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Tag Archives: Maryland Kids Activities
An outing to the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring to end the summer break is becoming somewhat of a tradition for us. Owen and I first went last summer as a last hurrah before going back to school, and we returned for the same occasion a few weeks ago. This time, though, we went with friends. And this time, the experience was elevated, both literally and figuratively, as Owen’s extra year — he’s now 7 — gained him access to more courses, many of them more challenging and at higher heights than the routes he was previously allowed to traverse.
So, in case you missed last year’s post about our excursion there, and the photos don’t make it evident, the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring offers a thrilling aerial forest experience. Adventure-goers navigate ropes courses in the trees, crossing over bridges, whizzing down ziplines, and scaling ladders to get from platform to platform, all many (in some cases, many, many) feet above the ground.
The pricing has changed since our first venture there, when there was a special rate for 5-6-year-olds and an adult for a 90-minute session. Now, admission is free for that age with the purchase of an adult pass ($49). For ages 7-9, it’s $39, and for ages 10-11 it’s $44. Admission is for three hours, and you have access to varying courses depending on age.
Last year, we could only do the easiest purple courses, but this time ’round, we got to do the yellow and green, too. Many proved to be more challenging (and occasionally a little bit scary), but also a lot more fun.
And for a great local thrill in the trees, go.
Our family always tries to hit a county fair when they recur around the area each summer. The thrill of carnival rides, fun of seeing farm animals, chance to indulge in tasty fair grub, and kistchy entertainment all in one place is, to me, a slice of Americana to be experienced this time of year.
We made our annual pilgrimage to the Montgomery County Fair yesterday for the better part of the afternoon and evening and definitely got our fill. And while the kids might say we must go back for more, I think the 6+ hours we spent there yesterday will hold us over until next year.
For more details about what’s there, you can read this review from a couple of years ago. And the photos below will give you a glimpse of it all.
Looking for a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day properly (you know what I mean) that is also family-friendly? If that’s a yes, then mark your calendar for Sunday, March 10! That’s when the 2nd Annual Shamrock Shindig will take place at Pierce’s Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. And from the sounds of it, this definitely will be worth the trip up to Charm City.
The host of the event, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, planned it with families in mind, offering festivities for both grown-ups and children in one of the city’s coolest new parks. Celtic band Barleyjuice will bring the live entertainment, plus there will be food trucks, adult bevvies, a Shamrock Alley with kids activities (cookie decorating, games, etc.), stilt walkers, a strolling leprechaun, and much more.
And the location couldn’t be better. Opened this past May, Pierce’s Park is a true delight for all ages. The one-of-a-kind space was designed for play, with a musical fence, an interactive funnel sculpture, willow tunnels, and more.
Guests can enjoy all of it from 11am -2pm. Following the event will be 58th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which kicks off at 2pm at the Washington Monument (yes, Baltimore has its own smaller version).
Admission to enjoy the band and strolling entertainment at the Shamrock Shindig is free. However, other activities cost extra, but you can enjoy them all with one easy pass (or wristband) for each family member: The Shamrock Pass for children in just $6 and includes parade gear including a shamrock derby hat, green beads, Irish button, Irish flag, Irish fun brand bracelet; two crafts; a temporary tattoo; and cookie decorating. An Unlimited Drink Wristband for Adults is $15 and includes beer, wine and mixed drinks.
Both passes and wristbands can be purchased here, and you can get $1 off each one by entering the discount code KIDFRIENDLYDC.
Before our family went to see Winnie the Pooh shortly after it opened at Adventure Theatre, I figured that, despite the all-ages recommendation, it would likely appeal mostly to Sasha, who just turned four, than it would to Owen, my newly minted seven-year-old. After all, the bear of Very Little Brain and his gang of friends inhabit the stories of kids’ younger years, so I assumed the play would as well.
It turned out I couldn’t have been more wrong. Like many of Adventure Theatre’s productions, Winnie the Pooh has something for everyone. The beloved characters are brought to life by a cast of very talented actors. The plot is fun and light, but sophisticated enough to keep older children and parents engaged. The set, designed as the 100 Aker Woods of the books, is inspired and delightful. And the musical numbers are fantastic, showcasing one of the best voices I’ve heard — that of James Gardiner, who plays Eeyore and Kanga — at AT yet.
The play opens in the woods as Piglet reveals to Pooh that she believes there is a Heffalump lurking about. They concoct a plan, along with Rabbit, to find and capture it, and that’s when the adventures — and antics — commence…
In their pursuit of the legendary Heffalump, Pooh and Piglet, along with the audience, encounter other friends in the forest and are deterred by the goings-on in their days, too. Christopher Robin asks Pooh to hold a potful of honey (you can probably guess what happens to it), Eeyore has lost his tail, Piglet discovers it’s Eeyore birthday, Rabbit wants to get rid of Kanga’s bathtub so they don’t lose their dirt, and Kanga loses her baby Roo.
There’s a lot going on and several side stories to follow, which could get lost a bit on younger children, as was the case with Sasha. Her focus was on and off throughout the play, but she also has a tendency to get antsy. I saw many other little ones enraptured by the entire show, the charming characters and physical comedy easily sustaining their attention. There are also plenty of cute and clever moments as this all plays out, many that speak to the adults in the audience, which seems to be a signature feature of AT plays.
As with many of Pooh’s adventures — and Adventure Theatre shows — everything ends happily. And that included my kids’ takes on it after. Owen deemed it “SO good,” and even though Sasha didn’t quite follow the whole play, she really liked “all the animals, especially Pooh!” My husband remarked that the singing was particularly good. And I agree with all of them. A well-done family show, for sure.
Winnie the Pooh is playing at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park through February 24, and show times vary by day. Tickets are $19 and available for purchase online or at the Box Office, though I recommend buying in advance as shows tend to sell out.