Tag Archives: March 2021

The Weekend Round-Up: April 2-4

 

Happy Easter Weekend!

Quick links for go-to posts:
* Local Hikes with Kids
Best Outdoor Spots
* Peaceful Places
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides

Blossoms & Baseball Drive-in
Where: Akridge Lot | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $20/car

The Nats home opening series may be off but Blossoms & Baseball is still on. The Capitol Riverfront BID is welcoming the spring season back to the neighborhood with cherry blossom cheer and baseball-themed drive-in movies.  Catch 42: The True Story of an American Legend on Friday evening and A League of Their Own on Saturday.

Egg Hunt Weekend
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm | Clarksburg, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $8

Enjoy some spring and holiday fun at a place that looks straight out of a fairytale.  The grounds are charmingly adorned with recovered installations from an old storybook park, making it magical for kids. Little ones (ages 1 to 3 and 4 to 6) will have a chance to hunt for eggs throughout the day! 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. 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.

Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: Through Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $8/child

Join Potomac Overlook Regional Park  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 in park that’s great for families to explore. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post. And find even more egg-cellent adventures around the area here.

Bunnyland
Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: Saturday (& Monday)
Admission: $10

One of the more popular spring festivals in the area begins this weekend.  Butler’s has all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats for young guests. More fun includes 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.

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 the AVAM’s 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.

Bunny Train Ride
Where: Walkersville Southern Railroad | Walkersville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
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!

Big Screen Drive-In
Where: Alexandria Drive-In Movie Theater | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $40/car

Catch a flick from the comfort of your car — an ideal way to enjoy some entertainment out of the house and social distance. Shrek will be shown on Friday, and The Mummy on Saturday, both at 7:30pm. Food trucks will be there both nights offering savory and sweet concessions with online ordering through Goodfynd! Purchase movie tickets in advance.

Outdoor Adventure
Where: Terrapin Adventures | Savage, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Starts at $29

With the Sandy Spring Adventure Park sold out all weekend (and most of April), this is an alternative to to try for a unique outdoor adventure. (Note: We haven’t been to this one, so I can’t offer insight based on experience, but the ropes course is much smaller.) Along with ropes courses, there’s also a climbing wall and archery. They also offer tubing, kayak, caving, and mountain biking tours. And you can get a deal on admission through CertifiKID.

Go with the Flow
Where: Parks in Northern Virginia
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by park

Paddling season his starting at a few locations within the NoVA Parks systems. You can rents kayaks, canoes, standup paddle boards, and pedal boats at Pohick Bay, Fountainhead, and Occoquan Regional Parks. There are even some special paddle tours offered that explore the nature of the area.

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

Check out local porches decorated for cherry blossom season!  Since we can’t have a big parade this year,folks were encouraged to get creative and show their blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, and windows to spread joy and connect communities.  This map shows 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.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through April 11
Admission: Varies

The Wharf is celebrating  spring and the blossoms with Bloomaroo, nearly of month of cherry blossom-themed art installations, food and drink specials and more festivities. Catch Anime Movies, including the newest Sonic the Hedgehog movie. 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.

Pop-Up Street Theater
Where: Locales around Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Synetic Theatre 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.Follow @synetictheater on Instagram to see where they are and how long they’ll be there!

Dino Safari
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Daily through April 19
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 people); $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.

Trail Time
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

There’s a link to the round-up of hike around the area at the top of this list, but specific recs are often helpful, as some places can get crowded on weekends, especially on a beautiful spring weekend. And some are just great for other reasons. I just posted about the hike to the beach at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Turkey Run Park is a good place to go when Roosevelt Island is overrun. Prince William State Forest is so big, there’s plenty of space for a nice walk in the woods. And Wye Island NMRA on the Eastern Shore is a lovely place to escape the city bustle.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* A local mom has started hosting Pop-Up Art Classes for young artists at spots around Alexandria, and the sessions look and sound so sweet.  Follow her on Instagram to see where and when the classes will be popping up!
* Planet Word reopened this week, and you can still reserve free tickets for later this month. I highly recommend it — the museum dedicated to language is fantastic!
* After a very long wait (remember, it was closed for renovations pre-Covid?), the National Building Museum reopens April 9!
* There’s a new post about Glenstone, the incredible modern art museum that sprawls over 300 gorgeous acres in Potomac.
* The cherry blossom peak may be over, but there are more awesome flower blooms coming up, literally! Read about them here.
* Darcy just shared 10 Happy Things for April, and her list is fabulous as ever.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: March 26-28

Grand marshals of the Petal Porch Parade!

 

Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts for ongoing recreation:
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Best Outdoor Spots
* Peaceful Places
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides

Egg Hunt & Marshmallow Picking
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, $5/egg hunt

Head to the farm for good ol’ fashioned egg hunts and 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 Great Country needs help finding them. There will be multiple egg hunts with timed ticket entrance ($5 extra). Plan to see the spring chicks and baby animals, take a wagon ride, and enjoy the sprawling play area, too!

Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

The flowers aren’t quite yet peaking, but events and activities to celebrate DC’s iconic bloom begin are happening.  Seek out blossom-inspired art, join virtual programs, enjoy dining and shopping specials just for the season, and more.  See the beginning of the bloom in at least one place, and bring the fun home with some related activities.

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

Check out local porches decorated for cherry blossom season!  Since we can’t have a big parade this year,folks were encouraged to get creative and show their blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, and windows to spread joy and connect communities.  This map shows 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.

Art in Bloom
Where: Around the DC area
When: Through March 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.

Blossom Kite Fly
Where: Your backyard or local park
When: Saturday & Sunday
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.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through April 11
Admission: Varies

The Wharf is celebrating  spring and the blossoms with Bloomaroo, nearly of month of cherry blossom-themed art installations, food and drink specials and more festivities. Catch Anime Movies, including the newest Sonic the Hedgehog movie. 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.

Dino Safari
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Daily through April 11
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 people); $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. Use code KIDDC5 to receive $5 off your ticket!

Bunnyland
Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10

One of the more popular spring festivals in the area begins this weekend.  Butler’s has all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats for young guests. More fun includes 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.

Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $8/child

Join Potomac Overlook Regional Park any day from Saturday to April 4 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 in park that’s great for families to explore. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post. And find even more egg-cellent adventures around the area here.

NoVa Parking
Where: Various parks in Northern Virginia
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Not only are many of the locales within the NoVa Parks system great places to go for outdoor recreation, other activities within some of them are now available. Batting cages, mini golf, kayak and canoe rentals, and disc golf are some of them. And some are just beautiful to roam around.  Find things to do by activity, or check out individual parks and see what they have going on. A couple of specific recs:  Fountainhead, Pohick Bay, and Meadowlark.

Movie at the Drive-In
Where: Alexandria Drive-In Movie Theater | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $40/car

Catch a flick from the comfort of your car — an ideal way to enjoy some entertainment out of the house and social distance. Remember the Titans will be on the big outdoor screen this weekend. Food trucks will be there both nights offering savory and sweet concessions with online ordering through Goodfynd! Purchase movie tickets in advance!

Camp Anthem
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday through May
Admission:

The Anthem is bringing back its pop-up restaurant with tables seating up to 6 on the District Pier, each covered by a cabana tent. Enjoy a breezy lunch or dinner by the river at the waterfront destination. Reservations are required, and there is a $150 minimum per table, $50 per 2-top. There is a two-hour max at each table to allow thorough cleaning in between time slots.

Women’s History Month Virtual Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Online
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Join the Portrait Gallery in a virtual celebration of women making history!Explore the online exhibition “Where There Is a Woman There Is Magic,” which highlights leaders in sports, arts, science and activism. It’s part of a day-long lineup featuring events and activities for participants of all ages, including workshops, speakers, art activities and more!

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring reopens for the season this weekend! The fun actually starts Saturday, but it’s already sold out, so reserve in advance for Sunday or a future date — reservations are now required due to Covid. Kids as young 5 can experience thrills on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do much more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

Pop-Up Street Theater
Where: Locales around Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Synetic Theatre 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.Follow @synetictheater on Instagram to see where they are and how long they’ll be there!

Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice spring day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Patapsco Valley State Park near Baltimore, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA.

Virtual Artful Conversations: Colored Pencil Techniques
Where: National Gallery of Art | Online
When: Sunday, 10am & 1pm
Admission: Free
Sharpen up your colored pencils and your drawing skills during Artful Conversations. Please join the session with colored pencils, two sheets of paper to draw on, and an eraser. Registration is required for this free program. An adult is required to attend the session alongside the child(ren).

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

On Sundays during cherry blossom seaosn,  National Harbor is hosting free cultural activities, including Japanese inspired art creations, culinary classes, in person and virtual, and much more.  See what else will be at the waterfront destination during the season.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a brand new post about Where to Go & What to Do During Spring Break 2021
DC Way now offers weekly Skills Clinics, Strikers School, & Goalkeeping School
* Race for a cause with the 11th Annual Fairfax Run for the Children
* Don’t tell my mom, but this made me laugh. (Happy Passover to all celebrating!)
* More McSweeney’s because this nails it.
* Half-vaxed here and totally feeling this!

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Go & What to Do During Spring Break 2021

Paddle season has begun — 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.

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

A Rapunzel fairy house at a past Fairies in the Garden

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Guaranteed to delight, the annual exhibit of fairy and gnome houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden just began.  This year more than 100 homes for spritely creatures will be scattered throughout the grounds. Viewing them (and more art) as you walk along a trail through the woods is a fantastic adventure for all ages. Plan for play time in the adorable Fairy Lolly, and stop in the Arts Center for more creative works. Get a glimpse of it all here and here.   PS: The Fairy & Gnome Home Festival is this coming Sunday, April 18, in case you want to save a visit for then.

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Row, row, row your boat or kayak or canoe! Paddle season has started as several places have started offering boat rentals. Boating in DC has several locations in the District and a few NoVa Parks offer it, too. This post about places to go with the flow has more details.

Bloom Town
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

The cherry blossom peak may have passed, but there are more big blooms to enjoy around the DC area, a couple of them literally coming now. Bluebells are blanketing the the grounds around the area, and azaleas are just beginning to bloom, too.  And the best places to see them are fab for more than just the flowers. This post has details on where to go for those and other big blooms coming up. [Update: Burnside Farms just announced their annual Festival of Spring featuring a brilliant variety of tulips opens Wednesday, April 13!]

It’s Glow Time
Where: Around Georgetown, DC
When: Through June 27
Admission: Free

Georgetown Glow, the annual exhibition that usually takes place during the holiday season, was rescheduled for spring. You can see the neighborhood sparkle with modern light art installations throughout the bustling community.  Artworks will be viewable by day, but obviously much brighter at night! Take the fam to lunch or dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Get a glimpse of a past light show 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.)  Update!  The Nats are now offering single game tickets to the general public, including for the weekend’s for every game throughout the upcoming homestand April 15-18 vs Arizona and April 19-21 vs. St. Louis. Tickets start at just $14 and will be sold in socially distanced pods of 1 to 6 tickets.

 

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).

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

Review: Dino Safari at National Harbor

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom to two young children.]

Looking for a getaway without actually getting away? Consider an excursion over to DC’s National Harbor for a dinosaur safari overlooking the scenic marina. For us, it was just the escape we needed from the daily playground scene.

Dino Safari, running now through April 11, brings prehistoric times to pandemic times, offering a drive-thru, no-contact yet immersive experience for you and your little ones. You may be familiar with these Jurassic Park-inspired attractions, which feature life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Dino Safari is unique in its “Passport to Pangea” theme, transporting you through all seven continents — which were formerly one supercontinent, Pangea, in dinosaur times.

Upon arrival, you’ll be handed your passport, instructed to enable your in-car audio, and given an “egg” to keep warm for T. Rex. Then off you go on your self-guided journey, soon learning everything you never knew you didn’t know about dinosaurs. Each continent brings its own story and featured dinosaur types — from the Spinosaurus in Africa, to the Hadrosaur in Antarctica. The history lesson is detailed enough to impress a dinosaur buff, and the roars and tail whips are captivating enough for a two-year-old.

My preschool aged kids are not as into dinosaurs like some of their peers, but even they were engaged the entire time, heads out the windows and sun roof. They love recounting the outcome of their egg assignment, and my daughter is very proud of her new paleontologist knowledge.

Afterwards, they were roaring with excitement to head down to the waterfront where they spied The Capital Wheel and DCA airplanes flying from afar.

Dino Safari at National Harbor
Where: 29B Waterfront Street | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Now through April 11
Hours: Mon – Thurs, 12pm-8pm; Fri – Sun, 9am-9pm
Admission: $49.95/vehicle (up to 7 occupants); $59.95/large vehicle (8+ occupants)
Purchase Tickets Here  

 

KFDC Tips:
* We arrived at 12:30pm on a weekday and with no wait, it took us about 30-45 minutes to complete the safari. However, the set-up may be more exciting to view at night.
* Dino Safari is recommended for all ages, and there is certainly much for all ages to learn, but it will have more appeal for elementary school age kids and younger.
* To add to the educational experience, watch this introductory video.
* Make the Harbor part of your visit, either before or after the safari. There are dozens of restaurants and shops, a waterfront full of seagulls and geese, and The Carousel is expected to open again this weekend, March 27. Read more about all of it here.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Social Distancing, Special Event, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend