Category Archives: Maryland

The Weekend Round-Up: October 15-17

 

A Halloween scene in the city

 

 

Happy Weekend!

Links to loads of ongoing activities around the area:
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

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

This time of year is always a scream with all gobs of ways to get the Halloween party started early. From mini train rides through the woods to haunted tours to festivals inspired by the holiday, details on where the tricks and treats are happening can be found in this annual post.

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Night
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Spooktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. In the movie line-up this weekend:  Young Frankenstein, Casper, and The Addams Family on Friday and Spooky Buddies, Frankenweenie, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed on Saturday.   A Family Movie Bundle is available that includes 2 adult tickets, 2 child tickets, popcorn, drinks, and priority parking. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

60th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to celebrate 60 years of beloved Frying Pan Farm Park! Take tours of the farm, watch a tractor parade, pose for fun photo ops, enjoy farm demonstrations, and lots more. Concessions will be available for purchase from food trucks on site.

A Half-Century Celebration
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is turning 50 and the public is invited to help celebrate! Drop in to explore the garden, meet live animals, learn how you can support our park and get involved, and more. This event is free for all, and no reservations are required. Please leave pets at home. Read more about Potomac Overlook Park here.

Art Safari
Where: Torpedo Factory | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

An Alexandria tradition for more than a quarter-century, Art Safari returns for an in-person day of activities for kids and families. Join fellow lovers of art and learning for outdoor Waterfront art activities and select projects in the Grand Hall of the building. Great for kids ages 5+, younger children may need some extra help, but will still have a lot of fun! Masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status. RSVPs strongly suggested.

Tough Mudder Kids
Where: Mechanicsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $25 (look for discount)

Kids can compete in youth-sized version of the Tough Mudder race! The Mini Mudder is recommended for ages 5-7, with participants tackling a 1/2-mile course, working together as a team to get through 10 obstacles to earn their headband. The Mighty Mudder is recommended for ages 8-12, brings the best of the full sized course to life, featuring 15 of the world’s best obstacles, including kid-friendly versions of racer favorites, spread over a one-mile course. It’s as close to the real things as it gets for kids!

Capital Art & Craft Festival
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/advance, $12/at door, free/12 & under
Think early holiday shopping! This showcase of artisry and craftsmanship will feature art in more than a dozen mediums — jewelry, paintings, prints, glass, leather, photography, pottery, wearable art, and wood, and more.  For safety, aisles are wider and masks required.  Visit the website for more details!

Loudoun County Fall Farm Tour
Where: Farms around Loudoun County, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 28th annual Loudoun Fall Farm Tour showcases more than two dozen locations that offer everything from pumpkin patches to alpacas to flowers to vineyards to farmers markets. All of the locations provide an educational component for visitors as well.  Among them, Hope Flower Farm will be inviting guests to wander through the blooming dahlia fields, picnic, and take photos on their lovely 25 acre farm. Visit the website for a map of the locations and more info on each one.

Fall for Festival Season
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

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 help you embrace the autumn spirit, and the KFDC guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Djembe Drumming at the Museum
Where: Kreeger Museum | Foxhall/Palisades, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $20

Add some percussion to a museum outing! The Kreeger Museum is hosting a djembe drumming session on Saturday morning — join teaching artist Manny Arciniega for a drum circle exploring the foundations of rhythm. Of course, make time to explore the collections, too. Both kids and adults will be delighted by the art! Read more about the Kreeger Museum in this KFDC post.

Model Trains + Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Fall is coming and it is time to go to the Historic Vienna Train Station and Museum where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends, on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose. Masks are required for all visitors age 2 and up regardless of vaccination status.

Pumpkins & Pours
Where: West Grove Urban Park | Chevy Chase, MD
When: Saturday, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

There’s something for the kids and adults at this event! Local craft beer, pumpkins, pizza, and more will be part of the festivities at this event to in the fall and Halloween spirit. Join for drinks from 7 Locks Brewing, delicious food from Flame and Cones Food Truck, and while you’re at it, grab a free pumpkin from Maynes Tree Farm and get decorating. Lawn games and picnic seating will also be available to make an afternoon and evening of it. All ages are welcome, so bring the whole fam!

