10 Naptime-Boosting Playtime Destinations


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With off the chart energy levels that you sometimes envy, your energetic tots are going to need something more than a story time to get their sleep on. The solution? Wear them out at an interactive play station or roam beautiful gardens until they arrive in Nap-ville. Read on to discover our favorite destinations to tucker your kids out.

screenshot-2017-03-01-at-5-31-34-pmPhoto: Rich W. via Yelp

National Museum of American Indian ImagiNATIONS
Located on the third level of the American Indian museum this fully interactive play station is loaded with places to explore, learn and play.  The large space that runs the entire length of the third floor has its own tipi, games, craft room and an array of special guests and programs who get the little ones singing and dancing depending on the day.

Hours: Daily, 10 am-5:30 pm
National Museum of American Indian
4th St. & Independence Ave., SW
Online: nmai.si.edu

screenshot-2017-03-01-at-5-52-07-pmPhoto: The Yards

 The Yards at Nationals Park
It’s time to get outside and not necessarily to play ball. The Yards, one of the newest parks in the city has plenty of space to run around, tire out and even enjoy a water feature or two.  Tiny tykes can cool down in the 11” Canal while making new friends, playing with old ones and generally wearing their little selves out on a gorgeous summer day.

Hours: Daily, dawn until dusk
The Yards
355 Water St., SE
Online: yardspark.org 


brooksidegardens-cc-Ryan Crierie-flickrPhoto: Ryan Crierie via flickr

Brookside Gardens
Fairies in training or any tiny tot will enjoy spending time chasing butterflies and taking in the greenery at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery county. Open from sunrise to sunset it doesn’t matter what time you need to be there to let the rugrats run wild over 50 acres filled with everything from a water garden, butterfly garden and their very own children’s garden.

Hours: Daily, Dawn- Dusk
Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallen Ave. (Wheaton, Md)
Online: montgomeryparks.org

screenshot-2017-03-02-at-1-18-47-amOnline: Viona L. via Yelp

Turtle Park
Also known as Friendship Park this fun spot gives kids five separate play areas to burn through the pre-morning nap or afternoon hours.  When it is warm hit the spray pad for some cool water play.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 am-8 pm; Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Closed Sun.
Turtle Park
45th and Van Ness St., NW
Online: turtlepark.org

carousel-cc-Jarrett Campbell-flickr

photo: Jarrett Campbell via flickr

The Carousel at the National Mall
Got a kiddo who just loves to go round and round?  The Carousel at the National Mall provides three minute thrills all day long with plenty of room to zip around in between rides if the mood strikes.  Don’t forget to take a popcorn break before heading home for beddie-bye time.

Hours: 10 am-5:30 pm daily
Price: $3.50/kid

The Carousel
900 Jefferson Dr., SW
Online: nationalcarousel.com

screenshot-2017-03-02-at-3-29-03-amPhoto: Amy N. via Yelp

Adventure Playground
Storm the castle or walk the plank!  The Adventure Playground has towers to scale, small-scale ships to plunder many ladders and planks to seize. Spot the tot on the miniature rock-climbing wall and be prepared to take home a tuckered out toddler when you are done.

Hours: Daily, dawn until dusk
Adventure Playground
17920 Germantown Park Dr. (Germantown, Md)
Online: montgomeryparks.org


photo: Jim Champion via flickr

Alexandria Soft Playroom
Hitting just the right mark on rainy days or whenever a little bit of sensory fun is needed the Alexandria Soft Playroom at Chinquapin Park Recreational Center is one of the best play zones in the DMV.  Padded walls, soft blocks and squish play equipment are all there with a ball pit and plenty of space to build, roll, jump and crawl through this space. Kids 18 months to three years adore this place.

Hours: Mon. – Sun., 9 am-5:30 pm
Price: $5 per child/half hour, chaperones free
Chinquapin Park Recreation Center
3210 King St. (Alexandria, Va)
Online: alexandria.gov/softplayroom


Beauvoir Park Playground
Get back to nature at Beauvoir Park Playground. This all wooden play structure offers wee ones the opportunity to wind up and then down on numerous slides, swings, a sandbox, a mini-basketball court for unlimited hoops and even a zip line.

Hours: After School and Dawn until Dusk on Weekends and Holidays
Beauvoir Park Playground
3500 Woodley Rd., NW
Online: beauvoirschool.org


Flight Trampoline Park
Get your jump on and get ready for your little one to crash and burn right into nap time after a visit to Springfield’s Flight Trampoline Park Kiddie Court. Mid-morning to early afternoon is prime time for tykes ages 0-6 to get air and bounce, climb and hop to their hearts content.

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10a.m.-2p.m.
Price: $10/hour, chaperone is free
Flight Trampoline Park
7200 Fullerton Rd. (Springfield, Va)
Online: virginia.flighttrampolinepark.com


Woodley Park Playground
Lions and tigers and bears no way! If the zoo is too big of an excursion then the playground at Woodley Park might be the answer to your little ones play space desires.  The quiet, wooded spot offers a small scale play area with plastic kitchens, cars, a full set of swings and sand box to grab some shade and tire out.

Hours: Dawn until Dusk
Woodley Park Playground
Intersection of Cleveland Park and Devonshire

Do you know the best spot for tiring out your lil’ speedster? Share them in the Comments below! 

— Stephanie Kanowitz and Ayren Jackson-Cannady

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