Winter is winding down in DC and cultural and play activities for families are picking up. With spring break around the corner, now is the time to start planning your days off and weekends to make sure you and your kiddos do not miss a thing. Here are the can’t miss activities for kids in DC this season.

Family theatre is always a good bet

The Princess and the Pauper – A Bollywood Tale: It’s not easy to talk to kids about weighty issues like inequality and class privilege. Yet, Imagination Stage manages to portray these weighty issues in a way young children can grasp easily and they do with a captivating Bollywood style that draws the audience in and has them literally singing along from the opening scene.

In this play, a princess and a pauper realize that they could easily change identities and so the princess leaves the palace to live a more modest, but free, life and the pauper lives in the lap of luxury in the large, but lonely, royal residence. By the end, each learns a lesson in gratitude, all through song and dance.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day: Any fan of this classic book (which, let’s face it, is everyone) should head to Adventure Theatre to see the absolute worst day of Alexander’s life come to life.

The fully grown Christian Montgomery is hilarious as a young boy who still wears a onesie to sleep, pouts when he can’t get the shoes he wants, and wakes up with gum in his hair. The cast brilliantly makes this old story seem fresh again, even as Alexander’s familiar anecdotes are given new life in this production both kids and grown-ups will love – even in Australia.

Puppets are sure to please even very young children

Beauty and The Beast: Younger kids will love this production of Beauty and The Beast at the Puppet Co. Theatre, which bears only a passing resemblance to the Disney version. In this version, puppets and actors deftly tell the tale of the importance of inner beauty and finding true love. Like all of the Puppet Co. Theatre’s productions, there are no flashy special effects but there is a sense of timelessness that makes their productions remain entertaining year after year.

Get ready to be thrilled

Skydive!: One of the best activities in the DC area has to be indoor skydiving at iFly. Children as young as three can enter the wind tunnel and experience the thrill of skydiving in a completely safe, indoor environment. After suiting up and going over some basics, a skydiving pro guides you as you experience the nothing-quite-like-it thrill of being suspended in the air. Those who are really daring (kids included) may get to fly for a bit on their own and fly to the very, very top of the wind tunnel. There are few activities children and adults can enjoy so much together and ever fewer thrill activities that kids are welcome to join in.

Pull out your favorite costume and be awesome

AwesomeCon: One of the best weekends of the year in DC is almost here, March 30 – April 1. AwesomeCon is DC’s own ComicCon and although it’s a relatively new Con it’s been growing every year and is worth a visit for the costumes alone. Con-goers can show up in street clothes – or just about anything at all. You will see everything from princesses to Dr. Who to just about every Star Wars character there is. Plus, comic creators, actors, and other figures from all walks of pop culture will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

See what happens when art and technology collide

Art + Technology: Artechouse is relatively new to DC but quickly has quickly become a can’t-miss destination for its unique, immersive exhibits that merge art and technology. Parallel Universes is on through the beginning of March, and if you go, expect a fully immersive environment full of lights and sound. Next up is Artechouse’s springtime exhibit, centering on the very-DC theme of Cherry Blossoms.

Play where the outdoors go inside

Badlands: Craving your summer vacation already, but can’t get away? Don’t miss Badlands Play Space in Rockville. Based on Badlands National Park, this play area has it all from mountains to climb and slide down to a workshop room full of Legos and other building toys, to a rotating special exhibit currently focusing on volcanoes.

With no shortage of things to do in DC it can be easy to overlook some of the newer spots and those that are only on for a short time. Go ahead and try something different with your family!

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