Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in Maryland

The KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids

A view of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from the Maryland Science Center

 

I recommend visits to Baltimore quite often.  Not only is it nice to get a change of metro area scenery sometimes, our sister city just a 45-minute drive away is full of fantastic, family-friendly attractions to visit on a day trip or even a weekend getaway.  Even more, it’s fun to explore the neighborhoods, spend time by (or on) the water, and savor tasty eats (Baltimore has an excellent food scene). So, after way too long, here’s a round-up of all of the Baltimore places covered on KFDC in one big post, plus a few extras recommended by friends, and even more tips for a great visit there with kids. Happy exploring, hon!

 

PLACES TO GO

Miss Perception’s Mystery House at Port Discovery

Port Discovery
Where: 35 Market Place
When: Weds, 10am – 2pm | Fri & Sat, 10am – 4pm | Sun, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $17.95/ages 2+, free/under 2
The children’s museum in Baltimore has several levels full of exhibits that keep kids entertained all day long. Renovated just a couple of years ago, some areas are very new, while others are from older days — but still much loved. The famous Sky Climber was updated, and the floor to ceiling structure with a ship at its core, tunnels to crawl through, and twisting slide to zip down, is always a favorite. There are a lot of interactives with measures in place for Covid safety. The linked write-up was done by KFDC contributor Emily Moise after the renovation, but we’ve visited Port Discovery lots over the years — I can’t even count the days off from school that we spent there — so we can vouch for its awesomeness.
KFDC Tip: If you think you might go a few times this year, I recommend checking out their membership options.

 

Go big at the Maryland Science Center

Maryland Science Center
Where: 601 Light Street
When: Friday 10am – 4pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $25.95/adult, $19.95/child
At the Maryland Science Center, you can discover a variety of science fields through an amazing array of exhibits, just about all of them hands-on and appealing to young visitors. It’s not a museum with collections of artifacts and tangible history; rather, there are models, demos, and interactive displays that encourage learning through engagement. Dinosaurs, the earth, physics, the body, energy, and space are some of the main areas to explore. There is also a Kids Room full of all kinds of hands-on fun for children in a safe enclosed space, including a special area for the under-two set.
KFDC Tips: If you think you’d go often, membership is worth checking out. The Science Center validates parking at nearby garages.

 

A view of the National Aquarium – with the USS Torsk moored in front

National Aquarium
Where: 501 East Pratt
When: Mon-Thurs 9am – 5pm, Fri 9am – 8pm, Sat 9am – 7pm, Sun 9am – 6pm
Admission: $39.95/adult, $29.95/age 3-11, free/2 & under

Get a glimpse of the underwater world at the venue right on the water. The exhibits at the National Aquarium highlight marine life and other animals from around the world — you can see hundreds of species in recreated habitats, from the Chesapeake Bay to the Amazon Rainforest to the Indo-Pacific. Sharks, dolphins, reptiles, all kinds of reef fish, sea anemones and jellyfish, tropical birds, even sloths are among the animals there. Admission may sound steep, but it’s a very cool venture that you really can’t do anywhere else in the area. Along with the exhibits are experiences like 4-D films, special tours, and animal encounters (they all cost extra).
KFDC Tip: If you can swing a visit on a Friday night, admission is half price!

 

Outrageously creative art awaits at the AVAM

American Visionary Art Museum
Where: 501 East Pratt
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $15.95/adult, $9.95/child, free/6 & under
The American Visionary Art Museum houses some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around. The vibrant, quirky collections — including some interactive pieces — can be appreciated by art buffs of all ages. From the kooky WhirliGig outside the entrance to a replica of the Lusitania made entirely of toothpicks to a sculpture garden with amusing works to a building full of kinetic sculptures big and small, the museum is a brilliant showcase of craft and imagination.
KFDC Tip: Be sure to check out the museum shop, Sideshow. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a hoot to browse all of the fun, offbeat items.

 

All little hands on deck of the USS Constellation

Historic Ships
Where: 301 East Pratt Street
When: Thursday – Monday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $15/adult, $13/teen, $7/youth
Historic Ships of Baltimore is currently welcoming visitors aboard the USS Constellation and USS Torsk (there are a few more ships, though not open right now). Touring the vessels moored at the Inner Harbor is a fun and fascinating experience for all ages. You can ring the ship’s bell, check out the cannons on deck, (pretend) take the helm, and get a glimpse at what were once the inner workings of the ship and crew. And on the USS Torsk, a World War II submarine, you can see the tight space the crew once lived in hundreds of feet underwater (which is at once creepy and cool).
KFDC Tip: For an immersive experience, the Historic Ships offers an Overnight Adventure for ages 6 and up. They are scheduled to start up again in September 2021.

 

The recreated cannery in the Baltimore Museum of Industry

Baltimore Museum of Industry
Where: 1415 Key Highway
When: Open by appointment only
Admission: $12/adult, $7/child, free/6 & under

The Museum of Industry is a great Baltimore attraction that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Highlighting the trades and people that helped build the port city, it’s full of fun and interesting exhibits and installations, many with hands-on elements, that both children and adults will enjoy. Several permanent exhibits are set up just as the real businesses would have been when they existed, giving visitors an interesting and insightful glimpse at life during that time period.
KFDC Tip: Go on a Saturday from mid-May through November and check out the BMI Farmers Market that runs from 9am – 1pm before your museum visit.

 

The birthplace of the star spangled banner, Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry
Where: 2400 East Fort Avenue
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 4:45pm
Admission:
The birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner,” Fort McHenry is the site of a key battle in the War of 1812. During non-Covid times, you can learn about the history of the national monument through all kinds of interesting exhibits, both in the Visitors Center and throughout the grounds. Children will especially enjoy seeing the cannons, exploring underground spaces, and touring the barracks that now house lots of neat exhibits, including several interactives. Right now, you can access the Historic Star Fort, but the Visitors Center and indoor fort exhibits are closed.
KFDC Tip: When the Visitor Center is open, be sure to watch the 10-minute, very moving film depicting the history of Fort McHenry shown there.

 

Chug on down to the B&O

The B&O Railroad Museum
Where: 901 West Pratt Street
When: Mon-Sat 10am – 4pm, Sun 11am – 4pm
Admission: $20/adult, $17/senior, $12/age 2-12

All aboard for a railroading adventure! Kids who are into trains will looove the B&O, with all kinds of exhibits all about locomotives, including real train cars on display, some they even climb aboard and explore. They also have programming especially for children like story times and the annual Day Out with Thomas event when the beloved Tank Engine visits with his crew.
KFDC Tip: Check the schedule before you go, so you can plan for a real train ride on the One Mile Express.

Urban Pirates
Where: 911 South Ann Street
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am – 5:30pm
Admission: $22 ($12/age 2 & under

Set sail for some arrr-some fun on the high Chesapeake Bay seas! Urban Pirates offers family adventure cruises on weekends, taking little swashbucklers on a cruise to search for lost treasure. On the journey, there are fun activities and water canons, plus guests can get suited up for it with vests, tattoos, and drawn-on facial hair.
KFDC Tip: These adventures make for great birthday parties — my kids went to a couple here and loved them!

Maryland Zoo
Where: One Safari Place
When: March – Dec, Daily 10am – 4pm | Jan-Feb, Fri-Mon, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $22-26/age 12+, $18/age 2-11

When you have a fantastic zoo with free admission right in your own city, it’s hard to justify making a long drive to pay somewhat steep admission to see the same animals. Thus, we’ve actually never been to the Maryland Zoo. That said, I hear it’s fun (much like many zoos), and since visiting the National Zoo may be tougher since timed-entry passes are required, this is a good alternative.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Where: 10 Art Museum Drive
When: Wednesday-Sunday, from 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes
The Baltimore Museum of Art has an extensive collection of work from many centuries and genres. Pre-Covid, the BMA offered free in-person, hands-on programming for kids on weekends; now you can find family art activities online as well as tips for visiting with children.

Walters Art Museum
Where:
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
We have yet to visit the museum in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, but I’ve heard the Walters’ space is just as interesting as the exhibits. Housed in several historic buildings, you apparently wind your way through galleries as you explore, kind of like a navigating labyrinth. It gets raves for its eclectic collection, with artifacts and works that include a mummy, an ark door, paintings by some of the masters, plus thousands of other pieces.

Cylburn Arboretum
Where: 4915 Greenspring Avenue
When: Tuesday – Sunday, 8am – 8pm
Admission: Free

In the same vein as the zoo, we have an amazing, huge Arboretum right here in DC, so we haven’t been to this one. But if you want some green space in Baltimore, you apparently can find 200 acres of it at Cylburn. The grounds contain hundreds of trees and plant varieties, trails, gardens, and a historic mansion (though not open right now).

 

Baltimore’s Little Italy

PLACES TO EAT

Little Italy
Where: Southeast area of downtown Baltimore
When: Varies by restaurant
Cost: Varies by restaurant

The charming neighborhood in southeast Baltimore is known for restaurants that serve delicious, authentic Italian food. And the options range from casual carry out pizza and subs to family-style meals to more upscale dining. We’d often head that way after a visit to Port Discovery — a day of play works up appetites! — and the neighborhood is just a few minutes’ drive from the children’s museum. Amicci’s and Isabella’s are a couple of great places to go with kids, but you’re practically guaranteed a scrumptious meal at any of them.

Baba’s Mediterranean
Where: 745 East Fort Avenue
When: Tues – Sat, 11:30am – 8pm & Sun 12-7pm
Cost: Sandwiches and salads under $10

This has been a go-to for us after a day at the Baltimore attractions. Falafel sandwiches, greek salad, kabobs, super tasty Baba’s Ghannous and hummus, and more yummy bites always make everyone happy. I always get extra dips to bring home, too.

Miss Shirley’s Cafe
Where: 750 E. Pratt Street 
When: Daily, 8am – 3pm
Cost: Entrees $15-20, Kids Box $10
It can sometimes be hard to get a table, but if you do, you are in for a treat. Plan to start your Baltimore visit there — Miss Shirley’s is known for its breakfast and brunch (great for lunch, too).  The food is downright delicious. Kids’ meals are served in a cute bento box, and children’s books are available while they wait (in non-Covid times, anyway).

Nacho Mamas
Where: 2907 O’Donnell Street 
When: Sun-Thurs 12-10pm, Fri-Sat 12-11pm
Cost: Entrees under $20
Located in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore, Nacho Mamas is about a 10-minute drive from many of the big attractions, but worth heading that way after you’re done playing by the Inner Harbor. The quesadillas, tacos, wings, burgers, sandwiches, and other easy fare are scrumptious and substantial — and served in big hubcaps. Lots of Elvis-themed decor makes it awesome, too. Take time to walk around Canton, a fun waterfront area in the city.

 

Stroll, shop, eat, and drink along the charming streets of Fell’s point

EXPLORE MORE

Fell’s Point
Most folks are aware of Fell’s Point, the lively, historic neighborhood on the water in southeast Baltimore. It’s an easy mile walk from the Inner Harbor (or a fun, little water taxi cruise) and a great area to check out with the fam. All kinds of eateries and boutiques line the streets, plus the Broadway Market is great to browse for treats.

Canton
Just mentioned above, Canton is a vibrant waterfront neighborhood — fun to stroll, shop, eat, and drink. There are a variety of stores to browse and places to get a bite, from easy, casual snacks to finer dining.  The annual Baltimore Seafood Festival takes place there, this year from September 12-14.

Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar
The open air market runs every Sunday 7am – 12pm underneath the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday & Saratoga Streets. It’s fun to walk around and check out the fresh produce stands, gourmet foods, sweet treats, crafts, and other goods. Concessions are for sale, too — you can even stop there for breakfast or lunch, then head over to the larger attractions on the Inner Harbor.

 

Getting There
Baltimore is an easy drive from DC, just 45 minutes up I-95 or the BW Parkway (295) depending on where you are departing from. However, if you want to relax and enjoy the ride there, you can take the MARC train from Union Station. The hour-ish ride to Baltimore’s Penn Station is $9/passenger each way, and there are several departure times throughout the day.

Do you have a favorite Baltimore adventure you don’t see here?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under All ages, Maryland

Hiking, Beaching, & a Little Fossil Hunting at Calvert Cliffs State Park

 

One might hear Calvert Cliffs State Park and immediately think awesome shark tooth hunting.  After all, the features for which the locale is named are well known as the source of millions-of-years-old fossils along Chesapeake shores.  However, in our experience, fossil finds are not what make the park an excellent day trip destination; whenever we have visited, we’ve found just a few small shark teeth at most. [Note: The pics here are from a visit this past summer… ’cause I have to keep the theme going of posting months after our visits. 😉]

What is more appealing about Calvert Cliffs State Park are its other main recreational activities: Hiking, beaching, and swimming.  There are 13 miles of trails total within the park, including one that is the direct route to the beach. It’s pretty evident where to catch the Red Trail from the parking lot, then it’s a two-mile ramble to reach the sand and surf, but a fairly easy and very scenic one.

The route is flat and mellow for the most part, so little ones can tackle it, and stretches through woods and along edges of marshes. Part of the trail is a wide dirt path shaded by tall leafy trees and part is a boardwalk that extends along wetlands.  You can walk and take in expansive views of the marsh areas filled with lily pads and aquatic plants.  In a few places, the boardwalk extends out into them for a closer look, and there are a couple of benches on the way to sit and enjoy the scenes.

When you come to the one fork in the trail, there’s a sign that points the way to the beach.  Follow that and you’ll eventually hit the stretch of sand where you can find a place to park your stuff and hang out awhile.  It’s not a huge area as barriers are in place to keep people from accessing the actual cliff areas.  Expect to share the space with a good amount of other people on nice days, especially weekends, though not too many that it’s crowded.  The park limits capacity, even more during Covid, so it’s not overwhelming.

Swimming is permitted, and the water is shallow and calm, but look out for jellyfish.  If you’re into fossil hunting, definitely do some searching for relics — like I said, I have found some small pieces there — but don’t be disappointed if you don’t find much.  And what you don’t find fossil-wise, you’ll make up for with a nice little hike and beach fun.

Calvert Cliffs State Park is located at 10540 H. G. Trueman Road in Lusby, MD, about a one-hour drive from DC.  Entry to the park is $8/vehicle, and it’s open sunrise to sunset.  Bring along a picnic as there are no concessions in the park, just keep in mind that whatever you pack you’ll be carrying two miles.  And make a stop at the bathroom near the parking lot as there isn’t one at the beach area.

As mentioned, the park limits capacity, so have a Plan B in mind in case you get there and it’s full.  Annmarie Sculpture Garden is just a few minutes down the road and just a bit further is the Calvert Marine Museum.

 

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Filed under All ages, Maryland, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, 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

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
Admission:Free

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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