Tag Archives: DC Family Activities

Where to Go & What to Do During Spring Break 2021

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring reopens just in time for Spring Break!

 

Spring Break begins soon for many local students, so you may be in need of some extra reminders of all the great activities there are to do around the area to keep your kids engaged and entertained over the next couple of weeks, depending on when they’re off from school. And if some of this sounds familiar, that’s because a version has been posted in previous years, but it’s been updated to reflect what’s going on right now. [Note: I’ll update a bit more when DC kids are on break in mid-April.]

Many of the ideas here are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. Among these recommendations are special and seasonal activities, museums and exhibits that are open now, and outings that take advantage of the great spring weather.

And, of course, the rest of the blog is full of suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) happy during the week off — or on, depending how you look at it. Happy Spring Break!

Special & Seasonal Activities

 

Fun with a Cherry Blossom on Top
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Over the next few weeks
Admission: Varies

It’s cherry blossom season around the DC area, and there are a variety of events and activities to celebrate the iconic flowers. Many are presented through the National Cherry Blossom Festival, with both in-person and virtual opportunities: Seek out blossom-inspired art; join an online program; enjoy food, drink, and shopping specials just for the season; and much more. Of course, going to see the blossoms is great activity, too. And while you may only be able to view them virtually at the Tidal Basin, there are other places to see them around DC. This post about the cherry blossom season has more details on all of the ways to celebrate.

Egg-Cellent Outings
Where: Around the area
When: Through early April
Admission:; Varies by event

Egg hunts and more seasonal activities are happening all around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and eggs for your whole gang. A few have activities going on during the week, and even more places are offering fun on weekends.

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

An O-So-Cool Adventure
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle
When: Daily, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Starts at $25

Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of one of the coolest spots in DC: The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, secondhand store, and hotel all in one — and visitors are welcome to explore it all. (And through April 5, they are hosting special Easter Treasure Hunts – $40.) Admission can add up, so Spring Break is a great time to go if you’re looking for something special to do. Plus, it’s a unique adventure in a truly stunning space.

Natitude
Where: Nationals Park & Around the DC Area
When: Starting April 1
Admission: Varies

Baseball season is back, and while it still won’t be quite the same as it was pre-Covid, there are some fun ways to root for our home team. Maybe you’re lucky enough to be among the 5,000 fans who get to watch the game in person in the stadium. If not, you might head to a local spot where you can watch while social distancing and enjoying a bite with your crew — this WaPo article has some suggestions for that. (FYI, The Brig is our fave and very family friendly.)

 

Museums & Galleries

Interact with language at Planet Word

Word Up
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: Starting April 1
Admission: Free

The museum dedicated to language opened briefly last fall before closing due to rising Covid rates. It will finally welcome visitors again starting April 1, and I highly recommend going! 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. Read a full write-up about it here. Free, timed-entry passes will be available on March 29 — reserve them through the website.

Mission: Fun
Where: International Spy Museum | L’Enfant Plaza, DC
When: Wed – Fri, 9am – 6pm & Sat – Tues 8:30am – 8pm
Admission: $24.95/age 13+, $14.95/7-12, free/6 & under

The Spy Museum has reopened its doors, so you can explore the intriguing world of espionage.  Exhibits are engaging for both kids and adults, with state-of-the-art multimedia installations and loads of cool interactives — used with stylus pens + extra safety measures in place for Covid.  Discover tricks of the trade, view gadgets used to keep secrets and disguises to hide identities, learn about some of the most famous spies and their missions, and much more.  It’s a fun day out for all!

Celebrate Women in Art
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm | Sun 12-5pm
Admission: $10/adult, free for kids

The museum dedicated to women’s art makes for a great outing with kids, especially tweens and teens, but younger children could enjoy it, too. Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. The current exhibition Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend is so interesting and creative, using human hair, pocket combs, other materials as it explores Black history and culture in America.

Renewal 2121
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through September 6
Admission: $24/adult, $17/age 4-15, free/under 4

The latest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE is inspired by the cherry blossoms and spring. Here’s the description of Renewal 2121: “Transporting us 100 years into the future, it immerses us in an industrial city where nature fights to survive amid an overdeveloped metropolis. This is a future that will arrive if humanity continues unchecked at its current pace. However, there is a hopeful message to be discovered as blossoms are seen peeking through the plastic, concrete and neon lights, ready to renew the season with the help of those willing to take action.”

Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert Marine Museum | Calvert County, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under

Head out to Calvert County to explore the heritage and history of the Chesapeake Bay.  The array of interesting exhibits includes display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. For extra safety, they are limiting capacity and using a timed entry system — reserve a 2-hour time slot here.  (Note that the play area and real lighthouse are closed to visitors right now.)

 

#OptOutside

Hit the beach for fossil hunting

Beachy Keen: Sand, Surf, & Fossils
Where: Around the area
When: Daily
Admission: Varies by beach

Many of us associate Spring Break with beach trips, so why not hit the shore with the kids? There are several places within day trip-distance from DC that are nice for sand and surf. Even if the weather is cool, you can still picnic, play, maybe fossil hunt, and enjoy beachy vibes.  Head out to Calvert Cliffs State Park or Flag Ponds Nature Park (note limited days at FPNP). Or go east to Sandy Point State Park. You can also play paleontologist and look for prehistoric fragments along the Potomac at the Purse Area in Charles County, MD (one of our very favorite outings in the area).

Spring Break in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Starting March 27
Admission: Varies by age

The park that offers a thrilling aerial forest adventure opens just in time for Spring Break. Navigating ropes courses up in the trees is a super fun 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!)

Art al Fresco
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies

Enjoy the outdoors and get an art fix at the same time. Both the Hirshhorn (10am – 4:30pm) and National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens (11am – 4pm) have reopened again. Tour the lovely Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Calvert County and enjoy more art experiences there.  You can also see works all over the city on a DC Murals Tour.

Take a Hike
Where: Around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s a great time of year to spend some time on the trail as the weather warms up and color returns to the landscape. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.  KFDC Tip: It’s a good time to take advantage of lesser crowds on weekdays at places that usually draw them, like Great Falls, Scott’s Run, Roosevelt Island, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Patapsco.

Ride Bikes
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The weather during spring is perfect for biking, and with kids off from school, you can all get in some good cycling time together. Explore memorials and Smithsonian gardens as you ride on the National Mall. Bike along the Anacostia and make some fun stops on the way. Two-wheel it on fun trails in Virginia and Maryland. There are a bunch of great routes to ride around the area, and this post will help you find one perfect for your crew to pedal.

Roam a Garden
Where: Around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

With flowers blooming and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden is a fantastic outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at plants and flowers. Explore and play at the National Arboretum, wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt, enjoy the array of flora at Brookside, venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden, or relish in the peace at the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. Plus, the Enid A. Haupt Garden, Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, Pollinator Garden, and more small Smithsonian gardens are all open to visitors and fun to explore on the National Mall.

 

Day Trips & Overnights

Annapolis, capital city on the Chesapeake

Explore Another Capital City
Where: Annapolis, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

Maryland’s capital city is as beautiful as it is fun, and you can easily make a day (or few) of it there. Stroll around town and take in views the Chesapeake, enjoy some outdoor recreation at Quiet Waters Park, and of course, plan to feast on crabs. It’s all an easy drive out Rt. 50 from DC.

Baltimore, Hon!
Where: Inner Harbor Area | Baltimore, MD
When: Varies by place
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are lots of great places to spend a day off. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. Play the day away at Port Discovery. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry.  And the historic ships should be opening for tours again!  All of these places require advance reservations, and be sure to check days/hours as not all of them are open everyday.

Hiking & History
Where: Harpers Ferry
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free ($10 if you park in lot)

Get some fresh air and exercise as you enjoy spring weather and historic sites. Harpers Ferry is an easy day trip or quick getaway destination from DC, and spring is a great time to go. For more about a visit there, see this KFDC post.

Go Underground
Where: Luray Caverns
When: Ongoing, 9am – 7pm
Admission: $30/adults, $15/ages 6-12, 5 and under free

Behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system at Luray. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Admission does not include attractions beyond the cavern. KFDC Tip: Be sure to make a pit stop before going into the caverns, because it can be a long walk out to a restroom, and once you’re out, you may not be able to go back in.

Tramp & Camp
Where: Shenandoah National Park
When: Ongoing
Admission: $35/vehicle, campsites are extra & vary

Whether you go for a day or even several, Shenandoah National Park is a boon for outdoor recreation close to DC. If you can only swing a day, find some good trails to hike or even ride along Skyline Drive and take in the beautiful vistas from the car. If you can stay overnight, it’s a great place for a camping experience with kids. Either way, enjoy being immersed in nature and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings!

 

Last minute getaway? Colonial Williamsburg is fantastic!

Extra Tips
* For more suggestions to relish the sublime spring weather, check out The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.
* If you’re looking specifically for rainy day ideas and are comfortable with being inside, see this list of indoor places that are open now.
* If you’re considering a last minute Spring Break getaway, here are some ideas for easy trips from DC.
* Check for deals and discounts on CertifiKID.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, 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.

Bunnyland
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
Admission:

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 avam.org/shop.

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

The Best Family Activities to Celebrate the 2021 Cherry Blossom Season

 

Cherry blossom season is one of the best times of the year to be in DC.  Not only is the city at its prettiest when the iconic flowers are in bloom, there usually are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all.  It’s also when I share my tips for viewing the famous flowers, an annual post that I love and have been updating since 2011 that others seem to enjoy as well (it’s always very highly viewed and shared).

For obvious reasons, so much about cherry blossom season is different this year.  It still remains to be seen what kind of access to the Tidal Basin the National Park Service will allow to see the peak bloom, which is predicted to occur April 2-5.  Big, beloved in-person events like the Kite Festival, National Cherry Blossom Parade, and Sakura Matsuri have been cancelled  along with museum programs that used to be IRL.  And my annual viewing tips… well, much of them apply to seeing them at the Tidal Basin, so they may not get a redux this spring.

However, there still are some fantastic ways to celebrate cherry blossom season!  The National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF), running March 20 – April 11, has reimagined many of its events as at-home or virtual activities to present them safely for Covid.  And even though we may not be able to experience the bloom at its best near the National Mall, there are other spots to enjoy the pink and white brilliance around the area.  I’ve highlighted the best of all of it for families to help you plan for a peak experience. Happy Spring!

 

Peak bloom in Stanton Park

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Late March – Early April
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms is the top thing to do during the season. As we’re still awaiting guidelines for viewing at the Tidal Basin this year, here’s a tip that comes straight from my annual post from previous years: Seek out other spots to see the bloom. Several places around the DC-Metro area are well known for their annual cherry blossom displays.  The National Arboretum also has a nice collection of the trees and offers a beautiful, peaceful environment in which to enjoy them. National Harbor has 200 trees planted on it grounds.  Stanton Park on Capitol Hill flourishes with pick and white come spring. Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, has a lovely collection of cherry trees.  In Northern Virginia, Green Spring Gardens and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens have some of the pretty trees to see, too.  (Thinking I should just put together a whole post about viewing sites…) In the meantime, check out these scenes from a peak bloom past.

Renewal 2121
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 15 – September 6
Admission: $24/adult, $17/age 4-15, free/under 4

ARTECHOUSE introduces a new exhibit every season, and spring is always inspired by the cherry blossoms in some way. Here’s the description of year’s show, Renewal 2121: “Transporting us 100 years into the future, it immerses us in an industrial city where nature fights to survive amid an overdeveloped metropolis. This is a future that will arrive if humanity continues unchecked at its current pace. However, there is a hopeful message to be discovered as blossoms are seen peeking through the plastic, concrete and neon lights, ready to renew the season with the help of those willing to take action.”

National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
Where: Online
When: March 20, 6pm
Admission: Free

The Festival’s signature Opening Ceremony, an artistic celebration of the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to DC is also an annual tribute to the longstanding friendship between Japan and the United States. Watch a livestream of the event that will feature special performances from acclaimed artists with ties to both countries.

Petal Porch Parade
Where: At home & around the DC area
When: March 20 – April 11
Admission: Free

Since we can’t have a big parade, locals are invited to get creative and show their cherry blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, or windows — and spread joy to neighbors and connect communities across the region! The National Cherry Blossom Festival will produce a virtual map with 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. So, get your neighbors to register and join in the springtime celebration to increase your chances of having the Petal Procession cruise through your ‘hood!

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 20 – April 11
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring and the blossoms at the The Wharf. Bloomaroo will bring nearly a month of cherry blossom-themed art installations, and specialty cocktails. Anime Movie Days will have 13 anime movie screenings, including the newest Sonic the Hedgehog movie, from March 26 through April 11 — all films will be dubbed in English. 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.

Book Hill in Bloom
Where: Book Hill Community | Georgetown, DC
When: March 20 – April 11
Admission: Free

Georgetown is celebrating cherry blossom season at its Book Hill community. More than 25 small businesses on upper Wisconsin Avenue are participating by decorating their storefronts with pink and cherry blossom-themed decorations, offering special promotions, and donating prizes for an enter-to-win drawing.

 

Art in Bloom on Capitol Hill

Art in Bloom
Where: Around the DC area
When: March 20-31
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.

Sakura Sundays
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sundays during the Festival
Admission: Free

With in-person Sakura Matsuri, the annual Japanese street fair presented during the Festival, off this year, National Harbor is stepping in. Free cultural activities, including Japanese inspired art creations, culinary classes, in person or virtual, and much more will be offered there.  See what else will be at National Harbor during the season.

Virtual Cherry Blossom Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Online
When: March 20, 10am
Admission: Free

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a virtual program full of springtime fun for the whole family. Enjoy a lively performance of traditional Japanese Taiko drumming by the group Nen Daiko. Then learn more as the group demonstrates how they plan their performances and design their own instruments. Explore art, nature, and color with SAAM‘s docents in the new virtual edition of our popular Art Cart series. For more activities, check out their ongoing Family Zone for seasonal crafts, coloring pages, videos, and more. Register here.

ChalkWalk
Where: Alley off 7th St NW (btwn H & G) | Gallery Place, DC
When: March 20 – April 30
Admission: Free

Visit DowntownDC’s ChalkWalk to step into an immersive spring art experience.  It will be a unique, Instagrammy, and cherry blossom-inspired 3D art installation backdrop to celebrate spring in the city. Share your photos using the hashtag #ChalkWalkDC for a chance to win prizes from the DowntownDC BID.

Pop-Up Street Theater
Where: Locales around Arlington, VA
When: March 21 & 28 April 4 & 11 | 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Synetic Theatre, which presents some of the most innovative shows around, 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.

Blossom Kite Fly
Where: Your backyard or local park
When: March 27-28
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.

Celebrating Cherry Blossoms
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | Online
When: March 27, 10-10:45am
Admission: Free

Just in time for peak bloom, ring in the arrival of spring with the art doctors in this online Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop. From paintings to Japanese tea bowls, discover how Smithsonian conservators preserve these colorful artworks. Then try your hand at making your own cherry blossom-inspired creation. Designed for ages 3-8 and caretakers. Register in advance, one per family, and a Zoom link and list of suggested materials will be sent to participants 24–48 hours in advance of the workshop.

Blossoms & Baseball Drive-in
Where: Akridge Lot | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 2 & 3, 7pm
Admission: $20/car

The Capitol Riverfront BID is welcoming the spring season back to the neighborhood during MLB Opening Day Weekend with cherry blossom cheer and baseball-themed movies featuring 42: The True Story of an American Legend and A League of Their Own.

Kimono for Kids
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Online
When: April 3, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kids can enjoy an interactive discussion of Japanese traditional clothing, plus a simple craft project made from materials found at home and inspired by Japanese textiles in this program led by staff from the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. Be sure to register to get the program link.

Virtual Sakura Matsuri
Where: Online
When: April 3, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Join Japan-America Society of Washington DC for the Sakura Matsuri – Virtual Community Gathering. Enjoy stage performances and the opportunity to interact live with many of your favorite Sakura Matsuri exhibitors, vendors and participants.

* Do you know of a great cherry blossom event that’s not listed here?  Let us all know in the comments!

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Exhibit, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia, Virtual Programs, Weekdays, Weekend

A Socially Distanced Ski Day at Whitetail Resort

 

Skiing is kind of a perfect activity for this Covid winter.  In any year, it’s a super fun and active way to take advantage of the season. During this time, it’s especially great since, in many ways, it’s already socially distanced.  Additionally, ski resorts are taking extra precautions to help ensure safety.

So, we hit the slopes a couple of weeks ago at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, PA.  About an hour and a half drive from DC, it’s one of the closest ski resorts to us, and easily a doable day trip. We went on the Tuesday between MLK Day and the Inauguration, when the kids had off from school.  We figured it was a good time to go, since it wasn’t a weekend or a holiday when more people would opt for ski day, too.

Happy to celebrate his birthday on the slopes

Advanced reservations are required, a policy implemented at many resorts to cut down on lines and because tickets sell out faster since capacity is limited.  We booked four days ahead with no problem, but I’ve seen some resorts sell out further in advance  for weekends — something to keep in mind. (And they will refund if for some reason you can’t go.)

Other safety precautions include masks required in certain areas, extra signage about physical distance, and reduced capacity of lifts and gondolas. Generally, common sense prevails, too:  Don’t line up for lifts too close to others (though skis automatically prevent this), and only ride up with people in your party. (Read more about Whitetail’s commitment to safety.)

A heads-up:  Despite the limited capacity and sparse crowd, there was a long, cold wait for ski rentals — about an hour and half, since they limit the number of parties that can be in the rental shop at a one time.  Unfortunately, this ate into our ski time.  KFDC Tip: Rent equipment ahead at Sun & Ski, so you’re geared up and ready to hit the mountain after a quick check-in. (We had looked into this, but everything was rented out because of the holidays around our day trip.)

Also good to know:  You cannot store shoes and belongings in lockers, but we just piled ours outside the ski rental shop as a lot of others did.  It’s doubtful that anyone would steal your shoes, but make sure you take the right ones home! (I brought Levi the wrong pair at first, which was both funny and kind of gross.)

Ready to head downhill

Once we were all equipped, we got right on the lifts.  I’m not the best skier (a result of growing up in South Florida… ask me about my tennis game, though), so I stuck to the greens and blues.  But everyone else enjoyed all the runs and found enough variety to have a really fun day.  (Though keep in mind, this is a small east coast resort, so no high expectations for fresh powder and long runs.)

The cafes are open, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  At lunchtime, we grabbed some food inside and took it out to eat, while friends brought lunch in a cooler that they kept it in their car.  We also got hot chocolate and coffee later in the day to warm up.

Maintaining good ski pole distance 🙂

 

Whitetail Resort is open daily 9am – 5pm Monday – Wednesday, and 9am – 9pm Thursday – Saturday, and 9am – 8pm on Sundays. Lift tickets start at $72 a day/adult, $59 a day/child. Night skiing begins at 3pm (Thurs-Sunday) and starts at $64/adult, $53/child.  Rentals are extra ($55 ski or snowboard). Whitetail is located at 13805 Blairs Valley Road in Mercersburg PA.  With limited capacity, there was plenty of parking, but still a short walk to the lodge.

More to note:
* Liberty and Roundtop, also among the closer ski resorts to DC, are within the same system as Whitetail, so much of what’s here applies to them as well.
* Whitetail (and the other resorts) also offer snow tubing, though only in two-hour sessions — maybe a bit short for the long drive to do just that, but good to tack onto skiing.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Sports, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter