Tag Archives: DC Kids

Scenes from the Start of Spring at the National Arboretum

 

This spring had to be the most anticipated one ever.  I mean, we always look forward to emerging from the cold and darkness of winter, to color returning to the landscape as trees begin to flower, to longer days, to renewal.  But this year it’s about so much more.

With this spring comes hope and optimism in a way that we couldn’t have fathomed in previous years. After a year of fear, uncertainty, disruption, and heartbreak that Covid heaved upon us, we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s still a ways to go, but that glimmer is getting brighter all the time.

This first day of spring did not disappoint.  The sun was shining, the weather pleasant, and it was a Saturday, so we could be out and about to enjoy it all.  We did that at one of our very favorite places in DC:  The National Arboretum.  We hadn’t been in awhile, because we thought there was a no dogs rule — we like being able to bring Teddy on our outings, especially if we’re hiking around outdoors — but we just learned that our pup can go to the Arb as long as he’s leashed.

So, that’s where we headed to ring in the new season.  If you’ve been reading KFDC awhile, you probably know how much I love the Arboretum — it tops the round-up of best outdoor spots.  (You can see more about it here, here, here, and here.) It’s a wonderful place to go any time of year, but this visit was especially auspicious as some of the cherry trees were blooming…on the first day of spring!

There is a self-guided cherry blossom tour to follow through the US National Arboretum app, or you can do what we did and see them as you wander around randomly and just refer to the app for the few that are blooming right now.

 

Be sure to explore the rest of the Arboretum to see even more bloom beginnings — rhododendrons, dogwoods, daffodils — and the many collections of plants and trees.  The Capitol Columns in the Ellipse Meadow are quite striking and have to be one of the most photographed spots in DC.

 

Get out and celebrate spring and all the hope that comes with it this year. The U.S. National Arboretum is located in Northeast DC, off of Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue, the entrance at 24th & R Streets (from Bladensburg). Hours are 8am – 5pm. Admission is free.

PS: We are happy to report that Teddy loves the Arboretum just as much as we do.  And now that we know he can go, he’ll be a regular visitor, too!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Family 4-Pack of Passes to Awesome Con!


As mentioned last week, Awesome Con, the convention celebrating pop culture and geekdom, is coming to DC this weekend, April 26-28. For three days at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, there will be an amazing assortment of engaging events, comic books, collectibles, toys, games, original art, cosplay, and more, with something for all ages, including a while Awesome Con Jr. area with programming especially for kids.

Even better, I have a Family 4-Pack of passes up for grabs for one lucky KFDC reader and crew ($190 value), good to attend Awesome Con all weekend. Of course, you can go ahead and guarantee yourselves tickets by purchasing online, too.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of passes (2 adult, 2 kids) to attend Awesome Con this weekend, April 26-28, 2019, simply leave a comment below letting me know what your family is most excited for at the event. Get a second chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through Wednesday, April 24 2019, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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


77 Comments

Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Giveaway, Indoor Play, Special Event, Spring, Ticket Giveaway, Weekend

Awesome Con, DC’s Own Comic Con, Expands Its Family-Friendly Awesome Con Jr. Event!


Awesome Con, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier pop culture convention, takes place next weekend, April 26-28, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, celebrating all aspects of geekdom and pop culture with a huge assortment of engaging activities, comic books, collectibles, toys, games, original art, cosplay, and so much more.

The event practically guarantees to be, well, awesome for the whole family, even more so as Awesome Con Jr., a family-focused area especially for young fans, expands its offerings for kids this year. Powered by The Toy Association, there will be hours of fun with entertaining and educational programs especially for young fans. Kids can meet their favorite characters, experience tons of hands-on activations, visit an entire stage dedicated to children’s programming, check out popular brands including DreamWorks, SpinMaster, KIND Snacks, Detective Pikachu, and more!

Awesome Con Jr. Workshops
These 45-minute to one-hour workshops are for kids who have an interest in drawing and sketching and want to learn techniques from some of the best cartoonists and professional artists in the business. With 18 workshops throughout the weekend, your child can learn to draw their very own Pokemon and werewolves, or create their very own superhero symbol. There’s also a Fan Art Design Contest presented by Art Way Alliance Artists & Craftsman Supply.

Dedicated Kids Stage & Programming – Expanded for 2019!
Over the course of the weekend, there will be 18 dedicated programs on the Awesome Con Jr. Kids Stage. Guests can experience imaginative play sessions, from Super Art Fight Jr to Saber Guild Corellia’s Live Lightsaber Performance and Intro to Spells for Young Witches and Wizards to Saber Guild Padawan Training, and so much more. Check out the full Awesome Con Jr. Stage Schedule.

Character Appearances
Your child will be delighted to meet their favorite characters including: Goku from Dragon Ball Z, Pikachu, Ranger Rick, Luna from Let’s Go Luna, Super Why, Daniel Tiger, and Disney Princess Cosplayers.

Free Custom Sketches
Comics artists Ron Chan, Amy Mebberson, Ron Randall, and James Silvani will each have a one-hour session doing free, custom sketches for kids in the character meet & greet areas.

DreamWorks Screenings
At 11am each day, the Kids Stage is the spot to watch some favorite shows from DreamWorks.

National Wildlife Federation Animal Show
An opportunity to see and learn more about some very cool animals as Naturalist David Mizejewski presents an animal “show and tell” for kids! An opossum, alligator, coati, arctic fox, porcupine, cavy, and python will all make appearances.

Awesome Con Arcade by MagFest & Table Top Games by Foam Brain
This is the spot to let kids be kids and get their video game time in — they’ll find all types of vintage arcade games to play. Parents will enjoy the nostalgia, too!

Kids Costume Parade
Kid who love to dress up as their favorite characters can can show it off at the Kids Costume Parade, held Saturday and Sunday at 12pm. This is only open to the first 30 registrants, so get there early!

Awesome Con 2019 is an event to put on your family’s calendar! It runs April 26-28, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Admission starts at $40/adult, $15/child. More information and a full schedule of events and activities is available on the Awesome Con website.


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


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Special Event, Spring, Weekend

Scenes from a Beautiful Fall Day at the U.S. National Arboretum

Autumn sun over the old National Capitol Columns



Not too long ago I posted about 10 Great Places to Enjoy Autumn in the DC Area (that are not Farm Festivals). One of the places included among them was the U.S. National Arboretum, and this past weekend at the locale in northeast DC it was brilliantly evident why.

The whole Arb was bursting with vibrant fall color as foliage in the area is peaking right about now. The red, orange, and yellow tones of many trees and plants throughout its 446 acres are so intense, making for breathtaking scenes everywhere.

#nofilter

A lot of folks were there to savor it all on a gorgeous fall day; I’ve actually never seen the Arb that busy before. But it was great to see so many people enjoying one of the prettiest places in the city (imo). And even with more visitors than usual, the Arboretum is so big, it never feels too crowded.

A popular spot on a nice day

The old National Capitol Columns are a huge draw — they’re so dramatic, especially with the backdrop of autumn-hued trees — but make sure to explore beyond them. There are so many more lovely and interesting sights, including a Bonsai Museum, a natural play area, numerous plant collections, and neat little spots that make you feel like you stumbled upon a bit of magic.

The autumn splendor should last a little while longer, and the forecast indicates we have some nice days coming up to enjoy it. If you go, don’t miss the annual Beautiful Transitions Autumn Bonsai Exhibit, which will run November 10-19, showcasing red maples, yellow ginkgos, and fruited trees in the permanent collection of little trees.

Autumn bonsai

The U.S. National Arboretum is located in Northeast DC off of Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue. Hours are 8am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Read more about the Arboretum in The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids (it tops the list!), in this post about the Washington Youth Garden, and this one with scenes from the gorgeous azalea bloom. And get even more of a glimpse in these image from our visit there yesterday.

Fantastic light creating a golden scene



Sash adds some turquoise to it



Red maple on a blue sky



Greens and golds



A really high five



This bonsai is well on its way to winter foliage



Where’s the tiny partridge for the tiny pear tree?



Chillin’ on the columns



Been visiting the Arb with this guy for a loooong time



A colorful stroll



Picture perfect scenes abound



Too cool (but he actually posed for one)!



Spotted through the arbor



The columns backlit by the sun



Stay gold, Owenboy.



Leave a Comment

Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Weekdays, Weekend