Tag Archives: Washington DC

Where to Celebrate Independence Day Around DC

Fireworks in the neighborhood park last year



What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th and the days leading up to it. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

Family Independence Day Funfest
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $7-10/child $5/adult, free/veterans & military families

Celebrate Independence Day with the family at the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter and five generations that followed. Salute our nation’s service members! Also play traditional American outdoor games, tour verdant garden “rooms,” make patriotic crafts like a traditional whirligig toy, and of course, savor patriotic sweets. All ages welcome.

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 7th to 12th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly. *If you want to view the fireworks without having to head to the Mall, see these suggestions from WTOP in other vantage points to view the display.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. This year’s show, hosted by John Stamps, will include performances by The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Kellie Pickler, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adults, $10/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Kick off Independence Day on July 3rd, when the Nats play the Mets and enjoy a freedom fireworks show after. The July 4th game against the Mets will also include an aerial appearance by the Golden Knights Parachute Team and a performance by The Rockettes! Before you go, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town. (Note that the list is from 2016, but the information is largely the same, and all of the links lead to this year’s events.)

July 4th Climb & Celebration
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: July 4
Admission: $42-55

Spend the holiday in the tree and enjoy a day of climbing, zip lining, and American spirit From 10am – 2pm, they’ll have an All-American playlist to keep you in the patriotic mood. Don’t forget to wear your red, white and blue!

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School | Fairfax, VA
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park | Cockeysville, MD
When: July 3
Admission: $9-20

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD, on Monday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

July 4th @ Long Bridge Park
Where: Long Bridge Park | Arlington, VA
When: July 4, 5-10pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Independence Day at Arlington’s sixth annual July 4th Celebration @ Long Bridge Park! Join in the patriotic spirit with food trucks, live music featuring Jeff From Accounting, sports and games for all ages, moon bounces (weather permitting), face painting, and great views of the DC fireworks display. Free shuttles from Pentagon City and Crystal City metro stations.

McLean 4th of July Fireworks
Where: Churchill Road Elementary School | McLean, VA
When: July 4
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual Independence Day Celebration returns to Churchill Road Elementary School. The fireworks show begins at sunset, approximately 9:15pm. In addition to the large fireworks display, patrons can come early to enjoy musical entertainment by a local disc jockey, as well as food trucks selling a variety of entrees and snacks.

Picnic Baskets to Celebrate
Where: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken | DC & VA
When: Pick Up July 4
Cost: $50

More like a how to celebrate than a where, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is offering a special summer picnic basket at their DC and Virginia locations. The basket includes 8 pieces of their signature fried chicken, 4 biscuits, 1 large cole slaw, and a half dozen doughnuts, and feeds up to four people. It will be available for pick up on July 4 from 7:30am – 5:30pm at G Street and from 7:30am -8pm at Falls Church. Pre-orders must be placed by end of day July 3 at 202.809.5565 or [email protected] Limited quantities of baskets will be available for walk-ins.


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Thanksgiving Made Easy and Delicious with Whole Foods Market

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Do you need some help with your Thanksgiving feast? Perhaps you’ve been distracted by recent big events and haven’t even thought about preparing for it yet. Maybe you’re extra busy this time of year because, well, life can get really busy. Or you might just want to focus more on family and friends and have extra time to enjoy the many wonderful activities happening around DC over the holiday season.

Whatever the reason, Whole Foods Market can help make Thanksgiving easier. Offering already-prepped meals with all of the traditional dishes, the bulk of the work is done, so all you have to do is put the food in the oven and anticipate a wonderful feast!

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I know from firsthand experience that it is one delicious dinner. A few evenings ago, I was invited to Whole Foods Market Fair Lakes for a wine tasting and dinner to learn about the market’s packaged meals for the holiday — in the tastiest way possible. After sampling their top reds, whites, and sparklings for the holidays, we feasted on a traditional dinner, which included the turkey, gravy, sage stuffing, homestyle mashed potatoes, organic cranberry orange relish, green beans with shallots, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

The first of my two big plates of the Traditional Turkey Dinner

The first of my two big plates of the Traditional Turkey Dinner

Whole Foods Top 10 Wines for the holidays

Whole Foods Top 10 Wines for the holidays

Even better, the meal is not only scrumptious, it’s also an excellent deal: The Traditional Turkey Dinner serving 6-8 is just $89, and $169 serving 12-16. They also offer an Organic Turkey Dinner serving 6-8 for $99. On top of that, the wines they recommend are reasonably priced, ranging from $11.99 to about $30. (My favorite, the Camino Calixo Cava, was actually the least expensive one.)

The Traditional Turkey Dinner, packed and ready for your oven

The Traditional Turkey Dinner, packed and ready for your oven

Along with the tasting and feasting, there was also a tablescaping show by Williams Sonoma to inspire some Thanksgiving table decorating. This featured their Plymouth Dinnerware Collection with cute ceramic turkey tureens and other festive ware (psst… much of it is on sale right now!).

William Sonoma's festive Thanksgiving table

William Sonoma’s festive Thanksgiving table

Something I should note is that the turkey is not cooked! But it’s all seasoned and rubbed with herb butter on a bed of mirepoix and ready to go; you simply unwrap it and place in the oven for 3 to 4 hours to achieve a perfect, roasted bird.

All carved and ready to savor!

All carved and ready to savor!

And if you’ve got the turkey down, but need some help with the sides, they are all available to order individually. You might even like an alternative to turkey, either to suite your preference or do something different for a holiday meal later in the season — they’ve got options for that, too. And speaking of holiday meals beyond Thanksgiving, if you place an order for one by November 22, you can get $10 off!

Ready to reserve your bird — and the rest of your Thanksgiving meal? Ordering is as simple as the meal prep will be. Go to www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop, select your store, and place your order.

Easy as pie. (Speaking of, you can add that to your meal, too!)


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote places, services, and programs that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Annual, DC, Discount, Eats, Holidays, Maryland, Product Review, Professional Service, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Virginia

PTO Playoffs: The Ultimate Fundraising Competition Where Every School Wins!

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Time to put your game face on! Parents, teachers, and administrators — you understand the fight to raise money for your school. Well, PTO Playoffs is the ultimate way! Raise thousands of dollars. Get dirty. Run a relay. Test your wits. Unleash your inner athlete. Walk (or limp) away with money to support your school!

Public, private, and charter school parent teacher organizations and associations (PTOs and PTAs) will compete in a series of outdoor games & challenges for a grand prize of $10,000. In addition to the opportunity to win a large cash prize, teams can raise money for their schools through individual donations and corporate sponsorship. So every school wins!

The mission of PTO Playoffs is to:
* Provide a spirited way for schools to raise funds to support programming needs
* Model teamwork and positive play for students
* Promote exercise and interactive play
* Build camaraderie among parent teacher organizations and associations

PTO Playoffs will take place May 20, 2017 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. PTOs and PTAs interested in signing up to compete must complete the short questionnaire ASAP and submit a pitch video by November 12, 2016, like the one below from Anne Beers Elementary School. Schools selected to participate will be notified by December 1, 2016.

Click Image to View Anne Beers Elementary School PTO Playoffs Pitch!

Click Image to View Anne Beers Elementary School PTO Playoffs Pitch!



Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PTO Playoffs, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Competition, Contest, DC, DC Public Schools, Fundraiser, Outdoor, Parents, Schools, Sponsored Post, Sports, Spring, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 24-25

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival



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I would call this a big weekend for DC, as we welcome a new museum to the National Mall, host one of the most anticipated annual festivals for book lovers, celebrate the city’s theatre scene, and kick off the official start of fall with a bevy of seasonal fun. But big things always happen here, so it’s really just another (awesome) weekend in Washington. The great variety of fantastic, enriching events in this round-up is proof. Happy Weekend!

Freedom Sounds Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this weekend, and while you can’t yet visit if you don’t have tickets, you can celebrate the Smithsonian’s newest addition at a big festival right outside the museum. There will be all kinds of festivities throughout the days — music and dance performances, storytelling, art activities, a drum circle, concessions, and more — and the official dedication ceremony will be on Saturday at 10am. Want some evening entertainment? There will be concerts both Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm. The Roots, Public Enemy, and Living Colour are among the performers.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free

Bookworms, take note! One of DC’s biggest annual events is on Saturday. The Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 120 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages. For an idea of what to expect, see this post about one of our past experiences there.

Take the Fall
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Autumn has arrived, and there are tons of ways to celebrate the season, from city streets to country farms. The annual Barracks Row Fall Festival is back on 8th Street SE on Saturday. Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October. Cox, Great Country, Montpelier, Clark’s Elioak, and many more farms around the area are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of these events in KFDC guide to Fall Festivals.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music, and great food! For the 47th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore. Located just 20 minutes south of Washington DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Volunteer for Public Lands
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Celebrate and serve with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on National Public Lands Day. Volunteer for the morning to help remove cut lotus from the ponds, clear invasive species from the forest, pick up litter, and complete other tasks around the park. After, stay for a free lunch in the picnic area. Individuals, groups, families, friends welcome — there is something for everyone! SSL credit can be earned. Sign up online here. And if you can’t make it this weekend, you can sign up for October 22 or November 12.

Museum Day Live
Where: Various museums
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE

There are some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the Newseum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Koshland Science Museum, National Building Museum, Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, and many more fantastic museums in the area. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary!

theatreWeek
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15-35

The theatre world’s version of Restaurant week celebrates the fun of going to the theatre by offering patrons tickets for less. Through October 2, you can see any of the participating shows for $15-35, giving you some kind of discount on the regular price — and several of this week’s Show Time recommendations (see below) are among them!

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* It’s opening weekend for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair as The Puppet Co. presents the marionette version of the classic fairytale.
* And Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Catch the Shakepeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Jungle Gym Jam & Friends featuring Marsha Goodman-Wood are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* The Little Foxes is coming to the Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy Pinkalicous the Musical at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Shop Local & Support a School
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!

Bargain hunters take note: This is one Yard Sale you don’t want to miss — it’s always huge and excellent. Clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, all proceeds help support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located at 1250 Constitution Ave. NE.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2

It’s your last chance to walk amid the garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit. The display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight! Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit. Plan to tour the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds while you’re there and see if there are any other special kids’ programs to enjoy.

STEM Magic | Core Concept: OSIRIS-REx
Where: Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. During this session, learn about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to land on an asteroid, take a sample, and bring it back home, then design your own sampling device!

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 8th year with a simulcast performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume dress-up station, fun photo ops, arts & crafts, face painting, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.

Veg Out
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the largest celebration of vegetarian and vegan living in the area. Now in its 9th year, DC VegFest is a full day of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, cooking demos, music, and more. A Kid’s Area will feature entertainment by Teatro de la Luna and Norm Hogeland, storytelling, an Ask-A-Vegan Parent Panel, kid-friendly cooking demos, and a child nutritionist. Attendees will enjoy free food samples along with tasty vegan cuisine from food vendors.

Leesburg Airshow
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 7th annual Leesburg Airshow will take to the skies with thrilling aerobatic demonstrations, sky divers, and more! Witness a showcase of impressive aircraft, classic cars, and a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them. Go here for directions and parking instructions.

Yoga on the Mall
Where: National Mall Sylvan Theatre
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Yogis of all ages are welcome to get on the mat for downward dogs and tree poses on the National Mall. Well known instructors will be leading a variety of classes, including meditation, a family fun session, and an acro-yoga demo. While admission is free, you should RSVP.

Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This family festival is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual celebration of the Park’s revitalization and recalling of its history. The event features kiddie rides and arcade games, as well as videos and an exhibition on the Park’s past. Take a ride on the historic Dentzel Carousel, get little faces painted, see vintage cars, and be wowed magic shows, too. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.

Turkish Festival
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 12th-14th St.
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

You’ll be whirling like a dervish from all there is to enjoy at the Annual Turkish Festival on Sunday. Watch Turkish dance and stage performances, enjoy a Turkish coffee and tea and have and find out your destiny from the ever-popular Turkish fortune-tellers who read fortunes from coffee grinds, and sample Turkish cuisine from local restaurants. Shop an authentic Turkish bazaar featuring 25 vendors showcasing everything from Turkish jewelry to clothing to home accessories. And a “Kid’s Tent” will provide an interactive introduction to Turkey with hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Curse of the Boggin Book Reading
Where: Barnes & Noble Tysons
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Bring young readers to Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner Center for a reading by acclaimed children’s author D.J. MacHake. He will read and sign copies of his newest book The Curse of the Boggin, the first in The Library Series about a mysterious library between dimensions and the incredible adventures of 13-year-old Marcus O’Mara and his friends. Mr. MacHale has also written several popular series including Pendragon, Morpheus Road and The SYLO Chronicles. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids


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