Happy Long Weekend!
Find specific recommendations for things to do this weekend among this round-up, plus these links have even more ideas for ongoing and special activities:
* Black History Month Celebrations
* Valentine’s Day Activities, Virtual & IRL
* Activities for the Covid Winter
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Outdoor Ice Skating
* Peaceful Places
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
Spreading Kindness: Virtual Valentine Greetings
Where: At home
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Your time and card making/baking efforts
Celebrate the Valentine’s Day by giving back with Eliana’s Light. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to create cards, poems, and paintings for children who have to be in a DC, MD, or VA pediatric hospital over the holiday. Pre-pandemic, these pieces of art would be delivered to their recipients, but this year volunteers should email them instead. They’ll be shared through social media and email to give a boost to those who have been going through a lot over the past year due to the effects of COVID-19. This small act of kindness can have a big impact. More details about the program are here.
Into the Blue
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through February 28
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult
Crystalline, the current exhibition at ARTECHOUSE, is only running for a couple more weeks. The gallery known for its visually stunning digital art has transformed 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 (but not hands-on), 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.
Where: Buddie Ford Nature Center | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 10am – 4pm
A great place to keep in mind when you prefer an indoor outing, Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria has Covid safety measures in place and is welcoming visitors two days a week. And if you are up for some outdoor time and weather permits, the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park, is nice for a short hike.
Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Online
When: Saturday, 10am
Ring in the Year of the Ox online with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute, and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the US. Enjoy streamed video performances and demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafts and Lunar New Year traditions. And be sure to check out the SAAM Family Zone for more crafts, coloring pages, videos, and other activities.
Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active, socially distanced way to spend time outdoors. Get more details about it here.
Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
Admission: Varies by activity
There are a few new major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout the Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour. Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.
Maple Trail Walk & Sugaring
Where: Bookside Natur Center | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 2:30pm & Sunday, 1-4pm
Brookside’s annual Maple Sugaring Days are still on this year, just a little different. The maple trees are taped, and you can take a self-guided tour to learn how maple sap gets from the trees to your t able. The trail is available onsite during the month of February, and on weekends, a naturalist is on hand to talk about the boiling process, too. Dress for the weather and wear boots — Sugaring Season is also known as Mud Season! The Maple trail walk is free and open from dawn to dusk, the naturalist is there during the hours listed above. Start the Maple trail walk at our 1400 Glenallan Avenue parking lot location – just look for the sugar maple leaf signs.
Unity | Peace | Forward
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
The Kennedy Center just debuted a new art installation at The REACH, which is a lovely place in the city to go for a socially distanced stroll. A response to this time of unprecedented challenges, Unity | Peace | Forward is a free exhibit in three parts scattered around the grounds. You can see it daily and stroll the lovely outdoor area while the KC is closed. It gets a multimedia boost on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30–8:30pm, when a video of quotes from 65 artists around the world is projected on a Video Wall. (It can also be viewed online at any time.) Get a glimpse on the Kennedy Center website.
Virtual Nature Valentines
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Online
When: February 13, 1-2pm
Consider collecting outdoor items to create your very own nature valentine. Before the program, go on a walk and collect nuts, sticks, and other natural items. During the program, participants will share why they collected items and assemble valentines. A suggested list of supplies will be emailed before the program to help prepare. An adult may need to assist the participant. This program will take place using Microsoft Teams. Recommended for ages 5+.
Car Seat Safety Session
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Kid Safe DC, a new IG with general safety tips started by physicians from Children’s Nationals, is hosting a free workshop. Sign up for a free virtual car seat safety check — you can schedule an appointment to meet one-on-one with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician via Zoom to learn how to correctly use and install your car seat(s) and have any questions answered by experts. Register through the link.
Where: International Spy Museum | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/age 13+, $14.95/7-12, free/6 & under
The Spy Museum has reopened its doors on weekends (Friday – Sunday), and 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 + more extra safety measures in place).
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
There’s a lot to celebrate at Port Discovery this weekend. They have special activities going on for Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, and Presidents’ Day. The regular exhibits are fun, too. They are taking extra measure for Covid. Find more details on the website. And note that are also open Monday, 10am – 4pm. Read more about the Children’s Museum in Baltimore.
A Return to Art We Heart
Where: NGA Sculpture Garden | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
The National Gallery of Art is reopening its outdoor Sculpture Garden on Sunday — just in time for a lovely Valentine’s Day stroll. It’s located on the north side of the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets NW.
Where: MLKing Jr. Recreational Park | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 2-5:30pm
Looking for a heart-healthy and fun activity for Valentine’s Day? Sign up for the Sweetheart Stroll at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park on February 14th. Starting at 2pm, guests can walk or run along the 0.8-mile HeartSmart Trail. Be entertained and enchanted by multiple photo stations, string lights, and LOVE-ly decorations along the way. Watch for heartwarming messages along the path and a sparkling butterfly garden, too! Registration is required — see available time slots here.
The Heartcracker Ballet
Where: Adventure Theatre | Online
When: Sunday, 2pm
Tune in for a Valentine’s Day reading of the new play The Heartcracker Ballet by Margaret Gorman. In this new work, middle-schoolers Zelda and Therese are dear friends who have been dancing around one question for some time now: How do you admit to your friend that you want to go out with them? Stream it free on Facebook Live.
Happy Birthday, George
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Every Presidents’ Day weekend, admission to Mount Vernon is free in celebration of the first POTUS’ big day. While most of the usual festivities won’t be happening this year, visitors can still tour parts of the mansion, museum exhibits, and the grounds. Tickets are limited and must be reserved in advance online.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a brand new post on the blog with recommendations for preschooler toys for the pandemic.
* DC restaurants offering specials for the Lunar New Year.
* Create a perfect backyard set-up for the Covid winter with this post full of inspo.
* DC Way Academy’s spring season is starting, and they’re looking for U8-U11 players to join their unique soccer club.
* This new show coming to Netflix next month sounds fantastic!
* RIP 😉