Category Archives: All ages

Scenes from a Kayaking Adventure on the Potomac

Starting our adventure from Fletcher’s Cove


Before the kids left for a few weeks of sleep away camp, I made sure to get in some quality time and fun adventures with them here. It was the first week they were both on summer break from school, so I thought it would be fun to do something that felt quintessentially summer. For me, paddling is one of those activities. Not only is it outdoors and on the water, it’s an activity I automatically associate with the season because my early paddling experiences were at summer camp when I was a kid.

Thus, we decided to go kayaking and began our adventure at Fletcher’s Boathouse, where Boating in DC has one of many locations to rent kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and rowboats. Located off of Canal Road, the C&O Canal and Towpath run right by, so it’s a popular stop for people enjoying outdoor recreation. Concessions are available and there’s seating areas and a nice big field for hanging out.

The stretch of the Potomac River near Fletcher’s is pretty and peaceful, and if you paddle toward Georgetown, the Washington Monument eventually comes into view. Along the way, there are wildlife sightings like birds and turtles and we’ve even seen deer in the woods. On this jaunt, we saw a hawk, great blue heron, ducks, egrets, and several turtles basking in the sun (but would plop in the water as we came near).

Sasha and I shared a double kayak, and Owen paddled on his own. Their early paddling experiences were more of a relaxing boat ride for them, while Levi and I did all of rowing. But both of the kids are pretty strong paddlers now; in fact, Sasha picked canoeing as one of her activities at camp and has really been enjoying it. So next time we hit local waters (which will be soon, as they return this weekend 🤗), canoes it is!

You can read more about Fletcher’s Boathouse here. For more about going with the flow on local waters, this post has all the info you need. The photos below also offer a glimpse.







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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Nature, Outdoor, Sports, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Don’t Miss Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, Running Through August 3!


This post is sponsored by Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, 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 2019, All ages, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
July 8-12

The sunflower bloom at McKee-Beshers is a guaranteed smile inducer


Monday – Head to the Freer|Sackler Gallery for Open Studio: Working in Watercolor. The workshop welcomes all ages (with adult companion) to explore how painting in watercolor can help us look more closely at the world in Whistler in Watercolor. Drop-in anytime from 11am – 1pm to learn the basics with teaching artist Lubna Zahid and then create your own artwork. Of course, plan to explore the rest of the museum dedicated to Asian art, too. Admission is free.

Tuesday – See a sea of sunflowers at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville, MD. The annual bloom has begun, and the sight of thirty acres of bright yellow blooms stretching gloriously through the fields will make your day! Plus, admission is free. Plan to pair the outing with some berry and peach picking at Homestead Farms, located just a few minutes away. Bring along some lunch to eat in the covered pavilion, and make time to visit the farm animals there, too. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission to the PYO fields is $3/person, but it’s deducted from the cost of the berries you pick to bring home. Update per reader comment below: Admission to the PYO fields is now $2.

Wednesday – Jet out to the Dulles area to explore Air & Space beyond the National Mall at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the museum. Showcasing even more fascinating artifacts of flight, you can 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.

Thursday – Join the annual Play-In for Climate Action on the National Mall. The event includes a fun, free morning of activities for families — parachute play, yoga, hula-hooping, music, and more. Latin Grammy-winning children’s musician Mister G will perform, followed by short speeches from some of the most inspiring voices in clean air. This year, youth climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor and her mother will be speaking. Free water and snacks will be provided. This will take place at 3rd St SW & Madison Dr NW from 9-11am. RSVP here!

Friday – Make it a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Located about an hour from DC in Lusby, MD, it’s a great place to enjoy sand, surf, and some easy hiking (it’s a flat, nature-filled 2-mile walk from the parking lot to the beach) without having to make a trip to the ocean. Plan to do some fossil hunting while you’re there — you can find shark teeth and other Myocene Era remnants along the shore. Bring along a picnic, as there are no concessions. Hours are sunrise to sunset, and admission is $5/vehicle for MD residents, $7/vehicle for non-residents.

***PLAN AHEAD!***
French Immersion Class and Bastille Day Party
Where: Les Petites Marionnettes | 3020 N Pershing Dr | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, July 13, 10–11am
Admission: Free/adult & child

Join Pia and Nairouz, founders of Les Petite Maritonnettes, for an hour of fun en Français and stick around for a Bastille Day celebration. Children will learn about France’s National Holiday while participating in engaging activities including song, dance, puppetry, arts & crafts, and more! The whole family will be invited to enjoy a crêpe after class. Geared for children ages 3 to 6 with little to no exposure to French. Registration is required. Check the website for more details!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Hang out on the LAWN in the National Building Museum


The National Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party installation just opened, and it’s one to put on your seasonal To Do list. LAWN transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation — whatever your preference — with an aesthetic and activities that evoke a feeling of summer.

Designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the studio that built the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs, LAWN is a sloping, stretch of “grass” (it’s a soy-based, recyclable product) adorned with elements for visitors to enjoy. Adirondack chairs and blankets offer seating. Corn hole and croquet mallets and soft balls welcome play. The gentle hill is fun to run up or roll down. Hammocks invite guests to lay back and relax…and listen to stories of summer.

The hammocks are equipped with speakers above them playing audio of famous people talking about summer experiences. You can listen to Jose Andres, Whoopi Goldberg, Venus Williams, and many more celebrated folks share their memories. It kind of feels like you’re chilling out with a friend on a lazy day, listening to them relay a story.

There are more speakers placed around the exhibit that play sounds of the season — crickets chirping, a thunderstorm, birds calling. A stand at the bottom of the hill sells summer treats, lemonade and ice cream and cookies. And the museum’s fountain is incorporated into the exhibit in an interesting way, reminding me of an inflatable swimming pool in the backyard.

You can get a bird’s eye view of the whole scene from a three-story scaffolding tower at the top of the hill. Walk in and climb the stairs to a platform to watch the action below and get new perspectives of the stunning Great Hall.

There will be special programming like movie night, yoga sessions, and late nights, so be sure to check the calendar to see what’s coming up. And DC residents should be aware of Ward Days, when they can visit LAWN with complimentary admission from 9–11am when the ward they live in is invited: July 23 is Wards 7 and 8, July 30 is Wards 2 and 6, August 6 is Wards 3 and 4, and August 13 is Wards 1 and 5.

Plan a day to play and relax on the LAWN. It’s one that kids of all ages (including us really big kids 😉) will enjoy.

LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, $10/AARP & Blue Star, FREE/members

* Museum members get free admission, so this is a good time to consider a Family Membership


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Exhibit, Indoor Play, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend