Category Archives: Ongoing

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

A Birthday Party Giveaway, Classes, & Open House from My Gym Bethesda & My Gym Potomac!


Yes, you read that right… it’s a birthday party giveaway! One lucky KFDC reader has a chance to win a celebration for their child at My Gym Bethesda or My Gym Potomac, an opportunity you definitely don’t want to pass up.

Parties at My Gym Bethesda and My Gym Potomac cater to both kids and parents. Tailored to delight each birthday boy or girl, they take special song and game requests and incorporate them into activities that reflect their regular offerings for families. Even better, they include just about everything — set up, decor, staff to lead activities and serve refreshments, and clean up — so parents can relax and enjoy the celebration along with their child.


Three levels of birthday party packages are available, Grand, Deluxe, and Preimer. All of them give party-goers exclusive use of the space.


Birthday packages are just part of the great offerings from My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda. They also have age appropriate classes for ages 3 months to 10 years. There are Mommy and Me movement and music classes for babies and preschoolers, and older kids love tumbling, sports, and parkour classes. Plus, they have school holiday camps and special events. Read more about everything offered at My Gym Bethesda and My Gym Potomac.


You can all go scope it all out for yourself! This Saturday, September 10, My Gym Bethesda and My Gym Potomac are hosting their Free and Fun Fall Open House. From 9:30am – 1:30pm, stop by either location to learn more about their programs and parties firsthand, meet the staff, and get the year’s best prices when you sign up!

My Gym Bethesda is located at 5110 Ridgefield Road and My Gym Potomac is located at 11325 Seven Locks Road.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Grand Birthday Party package at My Gym Bethesda or My Gym Potomac, simply leave a comment below telling me what theme your child would pick for a birthday party. To be eligible to win, you must like My Gym Bethesda or My Gym Potomac on Facebook and follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook as well. This giveaway will run through Friday, September 16, 2016, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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


Filed under All ages, Birthday Parties, Camp, Indoor Play, Maryland, Ongoing, Party, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Weekdays, Weekend

Camping and Hiking and Bears (Oh, My!) in Shenandoah National Park


There are plenty of great destinations for camping with kids within an easy drive from DC, and one of the best is Shenandoah National Park. At nearly 200,000 acres, you really feel immersed in its glorious nature. There are woods and streams, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, lofty waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, and lots of wildlife sightings. And it’s all easily accessible from the city — about a 75-minute drive to the park’s entrance, and not much farther to the nearest campground area.


Four campgrounds in the park welcome parties of all sizes, and there is one more for groups of seven or more. Earlier this summer, we pitched our tents at Matthew’s Arm, the closest one at mile 22. It’s all car camping, making it easy with kids, plus there are facilities within the area and a general store just a few miles away pretty well stocked with basic groceries, firewood, and souvenirs. We somehow lucked out and snagged a group spot, which accommodated our party of two families nicely, even though we booked it just days ahead. Usually you need to reserve much farther in advance, especially for summer weekends.



Picnic tables and a fire pit at the campsite made mealtimes convenient. And while we’d bought a cord of firewood at the store, we easily found more in the surrounding woods to keep a fire going well past s’mores time until we were ready to hit the sleeping bags.



Like all of the campground areas, there is access to nice hiking trails, including one to Overall Run Falls. The hike there and back is about three miles through the lovely woods.


But it’s what we saw along the way that made it most interesting: Bears!



We had indication that at least one was nearby before seeing them — scat on the trail that my friend Jody determine was fresh after examining it with a stick (bears do poop on the woods!). Not long after that we saw one on our hike to the waterfall. Then two more on the way back. (And a fourth as we were driving out of the park to head home.)



Black bear sightings are common in Shenandoah (though I’d never seen them on my many previous visits), and there are a lot of signs and warnings of them in park brochures with tips on encountering them safely. We made noise, kept our distance, and didn’t linger too long. And at the campsite, we made sure to clean food up well and lock it up in the bear-proof bin.


If you can’t swing an overnight at Shenandoah, it’s still close enough for a day trip. With over 500 miles of trails, there are walks in the woods to suit all ages and hiking levels. You can also just find a great area to hang out and have a picnic or take in the beautiful scenery from your car along Skyline Drive.


Campgrounds in Shenandoah open in the spring, operating on a first-come, first-served basis until early May, when you can start reserving some sites in advance. Along with campsites, there are also cabins and lodges available. Rates for campsites start at $15/night and can be reserved through


Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia, 75 miles from Washington, DC. Hours vary at facilities, so see the website for details. Admission to the park is $20/vehicle and valid for a week. An annual Shenandoah Pass is $40.

There are several Fee Free days throughout the year, a few still to come in 2016:
August 25-28 – National Park Service Birthday Weekend
September 24 – National Public Lands Day
November 11 – Veterans Day

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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Fall, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 8-12

Searching for shark teeth along the Potomac shore

Searching for shark teeth along the Potomac shore

Monday – Play paleontologist for a day at Purse State Park, where you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth and other fragments of prehistoric sea creatures. Be sure to check the tide table before you go (select Potomac River and Piney Point), as there’s not much beach at high tide. There are no concessions or facilities there, so plan accordingly. Admission is free.

Tuesday – See a movie for a buck! The Regal Summer Movie Express is still presenting family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters during the summer. See what’s playing at a theater near you — there are two movie choices every week. All movies start at 10am. In the afternoon, head to MLK Library, where Storyteller Baba C will entertain with his unique blend of interactive storytelling, narrative song, chants, and games celebrating the oral traditions of the African Diaspora. Starts at 4pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Explore the grounds and play in the gardens, particularly the Children’s Garden, at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as sublime as they are fun. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Thursday – Spend a hot day inside a cool museum! Head to Chantilly for Air & Space exploration beyond the National Mall — the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases even more fascinating artifacts of flight. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Friday – Explore the high Potomac “seas” on a Boomerang Family Treasure Hunt Cruise. During the pirate adventure, you’ll help recover stolen treasure from scallywags who pilfered the ship’s booty. A couple of times are available several days a week. Cost is $20/passenger, but Goldstar and Certifikid often have ticket deals available.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Deal, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays