Tag Archives: Family Fun

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 19-23

Explore the exhibits in the Fossil Hall at the Natural History Museum


Monday – Take little ones ages 2-5 to Lincoln’s Cottage for their new Social Studies program. The initiative aims to nuture social and emotional intelligence through interactive storytelling, games, and hands-on lessons that help foster self-awareness, self-management, relationships, and responsible decision-making skills. The session runs 10:15-11:30am, and admission is $5.

For an outing with older kids, visit the Newseum and take advantage of the Summer Fun Deal. Through Labor Day, the entrance fee for youth is waived with paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. Adult tickets are $24.95, but look for a discount here.

Tuesday – Head up to Baltimore for play and learning at Port Discovery. Several levels full of awesome, hands-on exhibits will keep kids entertained all day long. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $17.95 for ages 2 and up, free for under 2. And if you think you might go a few times this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.

Wednesday – Have some fun on the farm at Frying Pan Farm Park. Get a glimpse of 20th-century farm life as you visit animals, take a wagon ride, play on kid-sized tractors and playgrounds, and much more. The locale in Herndon is a guaranteed hit with little ones. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, the farm is open 9am – 5pm, wagon rides 10am – 4pm. Admission is free, though the wagon rides cost $3.50.

In the evening, join the Capitol Riverfront BID from 6-8pm for a Bubbles & Jazz at the middle block of Canal Park. Pack a picnic or grab dinner at a local restaurant, and head to the to the park for a live jazz performance by the Bryan McEntire Quartet and plenty of bubbles for all ages. In keeping with theme, there will be sparkling wine, bubbly water, and Atlas Brew Works beverages for adults 21+, as well as bubble activities for the little ones.

Thursday – Go see the dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History. If you haven’t been to the recently reopened David H. Koch Hall of Fossils-—Deep Time (or even if you have), it’s a must-do. The exhibition is full of skeletal beasts plus hundreds of smaller prehistoric remnants and cool installations that present 3.7 billion years of life on Earth. Of course, plan for time to explore the rest of the museum, too! I always recommend the Insect Zoo, where kids love opportunities to hold live creatures and the Hall of Human Origins where they can see what they’d look like as a Neanderthal in a special face morphing photo booth. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Summer Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.


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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 12-16

Fun in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring


Monday – Go see the dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History. If you haven’t been to the recently reopened David H. Koch Hall of Fossils-—Deep Time (or even if you have), it’s a must-do. The exhibition is full of skeletal beasts plus hundreds of smaller prehistoric remnants and cool installations that present 3.7 billion years of life on Earth. Of course, plan for time to explore the rest of the museum, too! I always recommend the Insect Zoo, where kids love opportunities to hold live creatures and the Hall of Human Origins where they can see what they’d look like as a Neanderthal in a special face morphing photo booth. The museum is open 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

If you have time for another museum on the National Mall (or want to enjoy an evening activity), stop by the National Gallery of Art, where The Life of Animals in Japanese Art exhibit is in its final week! It’s on view through August 18 and open until 8pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Head north to Charm City for a time trip through Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city. It’s full of fun and interesting exhibits and installations, many with hands-on elements, that appeal to children and adults alike. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under. Look for a deal here.

Wednesday – Bring little ones to Canal Park for some Midsummer Magic. Shakespeare for the Young brings the entertainment to this week’s installment of the Kids in Canal series. The fun begins at 10:30am and lasts for an hour. After, head over to the dancing water fountains for a refreshing splash. Admission to all of it is free.

If you’re with older kids, enjoy some recreation on local waters. There are a bunch of places around the area to rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, and pedal boats. See this KFDC post for details of where you can go with the flow in DC. And check out one of our recent kayaking adventures here.

Thursday – Enjoy the day roaming the enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. The grounds don’t open to the public until 2pm, but you can play at nearby Montrose Park or grab a bite to eat on M Street beforehand. I promise, it’s worth waiting for the afternoon visit. Admission is $10/adult, $5/child to the gardens, but there’s never an entry fee at Montrose.

Friday – Hang out in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Kids as young as 5 years old can experience fun and challenges on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $12/age 5-6, $47/age 7-11, $56/age 12+. Read more about the Adventure Park here.

And if you’re looking for fun with littler ones (or a cheaper/free option), play the day away at Clemyjontri. The sprawing, vibrantly colored playground in McLean, VA, accommodates kids of all abilities with all kinds of climbing structures, swings, and other apparatuses that encourage activity and imagination. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.

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

Where to Play on the Weekdays:
August 5-9

Electronic Superhighway at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


Monday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there is so much for all ages to dig (literally, in one area) indoors and out. Let little ones flex their green thumbs in the Children’s Garden — they can water and plant, and play in and with lots of neat features. Explore the different plant collections, too, as you walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Then take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Tuesday – Take little ones to hear Stories in Strawberry Park at the Mosaic District. The live interactive performances by a group of unique storytellers take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month and are designed for kids 10 and under. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free. Plan to stay for fun in the interactive fountain and lunch at one of the many eateries there.

For an outing with older kids, hit the Billy Goat trail at Great Falls. The hike on the Maryland side of the park is challenging but fun, and offers fantastic views of the Potomac River’s Mather Gorge. Be sure to bring water, and pack a picnic lunch (or grab a bite at the snack bar there). And stop in the Visitor Center after for some insight into the area’s history. Hours are 7am to 30 minutes after sunset, the Visitor Center is open 10am – 4pm. Admission is $20/vehicle.

Wednesday – Plan an outing to the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. Take little ones to Story Time in the Explore! activity space at 11:45am, and plan for play among the interactive stations after. Of course, make time to tour the collections and hang out in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard, one of DC’s most stunning spaces where you can hang out with kids. Museum hours are 11:30am – 7pm. Admission is free. Read more about the Penn Quarter galleries in this KFDC post and this one.

Thursday – Head on down to the Howard Country Fair! Weekdays are a great time to go when the crowds aren’t overwhelming and the entry fee is cheaper. Enjoy rides, magic shows, pig races, pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, and much more. Daily hours are 8am – 11pm. Admission on weekdays is $5 before 5pm, $7 after. And if you can’t make it, there are more county fairs coming up — get the scoop on all of them here.

Friday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

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

County Fair Season Around the DC Area



Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? Down at the County Fair. The season for them runs from early August through mid-September, and you can get the lowdown on this year’s events around the area below. Happy Fairin’!

Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival
What: Four days of festivities include livestock and dog demos, 4-H exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, games, vendors, live entertainment, and more.
When: August 1-4, see website for daily hours.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA
Cost: Tickets are $1 each or 24 for $20 (most ride are 3-5 tickets). Unlimited Ride Wristbands for Thursday or Friday are available for $25 — purchase by August 1.

Howard County Fair
What: The 74th annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 3-10, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5-7/age 10+, $3/seniors, free/under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 9-17, times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
Cost: Admission is $12/advance $15/at gate for age 12+, free/11 & under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 9 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 9-17, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $12/age 14-59, $6/seniors and age 5-13, free/4 & under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too!

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more. And new this year: A beer garden and goat yoga!
When: August 14-18, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center | 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 5-8, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena | Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/age 12+, $5/age 6-11, free/5 & under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 11-15, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $10/age 9+,free/8 & under. Rides and games cost extra.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend