Category Archives: Shop

The 2022 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide

A holiday photo fave: Her first Christmas, his fourth (and obviously an unwrapping pro even then)


If this gift guide looks familiar, that’s because you’ve likely seen it before — a version of it, anyway. Over the eight years I’ve been sharing it, the general ideas haven’t changed very much (nor has the above photo that I adore). While the specifics are always updated, the overall concepts have remained pretty consistent year after year, as I want my recommendations to reflect the spirit of my blog — of adventure, discovery, local culture, and family time — and these ideas do just that. (Plus, I think they’re really good suggestions! 😉 )

So just like the last many years, I’m sharing some things our family has really enjoyed around DC and/or think would make fantastic presents for a variety of people. This also gives me a chance to highlight local places and businesses offering unique experiences and products as well as people and organizations that are doing great things. And then there are ideas that are simply fun and enriching and showcase the incredible, dynamic city that is Washington, DC. None of these recommendations are sponsored; they’re just experiences, places, adventures, and products that I truly like and think you and yours might, too. Happy gifting!



Concert tickets would make a perfect teen (or adult) gift


There’s so much great live entertainment coming to local stages soon, that would make fantastic presents for kids and adults. KFDC Tip: Before you buy, check for ticket deals here as you may be able to get discounts to some productions. Here are recommendations for shows coming up soon and even a few running during the holiday season.

* Aquarium at Imagination Stage
* The Hula Hoopin’ Queen at Imagination Stage
* Into the Woods at Signature Theatre
* Wicked at the Kennedy Center
* Cenicienta: A Bilingual Cinderella Story at the Kennedy Center
* Les Misérables at the Kennedy Center
* Cats at National Theatre
Jagged Little Pill at National Theatre
* Jerry Seinfeld at The Anthem
* Trevor Noah at the Hippodrome in Baltimore
* Taylor Swift in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh
* Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue at Warner Theatre
* Bruce Springsteen at Capitol One Arena
* King Lear by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* The Jungle by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* Kinky Boots at Olney Theatre
* Ride the Cyclone at Arena Stage
* War of the Worlds at Synetic Theater
* The 9:30 Club is legendary and welcomes all ages to most shows (think teen gift!)
* The Anthem has a great line-up of concerts, too (again, teen gift!)
* For holiday season shows, look here
* You can also give a gift certificate or membership to one of the venues mentioned above!



Give them a flying adventure

For the people, young and old, in your life who like active thrills and challenges, a gift card or season pass for one of these action-packed pursuits is strongly recommended.

* iFLY Loudoun offers a one-of-a-kind exhilarating opportunity to experience sky diving without stepping foot in (or out of) an airplane.  Read more about it here. (Post is about my experience, but my kids have done it, too!)
* The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, one of our favorite outdoor places to play, is an exciting aerial forest experience, where adventure-goers navigate ropes courses in the trees, with climbing for kids as young as 5 years old. Check out their annual Holiday Sale! In the meantime, read more about the adventure in this KFDC post.
* Many local ice skating rinks have season passes available for peeps who want to practice their triple lutzes and spins — or just like to glide around.
* Ski season is starting, and White Tail is an easy-from-DC place to go for downhill fun.  Read more about it and find links for other regional ski resorts here.
* Trapeze School New York in DC has classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, balancing and acrobatics, trampoline, and more.  Read more about it here.
* Give a gift card for a paddling excursion (for when it’s back in season).
* The St. James has Super, Awesome, & Amazing fun at its activity center and indoor waterpark.
* Kids love scaling the colorful walls at ClimbZone.
*  TopGolf,  with area locations at National Harbor and Germantown, is a fun place to practice driving balls from their hitting bays.
* A sightseeing boat tour is a cool way to get a new view of DC — and have some fun on the water.


Hang out in Dunder Mifflin at The Office Experience


DC is known for its many free attractions, but there are some places and experiences that require admission. So, make a visit to one something special by giving it as a gift. Here are some to check out that are worth the splurgy entry fee.

* The Office Experience offers a tour of Dunder Mifflin…a simulated version of it, anyway. Explore re-created sets loaded with authentic, fun details and recall many funny moments from the show.  It’s in town through January 16.
* The Mansion on O Street is easily one of the neatest places in DC…a self-guided tour and secret door hunt is practically guaranteed to delight giftees of all ages.
* Exhibits at ARTECHOUSE are unique, immersive, and fun to experience.
* For movie lovers, dinner (or lunch) and a flick at The Alamo is a perfect present.
* Thrill them with a visit to the International Spy Museum.
* History buffs will enjoy exploring Mount Vernon, George Washington’s former digs.
* There are many awesome attractions in Baltimore that would be great to gift.
* The Calvert Marine Museum is a super interesting non-DC museum, too.
* Several holiday light displays run into January.


Gift the whole fam membership to t he National Building Museum


Membership really does have its benefits!  You can get first dibs on tickets to events and shows, exclusive access to special offerings, and/or free admission to places, perfect for those who have favorite spots they frequent often. Here are some local attractions with membership options that would make for excellent gifts:

* National Building Museum memberships get you all into exhibits and some programs free of charge, members-only birthday parties, advanced camp registration, preview invites, and more.  (Starts at $90/year for families).
* At the National Children’s Museum, get a year of free admission, invites to special programs, members-only hours, & 10% off in the gift shop. (Starts at $190) Read more about the museum and get a glimpse here.
* Sign kids up for their favorite sports team fan club that offers all kinds of fun benefits, for low cost or even free.  A few of our local pro sports team have them: Nats, Spirit, Wizards, Caps
* For adults who enjoy performing arts, the Kennedy Center  membership gets them ticket priority, special event invites, and discounts on parking, dining, and the gift shop.
* Teen gift?  Gym membership!  They all seem to be joining these days (at my gym, anyway).  I highly recommend OneLife Fitness (formerly Sport & Health and Results before that). Of course, this is can be a gift for an adult, too.


The gift of music lessons

Has your child expressed interest in a particular activity? Give them a boost by getting them into a class! Here are some recommendations.

Give the gift of music with lessons from the International School of Music.
* Let them act up with Imagination Stage theatre classes.
* And Synetic Theatre offers performing arts classes in Northern Virginia.
* Kids can kick it with DC Way‘s soccer offerings.
* Chess, anyone? Check (out) Magnus Chess Academy.



Sports fan gift?  Done!

The gift of sports is no-brainer for those who love them. Our local sports teams, pro and college, have experiences (ie, games) and merch that fans will cheer about when they receive them. Here are links for all of them, and note that some are offering special holiday packages, too!

* Washington Nationals (Holiday Packs | Merch)
* Washington Capitals (Tickets | Merch)
* Washington Mystics (Pandamonium Holiday Pack)
* Washington Wizards (Tickets | Merch)
* DC United
* Washington Spirit
* Washington Commanders
* University of Maryland Terrapins
* Georgetown Hoyas
* George Washington University Colonials
* Howard Bison
* American University Eagles
* George Mason Patriots
* Catholic University Cardinals



The Spy Museum shop is full of intriguing inventory

We have some pretty amazing museums in our city, and many of their gift shops — that are also online — echo the impressive collections with items that are an extension of their programs. It’s not just prints of paintings you see; you can buy books, puzzles, accessories, gadgets, games, housewares, and lots of children’s items that are artistic, clever, and innovative. Just about all of the Smithsonian Museums and National Zoo have wonderful gift shops. And I highly recommend browsing the shops of some of the other museums in town — I’ve purchased gifts over the years at every single one of these.
* International Spy Museum
* National Gallery of Art
* National Building Museum
* Planet Word
* Phillips Collection
* Library of Congress



A trove of games and puzzles at Labyrinth

Shop for unique gifts and support independent businesses around the city. Here are some of our go-tos for gift shopping close to home.

* Book it to one of these local, independent shops to find good reads for your giftees: East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill,  Solid State Books  on H Street NE, Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, Hurray for Books in Old Town Alexandria, Loyalty Bookstore in Petworth and Silver Spring, Politics & Prose at Union Market, The Wharf, and Northwest, and Capitol Hill Books, a legendary used books shop.
* Labyrinth Game Shop on Capitol Hill is the place to go for the best board games and puzzles. Period.
* The Pretzel Bakery is our hands down neighborhood fave for savory & sweet treats — locations on Capitol Hill & in Bethesda.
* But if it’s cupcakes you like, Sprinkles in Georgetown is our rec.
* Check the above bookstores for DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by local author, JoAnn Hill — both are fantastic books, the former using clever clues to help you explore DC, and the latter filled with intriguing stories and interesting facts about the city.
* Give foodies a gift card for a local restaurant. Some faves: O-ku, La Collina, Maketto, Izakaya Seki, Albi, The Dabney
* Steadfast Supply is a great store to shop for maker-made and DC-inspired gifts.



Capture them (and their hearts) with this gift

How about a gift that includes your whole gang? Present them (and yourself!) with a family portrait session. And like the last few years, I’m recommending just the right photographer for it. As mentioned in previous gift guides, I have adored Darcy Troutman’s photos forever, starting with her former blog, No Monsters in My Bed. But over the last several years, she’s launched her own photography business capturing families and weddings, helping people make and preserve memories. Her style is unique and the photos gorgeous, but her real-life, let-the-moment-seize-you approach to her work is what really makes it special. Also, she’s hilarious and sweet and really comfortable to be around, the ideal personality for the job. Plus, her photos will not only capture this time in your lives, they’ll make for great gifts for extended family throughout the year, too.



Give design guidance from a guru

If there’s someone in your life who wants an update to their home, but needs some guidance going about it, gift them the help of an expert.  Margaret Carroll is an architect and design consultant extraordinaire and, full disclosure,  a really great friend of mine. But that just means I know first hand that she has a keen eye for style and the sharpest aesthetic of anyone I know, from the perfectly picked tile in her bathrooms (and in mine!) to the pretty booties on her feet. Her own home was even just featured in Bethesda Magazine!



The best fire pit, cozy blankets, and more lifestyle enhancing things

These ideas are a divergence from the rest, as they began in 2020 when Covid prompted a pivot from my usual experience gift theme. But while not necessarily DC-centric, many of these will help with the enjoyment of area adventures — and a few others will enhance time at home.

* I’ve recommended a Solo Stove in previous years, but this one is going on my list this year!
* Cozy blankets are perfect for outdoor fire pit hangs…and snuggling up indoors, too.  (A fun one for kids.)
* These bike lights are always a hit.
* But, first, get the bike!
* Ice skates are an ideal winter gift.
* Roller skates are great for any time of year.
* For those who love to hike, a good (and cute) daypack.
* A nice fleece for cool weather recreation: For her, for him, for kids.
For someone who digs on-the-water adventures, how about an SUP?
* Lawn games let you bring outdoor amusement anywhere (find recs for all ages via the link)
* Bubble umbrellas for rainy days are genius, and these are so pretty, your peops will want to stand under them when the sun’s out, too.
* Winter gear for kids from reliable brands: Snow bibs, boots, jackets, hats.
* Cute, comfy slips:  For her, for him, for kids.
* And Crocs are making a comeback with all the t(w)eens.
* Plus, Jibbitz to go with them, of course.
* The best PJ’s for kids (on super sale).
* A plush robe: For her, for him, for kids.
* Cashmere that’s nice and reasonably priced. (Splurge option.)
* Cookbooks…I have this one and want to get this new one.
* Other great gift books: This new this collection of poetry, an icon’s memoir, this beautiful book by one of the best writers, a funny read, this fun one I’m getting for Sasha, and this one I’m getting for Owen (that Sash will dig, too).
* Subscriptions keep the gifts coming: MasterClass, Washingtonian Magazine, National Geographic, The New YorkerBon Appetit, New York Times (just the Cooking and Games sections are great, too)
* Random fun stuff: A kids ukelele, a dreamy coloring project, an awesome mug (and more good ones), a family board game.
* Find more gift ideas for little kids here.



Glenstone Museum is a true, free treat!

Of course, not all gifts have to come with a hefty price tag. There are so many magical yet still inexpensive experiences to be had in the DC area, some without even spending a dime. You can creatively package them up — perhaps a big, fun card with a photo — and promise a visit. Some suggestions:

* A day at the recently reopened Air & Space Museum.
* A trip to the National Zoo.
* A unique indoor/outdoor art adventure for ages 12 and up at Glenstone.
* A fossil hunting adventure at the Purse Area in Nanjemoy, MD.
* A visit to the Wizard of Oz playground, Old Maryland Farm, and Nature Center at Watkins Regional Park
* A bike ride on the Anacostia River Trail or another great area route.
* A polka-dotted experience at Yayoi Kusama’s One with Enternity at the Hirshhorn.
* A visit to Planet Word, the fantastic, language-focused museum downtown.
* A geocaching excursion on an area hike.
* A family game of disc golf at a local course.
* A photo walk at Dumbarton Oaks in winter (when admission is free).
* A day of play at Beauvoir Playground.
* Find inspo for even more here and here!

* Perhaps the best gift of all is quality time with the people in our lives, so be sure to take advantage of it during the season. The 2022 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC is full of ideas for doing just that. Happy Holidays!

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Little Kid Gifts for Parents Who Don’t Want More Stuff

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them herehereherehere, here, and last year’s stocking stuffer ideas here.]


If anything is a reminder that less is more for kids this holiday season, it’s the 25 plastic spider rings my family acquired during spooky season. Enter this gift guide — created for anyone who adores kid gift-giving but also gets overwhelmed by the excessive kid “stuff” in their home.  These picks, recommended for preschool to early elementary ages, will be used over and over, will minimize clutter, and will delight kids and even the most minimalist parents. Don’t forget to share with Grandma and Grandpa!


Never-Ending Stories
The “no such thing as too many books” attitude is great until you hit at-home library status. I’ve reduced our collection to favorites and ones that my kids will keep going back to — and maybe learn something new each time they read them. (Paired with a good public library!) Here are a few good reads that make the cut.

See Inside How Things Work

My First Encyclopedia

What Should Danny Do? (also: School Day & Vacation)

Fairy Tales: A Timeless Collection of Favorite Fairy Tales

Paw Patrol Little Golden Book Collection


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Game Time
If you’ve put together Don’t Break the Ice for the 100th time, or have experienced the unnecessary complication of Mouse Trap and its 25 adjoining pieces, these game picks are for you. Easy set-up, simple concept, not a million little pieces, discreetly educational, and FUN.


Guess Who? (new easy-to-load frame!)

Disney Eye Found It!

Tenzi (ok, it’s a lot of dice – but only dice!)

Castle Logix


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Artistic Pursuits
Fostering a love of art knows no bounds. Some may not want “artwork” consuming their fridge, but parents will always enable the process. Here are reusable, long-lasting, well-contained, and lovable items for all pursuits, scribbling included.

Unicorn Doodle Board

Tabletop White Board/Chalkboard

Crayola Inspiration Art Case

Arts & Crafts Library

Kids Digital Camera


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Play Set Extensions
Is there one play set that rises to the top in your home? In our house, a Paw Patrol tower has decorated our living room for almost a year now while everything else went out of style. Magnetic tiles also have a permanent seat by the coffee table. Extend what works!

2022 Paw Patrol Vehicle (and the latest and greatest tower)

Magna-Tiles Stardust Set

LEGO Classic Bricks Set

Wooden Train Set Add-Ons: Crane & Bridge

18-Inch Doll Disney Clothes (for these dolls or the splurge ones)


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Practical Magic
These are those items that will just make everyone’s day better. Practical and pleasing — which equals magical. These gifts will get your kids to beg for bath time, brush their own teeth, and willingly put on a jacket — no negotiation tactics needed.

Animal Electric Toothbrush Set

Bath Bombs With Surprise Toys

Animal Shaped Bath Soap Bars

Hulk Sherpa Zip-Up Hoodie

Unicorn Sherpa Zip-Up Hoodie


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Organizational Fun
Getting a kid something organizational may seem like the most boring gift ever, but think outside the box for a moment. These ideas will provide surprising joy in your home. One of them was my daughter’s #1 gift request last year.

LEGO/DUPLO Storage Basket & Play Mat

Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair

Barbie Store It All

Hot Wheels Mega Hauler

Kids Desk Supply Organizer

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Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Preschoolers, Shop, Toddlers

KFDC Picks for the Prime Early Access Sale


Did you know Amazon is having a Prime Early Access Sale?  If you’re a Prime Member, you can score some really great deals on all kinds of products, just like their Prime Day sale, but this one takes place October 11-12 as a really big head start on Black Friday.  While it seems kind of crazy to even think about holiday shopping when we haven’t even gone trick-or-treating yet, it’s hard to pass up good deals.  And, hey, this could be the chance to finally be that person you (read: I) aspire to be, who is organized about holiday shopping and starts early so there’s no last minute scramble.  Or you could just get some things you need (or didn’t know you needed until you saw them on sale) at good prices. 🙂

Anyway, no matter how you want to approach the PEA Sale, it can be overwhelming to browse through everything.  So, I’m making some suggestions for items that seem purchase-worthy.  They might seem random, but they include things that we have and love (some version of, anyway), are practical buys for right now, or just look like they’d be fun and/or make great gifts.  Hope you think so, too. Happy Sale Shopping!



Kids Against Maturity
We haven’t played this game, but it gets awesome reviews and sounds like so much fun.  One said it “has age appropriate toilet humor for ages 8+, and funny innuendos for the older crowd.”  And the Amazon description reads: “One thing is for sure; just like other tabletop board games, it’ll get your kids away from their phones, tablets, Fortnite, and other electronic devices for at least 30-90 min.”  Sounds like a winner to me! For ages 8+.



Throw Throw Avocado
I just read about this game (though I can’t remember where), and it sounds like a good one for the whole family. Plus, the idea of squishy avocados being tossed around is a hoot! For ages 7+.



Magna Tiles
My kids loved Magna-Tiles when they were little — the magnetic squares would keep them busy building structures and making geometric designs for good stretches of time. These Eric Carle sets add a sweet story theme to them, too. For ages 3+.


Pogo Stick
So fun! I just came across this as I was browsing and immediately thought it would be a good one to include. This one is for kids ages 5-9, but apparently there are adult versions, too.

*Want to see more toys and games?  There are so many  included in this sale!




Hanna Andersson Pajamas
You can’t go wrong with these 100% organic PJ sets for kids — they are soft and comfy and come in lots of cute prints and patterns.  And you can’t beat the prices that are way less than what’s currently on the HA website. (PS:  They aren’t in the sale, but the long sleeve and pants version are a good deal on Amazon, too!)



Kids’ Waterproof Winter Jacket
It’s a good time to gear up for winter. This winter/ski jacket is waterproof and a lot less expensive than anything comparable you’ll find for kids at REI. Comes in lots of colors, too. For boys, check out this one.



Ski Goggles 
And speaking of winter, if you or anyone in your life is planning on skiing this winter, grab some new goggles. They’re the ski item that’s most likely to get lost, great to give as a gift, and this pair is just $20!


Wall Mounted Bike Rack
When you live in the city and don’t have a garage, storage solutions like this bike rack are key! We have a similar rack, and it’s been perfect for keeping all of our bikes organized and out of the way. So many people ask us about it when they see it, and we always highly recommend it as a good buy.



Wireless Headphones
I highlighted wireless headphone in this post with Prime Day recs over the summer, and they seemed to be quite popular, so I’m including them again.  They really make a huge difference for  working out and listening to music, walking the dog with a podcast playing in my ears, and just talking on the phone and being able to do things around the house.  There are so many included in this sale, but these are under $20, the Apple Airpods are heavily discounted, and if you want to splurge on a gift (or for yourself), these Beats are a great deal.


Insulated Mugs 
We have insulated mugs similar to these and use them all the time — for coffee on early walks and soccer games or wine on evening strolls. They make great host (or any occasion) gifts, too.



Crockpot Electric Lunch Box
I wish there was a way my kids could bring this to school for lunch. It might not work for them, but the portable crockpot would be great for bringing lunch to work.  And it’s a perfect gift size and comes in a bunch of great colors.


At least three people have told me in the last few months how happy they are with their Roomba. One friend even joked that it’s like a new member of their family, they love it so much. This Prime deal may just be what gets me to pull the trigger on it.


Stainless Steel Toaster
This might seem like a random rec, but we received a new toaster as a gift for the holidays last year, and I have to say it was one of the best presents we got. Not only do we use it almost every single day, we really like the way it looks, too. Ours is this one, which is not in the sale, but I love the clean, minimal look of this stainless steel toaster, too (and it’s cheaper). Here’s another cute one.


Carry-On Luggage
After experiencing a luggage delay (and worry that it would be lost forever) coming back from our vacation this summer, carry-on is now going to be the way to go as much as possible. This set with both a rolling suitcase and tote bag seems to fit the bill and has a lot of good reviews. Love the selection of colors, too! And if this type or style isn’t for you, there are many more luggage options in the sale.


Halloween Wear
If you’re still looking for Halloween costumes, you can find some in this sale. The link above will lead you to a general page with everything from cute animal costumes for little ones to simple superhero capes and masks to princess gowns to costumes for adults to creepy get-ups.



Koolaburra by Uggs
These cozy shoes are a less expensive Uggs option, and there are a bunch of styles in the PEA sale — for kids and adults. I first mentioned them in this post about items for a cozy Covid winter. As mentioned, Sasha had a pair of Koolaburras, and we couldn’t tell the difference from the full-on Uggs. Follow the link to see all the styles in the sale!


Long Winter Puffer
After standing outside in the cold for many days last winter watching my kids play soccer, I swore that I would get a long puffer for this year. Surely, some of you are in the same boat. Well, now might be the time…most of the known brands are so expensive, but this one is just a bit over $100! Comes in several colors, and of course, it can be worn beyond the soccer pitch, too.


Workout Tights with Pockets
I love workout tights with pockets as many others do, too. And while I haven’t yet worn these myself, they get good reviews, and at less than $15, they’re definitely worth a try!


Have you spotted any super good deals?  Share with us in the comments, if so!

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Shop

KFDC Recs for Amazon Prime Day Items to Snag


I don’t know about the rest of you, but Amazon Prime Day took up a chunk of my time today — there’s just so much to sift through and so many good deals.  And there’s another day of it tomorrow (shouldn’t they call it Amazon Prime DAYS?).   I’ve put together a mix of some here that I think are worth checking out.  They might seem like random picks, but many of these items have been mentioned on the blog before or are related to activities that have been covered.  And others we have and like, so I wanted to share.  Hope some you will find them useful.  And, remember, Prime Day goes through July 13.  Happy Shopping!


Roller Skates
Roller skating has been making a comeback for a couple of years, but it seems to be gaining in popularity even more lately with roller skating pop-ups up and summer rinks opening. So, get the kids a pair of skates while they’re on sale (and maybe treat yourself as well and relive those awesome 80s skating days). FYI –  the Prime Day price comes up when you select the size. And PS: There’s a great skating pavilion at Anacostia Park in southeast DC!


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Portable Hammock
Not all outings have to involve lots of physical activity. Sometimes it’s nice to just hang — literally. A portable hammock that you can strap to trees adds a little relaxation to camping trips, park visits, or even the backyard. They also come in large sizes for better snuggling. And here’s one especially for kids.


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Inflatable Lounger
Another lounging option. We just saw someone relaxing on one of these at our neighborhood park, and it looked fantastic. You could lay down solo or sit with a few. Even better was seeing how it inflates by swinging it through the air (to trap the air inside) — no pump needed!


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Portable Splash Pad
I recommended something like this awhile back, and now you can snatch it up for less. These mini splash pads will come in handy on those days you can’t make it to the bigger spraygrounds around town. And if the one above is sold out, try this one.


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Disc Golf Discs
We love playing disc golf, as I first talked about here (and have since recommended a ton on KFDC). Having a set of disc golf discs is never a bad thing. We actually keep them in the car in case we end up at a park that has a course to play.  Now is a good time to snag a set on sale!


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Rolling Cooler
For family picnics, camping trips, and other adventures, a rolling cooler is key. I mean, who wants to carry a giant cooler heavy with food and drinks and ice? This one is 25% off for Prime Day, has great reviews, and lots of convenient features.


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Mosquito Repellent
Thwarting mosquitos during DC summers is practically an activity in itself, especially if you’re trying to stay DEET-free. But this repellent really seems to work — we got one last summer and definitely noticed a decrease in attacks on our ankles.


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If your little ones still need summer water shoes, or really just shoes to wear around, Crocs are part of Prime Day (and they seem to be back in style for bigger people, too).


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Summer Jumpsuit
I have and love this easy breezy jumpsuit. It’s really soft and light, and perfect for post beach or just wearing around all day. It can probably even be dressed up to wear out. I saw there is a shorter romper version and may just treat myself. (Note that the deal price appears when you select a size.)


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Fanny Pack
These are all the rage these days, and they’re really useful for some events that don’t allow large bags, like baseball games.  This one is a deal compared to this much sought after bag — and there are way more colors available.


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Echo Dot
These are great. Both of my kids have them in their rooms, and this small version of Alexa works as an alarm clock, music player, even encyclopedias — it quickly answers all their random questions. It’s $30 off right now in the black color, but all colors are a deal. And check out this cute one for little kids.


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Wireless Headphones
I was way late to the wireless headphone party having just started using them a few months ago, but they have been a Game Changer. I can now listen to a podcast while walking the dog without worrying about my earbud wire getting caught in the leash, and I can gesticulate wildly while talking on the phone without knocking them out of my ears. (And I realize many longtime wearers are rolling their eyes and thinking, “Duh!”… but surely there are others who haven’t yet converted to wireless). There are lots of Prime Day options, but this pair gets good reviews and is under $20, and these are a good splurge deal.



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


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Filed under 2022, Shop

Beach-Ready: Top Picks for the Best Beach Day

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones.  View more of them here, hereherehere, here. And this one about summertime must-haves is a must-see for the upcoming season. ]


It’s that time of year again when the post-Spring Break “are we ready for summer” mental checklist begins. For me, it was a recent day trip to a local beach that made me realize how underprepared I am. We had the basics for a four-hour stretch, but I know our upcoming weekend and week-long beach trips will require more strategic gear.

My almost five-year-old and three-year-old are at the playful ages where they can spend hours doing whatever the repetitive things are that little kids do at the beach. If you’re looking to build on that childhood joy, and mostly relax and “sittervise,” these picks for the best beach day are for you…


Are We There Yet?
There will inevitably be iPads, but you’ll want a few things in your back car seat pocket to delay screen time en route to the beach. Tablet drawing boards have been on my list since using them at a recent pediatric dentist visit, and a friend suggested these, which are more preschool age-appropriate. I am also stocking up on Magic Pattern coloring pads.



Organized Chaos
You’re gonna need a better bag. A wide mesh tote is a lifesaver for sandy beach toys, and these smaller mesh cross-body bags are perfect for your seashell collectors. I’m also a fan of insulated backpacks, and use this small one daily. This larger one with a cooler at the base may be better-suited for a long beach day.


Strategic Sunscreen
The hunt for the best thing to ease sunscreen resistance continues. This year, I’m testing out foaming lotion. This mineral foam sunscreen with “vanishing color” looks like a sure-fire hit. An option for both kids and parents is this one from rising brand Supergoop!. Don’t forget a sensitive, tear-free lotion just for the face.



The Big Dig
Let’s talk digging — because kids love to do that at the beach. My favorite shovels are the large wooden ones, but we have had bad luck with the spades breaking after just a few uses. These large ones with shorter handles look much more durable. For the smaller variety, these scoop shovels are way more efficient than your standard plastic shovel.




Water Play
If your kids simply dig a big hole and fill it with water, add spouted watering cans to your beach bag (one for each kid). On our recent beach day, my three-year-old stood in awe of another kids’ similar spouted pitcher. Another summer staple is water blasters, and the beach is a perfect, wider space to use them.




If your kid fills a big hole with water, you’re gonna want a water toy to go with it. Turn it into a mermaid lagoon with these dolls, a superhero cave with Marvel dive toys,  or play a game of Finding Dory. Vehicle lovers will enjoy a just-for-the-beach dump truck. And when your kids want you to play with them, ultra-lightweight frisbees are entertaining for everyone.





Cover Up
For the hottest beach days, a small tent may be essential for a shaded break. They can also be used for discreet outfit changes or portable potty breaks. If you’ve ever seen a three-year-old try to hold up a towel around them, you’ll appreciate poncho towels. And try these headbands if your child won’t keep a hat on, but you still want some scalp coverage.


What’s in your beach bag? Tell us in the comments!  


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