6 Indoor Experiences for Kids to Beat the Heat (or Air Quality)


Air quality issues now can keep kids inside, not just the heat, in the summer. If either get you down for the remainder of the summer, there are several seasonal pop-up indoor experiences for kids in the DC area. And while they’re geared towards kids, they’re fun for the adults too!

Check out these summer indoor experiences to have fun with your kids while enjoying the air conditioning! Be sure to see our Indoor Play Spaces Guide for more indoor play opportunities.

1. Dinos Alive

Rhode Island Center, Washington, DC; Runs through Labor Day.

If your little loves dinosaurs, they’ll love this indoor interactive experience where they can see dinos (approximately 80 different ones) up close. There are also dino-themed rides, a virtual reality experience, and a virtual acquarium.

2. Dr. Seuss Experience

Tysons Corner Center Mall, Tysons, VA; Runs through Labor Day.

If your child is a fan of Cat and the Hat and The Grinch, definitely check out the Dr. Seuss Experience. It’s perfect for all ages: there are some carnival rides/games, a mirror maze, “fishing” for presents, and MORE! Plus, you get to meet lots of characters. All of this is included in the price.

3. Building Museum’s Summer Block Party

401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001; Runs through Labor Day.

This annual summer installation is filled with mirrors for fun illusions and unique pictures! If you are in DC, you can visit on an upcoming Ward Day for FREE:

  • Thursday, July 20: Wards 1, 4, 5, 6
  • Thursday, August 3: Wards 8 & 3
  • Thursday, August 17: Wards 2 & 7

4. Artechouse

1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

Artechouse is a museum, but not just any museum – immersive experiences is its theme. Just like exhibitions, Artechouse’s immersive art and tech shows vary in price, but you can usually find one any time of year.

5. Candytopia

Tysons Corner Center Mall, Tysons, VA; Runs through Labor Day.

Perfect for everyone with a sweet tooth! This interactive play has different rooms with different themes, as well as free candy in every room. Jump into a marshmallow pit instead of a ball pit, check out art made of candy, swing on neon “lifesaver” swings and dance in the confetti room.

6. Van Gogh Experience

Rhode Island Center, Washington, DC; Runs through August 31.

This experience has been in DC since 2021, but its run is ending soon, so go check it out! Set in an immersive, massive 20,000 space in the Rhode Island Center, walk amongst two-story projections of Van Gogh’s masterpieces.

Coming Soon – Bubble World: Join the waitlist for this experience so you’re ready to go once it’s available! In each room, there will be opportunities to interact with bubbles, small and large.

A lot of these places are great spots for fun photos as a family or as celebrations for birthdays. Check out our Summer Bucket List for more activity ideas and top places to take photos with wall murals!