Category Archives: Outdoor

The Weekend Round-Up: August 17-19

Take a hike and enjoy the scenery at Great Falls Park

Happy Weekend!

Joys of Summer
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Activities exclusive to the season are happening all weekend See a special museum exhibit, like Fun House or Fractal Worlds. Have some water-inspired fun. Enjoy free music outdoors and movies under the stars. Go with the flow on local waterways. Hit the beach. Feast on seasonal treats. And so much more. Details on all of these joys of summer in DC can be found here.

Fair Game
Where: Arlington, Montgomery, Prince William Counties | MD & VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Arlington’s annual fest is underway, and Montgomery and Prince William counties host their final days. All are chock full of amusement for everyone, with carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. This post has the whole scoop on all of the county fun.

Summer Swap Shop
Where: Wunder Garten | NoMa, DC
When: Friday, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Join for a fun day of music, treats, and swapping! This Summer Swap Shop will bring together people from the DC community to trade clothing, shoes, and accessories.  Bring items in any condition — ‘unswappables’ will go to a textile recycling table hosted by DC Sustainable Fashion Collective. There will be a clothing and accessory repair table in partnership with Stitched with Style — Sign up for a complimentary repair appointment here.  This event is a great opportunity to shed your children’s outgrown clothing, and the venue is dog, kid, and bike-friendly.

Summer Step Xplosion!
Where: Around DC
When: Through August 25
Admission: Free

Experience Step Afrika! for free as the annual Step Xplosion kicks off the 2018-19 season with ree performances, workshops, dance parties, and more in all 8 DC wards. This weekend, catch them at Raymond Recreation Center on Saturday from 2-3pm and The District Wharf on Sunday from 4-5:30pm. Be ready to stomp along!

Juggle Jam
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 6pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Throw caution to the weekend! Conquer the thrilling challenge of juggling with veteran juggler Christian Kloc. All ages are invited to get loose and throw some crazy tricks at this all-levels workshop focusing on the power of play and the joy of performance. Equipment is provided. Wear comfortable clothes that allow relaxed movements.

Nats vs. Marlins
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Marlins this weekend, and there a some special promotions to enjoy along with the baseball action of the field. There is a Hwaiian shirt giveaway on Friday, and Saturday is Game of Thrones® Night with a Michael A. Taylor figurine for the first 10,000 fans. Sunday ages 12 and under get a Kids Night Light, plus they can run the bases after the game. Before you plan your ballpark outing, checkout these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Colonial Tobacco Harvest
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child, free/2 & under

It’s harvest time at Claude Moore! Tobacco was an important crop in Colonial Virginia, used as currency by the farm family to buy supplies and other goods. This Saturday, you can help them clean the tobacco leaves, gather the cut plants, and hang them on the tobacco sticks inside the tobacco barn to cure. It’s a fun and educational outing for the whole family!

Around the World Cultural Food Festival
Where: Freedom Plaza | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrating the rich intercultural diversity, this annual food festival brings together authentic living traditions from different countries around the world. And the public will have the opportunity to learn, eat, dance, shop, and witness these vibrantly connected cultures and create their own connections with each and every single country presented in the event. Food and drinks are for purchase.

The Big Dig Potato Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult

Grab your shovel and reusable grocery bag and join Great Country for their Annual Pancake Breakfast and Potato Harvest! Start your morning off with our All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast, served from 9-10:30am, then jump on a wagon ride to dig for your potato treasures in our U-dig field. Plan for lots of play time on the sprawling grounds of the farm, too!

Tinker Bell
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through August 26
Admission: $19.50

You only have two more weekends to catch Adventure Theatre’s summer production! Get to know Tinker Bell as the fiesty fairy tells her side of the story! Tinker Bell is a world premiere play that presents the tale of Peter Pan from the eyes of everyone’s favorite fairy friend. Recommended for all ages.

Shows on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $6-12

Peter and the Wolf is the Main Stage performance at the puppet theater in Glen Echo Park, recommended for children of all ages. And really little ones will love Jellybean Friends, this Sunday’s featured Tiny Tots show, where the lights stay on and doors stay open for an atmosphere suited to small fries.

Dave on Stage
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through
Admission: Tickets start at $40

Remember the movie, Dave, about the President’s doppelgänger who fills in as POTUS when he suffers a stroke? It’s now a world premiere musical at Arena Stage! With modern day updates, references to the current political climate, Arena’s signature “DC” vibe, and opps for spontaneous audience interaction, it’s one pretty fantastic show. Recommended for ages 13+.

Harry Potter Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: $17.50/ages 10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt that kids and adults will love! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. This hunt is designed for kids and adults to do together (but all-adult teams are allowed to compete separately) Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Read about this super fun adventure in this KFDC post.

Puppet Performance
Where: Durants Arts Center | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am & 11:15am
Admission: $5

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts and the National Capital Puppetry Guild are presenting a series of monthly family-friendly shows starting on Saturday! Blue Sky Puppet Theatre will kick off the fun with two performances. Purchase tickets in advance online.

Smithsonian Sleepover
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday-Sunday, 7pm – 9am
Admission: Starts at $125

Enjoy an overnight adventure at the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum! Grab your flight checklist and take off for a night that includes plenty of games, art activities, and close-up looks at some of the most historic and fascinating craft ever to take to the skies. Udvar-Hazy Center staff are on hand to offer lots of great information and insights about the aviation treasures on view. Start the countdown to a one-of-a-kind adventure! For ages 8-14. Registration is by phone only — see the website for details.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Enjoy s’mores around an evening campfire at Hidden Pond Nature Center on Friday. See grinding demos at Colvin Run Mill. Go on a treasure hunt at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

DC United vs. New England Revolution
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $22

Wind down the weekend at a soccer match on Sunday evening, as the DC United host the Colorado Rapids. Word has it the new stadium is awesome. And if you go a little early, there should be some pre-match pop-ups and activities on the plaza.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Hit the trail to enjoy some outdoor time with the fam! Check out the flora, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post, started in the early KFDC days and updated several times since, has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

DC, Inside & Out

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure

Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

The Great Indoors

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 10-12

The Montgomery County Fair begins this weekend!

Happy Weekend!

All’s Fair
Where: Montgomery, Prince William, & Howard Counties | MD & VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Montgomery and Prince William kick off their annual fests that are chock full of amusement for everyone in the fam. Carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. You can also find it in Howard County, where the fair is on for its final couple of days. This post has the scoop on all of the county fun.

Kids in the Castle
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

A suit of of armor, woodcarvings of animals & magical beasts, towering ceilings… for children, the Heurich mansion is a magical castle to explore. Held every few months, Kids in the Castle encourages children and their families to wander through the house at their own pace, complete photo scavenger hunts to win prizes, and take a more detailed self-guided tour if they desire. During the warmer months, families can also relax and play games in the Castle Garden. Register for free tickets; only a limited number will be available at the door.

Summer Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The summer break from school may be starting to wind down, but summer fun around the area continues. Catch a concert outdoors to start the weekend on a musical note — Jazz in the Garden on the National Mall and the Friday Night Concert series at Yards Park are local faves. Keep the seasonal pursuits going with a variety of options: Head to a farm for peach picking. Enjoy some water fun, either at an outdoor pool or a spray park. Feast on crabs. Take advantage of free admission for kids at the Newseum or see seasonal exhibit like Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens, Fairy Houses at Annmarie Garden, or FunHouse at the Building Museum. This post has all the details you need on all these summer joys.

Down by the Riverside
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There’s no special event going on there this weekend, but The District Wharf is a great place to spend a day with the fam, especially if the weather is nice. Play in sprays, rock on swinging benches, rent a kayak, grab a bite to eat by the water, people watch, and more. This new post has the scoop on all there is to do at the southwest waterfront locale.

Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend
Where: Rock Hall, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Buccaneers and landlubbers of all ages! Head out to the Eastern Shore for a fun, unique experience. This town-wide family-friendly event will be loaded with kids activities, shows, and costume contests. Check out the website for details and schedules. Pirate attire is highly encouraged!

English Learners’ Back to School Fair
Where: Columbia Heights Education Campus | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2:30pm at (3101 16th St. NW).
Admission: Free

DC Public Schools, in collaboration with several DC agencies, will be hosting this fair that targets linguistically and culturally diverse families and English Learner students with the goal of connecting them to academic and community resources. The event will feature dozens of local organizations that provide a wide range of services, and there will be workshops for caregivers interested in learning about tips and tools to help their children succeed in school. There will also be free backpacks, school supplies, food, face painting, and even children’s haircuts!

Where: Washington Convention Center, Downtown DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $100

This weekend long convention is a celebration of Asian pop culture and it’s fandom. There will be loads to experience — anime, manga, music, movies, video games, and more. Visitthe website for the schedule and more details about the exhibitions.

Anatomy of Sports
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bones and muscles need to work together for optimal performance. Athletes of all ages should know how their bodies work in order to compete and stay healthy. During Anatomy of Sports, athletes will demonstrate their sport while medical illustrators and physical therapists reveal how muscles and bones work together. This session is perfect for families with children playing sports, the recreational athlete ,or the practiced sports enthusiast. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post from a few years back.

Family Mindfulness
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am-12pm & 1-2:30pm
Admission: Free, but registration is required

Beat the heat with little ones during this summer meditation series! Take a moment to pause and reflect in front of lush landscapes and other storied artworks in our permanent collection. Then, admire the natural beauty in the Freer courtyard with a series of facilitated activities to help deepen self-awareness. Finally, slow things down and experience guided breathing, storytelling, and other beginner-friendly mindfulness techniques led by instructors from Yoga District. Come ready to move in comfy clothes. Mats are provided. For ages 4+ with adult companions.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Tinker Bell is lighting up the stage at Adventure Theatre
* Follow the yellow brick road to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Synetic Theatre
* The Olney Theatre presents HMS Pinafore and families are encouraged to go!
* You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is on the Imagination Stage
* It’s opening weekend for Peter and the Wolf at The Puppet Co.
* And Jellybean Circus is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater.
* Teen ages and up can see Second City’s Generation Gap at the Kennedy Center
* Enjoy the music of Gustafer Yellowgold at the McLean Central Park Gazebo on Sunday.

Reels on the Ramp
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Bring the family for a movie night under the stars on the Udvar-Hazy Center’s outdoor airplane ramp. Don’t forget your chairs, blankets, and insect repellent! Food is allowed, but alcohol and glass bottles or containers are prohibited. Doors open at 8pm and the movie will begin at dusk. Planes, a spin-off of the Cars franchise, follows Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster plane who practices aerobatic maneuvers in his free time and dreams of becoming a racer.

Dave on Stage
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through
Admission: Tickets start at

Remember the movie, Dave, about the President’s doppelgänger who fills in as POTUS when he suffers a stroke? It’s now a world premiere musical at Arena Stage! With modern day updates, references to the current political climate, Arena’s signature “DC” vibe, and opps for spontaneous audience interaction, it’s one pretty fantastic show. Recommended for ages 13+.

High Wheelin’
Where: Frederick, MD
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Get a curbside seat to America’s only high wheel race in historic downtown Frederick, MD. The National Clustered Spires High Wheel Race is a unique event that celebrates the history of bikes with an antique bike display and more festivities throughout the day at the Best Fest — live music, face painting, bouncy fun, beer garden, and more.

Tall Tales on the Big Screen
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Enjoy some highly unlikely stories, from a greedy rat and a sailor cat to some flying dinosaurs and a lonely bear! The children’s short films program includes The Highway Rat, How Dinosaurs Learned to Fly, Bear Story, and The Gallant Captain. Recommended for ages 6+, runs approximately 60 minutes.

Tour the Fun House
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, free/members

There are only a few weeks left to jump into fun at the Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party. This year’s exhibition, Fun House, was created by Snarkitecture, the same group that brought us The Beach a few years ago. It’s full of clever details and neat features that welcome all ages to engage and enjoy. It even comes with a big backyard pool, and visitors are invited to take a dip!

Art Museum Morning
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Fun for little ones at the Hirshhorn! Enjoy the Library + Art Pop-Up and find a cart in the galleries and check out a fun kit full of favorite finds for kids. And be sure to stop in the Sculpture Garden outside and add a wish to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington!

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also paddle from nearby Thompson Boathouse and Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45. If you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. And you can see where else you can explore by water in this round-up of great places to go with the flow.

Farmers Market at the Ballpark
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Nats may be on the road this weekend, but there’s still something happening at he ballpark! The Nationals, along with Kaiser Permanente, present the first annual Farmers Market at Nationals Park. Located in Center Field Plaza, fans and neighbors will have access to locally sourced produce, meats, dairy products and more. Fun games will also be set up for everyone to enjoy, and Screech and the Racing Presidents will be in attendance! Visit the website for the full vendor list. Garage C will be open with free parking.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The weather seems to be all over the place lately, so these go-to posts are good to keep on hand: The Great Indoors post has 100 ideas for things to do. And if you’re aiming to get outdoors, check out this robust round-up of the best outdoor adventures in the DC area.

* Starting this Sunday through next Saturday, it’s Tax-Free Week in Maryland. All qualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less, per item, are exempt from the state sales tax.
* The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All program featuring Romeo and Juliet this year begins on August 21 and runs through September 2.
* The most wonderful time of the year, REN FEST, begins in just two weeks. Huzzah!
* The Library of Congress National Book Festival is coming up soon, too, on September 1 with another great lineup of presenting authors.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

A Waterfront Destination for All at The District Wharf

This has been a weird summer for us. We’re doing some house renovations and, while exciting, it also has added a new level of hectic to our everyday. People are working in our space, loud noises are constant, boxes are everywhere, dust is everywhere, and there’s just general disarray (of both our digs and my mind).

Needless to say, we’ve been trying to get out of the house a lot — which isn’t too difficult given all there is to do around the area, not to mention exploring the area is kind of my thing. And one place that’s become somewhat of a new go-to hangout spot for us (on non-rainy days, anyway): The District Wharf.

The area at the southwest waterfront opened last fall after a few years of redevelopment, and it’s a major and much needed asset to DC, in my opinion. Where there used to be several large, unremarkable seafood restaurants dominating that stretch along the Potomac River is now a beautiful, lively riverside locale that really takes advantage of the location on the water and brings an easy-breezy vibe to this city that often feels a bit more buttoned up.

Much of the hype when it first opened was over its restaurant scene and outstanding music venue, The Anthem, but there is so much more to enjoy there — and for all ages. On nice days, you can easily spend a good few hours hanging out there with the kids.

There is a splash pad to play in, complete with rocking toys that are free to use. And it’s not just little ones who use it. Owen and Sasha and their friends have had fun in the sprays of water, plus we’ve seen older kids, adults, and even dogs enjoy them, too.

Large bench swings along the Recreation Pier require a stop. Sit or stand as you rock back and forth and take in the views or do some people watching. In the same area is The Wharf Boathouse, where there are kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for rent.

Further down Wharf Street, which runs nearly the whole length of the area and is driveable (watch out for cars!), you’ll find even more ways to enjoy some riverside recreation. The Transit Pier hosts a variety of activities, some that change with the seasons. There have been life-size games and outdoor concerts in the warm months, and the Wharf Ice Rink in the winter. The Water Taxi also operates from that area — you can catch a boat ride to (or from) Georgetown, Alexandria, and National Harbor.

There is also a big fire pit just off the main street that is great in winter, nice seating and lounging areas, the beautiful District Pier where festivals often take place, great people watching, not to mention the many eateries, shops, and smaller music venues.

The nicer restaurants tend to be the ones we hear about most, but there are a variety of options for a bite, including a few casual, very kid-friendly places. We usually go to Taylor Gourmet, and Shake Shack and Brighton are good for young diners, too. The Fish Market next to the new development also makes for a fun stop if you want fresh seafood. If you’re looking for something sweet, Ben & Jerry’s, Dolcezza Gelato, and Milk Bar are all good choices. (KFDC Tip: If you want to keep costs down, BYO or buy treats at the CVS there, then find some nice seating by the river where you can enjoy them. I once ran into a friend who was doing just that!)

If you’re planning a visit to The Wharf, definitely check to see if any special events are going on. Along with big festivals, there are often other happenings like free outdoor concerts, sports watching parties, and special performances (catch Step Afrika for free on August 19!).

And another KFDC Tip: If you drive, you can park at East Potomac Park, then ride the free jitney over to The Wharf. Not only do you avoid the hassle and cost of finding a spot for your car, you get to enjoy a fun, little cruise over in a boat!

Oh, in case it isn’t obvious, this all comes with the gorgeous backdrop of the marina and Potomac River views — and plenty of ways to sit back, relax, and enjoy them.

The District Wharf is located between Maine Avenue and the Potomac River from 6th to 10th Streets SW. Admission is free.


Filed under All ages, DC, Eats, Free, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 6-10

A refreshing run through the sprays at The Wharf

Monday – Stay cool on the hot day at a sprayground! There are a bunch of places in the DMV where kids can enjoy interactive fountains and splash pads. Find a round-up of them in the Guide to Summer in DC.

Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too — walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Later on, join DCPS Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander and author Jason Reynolds as he discuss his books “Ghost” and “ish” for the DCPSReads Summer Book Club Series. The session will take place at Benning Library at 4pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Stretch out at a morning of outdoor yoga hosted by Bright Horizons at Democracy Center. Learn from an instructor from Thrive Yoga and meet the Center Director Natalie Newell. The session runs 10:30-11:30am. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome.

You can also attend the grand opening of The Alcove, an experiential pop-up experience in the heart of Rosslyn. Beginning at 11:30am will be live music, a kombucha bar from MTO Kombucha, and DIY workshops from the Lemon Collective and Arlington Public Library’s Makers Program —all open to the public. Festivities will end at 2:00 p.m, but the space will remain open until 8:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy “Anime for All” the Library of Congress. The celebration of east-Asian culture, mythology, pop culture, and inspiration will showcase Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern day forms of art. The exhibition is running Wednesday through Friday with special activities each day, so be sure to check the schedule. Admission is free. Read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Free, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays