Category Archives: Summer

Registration is Open for CityDance Summer Camps!


This post is sponsored by CityDance, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, Camp, DC, Gradeschoolers, Maryland, Preschoolers, Sponsored Post, Summer, Teens, Tweens

The Weekend Round-Up: August 31 – September 3

Apple picking at Waters Orchard last year


Happy Long Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long — outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, check out the Building Museum’s FUN HOUSE, take the kids to the Newseum for free, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, or jump in at an outdoor public pool, then check out the 2018 Summer Guide, which has details on all of these diversions, plus many more.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Call all bookworms! The 18th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages.

Centennial Birthday Bash
Where: Anacostia Park | Anacostia, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-10pm & Saturday, 9:30am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Head to the river during the last days of summer and celebrate the 100th year of a neighborhood national park, Anacostia Park! Enjoy an evening summer concert on the lawn on Friday, and all day fun in the park on Saturday. Join an early morning group fitness classes, take fishing lessons (with a competition for the biggest fish caught), explore the river on a boat tour, listen to live music, get rolling at a disco skating party, go on scavenger hunts, and much more at the Anacostia Park Birthday Bash!

Merriment Galore!
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $19/adults, $17/seniors, $8/7-15, free/6 & under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead).

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10:30am – 11:30pm
Admission: Free

More than 60 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the 17th annual Page-to-Stage Festival — all free and open to the public. Several performances are family-friendly, including a Hip Hop-infused take on The Prince and the Pauper, City Kids Theater’s A Fairy Tale Day in Court, Arts on the Horizon’s Sailing on String PLAY-shop, a hilarious whodunit by Faction of Fools, and more. Plus, there are many more for older kids and adults. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows. And note that while tickets are not required, seating is limited.

Root for the Home Team
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are home this holiday weekend and hosting the Brewers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the Cardinals on Monday (and Tuesday & Wednesday). There are some great promos and giveaways to enjoy along with the action on the field, including truckers hats, kids’ pajama sets, and a zip-up hoodie (see the website for details). Before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/adults, $5/age 5-12, free/under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but Saturday’s concert will continue until 9pm. And children under 12 are free on Sunday!

Apple Gala & Cider Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley — demos, picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Labor Day Weekend Festivities
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

It’s an exciting weekend at Glen Echo. Along with the 48th Annual Labor Day Art Show throughout the weekend, there will be an Open House to check out all kinds of art classes on Saturday, a Family Dance on Sunday at 5pm, and the 12th annual Irish Music and Dance Showcase on Monday. The public is welcome to enjoy all of it for free!

Shake Up Your Saturday
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am & 11am
Admission: Free

Join the Folger’s family program that takes place the first Saturday of every month. In this “Thunder, Lightning, or in Rain” themed session kids ages 5-11 will explore the sun and storms of Shakespeare’s worlds. Go here to sign up — ages 4-7 at 10am, and 8-11 at 11am. And read more about the Folger Shakespeare library in this KFDC post.

Zoo Bop 2018
Where: Maryland Zoo | Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $9-25/adult, $5-19/child

Get your dancing shoes on and singing voice ready for Zoo Bop, the children’s outdoor music festival at the Maryland Zoo. Families will enjoy two live performances from kid-approved rockstars! One of them is local fave, Latin GRAMMY-winning 123 Andrés at 1pm! Plus, bop around to kids vendors, food trucks, and fun activity tables. Of course, plan to explore the Zoo, too.

Weekend Walk-on: Cosmic Egg
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5

Join the museum for this month’s Weekend Walk-in, a hands-on, drop-in, art-making workshop in the AVAM classroom! During this session, make your own mini version of artist Andrew Logan’s Cosmic Galaxy Egg sculpture with a special clay-like material and sparkly bits. Supplies & boundless inspiration provided. Read more about the wonderful American Visionary Art Museum here.

Shakespeare Free for All
Where: Sydney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

See Romeo & Juliet for free as Shakespeare Theatre Company presents its annual Free For All program, when they offer complimentary performances of a Shakespearean classic to the public. Tickets are available through an online lottery or by waiting in line day-of with a limited number available.

Family Movie Time
Where: Arlington Cinema Drafthouse | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Varies by show

The whole gang can enjoy some entertainment at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse this weekend. See a screening of The Incredibles (Saturday @ 12:30pm, Sunday @ 3:30pm, & Monday @ 11:30am), watch Ant-Man and the Wasp (Saturday @ 3:30pm, Sunday @ 9:15pm, & Monday @ 7pm), or catch Hotel Transylvania 3 on Monday @ 2:30pm.

Syria Fest
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 12th-14th Streets | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

The Syrian Cultural House welcomes all to the second annual Syria Fest, a free family-friendly outdoors cultural festival showcasing the beauty of Syria and its people. From the markets of Damascus, the music of Aleppo, the sweets of Hama, and more, the Syria Fest will bring Syrian heritage, culture, and cuisine to the heart of our nation’s capital.

Battle of the Uniteds
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $22

Kick it at a soccer match on Sunday evening, as the DC United host the Atlanta United. 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.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building West Lawn | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Musicians Aaron Goldman onflute, Craig Mulcahy on trombone, and Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist alumna Leah Hawkins, and guest conductor JoAnn Falletta join the National Symphony Orchestra this year. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (and there will be no rehearsal). You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

Rise+Rhyme with King Bullfrog
Where: Busboys & Poets | Takoma Park, MD
When: Monday, 9:30am
Admission: $5

Take the littles to a kindie rock show on Monday morning as Mr. Jeremiah from King Bullfrog entertains during this session of Rise+Rhyme. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the kids are grooving.

Labor Day Parades
Where: Gaithersburg & Kensington, MD
When: Monday
Admission: Free

For some holiday pageantry on Monday, head to Maryland — both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 80-year tradition in Gaithersburg will include fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. Kensington is hosting its 51st Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, and more town representatives will be part of the show making its way around starting at 10am. And you can march and sing with Washington Revels, perfect for families and one of the easiest way to learn what Revels is all about! The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Armory Avenue with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more.

Weather or Not
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The current weather forecast on my iPhone app has a lot of little lightening bolts, which in my experience could mean anything from t-storms all weekend to a little rain overnight that doesn’t even affect us. So, if you want to plan your activities as the weather plays out, keep these two posts bookmarked:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* The Washington Post has good information about paying respects to Senator John McCain.
* Fractal Worlds, the current exhibit at ARTECHOUSE has been extended until September 30, so you still have plenty of time to immerse within its digital dimensions.
* Do you know about Acorns? It’s a neat, easy way to invest and save money. We signed up earlier this year and have a nice, little “ski trip” fund going. (Full disclosure, I shared my referral link, but it really is a great app!)
* If you’re doing some Labor Day shopping, check out The Mom Edit’s picks for the best sales.
* I’m currently reading Stay with Me, and it’s so good. Who else has read it?
* It’s time to start thinking about fall fun, and this new round-up has the scoop on the many ways to celebrate the season around the DC area!

Gymboree Sale On Now!


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Maryland, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

This Saturday is the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival!



If you’re going to be in town this holiday weekend — and especially if you’ve got some bookworms in your crew — plan for one of DC’s biggest, most anticipated annual events on Saturday: The 18th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival!

Book enthusiasts young and old come from all over for the day of reading-related activities. Works by more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased, and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances.

All genres are represented on stages throughout the festival — Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, Thrillers & Fantasy, Fiction, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Graphic Novels — where readings, presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests will take place. And a Book Sales area gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors.

If your children love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there. Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynolds, Danica McKellar, and David Ezra Stein are just a few of many. Kids will also be able to enjoy an array of fun and exciting activities on the Expo Floor, from the Parade of States where they can learn about each state’s literary heritage and collect a stamp to special story times to poetry slams to National Geographic’s Explorer Academy, and much more.

Of course, there’s bound to be an author — or several — that parents will be excited about, too. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will launch her first book, Turning Pages, at the festival. Best selling authors Isabel Allende, Dave Eggers and Amy Tan; former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham will be featured on the Main Stage. And acclaimed writers Jeffrey Eugenides, Annie Proulx, Ron Chernow, Richard Russo, Celeste Ng, and Tara Westover are among the many that will be presenting.

Have a look for yourself at the complete list and start planning your National Book Festival experience. Most presentations are first come, first served — and people do line up early to get seats, so plan accordingly.

The 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, September 1, 9am – 7:30pm (doors open 8:30am)
Admission: FREE

*Information on getting there and parking is available here.

*You can read about one of our past visits when it was still held on the National Mall — including an interview with Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne! — here.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Special Event, Summer, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 27-31

Get to the Fun House before it closes in a week!



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Monday – Go to a special summer exhibit or museum program while you can! Several around the area will come to an end after Labor Day. Explore the Fun House at the National Building Museum. Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum thanks to the Summer Fun Deal (and get a deal on adult admission here). Look for fairy houses and enjoy more artistic delights at Annmarie Sculpture Garden. Visit Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC, at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. Find details on these and even more soon-to-be over activities in the 2018 Summer Guide.

Tuesday – Head up to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to tour the historic ships. There are four vessels that welcome visitors to explore: The USS Constellation, USS Torsk, USCGC Taney, and LV116 Chesapeake. Admission to tour two ships is $15/adult, $7/ages 6-14, free for ages 5 and under, and you can add on for just a few dollars more per ship. Read more about the experience in this KFDC post.

Wednesday – Get artsy at All Fired Up, where you can walk-in and paint your own pottery. Right now on Mondays & Wednesdays, you can get 15% off select pieces from 12-3pm, and regular pottery prices range from $6-60. Locations are in Cleveland Park and Bethesda. All ages are welcome!

You can also play outside and get a taste of Tinkergarten! The program provides wonderful, outdoor, play-based early childhood classes for children 18 months – 8 years old and their parents/caregivers to come together weekly in local parks to play, discover, and learn together. Join a FREE trial class at Belle Haven Park in Alexandria, VA, from 9:30am-10:45am. Trial classes are a great opportunity to see what Tinkergarten is all about! Register in advance here. (Note: This was originally the Thursday listing, but I had the date wrong — oops! There will also be free trial classes this Friday, August 31, and next week, September 5 and 7.)

Thursday – Stay cool on the hot day at a public outdoor pool, which will only remain open daily through Labor Day. Even better, they’re free (or a small fee if you’re not a resident of the District or county where it’s located). Check out the 2018 Summer Guide for links to public pools in the area and be sure to note open swim times, as they may vary from pool to pool.

Friday – Spend what’s one of the last days of summer break for many local kids at the beach! Several places within day trip-distance from DC are great for sand and surf. Enjoy picturesque views of the Bay Bridge along with beach fun at Sandy Point State Park. Head out to Calvert County for a day at Flag Ponds Nature Park, including some fossil hunting. Head a little further out to North Beach or Brownies Beach (Bayfront Park). You can also play paleontologist and look for prehistoric fragments along the Potomac at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Exhibit, Free, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays