During the summer there are a slew of activities in the DC and Metropolitan area for LOs. Every weekend, I like to do a few Google searches to see what is happening during the upcoming week so that my LO and I can stay busy, and she can stay engaged while not at school.
As you may have seen recently in (several) of my IG posts, we LOVE Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Va. While Lake Anne Plaza has a variety of unique restaurants and shops, there are also several free things to do there during the summer for LOs. Every Tuesday morning from 11-11:45 there are free performances for children. One of our “traditions” last summer was to grab a few snacks from the market there, and enjoy them while watching the performers. Another activity for all ages, is the Lake Anne Film Festival on select Sundays throughout the summer months. Movie admission is free, and shows are rain or shine. For more information visit: http://lakeanneplaza.com/event/lake-anne-summer-film-festival-3/ . If you are in the Reston area on Saturday mornings, stop by the plaza for the Reston Farmer’s Market , or grab a coffee to go at the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar, and talk a stroll around the plaza and over the Van Goh Bridge while peeking at the gorgeous gardens that border the lake and canal.
We also enjoyed going to several of the splash pads at local town centers in the area. The Fairfax Corner one is great, and you can pick up sandwiches from Potbelly or ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s. On Wednesday mornings, Fairfax Corner hosts a “Little Tot” series at 10:30am. If you are more of an evening person, or want to go on a date night return to the plaza on Thursday evenings at 6:30 for their free concert series.
If the weather is just too hot or rainy and you want to do something indoors, visit your local Barnes and Noble store for free children’s programming. While gathered in the children’s area, they will listen to a variety of books read in an engaging manner and setting. Dates vary, but most story times start at 11am.
Another great place to take your kids is Burke Lake Park. If you are not familiar with it, this county run park is expansive with lots of various activities for people of all ages. In addition to a trail that circles the lake (and is about 5 miles long), there is a miniature golf course, driving range, volley ball courts, various playgrounds, BBQ pavilions, camp grounds, fitness trails, and ice cream parlor. Last summer, my LO and I loved hitching a ride on the train and going for a spin on the carousel. After we were done at the park, we enjoyed driving a bit further down Rt. 123 and visiting Heather Hill Gardens.
Other great places to take LOs this summer are the Hidden Pond Nature Center located in Springfield, Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot in Clifton (after a hike down the road at Hemlock Overlook or wine at Paradise Springs!), Theater in the Woods at Wolf Trap, take a stroll through Meadowlark Gardens, feed the goats and pick up fresh fruit and veggies from Cox Farm, or visit Clemyjontri park in McLean.
Whatever you do, there are countless sources of entertainment for LOs in the surrounding area, and you can’t go wrong. How do you plan to keep your children busy this summer?