Explore

Introduce your children to science in their everyday lives

The local library has hundreds of science books of all levels to help you bring science home. In addition, visit one of our suggested locations below.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

An all time favorite, be sure to visit the newly renovated dinosaur, ocean and mammal halls along with all the other great permanent and temporary exhibits.

THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM BALTIMORE

A grand experience with tropical terrestrial habitats in addition to aquatic. Skip the dolphin show…it is not worth the additional cost.

VIRGINIA AQUARIUM & MARINE SCIENCE CENTER

This aquarium rivals Baltimore in all has to offer. Although it isn’t a day trip from the DC area, it is certainly worth a stop if you are in the Virginia Beach area.

VIRGINIA LIVING MUSEUM

Zoo and aquarium in one, The Virginia Living Museum is unique in that it has only Virginia species! Located between Williamsburg & Norfolk, it is an easy day trip from VA Beach or Richmond.

SHENANDOAH VALLEY DISCOVERY MUSEUM

A small science based museum designed just for the preschool and elementary aged child. Located in Winchester, VA, it makes a great day event and well worth the drive.

PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

This is a huge museum full of fun activities for kids, including science play.

MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER

The Maryland Science Center has lots of hands on activities, great exhibits and a planetarium! Be sure to check their calendar for family fun activities.

SMITHSONIAN’S AIR & SPACE MUSEUM

Two locations! Visit this museum on the National Mall and also the Udvar Hazy Center where they have flight simulators you can experience….you can land on the moon in a 3D simulator!

SCIENCE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA

Located in Richmond, VA, this is a fantastic, kid-friendly science museum.

SPARK!LAB

Draper Spark!Lab, the popular hands-on invention experience from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation in the National Museum of American History. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 will create, collaborate and explore.

ARLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS PLANETARIUM

Open for more than 50 years, the APS Planetarium has weekend shows in the evenings and afternoons are open to the public.

TC WILLIAMS PLANETARIUM

Join us as we explore space! T.C. Williams opens up its doors to the Alexandria Community one night of every month during the school year for a free hour-long show designed to bring the mysteries of the Universe down to Earth.

SMITHSONIAN ALBERT EINSTEIN PLANETARIUM

Part of the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum located on the mall In DC, the Einstein Planetarium is currently closed due to renovations. Check their site in the future for opening dates.

ROCK CREEK PARK PLANETARIUM

Located within the Nature Center. rangers lead you on a journey of exploration into our solar system, galaxy, and beyond. Free tickets to each planetarium show may be picked up at the Nature Center front desk.

BROOKSIDE GARDEN’S WINGS OF FANCY

This is the largest local live butterfly display. Open during the summer only.

SMITHSONIAN’S BUTTERFLIES + PLANTS: PARTNERS IN EVOLUTION

Located in the Smithsonian’s National History Museum, this live butterfly exhibit is open year round and is FREE on Tuesdays!

ARLINGTON COUNTY NATURE CENTERS

Gulf Branch, Long Branch, Potomac Overlook. All of these have great outdoor explore spaces, but don’t forget the indoor nature centers for bad weather days!

FAIRFAX COUNTY NATURAL RESOURCE PARKS

Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Hidden Pond Nature Center, Huntley Meadows and others. All of these have great outdoor explore spaces, but don’t forget the Indoor nature centers for bad weather days!

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA NATURE CENTER

A local nature center with a great indoor space.

NATIONAL ZOO

Don’t forget the indoor zoo houses for cold and rainy days! Our favorite is Amazonia where you can explore the Amazon rainforest from underwater to tree top. Always tropical, a great spot for winter days.

CHILDREN’S SCIENCE CENTER

Children’s Science Center Lab provides fun, interactive exhibits, activities, and programs for children, families, and school groups to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hands-on.

NATIONAL ZOO

Don’t forget the indoor zoo houses for cold and rainy days! 

ROER’S ZOOFARI

A small, manageable zoo that makes it easy for kids to roam and see it all. Feeding the animals and pony rides available as well.

KIDWELL FARM AT FRYING PAN PARK

A working farm with a large variety of animals to visit. Check their site for when the babies animals are born in the Spring.

THE MARYLAND ZOO IN BALTIMORE

This zoo may be farther and more expensive than the National Zoo, but a few animals can be seen only here, including rhinos, polar bears & chimps.

LEESBURG ANIMAL PARK

The Leesburg Animal Park is a great yet inexpensive way to have fun with the family. They have pony rides, giant tortoises, lemurs, wagon rides and much more on 21 acres of fun.

Smithsonian Natural History Virtual Tour

The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display.

Estuary Live Virtual Tour

135 short videos all about estuaries! Topics include Turtle Trails, American Aligators, Phytoplankton, Carnivorous Plants, Counting Crabs, Building a Salt Marsh and many more!

NASA Virtual Tours

As NASA begins a new era of space exploration – returning to the Moon and eventually on to Mars – education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects is increasingly important to the future of our nation’s space program. Virtual field trips to take students along on a journey into the heart of CCP—visiting the NASA centers where the program first began.

Farm Food 360

Immerse yourself in Canadian farm and food tours. This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.

Boston Children’s Museum Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour for Boston Children’s Museum.

Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tour

Ready to explore Yellowstone? You don’t have to wait for your trip out here. You can start exploring now by virtually touring some of the main attractions around the park

Access Mars!

The real surface of Mars recorded by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

Discovery Education

No permission slips required. These virtual events let educators take students to amazing places and give them remarkable experiences, without ever leaving the classroom.

National Aquarium in Baltimore Virtual Tour

Use your mouse to “walk” around the aquarium and explore. Look left, pan up, zoom in or out.

Star Atlas

Explore the constellations overhead! Star Atlas maps your night sky. Scroll around the sky and explore!

Nature Works Everywhere

73 Virtual Fieldtrips! You can filter your search by age of viewer or theme .

Great Lakes Now Virtual Field Trip

Great Lakes Now brings along students on a virtual field trip to learn more about the importance of coastal wetlands, the danger of algal blooms and a deep dive into lake sturgeon. This experience is targeted for 6-8th grade, but is certainly not limited to this age group. Preview the videos to see if it’s right for your kids.

Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Explore 5 of our beautiful National Parks:
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Road Trip From Home: Virtual Fieldtrips

These are fun and wonderful websites that will show you different parts of the world, famous landmarks, beautiful works of art, historic marvels, science adventures and so much more!

Explore Live Cams

Smithsonian Zoo Webcams

Alaska Animal Web Cams & Videos

EarthCam Animal Cams

Monterey Bay Aquarium

12 Live Animal Cams

Wild Kratts

Join the adventures of Chris and Martin Kratt as they encounter incredible wild animals, combining science education with fun and adventure, while traveling to animal habitats around the globe.

The Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur Train embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains. The series encourages basic scientific thinking skills as the audience learns about life science, natural history and paleontology.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is designed to spark a love of learning and an interest in science in preschool-aged children.

Sid the Science Kid

Sid the Science Kid is an educational animated television series using comedy to promote exploration, discovery and science readiness among preschoolers.

 

Magic School Bus

Based on the best-selling Scholastic book series, The Magic School Bus is the longest running children’s science television series ever.

 

Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies

This is a kid-friendly nature documentary series in which an animated elephant (Mama) answers the questions of the local animal youngsters by showing them her home movies from around the world. A perfect balance of cartoon storyline with real science and real animals.

Zoboomafoo

Brothers Chris and Martin Kratt and the irresistibly playful lemur Zoboo explore the wondrous lives of creatures and the world in which we all live. A lively mix of formats – from live-action to claymation – create a fun and energetic learning environment where young viewers get their first introduction to animals.

 

Earth to Luna

Six-year-old Luna loves learning new things about the world she lives in. She helps to explain things that may seem like common sense to adults, such as how colors can mix to form new hues and where our planet is located in the solar system.

 

Blaze and the Monster Machines

Eight-year-old A.J. and his monster truck, Blaze, go around the world while solving math and science problems, all the while battling Blaze’s archrival, the tractor-trailer Crusher. Any kid who likes “Thomas the Tank Engine” will love Blaze.

Doki

Doki & friends set off on far-flung expeditions to see the world and learn all about it, from seeing how gravity works (or doesn’t work) in space to wondering whether there’s such a thing as a modern dragon. They travel in a vehicle they made to explore distant places and learn about their people, animals, cultures, and natural significance.

 

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab

A group of friends discovers a long-hidden laboratory created by the famed inventor Thomas Edison and left vacant after his death. Led by 12-year-old genius Angie, JD, Kent, and Nicky discover all kinds of high-tech scientific treasures inside, including a holographic version of Mr. Edison himself and a quirky robot named Von Bolt.

 

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Host Bill Nye explores matters of science ranging from simple mechanics to the human digestive system. Each episode opens in his tricked-out laboratory, where Nye illustrates the show’s concept with various visual aids, then goes on location to observe the topic firsthand.

 

SciGirls

Each episode follows a new group of girls as they delve into a science-minded question, gathering data and exploring possible solutions for the problem they face. Whether it’s engineering a large-scale puppet with moving parts or giving favorite recipes a healthy boost, these girls prove that they’re up to any challenge.

 

SciShow

The world is marvelous and weird, and SciShow is here to explain it. Whether it’s earthquakes in Italy, meteors in Russia, or why some people’s pee doesn’t smell like asparagus, SciShow explores the surprising and exciting realities of our universe.

 

PBS SoCal links to documentaries

This is a list of 161 of the best science documentaries and web series out there. All of these shows are available to watch right now without a membership. Just click the links and press play.

 

Spark!Lab Activities

Try this at home! Fun activities from the Spark!Lab

Science at Home – Maryland Science Center

A list of experiments you can do at home with step-by-step instructions.

 

Steve Spangler Science

Steve Spangler’s site has an extensive list of science experiments you can do at home. They are conveniently organized by category to help find the perfect activity for the day!

 

Zoom Activities from PBS Kids

Check out this list of science activities. This includes a symbol to indicate which activities help the environment.

 

Science Bob!

Easy experiments you can do at home.

 

Science Experiments for All Around Your Home!

Science experiments categorized by the room of your house! Pick a room: bathroom, living room, backyard, etc. and then pick and experiment!

 

Car & Vehicle Science Projects

All kinds of physics projects for your vehicle-loving child!

 

Butterflies in your Playground

Great resource for information on butterflies, how to attract butterflies to your garden and more…

 

Experiments with Glass!

This site explains all about the science of glass and has links to other sites with glass-based experiments.

Guide to Science Resources for Kindergarten through 12th Graders

This site links to even more sites with science activities for preschoolers, elementary, middle and high schoolers! It also includes links to science games and resources for classrooms.

 

Science Fun for Everyone

With a new experiment posted each month, this site is an endless source of science fun! Jello Lenses, Milk Art, Ice Fishing, Storm in a glass….peruse the archives to see past experiments!

 

Fun Experiments with Bottles

This site sells all the bottles you’d need to conduct fun science experiments with bottles, but also links to other science sites, highlighting bottle experiments!

 

How Wee Learn

Lots of fun science experiments you can do at home. Also art, letters, numbers and more.

 

Creating a Wildlife Habitat in your Backyard

Ideas and step by step instructions for attracting wildlife to your backyard.

 

Busy Toddler

Science activities (and more!) for preschoolers.

 

Backpack Science

Hands on elementary science without the overwhelm!

The Home School Scientist

Club Sci Kidz

Mystery Science

Maker Stations

Elemental Science

My First Garden

Funology Science Experiements

The Happy Scientist

Great Science Podcasts to listen to with kids!

NatGeo@Home

Quizzes, videos, science experiments, and even at-home classroom resources.

Science Experiments Around the Home

Go Science Girls

PBS Games

Switch Zoo

National Geographic Kids

Animal Fact Guide

The Children’s Butterfly Site

Ology

San Diego Zoo

Smithsonian: Ocean

Weather Wiz Kids

Nasa Climate Kids

Smithsonian Kids