Tag Archives: July 2021

Children’s Performances at Wolf Trap Start Next Week!


Play, sing, dance, and learn this summer at Wolf Trap!

Fun for all ages, this summer’s Children’s Performances feature music, dance, and storytelling. Wolf Trap National Park provides a full day of adventure! After the show, explore with Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK, enjoy a picnic lunch, or play in the Meadow.

July performances start next week with Dan + Claudia Zanes with Friends, Inez Barlatier, Joanie Leeds, Oran Etkin: Timbalooloo, Elena Moon Park and Friends, and more.

Just added August performers include Sonia De Los Santos and The Okee Dokee Brothers, Yogapalooza with Bari Koral, Danny Weinkauf and his Red Pants Band, FLY DANCE COMPANY: The Gentlemen of Hip Hop, and many more!

Performances will take place at the Filene Center in July and at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods in August on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Saturdays, July 20-August 21.

Visit the Wolf Trap website for the full schedule and to reserve your tickets!  And read about one of our past experiences at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods here.


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

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Five Things for Today: July 13, 2021

Teddy’s first walk on the Capitol grounds!


1. The U.S. Capitol grounds are accessible again!  The fence that was erected around it after the January 6 attacks was taken down this past weekend.  It’s so great to be able to walk up close to view the building, hang out on the lawn, and just stroll the area around the People’s House once again.  It feels like we’ve gotten a big, special part of the neighborhood back. No word on when/if tours of the Capitol will be offered again, but I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.


2. An iconic attraction that is reopening:  The Washington Monument!  Starting tomorrow, July 14, it will operate daily 9am – 5pm.  Timed-entry tickets will be required and are available through Recreation.gov.  You must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.  Read more about it in this post from a past reopening after renovations.  And get a glimpse inside the Monument (and views of DC from within) here.


3. The National Museum of Asian Art/Freer Gallery and National Museum of African Art reopen this Friday, July, 16, with no timed-entry passes required!  Both will be open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm.  And speaking of no passes, the National Gallery of Art is longer requiring them to visit — just walk on in whenever you fancy from 10am – 5pm daily. 


4. I am totally making this for me my kids when they get back from camp.


5. A great summer playlist.


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The Weekend Round-Up: July 9-11

A perfect way to enjoy a summer day


Happy Weekend!

Find seasonal and ongoing activities for all ages and interests in these posts:
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Indoor Outings
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Peaceful Places
* Bike Rides

Summer Staples
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get your summer on this weekend with a host of activities exclusive to this time of year. Kick it off with an outdoor concert or free fishing.  poolspray park, or go big at a waterpark.  Cool off indoors at special museum program like the Summer Block Party at the Building Museum. Do some crabbing (the feasting kind). Catch a movie under the stars, and so much more. See the 2021 KFDC Guide to Summer in DC for the full scoop on these and even more summer favorites.

Friday Night Fishing
Where: Diamond Teague Docks | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the weekend with some catch and release as Anacostia Riverkeeper kicks off their summer Friday fishing program. Families and kids of all ages are welcome to join for a few hours of fishing. All essentials are provided: rods, reels, bait, and lessons for those who want to fish for the first time. Staff will be present the whole time to answer any questions and help with casting, tips, tricks, and any other fishing help you may need. Be sure to register and fill out a waiver if you plan to go. When you’re done, head right down the boardwalk to Yards Park for the Friday Night Concert or get a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants. (KFDC Tip: All Purpose Pizzeria is great for families!)

Live Music by the River
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free

Friday Night Concerts are back at the Yards Park! The series is kicking off with a live performance by 90s cover band Uncle Jesse on the boardwalk. Bring the kiddos early to play in the water features, then head over to hear the music. BYO food for a picnic, but note that no outside alcohol will be permitted. Wine, beer, and seltzer will be available for sale. If not fully vaccinated and over the age of 18, they ask that masks are worn.

After Hours
Where: The Station at Riverdale, MD
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

The Staion at Riverdale is kicking off its summer series.  Every Friday through August 13, there will be exciting, family- and dog-friendly programming on The Village Green, including live DJ sets, outdoor games, nine-hole miniature golf, a photo scavenger hunt, plus giveaways, prizes and more.  All are welcome to the free events!

I Get My Peaches Down in Virginia (& Maryland)
Where: Area Farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

It’s peach picking time at many local farms. If you want to get them at their peak, check out this list of area farms that offer pick-your-own (note that not all of them have peaches, so be sure to read descriptions… one that definitely does and we love to go to is Homestead Farms). And it’s always a good idea to check websites or call for updates to confirm availability when you plan to go.

Fairytales in the Sun
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $20.50

Adventure Theatre is presenting its first in-person productions since pre-Covid times. Two one-act plays, The Flood in the Future by Lyra Yang and From Cinders to Ella by Michelle Lynch, will be performed outside in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn and Covid protocols will be followed. BYO blanket or chair.

HBD, Alexandria!
Where: Oronoco Bay Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 8:45pm
Admission: Free

The City of Alexandria will celebrate its 272nd (and the USA’s 245th) birthday on Saturday, with a performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra ending with a Grand Finale fireworks display at 9:30pm. To limit crowds,the fireworks display will be visible from multiple vantage points along the Potomac River waterfront from Canal Center Plaza to Jones Point Park.

Inside the Wardrobe
Where: Georgetown Park | Georgetoen, DC
When: Friday, 5-9pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $28/adult, $19/age 4-15

This new interactive fashion funhouse just made its debut in Georgetown, and it sounds like a blast for budding (and seasoned) fashionistas. Inside the Wardrobe is an experiential, very Instagrammable, 20,000-square-foot walk-through art installation that celebrates our return to getting dressed in real clothes and going out again after over a year of being confined to our homes. Go on a journey through more than 20 interactive experiences focused on the fun and tactile nature of engaging with your closet. Style surrounds at every turn, sparking conversation about its evolving nature and how we present ourselves to the world. It runs through August 29.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $27+

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!


         Stickwork Sculpture at the US Botanic Garden

Do Some Gardening
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Garden, the lovely outdoor area on the west side of the Botanic Garden, has reopened. Take a stroll along the paths, check out the plants and small creek that runs through it, bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the tables by the fountain or in the small amphitheater, and explore Patrick Doherty’s amazing stickwork sculpture that was installed in late 2019 to celebrate the USBG’s bicentennial (still there)! Now that the National Garden is open, all of the outdoor areas are accessible.

Secret DC Book Signings and Walking Tours
Where 1: Solid State Books | H Street NE, DC
Where 2: Vanadu Books | Hyattsville, MD
When: Friday, 7-8:30pm | Sunday, 3-4pm
Admission: Free

Discover some of DC’s most obscure places with JoAnn Hill, author of Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. She will be doing a walking tour of select book sites and book signings at Solid State Books on Friday from 7-8:30pm. She also will be signing books and conducting a house tour at Vanadu Art House on Sunday from 3-4pm, partnering with artist Clarke Bedford. Admission is free and open to all for both of the events.

Shakespeare in the Park
Where: Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park | Ellicott City, MD
When: Saturday, 8pm & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: $19/adult (one free kid per adult)

See a Shakespeare play in the park! The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has brought back its annual outdoor show, presenting The Adventures of Pericles through August 2. Bring along a picnic to enjoy as you watch the play — there are no food vendors, but you can BYO food, beer, and wine.

Bike to the Blooms
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Garden | Northeast DC
When: Daily, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual lotus flower and water lily bloom has begun at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and it’s one bloom that is always spectacular! You can add some adventure to an outing to see it by biking the Anacostia River Trail there. No matter how you go, try to see it during the peak.  See scenes from a past bloom here and read more about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens here.

More Bike Rides
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There’s a quick link to bike rides up top as well as a specific one above, but here’s a stronger recommendation just to get out for a family ride. There are a bunch of great routes for the whole crew to ride all around the area. This one on the Anacostia River Trail includes the lotus and lilies at Kenilworth and another park for some play.  Cycle the Mount Vernon trail and stop at Gravelly Point to watch the airplanes.  Another fun ride is down the National Mall to Georgetown then onto the Capital Crescent Trail.  You can find even more recs for good two-wheel trips here.

Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Take advantage of the nice weather with a family hike — then extend (and elevate) the day with some some snacks (or a whole meal) and sips after.  A few awesome combos for that: Sky Meadows State Park and Barrel Oak Winery. Sugarloaf Mountain and The Comus Inn  or Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (note: Comus is not a winery or brewery, just a restaurant, but a very scenic and fun one).  Great Falls (MD side) and The Old Angler’s InnPatapsco Valley State Park and the Guinness Brewery.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $20

Our local women’s pro soccer team is playing in DC Saturday evening. Watch the Washington Spirit take on the North Carolina Courage at Audi Field. Parking can be difficult, so I recommend taking Metro to the Navy Yard area (or parking in the neighborhood) and having a pre-game bite to eat, then it’s an easy walk to the stadium. El Bebe, The Salt Line, Dacha, and All Purpose are convenient, family-friendly spots to eat there.

Dupont’s Basement: An Arts Market
Where: Dupont Underground | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm

Dupont Underground is hosting this arts market before it goes on vacay for the summer, so go do some shopping in the unique space. It’ll have funky stuff — art, collectibles, jewelry, vintage items — and variety of food. Vendors include Sweets by Shy, Future of What, Pencil Roots, Xolo Books, Black Vinegar and so much more. It’s also a chance to see the cool space below the streets of the city.

* There’s a brand new post about exploring art at the Kreeger Museum. Have you been?
* Starting Monday, July 12, timed-entry passes will no longer be required to visit the National Gallery of Art! Open daily 10am – 5pm.
* Just started reading this book and really enjoying it so far.
* A perfect summer salad.
* The 10 best places to travel in August, according to Travel & Leisure.
* If You Give a Mom A Cookie…

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things for Today: July 6, 2021

Hanging on the front plaza at the Library of Congress, which reopens next week!



1. The Library of Congress’ annual Summer Movies on the Lawn series begins this Thursday, July 8, and it’s kicking off with a classic:  The Princess Bride!  BYO blanket and join the free event on the North Lawn (along East Capitol Street) at 8pm. Even more LOC news: the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building reopens to the public next Thursday, July 15!  Hours will be 10am – 4:30pm Thursday – Saturday, and free, timed-entry passes will be required to visit.  Read all about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.


2. We’ve got some hot days in the forecast this week, so this round-up of swim spots will come in handy, as will info about public pools, spray parks, and waterparks in the 2021 KFDC Guide to Summer Around the DC Area.


3. Local nonprofit Rosie Riveters is hosting two free programs to keep kids excited about STEM all summer long: a geocaching adventure and a summer reading program! Follow the links for details on both.  (And learn more about geocaching in this KFDC post.)


4. The 100 best movies on Netflix right now, according to Vulture.


5. Every mom in summer. 😂


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The Weekend Round-Up: July 2-4

The Capitol Hill July 4th Parade includes fantastic Bolivian dancing



Quick links for all kinds of ongoing fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Swim Spots
* Local Hikes with Kids
* On the Water
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend

Admission: Varies by activity
Enjoy activities that make this time of year so much fun. Start the weekend off on Friday with an outdoor movie, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool, spray park, or go big at a waterpark.  Cool off indoors at special museum program like the Summer Block Party at the Building Museum. Feast on crabs or hit the beach to fulfill a seasonal must-do. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2021 summer guide.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday,  Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park as they host the Dodgers this weekend. Kick off Independence Day with a Saturday evening game (7:15pm) and enjoy a postgame fireworks show. The July 4th game on Sunday (11:15am) is part of the Patriotic Series. There’s also a game Friday evening. Before you go, check out this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Millennium Stage: Relax, Relate, Release
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday, 5:30pm & Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

This weekend’s Millenium Stage is a mini-fest of joy and play curated by three black women through film, art, literature, movement, and music. Enjoy it all on The Kennedy Center’s The Reach Plaza. Register for it in advance.

Fun, Food, & Fireworks at Victura Park
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Also at the Kennedy Center, the family-friendly outdoor pop-up and wine garden at The REACH will be a great place to hang out this weekend. Food and drinks are available to enjoy in an area set up with picnic tables, and it’s always a fun, lively vibe.  Be sure to explore the beautiful grounds, stop in The REACH Buildings, stroll the Kennedy Center terrace, and take in sweeping views of the Potomac.  Even better, it’ll be open late on Sunday for a July 4th celebration and a great spot to view the fireworks on the National Mall. Hours are Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 12-9pm, and Sunday 12-10pm.

Sketching is Seeing
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free with timed-entry tickets

Sketching Is Seeing, the National Gallery of Art’s program that encourages visitors to sketch the art they view at the museum, returns this weekend! The program will be as contactless as possible and with a focus on works by American artists in honor of the July 4th holiday. Throughout the month of July, 15,000 sketchbooks will be distributed for families to use to sketch around the campus (or at home!).

First Look at the Lotus and Lilies
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Garden | Northeast DC
When: Daily, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual lotus flower and water lily bloom has begun at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and while it has a ways to go until the peak, it’s still so pretty to see (though Kenilworth is wonderful anytime). Go get a glimpse of it at this early stage, and before the crowds get there.  And, FYI, the annual festival to celebrate the bloom will be virtual this year. See scenes from a past bloom here and learn about a great way to combine a visit with another activity here.   And this post has more general info and background on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $27+

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Weekend Walk-In: Earth Collage
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $5

Join the museum for their first in-person, drop-in, art workshop in over a year! In the spacious Tall Sculpture Love Barn, create a collage inspired by artist William Hall, whose work is currently on view in our “Earth” exhibit. All supplies included, and all ages welcome. Read more about wonderful, wacky AVAM here. And find more ways to enjoy Baltimore, including food recs and ares to explore, here.

Reopening Celebration
Where: Baltimore Museum of Industry | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: $12/adult, $7/age 7-17, free/6 & under

Join the museum all about Baltimore’s early business days for a socially distanced welcome back — starting this weekend, it will be open Saturdays and Sundays. Shop the Farmer’s Market outside, tour the galleries, watch a live demo in the print shop, meet a photographer whose images are on display, and more. Make a day of it Charm City with the help of the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

Dinosaur Park Open House
Where: Dinosaur Park | Laurel, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Discover an ancient world right in Prince George’s County! On the first and third Saturdays of every month, Dinosaur Park in Laurel welcomes the public to their interpretive programs.. Paleontologists and educators will display fossils, casts, and models of Astrodon johnstoni, Maryland’s state dinosaur, along with other 112 million-year-old creatures found there.

Peachy Keen
Where: Homestead Farm | Poolesville, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s peach picking time at many local farms; the summer fruits are ripe and ready for harvest. If you want to get them at their peak, check out this list of area farms that offer pick-your-own (note that not all of them have peaches, so be sure to read descriptions… one that definitely does and we love to go to is Homestead Farms).    And it’s always a good idea to check websites or call for updates to confirm availability when you plan to go.

Vamos United!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $28

DC United is home this weekend with a match against Toronto on Saturday.  I recommend taking public transportation since parking can be difficult. Idea:  Take Metro to the Navy Yard and have a pre-game bite to eat then it’s an easy walk to the stadium.   El Bebe, The Salt Line, and All Purpose are very convenient and my top recs for family-friendly spots to eat there.

Independence Day Weekend Fireworks
Where: Lake Fairfax |
When: Saturday, 9pm
Admission: $10/car in advance, $15/car day of

Lake Fairfax is bringing back its community celebration with fireworks on July 3, launched at dark shortly after 9pm. Attendees should arrive by 8pm for time to park and find a spot to watch the show. You can even make a day out of it at the park — it opens at sunrise and will have various food trucks on site throughout the day, plus the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole will be open from 11am – 6pm (purchase tickets in advance as the water park routinely sells out by noon).

July 4th Neighborhood Parades
Where: Capitol Hill & Palisades, DC  + Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Free
While many parades are canceled this year, a couple of neighborhood processions are still happening.  The annual Capitol Hill Community Parade will take place along Barracks Row at 10am.  The Palisades annual parade and picnic is on, the fun starting at the corner of Whitehaven Pkwy and MacArthur at 12pm and ending at the rec center. And Takoma Park is doing a Parade of Houses throughout the holiday weekend.

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Archives for a one-of-a-kind July 4th celebration! This year, celebrate virtually or in person at the Archives! There will be a variety of educational and family-friendly interactive programs with historical figures and Archives educators, and a lively, patriotic reading ceremony emceed by journalist Soledad O’Brien. This year, they’ll also lift the words of the Declaration of Independence off of its well-worn parchment and bring them to homes across the country online.

Star-Spangled Concert & Fireworks
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: $15/age 13+, $10/age 3-12

The Bowie Baysox are hosting the Star-Spangled 4th Of July Concert & Fireworks Spectacular! DC Fusion, one of the DMV’s most in-demand dance bands, will play musical hits from the 60’s through today from many different styles and genres of music — something for everyone during the two-hour set. After the concert, the sky over Prince George’s Stadium will explode with a Fireworks Spectacular that will bring you to your feet!

4th of July Fireworks 
Where: Lincoln Memorial | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, shortly after 9pm
Admission: Free

The fireworks shows will be back on the National Mall, and the public can watch them right from there. This article has details on where you can enter the area starting as early as 1pm, along with alternative spots to see the fireworks show. There is also info for getting downtown, public transportation strongly recommended over driving.

* DC’s Youth Meals Program is underway for the summer, with free meals available for all kids ages 5-18 on weekdays 10am – 2pm. (Follow the link for locations.)
* If like me, you’re a mosquito’s favorite meal, read this.
* I’m giving this a try, too.
* Also from the Washington Post, good tips for road trips with your new pup.
* And speaking of dogs, how great is this Beck video (and song).
* 10 Happy Things for July from my awesome friend and photographer Darcy Troutman.

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Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend