Category Archives: Outdoor Activities

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Lane
Sterling, VA 20164
www.loudounmuseum.com

 

The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is one of the best hidden gems for entertaining little ones in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s located on the grounds of the Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Virginia, about 25 miles outside of the city. It has traditional museum exhibits that highlight the 250 years of Loudoun county’s agricultural history and interactive exhibits for kids, which is why I was drawn to visit the museum with my girls. The exhibits encourage role playing and are geared towards children under age 7. Here is what we loved about the hands on exhibits:

Claude Moore Children’s Farm

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In this exhibit children get to learn what it’s like to be a farmer. They can dress up in overalls and straw hats and get to work milking a life-like cow and collecting eggs from the play chickens. Kids love riding the equi-ponies in this area and learning how to care for them. There is a puppet stage where children can create and perform their own farm story. They can also go for a ride on the pedal tractors in the open space in front of the barn. This was definitely the favorite activity for my energetic girls!

The Waxpool General Store

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Another fantastic exhibit for children who like to role-play. In the Waxpool General store, kids can play shopkeeper, shopper, or postmaster. There are shelves and baskets full of play food and a charming antique cash register. This definitely beats the typical pretend grocery store found in children’s museums. My girls also loved sorting and delivering the mail in the post office area.

Grandma’s Kitchen

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In the back of the museum is the Grandma’s Kitchen exhibit, a replica of a century-old farm kitchen. My daughters loved using the old fashioned kitchen tools and wood burning stove to pretend to prepare and serve meals. Children who love play kitchens will definitely want to spend a good amount of time here.

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There is more to explore outside on the beautiful grounds surrounding the museum. The American Workhorse exhibit is located in a large barn behind the museum but it’s only available to view on select special events. If you keep walking along the path you will come to a pond. It has a few docks where you can feed the ducks and geese.

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In addition to the daily exhibits, the museum also holds popular annual events including Tractorpooloza, Bunny Bonanza, and the Princess for a Day Ice Cream Social. They also offer summer camps and Kids’ Night at the Museum drop off events the second Saturday of every month. Registration information can be found here.

We visited the museum on a regular Saturday morning and it wasn’t crowded at all. The museum is not a big place making it easy to manage multiple small children. It is the place to go if you are looking for a fun and low-key outing. There is enough to do here to keep your kids entertained for at least a couple of hours. After our visit I was asking myself why I didn’t hear about it sooner!

Good to Know:

• Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 – 4:30pm, Sunday 11:30 – 4:30pm, Closed Mondays.
• Admission: Adults $5, Seniors and Military $4, Children 2-12 $3, FREE/Children Under 2
• Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum but there are picnic tables outside where you can have a snack on a nice day.
• There is ample parking available in front of the museum.
• There are bathrooms with changing tables available as well as designated stroller parking.
• The museum is located near Dulles Town Center and Dulles 28 Centre which both have kid friendly options for lunch.



December 2015 – Monthly Roundup

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Happy New Year! December was a fun filled month and a great one to end the year. There are so many fun holiday events throughout the month in the DC area and we tried to do as many as possible. I love experiencing the magic of Christmas through my children. These years when they are little and truly believe in Santa is precious and I want to make the most of this time. So, we went to few different Santa events, a couple of light displays, a gingerbread house workshop, and a few different holiday shows in the theaters for a thoroughly festive Christmas season.

Below is a recap of where our adventures took us this month. Dumbarton Oaks was one of my favorite new (to us) places we explored and my girls really loved it too. The best part is that it is free during the winter months, so take advantage and check it out on a warmer winter day. You can also take your kids to the playground at Montrose Park right next door while you are there. The National Postal Museum was also surprisingly nice! No crowds and lots of different interactive exhibits for kids. And it’s right across the street from Union Station where you can grab lunch.

Places we visited:

Dumbarton Oaks
Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Union Station – (Christmas tree & train display)
South Mountain Creamery
Glen Echo Park Aquarium
Potomac Library

Events we attended:

Winter Lights Festival – Seneca Creek State Park
Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas – BlackRock Center for the Arts
Santa and Mrs. Claus’ visit at BusyBees
Garden of Lights – Brookside Gardens
Garden Railway Exhibit – Brookside Gardens
Walkersville Santa Train
Gingerbread House Workshop at Tudor Place
The Nutcracker – Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy
The Nutcracker – The Puppet Co

Classes and camps we attended:

My Gym Potomac
Kids First Swim SchoolBlog post here
Tennis – Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center

Parks we played at:

Montrose Park – Georgetown
Glen Echo Playground
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 –  top 50 playgrounds in the US
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Avenel Park – Potomac, MD

I hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. Thank you for following along on our adventures and for all your support over the past year! Wishing everyone a wonderful 2016!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



November 2015 – Monthly Roundup

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Well, November went by in a flash. I really can’t believe I’m already recapping another month! I didn’t have much planned for November because I thought we would slow down a bit before all the holiday activities and events. But we ended up going on a bunch of spontaneous outdoor outings to make the most of the warm fall days.

Here is a recap of where our adventures took us this month. The Wizard of Oz playground at Watkins Regional Park was definitely a highlight for my girls. There is so much to do there it is worth the drive. We also went to a new (to us) children’s museum – The Original Playhouse Museum, which is the cutest place for children to use their imaginations. I’m sure we will visit again this winter when it’s too cold to play outside. We also went to one of my favorite holiday exhibits at the end of the month – Seasons Greetings at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Places we visited:

United States Botanic Gardenblog post from last year here
Ticonderoga Farms
Lake Frankblog post here
The Original Playhouse Museum
Bowl America Gaithersburg
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Locust Grove Nature Center
Tysons Corner Ice Rinkblog post here
Rockin’ Jump Gaithersburg
Brookside Gardens
Mobu Kids blog post here

Events we attended:

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Acadamy
Hansel and Gretel at Encore Stage & Studioblog post here
“Meet the Animals” at Brookside Nature Center

Classes and camps we attended:

My Gym Potomac
FS Soccer
USTA Tennis – Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center

Parks we played at:

Watkins Regional Park – A must-see Wizard of Oz themed playground
Rockville Civic Center Park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Avenel Park – Potomac, MD

I hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. So much to look forward to this month. I’ve posted a lot of holiday events and activities on the calendar.   Happy December!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



Tysons Corner Ice Rink + Giveaway!

Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink
1961 Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA 22102
703-356-1240
www.tysonscornericerink.com

 

Last weekend I was invited to attend a party at the Tysons Corner Ice Rink by Andrea at Northern Virginia Housewives. The ice rink just opened for its second season so I was excited to help kick off the opening weekend of skating fun at Tysons!

It had been many, many years since I had put on a pair of ice skates but I found that it is just like riding a bike and I didn’t forget how! Phew! Clara had taken a few ice skating lessons last winter but I wasn’t sure how it would go since it had been a year. However, she did great! And thankfully Tysons Corner Ice Rink has the child skate trainers for the kids to push around the rink making it a lot easier for them.

We had so much fun we skated for quite a while before taking a break to have hot chocolate from Earl’s Kitchen + Bar, located on the plaza next to the ice rink. There are multiple fire pits to cozy up to as well.

IMG_6131 Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset IMG_6129(1)Clara has been asking to go back to ice skate pretty much every day since, so I’m sure we will be back soon!

The rink is located on the new plaza between Lord & Taylor and Hyatt Regency. And the skate shop is located inside the mall on the 2nd floor next to Lord & Taylor.

Hours and Pricing:

Monday-Tuesday: 3pm-7pm
Wednesday-Thursday: 3pm-9pm
Friday: 3pm-11pm
Saturday: 11am-11pm
Sunday: 11am-7pm
Extended hours during the Holidays.

Adult Admission: $10
Children/Seniors/Military Admission: $9
Skate Rental: $6
Season Pass (Individual) $195 (includes admission and rentals)
Season Pass (Family) $395 (includes admission and rentals for up to 4 people)

10 Visit Pass $85 (admission only)
Group Rate: $12 (10 guests or more)
Socks: $5
Gloves: $5

I am excited to be giving away 4 passes to the Tysons Corner Ice Rink. Please enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



August – Monthly Roundup

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August – summer’s grand finale, was such a good month. I genuinely had so much fun with my girls this summer and am sad that preschool is starting this week. Thinking about how much these little people change in a year and how each summer with them is going to be so different, just makes me want to savor it more. Even though I will miss all the free time for adventures, I will love having a little bit more time for my own projects.

Here is a recap of what we were up to this past month. The BEACH at the National Building Museum was quite a unique experience and is still open through September 7. We also had a fun day trip to Baltimore where we visited the National Aquarium and Pierce’s Park. And another summer tradition of ours in August is the Montgomery County Fair.

Places we visited:

The “Beach” at the National Building Museum
Georgetown Waterfront Park
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Larriland Farm
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
Carousel at Glen Echo Park
Rehoboth Beach, DE

 Events we attended:

Garfield the Musical at Adventure Theater – no longer showing but next up is Caps for Sale The Musical Sep 11-27 – Blog post here about attending a previous show at Adventure Theatre
Fairfax County 4H Fair and Carnival at Frying Pan Park
Montgomery County Fair

Classes and camps we attended:

Geneva Day School Summer Camp
My Gym Potomac
Ballet Petite

Parks we played at:

Pierce’s Park – Baltimore, MD
Palisade’s PlaygroundBlog post here about the hidden glass forest at this park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD

Hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. We are looking forward the fall! Cooler temps means spending time at the farms picking apples and pumpkins and going for hikes through the fall colors. Happy September!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



Old River Road Swimming Hole

16315 Old River Road
Poolesville, MD 20837
 

Last week I read an article in the Washingtonian called “6 Great Swimming Holes Near Washington DC“. One of the places listed is Seneca Creek in Poolesville, MD. I googled the address and found that it was only about a 20 minute drive from Potomac. So, one morning when we had some free time before an afternoon camp, I spontaneously decided to take my girls to check it out. We’re always up for an adventure!

After turning onto Old River Road, I first saw the Poole’s Store. It’s a historic general store but is not currently open, so we parked right in front of this store. Further behind the Poole’s Store is an old barn and private residence, so don’t park there. To get to the creek, it’s just a short walk across the street and through a grassy area over towards the bridge.

It’s a really peaceful and relaxing area. The water is clear and shallow and there are large flat rocks that you can sit on. The current is gentle and the water is warm. My youngest daughter was a little hesitant; she was just happy playing at the water’s edge. Clara, my 4 year old was having a great time splashing around. I think children a bit older would especially love this swimming hole.

PoolesvilleSwimmingHole3 PoolesvilleSwimmingHole2 PoolesvilleSwimmingHole1The swimming pool can start getting mundane towards the end of summer, so taking a dip in the creek is a fun way to mix it up. Good old fashioned summer fun!

Good to Know:

• No fee to park or swim
• No bathrooms
• No place to buy food or drinks nearby, so bring your own



Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap

Wolf Trap
1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Virginia 22182
www.wolftrap.org
 

The Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods program at Wolf Trap is a summer tradition with fun shows for children ages 4 and up. Performances change weekly and range from music and dance to puppetry and storytelling. The shows are interactive, educational, and fun. This week my girls and I saw Alphabet Rockers, an award-winning hip hop children’s music group.

After parking we started down the hill on the path through a large field and a flower garden area.

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The box office is a cute little gazebo at the end of the path where you can buy tickets or pick them up at will call.

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Just beyond the box office is a bridge that crosses over a small creek.

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Then we continued on a dirt path for about 50 yards to reach the amphitheater.

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There is stroller parking just outside the theater, along a fence. It is a bit of a walk from the parking lot, so I recommend bringing a stroller for toddlers.

Seating in the amphitheater is general admission and it’s bench style. There really isn’t a bad view from anywhere in the stands. It’s such a charming and unique theatre nestled in the trees with a canopy overhead. The setting of the theater makes for a fun and relaxed outing.

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The Alphabet Rockers took the stage with so much energy and enthusiasm. It was a sold-out crowd and they had the audience standing up dancing, singing, and beat boxing in no time. There were several times they asked for kids to volunteer to join them on stage. Some of their songs included positive educational messages including self-esteem, friendship, and making healthy food choices.

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When the 45 minute show was over we walked back to the creek and had a picnic at one of the tables. There are also many picnic tables available at the top of the hill. Kids are not allowed to play in the creek but they can run around and play in the large field area. My girls enjoyed looking at the fish in the creek from one of the bridges. It was a nice way to end an outdoor theatre adventure!

WT_picnicarea

Additional Info:

•Admission $8 per ticket for ages 2 and up. Children under age 2 are free.
•Parking is free.
•No food or drink (besides water) is allowed in the theatre area.
•Designated stroller parking available just outside the theatre.
•Bathrooms located at the top of the hill near the parking area or at the bottom of the hill across the field from the box office. There are no bathrooms right by the amphitheater so plan accordingly with your little ones.

 

 



June – Monthly Roundup

IMG_3052Summer is here! It’s true, time really does fly when you’re having fun; I can’t believe June is already over. We had a fabulous month and kicked it off with many of our favorite summertime activities. Clara attended camps every week this month so June wasn’t quite as full of activities as May, but we still did some really fun things. The highlights of this month were bottle feeding calves at South Mountain Creamery and hunting fossilized shark teeth at Brownie’s Beach. Both were really fun and unique experiences!

Places we visited:

Rocklands Farm
South Mountain Creamery
Franciscan Monastery
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Green Meadows Petting Farm – blog post from last fall here
Dawson’s Market Farmers Market
Potomac Village Farmers Market
Carroll Creek (downtown Frederick)
South Germantown Splash Park
Brownie’s Beach on the Chesapeake Bay

Events we attended:

Imagination Bethesda
Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Encore Stage & Studio
Art Explorers Family Studio at Glen Echo Park
Rocknocerous “Plymouth Rockers” Album Release at Jammin Java

Classes and camps we attended:

Geneva Day School Summer Camp
Georgetown Hill Summer Camp
Funfit Tots
F.S. Soccer

Parks we played at:

Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD
Cedar Lane Playlot (corner of Cedar Lane and Beach Drive) – Kensington, MD
Fallsgrove Park – Rockville, MD
Glen Echo Park – Glen Echo, MD

Hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list! We are kicking off July with a trip to Nebraska to visit our Midwest family and friends and celebrate the Fourth of July. Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures on my feed.

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog

 



May – Monthly Roundup

May was a busy month full of fun adventures with my girls. We spent a lot of time outdoors at different farms and parks. It was filled with lots of flowers and happy moments. I’ve always thought fall was my favorite time in the DC area but I’m not sure anymore because this spring has been pretty amazing. We visited some really pretty places and made a lot of great memories!

IMG_1921Places we visited:

United States National Arboretum
Wegmeyers FarmOatlands Historic House and Gardens – blog post here
Homestead Farm – blog post from last fall here
Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens
Washington National Cathedral and Bishop’s Garden
Beauvoir Outdoors
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Fountains at Rockville Town Square

Events we attended:

• Day Out with Thomas – B&O Railroad Museum – blog post here
• Royal Tea Party – Thomas Farm Community Center
• Spring Market Fair – Claude Moore Colonial Farm
• Fairytale Ballet Tea Party – Metropolitan Ballet Theatre
• Hometown Holidays – Rockville Town Square

Classes/Camps we attended:

My Gym
Funfit Tots
FS Soccer

Parks we played at:

Meridian Hill Park – Washington, DC
Chevy Chase Playground and Splash Park – Washington, DC – blog post here
Clemyjontri Park – McLean, VA – blog post here#4 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD

I hope this roundup has given you some new ideas and inspired you to go out and explore with your kids! Have a fabulous June!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures on my feed.

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog

 

 



Strawberry Picking at Wegmeyer Farms – Oatlands Historic Mansion and Gardens

Oatlands Historic Mansion and Gardens
20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln
Leesburg, VA 20175
www.wegmeyerfarms.com

 

My girls absolutely love picking berries in the spring and summer months. They were extremely excited for our first picking adventure. I really enjoy taking them to farms so they can learn where our food comes from and also have some good ol’ fashioned fun!  Oatlands seemed like the perfect place to go pick, since we would also get to explore the beautiful mansion grounds I had heard so much about.

After arriving, we went into the Carriage House to purchase tickets for the hayride out to the strawberry fields. It’s about a 5 minute scenic ride out to the fields. My girls especially loved this part.

Carriagehouse

Once we arrived at the strawberry fields, we were greeted by friendly staff in 1800s era-themed costumes and they directed us to our row in the patch.

strawberry field

My girls had so much fun picking the berries and would squeal when they found an especially large one. The strawberries were so plentiful, we didn’t have to move very far down our row. Clara and Mae were just a little disappointed when we had completely filled our baskets and had no more room to pick any more!

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Wegmeyers berries are so sweet, juicy, and perfect. I can’t even really describe how good they are!

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We headed to the strawberry hut to pay for our berries and the girls were excited to get stickers and official strawberry picker coloring books. The wagon took us back to the Carriage House and from there we walked over to the historic mansion to explore the four acres of gardens.

OatlandsmansionThe peonies and irises were in full bloom!

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I highly recommend berry picking at Wegmeyers Farms Oatlands location. It was such a unique experience with the history and beauty of the property. There are about 3 weeks left in the season, so hurry and go visit them! For more information on the other two picking locations, check my blog post here. And don’t forget that if you pick on a Thursday (Family Picking Day) this season, mention Capitol Momma and receive 25% off!

Good to Know:

•Open 9am-5:30 daily
•Hayride tickets: adults $5, children 16 and under are free
•Strawberries are $3.99 per pound.
•Thursdays throughout the season are Family Days. Receive a 25% discount by simply mentioning Capitol Momma.
•Don’t dress your children in their nicest clothes. There’s a good chance they are going home with strawberry stains. Totally worth it though!
•Containers are provided or you can bring your own. Just ask them to weigh your container first if you bring your own.
•The Carriage House has a restroom.
•No food is sold here but you are welcome to bring a picnic.