The Weekend Round-Up: March 12-14



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One year ago today I shared this weekend post.  At the time I thought it was just a cautious approach, that we would all lay low for a couple of weeks until it was certain the coronavirus would be a passing panic, then we’d resume life as usual.  Oh, how optimistic and naive I was! Now, 365 days later, my kids do school from home, often in their pajamas, sometimes from bed. (I let the “dressed at your desk” battle go awhile back.) We wear masks. We desperately miss favorite places — museums, theaters, concert venues, insides of restaurants and our friends’ homes. We’ve experienced challenges beyond the pandemic, but also compounded by the pandemic.

It’s been a hard year.

But it’s had some bright spots, too: The rise in the Black Lives Matter movement. A new president who brings reason and compassion back to the job. We learned how to make the best use of our backyards. More people are biking. We got a puppy! We appreciate our connections with others more than ever.

Finally, we’re starting to see the light of at the end of the tunnel. And, hopefully, it won’t be too, too long until we return to those places we miss, go back to school and work (in real clothes), embrace the people we love, and resume some iteration of life as usual.

Happy Weekend!


Rally to Reopen DC Schools
Where: Mayor’s Office | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

It’s been 365 days since most of DC’s kids have been the inside a classroom. A rally has been organized for Saturday to push DCPS and DCPCS to give families a choice and a voice when it comes to reopening DC schools. All are welcome to join at the Mayor’s Office (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) to demand: 1) A vaccine now for all teachers who want one. 2) An in-person education, with a teacher, for all families who want it at the start of Term 4 in mid-April 3) Sensible safety guidelines that follow the CDC while still allowing a return to the classroom 4) A commitment to regular school — 5 days a week, in person, with a teacher in a classroom — starting from Day 1 of the 2021-2022 school year, for every DC schoolchild who wants one.

Later, Skaters
Where: Ice rinks around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

This is the last weekend to hit the ice al fresco at most local outdoor ice skating rinks, as many are getting ready to shut down their Zambonis for the season. See this post listing them all for details on where you can glide under the sky one last time this winter.

Take a Swing
Where: Parks in Northern Virginia
When: Throughout the weekend

Batter up! And tee up! Batting cages and mini golf courses are opening at several NoVa Parks. At Cameron Run, Upton Hill, and Occoquan Regional Parks, choose slow pitch softball, or take a crack at baseballs featuring a variety of tough speeds.  And you can putt around at Cameron Run, Upton Hill, Pohick Bay, and Algonkian Regional Parks.

Ride On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It’s great weather for a bike ride! Plan for a family two-wheel outing — you’ve got your pick of them around the area. Take in the almost-spring 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 route is particularly ideal with kids.

Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The nice weather this weekend also makes it a great time to hit the trail. Enjoy the late winter temps, walk in places with scenic views, see the start of budding flowers, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids. Some good places to go right now:  Great Falls, Fort Dupont Park, Huntley Meadows, Cunningham Falls State Park, and Sky Meadows State Park.

Think Outside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

For even more ideas for things to do and places to go, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids is chock full of ideas. Between sunny weather and social distancing, it will be especially handy.

Play Ball Drive-Thru
Where: Matthews Memorial Baptist Church | Southeast DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Get ready for baseball season at a drive-thru event hosted by the Washington Nationals and Major League Basebal. To help encourage and promote youth baseball and softball participation, the Nats and Screech are giving away free plastic bats, balls, and other Nationals swag to young fans. Open to all children between the ages of 4-18, this socially-distant event will allow participants to remain in their cars and have the items passed through their car windows. Face coverings will be required. Fans should register here.

Ice Festival
Where: Havre de Grace, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

If you’re up for a day trip and the drive (about 1.5 hours from DC), head to Havre de Grace for its annual Ice Festival, where beautifully lit ice sculptures will transform the downtown area. Festivities include ice carving demonstrations, bands, artisans, kids’ stations, in-store specials, food trucks, an outdoor hot toddy bar, fire pits, s’mores and more. I also recommend a meal outside by the water at the Tidewater Grill and some vintage shopping at Jo Retro.

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

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Explore nature at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Or take a way there along Walney Creek.  Enjoy a personalized tour with a naturalist at Hidden Oaks. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

St. Patrick’s Day Rooftop Celebration
Where: Hi-Lawn | Union Market, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $60/table

Hi-Lawn, on the roof of Union Market, is rolling out the green carpet this weekend for its inaugural St. Patrick’s Day rooftop celebration! Bringing traditional Irish pub vibes to the great outdoors by partnering with The Dubliner, DC’s oldest Irish pub, they’ll be shucking oysters (served both raw with green mignonette + grilled colcannon-style) along with Irish whiskey-centric cocktails and festive beers. Admission fee is for up to 6 guests at a reserved, socially-distanced table on the Rooftop for 2 hours.

Family Fun & Food
Where: The Station at Riverdale Park | Riverdale, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

From riding along the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail, to a scavenger hunt for all of the unique art on the property, like a sparkly blue bear at the center of Bear Square, and active programming like outdoor concerts, weekends at The Station at Riverdale Park are filled with family fun and bonding. (And will all but guarantee sleepy, happy kids—at least for the trip home!) Even more, The Station offers a variety of dining options that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Where: Long Bridge Park | Crystal City, VA
When: Through March 14
Admission: Free

An art installation of giant, vibrantly colored, inflatable mushrooms has been adding some whimsy to Crystal City. It’s lit up during the day and evening, and visitors are welcome to walk among them — and take fun photos for the ‘gram. The Shrooms are part of National Landing Bid’s “Turn Up The Love” campaign that has ben presenting public art pop-ups in the area.

Pi(e) Day
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $25.95/adult, $19.95/child

Celebrate the most mathematically delicious day of the year with Maryland Science Center! Pi(e) Day is a celebration of the mathematical constant Pi and a celebration of the sweet, circular baked dessert! Circle up for a well rounded day of endless fun. Get creative with circle art, launch pizza pie toppings with catapults, watch pie fall from the sky, and so much more. Plus, take a free slice of pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies for the road! If you can’t make it to the Science Center for the event, join the celebration online!

More Baltimore 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.  See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around 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.

More Indoor Adventures
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Many more area places are welcoming visitors in person again. This post lists reopened venues around the area, and all of them have extra safety protocols in place for Covid.

* There’s a giveaway going on right now for a chance to win free family admission to Dino Safari coming to the area March 18 – April 11.
* Camp Half-Blood is offering Spring Break and summer programs for kids.
* Easy trips from DC  for Spring Break getaways.
* Currently reading and enjoying The Midnight Library. Light and entertaining, reminds me of the movie Sliding Doors. Who else has read it?
* Allen v. Farrow on HBO. Whoa.
* Don’t forget to spring forward and turn the clocks ahead!
* The Periodic Table of Coronavirus.


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