Experiencing new things and making the most of family time doesn't have to end when summer does. Sure, the school year will bring more hectic schedules, homework and, soon, shorter days, but Silver Spring offers a lot of activities and places that make it easy for families to have some fun this fall.
Here are just four ideas of things to do in the area. Be sure to share your ideas in the comments section.
1. Take a hike.
Head to Wheaton Regional Park's Shorefield area, where 11 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails offer something for everyone. For those towing children in strollers, people using wheelchairs and cyclists, there's a 4-mile hard-surface trail. And there's plenty to do afterward. Pack a picnic, enjoy the lake, bring the kids to the playground or board the miniature train and carousel (weekends only in September; closed October through March).
2. Get crafty.
CREATE Arts Center at 816 Thayer Ave. offers fall family activities and classes for kids and teenagers. For example, a four-week Family Pottery class starts Sept. 26 for kids ages 6 and older with a parent or caregiver. That class costs $95, with an additional $40 material feed. An eight-week family class called Adventures in Art is for kids ages 2 and 3 with a parent or caregiver and starts on Sept. 30. The fee for that course is $195. Visit the website or call 301-588-ARTS for more information.
3. Celebrate local flavors.
Stop by Whole Foods Market's 30th birthday party on Sept. 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy fun games, live reggae music, great food, contests and raffle prizes. You can find the store on the corner of Wayne and Fenton. Check out the store's kids cooking classes or follow it on Facebook.
Head to a farmers market, like the FreshFarm Market held at Ellsworth Drive between Fenton Street and Georgia Avenue on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find everything from autumn vegetables and honey to cheese and salsas – everything you need to go home and engage kids in the kitchen.
4. Transportation fascination? Take a step back in time.
No school today? No problem. Just up the road in Colesville, the National Capital Trolley Museum lets you take a trolley ride and learn about transportation in the "olden days." And on weekdays when schools are closed for holidays or teachers' meetings, the museum sponsors programs for primary grade kids offering stories, crafts and more. Special events in September include Trolleymen at Work on Sept. 4, 5 and 6 and Grandparents Day on Sept. 12. Visit the website or call (301) 364-6088 for hours of operation.