Category Archives: Maryland

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 24-28

A giant blue rooster, a roof top space, and great views from it...all new at the NGA

A giant blue rooster, a roof top space, and great views from it…all new at the NGA

Monday – Visit the recently reopened East Building of the National Gallery of Art! Full of modern art with bold colors and captivating designs, it’s a great museum to visit with kids. Be sure to stop in the new Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes spin and dazzle. And, of course, don’t miss the giant blue rooster — and fabulous views of the Capitol — on the roof top. Hours are 10am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Explore and play at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington. Hike the short trails and let the kids romp on the playground, then visit the nature center where you can see turtles, snakes, and other creatures in terrariums and discover more about the natural world in the Kids Cave. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. (This also takes place on Tuesday at the same time.)

Thursday – Catch a performance of Aquarium at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and interactive props, children and caregivers will delight in the magical underwater world the play creates. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $10. Afterward, grab some lunch at a nearby H Street eatery — Maketto, Bullfrog Bagels, and Shawafel are a few of our faves.

Friday – Head to Cabin John Regional Park for play time and Halloween fun. Begin with some time on the awesome sprawling playground amid the lovely woods. Then starting at 1pm, you can take a ride on the “Eye Spy” Halloween Train, which features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Park hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is free. Train rides are $6, and I recommend purchasing tickets in advance online.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: October 21-23

Toddler Owen stakes his claim on a past fall visit to Homestead Farms

Toddler Owen stakes his claim on a past fall visit to Homestead Farms

With the leaves beginning to turn colors, seasonal celebrations in full swing, Halloween creeping up, and crisp, cool weather in the forecast, this weekend practically screams autumn. Immerse in it all at one of many events that embrace fall or just enjoy the season as a backdrop to another fun activity — you’ve got your pick of ’em. Happy Weekend!

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members

The National Zoo’s annual not-so-spooky haunt is one of DC’s most popular Halloween events for the kiddie crowd. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, live entertainment, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. Costumes encouraged!

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 6pm

See the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 11th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Fun for the whole family!

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This time of year is always a scream with loads of ways to get the Halloween party started early. From mini train rides through the woods to haunted tours to festivals inspired by the holiday, details on where the tricks and treats are happening can be found in this annual post.

Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

Welcome, REI!
Where: DC REI, 201 M Street NE
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Join REI for 3-day Block Party to celebrate the Grand Opening of the DC Flagship store! Doors open Friday at 10am with some big band fanfare (hint, hint) and the party will continue all day. Saturday and Sunday they’ll expand the bash to a main stage with tons of live entertainment, Outdoor School classes, s’mores, screen printing, a climbing wall, beer gardens, and more. All three days the first 500 people in line receive a custom DC Camelbak bottle with a gift card, plus there will be free breakfast and coffee each morning. Everybody who attends all weekend can help REI decide how to split up $100,000 among 5 regionally focused outdoor non-profits.

National Trademark Expo
Where: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
When: Friday, 10am – 5pm & Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This free, family-friendly event is designed to educate children, small business owners, and the general public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace. The Expo features children’s workshops, an kids’ area with arts & crafts and other hands-on activities, costumed characters, a scavenger hunt. Outside, a Ford Model T, UPS Truck, the The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, and Mr. Peanut Nutmobile will be on display. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is located at 600 Dulany Street in Alexandria.

East of the River Book Festival
Where: Rocketship – DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Readers of al ages can enjoy a literary event that highlights the work of self-published authors and small presses — the perfect place for diverse books. The day will be full of dramatic presentations from readers, storytellers, poets and word-artists. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character or author, so get your costume ready (it is the week before Halloween)! Rocketship – DC is located at 2335 Raynolds Place, SE.

Under the Big Top Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The circus is in town, right in the Kogod Courtyard! Smithsonian American Art Museum takes you under the Big Top for an afternoon of dazzling feats with performers from Acrobatic Conundrum (hope you’re not afraid of heights!), plus carnival games, bag of popcorns, circus animal-inspired mask making for guests.

Hirshhorn Fall Fest
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admisson: Free

Gather with friends and family for a museum-wide festival celebrating the return of fall, DC’s rocking music scene, and Hirshhorn’s immersive new exhibition, Ragnar Kjartansson. Bands will play throughout the day, unique tours of the exhibit will be offered, and a bier garden will welcome the 21+ crowd.

Fall Harvest Family Days

Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

Celebrate the autumn season at George Washington’s old digs! Watch as a replica of one of Washington’s boats launches into the Potomac River with a costumed crew. Enjoy autumn activities, including wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, 18th-century dancing demonstrations, a straw bale maze, farrier (blacksmithing), corn husk dolls demonstrations and early-American games and music. And Potomac River sightseeing cruises are half-price this weekend only!

Outdoor Movie Night
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for their October Halloween Movie Night series under the stars. Every Friday night in October they’ll be showing a Halloween movie on an outdoor movie screen — this week it’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Bring a blanket and enjoy a free movie! You can see their site, meet the staff, and even sign your kids up for summer camp.

Sweden Festival
Where: House of Sweden
When: Saturday, 12-4:30pm
Admission: Free

House of Sweden welcomes the public to help them celebrate 10 years as the flagship of Sweden’s public diplomacy in the United States – it was in 2006 that they opened their doors as the flagship of Sweden’s public diplomacy in the United States . The festival will feature concerts, interactive family fun, Swedish food, artist talks, games and more. And it all takes place at the beautiful Georgetown Waterfront, where house of Sweden is located.

Pint-Sized Pumpkins
Where: Brookland Pint
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: $5

It’s breakfast designed with little ones in mind! This event features a free Pint Sized Breakfast for the kids, storytime with Barnes & Noble, an interactive performance by Only Make Believe, and Pint Sized Pumpkin Painting. Seating is first come, first serve. Your $5 ticket purchases your child’s Pint Sized Pumpkin; the rest of the morning’s activities are included with it. Limited quantity is available, so get yours pumpkin today!

Game on, Greater Washington
Where: FedEx Field
When: Saturday
Admission: Free (but some activities are extra)

The American Diabetes Association is teaming up with the Washington Redskins for this one-of-a-kind festival featuring activities for the entire community, from rappelling and zip lining, to biking and fun runs, and everything in between. Including a ton of family and kid friendly events (kids’ zone with glitter tattoos, inflatable bounce and slide and so much more), the adventure-filled day is designed to raise funds for diabetes education, programs, research and advocacy. Registration fees vary depending on activity but the Kids’ Zone and entrance is free, and it’s an awesome opportunity to check out the Redskins stadium like never before, all while having fun for a good cause.

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

* This weekend is your last chance find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Reserve free tickets for Discovery Theater’s Fabluous Fairytales, this week’s Saturday at the National performance
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is on the Imagination Stage
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Hansel & Gretel are the new stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Imaginary Friends is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy The Best Haunted House Ever, Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids
* Make it a date night to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center
* Ruthless, The Musical is running at Creative Cauldron

Last Call for Merriment
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

It’s the final weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the annual faire that recalls medieval times with an English Tudor village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. I highly, highly recommend going if you haven’t been yet. And I recommend getting tickets online in advance — they sold out last weekend and had to turn folks away. Huzzah!

Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart
Where: EagleBank Arena
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $15-80 (look for a discount)

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Characters from many of the beloved films make appearances — and perform lots of thrilling feats — on ice. Inside Out‘s emotions, Dory and friends, Elsa and Anna, are just some of the fan faves who will delight and wow.

Fibre Arts Festival
Where: Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Local fiber farms and yarn spinners will be attending the Glover Park-Burleith farmers’ market with hand spun yarn from Maryland! Plus the opportunity to use an antique loom and purchase hand knitted hats, scarves, pet toys and more! There will also be 2 sheep for a mini petting zoo! Perfect for people of all ages – there will be live music, tons of fresh local produce, sustainably raised meat and eggs, fresh cut flowers, baked goods, plus breakfast and lunch options. Additionally, there will be bike repairs and sales and free yoga from 10am to 11am!

Earth Celebration and Re-Use It Sale
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 8-11am
Admission: Free

The Audubon Nature Preschool brings the gift of wonder to children and you can help support it at their annual Earth Celebration and ReUse It Sale. Go on family nature walks, shop for gently used children’s items, enjoy naturally delicious homemade treats and a morning cup of coffee, and make connections with Nature Preschool staff and families. Read more about Woodend in this KFDC post.

River Park Yard Sale
Where: Eastern Market in front of Rumsey Pool
When: Saturday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Score some deals (and treats!) at the annual River Park Nursery School’s Yard Sale and Bake. Find great bargains on kids items, including baby gear, clothes, sports gear, puzzles, games, toys and delicious baked goods while supporting a Capitol Hill nursery school! Proceeds support River Park Nursery School, which has a 50-year tradition of providing quality instruction that encourages individual growth and development. Rumsey Pool is located at at 635 North Carolina Ave. SE.

Dance for the Floor
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: $25

Dance the night away with Joe’s Movement Emporium! Dance for the Floor: A Joe’s Movement Emporium Fundraiser, with a goal of raising money to install a new hardwood dance floor in the theater.The evening will feature three studios worth of Hand Dance, salsa and swing dancing with a “floor-raising” program in the theater featuring Joe’s dancers of all ages. Admission includes dance lessons, open dancing, and light fare Purchase tickets online or at the door.

Ride with Recess Outings
Where: Capitol Hill
When: Sunday, 10am & 4pm –
Admission: $40/On a Recess bike, $30/BYOBike

Join Recess outings on a bike ride! Opt for To Market, To Market at 10am, designed for anyone up for a leisurely exploration of DC, with world-class markets serving as the bookends along the route as you meander from Eastern Market to Union Market and back again. You can also try Underrated Anacostia, an 8-mile ride from Capitol Hill then along the river highlighting the beautiful Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Get more details about both rides here.

Celebrating French Animation
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Let little imaginations soar with a selection of animated shorts by French filmmakers. Kids can discover the surrealist poetry of Robert Desnos creatively visualized in a series of nine films, including The Sun of Bagnolet Street, Once Upon a Leaf, and Paris. Recommended for ages 7 and up, all films are in French with English subtitles. The program lasts approximately 55 minutes.

Friends Community School Fall Fair
Where: Sunday, 12-4pm
When: Friends Community School
Admission: Free

Friends Community School welcomes the public to enjoy a day of fun activities at their annual Fall Fair. The event will include student-run old-fashioned games, a moon bounce, a toy and book sale, entertainment, and plenty of good food prepared by local restaurants and school families. The fair will take place rain or shine. The school is located at 5901 Westchester Park Drive in College Park, MD.

Yummy Yummie Pop-Up
Where: The Escape Lounge
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Score some adorable kids clothes this Sunday! The Escape Lounge on H Street is hosting a Yummy Yummy Goodness Pop-Up Shop, featuring lots of fall and winter specials. Stop in to browse & buy and, perhaps, stay for an Escape the Classroom challenge — Sunday only, get a FREE escape game for children with a $50 purchase from the pop-up! Read more about the Escape Lounge in this KFDC post.

Get Out
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Looks like we have a beautiful fall weekend ahead! Take advantage of the crisp, sunny weather with some time outdoors — go on a hike, explore a garden, play in the trees, find a new playground, go fossil hunting, tour a historic site. This post has an extensive list of places and ideas for al fresco fun.

Seedling - Design your own Halloween costume


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Discount, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Halloween, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, School Event, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to “Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families” at Strathmore!


As autumn hues color the landscape, add some vibrant tones to your family’s seasonal entertainment: The blues! On Thursday, October 27, Strathmore presents Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families. And I have a Family 4-Pack of tickets for the show to give away to one lucky KFDC reader!

With audience members of all ages in mind, this is a performance that is both entertaining and educational. The 45-minute, multimedia concert features alumni of Strathmore’s Artist in Residence program. These top flight musicians showcase their talent and teach the basics of the full-hearted, foot-tapping music we call the blues. Where did it come from, how did it evolve, and what’s it all about? Get the lowdown on call and response; 12-bar blues chord progression, lyric structure, and improvisation. This music lesson brings the blues and its iconic artists to life.

The show begins at 7:30pm, but you can go early to witness the area’s Piedmont blues tradition live, as Strathmore presents the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation musicians in the Lockheed Martin Lobby prior to Shades of Blues performances. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Besthesda, MD.

Tickets for Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families are just $5-14 and are available for purchase online. Of course, you can also try to win the Family 4-Pack through the giveaway below.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families at Strathmore on October 27 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below and/or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page — bonus entry for commenting on both! This giveaway will run through Sunday, October 23, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Strathmore, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Sponsored Post, Weekdays

Volunteer with the Kids at DC Diaper Bank to Help Babies & Families Thrive

DC Diaper Bank Founder and Executive Director Corinne Cannon

DC Diaper Bank Founder and Executive Director Corinne Cannon

“We want to give babies what they need to thrive.”

On a recent blogger visit to DC Diaper Bank in Silver Spring, this is how Executive Director Corinne Cannon began explaining the mission of her amazing organization that provides diapers to families in need.

A small sample of the many Size 1 diapers ready for distribution

A small sample of the many Size 1 diapers ready for distribution

The non-profit was born in 2010 from Corinne’s own experience as a new mother with a challenging baby. Realizing how hard parenting was even with a lot of support, she thought about those who weren’t as fortunate and began to research ways to help make caring for an infant easier. It was then she learned that diapers, a basic necessity for babies, are not covered by WIC, food stamps, or other social welfare systems, and she set out to help make them available. Six years later, DC Diaper Bank provides over 100,000 diapers a month to families in need and has donated over 3,000,000 diapers since launching. (Wow!)

Keeping track of DC Diaper Bank's amazing work

Keeping track of DC Diaper Bank’s amazing work

It truly takes a village to make it all happen. Donations, both diapers and monetary, are contributed by everyone from huge multinational companies to individuals in the community. Diaper drives are held by businesses, schools, and other area organizations. Local ambassadors help spread the word about DC Diaper Bank and offer drop-off locations around the region. And members of the community — kids included! — are welcome and encouraged to volunteer at the warehouse to help bundle diapers and prepare them for distribution to partners.

Volunteers tables where diapers are bundled to prep for distribution

Volunteers tables where diapers are bundled to prep for distribution

So, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I had never been to the DC Diaper Bank warehouse until that visit a few weeks ago. I have been very aware of it for years and even know Corrine — our kids attend the same school, and we served on the fundraising committee together a few years ago. I am seriously in awe of what she has created and achieved, what she has given to those in need, how it all brings the community together. While I have helped promote their diaper drives and Boogie Babes — the music show is now run by DC Diaper Bank, and all proceeds support the organization — I have yet to volunteer there. But that’s about to change, as the kids and I are signed up to go next month. :)

Diapers are often donated in original boxes then repackaged to fit more in each bundle

Diapers are often donated in original boxes then repackaged to fit more in each bundle

You can help out, too! Interested in volunteering at DC Diaper Bank? Check out their family-friendly warehouse volunteer hours for a day and time to sign up. And don’t worry if your kiddos are too little to help package diapers — they are still welcome to join, and there’s even a small play area where they can stay busy while you help.

A sweet area for little kiddos to play while you volunteer

A sweet area for little kiddos to play while you volunteer

And if you want to donate to DC Diaper Bank, there are several ways to give, all listed on the website here. And I should mention that they take more than just diapers, there are many other essential items, like formula and breast feeding supplies, that they also accept — see a complete list here.

Follow DC Diaper Bank to stay updated:
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Instagram
* Subscribe to their e-newsletter

More quick links:
* Host a Diaper Drive
* Become a DC Diaper Bank Ambassador
* Donate to DC Diaper Bank’s Amazon Wishlist
* Donate to this non-profit in your charitable giving

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Filed under All ages, Babies, Cause, Charity, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Moms, Ongoing, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 17-21

Little ones can relate "Harold and the Purple Crayon" to artist Linn Meyers' hand drawn wall art at the Hirshhorn Museum's STORYTIME+ program

Little ones can relate “Harold and the Purple Crayon” to artist Linn Meyers’ hand drawn wall art at the Hirshhorn Museum’s STORYTIME+ program

Monday – Take advantage of the surprise warm weather and go geocaching. It’s like a scavenger hunt, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors with a little adventure. Even better, you can pick and choose where and when you want to do it. This KFDC post has all the info you need to get started.

Tuesday – Enjoy STORYTIME+, the Hirshhorn Museum’s new program that invites the youngest artists (ages birth – preschool) and their caregivers to explore contemporary art through stories and movement. Museum staff will read a book aloud, introduce children to an artist in the collection, and lead an activity. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is this session’s featured book, and little ones can explore and participate in Harold’s misadventures through hands-on fun and close-looking with an original wall drawing created for the Hirshhorn by artist Linn Meyers. Meet in the lobby at 10am. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, see the night sky, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. If you’re keen on seeing stars, there’s a planetarium show at 4pm. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center for free. (Unfortunately, pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but staff at the stables always welcome visitors.)

Thursday – 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).

Friday – Catch a performance of Hansel & Gretel, the latest Main Stage production at The Puppet Co. Showtime is at 11am. Tickets are $12. Plan to stay after to picnic (BYO and buy from the cafe) and romp on the Glen Echo Park playground.


Filed under All ages, Art, Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Preschoolers, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays