Tag Archives: Family Volunteer Opportunities

Five Things: October 13, 2022


1. Do you know about Dumbarton Oaks Park in Georgetown?  Not to be confused with Dumbarton Oaks Garden that I’ve written about and recommended a lot, the Park is a lovely little stretch of nature that is actually located right behind the gardens.  I first wrote about the Park here a bunch of years ago… it’s part of Rock Creek Park and contains well maintained trails and features like footbridges, seating areas, and stone walls built into the landscape, kind of giving it all a fairytale feel.  It’s a perfect place to go for a hike with young children — it’s not too big, the paths are flat and easy for little ones to navigate, and it’s right next to Montrose Park, where there’s a playground and lots of grassy space to run around — but all ages would enjoy a walk there.  You can make a whole day of it in that tucked away area of the neighborhood and visit Dumbarton Oaks Park, Montrose Park, and Dumbarton Oaks Garden all in one great outing!  The Park is  open daily dawn to dusk, and admission is free.  Access it near the intersection of R & 31st Streets NW.  [Note that Dumbarton Oaks Garden is only open to the public Tuesday – Sunday, 2-6pm, and admission is $7 through October 31, then free through mid-March).


2. There have been some additions to the round-up of Halloween events around the area, including the haunted lab at the Children’s Science Center Lab, a special scavenger hunt at Meadowlark Botanic Garden, and a Halloween Party at the Parc at Tysons.  Get all the details for these wicked fun ways to celebrate Halloween, plus many more, here.


3. Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater will be back in person soon after nearly two years! Their first show will be Seasons of Light, the annual holiday production that was a tradition for many pre-Covid. In case you’re not familiar with the venue, it’s located in the Smithsonian Ripley Center connected to the National Museum of Asian Art.


4. 13 family-friendly shows and movies perfect for Halloween.


5. And to balance it out: The scariest movies of all time. 😱


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Five Things: October 5, 2022


1. We recently enjoyed a fantastic visit to Glenstone when my mom was visiting — it’s a great place to take out of town guests! — so I was inspired to share some info and reminders about the indoor-outdoor art museum in Potomac, MD:

1) Tickets are free, but timed-entry, and need to be reserved in advance.  I just checked, and there are still some available for October and November. And fall is a great time to go!
2) Their Guaranteed Entry program ensures admission for students ages 12+, along with one guest each, even without passes.  This applies to active-duty military personnel and staff from other museums, too.  We took advantage of it when my mom was here.
3) You can also visit without reserved tickets by taking the Ride On Bus that runs from Route 301 to the museum.
4) The museum does not allow anyone under age 12 to visit at all.  I know some people with younger children don’t like this, but I think it’s a good call by Glenstone. The museum has a certain tranquil vibe that could be disrupted with a lot of little ones running around.  I also think much of the art there would be more appreciated by older kids. Plus, it’s fun to have activities to look forward to enjoying with kids as they grow, kind of a rite of passage for them.

Read more about Glenstone in this KFDC post, and view more scenes from our recent visit here.


2. Saturday Morning Live! at the National, the wonderful, FREE program from the National Theatre, will be back in person this weekend for the first time since Covid!  The series brings all kinds of wow-inspiring children’s entertainment to the stage — interactive performances, puppet shows, dance performances, music, and more – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder.  This Saturday, October 8, they’re presenting The Lighthouse, an interactive shadow show. There will be two performances, at 9:30am and 11:30am.  See what other shows are coming this season here.


3.  Can’t wait to check out this restaurant that just opened on Capitol Hill!


4. All of the wet weather lately has me looking for new rain boots.  I think these Hunter knock-offs are a winner. And there are so many cute styles if you’re looking for kids’ boots.


5. 10 Happy Things for October 🧡


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Five Things: September 28, 2022

Early fall at the Arboretum


1. The new season is official on the calendar, the air is beginning to crisp, and we’re starting to see the first tinges of fall foliage.  Thus, it’s a perfect time to highlight 10 Great Places to Enjoy Autumn in the DC Area (that are not Farm Festivals).


2.  Something that sounds super fun — and is also charitable — to consider for this weekend:  The 4th Annual District Hunt.   This city-wide scavenger hunt showcases local changemakers through an outdoor puzzle adventure all around DC. Designed around the theme of Literacy (every year is a new theme), this unique event brings the community together while raising awareness and creating opportunities to support local organizations.  This Saturday, October 1, is the Team Contest, when you can enter as a small group ($100/team) and race to complete the hunt for prizes.  They say it’s recommended for ages 10 and up, but younger kids are welcome, and families are encouraged to join.  And if you don’t want to get competitive or can’t make it Saturday, there is also a self-directed option to do the hunt from October 2-10 — anyone who has signed up can complete the puzzle on their own time.


3. Did you know Home Depot hosts free, in-person workshops just for kids?  (I used to highlight these regularly pre-Covid, and they recently started offering them again). On the first Saturday of the month from 9am – 12pm, kids accompanied by an adult can stop in to complete a themed, hands-on project.  All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin (while supplies last). This weekend, they can build a fire rescue boat.  And if you can’t make it to the workshop, you can still order the kit to do the project at home ($4.98).


4. The hottest new brunches to try around DC, according to Eater.


5. It’s getting to be that time of year!


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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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