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Bring your family to one of these authentic corn mazes in and around Washington, DC

Corn mazes are a great fall tradition, and if you haven’t experienced one yet, it’s time to get lost in a field as a family! From a toddler-friendly straw bale maze at Greenstreet Gardens to a hard-core, no-map maze at Liberty Mills Farm, there is a corn maze to meet most family’s skill level on this list. So, if you’ve already brought home bushels of apples and picked your pumpkins, it’s time to tackle the obvious next stage of fall fun and find yourself in one of our favorite corn fields to explore near Washington, DC.

Wayside Farm
Located directly off Route 7, this 10-acre corn maze traditionally has an easy path and a hard path, and past years have seen aerial shots depicting Sonic the Hedgehog and SpongeBob SquarePants. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this farm also offers hayrides, pig races, slides, and playgrounds. In addition to providing its fair share of entertainment, this working farm grows the prettiest pumpkin varieties in the area on their expansive u-pick pumpkin patch.

5273 Harry Byrd Hwy.
Berryville, VA
Online: waysidefarmfun.com

Summers Farm
Billed as one of the largest corn mazes in the country, this farm attraction includes 2.5 miles of paths and secret challenges. You'll also find a pumpkin patch, giant slides, hayrides, and more at this Maryland farm. From Sep. 30 through Oct. 29, weekends feature firework displays starting at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Make the night complete with a campfire rental (Fri.-Sun. only). All tickets are strongly encouraged to be purchased online in advance to guarantee admission.

5620 Butterfly Ln.
Frederick,
MD
Online: summersfarm.com

Related: Carve Out Some Fun With Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patches

Liberty Mills Farm
For the most dedicated of puzzle people, the largest corn maze in the country—a whopping 33 acres—is two hours outside of DC in Somerset, VA. And for hard core sleuths, the most challenging trail has no map! Sound daunting? There are three other trails to choose from, ranging from one that takes roughly 30 minutes to complete to another that spans two hours! After all that walking (and, no doubt, getting lost), take some time to pick a pumpkin and check out the antique tractor collection.

9166 Liberty Mills Rd.
Somerset, VA

Online: libertymillsfarm.com

Greenstreet Gardens' Fall Festival
At only five acres, this “cozy” corn maze is one of the smallest around, making it a winner for families with little ones barely taller than a stalk of corn. Think of it as “maze lite”—perfect for those prone to meltdowns or needing a quick exit strategy. There’s also a Straw Bale Maze ideal if your little one would like to see over the hedge. While you’re visiting, check out the rest of the 55-acre Lothian farm (east of Upper Marlboro), with lots of fall festival activities involving pumpkins, an underground slide, a jumping pillow, and more.

391 W. Bay Front Rd.
Lothian,
MD
Online: greenstreetgardens.com

Winterbrook Farms
Come check out Maryland's largest corn maze, which features three corn mazes with a combined total of five miles of fun! Last year's theme, "Save the Family Farm," was an a-mazing adventure, and fans will have fun zipping through trails covering more than 12 acres at Winterbrook Farms this season, too. If you can fit more in, check out some of the farm’s 20 other fam-friendly features, including an apple canon, mini zipline, a pedal-cart speedway, and more. Pro tip for parents waiting upwards of several hours for kids to make their way through the maze? Cozy up with a campfire rental, available by reservation until 6 p.m. 

13001 Creagerstown Rd.
Thurmont,
MD
Online: winterbrookfarms.com

Belvedere Plantation
Here you’ll find eight acres of twists and turns and even a few bridges to keep you disoriented in the Maize Maze.
There’s also plenty more to do at Belvedere’s Fall Festival, including hay rides, pedal tractors, and pig races. If you want to add pumpkin picking to the mix, this farm also offers pumpkin painting and "punkin plunkin'" activities, too.

1410 Belvedere Dr.
Fredericksburg, VA
Online: belvedereplantation.com

Related: Frightfully Fun Halloween Games They’ll Talk About All Year

Montpelier Farms
The seven-acre interactive corn maze at Montpelier Farms is free with admission, but only open on weekends. For a less crowded, tot-friendly experience, check out “Spookley The Square Pumpkin” maze on a weekday (this mini maze is also open on weekends). Afterwards, attend a scarecrow making workshop for an additional fee or hit up the duck races, pumpkin painting tables, hay rides, and more.

1720 Crain Hwy. North
Upper Marlboro,
MD
Online: montpelierfarms.com

 

 

 

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Across Maryland and Virginia, the DMV’s best pumpkin patches have all the autumnal elements you need to celebrate fall with the family this year

If you’ve already decorated your home with fall everything, it’s time to pick out that perfect pumpkin that steals the show! Patches are mostly all open by now, so get ready for autumn fun in DC! From Montpelier Farms in Maryland to Wegmeyer Farms in Virginia, here are the DMV’s best pumpkin patches—all within an hour’s drive of Washington, DC—to visit this weekend. Happy pumpkin picking!

Maryland

DMV's best pumpkin patches
Stephen Andrews via Unsplash

Sharp's at Waterford Farm
This 530-acre working farm offers nine pumpkin-punctuated open house events in October. Admission includes a hayride, pumpkin picking and feeding the animals. On the Day In The Life Of a Farmer tour, kids 2-10 will learn about beekeeping and how crops are grown, feed goats, navigate a mini corn maze, and take a hayride.

4003 Jennings Chapel Rd.
Brookeville, MD
Online: sharpfarm.com

Butler's Orchard Festival 
The Fairy Godmother may have turned a pumpkin into Cinderella’s carriage, but here pumpkins become fairytale characters who populate the orchard’s popular Pumpkinland. The farm also features hayrides. This farm often sells out, so purchasing your ticket online prior to arriving is recommended (bonus: you score a savings by buying in advance).

22222 Davis Mill Rd.
Germantown, MD
Online: butlersorchard.com

Homestead Farm 
Looking for something a little more straightforward? Skip the extracurriculars and head here for some simple pumpkin picking. On weekends through Halloween, the farm offers hayrides to the patch, where shoppers can take their time deciding on their favorite member of the cucurbitaceae family, to which pumpkins, squash and gourds belong.

15604 Sugarland Rd.
Poolesville, MD
Online: homestead-farm.net

Clark’s Elioak Farm
Known for its Enchanted Forest, this petting zoo farm has hayrides, cow trains, pony rides and more. If your pint-sized princess loves Cinderella, this is the perfect place to take a stroll through fairy tales and castles and leave with a pumpkin of your own.

10500 Clarksville Pike.
Ellicott City, MD
Online: clarklandfarm.com

Montpelier Farms
If you're looking for a pumpkin patch with all the bells and whistles, head here where admission includes corn mazes, hayrides, hill slides and an area for tikes 48 inches and smaller. Extra fees apply for duck races, pumpkin chunkin’ (yes, using slingshots!), and a scarecrow workshop. Stop at the pumpkin patch for an orange orb of fall goodness. 

1720 Crain Hwy.
North, Upper Marlboro, MD
Online: montpelierfarms.com

Fall Fun Festival at Gaver Farm
Before you pick a pumpkin to schlep around, cover the 45-plus attractions such as the jumping pillow, a petting zoo, giant slides, mini mazes, duck races and photo centers. When the sun goes down, Fall Fun Nights get started with a Moonlight Corn Maze, campfires, and s’mores.

5501 Detrick Rd.
Mount Airy, MD
Online: gaverfarm.com

Related: Simple Pumpkin Crafts You Can Do with the Kids

Larriland Farms
Get into the spirit with ghost and goblin decorations at the farm, which offers 20-minute weekend hayrides through woods (please note: these no reservation tours are open to the public and do not include a stop in the pumpkin patch. If you would like to include a trip to the pumpkin patch, you must reserve a private hayride this year. You can also enjoy sunflower and apple picking on this farm!

2415 Woodbine Rd.
Woodbine, MD
Online: pickyourown.com

Summers Farm
This farm boasts over 45 family activities and attractions. Check out Summer’s 12-acre cornfield maze, slides, farmer golf, and pumpkin and apple cannons. Candy lovers take note: the pumpkin cannon blasts out wrapped goodies one day a weekend. Fireworks can be viewed on Saturdays from Sep. 30 - Oct. 30.

5620 Butterfly Ln.
Fredrick, MD
Online: summersfarm.com

Shlagel Farms
Put your thinking caps on for this one. Kids and adults alike can get a better sense of the path food takes from the farm to the table while also enjoying a wagon ride, petting zoo and, of course, the pumpkins.

12850 Shlagel Rd.
Waldorf, MD
Online: shlagelfarms.com

Queen Anne Farm
A tractor-pulled hay wagon will give your crew a ride to a pumpkin patch, which has squashes ranging in size from two ounces to more than 200 pounds. You can also make a free stop at the Insta-worthy Pumpkin House.

18102 Central Ave.
Mitchellville, MD
Online: queenannefarm.com

Related: 30 Pumpkin Recipes to Spice Up Your Fall

Virginia

DMV's best pumpkin patches
Ana Essentiels on Unsplash

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms
There’s a giant jumping pillow, slides and putt-putt. Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and get picturesque views of the mountains. Don't forget to head back on weekends in November for Pumpkin Chunkin'.

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.
Bluemont, VA
Online: greatcountryfarms.com

Wegmeyer Farms
You can choose from over 50 different varieties at this u-pick field in Hamilton. These pumpkins are grown with a no-till process, so these fields don't get muddy! There is plenty of space to socially distance while picking your pumpkin off a vine. Reservations are required.

38299 Hughesville Rd.
Hamilton, VA
Online: wegmeyerfarms.com

Wayside Farm
During the fall, the 120-acre working farm hosts pig races, pumpkin drops and a corn maze. In the patch you'll find gladiator, full moon, fairytale and Cinderella varieties. 

5273 Harry Byrd Hwy.
Berryville, VA
Online: waysidefarmfun.com

 

 

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Whether they want not-so-scary fun or the fright of their lives, Washington, DC is jam-packed with Halloween activities geared to all ages (and spook levels!)

Why reserve Halloween activities for Oct. 31 when you can celebrate all month long? There are plenty of opportunities to wear your costume this October, from Halloween parades, not-so-spooky dance parties, trick-or-treating (and trunk-or-treating) events, and costume competitions. Beyond disguise-preferred events, there are a number of activities and festivals that celebrate the Halloween spirit, like ghoulish golf, photo ops with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, and—for those brave enough—a scream-your-heart-out haunted house.

Whether you’re looking for frights or not-so-scary activities, we’ve rounded up the best spooktacular events and boo-rific activities in the DMV to celebrate Halloween during the entire month of October. Happy Halloween!

Free Halloween Events around Washington, DC in October

Air & Scare
The annual Air & Scare and the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center is a Halloween highlight for many DC families. They have everything from Star Wars to Boo Blasters. Admission is free, but be sure to reserve your ticket before you go (tickets will be posted early October). Costumes are welcome outside only.

Cost: Free
Oct. 29
14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy.
Chantilly, VA
Online: airandspace.si.edu

Montgomery Village’s Pumpkin Race & Fall Festival 
Get ready to get crafty at this annual event in Montgomery Village. Contestants are asked to bring their pre-decorated pumpkins (complete with wheels) to test their pumpkin race car’s speed at The Great Pumpkin Race. Anyone can enter and the rules are simple:  attach wheels with an independent axis to a pumpkin and you’re ready to go (no weights, motors, or pyrotechnics allowed). Those that don’t follow the rules face the hammer! This event also features food, music and children’s activities.

Cost: Free
Oct. 8
20215 Arrowhead Rd.
Montgomery, MD
Online: montgomeryvillage.com

Hilloween
For over 20 years, Halloween has been celebrated on Capitol Hill with DC’s largest  Halloween festival, Hilloween. There will be music (and dancing!), pumpkin carving, costume contests and more.

Cost: Free
Oct. 28
7th St. NW, Eastern Market
Washington, DC
Online: hilloweendc.com

Insider Tip: For more free events, check out our guide to trunk-or-treating and local parades below.

Related: Aw Shucks! The Absolute Best Corn Mazes to Get Lost In

Not-So-Spooky Halloween-Themed Events around Washington, DC in October

Halloween Safari
The Bull Runs Mountain Conservancy has been running their Halloween Safari for over 20 year. Join the Conservancy for a not-so-spooky guided nighttime hike. Be prepared to meet native “wildlife.” Stay after the hike to relax by the bonfire and listen to live music.

Cost: $10
Oct. 21 & 22
17405 Beverley Mill Dr.
Broad Run, VA
Online: brmconservancy.org

Goblin Golf
Even ghosts and goblins like to play mini golf! Just before Halloween Burke Lake Park will host a not-so-spooky mini-golf goblin themed weekend.  Because it’s just not Halloween without candy each mini-golfer will get a premade goodie bag to take home.

Cost: $9-$10
Oct. 1-23
7315 Ox Rd.
Fairfax Station, VA
Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

Fall Frolic
Put on your costume and frolic in the garden of  the Lee-Fendall House! Activities include a not-so-spooky “ghost” hunt, crafts, and a costume parade. There are several timed sessions throughout the day so be sure to get your ticket early and arrive on time!

Cost: $5-$15
Oct. 22
614 Oronoco St.
Alexandria, VA
Online: leefendallhouse.org

Eye Spy Halloween Trains
The Halloween Eye Spy Trains run through Cabin John Park and Wheaton Park. Ride a mini-train while you look for pumpkins, gnomes and more along the rails. In past years Cabin John has been a little less spooky than Wheaton so keep that in mind if you are going with the littlest ghouls and goblins. Both Cabin John and Wheaton parts have big playgrounds so stay and make an afternoon of your outing. Be sure to get your tickets early as these popular weekend rides through “Trainslyvania” sometimes sell out.

Cost: $6.00
Every weekend in October

7410 Tuckerman Ln.
Rockville, MD

2002 Shorefield Rd.
Wheaton, MD
Online: montgomeryparks.org

 

Trick-or-Treat & Trunk-or-Treat Events around Washington, DC in October

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
George Washington is the master of ceremonies at this 18th-century themed Halloween party. There will be baking demonstrations, live music, 18th-century games and puppet shows, blacksmith demonstrations and live animals. Modern day fun includes a Halloween parade and plenty of candy.

Cost: $9-$25
Oct. 29
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.
Mount Vernon, VA
Online: mountvernon.org/

Gaylord National’s Spookley Halloween 
Every day is Halloween at Gaylord National where you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy complimentary daily events. Start by trick-or-treating the Atrium where not-so-scary characters pass out candy, take a selfie with Spookley the Square Pumpkin at the official meet-and-greet station, catch Spookley on the big screen on weekends, and don’t forget to walk the Jack O’Lantern Walk with creatively carved pumpkins. Ticketed events are also available, including a scavenger hunt and an interactive show.

Cost: Free
Sep.16-Oct. 30
201 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD
Online: marriott.com

Boo at the Zoo
Whose howling after dark? Find out as you creep along the zoo trails at this not-so-scary trick-or-treating party. The animal houses stay open late for this popular DC event where kids can trick-or-treat at over 30 treat stations, dance to Halloween tunes and ride the zoo’s carousel (for an additional fee).

Cost: $25-$35
Oct. 28-30
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Woodley Park
Washington, DC
Online: nationalzoo.si.edu

Towson’s Trunk-or-Treat
You don’t need to pre-register to trick-or-treat at this trunk event where little ones can go car to car collecting sweets and toys. If you’d like to deck your car out in its Halloween best, register for a parking spot and a chance to win best dressed car! Costume prizes will also be awarded. For a full afternoon of fun, this event also has a costume parade, bounce house and carnival games.

Cost: Free
Oct. 15
920 Providence Rd.
Towson, MD
Online: towsontrunkortreat.com

Alexandria’s Trunk-or-Treat
Alexandria-area Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts are teaming up with Faith Fellowship for a spooktacular trick-or-treating event. Grab treats, play games, and enjoy hot dogs at this family-friendly community event.

Cost: Free
Oct. 25
7800 Telegraph Rd.
Alexandria, VA
Online: eventbrite.com

Related: Carve Out Some Fun: 14 Pumpkin Patches to Pick-Your-Own

Halloween Parades around Washington, DC in October

Vienna’s Halloween Parade
No need to register to participate in this annual event: All are invited to show off their costumes as they make their way down Maple Avenue alongside floats, bands, and more. A beloved tradition since 1946, this year’s theme is a time machine celebrating Vienna’s past, present and future. Parade participants should gather at United Bank. For a map of the parade route, go here.

Cost: Free
Oct. 26
374 Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA
Online: viennava.gov/

Leesburg’s Halloween Parade
Billed as one of the oldest Halloween parades in the country, this small town pulls out all the stops on Oct. 31. Parade participants toss candy at bystanders as they make their way down King St. An annual favorite includes an exact replica of the Ghostbuster’s car.

Cost: Free
Oct. 31
King St.
Leesburg, VA
Online: kiwanis.org/

Del Ray Halloween Parade
Everyone can get in on the fun at the Del Ray Halloween Parade where awards are given for Best Pet Costume, Best Stroller Costume, Best Group Costume, Best Decorated House and more.

Cost: Free
Oct. 31
Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA
Online: wildapricot.org

 

Scary Halloween Events around Washington, DC in October

Markoff’s Haunted Forest
This attraction is so scary it isn’t recommended for children under 12. At each turn, you’ll find frightful scenes along a wooded trail that features expertly designed sets along with terrifying actors. At the edge of the trail you’ll find the Cursed Village featuring a massive bonfire, a DJ and live acts, like fire spinners.

Cost: $30
Every weekend in October, Fri.-Sun
19120 Martinsburg Road
Dickerson, MD
Online: markoffshauntedforest.com

Scream LoCo
This apocalyptic-themed haunted house will give you nightmares (and that’s the point!). Loudoun County’s newest attraction is so frightening, you need to sign a waiver before you (dare!) enter the abandoned grounds of Graydon Manor.

Cost: $20-45
Every weekend in October, Fri.-Sun.
801 Childrens Center Rd. SW
Leesburg, VA
Online: screamloco.com

Related: DC’s Prime Spots to See Fall Foliage This Season

Worth-the-Drive Halloween Events near Washington, DC

Harry Potter’s Forbidden Forest Experience
Wizards and beasts fill this forest just in time for Halloween. Starting Oct., 29, step into the magically enchanted forest of Harry Potter at Morvan Park where wands really work! Guests can cast their own spells as they watch famous scenes from the Harry Potter films come to life. Dates are already selling out (fast!), so don’t wait for Halloween to roll around to grab these tickets.

Cost: $55-$66
Oct. 29-Jan. 29
17339 Southern Planter Ln.
Leesburg, VA
Online: hpforbiddenforestexperience.com

Port Discovery
Head to Port Discovery for special pop-up events at this hands-on children’s museum.  Enjoy special guests, Halloween-themed crafts, a mysterious treasure hunt, pop-up science demonstrations and more culminating in a Halloween parade and dance party on Oct. 30th. Port Discovery’s regular exhibits, including a three-story slide and a room where it’s encouraged to get wet (raincoats provided) will be open during the Halloween festivities. Port Discovery is in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor make a day of it!

Cost: $19.95-$21.95
Oct. 30
35 Market Pl.
Baltimore, MD
Online: portdiscovery.org

The Count’s Spooktacular 
Most amusement parks have not-so-spooky Halloween events. Busch Gardens features The Count’s Spooktacular on weekends through October. Kids can enjoy dance parties with their favorite Sesame Street characters, a hay maze, a pumpkin scavenger hunt and more. Kids 9 and under can participated in a costume contest. Each weekend has a different theme including Clowning Around Weekend and Pirate Party Weekend. All kids’ activities end at 5:00 when the park transforms into a haunted landscape.

Cost: $49.99, half-price daytime kids tickets available for the Count’s Spooktacular
Sep. 24-Oct. 30, weekends
1 Busch Gardens Blvd.
Williamsburg, VA
Online: buschgardens.com

BOO by Day
Six Flags America has family-friendly BOO by Day including pumpkin painting, a corn maze and a trick-or-treat trail. Costumes are encouraged all day long. The park is covered with not-so-spooky decorations like spider webs and glowing pumpkins. Some rides have been reimagined to be Halloween themed. Antique Cars are now the Freaky Freeway. Bumper Cars are now Ghost Town Riders. Just be sure to take little ones home by nightfall when the park becomes haunted by ghoulish creatures!

Cost: Starting from $24.99
Sep. 24-Oct. 30, weekends
13710 Central Ave.
Bowie, MD 

Online: sixflags.com

 

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Want to please everyone? Get one of these delicious, DMV-based pizza pies for a kid-friendly dinner!

There’s a reason kid’s parties always serve pizza—it’s easy, cheap, and a universal crowd pleaser. In fact, it’s the second most popular fast food in America and a safe bet to turn to when you want to make sure everyone (and we mean, everyone, you picky eaters!) is happy with their meal. The only hurdle? Narrowing down the choices.

Washington, DC’s pizza scene has exploded over the past five years and offers a myriad of choices. From Detroit-style slices at Side Door Pizza to wood-fired Neapolitan pizza at Pupatella, we rounded up the best local pizza parlors and pizzerias for a family meal in the DMV.

We, The Pizza
You’ll find a huge assortment of pies at these pizza shops—14 to be precise—and all flavors are available by the slice. You’ll also find a huge selection of homemade sodas, including Spicy Ginger Mango Sling and Blood Orange Creamsicle Sky. They also make Italian gelato shakes for those who want their soda to float.

4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA

2100 Crystal Dr.
Arlington, VA

1301 U St. NW
U. St. Corridor

305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Capitol Hill
Online: wethepizza.com

Related: The BEST Pizza in Every State (& DC)

90 Second Pizza
Kids will enjoy watching their pizza spin to perfection in the 90 second oven at this Georgetown pizza joint. You’ll find chewy, Neapolitan-style pizzas that include your choice of up to three toppings. The wait here is never long; this restaurant lives up to its name and serves up fresh, piping-hot pizzas super fast (and their pies are pretty cheap). It’s a great place to grab a quick meal off M St. when strolling through G-town.

1077 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Georgetown
Online: 90secondpizza.us

All Purpose Shaw & All Purpose Pizzeria 
The folks behind Boundary Stone and The Red Hen are the creators of All-Purpose’s artisanal, Jersey-style pizzas that feature foodie toppings like hot honey and truffle oil. You can grab a pie in Shaw or near National’s Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. This pizzeria also serves up notable brunch with bottomless mimosas and, for the kids, Nutella-topped banana bread.

9 Potomac Ave. SE
Capitol Riverfront

1250 9th St. NW
Shaw
Online: allpurposedc.com

Timber Pizza
Kids will clamor for the two-person swing seat at this rustic pizzeria’s Petworth location. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, but this popular spot can boast a wait. The upside? There is much to see, do, and check out in the neighborhood. Pop into near-by Loyalty Books while you wait. You can also order a pizza to grab-and-go.

Insider Tip: Follow Timber’s mobile schedule to find out when Timber Pizza is available in your neck of the woods. 

4238 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA

809 Upshur St. NW
Petworth
Online: timberpizza.com

Side Door Pizza
This Detroit-style pizzeria features thick crust and sauce-topped cheese. This pizza is strictly to-go, but there is a small picnic table outside the venue for those that need to immediately dive in.

Insider Tip: If you’re having trouble locating the door, look for the red neon sign. 

909 New Jersey Ave. SE
Navy Yard
Online: sidedoorpizza.com

Pupatella
The individual pizzas at this Neapolitan-style pizzeria are generous enough you can share a pie with a little eater. Fresh toppings with unique offerings, like pine nuts, make these pies foodie stand outs. The original Wilson Blvd. location boasts car benches made from a Fiat 500 and rainbow-themed outdoor dining (with fire pits!).

5104 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA

1621 S Walter Reed Dr.
Arlington, VA

1821 Wiehle Ave.
Reston, VA

2980 District Ave.
Fairfax, VA

1801 18th St. NW
Dupont Circle
Online: pupatella.com

Andy’s Pizza
If you’re craving a slice of pizza from the Big Apple head to Andy’s for some NY-inspired pies. Andy’s is the gold-standard in pizza, taking home the World Pizza Champion title last year. There are five convenient locations scattered across the DMV with all but Shaw offering sit-down dining options.

2016 9th St NW
Shaw

2001 International Dr.
McLean, VA

2465 18th St NW
Adams Morgan

51 M St. NE
NOMA

1201 Half St SE
Navy Yard
Online: eatandyspizza.com

Pizzeria Paradiso
Pizzeria Paradiso operates four restaurants in the DMV, but all eyes are on the Georgetown location if you’re dining with kids. Keep the kids occupied while you wait for your food in the game room located in the  basement bar that features skee ball, shuffleboard, pin ball or an arcade game. If you have kids who like to nibble before their meal, you’ll appreciate the olives served while you wait for your wood-fired pizza.

Insider Tip: Patrons are invited to use the game room even when the bar is closed. 

3282 M St. NW
Georgetown

2003 P St. NW
Dupont Circle

124 King St.
Alexandria VA

4800 Rhode Island Ave.
Hyattsville MD
Online: eatyourpizza.com

Comet Ping Pong
This neighborhood gem truly caters to all needs. Everyone will love the pizza (with vegan and gluten-free options), and Mom and Dad (and adventurous tykes) should save room for the wood-roasted spaghetti squash, cauliflower, and beets. Or the Tin Roof Sundae. Or both—we won’t tell.

Insider Tip: Table tennis is free, but first come, first served so get there early if you plan to play. 

5037 Connecticut Ave. NW
Friendship Heights
Online: cometpingpong.com

Uno Pizzeria & Grill
The Chicago-inspired deep dish pizza at this joint is a crowd pleaser. If you are dining on site, be sure to ask your waiter for some pizza dough for the kiddos to play with—just like Play-Doh, but not quite as eyebrow-raising if they “accidentally” eat some of that abstract dinosaur sculpture. You can even get pizza dough to go!

Insider Tip: Make-Your-Own options at this chain include table side pizza kits and DIY sundaes for kids. 

Various locations in Virginia, Maryland and at Union Station in DC.
Online: unos.com

Related: 32 Lunch Ideas They Will Actually Eat

Pizzeria Orso 
The same folks behind upscale 2941 operate this casual, Neapolitan-style pizzeria that features wood-fired pies alongside Mediterranean comfort foods like oven-roasted olives and lamb skewers. Inside, kids can ooh and aah as they watch their pizza being fired. There is also an outdoor patio.

400 South Maple Ave.
Falls Church, VA
Online: pizzeriaorso.com

Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza in Friendship Heights knows how to feed a family. These oversized pizzas are a whopping 18-inches and serve up 12 slices (enough to feed your little army!). Don’t forget to ask for the namesake New Haven white pizza with fresh clams, garlic and EVOO.

4940 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Friedship Heights
Online: petesapizza.com

&Pizza
Get your hunger pangs in check at this conveyor-belt pizza parlor, with locations across the city. The personal-size craft pizzas are made with fresh local ingredients. A popular choice is the Farmer’s Daughter, which combines a spicy tomato sauce, spinach, fennel sausage, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano… all topped with red pepper chili oil and a cracked egg. Pickier palates can mix and match crust (there’s even a gluten free option), sauce, cheese and toppings.

1400 K St. NW
Downtown

1118 H St. NE
H St. Cooridor

1005 E St. NW
Downtown

Various additional locations in MD & VA
Online: &pizza.com

Related: ‘Za Best: 15 Pizza Recipes for Family Meals

Wiseguys Pizza
Get ready to dish up supersized slices when you purchase a pie from Wiseguys. There is only one size here, and it’s a whopping 18′.  You can build your own pizza or choose from unique offerings like Korean chicken or paneer tikka.

300 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Chinatown

2121 H St. NW
Foggy Bottom

1735 North Lynn St.
Rosslyn, VA

710 12th St. South
Arlington, VA

202 M St. SE
Canal Park
Online: wiseguypizza.com

Emmy Squared Pizza
For those that love thick-crust pizza, head to this establishment in Shaw that serves  Detroit-style in square-shapes (fun!). You’ll also find their famous burger, Le Big Matt., topping fresh pretzel rolls. Know someone who needs a square pizza in their life? Emmy Squared ships, too.

1924 8th St. NW
Shaw
Online: emmysquaredpizza.com

 

Stellina Pizzeria
Does it get better than a Michelin-rated pizza? Probably not. Inspired by Italian food carts and corner markets, Stellina restaurants feature a bottega in each store so you can buy their ingredients to make your own pizzas at home, too. If you’re dining at the restaurant, be sure to bring your pup; this place welcomes your entire family, fur babies included.

508 K St. NW
Mt. Vernon

2800 S. Randolph St.
Arlington, VA

399 Morse St. NE
Brentwood/Union Market
Online: stellinapizzeria.com

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Find 100 family-friendly things to do and see in the DMV, whether you choose to spend the day at one of the many museums or explore the city like a local

Millions of people visit the Nation’s Capital every year, and the list of things to see and do in Washington, DC is seemingly endless. No matter the season, DC offers gorgeous views, rich cultural experiences and epic museums. We rounded up all the usual spots like the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum and the national monuments and memorials. But there is plenty to see and do beyond the National Mall.

We put together the perfect family bucket list of DMV fun. From downtown D.C. to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we’ve found 100 of the best places to take your family throughout the DMV. Pro tip: Don’t miss the suggestions on the list where we’ll help you explore like a true local.

Explore the Great Outdoors in Washington, DC

1. Brookside Gardens features acres of gardens and an extensive conservatory. There is something for everyone with an Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. In addition, check their website for seasonal events, such as Gardens of Light in the winter and the Wings of Fancy live butterfly exhibit in the Spring.

2. Explore Rock Creek Park. D.C. is home to over 1,500 acres of national parkland. Spend a few hours or a few days exploring all this park offers.

3. Thanks to an arcane law that prohibited selling or disposing of parts of the Capitol removed during a 1958 renovation, anyone can visit the Capitol Stones. It’s not easy to find the stones’ “secret” location, but it’s just a short walk down a well-trodden path. Many children enjoy climbing on the stone but be careful!

4. Great Falls Park has some of the best natural views in the D.C. area. The Billy Goat Trail is one of the most popular trails to tackle with kids.

5. At the United States Botanic Garden, you can experience the jungle and the desert and see rare and endangered plants under one roof. Check out the outdoor Children’s Garden and the canopy walk that gives you a bird’s eye view of the plants.

6. The National Arboretum is a massive oasis in the city. The highlight for many visitors is seeing the old columns from the Capitol Columns dating from the 1800s now sitting on a grassy knoll. Don’t miss the extensive bonsai exhibit and state trees.

7. Roosevelt Island is a fantastic natural place to explore with kids, just minutes from the National Mall. Explore on your own or join a ranger-led program.

8. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is an expansive garden featuring lotus blooms and lilies. Don’t miss the stroller-friendly boardwalk trail.

9. The C&O Canal served as a 185-mile shipping and transportation route along the Potomac River for over 100 years. See a small part of it on your own or through one of the many events held along the canal. You can even take a boat ride along the canal. More adventurous families can even book a stay in a preserved canal house.

10. The grounds of the National Cathedral are their destination. The Bishop’s Garden is a peaceful oasis in the city. Enjoy the beautiful landscaping, visit the Shadow House gazebo, bring a picnic and ball, and enjoy the grounds. Just past the Bishop’s Garden is Olmsted Woods, with a contemplative circle and native flowers.

11. Kingman Island and Heritage Trail is home to rare ecosystems and over 100 species of birds. This unique spot was created when the Anacostia river was dredged over 100 years ago. Today it’s a great place to look for frogs, ride a (free!) paddle boat, and hike. Check out their events calendar for family-friendly events focusing on helping the environment.

12. Thrill seekers will love exploring the many amusement parks in the D.C. area. From the sprawling Six Flags America to the smaller Western-themed Adventure Park USA, there is something for big and small adventurers alike.

13. D.C. kids love to play! There is no shortage of playgrounds in the D.C. area. Check out some of the best and biggest, or head to a playground with tons of shade to escape the D.C. heat.

14. The DC area is home to an extensive network of spray grounds. Open all summer long; these splash pads are a great place to cool down and let kids burn off some steam. Find spray grounds perfect for kids with disabilities, city kids and more.

15. Take a mule-drawn boat ride down the C&O canal. This truly 19th Century experience takes visitors on a scenic trip through Great Falls while they learn about those who lived and worked along the C&O canal in the late 1800s. Boats leave from the Great Falls Tavern.

16. When the original Walter Reed hospital and its grounds closed, it transformed into The Parks at Walter Reed. This area, which had been closed to the public for decades, now features a lovely rose garden, playground and more. Check out their calendar for regular events, including farmers’ markets, outdoor movies, jazz performances and more.

17. Gravelly Point is a park ideally situated for watching planes take off and land from the nearby Regan National Airport. So bring a picnic and settle for an hour or two of epic activity in the sky.

18. The highlight of the expansive Watkins Regional Park, for many families, is the Wizard of Oz-themed playground, complete with an Emerald place and ruby red slipper slides. The park also houses a mini-golf course, a petting farm and more.

19. The DC area’s climate is excellent for growing berries, apples, peaches, pumpkins and more. Here’s our list of the best pick-your-own farms. So then, pull on your overalls and enjoy fruit fresh from the source!

20. East Potomac Park is a peaceful park with great water views. The park houses a golf course, mini golf course and public pool. The tip of the park is known as Hains Point and has a playground.

21. Practice your putting on D.C.’s fabulous mini-golf courses. From glow-in-the-dark indoor courses to a classic mini-green overlooking the Potomac, every family can find a fun spot to hit some balls.

22. One of the best playgrounds in the D.C. area is accessible to all kids. Clemyjontri Park has everything from a wheelchair-accessible swing to an accessible carousel. The rest of the park features slides, climbing structures, a maze and more.

23. Wheaton Regional Park is also known as Adventure Park for a good reason. Multi-story slides and a huge blue pyramid great for climbing share space with a carousel, miniature train, digging area and more.

24. Not far from the National Zoo, Tregaron Conservancy is a great place to explore and decompress after a busy day in the city. It hosts a beautiful network of woodland trails, streams, gardens, and meadows.

25. Did you know that there’s a hidden boathouse in Georgetown? At Fletcher’s Cove, you can gain access to the Potomac River and the C&O canal, which is excellent for paddling, row boating, canoeing, and kayaking. Then, head out on your own or take a guided tour. Fletcher’s also rents bicycles for those who prefer to stay on land.

