[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!
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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.