Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 20-24

Play it cool at Canal Park

Play it cool at Canal Park

Monday - Spend the hot day inside a cool (literally and figuratively) museum! Head to Chantilly for Air & Space exploration beyond the National Mall. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases even more fascinating artifacts of flight than DC venue. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Tuesday - Check out some fascinating interactive exhibits at the National Geographic Museum. Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology showcases props, video, and fun facts from Indy’s cinematic adventures along with interesting artifacts and details about real-life archaeological studies and discoveries (recommended for ages 8-80). All ages will enjoy Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants. Museum hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under, and this gets you in to both exhibits.

Wednesday - Play in the sprays at Canal Park. The recreational space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood in southeast DC has both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones, plus a bigger one for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Admission is free. Grab a bite to eat at the Park Tavern on premises or at another nearby eatery (there are options right across the street and food trucks in the area often), or pack lunch for a picnic.

Thursday - 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.

Friday - See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where Snow White and the 7 Dwarves is the current main stage production. Showtimes are 10am and 11:15am. Tickets are $10.

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The Weekend Round-Up: July 17-19

Beneath the waterfall at The Yards

Beneath the waterfall at The Yards


We’re right about at mid-summer break, a great reminder to make the most of the season — and all of these events and activities will help you do just that! The Everyday Play page, a list of ongoing things to do around the area, is always worth a browse, too. Happy Weekend!

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

Enjoy the Claude Moore’s annual 18th Century Summer Market Fair on tree shaded grounds. Play games, listen to music, and enjoy a children’s puppet theater. Watch the Blacksmith, and Cabinetmaker in action. Try hands-on crafts like spinning and making a corn husk doll. Meet the Farm family and neighbors in costume and character. See heritage breed animals, including turkeys, chickens, and pigs. Browse herbs and plants and shop for the latest fashions in clothing, jewelry, soaps and lotions. Lunch available for purchase includes spit roasted chicken, fresh vegetables, sausages, bread, cheeses, roasted olives and fruit pies. Cask ales, beers, wine, and authentic ginger ale will be available at the Colonial Tavern. A fun and educational time for all ages!

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. It’s 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.

May the Force Be with Nationals
Where: Nationals Park
When: Sunday, 1:35pm (Non-galactic games Friday & Saturday, too!)
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are going galactic on Sunday as they host their first-ever Star Wars Day! You might run into Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Princess Leia before you even enter the ballpark, and more of their peops await inside. Along with roving characters, there will be photo stations, Star Wars themed face painting, and food and drinks with Yoda approval. FYI: Fans are encouraged to dress in their Star Wars best! Get there early — the first 25,000 fans to enter Nationals Park will receive an R2-D2 can cooler, courtesy of ThinkGeek. And if you can’t make it to Star Wars Sunday, you can catch the Nats Friday (7:05pm) or Saturday (4:05pm).

On the Fringe
Where: Various venues
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

The Capital Fringe Festival is still entertaining the District, and the lineup of shows includes a bunch that kids can enjoy. Watch three brave veggies journey across the kitchen to save their friend from the scary fruit bowl in War and Peas. See Alice, a vibrant, steampunk reworking of a much-loved classic that puts us in the main character’s head as she enters Wonderland. Watch puppets in The Giant Turnip, a whimsical and light-hearted tale that celebrates caring for the earth and community. Enjoy a new version of a Shakespeare classic with Twelfth Night: A Musical Remix. Those are just a few with the all-ages tag; more show details and ticket sales are on the Capital Fringe Festival website.

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, movies al fresco. Go here for the full scoop on these joys of summer, and keep in mind that some regular events might not be happening due to the holiday.

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

* Cat-ch Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude at Adventure Theatre
* The BFG open at National Theatre tonight!
* Fly away to Neverland at a performance of Peter Pan in the ThreeSixty Theatre at Tysons. We caught a show last week, and it was spectacular!
* Enjoy Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap as Hudson’s Vagabond Puppets take the outdoor stage
* Experience Double Trouble on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will live Aquarium, just opening at the Bethesda theater
* Bright Star: Aesop’s Fables is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* This weekend is your final chance to take the fam to Shakespeare in the park as Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents The Comedy of Errors at Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Snow White and the 7 Dwarves is the current main stage production
* And Penguin’s Playground and World on a String are the featured Tiny Tots shows at the puppet theatre
* Two of a Kind is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java

Comcast 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. Tonight, take the fam to see How to Train Your 2. Tomorrow, catch a screening of X Men: Days of Future Past. Both for free!

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 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.

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

DC’s sweetest event returns! This is a day for for 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.

Family Day
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a day of free activities presented by the March on Washington Film Festival. Festivities kick off with a film screening of Ruby Bridges, the 6-year old girl whose courage integrated a New Orleans public school. Snacks will be served. There will also be a performance by artist/activist Ayanna Gregory and opportunities to tour the Choice Bus outside of THEARC, a unique learning environment designed to demonstrate the power of education.

First Studio: Art Exploration
Where: Kreeger Museum
When: Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: $7

Children and an accompanying are invited to use their imaginations as they explore the paintings, sculpture, and architecture of The Kreeger Museum. Each program includes a gallery tour, analysis of works of art, a story, and a hands-on art-making experience. Advance registration recommended.

Storytime Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: Saturday 6-7pm
Admission: $25/family

Join lil omm for a fun, interactive yoga class that will add a little magic to your story time routine! Listen to a story, and use your bodies and breath to bring it to life through yoga and dance. Active imaginations, creative spirits, story lovers, and kiddos who say “read it AGAIN,” this class is for you! Register in advance to ensure your spot.

Open Studio Saturday
Where: Freer | Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 12pm & 2pm
Admission: Free

Discover Peacock Room REMIX with a gallery guide or on a family-friendly tour. With inspiration from the exhibit, return to the ImaginAsia classroom to experiment with art materials, solve creative challenges, and collaborate with friends and family.

History in the Works (of Baltimore)
Where: Baltimore Museum of Industry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $12

Take a little time trip through Charm City’s early business days. The Baltimore Museum of Industry highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Several permanent exhibits are set up just as the real businesses would have been when they existed, giving visitors a fascinating glimpse at life during that time period.

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History in the Works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry


Whenever we experience new places and adventures in the area, it’s always my intention to post about them in a somewhat timely manner to share on KFDC. But sometimes life gets busy, and I procrastinate, then forget…then remember many months later.

That’s just what happened with the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Owen and I visited the Charm City attraction back in January (hence, the snow you might see in some photos) and I mentioned it in a Weekdays post shortly after, but never got around to a full write-up. I recalled it recently as I was thinking about good places to go on really hot or rainy summer days, and Baltimore came to mind, since the city boasts several places that fit the bill — Port Discovery, Maryland Science Center, and the American Visionary Art Museum among them. And with that recollection, voilà!, the Baltimore Museum of Industry was back on my “To-Post” list and, now, here.

The exhibits begin before you even walk in

The exhibits begin before you even walk in

The Inner Harbor museum is an interesting time trip through Baltimore’s early business days, highlighting the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Several permanent exhibits are set up just as the real businesses would have been when they existed, giving visitors a fascinating glimpse at life during that time period.

Checking out the cannery

Checking out the cannery

Sew cool

Sew cool

The Cannery is a replication of Platt & Company, which actually existed in the building that now houses the museum, and takes you through the canning process with real equipment and panels explaining it on display. The Garment Loft, containing many tables with old sewing machines, shows how clothes used to be made. In the Print Shop, museum staff demoed an old printing press, and we examined printing letters in various sizes. The Machine Shop is quite compelling to view, full of tools and apparatuses that you just don’t see anymore. An exhibit of vintage automobiles, including a case of old car radios, captured Owen’s attention for awhile. There is also a Pharmacy and Diner that look straight out of the old days. And a great feature of all of these exhibits are hands-on areas with toys, where kids can do activities that relate to what they are seeing.

Printing has come a long way

Printing has come a long way

A close look at the letters to print

A close look at the letters to print

Gadgets galore in the Machine Shop

Gadgets galore in the Machine Shop

More interesting displays about stand-out Baltimore people, places, and things are located throughout the museum. Who knew the oversized tennis racket and aluminum skis were invented there? And Video Game Wizard, a temporary exhibit about the video game industry and the various jobs it takes to create a game shows that Baltimore is progressing with times and also offers an opportunity for some digital interaction.

Who knew?

Who knew?

No Spotify here...

No Spotify here…

Learning what it takes to create a video game

Learning what it takes to create a video game

The building itself is interesting to view, beginning with old equipment outside to cool features around the space to a wall of windows offering stunning views of the Inner Harbor. You can take a tour of it all — a guided walk among the exhibits and more is all included in the admission price — or explore on your own like we did. Either way, it’s a fun and engaging outing for all ages.


Get the scoop on Old Bay!

Get the scoop on Old Bay!

The Baltimore Museum of Industry is located at 1415 Key Highway at the Inner Harbor. Hours are 10am – 4pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. Before you go, search for a deal on Groupon, LivingSocial, or Certifikid, as they often have admission discounts available.

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Filed under All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Maryland, Museums, Weekdays, Weekend

Tennis, Anyone? Get into the Swing of it with PlayYourCourt

My very friendly and patient (with my rusty backhand) instructor greets me on the court

My very friendly and patient (with my rusty backhand) instructor greets me on the court

When you grow up in South Florida like I did, chances are you’re going to play some tennis. In my case, some was actually a lot — I started young and played competitively through high school, taught at a tennis camp during college, and joined a doubles league here for awhile. But since having kids, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even picked up a racket. Owen and I have hit around a bit, but since his interests lie in other sports, those few times haven’t been the kind of play I was once used to.

Tennis is one of those things I keep saying I want to get back into, but just haven’t taken the time to do. So, when PlayYourCourt asked if I wanted to take a lesson and share my experience with the KFDC community, I was in like Serena’s cross-court forehand.

PlayYourCourt is a mobile tennis instruction program, meaning they bring the instructors to you. If you want to take tennis lessons in DC, there’s no need to join a club or research pros in the area; PlayYourCourt does the work for you by matching up clients with the most suitable instructor possible and setting up lessons at courts that are convenient for you. Whether it’s your first time picking up a racket or you want to fine-tune your strokes, PlayYourCourt finds the right tennis pro to work with you and makes it easy to do so.

My PlayYourCourt experience began on their website, where I entered some basic info — zipcode, who would be taking the lesson (me, my child, etc.), age range, skill level, and lesson goals — then was shown a screen with a selection of five instructors in the area, all of them highly qualified coaches who are USPTA and/or PTR certified with at least 5 years of teaching experience, and some highlights about each of them and their hourly rates. The one labeled “best match” for me was Jennifer B., so I selected her and completed the sign-up process.

Shortly after, I received a confirmation email from PlayYourCourt with a greeting from owner, Scott Baxter. Included was Jennifer’s contact information, though she reached out to me just minutes later to set up our lesson. We easily confirmed a date, time, and location all by email, and just like that I was ready to dust off my racket and get back into the swing of it.

Jennifer and I met at public tennis courts about a mile from my house. She’d given lessons there several times before, so was familiar with them and knew they probably would not be busy at that time. She began by asking about my experience with tennis and what my goal was for the lesson. I gave her the rundown and told her I wanted to assess my skills after many years’ hiatus and get a bit of a workout while I was there.

Right away, she had me hitting some basic shots to evaluate my strokes, and made me not feel so bad about my very rusty backhand. (She said it was evident I had played — but also that I’d had some time off.) After warming up for a little while, she began to tackle the problems, letting me know where the errors were and some minor adjustments I could make to remedy them. I could tell she was really paying attention and giving me good advice.

To address the issues with my strokes and give me the workout I’d asked for, she had me do some running drills, first forehands and backhands at the baseline, then some that covered more of the court, moving on to volleys and overheads. Not only was it a good workout, it was a blast, making me remember how much I loved playing back in the day. Just the jump start I needed to get back into tennis.

Are you ready to get into the tennis game? Or maybe you want to get your kids on the court? PlayYourCourt is a great way to get started with tennis lessons in DC, especially if you want service that’s an ace. Even better, when you sign up, use the code KIDFRIENDLYDC to get $10 off!

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

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Filed under All ages, DC, Outdoor, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Sports, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 13-17


Monday - Hit the BEACH at the National Building Museum. Surely you’ve heard about the outrageously fun interactive installation by now. But in case you haven’t, it’s the must-do in DC this summer. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $5/youth member, $10/adult member and $13/youth non-member, $16/adult non-member.

Tuesday - Make your own comic at Upshur Street Books! The workshop is one of several in a summer series hosted by 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting kids with their creative and expository writing skills. This session will show students ages 6-12 how to use both parts of their brains to draw and write their own mini-comics as we explore what makes the comics they love so great. It takes place 10am – 12pm, and admission is free — be sure to register online. For an activity with the 5 and under set, head to your local library for a special program or just to check out some new books.

Wednesday - 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 memorable journey takes visitors to a variety of portraits as the students perform biographical portrayals of the people represented in the photograph, painting, drawing, sculpture or print. Tours begin at 12pm and 1:30pm, and admission is free.

Thursday - Catch a performance of The BFG at National Theatre. The show based on Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book will be on stage July 14-25. Showtime is 10:30am Tuesday – Thursday, 7pm on Friday, and 2pm on Saturday. Ticket prices range from $14-38.

Friday - Test out the brand new Wizard of Oz themed playground at Watkins Regional Park. The 12,000 square foot area just opened this month, and word has it that it’s awesome. If you’ve got time left after exploring stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals and the Watkins Nature Center to view some cool creatures and birds. And if you’re up for even more, go for a spin on the carousel, take a train ride, and play some mini golf. Hours are 9am – 4pm at the Farm, 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center, 10am – 7pm at the for the rest. Admission is free, though rides and mini golf cost extra.

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Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Weekdays