Shakespeare, Family-Style

Geraint Wyn Davies as Prospero in The Temptest, on stage December 2 - January 11. Photo by Scott Suchman, Courtesy Shakepeare Theatre Company

Geraint Wyn Davies as Prospero in The Temptest, on stage Dec 2 – Jan 11. Photo by Scott Suchman, Courtesy Shakepeare Theatre Company

The Shakespeare Theatre Company recently announced the return of Family Week! If you want to introduce your kids to the work of The Bard, this is a perfect time to do so. From December 12 through 22, during the five-week run of The Tempest, STC will be hosting a variety of programs and performances geared especially to young theatre-goers. Owen and I took advantage of Family Week a couple of years ago, when A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream was the featured production, and we both loved it (read about our experience). This time around, they are offering even more special events for kids to experience a “brave new world” of Shakespeare.

Saturday, December 12
Performance: 2pm, Festival: 4:30-6pm
Sidney Harman Hall

Experience the mystical island world of Shakespeare’s The Tempest followed by an inside look at how the magic of theatre creates this world. Then meet the cast and enjoy family friendly activities complete with fun and food in the Orchestra Lobby. Tickets are $125 each and include premium seating for the performance, party, behind the scenes experiences and activities. As a part of Family Week, STC is providing free tickets to every performance to families in underserved communities. Your support of this event makes these donations possible. To purchase tickets, call 202.608.6309 or email

The Tiny Tempest
December 15-21
FREE, ages 5-10
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest but envisioned for young audiences. Discover the enchanted island and the characters that inhabit it. After the performance, students will get dramatic themselves through group activities and a discussion with the cast.

Making Stage Magic
Sunday, December 14
Sidney Harman Hall

After the 2pm matinee of The Tempest, cast and crew share secrets of the stage and special effects from the production.

The Tempest Costumes: Designing a World
Tuesday, December 16, 5-6pm
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Get up close and personal with costumes from The Tempest. Through this show-and-tell with Costume Director Wendy Stark Prey, learn how costumes get from the designer’s mind to an actor’s body.

Playing the Play: The Tempest
Thursday, December 18, 5-6pm
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Get inside The Tempest before you see it onstage. Through theatre games and acting activities, dive into the themes and characters of the drama. Parents are welcome to play, too.

Sonnets with Superpowers
Friday, December 19, 4-6:30pm
Sidney Harman Hall Forum

Sonnets, am I right? Well, let me tell you, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” etc. won’t be able to hold a candle to the flame that will be our students’ original sonnets. This workshop will break the sonnet form down, stress by unstress, line by rhyme, and present a variety of famous examples to students as they gear up to write their own “little song.” Led by 826DC.

Back Stage Tour
Monday, December 22, 5pm
Sidney Harman Hall

Go backstage, explore the set and see what the actors see every night. Led by STC staff and crew, this tour will give you an inside look at professional theatre and what it takes to make a show.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Fall, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 24-28

Season's Greenings, always a holiday fave, opens on Thanksgiving Day

Season’s Greenings, always a holiday fave, opens on Thanksgiving Day

Monday - Have a wild time at the National Zoo, as there’s barely a crowd on weekdays. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing or pick your animal visits as you go. Grounds are open 6am – 8pm, exhibit building hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations.

Tuesday - Welcome some new dinos to the Natural History Museum! It’s opening day for The Last American Dinosaurs exhibit at the museum on the National Mall, a great way to get a prehistoric beast fix while the National Fossil Hall is closed for a five-year renovation (read more about it in this Washingtonian article). Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free. Tip: While you’re there, get timed tickets for the Butterfly Pavilion, where entry is free of charge on Tuesdays.

Wednesday - Spend a potentially snowy day in a fun, cozy place. The National Building Museum is a go-to destination in any weather. Little ones can toil away in the Building Zone, while kids of all ages will enjoy the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit. And the Great Hall is always, well, great for other building-related activities, having lunch, or just hanging out.

Thursday - Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden on opening day! Go while the turkey is cooking at home (with someone staying behind to watch it, of course) or head over for some post-feast holiday cheer. Get an idea of what to expect from this post about last year’s exhibit. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is free.

Friday - See The Nutcracker on strings at The Puppet Co. Be among the first audiences to catch a performance of the annual holiday production. Showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm. Tickets are $10.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekdays

Where in DC?


Here’s a little photo contest to start your Sunday — and I think this might be a tricky one. If you think you know where this image was taken, tell me the location in the comments. All correct answers will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a TWO of these deals on admission to Washington Harbour Ice Rink (good for four people total). The contest will run through Wednesday, November 26, and the winner will be notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!

And congrats to KFDC reader Melissa, who won the last “Where in DC?” contest. That photo was snapped at the Safeway on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan.


Filed under Contest, DC, Giveaway

Greet the Holiday Season with a Great Offer from Tiny Prints!

Tiny Prints Holiday Card Collection

It’s that time of year when we all start scrambling to get our holiday cards done in time to greet the season. We’ve got the perfect photo of the kids (after many, many attempts), now we just need the right card to showcase it. Tiny Prints is a great way to find that fit — not only do they have a huge selection of holiday cards to choose from, right now they have a fantastic deal for 30% off everything. That’s all cards, holiday and others, plus items that make great gifts — calendars, photo books, stationary, and more. Just use the code 30SWSALE GIVETHANKS30 when you check out. This expires tomorrow, November 23 Thursday, November 27, at 11:59pm, so take advantage now!

Disclosure: KidFriendly DC is an affiliate of Tiny Prints, and thus gets a tiny commission from any sales generated by this post. However, I only promote products and programs that I would use myself and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Deal, Holidays, Professional Service, Seasonal, Shop

The Weekend Round-Up: November 21-23

Savoring a display at Nat Geo's "Food: Our Global Kitchen" exhibit

Savoring a display at Nat Geo’s “Food: Our Global Kitchen” exhibit

Another weekend, another fantastic selection of things to do in DC! You can rock out at a mineral, gem, and fossil show, see a classic fairytale performed as opera, get into the holiday spirit, experience cool museum exhibits, and more. With warmer temps in the forecast, the post about the best places to hang outdoors with the kids will come in handy, and the indoor list is always a good one, too. Whatever you do, Happy Weekend!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5/adult, $3/ages 13-17, free for 12 and under

Kids (and adults) who like fossils, rocks, and or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 23rd Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

Hansel & Gretel as Opera
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $25/adults, free for ages 16 and under

A children’s classic comes to life in the theatre, and in a unique way. The Capital City Symphony presents a semi-staged concert opera performance of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The Saturday performance is at 7:30pm and will be the full opera, for adults and older kids; Sunday’s show is at 4pm and will be a one-hour version for younger audiences, with special audience interaction.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Shows and events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. This weekend, catch Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre (find discount tickets) or the Ford’s Theater version, enjoy the holidays on ICE! at National Harbor, get family holiday photos at Santa HQ in Tysons, and let holiday lights displays dazzle you. The 2014 KFDC Guide to the Best Holiday Events in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

Go Nat Geo
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: 10am – 6pm
Admission: $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under

Experience two interactive exhibits recommended for all ages. “Spinosaurus” and “Food: Our Global Kitchen” are currently at the National Geograhic Museum, and right now adults can get a discount on admission to visit them.

Pike & Rose Tree Lighting
Where: Pike & Rose
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Pike & Rose, the first major project to break ground in the designated White Flint District, invites the community to celebrate the grand opening of the development with its first-ever holiday tree lighting festival. The evening’s festivities will be emceed by beloved DC radio personality, Tommy McFly of The Tommy Show. Additionally, this free to attend event will include a kids crafting station, stilt walkers and live “reindeer” ponies available for photo ops. Live entertainment will be provided by acapella groups. Pike & Rose is located at 11580 Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda.

Family Turkey Hunt
Where: Green Spring Gardens
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $6/county residents, $8/non-residents

Learn the history of the wild turkey, its amazing adaptations, and importance to early Americans. Track this wily bird through the gardens and natural spaces of Green Spring then create a turkey-inspired decoration for your Thanksgiving table. Pre-registration is required. Read more about Green Spring Gardens in this KFDC post.

Rhode Island Row Tree Lighting
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: Saturday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Rhode Island Row community at its inaugural Neighborhood Tree Lighting and Open House holiday event, hosted by WPGC’s DJ Flexx. Enjoy live performances, photos with Santa, festive entertainment, and more. Rhode Island Row is also the new flagship location for the WPGC Coat Drive 95, in partnership with Salvation Army, a DC tradition more than 20 years in the making. WPGC will broadcast live from Rhode Island Row, collecting coats and winter accessories donations for the Salvation Army. When guests donate a coat or winter accessory they will receive one free ticket for photos with Santa to be redeemed during the holiday open house. Rhode Island Row is located at 2300 Washington Place NE.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* 101 Dalmations just started its run at Imagination Stage
* Watch the Mythbusters test popular theories and urban legends live at the Warner Theatre (look for a deal on tickets)
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Wake Up, Brother Bear at the Bethesda theatre
* Mary Ann Jung: Feasting with the Queen is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Alistair Moock is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing starting this weekend through December 28
* It’s the opening weekend of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Creative Cauldron presents Arabian Nights this month
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of As You Like It (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Waldorf School is holding its 45th annual Fall Bazaar, featuring family activities, artisanal goods, delectable food, and stunning seasonal décor evoking the spirit of the school. The Bazaar will include activities and crafts for kids of all ages, a puppet show, more than 30 artisan vendors from DC and beyond, live music and entertainment, hand-crated gifts, books, and toys, and the Bazaar Bistro, with delicious lunch, desserts, and specialty drinks. The work of Waldorf students will also be on display.

The Enchanted Forest Holiday Extravaganza
Where: Westin Tysons Corner
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $14

The Junior League of Northern Virginia invites you to stroll through the whimsical forest of theme-decorated holiday trees, have Cocoa and Sprinkles Cupcakes with the Ice Princesses or Breakfast and Brunch with Santa. The weekend-long festivities, presented by the Junior League of Northern Virginia and featuring Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, include live entertainment from Mr. Knick-Knack, the Great Zucchini and more, model train display by the National Capital Trackers, science experiments by the Children’s Science Center, themed crafts for children, gifts and holiday decorations for purchase, a live and silent auction, and more.

Play Virtual Ball with Stephen Strasburg
Where: Westfield Mall
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Lucky Nats fans have a chance to meet and play Xbox One with baseball star, Stephen Strasburg as part of the grand opening of Microsoft at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda! The first 200 customers in line for the grand opening at 11am will receive a ticket, however the meet and greet with Strasburg will take place in the afternoon.

Ice It
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With warmer temps on the way, it’ll be a great time to get gliding at local rinks. Skate amid art at the Sculpture Garden; join Washington Harbour’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning; meander the icy paths at Canal Park; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph. Read more about the program in this post about one of our experiences there.

Big Hero 6
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by theater
The new much-talked-about kids movie lives up to the hype! With great animation, exciting action, innovative ideas, an interesting plot, and of course, a good message, parents will enjoy it, too. (I did!)

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend