Category Archives: Play

My Gym Bethesda & My Gym Potomac: Open House & Giveaway!


Are you looking for a class to add some active fun in your child’s schedule this spring? My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda are gearing up for a new season of programs for ages 3 months to 10 years. Not only are they hosting an event for families to check them out, the children’s play and fitness centers are also giving away a session — that’s eight weeks of enrollment — to one lucky KFDC reader for their child to enjoy!

You can get a preview of My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda’s offerings for kids at a free Open House on February 24 from 4-7pm. It’s a great opportunity to meet our teachers and sample the programs — there are Mommy and Me movement and music classes for babies and preschoolers, and tumbling, sports, and parkour classes for older children. The evening will include games and activities, plus discounts on registration!

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

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Giveaway: Want a chance to win eight weeks of enrollment for one child in a class at My Gym Potomac or My Gym Bethesda (value of $279)? Simply leave a comment below telling me what activity you’ve enjoyed most this winter so far. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page, too! The prize includes Lifetime Membership and Unlimited practice and play (free play) during the enrollment period. The winner must start classes by April 31, 2017. Classes are consecutive and pending space available. Contest is open to non-members of My Gym only. This giveaway will run through February 28, 2017, 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, Babies, Class, Free, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Maryland, Play, Preschoolers, Sponsored Post, Toddlers, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 6-9

Exploring the exhibits in imagiNATIONS at the National Museum of the American Indian

Exploring the exhibits in imagiNATIONS at the National Museum of the American Indian

Tuesday – Play the day away at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Join Step Arika! for a special storytime for toddlers that combines reading and creative movement. The 10:30am session at Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library is part of Step Xplosion!, a tour of all 8 Wards to kick off their new season. Admission is free. (Note: This also takes place on Thursday at 4pm at Mount Pleasant Library.)

Thursday – Enjoy a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Explore a new mansion room or garden each week through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this three-session Fanciful Heroes-themed series, children will hunt for dragons, make a hero’s cape, and explore a fantastical world of adventure. The series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult (($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on September 8, 15, and 22.

Friday – Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of interactive pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center in the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

*Want to cool off in the sprays? With expected high temps this coming week, DC DPR announced that operations will continue at public spray parks in the District through September 11! Hours are 10am – 7pm daily. You can also find a list of other spraygrounds in the area here.

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Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: June 24-26

Enjoy nice trails, history, and some of the best natural scenery in the area at Great Falls Park

Enjoy nice trails, history, and some of the best natural scenery in the area at Great Falls Park

Summer break just got more official. Not only are all of the kids in the area finally finishing up the school year, it’s also the first weekend of the season calendar-wise. And on a personal note, it’s really kicking in as I get ready to drop off my (not so) baby boy for his first sleep away camp adventure, a milestone that’s both exciting and emotional. But while my face might be buried in tissues as I say goodbye for a few weeks, all of you here have will have loads to smile about — events and activities galore, great weather, and that “official” summer feeling. Happy Weekend!

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Free concerts, outdoor swimming, special exhibits, movies under the stars, sprayground fun… Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed all around the area throughout the weekend. Get the full scoop on all of these joys of summer in the 2016 Summer Guide.

Choctaw Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday & Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma celebrates its tribal history and heritage with two days of food, workshops and performances. Activities and demos include Native dancers, singers, storytellers, and booths showcasing beadwork, pottery, flutes, the Choctaw language and tribal cooking. Hands-on activities for kids and families along with meet & greets with Choctaw Nation princesses of all ages allow visitors to learn more about Choctaw culture.

Where: Wakefield Park in Annandale, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free for spectators

See amazing skating tricks and skills or show off some of your (or your kids’) own! SkateFest is a rad event full of skateboarding, free gear, and tons of prizes. The weekend celebrates Go Skateboarding Day with family friendly activities for all ages: music, games, food, giveaways, skateboard vendor tents, and Sk8 For A Cause, a Skate Competition all to benefit Children’s National Medical Center. Friday is a registration/prelim day with some extra activities, and the main festival takes place on Saturday. See the online schedule for specifics.

Barbeque Battle
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: $15/adults, free for ages 12 and under

Join one of the biggest summer barbeques around as the Giant National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other to compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more. It all takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 9th to 14th Streets.

Heritage Days
Where: Various locales in Montgomery County
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, re-creations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge. Learn about the history of dairy farming, railroads, and trolleys; African American communities, astronomy, local arts & culture, and outdoor recreation. Check the online brochure for participating locations and activities.

SpongeBob SquarePants Family Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Visit a pineapple under the sea?! On Saturday, the Postal Museum will be decked out like Bikini Bottom—SpongeBob’s underwater home—and filled with fun activities for the whole family. Drop in for a chance to meet SpongeBob SquarePants, play nautical-themed games, build a sand castle with kinetic sand, and more! Visitors can document their experience by sending a limited-edition SpongeBob postcard or posing for pics in a Bikini Bottom photo booth as well as enjoy performances by comic bubble artist Casey Carle, the renowned. Be there or be square!

Capital Fringe Music Festival
Where: Baldacchino Tent at Old City Farm & Guild
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-9pm
Admission: Free

The Capital Fringe Festival is returning this summer, filling the city with non-stop theater, dance, music, visual art, and everything in-between. Preview the festival this weekend before it officially kicks off on July 7, and join Capital Fringe at its first-ever two-day outdoor music festival that will feature bands on one stage under the Baldacchino Tent.

Plan Ahead for Adventure!
Where: Solomons, MD
When: Future Weekends
Admission: Prices vary by package

Some outings take advanced planning, especially ones that are particularly cool. Ruddy Duck Adventures offers all-inclusive day trips around the Solomons, MD, area. They devise itineraries that include fun activities and great dining, plus all the instruction and gear needed; all guests have to do is drive. Opt for a fossil and shark teeth hunt, a paddling excursion, or wine and art adventure — and you can make it a family outing or a day date sans kids. Bonus: Use the code KFDC at check out to get a 10% discount! And for some inside scoop, read about our experience on the fossil hunt.

Precious Cargo Bike Ride
Where: Capitol Hill
When: Saturday, 9am & 4pm
Admission: $30

Join Recess Outings, a new bicycle outing business on Capitol Hill, for a ride designed to help parents become more comfortable biking with toddlers. The group will talk about safety and preparing for an outing, then go for a guided ride with a stop at a neighborhood play space. Whether you want to begin including your little one in your daily commute, use your bike more for everyday transportation, or simply share your love of biking with your toddler and spend more time together outdoors, this is the perfect way to get started! All bikes, child seats, helmets, and snacks are provided. Rides begin and end near Eastern Market. Sign up in advance here!

Chinatown Community Picnic
Where: Chinatown Park at 6th and I Street NW
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

As part of the 2nd annual “Chinatown Park Start Fresh!,” summer series, the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs is hosting a community picnic, and the public is welcome to join. Family-friendly activities will include outdoor games, balloon twists, face painting, arts & crafts, cultural performances, cultural exhibitions, free fitness classes, free bike repair, and more! Light refreshments will also be provided. RSVP here.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Several Fairfax parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Enjoy an evening adventure at Frying Pan Farm Park, take a wagon ride at Riverbend, look for critters in the waters of Lake Fairfax, explore history at llanor C. Lawrence Park, and more! Go here to see all of your options, this weekend and beyond, and register for activities.

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

* See Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap where Josh & the Jamtones are playing a concert al fresco
* Enjoy a picnic and a play as Chesapeake Shakespeare presents The Three Musketeers at PFI Park in Ellicott City, MD (bonus: kids are FREE)
* Join the excitement of Jumanji at Adventure Theatre! (look for discount tickets)
* The Little Mermaid is a collaboration between Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet
* Catch a performance of Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co.
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday is their featured Tiny Tots show
* Hear the Gravedigger’s Tale, a free one-man show at the Folger Theatre
* Let the international Irish dance phenomenon Riverdance wow your crew at Wolf Trap (look for discount tickets)
* The Kennedy Center presents American Acoustic: Family Show with Chris Thile, a matinee show geared toward young people
* Robert Post Comedy Theatre for Kids will entertain at the Kennedy Center in the afternoon

National Day of Play
Where: Gymboree Play & Music DC
When: Saturday, 11:45am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate 40 years of playing & learning with Gymboree! Bring your family & friends for a day of fun activities for all to enjoy. Facepainting, play time, art, music, refreshments, and Gymbo Live! will be part of the festivities. Suitable for newborns to age 5. Space is limited, so register in advance!

Vine on the Waterfront
Where: Oronoco Bay Park
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This food and wine festival in Alexandria may sound like a grown-up event — and the main festivity is, for the most part — but there will be activities for little ones, too! The festival will showcase some of the best of Alexandria’s restaurants and Virginia wineries. And to complement it all will be live entertainment, a children’s corner (moon bounce, arts & crafts, and more), and cooking demos. While admission is free, you will need to purchase tickets to sample food and wine – $20 for 8 tickets, $20 for the wine sampling. Rain or shine.

Open Studio: Welcome to Murad Khani
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sundays, 12–4pm
Admission: Free

Witness how artists from Afghanistan are transforming their lives and their country during an afternoon of free family-friendly activities. Take a tour (12:30pm and 2:30pm) of the special exhibition Turquoise Mountain, then head to the ImaginAsia classroom to get creative with family and friends. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Kids ages 8-12 can participate in Papitám, a learning-through-play experience that educates kids with culturally appropriate Native American explorations such as pottery creation, jewelry-making, and wildlife games. Algonquin for “Let’s Play,” Papitám is designed and presented by Maryland’s only state recognized native nation, The Piscataway. Join them for a morning of creativity and fun!

DC United vs. New England Revolution
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary

Kick it at a soccer match where Messi won’t dominate our team. The DC United are hosting the New England Revolution on Saturday evening. Be sure to stop by the Fan Zone in section 222 for a variety of kids activities.

Babe Ruth Baseball Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate America’s pastime and one of its greatest heroes. View the new exhibition One Life: Babe Ruth and enjoy games, crafts, and music in the lovely Kogod Courtyard.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Hit the trail with the fam to enjoy the sunshine and some quality time. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post, started in the early KFDC days and updated several times since, has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

Get the Blues
Where: Homestead Farm
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $3

A recent update from Homestead said their blueberry patch is loaded with the blue fruits and the picking’s easy. While admission to the farm is free, it’s $3 to access the blueberry fields. BYO container or purchase one there. Be sure to visit the goats and pigs while you’re at the farm. And for more places to PYO produce, see this post.

(Up)Rising Fest
Where: Rhode Island Avenue between 5th-24th Streets NE
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This choose-­your-­own­-art ­adventure weaves its way through Rhode Island Avenue businesses, open areas, and vacant properties, exploring the theme of creative collaborations — innovative and artistic ways to solve complex problems. The day will include performing and visual arts elements, hands-on activities, local food, drink, and retail vendors, as well as a chance to hang out with Rhode Island Avenue small business owners and employees.

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Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 25-29

Comparing hand prints in cave dwellings at the Natural History Museum

Comparing hand prints in cave dwellings at the Natural History Museum

Monday – Wander around the beautiful grounds, play, and relax at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and ask about the kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Play the day away amid the lovely wooded setting of Cabin John Regional Park. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and run on the sprawling Adventure Playland. The Miniature Train is currently only open on weekends, but the playground alone has plenty to keep children happy. Bring along food for a picnic — there are several tables right there, or you can spread out a blanket in a nearby grassy area. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Head to one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, view the amazing National Geographic Into Africa photography exhibit, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans, see an IMAX film, and so much more. Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm.

Thursday – Spend the morning at wacky magic show as The Great Zucchini performs at Jammin’ Java. Doors open at 10am and the fun begins at 10:30am. General admission tickets are $5. The full lunch menu will be available, so plan to eat there, too.

Friday – Celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Toys”R”Us at Tanger Oulets National Harbor with special savings and activities at the store. There will be appearances and photo ops with Geoffrey the Giraffe, balloon giveaways, and an opening day discount for shoppers. Store hours are 9am – 9pm, and admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 18-22

Monkey around on the Hains Point playground

Monkey around on the Hains Point playground

Monday – Play, picnic, and enjoy the surrounding scenery at Hains Point. Drive all the way down, almost to the tip, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid a large grassy area with picnic tables and bathrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Make it a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. The water may not be quite warm enough for swimming, but there’s still plenty to enjoy. Build sandcastles on the Chesapeake shore, visit the nature center, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 4pm (beach closes at 3:30pm), admission is $6/car.

Wednesday – Get a dose of Holland in Haymarket, VA, at Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring. The blooming tulips are absolutely stunning, stretching along acres of fields in a striking array of colors and varieties. Even better, you can pick your own to bring the beauty home ($1 per stem). Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $6.

Thursday – Experience WONDER at the Renwick Gallery while it’s still on view — the galleries on the second floor of the exhibit are only on view for a few more weeks. Even if you’ve already seen it, a repeat look is just as enchanting. And if it’s your first time, well, you’re in for quite a treat. Hours are 10am- 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is the current Main Stage production. Show time is 10:30am. Tickets are $10. If weather permits, plan to stay for picnic lunch (BYO) and play time on the Glen Echo Park playground.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Play, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays