The Weekend Round-Up: October 8-10

Only a couple of weekends left to experience the magic of Ren Fest!



Happy Weekend!

Quick clicks for all kinds of ongoing activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Bike Rides
* On the Water
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Fall Festing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Pick some pumpkins, whiz down giant slides, get lost in corn mazes, go on and hayrides, bounce around on jumping pillows, say “huzzah!” to Ren Fest, and so much more. There are activities galore to you embrace the autumn spirit, and the KFDC guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Back to the Yards
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the end of summer + the new school year at Back to The Yards! Yards Park will blast to the past for one night only as it transforms into a nostalgic 80s dance party, complete with throwback tunes and activities. Learn groovy moves with breakdancers, join a neon retro dance party, enter a Rubik’s cube competition, create slap bracelets, and more. Glowing giveaways and an LED light up piano will make this a party for the ages! Admission is free and kids of all ages are welcome to attend.

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Halloween may not be for a few more weeks, but you can get the party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

Night at the Corn Maze
Where: Legacy Farms | Waldorf, MD
When: Friday, 8-10pm
Admission: $8

Spend an evening on the farm! All of your favorite activities — pumpkin patching, petting zoo visits, and corn maze adventures — on the farm will be available, but to be enjoyed IN THE DARK! Bring your own flashlights and glowsticks (or buy the at the door) to experience the corn maze in the most unique way!

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

The weather may have you seeking out fun indoors, and there are plenty of options.  This post has info  on what’s open when along with links for more about places and Covid policies.

We Are All Connected Arts Opening Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10:45am
Admission: Free

Beloved children’s author and artist Mo Willems will be back at the Kennedy Center to create a large-scale public art playscape, essentially a giant mural, on the REACH Plaza with invited community members — and the public is welcome to watch.  There will also be art making, live music, family-friendly activities, and food and drinks available at Victura Park. It’s all free, but register online in advance.

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

Farm festivals may be the go-to autumn outing, but there are lots of other fantastic ways to enjoy the season around the area. This KFDC post lists 10 great places to for fall adventures.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $6
Hop on board the Halloween Trains! All ages can take a ride through “Trainslyvania” on Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train. Purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee a ride, as only a limited amount are available onsite. Plan on more play at the parks — see more about Cabin John here and Wheaton here.

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove | Crownesville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $28/age 16+, $13/age 7-15, free/6 & under

There are only a couple of weekends left to enjoy merriment galore at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite annual events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Huzzah!

Down in the Reeds
Where: Parks at Walter Reed Army Hospital | Brightwood, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $10

The day-long fall celebration and music festival brings together a mosaic of entertainment and activations reflective of DC’s cultural diversity and in celebration of the healing power of music. Enjoy a variety of music, family activities, food trucks, and much more. Visit the website for the complete schedule of events and their Covid policies.

Festival de Rio Anacostia
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park | Bladensburg, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free
The annual and bilingual environmental celebration of the Anacostia River is back! There will be fun activities for the whole family. Learn about the river and enjoy boat tours, fishing, tree planting, more. Follow the link for the event day schedule. Read more about Bladensburg Waterfront Park here.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall is a great time to roam the many gardens in the area as the changing leaves start to brighten up the summer green. Stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks. Explore, play, and see a variety of plant collections at the National Arboretum. Enjoy the sprawling grounds of Brookside Gardens.  Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Or relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. You can bring along a picnic to most of these places (not at Dumbarton) and make it a whole day’s outing.

Life of a Neuron
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24/adult, $17/age 4-15, free/under 4

Art meets science in this new exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, taking us on an artistic journey inside the brain. Trippy, captivating scenes swirl around the walls and floors, and side galleries have some interactive elements. Read more about it in this recent review.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks in Fairfax, 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. Learn what happens in Nature at Night at Riverbend Park. Gather around the Insect Symphony Campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park on Saturday evening. Learn how to fish at Lake Accotink Park on Sunday.. Get more details on these activities and see what else is going on here.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Where: West Elm & Woodmont | Downtown Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Bethesda Row’s Arts and Entertainment District will transform into a massive outdoor art gallery featuring ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, printmaking, jewelry, metalwork, painting, photography, sculpture, and more creative works from artists around the counrty. It all takes place outdoors, and there are lots of dining options right there, too! Kids are welcome, so bring the whole fam to browse, then go grab bite to eat!

McLean Pet Fest
Where: McLean Central Park | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

It’s a “purrfect” event for local pet owners and their beloved animals. Learn valuable information and get tips on pet products and services.There will also be tons of fun activities like a dog agility course, pet trick demos, a petting zoo, a caricature artist, giveaways, food trucks, and even a Pooch Parade. Bring your leashed pets to show off their best costumes!

Books in Bloom Festival
Where: Color Burst Park | Columbia, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

From readings and panel discussions to poetry walls and pop-up bookstores, Books in Bloom has become a celebrated tradition in Downtown Columbia and the ultimate expression of the arts and culture the community reveres. They are back to an outdoor, in-person format this year, which includes moderated discussion and family-friendly activities across three stages. See the schedule here.

* In case you missed it, there’s a new post about Westmoreland State Park, where I stopped to fossil hunt and discovered a great destination for a day trip or camping adventure.
* Looking forward to seeing this show that opens next week!
* Just saw that CertifiKid has a deal on a stay in Williamsburg, VA! It’s a great trip to do with kids — read about one of our experiences here.
* Washingtonian’s round-up of 50 New and Anticipated Restaurants Opening Around DC this Fall & Winter
* Need help organizing and purging some of the stuff that you’ve accumulated, while preserving all the stories behind it? Artifcts is a great, unique online service to help with that!
* Speaking of organizing, I had a weird space to fill in our new basement, and found these that can be stacked or arranged in various configurations.
* This and these always make for easy, go-to Halloween decor.
* Promising news of the week.
* 43 Most Haunted Places in the World That are Beautifully Scary
* Latest Netflix binge: Maid.
* Frog and Toad are doing their best.


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