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 DC adventures where you can spend quality family time as your preschooler rubs elbows with zoo animals, and professional singers or actors.
Big Muscle Workout
Preschoolers have a lot of energy to burn, and this class helps them do that while starting a foundation of fitness that will last a lifetime. Enjoy obstacle courses, practice teamwork, build coordination and balance and make new friends. For ages 3, 4 and 5.
4825 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Art 3 at Gymboree
Gymboree is a go-to place for families with toddlers in tow, but it’s also offers excellent classes for the preschool crowd. Art3 focuses on “process over product” as kids ages 3-5 explore different mediums like sculpting, painting, collage, and drawing. Cultivate their creativity.We also love Play Lab for preschoolers: Designed to enhance engineering, art and math skills, Play Lab engages kids 2 to 5 (and their parent or caregiver) in an exploratory environment fit for a budding scientist. Classes focus on physical, cognitive and social skills. (Currently the DC location is not offering this class in Jan or Feb. Stay tuned for more details or call the number below to find out when it will be on the schedule again).
Gymboree Washington DC
2639 Connecticut Ave. NW #113
Washington, DC 20008
Abrakadoodle Twosy Doolders and Mini Doodlers
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.
photo: Micke Grove Zoo via Yelp
The National Zoo
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 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. Classes like Zoo Tunes, Panda Party and more are tailor-made for the preschool crowd.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
Just for Kids Sports Classes
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.
The Smithsonian’s Early Enrichment Center
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.
National Museum of Natural History
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Conservatory Kids Saturdays
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 preschool prep program called , for children and their caregivers.
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 20812
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 Willems‘ characters. Check out also the Saturday Song Circle and Sunday Fun-Day weekend workshops for families.
4908 Auburn Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Carolyn Ross