15 Places for Free Indoor Fun for Kids in MD and DC

Feb 17, 2016 | Fun Things To Do With Kids in MD, DC, and VA

Find Family Fun at Pirate Adventures

Set sail in search of fun with us and experience a Pirate Adventure with your family aboard the pirate ship Sea Gypsy in the Annapolis Harbor.

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Free Indoor Fun for Kids on a Rainy Day

Are you facing a rainy day with the kids? If you don’t want to turn to Netflix out of desperation to keep the kids occupied let us help you find indoor fun for kids in our area.  Better yet there are plenty of FREE places for indoor fun for kids near us.  At Pirate Adventures we will sail in a slight drizzle or cloudy and grey weather but when it comes down in buckets we choose to wait for the sun to reappear or the storm clouds to recede before sailing again.  Come see us for family fun on a sunny day this spring or check us out during summer break. In the meantime, we have put together this guide of fun places for kids indoors.  We are located in Annapolis, Maryland and our list of free indoor attractions includes places in Maryland and Washington DC that are within easy reach of Annapolis.

Free Indoor Play in Maryland

Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art is a great place to introduce your kids to art without the price of admission.  They also offer Free Family Sundays with different art projects each week.

Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum also offers free admission and Free Family Sunday Programs.  Check out the Chamber of Wonders with butterflies, a stuffed crocodile, a suit of armor, and more examples of wonder in the natural world.  All sure to please the little ones in your group.

Annapolis Maritime Museum

The Annapolis Maritime Museum offers free admission and is a fun place to introduce your kids to the life of a Chesapeake Bay waterman as well as the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.  The museum is open to the public Thursday through Sunday from March through December.  If you are looking for more things to do in Annapolis check out our post 50 Things to Do in Annapolis or check out this local website FunAnnapolis.com for even more suggestions.


Storyville is located at the Rosedale and Woodlawn branches of the Baltimore Public Library and admits children from birth through age 5.  Designed like a lot of area children’s museums, Storyville offers a post office, grocery store, construction site and other themed areas for little ones.

Brookside Nature Center

Experience the outdoors inside on a rainy day at the Brookside Nature Center.  The Brookside Nature Center includes the Children’s Discovery Room and live animal displays.  Check their website for ongoing special events and programs

Montgomery College Planetarium

If you have kids that are interested in space or your just want to work in some STEM head to Montgomery College Planetarium in Takoma Park, MD for a free public programs.

Free Indoor Play in Washington DC

United States Botanical Garden

United States Botanical Garden

The United States Botanical Garden is great place to explore on a rainy day if you are tired of being stuck inside.  Wander through the trails in the conservatory and take advantage of their buy valtrex pills Junior Botanist or Plant Explorers programs for kids.  Find other gardens to explore and ideas for springtime family fun here.

National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian does free indoor fun for kids best and The National Museum of Natural History is a top Smithsonian on most families’ list.  We have included it here because of the new Last American Dinosaurs which you might not have hit and the children’s discovery room Q?rius.  Get up close with the dinosaurs and meet with real scientists and get up close with museum artifacts at Q?rius and if your kids are up for more check out the Hall of Mammals or Sea Life.

National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History has just opened two new family-friendly exhibits that are interactive and hands-on for kids.  Wegmans Wonderplace includes a play area with a climbing structure and slide, themed kitchen and farm playspace and many other ways to introduce kids to the “grown-up” exhibits in the museum.  Wegmans Wonderplace is directed to kids ages 0-5 while the Spark!Lab next door is appropriate for older children ages 6-12.  The Spark!Lab encourages kids to get in touch with their scientific side through experiments and inventions.    Both areas open from 10am-4pm and are closed on Tuesdays.

Saturday Morning at National Theatre

The National Theatre offers a free performance every Saturday at 9:30 am and 11:00 am.  Performances include puppet shows, dance, music, and other interactive shows for kids.  The programs are aimed kids ages 4-10.  Free tickets can be reserved in advance here and they hold some tickets for walk-ups.

SpagNVola Chocolate Tour

Chase away the rainy day blues with chocolate!  Find out where chocolate comes from and volunteer to be a taste tester at the SPAGnVOLA Truffle Factory in Gaithersburg, MD.  The tour lasts 30-45 minutes and tickets can be reserved on their website here.

The Renwick Gallery

The new exhibit WONDER that was installed in November of 2015 to celebrate the reopening of the Renwick Gallery is designed to spark your imagination.  Kids will marvel at the rainbow made of thread and find fun places to hide in the “nests” of intertwined sticks along with other incredible large-scale exhibits.

Rock Creek Park Nature Center

If you can’t take advantage of all the incredible outdoor offerings at Rock Creek Park head indoors to the Nature Center which includes live animals, displays, and a Children’s Discovery Room.  Also, take advantage of the free planetarium shows offered at 1 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

NASA Goddard Space Center

Head to the stars and learn about the tools used to explore space at the visitors center at the NASA Goddard Space Center. Kids can dress-up in a space suit, look through real telescopes and touch pieces of NASA rockets in this hands-on visitors center.  Don’t forget to pick up the kid-friendly scavenger hunt at the front desk.

If all else fails hit the mall play place


As a grown-up it is hard to do the same thing over and over again but kids can’t seem to get enough of play places at the mall.  The nautical-themed play place at Westfield Mall in Annapolis is always a hit or check out the carousel and play space at the Columbia Mall. If you need to do some houseware or furniture shopping check out the unique play space at IKEA.  Find more indoor play places with 6 Mall Play Spaces Worth the Drive from Red Tricycle DC.

We are always looking for more fun things to do with kids in MD, DC, and VA – let us know what you do for indoor fun for kids on a rainy day.  Find more kids activities in the DMV and come see us when the weather gets better for an outdoor adventure your kids will never forget at Pirate Adventures!

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