Explore seventeen underground rooms at Shenandoah Caverns in Quicksburg, VA. The caverns have an elevator so guests of all ages and ability can enjoy a tour. An hour-long, one-mile tour will take you through the caverns to see calcite crystal formations, limestone formations and colorful underground lakes. $$. shenandoahcaverns.com

Experience life in Colonial America at Rose Hill Manor Park & Children's Museum in Frederick. Tours led by costumed employees will take guests through different exhibit areas, including the blacksmith shop, the manor garden, the carriage museum and others. Children can learn history through a hands-on approach by grating spices, participating in role-play and learning to card wool. $$. rosehillmuseum.com

Discover exotic animals like lemurs, camels and zebras at Leesburg Animal Park. This 21-acre park features a petting area where children can touch a range of animals from alpacas to pigs. The park has an indoor area with a reptile exhibit and a playroom, so it's worth a visit even if the weather is bad. $$. leesburganimalpark.com

Take a scenic walk through the forest at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and discover beautiful sculptures nestled along St. John's Creek. The quarter-mile walking path features permanent and temporary works of art, including many on loan from the Smithsonian. Let your child's imagination run wild in Fairy Lolly, an outdoor area filled with castles and stages, or visit the butterfly garden to learn about the garden's pollinator plants. $$. Solomons, MD. annmariegarden.org

Celebrate this summer with a staycation to the region's most spectacular family-friendly hotel. Experience a vacation destination like no other as pirates invade Galord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland. Discover adventure at every turn in the lush, garden atrium with unique seasonal events, creating fun for the whole family. Enjoy pirate-themed experiences including treasure hunts, character breakfasts, pool parties and story-time for the little explorers. gaylordnational.com/summerfest

Come discover everything under the sea at Glen Echo Park Aquarium, a Chesapeake Bay Discovery Center. Their Touch Tank features a Horseshoe Crab and Knobbed Whelk. Other live animals on site include a Chesapeake Blue Crab, Smallmouth Bass and a Yellow-Bellied Slider. A great way to introduce kids to the Chesapeak Bay and encourage stewardship and conservation. gepaquarium.org


Family Fun
Unique Museums
Culture for Kids
Historic Sites
Water Fun
Animal Encounters
Nature Discovery