of mini-peddlers with you, go for a ride along the C&O canal from Fletcher’s boathouse to Thompson’s Boat House in Georgetown. BYOB (bring your own bikes) or you can rent adult cruisers and mini-bikes at Fletcher’s for $8/hour. Bringing baby along? Check out Big Wheel Bikes in Georgetown where you can rent a bike trailer for $25/day.
4940 Canal Road, NW (Georgetown)
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Paddling a boat on a pleasant, sunny day is nice; paddling a boat on a scorching, sticky day is miserable. Take the family on a boating adventure now, when there’s still the occasional skin-cooling wind gust. Bigger kids can row while mom sits back (for once!) and little kids count the fish. Rent from Thompson’s Boathouse, where you can snag a canoe that holds two adults and two kids for $35/day.
2900 Virginia Avenue, NW (Georgetown)
Ride a Carousel
Hold your horses! At a head-spinning 5 rounds per minute, carousels don’t give off much of a breeze—more the reason to take a spin on the National Mall carousel before July/August, when the mercury is lower and the lines are shorter. This historic merry-go-round features photo-ready horses, painted in the signature colors of the 50 states (and the District of Columbia, of course). And at $3.50 a ride, it’s a fun and easy way to spend (er, spin) three minutes of your day. The carousel is open from 10:00am-6:00pm.
Good to know: If your kiddos are under 40 inches tall, they’ll need a grown up to ride with them.
900 Jefferson Drive, SW (National Mall)
Picnic in the Park
Picnic staples—sandwiches, chopped fruit, cold drinks—don’t necessarily cooperate in high temps. Beat the heat by picnicking now at Glen Echo Park. Park entrance is free and the playground is inside the picnic area so kids can jump/slide/climb off their energy after noshing. To save yourself the hassle of packing a picnic, you can buy your meal at the Ballroom Café and eat it outdoors. If the kiddos are inclined to hang out a bit longer, check out the Puppet Company or the weekend nature programs.
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo, Md)
What is your favorite cool thing to do before it gets too hot? Tell us below!
Photos courtesy of Kevin H. via Creative Commons, babyfella2007 via Creative Commons, Julie George via Creative Commons, WishLaura via Creative Commons.