Drum roll please...
Here is my latest list of fun activities to try this spring.
Enjoy and invite someone new to The Cause to join you.
King Barn Dairy Mooseum
Take the family to King Barn, circa 1913, where kids can learn how to milk a cow, see a puppet show, and get a taste of life on a dairy farm. Check out the quirky collection of vintage bottles and life sized cow sculptures. The Mooseum is located inside the Germantown Recreation Park, which includes picnic grounds, playground and small water park. Open in summer. / mooseum.com
Dinosaurs once roamed the Mid-Atlantic, and deposits of sediment and clay in Laurel, Md. have been the site of significant discoveries of prehistoric bones and plant life. This led to preservation of the area, and the creation of The Dinosaur Park—a place where families can see, touch and hunt for fossils. The park opens twice a month, providing interactive tours, education programs, along with the opportunity to sift through the dirt for treasures. / pgparks.com
National Children’s Museum
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD.
Designed for kids ages 8 and under. Start with the two main exhibit areas and theatre, the latter featuring year-round interactive shows. Then follow up with a visit to the Center for Learning and Innovation, which carries the cultural themes in the exhibits and productions into the activity room. The museum includes a 3-and-under Sesame Street-themed section, with Cookie Monster and Big Bird there to interact with visitors at special times. / ccm.org
Spy City Tours on Gray Line Bus
This 2.5-hour bus tour departs from Union Station weekly to view 25 notorious espionage sites in DC. Visitors see a different side of the city, as a tour guide points out restaurants, hotels and office buildings linked to intelligence activities. It’s an interactive experience, since guests are asked to crack the codes of secret messages and learn trade secrets from former spies via video (including CIA’s Tony Mendez who inspired the movie ARGO). The tour concludes with a visit to the Spy Museum. / spymuseum.org
The 50-acre public display garden at Wheaton Regional Park featuring several niche-gardens, including an Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Children’s Garden, and many more. In May, make a point of strolling through the Trail Garden, where more than 10,000 flowering bulbs spring forth. Best of all, admission is free. / montgomeryparks.org –
Mount Vernon Cultural District
The Washington Monument—no, not the one on the National Mall —is the focal point of one of the most vibrant urban villages in Baltimore, the Mount Vernon Cultural District north of downtown. Surrounding the monument are four charming, landscaped parks and loads of cultural attractions, including the Walters Art Museum, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Basilica Cathedral. Add to your day-trip itinerary a visit to Antique Row on Howard Street, the oldest antique district in the country, and finish up at George’s at the Peabody Court Hotel for a well-earned steak and cake. / mvcd.org
Hop aboard one of the few remaining authentic skipjacks in the U.S., the Nathan of Dorchester, which offers day-trippers a unique way to experience the Chesapeake. Skipjacks are traditionally designed for oyster dredging, but the Nathan is now primarily a passenger vessel offering demonstration dredging on its two-hour Saturday sails. The public sailing season runs May to October, or you can charter the Nathan for your own private party. / skipjack-nathan.org
Lillypons Water Gardens
Lilypons boasts more than 50 ponds filled with colorful water plants, lilies and bogs. This gardening and landscape center attracts an abundance of wildlife including seabirds, water snakes, frogs and snapping turtles. Birders and photographers, as well as families enjoy touring the gardens and feeding the insatiable koi fish. Thursday morning visitors may join guided walks with a bird expert. Wear boots for walking in mud and marshes. / lilypons.com
Flag Ponds Nature Park
A 500-acre natural preserve on the Chesapeake. Eagle-eyed beachcombers can spot sharks teeth and other fossils washed up along the park’s shore. Later, walk the trail to the beach for a day of swimming or meander through the forested nature trails towards the ponds and get an overview of local wildlife via the observation platforms. / calvertparks.org
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Just south of Cambridge, Md. lies Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a 27,000-acre Eastern Shore haven for waterfowl and a magnet for bird watchers and other wildlife admirers. See snow geese, Canada Geese and tundra swan as well as bald eagles, great blue herons and blue-winged teals. / fws.gov/blackwater
An annual celebration of “Hons“ (short for “Honeys“), a.k.a. the local working women of Baltimore, the HonFest is one of the city’s most popular yet quirky festivals. “Hon,” a Bawlmerese term of endearment popularized in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, is today honored by the hundreds of attendees who get dolled up in their finest leopard print garb, beehive hair-dos and retro glasses to take part in the four-city-block festival along Hampden’s 36th Street. This year’s fest occurs on June 8 and 9. / honfest.net
Lincoln Assassination Tour with DC By Foot Tours
This two-hour tour starts at Andrew Jackson Statue by the White House, and is an easy stroll by historical sights that played a role in Lincoln’s Presidency—the Willard Hotel, Fords Theater, William Seward’s home, U.S. Treasury Building, Star Saloon, etc. It’s informative, and best of all, free! Tour guides make the story come alive. Recommended for people of all ages, not just Lincoln-maniacs or history-buffs. Best enjoyed in a small group, so avoid busy tourist season. / freetoursbyfoot.com
Passport Embassy Tours
Leave the U.S. without leaving D.C. by participating in Passport DC. This month-long celebration every May offers visitors a rare, behind-the-scenes look at 60 embassies and their diplomatic corps. Participating embassies take turns showcasing their country’s music, dance and authentic foods. Guests sample authentic culture by attending classes, film screenings and martial arts demonstrations. The National Museum of Women in the Arts hosts the Global Market Place where international women artists sell their work. / culturaltourismdc.com