Tag Archives: Maryland Parks

Where to Play on the Weekdays: May 15-19

Running the labyrinth at Georgetown Waterfront Park

Running the labyrinth at Georgetown Waterfront Park



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Monday – Hit the playground at Wheaton Regional Park. Two levels of slides, climbing nets, monkey bars, swings, and more fun features will appeal to all ages and abilities. Pack lunch to eat at nearby picnic tables under the lofty trees. It’s open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.

Tuesday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, catch an IMAX film, and be sure to take advantage of FREE entry on Tuesdays to the Butterfly Pavilion! (KFDC Tip: Get tickets to see the butterflies when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away.). Admission to the museum is free, but IMAX films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Wednesday – Head to Kids Corner on The Plaza at CityCenter, where they are welcoming little ones for outdoor story time, singing, and fun with DC Public Library. The weekly series runs through September 27. The fun begins at 10:30am, and admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy Shakespeare on strings at a performance of Midsummer Magic, an interactive puppetry show at the the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $10. Plan on lunch after at one of the many nearby H Street eateries.

Friday – Play outside at Georgetown Waterfront Park. Let the kids run through the sprays of the interactive fountain if it’s on, play on the grassy areas, follow the paths of the in-ground labyrinth, and watch the boats and ducks go by on the river. After (or before, depending on when you go), have a bite to eat or do some shopping in the neighborhood full of restaurants and retail.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 27 – July 1

Kids (and adults!) will love the Recycled Tire Playground at Seneca Creek State Park

Kids (and adults!) will love the Recycled Tire Playground at Seneca Creek State Park


Monday – Experience WONDER at the Renwick Gallery while it’s still on view — the much celebrated exhibit closes in a couple of weeks on July 10. Even if you’ve already seen it, a repeat look is just as enchanting. And if it’s your first time, well, you’re in for quite a treat. Hours are 10am- 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – See a high-energy dance show in the fresh air at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. SOLE Defined will take the outdoor stage for the first performance of the week, and you can catch other exciting acts every Tuesday – Saturday at 10:30am through August 6. Tickets are $8-12.

Wednesday – Tie dye a t-shirt at A.C. Moore’s special summer program for kids! The arts & crafts store is offering a summer-long schedule of FREE “Make & Take” activities for children ages 4–12, designed to tap their creativity. Sessions will take place every Wednesday from 1-3pm, and there is no cost to join. Find an A.C. Moore location near you.

Thursday – Play the day away at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg. You’ve got your pick of activities to enjoy throughout the 6,000+ acres of lovely recreational space. Hike through the woods, rent a canoe, play Frisbee golf, have a picnic, and be sure to let the kiddos romp on the awesome Recycled Tire Playground complete with zip line and giant tire monster to clamber upon.

Friday – Spend the day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival where Basque country and California sounds are in the spotlight. The annual celebration of living cultural heritage is full of hands-on activities, performances, demos, and much more from June 29 – July 4 and July 7-10, 11am – 5pm each day, with special events most evenings at 6:30pm. Find it all on the National Mall from 3rd-4th Streets. Admission is free.

*Plan ahead for summer weekends!* Check out Ruddy Duck Adventures packages that explore all kinds of cool fun in Solomons, MD. And KidFriendly DC readers can get a discount using the code KFDC!


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 20-24

Spray fun at Turkey Thicket

Spray fun at Turkey Thicket



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Monday – Catch a family-friendly performance at Folger Shakespeare Library. Gravediggers Tale, featuring comedic actor Louis Butelli, is a one-man show based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet that encourages audience participation. Showtime is 10:30am, and tickets are free — reserve yours here.

If you’re with really little ones, Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets in Takoma or Hyattsville, MD. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving! (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, the last Tuesday of every month.)

Tuesday – Beat the heat in the cool comfort of a movie, a heavily discounted one!. The Regal Summer Movie Express begins this week, 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.

Wednesday – Climb-A-Tree with Montgomery Parks Arborists. Find out how fast, how far, how high you can go when you climb a giant tree at Fairview Urban Park! Arborists will provide safety gear, assistance, and encouragement to help kids put their heads in the clouds and see our parks from a new perspective. Hours are 9am – 12pm, and admission is free. The park is located at 8900 Fairview Road in Silver Spring.

Thursday – Jump in to summer fun at a public pool, which are now open daily! Even better, they’re free (or a small fee if you’re not a resident of the District or county where it’s located). Check out the 2016 Summer Guide for links to public pools in the area and be sure to note open times, as they may vary from pool to pool.

Friday – Take kids ages 4-9 to Walls of Books for Storytime Yoga. Join Sierra Yoga and Wellness as they make stories come alive with games, songs, and yoga poses, encouraging the connection of mind and body and bringing together the best of two worlds: storytelling and yoga! The free 45-minute session starts at 12pm.

For an outing with younger children, head to the Turkey Thicket playground in Brookland, where they can enjoy running through sprays along with slides, swings, climbing equipment, and more. Admission there is free.


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Filed under All ages, Class, DC, Educational, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Fancy a Butterfly Garden Giveaway and Fall Festivals from Montgomery Parks

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While many summer joys in the DC area come to an end on Labor Day, there’s one that will continue well into fall this year: Wings of Fancy, the wonderful butterfly and caterpillar exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. And one lucky KFDC reader can win a four-pack of tickets to experience it — and I can assure you, it’s pretty fantastic.

Nearly 20 different species of butterflies from North America, Central America, and Asia flutter around the garden full of colorful flowers and plants. There are also cases on display containing cocoons and opportunities for visitors to learn about their amazing metamorphosis. It’s about 10 degrees warmer inside the garden than it is outside, so autumn will be an ideal time to go.

Wings of Fancy will be on display at Brookside Gardens through October 25. Hours are 10am – 4pm daily. Tickets are $8/ages 13 and up, $5/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under — you can also try to win them through the giveaway below!

There’s even more to enjoy at Montgomery County Parks this fall! These festivals and programs happening in September and October are perfect for family outings:

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Giveaway: For a chance to win the four-pack of tickets to the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite activity this Labor Day weekend, either that you already experienced or are looking forward to doing. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and be a blog subscriber (see the sign-up on the left sidebar). This giveaway will run through Wednesday, September 9, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Parks, however, I only promote activities, events, and programs that I sincerely enjoy and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Giveaway, Maryland, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Weekdays, Weekend

Dig the Recreation at Purse State Park

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You’ve got to love when a recommendation for a great adventure comes straight from an expert. I also appreciate when friends think of KFDC upon finding out about cool places to explore. Those two things combined are exactly what what brought us to Purse State Park in Charles County, MD, a couple of weeks ago.

On a recent visit to the Natural History Museum, my friend Jody got into a conversation with a paleontologist about searching for fossilized shark teeth (a random obsession she and I share), and learned that Purse is known for yielding excellent fossil finds. Once she shared that information with me, it wasn’t long before we made a trip out there with our kids for a day of digging, swimming, picnicking, and exploring.

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Purse State Park is just over an hour’s drive away from DC along a part of the Potomac River called Wades Bay, where woods meet water. There’s a very small parking lot across the street from the trail head that leads to the pretty and peaceful beach area about a quarter of a mile away.

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A narrow strip of sand stretches along the shoreline, tree branches from the woods overhanging in a few spots. But the “jewels” of the locale are hidden among the piles of shells and small rocks at the water’s edge, where you’ll easily find fossils from sharks, fish, shells, even crocodiles, many of them over 30 million and some up to 60 million years old.

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It’s important to check the tide table (search Potomac River/Liverpool Point, MD) when you plan a visit, since the already narrow strip of sand thins out even more at high tide. Not only is it easier to sift through the piles of shells and rocks, but the kids have space to play in the sand and spread out a bit. The water is also nice and shallow for swimming (yes, in the Potomac!) at that time.

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Having those extra activities for the kids was ideal, since they did their fossil hunting in short spurts, though Sasha found one of the larger shark teeth of our stash. Jody and I, however, were crouched by the river for long stretches of time, plucking all kinds of fossils from handfuls of sand and shells. A small area at the end of a little stream trickling from the woods to the river was a boon for shark teeth of all sizes, dental plate fragments, shellfish molds, fossilized shells, and possibly part of a turtle shell (this website is great for helping identify fossils). We met an Arlington woman there who does a lot of fossil hunting, and she said Purse is by far one of the higher yielding spots for shark and occasionally crocodile teeth.

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We both left with nice stashes of fossils, and back home I added our new findings to a collection in a mason jar, save for a few teeth that Sasha included in birthday cards for friends. And I have to confess: I’m already jonesing for a fossil hunting fix — it’s that addicting! — and the nerd in me really, really hopes to score a Megalodon shark or crocodile tooth next time.

Jody's findings from the day all cleaned and sorted

Jody’s findings from the day all cleaned and sorted



Purse State Park is located in Charles County in Nanjemoy, MD, according to GPS. It’s open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. There are no concessions or facilities, so plan accordingly.

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