Tag Archives: Montgomery County Maryland

Hike & Hang: Patuxent River State Park & Waredaca Brewing Company


Remember how I mentioned last week that I’m a bit behind on posting about some of the fun things we’ve done this summer?  Well, I’m crossing another off my list with one that we enjoyed way back on Father’s Day.  And just in time for Labor Day, because this would make for a great family outing over the holiday weekend.

It became our tradition to celebrate Levi every June with a crab feast worked into the plan.  We usually do something active, either a hike or bike ride, or Levi does a long ride on his own, then we all  go out for crabs after or pick them up at the Fish Market at The Wharf and have a feast at home.   It’s a fun, tasty, and seasonal way to celebrate the day, and one that he really likes.

However, this year we happened to have crab feasted not long before and weren’t really up for it again so soon.  So, when a friend asked if we wanted to join their family for a Father’s Day hike, we were into it.  But we still wanted to make it special for the dads with a post-hike meal and fun, so my friend suggested going to Waredaca Brewing Company in Laytonsville, MD.

I’d heard good things about it, but she had actually been there and gave it a big thumbs up.  With that part of the day planned, we just needed to find a hike.  We did a little research on trails nearby, and decided on Patuxent River State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, just a few minutes’ drive from Waredaca.  (KFDC Tip: Sometimes it’s better to plan a hike around the après-hike destination!)

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Patuxent River State Park
The park is fairly large, spanning nearly 7,000 acres in Montgomery and Howard counties.  There are generally three areas of the park — the North End, the Wildlands, and the South End.  We explored the south section, where there are marked trails; we read the other areas tend to have more social (unmarked) trails that are popular with hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hunters during the season.

As mentioned, we chose our area based on post-hike plan, and it was a good call, both for its proximity to Waredaca and the hike itself.  We weren’t looking for anything hardcore that would take a long time; we just wanted to do something active outdoors before heading to the brewery.

There are only two trail options in the South End, one about a mile and a half, and the other two miles, and they conveniently connected for a nice walk in the woods.  While there wasn’t anything unique about the hike, it was very pleasant.  The trails were well maintained with some twists and turns and a few slight uphills, but nothing too strenuous. We could easily walk, talk, and keep track of our dogs who were along for the day.  The path winds through an area of tall trees and plants blanketing the grounds, and it was all that bright saturated green of early summer.  Blues skies and lovely mid 70s-degree temps rounded it all out perfectly.

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Waredaca Brewing Company
Where there used to be a camp for kids is now the beautiful Waredaca Farm that is the site of Waredaca Brewing Company.  Located in a serene pastoral setting along with equestrian facilities, it was a great place for the “special” part of our Father’s Day outing.  There is a beer truck near the entrance, where you check in (and get a brew or lemonade), and just beyond are picnic tables with umbrellas spread out around the grassy orchard.  There is more seating inside the Tap Room and right outside it on a patio, where there was also a bluegrass band playing when we were there.

My friend knew to make a reservation, as it gets crowded on nice days, especially one when many people are celebrating. You can walk in, though availability is limited, and it’s on a first-come, first served basis.  Waredaca is very family-friendly, welcoming kids and dogs, with some large in-ground tires to climb on and open space for running around and playing lawn games. They also occasionally have “Pet a Pony” days!

As for the house specialty, there is a wide selection of beer on the menu along with bar snacks like pretzels and charcuterie boxes.  A food truck is also on site, but it varies by day.  You can also bring your own food and just enjoy the brews.  Our crew did a mix of everything  — some of our own snacks, bites from the bar, burgers from Boxcar Burgers, and, of course, beers for the adults.

Cheers to a super fun Father’s Day (and finally getting this post done)!

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Patuxent River State Park – South End
Where: 11950 Clopper Road | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free


Waredaca Brewing Company
Where: 4017 Damascus Road | Laytonsville, Maryland
When: Thurs-Friday 4-8pm | Sat-Sun, 12-6pm
Admission: Free (but plan to spend on brews and food)


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Filed under Eats, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: July 27-29

Checking out a shark tank at DC's National Aquarium (cue "Jaws" theme music)


From city to farm, museum to theatre, underwater to outer space, baseball diamond to soccer field, family fun abounds over the next few days.  Happy Weekend!

Shark Weekend
Where: DC National Aquarium
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under
Celebrate Shark Weekend at DC’s National Aquarium by getting up close and personal with several species of the storied fish. Leading experts will be on hand to discuss the history, lives, and habits of one of the world’s most fascinating ocean dwellers. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt, touch an actual shark tooth and other artifacts, make arts and crafts, and more.

Montgomery County Farm Tour
Where: Montgomery County farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Head to Montgomery County to celebrate its agricultural heritage, promote local farms, and indulge in seasonally fresh food during the 23rd Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. Activities will vary from farm to farm, but several will have hayrides, pony rides, music, animals to visit, and other activities planned (find a list of descriptions here). All farms will be open Saturday, and some will reopen on Sunday, so be sure to check the website for the schedule before you go.

Mars Exploration
Where: Goddard Space Flight Center
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free
The Mars rover Curiosity is about to touch down on the Red Planet, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center is hosting a free exploration event in anticipation of this interplanetary achievement. The program will feature fun and enlightening presentations and hands-on educational activities led by scientists and engineers on the Curiosity team. Guests can see themselves on Mars with the Goddard photo booth and immerse their image in a 3D Mars gallery. Experience exhibits like a full-scale inflatable Curiosity rover, a full-scale rover wheel, and examples of rocks like ones NASA might find on Mars, and other ongoing displays at the Center.

Peruvian Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free
Celebrate Peruvian culture at the 2nd annual Kaypi Perú Festival running through July 30. Festivities include performances, hands-on activities, animal exhibitions, and traditional food. Be sure to stop by the imagiNATIONS family activity center on the third floor for programs especially for kids. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Vintage Base Ball Day
Where: Oatlands House & Gardens
When: Sunday, 1pm
Admission: $20/car
Enjoy the ol’ ball game in an old-timey way at Oatlands Historic House & Gardens in Leesburg. Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League rivals, the Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore and the Old Dominion Club of Virginia will play by 1860’s rules and with gear of that time period, too – authentic replicas of bats and balls, and no gloves or helmets. Bring a lawn chair or spread out a blanket on the lawn to watch the past come alive. Gates open at 12pm.

National Dance Day
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

If you’re a fan of a certain dance show on TV, then this probably doesn’t need much explanation. If you’re not, then here’s the scoop: National Dance Day celebrates the art of dance while encouraging Americans to live a physically active lifestyle and to have fun doing it. A variety of local and regional dance groups will perform, and you can also get in on the action with a flash mob dance.

Historic Ship Tours
Where: Baltimore Inner Harbor
When: Ongoing
Admission: Starts at $11/adult, $5/ages 6-14, free for 5 and under
Make a day trip north and tour the historic ships moored at Baltimore Inner Harbor. See where the crew slept on the USS Constellation, maneuver your way through the tight passageways of USS Torsk submarine, get a glimpse of office and captains quarters on all of the big boats, and more. Four cool vessels are there to explore, and you can choose to see as many or as few as you like.

Show Time
Where: Local theatres
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Encore Stage and Studio presents “The Pirates of Penzance” for one last weekend. “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” is running strong at Adventure Theatre. The Puppet Co.’s “Snow White and the 7 Dwarves” is garnering rave reviews. You still have time to catch “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” at Imagination Stage.” Matthias Kuchta: German Master Puppeteer will be performing at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. And Billy Kelly and the Blahblahblahs are playing at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.

On the Farm Tour
Where: Red Wiggler Farm
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free
This very special place hires adults with developmental disabilities to grow USDA certified organic produce. The produce is distributed and sold through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, including distributions to Group Homes for adults with disabilities AND to the local food bank. They also bring on over 1,000 students and youth with and without disabilities to learn about farming and the environment, and to work side by side with people who may be different then them to grow food for the community. They will be participating in the Montgomery County Farm Tour with special festivities for visitors, including tours of their fields, music in the barn, and activities for kids.

DC United vs. Paris Saint-Germaine
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $35
Put a little sports action into your weekend at a soccer match on Saturday evening. The DC United is taking on the Paris Saint-Germaine in the 2012 World Football Challenge Tickets are still available, and you can purchase them through the DC United website.

Bluemont BBQ Bash & Blackberries
Where: Great Country Farm
When: Saturday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child (food not included)
Watch as BBQ-ers from throughout the Mid Atlantic region compete in a cook-off of several kinds of meat and even purchase a token to be a judge of the event. While you’re there, enjoy the many other offerings of the farm: the five acre playground that includes a Giant Jumping Pillow, rope swings & mazes, tractor rides and more; animals to visit; wine tastings; and, of course, the Farm’s pesticide free U-Pick blackberries, which will be at their peak.

Make a Topical Stamp Collection
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 12-3:30pm
Admission: Free
Drop by the museum dedicated to all things mail and the postal system to make a stamp collection on your favorite topic, whether it’s art, flowers, exotic destinations, or trains. While you’re there, be sure to tour the rest of the collections, many of which are interactive and appealing to young visitors.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about National Baseball Hall of Fame member Babe Ruth.

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm
Admission: Free
Edgar Degas is the subject of this week’s Summer Drop-In program for children ages 4-7. They will explore scenes of France, from its countryside to the bustling urban center of Paris, through Degas’ art in the French galleries and a reading of the book, “Bijou, Bonbon & Beau: The Kittens Who Danced for Degas” by Joan Sweeney. Afterwards, guests will make a souvenir to document their adventure. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 11am, and will continue until all spaces for all five time slots are filled. Read a review of one of our Stories in Art experiences here. A KFDC tip: Plan for another activity between sign up and the actual session (which shouldn’t be hard, given all the nearby museums). The early sessions fill up fast last week, so there could be a couple of hours before yours begins.

In & Out
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

For even more activities going on around the DC-metro, check out this KFDC post with ideas for outdoor recreation and the one with indoor suggestions.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Destination from DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend