Tag Archives: Places to Go During COVID-19 in DC Maryland and Virginia

Five Things for Today: January 25, 2021

Seen at The Wharf (where you’ll also find several Restaurant Week participants!)


1. The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy and DC Public Library have teamed up to for the Winter 2021 season of Books & Baseball. The free, non-competitive, co-ed literature and baseball program for children ages 3-5 takes place every Monday at 5pm through February 22. Each 35-minute session includes the reading of a children’s book by a DC Public Librarian, followed by a beginner-level baseball clinic led by YBA coaches. Virtual clinic activities are easy to complete at home and focus on enhancing motor skills and learning the fundamentals of baseball.  Register for it here!


2. How about something fun and creative to work on this winter?  Annmarie Sculpture Garden has put out a Call for Entries for their wonderful, whimsical annual Fairies in the Garden exhibit. They welcome fairy and gnome homes, dragon lairs, magical creatures, fairy gardens, elf abodes, goblin grottos, and more imaginative structures that will be placed in the woods, lawn areas, and trails of the sculpture garden this spring and summer to create a magical experience for guests of all ages.  It’s a non-juried, open show, and anyone is welcome to participate.  Just fill out an entry form and get started!  (PS: Annmarie is a great destination for a socially distanced day trip with art outdoors and a delightful play area for kids.  See more about it and Fairies in the Garden here and through the first link above.)


3. Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week begins today and runs through February 7.  Specially priced meals for both dine-in and take-out are $22/lunch, $35/dinner, and $55/dinner (fancier, I assume).  And if you’re taking out for two or more people, you can get even better deals —  the $35 dinner menu is $60, $120 for four and the $55 dinner menu is $100 for two, $200 for four.  Follow the above link to see participating restaurants and menus.


4.  Need a show to watch?  Ted Lasso is so funny and heartwarming.


5. How Bernie got his now famous mittens.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 22-24

A presidential tour includes the Lincoln Memorial, accessible to visitors again



Happy Weekend!

A Presidential Tour
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin | WDC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Mall is, hopefully🤞, reopening this weekend, and a tour of the structures memorializing past POTUS will be a perfect, timely activity. Walk or bike from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, then head to the Tidal Basin, where the Jefferson and FDR Memorials are located. For even more, you can go off-Mall a bit to the newer Eisenhower Memorial at Independence & 5th SW. Or add in some nature at Theodore Roosevelt Island, where you can walk in the woods and see the memorial plaza dedicated to the 26th prez.

Unity | Peace | Forward
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Through February
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center has responded to t his time of unprecedented challenges with art. This new free exhibit features three installations scattered across the grounds of the REACH. A video of quotes from around the world will be projected on the Video Wall each Friday and Saturday evening from 4:30–8:30pm during the exhibit and can be viewed online at any time. The intimate conversation between performers, artists, writers, and cultural leaders is a glimpse into the minds of creatives about their hopes, fears, dreams, and aspirations in a time of uncertainty and isolation. Get a glimpse on the Kennedy Center website.

Kids Virtual Concert
Where: Online
When: Friday, 10-10:45am
Admission: $5

Mr. Gabe, the Pied Piper of Takoma Park, is kicking off a weekly concert series for kids on Zoom starting today, January 22.  Mr. Gabe’s shows are interactive musical fun for toddlers and preschoolers.  He performs nursery rhymes, finger plays, traditional children’s songs, kid-friendly pop songs, and originals from his two award-winning albums.  Kids will be encouraged to use their brains and move their bodies. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through Mr. Gabe’s website.  Subscriptions are also available ($20 for 12 shows).  Email [email protected] if you’re interested in subscribing to the full series.

Flying Squirrels
Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD
When: Friday, 5:45-6:15pm
Admission: $6

join this evening program to learn about Maryland Flying Squirrels. They are abundant, cute, and active year-round, but few see them in the wild because they are nocturnal. The program starts on the Nature Center deck 30 minutes after sunset.Physical distancing and face coverings are required. Register in advance.

It’s All Downhill…
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies
Skiing is a perfect, fun, active way to take advantage of winter — and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and there are more resorts in other parts of the region. The closest for day trips are LibertyWhitetail, and Bryce.  Other places that are farther away but good to check out for longer trips are RoundtopMassanuttenWintergreenSeven SpringsHidden ValleySnowshoeTimberline, and Wisp.

Open Studio Friday
Where: Online
When: Friday, 11am
Admission: Free

Get artsy with the National Portrait Gallery is bringing its weekly art workshops to you virtually. Every Friday, they post a YouTube video with a new activity or technique. Just like in the IRL workshops, all ages are welcome to get creative with artist Jill Galloway inspired by the museums’s collection.

Skate Al Fresco
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars!  Several ice rinks are open for the season with Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.  Pentagon Row,  Silver Spring at Veterans PlazaRockville Town Square, and Reston Town Center are once again welcoming guests to skate the day — and night — away.  The Color Burst Ice Rink at the Merriweather District in Columbia, MD, just started its inaugural skating season. And the ice rink at Cameron Run holiday Winter Village in Arlington is still open. [Note: You need advanced reservations at just about all of these places, so plan accordingly.]

A Winter’s Trail
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Sure it’s cold, but the right clothes and gear make any activity possible, so bundle up and get out for a walk in the woods. Tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good places to go with kids. Some specific park recs for right now: Huntley Meadows, Potomac Overlook, Patapsco Valley, Harpers Ferry, and Rock Creek (Note that Peirce Mill discussed in the post is closed, but the hike from there is great with kids.)

Seasonal Social Distancing 
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Don’t let the Covid cold months keep you from getting out around the area. This round-up is full of recs for activities that are accessible now. From hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun, there are all kinds of things to do that keep social distancing and safety in mind. All you really need are good layers and maybe a little extra outdoor gear.

Two-Wheelin’ Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It will be cold but sunny, so wear some layers and get out for a bike ride — you’ve got your pick of them around the area. Take in the winter scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels.  And this one is a particularly great stretch with young kids.

Inaugural Ice Cream
Where: Ice Cream Jubilee | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $22

Ice Cream Jubilee is celebrating the new year and new White House with new ice cream flavors – and tasting parties of special Inauguration Flavors where they’ll serve tasting flights of four mini-scoops (and a pint to take home). President Biden famously loves ice cream, so they want to use ice cream to spread enthusiasm for the new administration. They want to get kids and families excited about elections, government, and our country as they watch the swearing in from home… with ice cream, of course!

Art & Me Workshop
Where: American Art Museum | Online
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join a hands-on, art making preservation workshop for ages 3-8 and parents. From Chicanx graphics to Japanese prints, explore how Smithsonian conservators preserve colorful artworks on paper in this engaging online workshop. Then create your own colorful print and a protective folder, so your artwork stays safe. Register in advance — a Zoom link and suggested material list will be sent to registered participants ahead of the workshop.

Drive-In Movie Night
Where: Bassett’s Restaurant | Poolesville, MD
When: Saturday, 5pm & 7:30pm
Admission: $40

The Bassett’s Restaurant presents a fun night with cheer and great food, while maintaining all CDC safety protocols as they host a Drive-In Movie: The War with Grandpa! Order delicious food beforehand by phone or online, and they will call you when your food is ready so you can pick up from the back door. Full bar also available. There will be two showings, at 5pm and7:30pm. Admission is per car (no limit on number of people), so bring the whole family!

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There are new events from the Fairfax County Park Authority all the time, and this weekend has a fresh batch of nature-inspired activities for guests of all ages. Enjoy personalized family outdoor explorations at  Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.  Take a family astronomy lesson at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Catch a critter at Huntley Meadows.. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Fun, Hon!
Where: Inner Harbor Area | Baltimore, MD
When: All Weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Head up I-95 for a change of city scenery. Explore the exhibits at Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or view history in the works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (open by appt). All of these places are open with new safety protocols in place for COVID.

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

During these social distancing times, outdoor adventures are our best activity bets, so don’t let cold temps stop you from having fun. Find loads of ideas for things to do and places to hang in The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, a perennial go-to post.

The In Crowd
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

There are some places still welcoming visitors indoors, all of them with extra safety protocols in place. This post listing open venues around the area also includes museums that reopened but closed again due to rising covid rates. The current status of of all of them are noted.

Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through February 28
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

ARTECHOUSE, known for its visually stunning digital art, has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play. Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Adventure Takes a Moment to Sing
Where: Adventure Theatre | Online
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Adventure Theatre celebrates the new year with a digital production featuring a selection of songs from some of its favorite performers: Justine Icy Moral, Sarah Anne Sillers, Bekah Zornsa, DaVon Moody, and Karen Vincent. This special episode hopes to uplift children and families in every community and offer lighthearted joy in uncertain times with talent of local artists. To tune in, visit the Adventure Theatre Facebook page.

* It’s Alexandria Restaurant Week To-Go. Actually it’s two weeks — from now through February 7, get $49 take-out for two from participating restaurants.
* Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Virtual Scavenger Hunt is coming up on February 13 and March 13. The online fun  often sells out, so snag tickets while you can!
* Winter at Virginia wineries.
* Fun with Bernie.
* Haha.

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Filed under 2021, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 21, 2021

Pillars of light — and hope — in DC this week


1. In case you didn’t catch it last night, Celebrating America, the primetime Inauguration TV special, can be viewed online — and it was fantastic!  Just like all of the events yesterday. 💙


2. It’s a great time for a presidential outing, and you can visit the former digs of first POTUS George Washington at Mount Vernon. The grounds, most of the museum, and first floor of the mansion are open daily 9am – 4pm, and extra safety measures are being taken for Covid. Admission is $28/adult, $15/ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.


3. Good Trouble for Kids is a book subscription service to help families build racially conscious libraries.  The service distributes books on racial and social justice to children and young adults with a goal to support kids and families by furthering the conversation on race in America through story, literature, and illustration. Monthly subscriptions and book boxes with age-appropriate reads are available, and they come with a link to Xtra Good Trouble, creative supplemental materials pertaining to the story and illustrations, designed to guide and engage parents and children in conversations and practices on racial and social justice. 


4. Let’s watch and listen to this brilliance again. (PS: She has two books, one of them for kids.)


5. The Bernie memes are right up there with Michelle’s outfit and Lady Gaga’s, well, everything (really, how amazing was she?). Especially the local ones.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

Five Things for Inauguration Day: January 20, 2021

Ready for a new chapter 💙


1. Coverage of the Inaugural Ceremonies for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris begins at 10:30am and will be broadcast live on all major TV networks and platforms and streamed at BidenInaugural.org/watch. Biden will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and Harris by Justice Sonia Sotomayor (to become the FIRST WOMAN VICE PRESIDENT ❤️).  Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem, and Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks will also perform. See the full schedule and more details here.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is also hosting the first-ever curated livestream for young Americans before and during the Inaugural Ceremonies. Hosted by Keke Palmer, it will feature a special message from Dr. Jill Biden; commentary from historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Erica Armstrong Dunbar; a segment on presidential pets; trivia questions, including some asked by Doug Emhoff; and other special features.  It starts at 10am and will be streamed here and on YouTube.


2. There’s a notice going around our neighborhood list servs encouraging people to celebrate the new administration by going outside after President Biden’s speech and making some noise.  Why limit it to just our ‘hood?  Wherever you are, get outside and for five minutes, ring bells, bang pots, clap hands, play an instrument, and join in some joyful noise making!  And spread the word to your friends and neighbors!


3. Instead of the traditional inaugural balls, Tom Hanks will host  “Celebrating America,” a primetime special that will air 8:30-10pm tonight on five TV networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC — and streamed on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Prime Video.  The lineup of performers includes Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Jon Bon Jovi.


4. In case you missed it last night, this was so beautiful — and a preview of the compassionate, dignified, presidential administration to come.


5.  A mix of things to get you ready for the day:
* You’ll never hear the song from Rent the same again.
* One Day More (though now it should be No Days More)
* Hopes for a new administration.
* Celebrate, despite everything.


See you on the other side! 💙 🥂


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter