Contrary to what Kermit the Frog has to say, it is easy being green…especially around D.C. From huge family-friendly green festivals to awesome community gardening opportunities, it’s no sweat to get your environmentally-conscious crew out, learning about and experiencing the great outdoors and how to preserve it for years to come.

H2O-Summit-089Photo: montgomerycountygreenfest.org

Montgomery County Green Fest
Come get to know how Montgomery County is being green! Hands-on demonstrations will show your little greenies how to save energy and reduce waste in their everyday lives. You might not even have to remind them to turn off the lights or water in your abode anymore…maybe. Transportation-fans will want to find out what fuels the energy-efficient Ride-On bus and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission BioBus. Then, everyone can grab a sustainability-sourced lunch and enjoy the free music. Bring a reusable bottle to score discounts on drinks! Events will be held at both the Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring and Jesup Blair Local Park across the street, so check out the schedule beforehand to map out the most efficient day.

When: March 28, 2015, 11 am–4 pm
Cost: Free

Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring
7995 Georgia Ave. (Silver Spring, Md)
240-777-6507
Online: montgomerycountygreenfest.org

city-blossomsPhoto: cityblossoms.org

City Blossoms Community Green Spaces
Whether the colors of your tots’ thumbs are green or not, drop by either (or both!) of the two D.C. community gardens that City Blossoms cultivates. City Blossoms is all about preparing the next gen in organic, sustainable gardening that thrives with the local environment and even helps their neighbors. Your gardener-in-training will help with garden maintenance and could even take home a small harvest, when available. They might even be inspired to start planting something on their own at home!

When: April – November (check days and times online)
Cost: Free

Girard Children’s Community Garden
15th and Girard Sts., NW (Columbia Heights)
(or)
Street Intergenerational Garden
1519 Marion St., NW (Shaw-Howard U)
443-854-1669
Online: cityblossoms.org

kids-in-nature-1Photo: USACE HQ via Creative Commons

Howard County Green Fest: Living with Wildlife
Perfect for the animal-lovers in your herd, this year’s theme at the Howard County Green Fest is “Living with Wildlife.” Learn how Fido’s daily walk (and poo) affect the environment, how to attract butterflies to your garden, and what the buzz is all about with bees. For the caffeinated bunch, taste-test some fair-trade coffee. Later, spend an hour on an organized trail walk, or saunter among the booths to enter giveaways. In the Quad you’ll find an outdoor nature play space and green crafts for the kiddos.

When: April 18, 2015, 10 am–4 pm
Cost: Free

Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy. (Columbia, Md)
443-518-1000
Online: howardcountymd.gov

green-festivalPhoto: greenfestivals.org

Family Fun Pavilion at Green Festival Expo D.C.
This Expo will have hundreds of exhibitors showcasing products to help you and your clan work and live green. But since navigating a crowd may not be your idea of a good time, scope out the expo map online first. Definitely plan to hang out at the Family Fun Pavilion where there will be puppet shows, interactive demonstrations, and music. Hint: the products for green kids and pets are right around the corner from the pavilion. When ready for a meal, head to the food court, which is stocked with delish gluten-free and vegan options.

When: June 5, 12pm–6pm; June 6–7, 10am–6pm
Cost: One-day, $15; Weekend $25 (discounts to be announced); Free for kids 18 years and under

D.C. Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Pl., NW (Mt. Vernon Sq.)
Online: greenfestivals.org/wdc

girl-water-bottlePhoto: Haleyface via flickr

Derwood Recycling Center Tours
Do your tykes get excited when the recycling truck comes through the neighborhood? Do they ever wonder what happens to the paper and aluminum cans after that? Then head on over to the Derwood Recycling Center for a free tour to learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling. They’ll get to see the big sorting machine that knows plastic from metal, and find out what they can and cannot recycle at home. Guided and self-guided tours are available.

When: Groups of 10+ guided tour, Mondays–Thursdays, 10 am–2 pm; Self-guided tour, 7:30 am–5 pm
Cost: Free

16105 Frederick Rd. (Derwood, Md)
301-417-1433
Online: montgomerycountymd.gov

Are there any other green-themed activities that families around D.C. should know about? Tell us about them in the Comments section below. 

—Lisa Ng