Luchadora!
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $20.50
See Adventure Theatre’s production about a teen tomboy who trains to become a wrestler with the help of a magic mask maker. This production will take place outdoors in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn (BYO blanket!).

Hadestown
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through October 28
Tickets: $45-175 (look for a discount)

Welcome to Hadestown, where a song can change your fate. Intertwining two mythic tales—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go. Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today…and always. Recommended for age 8+.

The Madness of Poe
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through October 31
Tickets: $20-60

Join Syentic back in the theater for an evening Edgar Allan Poe’s classic stories envisioned as a kaleidoscopic tapestry of terror. It’s dark and dramatic and highly entertaining with Synetic’s signature physical theatre keeping the audience rapt. Recommended for teen ages and up.

Wizard School Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Where: Watson Adventures Online
When: Saturday, 6-7pm
Admission: $19 (tickets here)

Grab your magic wands for a wizarding adventure that takes you to museums across America in search of art that echoes characters, places, and magical objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies, all without leaving your home. You’ll track down slithering serpents, Hagrid-like giants and eerie figures as scary as any Dementor. This hunt references the books and provides a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. Read about the IRL version of the scavenger hunt here. (And, FYI, we’ve also done Watson Adventures’ online games and have had a blast!)

Milo the Magnificent
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
WhenL Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Wheaton Family Theatre Series is back live and in-person this weekend with a puppetry performance by Alex and Olmsted! Milo the Magnificent is a highly engaging puppet show about an aspiring magician. This wordless comedy, inspired by turn of the century vaudeville entertainers, is as highly physical as it is charming. Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo presents a variety of magic tricks which don’t always go as planned. For this event, everyone over 12 years old must show proof of vaccination or proof of negative Covid test results within 72 hours to enter. Masks are required for everyone age 3 and up.

Baysox Fall Festival & Pumpkin Patch
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $5-15

Join the Bowie Baysox at Prince George’s Stadium for a Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch. Select a pumpkin from the patch on the outfield at the ballpark and enjoy more activities. Kids can ride on the carousel, jump in the bounce house, play carnival-style, and more. Halloween costumes are encouraged for all! This event will have two time slots: #1 is 11am – 1pm, and #2 is 2-4pm.

Jake Blount – All Ages Music Show
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $15-20

The Kennedy Center touts this as a show for all ages with banjo, fiddle and song. DC native Jake Blount is a specialist in the folk traditions of Black and indigenous Americans — his blues and bluegrass music is called a feel-good, awe-inspiring musical experience.

Autumn off the Farm
Where: Around the DC Area
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.

Think Outside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It looks like there will be great weather at least part of the weekend, so plan to get outside. There’s no shortage of places and activities around the area for adventures in the great outdoors. This round-up has tons of ideas for al fresco fun. Some specific recs for now:  Hike at Huntley Meadows, enjoy a paddling adventure on the Potomac, see animals at Oxon Hill Farm, wander around Dumbarton Oaks, hang out and play at Hains Point.

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

If weather or other circumstances has you seeking fun indoors, there are plenty of options.  This post has info  on what’s open when, along with links for more about places and Covid policies. Some specific recs for this weekend:  Explore the Postal Museum, burn some energy at the St. James, visit the recently reopened National Children’s Museum, check out Life of a Neuron at ARTECHOUSE, get an art fix at the National Gallery of Art.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Local author JoAnn Hill just shared Five Spooky & Mysterious Sites & Stories to Explore Around DC this Halloween Season.
* The Air & Space Museum ‘s annual Air & Scare Halloween event at the Udvar-Hazy Center will take place outdoors this year. Get details and sign up here (and do it soon, time slots are filling up).
* Tom Sietsema’s restaurant picks for this fall.
* We love the retro mini fridge we got for our new basement.
* Hat and mask in one (and so many cute colors)!
* Can’t wait to watch this documentary.
* He makes a good point.
Go read the latest Humans of NY series. (Have tissues handy.)

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on it and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. This helps me to continue publishing KFDC. Thank you so much for the support!

 

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Five Spooky & Mysterious Sites & Stories to Explore Around DC this Halloween Season

[Note: This is a guest post contributed by JoAnn Hill, a DC area educator and author of the book “Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.” ]

 

An Attorney General’s missing skull, a former first lady interred in a public vault for two years, a forsaken ghost town that was formerly a booming industrial town, intricately carved chainsaw sculptures in a local cemetery, and signs of the occult at the White House. Below are five fascinating sites and stories to uncover as you set out to explore the mysterious, bone-chilling, and downright spooky side of DC and its surrounding area this Halloween season.

Check out Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure to learn more about the hidden histories below as well as to discover dozens of additional gems and off-the-beaten path locales in and around the Washington, DC, area.

 

Congressional Cemetery: “Head’s Up: The Case of An Attorney General’s Missing Head”

Imagine receiving a phone call where the caller asks, “Would you be interested in getting William Wirt’s head back?” Such was the mysterious call that a Congressional Cemetery manager received in 2003.

William Wirt served as Attorney General under Presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams. Wirt holds the title of longest serving attorney general
 in United States history, and he is also credited with turning the position into one of national importance. In 1853, Wirt’s son-in-law built a massive family vault near the highest point of the cemetery, so large that it remains the biggest and most visible monument on the grounds.

Following the puzzling 2003 phone call, the cemetery manager decided to probe further. The lock had been removed from the door, and the vault had indeed been vandalized. It was eventually determined that Robert L. White had collected Wirt’s skull, adding to his bizarre collection of 40-some skulls.

Read All About It: Learn more about the bizarre case of Attorney General William Wirt’s missing head on pages 150-151 of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.
Go and Explore: Congressional Cemetery is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Where: Congressional Cemetery is located at 1801 E Street SE.

* * * * * 

 

Congressional Cemetery: “Keep It in the Vault”

Over 3,000 individuals have been interred in the Congressional Cemetery’s Public Vault, including three presidents, one vice president, and two first ladies. Many stay here for only one to two days since it was never intended to be used for long-term stays. So, why was Dolley Madison interred in the Public Vault for two years, making her the longest known interment of the vault?

Dolley Madison was a trailblazer. She helped define the role of First Lady, was often credited with helping advance James Madison’s career, and perhaps most notably, saved a historic portrait of George Washington from being burned by British troops during the War of 1812. While the Madisons were among the elite, they weren’t immune to falling on hard times. As James Madison’s health began to deteriorate, he prepared his presidential papers to help secure financial security for Dolley after his death. Their son Payne’s recklessness, however, destroyed their finances.

Read All About It: Learn more about the Madison family’s financial woes and Dolley’s two-year stint in the public vault on pages 36-37 of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.
Go and Explore: Congressional Cemetery is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Where: Congressional Cemetery is located at 1801 E Street SE.

* * * * * 

 

The Ghost Town of Daniels, MD: “Ghosted in Daniels”

When visiting a ghost town, it’s often difficult to imagine what stood there before. Signs of desertion and decay often cloud our ability to envision the possibility of past life and vibrancy. Daniels, once a booming industrial town in Ellicott City, Maryland, is now one of the most mystifying ghost towns in the DC area. An abandoned shell of its former self that’s faded away in a deep wooded forest, the ghost town of Daniels is now sadly characterized merely by rotting wood and crumbling stone.

Straddling the Patapsco River, the town of Daniels was originally settled in 1810 when Thomas Ely and his family moved here to establish a textile mill. The area around the mill became known as Elysville. Over 40 years later, the town was bought by the family of James S. Gary and renamed Alberton in recognition of their son Albert. The mill stayed within the Gary family for nearly a century until the Daniels Company came along and purchased the entire village in 1940. $65,000 bought them 500 acres and the right to change the town’s name from Alberton to Daniels.

Read All About It: Learn more about the ghost town of Daniels and its history on pages 70-71 of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.
Go and Explore: The forsaken town is free and open dawn to dusk.
Where: Remnants of the ghost town of Daniels can be found in present-day Ellicott City, MD.

* * * * * 

 

Glenwood Cemetery: “Sprucing Things Up with Some Chainsaws”

Since 1852, Glenwood Cemetery, a historically private and secular cemetery, has been characterized by elaborate Victorian monuments and its notorious residents. It is the final resting place of George Atzerodt, a co-conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and the infamous murderer Frederic De Frouville. More recently, however, the countless graves have been joined by less typical cemetery inhabitants: towering intricately carved wooden sculptures emerging out of the ground.

Faced with many aging and dead trees, along with those severely damaged in heavy storms, Glenwood Cemetery decided to turn an eyesore into creative art. The cemetery contacted a professional chainsaw artist, Dayton Scoggins, to transform the deteriorating trees into unique wooden sculptures. Inspired by passages in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, Scoggins used four large oak trees to carve the soaring sculptures.

Read All About It: Learn more about the four intricately carved chainsaw sculptures on pages 84-85 of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.
Go and Explore: The sculptures are situated behind the cemetery’s Romanesque mortuary chapel.
Where: Glenwood Cemetery is located at 2219 Lincoln Road NE.

* * * * *

 

The White House: “As White as a Ghost”

The White House, often regarded as the People’s House, boasts the most recognizable address in America. While the stately residence symbolizes power, patriotism, and the American people, it has also been connected to the occult and is considered by many to be quite haunted, with countless sightings of former presidents, first ladies, and White House staff members.

One of the most frequent ghostly sightings is that of First Lady Abigail Adams. Adams used to hang laundry in the East Room, the warmest and driest room of the White House. Her apparition has been reportedly seen walking toward the East Room dressed in a lace shawl and cap with outstretched arms like she’s carrying laundry. President Andrew Jackson has been said to haunt the Rose Room as well as the halls of the president’s chambers. The Rose Room served as Jackson’s bedroom and is believed by many to be one of the White House’s most haunted rooms.

Without a doubt most persistently reported ghost sighting has been of President Abraham Lincoln. Many psychics believe that Lincoln’s presence has remained in the White House to serve as an aide during crises as well as to finish the work that was interrupted by his assassination.

Read all about it: Discover more about which famous White House ghosts have been sighted on pages 166-167 of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure.
Go and Explore: Public tour requests must be submitted through your Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are generally available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

* * * * * 

 

JoAnn Hill has lived in Washington, DC, with her husband Thalamus and dog Jackson for over 19 years. An avid traveler and foodie, JoAnn writes about their DC living and dining experiences, as well as their global travel adventures, on her blog dcglobejotters.org. Her writing has been published in BELLA Magazine, Escape Artist, and Triptipedia. JoAnn served as a DC Public Schools teacher for 17 years before co-founding Capitol Teachers, a tutoring company servicing the greater DC area. Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure is her first book.

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Five Things for Today: October 12, 2021

 

 

1. You don’t need a special event to get into the spirit of the spooky season.  Here are some ongoing activities perfect for the Halloween lead-up:  A hike at Prince William Forest Park, where you might happen upon old, small family grave sites; a stroll through Congressional Cemetery; a visit to the National Museum of Health & Medicine (best for older kids); a tour of Ford’s Theatre.

 

2. The Capital Art & Craft Festival is coming to Northern Virginia this weekend, October 15-17, and will feature art in more than a dozen mediums — jewelry, paintings, prints, glass, leather, photography, pottery, wearable art, and wood, and more.  (Think early holiday shopping!) Even better, I’ve got five pairs of entry tickets ($24 value) to give away.  If you want a chance to win one of them, simply leave a comment below by noon (12pm) on Thursday,  October 14.  Admission to the festival is free for kids age 12 and under.

 

3.  Loads of ideas for DIY Halloween costumes for kids.  (And all kinds of ready-to-wear options if you aren’t so crafty.)

 

4. This round-up of the 40 Best Movies on Netflix You Probably Haven’t Seen looks bookmark-worthy.

 

5. Every now and then he nails it.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on it and make a purchase, I may get a tiny commission. This helps me continue to bring KFDC to you for free. Thank you for the support!

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Five Things for Today, Maryland, Virginia

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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* 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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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend