Category Archives: Summer

Amazon Picks for Spring & Summer Adventures with Kids

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three kids, ages 6, 5, and 9 months.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ gear as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here.]


Spring brings so much anticipation for warm-weathered adventures. Whether you’re beach bound or backyard bound, here are Amazon picks that will get you and your kids in gear from here to September.  Most of these recommendations are best for the 8 and under crowd, but some range all ages!

Dust off the scooters and bikes and get ready to roll. Here are some ways to spruce up your kids’ favorite set of wheels.


Bike (& Scooter!) Basket – This basket zips closed and detaches as a shoulder bag. Here’s one for the traditionalists.



Bike Wheel Spoke Beads – Like Croc charms for your bike! Add some handlebar streamers for extra flair.



Lights & Sounds Attachment – Choose from 25 kid-friendly sounds – like “race car” and “magic carpet” – to alert pedestrians and drivers.



Bike Lock – This has a simple self-coiling design, comes in a variety of colors, and has a mounting bracket that would work with scooters.



Radio Flyer Scoot to Scooter – This one’s for the little ones who want to keep up. Love a grow-with-me item!


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It’s never too early to prep for three months of water life. If your suits are pilling, dive toys dulling, and goggles snapping, refresh your pool bag with these items.


Two-Piece Swimsuit – Two-piece for the bathroom break win. Here’s another one chosen by my almost seven-year-old. P.S. These are still our winning swim trunks.



Seek & Splash Number Dive – A to-dive-for game for any little swimmers in their math era.



Giant Gator Ride-On – This was one of my son’s favorite birthday presents this year, and he cannot wait to take it for a swim.



Bungee Strap Goggles – Bungee strap is the frustration-free way to go.



Travel Size Shower Set – We have this set in a plain (now boring after seeing these) style. Just irresistible.


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I’m a sucker for kids fashion that’s cute and practical. These are items that I’m doubling down (and up) on.


Butterfly Shorts – Flowy bottoms with built-in bike shorts (with pockets!). Perfect for little athletes, or just for the playground hangs and cartwheeling.



Waterproof Slip-On Shoes – My kids love their Crocs, but Native’s closed-heel shoes are so practical, especially in this go-with-everything rainbow print. Here’s a lower cost option.



Unbreakable Sunglasses – For kids who want a “cool” pair of shades. This polarized, unbreakable (!) pair looks like a winner for everyone.



Ponytail Hats – Great for windy beaches, sports, or just for some extra sun protection. Here’s another cute option.



Baby Booties – The best button-close, gripper-soled baby booties in the sweetest print for the season.


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Half the battle is a great bag! Here are my picks for bags that’ll make you and your kid [appear] organized for any outdoor occasion.



Freezable Snack Bag – Eliminate the need for separate ice packs! There is a smaller pouch size as well as a classic lunch box size.



Bogg Bag XL – A standing, waterproof carry-all for parents. I’m eyeing the add-ons too: phone holder, wallet, and keychain.



Sling Bag – Perfect for encouraging self-sufficient kids during travel or every day outings. My son loves his Pokémon version.



Snacks Bag – Make your “snack lady” job a little more appealing with this appropriately-sized bag. Here’s a smaller version for an emergency stash.



Mess-Proof Wet Bags – Swimsuits and wet clothes will have their place! These are machine washable and have a strap to attach to bags or strollers.


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Well Played
When my outdoor toys don’t hold up or hold attention, they get the axe. Here are my minimalist musts for outdoor play, plus one to give a swing at.



Lightweight (Don’t Hurt!) Frisbees – We’ve had these for years now and they are still flying strong.



Pump & Splash Water Table – This is a totally worth it price tag. The water table phase is a long one, so invest in something good!



Collapsible Beach Bucket Set – The most compact set for on-the-go adventures. This set of 3 includes buckets, shovels, and mesh bags for carrying and collecting. Here’s a set of 2.



Family Pickleball Set – Something to consider if your kids are old enough to rally. The paddle rabbit hole is a good one too – so many designs to choose from.



Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket – Make sure you have a good-sized lounge area for all of the outdoor play time viewing!


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Don’t let the best laid plans get spoiled by the small stuff. Here are some ideas and products to help weather the elements of the season.


Sunscreen Applicator Brush – IYKYK! Here’s another fun option. I am also restocking our supply of this “clearscreen” for face and the spray version for body.



Boogie Insect Repellent Lotion – This is a highly-rated insect repellent from a reputable children’s brand. It’s fragrance-free which is great for sensitive skin (and noses!).



Sand Remover – The sand whines will be defeated! This one has great reviews too.



Race Car Bandages – Get ready for more outdoor falls! These should help end the tears quickly, and there are lots of styles to choose from, like mermaids and rainbows.



Tangle Teezer Brush – Beach hair, do care…at some point. These brushes are so gentle on brush-sensitive kids. Add some highly-rated, tangle-free hair care products.



What’s on your warm-weather shopping list? Tell us in the comments!

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Filed under 2024, Product, Shop, Spring, Summer

Current Shows, Spring Classes, & Summer Camps at Imagination Stage!


The reviews are in… Cinderella: A Salsa Fairy Tale at Imagination Stage is a hit!

“A lively show about mutual respect” – DC Theater Arts
“Sure to capture the imagination of any young ones” – BroadwayWorld

And now: Helen Hayes Award Recommended!

A contemporary Cinderella musical with a twist kids will love!  Join Puerto Rican Cinderella (Cenicienta) and her classmate Rosa as cultures collide and they compete for the #1 basketball player spot at Pumpkin Grove Elementary School. Who will be the belle of the ball(game) and who will miss their shot? Best for ages 5+.

Performances run every Saturday through April 7, plus meet the actors after every 4pm show!


It’s bedtime, and two children use their imaginations to turn their room Inside Out and Backwards, into a wonderland of mess!  This Imagination Stage favorite is back and ready to take your 1–4-year-old on a whimsical, dress-up adventure like no other.

Performances run every weekend through March 31st. Tickets are selling quickly, so get yours now!

*ASL-interpreted performance: Sunday, March 24 at 9am


Explore, create, and collaborate with one of Imagination Stage’s many spring six-week class and summer camp options in acting, musical theatre, dance, filmmaking, and more!

Their next set of spring classes for ages 1-18 starts soon, so register now!

This summer, they are offering 1, 2, 3, and 4-week long camps for ages 4 and up in Bethesda, Rockville, and Northwest DC. Camp options include a variety of theme and skill-based programs, as well as some performance-based sessions. Learn more and register!


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This post is sponsored by Imagination Stage, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2024, Camp, Class, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Spring, Summer

Reserve Your Child’s Spot in DC Way Soccer Summer Camp!


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This post is paid for by DC Way, however, I only promote programs, places, and businesses that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2024, Camp, DC, Sports, Summer

Check Out Camp Half-Blood Featured on the Today Show!


Do your kids love Percy Jackson?  If so, they will love Camp Half-Blood. The camp, which will be back in Rock Creek Park for its 5th summer, was recently featured on the Today Show.  Check it out here!

It may seem early to be thinking about summer, but registration is open for Camp Half-Blood, and right now you can get 15% off each week using the code CBK2024.  So why not get a big head start on summer planning and book your child’s fun at the real life Camp Half-Blood?  Learn more and register here!


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This post is paid for by Plato Learning LLC, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under DC, Summer

The Weekend Round-Up: September 15-17

Join the celebration for the Hirshhorn’s Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life exhibit!


Happy Weekend!

Link up to local activities galore in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

PARK(ing) Day
Where: Around the DC area
When: Friday
Admission: Free

Friday, September 15, is PARK(ing) Day, when people across the globe create temporary pop-up parks and social spaces where there usually is curbside parking.  Several park(ing) spots will be popping up around the DC area, and you can see where on a map here to check check them out!

Family-Friendly Exhibit Celebration
Where: Hishhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the opening of the Hirshhorn’s latest exhibition, Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life, at this special evening event with extended hours and activities for all ages. View Diamond’s artworks that reflect her life as an artist or take a mobile video tour with Hirshhorn Eye. You can also do some magnetic poetry, create circular installations, bring little ones to a kid-friendly construction zone, check out a large-scale concrete poetry station, and a make-your-own Möbius loop project with educators from the National Air and Space Museum. Dinka and gelato will be available for purchase on the Plaza.

Washington Ukrainian Festival
Where: St. Andrew Ukrainian Cathedral | Silver Spring, MD
When: Friday, 5-8pm; Saturday, 11am – 9pm; Sunday, 11am – dusk
Admission: $20/adult, $20/senior, free/kids

Bring family and friends to the 20th annual Ukrainian Festival of the Washington, DC, Metro Area. All are welcome to enjoy Ukrainian artists and dancers, crafts, children’s activities, delicious Ukrainian food, a Kozak beer garden, and live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds is for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“Fall” Festivals
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

The season may not be official on the calendar yet, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, right on city streets, and in locales that recall historic times (huzzah!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Some are listed below, and you can get details on the rest of them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $50 for the 5k

Lincoln’s Cottage is once again combining their two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming! During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year they welcome everyone back “home” to join in a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. There will be arts and crafts, pony rides and a petting zoo, hands-on activities for young learners, cottage tours, and picnic ops followed by a family-friendly afternoon performance by the Petworth Jazz Project.. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around to enjoy both!

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/age 6-11, free/5 & under

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts, and entertainment. Take in the sights and sounds of it all on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as experts demonstrate period crafting techniques. And you can see General Washington in the General’s Tent. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family! Read more about Mount Vernon here.

Play Date: Colors in Nature
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join this very special Saturday Play Date, as the Natural History Museum is joined by other Smithsonian museums and units — the National Postal Museum, National Zoo, and more — all to celebrate different colors found in nature. Families will be able to make close observations of different specimens and learn about the different connections different museums make with each other through nature. Enjoy r a morning full of color, play, art, and exploration!

Literary Hill Book Fest
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join us on Sunday, September 17 from 11 am to 3 pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market for the 12th annual Literary Hill BookFest, a beloved annual celebration of books and authors on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This year, we’ll feature more than 40 authors, poets, booksellers, publishers, literacy groups, and more, including acclaimed national bestselling novelist Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye, a mystery thriller adapted into a recent hit Netflix film starring Christian Bale. Other featured authors include debut novelist and former spy, I.S. Berry; National Book Award finalist Carole Boston Weatherford; Washington Post columnist and Thurber prize finalist Alexandra Petri; award-winning educator and author Liz Kleinrock; two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Cheryl Head; and many more. Visitors will meet some of their favorite authors of fiction, history, children’s literature, mystery, poetry, memoir and more and enjoy timely panel discussions and a full slate of family-friendly activities in our bustling Children’s Corner. The BookFest is completely free and open to the public, with a popular poetry open mic immediately following the main event, where established and aspiring poets will entertain an enthusiastic crowd.

National Dance Day Celebration
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 11:15pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate National Dance Day and kick at this full-day dance party that kicks off the Kennedy Center’s season-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop. Free interactive dance classes, performances, live music, and more inspired by some of hip hop culture’s foundational pillars. There’s so much to enjoy — view the full schedule on the KC website!

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is returning! This one is always huge — so beware that there could be a crowd — and there is tons to see and do.  In past years, the event has featured loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and children’s activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is highly recommended, as parking is always difficult.

Artsfest ’23
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/online, $12/at gate, free/11 & under

Celebrate the visual and performing arts at this event that brings together the country’s most accomplished artists for a fabulous weekend extravaganza of the arts! Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the beautiful woods of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Artsfest is a unique art experience with a multitude of artist booths, 35 performers on four stages, creative fun for kids, artist demos, and great food and drink. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden here and here.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15 

This largest area fall festival begins this weekend ! This one is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling grounds that contain multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and much more. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd!

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal

This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.

Moulin Rouge: The Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 24
Admission: $45-199 (look for a deal)
Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Recommended for ages 12+.

Halfway to St Patrick’s Festival
Where: Waterfront Park | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free
Head to Old Town Alexandria to celebrate the half-way mark to St. Patrick’s Day. Music, crafts,Irish dance performances, pipe bands, vendors, and more entertainment will be part of the festivities. A beer truck will be there for adults, too.

Old Firehouse Block Party
Where: Old Firehouse | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Help celebrate the Old Firehouse’s 33 years of serving the Greater McLean community. Listen to a DJ from 99.5 playing hits as their broadcast live or groove in the silent disco. Enjoy food from Listrani’s Italian Gourmet Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Try rock climbing, and play game in a mobile arcade truck. Explore a vintage fire truck, and learn about the Firehouse history. There will also be a sensory room, art activities, and outdoor games for all ages, along with a local health and wellness booth. The Old Firehouse is located at 1440 Chain Bridge Road in McLean.

Amal Walks Across America
Where: Various locales
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

A global symbol of compassion and human rights, Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet portraying a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child who has traveled through 13 countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the streets since 2021. Her immersive walking journeys highlight the cross-cultural experiences of the millions of refugee children fleeing war, violence and persecution throughout the globe, each with their own story. Accompanied in Washington, DC, by outdoor music performances, Amal’s walking journeys are festivals of hope, showcasing the power of compassionate welcome as strangers build stable homes in new lands, and the contributions and potential they carry within them that enhances communities as they do so. See (and walk with) her around DC on Sunday on a few different routes — in Southeast DC, at Black LiveMatter Plaza and Franklin Park, and at the Washington Monument. View complete details.

DC Family Bike Fest 2023
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free
This annual gathering for kid bikers, family bikers, and the bike-curious will have fun for the whole fam! Check out family bike options, snatch up goodies community partners, join a Trike Storytime and Kids Bike Parade, get free tuneups, and enjoy free sno cones, and more!

Lotus Festival of Food & Culture
Where: Chinatown Park | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

The culmination of a week of events at Chinatown Park. Join this culinary journey at an Asian street food festival. Enjoy an eclectic mix of mouthwatering dishes and an amazing lineup of music and performances from lion dancers, DJ Katazui, and Les The DJ.

Meet the Author: Tricia Elam Walker
Where: Takoma Park Library | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Meet local children’s author Tricia Elam Walker! She will be presenting her award-winning picture book, Dream Street, named one of the five best chidrens’ books of the year by the New York times. After the presentation, stay to make a crown inspired by the book.

Shofar Experience in the Park
Where: Lincoln Park | Capitol Hill
When: Sunday, 4-4:30pm
Admission: Free

If you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah or want to learn about it, join this event at 11th & Mass NE, the NW corner of Lincoln Park. What makes a horn fit for Rosh Hashanah? Check out the beautiful Shofar display in the park to find out! Songs, stories, snacks, and shofar will be part of the fun, and get a special holiday gift bag, while supplies last. All ages welcome, and it’s a great way to include the whole family in the Rosh Hashanah traditions. Shana Tova!

Beyond Granite
Where: Around the National Mall
When: Through Monday
Admission: Free

This series of installations around the National Mall is “designed to create a more inclusive, equitable, and representative commemorative landscape.”  Beyond Granite features six evocative works in different areas of the Mall.  Some of them are interactive, and one is even a playground that welcomes visitors to play!  See more details and get a glimpse here.  A great way to see them all is by bike, but most aren’t too spread out for a walk. View the map of installation locations here.

To Dip in the Honey
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

We’re in the thick of apple season, and there are several spots around the region where you can pick your own.  It’s also a great activity of Rosh Hashanah weekend — pick some to dip in honey for a sweet new year!  This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

* Make plans to see some great shows around the area with this round-up of live entertainment on local stages this fall!
* In case you missed it, there’s a giveaway going on to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Adventure Theatre.
* Pickleball is coming to the National Mall Septmeber 28-30!
Can’t believe what a game changer this is! (Have to give cred where I learned about the concept, but the one I bought is half the price and has a higher rating.)
* Have you heard about this outfit on Amazon that is a dupe for this Free People set at less than half the price? I got it and can vouch that it’s awesome and perfect for early (maybe even later) fall.
* Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all — whether you’re celebrating or not 🍎

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend