Category Archives: Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 22-26

This week may be your last chance to enjoy this view


Monday – Take in some of the best views of the DC area while you can. Word has it the Observation Deck at CEB Towers will no longer be open to the public after July 26 —- which is a bummer. The 30+ story high space in Rosslyn offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic vistas plus neat interactive and immersive experiences to enjoy them even more (and just about all of it is indoors). Hours are 10am – 8pm, and admission is $21/adult, $11/age 5-13, $16/seniors & military, free for children under 5 (they are $1 more at the box office). Look for a deal here. But if you’re an Arlington resident, admission is FREE!

Tuesday – Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s life and death at Ford’s Theatre. Self-guided tours of the National Historic Site include the museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and Petersen House across the street where Lincoln died. It’s open daily 9am – 4:30pm. Tickets can be reserved online in advance for $3, or same-day passes are available for free at the Box Office, which is open 8:30am – 5pm. (FYI: This is the busy season, so reserving in advance is recommended.)

Wednesday – Hit the trail at Riverbend Park. Make that your starting point for a 2-mile hike to Great Falls, where you can take in magnificent vistas, visit the nature center, and have a picnic. Or just explore the area around Riverbend and enjoy the Visitor Center and views there. Park hours are 7am to dusk, Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy Anime for All, a celebration of East Asian culture, mythology, pop culture and inspiration, at the Library of Congress. See a film screening of the newly released GKIDS animated film “Okko’s Inn” along with a collection display of rare Japanese graphic art, a panel discussion on the emergence of Japanese hip-hop ,and a live Studio Ghibli performance. It’s a showcase of the evolution of Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern forms of expressions and overall pop-culture fandom. This will all take place from 9am – 4pm on Thursday and Friday. Free tickets can be reserved here — they are not required, but space for some activities is limited. Read more about the Library of Congress here.

Friday – Head to Watkins Regional Park for all kinds of fun adventures. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have little ones frolicking for hours. Be sure to stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. Go for a spin on the carousel, take a ride on the miniature train that winds through woods, and play mini golf, too! Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free, but rides and mini golf are a small fee.


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

Where to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Kids

The LM2 Lunar Module on display at Air & Space, was used for ground testing prior to the first successful Moon-landing mission


It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 was launched by the Saturn V rocket into space, beginning its historic mission to the moon, where it landed four days later on July 20, 1969. In just hours, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Even though many of us Gen Xers weren’t even born yet, we’re all very familiar with the footage and audio of that “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Certainly, the half-century anniversary of that landmark event is cause for celebration. Here’s where to do that around DC this week, listed in order of start date.

Apollo Artifacts
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The Air & Space Museum is an obvious (and great) place to visit during this big anniversary. Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission. A special display case on the 1st floor across from the Space Race gallery will feature a replica of the American flag erected on the Moon, plus items in three categories: Packing for the Moon, Learning From the Moon, and Remembering the Moon.

Launch Celebration
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: July 16, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

The Udvar-Hazy Center opens early to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. There will be a broadcast NASA TV’s program celebrating the launch, materials from the Air and Space Museum’s archives, hands-on activities and discovery stations, story times, and more. Artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, like the Mobile Quarantine Facility and Apollo 11 flotation collar, are on display, too.

A Monumental Sight
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: July 16-18, 9:30-11:30pm
Admission: Free

For three evenings, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face.

Out of this World: The Science of Space
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 16–19
Tickets: $3-6

Live demonstrations, fun factoids, and space stuff with the Science Guys of Baltimore! Join on a mission to investigate the physics and chemistry that govern the rotation and orbit of planets, how astronauts live in space and power the spacecraft that hurtle among the stars. Recommended for ages 5-12.

See the Space Window
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $12/adult, $8/age 5-17, free/under 5

There’s a tiny piece of the moon in one of the National Cathedral’s stained glass windows, a relic brought back by the astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission. Now called the “Space Window,” it can be viewed on a self-guided tour or a highlights tour.

Moon Madness STORYTIME
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 17, 10am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at the Hirshhorn’s STORYTIME program for littles! Enjoy a reading of “Mooncake” by Frank Ash, then explore lunar inspired artworks, and create your own moon-inspired artworks. Meet in the lobby.

Earthrise
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 4
Admission: $20

This family show is recommended for age 5+: While the world waits for the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, three children of key NASA employees watch from different perspectives: a mathematician’s daughter, an astronaut’s son, and an engineer’s daughter. By dreaming a collective dream of landing on the moon together, the kids learn to understand the historic mission — not fear it.

Apollo 50 Festival
Where: 4th – 7th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20
Admission: Free

Join the National Air & Space Museum and NASA for the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall with all kinds of festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary. A stage and 20 tents will feature hands-on exhibits and activities from exhibitors like NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, The LEGO Group, and PBS’s Ready Jet Go!; live performances featuring costumed characters; and exciting speakers including Adam Savage, ISS astronauts, authors, and NASA scientists and engineers, with more special guests to be announced.

Discover the Moon Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 19
Admission: Free

Join the museum for a day of educational and fun family activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. At Discover the Moon Day talk to our scientists and learn about lunar science. There will be activities throughout the museum for all ages.

Apollo 50: Go for the Moon
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20, evenings
Admission: Free

The celebration will continue in the evenings with “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon.” The 17-minute immersive experience with the first moon landing projected onto the Washington Monument and more screens on the National Mall, plus a 40-foot wide recreation of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock. The free show will run at 9:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm and can be viewed from the area in front of the Smithsonian Castle, btwn 9th & 12th Streets.

First Man
Where: Arlington Mill Community Center| Arlington, VA
When: July 19, 8:30pm
Admission: Free

The theme of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization’s popular Summer Movie Nights is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.” And this week it focuses on Neil Armstrong as First Man is presented at the Arlington Mill location on Friday night.

A Celebration of African Americans at NASA
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is hosting a celebration of African Americans at NASA, sharing their stories and contributions using engaging activities about space and space travel to enhance the visitors’ experiences and learning. Since the Apollo 11 mission, the US has sent many astronauts into space. Despite being one of the leaders in the space race, it would be nearly 15 years after man’s first steps on the moon until the first African American, Guy Bluford would launch into space. In total, there have been 21 African American Astronauts.

Model Rocket Contest
Where: Goddard Space Flight Center | Greenbelt, MD
When: July 20
Admission: Free

The Goddard Space Flight Center hosts model rocket launches regularly, but this is a special one — a contest — to mark the 50th anniversary. All are welcome to launch and land their model rockets in the competition on Saturday. Registration will take pace there, and the first 200 to sign up will receive a moonlanding commemorative giveaway. Read more about model rocket launches at Goddard here.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 15-19

The fountains at Georgetown Waterfront Park are a cool for play on a hot day


An idea per day keeps the boredom away! Keep in mind that most of these recommendations can be enjoyed any day of the week. And for even more suggestions for things to do, check out these go-to posts:
The Great Indoors
The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Monday – Take little ones to a special Rise & Rhyme with Culture Queen at Busboys & Poets. Join her at the Hyattsville location to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King through music, movement, storytelling, and chance to win promotional giveaways. This event begins at 9:30am and will be free of charge for guests on this day only.

For an outing with older kids, take a time trip back to ancient Egypt at National Geographic Museum. The current Queens of Egypt exhibit highlights the mighty queens of that era and the hidden role of women in all aspects of Egyptian society. Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $15/adult, $12/student, $10/age 2-12.

And PS: It’s Amazon Prime Day! On July 15 (& 16) you can score some amazing deals on all kinds of products!

Tuesday – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Visit the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall, where Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic mission. Plan to tour the rest of the museum, too, full of fascinating exhibits and interactives. hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free. (And note that there will be special activities going on all week to commemorate the half-century mark.)

In the evening, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face. This will happen Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:30-11:30pm.

Wednesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, where there are some extra special creatures to see right now. Dino Summer features two dinosaur experiences of prehistoric proportions — DinoRoars is an outdoor exhibit of six massive animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar, and Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live is an experiential theater production featuring a larger-than-life dinosaurs. Of course, you can also just go to visit the animals. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can chat with a bear keeper, visit the shocking new Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab, meet a small mammal, and more. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 8am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $25 (free for some member levels). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.

Thursday – See SOLE Defined perform a high-energy dance show that fuses tap and body percussion at Strathmore’s Backyard Theater for Kids in North Bethesda. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8-10.

Friday – Hang out at Georgetown Waterfront Park. Let the kids run through the sprays of the interactive fountain, play on the grassy areas, follow the paths of the in-ground labyrinth, and watch the boats and ducks go by on the river. After (or before, depending on when you go), have a bite to eat or do some shopping in the neighborhood full of restaurants and retail.


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

Scenes from a Kayaking Adventure on the Potomac

Starting our adventure from Fletcher’s Cove


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

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

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

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

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







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