Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 21-25

Babes in the woods: On the trail at Riverbend Park

Babes in the woods: On the trail at Riverbend Park

Creativity kits for kids!

Monday - Make your way to — and through — The Big Maze at the National Building Museum. The new installation, which opened on July 4 and will be there until September 1, is a must-do. The cost is is a bit steep ($16/adult, $12/child for non-members, reduced for members), but when you consider all of the wonderful, free attractions we enjoy here in DC, paying to see/do something unique and fun is worth it. Plus, admission gets you into ALL of the exhibits at the museum, so you can make a day of it at the kids hang-out fave.

Tuesday - Join Pinstripes‘ new chef, Ryan Ross, as he hosts a free “Kids in the Garden” day, in which children of all ages are invited to the bowling, bocce, and bistro venue to dig in the dirt while learning about gardening, plants and seeds. From 10-11am, Ross will do a demonstration in Pinstripes’ outdoor Chef’s Garden on the process of planting to growing to eating, then the children will have an opportunity to plant their own seed to take home. Children are welcome to stay for Pinstripes’ Mom & Tots program, a Monday-Friday ongoing program where kids bowl for $5 and parents bowl for FREE 10am-noon. Call 202-625-6500 to make reservations for “Kids in the Garden” Day.

Wednesday - Make it a beach day at Sandy Point State Park. Located off Route 50 right before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the park is great place to get a beach fix relatively close to the city. Swim in the water, play in the sand, and bring along a picnic lunch. Open 6am – sunset, and lifeguards man a portion of South Beach from 10am – 6pm on weekdays. Admission is $4/Maryland resident, $6/non-residents.

Thursday - Enjoy songs about the important things in life: pizza parties, snow days, and summer vacations as Brooklyn-based Tim and the Space Cadets perform at Strathmore’s Backyard Theatre for Children. Showtimes are9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8 for ages 3 and up.

Friday - Hit the trail at Riverbend Park. Make that your starting point on a 2-mile hike to Great Falls, where you can take in magnificent vistas, visit the nature center, and have a picnic. Or just wander around Riverbend and enjoy the Visitor Center and views there. Park hours are 7am to dusk, Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

A-Maze-ing Fun at the National Building Museum


Sometime in the next six weeks, clear a day on your calendar and go to the National Building Museum. Because that’s how much time you have left to check out one of the coolest installations I’ve seen there yet: The Big Maze.



And big, it is. They call it “large-scale,” but I’d say its more like… huge. Constructed of maple plywood, it rises up to 18 feet high and measures 60 feet by 60 feet. Within there are twists and turns and dead ends, all formed by finely constructed walls of wood at varying heights — they get higher as you get further from the center. It’s located right in museum’s Great Hall, and when viewed from upper levels, it’s like a work of art.



The best part is that it’s meant to be navigated and explored. You can get lost inside and make your way out — over and over again. That’s just what the kids did when we visited recently. (Okay, so did I.) They took it slowly the first time, trying to carefully find the route that would lead them to the exit. But after making it to the middle, where they could see the rest of the meandering paths surrounding them, then to the exit, they ran right back to the entrance and did it all over again (and again and again). Just more quickly each time they went.



After several trips through with them, I went up to the second floor and watched from there. Getting a bird’s eye view is almost as neat as navigating it. Almost.



So, the cost is a bit steep ($16/adult, $13/ages 3-17 for non-members, $10/adult, $5 for members). BUT when you consider all of the wonderful, free attractions we enjoy here in DC, paying to see and do something unique and fun is worth it, in my opinion. Plus, hat gets you admission to all of the exhibits, including the Building Zone, while you’re there.

The Big Maze will be at the National Building Museum through September 1. Hours are 10am – 5pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am – 5pm on Sunday. There will also be extended hours 5-9pm on a few evenings: July 31, and August 7, 14, 21, 28. Tickets are only available in person, on a first-come, first-served basis.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Exhibit, Indoor Play, Museums, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: July 18-20

Flowers in bloom at last year's Lotus & Water Lily Festival

Flowers in bloom at last year’s Lotus & Water Lily Festival

The glorious effects of the summer Polar Vortex will continue through the weekend, and there are plenty of outdoor happenings where you can take advantage — a flower festival, colonial fair, butterfly and blueberry fest, Nats game, and summer pursuits among them. And there are plenty of indoor pursuits to round out the fun — museum programs, an ice cream contest, live entertainment, and then some. For even more, check out the Everyday Play page for tons of mainstay ideas. Happy Weekend!

Lotus and Water Lily Cultural Festival
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration, and the public is invited to join in. The 2014 Lotus & Water Lily Festival will feature activities for all ages — traditional Asian and African dancing and drumming, gardening workshops, park tours, arts & crafts, face painting, and other family-friendly pursuits. If you haven’t visited the Gardens yet, this is the best time to do so; the blossoming flowers really are spectacular.

18th Century Summer Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $7/adults, $3/ages3-13 & seniors

Enjoy the colonial museum and working farm’s Summer Market Fair. There will be tons of activities for all ages: See colonial farm family and community members in character and costume, as well as chickens, turkeys and other animals. Dance and sing to period music. Watch the colonial blacksmith and cabinetmaker as well as spinners and pewter smith. Sit in the shade and enjoy rosemary chicken, fresh vegetables, roasted olives, fruit pies and more. The Colonial Tavern offers variety of chilled beverages including beer, wine, and fresh ginger ale. Browse original jewelry creations, soaps, lotions, herbs and flowers. Along with the special festivities, stroll the living history museum grounds for a glimpse of life in the old days.

The Ultimate Urban Safari
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join the Corcoran for a wild summer day dedicated to the animal kingdom! Spurred on by the American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley exhibition, discover how creatures big and small can inspire through workshop activities, book readings, and a live performance. Participate in an animal welfare community service project and make a difference. All ages welcome, and there no charge – it’s part of the museum’s Free Summer Saturdays program!

The DC Scoop
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day for ice cream lovers and makers alike. It is a day of activities and fun with ice cream to taste and buy from both local artisans and makers from other cities as well. There will be a wide array of ice cream products including gelato, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and good old-fashioned ice cream. For kids there will be an Ice Cream eating contest for demonstrations and raffles as well as giveaways throughout the day. And what could go better with Ice Cream than Timber Pizza Co. and Luke’s Lobster? Both will be serving food throughout the day. The event will be held in the indoor event space above the market, Dock 5 and the alley behind it.

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

Enjoy activities around the area exclusive to summer. Start the weekend off on Friday with a free outdoor concert, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or spray park. Cool off indoors at one of a several special summer museum programs like free admission to the Newseum, Stories in Art at the NGA, or the Corcoran Summer Series. Complete it all with a family movie under the stars at National Harbor on Sunday night. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more here.

Butterflies & Blackberries
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

The most recognizable of all butterflies are in need of HELP! The Monarch butterflies population has diminished drastically due to the lack of milkweed and other plants no longer available for their habitat. Join the folks at Great Country Farms this weekend for blackberry picking and monarch education and action to bring back their habitat. Visit the new Butterfly garden and learn about the plants that the monarchs need to survive and how you can help restore habitat in your community.

Storytime with Nats
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The Washington Nationals are sponsoring DC Public Library’s 2014 Summer Reading program and to celebrate, the team’s players and manager Matt Williams will visit a few of the libraries to read to and interact with kids enrolled in the three-month initiative. For details, including schedule, location, and players expected to attend, go here.

Baseball Family Festival
Where: American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Play Ball with the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery! Tour the galleries to find some of the best names in the game, baseball-themed crafts, a book signing of Becoming Babe Ruth by author Matt Tavares, and appearances by local team mascots! The event will take place in the Kogod Courtyard.

Nats vs. Brewers
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Take the kids out to the ballgame this weekend! The Nats are hosting the Brewers with evening games on Friday and Saturday (7:05pm) and an afternoon match-up on Sunday (1:35pm). Stay after on Sunday for Kids Run the Bases when children ages 4-12 can loop the infield after the final out.

Balloon Plays
Where: Fort Fringe – The Shop
When: Saturday, 4:30pm

If you want to check out the Capital Fringe Festival with the kiddos, this is your best bet. A show for both children (ages 5 and up) and children-at-heart. It’s fantastical enough for Fringe, whimsical enough for adults – intended for all audiences. Balloons fill the stage and become puppets, scenery, musical instruments, games, and more under the lighthearted touch of three talented clown performers. “Three clowns find themselves in a world of balloons. Each wants to tell their own story within the magical landscape. Come to play, come to pop. Balloons can be anything.” Fort Fringe – The Shop is located at 607 New York Avenue NW.

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

* Be hugely entertained by The BFG at Imagination Stage (look for discount tickets)
* Encore Stage & Studio’s Once Upon a Mattress opens this weekend.
* Younger audiences will love Mouse on the Move, also at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy Disney’s the Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* It’s the final week of The Wizard of Oz on the Main Stage, and Winter Wonderland is the featured Tiny Tots shows at The Puppet Co.
* See the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance perform amid the trees at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
* Rock out with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo on Saturday morning at Jammin’ Java

Craftsy You
Where: Studio 21
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $10

The mobile crafting business is hosting a crafting bonanza on Saturday for children for ages 3-7. Stop by and get creative! Studio 21 is located in the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market – 716 Monroe
Street, NE.

Maryland Polish Festival
Where: Exhibition Hall at Timonium Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, 11am – 10pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $8/adults, $7/seniors, free for ages 12 and under

From homemade pierogies to traditional dancing and from polka music to learning the Polish National Anthem, there will be something for everyone at the Annual Maryland Polish Festival. Presented by The Polish Community Association of Maryland, the festival feature live entertainment throughout the day, authentic Polish food and drinks, storytelling, a children’s area, a trivia contest, Polish arts & crafts, a Polish Heritage Arena and much more.

Living Earth Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

The annual festival celebrates Native contributions to protecting the environment, promoting sustainability, and using indigenous plants to improve health and nutrition. See music and dance performances, enjoy hands-on activities, and an Iron Chef-style contest. There will also be a food market, plus cooking and craft demos that highlight the ways the Earth’s gifts feed human creativity.

Bubble Days
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday & Sunday

See the sudsiest spectacle of the summer at the Maryland Science Center’s 9th annual Bubble Days. The fun will be bubbling up all over the building—and outside too! Craft your own bubble solution and wand, create bubble art to take home, experiment with homemade bubble wands, and compete in a bubble blowing contest. World-renowned bubble artist Casey Carle will be there to perform his fantastic BubbleMania show — you will be amazed at what Casey can do with seemingly ordinary soap bubbles! Performances will be on our Atrium Stage at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm.

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Children ages 4-7 can pack their imaginations and travel to the National Gallery of Art. This week’s session of the series that explore Italy through art will focus on the works of Andrea del Verrocchio. There are several time slots available each day. Sign-in will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am on Saturday and at 11:00am on Sunday, and will continue until all spaces are filled. And they do often fill up, so plan to get there early to register. For more about the series, check out this KFDC review.

Artful Conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Artful Conversations for kids ages 8-11 is also on again this weekend. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then sketch their own masterpiece. Sessions are on Saturday at 11am and 1pm, and Sunday at 12pm and 2pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda beginning at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

UberFAMILY Launches in DC!


Have you heard? Starting today, Uber is making life easier for parents in the DC metro area with the launch of uberFAMILY, their new on-demand car seat option. With the touch of a button and a $10 surcharge, parents can easily request a ride that’s equipped with a car seat.

To develop uberFAMILY, Uber DC teamed up with The Car Seat Lady’s Dr. Alisa Baer, who trained the service’s highest-rated partner drivers on how to safely secure the seats — which were all manufactured specifically for Uber by IMMI.

Even better, in celebration of the launch, Uber DC is kicking things off with a surcharge-free week brought to you by Care.com, the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care. You can also get $25 off your first ride with a special promo just for my readers – see below!

To learn more about UberFAMILY, including how to request UberFAMILY on your Uber app and safety details, head to: http://bit.ly/1vXbOjz


uberFAMILY: For parents on the go

Getting around with your child just got easier with Uber’s new on-demand car seat option.
1) Use promo code KFDC for $25 off your first Uber ride!
2) Download the App and enter the code.
3) Request uberFAMILY and be connected to a highly rated driver with a car seat.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Uber, however, I only promote events, services, and activities that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

Leave a Comment

Filed under DC, Professional Service, Sponsored Post

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 14-18

She could play all day at Yards Park

She could play all day at Yards Park

Monday - Head to National Harbor for an afternoon of all-request Rockin’ music at Bobby McKeys, where they’re hosting a FREE ‘School’s OUT for Summer’ family show! You book the seats and bring the kids, they’ll supply the entertainment & air-conditioning. Doors open at 12:30pm, the dueling piano show will jam from 1-3pm, and the lunch menu will be available. Reserve your spots here.

Tuesday - Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum while you can! The Kids Free Summer Fun Deal, which ends after Labor Day, waives the regular $32.95 entrance fee for youth with one paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. Adult tickets are $22.95, but you can get a $14 deal on them here.

Wednesday - Discover Milestones in Aviation and Space at the National Air & Space Museum’s special Family Day. Learn how aviation and space exploration changed the world through a variety of activities, including interactive shows, astronaut talks, story time, and lots more hands-on fun. The program runs 10am – 3m. Admission is free.

Thursday - Take advantage of what’s expected to be awesome weather, courtesy of the Polar Vortex, and play outdoors. A great spot to go is Yards Park, where you can enjoy water play in the fountains and land play in the green spaces. Bring along a picnic lunch or pop into one of the new nearby eateries.

Friday - Roam around the lovely grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, and visit the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under. Hours are 10am – 8pm.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Deal, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays