Category Archives: Sports

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.







Leave a Comment

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

2019 Independence Day Celebrations Around DC


What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks over the city and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th (and 3rd!). Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

The annual Independence Day concert airing live on PBS, A Capitol Fourth will feature great musical pageantry. John Stamos will be back to host this year’s show, which will include performances by Carole King, Vanessa Carlton, Vanessa Williams, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, MusiCorps, and many more exciting acts. A special treat for the entire family will be Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, Elmo, Grover, Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street on hand to celebrate America’s birthday, as the Sesame Street Muppets perform a musical medley of patriotic favorites and iconic songs from the groundbreaking children’s television series. Get there early to stake out a spot! (KFDC tip: You can also enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

Fourth of July Musical Salute
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

It’s a star-spangled day at The Wharf. There will be live music throughout the day on the Pearl Street, Fish Market, and Transit Pier stages. Let the kids splash in the fountains, rock on bench swings by the water, enjoy an afternoon lunch at the waterfront, then snag a spot on one of the piers or rooftop bars for some of the best fireworks viewing the city has to offer. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Salute to America and Fireworks
Where: Lincoln Memorial & West Potomac Park, DC
When: July 4, 6:30 – 9:30
Admission: Free

Festivities on the National Mall will be a bit different from previous years. Instead of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival going on all day and a concert and fireworks happening in the evening, there will be a Salute to America by the President honoring America’s armed forces with music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more (tickets required). Later, fireworks will take place at West Potomac Park.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Kick off Independence Day on July 3rd, when the Nats play the Marlins and enjoy a postgame fireworks show. The July 4th game is all part of the Patriotic Series. Before you go, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Catch the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. It starts at 10am, but doors open an 8am am, and the first 1,000 guests will receive a special T-shirt. After that, celebrate like it it’s 1776! Enjoy family activities, story time, crafts, and more! Meet John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Hang out on the LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: July 4 (through September 3)
Admission: $16/adult, $13/child

It’s not an Independence Day celebration per se, but the Building Museum’s big annual Summer Block Party installation opens July 4th and will make for a fun and unique to do that day. Lawn will feature a vast, sloping green space set on a graceful incline and dotted with clusters of communal lounging areas. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and lawn games like croquet, bocce ball, and dominoes. A scaffolding tower that reaches the height of the Museum’s third floor will offer never-before-seen views of the Great Hall, column capitals, and sculptural busts lining the roof.

Visionary Pets on Parade
Where: American Visionary Arts Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: July 4, 9-10am
Admission: Free

Dress your pet & strut your stuff — or just go to watch the animal fun. Trophies awarded for Best Costume, Most Patriotic, Most Visionary Pet, Owner & Pet look-alikes, Least likely to succeed as a Pet, Visionary Pet Tricks and more! Friendly pets of ALL kinds are welcome to this best dog-gone parade in town. It will be followed by the Pet Talent (Or Not) Show! Pets must be leashed or carried. H20, pet cooling station, and baggies provided. Free and open to the public, and no advanced registration is required to participate or watch.

July 4th Celebration
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: 4-9:30pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to join the 8th annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Enjoy live entertainment, catch and release fishing, face painting, bouncy fun, an obstacle course, and crafts. Concessions will also be for sale and plentiful.

Family Fireworks Cruise
Where: Washington Marina | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 6:45pm
Admission: $159 (look for a discount)

View the breathtaking Independence Day fireworks display from the comfort of the boat, FREEDOM. This relaxing, family-friendly cruise with the National Ferry Corporation along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers offers front row seats to the stunning display in the sky, fun raffles, and complimentary hot dogs, chips, and an array of cookies & brownies for desert. There will also be a complimentary champagne toast for the adults during the fireworks show, plus a full bar with beverages available for purchase. Last year’s fireworks cruise sold out, so book your cruise soon.

Summer Rooftop BBQ
Where: The Eaton Hotel | Downtown DC
When: July 4, 4-8pm
Admission: $22/adult, $10/child

Wild Days, The Eaton Hotel’s indoor/outdoor rooftop music venue, is hosting a BBQ with a special menu for the holiday — and kids are welcome, too. The gathering aims to bring together members of the community around a selection of DJs, tasty food, and cocktails overlooking all of K street, inspired by the diversity and originality of DC.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School | Fairfax, VA
When: July 4, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Grab a bit fro food trucks starting at 6pm. Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, and fireworks follow at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

McLean 4th of July Fireworks
Where: Langley High School | McLean, VA
When: July 4
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual Independence Day Celebration is at Langley High School this year. Gates open at 6pm, and the fireworks show begins at sunset, approximately 9:15pm. In addition to the large fireworks display, patrons can come early to enjoy musical entertainment by a local disc jockey, as well as food trucks selling a variety of entrees and snacks.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day Around the DMV

We’re getting ready to celebrate this doting dad


It’s a special day for the dads this coming weekend, and there are a bunch of great ways for the whole fam to celebrate if you’re still looking for ideas. From made-for-the-day events to DIY pursuits, this round-up has something to suit them all. Happy Father’s Day!

May the Force (& Nats) Be with Dad
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: June 15 & 16
Admission: Ticket prices vary

For Dads who are Nats fans and Star Wars enthusiasts, take them out to the ball game for an early celebration on Saturday when Nationals Park transforms into a galaxy far, far away for Star Wars Day. Characters from Star Wars will pose for photos with fans, stage live combats, and participate in the Presidents Race. Plus, there will be an Obi “Sean” Kenobi bobblehead for the first 10,000 fans. You can also plan to spend actual Father’s Day, Sunday, at the ball park as the Nats play the Arizona Diamondbacks. There won’t be any galactic extras, but straight-up baseball is always a good time.

Father’s Day at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Mount Vernon, VA
When: June 15-16, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Spend the day with the Father of our Country! This coming weekend, guests can enjoy a meet-and-greet and photo ops with “General Washington” as well as a special “Father to the First Family” program. You can also celebrate with a special meal at the Mount Vernon Inn. Relax in the sunken garden or restaurant and enjoy a variety of barbecued items.

Free in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: June 16
Admission: Starts at $42, Dads are FREE!

For adventurous dads who love the outdoors, particularly being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — especially when admission is on them. Get dad’s ticket free when accompanied by a paid climber using the promo code DADS19. (FYI: This is one of our very favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here.)

Jazz it Up
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: June 15-16
Admission: Free

Does dad dig jazz music? DC JazzFest lands at The Wharf on Father’s Day Weekend for two days of world class jazz, music education, beer and wine gardens, and a diverse marketplace experience. Enjoy free concerts on District and Transit Piers starting at 2pm or make a weekend of it with VIP festival passes. On Friday, June 14 and Saturday June 15, the festival also includes ticketed shows at the Anthem — catch Snarky Puppy and Jose James on Friday or Jon Batiste & Stay Human on Saturday. Even more jazz performances will be presented at other venues around DC, see the schedule on the DC JazzFest website.

Soccer Festival
Where: Tyler Elementary School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: June 16, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Kick it with DC Way on Father’s Day — the goal of this festival is to gather parents and children to play soccer, socialize, and have fun! Festival programs will include multiple games and activities, kids vs. parents games, and obstacle courses. Plus, participants will also get a special gift.

Take Dad Out to the Minors
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Father’s Day Weekend
Admission: Starts at $10

The Nats aren’t the only team in town for some Father’s Day baseball. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Trenton Thunder all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy — post-game fireworks, a Stranger Things-themed game on Saturday, and giveaways among them. On Sunday, take Dad to the ballpark early, collect a Baysox beer glass, and bring a glove and baseball to play catch with Dad on the Baysox field before the game! There’s also a Father’s Day Grill Event to if you want to add a special meal to the fun.

Father’s Day Fish-a- Rama
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: June 16
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult

Treat Dad to a fun-filled weekend with BBQ and catch-and-release fishing. Guests can compete in the Fish-a-Rama contest, fishing for catfish, bass, and blue gill in the stocked ponds, and prizes are on the line for the largest fish hooked and the most fish caught during the power hour. Bring your own pole and gear to fish (no drag hooks). GCF has worms for purchase in the country store. The amusement continues on the five-acre farm-style playground featuring the Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard and loads more fun for all.

Investigation: Detective McDevitt
Where: Begins at Ford’s Theater | Downtown DC
When: Father’s Day Weekend
Admission: $18

This walking tour of downtown DC will appeal to dads who like history and intrigue… On the night of April 14, 1865, Detective James McDevitt was on duty at the Washington Metropolitan Police headquarters, a half-block from Ford’s Theatre. Just before 10:30pm, frantic witnesses rushed in with horrifying news: President Lincoln had been shot at the theatre. Join Detective McDevitt as he revisits the sites and reexamines the clues from the investigation into the Lincoln Assassination Conspiracy. Part of “History on Foot,” the tour makes eight stops around the downtown area. It does not include entrance into Ford’s Theatre, but you can do that separately — read more about that here. Recommended for ages 8+.

Family Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: June 16, 2pm
Admission: $19.50/adult, $17.50/child

For dads who love some sleuthing (a penchant for Harry Potter helps, too), the next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt by Watson Adventures happens to fall on Father’s Day. The fun, unique activity for families has you on a mission competing against other teams to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, with the help of clever Harry Potter-themed clues. And while the website says it’s for ages 10 and up, kids younger than that definitely can partake, too! This KFDC post has more about this awesome adventure.

BBQ & Bowl
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC
When: June 16, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $40/adult, $15/child, free/5 & under

Treat dad to a special barbeque brunch buffet this Father’s Day! Pinstripes’ grand brunch buffet usually includes made-to-order omelets, bottomless mimosas, a waffle bar, carved prime rib, fresh seafood, salad bar, and a chocolate fountain and delectable dessert station. Plus, they grill summer favorites like BBQ ribs, Italian sausage, pesto. Be sure to reserve a lane for some bowling or bocce after your meal!

Women’s World Cup Watch
Where: Wheaton Sports Pavilion | Wheaton, MD
When: June 16, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Varies

Join Montgomery Parks’ for free a watch party and open house during the FIFA Women’s World Cup match between USA and Chile. Doors open at 11:30am with kick-off slated for 12pm. The powerhouse matchup will be shown on a blow-up big-screen in a family-friendly atmosphere. Food trucks will be on-site offering refreshments for purchase. This WaPo article has suggestions for even more places to watch the big fútbol tourney, some of them family-friendly.

Brunch Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: June 16
Admission: Cost of your meal

You can’t really go wrong with a good meal, and there are a bunch of places around DC to enjoy an especially great one for the big day. This round-up from Bitches Who Brunch has some suggestions that will satisfy all food cravings. I particularly like the All Purpose idea… you can have a meal, then let the kids play in the sprays of the in-ground fountain around the corner.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: All the time
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the day and dad on the trail! Tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, try to spot wild cretaures, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hit the trail with kids.

Go With the Flow
Where: Around the DMV
Admission: Varies by locale

Spend quality time with the man of the hour on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also row from the Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Quiet Waters Park showcases beautiful nature in Annapolis that you can view from the South River. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45 ($2-3). See this round-up for even more places to put in and flow.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Parks Around the DMV
When: Father’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Varies by locale (usually free)

Celebrate the day by hitting the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family. We’ve enjoyed outings at Calvert Road Park in College Park, Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, and Burke Lake Park. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at all of them. Bring along a picnic for lunch in the fresh air, too.

A Grand Feast
Where: Crab houses around the area
When: June 16 (or any day)
Admission: Cost of the meal

Steamed crabs, cold beer, scenic views… that’s a recipe for a great Father’s Day for at least one dad I know. The 2019 Summer Guide has several suggestions on where to feast on Maryland’s best dish. I recommend making reservations if possible — this is always a popular way to celebrate.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Special Event, Sports, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Still Time to Sign Up for DC Way Summer Soccer Camp!


This post is sponsored by DC Way, however, I only promote programs, services, and events that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, Camp, DC, Gradeschoolers, Middle Schoolers, Outdoor, Sports, Summer, Weekdays