Category Archives: 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 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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Crocs
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Toys-R-Useful
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.

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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!  

 

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, Product, Shop, Summer

15 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Little Ones

[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 here, hereherehere, and here.]

 

There’s something about digging a little arm down a knitted stocking of unknown. As a kid, celebrating Christmas at my grandparents’ house, mine typically contained scratch off lottery tickets and pretzels — and I loved it. Which is to say, it’s not so much about what’s in the stocking, but the traditions you create.

However, if you’re trying to get more creative than salty treats and gambling games for your little ones, these stocking stuffer picks are for you. A mix of fun and whimsy with practical and developmental.  I hope these inspire new traditions of your own! (PS: Some of these may be the perfect little gift for under the tree, too.)

 

Pop Toy Key Chains
Trendy toy slash backpack adornment. Even if you’re iffy on pop toys, you can’t deny how adorable these ones are.

 

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Mini Building Blocks
These are perfect for the kid that loves to put things together and take them apart, over and over again.

 

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Mini Puzzle Tins
My daughter has a long-standing love of these. They are great for travel, and small storage spaces too.

 

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Clay Snowman Kit
Do you want to build a snowman? You can share this pack with the whole family, or save a few for friends.

 

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Wiki Stix
Family-friendly restaurants often distribute these. Kids and adults alike enjoy the simplistic creating that ensues.

 

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Mini Makeup Palette
My four-year-old requested makeup from Santa 🤦🏻‍♀️. This simple set is innocent enough!

 

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Bath Bombs
Natural ingredients, cutest hidden treasures. I also appreciate how this brand, Two Sisters, was created in the USA by a group of moms.

 

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Playing Cards
Go Fish is the best foray into family gaming. This holiday-themed version is sure to be a winner.

 

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Mini Flashlights
The perfect fort and nighttime walk accessory. This 4-pack may give you a few for the grown-up stockings too.

 

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Farting Snowman
Chances are you have a child who will appreciate this. There is a nice rabbit hole of similar items to browse through as well.

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Mini Figurines
Find a set of your kids’ favorite TV characters, then divide. This 2-pack is perfect for a pair of Bluey fans.

 

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Toothbrushes
The ultimate practical pick. The inadvertent festive colors and suction stands make these a little extra special.

 

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Holiday Note Cards
The cutest cards kids can use to make and send thank you notes for relatives and friends. Santa and your Elf may get one too.

 

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Silly Scents Markers
Refresh your marker supply with this fun set — especially if your child needs some drawing and coloring encouragement.

 

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Pop Ups Lollipops
For kids who like to have their lollipop, and show it off too. These also teach kids that they can always save things for later.

 

What are your favorite stocking stuffers? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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

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Filed under 2021, Christmas, Holidays, Product, Shop

The 2021 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide

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

 

If you’ve been reading KFDC awhile, this gift guide — including this very intro — may look familiar.  And that’s intentional. In its seventh year, the general suggestions haven’t changed very much (nor has the above photo that I adore). While the specifics have been updated, the overall concepts have remained consistent over the years. That’s because 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 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!

 

HOT TICKETS

Entertain the gift idea of tickets to a stellar show

 

There’s so much great live entertainment, both currently running and 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 (I’ve noted some, but more deals may come up). Here are recommendations for shows coming up soon and even a few running during the holiday season.

* Make Way for Ducklings at Adventure Theatre
* Poop! The Musical at Adventure Theatre
* Corduroy at Imagination Stage
* P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical at Imagination Stage
* Once Upon a One More Time by Shakespreare Theatre Company (find discount)
* Our Town by Shakespreare Theatre Company
* The Merchant of Venice by Shakespreare Theatre Company
* Tootsie at National Theatre (find discount)
* Pretty Woman: The Musical at National Theatre (find discount)
* The Simon & Garfunkel Story at National Theatre
* RENT – The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour at National Theatre
* Come From Away at National Theatre
* John Oliver at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* The Prom at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Jesus Christ Superstar at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Mean Girls at the Kennedy Center
* Catch Me If You Can at Arena Stage (find discount)
* The 9:30 Club is legendary and welcomes all ages to most shows
* The Anthem has a great line-up of concerts
* For holiday season shows, look here
* You can also give a gift certificate to one of the venues mentioned above

 

EXCELLENT ADVENTURES

The gift of adventure

From action-packed activities to more mellow pursuits, there’s a perfect adventure for everyone.  And there are many around the DC area that would be ideal as holiday presents. A gift card for one could be a small stocking stuffer with a big, happy impact.

* 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. They are having a Holiday Sale on November 19.  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.
* iFLY Loudoun offers a one-of-a-kind 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!)
* Plan for a paddling excursion when it’s back in season — 2022 passes are available for many locales.
* 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.
* Exhibits at ARTECHOUSE are unique, immersive, and fun to experience. See the latest one here.
* There are many awesome attractions in Baltimore that would be great to gift.
* The Calvert Marine Museum is an interesting non-DC museum to check out.
* A sightseeing boat tour is a cool way to get a new view of DC — and have some fun on the water.
* Many holiday light displays continue into January.

 

MEMBERS ONLY

Become an insider at the National Children’s Museum

Membership really does have its benefits!  You can 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:

* 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.
*  The Lane Social Club for families in Ivy City offers unlimited visits, 10% off cafe purchases, and access to members-only events.  (Starts at $95/month)
* 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
* 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 for $90/year for families).
* For adults who enjoy performing arts, the Kennedy Center gets them ticket priority, special event invites, and discounts on parking, dining, and the gift shop. (Starts at $75/year)

 

KEEP IT CLASSY

Dance your way into their hearts by gifting lessons they’ll love

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

* Kids can kick it with DC Way‘s soccer offerings.
* Chess, anyone? Check(mate) Silver Knights Enrichment.
Give the gift of music with lessons from the International School of Music.
* Explore the magic of opera with Opera Lafayette.
* All ages can twirl and groove with CityDance.
* Young Playwrights Theater offers playwrighting programs
* For kids who like to be on stage: Young Artists of America.
* Boolean Girl has cool STEAM classes and more.

 

FAN FAVORITES

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 Football Team
* University of Maryland Terrapins
* Georgetown Hoyas
* George Washington University Colonials
* Howard Bison
* American University Eagles
* George Mason Patriots
* Catholic University Cardinals

 

ENTER THROUGH THE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP

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 Building Museum
* Planet Word
* Phillips Collection
* National Museum of Women in the Arts
* Library of Congress

 

INDIE PICKS

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.

* 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.
* Book it to one of these local, independent shops to find good reads for your giftees: Kramerbooks in Dupont Circl, East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill,  Solid State Books  on H Street NE, 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.
* Check the above shops for Secret Washington DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by JoAnn Hill — it’s a fantastic book, filled with intriguing stories and interesting facts about DC.
* Local organization Rosie Riveters has books, notecards, and STEM kits for girls.
* Food for thought: A gift certificate to a local restaurant.
* Steadfast Supply is a great store to shop for maker-made and DC-inspired gifts.
* Not an actual store, but started locally, Artifcts is a unique online service that helps people for organize, preserve, and share special memories. A subscription would make a wonderful gift.

 

PICTURE PERFECT PRESENTS

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.

 

DESIGN TIME

Give design guidance from a guru

If there’s someone in your life who wants a 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. She actually did a tear-down/rebuild of her own house, and you can take a virtual tour of it here.

 

CREATURE COMFORTS

The best fire pit, cozy blankets, and more gifts of comfort (a puppy would be cool, too!)

These ideas are a divergence from the rest, as they are inspired by last year’s guide when Covid prompted a pivot from my usual gifting theme. But while not necessarily DC-centric, many of these will help enjoy area adventures — and a few others will help enhance time at home.

* These bike lights are always a hit!
* The Solo Stove was one of our very best purchases last year for fire pit hangs that became more popular during the Covid winter — and are still a fun activity on the home front.
*portable projector makes movie nights cool for kids (and adults).  They can be outdoors… or anywhere, for that matter.
* Cozy blankets are perfect for outdoor hangs…and snuggling up indoors, too.  (Fun ones for kids.)
* Those who love to hike will dig a good backpack.
For someone who loves on-the-water adventures, how about an SUP?
* Lawn games let you bring outdoor amusement anywhere (link has recs for all ages)
* 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: Snow bibs, boots, jackets, hats.
* Comfy kicks:  For her, for him, for kids.
* A plush robe: For her, for him, for kids.
* A few things inspired by the year’s best TV show:  Thisthis, and this.
* 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)
* Find more gift ideas for little kids here, hereherehere, and here.

GIVE FREELY

Free experiences (and gifts) abound

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 tour of the newest exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History.
* A bike ride on the National Mall — see the memorials and visit museums.
* For ages 12 and up, Glenstone offers an incredible, unique art experience.
* A fossil hunting adventure.
* A DYI scavenger hunt on an area hike.
* A geocaching excursion.
* A visit to Planet Word, the super cool museum downtown.
* A photo walk at Dumbarton Oaks in winter (when admission is free).
* A nature walk at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
* A day of play at Beauvoir Playground.
* The Fairy Lolly and art experiences at Annmarie Sculpture Garden.
A trip to Watkins Regional Park Wizard of Oz playground, Old Maryland Farm, and Nature Center.
* A family game of disc golf at a local course.
* Find inspo for even more!

*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 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC is full of ideas for doing just that. Happy Holidays!

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Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Professional Service, Seasonal, Shop, Virginia

At-Home Toys Inspired by The Little Towns Children’s Museum

[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 here, herehere, and here.]

 

If you’re not ready to venture back into the DC area’s indoor play spaces, this post will bring one of my family’s favorite places to you. The Little Towns Children’s Museum opened during the pandemic and was somewhat of a secret until recently, with play sessions now filling up. The play space, designed for kids ages 6 months to 8 years, is modeled after a real town — and actual local businesses — with every storefront a child could imagine

Little Towns is more modern and impeccably detailed than some of the other mini town play places you may have been to. And the space is large yet contained, making it conducive to lots of independent play. You can follow your children around, or enjoy a moment of solitude in the café space. Along with limited capacity, Covid protocols include temperature checks, mask requirements, and sanitation between play sessions.

However, if you are keeping your activities to outdoor-only, I’ve highlighted our favorite features of the space below, along with at-home items they’ve inspired. Whether you’re ready to start your holiday shopping extra early, or just need more independent play — like asap — this list is for you.

 

The bakery, modeled after Georgetown Cupcake, is always the first place my kids go, and the one place they return to again before leaving.

At-Home: This Cupcake Party Game has been a long-standing hit in our home. My kids don’t actually play the game, they just put together the cupcakes—over and over and over again.

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After the bakery, my daughter always heads to the fire station to put on one of the complete firefighter ensembles.

At-Home: Dress-up has been an activity with the longest shelf life (pun intended) in my house. Mix up the princess dresses with dress up sets like this.

 

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The beauty salon is modeled after Drybar, and you’ll find little ones “styling” hair there with brushes, clips, and rollers for a surprisingly long amount of time.

At-Home: We paired this Elsa Styling Head with this Hair Salon Toy Kit to get lots of kid-initiated, independent play. The battery-operated, blowing hair dryer is a favorite.

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The kid-operated vehicles at Little Towns are my son’s favorite. He loops around and around the town until it’s time to let another patiently waiting kid have a turn.

At-Home: If you have a loop of open floor space in your home, I highly recommend an indoor-only vehicle. My best purchase of the year may be our plasma car, used for this purpose.

 

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The diner is the newest room at Little Towns and is so well done. Kids love to reverse roles here and serve their grown-ups—a nice change of pace, even if it is just pretend!

At-Home: Pretend food that kids can “cut” has been a winner for us, and is still one of our go-to quiet time activities. We have a fruit and veggie set; this set is fun too.

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A do-it-yourself grocery shopping experience is always a hit with little kids, and the grocery store at Little Towns is as real as the pretend ones get.

At-Home: Toy shopping carts have been a favorite of both of my kids at one point or another, more so than any other push toy. This pairs well with the pretend food mentioned above.

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The dance party room set-up for dancing and pretend DJing, takes the excitement up a notch—and is just so darn cool.

At-Home: We’ve had this kids microphone for several years and the magic of Bluetooth in a toy never gets old. This one with LED lights is great for older kids.

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Every kid must be the veterinarian at some point during their visit to Little Towns. They love to dress up and attend to one of the toy animals in the cages.

At-Home: Vet kits are maybe better for independent play than doctor kits, since grown-ups tend to be the patients for doctor check-ups. Stuffed animals can get endless check-ups!

 

What’s your child’s favorite pretend play activity? Share with us in the comments!

 

And if you’re up for out-of-the-house, in-person play…

The Little Towns Children’s Museum
Where: 4931 Wyaconda Road |North Bethesda, MD
When: Mon–Thurs, 9:30am–4:30pm; Fri–Sun, 9:30am – 7pm
Admission: $25/child for Open Play
*Reservations required (limited capacity); book in advance 

 

 

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Filed under Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Maryland, Preschoolers, Product, Shop, Toddlers