Tag Archives: Fall 2019

Where to Play on the Weekdays: December 2-6

A walk in the woods at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

Monday – Indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you can take a dip on a cold day. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim hours and make sure there are no random closings, which happen occasionally.

Tuesday – Enjoy a late fall hike at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve. The locale in Great Falls offers a nice dose of nature in a short drive from the city, with trails that meander through the woods, peaceful spots to hang out by the river (including a waterfall), and pretty views of the Potomac. Open from just before sunrise to just after sunset. Admission is free. For a shorter hike with young children, park in the second lot (further away from 495) and follow the fire road next to the creek that leads to the river. The first lot leads to trails that wind through the woods, some that might be tough for little legs to navigate.

Wednesday – Head to a local go-to for fun and educational recreation: The National Air & Space Museum! It’s filled literally floor-to-ceiling with fascinating exhibits and amazing artifacts from of flight and space. Explore the collections, and be sure to stop in the fantastic “How Things Fly” gallery with loads of cool interactive stations that kids always dig. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

In the evening, attend the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting! The ceremony will take place on the West Lawn at 5pm as the tree is lit by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. It’s fairly short, so arrive on time if you hope to catch it.

Thursday – Explore the world and do some holiday shopping at Winternational. This lively midday festival in the Ronald Reagan Building is a celebration of international culture, travel, tourism and trade. It has the atmosphere of an international bazaar with each country showcasing their culture and traditions via visual arts displays, foods, handcrafts, as well as travel and tourism information. Hours are 11am – 3pm, and admission is free.

Friday – See a performance of The Nutcracker — on strings! The Puppet Co. presents its delightful version of the holiday classic through December 29. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. Plan for some time on the Glen Echo Park playground afterwards and grab lunch at Praline, the café on premises.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: November 29 – December 1

‘Tis the season at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Happy Weekend!

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:Varies by Locale

I love this initiative started by REI a few years ago. 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, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of inspiration for fun (hopefully) in the sun.

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s America’s Gardens exhibit is as lovely and whimsical as it is impressive. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this new post.

Native American Heritage Day: Family Fun Day
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The museum’s unique family celebration of Native American Heritage Day showcases Native culture through interactive dancing, games, storytelling, hands-on activities and make-and-takes, as well as music and dance presentations. Join in recognizing the many contributions of Native Americans to all aspects of life in the United States. The program features the Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers throughout the day. (And if you haven’t seen a performance in the NMAI’s beautiful atrium (or even if you have), I highly recommend going — they are always so interesting and entertaining for all ages.)

Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $29-56

After all of that turkey, what’s better than a climb in the trees? Bring out-of-town relatives or just the fam to the Adventure Park for a day of navigating the ropes courses. There are 13 trails, 29 zip lines, 6 difficulty levels, and almost 200 challenge bridges — something for everyone! Read about one of our past experiences at the Adventure Park.

Visit While You Can
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $7/child for exhibits

Whether you explore the exhibits or hang out in the stunning Great Hall, this weekend is your last chance to spend time at the National Building Museum for a few months. It will close temporarily from December 2, 2019 to March 2020 while it undergoes repairs.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discount tix)
* The Great Zucchini is performing at Jammin Java on Saturday morning
* See Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* Source Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is recommended for tweens and up.
* Enjoy a performance of Amadeus at The Folger

The Muppet Christmas Carol Screening
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 3:45pm
Admission: $10

The Muppet Christmas Carol, part of Smithsonian Theater’s Holiday Film Series, is guaranteed to put you in a holiday spirit that will stay with you forever. Enjoy the incredible spectacle of Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as Emily Crachit and Michael Caine as Scrooge.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 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. During the day, tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations, and meet Aladdin the Camel. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. So bring the entire family to the home of George and Martha Washington this holiday season. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Holly Trolley Holidays
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)

There are a few happenings at the Trolley Museum this winter. At the Winter Wonder Garden, see toy trains and street cars in an indoor winter village. Then on weekend from December 7-22, guests can ride with Santa on the street cars as well. And Winter in Washington, a special exhibit celebrating the season with street cars in the Nation’s Capital, will run through January 26.

Festival of Trees
Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds | Timonium, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $14/adult, $6/child, free/4 & under

Kick off the holiday season by welcoming Santa Claus to a winter wonderland at the annual Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees! The East Coast’s largest holiday-themed festival will return to the Maryland State Fairgrounds with decorated trees, a gingerbread town, shopping, breakfast with Santa, endless holiday activities, and non-stop entertainment for children of all ages!

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This weekend is the start of even more big holiday events around DC and the continuation of others. If you hope to hit ‘em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC.

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.

Weekend Walk-In: Bot Shop
Where: American Visionary At 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, bring new life to recycled and found objects and create a reclaimed robot! Supplies & boundless inspiration provided. Read more about the wonderful American Visionary Art Museum here.

Story Time on Kindness
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This weekend’s Story Time at the Hirshhorn explores kindness. Look at the work For Freedoms by Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, a reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms. After a reading of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, kids can stay and make their own artwork to take home. Of course, plan for time to tour the museum, too!

Free Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

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. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own.

Book Signing and Drawing Demo
Where: Politics & Prose | Rockville, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm (doors open 4:30pm)
Admission: Free

Jan Brett, one of America’s most beloved children’s author/artists, will be at Politics and Prose at Johns Hopkins University Gilchrist Hall in Montgomery County for a drawing demonstration and signing of her new book, The Tale of the Tiger Slippers. Brett is a master of bringing the wonders of nature and culture to generations of children, parents, and teachers.  Her meticulous, whimsical art is inspired by her thorough research of the flora, fauna, and local cultures throughout the Americas, the Arctic, Europe, Africa  and Asia. Join her for this event and help celebrate her 70th birthday!

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. The popular and free ZooLights begins this weekend (FYI: the DC Circulator is offering special weekend shuttle service to ZooLights from the Woodley Park Metro for just $1/ride! Several parks and gardens in the area have also transformed into a 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.

* There’s still time to enter the giveaways for tickets to The Illusionists at National Theatre and Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre.
* Go, Sascha Baron Cohen.
* TodayTix Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have started, and they’re offering up to 60% off theater tickets for a variety of show in DC!
* KiwiCo has a great sale right now on their ever-popular activity boxes for kids.
* Everyone should read this book.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 25-29

#OptOutside at the Dumbarton Oaks gardens on Black Friday — for free!

Book the Whole House for the Whole Family

Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Catch a show at any of three loations: Enjoy Music2LittleEars in Brookland, Frolic the Fox in Takoma Park, and Miss Theresa in Hyattsville. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving.

Tuesday – Visit the animals, roam the lovely grounds, check out exhibits of old farm machinery and local history, and enjoy activities in the Visitors Center at Oxon Hill Farm near National Harbor in Maryland. According to the forecast, it’ll be a great day to be there! Hours are 8am – 4:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Spend the day at the National Building Museum. Kids especially enjoy the PLAY WORK BUILD gallery upstairs, but all of the exhibits are included in admission and worth exploring. You can also hang out in the Great Hall and take in the grandeur of the stunning space. Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members.

Thursday – Have some pre- or post feast fun! Find a bunch of ideas here for activities ton Thanksgiving Day. The post was originally written in 2016, but links have been updated, and all of the recommendations are relevant (and excellent!) this year, too.

Friday – Take a cue from REI and #OptOutside on Black Friday. The compilation of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids easily has you covered on this one. (And if weather isn’t conducive, or you just want an indoor outing, The Great Indoors list has loads of ideas, too.)

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: November 22-24

Enjoying the season at Huntley Meadows Park

Happy Weekend!

Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20-34/adult, $17-27/age 14-17, $15-25/age 4-13

This highly anticipated 90,000 square foot Christmas Light Maze opens on Friday and will run through the holiday season. There’s an adventure to it: As you explore the illuminated wonderland, you’ll help Santa find his reindeer before Christmas Eve. Held at Nationals Park, Enchant Christmas will also feature an ice skating trail, live entertainment, food and drink, a Christmas market and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Look for a discount on admission here.

Becoming Jane
Where: National Geographic Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $12/seniors & students, free/5 & under

This exhibit about Dr. Jane Goodall that I first mentioned last month opens on Friday and will run through the summer. In this hands-on, transportive multimedia exhibition celebrating her extraordinary life and work, you’ll explore her early years through iconic images and a multiscreen experience and venture on a 3D exploration of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, where she did her famous behavioral research on chimps. You’ll also see a life-size hologram of Dr. Goodall, enter a replica of her research tent, and learn about her current role as a leader in community-centered conservation and youth empowerment. And before you leave, you will find out what you can do today to make a positive impact in the world.

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

To me, this is the holiday market in DC, and it opens for the season on Friday. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally the backdrop to the market.

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6/adult, $3/ages 13-17, free/12 & under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 27th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

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

Fall is still bringing splendid colors and crisp, cool weather, so get out and enjoy it while you can! There are a bunch of great ways to do just that around the area. This post has 10 awesome recommendations for where to go.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Where: Silver Plaza | Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The streets are being overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and reindeer! No, the zoo hasn’t opened their gates — it’s the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade! With marching bands an Latin dancing groups, floats, giant characters and balloons, and over 120 units, the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only Thanksgiving Parade in the metro DC area. Held in downtown Silver Spring, the exciting parade traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season. The parade steps off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and proceeds south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.

Sensory Friendly Screening: Frozen II
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Frozen II on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Open Studio: Make Your Own Japanese Scroll
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the Museum of Asian Art for the opening weekend of Hokusai: Mad about Painting with free family-friendly activities. Drop-in anytime to learn the basics of painting on a scroll. A teaching artist then helps you to make your own colorful scroll. Follow a scavenger hunt to explore artworks large and small by Hokusai. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

For 50 years, the Washington Waldorf School has been offering one of the highest quality bazaars in the DC area. The Bazaar has unique crafts and activities for children of all ages, including woodcraft, felt craft, candle making, plus and many fun games. They welcome many local artisans and offer an array of beautiful handcrafted items made by parents. There will also be live entertainment, coffee, delicious baked goods to munch on while you shop, and a delicious organic lunch for you to sit and enjoy. Entrance is free, but activities require tickets to be purchased. All are welcome!

Boolean Girl Workshop
Where: Ritz-Carlton | Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday, 3-6pm
Admission: $20/student

Is your daughter aged 8-13 interested in STEM, or maybe you’re looking to inspire them? Then sign them up for this coding and electronics workshop. It’s hosted by Boolean Girl, an Arlington-based nonprofit whose mission is bringing diversity to tech by teaching girls, non-binary individuals, and under-represented groups to code and build electronics. Along with hands-on learning (and fun), participants will have the opportunity to meet female role models working in the tech and engineering industries. An adult is required to stay with the child in attendance.

The Enchanted Forest
Where: Sheraton Hotel | Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15/child, $10/adult

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns! Stroll through the whimsical forest of theme decorated trees available for silent auction, while enjoying live entertainment, holiday crafts, breakfast and photos with Santa, Holiday tea, plus a cocktail reception and dancing.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With so many ways to celebrate the holidays around the area, you may as well get started early, so you can enjoy all those you want. Shows and special events that embrace — and emit — holiday cheer have begun. Start your holiday shopping, stroll or drive through a light display, visit Santa, and much, much more. The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC has ALL you need to help make the season merry and bright.

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story and create art inspired by someone in the collection — this weekend features Sitting Bull. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum (and the American Art Museum housed in the same building). For more about the program and gallery, see this post about a past experience and this one with scenes from another visit.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday & Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards are playing on home court on Friday and Sunday evenings. See them work their magic on the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings. Plan on dinner in Penn Quarter before or after — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Camine’s, Oyamel, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.

Family Look-In: The Magic Flute
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $15-50

In this introduction to opera designed for children and families, audience members will experience excerpts from The Magic Flute along with insight into the behind-the-scenes aspects such as lighting, scene changes, costuming, and more that go into creating stage magic. A whimsical production designed by children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak sets a playful landscape for this enchanting fairy tale. Join handsome prince Tamino and his silly sidekick Papageno as they set out on a fantastic journey to rescue the kidnapped Pamina in this special opera exploration. Recommended for ages 5+.

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) opens at the Kennedy Center this weekend
* Reserve free tickets for Pinot and Augustine, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Enjoy NSO Music for Young Audiences: Peter and Friends at the Kennedy Center
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discount tix)
* See Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* Little theatre-goers will love Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* The Great Zucchinin is performing at Jammin Java on Saturday morning
* Source Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is recommended for tweens and up.
* Enjoy a performance of Amadeus at The Folger
* Make it a date night for John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons at National Theatre

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! A production of The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages this weekend. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Superhero Family Yoga
Where: Yoga District | Bloomingdale, DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $22.69

Join yoga teacher and mom, Ari through a fun filled 45- minute yoga class with your child/children! The class is appropriate for children ages 4 and up and will include all levels of vinyasa poses, opportunities for partner yoga, and a relaxing savasana meditation at the end. All children must attend with at least one parent or guardian. Adults pay at the workshop rate and children may attend for free with at least one accompanying caregiver. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins. Save your spot here and watch the video here to learn more about the family yoga practice.

Get Your Skate On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

It’s ice skating season, and just about all outdoor rinks (and indoor, too) around the area are welcoming folks to glide the day — and night — away! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbor; meander the frozen path at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Insider Info
Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors because of weather, or you just want more options for activities around town, this list has over 100 suggestions for things to do!

* Immigrant Food sounds pretty great.
* Which candidate agrees with you most?
* In case you need something to feed your ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>wanderlust.
* Who says you have to leave the city to go camping?
* The latest KFDC giveaway offers a chance to win admission to the Merriweather Symphony of Lights!
* Levi and the kids just got me this for my birthday, and it is AH-mazing!


Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend