Category Archives: Virginia

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 19-23

See the only Da Vinci in the U.S. at the National Gallery of Art!





Monday – Catch a performance of Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre. The show recommended for all ages starts at 10:30am. Tickets are $19.50. If weather allows, plan to picnic and play at Glen Echo Park afterwards. BYO food or purchase lunch at the Praline Cafe there.

Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to enjoy indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the newly renovated Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play with lots of new features. Explore the different plant collections, too — walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Wednesday – Celebrate the first official day of summer with a quintessential seasonal activity: Swimming! Jump in at a public pool, which as of this week are open daily through Labor Day. Even better, they’re free (or a small fee if you’re not a resident of the District or county where it’s located). Check out the 2017 Summer Guide for links to public pools in the area and be sure to note open swim times, as they may vary from pool to pool.

P.S. Registration for Artful Conversations, the National Gallery of Art’s program for ages 8-11 starting July 7, opens at 12pm.

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. Sunscreen and hat recommended.

Friday – Get an art fix at the National Gallery of Art! The East Building is full of contemporary works with bold colors and captivating designs. Be sure to stop in the Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes will dazzle, and don’t miss the giant blue rooster on the roof. The West Building houses more classical pieces, the collections featuring many of the masters, including the only Leonardo da Vinci painting on public view in the U.S.! Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: June 16-18

Celebrating this fun dad this weekend

Celebrating this fun dad this weekend



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School is out, summer is almost officially in, and it’s Father’s Day. All great reasons to celebrate, and this round-up is full of ways to do it. Happy Weekend! And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Celebrate Dad
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re still in need of plans for dad’s big day, there are so many great ways to celebrate. There are activities and offerings especially for the occasion, special events that coincide with the date, and everyday outings that can be made special with a few extra touches and great company. See this post with a bunch of ideas to help plan your day.

Awesome Con
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
Whne: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Starts at $35/day, free for 10 and under

The mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention brings a three-day celebration of television, movies, comic books, science, technology and more to DC. With hundreds of hours of programming, an impressive lineup of special guests, and exciting activities for fans of all ages, this is going to be one fun event. More details here, but note that the chance to enter the giveaway has ended.

Jazz It Up
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free on Friday, starts at $49/day Sat/Sun

The annual DC Jazz Festival presents a selection of the genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists at venues all around the city over a whole week. And it culminates this weekend at The Yards with a three-day blowout of music and good times.

Friday Night Fishing
Where: Diamond Teague Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Anacostia Riverkeeper at the dock at Diamond Teague Park for catch and release fishing. This Friday evening kicks off the series that will take place every Friday through August 25. Rods, reels, bait, and instruction are all free. No registration required — just show up! Diamond Teague Park is located at on the Anacostia River, between Nationals Park and Yards Park.

Joys of Summer
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

The calendar may not say so, but it’s summer for all intents and purposes, so celebrate with one — or several — of the many activities exclusive to the season. Swim under the sky, catch a concert beneath the stars, see a special exhibit, play at a water park, and more. For the whole gamut of seasonal fun, check out the 2017 Summer Guide.

Spy Fiction Writer’s Workshop
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: $30, $25/members

The shadow world of spying has captured the imagination of authors for centuries. Kids ages 9-14 can join this writing workshop for young spies led by Melissa Mahle, former CIA intelligence officer and author of Anatolia Steppe: Lost in Petra and Camp Secret.  Learn from her hands-on work in disguise, surveillance, and spy gadgetry and be the one to develop a plot and storyline that grips readers’ attention and quickens their pulses. Dinner included.

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

* It’s opening weekend for Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre
* See a classic on stage as the Kennedy Center presents The Sound of Music
* See another classic on strings as The Puppet Co. presents The Wizard of Oz
* And Panda Monium is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre in Glen Echo
* Creative Cauldron has a production of The Wizard of Oz on their stage, too
* Hedwig and the Angry Inch running at the Kennedy Center is recommended for ages 12 and up
* Make it a KidFree outing at a performance of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s The School for Lies
* Catch Shakespeare in the Park As the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brings The Tempest to PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City, MD

Taste of Reston
Where: Reston Town Center | Reston, VA
When: Friday, 3-11pm & Saturday, 12-11pm
Admission: Free (purchase tickets for tastings)

The largest outdoor food festival in NoVA has also been named “Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival” by Virginia Living magazine for several years. Reston Town Center will be bustling for two days with restaurants and community vendors, live entertainment on three stages, a Wine ‘n Dine area, and the Family Fun Zone featuring activities, interactive games, demonstrations, and arts & crafts for all ages.

Strawberry Fields in Petworth

Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | Petworth, DC

When: Saturday, 4-8pm

Admission: Free


Okay, maybe not fields, but a Strawberry Festival is even better! St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomes all to enjoy free family to celebrate the season, including two bounce houses, face painting, crafts, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, and tours of Rock Creek Cemetery (where the church is located). Food, including strawberries and strawberry shortcakes, can be purchased there. Located in Petworth DC, the main entrance to the grounds is on Rock Creek Church Road NW & Webster St NW.

Creative Spark! 
Where: National Building Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1–5 pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to experience innovation and creative expression in the world we build for ourselves through activities designed and facilitated by the National Building Museum’s Teen Council. Complete a digital scavenger hunt that connects you to the collections and historic building and share your vision of DC’s future through collage-making. A teens-only workshop and hangout space will be available. Some activities require exhibition tickets, but high school students receive free admission with a valid school I.D.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: 11th Street Park btw Park & Irving | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you’re invited to bring the fam out for a fun, free day of excitement and activities to help celebrate the community. In its 12th year, Columbia Heights Day brings together residents and businesses for all kinds of festivities. Enjoy local food vendors, live music and entertainment, a beer garden, and tents full of fun and unique vendors, and more!

Shaw Open House
Where: Shaw Neighborhood, DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Everyone from arts enthusiasts and the health conscious to foodies and families are invited to Shaw Main Streets Open House for tastes from some of DC’s best restaurants and bars and fun family-friendly experiences at distinctive retail and art establishments in central Shaw. Attendees can look forward to an afternoon full of discounts, fun and freebies, including fun prizes for the kids, cocktail samples, lots of free bites and an array of specially curated experiences.

Innovations in Flight Family Day
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Head to the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum for a special Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. See military, recreational, and home-built aircraft as well as classic automobiles. Enjoy presentations, demonstrations, special tours, and hands-on activities for all ages.

Celebrate the Inka Road
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Learn how to dress a llama, see how the Inka engineered a bridge out of grass, and participate in an interactive weaving project. This festival will transport you to the Andes with live performances, demonstrations and hands-on activities found along the Inka Road. A pop-up planetarium featuring the constellations of Inka sky culture will be available courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. For lovers of Andean music and dance, Tradiciones Bolivianas and Centro Cultural Bolivia will perform throughout the weekend.

Columbia Pike Blues Fest
Where: Columbia Pike & S. Walter Reed | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 1-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy food and beverages, arts and crafts vendors, and kids’ activities as you spend the day on Arlington’s oldest and newest Main Street—in one of its most diverse, vibrant communities—listening to quintessential American music that will make it impossible not to get up and dance. The Blues Festival covers three blocks at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. So put on your dancing shoes, grab friends and family and head to the Pike for a day of great music, food, art and fun!

Juneteenth Celebration
Where: Walker Miller Regional Park | District Heights, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to celebrate this historic date and enjoy free concerts, exhibits, and activities honoring African American culture. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom — the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the name.

Around The World Cultural Food Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The largest cultural food festival in the DMV brings together diverse, authentic, living traditions from different countries around the world. With a mission to preserve and strengthen the culture of each country while presenting it to the public, all the participants have a chance to learn from one another and understand the cultural differences and similarities. And the public will have the opportunity to learn, to eat, to dance, to shop, to witness these vibrantly connected cultures and create their own connections with each and every single country presented in the event.

Colonial Pickling
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child, free for 3 and under

Homemade pickles prepared from the kitchen garden will preserve the Claude Moore Colonial Farm family’s crops and bring flavor to the family’s meals in the coming year. Help the farm wife pickle vegetables as she combines salt, water and homemade vinegar. Enjoy samples, too!

DC Way Soccer Festival
Where: Tyler Elementary School Field
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

The goal of this festival is to gather parents & children to play soccer, socialize, and have fun! It’s a great chance to introduce your child to the magnificent game of soccer, test your own skills, participate in fun competitions, and ask the DC Way coach all the questions regarding the game — and sports in general. Festival programs will include multiple games & activities such as soccer tennis, a parents vs. children challenge, best strike contest, and more. Bring the kids and let them fall in love with the game of soccer.


**More Good Stuff to Know**
* The next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures is June 24 at the National Gallery of Art. These tend to sell out so reserve your spots soon!
* In case you haven’t heard (or seen it all over local Instagram feeds) yet, XYZT: Abstract Landscapes is the must-experience exhibit in DC this summer.
* I’ve already declared myself a big fan of Joselito, and it looks like I’m in good foodie company. Give it a taste if you haven’t yet!
* Watch the sky Friday night shortly after 9pm, as a rocket launch from Wallops Island creates colorful clouds (if it’s not scrubbed due to weather like the several previous attempts).


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day Around the DMV

It's dad's turn to relax :-)

It’s dad’s turn to relax 🙂



Dads’ big day is coming up this weekend, and if you’re still looking for ways to celebrate it, you’ve got lots of great options. From live entertainment to outdoor pursuits, special events to everyday fun, freebies to splurges, here are some ideas to help make Father’s Day fantastic.

Brunch on the Baselines
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: June 18, 12-4pm
Admission: $35-70/adult, $20/child

The Nats may not be in town on Father’s Day, but you can still watch them and enjoy a fun meal with the fam at the ballpark. An all-inclusive brunch will be held on the baselines at Nationals Park, where guests of all ages can enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink event while watching the Nationals play the New York Mets in New York City (on the big screen, obvi). The brunch menu includes tater tots, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, a Bloody Mary bar, mimosas, beer, coffee, and juices. And a great present for dads who are Nats fans: Tickets to a behind-the-scenes tour of Nationals Park!

Jazz It Up
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through June 18
Admission: Varies by show

If Dad is a jazz fan, this is the ultimate way to make his day. The annual DC Jazz Festival presents a selection of the genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists at venues all around the city over a week. And on Father’s Day weekend, DCJazzFest at The Yards is a three-day blowout of music and good times.

Awesome Con
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon, DC
When: June 16, 17, & 18
Admission: Starts at $35/day, free for 10 and under free

For dads who really dig pop culture, this is the event for them! The mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention is bringing a three-day celebration of television, movies, comic books, science, technology and more to DC for the weekend. All kinds of cool programs, an impressive lineup of special guests, and exciting activities for fans of all ages are expected to make this the best Awecome Con yet. And on Sunday, there will be special Father’s Day activities to show of appreciation for the awesome dads in attendance. The first 500 dads to attend on June 18 will receive a free, limited edition T-Shirt, and giveaways are scheduled throughout the day. Geek dads of all ages can enjoy events including a Q&A with Stan Lee, the father of Marvel Comics; a classic arcade of nostalgic games; a panel hosted by GeekDad teaching parents how to encourage curiosity in the next generation; and more. Kids ages 10 and under can get in free with the code KIDFRIENDLYDC.

Take Dad Out to the Minors
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Father’s Day Weekend
Admission: $15-17

Just because the Nats aren’t in town, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some Father’s Day baseball. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the New Hampshire Fisher Cats all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy, too, post-game fireworks and giveaways among them. On Sunday, take Dad early to meet your favorite players during a pre-game Meet The Team Autograph and Photo event from 12:30-1pm. You can also bring gloves and a baseball and head out onto the field to Play Catch with Dad before the game from 12:30-1pm. After the game, all fans and Dads are invited to run the bases!

Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: June 17
Admission: Starts at $42, Dads are FREE!

For adventurous dads who love the outdoors, particular being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when admission is on them. Get dad’s ticket free when accompanied by a paid climber using the promo code DAD17. (FYI: This is one of our very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here.)

Soccer Festival
Where: Tyler Elementary School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: June 18
Admission: Free

Kick it with DC Way on Father’s Day — the goal of this festival is to gather parents and children to play soccer, socialize, and have fun! It’s a great chance to introduce kids to the magnificent game of soccer, test your own skills, participate in fun competitions, and ask the DC Way coach questions regarding the game and sports in general. Festival programs will include multiple games and activities such as soccer tennis, a parents vs. children challenge, best strike contest, and more.

Father’s Day at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: June 17-18, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Spend the day with the Father of our Country! This coming weekend, guests can enjoy a meet-and-greet and photo ops with “General Washington” as well as a special “Father to the First Family” program. And at George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, located three miles from the estate, demonstrations by costumed distillers take visitors through the historic process of whiskey-making in the reconstructed 18th-century facility.

Lunch & Brews
Where: The Brig | Capitol Hill, DC
When: June 18
Admission: Cost of your meal

Celebrate Dad this year in the fantastic outdoor public beer garden. The Brig, located on Barracks Row in Captiol Hill, is the largest outdoor patio in SE with space for over 200 guests. Even better, it’s family friendly, and dogs are welcome, too. Join the fun on the patio for a delicious lunch that Dad is sure to love.

Father’s Day Fish-a- Rama
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: June 18
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult

Treat Dad to a fun-filled weekend with BBQ and catch-and-release fishing. Guests can compete in the Fish-a-Rama contest, fishing for catfish, bass, and blue gill in the stocked ponds, and prizes are on the line for the largest fish hooked and the most fish caught during the power hour. Bring your own pole and gear to fish (no drag hooks). GCF has worms for purchase in the country store. The amusement continues on the five-acre farm-style playground featuring the Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard and loads more fun for all.

Get Medieval
Where: Medieval Times | Hanover, MD
When: Through June 18
Admission: $59.95/adult, $36.95/child, FREE for dads

Treat Dad like a king at Medieval Times, where they’re inviting families large and small to celebrate dads in an epic way: Dinner theatre featuring a grand battle of steel and steed and a four-course meal fit for a king. It’s like their own personal Game of Thrones adventure! The best part: Dads are FREE with the purchase of a full priced adult admission — be sure to use code DAD17.

BBQ & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: June 18, 9:30am – 4pm
Admission: $36/adult, $15/child, free for 5 and under

Give your favorite grill master a break this Father’s Day and treat Dad to a backyard barbecue brunch. Pinstripes’ grand brunch buffet includes made-to-order omelets, bottomless mimosas, a waffle bar, carved prime rib, fresh seafood, salad bar, and a chocolate fountain and delectable dessert station. Plus, they’re grilling summer favorites like BBQ ribs, Italian sausage, pesto. And book a lane for some bowling or bocce after your meal!

Father’s Day Kite Flight
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: June 18
Admission: $10/non-member child, $7/member child, $5/adult

At Tudor Place, celebrate dad with a special family program. Build and fly your own mini-kite on the grand South Lawn. Tour the 5 ½-acre garden, craft your own mini kite using recycled materials, make family buttons, take part in a kite race, and bring home a prize! This program is recommended for families with kids ages 6-12.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: All the time
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the day and dad on the trail! See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hit the trail with kids.

Go With the Flow
Where: Around the DMV
Admission: Varies by locale

Spend quality time with the man of the hour on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also row from the Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Quiet Waters Park showcases beautiful nature in Annapolis that you can view from the South River. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45 ($2-3). See this round-up for even more places to put in and flow.

A Boatload of Fun
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Father’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time

If you’re up for a bigger boating excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. We did this for Mother’s Day a few years ago and had a blast. Make a whole day of it there, and plan on dinner at one of the waterside restaurants when you’re back on land.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Parks Around the DMV
When: Father’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Varies by locale (usually free)

Celebrate the day by hitting the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family. We’ve enjoyed outings at Calvert Road Park in College Park, Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, and Burke Lake Park. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at all of them. Bring along a picnic for lunch in the fresh air, too.

A Grand Feast
Where: Crab houses around MD
When: June 18
Admission: Cost of the meal

Steamed crabs, cold beer, scenic waterside views… that’s a recipe for a great Father’s Day for at least one dad I know. The 2017 Summer Guide has several suggestions on where to feast on Maryland’s best dish. I recommend making reservations if possible — this is always a popular way to celebrate.

*Gift Idea* Quicken Loans National PGA Tournament
Where: TPC Potomac | Potomac, MD
When: June 26 – July 2
Admission: Ticket prices/options vary

Have a dad in your life who loves golf? Tickets to the Quicken Loans National are a perfect gift! The premier PGA TOUR tournament begins in Potomac, MD, just a week after Father’s Day. Along with the golf action on the course, there will be plenty to enjoy off of it, including numerous programs for families and kids.


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