Category Archives: Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: November 27-29

 

Happy Weekend!

 

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This initiative started by REI a few years ago was so good it became one of the most popular hashtags… Skip the shopping (or do it off-hours online) and get out to enjoy some family QT outdoors. You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Family Bike Ride
Where: National Mall to Kennedy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Here’s a nice family bike ride: Head down the National Mall, around the Lincoln Memorial, down Pkwy Drive to the Rock Creek Trail that runs along the Potomac.  You’ll come to a pedestrian bridge that leads to the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center. There, you can explore the beautiful outdoor area with stretches of green grass and pretty plantings, art sculptures, fountains, and the beautifully designed buildings. Plan to shop the Winter Holiday Market at Victura Park and enjoy a bite and drink from the cafe. You can also take a stroll on the Kennedy Center Terrace and through the Grand Foyer inside.

Victura Park Winter Holiday Market
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, 4-8pm, Saturday 12–9pm, & Sunday 12-8pm.
Admission: Free

Victura Park, the pop-up wine car on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center, transforms into a festive Holiday Market starting this weekend. The outdoor market will feature an amazing line up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up shop. Support small businesses by purchasing gifts, prepackaged treats, and one-of-a-kind artworks for the perfect holiday celebration. Sip on seasonal classics such as spiked cider and hot cocoa or choose from the signature menu of beer and wine, light snacks, and delicious food hot from the grill.

More Two-Wheel Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There are even more great routes to ride all around the area, and this weekend will be a nice one to enjoy them. Take in the fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

Lighting of the Wharf Tree
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as they officially light their Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Bring the family for photos by to the 45-foot pine tree on District Pier, then enjoy dinner together at one of the many restaurants. End your evening by roasting s’mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!

Recreation on Ice
Where: A few locations in the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions this weekend should be great for outdoor ice skating. While some places are not opening for the season, the ice rinks at  Pentagon Row and Reston Town Center  are two that are once again welcoming skaters to glide the day — and night — away. And the Color Burst Ice Rink at the Merriweather District in Columbia, MD, just started its inaugural skating season. All rinks have Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Through December 31, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate. Just as the Washingtons celebrated the holiday with family and friends, visitors can start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon this holiday season. The holidays are full of delight at George Washington’s estate. It’s open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Season’s Greetings
Where: Hillwood Estate | Northwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Suggested donation $18/adult, $5/child, free/under 6

Hillwood remains a safe way to enjoy the holiday splendor with precautionary measures in place. Enjoy time outside as the gardens reveal another aspect of their ever-changing beauty during the holiday season. The gardens, as revealed in the publication A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood, are the inspiration for glamorous Christmas trees and festive décor across the estate.

Holiday Movies at The Wharf: Home Alone
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Srnday, 2pm & 6pm
Admission: $60

Join The Wharf throughout this holiday season for a pop-up outdoor movie theatre on Transit Pier where you can enjoy all the Christmas classics from your private firepit in front of a 20′ LED screen. They’re showing all the best holiday classics — this weekend it’s Home Alone— at 2pm and 6pm showtimes. In advance of the event, reserve your fire pit, which seats up to four people. Drinks (both hard and soft) and snacks are available throughout the movie from Cantina Bambina. Each seating includes a special stocking stuffed full of great offers and holiday treats from Wharf restaurants, merchants, and partners.

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s still some autumn splendor left to enjoy. With pleasant temps and foliage still brightening the landscape, this weekend will be a good time to relish in the season. This post has recommendations for where to savor it around the DMV.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

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

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. See a snake a and turtle feeding at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Go on a Turkey Walk at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Enjoy a Family Owl Outing at Huntley Meadows. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DMV
When: Saturday

Admission: Free, but plan to buy & support local
If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend, make a point of going to local, independent stores, both to score great, unique gifts and to support people and places that help make our communities thrive.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Several parks and gardens in the area have transformed into sparkling wonderlands. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

ZooLights Express
Where: Wards 1 & 2 | WDC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

To play it safe this year, ZooLights Express, powered by Pepco, is bringing the colorful glow of DC’s beloved National Zoo holiday tradition into the community. The 24-foot ZooLights Express truck is hitting the road, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws.” It will visit one District ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6-8pm. This weekend it will be in Ward 1 on Friday and Ward 2 on Saturday. (Click links for the mapped route.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Be sure to check the KFDC holiday season guide to plan for upcoming events — some you need to reserve tickets for in advance.
* Don’t forget about the KFDC Gift Guide to help with holiday shopping.
* DC Water published a children’s book: Where Does Our Wastewater Go? takes complex environmental and engineering themes and makes them accessible to children.
* New movies to watch with the kids.
* What Washingtonians are grateful for.
* The Losses We Share, a beautiful essay by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Discover DC by Foot this Holiday Season

Holiday lights and history on a tour through Georgetown

[Note: This is a Guest Post contributed by Canden Arciniega from DC By Foot.]

 

Hi! I’m Canden, a tour guide and historian in Washington, DC, and a mom of two. It has been a weird line between getting the kids out of the house and keeping the kids in the house this year, not quite knowing what to do or what’s open and meets the safety standards that we’ve set for our family.  KidFriendly DC has been my go-to in figuring out what is happening [editor’s note: 😊], so I’m excited to share with you what my company is doing this December as a kid-friendly option for something fun, festive, and perfect for these social distancing times.

DC by Foot offers over a dozen walking tours, available each day. Let’s get the safety protocols out there first: All our tours are entirely outdoors, in small groups to allow physical distancing, with mask requirements of all guests and guides.

We offer tours of the National Mall that have a scavenger hunt element for kids, our popular Lincoln’s Assassination tour, family-friendly Ghosts of Georgetown tours, and private neighborhood tours of Georgetown, Eastern Market, Capitol Hill, the Wharf, and more.

 

Creative lights make the season bright

 

For the holiday season, starting December 4, we’re excited to offer a Holiday Lights and History tour of Georgetown daily! This 1.5-hour tour starts at 6pm and explores the holiday windows and light displays. We’ll weave in stories of Georgetown history as we walk — for instance, did you know the Gap in Georgetown used to be a Civil War prison for deserters?

If you’re not interested in Georgetown, we also offer a Downtown History & Lights tour on a private basis that visits the Holiday Market, Macy’s Windows, Willard Hotel, and National Christmas tree display.

Wondering whether our guides will be engaging and fun enough for your kids?  Not to worry!  In the before times, our team of full time guides worked mostly with student groups. We tell jokes so bad they are good and pride ourselves in winning over even the most angsty teen.

 

See festive window displays in local shops

 

Our Georgetown Holiday Lights tours are name-your-own-price from Wednesday to Saturday, and ticketed Sunday to Tuesday. Name-your-own-price tours allow you to take the tour and then decide at the end what you thought it was worth, paying the guide directly when the tour is finished. Guides strive to make the tour such a memorable experience that you’ll want to support them, but if that’s not in your budget, or you didn’t feel like it was worth it… that is your choice.

With the limited number of people and tours right now, many of our tours are ticketed in order to support our guides, but we’re happy to be able to offer select tours on the name-your-own-price basis.

Interested in more information about our Holiday Lights or any other tours?  You can find them all on our website, DC by Foot, or send me a message at [email protected].

I look forward to exploring DC with you!

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Christmas, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Holidays, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: November 20-22

Family hang time at the National Arboretum

 

Happy Weekend!

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

Family Movie Night
Where: Alexandria Drive-In | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $35/car

The drive-in movie season continues, and this one presents family-focused movies this fall. This weekend catch showings of Sea Biscuit on Friday (7:45pm), and How to Train Your Dragon (5:30pm) and 42 (9pm) on Saturday. Food trucks are on site each night providing delish savory and sweet concessions with online ordering through Goodfynd.

Go Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out for a family walk in the woods! Peep the autumn leaves before they’re all gone, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for great places to go with kids. A few recs for right now: National Arboretum in DC, Prince William Forest Park and Pohick Bay Regional Park in NoVa, and Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland.

Victura Park
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Free

It’s going to be great weather for some hang time at Victura Park, the outdoor family-friendly pop-up wine garden & café on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center. Enjoy delicious drinks and tasty grilled eats, and bring along the kiddos and pets!  Victura Park hours are Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 12-9pm, and Sunday 12-8pm.

Skate with Color
Where: Merriweather District | Columbia, MD
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: $14 (skate & rental)

The Another area place to lace up your ice skates is opening this weekend in Maryland.  Howard County’s first and only public outdoor ice rink is opening at the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia, MD.  The Color Burst Ice Rink will launch with festive decor and Covid safety measures in place. A limited number of visitors will be admitted to the ice rink every 30-minutes, and all visits must be reserved in advance by purchasing timed ticket online.  Other ice rinks now open: Pentagon Row Ice Center & Reston Town Center Ice Rink

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The trees may be losing their leaves, but there’s still plenty of autumn left in the area — and a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has recommendations for where to savor the season around the DMV.

Donation Drive Benefitting S.O.M.E.
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: Free (but bring donations!)

Join The Wharf community in donating enough canned goods, non-perishable foods, and winter clothes to fill a Budweiser truck!  The supplies benefit local non-profit So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), which provides essential services to at-risk populations in Washington, DC. This year, more than ever, their services are in high demand.  The Budweiser truck will be parked outside at District Square.  Please fill the truck with canned goods, non-perishable food items, new clothing (including socks, coats, and gloves), and toiletries.

Two-Wheel Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get in family bike rides before it gets too cold. (Sure, you can ride in all temps, but there’s bound to be less complaining now.) Take in the fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

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

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Do some nature stretching at Green Spring Garden. join a Native American campfire cookout at Riverbend Park. Learn about flying squirrels around the campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience
Where: RFK Stadium Festival Grounds | Southeast DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Starts at $49/vehicle

It’s the final weekend to encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth and eeriest marine creatures to lurk in the ocean’s depths from the safety of your family vehicle. This drive-thru experience features more than 70 true-to-life sized beasts from the land and sea with an audio tour guiding you along.

Crystalline
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 3
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

ARTECHOUSE, known for its visually stunning digital art, has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play.  Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a  dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Gonzo’s Multiverse
Where: National Theatre Online
When: Saturday, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The National is excited to present Gonzo’s Multiverse Episode One: The Tale of Vovo as part of their Saturday Morning Live! at the National virtual program. Join on Saturday for a visit with a vegan shark, a conversation with calligraphic artist Barbara Bash, music by the Good Boat Trio, and more! This programming is best suited for children 4-10 years, but siblings and friends of other ages are always welcome to join the fun.

Digital Quiltmaking Community Art/Coding Project
Where: KID Museum Online
When: Saturday through November 30
Admission: Free
Kids of all ages — adults too! — can learn to code as they design squares for a community digital quilt. Using free, online coding software called TurtleArt, users will design colorful, graphic “tiles” that can be uploaded to form a digital quilt installation. KID Museum will post instructions and helpful videos online to guide participants through the process. The project runs November 21-30, and individuals can join at any time. This is a fun, creative and educational holiday activity for family members to do together.

The Virtual Enchanted Forest
Where: Online
When: November 21
Admission: Varies by activity

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns virtually this year. Activities include storytime with Santa, an online auction, call with Santa, cooking classes, arts and crafts, yoga, and more fun for the family.

Holiday Freedom Market
Where: Online
When: Starting Saturday through December 5
Admission: Free

Looking for ethically and sustainably made holiday gifts this season?  Visit the Holiday Freedom Market, an online pop-up launching on Saturday and running for two weeks. They’ve has partnered with brands that employ fair trade and sustainable practices (including local brand Hon’s Honey), many of which support anti-human trafficking initiatives or employ at-risk individuals or survivors of exploitation, to bring you incredible gifts options that you can shop with a clear conscience.   COVID-19 has made things exponentially worse for those who are vulnerable or currently being trafficked. All net proceeds will go to Justice Ventures International, an organization that fights human trafficking.  Local pick-up options will be available.  Note that the website will not go-live until this Saturday, but you can catch a sneak-peek by visiting their Instagram and Facebook pages.

World Toilet Day Celebration
Where: Adventure Theatre Online
When: Throughout the weekend & Sunday Storytime, 2pm
Admission: Free

Adventure Theatre is commemorating World Toilet Day with a release of a music video titled “Let’s Talk about Poop.” Sunday’s StoryTime will feature Philip Chung, playwright of upcoming production “Poop: The Musical,” and the Fairfax County Wastewater Management team. Adventure Theatre’s Storytimes are Sundays at 2PM, free on Facebook Live.

Lights on the Bay
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: Through January 2
Admission: $20/car (look for discount)

Driving through Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park has become a tradition for many area families for the past decade. The scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay features more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. The holiday light show is sponsored by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.

Ice & Lights
Where: Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Opens Sunday
Admission: See details below(look for discount)

Glide across the ice at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia. The waterpark is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music and more. Visit Slice n’ Ice for hot chocolate, coffee and cold beverages, pizza, hot dogs, and delicious donut holes. Admission to the village is $7.95, with 1-hour skating and skate rental is $19.43, ice skating & rental only is $12.19. Ice skating tickets are available online only.

More Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a seasonal favorite. Visit one of several parks in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. Either way, expect to be dazzled.

Tree Light Show
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Evenings at sundown
Admission: Free

Ignite your holiday spirit with the lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. A little snowfall over the tree during the light show will add to fun. The first tree light show is Saturday evening and will takes place every night through the season, every half hour from sundown to 9pm. This year, in order to maintain social distancing, guests will be asked to form a line and follow the directions.

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* In response to rising Covid rates, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close to the public starting November 23.
* The National Gallery of Art will also temporarily close starting November 21.
* Tea Collection is in the midst of 12 Days of Tea with new special offers daily.
* Random, but these sweatshirts are cute, comfy, and such a good deal.
* Mentioned recently in the Five Things, now is a great time to sign up for Rakuten. You can earn cash back on purchases as you’re doing online holiday shopping!
* The 30 Best Comedies on Hulu Right Now because who can’t use more laughter.
* Dolly is just the best.
* Ha.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Scenes from a Lovely Fall Outing to Brookside Gardens

 

Is it just me, or has this fall been especially beautiful?  The scenery seems ablaze with golden yellow, fiery orange, and deep red as the foliage puts on its seasonal performance. Perhaps the general gloom of this past year makes the bright spots that much more vivid, or maybe Mother Nature just knows how much we need it right now.

The fam framed by fall foliage

It’s this autumn luster that brought us to Brookside Gardens this past weekend — well, coupled with a little photography agenda.  We wanted to get out and enjoy the day before the rain came, someplace relaxing that would showcase the season.  So, I checked the round-up of the best outdoor places for ideas (yep, I use my own blog!), and in one glance I knew where we were going: Brookside Gardens, the beautiful public display garden within Wheaton Regional Park in the Montgomery Parks system.

Owen, circa 2010

Owen, circa 2015

The lead image in that post, the one of oh-so-sweet, four-year-old Owen chilling in the tree, was taken at Brookside almost exactly 10 years ago.  We recreated the photo when we happened to be back there five years later, so when I saw it again and did the math, I realized it was time for the next installment.

Paved paths traverse the gardens…

…as do leave strewn dirt trails

As those photos indicate, we’ve been enjoying Brookside Gardens for a long time.  Along with an occasional fall visit, we usually go for the wonderful annual Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit and Garden of Lights holiday display, however, both were among the many beloved area events cancelled this year.  But this autumn outing was lovely and serene and perfect for right now.  Plus, we got that shot.

Owen at 14

Of course, we had to capture our best girl, too

Brookside Gardens is located at 1800 Glenallan Avenue in Wheaton, MD.  Right now, the grounds are open to wander and enjoy daily from sunrise to sunset, and the Visitor Center 10am – 2pm.   The sweet Children’s Garden is not accessible during Covid.  Along with the links above, read more about Brookside in this KFDC post.

And get more of a glimpse of the gorgeous fall in the pics below…

 

Goose watching

 

And it was all yellow

 

Japanese maple…wowza

 

View from a gazebo

 

Shimmering woods

 

A serene pond scene

 

This pergola turns into a fab pink walkway during Garden of Lights

 

Masks highly encouraged!

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Fall, Free, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Weekdays, Weekend