There was a whole other set of Five Things planned for today — details on fun upcoming programs and links to help prep for the holiday weekend — but these feel more important to share right now. The photo above is from the 2018 March for Our Lives rally following the school shooting in Parkland, FL. According to this LA Times article, there have been 118 school shootings in the U.S. since then.
1. Did you know that kids ages 12 and up (and you with your tween/teen) are guaranteed entry to Glenstone, the fantastic indoor-outdoor art museum in Potomac, MD? Along with active-duty military personnel and staff from other museums, students age 12+, can enjoy guaranteed admission for themselves and one guest. You can also visit without reserved tickets by taking the Ride On Bus that runs from Route 301 to the museum. Otherwise, you need to book free tickets in advance online, which can be a bit tricky, as they are only released on the first of every month for timed-entry admission for two months following (eg, August visits will be released on June 1 at 10am), and they tend to go quickly. But it’s worth the patience and effort to get them. See why in this KFDC post about the museum.
2. KID Museum, which for many years provided innovative, hands-on learning experiences for kids at the Davis Library in Bethesda, is opening a new flagship site at Bethesda Metro Center this Sunday, May 22. The 28,000-square-foot facility will offer the same kinds of experiences that encourage invention, creativity, experimentation, and discovery — but on a larger scale in a bigger space. Kids ages 4-14 can explore coding, robotics, engineering design, and hands-on maker learning in the new state-of-the-art makerspace. While the Grand Opening celebration this weekend is sold out, tickets ($15/ages 2+) are available for future dates, and it’s probably a good idea to snag them while you can. Get more of an idea of what KID Museum is all about in this KFDC post.
4. A KFDC reader who also happens to be a nearby neighbor recently started Famventure, a newsletter devoted to family travel, near DC and far. The latest edition about finding vacation rentals is filled with useful information.And you can find links to previous ones here.
1. The PYO season has begun! A few farms around the area have opened their fields for pick-your-own strawberries, and even more will follow suit over the next few weeks. This KFDC post has details on where and when you can literally reap the fruit of your labor.
2. My friend, Margaret, just posted about a Spring Break trip to South Carolina — that we were on, too! Her guide, from her architecture and interior design professional’s POV, is awesome. (I’ll be sharing a post about the trip soon!)
3. Calling all young chefs! Sur La Table is offering a variety of Summer Cooking Series classes for kids and teens throughout the summer.Most sessions are five days long and taking place at locations around the area.
5. The latest Humans of New York series is such a moving and inspiring must-read (as most of them are).It’s in 12 parts, plus a couple of bonus posts, and starts here. When you’re done, be sure to follow this link and consider making a contribution — there’s a good chance you’ll want to after reading it all.
7. The Lincoln Memorial is turning 100! To celebrate, all throughout May the Trust for the National Mall and National Park Service are presenting programs and events to honor Abe, the Memorial, and his legacy — including a Lincoln Memorial Centennial Family Day on May 14.
8. Enjoy some baseball outside of the ballpark at the National Postal Museum! Baseball: America’s Home Run opened a few weeks ago and explores our national pastime through a unique, postal lens, including fan letters, post office baseball teams, the worlds of stamp and baseball memorabilia collecting, and more. Read more about the wonderful Postal Museum here and here.
9. Starting this evening, you can enjoy jazz music every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm at Canal Park. The Spring Jazz Series kicks off with a concert by Levine Music, which offers music instruction as well as events and performances for music lovers of all ages.
10. The National Building Museum recently announced this year’s Summer Block Party: The Playhouse, presented in partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library, will feature an Elizabethan-inspired festival stage, designed by a team from the University of South Carolina, in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Guests will be able to enjoy Shakespearean activities like stage combat demos and hands-on fun during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)
1. Spring is a perfect time to visit Dumbarton Oaks Garden, as the many blooming flowers make the already lovely Georgetown locale even prettier. You can stroll among beds of colorful tulips, see gorgeous periwinkle swaths of wisteria, and delight in even more seasonal blooms. The rest of the beautifully landscaped (and hardscaped) grounds are so nice to wander around, too. Hours are 2-6pm, Tuesday – Sunday., and admission is $7. And if you’re looking for something to do before the afternoon opening, Montrose Park right next door is a great place to take kiddos to play. Or you can grab a bite to eat at one of the many dining options in Georgetown. (Note that the Dumbarton link above is to a post from last spring, but updates have been added.)
2. Plan for the weekend: The Literary HIll BookFest, an annual celebration of books and authors held each spring on Capitol Hill, will be back “home” in DC’s historic Eastern Market for its first in-person event since 2019! This Sunday, May 1 from 11am – 3pm, the event will feature more than 50 authors, poets, booksellers, publishers, literacy groups, and more, including award-winning children’s author Ginger Park; scientist and former Smithsonian director Eva Pell, author of the ResQ series for middle schoolers about endangered animals; Allison McGill, author of The Adventures of Duke the Therapy Dog; Terry Catasus Jennings, author of the children’s series, Definitely Dominquita, and many more.
Visitors will have the unique opportunity to contribute to a podcast for kids hosted by award-winning public radio journalist and children’s author Kitty Felde, partake in the vibrant literary culture of Capitol Hill through timely panel discussions, help compose this year’s community-penned poem, enjoy a full slate of activities in our bustling Children’s Corner, peruse titles from beloved East City Bookshop and Capitol Hill Books, and meet some of their favorite authors of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, mystery and more. The BookFest is completely free and open to the public, with a poetry open mic immediately following the main event, where established and aspiring poets will address an enthusiastic crowd.
3. National Harbor is bringing back its free Movies on the Potomac series that will run May 1 – September 30. Every Sunday (“family night”) at 6pm and Thursday (“date night”) at 7pm, guests can see a free film on the big outdoor Plaza Screen right on the waterfront. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring chairs and order take-out from one of the many nearby restaurants. It’s starts this Sunday with a screening of Sing 2. You can view more of the movie line-up here.
5. I’m so used to streaming shows, I often forget they air sooner on network TV. Thus, I was thrilled to realize there is a whole new (though sadly, final) season of Better Things, one of my very favorite TV series ever, on FX. Starring Pamela Adlon, it’s about a divorced actress raising her three daughters, and her character is so cool and real and funny and relatable. (In an episode I just watched, when one of her daughters calls her a Boomer, she responds, “For the last time, I am not a Boomer. I am Generation X. We are the coolest generation.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve told my kids exactly that!) Anyway, if you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend giving it a watch. And if you’re already a fan…. isn’t it just the best?