Glen Echo Park was originally a Chautauqua retreat, then an amusement park; and now this gorgeous national park on the outskirts of DC is home to a Dentzel carousel, “yurts” (resident artists at work in little huts), a playground, and the award-winning Puppet Company Playhouse, a year-round theatre dedicated entirely to puppetry. Productions change every six weeks. Recent shows have included Beauty and the Beast, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Tales of Beatrix Potter. Tickets: $10 per person for ages two and older. It’s open seating on a carpeted floor for children and adults so arrive early. Bench seating is available along the sides and back. Be sure to linger after the show to meet the puppets and puppeteers.
Discovery Creek Children’s Museum is also in the park and best for ages 3 to 7. Meet animals, explore a tree house, search under leaves for critters, and play in an oversized sandpit at the museum’s Forest Tales immersion exhibit. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and is closed some winter weekends. Admission is $5 per person, children under age 2 are free.