Category Archives: Outdoor

Art Al Fresco: Where to Enjoy Creative Works Outdoors Around DC


You don’t always have to go into a museum to enjoy great works of art. They are outdoors in gardens, along our landscapes, and even throughout city streets, so you can enjoy a nice day outside along with large scale sculptures, provocative installations, fun and interesting murals, even fairy houses. Here are some great places to see them around the DC area. Happy Art-ing!

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Where: 7th & Constitution NW | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
The museum’s outdoor area is always fun to stroll (or glide) through with large-scale installations and sculptures adding beauty, creativity, and and whimsy to the National Mall. See a giant typewriter eraser, a gleaming silver tree, and Lichtenstein’s optical illusion house among the many impressive works.


* * * 


King and Queen in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden (Currently closed for renovation)
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy the outdoor area at the modern art museum on the National Mall. Take a stroll through the works, and check out this FAQ for more about visiting. You can pop in for free daily from 10am – 4:30pm. And to make the most of your time, visit the lovely garden between the Hirshhorn and Arts & Industries Building and the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the castle.


* * * 


The Kreeger’s outdoor area is especially cool for kids

Kreeger Museum
Where: 2401 Foxhall Road NW | Foxhall, DC
When: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/senior & military, free for kids

The small art museum in DC’s Foxhall-Palisades neighborhood is perfect for an art fix with kids that’s gratifying without being overwhelming. It includes a five-acre outdoor area showcasing all kinds of large-scale installations that are beautiful, interesting, even quirky and fun. There is a fountain/pool with seating and sculptures around it,  a small patch of woods with art and a trail that loops around, and a grassy expanse with works that you’ll all enjoy.  There’s even a piece “climbing” on the side of building, another snaking up a tree, and one that plays solar powered music.  The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday with timed-entry sessions that need to be reserved in advance.  Read more about the Kreeger in this KFDC post.


* * * 


Annmarie Sculpture Garden
Where: 13470 Dowell Road | Solomons, MD
When: Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm | Sat, 10am – 5pm | Sun, 12-5pm
Admission $5
The grounds of the arts center in Calvert County are filled with all kinds of creative works, from large abstract sculptures to “tree pops” and birdhouses to .  In spring and summer, their annual Fairies in the Garden exhibit is delightful to tour.  Some of the bigger works are part of the permanent collection, and many more are on loan from the Hirshhorn, National Gallery of Art, and other private collections. A stroll among all of it along a looping path is lovely, relaxing, and kind of magical. And the Fairy Lolly is the sweetest kids’ play area! Indoor galleries feature even more art and artsy activities.  See more about Annmarie here.


* * * 


Where:  12100 Glen Road | Potomac, MD
When: Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This one is for the T(w)een Scene, as Glenstone requires visitors to be at least 12 years old.  The indoor/outdoor modern art museum sprawling gloriously over 300 acres in Potomac showcases modern works inside a gallery and outside around the beautiful grounds. Take advantage of the Guaranteed Entry program, which admits students and one accompanying adult without having to reserve tickets. Be sure to note that they don’t allow children under 12 at all, but it’s a wonderful place to visit with tweens and teens! Read more about Glenstone in this KFDC post.


* * * 


Some of the Statehood murals near The Atlas on H Street

DC Murals Tour
Where: Around DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free
You can find art by local artists all over the city on sides of buildings, temporarily boarded-up storefronts, even right on the street. MuralsDC, an initiative from the DC Department of Public Works, is an excellent resource for locating, learning about, and touring local murals. You can refer to the digital map and find tours of collections, including the 51 Murals for DC Statehood and U Street Corridor Walking Tour.


* * * 


There’s art to enjoy in the garden at the REACH

The REACH at the Kennedy Center
Where: 2700 F Street NW | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Daily
Admission: Free
The beautiful grounds of The REACH, part of the Kennedy Center, are open and free for visitors to explore. Not only are there a few works of art located around the area, the artfully designed buildings are impressive to view. You can stroll around, check out the sculptures and structures, and take in vistas of the Potomac.


* * * 


Wooden jangseung totem poles at Meadowlark

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Where: 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct | Vienna, VA
When: Daily, 10am – 4pm Nov 1-March 25 | 10am-7pm, March 2-Oct 31
Admission: $8/adult, $4/age 6-17 & seniors, free/5 & under

While Meadowlark’s 95 acres are a horticultural gem in Northern Virginia, its gardens features some wonderful artistic works as well. There are some large sculptures to admire as you wander around.  And some of the gardens works of art themselves — the Korean Bell Garden, for instance, features the bell  a couple of pavilions, and a pretty fountain flowing through it.  Part of the joy in viewing it all is coming upon them as you stroll outdoors. Read more about Meadowlark in this KFDC post.


* * * 


Mirror Mirror, a past installation at the Alexandria Waterfront

Pop-Up Art Installations
Where: Old Town Waterfront | Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

You can almost always count on some kind of interesting art installation to be on view at the Old Town

Alexandria Waterfront. Interstellar Influencer is the current work at the end of King Street, behind the Torpedo Factory, right next to the Potomac River is an open space, where unique, large-scale art is regularly featured. It’s fun to stop by and see it — sometimes interact with it — and enjoy being by the water. Of course, you can make a longer outing of it in Old Town and visit the Torpedo Factory, stroll around King Street, and maybe even do some secondhand shopping.


Do you know of other great places around DC to see art al fresco?  Let us know in the comments!


Leave a Comment

Filed under Art, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Virginia

Swing Through Fall Foliage at These Five Outdoor Ropes Courses

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them hereherehere, here, here.]

Veer off the beaten fall festival path this year with a visit to one of our area’s outdoor ropes courses. As mentioned in this KFDC post, autumn is a great time to enjoy the activity, when you can  take in views of the foliage, and at some places even immerse right in it. Once known primarily for “team building,” ropes courses have become a family-friendly activity, where daredevils young and old can challenge their strength, balance, bravery and problem-solving.  If you have a child old enough for the adventure — and if you want to get in on the fun, too — here are some options to explore. Catch them while the foliage is hot!


The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
The largest forest-based adventure park in town, featuring 15 separate trails of varying levels of difficulty. [This is a KFDC favorite!  See this post for a detailed experience.]

Location: 16701 Norwood Rd | Sandy Spring, MD
Fall Hours: Friday 3-10pm | Saturday 9am – 10pm | Sunday 9am – 7pm
Ages: 5 & up; each child 5-6 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+
Pricing: $23-73
Deals: Last Call Tickets
Gloves: Available for purchase
Events: Glow In The Park
Additional Features: Food Truck, Axe Throwing
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Tree Trekkers
Open since 2019, this newer course is located on 30 acres of protected forest and features over 250 obstacles and ziplines.

Location: 9560 Old National Pike | Frederick, MD
Fall Hours: Thursday-Sunday; check calendar for up-to-date hours
Ages: 4 & up; each child 4-7 must be accompanied by an adult age 18+
Pricing: $35-64
Deals: Thrifty Thursdays, After Work Adventure Ticket, Twilight Ticket, Movie Star Ticket
Gloves: Provided
Events: Trek or Treat October 20-21 & 27-28
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park
A treetop adventure chain, featuring 50-foot high tree-to-tree crossings, ziplines, and Tarzan swings.

Location: Derwood, MD & Springfield, VA
Fall Hours: Friday-Sunday; check website for up-to-date hours
Ages: All ages – minimum height 3’3”; children 5 & under must be accompanied by an adult age 18+ (one adult per 2 kids); children 6-15 must be supervised by an adult
Pricing: $40-65
Deals: Frequent Flyer Pass
Gloves: Available for purchase
Events: Nights at Height, Frights at Height, Haunted Trails
Additional Features:  Forest EscAPE, STEM Program, Axe Throwing
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Terrapin Adventures
This course offers a variety of aerial thrills and challenges, inspired by vacation-type adventures from around the world.

Location: 8600 Foundry Street, Savage MD
Fall Hours: 10am – 5pm; check booking page for up-to-date hours
Ages: Kids Pass: 5 & up; all participants required to climb over a three-foot-tall railing unaided; Adventure Park Experience: 8+ and 4 feet tall
Pricing: $19-79
Gloves: Not provided (purchase some like this in advance)
Events: Parent’s Night Out
Additional Features: Climbing Tower, Giant Swing, Archery
Learn more and reserve tickets

* * * 

Climb UPton
A 90-element adventure located in Upton Hill Regional Park where climbers can choose their challenge with easy, medium and hard features.

Location:  6060 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA
Fall Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 4-8pm, Friday 4-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am – 9pm
Ages: 5 and up; children 5-7 must be 48” and accompanied by an adult age 18+; children 8-15 must be 51” to go without an adult
Pricing: $20-50
Deals: Student Night, Date Night, Groups of 6+
Gloves: Not provided (purchase some like this in advance)
Events: Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt, Turkey Scavenger Hunt
Additional Features: Upton Hill Regional Park also offers Mini Golf, Batting Cages, Playground, Water Park (seasonal)
Learn more and reserve tickets


Do you know of other outdoor ropes courses in the area? Tell us in the comments!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fall, Maryland, Outdoor, Virginia

MTB in the DMV: Six Spots to Mountain Bike Around the DC Area (Suggested by Owen!)

[Note: This is another post written by Owen!  His first KFDC contribution about activities with teens in DC got such a great response, we thought it would be fun for him to do more.  Also, while I do a little mountain biking, I’m not nearly as good as he is and haven’t ridden as wide a variety of trails in as many places. He has way more insight to offer on MTB in the DMV.]


I started mountain biking about four years ago, shortly before Covid began. While I had done a lot of biking around DC, I didn’t have much experience with all-terrain riding. But when I was about 13, I started joining my dad, who has been mountain biking since he was in college. He was a great teacher, and in a few years, I’ve gone from relatively no mountain biking experience to riding difficult trails with all sorts of challenges (both locally and in other parts of the country) and can now confidently recommend some great places to ride in the DC area. So, whether you already have a genuine interest in mountain biking, are thinking about getting into it (with or without kids), or you’re into the outdoors and looking for more ways to enjoy it, this round-up of places to MTB will help get you going.

* * * 

Schaeffer Farms
Schaeffer Farms was the first place I ever mountain biked in the DC area. Although I was initially a bit nervous being new to it all, it ended up being an awesome experience because the location is perfect for someone who is a beginner and new to mountain biking. There are easy trails to ride on along with options for something more difficult if you’re up to the challenge. Additionally, the area is beautiful with a ton of diversity in terms of trails to explore. Some are in the woods, and there is great single track through farm fields. It’s just under an hour from DC and worth the drive. I’ve been there plenty of times with my dad and have always enjoyed it, no matter my skill level, from those early days when I was just starting to having several years of mountain biking experience. Out of all locations in the DC area, Schaeffer Farms is the most accessible for all skill levels, which is why it is a must-go MTB spot.

More Insight: There is one parking lot right next to the trailhead. All rides begin on the same trail, but there will be some options for different routes. The shortest one is about seven miles. View the trail map.

Schaeffer Farms
Where: 14920 Schaeffer Road | Germantown, MD
When: Open daily, no set hours
Admission: Free


* * * 


Fountainhead Regional Park
Fountainhead is the top of my list for a fun, challenging ride. I don’t recommend it for beginner skill levels; you should have a reasonable amount of experience before biking here. But once you feel comfortable enough to give Fountainhead a try, you definitely won’t be disappointed. With a ton of jumps, drops, and a variety of technical trails, Fountainhead has it all. There is also a good amount of smooth downhill which is hard to come by on the east coast, so it’s a great spot to go. Out of all the local MTB places I’ve been to, this is probably the best location I’ve biked so far, and I always try to join my dad there when I have the chance.

More Insight: The parking lot is a short drive from the entrance, and the trailhead to start all rides is right off it. We usually do the green and blue trails, sometimes part of the black. I think the green here is harder than most at other places. Parts of the green have a lot of roots, which is fun for experienced riders, but might be intimidating to newer riders.  View a trail map.

Fountainhead Regional Park
Where: 10875 Hampton Road| Fairfax Station, VA
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free
Read more about Fountainhead in this KFDC post


* * * 


A peak at the boardwalk through the trees at Meadowood

Meadowood Mountain Bike Trail
Meadowood is right outside Lorton, VA, about 45 minutes from DC, and it’s a great MTB option in the area. It is much like Fountainhead in that it has a lot of jumps and drops for more experienced riders to try, but Meadowood is still good for many levels of riders, maybe just not complete beginners. One great aspect of Meadowood that I really like is its BOSS Trail, a short, purely downhill ride that has super fun wooden features like a staggering boardwalk, a wall  (or “a sideways” section), and a long stretch that dips up and down. It’s a technical trail best for more advanced riders, and it took me a few tries to get it down, but it was definitely worth working at it. Overall, Meadowood is a great MTB option, and if you’re looking for something in the same domain as Fountainhead, but with some extra features, it’s a perfect spot to explore.

More Insight: There are a couple of parking lots, and we always park at Gunston Road, and there is a trailhead right there that will lead to the BOSS  Trail. View the trail map.

Meadowood Trail
Where: 10100 Gunston Rd | Lorton, VA
When: Year-round, 6am – 7pm
Admission: Free


* * * 


Patapsco Valley State Park
Patapsco Valley State Park stands out from the rest of the places included here for the wide range of activities that are in the area. Not only does it offer great mountain biking, Patapsco also has an abundance of beautiful trails for hiking, historic sites, small waterfalls and swimming areas, playgrounds, and more features all across the park. And yet with all of these other features, the mountain biking in Patapsco never fails to disappoint. The park offers the most trails out of all the spots on this list [nearly 150 miles of them!] and the area is so big that it feels like you can bike forever. The scenery is beautiful, and many of the biking trails wind through woods, cross pretty creeks, and even lead to waterfalls, making the experience even better. Patapsco is like Schaeffer Farm in that there’s something for a wide range of skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders. You just need to find a suitable trail. There are a lot of blues [moderate difficulty], but also plenty of greens [easy] to choose from, as well as black [most difficult] if you’re up for the challenge.

More Insight: As mentioned, there are a lot of trail options at Patapsco. We usually start with Morning Chase, then connect to other trails. There is a parking lot on Landing Road to access it. However, Patapsco is huge, so take a look at the trail map to help you figure out where to ride and park.

Patapsco Valley State Park
Where: Howard & Baltimore Counties, Maryland
When: Open daily year-round, 9am – sunset
Admission: April- October: Weekdays: $2/vehicle MD residents, $4/vehicle non-residents
Weekends/holidays: $3/residents, $5/non-residents
November – March: $2/resident vehicle, $4/non-resident vehicle
Read more about Patapsco in this KFDC post


* * * 


Cosca Regional Park
Cosca Regional Park is a place I highly recommend for someone who’s more of a beginner, as the trails are pretty mellow and better for a casual ride. Located in Clinton, MD, it’s densely wooded, so the scenery is really nice, especially in the fall. There are about nine miles of trails total, but you can do short sections, and they’re pretty easy to ride (much easier than places like Fountainhead or Meadowood).

More Insight: The trailhead is right across from the Park Office. There is one main loop to ride that is a mix of green and blue, but you can make it longer or shorter depending on what you’re up for. You can probably do all of the short, easy parts even if you’re just starting out. View the trail map here.

Cosco Regional Park
Where: 11000 Thrift Road | Clinton, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free


* * * 


Fort Dupont Park
Fort Dupont Park in Anacostia may not be the typical place you’d think of when you’re looking for a spot to mountain bike, but it’s one to be aware of. Since it’s right in DC, it’s much more accessible than the other locations on this list [if you live in the city]. Additionally, the trails in the park are easy to ride if you just want to get some practice riding in the woods. Although you’re right in the city, it still feels as if you could be miles out because the park is so wooded. This is the best place on this list for a quick ride without having to drive outside of DC. The trails are generally welcoming for riders of all skill levels, so there’s no worry if you’re a beginner.

More Insight: We bike to Fort Dupont Park right from our house and start the trail by the amphitheater [3600 F Street, SE — there is a parking lot nearby, too].  It starts as a paved path, then a dirt trail in the woods that will cross a road after a bit and continue into more woods.

Fort Dupont Park
Where: 3600 F Street SE | Anacostia, DC
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

* * *


More MTB Tips (added by Linda):
* Trailforks and Traillinks are great sites for more details on local mountain biking trails.
* If you want to try mountain biking, but don’t own a mountain bike, rent one from one of these local shops: Conte’s, Big Wheel Bikes, REI, and The Bike Lane.
* REI offers an Introduction to Mountain Biking class for ages 14+. They tend to fill up fast, so reserve spots while you can!
* Some recommended gear: Gloves, helmet, mtb shorts/pants, water bottle or hydration pack.

Leave a Comment

Filed under DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Virginia

You’re Never Too Old (or Cool) for a Visit to the National Zoo


Too old (or cool) for the zoo? Never!  We proved this a few weeks ago when our family — yes, even the two teens — went to the National Zoo.  It started off as Sasha and I deciding what to do on a nice day. She didn’t have soccer or other plans with friends, so I snagged the opportunity while I could.   I suggested a hike, but she said, “Nah.”   So, I asked somewhat randomly, “How about the zoo?” thinking I’d probably get a thumbs down and a response that it’s for little kids.  But she instead surprised me with an enthusiastic, “Okay!”

When we mentioned our plan to Owen and Levi, they unexpectedly wanted to join, too.  Though looking back,  it was silly of me to assume they wouldn’t want to go.  The zoo isn’t just for young children… I mean, Levi and I used to go before we even had kids.

The National Zoo is a great place for anyone to enjoy a day out.  Besides just visiting the residents — and there are so many different species! — you can catch animal demos, like elephant feedings and reptile meetings.  When the kids were younger, they’d enjoy spins on the carousel. It’s also really nice to just stroll the grounds and even enjoy a picnic (BYO or buy food from concession stands there).

A surprise visitor in the elephant habitat

It had been since pre-Covid that most of us had been to the Zoo. (Owen had been on a photography field trip with school, but that was it.) Some things are a bit different now, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share current logistics, upcoming events, and a few tips for visiting.

And, by the way, we saw loads of people there without young children, from couples of all ages to adult friends on an outing…  and even groups of teens.

* * * 


Timed-entry passes have been required for entry to the National Zoo since it reopened after Covid. They can be reserved in advance online. And don’t fret if you like to pop in to places if you’re in the area… passes don’t seem to sell out, and there are signs with QR code displays at the entrances, so you can get online with your phone and register for passes right there (but you can’t just walk in without passes). And admission to the Zoo is still free.

While admission to the Zoo is free, parking in the lot on site is $30 per car. Parking passes can be purchased in advance online. Note that cars can no longer access the parking lot from Beach Drive. The only vehicle entrance is at 3100 Connecticut Ave. NW.

KFDC Tip: If you don’t need to park that close and want to save the $30, you can look for street parking nearby. We found a spot on Adams Mill Road NW and walked to the back entrance at Harvard Street Bridge just off Beach Drive. Of course, you can avoid parking altogether by taking Metro (Woodley Park is the closest stop) and walking a few blocks down Connecticut to the Zoo.

The Zoo is open daily, with the exception of Christmas Day, though hours vary by time of year. Summer hours (July 1 – September 30) are 8am – 6pm with last admittance at 5pm. Winter hours (October 1 – June 30) are 8am – 4pm with last admittance at 3pm.

KFDC Tip: Go early during warmer months if you can for more animals sightings, as some retreat to their indoor areas on hot days.

The National Zoo hosts several annual events that are fun to attend. It’s worth keeping an eye on their Events page to see what’s coming up.
* Boo at the Zoo, the annual Halloween fest, is back in person this year on October 28, 29, and 30 — and it’s super fun for young kids (we went several time when the kids were little).
* ZooLights is the annual animal-themed holiday light display. It’s free and always very popular.
* Easter Monday always takes place the day after Easter welcoming the public for an egg hunt, live entertainment, and special activities (2023 info TBA).
* Adult events like Brew at the Zoo are occasionally hosted at the zoo.
* Events to celebrate animal birthdays, zoo anniversaries, and more come up throughout the year and are always fun times to visit.

The Zoo is a big place, and it can take a long time to walk the whole thing, especially if you like to spend a decent amount of time watching the animals and/or you’re with little ones with little legs. It’s not a bad idea to look at the map before you go and strategize on animal visits based on location. Also check the Daily Animal Demos schedule so you can factor that in to your timing.

For lunch or snacks, concession stands and a few food trucks are located throughout the Zoo selling burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, pizza, pretzels, popcorn, etc. plus sweet treats. As mentioned above, you can also BYO — there are tables where you can sit down to eat as well as some grassy spots.

More to know
* Paved paths are very stroller friendly.
* Some fun beyond the animals: Speedwell Conservation Carousel ($4), Me and the Bee Playground, The Good of the Hive Mural, and the Squirt Zone (in summer).
* There is a limit on the number of people allowed inside the animal houses, so there could be a short wait to go in.
* The Visitor Center near the Connecticut Ave entrance usually has an exhibit on display and a gift shop with lots of cute items.
* There are two more gift shops near the pandas and lions, plus a few kiosks around the park.
* If you’re so inclined, the Vintage Views food (drink) truck offers cocktails and beer along with coffee and lemonade.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Where: Woodley Park, DC
When: Daily, except for December 25
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2022, DC, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend

Hike & Hang: Patuxent River State Park & Waredaca Brewing Company


Remember how I mentioned last week that I’m a bit behind on posting about some of the fun things we’ve done this summer?  Well, I’m crossing another off my list with one that we enjoyed way back on Father’s Day.  And just in time for Labor Day, because this would make for a great family outing over the holiday weekend.

It became our tradition to celebrate Levi every June with a crab feast worked into the plan.  We usually do something active, either a hike or bike ride, or Levi does a long ride on his own, then we all  go out for crabs after or pick them up at the Fish Market at The Wharf and have a feast at home.   It’s a fun, tasty, and seasonal way to celebrate the day, and one that he really likes.

However, this year we happened to have crab feasted not long before and weren’t really up for it again so soon.  So, when a friend asked if we wanted to join their family for a Father’s Day hike, we were into it.  But we still wanted to make it special for the dads with a post-hike meal and fun, so my friend suggested going to Waredaca Brewing Company in Laytonsville, MD.

I’d heard good things about it, but she had actually been there and gave it a big thumbs up.  With that part of the day planned, we just needed to find a hike.  We did a little research on trails nearby, and decided on Patuxent River State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, just a few minutes’ drive from Waredaca.  (KFDC Tip: Sometimes it’s better to plan a hike around the après-hike destination!)

* * * 

Patuxent River State Park
The park is fairly large, spanning nearly 7,000 acres in Montgomery and Howard counties.  There are generally three areas of the park — the North End, the Wildlands, and the South End.  We explored the south section, where there are marked trails; we read the other areas tend to have more social (unmarked) trails that are popular with hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hunters during the season.

As mentioned, we chose our area based on post-hike plan, and it was a good call, both for its proximity to Waredaca and the hike itself.  We weren’t looking for anything hardcore that would take a long time; we just wanted to do something active outdoors before heading to the brewery.

There are only two trail options in the South End, one about a mile and a half, and the other two miles, and they conveniently connected for a nice walk in the woods.  While there wasn’t anything unique about the hike, it was very pleasant.  The trails were well maintained with some twists and turns and a few slight uphills, but nothing too strenuous. We could easily walk, talk, and keep track of our dogs who were along for the day.  The path winds through an area of tall trees and plants blanketing the grounds, and it was all that bright saturated green of early summer.  Blues skies and lovely mid 70s-degree temps rounded it all out perfectly.

* * * 

Waredaca Brewing Company
Where there used to be a camp for kids is now the beautiful Waredaca Farm that is the site of Waredaca Brewing Company.  Located in a serene pastoral setting along with equestrian facilities, it was a great place for the “special” part of our Father’s Day outing.  There is a beer truck near the entrance, where you check in (and get a brew or lemonade), and just beyond are picnic tables with umbrellas spread out around the grassy orchard.  There is more seating inside the Tap Room and right outside it on a patio, where there was also a bluegrass band playing when we were there.

My friend knew to make a reservation, as it gets crowded on nice days, especially one when many people are celebrating. You can walk in, though availability is limited, and it’s on a first-come, first served basis.  Waredaca is very family-friendly, welcoming kids and dogs, with some large in-ground tires to climb on and open space for running around and playing lawn games. They also occasionally have “Pet a Pony” days!

As for the house specialty, there is a wide selection of beer on the menu along with bar snacks like pretzels and charcuterie boxes.  A food truck is also on site, but it varies by day.  You can also bring your own food and just enjoy the brews.  Our crew did a mix of everything  — some of our own snacks, bites from the bar, burgers from Boxcar Burgers, and, of course, beers for the adults.

Cheers to a super fun Father’s Day (and finally getting this post done)!

* * * 

Patuxent River State Park – South End
Where: 11950 Clopper Road | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free


Waredaca Brewing Company
Where: 4017 Damascus Road | Laytonsville, Maryland
When: Thurs-Friday 4-8pm | Sat-Sun, 12-6pm
Admission: Free (but plan to spend on brews and food)


Leave a Comment

Filed under Eats, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Weekend