Build a Sand Castle Empire

haba bucket!

In pursuit of the perfect sand castle, we’ve been known to scout real estate the night before a beach day.

But a prime location isn’t worth much without a well-equipped contractor.

Set your little architect on a path to success with Haba’s new collapsible water bucket. The lightweight nylon bag has a valve that lets you control the flow of water. When your sand seems too dry, give the nozzle a turn to release only what you need — no worries about washing away your building materials or turning a tunnel into a moat.

The bucket also packs flat, taking up less space in your beach tote than a traditional plastic bucket. And with sunblock, towels, sippies, and snacks, we know how valuable that real estate is.

Available online at maukilo.com, $22.

this week in washington d.c.!

French Festival

What: Travel back in time with old-fashioned games and performances by the New York Baroque Dance Co. and Concert Royal.
Whip up miniature French furniture.
When: Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m.
Where: Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW (202-686-5807). Adults, $18; children, 6-18, $5; under 6, free.

Princess Gala
Glamour girls (ages 3-8) make jewelry boxes, get mini manicures, and strike a pose at the photo shoot.
Why: A magic tea party for her Highness.
When: Sun., 10-11:30 a.m.
Rockwood Manor, 11001 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac (301-299-5026). Registration (required) and tickets online at parkpass.org. Adult and child pair, $25.

Don’t Step on a Bee Day

What: Buzz Bakery makes sweet treats (ice cream, cookies, cupcakes) to raise awareness about the declining bee population.
Why: Free honey cups for little stingers.
When: Fri., 6 a.m.-midnight.
Where: 901 Slaters Ln., Alexandria (703-600-2899).

Photo: Courtesy of Haba

Rockwood Manor
11001 MacArthur Blvd
Potomac, MD 20854
4155 Linnean Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
901 Slaters Ln
Alexandria, VA 22314