Here are some fun ideas for family entertainment and kids’ activities (most are free!) available this week and beyond. Note that each event may vary, so be sure call the designated venue/establishment ahead to verify availability, times and date of each event. If you can’t make any of these events but still want a free alternative, there are plenty of child-friendly YouTube channels you can use to entertain your children. Most of them are also educational which is a bonus.
*American Girl – Girls ages 8 and up can participate in various FREE events throughout the month of April at various American Girl store locations. Some of the activities this month include decorating delicious cookies, Sweet Spring Break Event where your will get a baker’s hat for herself (and one for her doll), decorate a cupcake and a macaron, create her own pastry box to take the treats home, and go on a Girl of the Year scavenger hunt! If you’re planning to be in or around the Washington, D.C. area this weekend, treat your little princess to experience American Girl Goes to Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center on April 12th. The day starts with brunch at the American Girl Bistro. Then, travel to the theater by chartered bus to see the Washington Ballet’s outstanding production of Swan Lake, featuring a princess, a prince, and a wicked sorcerer. Transportation included. Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up. Check your local American Girl store for specific times and dates, as not all store locations offer the same events.
*Barnes & Noble – Join Barnes & Noble on April 11 at 11:00 am for a special Storytime featuring I Wish You More, an exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. This sweet, uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.
*Michaels – On Saturday, April 11 from 10am-noon, kids ages 3 and up can make a Lady Bug Clay Pot for only $2 per child. Michaels Kids Club sessions are being offered every half hour from 10AM-12noon.
*National Parks – All 4th graders and their families get to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture – free of charge! This is possible through a new initiative, Every Kid in a Park pass. This pass will give you free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more! The Every Kid in a Park pass will be available for the 2015-2016 school year.
*REI: They offer the Family Adventure Program with various classes for children and adults like hiking, biking, camping, fun Geocaching adventure, photography lessons, planning a trip and more! The selection and dates/times vary by location so check to see what your store is offering here.
*Williams-Sonoma – For kids ages 5-13, there is a Junior Chef: Lunch Box Lessons class on April 11th, at 10am. From veggie sushi and sandwich wraps to colorful fruit kabobs, your kids learn how to pack the best lunch box ever using the freshest spring produce. For adults, check out their FREE Technique Class: Cooking from the Spring Farmer’s Market on Sunday, April 12th to see a showcase of wonderful local produce in a seasonal soup, pasta and stir-fry. You’ll get to learn the techniques for free that includes tastings of prepared dishes. Call your local Williams-Sonoma store to verify their participation and to register or go here for more details.