Category Archives: Maryland

The Weekend Round-Up: July 21-23

Sunflowers taller than my tall kid at McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area





It’s just about midsummer (of the break from school, anyway), and the magic comes in the form of some so many wonderful events and activities going on over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Mars Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Zoom over to Air & Space for their annual celebrating of the Red Planet! Kids can check out a real meteorite, test maneuvering skills in a hands-on activity with small robots, get news about Curiosity from a science team member, see images of current activity on Mars, and much more. A special highlight is a look at the Mars Rover Concept Vehicle, which will be on view Friday and Saturday.

Seize the Summer Days
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Summer is whizzing by, so enjoy the season while you can with activities that only occur this time of year. Start off the weekend with a free outdoor concert this evening, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or spray park. Or take it indoors at special summer program like HIVE at the Building Museum or free admission for kids to the Newseum. Wind it all up with crab feast or a movie under the stars. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2017 Summer Guide.

Tennis, Anyone?
Where: Kastles Stadium at the Smith Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $22

The Washington Kastles, the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, will serve up exciting action on the court at the Smith Center on Friday evening. Nick Kyrgios, Martinia Hingis, and Frances Tiafoe are the featured players as they play the Philadelphia Freedom. And there are always fun activities going to outside the court for all ages to enjoy. For some background, see this post from a few years back (but note the location has changed since then).

Superhero Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Pow! Bam! Kaboom! It’s an action-packed day of superheroes. Arrive dressed as your favorite character. No costume? Come as your superhero’s secret identity and make a mask at our crafting station. Show off your powers in our series of challenges and let those villains know that there is nothing you can’t overcome.

Montgomery County Farm Tour
Where: Montgomery County Farms | Montgomery County, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Learn about agricultural heritage, promote local farms, and indulge in seasonally fresh food as Montgomery County celebrates the 28th Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. Activities will vary from farm to farm, but several will have hayrides, pony rides, music, animals to visit, and other activities planned. All 17 participating farms will be open Saturday, and some will reopen on Sunday, so be sure to check the website for the schedule before you go.

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

* Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook is running at Adventure Theatre
* The Maryland Youth Ballet will perform Snow White at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods series
* See theatre by kids for kids as Encore Stage & Studio presents The Music Man
* Go down the rabbit hole for Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure at Imagination Stage
* And little ones will love Raton en Movimiento!, also playing at the theatre in Bethesda
* Arts on the Horizon brings entertainment to littles with By the Seashore
* The UniverSoul Circus is wowing audiences at FedEx Field
* Penguin’s Playground is the featured Tiny Tots show at The Puppet Co.
* My Fair Lady at Olney Theatre is recommended for ages 10 and up
* It’s the final weekend for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest at PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City, MD
* Make it a date night to see An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth
* The Capital Fringe Festival is still bringing a variety of performances to venues around DC

Root for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats aren’t the only baseball team in town. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Altoona Curve all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy, too — post-game fireworks, a salute to Seinfeld, Police Appreciation Day, and more. Plus, there are always fun and games especially for kids. Read more about Baysox games in this KFDC post.

Tour de Fat
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 4-9pm
Admission: $25/adult, free for kids

The celebration of bike and bemusement is zany in the best way possible. It’s changed a bit this year from previous ones, with more live music, a later start time, no bike parade, and paid entry instead of free admission. But there is still all kinds of bike-centric art and fun, music and vaudeville-esque entertainment, a dance contest, and beer (New Belgium is behind it all)!

Baltimore Artscape
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: Friday/Saturday, 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

America’s largest free arts festival is happening all weekend long in Baltimore. With a camp theme this year, it features more than 150 fine artists, fashion designers, and craftspeople; visual art exhibits, including outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography. There are also concerts on outdoor stages, plus dance, opera, theater, film, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performances. Kids can enjoy hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children’s entertainers, and street theater. Concessions sold on site, too! This all takes place at Mount Royal Avenue & Cathedral Street, Charles Street, Bolton Hill, and Station North Arts & Entertainment District neighborhoods.

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also paddle from nearby Thompson Boathouse and Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45. If you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. And you can see where else you can explore by water in this round-up of great places to row.

Spartan Kids Race
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront
When: Saturday, several time slots
Admission: $25-40 varies by race, free to spectate

While the Nats are away, it’s Spartan Race day! The main event is for adults, but kids can enjoy a great active challenge, too. They’ll run, jump, duck, climb, get muddy — and have a blast! There’s a one mile course for ages 9-13, and a half-mile for ages 4-8. Entry fee is less if you register in advance.

Tanabata: The Japanese Star Festival
Where: Hillwood Museum & Estate | Upper Northwest, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $18/adult, $12 Hillwood and JASWDC members, $5/ages 6-18, under 6 free.

Tanabata, the Japanese Star Festival, celebrates the legend of Orihime, the weaver princess, and Hikoboshi, the herder, lovers separated by the Milky Way who are allowed to meet just once a year on one day during the summer months. Celebrate the festive holiday at Hillwood — explore the enchanting Japanese-style garden, hear fascinating tales through storytelling and song, enjoy a variety of hands-on activities like writing poems and special wishes on tanzaku to hang on bamboo, decorating paper lanterns, and making paper ornaments, calligraphy, and more.

Secondhand Game Sale
Where: Labyrinth Game Shop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Labyrinth is hosting its legendary Used Game Sale. The proceeds raised go to buy games for local teachers’ classrooms, support the shop’s game class aftercare program, and add new games to the demo library. The sale includes a live and silent auction on the first day, and a rummage sale on the second day.

Run of the Mill
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to see the 2,000-pound millstone convert corn to cornmeal using good old-fashioned renewable energy of water. Miller Jeanne and Friends of Peirce Mill invite you to see DC’s only gristmill in action. Be sure to stop by Peirce Barn next door to explore the exhibits and enjoy children’s crafts. They will also be celebrating Rock Creek’s spring herring run with a special obstacle course for kids. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Kids Paint Along
Where: Artist & Craftsman Supply | Brentwood, DC
When: Saturday, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $10

During this easy class just for kids, students will be lead step-by-step to paint a fun ice cream cone in honor of summer! Most appropriate for ages 6-12, and parents must remain on premises. All supplies included. Spots are limited so sign up soon: Call 202.526.4446 or stop by the store to register.

A Sea of Sunflowers
Where: McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area | Poolesville, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get your cameras ready for the latest eye-popping bloom! The sunflowers at McKee Beshers are reaching their peak, and visitors are welcome to take in the brilliant scene. It is gorgeous! Nine fields showcase 30 acres of flowers, and they are expected to bloom for two weeks. Read more about it here. Tip: If you plan to go, pair it with a outing PYO blackberries outing like we did at Homestead Farms, which is just minutes away.

Take Your Pick
Where: Farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and veggies are available for picking at local farms. Just about all of the spots listed in this post about PYO places have something ready for harvest now and welcome guests to come pick ’em themselves. However, it’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended. Tip: If you plan to see the sunflowers at McKee-Besher, consider heading to Homestead Farms just a few minutes away before or after your bloom viewing.

Indoor Playgrounds
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you can’t stand the heat, and the kids have a lot of energy to expend, there are places around the area that will feel like havens. Read about them in this round-up of play spaces where, in some cases, they can literally bounce off the walls.

Family Happy Hour
Where: The Brig | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Head to The Brig Beer Garden on Barracks Row for a special Sunday happy hour, including arts & Ccafts for kids and adults, water-activities, and more! Proceeds support Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, providing CHAWSOME education in the arts for all — for 45 years! (Happy Anniversary, CHAW!)

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Did you know you can have Weekend Round-Ups and other KFDC posts delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe by simply entering your email in the sign up box on the left side of the blog.
* Check out the Free in DC blog if you haven’t yet. It lists all kinds of events and opportunities that don’t cost a dime. There’s more for adults (think parents night out!), but also some items for kids, too.
* Best pizza (and Italian hoagies, for that matter) in the DC area: The Italian Store, hands down. It’s been our favorite for years!

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Scenes from a Day at Purse State Park



Owen just returned from a few weeks of sleep away camp, and this is our week to hang out together, as Sasha is busy with Adventure Theatre acting camp, and he doesn’t begin Camp Arena Stage until next week. We spent yesterday at Purse State Park with friends, wandering the shoreline hunting for fossils, picnicking on the beach, and swimming in the Potomac (the kids did, anyway).

A lovely view of the Potomac

We first visited Purse a couple of years ago after my friend Jody heard from a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum that it was a great place to search for fossilized shark teeth and other prehistoric marine life remnants. It’s one of the best adventure tips I’ve received for KFDC — we love visiting and always come home with a good haul of fossil finds, occasionally with some pretty interesting pieces. In fact, yesterday Jody found a very rare pygmy white shark tooth (confirmed on The Fossil Forum)!

Jody’s rare pygmy white shark tooth

You can read more about the locale in Charles County, MD, in this post, which also has logistics for visiting. If you like a little adventure in your beach outing, this is a perfect place to go; it’s actually more about fossil hunting than beaching, but there is sand and surf to enjoy during the warm months — just be sure to check the tide table to make sure there is enough sand! Get a look at it all in these scenes from yesterday.

See it?

Fallen trees add some obstacles (and climbing ops for kids)

The squish of toes in the sand

Crouch anywhere by the water, and you’re bound to find a fossil

More swimming than fossil hunting by these kids – they were so happy the water was warm enough!

Fossilized shells embedded in the cliffside

Can’t beat a beach picnic!

Not the usual wildlife you expect to see at the beach

Sightings of these little guys are more common

Another friendly critter

I always bring a container with a hole in the lid to stash my finds

A peek inside

Getting creative with the full haul at home

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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Free, Maryland, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Feast & Beach in One Great Place at Kentmorr Restaurant & Crab House



A must-do during summer in (or, actually, just beyond) this area: Crabs on the Eastern Shore. Sure, there are spots close to DC, even in the city, where we can get good steamed blue crabs or live ones to cook at home. But it just doesn’t match the experience of an excursion to a crab house somewhere along the Chesapeake Bay, where you can dig into a pile of Maryland’s tastiest while enjoying scenic views and that easy breezy coastal vibe.

It’s a staple on our seasonal agenda, and I love finding out about different places to indulge. Our most recent discovery (thanks to my friend Elsa, who recommended it) may just be my new favorite: Kentmorr Restaurant & Crab House on Kent Island in Stevensville, MD.

Located over the Bay Bridge, it’s a bit of a drive to get there — but so worth the time and mileage. Kentmorr has way more than the average crab house, and you can really make a day of it there. Along with the restaurant, there’s a great stretch of beach with play areas and lots of seating, plus a tiki bar, snack bar, and live music as well as a nice grassy area for hanging out, too.

We enjoyed all of it for the first time on Mother’s Day, and it was a great way to celebrate the occasion. Like many crab houses, there was a long wait for a table without a reservation — nearly two hours — but that didn’t phase us one bit (because tiki bar 😉 ). We took advantage of the chance to relax on the beach, and the kids had a blast playing by the water and spinning around in hammock swings.

The good vibes continued with our feast inside the restaurant. The crabs were excellent and reasonably priced, and they have a good kids menu for young diners who prefer other fare, as well as plenty of other options on the main menu for adults.

Some things to keep in mind as you’re planning a day there: 1) There are beach rules, including no pets, coolers, or outside food. 2) Bay Bridge traffic. Chances are, you’re going to hit it on a summer weekend, especially as you’re driving home on a Sunday. But when you’re relaxed and full of crabs after a great beach day, you may not even care.

Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House is located at 910 Kentmorr Road in Stevensville, MD. It’s open daily 11:30am – 9pm. You can make a reservation online or by calling 410.643.6623, or you can just put your name on the list when you get there and have fun on the beach while you wait.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Eats, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend