Category Archives: Seasonal

The Weekend Round-Up: February 12-15, 2021

The NGA Sculpture Garden reopens on Sunday — just in time for a Valentine’s Day stroll

 

Happy Long Weekend!

Quick Links
Find specific recommendations for things to do this weekend among this round-up, plus these links have even more ideas for ongoing and special activities:
* Black History Month Celebrations
* Valentine’s Day Activities, Virtual & IRL
* Activities for the Covid Winter
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Outdoor Ice Skating
* Peaceful Places
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides

Spreading Kindness: Virtual Valentine Greetings
Where: At home
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Your time and card making/baking efforts

Celebrate the Valentine’s Day by giving back with Eliana’s Light. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to create cards, poems, and paintings for children who have to be in a DC, MD, or VA pediatric hospital over the holiday. Pre-pandemic, these pieces of art would be delivered to their recipients, but this year volunteers should email them instead. They’ll be shared through social media and email to give a boost to those who have been going through a lot over the past year due to the effects of COVID-19. This small act of kindness can have a big impact. More details about the program are here.

Into the Blue
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through February 28
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

Crystalline, the current exhibition  at ARTECHOUSE, is only running for a couple more weeks.  The gallery known for its visually stunning digital art has transformed  into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive (but not hands-on), as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play. Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Nature Calls
Where: Buddie Ford Nature Center | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

A great place to keep in mind when you prefer an indoor outing, Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria has Covid safety measures in place and is welcoming visitors two days a week. And if you are up for some outdoor time and weather permits, the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park, is nice for a short hike.

Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Online
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Ring in the Year of the Ox online with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute, and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the US. Enjoy streamed video performances and demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafts and Lunar New Year traditions. And be sure to check out the SAAM Family Zone for more crafts, coloring pages, videos, and other activities.

Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active, socially distanced way to spend time outdoors. Get more details about it here.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

There are a few new major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout the Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour.  Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.

Maple Trail Walk & Sugaring
Where: Bookside Natur Center | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 2:30pm & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Brookside’s annual Maple Sugaring Days are still on this year, just a little different. The maple trees are taped, and you can take a self-guided tour to learn how maple sap gets from the trees to your t able. The trail is available onsite during the month of February, and on weekends, a naturalist is on hand to talk about the boiling process, too. Dress for the weather and wear boots — Sugaring Season is also known as Mud Season! The Maple trail walk is free and open from dawn to dusk, the naturalist is there during the hours listed above. Start the Maple trail walk at our 1400 Glenallan Avenue parking lot location – just look for the sugar maple leaf signs.

Unity | Peace | Forward 
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
The Kennedy Center just debuted a new art installation at The REACH, which is a lovely place in the city to go for a socially distanced stroll.  A response to this time of unprecedented challenges, Unity | Peace | Forward is a free exhibit in three parts scattered around the grounds. You can see it daily and stroll the lovely outdoor area while the KC is closed.  It gets a multimedia boost on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30–8:30pm, when a video of quotes from 65 artists around the world is projected on a Video Wall.  (It can also be viewed online at any time.) Get a glimpse on the Kennedy Center website.

Virtual Nature Valentines
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Online
When: February 13, 1-2pm
Admission:Free

Consider collecting outdoor items to create your very own nature valentine. Before the program, go on a walk and collect nuts, sticks, and other natural items. During the program, participants will share why they collected items and assemble valentines. A suggested list of supplies will be emailed before the program to help prepare. An adult may need to assist the participant. This program will take place using Microsoft Teams. Recommended for ages 5+.

Car Seat Safety Session
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Kid Safe DC, a new IG with general safety tips started by physicians from Children’s Nationals, is hosting a free workshop. Sign up for a free virtual car seat safety check — you can schedule an appointment to meet one-on-one with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician via Zoom to learn how to correctly use and install your car seat(s) and have any questions answered by experts. Register through the link.

Mission: Fun
Where: International Spy Museum | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/age 13+, $14.95/7-12, free/6 & under

The Spy Museum has reopened its doors on weekends (Friday – Sunday), and you can explore the intriguing world of espionage.  Exhibits are engaging for both kids and adults, with state-of-the-art multimedia installations and loads of cool interactives (used with stylus pens + more extra safety measures in place).

Holiday Activities
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17.95

There’s a lot to celebrate at Port Discovery this weekend. They have special activities going on for Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, and Presidents’ Day. The regular exhibits are fun, too. They are taking extra measure for Covid. Find more details on the website. And note that are also open Monday, 10am – 4pm.  Read more about the Children’s Museum in Baltimore.

A Return to Art We Heart
Where: NGA Sculpture Garden | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The National Gallery of Art is reopening its outdoor Sculpture Garden on Sunday — just in time for a lovely Valentine’s Day stroll. It’s located on the north side of the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets NW.

Sweetheart Stroll
Where: MLKing Jr. Recreational Park | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 2-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Looking for a heart-healthy and fun activity for Valentine’s Day? Sign up for the Sweetheart Stroll at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park on February 14th. Starting at 2pm, guests can walk or run along the 0.8-mile HeartSmart Trail. Be entertained and enchanted by multiple photo stations, string lights, and LOVE-ly decorations along the way. Watch for heartwarming messages along the path and a sparkling butterfly garden, too! Registration is required — see available time slots here.

The Heartcracker Ballet
Where: Adventure Theatre | Online
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Tune in for a Valentine’s Day reading of the new play The Heartcracker Ballet by Margaret Gorman. In this new work, middle-schoolers Zelda and Therese are dear friends who have been dancing around one question for some time now: How do you admit to your friend that you want to go out with them? Stream it free on Facebook Live.

Happy Birthday, George
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Every Presidents’ Day weekend, admission to Mount Vernon is free in celebration of the first POTUS’ big day. While most of the usual festivities won’t be happening this year, visitors can still tour parts of the mansion, museum exhibits, and the grounds.  Tickets are limited and must be reserved in advance online.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a brand new post on the blog with recommendations for preschooler toys for the pandemic.
* DC restaurants offering specials for the Lunar New Year.
* Create a perfect backyard set-up for the Covid winter with this post full of inspo.
* DC Way Academy’s spring season is starting, and they’re looking for U8-U11 players to join their unique soccer club.
* This new show coming to Netflix next month sounds fantastic!
* RIP 😉

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Registration Now Open: Join DC Way Academy’s Spring Soccer Season!

 

Do you want your child to play competitive soccer, improve their skills, and, most importantly, have fun?  If so, you’ll be interested to know that registration for DC Way Academy’s spring season is currently open, and they are looking for U8-U11 players to join their unique soccer club!

Their program will run from March 10 to June 13 at the Fields at RFK Campus in DC. By signing up, your child will have the opportunity to participate in a Spring League, practice at a competitive level, and create amazing friendships that will last a lifetime.

 

Are you wondering what makes DC Way Academy’s curriculum different?  Their coaches deliver world-class sessions and provide insight on how to improve the fundamental techniques and skills that all soccer players require. Their team creates a warm, professional, and friendly environment to nurture young athletes allowing them to flourish and reach their maximum potential.

DC Way Academy’s training curriculum is diverse and entertaining, meant to engage and excite young players, and foster an enjoyable learning environment. Players learn necessary technical skills as well as essential cognitive skills like spatial awareness, tactical knowledge, and risk assessment, all the while developing their crucial game intelligence. DC Way Academy’s certified and professional coaches will take your child to the next level, all the while having a blast.

The soccer club is implementing extra precautions to provide the best experience possible under CDC and local health authorities’ health and safety guidelines. Their staff are masked and practice social distancing measures, and all players wear masks during practices and matches. The club is committed to keeping the players and their families safe during these times.

 

Jumpstart your child’s soccer career and contact DC Way Academy today to set up a tryout! More information about their program — including descriptions, pricing, schedules, and registration — is available on their website and Facebook page. You can also call 571-490-1275 or email [email protected] to learn more.

 

This post is sponsored by DC Way, however, I only promote programs, services, and events that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Gradeschoolers, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Spring

Local Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day that Kids (& You) Will Love

DIY Valentines from a past Postal Museum workshop

 

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

Spreading Kindness: Virtual Valentine Greetings
Where: At home
When: Through February 14
Admission: Your time and card making/baking efforts

Celebrate the Valentine’s Day by giving back with Eliana’s Light. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to create cards, poems, and paintings for children who have to be in a DC, MD, or VA pediatric hospital over the holiday. Pre-pandemic, these pieces of art would be delivered to their recipients, but this year volunteers should email them instead, and they will be shared through social media and email to give a boost to those who have been going through a lot over the past year due to the effects of COVID-19. This small act of kindness can have a big impact. More details about the program are here.

Virtual Workshop: Valentine Card Making
Where: The Paper Source | Online
When: February 10, 8-9:30pm
Admission: $30

Feel the love with some Valentine fun at Paper Source’s annual workshop. Perfect for virtual a hang out with friends or some cozy solo crafting time. Make one-of-a-kind cards that you can gift to your bestie, significant other, or family on Valentine’s Day. Recommended for ages 14+. You will need to pick up recommended supplies.

Valentine Cupcakes
Where: Sprinkles | Georgetown, DC
When: Order by February 9
Cost: Depends on your order

Sprinkle love to people you adore with Sprinkles Cupcakes seasonal boxes. They have special mixes, or you can customize your own. Orders must be places by February 9, and delivery or pick-up must be scheduled by February 14.

V’Day Sweet 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 Feb 11-14
Cost: $18

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.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12, 13, & 14
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.

Virtual Nature Valentines
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Online
When: February 13, 1-2pm
Admission:Free

Consider collecting outdoor items to create your very own nature valentine. Before the program, go on a walk and collect nuts, sticks, and other natural items. During the program, participants will share why they collected items and assemble valentines. A suggested list of supplies will be emailed before the program to help prepare. An adult may need to assist the participant. This program will take place using Microsoft Teams. Recommended for ages 5+.

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grive Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 14, 2-5pm
Admission: $2/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 12, 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. See more about the program here.

Sweetheart Stroll
Where: MLKing Jr. Recreational Park | Silver Spring, MD
When: February 14
Admission: Free

Looking for a heart-healthy and fun activity for Valentine’s Day? Sign up for the Sweetheart Stroll at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park on February 14th. Starting at 2pm, guests can walk or run along the 0.8-mile HeartSmart Trail. Be entertained and enchanted by multiple photo stations, string lights, and LOVE-ly decorations along the way. Watch for heartwarming messages along the path and a sparkling butterfly garden, too! Registration is required — see available time slots here.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6pm
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+.

Virtual Cake Pop Class
Where: Baked by Yael | Online
When: February 14, 4:30pm
Admission $39.95

Have your cake and eat it, too, at a virtual Baked by Yael cakepop class! They’ll teach you how to crumble the cake, mix it with frosting, and then roll, dip, and decorate your cakepops. The exact number of cakepops will vary depending on what size you choose to make your cakeballs. Some people end up with 12+ cakepops! The registration fee includes materials for one participant, a Home Cakepop Kit with baked cake, frosting, candy melts, edible glitter/sprinkles, cakepop sticks, and cakepop drying stand. (Please note that the gluten-free & vegan cakepops do not use frosting.). For just $25 more, we’ll include enough cake, frosting, candy melts, and cakepop sticks for an additional participant! See the website for more details.

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 is 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. We’ll miss it this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some arty supplies and get creative at home. And make your loved ones’ (or a stranger’s — see the top listing) Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again), see this KFDC post.

The Valentine Dine
Where: Restaurants in Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: February 12-14
Admission: $20-60

Love the one your with this Valentine’s Day Weekend and enjoy favorite Capitol Riverfront restaurants while you’re at it. Whether you’re planning to spend the day with your sweetheart, friends, or family, they’ve curated a list of the sweetest dining deals sure to send Cupid’s arrow through your heart. Choose from a romantic dinner-for-two options at Bammy’s, Maxwell Park, or Osteria Morini; daytime dining choices at Jackie, La Famosa, Scarlet Oak, or Slipstream; and the ultimate indulgence from Coldstone Creamery, Ice Cream Jubilee, and Jeni’s. The best part? ALL gift card options come with awesome discounts, plus complimentary desserts or drinks included with several deals. Order in advance!

Valentine’s Day Specials
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: The cost of your meal
Many of the restaurants at The Wharf have special meals and deals for Valentine’s Day, both dine in and take out are available, depending on the place. Visit the websites of Colada Shop, Del Mar, District Doughnut, Hank’s Oyster Bar, La Vie, Mi Vida, Moon Rabbit, and The Grill for specifics and note that some need to be pre-ordered.  Also, Shop Made in DC and Diament Jewelry  have great last minute Valentine’s Day gifts including jewelry, travel sets, candles, and more.

Socially Distanced Date Nights for Everyone
Where: Restaurants in Adams Morgan, DC
When: February & March
Admission: Varies by place and activity

Adams Morgan is a great place for a date in DC, whether you’re a mom and daughter out for ice cream, a first date, or a married couple celebrating a double-digit anniversary. The Adams Morgan Partnership presents DATE NIGHTS with all kinds of specials, promotions and date lineups throughout the neighborhood during February and March 2021. Visit the website for a chart full of suggestions.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Virtual Programs, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Creating a Perfect Outdoor Set Up for the Covid Winter

 

Patio hangs around the firepit give the Covid winter spirits a boost

 

This post is a bit of a detour from the usual KFDC content, but in this continuing weird time of navigating life during a pandemic, I think (hope!) it’ll be helpful.  Covid, generally, has changed the way we hang out with company at our homes. And the Covid winter has made it even trickier.  Many of us have been enjoying backyard or front porch hangs with friends (and our own fams, of course) for awhile; when it was warmer last summer and fall, it was easy to do.  But the cold season requires some extra planning — and purchases —  to make those outdoor gatherings doable (read: comfortable and fun ).   We’re finally getting our back patio together after it was inaccessible for a long time due to home renovations (more on that in later post), so this is all fresh for us.  Luckily, we got to hang in friends’ backyards for awhile to get ideas for a perfect Covid winter set-up — and here’s what we’ve found are must-haves.  Happy Wintering!

 

Outdoor Furniture

You probably already have furniture for your patio or backyard.  But if not, and if you’re going for cozy, I recommend including an outdoor sofa or sectional. It’s nice for lounging, curling up with a blanket, and snuggling with the kids.  We have an older model of this Ikea sectional.  It’s pretty comfortable, and a great thing about it is that you can add pieces to expand it on ether side.  You can also set them up separately for more socially distanced hangs.  The newest version also has storage, with the seat bottoms lifting up. Other stores to check:  Wayfair, Pottery Barn, World Market, and Target.

 

Smokeless Fire Pit

The Solo Stove is, hands down, one of our best purchases this winter.  It really makes a difference in the enjoyment of hanging around a firepit.  Not only does it get really warm and give off good heat because of the innovative design, there’s no smoke blowing on one person (who always seemed to be me), and clothes and hair don’t smell like a campfire afterwards.  Definitely worth it!  Another smokeless firepit option is this Blue Sky that uses pellets.  Friends have and love it, and  I also like how it looks.

 

Night Lights

The right lighting can really make a difference in the vibe outside.  Twinkling lanterns and string lights can be fun and festive, but also kind of magical.  If, like us, you don’t have handy outlets, opt for solar powered lights.   And for lanterns, don’t forget hooks to hang them on the fence or other spots.

 

Warm, Comfy Blankets

Some nights you may need a little extra warmth along with the fire, not to mention blankets add snuggly coziness to a winter space.  I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods just buying a soccer ball recently when I saw they were having a great sale on blankets — buy one get two free — so I came home with bags full of them!  That particular deal is over, but you can still get BOGO, and I can assure you the fleece and velour throws are soft, warm, and so nice to have on hand.

 

Portable Projector

A great way for kids to enjoy a fun activity with friends is with an outdoor movie night. A portable projector makes that possible, and it’s not too pricey when you consider what you’re not paying for movie tickets right now. We bought this one as a Christmas present for Sasha a couple of years ago, and there is a wide selection of newer models now. (Of course, you can use them for family movie nights, too!)

 

Projector Screen


Complete the outdoor movie set-up with a projector screen. They come in a variety of sizes as well as a couple of types. Opt for a foldable portable screen that you can easily put up on a fence or wall and take down. We went with a retractable screen that is mounted to a wall with these brackets. It stays outside, but rolls up when we’re not using it.

 

Furniture Cover


If you have cushioned seating outside, I strongly recommend one of these covers. We actually just replaced all of our cushions and cushion covers because our old ones were trashed from exposure since we got lazy about bringing them inside. With this cover, we just move one piece of the sectional to the middle, and put it over everything, blankets included. The whole set stays clean, dry, and ready for sitting.  The cover comes in a variety of sizes.

 

Side Tables


With the Solo Stove taking up the middle space, side tables will be needed for setting down drinks and food. World Market has some good options, and Wayfair has a nice selection, too.

 

Trays


Have a couple of acrylic serving trays to bring everything outside. It’s also good to keep on the sofa for setting down food and drinks for anyone who can’t easily access a side table.

 

Cozy Footwear


I very strongly recommend Uggs or another shearling-lined boot for outdoor hangs during winter — keeping those tootsies warm makes a huge difference in comfort. I have and love these — easy to slip on and can be worn with skinny, cropped, and straight leg jeans.  I wear mine all the time, well beyond the back patio. For a cheaper option, Koolabura by Uggs is about half the price. I bought these for Sasha, and honestly cannot tell the difference and will probably buy them for myself next time. Target also has a cute budget option.

 

*Are there any must-have items for a Covid winter outdoor set-up that I missed?  If so, please share in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Product Review, Seasonal, Shop, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter