Tag Archives: October 2018

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 29 – November 2

A Megalodon replica at the Calvert Marine Museum

Monday – Take a day trip out to Solomons, MD, to visit the Calvert Marine Museum, which highlights the environment and maritime history of the Chesapeake Bay. Fascinating exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, live fish and other creatures, and a real lighthouse to tour are engaging for all ages. There are things to see both indoors and out, including beautiful scenic views. And you can bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy by the water. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under.

Tuesday – Spend the day at Roosevelt Island, where you can enjoy a hike and a dose of history in one fell swoop. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm, and admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids.

Wednesday – Join The Art League Gallery Staff for an exciting “Mini Makers” art activity for children 5 years and under (with an adult caretaker). The session takes place 10:30-11:30am in Alexandria. Admission is free, but spaces are limited, so RSVP is required. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Costumes are encouraged for this first meeting!

You can also celebrate Halloween and autumn at the Downtown DC Fall Festival! All ages are welcome to Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Regan Building for some FREE fun, including a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, face painting, the DC Public Library Book Bike, musical entertainment, food vendors, hot cider, a hay bale maze, costumed stilt walkers, and giveaways. Wear Halloween costumes for photo ops!

Thursday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s day off and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day (Friday, too!), and admission is free.

Friday – Explore a true local hidden gem: The National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Located on base in the Navy Yard, it’s a trove of fascinating exhibits. See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. *Be sure to note requirements for access to the base and museum.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Halloween, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up:
October 26-28

Día de los Muertos at the American Indian Museum is a fun, festive, and free celebration!

Happy Weekend!

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

Break in the costumes and prep for Halloween coming on Wednesday all weekend long! There’s a scary amount of events and activities that celebrate the spooky spirit. Some are detailed below, and this post has details on even more happenings where the tricks and treats are going on.

Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $18/child (free for parents)

Gather the family together for a fun evening! Children can dress in their favorite costume, participate in a garden costume parade, paint a pumpkin, try a pumpkin treat, and top the evening off listening to award-winning storyteller Gary Lloyd present “Pumpkin Tales for the Young” telling tales more funny than scary. Space is limited. Register children ages 3–12, parents are free.

The Big Draw
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join the NGA for the world’s largest drawing festival. This museum-wide celebration of drawing includes a Sketching Lab, in-gallery sessions with teaching artists, live models, music, and film. Be sure to check the website for the schedule of workshops, which are all first-come, first-served, here.

Día de los Muertos | Day of the Dead
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The end of October and beginning of November marks the end of the long southward migration of large numbers of monarch butterflies. The butterflies’ arrival in Mexico coincides with the observance of Día de los Muertos. The museum is celebrating monarch butterflies through the creation of an interactive mural with Joaquin Newman, butterfly luminaria, and butterfly masks. Butterflies will also appear in a contemporary ofrenda celebrating the marigold paddler, an ancient Maya story interpreted by Evelyn Orantes and traditional ofrendas by Oaxacan-born Lucina Flores and Puebla-born Luz Maria Reyes. Grupo los Tecuanes shares cultural performances of Danza de los Tecuanes (Dance of the Jaguar) and Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Old Men).

Truck or Treat!
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5

Suburban Nursey School is hosting its annual Truck Touch, this time with a Halloween twis — the first 200 kids to arrive in costume will get a treat! But everyone who attends will enjoy the hands-on event for kids of all ages.The parking lot will be full of emergency vehicles, construction trucks, school buses, and other cool things that go, and kids are allowed and encouraged to explore. There will also be a used toy and book sale, bounce houses, pumpkin decorating, face painting, nail art, little tykes ride-ons, matchbox car races, and much more!

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Bring your little ghosts and goblins to the Old Town Boutique District’s annual event to start their trick-or-treating early. Stop by the dozens of shops, where they’ll be dishing out treats and some maybe some family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Día de los Muertos Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Enjoy Mexican folk dance performances throughout the day and leave your handmade “ofrendas” (offerings) including paper marigolds, calaveras (skull masks), and paper monarch butterflies on our Day of the Dead altar. See more about the museum here.

Kids’ Day at the Washington International Horse Show
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free for kids, $15/adult

This fun, family-friendly event created to share the joy of horses with the local D.C. community and teach kids and their families about horses and equestrian sport. Children can participate in more than a dozen hands-on educational and fun activities, including pony rides, the Discovery Communications Horseless Horse Show, the Horse Stars Hall of Fame interactive exhibit, coloring station, face painting, pony brushing lessons from Rokeby Farm Stables, plus giveaways from Georgetown Cupcake. Klinger, the famous horse from the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon, often attends as a special guest to greet the children. There’s even a pony kissing booth with Mini Cooper, the mini pony! And note that the Horse Show will be happening all weekend!

OAKtober Fest
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 8am for 5k, 10am for festival
Admission: Free, but $20/child, $35/adult to join the 5k

Friends of the National Arboretum and the Washington Youth Garden present the 2nd annual fall festival for the 2018 OAKtoberfest and 5k Fun Run at the Arboretum. The 5k course will showcase DC’s amazing fall foliage while winding through forests and fields- all on paved, uninterrupted paths. Stay the rest of the afternoon for a children’s tree climb, a kids’ bike rodeo, walking and bicycle tours, food trucks, and live music!

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* It’s the last chance to see the classic children’s book Blueberries for Sal come to life at Adventure Theatre (Save $2 per ticket on the Saturday 11am or 2pm show with code LASTCHANCE)
* Jason Reynolds’s best-selling book Long Way Down has been adapted for the stage at the Kennedy Center
* Sleepy Hollow brings a haunting tale to Synetic Theater
* Enjoy Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Black Rock Center for the Arts in Gaithersburg
* The Tiniest Tempest at The Atlas is Shakespeare for young theatre-goers
* Hansel & Gretel is the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* Little ones will love Imaginary Friends, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre.
* Beetlejuiceis running at National Theatre
* Take tots and preschoolers to see Blue at Imagination Stage

Pumpin Rock ‘n Roll
Where: Warner Circle Park | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Headfirst Camps this Halloween for a spooky afternoon of music, games, food, and fun at the first ever Pumpkin Rock N’ Roll! Warner Circle Park will be transformed into a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. Kids can participate in a fun costume contest and parade, and enjoy family-friendly attractions including festival-style musical performances, food trucks, inflatable rides and slides, and a hay maze. Don’t miss the main event: The Pumpkin Roll, a derby race of Halloween pumpkins-turned-boxcars.

Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities

It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Daytime activities for families will include pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade around the Park.

Family Day
Where: Dumbarton Oaks | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

This event for families is a great opportunity for children of all ages to learn about the Juggling the Middle Ages exhibition through hands-on activities, including juggling lessons for kids! Guests can also enjoy two live juggling performances (2:30pm & 3:30pm), arts and crafts tables, and book readings, followed by the chance to view the exhibition. Featuring more than 100 objects, Juggling the Middle Ages explores the influence of the medieval world by focusing on a single story with a long-lasting impact — Le Jongleur de Notre Dame or Our Lady’s Tumbler —  following the tale from its rediscovery by scholars in the 1870s to its modern interpretations in children’s books. Light snacks and refreshments will be available. Register for free here.

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It’s another weekend of the series that’s essentially a passport to artistic adventures, as the 11th Annual Kids Euro Festival brings continental entertainment right to DC. More than 70 free performances all around the metro area — musicians, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers, and more — are performing at a variety of venues around the city through November 4. See what’s on the schedule over the next few days.

The Smurfs at 60
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

La la lala la la la lala la la…Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs, characters created in 1958 by Belgian artist Peyo. Enjoy six different cartoon episodes and watch as our blue friends get into a lot of fun misadventures! Featured episodes include: “A Gift for Papa’s Day,” “Secret of Shadow Swamp,” “Lazy’s Slumber Party,” “Queen Smurfette,” “Brainy’s Smarty Part,” and “Smurfette’s Gift.” Recommended for ages 6 and up, this screening is held in partnership with Kids Euro Festival and the Belgian embassy. Approximately 72 minutes.

123 Andrés Show
Where: John Marshall Library | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

As part of the big reopening celebration for the John Marshall Library, local favorites 123 Andrés will perform a fun concert for kids and families! Join them and be a part of this big celebration.

Pumpkin Carving for Kids
Where: Maketto | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the H Street restaurant on Sunday to make some jack-o-lanterns just in time for Halloween.  Enjoy complimentary snacks and cider, too. I also recommend planning to have a meal while you’re there — the food is delicious!

Little Spooky Sprouts
Where: Beefsteak | Tenleytown, DC
When: Sunday, 11 am
Admission: Free, but pay for meals

Have some Halloween fun at the eatery! Activities include a costume contest, craft station to decorate mini pumpkins, a “HOLLOW-een” taste station of pumpkin dishes and seed snacks using all parts of the pumpkin, FREE JV bowl with purchase of a regular bowl, 1/2 off fall bowl coupon for future use, and Halloween goodie bags with purchase of a JV bowl Sunday through Halloween.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15-18

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when the NSO performs new and old classics to celebrate Halloween, which this year also marks the Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5+.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks | Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

The outdoor ice skating season around DC has begun! A few local rinks are welcoming skaters to glide away under the sky, and indoor rinks host public skate sessions, too. See this post with details on where you can enjoy some cool recreation.

Inside Out(ings)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With rain in the forecast for at least part of the weekend, you’ll want to have some go-to places to hang inside. The Great Indoors post has over 100 ideas for just those kinds of adventures.

* The Smithsonian has a school for little learners! Check out the many programs at Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center.
* Kids in 4th and 5th grades can ski free in PA, thanks to the Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association Snowpass program!
* Bon Appétit magazine just launched a column by Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen on yummy dishes for picky little eaters.
* Uniqlo has great, warm, cute, and very inexpensive basics for both kids and adults. (And that referral link gets you a discount!)
* A Star is Born is AH-mazing — stellar performances by both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. See it (KidFree) if you haven’t already!


Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Ice It at These Skating Rinks Around the DMV

Skating under the stars at Washington Harbour in Georgetown

As the weather cools down, ice skating rinks throughout the DC area open up! A few start welcoming skaters in October, and the rest will follow suit by mid-November. Going for a glide on ice is a quintessential way to enjoy some active fun outdoors during the cold months. Of course, it can be a great activity indoors, too! So, lace up your skates and get out there — this list has the scoop on where and when to ice skate around the DMV!

2020 Update:  Many ice rinks are not open for the 2020-21 season, including all rinks in DC. (However, you’ll still see them listed for future years.)   Those that are open are implementing safety measures for Covid-19, including limited capacity that requires advanced ticket purchase, masks required, and extra cleaning.




Silver Spring Veteran’s Plaza Ice Rink
Where: 8523 Fenton Street | Silver Spring, MD
When: Early December – Mid-March
Hours: Mon–Fri 12am–10pm, Sat-Sun 10am–10pm
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, $5/skate rental for one hour
Bonus: The rink is right in downtown Silver Spring, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and plenty of parking. It’s also an easy walk from the Metro. (2020 Note:  Opt for takeout and outdoor seating at restaurants.)

Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
Where: 131 Gibbs Street | Rockville, MD
When: Late November – Mid-March
Hours: Mon-Thur 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Cost: $10/age 13 and up, $9/age 12 and under, $5/skate rentals for one hour
Bonus: Skate in the largest outdoor ice skating rink — 7,200 square feet! — between Baltimore and Washington DC. While you’re at the Town Square, take advantage of the selection of restaurants and shops, or spend some downtime at the Rockville Library or VisArts Center. (2020 Note:  Opt for takeout and outdoor seating at restaurants.)

Color Burst Ice Rink
Merriweather District | Columbia, MD
November 21 – February 28
Mon-Thurs 4-9pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
$14/skate & rental
You can pair an ice skating outing with a visit to Symphony of Lights during the holiday season. Plus, there are eateries and arts offerings to take advantage of in safe ways. (2020 Note:  Opt for takeout and outdoor seating at restaurants.)

Pandora Ice Rink (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 201 E. Pratt Street | Baltimore, MD
When: November 1 – January 20
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am – 11pm, Sun 10am – 8pm
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, $4/skate rentals
Bonus: Located at the Inner Harbor, where there are several great attractions for kiddos — Port Discovery, Maryland Science Center National Aquarium, and more — you could easily add this to a whole day or even weekend spent in Charm City. Head to the Little Italy area, too, for a delicious post-skate meal!



Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
Where: 1201 South Joyce Street | Arlington,VA
When: Late October – Mid-March
Cost: $10/age 13+, $9/$12 & under, $5/skate rental
Hours: Tues-Fri, 12-10pm Sat-Mon 10am–10pm
Bonus: Recently renovated and expanded, it’s a good choice for kiddos learning to skate — Penguin Skating aids are available at the rink kiosk. Also located amid many shopping and dining options. (2020 Note:  Opt for takeout and outdoor seating at restaurants.)

Reston Town Center Ice Skating
Where: 11900 Market Street | Reston, VA
Open: Mid-November – Mid-March
Cost: $10/age 12+, $9/11 & under, $7/skate rentals
Hours: Mon-Tues 11am – 8pm, Wed-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am – 11pm, Sun 10:30am – 8pm
Bonus: The Town Center is like a mini downtown, so you can do some shopping, have a bite to eat, check off some errands, even see a movie along with your skating excursion. (2020 Note:  Opt for takeout and outdoor seating at restaurants and maybe skip the movie.)


DC (2020 Update:  None of the DC rinks are opening this season!)

Canal Park Ice Rink (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 220 M Street SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
Open: November 6 – mid-March
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child, $5/rental
Bonus: They offer skating aids for beginners to push around the rink. And after you work up an appetite from all the skating, you’ve got your pick of eateries in the Navy Yard neighborhood where you can grab a bite and warm up.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 3050 K Street NW | Georgetown, DC
Open: November 18 – March 15
Hours: Mon–Tues 12-7pm, Weds-Thurs 12-9pm, Fri 12-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-7pm
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, seniors, military, $6/skate rental
Bonus: Location, location, location. Not only do you get a lovely view of the Potomac, you’re right in Georgetown, where there’s great shopping and places to eat, so you can really make a day and/or night of it. Also, with push penguins available, it’s a good rink for newbie skaters. Be sure to check the website for special on certain days/times! Look for an admission discount here.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 7th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
Open: November 15 – March 15
Hours: Mon–Thurs 10am–9pm, Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am–9pm
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child, $4/skate rental (ID required)
Bonus: You can check out some art on your outing — the rink is literally in the middle of the Sculpture Garden that showcases many big, bold works of art. You can also plan to visit a museum before or after your skating session; it’s easy enough to pop in to one of the free Smithsonian galleries. For some fuel, the Pavilion Cafe is also located within the Sculpture Garden and offers light fare, including warm beverages. (NOTE: This location is closed during the government shutdown.)

District Wharf Ice Rink (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: Transit Pier, Water Street Southwest
When: November 26 – Late February
Hours: Mon-Tues 12–7pm, Weds-Thursday 12–9pm, Fri 12–11pm, Sat 11am–11pm, Sunday: 11am–7pm
Cost: $10/adult, $8/12 & under, $6/skate rental
Bonus: The rink at The Wharf is located on the Transit Pier, so you’re practically skating over the water. When you’re done zipping around on blades, warm up by the cozy fire pit, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, browse the shops, or hang out and enjoy the views of the Anacostia River.


Making the rounds at Fort Dupont Ice Arena



Fort Dupont Ice Arena (Closed for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 3779 Ely Place SE | Anacostia, DC
Cost: $5/adults, $4/children, $3/skate rental
Hours: Fri 12-2pm, Sat 1-3pm, Sun 2:30-4:30pm



Herbert Wells Ice Rink
Where: 5211 Paint Branch Parkway | College Park, MD
Cost: $6/adult, $5/child ($1 off for PG County Residents), $2/skate rental
Hours: Sun 3:30-5:15pm, Wed 12-1:45pm, Fri 2:30-4:15pm, Sat 1:30-3:15pm & 9:45-11:30pm
Open:  October to April

Cabin John Ice Rink (No public skating for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 10610 Westlake Drive | Rockville, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, view the current schedule here
Open: Daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas

The Gardens Ice House (No public skating for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 13800 Old Gunpowder Road | Laurel, MD
Cost: $7.70/adult, $6.60/student, $4.15/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, see the schedule here

Wheaton Ice Arena (No public skating for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 11717 Orebaugh Avenue | Wheaton, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary, see calendars here



MedStar Capitals Iceplex (No public skating for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 627 N. Glebe Road | Arlington, VA (8th Level of Ballston Parking Garage)
Cost: $9/adults, $8/children, $5/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, view the current public skate schedule here.

The St. James Ice House (No public skating for the 2020-21 season)
Where: 6805 Industrial Road | Springfield, VA
When: September 2 – January 5
Cost: $10/members, $12/non-members, $5-6/rentals
Hours: Vary by day, so view online and see special holiday hours here.


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Filed under 2018, 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Indoor Play, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 22-26

See the inner workings of Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park

Monday – Enjoy the great fall weather at River Farm. The American Horticulture Society’s headquarters overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria are as lovely as they are fun. The kids will love playing in the delightful Children’s Garden, and you’ll all love exploring the grounds. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Tuesday – Celebrate Spain through storytelling at Capitol View Interim Library. The free session begins at 10:30am and is best for ages 2-5. It’s part of the Kids Euro Festival, a wonderful program from the EU Delegation to the US that brings two weeks of free art & cultural adventures to DC. See what else is on the schedule this week here.

Wednesday – Catch a performance of Blue at Imagination Stage. Recommended for ages 1-5, showtime is 10:30am, and tickets are $12.

Thursday – Take kiddos to Cox Farms for their Fall Festival! It’ll be a great place to spend the DCPS day off from school and enjoy TONS of autumn fun! Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $10.

Friday – Head to Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park for As the Wheel Turns, a program where guests of all ages can learn about the power of water and its connection to food on a mill tour. Drop in from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free. Read about a KFDC adventure at Peirce Mill.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays