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A DOZEN Great Things to do with the family this April

Spring is here! Here are a dozen ways to enjoy April as a family, depending on your comfort level of activity. You can choose indoor fun at a kid-friendly businesses that’s opened up again, outside at parks or on an Earth Day tour, or virtually with cool tours and activities. We’ve picked a dozen awesome ways to play as a family this April—whether outside, inside, or on a screen!

OUTSIDE

National Park Week
Celebrate National Park Week 2021 from April 17 to 25, when parks across the country will host special programs, events and digital experiences. Special theme days during the week highlight the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks, including Junior Ranger day, Friendship Friday and Bark Ranger Day!

Go Geocaching!
The Robinson Nature Center is hosting fun outings to teach your family the basics of a new, outdoor hobby you can use to enjoy time together in nature. The center will provide age-appropriate roles for different family members that help make the experience fun for everyone and send you home with a goody bag of items to help your family get started on your own adventures. Ages 4 years and up welcome, $45 per family (up to 5 people). 2–3:30 p.m. To register, call 410-313-0400. Robinson Nature Center, Columbia. 

Earth Day Kayak Tour
Celebrate Earth Day by spending time out on the Patuxent River! After a brief safety lesson, a naturalist instructor will take you on a guided tour of the Jug Bay portion of the river while discussing the natural history of the area. Ages 12 and up welcome. 2–4 p.m. Patuxent River Park, Upper Marlboro.

Walk for the Woods
The 16th annual “Walk for the Woods” will take place on April 24 at Bacon Ridge Natural Area in Crownsville. Hikers can explore Bacon Ridge Natural Area’s 1,000+ acres, which are graced with upland streams, lily-filled ponds, nesting birds, and spring wildflowers. Advance online registration and timed entry required. Experts in wildlife, native plants, birds, and more will be on-site and available to attendees. Plus, self-guided hike options will be offered. 

BONUS Grown-up outdoor event:
Project Disco Silent Dance Party
An interactive lighting and projections show developed by MFA students within The University of Maryland Lighting Department. It’s a dance party, but with a twist! Attendees will each be given a pair of wireless headphones that connect to two radio stations – one for each DJ. Each person will have the ability to choose which station they wish to listen to (and flip back and forth). The (socially distanced) crowd will be seen dancing to the beat of different songs! $20 per person. Alcohol will be available for sale at the event for attendees 21 and older. Cash bar ONLY. The Maryland Cultural & Conference Center, Park Place, Annapolis.

INSIDE

Visit the Maryland Science Center for Free
Get your science on at the Maryland Science Center—a favorite Maryland kid field trip staple. All Maryland students are currently admitted free of charge. Students can visit with friends or family, they do not have to be part of a school group. To receive free admission pick a date and sign up on the Maryland Science Center website. 

Play at Port Discovery
From Spring Break activities and events to pop-up playtimes, story hours and more, Port Discovery is open and ready for your kids to safely play again!

Paint Your Pet Portrait
In this painting class, you will be painting your pets portrait! Please choose a photo that mostly shows their face. All materials will be provided! No experience is needed. The registration fee includes a pre-stencilled canvas, paint, brushes, and 16+ cats to hang out with! Kittens in Cups, Annapolis. 5:45–7 p.m.

Glass Fusing Open House
Kids ages 12+ can head to Clay Bakers in Annapolis to learn the basics of glass fusing! Staff will guide you with instruction on the tools and options to help to get started. A $20 deposit holds and confirms your reservation for a place at the glass table. The size of your piece determines the final cost. $20 (deposit in the minimum). Only 6 people per session. The Clay Bakers, Annapolis. 4–6 p.m. or 6–8 p.m.

VIRTUAL

Chesapeake Family Life’s virtual Camp Fair
Discover the perfect camps for your kiddos by virtually visiting with camp pros, who can answer your questions about their camps and activities! FREE. Register today!

Annapolis Book Festival
April 23–25. The Annapolis Book Festival will be held virtually in 2021. This free community event attracts nationally and internationally renowned authors who discuss their books and the craft of writing over the weekend. Featured authors for 2021 include Wes Moore, activist and author of “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City,” and Heather McGhee, chairperson of the board of Color of Change and author of “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.” Friday, April 23 from 7–9 p.m. and Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Designed to promote and celebrate reading among all ages and interests, the event is free and open to all. 

Chesapeake Bay Week
April 18–21. Maryland Public Television’s annual Chesapeake Bay Week programming includes Chesapeake Bay by Air, lots of great programming about oysters and crabs, climate change, lighthouses and all things Bay.

Annapolis Film Festival
The ten-day Annapolis Film Festival, April 8–18, will feature shorts and feature films, as well as panels, discussions with filmmakers and more. Two passes available—a full festival pass ($100), which gives your household access to unlimited films and shorts programs for the duration of the festival. The Shorts pass ($50) gives you unlimited access to all 8 of the festival shorts programs. 

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