The Weekend Round-Up: November 1-2

Minecraft Steve and Vampire Kitty say bring on Halloween!

Minecraft Steve and Vampire Kitty say bring on Halloween!

It’s no trick when I say you’re in for some treats this weekend, and not just the sugary kind that’ll have our kids bouncing off walls tonight! With Halloween-themed fun, autumn celebrations, live entertainment, Day of the Dead, special museum programs, and more among the goings-on, you’ll only hear “Boo!” from the ghosts. And don’t forget to check out the Everyday Play page for even more reasons to scream… for joy. Happy Halloweekend!

Trick-or-Treat at Geroge’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: October 31, gates open at 3:30
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child

Join Mount Vernon’s costumed cast for a special opportunity to trick-or-treat in the historic area. Guests can participate in a Halloween craft activity in the greenhouse; go on a scavenger hunt; view special trade demos, like 18th-century wool carding, spinning, and fish net making. There will also be Halloween-themed stories in the straw bale amphitheater, colonial games, dancing demonstrations, and wagon rides. All young guests are invited to join in the children’s costume parade around the Mansion at 6pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best “George” and “Martha” costumes!

Pumpkin Chunkin’
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

Wondering what to do with your jack-o-lanters now after Halloween is over? Head to Great Country Farms’ for its annual Pumpkin Chunkin, where visitors have permission to make a big mess. Bring your used jack-o-lanterns and old pumpkins to create the Farm’s famous Pumpkin Fireworks as they are dropped from a 40’ lift, smashed, splashed, and shot through pumpkin cannons at targets like an old Chevy suburban and oil tank. While there support our troops through the Lucky Duck Pumpkin Drop, a season-long fund raiser for the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors. Rubber duckies are on sale all season for $5 each with 100% of proceeds benefiting the 501(c)(3) nonprofit. On Sunday at 2pm, the duckies will be placed in a swimming pool for a giant pumpkin drop. The pumpkin will splash the duckies out of the pool and onto “Prize Spots” which feature prizes from businesses and groups supporting this fund raising effort. And as usual, the Farm will be abuzz with other activities, including the giant farm style playground, tractor rides, rope swings, and the corn maze.

Kids Euro Fest
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Art and culture with European roots continue to entertain kids throughout the area, thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 28 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions. Storytellers, musicians, children’s films, and puppeteers are just a few of the shows and art sessions on the lineup this weekend. See the schedule for specifics.

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join the American Indian museum for its annual Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a celebration originating in Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits. Learn and take part in this centuries-old tradition, which includes pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs alike.

Learn About Skulls
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Human skulls and animal skulls – how are they alike and different? See a variety of skulls from the museum’s collections and participate in skull-related craft activities. Recommended for kids in kindergarten – grade 4.

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

* It’s the opening weekend of Fiddler on the Roof at Arena
* See Fancy Nancy the Musical at BlackRock Center for the Arts this weekend only
* The Kennedy Center presents NSO Kinderclassics: Musical Opposites on Saturday
* Catch a show of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co.
* And Old MacDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots at the Glen Echo puppet theater
* Driving Miss Daisy still in its three-month run at Ford’s Theatre
* Disney on Ice presents their version of Frozen at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore
* Paul Hadfield: Spats the Last Vaudevillian is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Spend Saturday morning with Rocknoceros at Jammin’ Java

Where: Farms around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season on the farm while you still can — most fall festivals are only on for another weekend or two. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are tons activities to help you embrace the autumn spirit. See this page for details on fall festivals happening around the area.

Where: Logan Circle
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

The last DC MEET Market of 2014 will celebrate the thankful season with a canned food drive, Thanksgiving-themed crafts for kids, hearty food from Sloppy Mama’s, and music by DJ AYESCOLD, Finley Martin, and RagnaPOP. Ans as always, the market will showcase over 40 local vendors selling their goods ranging from fine arts, home décor, and handcrafted jewelry to fashion apparel, baby accessories, and prepared foods. The market is free, open to the public, and of course, family and pet-friendly!

Fall Festival
Where: Potomac Crescent Waldorf School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5 (extra for activities)

The Potomac Crescent Waldorf School’s annual festival is a family-centered day of games, crafts, puppet plays, a hearty and wholesome lunch, and more! Children can decorate candleholders, make sun catchers, and create beautiful felt necklaces. Puppet shows will also run throughout the day. Guests can also shop for beautiful handmade dolls and traditional craftwork at the Waldorf Handworks table and enjoy music, displays by local craftspeople, and a lunch for purchase. All are welcome! The school is located at 923 South 23rd Street in Arlington.

Innovation Festival
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

What better place to celebrate innovation than at the mueum that…. Head to the Air & Space museum to … the accomplishments of American inventors and the spirit of innovation that has led to so many of today’s technologies. Exhibits, crafts, talks, and performances will showcase ingenuity at the Smithsonian and across America. Meet inventors and the patent examiners who worked with them on their inventions, hear directly from experts about how an idea is molded into a working product, and try your hand at making your own invention.

Family Day
Where: Artisphere
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon with cartoons, make and take cupcakes, and a dance party for kids hosted by the folks from Baby Loves Disco. Have a frighteningly fun time with your favorite Looney Toons characters as they screen some of the spookiest episodes. Create your very own adorable cupcake and donut characters — each treat will come to life as participants utilize various materials and mediums to give their art a 3D effect. Artful fun for the kid in everyone!

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to Beauty and the Beast, Coming to DC this Winter

It always seems like we coast right into winter after Halloween, so why not start planning for some cold season indoor entertainment now? Plus, I’ve got tickets to give away to a smash hit show coming to DC in January.

The romantic Broadway musical for all generations, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, is returning to DC at the Warner Theatre January 6-11! Tickets are already on sale for all shows, both evening and matinee performances, and prices range from $47 to $143.

It’s the classic fairytale performed on stage, featuring an award-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. Here’s the official description from the website:

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family Four-Pack of tickets to see the opening night performance of Beauty and the Beast on January 6, 2015, simply leave a comment below telling me what your children are dressing up as for Halloween. To be eligible, you must also like KidFriendy DC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through next Friday, November 7, then a winner will be picked from a random drawing and notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!


Filed under All ages, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Music, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where in DC?


Test your knowledge of DC scenes for a chance to win a prize! If you think you know where this photo was snapped, tell me the location in the comments. Even if you don’t know, go ahead and take a guess.

All correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win FOUR of these deals for a one-hour session at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, Va. It’s super fun — you can read more about it in this KFDC post.

The contest will run through Friday, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified this weekend. Good luck!

And congrats to KFDC reader Katie, who won the last “Where in DC?” prize. That photo was taken at the Lincoln Memorial, the words engraved on the landing 18 steps below Lincoln’s statue in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech.


Filed under Contest, DC, Giveaway

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 27-31

Fall is an ideal time to visit Brookside Gardens

Fall is an ideal time to visit Brookside Gardens

Monday - Wander around the beautiful grounds, play in the Children’s Garden, and enjoy a nice fall day outdoors at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Md. The park is open sunrise to sunset, the Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Let the kids romp on the playgrounds, go roller skating, visit the Education Center, play some ball on the expansive fields, and/or relax with a picnic by the river at Anacostia Park. This was a recent weekdays recommendation, but since I just posted about it, and it’s supposed to be great weather for a day outdoors, it seemed deserving of a mention again. Hours are dawn to dusk, 11am – 5:45pm for skating, and 10am – 2pm at the Education Center. Admission for all, including skate rentals, is free.

Wednesday - Head to the National Geographic Museum to experience two interactive exhibits recommended for all ages. “Spinosaurus” and “Food: Our Global Kitchen” are currently there, and adults can get a discount on admission to visit them. Entry is regularly $11/adult, but it’s $6.50 + service fees with the deal. Entry is $7/ages 5-12, free for 5 and under. Museum hours are 10am – 6pm.

Thursday - Catch a performance of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co. Stay at Glen Echo Park after the 40-minute show for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $10.

Friday - Enjoy some fall fun on the farm! Visit the animals, take a tractor-pulled wagon ride, play on kid-sized tractors and playgrounds, and much more at Frying Pan Farm Park. The locale in Herndon is a guaranteed hit with kids (and parents always rave about it, too). The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, the farm is open 9am – 5pm, wagon rides 10am – 4pm. Admission is free, though the wagon rides cost a little extra. Later in the afternoon, put a little history in your family’s Halloween at Mount Vernon. Guests are invited to George Washington’s old estate to trick or treat in the historic area and enjoy other games and fun on the grounds from 3:30-6:30pm. Admission is $10/adults, $5/children.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Deal, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Free, Halloween, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

Recreation Galore at Anacostia Park

The pirate ship playground is easily a highlight for kids at Anacostia Park

The pirate ship playground is easily a highlight for kids at Anacostia Park

Anacostia Park, which stretches along the river it’s named for in southeast DC, has been on our recreational radar for a long time. Back in the day (a term I find myself using way too frequently lately), Levi and I played many an Ultimate Frisbee game there, and I always thought the pretty waterfront locale was a great place to spend a couple of hours chasing discs. For awhile, though, when the kids were younger, we rarely visited the park, which is odd since it’s close to where we live and a boon for fun and recreation.

A Riverwalk Trail ramp leading to the main part of the park

A Riverwalk Trail ramp leading to the main part of the park

We’ve kind of rediscovered it over the couple of years as a few different activities have taken us there. Owen’s soccer league plays on the fields, plus he attended a skating camp based in the Skating Pavilion. I also started biking on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that runs through the park, both for fun and triathlon training.

BYO wheels or rent roller skates for free at the Skating Pavilion

BYO wheels or rent roller skates for free at the Skating Pavilion


Those pursuits are just a few of many to enjoy at Anacostia Park. The trail is great for running, cycling, walking, even skating (Owen’s camp group would roll along the path as part of their daily route). There are three playgrounds where children can romp, including a pirate ship playground, where one of Sasha’s friends just had his birthday party.




There is a public pool (open during the summer) and an Education Center. There are tennis courts and basketball courts. The Anacostia Community Boathouse is located on the west shore of the river, and includes a marina with a public boat launch and canoe rentals during the summer (free Paddle Nights are also offered through the Anacostia Watershed Society). There’s an 18-hole golf course and putting range. There are lots of tables and lovely spots to picnic. (And I should note that Anacostia Park also encompasses Bladensburg Waterfront Park and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, but what I’m talking about here is the part the stretches from Benning Road to South Capitol Street.)

Free summer paddle nights start at the boathouse

Free summer paddle nights start at the boathouse

Enjoy views of the Navy Yard and wildlife sightings

Enjoy views of the Navy Yard and wildlife sightings

The Ultimate games go on...

The Ultimate games go on…

The area is going to get even better when Anacostia Crossing, the 11th Street Bridge Park coming to southeast DC, is developed over the next several years. Not that there isn’t more than plenty to do and enjoy there now…

Anacostia Park is located along the Anacostia River in southeast DC. It’s open from dawn to dusk, and the skating pavilion is open 11am – 5:45pm on weekdays, 11am – 6:45pm on weekends, and the Education Center is open weekdays 10am – 2pm. Admission to the park and center and skate rentals are free.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Sports, Weekdays, Weekend