Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 8-12

Searching for shark teeth along the Potomac shore

Searching for shark teeth along the Potomac shore



Monday - Play paleontologist for a day at Purse State Park, where you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth and other fragments of prehistoric sea creatures. Be sure to check the tide table before you go (select Potomac River and Piney Point), as there’s not much beach at high tide. There are no concessions or facilities there, so plan accordingly. Admission is free.

Tuesday - See a movie for a buck! The Regal Summer Movie Express is still presenting family films for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at participating theaters during the summer. See what’s playing at a theater near you — there are two movie choices every week. All movies start at 10am. In the afternoon, head to MLK Library, where Storyteller Baba C will entertain with his unique blend of interactive storytelling, narrative song, chants, and games celebrating the oral traditions of the African Diaspora. Starts at 4pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday - Explore the grounds and play in the gardens, particularly the Children’s Garden, at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as sublime as they are fun. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Thursday - Spend a hot day inside a cool 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. 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.

Friday - Explore the high Potomac “seas” on a Boomerang Family Treasure Hunt Cruise. During the pirate adventure, you’ll help recover stolen treasure from scallywags who pilfered the ship’s booty. A couple of times are available several days a week. Cost is $20/passenger, but Goldstar and Certifikid often have ticket deals available.


1 Comment

Filed under All ages, DC, Deal, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: August 5-7

Sweet treats after a hike in Harpers Ferry

Sweet treats after a hike in Harpers Ferry



Gymboree Sale On Now!


This new batch of events and activities contains all kinds of awesome. But if you want even more ideas for family fun, check out the Everyday Play page, too. Happy Weekend!

Harry Potter Symphony
Where: Strathmore
When: Friday, 8pm
Tickets: $35-65

The Harry Potter film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the Baltimore Symphony performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

Fairfax 4-H Fair & Carnival
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Depends on activities (details below)

Head on down to the 4-H fair! Through Sunday, enjoy carnival rides, amusements, treats, farm animals and rabbits, rides and displays, horse and dog shows, the tractor pull, kids crafts and face painting, plus plenty of good food, drinks and live music. Held at Frying Pan Farm Park, hours for the many activities vary by day, so be sure to check the website before you go. Carnival ride tickets are $1 or 24 for $20 (most rides take 3-5). Unlimited carnival ride tickets are $25.

BrickFair ’16
Where: Dulles Expo Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15, free for ages 3 and under

The nation’s largest LEGO Fan Festival will be enthralling guests of all ages this weekend. BrickFair brings together LEGO enthusiasts from across the country to showcase their amazing brick constructions, from tiny intricate works to elaborate, towering creations. Over 800 exhibitors will be there to display their designs, along with vendors selling all things LEGO — T-shirts, hats, mini figures, models, and more. And guests can use it all as inspiration to do some building there themselves!

Slide the City
Where: Tyson’s Corner
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A 1,000-foot slip ‘n’ slide will be the centerpiece of Slide the City, an all-day party in Tyson’s Corner that also offers live music, entertainment, and vendors. Sliders must be 5 years old and 46″ tall. There are several ticket options available, and prices vary, so visit the website for details.

Peach Daze Fuzztival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farms is teaming up with Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing to celebrate the peach picking season! Along with tons of fun activities, you can also learn how the peaches are grown and used in food and drink — and enjoy the results! Kick off each morning with a Peach Pancake Breakfast at Great Country Farms, then later on get the whole family involved in a peach eating and spitting contests and family water games. The playground of farm attractions will be open, and there will also be live music to entertain the crowd. Over at Bluemont Vineyard, enjoy peach wine slushies, and Dirt Farm Brewing will showcase its Som Peach Craft Brew.

Walking Stick Weekend
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrating the exhibition “Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist,” this weekend festival will features special activities the whole family can enjoy. Navajo and Nez Perce cultural specialists will talk about designs that inspired WalkingStick’s recent paintings, plus an array of hands-on art activities for all ages inspired by WalkingStick’s art will be offered.

Fair Play
Where: Howard County
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races. Yes, it’s county fair season, and it’s kicking off in the area at the Howard County Fair. This post has the scoop on all of the county fun.

Rock Creek
Where: Rock Creek Nature Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy special programs along with the ongoing offerings at Rock Creek’s Nature Center. “Buffalo Soldier” presentations will take place Saturday. Take a Centennial Hike to celebrate the 100 years of the National Park Service. Do some nature crafts. Explore the night sky with the planetarium movie Zola Patrol Down to Earth. You can also pop over to the nearby Horse Center to visit the stables and treat the kids to a pony ride! Read more about Rock Creek programs in this KFDC post.

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

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the Giants. There are games tonight and Saturday evening at 7:05pm, and on Sunday at 1:35pm. Check for special promos here. And before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

STEM Across Cultures
Where: Steven C. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free (parking is $15)

Jet out to the Chantilly arm of Air & Space for this some STEM focused fun! Celebrate the global feats in the fields of science, math, technology, and engineering. Meet scientists and engineers who are active in fields such as robotics, aerospace design, and aviation, and develop your own skills through hands-on activities.

DC United: Family Fun Night & Talon’s Birthday
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Starts at $25 (look for a deal)

Family fun, futbol action, and a birthday celebration for Talon will make this DC United match extra special. Photos with Talon and other area mascots, face painting, food trucks, and games are part of the birthday festivities. And pregame fun includes live music, corn hole, sand drink specials for adults. Even better, Certifikid has a deal for a discount on all of it (look under Activities & Events).

‘Tis the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Take advantage of the host of activities that only occur this time of year. Enjoy an open air concert at one of the many series in the area. Get wet at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Feast on crabs. Ride mini-trains and carousels at local parks. And so much more…

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

* Dive into the magical world of Cirque Italia!
* Go on a wild journey to Jumanji at Adventure Theatre
* See the Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could is wrapping up the Children’s Theatre in the Woods series at Wolf Trap
* Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet bring you The Little Mermaid
* Peter and the Wolf is running at The Puppet Co.
* And Penguin’s Playground is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* 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 (look for discount tickets)

Hiking & History
Where: Harper’s Ferry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free ($10 if you park in lot)

Get some fresh air and exercise as you take in beautiful vistas and historic sites. Harpers Ferry is an easy day trip or weekend destination from DC, and summer is a great time to go. For more about a visit there, see this KFDC post.

Open Studio: Welcome to Murad Khani
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Witness how artists from Afghanistan are transforming their lives and their country during an afternoon of free family-friendly activities. Take a tour (12:30pm or 2:30pm) of the special exhibition Turquoise Mountain, then head to the ImaginAsia classroom to get creative with family and friends. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Pixar Shorts
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Celebrate 30 years of animated shorts from Pixar Animation Studios. Beginning with the delightful Luxo Jr., the first computer-animated film nominated for an Academy Award, this collection of shorts showcases Pixar’s contributions to the art of filmmaking. The 45-minute series will include hilarious favorites For the Birds, Mike’s New Car, and One Man Band.

Full STEAM Ahead!
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free for little ones, $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17

The amazing Garden & Arts Center in Solomons, MD, injects creativity and fun into STEM by adding Art, and turning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into STEAM! The program, designed for toddlers and preschoolers, uses hands-on investigations and challenges as children explore, observe, ask questions, and make predictions about the world around them as they create and play. Drop in Sunday for a Groovy Geology session, then plan to explore the rest of the grounds and exhibits while you’re there – it’s seriously fantastic! Read more about Annmarie in this KFDC post.

Hit the Harbor
Where: National Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Make a family day of it at National Harbor! There are a bunch of activities and attractions to keep the whole gang amused and entertained for hours. Go for a spin on the Capital Wheel, paddle (or pedal!) on the Potomac, climb around gigantic art, ride whimsical creatures on the carousel, grab a bite to eat and have a sweet treat, catch a free outdoor movie, and even more. This post has details about a KFDC experience there.

Target Family Night: Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Grammy Award®–winning musician Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets bring their indie-pop dance party to the Millennium Stage. Their most recent album, Home, is full of songs about togetherness and is a celebration of the small moments in life spent with family.

Shop Tax Free
Where: Leesburg Premium Outlets
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free, but plan to buy (and save)

It’s tax free time in Virginia, and Leesburg outlets are celebrating. Stock up on all of this season’s back-to-school trends, as the shopping center offers sidewalk sales featuring additional savings on top of the regular 25-65%. As an added bonus, you can unwind and sing-along with a performance from Darcy Down. Catch the live music and electric atmosphere in Courtyard C, near Kate Spade and Vineyard Vines on Saturday from 1-3pm.


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Discount, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Shop, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Plan for the 2016 County Fair Season

moco_fair

Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? The County Fair. And the season for them is about to begin. Get the details on this year’s county fairs around area and get ready to have some fun!

Howard County Fair
What: The fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, Shazam Magic Shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 6-13, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check the schedule.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road, West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5/age 10 and up, $2/seniors, free for kids under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include plenty of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to pet some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, and monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 12-20, Times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD (Get directions)
Cost: Admission is $10/ages 12 and up, free for kids 11 and under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair will include 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 12 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kins of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 12-20, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedule on their website (scroll down the page).
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds. Get directions here.
Cost: Admission is $10/ages 14-59, $5/seniors and ages 5-13, free for ages 4 and under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too.

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take the little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more.
When: August 17-21, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 8-11, hours vary by day.
Where: Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington.
Cost: Admission is $6/ages 12 and up, $5/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 14-18, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds at 1450 General’s Highway (Route 178) in Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $6/ages 16 and up, $4/ages 8 – 15, free for ages 7 and under. Rides and games cost extra.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Eats, Exhibit, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Ask an Orthodontist: Can Pre-Teens Get Invisalign, Too?

kumraortho-Logo_Color-3

[Note: As my kids grow, KFDC content is growing up with them -- as are the children of many readers who have been following along for awhile. So, while I continue to cover DC-area activities and events, I'll also be sprinkling in some features that might be of particular interest to parents of tween and even teen kids. Among them will be a monthly post contributed by Dr. Bob Kumra on orthodontia, a topic that many of us parents will think about at some point. Kumra Orthodontics offices are located in Washington, DC and Stafford, VA.]

Can Pre-Teens Get Invisalign, Too?

There is no “yes-or-no” answer to the question “Can pre-teens get Invisalign, too?” The decision, ultimately, will be made by the patient’s parents and their dentist or orthodontist. As long as your pre-teen has a fully developed set of teeth, Invisalign can be used in treatment. Invisalign clear aligners are generally safe for developing pre-teens, and the resulting tooth placement lasts a very long time. A consultation with Dr. Kumra and the team at Kumra Orthodontics can help you determine the best course of orthodontic treatment for your child in Washington DC, Stafford VA, and the surrounding area.

Imagine being treated with a set of braces that are virtually undetectable
That’s the beauty of Invisalign clear aligners. Treatment with Invisalign costs around the same as treatment with traditional braces, but Invisalign is more discreet, more comfortable, and more easily cared for than metal braces. Being treated with Invisalign by Dr. Kumra can correct a patient’s orthodontic issues without anyone ever noticing that they are wearing braces.

Invisalign instead of metal braces
Image and self-esteem are critical personal issues for children, teens, and adults with a less-than-perfect smile. Dr. Kumra says that the real appeal of Invisalign clear aligners is the freedom to eat and drink whatever you want without worrying about damaging your dental work. Invisalign clear aligners are removable by the wearer, making cleaning, eating, and active pursuits more comfortable. When consuming acidic drinks such as soda and orange juice, Dr. Kumra always recommends removing your Invisalign to prevent the acids from getting trapped in the aligners and damaging one’s teeth.

Traditional braces are fixed
That means they can’t be removed by the patient, and the various metal parts associated with metal braces can cause irritation in the mouth. Invisalign trays are made of clear plastic and can be removed and replaced as necessary. They require only a few simple cleanings each day. Invisalign is more comfortable and easier to care for than traditional braces.

Follow the instructions
Pre-teens being treated with Invisalign risk interrupting the progress of their treatment by forgetting to wear the appliance. An Invisalign patient is afforded the opportunity to remove the trays before eating, and a pre-teen patient may forget to replace them in their mouth afterward.

Assuming your pre-teen is qualified for treatment with Invisalign, make sure, too, that they understand how to wear, clean, and store the Invisalign trays. For some pre-teens, it is easy to follow instructions at home, but in school your child may forget some of the responsibilities that come with being treated with Invisalign. With conscientious care and application, your pre-teen’s treatment with Invisalign will ensure a great set of healthy, straight teeth that will serve them well for a lifetime.

Invisalign works well for adults and teens, but only a professional like Dr. Kumra can help you decide if Invisalign treatment is the correct course of action to take in regard to your child’s orthodontic care. To learn more about treatment with Invisalign, or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Kumra, please visit Kumra Orthodontics online or call (202) 785-8672 (Downtown DC) or (540) 602-7251 (Stafford, VA).

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kumra Orthodontics, however, I only promote programs, services, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


1 Comment

Filed under DC, Guest Post, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Teens, Tweens, Virginia

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 1-5

Tinkering in the Spark!Lab at the American History Museum

Tinkering in the Spark!Lab at the American History Museum



300x250px (IV)

Monday - Visit the National Museum of American History to check out the collections and enjoy some interactive fun. Show the kiddos relics from the nation’s past through all kinds of interesting exhibits, including the Innovation Wing where they can get hands-on in the Spark!Lab (ages 6-12) and Wegman’s Wonderplace (ages 0-6). Extended summer hours are 10am – 7:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Stop and smell the stinky plant at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The impressive corpse flower on display in the conservatory is expected to bloom Monday night and will be open for all to…experience. Word is the odor is at its strongest in the first hours after it opens, but the bloom is said to be spectacular. The USBG now has extended hours 10am – 8pm, and will be open until 11pm during peak bloom. Admission is free. And to stay updated on the plant’s status, view the live stream.

Wednesday - Wander, play, and relax at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticultural Center and pick up instructions for a kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free. Update: There is also a puppet show taking place at 10:30am — ($4/Fairfax county resident, $6/non-resident). Register for it here.

Thursday - Head on down to the 4-H fair! Running August 4-7, the first couple of days of the 68th 4-H Fairfax Fair & Carnival will feature rides, amusements, farm fun, and treats. Held at Frying Pan Farm Park, hours are 10am – 3pm both days and 5-10pm on Friday as well. (There are even more activities through the weekend!) Carnival ride tickets are $1 or 24 for $20 (most rides take 3-5). Unlimited carnival ride wristbands are $18 if you buy online in advance and $25 day-of.

Friday - Enjoy a day of Pokemon in the Park as Fairfax Supervisors and Fairfax Police host a day of fun activities at Burke Lake Park. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and playground, learn tips to help play the game safely from the FCPD, battle at the “PokéGym,” and take advantage of the “PokéLures” that will be activated continuously throughout the event. Every child also gets a free ice cream as well as a free minitrain or carousel ride. This all runs from 12-5pm. Admission is free.


2 Comments

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays