Spots to Inspire Young Imaginations

Elena Sonnino - Washington Dc
October 1, 2013

It is no surprise most children enjoy dress up and imaginative play opportunities. After all, who wouldn't love to don a costume and pretend that they were a beautiful princess or handsome prince, a brave explorer, or maybe even an astronaut finding new corners of the universe? The Washington DC area has many local historical sites and museums—like Mount Vernon or Claude Moore Colonial Farm—that offer costumed guides to help children and families understand what life was like in the past. But what if you are looking for a less touristy venue to inspire imaginative play with your Savvy child? Here are three venues that are sure to captivate the interests of creative Washington, DC children. 

Go Back in Time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival 

The Maryland Renaissance Festival runs from August through October, transporting visitors from the 21st century back to the sixteenth century. Each year the festival features a different story line, creating entertainment and activities that relate to the year's theme. Visitors can attend in their own Renaissance costumes or rent costumes on-site (they even have children's costumes for ages two and up). While at the festival, families can take in one of many shows each day (across twelve different stages or spaces), feast on delicious food (like mac and cheese on a stick), watch archery demonstrations, play games, watch artisans like glass blowers, and more. 

Savvy Tip: Especially when attending the festival with children, try to get an early start on the day as crowds get much larger throughout the day (and parking becomes harder). 

Let Your Imagination Run Wild Imagination Stage

The Imagination Stage in Bethesda is known for its creative and interpretive theatrical performances and camps. In addition to offering fabulous seasons of theater and musical performances, the Imagination Stage also inspires creativity and imaginative play in the youngest of family members with classes and workshops. Classes for ages 1-3 are for parents and young children and engage children with props and materials to stimulate creativity and senses while classes for toddlers and preschoolers (ages 3-5) explore stories and enter the world of make believe with dramatic play, music, and movement. The Imagination Stage also invites families to fun-days or single session workshops where families will bring favorite stories to life through dramatic play activities, music, and craft activities.

Savvy Tip: After you spend the morning or day at Imagination Stage, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the many wonderful Bethesda eateries. 

Be Enchanted at the Tudor Place Historic House

The Tudor Place Historic House is a national historic landmark that is known for its architecture and garden that brings to live over 180 years of American cultural and social history. For families, though, Tudor Place comes to life each week for programs geared to tots and their families through stories, songs and play in gardens that are sure to inspire dramatic play. Tudor Place also provides the opportunity for families to attend specially themed tea parties where children select magical fairy costumes before coming together for tea and desserts served by a costumed interpreter. Tudor Place also frequently hosts events around the holidays like a Haunted Chocolate House Workshop for Halloween or Thanksgiving at Tudor Place.  

Savvy Tip: These events sell out so it is always good to reserve in advance.

From the Parents

Similar Articles

The Savvy Library

From the educational to the whimsical, our Savvy editors help you explore your world. You can search our 1969 articles by keyword, subject, or date.

Notable Selection

Below you'll find some of the more popular selections from the Savvy Library: