Category Archives: Volunteer

The Weekend Round-Up: October 14-16

Hit the trail on two wheels on a mountain biking outing


Happy Weekend!

Link up to loads of activity ideas in these KFDC posts:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Autumn Off the Farm
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Family Happy Hour with King Bullfrog
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, October 14, 5-7pm
Admission: $5/adult, $10/child

Bring the family to enjoy a Friday evening filled with live music perfect for all ages! This King Bullfrog concert will be outdoors, where little can run, dance, laugh, and play to the beat of their favorite songs.  Featuring Mr. Jeremiah and Mr. Steve — both Capitol Hill-based dads and music teachers — the duo’s roots-and-blues tunes are carefully tailored to get children dancing while delighting grownups, an approach that successfully hooks audiences young and old. Beer, wine, and cheese and pepperoni pizza will be for sale. BYO picnics are welcome, too. Update: This event has been cancelled due to a positive Covid case.

Movie Night: Ghostbusters
Where: Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Free

Head to the President Lincoln’s summer residence for their free monthly outdoor movie series. Bring a picnic, spread out blanket on the lawn, and enjoy an evening with the family watching Ghostbusters. Register in advance to reserve your space!

Fall for Festival Season
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Pick some pumpkins, whiz down giant slides, get lost in corn mazes, go on hayrides, bounce around on jumping pillows, and so much more. There are activities galore to help you embrace the autumn spirit, and the KFDC guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Bike in the Woods
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place
Add some extra adventure to a bike ride and go mountain biking! It’s also a fun, active way to immerse in the beauty of the season.  There are several MTB trails to ride around the area, a few miles even right here in the District at Fort Dupont Park in Anacostia — a good place for newer mountain bikers. Cosca Regional Park in PG County and Schaffer Farms in Gaithersburg are also great for those just starting. And for even more recs, the post about biking around the DC area includes a list of places to hit the mountain biking trails (scroll down).  [Note: This activity is better for older kids with more experience riding.]

Kids Workshop
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Lowes stores are once again offering their monthly in-person workshops for kids. This Saturday, bring in mini DIYers to you build a Fire Rescuer Kit together. You’ll leave with a hand-made toy that’s as fun to play with as it is to create. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!

Tregaron Unplugged
Where: Tregaron Conservatory | Cleveland Park, DC
When: Saturday, 3-5:30
Admission: Free

Immerse in nature and acoustic music at this free, family-friendly event on Saturday afternoon. Artists from all music genres will be performing at four locations around the lovely grounds of Tregaron. For kids there will be rhythm and song-making activities, a show-and-tell of instruments made from natural objects, and special guest puppets. And all ages can enjoy a short yoga session. Read a little more about Tregaron Conservancy in this KFDC post about peaceful places around DC (though it won’t be so peaceful on Saturday).

College Park Day
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join friends, neighbors, and the entire City of College Park community at the Annual College Park Day Festival. This free event is fun for the whole family with live music and bands, a whole kids zone with activities just for them, food and drinks, jugglers and mimes and other performers, and much more.

Virtual Open House
Where: Silver Oaks Cooperative School | Online on Zoom
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Want to learn all about Silver Oaks Cooperative School? Join them for a virtual open house! Just email for the zoom link. After October 15, in-person tours of SOCS will be available by appointment, weekly on Tuesdays. There will be additional, virtual open houses at SOCS on November 12 and January 7. RSVP to to join a future virtual or in-person event and learn more about SOCS!

Fall Fest & Bulb Sale
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

There may be no more inspiring place to plan your own garden and shop for flower bulbs, both favorites and unusual varieties, than the Arb.  Friends of the National Arboretum are hosting their annual bulb sale that also has family-friendly activities, including planting and falconry demonstrations, nature-based crafts, and book giveaways. Plan for time to roam around some of the gorgeous plant collection, too. See more about the National Arboretum here.

Fall Harvest and Carnival Fun
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but some activities cost a fee

Bring the family to Frying Pan Farm Park for all kinds of farm fun at their annual Fall Harvest and Carnival. Watch the cider press in action, milk a cow, shell corn, peel apples, meet farm animals, play old-fashioned games, watch farm demos, and much more!

Adams Morgan PorchFest
Where: Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday, 2-6pm (rescheduled from Oct 1)
Admission: Free

Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches of homes and store fronts of local businesses are transformed into intimate performance spaces to be enjoyed by anyone who happens to stroll by. Enjoy a variety of music styles from about 70 bands playing on porches, patios, and stoops in the neighborhood.  At the corner of Adams Mill and Columbia Road NW on Porchfest Day, pick up a music map and free wristband that will get you discount at over 30 Adams Morgan businesses.

Loudoun County Fall Farm Tour
Where: Farms around Loudoun County, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 29th annual Loudoun Fall Farm Tour showcases more than two dozen locations that offer everything from pumpkin patches to alpacas to flowers to vineyards to farmers markets. All of the locations provide an educational component for visitors as well.  Visit the website for a map of the locations and more info on each one.

Fall Hikes
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Autumn in a supreme time to get out on the trail, when you can leaf peep and enjoy some active fun with the fam. Some recs for places that are especially great right now: Dumbarton Oaks Park in Georgetown; Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington, VA; Patapsco Valley State Park near Columbia, MD; and Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA. Find even more walks in the woods here.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 4pm & Sunday, 1:30pm & 4pm
Tickets: $25-39

Adapted from the award-winning novel, this play tells the touching story of a young Chinese American girl and her family moving from China to the United States in 1947. Using humor and a rich multimedia staging, the play celebrates the bravery and sacrifice of those who bring new perspectives to our country. Recommended for ages 7+.

Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through November 6
Tickets: $20-60 (look for discount)

The sensuous and terrifying thriller arrives just in time for Halloween. With blood-sucking temptresses and creeping mists sure to send a chill up your spine, Stoker’s classic 1897 tale rises again. Dracula, the legend that inspired an entire genre of literature and film, explores the universal theme of good versus evil. As a bloodthirsty vampire terrorizes the countryside, an unlikely group fights to defend their home. Director Paata Tsikurishvili’s vision comes to life in this dark and menacing piece. Recommended for teens and older.

More Live Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Witch Wartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular at The Puppet Co.
* Tiny Tots at The Puppet Co. (littlest ones)
* The Trip to Bountiful at Ford’s Theatre (age 13+)
* Dance Nation at Olney Theatre (Rated R)
* Once on this Island at Source Theatre
TINA – The Tina Turner Musical at National Theatre (age 14+)
* The Ballad of Emmet Tillat the Atlas Performing Arts Center  (teens & older)
* Ichabod: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Creative Cauldron
* Guys and Dolls at the Kennedy Center (age 9+)

Model Trains + Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Fall is coming and it is time to go to the Historic Vienna Train Station and Museum where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends, on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Trains
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Parks | Bethesda & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $8/Wheaton, $6/Cabin John
For some “locomotives” you can ride on, hop on board the Halloween Trains! All ages can take a ride through “Trainslyvania” on Montgomery Parks’ Cabin John Miniature Train and the Wheaton Miniature Train. Purchase tickets in advance online to guarantee a ride, as only a limited amount are available onsite. Plan on more play at the parks — see more about Cabin John here and Wheaton here.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Halloween may not be for a few more weeks, but you can get the party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

Baysox Fall Festival & Pumpkin Patch
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $15

Join the Bowie Baysox at Prince George’s Stadium for a Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch. Select a pumpkin from the patch on the outfield at the ballpark and enjoy more activities. Kids can ride on the carousel, jump in the bounce house, play carnival-style, and more. Halloween costumes are encouraged for all!

Jacqueline & Jason’s Block Party
Where: The REACH Plaza | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Sunday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Join a free, outdoor family event inspired by Jacqueline Woodson’s book The World Belonged to Us. Enjoy an afternoon of music, food, and fun, including a jazz performance with Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Moran and the Bandwagon; more live entertainment, double dutch demos and lessons, a roller skating demo, hopscotch and hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, fort building, and more! Advance registration is recommended., and attendees can access an $11 parking voucher for the Kennedy Center parking garage for the day of the event here.

Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

It’s that time of year… put on your dirndl or lederhosen, grab your Dachshund, and head to The Wharf for  free Oktoberfest festivities. The highlight:  Cheer on the dogs competing in the 10th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash to benefit Rural Dog Rescue. Throughout the weekend, enjoy German fare, Bavarian decor and costumes, and Sam Adam Octoberfest beer for adults.

Turkish Festival
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When:Sunday 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Turkish heritage and culture on the streets of DC!  The free event will include live music, folk dancing performances, kids games, arts & crafts, cultural events, and more. Enjoy authentic Turkish cuisines and shop Turkish ceramic bowls, carpets, and other cultural items from local vendors.

Hot Air Balloon Festival
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | Manassas, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 5-10pm
Admission: $20/adult, $8/child (rides are extra)

Hot air balloons are the main attraction at this annual festival, but there are more activities for all ages. A Kids Zone has games, train, bouncy fun, rock walls, and a zip line. A DJ and live music add some entertainment, while you browse booths selling crafts and more wares. Food and drinks available for purchase, too. The grand finale of it all is a Hot Air Balloon Glow & Laser show!

Have a Wild Time
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

I posted about a recent visit to the Zoo a few weeks ago, and how it’s a place you’re never too old to visit. The animal viewing is always interesting and fun — they’re all so cute! And the grounds are nice to stroll, especially this time of year when the weather is nice and the foliage is is beginning to turn.

* Learn about Bright Horizons’ early education programs and enter for a chance to win a set of Magna-Tiles for your child!
* The National Children’s Chorus is holding auditions for new students ages 5-17 on October 29.
* From Eater, Kid-Friendly Restaurants Around D.C. That Adults Actually Enjoy
* How fun are these Halloween cookies?
* If you still need, Target is having a sale on Halloween costumes.
* This looks like the perfect creepy show (for adults) for the season.
* Happy Friday!

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Maryland, Volunteer, Weekend

Five Things: September 20, 2022

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is one of many places to volunteer this weekend (and maybe spot great blue herons, too!)


1.  Saturday is National Public Lands Day, when all are welcome and encouraged to help restore and preserve public lands.  Volunteer opportunities like clean-ups, tree plantings, weed removal, trail maintenance, and more are available everywhere from big national parks to small urban green spaces, including many in the DC area.  Search here for places nearby where you and the kids can help out. (FYI:  It’s also a fee free day, when there is no cost for entry to national parks that usually charge admission.)


2. And speaking of volunteering, if you’re looking for more ways to give back together, check out the KFDC round-up of local places and organizations where kids and families can help out.


3. See the New York Times new list of 50 favorite restaurants in America in 2022 — that includes two in DC!


4. If you also listened obsessively to the Serial podcast several years back, then you’re surely aware of yesterday’s big news.  And in response, a new episode was released this morning.


5. A great essay by Bono in the New Yorker about his childhood in Dublin. (Excerpted from his upcoming book!)



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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Five Things, Maryland, Virginia, Volunteer

The Most Wonderful Time of Year to Volunteer: Helping out at Comfort Cases with Kids

[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’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here and here.]


Thanksgiving feasts and eight crazy nights and advent countdowns, oh my! Does your holiday season cup runneth over yet? December has only just begun, but if you are already feeling the weight of excess, this post about volunteering is for you.

In my Chrismukkah celebrating household, we have to work hard to make the holidays about traditions and family — because with two little ones, the presents can quickly take center stage. We knew that, like many, our traditions would need to involve giving back.

My [sometimes] mature preschooler seemed ready to get a first-hand lesson about privilege this year. I started looking for ways to expose her to those less fortunate, and for us to give back together. And guess what?  Volunteer opportunities for four-year-olds do exist!

Comfort Cases, based in Rockville, MD, is a national organization that provides comfort and personal care items to youth entering the foster care system. Kids who literally have nothing but trash bags of belongings, are given brand new backpacks with brand new items inside.

Not only did this seem like the perfect place for us to volunteer, they also had lots of available time slots to choose from and no restrictions on age. They currently require proof of Covid vaccination or negative test results for volunteers age 12 or older.

Our service day was run by volunteers, creating a relaxed, communal feel. We walked in and immediately got started rolling fleece blankets. Next, we joined some girl scouts putting together packs of pencils and pens. My daughter was very excited to use the pencil sharpener.

But the best part for her was getting to put together a backpack for a young girl. She got to hand-select everything that went inside, including a stuffie, a journal, toiletries, and more items. She wrote her name on the finishing touch — a postcard that read “Prepared by Mia.”

After our time there ended, she was eager to do more and wanted to learn more about the kids who need parents and homes, let alone toiletries.  I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to volunteering.

Comfort Cases is located at 15825 Shady Grove Road #60, Rockville, MD 20850. Click here for information on volunteering and the available time slots. For more DC area volunteering opportunities where kids can help out too, check out this KFDC post.

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Filed under All ages, Maryland, Volunteer

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

DIY Valentines from a past Postal Museum workshop


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V’Day Sweet Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Make-Your-Own Sweet Treats
Where: Take home from Ice Cream Jubilee | DC & VA
When: Pre-order for pick up or local delivery Feb 11-14
Cost: $18

Craft some sweeties with your sweetie! Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a make-at-home ice cream cookie kit especially for the holiday. It comes with sugar cookie dough, a heart cookie cutter, dark chocolate, Valentine’s sprinkles, and a pint of Bold Vanilla. Makes around 4 mini-sandwiches.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12, 13, & 14
Admission: $19

Watson Adventures’ wildly popular Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is going virtual for the first time ever! Explore museums all over the country on a fun, flirty quest for beautiful and bizarre nudity in art. You might bump into a bronzed Adonis, encounter an incontinent Cupid, serenade moonlit sirens, walk in on handsy Egyptians, marvel at medieval codpieces, run across randy revelers, and see much more. Note: Participants must be clothed.

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

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

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grive Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 14, 2-5pm
Admission: $2/person

Looking for a little adventure? Work together with (or challenge!) your Valentines to nature trivia in a heart-themed scavenger hunt — it’s this month’s nature-themed Hike & Seek series puzzle. Register by Friday, February 12, to schedule a time slot and to receive a prize for completing the hunt. No drop-ins on the day of the program. Note that natural surface trails are not stroller accessible. See more about the program here.

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

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

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6pm
Admission: $8

What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world? Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these techniques and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Register in advance. Recommended for ages 4+.

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

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

DIY Valentines
Where: At Home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs is the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community. We’ll miss it this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some arty supplies and get creative at home. And make your loved ones’ (or a stranger’s — see the top listing) Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again), see this KFDC post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 27-31

ET phone ARTECHOUSE? Digital face play at the gallery’s newest exhibit

Monday – Immerse in digital art at Future Sketches, the new exhibit at ARTECHOUSE. Enjoy fun and quirky digital designs, plus neat interactives that focus on faces. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $16-20/adult, $8-10/child (the lower price if you buy in advance), and you can find a discount here.

Tuesday – Roam the enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. The grounds don’t open to the public until 2pm, but you can play at nearby Montrose Park or grab a bite to eat on M Street beforehand. I promise, it’s worth waiting for the afternoon visit. Even better, admission is free to both — there’s never an entry fee at Montrose, and Dumbarton waives it from November 1 – mid-March.

Wednesday – Head to the Hirshhorn for their weekly STORYTIME program for little ones. During this session, have fun with brushstrokes! You’ll look at paintings by Pat Steir and explore color, lines, and color mixing. Following a reading of the book Mouse Paint, young artists will create their own colorful compositions and sculpturesThis takes place 10-11am. Admission is free.

Thursday – Explore and play — indoors and outside — at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington. Visit the nature center where you can see turtles, snakes, and more creatures and learn about the area’s natural environment. Enjoy outdoor time, too… hike the short trails and let the kids romp on the playground. Hours are 10am – 5pm, Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is free.

In the evening, go see The REACH Winter Lanterns at the Kennedy Center, the special display of about 100 dazzling illuminations crafted by Chinese artisans. It’ll be lit up this week Thursday – Sunday starting at 5:30pm with extra activities indoors. It’s really fantastic for all ages! Admission is free.

Friday – Enjoy mountains of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, including a cafe, the enormous facility in Rockville has it all! Hours are 9am – 6pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $20/child, $12.50/toddler, $5/adult.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Special Event, Volunteer, Weekdays