Lebanese Taverna: A Local Favorite for Family Dining

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Like many families, we have our go-to restaurants for a meal out together. And by go-to I mean places with menus that appeal to all of us, are welcoming to the kids, and generally make us feel that our dining experience was worth it.

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Lebanese Taverna is a go-to for us. Everyone in our family loves eating there — which is pretty amazing given Sasha’s very picky eating habits. The delicious Mediterranean flavors and nice variety of dishes practically guarantee a good meal every time we go. I usually try something different every visit, and have never been disappointed. A Kids Menu offers smaller portions of several Lebanese classics, plus there are many small plates (Mezza) and sandwiches on the main menu that work for children, too.

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Owen and Sasha went that route at a recent dinner there; she ordered the Camel Wings (chicken wings with a flavorful spice) while Owen opted for the shawarma (he likes it so much, he gets the regular size). And we usually start with hummus for the table because it’s so good — this, on top of the bread and seasoned oil they bring to each table.

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That same visit I tried their boullabaisse for the first time, Levi the salmon, and we both really enjoyed our entrees. I’ve also had the chicken shawarma, falafel, fatteh, lamb sandwich, and a few of the salads on other occasions. (I did mention it’s a go-to, right?) And not only is it a great place to go to with the family, it’s also a nice spot with just grown-ups. We’ve even been to a friend’s birthday celebration party at the Woodley Park location, which was lovely with a great selection of food in a private room.

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The ambiance at Lebanese Taverna needs to be noted, too. The restaurants are nice and spacious, with hand-painted tiles decorating many tabletops and big, patterned pillows lining benches. That, and friendly, inviting service make the atmosphere relaxing and comfortable.

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And while Lebanese Taverna is one to keep in mind for any time, a perfect occasion to go with the whole family is this Sunday when you can enjoy the Mother’s Day Unlimited Mezza Special. It’s a great opportunity to sample many great dishes and, of course, celebrate the special day. Cost is $37/adult, $15/ages 6-12.

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Hungry? Go reserve your table now!

Lebanese Taverna is a family owned and operated chain of restaurants in the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. The first restaurant was opened in 1979. Today, there are 6 restaurants, 4 cafes, and a market that focus of providing authentic Lebanese cuisine and bringing a bit of the culture too. They have been voted Best Mediterranean Reader’s Choice by Bethesda Magazine and consecutively listed in the 50 Best Restaurants by Northern Virginia Magazine.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lebanese Taverna, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote places, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 2-6

Basketweaving 101 at the American Indian Museum

Basketweaving 101 at the American Indian Museum



Monday - Experiment with hands-on fun at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Kids of all ages can explore a variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through fun, engaging interactive exhibits and activities. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $12. (under 2 are free).

Tuesday - Head to the National Building Museum, for their monthly Little Builders Storytime. Readings of a A Little Prairie House will begin at 10:30am & 11:30am. Get there early for play time, as entry is on the hour ($3/person). Afterwards, stay to hang out in the magnificent Great Hall or the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs ($10/adult, $7/child). Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission for members is free, and I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum at least a few time per year.

Wednesday - Romp on the playground and in an old train car, discover some history of the area, and take a pontoon boat tour at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. The free rides on the water are offered Tuesday – Friday from 12-12:45pm through October 31. Admission to the park is also free. (Update! The free boat tour days have changed, and they are only offered Thrusdays & Fridays during the week now. Perhaps, hit the American Indian Museum today, head to Bladensburg tomorrow.)

Thursday - Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of hands-on pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday - Spend the day at Flower Mart, the annual spring festival presented by the All Hallow’s Guild of the National Cathedral. Don’t let the name fool ya — along with plant sales and floral and horticultural displays, there is tons of fun for all ages. Music and entertainment, games and rides, tasty foods, the All Hallows Guild antique carousel, and other activities will delight the younger set. Admission is free, though concessions and some activities will cost a fee. Read about our experience there last year.

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The Weekend Round-Up: April 29 – May 1

Catch a Duck Race at Yards Park...or just go to play and relax

Catch a Duck Race at Yards Park…or just go to play and relax



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Racing toy ducks, bluegrass and jazz music, French flair, college and carousel celebrations, the arts, science, history, and so much more can be part of your weekend experience. And for activities beyond the round-up, browse the big list of indoor ideas as well as the best outdoor places to hang with the kids. Happy Weekend!

Bon Jour, Georgetown
Where: Wisconsin Avenue NW, between P St. & Reservoir Rd.
When: Friday/Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The Georgetown French Market returns to the Book Hill neighborhood bringing the signature European open air market back for its 13th year, featuring nearly 40 Georgetown boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and galleries, art, and antique home furnishings. But it’s not all about the shopping; kids will enjoy the strolling mimes, children’s activities, live music, and French cuisine from Georgetown cafes and restaurants. Visit the website to download a schedule of events and list of participating shops.

Duck, Duck… Race!
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

See thousands of environmentally-friendly toy ducks race along the Anacostia River! The first ever DC Duck Race, a fundraiser to benefit more than 30 non-profits executing sustainable service projects in the community, will showcase the flock of sponsored rubber duckies “racing” along a contained course on the water. There will be even more at the community festival, including entertainment, food, music, and a Kids’ Zone.

Go, Terps!
Where: University of Maryland
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual Maryland Day celebration in College Park gets a giant thumbs-up from me, and not just because it’s my alma mater. This is a fantastic event for families, and I know from experience. Every year, the University hosts a huge open house for, well, everybody. “Explore Our Worldof Fearless Ideas” is the theme of this year’s fair, and guests will be able to do that and then some. There will be over 400 activities for varying ages, including learning games; an adventure area; autograph sessions with the basketball teams; musical performances; arts & crafts; farm animal visits; puppet shows and sing-a-longs; face painting; fossil digs; insect and instrument petting zoos; and TONS more. It’s spread out all over campus — and it’s a huge campus, so prepared for lots of walking (worth every step!) and be sure to bring a stroller for little ones.

Glen Echo Family Day
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the opening of the park’s beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel for its 96th season! Along with rides on the merry-go-round ($1.25/ride), guests of all ages can enjoy a loads of fun activities: Magic shows, dance performances, arts & crafts, face painting, photo exhibits, and balloon animals are just some of the usual favorites. The full schedule of events is available of the Glen Echo website.

Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: Saturday 12-8pm
Admission: $25

The 7th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River includes eight hours of performances by local bluegrass and folk acts on six stages. Fuel up with DC’s favorite food trucks and Sierra Nevada beer. Entertain kiddos in the Living Classrooms family tent with natural-inspired crafts and games for all ages. There will also be motor boat tours, kayaing, a marketplace selling all kinds of wares, and a Jam Tent, where pickers, strummers, and yodelers are welcome to stop in and play. Kingman Island is located on the Anacostia River at 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE (at the entrance to RFK Stadium).

Astronaut Academy
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free (but parking is $15)

Experience the Air & Space Museum’s new Smithsonian TechQuest: Astronaut Academy. The free alternate reality game challenges you to become an astronaut-in-training for a future trip to Mars. Choose what role you will play on the mission; engage in fun interactive activities; and explore the science, technology, engineering, and math skills you will need as a member of the next generation of space travelers. Along the way, you’ll learn about some of the Museum’s fascinating artifacts. Read more about the adventure on the website. Best for upper elementary and middle school visitors and their families.

Spring Arts Fair
Where: THEARC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Washington Performing Arts and THEARC invite you to their Spring Arts Fair & Birthday Bash on Saturday to celebrate of DC’s diverse artistic offerings. The event will feature electrifying performances, interactive workshops, a moon bounce, face painting, free food (hot dogs, hamburgers, and Rita’s Italian Ice), and much more! A complimentary shuttle to THEARC will be available from the Southern Avenue Metro. Ample free parking is also available.

Revolutionary War Weekend
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $20 ($17online)/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free 5 and under

Join Mount Vernon for one of the largest Revolutionary War encampments in the area! Step back in time and experience more than 500 Continentals, Redcoats, Hessians, cannon, and cavalry in action at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Meet hundreds of Revolutionary War military re-enactors, learn more about life in the 18th-century, discuss military techniques, and watch battle re-enactments, and more.

Jazz Hands
Where: Throughout the city
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Take advantage of a fabulous opportunity for kids (and parents) to discover jazz music. International Jazz Day will bring together a hugely diverse group of artists for free shows in every Ward around the city, including major venues like The Kennedy Center, The National Museum of Natural History at The Smithsonian, and a number of great DC Jazz clubs.

Move Me Festival
Where: Kenmore Middle School
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Bowen McCauley Dance is celebrating 20 years of Creating Community through Dance with the 7th Annual Move Me. The free, family-friendly event celebrates art and culture, promoting healthy lifestyles through movement and the arts. Festivities include performances and interactive activities provided by more than 20 local arts organizations, plus storytelling, arts & crafts, face painting, raffle prizes, food trucks, and more.

Au Pair in American Cultural Fair
Where: Nationals Park
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Help celebrate 30 years of Au Pair in America and the U.S. Department of State’s au pair program! You’re invited to a fun afternoon of educational country displays, performances by au pairs, photo ops, face painting, and other fun activities for children. Au pairs from over 30 countries will be participating! If you’re curious about au pairs as a childcare option, don’t miss this fun-filled event! Sign up here.

REEP 40th Anniversary Event
Where: Gymnasium at the Arlington Mill Community Center
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: $5/adult, $2/child, free for 2 and under

Start the weekend with the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP) for a 40th anniversary community celebration. Festivities will include carnival games, balloon animals, face painting, games, and raffles, live music, a DJ, food and drink, and more! REEP provides much-needed literacy, workforce development, and technology instruction to thousands of limited English proficient adults in Arlington.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* The Emperor’s Nightingale just opened at Adventure Theatre
* Looking for Roberto Clemente is on the Imagination Stage
* And so is Lord of the Flies, just through this weekend
* Join Moona Luna for a Saturday morning concert at Jammin’ Java
* Catch a performance of Boxes, Boxes, Boxes at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* See a fairy tale on strings as Sleeping Beauty is performed at The Puppet Co.
* And Doggy Doodle’s is the featured Tiny Tots show there
* The Children of the Gospel Choir and Children’s Chorus of Washington will unite for a concert at the Lincoln Theatre

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Through September 25, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2

Walk amid a garden of butterflies as Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit opens for it’s annual run. The display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight! Plan to tour the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds while you’re there and see if there are any other special kids’ programs to enjoy. Read about one of our experiences at the exhibit and rest of Brookside.

Experience the WONDER of Art
Where: Renwick Gallery
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Renwick’s extraordinary exhibition will only be there in full for another a couple of weeks, so go see it while you can (or go for a repeat visit if you’ve already been). The aptly named WONDER features a major art installation in each gallery. And the works aren’t just beautiful, they’re breathtaking. Be sure to experience it with the kids — they’ll love it, too.

Literary Hill
Where: Eastern Market
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join Capitol Hill neighbors in supporting the community’s own literary festival! The annual Literary Hill BookFest attracts thousands of visitors to meet and greet local authors, buy books, and learn about book-related resources and services on the Hill. Over 30 local writers from Capitol Hill will display, discuss, and sign their books. The Hill’s newest bookseller will sell books on-site. Select authors will give brief talks or readings. And children’s corner will offer story times and activities.

Art and Me: Become a Conservator!
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Sunday, 11:30am – 1pm & 3-4:30pm
Admission: Free

Visit the museum’s immersive installation Filthy Lucre and explore how art and science collide when conservators preserve precious works of art. Then, return to the ImaginAsia classroom and work with a Freer | Sackler conservator to learn about the process of repairing a work of art. This program is designed for children ages 3–5 with adult participation. Registration is required.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Where: Burnside Farm
When: Friday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $8

Experience Holland in Haymarket, VA! Burnside Farm’s annual Festival of Spring showcasing the season’s flowers is open and blooming. Stroll through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy.

Re-ball! Raise/Raze
Where: Dupont Underground
When: Through June 1
Admission: $16.82

If you were wondering what happened to all the balls from last summer’s BEACH exhibition at the National Building Museum, well, this is it! Over 650,000 of the translucent spheres have been re-purposed into a reconfigurable block system in Dupont Underground’s first-ever installation. (Note: I was actually hesitant to even post this, since tickets have already sold out, but I figure it’s worth letting readers know about it if they want to try to score tickets elsewhere — I’ve seen them for sale on Craig’s List).

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Minor League, Major Fun at a Bowie Baysox Game

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During baseball season, a day at the ballpark is a great way to enjoy some time with the kids. And while the Nats may be the fan favorite around DC, they aren’t the only game in town.

Several minor league teams are also in the area, the Bowie Baysox one of them. The class-AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles play at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, MD, offering tons of fun for families along with the action on the field.

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One of the best things about catching a Baysox game is that you get the ballpark experience on a more simple scale. The stadium is much smaller than MLB parks, so every seat is pretty close to the field and they all offer good views — and sound. You can hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball, sometimes even the swoosh of a strike.

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And beyond the game itself, there are fun activities especially for young fans. Behind the right field stands is a whole kids’ area with batting and pitching games, a carousel, face painting, and a moon bounce. And there are many special promotions for all ages to enjoy, like themed games (think Stars Wars night), fireworks, and concession discounts.

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Then there’s the bottom line, which is almost always less than an MLB game. The most expensive seats are $15, food and drinks are reasonably priced, and parking is easy and free. It was a hit with out family, and I definitely recommend taking a swing!

The Bowie Baysox play at Price George’s Stadium, located at 4101 Crain Highway in Bowie, MD. View the schedule of games and purchase tickets online or at the box office.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 25-29

Comparing hand prints in cave dwellings at the Natural History Museum

Comparing hand prints in cave dwellings at the Natural History Museum



Monday - Wander around the beautiful grounds, play, and relax at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and ask about the kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Play the day away amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. The Miniature Train is currently only open on weekends, but the playground alone has plenty to keep children happy. Bring along food for a picnic — there are several tables right there, or you can spread out a blanket in a nearby grassy area. Admission is free.

Wednesday - Head to one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, view the amazing National Geographic Into Africa photography exhibit, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans, see an IMAX film, and so much more. Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm.

Thursday - Spend the morning at wacky magic show as The Great Zucchini performs at Jammin’ Java. Doors open at 10am and the fun begins at 10:30am. General admission tickets are $5. The full lunch menu will be available, so plan to eat there, too.

Friday - Celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Toys”R”Us at Tanger Oulets National Harbor with special savings and activities at the store. There will be appearances and photo ops with Geoffrey the Giraffe, balloon giveaways, and an opening day discount for shoppers. Store hours are 9am – 9pm, and admission is free.


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