The plethora of kid-friendly fun in the Northern Virginia region makes it easy to fill up every weekend right here, but these are a few family field trips we’d recommend as perfect to wrap up the summer or take a break this fall.
Eric Carle: Moonlit Nights & Other Illustrations at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk
You know the book. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been a perennial favorite of parents for generations. This summer, the Chrysler Museum hosts a retrospective on the beloved author and his portfolio of children’s titles. The exhibition features more than 80 original works from 30 of the author’s books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, Draw Me a Star and The Very Lonely Firefly. Beyond the art, kid-friendly areas of the exhibit include hands-on art making, a reading library with Carle’s books, The Nonsense Puppet Show and The Very Marvelous Magnetic Board. On Aug. 22, families can attend an after-hours Moonlit Nights Pajama Party. Wear your PJs and enjoy s’mores, tours and astronomy activities (free, but registration recommended). // Through Sept. 8, 1 Memorial Park Place, Norfolk, free
Sesame Place in Philadelphia
Another children’s entertainment icon, Sesame Street, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the Sesame Street theme park in Philadelphia is getting in on the party with the unveiling of a new neighborhood. Opened in May, the new neighborhood was designed to reflect the modern feel of the television show and features a live show, Our Street is Sesame Street, with Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Big Bird. The reimagined neighborhood also has new photo spots—including Abby Cadabby’s Garden and Big Bird’s Nest—and, another first, Mr. Snuffleupagus, is now available for meet and greets. We bet the theme song to this nostalgic show is running through your head already. // 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, Pennsylvania; tickets from $47.99
Summer Camp-In Celebration at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg
The indoor waterpark makes this an appealing winter destination for families, but this summer, Great Wolf Lodge hosted its inaugural Summer Camp-In Celebration. Aimed at re-creating the summer magic of sleepaway camp, special activities include character appearances by Wiley the Wolf and his friends, pool parties, s’mores roasting, a Trailblazer Challenge complete with camp-themed activities and badges to be earned, and a nightly Campfire Ceremony. It’s all the fun of camp, minus the outdoor tents and bug spray! // 549 E. Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg; room rates from $200