Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 31 – April 4

Not quite tall enough to high-five Teddy

Not quite tall enough to high-five Teddy

Monday - Get a dose of nature and history in one fell swoop AND enjoy a nice spring day (we hope!) at Roosevelt Island. Hike the easy trails, look out for wildlife, and explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge. It’s accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm. Admission is free. I recommended wearing shoes you don’t mind getting dirty — the trails are likely to be muddy after the weekend rain and snow.

Tuesday - Enjoy storytime at the National Building Museum’s Book of the Month program. Readings of Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino will begin at 10:30am & 11:30am. Get there early for play time in the Building Zone, as entry is on the hour ($3/person). After, stay to romp in the Great Hall or check out the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs ($8/adult, $5/child).

Wednesday - Take a little day trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The living history locale is opening for the 2014 season, welcoming visitors to explore family life on a pre-Revolutionary War working farm. There is a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, and animals. Guests can also interact with a family portraying life as it was back then. Read more about it in this post (ignore the “autumn” part; it’s a great outing in the spring, too). Hours are 10am – 4:30pm Wednesday thru Saturday. Admission is $3/adults, $2/children ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under.

Thursday - Have a wild time at the National Zoo, as there’s barely a crowd on weekdays. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing or pick your animal visits as you go. Grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit building hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $16 for three hours, $22 beyond three (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations.

Friday - See a fairytale classic on strings at The Puppet Co. The theatre is currently presenting a “kinder and gentler” version of Hansel & Gretel. Showtimes are 10am and 11:30am. Tickets are $10. For some afternoon fun, head to Union Market, where the Boogie Babes will be hosting another Happy Hour show this week as part of Thread, a curated retail event taking place through the weekend. At 4:30pm, Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres will entertain the kiddie crowd outside in the rear of the building, and word has it the scene will be super hip with lounge furniture, turf, and fun games for kids to enjoy.

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

Plan for Summer with Activity Rocket’s New Online Camp Guide


My friends at Activity Rocket have just released an awesome Online Summer Camp Guide! It has everything you need to find and book camps for your kids ages 0-18 in Maryland, Northern Virginia, DC, and Greater Baltimore. You can preview the guide here.

The Guide is for Rocket Members Only – but Membership sign up is quick and 100% FREE. Register here and get your complete copy of this fabulous Guide ASAP!

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Filed under All ages, Camp, DC, Free, Maryland, Summer, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: March 29-30

A sky full of sails at last year's Blossom Kite Festival

A sky full of sails at last year’s Blossom Kite Festival

The weather may dictate activities this weekend, but no matter what the conditions outside, you’ve got plenty of options for a good time with the kids. And for ideas beyond this round-up, check out the Everyday Play page with a lengthy list of mainstay fun around the DC-Metro. Happy Weekend!

Go Fly a Kite!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is, in my humble opinion, the best event during cherry blossom season (when the weather cooperates, anyway). The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly one to behold. It’s absolutely magical for my kids, and even for me as a jaded adult. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like intricate works of art actually outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so be sure to bring one. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics. (Note: This was originally scheduled for Saturday, but will now take place Sunday due to weather.)

Make Your Mark
Where: National Archives
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Head to the National Archives and explore the many ways people have placed their signature on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit, “Making Their Mark,” this special Family Day welcomes all ages for hands-on activities in the Boeing Learning Center. Guests can write with a quill pen, make signature hats: pillbox hat, Lincoln hat, tri-corner hat, take a tour of the exhibit, enjoy story time, mock curate an exhibit, and much more.

Opening Weekend on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95 (under age 2 are free)

With spring comes a host of seasonal activities at Ticonderoga Farm! You can visit with the spring farm animals, do some bird watching and animal tracking, aalong with their myriad other attractions – think swings, hayrides, a maze, and much more. Be sure to check the website for timing of any specific activities. And this Saturday & Sunday is Spring Scout Weekend at the farm, so boy and girls can bring their troop# identification for FREE admission. For an idea of what’s at Ticonderoga, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.

Garden Party
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Now in its fifth year, Community Forklift’s Garden Party has become a local tradition, drawing gardeners, hipsters, farmers, and families from around the DC area. Get low-cost garden supplies and seedlings, enjoy live music, participate in hands-on activities like barrel painting and seed planting, and join several free workshops for gardeners young and old. Concessions will be for sale starting at 11am. And adults, children, and (leashed) pets will earn discounts and possibly prizes for sporting their best garden party attire. Last year, the nonprofit reuse center celebrated the arrival of spring with over 1,200 visitors, and this year’s free event is expected to be even bigger! It will take place at their large warehouse at 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by film

Over 200 diverse films from 38 countries will be screened at 65 venues around the DC-Metro area during the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Nature Unfolds – Animated Shorts will be at the National Gallery of Art. And Africa: Kalahari and A Year in the Wild: Snowdonia will be screened at the Natural History Museum. Be sure to check the film festival website for showtimes and details on films.

Tree Fest
Where: Tudor Place
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Salute Tudor Place’s “witness trees” and other gifts of the natural world found in the city with a free festival in the Garden. Games, puppets, storytelling, a tree tour, and an artisanal Market Fair offering sustainable merchandise will be part of the festivities. You can also see a new white oak just planted in the North Garden to replace the towering sentinel lost last year.

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

* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Hansel & Gretel just opened on the main stage and Animal Crackers and Old McDonald’s Farm are the featured Tiny Tots show.
* The Adventures of Robin Hood is opening at the Kennedy Center.
* Strathmore presents Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Rainbow Rockis playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* See Ballet Hispanico Family Matinee at the BlackRock Center for the Arts.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.

Domo Origato, Mr. Roboto
Where: The Patriot Center
When: Through Saturday
Admission: Free

The FIRST Robotics Competition is the culmination of six weeks of work by teams of high school students from around the region. Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, they work with with hundreds of components, including engineering mainstays such as programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry and mechanical parts to build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. And the public is invited to check out the innovative creations that result from the contest!

Baby Love Disco
Where: The Fillmore in Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $15

The family dance party is back in the area, but this time in Silver Spring. The fun will feature BLD’s signature DJ and MC, along with other kids activities and snacks. The MC will pump up the crowd, and the DJ will spin G-rated dance tunes, while kids and parents groove along and enjoy the disco.

Are you Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Friday 2-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

With rain in the forecast, Q?rius is a great place to take shelter: The new interactive and experiential learning space at the Natural History Museum is, in a word, AWESOME. Visitors can view up close – and in many cases handle – real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. Microscopes let young guests feel like real scientists, and drawers full of everything from animals species to cultural relics are accessible for examination. And even though it’s been promoted as a space for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can appreciate it, too.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.


Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Grand Opening Celebration at Bright Horizon’s New Georgtown Location


Bright Horizons opened a new early education and preschool center in Georgetown this January. With capacity for 116 children with Infant, Toddler, Preschool and Kindergarten Prep programs, the new center offers Georgetown parents the opportunity to balance their work life and family life while providing high-quality education for their children.

To celebrate the launch of the new location, Bright Horizons is hosting a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, April 5, from 11am to 2pm. Area families are invited to attend, check out the facility and learn about its programs, and enjoy loads of fun activities. There will be live musical performances with ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres! and the FUNdamentals, a puppet show with Carousel Puppets, planting activities sponsored by West Elm, a cooking demo with Whole Foods, a Mini Taste of DC brought to you by local food vendors from the Georgetown community, face painting, raffle prizes, children’s activities, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and more!

The event is free and open to the public. It will start with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am and live performances will begin at 12pm. The rest of the activities will be going on throughout the day. If you plan to go, RSVP on Facebook.

Bright Horizons Georgetown is open year-round M-F 7:30am – 6:30pm. Visit the website to learn more about their programs.

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

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Filed under All ages, Child Care, Daycare, DC, Eats, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Music, Professional Service, Spring, Weekend

{Giveaway} ‘Swim Thru Life’ at the Tom Dolan Swim School


It might not seem like it right now, but summer is just around the corner, and that often means a certain activity is, too: Swimming. This can be stressful for parents of young children because of the obvious safety concerns, so it’s important for many of us that our kids learn how to swim and know how to be safe in the water while they’re also enjoying it.

The Tom Dolan Swim School understands this and incorporates it into their swim programs. Their main goal, highlighted in their tag line ‘Swim Thru Life,’ is to provide their customers with water-safety education, self-esteem and confidence in the water – safety skills and life lessons that will stay with your kids forever.

You can start preparing your kids for swimming this summer — and beyond, of course — with these upcoming programs they are offering for children of various ages:

The school is offering weekday Water Babies classes specifically for babies 3 months old to 2 1/2 years. These teacher-led classes feature children playing games, singing songs, and exploring their surroundings using toys such as dolls and puppets. More information about Waterbabies and the class schedule is available on the website.

Spring Break Camp
It is that time of year again! Spring Break Camps will take place the week of April 14-18! Skill Builder Camps provide your child with instruction each day of the week. This intensive program produces significant results, especially for those children who are new to the school or who are on the verge of advancing to the next level. This is also a perfect entry point for children who have not yet been a part of Tom Dolan’s curriculum driven classes. These classes are very popular, so be sure to book early. $99 per camp – Pricing is the same as a month of lessons, but you get the fifth lesson for free. More about Spring Break Camp is available on the website.

Located in Northern Virginia, Tom Dolan Swim School provides a state of the art purpose-built swim school facility and system and teaches swimmers from 3 months all the way up to adults solid fundamentals that are essential for water-safety, recreational and competitive swimming.

To help them get ready for these spring programs, the school is running a giveaway for a month of free classes! Enter below for your chance to win.

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

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