[Note: As I mentioned in my recent post about Dr. Jane Goodall coming to DC, I want to highlight local ways that kids and families can take action against climate change. As Goodall suggested, this action can begin with everyday choices — what we buy, what we eat, what we wear, etc. However, this guest post by Emily Moise from KID Museum shares a way for kids to truly take things into their own hands.]
KID Museum, the creative, hands-on learning space in Bethesda, MD, is challenging middle schoolers across the region to create an invention that will solve an environmental problem.
The Invent the Future Challenge, now in its third year, is part of the museum’s invention programming amplified by a district-wide partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Almost 1,000 kids participated in last year’s challenge, and the museum seeks to double that this year by reaching more schools and students beyond MCPS.
The challenge question is a big one — What will you make to protect life on this planet? — but the guidelines are simple:
Form a team of 3-6 middle school students and one adult team coordinator.
Make a physical representation of your invention.
Spend no more than $60 on materials for your invention.
Present at the Challenge Summit in May for a chance to win awards & prizes.
Photo Credit: Edwin Remsberg Photography
Kids can get involved in the challenge through STEM-focused clubs and teachers at school, or on their own with a parent coordinator. School groups can visit KID Museum for Invention Studio field trips — skill-building sessions in design, engineering, electronics, coding, and prototyping — or through Invent the Future weekend workshops at the museum.
Previous award winners include a “smart tree” for early-detection of forest fires, a coded water-rationing device for showers, and solar panels that double as advertising on buses and buildings. Winners received tickets to local amusement parks and awards to display at their schools, and were invited to exhibit at FutureFest, KID Museum’s annual family festival.
And for the grown-ups, there are other ways to get involved in the challenge and support KID Museum’s mission to inspire the next generation of changemakers. You can serve as a mentor at an Innovation Exchange or as a judge at the Challenge Summit. The Summit is also open to the public and should make you very hopeful for the future!
Want to embark on an adventure that is as active and challenging and as it is fun and rewarding?
The Kids Obstacle Challenge is the nation’s premier obstacle course race series for kids ages 5-16 — and it’s coming to the DC area this summer! The family-friendly event will be charging into Centreville, VA, at the Bull Run Special Events Center on June 29. This unique venue, located near routes 66 and 29, features grassy areas and wide open space, a perfect setting for families to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure in the great outdoors.
The course is a fun and challenging 1.5-2 miles, specially made for this DC kids event. It includes 13 to 15 distinctive obstacles that range in difficulty, so KOC is just as fun for a 5-year-old as it is for a 16-year-old — and, of course, for parents. Families will enjoy traversing rock walls, army crawling through mud pits, rope swinging over water, scaling up rugged cargo nets, and much more.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to get out and active alongside their kids, so two parents/legal guardians can join the Kids Obstacle Challenge for free with their child(ren). It’s a great opportunity to show kids the importance of an active lifestyle by participating with them, all while having a blast and spending quality time as a family.
The cost per child to the Kids Obstacle Challenge is $44 for early bird sign up (spots are going fast) or $52 regular fee — register online here. And you can get 15% off with the code BEBRAVE. As mentioned, two parents/legal guardians can participate for free. You can also try to win entry for two children through the giveaway below.
Get dirty. Have fun. Be a family. Brave Your Adventure together!
* * * * *
Giveaway: For a chance to win two tickets (entry for two children) to the Kids Obstacle Challenge at the Bull Run Special Events Center in Sully, VA, on July 29, 2019, simply leave a comment below telling me what kind of obstacle your child is most excited to conquer. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through June 9, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Kids Obstacle Challenge, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.
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 is about to begin, 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 2-5, 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 $18 — purchase by August 1.
Howard County Fair What: The 73rd 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 4-11, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules. Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD Cost: Admission is $5/age 10+, $2/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 10-18, times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics. Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD. Cost: Admission is $10/advance $12/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 10 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 10-18, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules. Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA. Cost: Admission is $10/age 14-59, $5/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. When: August 16-20, 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 7-10, 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 13-17, check the website for hours. Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD Cost: Admission is $6/age 16+, $4/age 8–15, free/7 & under. Rides and games cost extra.