26. Cabin John Park has a huge playground and plenty of shade, which makes it a fan favorite among local families. There is also a miniature train, picnic pavilions and plenty of room for sports.

27. Adjacent to Clara Barton’s home is the fun and interesting Glen Echo Park. The park was formerly an amusement park but is now a vibrant center of arts and fun. The park features the only carousel in a national park, a playground, a children’s theater, a puppet theatre and a network of yurts where artists work and sell their wares.

Related: It’s a Date! 7 Awesome Family Date Spots in DC

Visit Museums and Cultural Experiences in Washington, DC

28. The White House isn’t just where the President lives; it’s also the People’s House! This means it’s open to the public, and it’s a must-do when visiting D.C. You won’t be able to see all areas of the White House, but you can visit the East Wing and the residence with some preparation. Contact your Congressional representative at least 21 days before your visit to schedule a tour.

29. After checking out where the President lives, swing over to Capitol Hill. There, you can walk the Capitol grounds and see the Capitol’s majestic rotunda for yourself. Reservations are recommended to visit the Capitol Visitor’s Center. For an even more in-depth look, contact your Congressperson or Senator in advance of your visit for a tour of the Capitol itself.

30. Just a short walk from the Capitol is the Supreme Court. The Court is usually open to the public on weekdays, requiring no reservations. Even if you can’t get inside, it’s worth a stop to take a photo on the Court’s iconic stairs.

31. We are getting closer to the day when anyone might be able to travel to space. Until then, visit the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum to get an up-close look at rockets, space science, and hands-on exhibits about how things fly.

32. To see an actual space shuttle, you must travel to the Udzar-Hazey Center, the Air & Space museum’s satellite location near Dulles airport. The Udzar-Hazey center also houses a Star Wars X-Wing fighter. In addition, the Udzar-Hazey Center hosts regular family-friendly events, so keep an eye on their events calendar.

33. The National Museum of Natural History is a must-do for those who prefer learning about the land. The Museum of Natural History is home to an impressive collection of dinosaurs but don’t miss the indoor butterfly habitat and hall of gems while you are there!

34. No trip to Washington, DC, is complete without a visit to the National Mall to see the monuments. See the monuments for free on foot or book a tour by Segwaybike, or trolley. The monuments are magical at night so consider visiting after sundown if your kids can stay up past dark.

35. Go deep undercover at the International Spy Museum. Learn essential spy skills like crawling through mock air ducts to eavesdrop and designing outfits for secret agents.

36. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens is one of D.C.’s best-kept secrets. The former home of the heiress to the Post Cereal fortune is now open for exploration. Take a kid-friendly tour of the stately mansion but stay for the expansive gardens, including a Japanese garden, lunar lawn, French parterre, putting green, and more. Bring a picnic or grab something to enjoy at the estate’s café. Keep an eye out for the heavy French and Russian influences throughout, inspired by Mrs. Post’s time accompanying her husband to his assignments as an Ambassador.

37. Visit Artechouse to see the magic happen when art and technology collide. Artechouse’s exhibits change every few months, but they are always interactive, immersive and worth the trip. Past exhibits have focused on everything from cherry blossoms to the life of a neuron. Check out the bar before you leave, which features themed drinks (including virgin versions) related to the exhibit’s theme, complete with V.R. coasters.

38. Not far from Artechouse is The Wharf DC. The Wharf is a great place to go if you have wanted to swing on a giant swing with river views or roast smores on a big firepit. Check out activities ranging from riding a free Water Jitney to renting a paddleboard. It’s also an excellent destination for dining and seeing live music.

39. See where George Washington and Martha lived by visiting their well-preserved home in Virginia. Mount Vernon also features sprawling grounds perfect for exploring. While there, you will also learn about the history of the enslaved people who lived and worked at Mount Vernon. Before you go, check out the kids’ activities on the estate.

40. The National Cathedral is a stunning masterpiece and the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Inside view colorful stained glass and search for the moonrock embedded in one of the windows. Visit the many chapels and look for carvings of luminaries, including Rosa Parks and Hellen Keller. Outside look around for whimsical gargoyles.

41. Washington, DC, is an international city and home to embassies from all over the world. Take a Self-Guided tour of Embassy Row starting at DuPont Circle to see some of the best. It’s the fastest and easiest way to take a world tour!

42. The Culture House is an iconic spot for selfies in Southwest DC. The church building dating to the 19th Century is painted in bright, bold colors and is home to a vibrant arts community. Check out their exhibitions to see what is on display. Before you head out, make sure that Culture House is open to the public when you want to visit since it is a popular venue for private events.

43. The Woodrow Wilson House is where the former president and his wife moved when they left the White House in 1921. This well-preserved time capsule from the roaring 20s is just off of Embassy Row and hosts events, including tours and vintage game nights. The Woodrow Wilson House strives to be historically accurate and has programs relating to the impact of President Wilson’s controversial policies, including the segregation of the federal workforce.

44. The Underground Railroad Experience takes visitors on a trail that simulates the experience of enslaved people who fled the south in search of freedom. The trail starts at Woodlawn Manor and takes visitors through woods and fields. Take a guided tour or print out this map for a self-guided experience that explains how formerly enslaved people found hiding spots and the dangers they faced on their journey to freedom.

45. Woodlawn Manor House isn’t just the start of the Underground Railroad Experience; it’s also a well-preserved example of the Maryland of yesteryear. The manor includes a sprawling 19th-century house. The grounds preserve Maryland’s agricultural history. Events include public hikes, old-fashioned games and demonstrations on churning butter by hand.

46. The Clara Barton House tells the story of a remarkable woman who founded the Red Cross. Her home once served as the Red Cross’s office. Visitors can explore three levels of this beautiful home and learn more about Barton’s life and work.

47. The National Museum of Women in the Arts, not surprisingly, is dedicated to showcasing art by women artists. It’s a great way to view work from artists who have historically been marginalized.

48. The Renwick Gallery, located across the street from the White House, is part of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. This quirky museum has featured exhibits centering on the Art of Burning Man, floor-to-ceiling fiber installations, and Chicano revolutionary graphics. In addition, the Renwick Gallery hosts periodic family events, so check their calendar before heading over.

49. Blagden Alley in D.C.’s historic Shaw neighborhood is an off-the-beaten-track destination worth exploring. The alley is home to well-preserved townhomes and horse stables from the 19th Century, which now house cafes, bars and restaurants. Don’t miss the colorful “LOVE” mural, a favorite spot for selfies.

50. Visit the Library of Congress. While you have to be an elected representative to borrow books, the Library of Congress’s buildings are open to the public and magnificent! Rare and significant materials are often on display.

51. The National Portrait Gallery is a fantastic way to learn about U.S. history by viewing portraits of presidents, authors, athletes, movie stars and more. If you visit, ask about their family kits for self-guided activities.

52. The American Art Museum is connected to the National Portrait Gallery and showcases the best work of American artists. Don’t miss the building’s beautiful, soaring atrium, the Kogod Courtyard, between the two museums. It’s a great place to stop for a snack break.

53. The Sculpture Garden is a whimsical open space in the heart of the city. Walk through to explore larger-than-life installations, including the façade of a giant red house and art deco vines, or make a pit stop for lunch. During the winter, a big fountain in the middle of the garden transforms into an ice skating rink.

54. The National Gallery of Art features modern art in the East Wing and classic pieces in the West Wing. The museum is full of surprises, including a giant blue rooster on the roof and a magical walkway dotted with pinpoint lights. It’s also home to one of the best cafes on the National Mall.

55. Just off the National Mall, the Canadian Embassy holds a surprise. The domed rotunda just outside the main entrance creates the perfect echo chamber. Bring a bouncy ball of unlimited echoes.

56. The National Children’s Museum is a wonderland for the younger set. The museum has hands-on activities, including a green screen, a giant indoor slide, art projects and more.

57. The Hirshhorn Museum is a modern round building on the National Mall. This is the place to go to see contemporary art in D.C. They also host regular family-friendly events with hands-on activities.

58. The Mansion on O Street is the quirkiest place in D.C.! Spend an afternoon exploring the wacky rooms and look for hidden doors to nowhere. Find the stuffed life-sized bear, secret wine cellar and more. Then, stay to dine or have tea in their eclectic restaurant.

59. There is a real castle in the heart of DuPont Circle. The Brewmaster’s Castle, known as Heurich House, has survived since the 1800s. Built by the owner of the largest brewery in 19th Century DC, this marvel features intricately carved fireplaces, mantles and more. Now open to the public, the Castle often hosts throwback game nights and family-friendly scavenger hunts.

60. The Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Catholic church in the United States and one of the tenth largest in the world. Open to visitors of all faiths, the Basilica has over 80 shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary, representing cultures and traditions from around the globe. The Basilica is stunning when decorated for Christmas but is worth a visit any time of year.

Related: The Latinx-Owned Shops and Restaurants in DC You’ll Want to Visit

61. The National Museum of the American Indian tells the story of ingenious peoples throughout the Americas, with input from Native voices. It’s a great way to learn about not only the complicated history surrounding American Indians but about vibrant Native culture and arts. Don’t miss the award-winning Mitsitam Café to sample traditional Native foods. Check out the play area where you can build an igloo and try your hand at Native-inspired crafts.

62. The National Museum of African American History and Culture tells the history of the African American experience in the United States, from slavery through Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement. This museum also highlights the rich contributions of African Americans to American Culture, from music and film to food and sports.

63. The National Museum of American History touches on nearly every aspect of American life. History exhibits explore the development of railroads and transportation, cultural exhibits explore everything from video game development to Julia Child’s kitchen, political exhibits showcase First Ladies’ inaugural ball dresses, and pop culture exhibits feature iconic items like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Don’t miss the hands-on activity areas for kids of all ages.

64. Want to see how money is made? Head over to the United States Mint just off the National Mall. Take a tour, then visit the Coin Shop on your way out.

65. Tudor Place has been home to six generations of Martha Washington’s descendants. Occupied through the 1980s, this home and its grounds are now open to the public. Visitors can tour the house and the Georgetown estate’s 5 1/2 acres of land. In addition, Tudor Place hosts frequent family-friendly events, including Tudor Tots. So keep an eye on their calendar.

66. Dumbarton Oaks is the former home of a distinguished ambassador and his wife. Now a research institute run by Harvard University, the house and expansive gardens are open to the public. Dumbarton Oaks has expansive gardens named one of the ten best in the world by National Geographic. They make a lovely spot to rest and explore after a busy day of eating and shopping in Georgetown.

67. The National Naval Museum is a hidden gem. This museum tells the story of the U.S. Navy, from covert submarine operations to the role of the Navy in conflicts starting with the Civil War. Many exhibits are hands-on and lots of fun.

68. The National Postal Museum is one of the Smithsonian’s lesser-known museums, but it is worth a visit. Learn the history of Postal Services from its days as the Pony Express and trace how the agency became the high-tech operation it is today. Sit on a horse-drawn wagon, “drive” a big rig, hop on an old-fashioned mail hauling train and test your speed at sorting packages before you leave mail a postcard and get it hand-stamped.

69. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is a massive home to all types of sea life. The aquarium’s centerpiece is shark alley, where visitors are surrounded by over 200,000 square feet of various sharks. In addition, learn about jellyfish, see dolphins being playful, watch scuba divers feed deep sea creatures and more.

70. Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center is the destination in the greater D.C. area for kids to get up close and personal with science. Learn about everything from gravity, space, electricity, and the human body’s functions. There are plenty of hands-on, interactive exhibits for kids and teens. Also, check out the planetarium for a glimpse into the night sky.

71. Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore is a wonderland for kids of all ages. Kids can get wet in the Wonders of Water room (raincoats provided!), slide down three stories from the top to the bottom of the museum, create in the art room, join in a storytime, and explore ancient Egypt and more.

72. The written and spoken word dominates our lives, but a museum has not been dedicated to this essential part of our lives until now. Planet Word is dedicated to how people all over the world use language. Planet Word is full of voice-activated and immersive exhibits.

73. The National Building Museum is dedicated to buildings of all types. Past exhibits have centered around everything from art deco movie theatres to eco-friendly homes to designing livable neighborhoods. In addition, the National Building Museum is a popular family destination because of its two exhibit spaces dedicated to exploration and play. All of D.C. looks forward to the museum’s annual Summer Block Party when a new, fun, massive exhibit is installed for the season.

74. Abraham Lincoln lived in what is now known as  President Lincoln’s Cottage for over 25 years. Today, the home and grounds host events year-round. Take a tour of the house and explore President Lincoln’s life in the adjacent visitors’ center.

75. Fredrick Douglass National Historic Site commemorates the extraordinary life of the famed abolitionist. Take a tour of his D.C. home and view thousands of objects belonging to Fredrick, Douglass, and his family. This site is a unique look into the life of this formerly enslaved person who dedicated his life to securing freedom for others.

76. Ford’s Theatre is where President Lincoln was shot with the bullet that would ultimately take his life. Tour the theatre to learn about one of history’s most famous assignations or grab tickets to a play in this theatre which is still operational.

77. After President Lincoln was shot, he was carried to the Peterson House across the street from Ford’s Theatre, now known as The House Where Lincoln Died; the room where the president succumbed to his wounds has been preserved. Visitors who are not faint of heart can even see the pillow used while at the Peterson House, which is stained with the president’s blood.

78. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Attraction is the place to hang out with everyone from Obama to Taylor Swift. Learn about everything from how the attraction’s intricate wax figures are created to the civil rights movement to landing on the moon. Because this is D.C., Madame Tussaud’s has a wax figure of every president from George Washington. Take a photo with the current president in an Oval Office replica. This attraction is surprisingly interactive, with the opportunity to pose for several pictures with American luminaries, costumes, and a Virtual Reality option.

79. The Holocaust Museum teaches children about the Holocaust through the story of a child. Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story tells the story of one child’s experiences living in Nazi Germany. This exhibit is on the museum’s first floor, close to the entrance, so it’s possible to visit with younger children without seeing the rest of the museum, which may be upsetting. Older children can

80. The REACH at the Kennedy Center honors President Kennedy’s commitment to the arts. The REACH transformed the Kennedy Center from primarily a performance space to providing more room for arts education and community events. Check out their calendar to find a family-friendly event or spend some time wandering the grounds. Don’t miss the reflecting pool!

81. The National Archives in D.C. is a must-do for history buffs. Visitors can gaze at the soaring rotunda’s Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights and Magna Carta. Also, check out their events calendar for family-friendly events that turn little ones into history detectives.

82. National Geographic is best known for its stunning magazines. However, those in the know also know that the National Geographic Museum is not only a place to see some of National Geographic’s famous photos up-close. It [‘s also a great family museum that showcases many of the topics covered by National Geographic in a fun and accessible way. Past exhibits have centered around Jane Goodall, ancient Egypt, and studying animals in the wild.

83. The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in D.C. is a magnificent place to explore families of all faith traditions. The monastery has lovely gardens that are more than a century old featuring replicas of sacred shrines from around the world. Visitors can also tour the monastery itself. The highlight of a visit for many is the extensive underground catacombs.

Related: Your Family’s Official Fall Bucket List

Visit Hidden Gems Like a Local in Washington, DC

84. Visit National Harbor and Gaylord National Resort. It’s easy to spend a day or two exploring National Harbor. Take a ride on the Capitol Wheel to catch great city views, shop and dine and spend time diffing on the beach. National Harbor hosts special events like a Lantern Festival, outdoor movies, jazz festivals and more. Make the most of your visit with a stay at Gaylord National and experience an indoor laser and lights show in an impressive atrium, a family-friendly rooftop bar with incredible sunset views and augmented reality games.

85. Roer’s Reston Safari lets visitors get up-close and personal with animals. This Safari has two parts. First, hop in your car to take a self-guided tour to see bison, llamas, deer and more. These animals will wander right up to your car for a treat. Then, head over to the zoo to visit with barnyard animals. Feed sheep and see goats, zebu and more!

86. Whether you live in D.C. or are just passing through, it’s good to shop local! Everything sold at Made in D.C. is made by a resident of the D.C. area. It’s the best place to find something unique that celebrates D.C. or your new favorite, snack, t-shirt or toy.

87. Dino fans of all ages should not miss Dinosaur Park. This park is home to an unbelievably large number of fossils still in the ground. Better yet, young archeologists get to dig themselves. If you dig up a rare fossil, it is cataloged with your name, and you could see your name in a museum one day! Dinosaur park also has a playground that is, of course, dinosaur themed.

88. D.C. is one of the few places in the United States you can see pandas. They are even more adorable in person. Be sure to visit the National Zoo to catch a glimpse. While at the zoo, explore the rest of Asia Trail, play in the Pollinator Playground and seek out your favorite creatures, from tigers to bald eagles. Admission is free!

89. You can’t go too far in the D.C. area without finding a bowling alley. You will find a lane that works for you, from the swanky Pinstripes to kid-friendly duckpin lanes. Check out a list of family-friendly bowling alleys here.

90. In simple terms, hop-on, hop-off means you can jump on and off a Washington, DC bus tour at any of the designated stops, as many times as you wish.

91. If you want to do something adventurous, check out The Escape Game. This is the premier escape room in Georgetown. Their 60-minute adventures include A Pirate’s Adventure, The Curse of the Mummy, and Dr. Whack’s Elixer of Life. If you don’t have that much time, they have two 45-minute adventures, Titanic and The Cabin.

92. The Sweet Home Cafe inside the National Museum of African American History is a cafeteria you do not want to miss. Celebrity chef Carla Hall is the culinary ambassador, so you know there’s some delicious food. The restaurant aims to feature African American history and culture through food.

93. The original DC food and art market, Eastern Market, opened in 1873, and it is still a happening local spot. In the heart of Capitol Hill, the market features fresh food, community events, and local farm-fresh produce and handmade arts and crafts everyone will enjoy.

94. Get ready for a one-of-a-kind local art experience at Torpedo Factory. Not only can you peruse beautiful original pieces to purchase and take home, but you’ll also get a chance to see pieces in process, talk to the artists and experience over 80 local artists’ studios.

95. Rent a kayak from the Key Bridge Boathouse and paddle along the Potomac River to catch a spectacular view of the Georgetown waterfront, Roosevelt Island, and the Key Bridge’s underside.

96. The Municipal Fish Market at The Wharf is the oldest continuously-operating open-air fish market in the United States, dating back to 1805. The Fish Market remains an iconic DC destination for hungry locals and savvy visitors seeking fresh fish, crabs, and cooked seafood.

97. Join a 40-year tradition by visiting or joining the drum circle at Merdian Hill Park. Every Sunday at 3 pm, locals from all walks of life come together to perform and create some cool beats. All ages are welcome to watch or drum along together.

98. Pick up a rental bike at one of the hundreds of stations around the metro DC area. It’s a fun and affordable way to get around and see the city. Also, you can do your part to reduce carbon emissions and choose a fun way to explore that’s good for you, your family and the environment.

99. Catch the sunset over DC from the Kennedy Center terrace. Surprisingly, you don’t need a ticket to visit this area. You can head straight to the terrace, order some drinks and goodies and enjoy one of the best sunset views in the DMV.

100. Run a race. If you and your crew like to run, then DC is the town for you. You’ll find a local 5K or family fun run almost any time of the year. It’s a great way to get some exercise as a family and see the sights of DC.

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In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, pay a visit to one of these Latinx-owned restaurants, shops, and businesses in Washington, DC

Supporting small, local businesses is always a great way to invest in the diverse communities that make up our District. From mid-September through mid-October, we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and shining a light specifically on Latinx-owned businesses and services in the DMV. 

The Latinx population is the fastest growing community in Washington, DC and with that growth has come an explosion of amazing eateries and mom-and-pop shops. A great place to start exploring is the Columbia Heights neighborhood, home to GALA Hispanic Theatre, The Latin American Youth Center, and the Mexican Cultural Institute. We rounded up some of our favorite businesses in The Heights and beyond. From a Latin-American market that features cultural events weekly to pan-Central and South American culinary treats cooked up by businesses like Arepa Zone and Del Sur Cafe, here are 9 Latinx- and Hispanic-owned businesses to support throughout DC.

Latinx Restaurants in Washington, DC

Del Sur Cafe
Travel to Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, and Columbia by dinner plate at this Dupont Circle restaurant run by best friends Marcos Sosa and Juan Machado. The pan-South American menu delivers authentic recipes that restaurant patrons claim transport them to the dish’s country of origin. There is no kids’ menu, but appetizer portions of yuca fries and empanadas work well for younger eaters. 

2016 P St.
Washington, DC
Online: delsurcafe.com

Arepa Zone
Gabriela Febres and Ali Arellano began their career distributing Venezuelan baked goods and candies door-to-door in DC before eventually expanding to organizing events that celebrate Venezuelan customs and traditions. From deliveries to a food truck to operating six locations, Ali and Gaby have made arepas a must-try in the DC food scene.

Various locations around DC
Online: arepazone.com

Mi Cuba Cafe
If you’re craving Cuban food, pack up the family and head to Columbia Heights to dig in to what many local Cubans call the best authentic restaurant in the District. Yes, they serve Cubanos (a favorite of Miami transplants), but you’ll also find an enormous menu filled with traditional dishes. If you have a picky eater in your crew, they also serve spaghetti at this family-owned establishment.

1424 Park Rd. NW
Washington, DC
Online: micubacafe.com

Related: 19 Mom-Owned Businesses in DC That You Should Know About

Latinx Educational Immersions in Washington, DC

 

La Cosecha
The Latin American Market in the Union Market District is a great place to sample Central and South American cuisines while shopping Latin-owned local businesses. Check out the monthly calendar for kid-friendly events, trunk shows, and more. Educational offerings include salsa and tango lessons, cooking classes, and Spanish immersion classes for kids.

1280 4th St. NE
Washington, DC
Online:
lacosechadc.com

Isabella & Ferdinand Academia De Español
Latina professionals Pilar Frank O’Leary and Alexandra Migoya have been providing immersive, kid-friendly Spanish classes and cultural events in the DC area for almost 15 years. Children two years and up are exposed to important Spanish and Latin American artists, poets, and cultural events while learning a new language.

4430 Newark St. NW
Washington, DC
Online:
isabellaandferdinand.com

Salsa with Siliva
Looking for a unique date night? Every Friday, salsa and bachata teachers lead novice dancers through one-hour of beginner-level steps (with a glass of wine in hand!). If you want to master the dance, regular adult classes are offered as well as a program for kids that includes ballet, tap, jazz, and, naturally, Latin dance.

3232 Georgia Ave. NW, Suite 104
Washington, DC

4731 Elm St., 2nd floor
Bethesda, MD 
Online:
salsawithsilvia4kids.com

Related: Show Support to These Black-Owned Businesses for Kids and Families

Latinx Boutiques and Pop Ups in Washington, DC

Quavaro
After spending some time living out of a suitcase, husband-and-wife team Cesar and Pial Vega applied their travel know-how to a leather goods company, and Quavaro was born. They now manufacture backpacks, laptop cases, totes, and weekenders—perfect for traveling with kids—from their family-owned factory in Mexico.

1280 4th St. NE
Washington, DC
Online: quavaro.com

ArtTepuy
Tamara Barnabei celebrates Venezuelan artists with her curated selection of handmade goods including paper mache home decor, woven Yekuana baskets, religious art, and more. You can shop her selection at the Latin American Market, La Cosecha.

1280 4th St. NE
Washington, DC
Online: arttepuy.com

NOVA BOSSA
Carolina Furukrona spent the early part of her career working for museums, including the Smithsonians, where she cultivated a passion for preserving traditions and raising awareness about Latin American cultures. Her eco-friendly line—featuring fashion, jewelry, and home decor—takes a modern spin on ancestral techniques to create stand-out, heirloom quality pieces.

1280 4th St. NE
Washington, DC
Online: novabossa.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you’re looking for fall things to do with kids, look no further: we’ve got something for everyone on our fall bucket list

The leaves are turning colors and kids everywhere are reaching for their sweatshirts. That means that fall has arrived and all the best fall activities are ready for you! Whether your family loves amusement parks, apple picking nearby, DC history, or relaxing in nature, we’ve got it all for you on this fall bucket list, which is brimming with activities for every member of the family this season.

fall bucket list
Maddy Baker via Unsplash

1. Celebrate the crisp autumn season with 18th-century activities and demonstrations at the Farm at Mount Vernon for the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Kids can meet General Washington, visit with the Farrier to learn how horseshoeing was performed during this time, and even watch spinning expositions. 

2. Fall foliage in DC is a bright, beautiful sight to behold. Go on a kid-friendly hike in Rock Creek park or head to one the many regional parks in the area to take it all in. Make your hike a color hunt and look for leaves in every color of the rainbow.

3. Fall is pumpkin season! Head to one of the many pick-your-own pumpkin patches in the DC area to stock up for Halloween and to make sure your fall décor is farm-fresh. 

4. The DC area has no shortage of Fall Festivals! Many have corn mazes, hey rides and apple cider donuts that are worth buying by the dozen. Summers Farm has been hosting their Fall Festival for 25 years and counting! You can even rent your very own campfire site at the farm. 

5. Find your zen before the rush of the holiday season. Check out one (or all) of these kid-friendly places to watch a gorgeous sunset or take a family yoga class. We recommend a relaxing walk at Bazil Newman Riverfront Park, formerly known as the Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park.

6. Head to a children's theatre to see a fall show. Adventure Theatre is a great place for the kids.

7. Enjoy the beautiful fall days that are too brief between DC's scorching hot summers and epic snowfalls. Jump in a leaf pile, make s'mores or check every activity off of our list 50 Fall Activities for Families

8. Did you know farm animals become more active in fall weather? That makes it the perfect time to visit one of the DC area's many petting zoos. Try out Green Meadows Farm, which has over 200 animals!

9. Zoo animals are also more fun to watch in fall. Plus, cooler temperatures means it's easier to walk up and down the National Zoo's hills. Check out our Ultimate Guide to the National Zoo and make a plan to visit before temperatures drop even more.

10. National Harbor is nice to visit any time of year but the crisp fall air makes fall an ideal time to explore, ride the Capital Wheel and dine at one of National Harbor's family-friendly eateries. Go for the day or make it a staycation at National Harbor's Gaylord National Resort.

Related: 15 Great Ways to Play Outdoors in the Fall

Jared Short via Unsplash

11. Think you've done it all? Not likely. Check out our list of 100 Things to Do in DC or our shortlist of the ultimate hidden gems in the DC area, and you will probably find somewhere new to explore. For instance, have you ever infiltrated the International Spy Museum? Or gone through the secret door at Planet Word? 

12. Get lost in a corn maze! Fall is the time of year when the corn husks seem to tower towards the sky. Everyone can find one they love. The biggest corn maze in the country is just a car ride away for any families up to challenge! 

13. Take advantage of the cooler weather and take a day trip to Baltimore. From kid-friendly museums to the National Aquarium to world-class science center Baltimore is worth the trip!

14. See the monuments at night! There is nothing quite like wandering the National Mall at night. The sun sets past many kids' bedtimes in the summer but once the leaves start falling it's possible to see the monuments illuminated by the moon and still get home in time for the kids to get a good night's sleep.  

15. Visit an amusement park. Fall is a great time to ride all the rides from carousels to roller coasters. Everyone will have a blast at Hersheypark! (And for those old enough to handle a few jump scares, Hershey and other parks offer late evening hours with spooky experiences. 

16. A great way to see the fall foliage is by train! Take your pick from these kid-friendly train rides with great views. Have your camera ready to capture some breathtaking views!

17. Pick one of fall's long weekends (or play hooky) and hit the road. There are so many great options for road trips from DC. Chose from a beautiful national or state park or nearby caverns. 

18. When the leaves start dropping so the temperatures. When it's too chilly to head to your regular playground find an indoor space to play instead! 

19. Worried that your kids won't get enough exercise in the cooler weather? Not to worry! Head to an obstacle or rope course to get their bodies moving. We recommend Adventure Park USA for your family to enjoy.

20. Mini-golf is fun in every season but it's magical in fall when it's cool enough to finish the course without breaking a sweat but still warm enough to grab some ice cream when you're done! Find the perfect mini-golf course for your family here.

Related: 14 Not-So-Spooky Halloween Events for Kids

fall bucket list
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21. Teach your kids about Black History by visiting key DC sites that tell the stories of Black Americans. From the U Street Corridor to the MLK monument. Seeing these sites is a thoughtful way to spend an afternoon. 

22. The National Book Festival is a staple of fall in DC. Every year is a little different but you can always count on some very popular children's authors showing up. 

23. Take your tricycle or two-wheeler out for a spin on a family-friendly bike path. From beginners to experts there is a bike path for everyone! As a bonus, most bike paths have pretty views of fall foliage. 

24. Fall means apple cider and apple pie. That makes it a great time to pick apples. Check out area orchards here, then grab your overalls and go! Explore Hollin Farms and find some delicious apples to snack on.

25. Dropping temperatures doesn't mean you need to stop exploring. Just head indoors to one of DC's many kid-friendly museums. The National Building Museum, for instance, features a "Play, Work, Build" exhibition that is sure to enthrall kids and adults alike.

 

 

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We’ve compiled some family-friendly activities that everyone, from little kids to aging relatives, will enjoy when the grandparents visit

Overdue for a visit from the grandparents? Thankfully, our favorite city offers tons of fun stops and sights that are perfect for all ages. We know our kiddos can quickly wear out our parents, so we’ve rounded up some great places with easy access—and lots of benches for a quick rest. Get started on your family day out in Washington, DC.

Urban Adventures Tours

Urban Adventures Tour

Skip the crowded hop-on-hop-off buses, and opt for a private tour around town aboard an electric vehicle. Customize a family adventure or choose from one of the group tours. Let your little ones stay up late to see the majestic monuments by night, or book a food tour your whole crew will find delicious.

718 7th St. NW
Washington, DC
Online: urbanadventures.com

Francis Xavier on Unsplash

Washington National Cathedral

The cathedral offers almost daily prayer, musical events, and services for your family. Many of their holiday events are simply magical, so be sure to check the calendar of events before you plan your visit. In addition, the cathedral provides accommodations for visitors with impaired hearing and limited mobility.

Insider Tip: Be sure to download the scavenger hunt guide, which includes fun facts about on-site history and art, before you head to the cathedral. Then, make a game of it and see if you can find each one. The Children's Chapel is a must-see, too. The space was designed with a 6-year-old in mind!

3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Online: cathedral.org

Related: 48 U.S. Spots to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up

ARTECHOUSE

ARTECHOUSE

Take art-loving grandparents alongside your tech-savvy kiddos to a super cool exhibit that combines both interests. Everyone can interact with the larger-than-life art installations and learn about the artists and the technology they use to create masterpieces. Exhibits change throughout the year, so check back often to see what's new for the whole family.

1238 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC
Online: artechouse.com

grandparents visit
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Lincoln Memorial

Many grandparents will remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech delivered from the steps of this incredible monument. Although they may prefer to stay at the bottom of the steps or take the elevator located at the southeast corner of the building, your kids can learn a lot about our country's history while visiting this location. Plan your stop anytime during your family's itinerary, as the memorial is open 24/7.

2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW
Washington, DC
Online: nps.gov

Related: DC’s Best Places to See Fall Foliage

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Mt. Vernon Estate

Let your grandparents set the pace at this historical site right on the Potomac River. Your little ones will love visiting the farm animals and exploring the outbuildings, while the older generation can take a short break on the wagon ride. Music lovers of all ages will enjoy the early American concert while they stroll the grounds together. 

Insider Tip: The Mount Vernon Trails stretches from Mt. Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. For the best views, take a short walk—or hike any part of the 18-mile trail—to enjoy the stunning views of the Potomac River and the city. 

3200 Mount Vernon Hwy.
Alexandria, VA
Online: mountvernon.org

 

grandparents visit
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National Museum of African American History and Culture

According to the founding director of this spectacular museum, "the African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American." That lens is on display throughout each thoughtful and impactful exhibit inside this architectural marvel. Get your timed entry passes before your head out to this free attraction. 

Insider Tip: If you're hungry, save time to pop into a nearby eatery. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is the perfect stop for breakfast, lunch, and sweets. If your crew is ready for a crazy but delicious combo, go for the chicken doughnut sandwich. It's epic. 

1400 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Online: nmaahc.si.edu

grandparent visit
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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Take the family car to Northern Virginia, and get ready to enjoy a hangar full of planes, rockets, and restoration projects on display for the whole family. Hop in a simulation to experience your flying adventure, or book a showing at the on-site IMAX theater.

Insider Tip: It might be something to save for a later visit, but every June, the museum opens its doors and takes the aircraft outside. Visitors enjoy seeing more than 50 aircraft of all kinds at the annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display.

14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy.
Chantilly, VA
Online: airandspace.si.edu

 

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This Labor Day weekend, take your family to one of these fun, no-hassle (and mostly free!) activities in and around Washington, DC

Summer is winding down, and school is starting, but the cozy autumn air isn’t here quite yet. Nevertheless, Labor Day weekend activities in Washington, DC are right around the corner, and we’ve rounded up all the Labor Day family fun to be had in the DMV. With one more long holiday weekend to fill before we fully enter fall, we found everything from local concerts to parades to family-friendly art shows. So make the most of the unofficial end of summer with these events and activities in our area. The best part: these hip happenings require hardly any planning and are (mostly) free!

National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Capitol Concert 
Older kids (or your all-nighter toddler) will love listening to the NSO’s annual free concert, happening Sun., Sep. 4 at 8 p.m., on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building, featuring Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leading the orchestra in music by Aaron Copland, John Williams, new Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon, and others. Special guest Jimmie Herrod (Pink Martini, America’s Got Talent) joins the celebration to perform favorites by Gladys Knight, Joni Mitchell, and more. 

West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building
Capitol Circle
Washington, DC
Online: kennedy-center.org

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Hear authors speak, learn about the Library of Congress, and find fun family activities like a Waldo hunt and story times at the place where books come alive: the National Book Festival. If you can’t make it to Washington, DC for the free, all-day event on Sat., Sept. 3, several programs—including talks—will be live-streamed, and videos of all talks can be viewed online after the Festival concludes. Don’t forget to pick out a new book before you leave.

Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC
Online: loc.gov/bookfest

National Museum of American History 
Explore the history of labor at the “American Enterprise” exhibit, which is open daily, at the National Museum of American History. Kids will get a kick out of the Japanese McDonald’s sign, old ad posters, and one of Michael Dell’s early computers (“Mom, where’s the touch screen?”). Engage them with questions about how they hope to give back one day (and bring home a paycheck).

Constitution Ave., NW (between 12th and 14th St.)
Washington, DC
Online: americanhistory.si.edu

Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade
After a two-year hiatus, the ever-popular Gaithersburg Labor Day Parade, one of the City’s oldest traditions, returns to the streets of Olde Towne on Mon., Sep. 5 from 1-3 p.m. Now in its 84th year, this rain-or-shine event includes high school marching bands, dance groups, costumed characters, antique cars and fire engines, equestrian units, clowns, and more, all winding their way down East Diamond and Russell Avenues.

506 South Frederick Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD
Online: gaithersburgmd.gov

Glen Echo Park Labor Day Art Show 
This free annual art show exhibits more than 200 artists from the mid-Atlantic region and includes media such as painting, drawing, glass, jewelry, photography, ceramics, furniture, sculpture, and fiber arts. Follow your visit with a trip to your local Michael’s and have your kids create their own gallery-worthy pieces.

Glen Echo Park Spanish Ballroom
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD
Online: glenechopark.org

Virginia Scottish Games 
Although adult tickets are $20 over the weekend, kids 12 and under are free on Sunday—so come enjoy a day of piping and drumming, highland dancing, and fiddling competitions along with sheep-herding demonstrations (your kids will coo over the Border Collies), an antique British car and bike show, vendors and crafts, clan and society exhibits, children’s activities (games, archery, and face painting), live music, and plenty of Scottish food and drink. Kilts are welcome but not required!

Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Rd.
The Plains, VA
Online: vascottishgames.org

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
2022 will mark the 68th year of the festival that brings the Rising Star Showcase and Hybrid Art Show to town. Locals know the festival, which runs Friday through Monday, is the year’s main event with great rides for young and old alike, fantastic entertainment, and some of the best carnival food around.  

Historic Roosevelt Center
101 Centerway
Greenbelt, MD
Online: greenbeltlaborday.com

Baseball: America’s Home Run
There’s no better place to get in the all-American spirit than an exhibition about the history of baseball at the Postal Museum. In celebration of the recent 150th Anniversary of Professional Baseball, the National Postal Museum’s Baseball exhibit features historic objects loaned from renowned private collections that have never before been on public display. You’ll see Babe Ruth’s actual game-used bat and Yogi Berra’s uniform. All that nostalgia will surely inspire a family tailgate in front of the TV as our Nationals take on the Cardinals on Labor Day.

2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC
Online:
 postalmuseumsi.edu

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Apples, cider, and donuts: what could be better?! Explore our list of best places for apple picking around Washington, DC to find your next adventure

Fall is filled with some of our favorite traditions. Topping that list? Apple picking. So before you start Googling Halloween costumes or sipping pumpkin spice lattes, take a few minutes to scroll this list of places to go apple picking near DC. Make a quick trip to MD’s Homestead Farms, just 25 minutes from downtown DC, for an afternoon adventure, or go on a weekend escape and visit Carter Mountain Orchard near Charlottesville, VA. Whether you’re looking for a country road trip or a fall-tastic field trip, we’ve rounded up the best places to fill your bucket—literally.

The Best Apple Picking in Maryland

Homestead Farm

Don't know your Ginger Golds from your Granny Smiths? Can't tell what's ripe or not? No problem! This is a teaching farm, so just ask and you shall receive. Side note: You can leave the flimsy grocery store bags at home—Homestead hooks you up with heavy duty totes to collect your crop.

Distance from DC: About 25 miles

15604 Sugarland Rd.
Poolesville, MD
Online: homestead-farm.net

Baugher’s

Baugher's Orchard has been a family-owned, working fruit and vegetable farm since 1904. It started out as a 60-acre piece of land and has expanded to become a 600-acre operation and one of the largest orchards in Maryland. Enjoy a wagon ride to the orchard and pick from apple trees on a picturesque Carroll County hillside. Kids can run around at the playground and even explore the Petting Zoo. Ice cream is sold in the market which is a great way to finish the day!

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

1015 Baugher Rd.
Westminster, MD

Online: baughers.com

Larriland Farm

Counting chemicals? This nearly-organic farm sprays its apples with pesticides only as a last resort. Instead, they use other tactics like crop rotation and water management to keep buggy-boos at bay. Other than their eco-conscious efforts, Larriland also offers more than 15 different types of u-pick apples, a barn store with already-plucked fruits and veggies (and kettle corn), and pre- or post-picking hayrides.

Distance from DC: About 30 miles

2415 Woodbine Rd.
Woodbine, MD
Online: pickyourown.com

Related: 30 Different Ways to Eat Apples (Not Just Pie!)

Catoctin Mountain Orchard

You'll likely smell this charming orchard before you see it. That's because, in addition to offering a host of apple varieties (including Cortland, empire, and cameo), Catoctin whips up fresh apple cider, pies, and jam in its on-site kitchen and bakery. You can pick your own fruit every weekend Sept.-Oct. 

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

15036 N. Franklinville Rd.
Thurmont, MD
Online: catoctinmountainorchard.com

Rock Hill Orchard

Rock Hill has several thousand apple trees in its orchard! From Blondee’s to Macoun’s this is your go-to apple picking place. Your family is guaranteed to have an authentic farm experience here. Rock Hill Orchard is located in the Agricultural Reserve in Northern Montgomery County and is midway between Damascus and Mount Airy. The apple orchard opens Sept. 5. Pick-your-own time slots can be found on Fri.-Sun.; reservations are required for Sat. and Sun. time slots. 

Distance From DC: About 40 miles

28600 Ridge Rd.
Mount Airy, MD
Online: rockhillorchard.com

Weber's Farm

If apple cider is your jam, this is where you'll want to lay your basket. The cider mill at this farm is the oldest in continuous use in Maryland, which means they know what they're doing. If you want to pick your own fruit, you must pre-register. Times and dates are listed weekly on their Facebook page

Distance from DC: About 50 miles

2526 Proctor Ln.
Parkville, MD
Online: weberscidermillfarm.com

Milburn Orchards

This family-favorite hosts "U-Pick Apple Adventures" Labor Day weekend through the end of Oct. The exploration begins with a free wagon ride into the orchards where you and your crew are given as many picking bags as you can carry. This orchard gets high marks in the convenience category—credit card payments for the apples are accepted in the orchard and all of the trees are dwarf trees with fruit that is reachable for the toddler set from the ground. P.S. Grab a few of their amazing apple cider donuts for the drive home.

Distance from DC: About 100 miles

1495 Appleton Rd.
Elkton, MD
Online: milburnorchards.com

The Best Apple Picking in Virginia

Marker-Miller Orchards

Sure, this farm boasts a whopping 325 acres of apples. But, what really impresses the kid set is the cow train (it's exactly what it sounds like—a cow-shaped train); old-time-y wagon rides; and Kiddie Land, an irresistible playground complete with a large wooden ship, tractor, and wagon. Apples? What apples?

Distance from DC: About 85 miles

3035 Cedar Creek Grade
Winchester, VA
Online: markermillerorchards.com

best apple picking
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Crooked Run Orchard

Nestled on the outskirts of Purcellville, this farm boasts trees that bear fruit dating back to 1760! There is no admission fee and tree climbing is allowed for those under 60 lbs. After picking apples, be sure to head to downtown Purcellville for lunch.

Distance from DC: About 50 miles

37883 East Main St.
Purcellville, VA
Online: facebook.com/CrookedRunOrchard

Related: Favorite U-Pick Apple Orchards from Coast to Coast

nyc apple picking
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Hartland Orchard

Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hartland is a deep-rooted, family-owned working farm and orchard. Take a relaxing drive and spend the day in the scenic countryside. Hartland takes pride in offering the freshest, juiciest apples possible. Containers and bags can be found upon entering the orchard, where you can spend a few hours in a stunning country setting picking a variety of apple types from Braeburns to Nittanys.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

3064 Hartland Lane
Markham, VA 
Online: hartlandorchard.com

Great Country Farms

Apples are Great Country Farms’ thang! Apple picking is like a competitive sport to these folks so get ready to roll up your sleeves at CGF and get to work! Not only do they have apple picking, but there is also apple cider pressing, apple wine tastings, and apple butter that you can buy. Their orchard is bursting with lovely apples and they have several varieties such as Gala, Jona Gold, Jona Free, Candy Crisp, Ruby Jon, and Fuji ready for picking through the fall. The farm offers free wagon rides that take you to the orchard. Don’t forget to stop by the farm market for some hot cider donuts.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.
Bluemont, VA
Online: greatcountryfarms.com

Mackintosh Fruit Farm

Mackintosh Fruit Farm is a family-owned farm huddled in the stunning Northern Shenandoah Valley. Pick-your-own fields are open Thurs.-Sun.; there is a $2 fee to pick. Varieties include Gala, Ginger Gold, and Fuji. They sell lunch on the farm and even have breakfast specials on weekends. Got a sweet tooth? The farm sells caramel apples, apple cider floats, apple caramel sundaes, baked apples, pies, donuts, and more! 

Distance from DC: About 70 miles

1608 Russell Rd.
Berryville, VA

Online: mackintoshfruitfarm

Hollin Farms

This fourth-generation family farm is worth the drive just for the spectacular views: Virginia mountains everywhere along with other farms. With acres of apples ready to be plucked from the trees, they also offer chilled cider and other drinks, donuts, ice cream, and other fresh baked goods. Toss in the fact that they’re puppy-friendly and this orchard can quickly become your family’s favorite apple-picking destination.

Distance from DC: About 60 miles

1524 Snowden Road
Delaplane, VA
Online: hollinfarms.com

Related: 7 Beaches That Are Better in the Fall

Rinker Orchards

Rinker Orchards is truly a Shenandoah Valley hidden gem. Out of the 7,500 cultured varieties of apples, they focus on 10 that grow best in this region, and boy, do they grow them well! Bring lunch and enjoy a picturesque picnic beneath an apple tree that overlooks the orchard while the kids play tag. Make sure you give their apple cider a try—it has no added sugar, water, or preservatives.

Distance from DC: About 85 miles

1156 Marlboro Rd
Stephens City, VA
Online: www.rinkerorchards.com

Carter Mountain Orchard

This scenic farm is a couple of hours away from DC, but it's worth the drive. Expect pumpkins, hayrides, a winery, and apples...lots and lots of apples. Still on the fence? The apple cider donuts alone are worth the trip.

Distance from DC: About 125 miles

1435 Carters Mountain Trail
Charlottesville, VA
Online: chilesfamilyorchards.com

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While the National Arboretum is a well-known favorite, this list also includes a kid-friendly winery and a Japanese garden

As trees begin to burst with the first oranges, reds, and yellows of the season, now is the time to plan a leaf-peeping adventure! Enjoy a family hike (or a visit to a kid-friendly winery) and enjoy nature’s greatest display. We rounded up the best spots to see fall foliage in Washington, DC, as well as some worth-the-drive destinations. Get out the binoculars, it’s time to peep leaves!

 

Bear's Den on the Appalachian Trail

The "rollercoaster section" of the Appalachian Trail in Bluemont, VA is affectionally referred to as Bear's Den, after the hiker's lodge that sits perched at its peak. The main lookout on this trail is just a short walk from the parking lot. You can find visitors scrambling out onto some of the rocky overhangs for stunning images. Because of these steep drops, we do not recommend these paths for little hikers.

18393 Blueridge Mountain Rd.
Bluemont, VA
Online: bearsdencenter.org

National Park Service

Anacostia River Trail

There are a number of ways to enjoy the views of this watershed. You can bike or walk the Anacostia River Trail, a well-paved, stroller-friendly path that offers over 20 miles of primarily waterfront trails. A particularly kid-friendly section can be found near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens which has bridges to cross and pathways under train tracks (a hit with both young and old). You can access this section of the path from the Gardens. For those seeking a water-bound adventure, check out this guide on boat rentals, boat ramps, and the best places to kayak or row on the river. 

Online: pgparks.com/Anacostia-River-Trail

Turkey Run Park

The Potomac Heritage Trail winds its way through this VA park. There is plenty to explore beyond the trail; kids will enjoy crossing creeks and streams, walking along the Potomac River edge, discovering small waterfalls, and listening to the wildlife. This trail is notoriously not well marked, so be sure to pre-plan your route

Online: nps.gov/turkeyrun

person hiking through park in the fall
Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Rock Creek Park

Since becoming one of the first federally managed parks in 1890, this 1,700-acre park in the heart of DC can make you forget all about being in a city. Take a walk with a ranger to learn about the park, hike or bike the 32-plus miles of trails, and stop by the Rock Creek Planetarium for a free show or stargazing session.

Online: nps.gov/rocr

Tidal Basin

Part of West Potomac Park, this 107-acre circle isn’t just for cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial. As it turns out, DC’s favorite trees look just as amazing in gold, red, and yellow as they do in green and pink in the spring.

Online: nps.gov

Sugarloaf Mountain

The beautiful mountain has been designated as a registered natural landmark and its striking beauty makes it easy to see why. This fall, the rolling hills will burst with fall color. Be sure not to miss the East Overlook for an amazing view of peaceful Maryland farmland.

Insider tip: On your way down the mountain, stop by Sugarloaf Mountain Winery. It is super family-friendly and boasts the same beautiful fall views. 

Online: sugarloafmd.com

Related: 11 Kid-Friendly Wineries Near Washington, DC

Brookside Gardens

Head to Montgomery County for an award-winning 50-acre garden extravaganza inside Wheaton Regional Park. The Children's Garden is a mini-Maryland experience with an old farmhouse, mountain boulders, and tons of Maryland-style outdoor fun. Wander around to search for iconic state symbols and learn more about what each one means.

1800 Glenallan Ave.
Wheaton, MD 
Online: montgomeryparks.org

Tudor Place Historic House and Garden

The historical landmark features 5.5 acres of landscaped grounds that provide visitors with a magnificent display of fall colors. Kids love the outdoor garden, which is open Thursday through Sunday and features a lily pool, boxwood eclipse, and Japanese tea garden. Admission for self-guided garden tours is free. Tudor Place does not offer a café and eating on the premises is not recommended, but Montrose Park is located nearby and offers a perfect place to picnic after viewing the gardens.

1644 31st St. NW
Washington, DC
Online:
 tudorplace.org

via nps.gov

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Take a ranger-led kayak tour or download a trail map to see the 18 miles of trails that run from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon. The island itself is 88.5 acres with a memorial to the 26th president toward the middle of the northern end. Pack a picnic and set up shop on one of the island’s small beach areas.

Online: nps.gov/this

Related: Set Sail! 11 Exciting Boat Experiences on the Potomac River

Meridian Hill Park

A peaceful oasis in the middle of the bustling city, this Columbia Heights park is the perfect picnic spot to peep the leaves. On Sunday afternoons, a lively drum circle fills the park with toe-tapping beats. Twelve acres of fall beauty will delight young and old visitors alike.

16th St. & W St. NW
Washington, DC
Online: nps.gov

The National Arboretum

Want to see beautiful trees? Head here to see 446 acres of plant life. Take to the 9.5 miles of winding roadways to tour them alone on foot, in the car, or on a bicycle.  

Online: usna.usda.gov

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

The estate includes the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia, as well as a distinguished 18th-century French decorative art collection. With its twenty-five acres of landscaped gardens and natural woodlands, it is also a great place to see fall foliage. Kids love the small walking paths that run through lush green trees and shrubbery, connecting the formal gardens that surround the mansion. Take the Friendship Walk to the four seasons sculpture and have the kids guess which sculpture represents each season. The stunning Japanese garden and the pet cemetery are also fun for little ones to explore. When little tummies need food, the Vista Terrace is the perfect resting spot, with lots of chairs, tables, and a fantastic view of fall foliage.

4155 Linnean Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Online: hillwoodmuseum.org

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

With 95 acres of local flora and fauna, the whole family can walk around the winding walkways and across the quaint bridge. Explore tons of fall color alongside the striking Korean Bell Garden. Your kiddos will enjoy a quick stop at the restored 18th-century log cabin. No need to leave the stroller at home. The garden is accessible to all. 

Cost: Age 18-54, $6, Age 6-17 & 55 and over: $3, Age 6 & under: Free

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct.
Vienna, VA 
Online: novaparks.com

Mount Vernon

President George Washington knew a good view when he saw it. His red-roofed 500-acre estate on the Potomac River practically glitters among the fall foliage. Fun fact: He hired his first gardener in 1762 to care for the landscape he carefully designed. Take a tour of the home to see the bed where the president died, his office, and dining room, and wander among the grounds, landing at his burial site. Or get a look at the estate from a sightseeing cruise on the river.

Online: mountvernon.org

Harper's Ferry

In late September, this gorgeous historic National Park is ablaze with all the reds, yellows, and oranges. Take a 5-minute bus ride from the Visitors Center into Lower Town. Don't forget to pick up a Junior Ranger packet. Your kiddos can answer fun and educational questions about the area, and after an adorable ceremony with a local ranger, be presented with a badge. Insider tip: the wild and natural landscape is difficult to navigate with a stroller. You might want to grab the carrier instead.

Online: nps.gov

Billy Goat Trails at Great Falls

There are three tree-covered trails to choose from, all with spectacular views of the cliffs and Potomac River that make this part of the C&O Canal a destination for millions of people a year. Combined, the three trails total 8 miles, but you can do them in sections, and each trail has varying levels of difficulty. For the greatest challenge—traversing a steep climb along a cliff face, for example—go with Trail A. For the most leisurely tree-gazing, take Trail C.

Online: nps.gov

Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park

This 105-mile drive runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the only public road through the park. It takes about three hours to travel the whole thing, and it’s accessible at four points. “Deer, black bear, wild turkey, and a host of other woodland animals call Shenandoah home and regularly cross Skyline Drive in their daily travels,” according to the National Park Service. Fall colors begin to show up in early October at 3,500 feet and above, while the lower elevations are in full glory closer to the third week of the month.

Online: nps.gov/shen

boy on a man's shoulders walking through fall leaves
iStock

Georgetown

Stroll along the cobblestone streets and listen to the sounds of the C&O Canal while you take in all the autumn views. Your family can take a leisurely walk down O Street NW to see the rustic row homes surrounded by fall foliage. Or plan a lunch by the water so you can get a view of the leaves changing around George Washington Memorial Parkway. 

Online: georgetowndc.com

via nps.gov

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

For about 100 years, it served as a “lifeline for communities along the Potomac River,” according to the National Park Service’s C&O Canal website. The 184.5 miles of canal and towpath run from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD. Family favorites include hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and canal boating along the towpath.

Online: nps.gov/choh/index.htm

via nps.gov

Catoctin Mountain Park

This Maryland park has multiple scenic vistas, including Chimney Rock, which has an elevation of 1,400 feet, and Hog Rock, which rises 1,600 feet. Twenty-five miles of hiking trails crisscross the park, which also has a Children’s Discovery Room at the Visitor Center and the Catoctin Mountain Junior Ranger program, which is open to ages 6 and up.

Online: nps.gov

Burke Lake Park

This 218-acre park in Fairfax Station has lots of activities for kids and adults. The 4.7-mile trail around the lake is flat and easy to walk, run or bike. There’s also a mini golf course, carousel, miniature train, and playgrounds. The park also offers activities like campouts, animal talks, and boat rides. 

Online: fairfaxcounty.gov

 

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There comes a time when camping in the living room with Mom and Dad will no longer cut it. If that’s the case, your kids might be ready for their first sleepover. But, like any new milestone, you may worry if it’s the right time to send them to a slumber party. There are no hard and fast rules about the right age: some 6-year-olds might be ready to sleep away from home, some 11-year-olds might not be. So it’s important for parents to assess each opportunity individually. Read on for six signs your kids may be ready for a sleepover or an epic slumber party, and 10 ways you can reassure them that everything will be A-OK once they get there.

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1. They Know What to Expect
Your kid’s first sleepover is a fun rite of passage, but make sure she knows exactly what she’s getting into before she heads out the door. Go over specifics, like navigating the bedtime routine at someone else’s house, and answer all the questions, like whether or not she can still bring her favorite stuffed animal.

2. You’ve Tested It Out
If you’re not quite sure if your child may be ready for a full-fledged slumber party away from home, try it at your house first. This way, you can see if the kids tire of one another or begin to fight with one another. Also, you can opt to throw a “mock sleepover” with a movie, popcorn, and PJs, but call it quits just before bedtime. Then you’ll know you’ve worked your way up to the real deal, but everyone can go home and sleep in their own beds!

Related: Why I’m Saying Yes To Sleepovers This Summer!

 

A little girl goes to sleep with her teddy bear while a parent comforts her after her first sleepover
iStock

3. They’re OK without You
Have you ever had to spend the night away from your child? Perhaps they’ve had a babysitter walk them through brushing and bedtime or stayed with grandparents while you were out of town? If they are OK being away from you overnight, or at least until they fall asleep, they may be ready for their first sleepover.

4. You’ve Asked Questions
Perhaps your little one is thrilled about the pint-sized pajama game, but you’re still a little uneasy. There is nothing wrong with calling up the other parent and asking questions until you feel more comfortable. Everything from “What time will they go to bed?” to “Do you have pets?” are all fair game to calm your nerves. You’ll also want to address any concerns you have about how the parents will handle situations like arguments or kids being scared in the night. And don’t overlook the BIG question: are there guns in your house, and are they kept in a safe, secure place where the children (ANY children) will not have access to? 

5. They’re Planning One
When your kids come home from school, begging for a sleepover with their BFF, it’s a good indication that they’re ready to give it a go. On the flip side, if they seem cautious about the idea or worried about who will tuck them in, they may need more time to warm up to sleeping away from home.

6. You’ve Talked to Your Kids About Inappropriate Touching
Part of feeling safe is being safe and making sure your children understand not just what is good etiquette at the host family’s house, but what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior from the adults and older siblings in the house. While we encourage our children to be polite and on their best behavior, it is equally important to speak frankly with children in a way that will empower them to say “no” and know when something just isn’t right.

Related: The Best Museum & Zoo Sleepovers in the U.S.

 

A little girl dressed in pink pajamas does a happy dance with her stuffed animal during a sleepover
Gail Adams-Arnold on Unsplash

Related: Goodnight Summer! 11 Epic Sleepover Ideas

Encouraging Words

Here are 10 statements you can make to help your little one feel secure at their first sleepover:

  1. "You can call me to say goodnight before you go to bed.”
  2. “I will pick you up first thing in the morning.”
  3. “You can take a picture of us with you.”
  4. “We are only a phone call away.”
  5. “You will have so much fun with your friend and we’ll see you in the morning.”
  6. “[Friend]’s parents will be there in case you need anything.”
  7. “You can bring your pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal with you.”
  8. “We’ll be home if you need us.”
  9. “I’m so proud of you and I want you to have fun with [friend]!”
  10. “I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home.”

And if all does not go according to plan and you need to dash out to pick up your child early, a simple “maybe next time!” can help them to feel a little less embarrassed about feeling homesick. Happy slumbering!

 

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