Category Archives: Weekend

It’s Back! The Weekend Round-Up: October 3-4

Checking out a Covid-era trail map at Rock Creek Park

 

The new month and new season are a good time for a little refresh. Plus, there have been enough reopenings and new happenings to call for the return of a signature KFDC feature:  The Weekend Round-Up!   In lieu of the Five Things on weekends, start counting on listings of things to do around the area, plus some bonus links.  Since special events are still quite limited, I’ll also highlight ongoing activities and places that are especially great at the moment, plus round-ups and new features — all in one convenient post. Happy Weekend!

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farm | Bluemont, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkin Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (and grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. And, of course, find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area.

Reston Farm Garden Market Fall Fest
Where: Reston, VA
When: September 25 – November 1
Admission: $20/child + 1 adult, $5/add’l adult

Enjoy a pumpkin moon bounce, bouncy slides, inflatable corn maze, train rides, and farm animals. There is also a talented balloon artist, face painter, and caricature portrait artist, along with food, pumpkins and more fun for all! (Note: Some activities require additional fee.)

Pumpkin Village Fall Fest
Where: Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16-18/adult, $14-15/child & senior, free/2 & under

The animals are usually the main draw at the park, but this time of year, there are activities galore that bring visitors to enjoy some seasonal fun. Guests can spend a crisp fall day enjoying loads of great activities such as giant hill slides, hay rides, moon bounces, pedal carts, and more. Reserve tickets in advance.

More Fall Fests
Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s going to be great weather to hit up a farm festival! The locales — outdoors with lots of space — make it possible to offer the traditional activities of the season, and all of them are taking extra precautions to keep guests safe. Pick pumpkins, visit animals, jump on giant inflatables, indulge in caramel apples, and much more. This guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Autumnal Outings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the season without all of the hoopla of fall festivals, and there are plenty of ways to do that around the DC area. So, if you’re looking to spice up your autumn recreation (and not with pumpkin flavoring), this round-up suggests places that we love this time of year.

A Monumental Reopening
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:

The Washington Monument has reopened — again! (It reopened the first time in September 2019 after it was closed for repairs and renovations for several years.) For COVID safety measures, visitors can only purchase one ticket, which is valid for up to four people. Advance reservations are required, and tickets listed as “Not Yet Released” will become available at 10am one day before the tour date. Reserve tickets through the link.

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

Bike rides are an excellent activity for right now. You can enjoy the pleasant early fall weather while social distancing, and get some exercise, to boot. The DC area has plenty of good routes to ride, with something for every age and rider level. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recommendations.

Monster Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Do you relish all things weird, wild, and wonderful? Do you like quirky, funky, bizarre, and off-beat stuff? Do you love fall and all things Halloween-related? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then this market is for you! Indulge your love of autumn and the utterly monstrous with this over-the-top Monster Market featuring lots of treats inspired by the season.  While admission is free to the market area, there is a suggested entry fee of $5 for the rest of Annmarie.  Read more about the delightful art haven here.

Oktoberfest
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free (but plan to spend on food/shopping)

Since the pandemic currently makes international travel unrealistic, The Wharf is excited to bring Germany to the District during its annual Oktoberfest. Enjoy a day of German-inspired food and specials at their restaurants and shops. Visit outdoor tents and dining halls for German-inspired fare and bier, compete in a stein hoisting competition, and if you have one, bring your dog (costumes encouraged!) to Camp Wharf at the Firepit for a special doggy treat. View the website for more info.

Free Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | WDC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but must reserve

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity to explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world.

First Sunday Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Annapolis, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The weekly festival in Downtown Annapolis has changed a bit due to COVID, but it’s a great way to get out and enjoy a little day trip. It will take place on the first block of West Street with up to 54 artisans. Booths will be spread out to make social distancing easier, and they ask visitors wear masks when inside vendor tents (I ask that you wear them outside of tents, too, especially around other people), and that only one household goes in a tent at a time. If you are not ready for an in-person visit, you can shop over 200 artists online by here.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you prefer to spend time indoors, want to take advantage of less people since most will be out in the nice weather, or you just want more options for activities around town, you’ve got lots of options! Check out this post about outings that take place inside and this one especially for little kids.

 

**MORE GOOD STUFF**
* Great places in the Mid-Atlantic region to see fall foliage.
* Rock Creek Park has volunteer training coming up later this month
* If you’re an REI member you can trade in used gear for a gift card.
* Microadventures!
* Seems like a good time to reiterate this advice.

 

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

Five Things for Today: October 2, 2020

You’ll once again be able get more than outside views of the Monument

 

1. The Washington Monument has reopened — again! (It reopened the first time in September 2019 after it was closed for repairs and renovations for several years.) For COVID safety measures, visitors can only purchase one ticket, which is valid for up to four people. Advance reservations are required, and tickets listed as “Not Yet Released” will become available at 10am one day before the tour date. Reserve tickets through the link.

 

2. Two new KFDC posts to check out in case you missed them:
Little Kid-Friendly Places for Indoor Play with Precaution
Wicked Fun (& Safe) Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

 

3. It was just announced that DC indoor public pools will open on October 13!   Reservations are open now, and you will need one to swim at any aquatic facilities in the city.

 

4. This podcast is so good, I’m sure the TV show version, which starts today on Netflix, will be awesome, too.

 

5.  One of my very favorite monthly posts is up!  Check out Darcy’s 12 Happy Things for October.

 

PS:  Want more ideas for weekend fun?  Hover over the ADVENTURES tab at the top of the blog that will lead you to all kinds of inspo for activities.

 

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

Wicked Fun (& Safe) Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

It’s still safe to decorate the front yard for Halloween!

 

 

For obvious reasons, Halloween is going to look a little bit LOT different this year, but that doesn’t mean events to celebrate it are going away entirely. Some of the listings from this annual post (that historically includes a looong list of Halloween happenings) have survived the nightmare that is 2020 and will be scaring up fun in safe, socially distanced ways.  This round-up has details on those that are left.  Happy (kind of ) Halloween!

 

Spies in Disguise: Halloween Edition
Where: The Spy Museum’s Virtual Zoom Room
When: October 15, 5:30-6:3-pm
Admission: $20/family

Ditch the Halloween costume and go undercover in disguise! This Halloween take your transformation to the next level by learning the top secret tradecraft used by spies on undercover missions. Meet Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, and learn tips from professional make-up artist, Roger Riggle. Using materials gathered from home or purchased prior to the workshop you will practice creating effects such as old age, glamour, scars, and bruising. The whole family will transform their appearance and identity and then be challenged on a quick change disguise mission. Who knows, they may have the next chief of disguise in our rank! Note: Spies in Disguise is suggested for recruits ages 8-13 and their handlers.

 

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 16-17 & 23-24
Admission: $25/adult, $12/child

Trespass into the past and discover the secrets of some of Congressional Cemetery’s “residents.” Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of this hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October — in twilight and darkness, happening upon vignettes and individuals under the guidance of one of the “Dozen Decent Docents.” Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes. Beer, wine, and cider tickets will be for sale on-site to enjoy a drink before your tour, plus there will be  a bar located along the tour route to redeem your drink tickets for a refresher.

 

Air & Scare at Home
Where: Online
When: Through October 31
Admission: Free

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center isn’t happening in-house this year, so the museum is bringing it to your home. The digital treats include online downloadable activities and challenges, live digital programming, and some sc-air-y business, including a costume and pumpkin decorating contest for sweet prizes. More details, including dates for special virtual events, are on the website!

 

Spooktacular Drive-In Flicks
Where: Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 16, 23, & 30
Admission: $20/vehicle

Grab your popcorn and join the Capitol Riverfront BID for a drive-in movie at the Akridge Lot (First and V St. SW) in Buzzard Point next to Audi Field. Each movie is a fun, contact-free experience for all ages with space for 75 vehicles set at an appropriate social distance. Films on these three dates are in celebration of the Halloween season are a festive lineup of spooktacular flicks — Frankenstein & Dracula on October 16, Us on October 23, and Beetlejuice on October 30. All funds will be donated to local charities.

 

Toddler Time Halloween Parade
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 22, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Take little ones to a spooktacular Toddler Time to celebrate the end of this year’s program Halloween style. Featuring festive fun, they’ll read Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, before making monster grab bags to fill with all sorts of fun tricks and treats during our costume parade around the Museum’s campus. The program starts promptly at 10:30 am in the Museum’s Roundhouse.

 

Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch
Where: Park Potomac | Potomac, MD
When: October 22, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Free

Join on the plaza to get into the Halloween spirit with the Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch. Decorate pumpkins and enter your pup in their first annual doggie costume contest. Four winners will be chosen and awarded gift cards to neighborhood restaurants. Be sure to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines!

 

Halloween Hayride & Bonfire
Where: Butler’s Orchard | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $35-50

Enjoy a tractor driven hayride in the darkness with demons and devils, then gather around a haunted bonfire for to roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, and make s’mores (all provided and included in the ticket). Sing songs, play games, tell frightening stories, or just socialize and enjoy the stars and the open night air. The ghosts of the fallen soldiers from the Civil War might join, too.

 

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $5/ages 2+

Join Annmarie for a socially-distanced day of Halloween fun and games. Working with the local health department, they have reconfigured their beloved Halloween event into a family-group based celebration of the fall season. A timed-entry system will be uses to spread out the crowd over the day, and activities also will be spread out across the 30-acre property, giving families plenty of space. Dress up, put on your masks, and enjoy an awesome day of socially-distanced trick-or-treating, low-touch/no-touch games, great photo ops, music, and yummy food and drinks!

 

Drive-Thru Trot or Treat
Where: North Star Stables | Delaplane, VA
When: October 25
Admission: By donation

It’s all horsing around at the trick-or-treat for a cause! Support North Star’s equine team and therapeutic riding scholarship fund with a drive-thru trick-or-treat! While Covid restrictions preclude them from hosting their normal Halloween celebration, North Star is excited to offer a drive-thru Halloween! Join to see their awesome horses in costume and collect treats (non-candy treats available) along the facility’s fence line! They ask each car to contribute a small, monetary donation.

 

Halloween Drive Up Movie Night
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: October 30
Admission:
Join this family-friendly, socially distanced Fall & Halloween evening for a night of great fun, all in support of an amazing cause: Helping the Greater DC/Virginia Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation work towards cures for the 3.1 Million Americans fighting IBD. The drive-up movie night onwill feature Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright & Beetlejuice. Car trick-or-treaing, a car costume contest, and an individual costume contest are part of the fun, too!

 

Halloween To Go
Where: Fairmont Hotel | Georgetown, DC
When: October 30, 4-6pm
Admission: None – just buy the goodie box!

Fairmont is offering Halloween Boxes to-go for children and canine companions. Take home the Halloween fun from the Fairmont and be entered to win prizes for best costume. On Friday, October 30th, families who order Halloween Boxes To-Go, will drive through the hotel’s driveway to the pick them up from 4-6pm. Canines and humans who are donning costumes will be entered to win overnight stays, dinners and other prizes. Georgie, Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador will greet you in her own costume. House-made treats by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef A.J. Thalakkat and Chef Jason Rowley are spooktacular, tasty, and pawsome for people and pooches.

 

Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 30-31
Admission: $52

Kick off your Halloween festivities at the park’s spooky Halloween-themed Glow in the Park. Wear your costume for a chance to spin the prize wheel — you could win free tickets, a t-shirt, or something else special.The event starts at 6pm, with start times available every 10 minutes from 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for two hours of climbing & ziplining + 40 minutes for a safety briefing and getting geared up. Ages 5 & up are welcome. Reservations are highly encouraged, as the event tends to sell out.

 

Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: October 31, 5-9pm
Admission: $10/member, $15/non-member, free/under 3

The St. James is offering a fun-filled, safe Halloween evening at this event. Enjoy trick-or-treating, socially-distanced fun and activities, a family-friendly movie, pizza, popcorn and more. Bring your own blanket for socially-distanced family movie night in the Field House.

 

Montgomery Parks Haunted Hustle Fun Run/Walk
Where: Black Hill Regional Park | Boyds, MD
When: October 31, 8am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Monsters, superheroes, and celebrities! Show off your costumes and strut your Halloween spirit at this Haunted Hustle Fun Run and Walk on Halloween day. There will be staggered starting times, and all ages are welcome. Register in advance.

 

Fall Festivals
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through early November
Admission: Varies by locale

Many of the fall festivals around the area incorporate Halloween fun into their offerings. Pick out potential jack-o-lanterns, enjoy Halloween-themed activities, and more. See a list of seasonal celebrations happening this year here.

 

Halloween Decor
Just because Halloween activities are limited this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still decorate for it. Maybe this is the year to go all out on front yard displays, both to get into the spooky spirit and keep it going for kids (and adults, for that matter), too. Here are quick links to find Halloween supplies to help with that:
Amazon
Michael’s
Target
Home Depot
World Market

 

Do you know of a Halloween event not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

 

Note: KFDC may earn a commission when you click on one of our links and make a purchase. Thanks for the support!

 

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Farm, Halloween, Maryland, Movies, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Little Kid-Friendly Places for Indoor Play with Precaution

A COVID-era visit to the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center

[Note: This round-up was written by KFDC contributor Emily Moise, local mom to two young children.]

 

“Winter is coming” brings a whole new shiver this year, as parents of little balls of energy are bracing themselves for the COVID Winter. Most will bundle up and tough it out, with fingers crossed for lots of sled-able snow. Many will enter a new phase of pandemic panic shopping for indoor play equipment. For those seeking respite at indoor spaces, some local businesses have taken extra measures to open with COVID precautions. Here are six little-kid-friendly indoor places to consider as the days get colder. (Please keep in mind CDC guidelines to limit activity indoors, and masks for ages 2+.)

 

Kids Play Gallery
When: 9:30am – 2:30pm daily
Where: Gaithersburg, MD
Admission: $15/ages 1+ (more details here)
COVID policies

An imaginative play space with a tiny town of play houses suited for ages 5 and under. The space is very clean and well-maintained, with a separate, closed-off area for eating. Business hours have been reduced and private play reservations are available. Call ahead to confirm drop-in play hours are as listed.

 

Launch Trampoline Park
When: Varies by location
Where: Rockville, MD | Columbia, MD | Herndon, VA
Admission: $22+ or $13+ on Groupon
COVID policies

Kids can run, jump, and literally bounce off the walls here, expending lots of energy. My active 18-month-old has held his own here, but it’s generally recommended for preschool ages and up. With timed-entry reservations, you should have plenty of space to yourself/your family. Professional-grade sanitizing is done between sessions. Reserve time online in advance; call to reserve time if tickets purchased through Groupon.

 

OmniFun
When: 12:30pm – 7:30pm daily; closed Tuesdays
Where: Gaithersburg, MD
Admission: Starts at $11.99/age 6 months+ (more details here)
COVID policies

Recently opened in 2019 and now reopened with COVID precautions, OmniFun features a soft climbing zone, giant building blocks, an arts and crafts space, a toddler play area, and more. Now, two hour sessions are reserved in advance for up to 9 kids at a time, and groups are rotated in 40 minute intervals. Recommended for ages 6 months – 12 years.  Reserve a time sot in advance.

 

BusyBees
When: 9am – 5pm weekdays; 11am – 5pm weekends
Where: Falls Church, VA
Admission: $15/child, free/parents and ages 1 & under
COVID policies

A chain of indoor playgrounds known for cleanliness, BusyBees features soft play climbing structures, slides, and spinning rides. Currently, only the Falls Church location is open, and it is unfortunately the smallest of the three locations. The space is closed for 30 minutes every hour-and-a-half for cleaning, so plan your visit accordingly. Be sure to check the website daily for modified hours.

 

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: 10am – 5:30pm daily
Where:  Chantilly, VA
Admission: Fre
e with timed-entry passes
COVID policies
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex has found itself to be a relatively low-risk space in COVID times with its spacious facility and timed-entry passes. Little kids should be well-attended here but have the flexibility to roam and, on a slow day, maybe even run circles around the massive aviation and space artifacts.

 

Shopping Malls
While their actual play spaces are closed, malls may make it into your weekly activities rotation. They are barren right now offering wide open lanes for kids to roam and browse. Plus, hand-sanitizing stations are set up throughout. Check your local mall for updated hours and safety precautions like these. (PS: A new LEGO Store is expected to open at Westfield Montgomery mall this fall!)

 

Tips for decreased risk:
* Go weekdays at opening times or midday when some places empty out for lunch and naps.
* Call ahead to see how crowded a place is prior to your planned arrival time.
* For a more controlled environment, look for places that allow reservations for private group play times like Kids Play Gallery, My Gym or Kids Ground.

 

For more indoor spaces, see this recent KFDC post for what’s currently open.

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Filed under 2020, 2021, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Maryland, Reopened, Social Distancing, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend