Category Archives: Play

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 27-31

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery



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Monday – Visit the Sackler Gallery on the National Mall. The Smithsonian museum houses a great collection of Asian art as well as special exhibits, like the current Chinamania. Be sure to head all the way downstairs to an area full of stations that encourage visitors to touch and get a close look. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Go to Tudor Place for Tudor Tots. The weekly program at the historic estate in Georgetown invites little ones to learn about the world around us through songs, stories, crafts, and movement, all tailored to growing tots with a different theme each session. The fun takes place 10-10:45am, and admission is $5/child (accompanying adults free).

Wednesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.

Thursday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where The Three Billy Goats Gruff begins its month-long run this week. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If the weather is nice, plan to stay at Glen Echo Park, where the theatre is located, for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch — BYO fare or buy food from the Praline Bakery on premises.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 6-10

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum



Monday – Go for Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Occurring the first Monday of every month, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Stay after to explore the rest of the museum, full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – See an all-ages art exhibit with scientific themes and enjoy some reading time at the National Academy of Sciences. The organization is hosting Igniting the Imagination, an exhibition of 28 children’s book illustrations from the collection of the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. The show looks at the power of images and stories to ignite the imagination of young people, and all of the works in the show relate to science, engineering, or medicine in some way. Copies of the books will be on hand in the gallery for families to read along with comfy couches and chairs. The exhibit will be on view March 6 through August 7. Hours are 9am – 5pm, and admission of free. The Academy is located at 500 Fifth Street NW 2101 Constitution Ave NW.

Wednesday – Play the day away at Anacostia Park. The locale stretching along the Anacostia River in SE DC is full of opportunities for recreation with a pirate-themed playground; two other playgrounds; a skating pavilion; a nature center; tennis courts; and fields for playing ball or tossing a Frisbee. Plus, you can walk, run, or bike along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail or just find a table or nice spot in the grass to relax, have a picnic, and take in the views. Hours are dawn to dusk, 11am – 5:45pm for skating, and 10am – 2pm at the Education Center. Admission is free.

Thursday –Let Arts on the Horizon entertain little ones with Nutt and Bolt, a new production about robot rivals who realize that by working together the world becomes full of possibilities. Showtime is 10:30am. Tickets are $9 (free for 12 months and under). The show runs from March 8-25 at The Lab at Convergence located at 1819 N. Quaker Lane in Alexandria, VA.

Friday – Roam around the lovely grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, visit the Korean Bell Garden, and check out exhibits in the Visitor Center at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under.


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

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

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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.

* * * * *

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.

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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.

SkateFest
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.

Papitám
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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