Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 18-22

On her way to play at the Wizard of Oz playground

On her way to play at the Wizard of Oz playground



zulily Back to School


Monday - Pack imaginations and travel to the National Gallery for Stories in Art. Designed for children ages 4-7, the series explores Dutch art through stories and activities inspired by works in the museum. This session will focus on food in paintings. There are several time slots available — 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am and will continue until all spaces are filled. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have little ones frolicking for hours. Stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view some cool creatures and birds. Go for a spin on the carousel or take a ride on the miniature train that winds through woods. Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free, but rides cost a small fee.

Wednesday - 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.

Thursday - Hit the trail at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve. The Great Falls locale offers a nice dose of nature (and lots of shade!) in a short drive from the city, with paths that meander through lush woods, peaceful spots to hang out by the river, and great views of the Potomac. Open from just before sunrise to just after sunset. Admission is free. In the evening, catch a movie at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The Films at the Stone summer series presents Zootopia at 8:15pm. Admission is free.

Friday - Join the fun Beatboxing with Mr. Max at Discovery Theater. Hear him make some crazy-good mouth music and help get the beat going, too. Showtimes are 10:30am and 12pm. Tickets are $3-8. (Note: There are also shows Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)

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The Weekend Round-Up: July 15-17

Taking in a spectacular scene at the Lotus & Water Lily Festival

Taking in a spectacular scene at the Lotus & Water Lily Festival



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Mid-summer magic comes in the way of fantastic events galore this weekend. Enjoy a dazzling display of flowers at a cultural festival. Dig a celebration of archaeology. Time trip back to the 18th century at a colonial market fair. Meet a new local author and make a cool craft with her. Catch a movie under the stars. Take your pick of awesome live entertainment. Do the polka at a Polish fest or enjoy Celtic music at an Irish one. Shop a few local fashion and beauty brands. And so much more! This round-up highlights the special events, and you can find tons of ideas for ongoing fun on the Everyday Play page. Happy Weekend!

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

The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration, and the public is invited to join in. And while the striking flora is the highlight of the event, the 2016 Lotus & Water Lily Festival will also feature activities for all ages — traditional Asian and African dancing performances, gardening workshops, lotus tea tastings, 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 are absolutely spectacular. Read more about Kenilworth in this KFDC post.

Do You Dig Archaeology?
Where: Dumbarton House
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Be part of a celebration of archaeology, at the annual Day of Archaeology Festival. Talk to archaeologists in person and learn about the science and art of archaeology. Kids can enjoy engaging activities, including mock‐excavations, hands‐on artifact displays, crafts, and demonstrations. The archaeology of local prehistoric and historic inhabitants will also be featured — a great way to learn about local history! Live music, face painting, and visits from some of DC’s best food trucks will also be part of the day’s festivities.

Finding Nemo
Where: Gateway Park in Rosslyn
When: Friday evening
Admission: Free

Make a family evening of it at Rosslyn Cinema, the summer outdoor movie festival, where Finding Nemo is this week’s featured film. Enjoy kids’ activities and story time before the movie. Grab dinner from food trucks, open from 5pm until the film starts, along a glass of beer or glass of wine at the Pub in the Park. BYO blanket or low chairs and enjoy a night under the stars. And furry family members welcome, too!

18th Century Summer Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $8/adults, $3/ages 3-12 & seniors: $3, free/2 and under

Take a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s seasonal fair. Watch colonial Virginia tradesman such as the blacksmith and cabinetmaker, and try your hand at crafts like spinning, dyeing, watercolors and writing skills. Turkeys, pigs, and chickens are among the heritage breed animals to visit. Music, games, and dancing as well as opportunities to interact with colonial family members in costume and character are unique festivities, too. Savor grilled chicken, sausages, cheese and breads, seasonal vegetables, watermelon, roasted olives, fruit pies and more. Cask ale, beers, and authentic ginger ale will also be available at the Colonial Tavern.

On the Fringe
Where: Theatres around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performances

It’s the first weekend of the Capital Fringe Festival, and the lineup of shows includes a bunch that kids can enjoy. Barry Beaver’s Adventures in Happy Valley will keep tots engaged with activities and singing as they learn about giving, sharing, and accepting differences. See a fairytale come to live through opera and dance in Once Upon a Bedtime. And 1! A Dansical is a dance parody that will have the whole fam chuckling. Lil Women: A Rap Musical combines the classic story with rap music. Those are just a few shows with the all-ages tag; there are many more for ages 13 and up to entertain tweens and teens. More details and ticket sales are on the Capital Fringe Festival website. And, parents, consider catching a performance for a KidFree night out!

Comcast Outdoor Film Fest
Where: Waterfront Park in Alexandria
When: Friday & Saturday, 8:30pm
Admission: Free

You’ve got some bonus outdoor movies to enjoy along with the rest of summer film series. Friday, take the fam to see Inside Out. Saturday, catch a screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both for free!

Summer Staples
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Celebrate summer with a host of activities exclusive to this time of year — outdoor swimming, sprayground play, concerts under the stars, museum programs, special exhibits, and so much more. Go here for the full scoop on these seasonal joys.

Annapolis Irish Festival
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds
When: Friday, 4-10pm & Saturday 11am – 10pm
Admission: $20/adult, free for kids 12 and under

Magical Celtic traditions and music are just part of the celebration at the 5th Annual Annapolis Irish Festival. Along with a lively lineup of Celtic music acts, there will be over 90 vendors selling everything from food to art to clothes and accessories. Little Leprechaun Land, an area especially for kids, will offer pony rides, face painting, balloon art, cultural activities, bouncy fun, music and magic shows, and Irish dancing – and it’s all part of admission.

Maryland Polish Festival
Where: Timonium Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, 11am – 10pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $8/adult, free for kids under 12

Celebrate all that is Polish! From homemade pierogies to traditional dancing and from polka music to learning the Polish National Anthem, there is something for everyone at the 41st Annual Maryland Polish Festival. Expect entertainment and live music throughout the day, authentic Polish food and drinks, storytelling, a children’s area, a trivia contest, Polish arts & crafts, and much more.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose.

Milestones in Aviation Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the past, present, and future of flight and space exploration at the Milestones in Aviation and Space family day. Celebrate the amazing accomplishments in aviation and aerospace, from the glamorous early days of air travel to the future of commercial space flight. With presentations and hands-on activities, this family day will have something to offer everyone!

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

* Go on a wild journey to Jumanji at Adventure Theatre
* See Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap where Dinorock are playing a concert al fresco
* Encore Stage & Studio presents the classic Mary Poppins by kids for kids
* Reserve free tickets to see Uncle Devin perform on Saturday Morning at the National
* The UniverSoul Circus is wowing audiences at National Harbor
* Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet bring you The Little Mermaid
* It’s you last chance to see Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co.
* Enjoy a picnic and a play as Chesapeake Shakespeare presents The Three Musketeers at PFI Park in Ellicott City, MD (bonus: kids are FREE)
* Take your teen or make it a date night to see The Bridges of Madison County at the Kennedy Center
* MOXIE: a Happenstance Vaudeville closes at RoundHouse Theatre after this weekend
* Everybody cut Footloose at Alden Theatre.
* Little Ones will enjoy Inside Out, a performance geared toward ages 1-5, at Imagination Stage
* Born for This: The Bebe Winans Story is playing at Arena Stage this summer
* Enjoy a KidFree evening out at a performance of Tweflth Knight at Synetic Theatre.
* The Phantom of the Opera is on stage at the Kennedy Center, and its recommended for ages 6 and up.

Tennis, Anyone?
Where: William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, gates open at 9am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Enjoy the on-court excitement along with some special events as the Citi Open Tennis Tournament swings into action this weekend. Saturday is the first day of qualifying rounds as well as National Parks Community Day featuring activities and entertainment for families, including tennis clinics, games, face painters, local mascots, and more.

Banish Boredom
Where: Kit & Ace
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Rebecca Green aka Not-So-SAHM and her kids, Kane and Cam, as they celebrate the launch of her book, Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids That You’ll Actually Enjoy. The event will include mocktails for kids, cocktails for adults, munchies, and a chance to create a fab pop art portrait! RSVP here.

Open Studio: Crazy for Ceramics
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12–4 pm
Admission: Free

Explore the wonder of Chinese porcelain from past to present during this afternoon of free family-friendly activities. Discover contemporary artist Walter McConnell’s A Theory of Everything series through tours of the special exhibition Chinamania (12:30pm and 2:30pm), and then make art of your own. All ages welcome with adult companions.

Bubble Days
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/child

See the sudsiest spectacle of the summer at the 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!

Sip & Shop
Where: 52 O Street Artist Studios
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Moms, this one is for you! Four locally owned DC fashion and beauty brands – DeNada, Mint Lola, Kicheko Goods, and Be Clean – are an afternoon of shopping and socializing. With a nod to DC’s summer spirit, attendees will find new and sophisticated skincare, hair accessories, jewelry, and knitwear that are perfect for high temps and family vacations. In addition, attendees can meet the brand founders over handcrafted drinks and local bites.

Sibley Family Fun Festival
Where: Sibley Memorial Hospital
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring the family to Sibley for a morning of fun. There will be games, mini-golf, face painting, health screenings, zumba, entertainment, tech demonstrations by the Sibley Innovation Center, snacks, giveaways, music from 97.1 and more. Enjoy it all in parking lot 2, across from the medical building. Register online here.

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

DC’s sweetest event returns on National Ice Cream Day! This is a dayfor ice cream lovers and makers alike — there will be a wide array of ice cream products to sample and for sale. Local food trucks will also be there serving savory snacks. The event will be held at Union Market’s Dock 5 and the alley behind it.

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

It’s a weekend at home for the Nats as they host the Pirates. There are games tonight, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. Check for special promos here. And before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Test the Waters
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Go beyond the local pool for some water fun. The Washington Post just published this article about lakes, swimming holes, and waterfalls within a fairly easy drive from DC. Make a day of it at a lakeside beach, hike to a hidden waterfall, or seek out a swimming spot tucked away in the woods to cool off and enjoy quality time with the fam.

*Plan ahead for summer weekends!* Check out Ruddy Duck Adventures packages that explore all kinds of cool fun in Solomons, MD. And KidFriendly DC readers can get a discount using the code KFDC!


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Join ‘Barry Beaver’s Adventures in Happy Valley’ at Capital Fringe

* See more about the show, including ticket information and a video clip, here! *

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This post is sponsored by Lagodi Foundation for the Arts, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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The Escape Lounge is Celebrating One Year with a Party Discount for You!

Book a party this week to get this great discount! Call to make a reservation: 202.399.0900.


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This post is sponsored by The Escape Lounge, however, I only promote places, programs, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 11-15

On the trail at Woodend...  these boots were made for walkin'

On the trail at Woodend… these boots were made for walkin’



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Monday - Go for a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow and mostly shaded, there are several small exhibits like bees nests and bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Take the money tour at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It’s a great outing with kids while they’re on break from school, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. This post from one of our outings there has more details about the experience.

Wednesday - Head to Capitol Hill for outdoor play, kids activities, performances by Mister G and Adam Gardner of Guster, and more at the Play-In for Climate Action sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force. This family-friendly protest against the air pollution that causes dangerous climate change will showcase exactly what’s at stake as temperatures and sea levels rise: our kids. View more info and register here. The event takes place at Upper Senate Park (200 New Jersey Ave. SE). Admission is free.

Thursday - Reach new heights of fun at ClimbZone in Laurel, Md. Kids and adults will have a blast scaling the many colorful, whimsically-themed walls at the new indoor climbing center. Hours are 10am – 9pm (10am – 8pm other weekdays). Admission is $25/ages 6 and up, $12/5 and under for a three-hour session.

Friday - See art come to life at the National Portrait Gallery through Portraits Alive!, a theatrical tour of the museum’s collections performed by teens from DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The journey takes visitors to a variety of portraits as the students perform biographical portrayals of the people represented in the photographs, paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints. Tours begin at 12-1pm and 1:30-2:30pm, and they’re being offered Tuesday – Friday. Admission is free.

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Not all of the fun has to take place out of the house! If you want some new, cool activities for kids that you can do at home, then check out Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids That You’ll Actually Enjoy. It’s written by my friend Rebecca of Not-So-SAHM, and it’s chock-full of awesome ideas for art projects, science experiments, and so much more. A great book to have on hand!


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