On April 21st, BEST Kids, Inc., a one-on-one mentoring program contracted under CFSA for 150 youth in DC’s foster care system, is hosting its 6th annual Superhero 5K/Fun Run at Hains Point! The race celebrates the heroic supporters that positively impact the lives of the DC’s youth and raises money to support the year-round mentoring program.
Be prepared to enjoy the scenic waterfront area while running along a flat, stroller-friendly course that is suitable for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers for adults and youth, as well as for top fundraisers and best costumes. Roads will close promptly at 7:45am as the 5K race begins at 8am. The 1⁄2 mile kids’ Fun Run will begin at 9am and family activities will be taking place throughout the morning.
Registration is $45, but KFDC readers can get a special discount of $30 using the code KIDFRIENDLY2018 — sign up here!
And visit the BEST Kids website to learn more about their organization and mentoring programs.
The lovely Fairy Lolly at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, where there’s a Mud Day on Sunday
It’s the first “official” weekend of the summer, and there are so many cool ways to enjoy it! A Giant BBQ Battle, summer fun, all kinds of live entertainment, a day of play for little ones, art and mud, baseball, plus the myriad Everyday Play options around DC that practically guarantee a good time. Happy Weekend!
Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity
Free concerts, outdoor swimming, special exhibits, movies under the stars, sprayground fun… Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed all around the area throughout the weekend. Get the full scoop on all of these joys of summer in the 2017 Summer Guide.
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: $15/adults, free for ages 12 and under
Join one of the biggest summer barbeques around as the Giant National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other to compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more. It all takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 3rd to 7th Streets.
Where: Various locales | Montgomery County, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, re-creations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge. Learn about the history of dairy farming, railroads, and trolleys; African American communities, astronomy, local arts & culture, and outdoor recreation. Check the online brochure for participating locations and activities.
Where: FedEx Field | Landover, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!
Dance and Bagels
Where: CityDance POP
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Add some entertainment to your brunch! CityDance POP invites you for a morning of dance and bagels. Bring the family to a sample class and mini performance, and maybe even get the kids signed up for dance lessons.
Refurbished Bike Sale
Where: Impala | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Kick off Summer with a “new to you” ride! All sale support Phoenix Bikes and their mission to educate youth, promote bicycling, and build community. The sale will be held in the courtyard of Impala Cantina y Taqueria located at 1358 H Street NE.
National Day of Play
Where: Gymboree Play & Music | Cleveland Park, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 5pm
Gymboree Play & Music is opening their doors for all to join in the play event of the year. All families with children from birth to 5 years old are welcome to drop-in for spectacular play activities, flying parachutes, bubbles, art, music, and more! Sites are located in Alexandria, Burke, and Chantilly. Jump in and enter to win this $150 gift basket, filled to the brim with bubbles and play products.
Room for Children
Where: House of Sweden | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
Visit the space for family fun at the Swedish Embassy on Georgetown’s waterfront. This library and arts studio for the young is designed to stimulate children’s interest in books, music, storytelling, and self-expression. Room for Children pushes the boundaries of what a library can be. Parents are encouraged to engage in it all with kids and share the experience! It’s open on weekends through December, and every Saturday, there is a storytime session at 2pm.
Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Local parks | 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. Celebrate the great outdoors at Huntley Meadows, take a wagon ride at Riverbend, enjoy colonial games and icecream at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, and more! Go here to see all of your options, this weekend and beyond, and register for activities.
Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages 10-17, $19.50/adult
Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt that kids and adults will love! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. This hunt is designed for kids and adults to do together (but all-adult teams are allowed to compete separately) Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Read about this super fun adventure in this KFDC post.
Vine on the Waterfront
Where: Oronoco Bay Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
This food and wine festival in Alexandria may sound like a grown-up event — and the main festivity is, for the most part — but there will be activities for little ones, too! The festival will showcase some of the best of Alexandria’s restaurants and Virginia wineries. And to complement it all will be live entertainment, a children’s corner (moon bounce, arts & crafts, and more), and cooking demos. While admission is free, you will need to purchase tickets to sample food and wine – $20 for 8 tickets, $20 for the wine sampling. Rain or shine.
Get the Blues
Where: Homestead Farm | Poolesville, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Blueberries are currently ripe for the picking at Homestead Farm (along with tart cherries, too!). While admission to the farm is free, it’s $3 to access the patches. BYO container or purchase one there. Be sure to visit the goats and pigs while you’re at the farm. And for more places to PYO produce, see this post.
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5, free for members and kids under 4
Join Annmarie for this popular family-friendly event where everyone is encouraged to stomp, splash and get dirty! Giant mud play areas like the Mega Mud Pit and the Mini Mud Pit will welcome little ones to play. Make mud pies in the Mud Kitchen and create a Mud Masterpiece in the Mud Gallery. Give the trees at Annmarie Garden some personality with a Squish-a-Face Forest Friend activity, using clay, mud and natural materials to make faces on the trees. Take home mud creations including a Terrific Terrarium and Seed Cake to remind you of the wonderful mud-a-licious day you spent there! Light snacks will be available for purchase. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic, beach chairs, sunscreen and bug spray, and extra clothes.
Nats vs. Reds
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Nats are hosting the Reds all weekend and there are a bunch of special evens and promotions to enjoy along with the baseball action of the field, including Game of Thrones night on Friday and Pups in the Park on Sunday. Before you plan your day at the ballpark, checkout these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.
Where: Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe | Shaw, DC
When: Sunday, 3-4pm
Enjoy a reading of the children’s book, Niama’s Adventures, by the author herself! Renina Jarmon will be at the bookstore to read the tale about Niama, a little African-American girl who uses her magic wand to time travel to various places and meet trailblazing black women. She visits the astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, Queen Nefertiti in Egypt and Ms. Ella Fitzgerald in Harlem. Niama is happy and free and she wants you to be free, too
Where: GALA Hispanic Theatre
When: Sunday, 4-6pm
Admission: $20/adult, $17/child
How about some flamenco to spice up your Sunday? A KFDC reader let me know about this flamenco student recital, showcasing the students of Yolit Yospe-Kachlon, Alexa Miton, and Edwin Aparicio. The show will also feature performances by the teachers and guest artists. A small reception will follow the showcase.
Screen Time – Wonder Woman
Where: Movie Theaters around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater
If you haven’t yet seen Wonder Woman on the big screen, make a plan to go. Our family caught a screening last weekend, and everyone loved it! The movie isn’t a cheesy remake of the 70’s TV series, but a well thought out, action-packed, dramatic story. And that it spotlights a female superhero makes it all the better.
UniverSoul Circus on the Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Sunday, 6pm
Sunday is Target Family Night at the Kennedy Center as UniverSoul circus brings its amazing spectacle to the Millennium Stage. The combination of circus arts, theater, music, and audience interaction that embraces and celebrates urban pop culture from around the world.
**MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW**
* Sibley Memorial Hospital is hosting a diaper drive for DC Diaper Bank. Help them reach their goal of 7,000 diapers by October and support families in need!
* There’s lots of good theatre to catch this summer. See what’s coming to local stages and save your seats!
* Tour de Fat, the zany-in-the-best-way-possible festival celebrating bikes and beer, is coming up on July 22, and this year it will be a ticketed event.
* Bargain alert: 100 Montaditos, the Spanish chain at Yards Park specializing in mini-sandwiches, has tons of $1 menu items on Wednesdays. Plan for fountain play then yummy food!
* XYZT: Abstract Landscapes is a must-experience exhibit this summer. It’s sold out for the weekend, so reserve tickets for a later date!