In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue; 523 years later, what does that mean for you? The answer is easy: the first long weekend of fall! And in some cases, a day off from work and school. Here’s a roundup of our favorite ways to enjoy some family fun and keep the bambinos busy during this holiday weekend.

taste-dcPhoto: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Fill’r Up at Taste of D.C.
Hungry for some new cuisine? Little foodies and grown-up gourmands alike can fill up at Washington’s biggest food festival, Taste of D.C. Take your brood on a tour of downtown while you nosh on nibbles from more than 60 local restaurants and food trucks. There’s also a chef stage where cooks-in-training can watch local culinary experts in action (and you can pick up a trick or two!).  

When: Oct. 10-11, 12 pm-7 pm
Cost: $20/adults; $10/kids 5-12; free/kids under 5
Pennsylvania Ave. between 3rd and 7th Sts., NW
Online: thetasteofdc.org

clark-elioak farmPhoto: Ana Kurland via Flickr

Fall for the Weekend at Clark’s Elioak Farm
From hayrides to pumpkin picking, nothing says “fall” quite like a trip to Clark’s. What makes this Ellicott City farm stand out? To start, there’s the Enchanted Forest: a maze featuring dozens of storybook characters that have been dazzling kiddos for more than 60 years. There’s also a petting zoo, pony rides, and even gemstone mining. What’s more, the farm is open on Columbus Day from 10am to 5pm. Road trip, anyone?

Cost: $6
10500 Clarksville Pike (Ellicott City, Md)
410-73-4049
Online: clarklandfarm.com

1509139_10153008715569153_2463538140238707340_nPhoto : Encore Stage via Facebook

Act Out at Encore Stage & Studio Mini-Camp
School’s out for Columbus Day? Let your kiddo enjoy an entertaining vacay while you go to work. During Encore’s mini-camp, elementary schoolers will exercise their imaginations with theater games and activities and also get the chance to relax with snacks and a movie. Word on the street is this session has a Minions theme, so get junior’s yellow duds ready.

When: Oct. 12, 9 am-3 pm (extended hours available)
Various Locations (Arlington, Va)
Online: encorestageva.org

founding-farmersPhoto: Tiffanni Reidy via flickr

Do Columbus Day Brunch at Founding Farmers
Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic four times during his exploration of the new world. What more could he have accomplished if he’d eaten brunch? Crowd favorite Founding Farmers celebrates Columbus’ adventurous spirit with a holiday brunch featuring many of its classics like the Farmer’s Scramble and fluffy pancakes (and orange juice to fight scurvy, of course!). Diners of all ages can also enjoy lunch specials from 11am on.

When: Oct. 12, 8 am-2 pm.
Various Locations
202-822-8783
Online: wearefoundingfarmers.com

jumping-jack-sportsPhoto: Wapster via Flickr

Columbus Day Camp at Jumping Jack Sports
Fill your kiddo’s day off from school with running, jumping, climbing and playing at Jumping Jack Sports’ Columbus Day Camp. While you run errands or finish those TPS reports, your camper’s dance card will be filled with activities ranging from rock climbing to conquering an inflatable obstacle course. For tamer tots, board games and crafts are also on deck.

When: Oct. 12, 9 am-2 pm/4 pm
44710 Cape Ct. (Ashburn, Va)
703-858-9901
Online: jumpingjacksports.com

What “can’t miss” events are your Columbus Day family’s sked? Tell us in the comments section below.

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—Sarah Vogel