Category Archives: Special Event

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2022)


Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 17
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. And during this Covid time, outdoor volunteer clean-ups are a good option — here are some taking place around the area:
Roaches Run River Cleanup | Arlington, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Jones Point Park Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 2pm
Four Mile Run Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Turkey Run Cleanup | McLean, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Mount Vernon Trail | Alexandria, VA | January 17, 10am – 12pm
Stream & Park Cleanups | MoCo, MD | January 15-22 (several opportunities)
Clean Waterways Cleanup | Southeast DC | January 17, 10am – 1pm
Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC | January 15-17 (several opportunities)

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 17, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

Tickets to the National Museum of African American History & Culture can be some of toughest to get in DC. But this weekend, the museum, which is usually closed on Mondays, will be open an extra day in honor of MLK Day. Currently, there are lots of tickets available for many time slots, but they’ll likely go quickly. Reserve them here.

FUTURES We Dream Family Day
Where: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: January 16, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The recently opened Arts & Industries Building is hosting an in-person, Covid-safe event to honor MLK.  Celebrate the spirit of his dream with a day full of hope, justice seeking, and collaboration. Learn about the Smithsonian’s 175 years of changemaking and reckoning with its history on the SI Story wall. Join family-friendly guided tours exploring social justice and more equitable futures (10:30am and 2pm). Take inspiration from Dr. King’s speeches and many other future thinkers to craft your inspirational messages for the future you dream in drop-in workshops (11am and 1pm). Pop in for hands-on activities for the youngest future makers throughout the day. Get a glimpse of the museum’s fascinating FUTURES exhibit here.

Peace Walk
Where: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge | Southeast DC
When: January 17, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Day Peace Walk is on this year and taking place at the recently opened beautiful Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that spans from Anacostia to the Navy Yard. Notable DC peops are always in attendance — who will it be this year? Register to join the event, and note that the annual parade is NOT taking place due to Covid.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 15-17, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reservations required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Join visiting artist, Sarah Matthews, for a project is inspired by Dr. King’s quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Learn how to create your own stamps to design and print uplifting posters to hang in your community. Make two posters, one to leave here and one to hang in your favorite gathering spot. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 17
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

All Ages Virtual Art Class: I Have a Dream
Where: Art Jamz Online
When: January 16
Admission: $12.50

The whole family can join Art Jamz online for this live painting class.  In honor of MLK Day, they are donating 50% of all proceeds directly to Martha’s Table.  During the Live Virtual Paint Session, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of a talented local artist. Need art materials? Purchase an ArtJamz® At-Home Paint Kit — they’ll even throw in a novelty artist mustache.



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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Winter

Spring Things to Get Excited About Around the DC Area (Beyond the Cherry Blosssoms)


Spring used to be a time when there were so many awesome events and activities around the area, it was sometimes hard to choose which to do.  While Covid has changed that this year, there still are plenty of exciting happenings — museum re-openings, sports seasons beginning, special exhibitions, flower blooms (beyond the cherry blossoms, which have passed the peak), berry picking, and more. Here are some things to get excited about this season, some mentioned already, some of them new, but now all in one place to help your planning. Happy Spring!


Interact with language at Planet Word

Planet Word
Where: | Downtown DC
When: Started April 1, Thursday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The museum dedicated to language opened briefly last fall before closing due to rising Covid rates, and they started welcoming visitors again on April 1. Three levels full of interactive and immersive exhibits engage, educate, entertain, and delight. Older kids, tweens and up (and that includes the kid in us adults), will get the most out of it, but elementary ages definitely could enjoy it, too. Free, timed-entry passes are available and must be reserved in advance through the website.


New signage at the ballpark

Baseball is Back
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Started April 6
Admission: Varies

The Nats season got off to an interesting start with the first series against the Mets  postponed for Covid-related reasons. Such is the times.  But it has now officially begun (with a walk-off from Soto!), and a limited number of fans, all Nats Plus ticket holders, will be welcome back to the ballpark for games. Most of us, though, will be watching the televised version, but we can do that out of the house at restaurants and bars around DC that have outdoor seating. Eater DC has a list of places for it, several of them family-friendly. Of course, rooting for our home team from home is fun, too.  Host a backyard viewing party — this post may be about a winter set up, but a bunch of the tips are spring-worthy, too.  Update!  The Nats are now offering single game tickets to the general public, including for every game throughout the upcoming homestand April 15-18 vs Arizona and April 19-21 vs. St. Louis. Tickets start at just $14 and will be sold in socially distanced pods of 1 to 6 tickets.


Enjoy the season in the trees

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Ongoing, opened in March
Admission: Starts at $45/adult, $16/child

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring has reopened for the season, offering its thrilling aerial forest experience again. Navigating ropes courses up in the trees is a super fun and challenging way to spend a day.  There are 15 trails of varying levels of difficulty, all of them with ziplines, and almost 200 challenge bridges — something for everyone! Extra safety measures are in place for Covid, including required advance reservations, so be sure to book ahead.  Read about one of our past experiences at the Adventure Park.  (There have been many more since then!)


Take a soundwalk around the Wolf Trap grounds

Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: April 6 – September 6
Admission: Free

This free, public “sound-art” at Wolf Trap sounds like a unique way to enjoy springtime (and summer) outdoors. The GPS-enabled work created by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid, uses music to illuminate the natural environment. SOUNDWALK has been tailor-made for Wolf Trap and created to encourage calm, reflection, and introspection. It can be experienced while following social distancing guidelines. (PS: Did you know the performing arts venue is also a National Park?)


Marvel at the Great Hall again

National Building Museum Reopens
Where: 401 F Street NW | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Starting April 9, Friday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $10/adult, $7/child (free for members)

After a veerrry long wait, the National Building Museum is reopening! (Remember, it was closed for renovations pre-Covid?) The museum’s exhibits and shop will be open weekends, and of course you can roam the magnificent Great Hall, one of the most stunning spaces in DC, again. Popular, ongoing exhibitions House & Home and Animals, Collected are back, plus a couple of  important and timely exhibitions, Gun Violence Memorial Project and Justice is Beauty: The Work of MASS Design Group will be on view.


A beautiful installation at a past Georgetown Glow

Glow With It
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Starting April 9, on view daily
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new, cool light — literally! Georgetown Glow, the annual exhibition that usually takes place during the holiday season, was rescheduled for this spring. See the neighborhood sparkle with modern light art installations throughout the bustling community. Works will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces. You can take the fam to dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Artworks will be viewable by day, but obviously much brighter at night! Special talks and walks will be available, too. Get a glimpse of a past Glow here.


Bluebells at Riverbend, the best local place to enjoy the periwinkle blooms

Bloom Town
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

The cherry blossoms aren’t the only flowers in town! There are more big blooms to enjoy around the DC area, and they’re literally coming up soon. Bluebells, azaleas, tulips, and roses are what you can stop, smell, see, and relish in the loveliness of during spring. This post has details and when and where to catch them at their best.


A fairy house find in the Annmarie woods

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: April 9 – September 6
Admission: $5 suggested donation

The annual magicalicious exhibit of fairy and gnome houses begins in spring. As if the sculpture garden in Calvert County wasn’t already wonderful, this annual display adds extra delight to a visit there with its display of handmade fairy and gnome homes scattered throughout the grounds. (The annual festival to celebrate them is still happening, but now you must reserve tickets in advance online.)  This is a place kids of all ages — and even the kid in us adults — will love. There are even more creative works and activities in the Arts Building if you’re comfortable going inside. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post and this one.


The Pop-Up Wine Garden at The REACH is returning

Victura Park Opens
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Starting April 9, Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free

The family-friendly outdoor pop-up and wine garden at The REACH, the Kennedy Center expansion, is reopening. Food and drinks are available to enjoy in an area set up with picnic tables. We visited several times in the fall, and it’s always a fun, lively vibe.  Be sure to explore the beautiful grounds, stop in The REACH Buildings (if open), stroll the Kennedy Center terrace, and take in sweeping views of the Potomac. Hours are Fridays 4-9pm, and Saturday and Sundays 12-9pm.  Get a glimpse of it in my highlights on IG, and getting there by bike is a perfect way to go to avoid parking.  But if you drive, you can park in the KC garage (though pricey) or try to find street parking nearby.


All aboard for a mini train ride!

Go for a Train or Carousel Spin
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Regional Parks, MD
When: Starting April 9
Admission: $2.50

All aboard! Montgomery Park’s Cabin John Train and Wheaton Train and Carousel are opening for the season. Go for a spin around the parks on replicas of the 1863 C.P. Huntington, a 4-2-4T steam locomotive. Or enjoy a whirl on the beautiful Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel featuring 33 jumping horses, three zebras, and two chariots! Read more about Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda here and Wheaton Regional Park here.


A paddle excursion on the Potomac

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DC area
When: Varies by place
Admission: Varies by place

With warmer weather comes opportunities to enjoy time on the water, and you can rent kayaks, canoes, and other vessels to paddle at a bunch of places around the area. Boating in DC now runs many of the boathouses in the District and nearby. The Wharf location is open, and Key Bridge, Fletcher’s, and Thompson are opening very soon, National Harbor later. A few places within the NoVA Parks system are also offering boat rentals now. And if you don’t want to do the work of paddling (though I highly recommend it!), enjoy a Water Taxi ride — there are several  options for places to catch it! See this post for a round-up of places to go with the flow, and read more about a couple of our paddling adventures around the area here and here.


The Tudor Place gardens and historic house are reopening

Tudor Place Reopens
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Starting April 10, Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes

The Historic House & Garden in the heart of Georgetown will once again welcome guests on weekends. A model of Federal-period architecture in the nation’s capital, Tudor Place shares the stories of multiple generations of Martha Washington’s descendants and the enslaved workers and servants who lived and worked here. With over 18,000 objects, including the largest Washington Collection outside of Mount Vernon, Tudor Place sits on over five acres. Admission is free with a ticket, and note that one ticket offers three options: 1) Self-guided tour of the Historic House 2) Garden visit or 3) both.


Take an artsy, socially distanced stroll around Adams Morgan

AdMo Art Walk
Where: Around Adams Morgan, DC
When: April 12 – May 14
Admission: Free

You’ll be able to think of Adams Morgan as your own personal art gallery, thanks to this free, new way to experience art brought to you by the Adams Morgan Partnership BID, the DC Arts Center, local artists, and neighborhood businesses! Walk the streets of Adams Morgan and admire an impressive selection of artworks displayed in various storefronts in a self-guided tour starting April 12. While many events are currently paused, this allows everyone to explore on their own and experience the diverse and cultural arts scene throughout Adams Morgan.


DC United will welcome fans back to Audi Field!

Vamos United
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Starting April 16
Admission: Varies

The MLS season kicks off mid-April, and DC United will play its first match on April 17. Fans still won’t Fan will be welcome be back at Audi Field with new social distancing measures in place for Covid. And like baseball, you can also plan to watch games at different places around the area. Many of the restaurants and bars that show the Nats will also have screens dedicated to soccer.  And if you aren’t up for watching elsewhere, gear up to sport your United spirit at home!


Strawberry picking is a seasonal fave

Take Your Pick
Where: Farms around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

The pick-your-own season begins in late April/early May when strawberries are ripe and ready for harvest.  Several area farms welcome guests to come pick them, and some offer even more fun. This round-up of PYO places around the area has more details.  And it’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.


Hang out and enjoy spring at The Yards

Opt Outside
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

This one is very general and also pretty obvious, but take advantage of the outdoors! Spring is sublime in DC, plus many outside pursuits are great for social distancing. Get back to those places you missed all winter and, of course, discover some new ones. This huge round-up of places to hang outdoors will help with that.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Special Event, Spring, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: March 26-28

Grand marshals of the Petal Porch Parade!


Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts for ongoing recreation:
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Best Outdoor Spots
* Peaceful Places
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides

Egg Hunt & Marshmallow Picking
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, $5/egg hunt

Head to the farm for good ol’ fashioned egg hunts and the first “crop” of the spring — Marshmallow Picking! (Do marshmallow peeps really grow on trees?) Your children will be amazed to harvest a few marshmallows to roast on the bonfire. The Easter Bunny also hid some eggs filled with treats to enchant the children, and Great Country needs help finding them. There will be multiple egg hunts with timed ticket entrance ($5 extra). Plan to see the spring chicks and baby animals, take a wagon ride, and enjoy the sprawling play area, too!

Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

The flowers aren’t quite yet peaking, but events and activities to celebrate DC’s iconic bloom begin are happening.  Seek out blossom-inspired art, join virtual programs, enjoy dining and shopping specials just for the season, and more.  See the beginning of the bloom in at least one place, and bring the fun home with some related activities.

Petal Porch Parade
Where: At home & around the DC area
When: Through April 11
Admission: Free

Check out local porches decorated for cherry blossom season!  Since we can’t have a big parade this year,folks were encouraged to get creative and show their blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, and windows to spread joy and connect communities.  This map shows locations of all registered Petal Porches, so you can plan a walk or drive to see and share in the celebration of spring.  On the weekend of April 10-11, a Petal Procession will drive through select Petal Porch Parade neighborhoods in and around DC.

Art in Bloom
Where: Around the DC area
When: Through March 31
Admission: Free
This visual arts exhibition spanning all eight wards of DC, plus a few areas in Maryland and Virginia, radiates the spirit of spring! Go on a Blossom Hunt to find 26 oversized cherry blossom statues painted by local artists and share on Instagram or Twitter with the #artinbloom tag. The NCB will randomly select winners of Festival prize packages.

Blossom Kite Fly
Where: Your backyard or local park
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The annual Kite Festival on the Mall — one of the best events of the NCBF (& anytime in DC, for that matter) —  is not happening this year. Instead, the Festival encourages all to take part in the kite-flying tradition on their own — but with the help of workshops and demos. Find more information about registering here.

Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through April 11
Admission: Varies

The Wharf is celebrating  spring and the blossoms with Bloomaroo, nearly of month of cherry blossom-themed art installations, food and drink specials and more festivities. Catch Anime Movies, including the newest Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Check out a special mural created by ARTECHOUSE, too. Restaurants at the waterfront destination will have cherry blossom-inspired menus, and keep an eye out for special samplings, beer dinners, and more. Ride the Wharf Jitney or hop on the Water Taxi for an up-close look at DC’s favorite landmarks — the cherry trees. For more about The Wharf, see this KFDC post.

Dino Safari
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Daily through April 11
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 people); $59.95/larger vehicle

Running now through April 11, Dino Safari, brings prehistoric times to pandemic times, offering a drive-thru, no-contact yet immersive experience. You may be familiar with these Jurassic Park-inspired attractions, which feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs. This one is unique in its “Passport to Pangea” theme, transporting you through all seven continents — which were formerly one supercontinent, Pangea, in dinosaur times. Read a full review here. Use code KIDDC5 to receive $5 off your ticket!

Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10

One of the more popular spring festivals in the area begins this weekend.  Butler’s has all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats for young guests. More fun includes hayrides down the Bunny Trail, egg hunts, the Rubber Ducky Derby, giant slides, jumping pads, and a small petting zoo.  Concessions are available, and there are also plenty of picnic tables if you prefer to pack a lunch.  See the website for safety measures in place for Covid.

Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $8/child

Join Potomac Overlook Regional Park any day from Saturday to April 4 to take part in this ongoing event. Pick up your egg hunt sheet at the nature center, explore the park for 8 different “wooden eggs,” then return to the nature center with your completed sheet for a prize!  No reservations required — just hop on over and experience a brand new kind of egg hunt in park that’s great for families to explore. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post. And find even more egg-cellent adventures around the area here.

NoVa Parking
Where: Various parks in Northern Virginia
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Not only are many of the locales within the NoVa Parks system great places to go for outdoor recreation, other activities within some of them are now available. Batting cages, mini golf, kayak and canoe rentals, and disc golf are some of them. And some are just beautiful to roam around.  Find things to do by activity, or check out individual parks and see what they have going on. A couple of specific recs:  Fountainhead, Pohick Bay, and Meadowlark.

Movie at the Drive-In
Where: Alexandria Drive-In Movie Theater | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $40/car

Catch a flick from the comfort of your car — an ideal way to enjoy some entertainment out of the house and social distance. Remember the Titans will be on the big outdoor screen this weekend. Food trucks will be there both nights offering savory and sweet concessions with online ordering through Goodfynd! Purchase movie tickets in advance!

Camp Anthem
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday through May

The Anthem is bringing back its pop-up restaurant with tables seating up to 6 on the District Pier, each covered by a cabana tent. Enjoy a breezy lunch or dinner by the river at the waterfront destination. Reservations are required, and there is a $150 minimum per table, $50 per 2-top. There is a two-hour max at each table to allow thorough cleaning in between time slots.

Women’s History Month Virtual Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Online
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Join the Portrait Gallery in a virtual celebration of women making history!Explore the online exhibition “Where There Is a Woman There Is Magic,” which highlights leaders in sports, arts, science and activism. It’s part of a day-long lineup featuring events and activities for participants of all ages, including workshops, speakers, art activities and more!

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring reopens for the season this weekend! The fun actually starts Saturday, but it’s already sold out, so reserve in advance for Sunday or a future date — reservations are now required due to Covid. Kids as young 5 can experience thrills on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do much more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

Pop-Up Street Theater
Where: Locales around Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Synetic Theatre will be clowning around with pop-up performances all around Arlington during the Festival. To work with these social distancing times, they are bringing back street theater as a pair of improv actors make appearances at the Art Wall in Virginia Highlands Park, the Crystal City Water Park, and the Long Bridge Park Esplanade.Follow @synetictheater on Instagram to see where they are and how long they’ll be there!

Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice spring day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Patapsco Valley State Park near Baltimore, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA.

Virtual Artful Conversations: Colored Pencil Techniques
Where: National Gallery of Art | Online
When: Sunday, 10am & 1pm
Admission: Free
Sharpen up your colored pencils and your drawing skills during Artful Conversations. Please join the session with colored pencils, two sheets of paper to draw on, and an eraser. Registration is required for this free program. An adult is required to attend the session alongside the child(ren).

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

On Sundays during cherry blossom seaosn,  National Harbor is hosting free cultural activities, including Japanese inspired art creations, culinary classes, in person and virtual, and much more.  See what else will be at the waterfront destination during the season.

* In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a brand new post about Where to Go & What to Do During Spring Break 2021
DC Way now offers weekly Skills Clinics, Strikers School, & Goalkeeping School
* Race for a cause with the 11th Annual Fairfax Run for the Children
* Don’t tell my mom, but this made me laugh. (Happy Passover to all celebrating!)
* More McSweeney’s because this nails it.
* Half-vaxed here and totally feeling this!


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

Review: Dino Safari at National Harbor

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom to two young children.]

Looking for a getaway without actually getting away? Consider an excursion over to DC’s National Harbor for a dinosaur safari overlooking the scenic marina. For us, it was just the escape we needed from the daily playground scene.

Dino Safari, running now through April 11, brings prehistoric times to pandemic times, offering a drive-thru, no-contact yet immersive experience for you and your little ones. You may be familiar with these Jurassic Park-inspired attractions, which feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Dino Safari is unique in its “Passport to Pangea” theme, transporting you through all seven continents — which were formerly one supercontinent, Pangea, in dinosaur times.

Upon arrival, you’ll be handed your passport, instructed to enable your in-car audio, and given an “egg” to keep warm for T. Rex. Then off you go on your self-guided journey, soon learning everything you never knew you didn’t know about dinosaurs. Each continent brings its own story and featured dinosaur types — from the Spinosaurus in Africa, to the Hadrosaur in Antarctica. The history lesson is detailed enough to impress a dinosaur buff, and the roars and tail whips are captivating enough for a two-year-old.

My preschool aged kids are not as into dinosaurs like some of their peers, but even they were engaged the entire time, heads out the windows and sun roof. They love recounting the outcome of their egg assignment, and my daughter is very proud of her new paleontologist knowledge.

Afterwards, they were roaring with excitement to head down to the waterfront where they spied The Capital Wheel and DCA airplanes flying from afar.

Dino Safari at National Harbor
Where: 29B Waterfront Street | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Now through April 11
Hours: Mon – Thurs, 12pm-8pm; Fri – Sun, 9am-9pm
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 occupants); $59.95/large vehicle (8+ occupants)
Purchase Tickets Here  


KFDC Tips:
* We arrived at 12:30pm on a weekday and with no wait, it took us about 30-45 minutes to complete the safari. However, the set-up may be more exciting to view at night.
* Dino Safari is recommended for all ages, and there is certainly much for all ages to learn, but it will have more appeal for elementary school age kids and younger.
* To add to the educational experience, watch this introductory video.
* Make the Harbor part of your visit, either before or after the safari. There are dozens of restaurants and shops, a waterfront full of seagulls and geese, and The Carousel is expected to open again this weekend, March 27. Read more about all of it here.



Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Social Distancing, Special Event, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Egg Hunts & More Easter-Inspired Fun Around DC & Online


Don’t put your eggs all in one basket when it comes to spring celebrations around the DC area!  Even though this round-up is smaller than it’s been in previous years, there still are plenty of options for Easter-themed fun around the area.  Here’s where you can find them, listed in order of start date.

Easter Treasure Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Now through April 5
Admission: $40

Don your favorite Easter bonnet and celebrate spring with a fun filled treasure hunt! Search for special Easter & spring-themed items found only at The Mansion. Explore the outrathemed rooms and search for secret doors, too. Hurry – this hunt hops away after Easter Sunday! PS:  BYO shopping bags, because everything is for sale. Read more about the Mansion on O Street, one of DC’s coolest places, in this KFDC post.

Egg Hunt & Marshmallow Picking
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: March 26 – April 3
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, $5/egg hunt

After a long cold winter, nothing chases away the chill like a visit to the farm. Your family won’t want to miss the first “crop” of the spring– Marshmallow Picking! Do marshmallow peeps really grow on trees? Your children will be amazed to harvest a few marshmallows to roast on the bonfire. The Easter Bunny also hid some eggs  filled with treats to enchant the children, and we need you to help us find them! There will be multiple egg hunts with timed ticket entrance ($5 extra).  Plan to see our spring chicks and baby animals, take a wagon ride, and enjoy the sprawling play area, too!

Easter Inspired Activities
Where: Parks in Fairfax County, VA
When: Various dates
Admission: Varies by activity

Fairfax Parks Authority is hosting all kins of Easter inspired fun at some of the parks within its system. From sessions about Egg-Cellent Farm Birds and Eggster Bunnies to a Dinosaur Egg Hunt to Rabbit Hole-in-Ones, there are several ways little ones can celebrate the holiday and enjoy nature all at once. See the schedule on the website.

Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: March 27-31 & April 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 11
Admission: $10

One of the more popular spring festivals in the area, Butler’s has all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats for young guests. Attractions include hayrides down the Bunny Trail, egg hunts, the Rubber Ducky Derby, giant slides, jumping pads, and a small petting zoo.  Concessions are available, and there are also plenty of picnic tables if you prefer to pack a lunch.  See the website for safety measures in place for Covid.

Pictures with the Easter Bunny
Where: Dulles Town Center | Dulles, VA
When: Now through April 3

Kids and their families will be able to enjoy a more normal Easter activity this year by taking in-person professional photos with the Easter Bunny from March 19th through April 3rd. Of course, COVID safety precautions will be observed, and for those who prefer a virtual experience, Dulles Town Center has several of those lined up too.

Great Eggspectations: The Online Easter Egg Hunt Game
Where: Watson Adventures | Online
When: March 27 & April 3-4
Admission: $19

Of course Watson Adventures has come up with a cool and unique hunt for the season! This online Easter egg hunt game takes you into some of the world’s greatest museums. There are eggs hidden everywhere, and your team’s task will be to follow a trail of clues to find those eggs and answer tricky questions about them. Hop to it — read more about it here and sign up soon! It’s available to the general public on Easter weekend, and groups can book a private game anytime.

Bunny Train Ride
Where: Walkersville Southern Railroad | Walkersville, MD
When: March 27-28 7 April 3-11
Admission: $18/adult, $17/senior, $14/age 1-12

All aboard for a trip back in time with the Easter Bunny! Travel over track that the Pennsylvania Railroad originally built in 1872. See Walkersville Southern’s turn-of-the- century railroad station and tool house, then visit with the Bunny on the train (who will also give each child an Easter gift!). Ride in vintage 1920s passenger cars or on an open flatcar as your rail excursion runs past a 100-year-old lime kiln, and then out into picturesque Maryland farm country. Enjoy juice and Uncle Ralph’s cookies in the museum after your ride. Reservations required!

Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: March 27 – April 4
Admission: $8/child

Spring is here, and the Easter Bunny has been hard at work making a new egg hunt for 2021!  Join Potomac Overlook Regional Park any day from March 27 to April 4, and anytime 11am – 4pm to take part in this ongoing event. Pick up your egg hunt sheet at the nature center, explore the park for 8 different “wooden eggs,” then return to the nature center with your completed sheet for a prize!  No reservations required — just hop on over and experience a brand new kind of egg hunt for you and your family! Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

Spring Fling Easter Eggstravaganza
Where: Roer’s Zoofari | Vienna, VA
When: March 27-28 & April 3-4
Admission: $25/adult, $20/child

Celebrate the arrival of spring at an Easter event that promises to be entertaining for all ages! Safari tours, face painting, a bounce house, environmentally friendly crafts, and hourly Easter egg hunts will be part of the fun. New this year is an Easter Parade withZookeepers walking through the Zoo with some of the animals once a day.

Hoppy Easter at The Station
Where: The Station at Riverdale Park, MD
When: Through April 3
Admission: Free
Hop over to The Station at Riverdale Park to send a postcard to the Easter Bunny! Guests can pre-register online to download and decorate their very own seasonal postcard at home for the Easter Bunny himself. The first 50 registered guests will receive a special gift bag from the Easter Bunny (full of springtime crafts & treats!) when they drop off their postcard at The Station between 10am-12pm on Saturday, April 3. Gift bags are best for ages 3-10.

Egg Hunt Weekend
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm | Clarksburg, MD
When: April 2-11
Admission: $7

Little ones (ages 1 to 3 and 4 to 6) will have a chance to hunt for eggs throughout the day at this Maryland Farm that looks like something out of a story book! After hunting, they get to turn the eggs in for a goodie bag. The petting farm, rides, and play areas will be open for all to enjoy, too, along with gem mining and geode cracking. Be sure to take a look at the website for a heads-up on how the egg hunts will run, so you can make the most of your day there. Read more about Clarks Elioak in the KFDC post about the best outdoor places in the area.

Cosmic Egg Portrait & Art Kit
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: April 3
Admission: Free photo, $18/frame kit

Register for an egg-citing, free spring photo with our Cosmic Galaxy Egg sculpture. They’ll take a socially-distanced INSTANT photo of you that you can take home right away. Optional: Add a limited edition Cosmic Egg picture frame kit! And while you’re there, plan to explore the museum with some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around — read about it here. Museum admission is $15,95/adult, $9.95/child, free for ages 6 and under. Can’t attend, but want a frame shipped to you? Visit

Easter Egg Hunts & Animals
Where: Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg, VA
When: April 3-4
Admission: $15.95/adult, $18.95/child

Along with seeing animals that reside at the park, kids can take part in egg hunts to celebrate the season. Be sure to read details on the website about timing for age groups. Due to Covid restrictions, admission is broken up into AM and PM sessions.

Easter Eggstravaganza Drive-Thrus
Where: Capitol Hill, DC & Alexandria, VA
When: April 3
Admission: Free

The Eggstravaganzas are not happening this year because of Covid, but the National Community Church still wants to help parents make Easter weekend special. Drive through one of their two locations (DC & NoVa) on Saturday, April 3rd, for a curbside pickup of a FREE Easter egg hunt kit. As you arrive, be on the lookout for the Easter bunny from your car and wave to volunteers as they give you everything you need for your egg hunt!  Register here.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, DC, Farm, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend