Tag Archives: Maryland Family Activities

Review: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Adventure Theatre

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The holiday season always brings an extra big selection of family shows to local stages, and it can be difficult to decide which to see. Well, I’m about to make it a little easier for you with this: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Adventure Theatre should definitely make the cut.

This unique take on the C.S. Lewis classic literally tells the tale of the four Pevensie siblings’ well-chronicled adventures in Narnia. The play begins with Lucy and Peter actually relaying the story to the audience years later, then recreating it for us as we’re drawn into the wardrobe — and back to that time — with them and the several other characters in the show.

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Yet, there are only two actors in this production. If you’re wondering how they can possibly pull this off, the quick answer is a fantastic balance of great acting, clever stage direction, creative costumes and props, a well-designed (and beautiful!) set…and a little magic.

Dazzling tricks and neat surprises keep the audience delighted during the adventure as the brothers and sisters enter the land of Narnia, eventually encountering and battling the White Witch along with Aslan the lion. And while the hour-long play doesn’t capture all of the details, it still gets to the pulp of the story — and with fun, imaginative flair.

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One of my favorite aspects of the show was interaction with the audience. From the very beginning, Lucy and Peter turn around with surprise to see us there. Our presence is what actually launches them into their story, and they continue to engage throughout. They reach their hands out to people, ask us to weigh in on decisions, even listen to a little girl in the front row as she unexpectedly reveals Lucy’s location during a game of hide and seek.

When I asked Owen and Sasha about their favorite parts, she named that very game, and he described a snow ball fight. Mine was the moment Narnia was revealed, and we saw the ingenuity of the set. We all agreed, though, there were loads of great moments we could have chosen.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is running at Adventure Theatre through December 31, with both weekday and weekend performances. Tickets are $19.50 and can be purchased in advance online or by calling 301.634.2270.


This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Enter to Win Tickets to “Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families” at Strathmore!

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As autumn hues color the landscape, add some vibrant tones to your family’s seasonal entertainment: The blues! On Thursday, October 27, Strathmore presents Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families. And I have a Family 4-Pack of tickets for the show to give away to one lucky KFDC reader!

With audience members of all ages in mind, this is a performance that is both entertaining and educational. The 45-minute, multimedia concert features alumni of Strathmore’s Artist in Residence program. These top flight musicians showcase their talent and teach the basics of the full-hearted, foot-tapping music we call the blues. Where did it come from, how did it evolve, and what’s it all about? Get the lowdown on call and response; 12-bar blues chord progression, lyric structure, and improvisation. This music lesson brings the blues and its iconic artists to life.

The show begins at 7:30pm, but you can go early to witness the area’s Piedmont blues tradition live, as Strathmore presents the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation musicians in the Lockheed Martin Lobby prior to Shades of Blues performances. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Besthesda, MD.

Tickets for Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families are just $5-14 and are available for purchase online. Of course, you can also try to win the Family 4-Pack through the giveaway below.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Primary Blues: Blues 101 for Families at Strathmore on October 27 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below and/or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page — bonus entry for commenting on both! This giveaway will run through Sunday, October 23, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Sponsored Post, Weekdays

Plan a Perfect Autumn Day Trip with Ruddy Duck Adventures

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

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Filed under All ages, Destination from DC, Educational, Fall, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Weekend

History in the Works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry

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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.

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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

Beach Fun & Fossil Hunting at Flag Ponds Nature Park

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We had an incredibly busy spring. Between multiple sports, ballet, the school play, and other random commitments, it seemed like someone always needed to be somewhere — practices, games, lessons, rehearsals — and our “chill” time was rather limited.

So, I’ve decided to make up for it these first two weeks of summer break. Instead of the kids starting camp right away as they usually do when the school year ends, we’re slowing things down and, save for a couple of drop-in camp days, relishing some carefree, undemanding time together. This includes lazy, loungy mornings, heading out whenever we’re ready with no worry of being tardy. Bathing suits and towels are part of our everyday wardrobe and gear. And we’re planning fun adventures that take advantage of the season and are best enjoyed in immersive, unhurried fashion.

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We kicked off our stretch of leisure in the most apropos way possible: By hitting the beach, of course. And we did so with a bit of serendipity. The original plan was to visit our go-to, easy-from-DC beach destination, Bayfront Park aka Brownie’s Beach. (And here I have to confess that I’ve never posted about it because the friend that introduced me to it years ago asked me not to share with the masses, but it’s apparently become better known, and for good reason.) It’s a fantastic little spot in Chesapeake Beach, MD, with a small but nice stretch of sand, gentle shallow water, and the Calvert Cliffs edging the shoreline. But the best part is the fossil hunting. It’s one of the beaches known for shark teeth finds, and they are aplenty at Brownie’s — scoop up a handful of small shells and rocks near the water, wash away the sand, pick through, and you’re practically guaranteed to find a few small fossils in the mix.

Younger days at Brownie's Beach

Younger days at Brownie’s Beach

Anyway, when I mentioned to a friend that we were going to Brownie’s, she informed me they now charge a pretty steep admission fee for non-residents of Calvert County ($16/adult, $9/child). However, as luck would have it, my friend Rebecca at Not-So-SAHM had just posted about a visit to Flag Ponds Nature Park, also out that way. It sounded nice — the $6 per carload admission fee a big plus — so we coordinated with friends, packed up beach gear and a picnic, and headed southeast.

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Flag Ponds is just an hour’s drive from the city, a straight shot out Pennsylvania Avenue. Really, you drive out PA Ave., which becomes Rt. 4 (but has a several other names along the way), and stay on that until you make a left onto Flag Ponds Parkway. A park ranger at a small trailer collected the entrance fee and directed us to a parking lot up the road. Next to the lot is a Visitor Center, and while we didn’t go in, I read that it’s interesting with displays of sea, plant, and wildlife that you might find in the area.

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Skink sighting!

Skink sighting!

The beach is about a half-mile walk down a dirt road from the lot, so we had bit of a load to carry with a cooler and our gear. There are tables near the parking lot where you can eat, but we were set on a beach picnic. (I recommend bringing a rolling cooler and stacking the rest of your stuff on it.) The road winds through a lovely wooded area, and you can hear bird calls and maybe catch a neat wildlife sighting, like the skink we spied. Near the end of the road, a narrow boardwalk leads to the sand, and there are restrooms and a rinsing shower right before you cross to the open beach area.

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The beach at Flag Ponds is fairly expansive (much bigger than Brownie’s), which has its pros and cons — more to explore, but more space for wandering children. It’s quite picturesque with a wide expanse of sand, sea grass blowing along the dunes, and pond-like inlets formed by sand washing in. We initially set up near one of the ponds, but quickly realized the water was kind of mucky and full of dead crabs, so we relocated to the outer edge of the beach close to the water. It’s very shallow, so the kids could easily swim and play, and with lots of shells and pebbles along the shoreline, it’s good for fossil hunting.

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Even though it was a hot day, there was a nice breeze blowing, and swimming kept us cool. The kids had a blast playing in the water and sand and taking nature walks to collect dead crabs and an eel(!).

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Owen joined me for some fossil hunting, though I probably enjoy finding shark teeth more than my kids and spent a lot of time sitting right at the shoreline grabbing handfuls of shells and sifting through them for fossil treasures — it’s quite therapeutic! However, I only found two shark teeth, much less than I would usually find at Brownie’s, something to keep in mind if that’s your main mission.

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After a good few hours of sun and surf, we decided to call it a day. On the way back to the car, we encountered a park ranger, who gave us the lowdown on the trails within the park. Apparently, there are a a few gentle mile-longish hikes that lead to ponds and wind through the woods.

With a great beach day in the books, we headed back to the city, thoroughly satisfied with a terrific start to our leisurely fortnight. And it gets even better, so be sure to check back here soon…

Flag Ponds Nature Park is located at 1525 Flag Ponds Parkway in Lusby, Md. Hours are 9am – 5pm Thursday though Sunday from Labor Day to Memorial Day, and 9am – 6pm daily during the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Admission is $6/car.


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Filed under All ages, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend