Category Archives: Spring

2020 Vision: 10 Awesome Things Families Can Look Forward to in DC this Year

To infinity and beyond… Yayoi Kusama’s art will return to DC this year


Some people make New Year’s resolutions, I make new… plans. (Well, mental notes for plans, anyway.) I like to take a look ahead at the coming year, see what new and exciting things are on the horizon, and put them on my radar to, hopefully, enjoy at some point — and, of course, share with the KFDC community. Which is just what I’ve done here. With this new year, comes many opportunities for awesome experiences. Here are 10 that I think will be especially appealing to DC families. Happy 2020!

1. National Children’s Museum | Late January
The much anticipated reopening of the redesigned and newly-located museum especially for children is slated for the end of January. And if the sneak peek back in the fall is a good indicator of what’s to come, it sounds like the wait will be worth it. There will be STEAM-focused exhibits and creative play spaces, with the Dream Machine, a three-story climber and slide, as the centerpiece. This will all be easily accessible right downtown at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, next to the Ronald Reagan Building. I’ll, of course, keep you posted on opening specifics as more details are released.

2. The Lane | February
How I wish something like this existed when my kids were younger! Opening in February, The Lane Social Club will be a place where families — kids and parents — can hang. And by hang, I mean engage in active play, partake in special programming, throw birthday parties, enjoy good food or a drink, and make new friends. This is all the brainchild of two local moms, Rachel and Molly, who decided to make their yearning for a venue like this a reality. I’ve had a chance to spend some time with them, and can tell you that 1) They have thought of all the details 2) You’ll want to include them among those new friends. The location is in Ivy City near the new Target. Look for more info about the opening soon!

Get ready to welcome back the World Series Champions!

3. Nationals Baseball Season | March – October
Rooting for our home team isn’t a new thing, but cheering them on as the World Series Champions is — and it definitely adds some extra excitement to the anticipation of the Nats baseball season. Sure, the roster has changed a bit (we miss you, Tony!) but most of the squad is returning, and there are a couple of new players to watch out for. Plus, I’ve always recommended a day at the ballpark as a fun way to enjoy family time together. While Opening Day is March 26, the first home game this year isn’t until April 2. You can view the whole schedule here, and as you’re planning for game days, be sure to check out these KFDC tips first.

4. Yayoi Kusama Returns to the Hirshhorn | April 4 – September 20
Three years ago, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition at the Hirshhorn was the hot ticket to score. The presentation of five infinity rooms — immersive installations that transformed small rooms into boundless wonderlands with brilliant, imaginative sculptures and mirror-lined walls — caused quite a frenzy among art enthusiasts, Instagram fiends, and what seemed like everyone else, for that matter. I, personally, had mixed feelings about it — I loved the art, but wasn’t super keen on the viewing experience. This spring, some of Kusama’s works, including two infinity rooms, are coming back to the museum for an exhibit called One with Eternity. This time, there will be no advance tickets, just same-day passes. Fingers crossed it will be easier to get them!

5. Planet Word Museum | May 31
I am so intrigued by and excited for this opening! With a mission to “inspire a love of words and language,” the museum promises immersive exhibits and magical experiences to demonstrate how words and language help shape our lives. According to the website, there will be all kinds of word play opportunities (that go well beyond your crosswords and Scrabble) — create a marketing campaign, give a famous speech and watch it, hear authors read from their books, join songwriting and storytelling classes, and more. Details for visiting aren’t yet available, but I’ll be sure to share when they are!

6. Hamilton Revisits the Kennedy Center | June 16 – September 20
If you missed seeing the award winning Broadway smash when it was here in 2018 (like I did) and still have yet to see it anywhere else (like me), you have another chance this summer. Hamilton will be back at the Kennedy Center for a three-month run. Tickets will go on sale in the spring, and tip: Kennedy Center members always get first dibs at a selection of tickets (though this didn’t do me much good last time, as there was an online glitch and I got booted out of the system before finishing my purchase… but I’m not throwin’ away my shot to try for them again). It’s recommended for kids ages 10 and up, so be sure to take that into consideration and get some feedback if you’re hoping to bring children younger than that.

7. The Bard at the Building Museum
This year’s Summer Block Party at the National Building Museum is presented as a partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Shakespeare’s Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired outdoor stage, designed by a team from the University of South Carolina, in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Guests will be able to engage in Shakespearean activities, like stage combat, during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival brings international art and culture to DC every summer

8. Smithsonian Folklife Festival | June 24-28, July 1-5
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is far from a new event to DC, but I’m including it here because after being shortened to a weekend last year, it will return to its regular, longer 10-day run. I always recommend checking out the festivities on the National Mall during that time, because they’re always a fantastic celebration of living cultural heritage, showcasing different regions around the world through hands-on activities, performances, demonstrations, and exhibits for all ages to enjoy. And the great thing about the return to the long run is more opportunities to go. This summer, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates will be highlighted as well as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and Smithsonian Conservation Commons. Admission to all of it is free. Read about and get a glimpse of the 2018 festival here.

9. MLK Jr. Library Reopening | Fall
DC’s flagship public library closed in early 2017 to undergo a major renovation, and it will reopen this fall with loads of modernized features. Newly designed spaces include an transparent entryway, large auditorium and conference center, creative spaces for the arts, a ground level café with a patio, an interactive children’s space, and more. And like all of our public libraries, there will be programming to go along with it, with plenty of it especially for kids. MLK Jr. Library is located in Penn Quarter at 9th and G Streets NW.

10. Presidential Election | November 3
So, this is more an ongoing event for 2020 even though the actual election isn’t until November. It also reaches well beyond DC, but it’s always especially interesting and exciting (and stressful) to be here during the race for the White House. Kids all over the country learn about our government and politics, but here in DC ours practically have front row seats for it. For a related activity, take a tour of the U.S. Capitol. And as we head into the election year, note these important dates: DC primaries are June 2, Maryland primaries are April 28, and Virginia primaries are March 3. Be sure to vote — and bring your kiddos along!

What are you looking forward to most in the coming year? Leave a comment and let us know!


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Sports, Spring, Summer, Theatre, Winter

Jane Goodall & National Geographic Bring a Message of Hope to DC


There are few people in the world who are as universally respected, revered, and celebrated as Dr. Jane Goodall. Her groundbreaking studies of chimpanzees and work as an environmental activist have made her not just an inspiration, but a legend to people across the globe, from all different backgrounds and spanning generations.

It’s no wonder that both nights of her talk, entitled Reasons for Hope, at the Anthem in September sold out within hours of going on sale. I wasn’t lucky enough to get tickets to either one, but my luck came in a different way — an invitation to be part of a small press conference with Jane Goodall before the second show. (And as much as I’d like to be completely professional and cool about it, I can’t help but confess it was one of the biggest thrills of my, like, life! Okay, out of my system.)



The ask came from the Jane Goodall Institute and National Geographic, as the Nat Geo Museum here in DC will present Becoming Jane, an exhibition that explores Dr. Goodall’s life and work through immersive media, authentic scenes, and interactives that will appeal to fans and visitors of all ages — it opens to the public on November 22.

The timing couldn’t have been better for both the media event and Jane Goodall’s lectures, which took place just days after the Climate Strike and during the week of the U.N. Climate Action Summit. During both, she discussed her amazing journey to becoming a world-renown a primatologist, from her love for animals early on in childhood to her work in the Gombe Forest. But the heart of her talk was about much more than her background and studies of chimpanzees. It was about the environmental crisis our planet is facing.

“We need to take action soon,” Dr. Goodall told us, “Not just acknowledge climate change, but to take action.” She suggested this action begins with everyday choices — being cognizant of how what we buy and what we do impacts the environment. (Side note: Look for upcoming blog posts that focus on ways to do this locally.) She also encourages action in groups and on a larger scale.

Her Reasons for Hope focused greatly on younger generations as the world’s future will be in the hands of our children. In response to a question about the student walkout for the Climate Strike, Dr. Goodall said, “It’s not enough to miss school. Why are you doing it? What are you going to do if you meet a politician?”

She then discussed Roots and Shoots, a community action programme started by the Jane Goodall Institute in 1991, designed to teach youth about conservation and leadership, and empower young people to affect positive change in their communities.



During the press event, I asked her a couple of questions about the exhibition coming to National Geographic. First about the collaboration process, which she explained really began over 50 years ago in the Gombe Forest when National Geographic documented her early work there. (Much of this footage is used to tell Dr. Goodall’s story in the wonderful and inspiring documentary, JANE.)

And in Becoming Jane, every element of the exhibition is based on Dr. Jane Goodall and her work. There will be a replica of her research tent, a hologram-like projection of her sharing memories of working with chimpanzees, a virtural-3D expedition to Gombe Stream National Park, augmented reality activities like matching the pant-hoot vocalization of a chimpanzee, and more engaging installations that highlight her life and work.

Next, I asked what message she hopes people, particularly children, will take away from the exhibition. Without hesitation she answered, “That every person makes a difference.”

And she does hope they will. The exhibit also includes a call to action to join her, the Jane Goodall Institute, and National Geographic in an effort to ensure a more sustainable future for us all as well as a pledge station where visitors can share what actions they will take to help Dr. Goodall in her mission.

Becoming Jane will be at the National Geographic Museum from November 22 through the summer of 2020. Admission is $15, $12/seniors & military, free for ages 5 and under. Museum hours are 10am – 6pm.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Museums, Nature, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: June 14-16

Fun at The Wharf where DC JazzFest will present free entertainment this weekend


Happy Weekend! And a very Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Seasonal Treats
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

It still may not be official on the calendar, but when it comes to local recreation, summer has arrived. Free concerts in the open air, outdoor swimming, movies under the stars, sprayground fun, and SO much more! Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed all around the area this weekend. Some are listed in this round-up, and the 2019 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC has the scoop on the rest.

Father’s Day Weekend Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It’s a special day for the dads this 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. See a whole round-up of them in this post, some of which are included below.

Infinite Space
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $8/age 2+

The newest exhibition at ARTECHOUSE, Infinite Space explores the concept of infinity and “invites visitors to open their senses to the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of man and machine.” Six immersive installations will delight and amaze and some will make you feel like you’re floating in, well, Infinite Space. Family-friendly hours are 10am -5pm, and evening hours 5:30-11:30pm for ages 21+ when exhibit-themed cocktails are served make for a fun date night.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the weekend with some live music in the fresh air. The Friday Night Concert series at Yards Park is underway, and the Shane Gamble Band playing this installment of the summer staple. Enjoy the music along with food and drinks for purchase (or BYO picnic), let the kids play in the fountains and grassy spaces, and take in the scenic river views.

Chinatown Community Festival
Where: Chinatown, DC
When: Saturday, 11am -2pm
Admission: Free

Experience the tastes, sights, and sounds of Asian & Pacific Islander cultures! Free food samples, lively cultural performances, fitness demonstrations, face painting, henna design, K Make-up, Asian arts & crafts, free bike repair and much more. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required.

Keep on Truckin’
Where: RFK Stadium, Lot 8 | Kingman Park, DC
When: Saturday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Truck Touch event that easily takes the title as Mac Daddy of them all. This is the 12th year that the DC Department of Public Works welcomes guests to climb aboard, honk the horn, work the gears, and explore all kinds of neat vehicles that serve our city. There also are usually opportunities to test ride Segways, spec out a helicopter, and sit atop police horses. Read more about it and see images from a past Truck Touch here (and be sure to note that it was posted a few years ago, so the dates don’t confuse you).

Grand Re-Opening Weekend
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $17.95

After many months of renovations, Port Discovery and its BIG new exhibits will be fully open for play, learning, and family adventures. Celebrate and soar to new heights on a four-story SkyClimber. Set sail and explore the seas on a life-sized (and giant!) cargo ship. Enjoy new family seating, updated restrooms, and more! See the website for the schedule of activities each day. (KFDC Tip: Port Discovery is a good museum to consider for membership; just a couple of visits for a family of four makes it worth it!)

May the Force Be with the Nats
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks all weekend. Saturday is Star Wars Day at Nationals Park, when the stadium transforms into a galaxy far, far away. 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. There will be post-game fireworks on Friday night. 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.

Jazz it Up
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-10pm
Admission: Free

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 and Saturday, 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. And for more about The Wharf, see this KFDC post.

Juneteenth Celebration
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper MArlboro, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to celebrate this historic date and enjoy free concerts, exhibits, and activities honoring African American culture. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom — the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the name. Be sure to enjoy all of the wonderful offerings at Watkins while you’re there.

Pop-Up Father’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Make a card for your father figure with the museum’s fun craft supplies! They’ll provide a bountiful spread of patterned papers and rubber stamps, 3-D embellishments, special cut-out scissors, washi tape, stickers and markers of every color. You just bring you own creative instincts to design a one-of-a-kind card. And I can tell you from lots of experience over the years that the card-making workshops at the NPM are always fun for all ages!

Movie at the Museum: Ponyo
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:15am & Sunday, 11:15am
Admission: Free

Families are invited to enjoy a film that will appeal to both young and adult audiences. Ponyo centers on the friendship between five-year-old Sosuke and a magical goldfish named Ponyo, the young daughter of a sorcerer father and a sea-goddess mother. After a chance encounter, Ponyo yearns to become a human so she can be with Sosuke. As to be expected with Miyazaki, the film is awash in pure unbridled imagination and visual wonder — but it is the tender love, humor, and devotion exhibited by Ponyo and Sosuke that form the emotional heart of the film. Recommended for ages 4+.

Shows on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $12

See a puppet version of the fairytale classic, Cinderella, set in the elegance of 17th-century France that combines elaborate costumes of the Comédie-Française and Offenbach’s “Gaiety Parisian” to adorn the tale of the cinder girl who captures the heart of the handsome prince. Recommended for ages 5+. Really little ones will enjoy Panda-Monium, this week’s Tiny Tots show that keeps the lights on and doors open and makes it a gentle experience for the youngest theatre-goers.

By the People Festival
Where: Various locations around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

This festival that launched last year brings visual art, performing art, and dialogue to all around DC. Completely free and open to the public, works interpret the festival’s founding themes of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Expect everything from large-scale installations to performances to speakers to augmented reality. By The People will always push the envelope, “creating new and thrilling ways for anyone to fan their creative spark by experiencing world-class art.” See the website for the schedule and locations.

Smokin’ Saturday
Where: Cox Farms | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Head to the farm for their weekly gathering of food and fun! Visit friendly critters, play on the wooden climbing structures, enjoy pulled pork from the smoker and other tasty eats, listen to live music, take a ride to Foamhenge, and frolic around the grounds. Visit the website for timing and more details.

Shaw Open House
Where: Throughout the Shaw neighborhood, DC
When: Saturday,1-5pm
Admission: Free

Dozens of businesses in the Shaw neighborhood are opening their doors for free samples, discounts, and entertainment on Saturday, — and the first 100 people to sign in receive $25 in “Shawbucks” to spend at the participating businesses! Check in at Grand Cata to receive an Open House “Passport,” then embark on an afternoon of discounts, free treats like samples of Capital Burger’s Boozy Milkshakes, quiche and a sip from Convivial, coffee from Le Columbe, and much more in addition to a photo booth and other fun activities throughout the neighborhood.  All passport holders will be entered into a drawing for gift cards and experiences from participating businesses, including an overnight stay at Marriott, gift cards for dining and shopping, gift baskets, artwork, and more. 

Lily Ponds Live
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is hosting the first installment of the Lily Ponds Live! concert series at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. This free concert will feature live jazz from the Kenny Rittenhouse Quartet, food trucks will be available. and there will be family activity stations sponsored by other local non-profits.

Pizza + Picasso Art Night
Where: Makeshift | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: $24.50 (+ $45 with add-on)

Join Makeshift for Pizza + Picasso Art Night — all ages welcome. They’ll provide the dinner and art + craft supplies, you just bring the kids! There are two options for this event: 1) Stop by with your kid(s)! Each child ages 1+ requires a ticket. Adults join and eat free. 2) Turn art night into a date night! Makeshift has partnered with District Sitter to offer babysitting services throughout the event. The cost is $45 for 2 hours of dedicated babysitting services for up to 2 kids AT MAKESHIFT. Your children will be assigned a sitter who will help them participate in the pizza + art activities and watch them throughout the event, while you head out for a couple of hours! Be sure to select this optional Add-On at checkout. Minimum age for babysitting services is 6 months.

Father’s Day Fish-a-Rama
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Sunday
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.

LGBTQ+ Pride Flag Postcard Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

It’s another opportunity to get creative at the Postal museum, this time to make rainbow pride flag postcards out of canceled stamps and participate in a scavenger hunt featuring famous LBGTQ+ figures on stamps. All ages are welcome to join this activity that takes place every Sunday in June. Plan to explore the rest of the museum while you’re there — read more about it in this KFDC post.

Women’s World Cup Watch
Where: Wheaton Sports Pavilion | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 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.

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

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.

Soccer Festival
Where: Tyler Elementary School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Best Places in the Dc Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids is probably my favorite KFDC post and always a good one to keep handy.
* Currently at the National Archives, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote highlights the relentless struggle of diverse activists throughout U.S. history to secure voting rights for all American women.
* See what’s coming to Arena Stage for 2019/20, it’s 70th anniversary season.
* Homewood Suites in the Navy Yard hosts a rooftop happy hour before Nats games and offers some great special Nationals packages for guests.
* I’ve been hearing good things about this book and just put it on my summer reading list.
* 13 Goals.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

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.

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