Tag Archives: COVID-19 DC Area

Five Things for Today: January 27, 2021

A bridge into the fortress at Fort Washington Park



1. A great place to get outside and get a glimpse of the past:  Fort Washington Park in Fort Washington, MD.  You can explore the historic remnants of the fortress dating back to 1824 — including bastions and barracks and cannons — within the grounds and enjoy beautiful views along the Potomac River. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is $10/vehicle to the park, free to Fort Washington. 


2.  The National Gallery of Art has new Artful Conversations starting today.  During these sessions of the free family program (recommended for kids ages 7–12), participants will explore Rozeal’s afro.died, T. (2011) and connect discoveries to music, all guided by DC-based DJ and multimedia artist Virtual Chicana.   Register in advance — sessions take place today at 4pm,  tomorrow at 4pm, and on Sunday, January 31, at 10am1pm.


3. Did you know REI offers all kinds of classes outdoor recreation classes and events?  See what’s coming up locally, including How to Ride a Bike for Kids on several dates in March.


4. A really interesting NYT piece on financial aid, excerpted from the book, The Price You Pay for College.


5. A simple and important message from the (new) White House.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 26, 2021

A message in art on the grounds of The REACH


1. The Kennedy Center just debuted a new art installation at The REACH.  A response to this time of unprecedented challenges, Unity | Peace | Forward is a free exhibit in three parts scattered around the grounds.  You can see it daily and stroll the lovely outdoor area while the KC is closed.  It gets a multimedia boost on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30–8:30pm, when a video of quotes from 65 artists around the world is projected on a Video Wall.  (It can also be viewed online at any time.) Get a glimpse on the Kennedy Center website.


2. It’s Pajamuary for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington through the end of the month.  They are collecting new pajamas (all sizes) to donate to local organizations to help keep people in need warm and cozy this winter.  If you want to contribute, find your local drop-off point, or the place to mail them, here.  They’re also hosting a virtual  Tu B’Shevat Seder tomorrow night to celebrate the birthday of trees.  And kiddos can close out Pajamuary with a Pajama Weekend celebration —  join for any or all of these virtual events (recommended for ages 1-6).


3.  Have you heard about Science Moms?  The organization was founded by moms who are climate scientists to help educate others about climate change.  I first learned about them in this WaPo article.


4.  A healthy spin on Taco Tuesday:  We recently had this easy-to-make meal for dinner, and it was so delicious!


5. Cheers to this 🍻


Bonus:  We had a sprinkle of snow last night, and the forecast calls for more this weekend, so get ready for it by checking out some ideas for seasonal fun — especially since you may need to book some activities in advance!


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 25, 2021

Seen at The Wharf (where you’ll also find several Restaurant Week participants!)


1. The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and DC Public Library have teamed up to for the Winter 2021 season of Books & Baseball. The free, non-competitive, co-ed literature and baseball program for children ages 3-5 takes place every Monday at 5pm through February 22. Each 35-minute session includes the reading of a children’s book by a DC Public Librarian, followed by a beginner-level baseball clinic led by YBA coaches. Virtual clinic activities are easy to complete at home and focus on enhancing motor skills and learning the fundamentals of baseball.  Register for it here!


2. How about something fun and creative to work on this winter?  Annmarie Sculpture Garden has put out a Call for Entries for their wonderful, whimsical annual Fairies in the Garden exhibit. They welcome fairy and gnome homes, dragon lairs, magical creatures, fairy gardens, elf abodes, goblin grottos, and more imaginative structures that will be placed in the woods, lawn areas, and trails of the sculpture garden this spring and summer to create a magical experience for guests of all ages.  It’s a non-juried, open show, and anyone is welcome to participate.  Just fill out an entry form and get started!  (PS: Annmarie is a great destination for a socially distanced day trip with art outdoors and a delightful play area for kids.  See more about it and Fairies in the Garden here and through the first link above.)


3. Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week begins today and runs through February 7.  Specially priced meals for both dine-in and take-out are $22/lunch, $35/dinner, and $55/dinner (fancier, I assume).  And if you’re taking out for two or more people, you can get even better deals —  the $35 dinner menu is $60, $120 for four and the $55 dinner menu is $100 for two, $200 for four.  Follow the above link to see participating restaurants and menus.


4.  Need a show to watch?  Ted Lasso is so funny and heartwarming.


5. How Bernie got his now famous mittens.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 22-24

A presidential tour includes the Lincoln Memorial, accessible to visitors again



Happy Weekend!

A Presidential Tour
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin | WDC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Mall is, hopefully🤞, reopening this weekend, and a tour of the structures memorializing past POTUS will be a perfect, timely activity. Walk or bike from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, then head to the Tidal Basin, where the Jefferson and FDR Memorials are located. For even more, you can go off-Mall a bit to the newer Eisenhower Memorial at Independence & 5th SW. Or add in some nature at Theodore Roosevelt Island, where you can walk in the woods and see the memorial plaza dedicated to the 26th prez.

Unity | Peace | Forward
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Through February
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center has responded to t his time of unprecedented challenges with art. This new free exhibit features three installations scattered across the grounds of the REACH. A video of quotes from around the world will be projected on the Video Wall each Friday and Saturday evening from 4:30–8:30pm during the exhibit and can be viewed online at any time. The intimate conversation between performers, artists, writers, and cultural leaders is a glimpse into the minds of creatives about their hopes, fears, dreams, and aspirations in a time of uncertainty and isolation. Get a glimpse on the Kennedy Center website.

Kids Virtual Concert
Where: Online
When: Friday, 10-10:45am
Admission: $5

Mr. Gabe, the Pied Piper of Takoma Park, is kicking off a weekly concert series for kids on Zoom starting today, January 22.  Mr. Gabe’s shows are interactive musical fun for toddlers and preschoolers.  He performs nursery rhymes, finger plays, traditional children’s songs, kid-friendly pop songs, and originals from his two award-winning albums.  Kids will be encouraged to use their brains and move their bodies. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through Mr. Gabe’s website.  Subscriptions are also available ($20 for 12 shows).  Email [email protected] if you’re interested in subscribing to the full series.

Flying Squirrels
Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD
When: Friday, 5:45-6:15pm
Admission: $6

join this evening program to learn about Maryland Flying Squirrels. They are abundant, cute, and active year-round, but few see them in the wild because they are nocturnal. The program starts on the Nature Center deck 30 minutes after sunset.Physical distancing and face coverings are required. Register in advance.

It’s All Downhill…
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies
Skiing is a perfect, fun, active way to take advantage of winter — and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and there are more resorts in other parts of the region. The closest for day trips are LibertyWhitetail, and Bryce.  Other places that are farther away but good to check out for longer trips are RoundtopMassanuttenWintergreenSeven SpringsHidden ValleySnowshoeTimberline, and Wisp.

Open Studio Friday
Where: Online
When: Friday, 11am
Admission: Free

Get artsy with the National Portrait Gallery is bringing its weekly art workshops to you virtually. Every Friday, they post a YouTube video with a new activity or technique. Just like in the IRL workshops, all ages are welcome to get creative with artist Jill Galloway inspired by the museums’s collection.

Skate Al Fresco
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars!  Several ice rinks are open for the season with Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.  Pentagon Row,  Silver Spring at Veterans PlazaRockville Town Square, and Reston Town Center are once again welcoming guests to skate the day — and night — away.  The Color Burst Ice Rink at the Merriweather District in Columbia, MD, just started its inaugural skating season. And the ice rink at Cameron Run holiday Winter Village in Arlington is still open. [Note: You need advanced reservations at just about all of these places, so plan accordingly.]

A Winter’s Trail
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Sure it’s cold, but the right clothes and gear make any activity possible, so bundle up and get out for a walk in the woods. Tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good places to go with kids. Some specific park recs for right now: Huntley Meadows, Potomac Overlook, Patapsco Valley, Harpers Ferry, and Rock Creek (Note that Peirce Mill discussed in the post is closed, but the hike from there is great with kids.)

Seasonal Social Distancing 
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Don’t let the Covid cold months keep you from getting out around the area. This round-up is full of recs for activities that are accessible now. From hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun, there are all kinds of things to do that keep social distancing and safety in mind. All you really need are good layers and maybe a little extra outdoor gear.

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

It will be cold but sunny, so wear some layers and get out for a bike ride — you’ve got your pick of them around the area. Take in the winter 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 one is a particularly great stretch with young kids.

Inaugural Ice Cream
Where: Ice Cream Jubilee | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $22

Ice Cream Jubilee is celebrating the new year and new White House with new ice cream flavors – and tasting parties of special Inauguration Flavors where they’ll serve tasting flights of four mini-scoops (and a pint to take home). President Biden famously loves ice cream, so they want to use ice cream to spread enthusiasm for the new administration. They want to get kids and families excited about elections, government, and our country as they watch the swearing in from home… with ice cream, of course!

Art & Me Workshop
Where: American Art Museum | Online
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join a hands-on, art making preservation workshop for ages 3-8 and parents. From Chicanx graphics to Japanese prints, explore how Smithsonian conservators preserve colorful artworks on paper in this engaging online workshop. Then create your own colorful print and a protective folder, so your artwork stays safe. Register in advance — a Zoom link and suggested material list will be sent to registered participants ahead of the workshop.

Drive-In Movie Night
Where: Bassett’s Restaurant | Poolesville, MD
When: Saturday, 5pm & 7:30pm
Admission: $40

The Bassett’s Restaurant presents a fun night with cheer and great food, while maintaining all CDC safety protocols as they host a Drive-In Movie: The War with Grandpa! Order delicious food beforehand by phone or online, and they will call you when your food is ready so you can pick up from the back door. Full bar also available. There will be two showings, at 5pm and7:30pm. Admission is per car (no limit on number of people), so bring the whole family!

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

There are new events from the Fairfax County Park Authority all the time, and this weekend has a fresh batch of nature-inspired activities for guests of all ages. Enjoy personalized family outdoor explorations at  Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.  Take a family astronomy lesson at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Catch a critter at Huntley Meadows.. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Fun, Hon!
Where: Inner Harbor Area | Baltimore, MD
When: All Weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Head up I-95 for a change of city scenery. Explore the exhibits at Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or view history in the works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (open by appt). All of these places are open with new safety protocols in place for COVID.

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

During these social distancing times, outdoor adventures are our best activity bets, so don’t let cold temps stop you from having fun. Find loads of ideas for things to do and places to hang in The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, a perennial go-to post.

The In Crowd
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

There are some places still welcoming visitors indoors, all of them with extra safety protocols in place. This post listing open venues around the area also includes museums that reopened but closed again due to rising covid rates. The current status of of all of them are noted.

Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through February 28
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.

Adventure Takes a Moment to Sing
Where: Adventure Theatre | Online
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Adventure Theatre celebrates the new year with a digital production featuring a selection of songs from some of its favorite performers: Justine Icy Moral, Sarah Anne Sillers, Bekah Zornsa, DaVon Moody, and Karen Vincent. This special episode hopes to uplift children and families in every community and offer lighthearted joy in uncertain times with talent of local artists. To tune in, visit the Adventure Theatre Facebook page.

* It’s Alexandria Restaurant Week To-Go. Actually it’s two weeks — from now through February 7, get $49 take-out for two from participating restaurants.
* Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Virtual Scavenger Hunt is coming up on February 13 and March 13. The online fun  often sells out, so snag tickets while you can!
* Winter at Virginia wineries.
* Fun with Bernie.
* Haha.

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Filed under 2021, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend, Winter