Category Archives: Ongoing

Scenes from Flag Ponds Nature Park & Beach

The first sight of the beach after a half-mile hike there



Happy first day of summer! Images of the beach seem like a perfect way to welcome the new season, so here are some scenes from our outing to Flag Ponds Nature Park yesterday. It was a nice time to be there — the sun was shining, the breeze off the water kept us cool on a hot day, and the water was calm (though unfortunately filled with jellyfish, so we didn’t go much more than ankle deep in it). But it was so nice to enjoy the sun, sand, and, of course, some shark tooth hunting.

You can read more about Flag Ponds Nature Park in this KFDC post. And a few new things to note: The admission fee is now $8/car. And we learned the hard way yesterday that they only accept cash at the entrance (luckily, there is an ATM about a 5-minute drive away). But put it on your summer to-do list. Just an hour’s drive from DC, Flag Ponds makes for a great day trip!

Looking for shark teeth on the shoreline

Colors of summer

Lounging in the sun

Beach goers bring fossil hunting gear here

There’s about a mile stretch where you can hang out by the Chesapeake

Shark teeth and fossil finds

The landscape is different every time we go as inlets change with the tides

The walk there and back winds through a pretty woodsy area


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 12-16

Stay cool in the sprays at Turkey Thicket playground

Stay cool in the sprays at Turkey Thicket playground



Monday – Cool off on the hot day at a spray park. There are a bunch of playgrounds within the DC Department of Parks and Rec that have areas where kids can splash around. See locations here, and find a list of other interactive fountains and splash pads around the area in the Guide to Summer in DC.

Tuesday – Venture up to Baltimore for a day of play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome hands-on exhibits, including the current KLUTZ: Amazingly Immature! Exhibit, keep kids entertained all day long. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $14.95 for ages 2 and up, free for under 2. And if you think you might go a few times this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.

Wednesday – Jump with joy at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions, when the whole park is open only to children under the age of 6, from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday. Special pricing starts $10/hour, and an accompanying adult jumps free! I recommend buying tickets and submitting waivers online in advance to save time when you get there.

Thursday – Roam the enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown while you still can — starting July 10, they will close for renovations until March 15, 2018. The grounds don’t open to the public until 2pm, but you can play at nearby Montrose Park or grab a bite to eat on M Street beforehand. I promise, it’s worth waiting for the afternoon visit. Admission is $10/adult, $5/ages 12 and under. No entry fee for Montrose Park.

Friday – Play with light and technology at XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, the debut exhibit at the brand new ARTECHOUSE. All ages will be dazzled by 10 digital installations that are meant to be manipulated (and awed!) by guests. Hours are 10am – 4pm, and timed tickets are required. Admission is $15/adult, $10/child.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Joselito Casa de Comidas: A Dining Experience to Savor with (or without) the Kids

joselito_gazpacho2

The Capitol Hill restaurant scene has come a long way in the many, many years that I’ve lived here. Back in the day, the dining options left a lot to be desired. Now, the neighborhood boasts a pretty great selection of places to eat out, including one that has even received a “best in the country” designation.

It’s one of the newest on the scene, though, that has become my favorite of them all: Joselito Casa de Comidas. If it sounds familiar, that may be because I just recommended it among the Mother’s Day activities. But it’s a superb pick for a meal out anytime — with the family or KidFree. I was there the first week it opened and have been back several times since. I guess you could say it’s become my go-to for a great meal out.

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Joselito specializes in Spanish cuisine and serves up more than just scrumptious food. The whole vibe of the restaurant is inviting and warm; you feel like you’re having a special meal without being fancy and formal. The decor is beautiful, but still comfortable with a lot of white Spanish tile, black seating, and old black and white photographs of owner Javier Candon’s family in Spain adorning the walls — all of it together creates a lively yet cozy ambiance.

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It’s a perfect space to feast on the food that includes traditional Spanish dishes and some with modern, creative updates. There’s the simple and delicious Iberico ham and Manchego cheese on the menu alongside gazpacho with smoked, salt cured cod. A tuna carpaccio comes with avocado mousse, and deep fried anchovies are seasoned with cumin and served with yuzu aioli. Meat dishes include Iberian pork tenderloin and Wagyu beef with chimmichurri. There’s a white chocolate soup (!) for dessert. And these are just some of many great choices on the main menu.

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I also had the opportunity to join a tasting of their new brunch menu recently, which featured several yummy egg dishes, including an out-of-this-world crab benedict, and more fare perfect for a leisurely late morning/early afternoon meal. Oh, and I have to mention the cocktails and wine…all top notch. The white sangria is chilled with a white sangria ice cube, a simple but lovely detail. And the original cocktails and selection of wine are perfect complements to the food. (Non-alcholic beverages available, too, of course.)

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joselito_cocktail

Something really great about Joselito is that almost everything on the menu is available in three sizes — tapa (appetizer size), media ración (entree) and ración (family-style) — so you can order according to the size of your party, or choose whether or not to share. (If you ask me, this is food best enjoyed communally, plus you get to try more dishes that way!) No matter what you opt for, you’re in for a fantastic meal.

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And before you think this all sounds sophisticated for kids, let me assure you there are plenty of options that will appeal to patrons of all ages. (And a heads-up: A kids’ menu is about to be introduced!) Javier and his wife Christiana have two children themselves and don’t just welcome, but encourage families to enjoy their restaurant. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and dining with them, and they are as gracious as they are genuine when it comes to Joselito. They truly want to bring people together to savor good food and good company.

And I think they’ve nailed it.

joselito_candj

Joselito Casa de Comidas is located at 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Capitol Hill, across from the Eastern Market Metro. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 10pm, and Fridays & Saturday 11:30am – 12am.


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Filed under All ages, Date Night, DC, Eats, Ongoing, Weekdays, Weekend