Tag Archives: Kids Run the Bases

Get Ready for the 4th

America is about to celebrate its 234th birthday. If you’re still looking for ways to help ring in her big day, you’ve got plenty of options. Go big with a day of music, festivities, and fireworks on the National Mall. Keep it low-key with a neighborhood parade. Pay tribute as you enjoy America’s favorite pastime. For details and more ideas, read on. However you and your family spend the day, have a fun and safe Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Every good holiday has a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day makes its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, military units, will be among the pageantry. The festivities begin at 11:45am, but with the masses coming to watch, it’s best to get there early to get a good view. Free to the public.


Concerts and Fireworks on the National Mall

After the parade (even earlier for some), folks will begin staking out spots on the National Mall for a day of July 4th festivities—picnics, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, concerts, and the granddaddy of grand finales – the spectacular fireworks display. A variety of Festival events will be taking place throughout the day—see the schedule for specifics. The music begins at 6pm when the U.S. Navy band kicks off the concert at the Washington Monument grounds, followed by a National Park Service presentation, then the Navy Band Commodores Jazz ensemble performing with special guest Jane Monheit. Down at the opposite end of the Mall, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, A Capitol Fourth Concert, which airs live on PBS, will feature Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight, Darius Rucker, David Archuleta, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more exciting performers. The show begins at 8pm, but gates open at 3pm.  Finally, the sky over the Washington Monument will explode with color when the amazing fireworks show begins at 9:15pm.

An American Celebration at Mount Vernon
If you don’t feel like dealing with the crowds on the Mall and want to join a unique celebration, head to Mount Vernon for their American Celebration. From 8am – 5pm, guests can take part in a variety of Independence Day events—wreath laying and naturalization ceremonies, music by the National Concert Band of America and the First Virginia Regimen, a giant birthday cake, and a dazzling smoke fireworks display over the Potomac River. There will also be a chance to meet the first “first couple,” General and Mrs. Washington. Admission to Mt. Vernon $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, and free for kids 5 and under.

National vs. Mets
It’s one of America’s greatest pastimes, so what better way to celebrate the nation’s birthday than with a July 4th baseball game. (It’s also a fantastic excuse to avoid the crowds downtown). The Nats play the Mets on Sunday, part of a four-game series that begins today, July 1. And Sunday is a Family Fun Day, which means special Family Fun Packs are available, guests can arrive early for an autograph session with some of the players, and children can loop the infield during Kids Run the Bases following the game. Visit the Nationals website for more info and to purchase tickets.

8th Annual Capitol Hill Parade
Some of the neighborhoods around town are celebrating on a smaller scale, including Capitol Hill. The community parade will begin being at 10am at 8th & I Streets SE, making its way around the neighborhood and ending at Eastern Market Metro plaza. Hang out in the area after for a Family Festival—Naval Lodge No. 4 is hosting food and fun from 11am – 4pm at 335 Eighth St. SE (where the Eastern Market Flea Market takes place). Admission is free.

Concert in the Park featuring Son of the Beach
The Citizens Association of Georgetown is hosting the last of the series at Volta Park on July 4. Festivities start with a parade around the neighborhood at 4:30pm, followed by music from Son of the Beach and fun and games for the whole family—tug ‘o war, water balloon tossing, pie-eating contests, cookie decorating, and more. Admission is free. The park is located at 34th Street and Volta Place NW.

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Dad’s Day

Not everyone can be on the ball when it comes to planning for special occasions, myself included. I confess: Less than four days out, and I have yet to nail down plans to celebrate my husband’s big day as a dad (sorry, honey!). If, like me, you still have a wide-open Sunday and need some inspiration for Father’s Day plans, here are a few things going on around town this weekend that just might make Dad’s day.

Take Dad Out to the Ballgame
The Nats are hosting the Chicago White Sox this weekend with special promotions on June 19 & 20. Head to Saturday’s 4:30pm game and you could receive a Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead if you’re among the first 15,000 fans to arrive. This will have to be a splurge—the cheap seats are all gone—but word is that Strasburg will be starting, and Dad is worth it, right? If you want to keep costs down, catch the game at 1:35pm on Father’s Day, and get in on some extra fun. Not only are $10 seats still available, but the first 20,000 fans will receive a Washington Nationals travel mug. Plus, it’s a Family Fun Day, which means special family ticket packs are available, you can get there early for pre-game autograph signings, and you can stay late for Kids Run the Bases.

Brunchtime
What perfect timing for Washington Restaurant Week for Kids! The dining out promotion for young ones starts on June 20, so you can make brunch plans without worrying if the venue really welcomes kids or just tolerates them. Participating restaurants are offering special children’s menus and a great deal—pay only the age of kids under 11. Check out the original post about the event for more details and to find out which restaurants are involved. For dining suggestions beyond Restaurant Week, here are even more DC eateries offering Father’s Day specials.

Father’s Day at Mount Vernon
Celebrate the occasion with the father of our country. Tour the grounds of the first president’s digs and enjoy a meet & greet with “General Washington,” including a talk on his role as husband, stepfather, and Father of Our Country. The event is happening on Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, from 8am – 5pm both days. Admission is $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, free for children 5 and under. Dad’s entrance fee also gets him free admission to Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, just three miles from the Mount Vernon estate.

Hit the Trail
The Nature Center at Rock Creek Park is hosting a Hike with Dad! Park Rangers will lead a two-mile Father’s Day hike to Rapids Bridge and talk about the park’s history and habitats along the way. The hike is recommended for ages 5 and older, so if your little ones don’t meet the age requirement (or even if they do), consider some of these family friendly hikes.

Father’s Day Fútbol
The World Cup will still be in full force, so if Dad wants to catch some matches and spend time with the kids, check out these suggestions for family friendly places to watch the tournament. For some live soccer action, the DC United is playing the El Salvador National Team at RFK Stadium on Saturday evening. The charity match benefits the Spanish Catholic Center and the club’s charitable arm, United for D.C. The game starts at 7:30 pm, and tickets are still available for purchase online or at the box office.

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Take the Kids Out to the Ballgame

It’s Opening Day in Major League Baseball, and I can hear the fireworks going off at Nationals Park right now, as the Nationals  get ready to play their home opener against the Phillies. If you didn’t get tickets for this first sold-out game, seats are available for the rest of the week and, of course, the remainder of the season. You won’t get to catch President Obama throwing out the first pitch, but there’s plenty more to enjoy on a game day at the riverfront stadium, particularly for kids.

Generally, there seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to taking little ones to baseball games: 1) it’s a great family activity 2) it’s a huge pain in the butt. (Given that I’m writing this, I obviously fall into the former group.) I think the games are a blast. We caught the exhibition game against the Redsox on Saturday. It was Sasha’s first game; our first time bringing both kids. And while it was a bit of work keeping a 4-year-old and 15-month-old engaged for nearly four hours, it was more so a really good time. Owen dug the action, especially the fly balls (including a foul that landed two rows behind us) and Racing Presidents (Let Teddy Win!). When he got antsy, the playground—a lofty maze of tunnels and slides—was a great way to burn some energy. Sasha loved the excitement of the crowd, clapping along and bouncing around to the music.

It’s not just a game, it’s an experience. The Nationals—and their sponsors—make sure of that. There’s the ballpark grub, hang out areas like the Red Porch and Red Loft above it, and lounging seats along the concourse. Then there’s the Family Fun Area featuring interactive games, Rookies – Food for Little Sluggers, a Build-a-Bear Workshop, the Exxon Strike Zone batting and pitching cages, the awesome kids playground, a picnic area, the Playstation Pavilion, and the Geico Racing Presidents (for photo ops with the mascots). All of this is open to guests three hours prior to the start of each game.

And here’s a treat for kids aged 4-12: After select Sunday home games, they can participate in Kids Run the Bases. Starting at first base, kids will be directed to run around the bases for a mini home run experience. Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up their kids on the Nationals website or in the Strike Zone during Sunday home games.

If the whole gang is going to a Sunday game, consider the Family Fun Pack. Each $14 ticket includes an Upper Right Field Terrace seat, a hot dog, chips and a soft drink. If you really want to treat the fam, upgrade to a field level Outfield Reserved seat and still get the hot dog, chips, and drink for $25 per ticket.

Don’t strike out with the kids—visit the Nationals website for tickets and more info.

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