1. In case you didn’t see when I posted on Facebook: This American Life stories that kids seem to like.
2. These creative designs with everyday objects are amazing — and great inspiration for an activity at home.
3. Since we can’t go out to catch a flick, Amazon just introduced Prime Video Cinema, access to the latest movies that were just released (or would have been) in theaters.
4. When I talked to a friend recently about the anxiety I (we all) feel right now and how overwhelming and hard-to-process everything can be, she sent me this article, which I found insightful and helpful.
5. Kudos to Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. I hope more people who are in a position to do so follow his lead. (Also, Hoda ❤️❤️❤️)
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1. National Geographic is offering free access to all of their coronavirus coverage, including their Resources for Families with good articles and tips for being at home with the kids during this time. And their National Geographic Kids section is always great to check out with children.
2. I’m not usually a post-my-meals person on social media but recently shared my very favorite, super delicious, easy to make breakfast that I eat all the time.
3. While the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore is closed, they have moved online, offering science activities, events, and even content for adults.
4. Being “stuck” inside might be a bummer, but this will make you feel a little better. Actually the whole episode it came from is a great, feel-good watch.
1. If you’re thinking about heading out to Shenandoah National Park to get outdoors with a lot of space, be sure to check these alerts as many parts are closed due to COVID-19. In a similar vein, I’m no longer recommending getting out for certain activities, as some places seem to be drawing too many visitors to maintain safe social distance. More here — scroll down to the Hang Out(side) section.
3. This is a perfect time to work on a puzzle. Local stores that sell them are closed, but you can still buy them online. Whether you pick one the whole family can to do together or opt for something tougher just for adults, it’s not just a good activity that takes up time, there’s also something very soothing about it. Surely, we can all use some soothing right now.
4. Sasha and her friends are missing their sleepovers, but Netflix Party has been a great substitute in the meantime, since spending the night at each other’s houses always includes a good movie or show and lots of chatting. Don’t forget the popcorn! (Of course, this would be a fun thing for adult friends to do, too.)
5. Need an awesome distraction, even just for a minute? Here you go!
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Registration is open for the National Parks BioBlitz in DC this Friday and Saturday, May 20-21. Hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) and National Geographic, BioBlitz is a fast-paced expedition to discover and document the plants and animals that thrive in our national parks and celebrate the centennial of NPS.
You can register online to join a scientist-led inventory team in one of the area national parks. Most inventories are one to two hours and best suited for ages 8 and up. There are some great birding opportunities for those wanting to get an early start, fish counts in the creek, bugs, bats, plants, and more. Not only is this a cool way to explore and gain an appreciation for the natural resources in our parks, the verified data gets uploaded to NPS databases and gives valuable information to national park scientists.
For those with younger kids, there will be a Biodiversity Festival at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall. The festival will run 9 am – 5 pm, both Friday and Saturday, May 20-21. From morning outdoor yoga, kid-oriented music performances and live-animals, to explorer talks, science and nature exhibits, there will be something for all ages at the festival.
All events are free, but to guarantee a spot on an inventory team, you need to register online.
Halloween has already begun, as far as Boba Fett is concerned
So, it’s not officially Halloween this weekend, but given all the events going on — and the fact that my kids are practically living in costumes — for all intents and purposes, it’s Halloween. So, I’m going with the theme. If you’re spooked by the idea of celebrating early, there’s still plenty more to do: a family day at the Newseum, theatre performances on local stages, museum exhibits, book readings, and more. And I’m not even going to mention the “s” word that’s supposedly on it’s way tomorrow (ignore it and it’ll go away, right?), but cooler weather is coming. Fingers crossed that it’s of the crisp, sunny fall day variety. Happy Weekend!
Halloween Happenings – You don’t have to wait until Monday to get the Halloween festivities started. Catch a concert in costume at National Geographic Live; design a pop-up haunted house at the Building Museum; trick or treat at Old Town Boutiques; put some air in your scare at the Udvar-Hazy Center or College Park Aviation Museum; enjoy kids festivities at the MLK Library, Discovery Theater, GW University, and the Crime Museum. Find details for all of these events in this KFDC post about the many Halloween happenings around town.
Go “Around the World” at the Newseum – Saturday is a special Family Day at the museum dedicated to all things news and media. Take a trip across the globe with journalist Nelly Bly through a variety of activities geared especially toward kids, a scavenger hunt, front page news games, a historical enactment of Bly, and a 3-D short film among them. This all starts at 11am – see the schedule for activity times. Admission to the museum is still the regular price (21.95/adults, $12.95/ages 7-18, free for ages 6 and under), but you’ll get to experience the special activities along with all the permanent collections. And, as mention in this KFDC post about the Newseum a couple of weeks ago, tickets are good for two consecutive days, so you can go back Sunday for even more.
Fall Frolic– Glen Echo Park’s annual Halloween-themed event is a seasonal fave for all ages. The public is invited to explore the park through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances. Decorate trick-or-treat bags, make a spooky spider or a friendly ghost, and color Halloween pictures for free. Pay a small fee $1-2) for pumpkin decorating and face painting. The Park’s studios and galleries will also be open for visitors to view the works of resident artists. And a costume parade will conclude the fun at the end of the day. This all happens on Saturday from 1-4pm.
Hansel & Gretel at the National – The free Saturday morning theatre fun continues. First up is Barrymore Eagle’s Costume Parade, so bring the kids in their charming or wild Halloween get-ups. Afterwards, kids will revel in the not-too-scary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel, which is brought magically to life by the enchanting marionettes from Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater. These performances at National Theatre take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!
Go Nat Geo – Families can enjoy more than just the aforementioned Halloween concert going on at the National Geographic Museum this weekend. On Sunday at 1pm, join Dig Deeper, a free archaeology workshop being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages. Email NatGeoMuseum@ngs.org to register. And while you’re there, don’t miss Animal Grossology, a new exhibit for kids featuring some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth. Admission to the exhibit is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that will captivate any photography buff or wildlife lover.
Take the Fall – This is the last weekend for many area fall festivals, so if you still have yet to pick out pumpkins, zip down lofty slides, bounce on giant pillows, and have fun down on the farm, see this KFDC post to find out where you can go to squeeze it all in. And if you have been.. hey, go back for more!
Book it to the JCC – Enjoy a morning of crafts, folktales, and fun with children’s book author Vicki Weber. Her award-winning book, It’s Too Crowded in Here!, is a collection of Jewsish folktales and midrashic stories enlivened by colorful illustrations. The event starts at 10am and is part of the Jewish Literary Festival that runs through November 2. Admission to this Sunday’s family program is $10 and includes a copy of the book.
Potrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday 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 Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
And as always, these posts are worth checking out once the forecast is firm: