Category Archives: Holidays

The Weekend Round-Up: July 1-4

 

Happy July 4th Weekend!

Posts to bookmark for all kinds of ideas for fun activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Bike Rides
* The Great Indoors
* Peaceful Places

The Playhouse’s the Thing!
Where: National Building Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:
The Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party opens this weekend, starting July 1! The Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired festival stage in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Along with marveling at the installation (and the rest of the museum), from July 1 – September 5, you can 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 from the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Where: 7th – 12th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Through Monday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free
The festival is running again this weekend, and it’s definitely worth checking out! Back in person after two years, the event celebrating living cultural heritage and community traditions highlights United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism this year. All kinds of exhibits, demonstrations, live performances, talks, food, markets, and much more will be on the National Mall between 7th & 12th Streets NW. View scenes from a past Folklife Festival here.

First Look at the Lotus and Lilies
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Garden | Northeast DC
When: Daily, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual lotus flower and water lily bloom has begun at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and while it has a ways to go until the peak, it’s still so pretty to see (though Kenilworth is wonderful anytime). Go get a glimpse of it at this early stage, and before the crowds get there.  See scenes from a past bloom here and learn about a great way to combine a visit with another activity here.   And this post has more general info and background on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Back to FUTURES
Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Through July 6
Admission: Free
If you haven’t yet ben to the FUTURES exhibition (or even if you have), there are merely days to visit before it closes on Wednesday, July 6.  Spanning 32,000 square feet inside the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, FUTURES is full of large-scale installations, displays, and interactives that are exciting, powerful, and thought-provoking as they offer a glimpse of future possibilities — and prompt us to wonder how we can contribute. It’s an exhibition for everyone and all ages. Get a glimpse of it here.

More Exhibits & Museums
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the wekend
Admission: Varies (but mostly free)
Our local museums are always great to visit and thee are some awesome exhibits to experience, too.  One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a fantastic delight! And Laurie Anderson: The Weather there is a really cool one, best for tween ages and up.   Afro-Atlantic Histories at the National Gallery of Art is interesting and educational. Kiddos will love the National Children’s Museum. And all ages, adults included, will dig Planet Word.

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy activities that make this time of year so much fun. Start the weekend off on Friday with a free outdoor concert or an evening of fishing, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or sprayground. Cool off indoors at an exhibit. Feast on crabs or hit the beach to fulfill a seasonal must-do. Round it out it with a family movie under the stars. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2022 Summer Guide.

Nats vs. Marlins
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Miami comes to DC, as the Nats host the Marlins all weekend, and as always there are special promos and activities to enjoy.  See Freedom Fireworks after the game on Friday (6:05pm), and take advantage of the kids bucket hat giveaway on Saturday  (4:05pm) and Sunday (1:35pm), and kids can also run the bases after the game on Sun. The July 4th game against the Marlins is part of the Patriotic Series, when the Nats wear their red, white, and blue, and there are other Independence Day themed activities. Be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

The Great Zucchini
Where: Burke Lake Park | Fairfax Station, VA
When: Saturday, 10-10:45am
Admission: Free

Part of the Fairfax County summer entertainment series, this show will delight little kids… mine loved The Great Zucchini when they were younger! The wonder of magic, silliness of comedy, and interactive nature of The Great Zucchini’s show keeps children on the edge of their seats. Watch your kids’ faces light up as they see things disappear and reappear. Watch how animated and excited the children get when they yell “Wake up Zucchini,” when he accidentally falls asleep during the show or when he turns tissue paper into colorful rainbow streamers, or when his puppet, Ruffles the Rabbit, keeps coming out of the hat without The Great Zucchini noticing. This is “eye candy” magic comedy at its best. [Note: There are several more shows to enjoy this weekend…see what’s on the calendar here.]

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

The recommendation to hit the trail is a staple in these round-ups.  And this weekend will be a great time to do it. Enjoy the sunshine, take in pretty scenery, maybe explore local history or spy some wildlife. You can even work in some geocaching!  This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to tramp with kids. Some specific recs for right now:  The National Arboretum in Northeast DC has lots of little trails and beautiful plant collections; head out to Harpers Ferry for hiking and history; walk in the woods with shade at Pohick Bay  or Fountainhead Regional Parks; or tramp in the city at Rock Creek Park.

Mr. Poppers Penguins
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Friday, 10:30am | Saturday, 4pm | Sunday 1:30pm
Tickets: $14

See a new show at Imagination Stage!  Mr. Popper, a painter of modest means, dreams of taking an Antarctic adventure. So he’s thrilled when a penguin named Captain Cook waddles out of a mysterious box left on his doorstep. The zookeeper donates a female companion and soon…the patter of 20 baby penguin feet! To feed all of these mouths, the imaginative Mr. Popper and his wife turn his talented penguins into a must-see traveling vaudeville act full of song and dance. But the rigors of performing take a toll on them all, and they must make a difficult decision. This musical play, featuring expert puppetry, depicts a wild and witty way to follow your dreams — and your convictions. Recommended for ages 3-10.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 29 – July 11
Admission: $49-100 (look for discount)

Just opened!  Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favorite characters, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter.  Read a KFDC review of the show!

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $27.50+ (look for discount)

Now running!  The world-class, live entertainment attraction is back at National Harbor through July 24.  The production celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities, blending circus arts, theater, and music — a fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When:  Through July 24
Tickets: $20-60

Synetic Theater, the home of American Physical Theater, presents this playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity, and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award Nominations when it was first produced in 2010, taking home the award for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Resident Play.  Side note: I can’t wait to see this —  Synetic’s shows are always wonderful!

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

On stage at Adventure Theatre….   Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon. Use code JULY4 to get 25% off a July 4th performance!

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

See a show on string at The Puppet Co… We all think we know the Big Bad Wolf from the classic fairytales, but what if it’s the same Wolf in both stories? What if there’s been a big mistake? What if the Wolf isn’t so big or so bad? Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. Read a KFDC review of the show from a bunch of years back.

Family Walk in the Woods
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary | Chevy Chase, MD
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: $12/member family, $20/non-member family

Join naturalist and educator, Frank Sanford, on a leisurely walk through the habitats at Woodend. Explore the wonders of trees, meadows, streams, insects, birds, and everything Woodend has to offer! Limited to 10 families. Register here, and just one adult when signing up. Read moe about Woodend here.

Cruise the C&O
Where: C&O Canal National Historical Park | Potomac, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free (park admission is $20/vehicle)

Most of us know the C&O National Historic Park as the Maryland side of Great Falls. And most of us have hiked the trails and been enchanted by the river views and stunning scenery. Starting this weekend, you can also take a boat ride along the canal from there. The replica Charles F. Mercer excursion boat offers rides along the C&O that are a time trip back in time to the 1870s as staff in period clothing describe life for the people living, working, and floating on the canal. Rides first come, first serve, and tickets can be picked up one hour in advance at the Visitor Center. If you can’t get on the ride or while you wait, the park is a great to explore — read more about Great Falls here.

Baltimore by Baltimore
Where: Inner Harbor Amphitheater| Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The brand-new Baltimore by Baltimore waterfront music and maker series will return to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Amphitheater with an all-new, family-friendly lineup of local talent, comedians, youth groups, food and maker vendors. This July festival will feature the comedy infused anti-bullying and anti-violence youth program Lil’ Laughs along with 92Q’s DJ Flow & Friends, King Midas and the natives, a BIG Laughs comedy show, surprise guests, and more. Maker and food vendors will also be there. And for more to in Charm City, check out the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Mark your calendars: The Women’s March is organizing a rally for July 9 to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Details TBA.
* Through August 3, children 12 & under can get a complimentary  meal at a Nats game with the Kids Eat Free program!
* Ideas for great summer trips with kids
* We just got one of these for the beach after hearing great things. (Similar, less expensive version here.)
* Good advice (ie, skip the selfies).
* This is brilliant.

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Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Come Fourth: Independence Day Celebrations Around the DC Area

The annual July 4th Parade on Capitol Hill

 

What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks over the city and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th (and 2nd & 3rd!). Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators always line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day as it make its way from 7th to 17th Street. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Fourth of July Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 7th to 12th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: Shortly after 9pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display begins. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so stake out a spot to watch them — on or off the Mall (see tips below for a list of places to view them).

Fourth of July at the Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Catch the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives .  It starts at 10am, but doors open an 9am.  Get there early to get a good seat and enjoy entertainment by the Experience Band and Show. After that, celebrate like it’s 1776! There ill be lots of fun family activities,…meet the Founding Mothers and Fathers, design your own buttons, go on a scavenger hunt, help design the National Archives Building, and sign the Declaration of Independence yourself!

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 4, 11:05am (and July 1-3)
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. The July 4th game against the Marlins is part of the Patriotic Series, when the Nats wear their red, white, and blue, and there are other Independence Day themed activities. And, FYI, the series with the Marlins starts July 1, and there will be post-game Freedom Fireworks, plus more promos for the rest of the games.  Before you purchase tickets, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

After two years, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will once again be open to the public! Grammy nominee Mickey Guyton will be hosting this year’s show, which will include performances by Gloria Gaynor, Andy Grammar, Keb’ Mo’, Daniel Criss, Rachel Platten, the National Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Band, the Joint Armed Forces Chorus, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC Tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, a performance by the National concert band and more live entertainment, and a chance to meet General Washington himself.  Get 20% off tickets with the code FBSUMMER.  See the full schedule of events here and read more about Mount Vernon here.

Fourth at the Wharf
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 7-10pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Fourth of July at The Wharf with a free celebration on District Pier. The celebration includes music, a bar for adults, and spectacular views of the annual fireworks launched from the National Mall. They also offer a VIP fireworks viewing experience benefitting the USO that gives you exclusive access to the Dockmaster Building on the tip of District Pie, complete with two complimentary drink tickets (additional beverages for purchase), all-American light fare, DJ, games, photo station, and a raffle. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Neighborhood Parades & Celebrations
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, here are some that are known to be good ones:  Capitol Hill (we can vouch it’s great from many years attending), Palisades, Takoma Park, College Park, Great Falls, McLean.

July 4th Celebration
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: July 4, 4-9:30pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to join the 10th annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Enjoy live entertainment, bouncy fun, a kids’ scooter parade and contest, activities for all ages, and views of the evening fireworks on the National Mall. Concessions will also be for sale and plentiful.

Fireworks Watch Party
Where: Victura Park | Kennedy Center, DC
When: July 4, 10am – end of fireworks
Admission: Free

Victura Park, the lovely outdoor area at The REACH at the Kennedy Center, will be open on July 4th to celebrate the day — and offer a great vantage point for watching the fireworks on the National Mall. Food and drinks will be available from the cafe, or you can BYO and enjoy at the picnic tables set up in the wine & beer garden area. Admission if free, and no tickets are necessary.

July 4th Fest
Where: Six Flags | Bowie, MD
When: July 2-4
Admission: Starts at $35

With amusement park fun thrown into the mix, Six Flags’ celebration will be pretty epic for kids. Along with all of the ongoing fun throughout the venue, there will also be fireworks, music, and lots of Coca Cola (sponsors of the event) on Independence Day and two days leading up to the holiday.

More July 4th Tips!
* Find good off-the-Mall suggestions for viewing the fireworks in this Washingtonian article.
* If you’re headed into DC, take public transportation! Cannot stress enough what a bad idea it would be to drive.
* July 4th specials in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.
* For more activities during the days leading up to the 4th, see the KFDC Summer Guide.
* For more July 4th events in NoVa, this article lists a bunch.

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Valentine’s Day Activities & Events Around DC that Kids (& You) Will Love

 

Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the occasion, here are some ideas — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day! XOXO

Love, Georgetown
Where: Around the Georgetown neighborhood, DC
When: February 7-14
Admission: Varies by place/activity
During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day (and on the day itself), more than 35 Georgetown restaurants, shops, and services are participating in Love, Georgetown – offering Sweetheart Specials (two-for-one-deals), $14 featured items, and additional Valentine’s Day promotions and events. Some of the lovely specials include heart-shaped pancakes at Martin’s Tavern; love letter ravioli at 1310 Kitchen & Bar, an Officina cooking class; three Escape Game tickets for the price of two; a Crumbs & Whiskers cat party (complete with break-up music playing); hotel packages; discounts on treats, jewelry, and clothing; and more!

Love from the Library
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Several DC Public Libraries are giving out take-home Valentine-making kits and activity packets. Stop by Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (Feb 8 only), Takoma Park Library, or Capitol View Neighborhood Library to pick up a set for your kids.

Won’t You Be My Owlentine?
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: February 12, 1-2pm
Admission: $7

Love is in the air, and literally, for the beautiful birds of prey! Join Potomac Overlook staff as they discuss the mating habits of owls during their breeding season and get a picture with a live bird of prey! Register in advance, as space is limited. And be sure to explore the rest of the park while you’re there — it’s great for kids of all ages. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post.

Sir Rulean’s Valentine’s Day Card Soiree
Where: The Station at Riverdale | Riverdale, MD
When: February 12, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join The Station for this family friendly Valentine’s Day Card Soiree in Bear Square. Decorate and design your own Valentine’s Day cards with glitter pens, gems, and The Station branded Sir Rulean stickers for someone you love. After participating in the event, redeem a complimentary hot cocoa made with love by Starbucks at The Station.

Unshrink My Heart – Shrinky Dinks Workshop
Where: Gateway Arts Center | Brentwood, MD
When: February 12, 2pm
Admission: Free

The DIY arts and crafts icon from the 80’s is back! And nothing says “love” like a hand-made pre-shrunk Valentine. Families are invited to create beautiful jewelry, key chains, and other Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. Children will receive their first 2 sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks free, additional sheets will be available to purchase for 50 cents each.

Valentine Maker’s Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: February 12, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Find thoughtful and handmade gifts for all the sweeties in your life at this Valentine Maker’s Market. Shop a variety of options, including small batch chocolates, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, clothing, and much more! You will find vendors offering a wide selection of homemade, handmade or homegrown products, and every vendor is from the DEL-MAR-VA region. Be sue to tour the grounds, check out the Arts Center inside, and take kids to play in the Fairy Lolly while you’re there — it’s all fantastic. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture garden here and here.

Paw-some Treats
Where: Steadfast Supply | The Yards, DC
When: February 12, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Steadfast Supply, the store stocked with items by independent brands and designers from around the world, is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing their love for thei paw-some customers. They’ll be giving out FREE puppuccinos (whipped cream) & dog treats to furry friends! While you’re there, shop for gifts for your human loved ones, too!

Lonely Hearts: White House Scandals (Adult Rec!)
Where: Downtown DC
When: February 12, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Name Your Own Price

Love can suck sometimes. DC by Foot’s Lonely Hearts tour is perfect for a night out with friends to hear the stories of affairs and scandals from around the White House (historic only!). Hear about heartbreak, scandalous love letters, even a president who was married to two different women at the same time. The tour ends near the White House South Lawn, perfect for catching a reservation at one of downtown DC’s restaurants.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: February 12, 2-3pm
Admission: $10

Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center | Annandale, VA
When: February 13, 2-3pm
Admission: $7

Same event as above, but a different date and location! Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12
Admission: $19

Watson Adventures’ wildly popular Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is going virtual for the first time ever! Explore museums all over the country on a fun, flirty quest for beautiful and bizarre nudity in art. You might bump into a bronzed Adonis, encounter an incontinent Cupid, serenade moonlit sirens, walk in on handsy Egyptians, marvel at medieval codpieces, run across randy revelers, and see much more. Note: Participants must be clothed.

Valentine’s Day Cooking Class
Where: Dawson’s Market | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 11-1pm
Admission: $60

Drop your Tiny Chef off at Dawson’s Market (225 N Washington St) for a fun time with Tiny Chefs! They will make Heart Shaped Pizzas for lunch, then Sweetheart Tarts, and while those are baking they will make Valentine’s Cards. At the end of the event Chefs will package up their Tarts and Cards to give to someone they love for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to register in advance – space is limited!

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grove Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 2-5pm
Admission: $3/person

Looking for a little adventure? Work together with (or challenge!) your Valentines to nature trivia in a heart-themed scavenger hunt — it’s this month’s nature-themed Hike & Seek series puzzle. Register by Friday, February 11, to schedule a time slot and to receive a prize for completing the hunt. No drop-ins on the day of the program. Note that natural surface trails are not stroller accessible.

Love Stories Walking Tour
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 4-6pm
Admission: $35

Join DC By Foot for a stroll through the genteel neighborhood of Georgetown, hearing stories of love — from a true Beauty and the Beast story to motherly love to scandalous love affairs. A perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) date night. The tour ends near the main commercial corridor so you can also enjoy a romantic dinner or grab something to go.

Valentine Card Crafternoon
Where: Shop Made in DC | Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 12-3pm
Admission: Free 

Join Shop Made in DC for a Sunday crafternoon session to make your own Valentines. Bring a project or make one at their classroom table – they’ll have various art supplies available for you to craft in their space at 1353 Wisconsin Avenue. Note that proof of vaccination is required to participate. Register in advance.

Van Gogh & Valentines
Where: Rhode Island Center | Logan Circle, DC
When: February 14, 4-7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $80 

Love is in the air and flowers are so last season. Treat yourself or that certain someone to a one-day special that takes Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience to the next level with a live concert performance. Talented musicians performing beautiful classical pieces live in the Immersive room, including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. Immersion in Van Gogh’s iconic masterpieces with digital displays, sound effects, interactive video mapping, and more as you enjoy the music. Tickets for February 14 are on sale now, along with a special couples package that includes a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6-7pm
Admission: $8

What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world? Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these techniques and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Register in advance. Recommended for ages 4+ with an adult.

Window Shops
Where: Storefronts around Adams Morgan, DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Take a walk around Adams Morgan to see all storefront decorated especially for Valentine’s Day! The Adams Morgan Partnership BID is sponsoring a window decorating contest for all businesses facing the street. Enjoy a family outing to the neighborhood to walk around and see them all, then grab at bite at one of the many eateries there. You can also vote on your favorites through an online poll on our website from Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13!

Valentine’s Cupcake Boutique
Where: Sprinkles | Georgetown, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on your order

Sprinkle love to people you adore with Sprinkles Cupcakes’ special boxes just for Valentine’s Day. Options include a decorate-at-home kit, red velvet cookies and cupcakes, limited-time raspberry chocolate chip cupcake bundles, and more sweet yumminess. Be sure to pre-order in advance as pick-up and delivery times will fill up fast! From Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14, Sprinkles will have an exclusive Valentine’s Day menu for local orders — check Order.Sprinkles.com or visit locations for further details. Note that curbside pick-up will not be available from Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14.

The Love Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Make-Your-Own Sweet Treats
Where: Take home from Ice Cream Jubilee | DC & VA
When: Pre-order for pick up or local delivery
Cost: $14

Craft some sweeties with your sweetie! Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a make-at-home ice cream cookie kit especially for the holiday. It comes with sugar cookie dough, a heart cookie cutter, dark chocolate, Valentine’s sprinkles, and a pint of Bold Vanilla. Makes around 4 mini-sandwiches.

Ice Skate Date
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Through February 14
Admission: Varies by rink

If you just want to do something fun, active, and sweet with your kids, plan an ice skating date. Go to the Sculpture Garden, then enjoy photo ops by the AMOR sculpture. Glide along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park, then get a bite to eat at one of the many eateries nearby. Skate by the Potomac River at Washington Harbour, or over the Potomac at The Wharf — and both have even more to do beyond skating at their waterfront locations. Get details for all of the DC rinks, plus more in Maryland and Virginia in this post about ice skating around the DC Area.

DIY Valentines
Where: At Home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs has been the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community as you share tables with others there to celebrate love. We’ll miss it again this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some artsy supplies and get creative at home — and make your loved ones’ Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again; the museum is temporarily closed), see this KFDC post.

 

Do you know of a great Valentine’s Day event or activity not listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2022)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 17
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. And during this Covid time, outdoor volunteer clean-ups are a good option — here are some taking place around the area:
Roaches Run River Cleanup | Arlington, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Jones Point Park Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 2pm
Four Mile Run Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Turkey Run Cleanup | McLean, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Mount Vernon Trail | Alexandria, VA | January 17, 10am – 12pm
Stream & Park Cleanups | MoCo, MD | January 15-22 (several opportunities)
Clean Waterways Cleanup | Southeast DC | January 17, 10am – 1pm
Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC | January 15-17 (several opportunities)

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 17, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

Tickets to the National Museum of African American History & Culture can be some of toughest to get in DC. But this weekend, the museum, which is usually closed on Mondays, will be open an extra day in honor of MLK Day. Currently, there are lots of tickets available for many time slots, but they’ll likely go quickly. Reserve them here.

FUTURES We Dream Family Day
Where: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: January 16, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The recently opened Arts & Industries Building is hosting an in-person, Covid-safe event to honor MLK.  Celebrate the spirit of his dream with a day full of hope, justice seeking, and collaboration. Learn about the Smithsonian’s 175 years of changemaking and reckoning with its history on the SI Story wall. Join family-friendly guided tours exploring social justice and more equitable futures (10:30am and 2pm). Take inspiration from Dr. King’s speeches and many other future thinkers to craft your inspirational messages for the future you dream in drop-in workshops (11am and 1pm). Pop in for hands-on activities for the youngest future makers throughout the day. Get a glimpse of the museum’s fascinating FUTURES exhibit here.

Peace Walk
Where: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge | Southeast DC
When: January 17, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Day Peace Walk is on this year and taking place at the recently opened beautiful Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that spans from Anacostia to the Navy Yard. Notable DC peops are always in attendance — who will it be this year? Register to join the event, and note that the annual parade is NOT taking place due to Covid.
 

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 15-17, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reservations required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Join visiting artist, Sarah Matthews, for a project is inspired by Dr. King’s quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Learn how to create your own stamps to design and print uplifting posters to hang in your community. Make two posters, one to leave here and one to hang in your favorite gathering spot. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 17
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

All Ages Virtual Art Class: I Have a Dream
Where: Art Jamz Online
When: January 16
Admission: $12.50

The whole family can join Art Jamz online for this live painting class.  In honor of MLK Day, they are donating 50% of all proceeds directly to Martha’s Table.  During the Live Virtual Paint Session, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of a talented local artist. Need art materials? Purchase an ArtJamz® At-Home Paint Kit — they’ll even throw in a novelty artist mustache.

 

 

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend: December 24-26

 

This is the time of year I give myself a little break with weekend posts.  So, just like the modified title, I’m keeping this round-up simple — but definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will still lead you to info and inspo galore to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want, including holiday happenings and ongoing and seasonal fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra ideas that might arise.

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a Happy Weekend!

 

The 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

Chill Time: Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2021

Ice Skating Around the DC Area

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter

Indoor Outings

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***

I can’t say enough… go get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t yet.  As mentioned earlier this week, walk-up vaccinations for ages 5+ and boosters for ages 16+ are available nearly every day in DC at select libraries and rec centers (not on Christmas Day). You can also go here to search for other locations near you.

Two of our recent orders from Amazon that I recommend for everyone: These and these.

Need some very last minute gift ideas?  The KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has loads of suggestions for local experiences or subscriptions you get in just a few clicks!

Inspiring people:  2021 Washingtonians of the Year.

A very yummy  looking/sounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Menu.

Sasha gives two big thumbs-up to Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The year in sound, from The Daily.

The 22 best podcasts to help you process the end of 2021.

A beautiful tribute to one of the best at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Love the pure joy of this moment.

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Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend