Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 30 – April 3

A hangar full of eye-popping displays at the U.S. Navy Museum

A hangar full of eye-popping displays at the U.S. Navy Museum

Monday - See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more at the U.S. Navy Museum. Located on the Navy base in southeast DC, it’s a treasure trove of fascinating exhibits. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where you can explore a variety of cool hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie (including the brand new Tornado Alley), and much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $18.95/adults, $15.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family visits just three times in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums around the country.)

Wednesday - Catch a show on strings at Glen Echo Park. The Puppet Co. presents Bunny Business in celebration of spring and the upcoming holiday. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $5.

Thursday - Celebrate Kids’ Farm Month at the National Zoo. Throughout April, there will be special activities and events for visitors everyday — animal encounters, keeper talks, and demonstrations. See the website for the daily schedule. Admission to the Zoo is free, but parking in the lot can be pricey. You can ride Metro to the Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stops (it’s s short walk from both) or try to find street parking nearby.

Friday - Visit the National Arboretum on one of the two weekdays it’s open to the public (it’s closed Tuesday – Thursday). Tour the plant collections, check out the Washington Youth Garden and play in the natural playground, romp at the old Capitol columns, see the details of the bonzais. There are acres upon acres to explore! Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: March 28-29


Cherry Blossom Festival events, spring and Easter celebrations, museum programs, live entertainment, plus scores of mainstay attractions around the area will keep the whole crew satisfied over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Go Fly a Kite!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The Blossom Kite Festival is, in my opinion, the best event during cherry blossom season (when the weather cooperates, anyway). The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly a sight to behold. It’s absolutely magical for my kids, and even for me as a jaded adult. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like intricate works of art actually outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so be sure to bring one. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Fabergé Egg Family Festival
Where: Hillwood Estate and Gardens
When: March 28, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adult ($10/members), $5/ages 6-18, free for 5 and under

Celebrate spring’s arrival in traditional Russian style! Hillwood’s annual festival has programs, music, art, and activities for all ages. Adventure Theatre will apply their clever stagecraft to the Fabergé story with the new play, Fabergé’s Treasures. A favorite for all ages is the fun of stepping into “Fabergé’s Workshop” and using ribbons, gems, and appliqués to create delicate works of art in the style of Fabergé. Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble takes visitors back to Old Russia as they perform on traditional instruments, and the Kalinka Dance Ensemble performs Russian folk dances. And centuries-old Russian springtime games like egg-rolling and egg and spoon racing will entertain children of all ages. All activities take place throughout the day – see the schedule for specifics.

Easter Egg Decorating
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Fun! Glitter! Eggs! The Brentwood Arts Exchange promise all three at this free family-friendly workshop. Create beautiful decorated eggs that will impress friends and even the Easter Bunny. Children will receive their first two eggs for free. Additional eggs will be available to purchase 2 for $1.

More Eggcellent Celebrations
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

Many places around the area are hosting egg hunts, Easter bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for the whole fam. See this post for a list of them.

Friendship Between Nations Family Day
Where: National Archives
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the US National Archives and Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center for a free family day full of fun! From unique gifts to treaties, families can learn, play, and create with hands-on activities, like making your own treaty and a designing a medal to give as a special gift.

Music Makes Life Better
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 2:30pm

The entertainment venue in Vienna is hosting its first ever music festival for kids to benefit the Rainbow Collection. Rocknoceros, The Great Zucchini, Rainbow Rock, Groovy Nate, and Mr. Gabe will all be part of the line-up, plus there will be face painting, games, and more! This special show will help support The HSC Pediatric Center — a pediatric specialty hospital that provides rehabilitation and transitional care to children and young adults. Rainbow Collection will also be rounding up some while you rock out to the bands, so consider bringing along something to donate. See the list of what they need here.

Go Monster Fish
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $11/adults, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under

Discover some of the behemoth creatures that lurk in the world’s rivers at the National Geographic Museum’s brand new exhibit. Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants just opened and is both visually compelling and full of cool interactives. Life-size sculptures of monster fish and games that are fun and educational will appeal to guests of all ages.

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

* Arts on the Horizon presents Blossom’s Rainbow at The Athenaeum on Sunday
* Jack and the Beanstalk is at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* And Old MacDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Blue is on the Imagination Stage
* Bright Star Theatre’s Happily Ever After is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National show
* Catch the final performances of Creative Cauldron’s The Jungle Book this weekend
* Enjoy the NSO Family Concert The Magic Horn at the Kennedy Center on Sunday

Cherry Blossom Celebration
Where: Freer-Sackler Galleries
When: Saturday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The galleries dedicated to Asian art are celebrating the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival with a day full of Japanese art, anime and manga films, and family activities. The museum shop is hosting a trunk show of vintage Japanese garments as well as a signing of the newly released book Cherry Blossoms, featuring artworks from the Freer and Sackler collections.

Spectacular Spots Storytime
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Young readers can learn about spotted creatures during this storytime with author Susan Stockdale as she shares her newest book, “Spectacular Spots.” From charging cheetahs to swooping owls, they’re all depicted in their natural habitats. Susan uses visual props to demonstrate the many steps involved in creating her books including connecting with Smithsonian scientists. The reading will take place in Q?rius Jr. (the discovery room on the 1st floor) , and a book signing will follow in the Museum’s Family Store from 2-3pm.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by film

more than 150 films from across the globe will be screened around the DC-Metro area during the 23rd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are several family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Little movie-goers can watch a series of animated shorts at the Dorothy I. Height/ Benning Library on Sunday. The National Museum of Natural History is showing three films that kids can enjoy. Adventure Planet, playing at Sitar Center, is recommended for ages 6-12. Song of the Sea is part of the kids film program at The National Gallery. There are even more films that kids might enjoy – and learn from. View the website for showtimes and details.

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring opens for the season this weekend! Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s worth it. Trust me.

Mmmm… Chocolate
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

It’s a celebration of Cacao at the American Indian Museum this weekend! One of the world’s most beloved foods, chocolate is considered by the Maya and Aztec peoples a “food of the gods” (and I wholeheartedly agree). This colorful two-day festival will feature music, dance, art, science and food. Demonstrations will be presented by Guatemalan gourd artists, while Bolivian cacao growers discuss chocolate production. There will also be chocolate beverage tastings and opportunities for children to make their own Mola from 10:30am-12pm and 1:30pm-3:30pm in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center.

Build Your own Bat House
Where: Riverbend Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $8/register $15/bat house

Bats help eat mosquitoes, and pollinate plants, but they are having a hard time. Help these important animals thrive by building a bat house to hang in your yard. There are only a few spots left in this workshop, so register soon!

Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about author Toni Morrsion and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about one of our experiences there.

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

If you’re simply looking for things to do outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Go Monster Fish at the National Geographic Museum


The National Geographic Museum just debuted its newest exhibit, and true to what I consider their signature style when it comes to these showcases, it’s fascinating and educational and fun all at once.

Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants takes visitors on a journey around the globe to discover some of the behemoth creatures that lurk beneath the world’s rivers. Based on the Nat Geo WILD series Monster Fish, the exhibit highlights nearly 20 fish that show host Dr. Zeb Hogan has found and featured in various episodes.



Owen and I got a sneak preview before it opened to the public, including a chance to tour part of it with Zeb himself, and we both found it interesting and fun to view and experience. The displays are presented by regions of the world with background on different kinds of fish, supplemented with video from the series, photography, and some other interesting visuals, like actual scales from some species. But the centerpieces of it all are magnificent sculptures of several fish, commissioned for the exhibit and intricately designed to convey just how massive and unique the river dwellers are. Even better, a couple of them are actually accessible to visitors — you can touch the scales of a giant barb and climb upon a sawfish.



The interactive elements don’t stop there — there are games for all to enjoy — and they all relay some kind of lesson in sustainability and conservation. You can maneuver a ball through an ecosystem (a game table that you tilt) to areas designated to protect habitats and avoid ones that are threatening. There’s a giant scale that multiple people can stand on to compare your collective weight to different monster fish. Little ones will love “going fishing” for rubber balls then release them through a plastic chute. Another game has players determine if you keep a fish or throw it back depending on the species and size. You can view footage form the Monster Fish show in a mini-theatre made to look like an air boat. An interesting — and eye-opening — installation shows the “water cost” of our everyday habits.





If you want to see fish, you don’t just have to view the models. There are a few aquariums filled with fish, though aside from one alligator gar, they are all little fishies. But that just illuminates the magnitude of the monsters.


Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants will be at the National Geographic Museum through October 11, 2015. Hours are 9am – 6pm. Admission is $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under. FYI: Goldstar has a deal on tickets for select dates.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Museums, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Save Your Seats for Live Entertainment this Spring

Catch Blue at Imagination Stage through April 12

Catch Blue at Imagination Stage through April 12

With the new season comes a whole new crop of shows for young audiences! Here’s a round-up of where you can catch some live entertainment throughout spring, listed in order by start date. Tickets are available for all of them now, so go save your seats!

Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through April 12
Tickets: $12

Imagine a world where the only color is blue. Blue flowers, blue grass, even blue cereal! Inky and Pale live in such a world until they discover something RED! In this interactive show, two friends find fun in every color of the rainbow!

Jack and the Beanstalk
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through May 3
Tickets: $10

Fe-fi-fo-fum. A timely version of the classic children’s tale about the young lad that doesn’t know beans about trading, but still manages to climb his way to the top. Jack finds that happiness lies in helping others rather than mere personal gain. Told with rod puppets and some surprising twists, Jack has long been a favorite of our audiences. Recommended for K – Grade 6.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturdays, 9:30am & 11am
Tickets: Free

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: April 3 – May 25
Tickets: $19

Life in Kansas has been a bit boring for Dorothy and her little dog Toto. Until one day, a cyclone swoops in and takes them “over the rainbow” to the wonderful and magical land of Oz. With the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy sets off on the adventure of a lifetime down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. These new friends brave witches, flying monkeys, and a Haunted Forest all to meet the Wizard of Oz, who promises to make their dreams come true.

Wacky Science with Ken Scott
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 7
Tickets: $3-6

Whiz, bang, poof, and pop—Dr. Science’s zany show makes science look way cool! With a focus on amazing science experiments that use everyday objects, Scott makes the scientific method easy to understand in a high-energy, hands-on experience.

Sinbad: The Untold Tale
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 8 – May 31
Tickets: $10-25

Sinbad the Sailor has retired from his notorious adventures. He tries to keep his feisty daughter Ittifaq safe from the sorceress Jan Shah. But when a mysterious cloud descends upon Baghdad putting all of the adults to sleep, proud Ittifaq must enlist the help of Sinbad the Porter, a street orphan whom she despises. A quest full of humor, genies, sword fights, diamonds, magic boats, and flying carpets ensues! The two young explorers cross the chasm of their differences to become fast friends and fellow adventurers for life. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Nature Jam: We Dig Earth
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 9-10
Tickets: $3-6

The Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian series presents a show with a nature them! From wiggly worms to weather patterns, mud pies to meandering rivers, singer-songwriters Rob and Zach go green (and a little crazy) as they celebrate the wonders of the earth. Featuring call-and-response songs, energetic dance numbers, and an HD video backdrop, this interactive show makes learning how to take good care of our planet easy, fun, and memorable.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: The Theatre On The Run
When: April 10-12
Tickets: $8

Encore Stage & Studio presents a classic in this “by kids for kids” production: What would a Shakespeare play be without young love, comical family ties, and a super villain to destroy all of the fun? Absolutely nothing! In this Bard in the Box production, Encore brings us to Messina, Italy where love stories intertwine and hilarity ensues. Beatrice and Benedick have vowed never to marry anyone, and Hero and Claudio can’t wait to be united. With two such different couples, and a plot twist which threatens to ruin everyone’s plans, can everyone reach a happy ending? Recommended for ages 8 and older.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Imagination Duo
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 11 – 12
Tickets: $20

Ever hear a violin gallop? Wonder why a lullaby sighs? Curious how a bumblebee takes flight on wings of song? Then join husband-and-wife violin duo–Glenn Donnellan of the NSO and Jan Chong–as they use stories, sound effects, children’s songs, and gems from the classical repertoire to make your imagination come alive! Kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to these interactive programs and have their teddy bear friend join in all the fun! Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they’re perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family. Go early for “Musical Playtime,” staring 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, to enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children.

Seussical, Jr.
Where: Family Worship Center in Lorton, Va.
When: April 17, 18, 24, 25
Tickets: $12

Northern Virginia Players’ production will transport audiences from the Jungle of Nool, to Whoville, to the Circus McGurkus, as the Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos. Jojo, a Who child who gets in trouble for thinking too many “thinks” and Horton develop a bond as Horton not only must protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but must also guard an abandoned egg that’s been left in his care by Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. With the help of Gertrude JoJo, Horton emerges triumphant!

BSO Music Box: On Safari
Where: Strathmore
When: April 18, 10am & 11:30am
Tickets: $15

Adventure awaits as your family is whisked away to enjoy a musical safari full of elephants, giraffes, lions and zebras. The BSO Music Box concert series is created for babies and toddlers 6 months to 3 years and their families. Attendees of all ages are required to have a ticket. Concerts take place in the lobby and seating is unreserved. Limited seating for those unable to sit on the floor for an extended period of time is available.


Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: April 25
Tickets: $15

The Sixth Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival features two main stages of bluegrass and Americana music with co-headliners Cabinet and Larry Keel Experience and more. The festival will celebrate local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River, while supporting hands-on education programming provided by Living Classrooms on Kingman Island. The Festival will include eight hours of performances by local bluegrass, folk and Americana artists, games and outdoor beverages, DC’s favorite food trucks, outdoor bike course, free kayaking courtesy of REI, giveaways and a number of activities for children of all ages including a children’s stage with arts & crafts. Festival sponsor REI will be bringing the REI Village, a touring celebration of the outdoor lifestyle (with special gifts for REI members).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites
Where: The Alden
When: April 25
Tickets: $15 or $10/McLean district residents

Three beloved stories by Eric Carle, award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, are retold on stage through the magic of black light and fanciful puppets. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” follows the wonderful adventures of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through an amazing variety of foods on his path to becoming a beautiful butterfly. High up in the sky, “Little Cloud” playfully transforms himself into various creatures, including a sheep, an airplane and a shark. “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” is bored with his life, sitting about predictably changing color all day. Following an adventurous trip to the zoo, he attempts to emulate the beautiful animals he sees before coming to the conclusion that there is value in his own unique self. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 25-26
Tickets: $20

Arch8 dance company from the Netherlands brings together two of their most physically awe-inspiring works–Tetris and No Man is an Island–to explore how we connect, communicate, cooperate, and invite others into our world. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Gershwin’s Magic Key
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 26
Tickets: $20

Extra, extra! Read all about it! On the streets of New York, a poor newspaper boy has a chance encounter with a talented musician. Turns out, it’s George Gershwin, one of the greatest American composers of all time! In this entertaining and educational world premiere concert, the NSO magically weaves Gershwin’s greatest hits into the drama, as the master composer shares anecdotes about his life and musical passion. Pretty soon, a friendship develops highlighting the vast melting pot of American music–which ultimately becomes the key to unlocking the boy’s own potential! Go early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” in the Atrium. Young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage–from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion. Stay after the 4pm concert for a Kids’ Chat, where young audience members can ask questions and hear engaging stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with the concert artists. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

NSO Ensemble Concert: Connections: Science & Math + Music
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 2
Tickets: $20

Calling all math nerds, science geeks, and music lovers to this world premiere Connections program! This fast-paced multimedia program shows 26 ways (a full alphabet’s worth!) that math and science are related to music. From “a” for accents and “h” for harmonics, to “s” for sine waves and “x” for xylophones, this exciting new concert experience promises to give students a musical AND mental workout!

The Washington Ballet: ALICE (in wonderland)
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 6-17
Tickets: $46.00 – $135.00

ALICE (in wonderland) is a work of rich and impressive creativity that is full of whimsical charm and a feeling for the absurd, the visual splendor and imaginative choreography of TWB’s production was highly popular with adults as well as children. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is, without a doubt, one of the most famous and enduring of children’s classics. Join Alice as she stumbles into adventure, following a time-obsessed rabbit into a wonderland where everything is illogical. She has a series of marvelous adventures with the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and other strange creatures.

Tigers, Dragons and Other Wise ‘Tails’
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 5-8 & 12-15
Tickets: $3-8

Folktales are fun when they include dancing dragon puppets, a crazy tiger, and moles that get movin’ to J-pop. Audiences learn a little about each story’s culture, try out Asian languages and enjoy Asian tales both ancient and new in this Discovery Theater original. Folktales include: The Tiger, the Thief, and the Dried Persimmon (Korea), which puts a new spin on mistaken identity with a very silly tiger, a babysitting grandma, and dried fruit; The Wise Mole (Japan), which updates an ancient story of young love (complete with cell phones and iPods) and the mythic Four Dragon Rivers of China, which features beautiful flying dragon puppets. Recommended for ages 5-10.

Once on this Island
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: May 8-

From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical and Ragtime) comes a highly original and rousing calypso-reggae flavored tale of one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. Once on This Island garnered eight Tony nominations in its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. The folk tale tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with the well-born Daniel and is aided by the gods of earth, water and love in her desire to be with him. Visually splendid, and exploding with music and motion, this enchanting musical parable is a rousing tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.

NSO Kinderclassics: Beethoven at the Ballpark!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 9
Tickets: $20

Find out what baseball and music have in common when NSO violinist Glenn Donnellan — famous for his Electric Slugger, a fiddle made out of a baseball bat — joins Washington Nationals ballpark organist Matthew Van Hoose in this zany program that’s sure to entertain as much as it educates! Using musical examples from classical, pop, and baseball-themed works, plus Ernest Thayer’s beloved poem “Casey at the Bat,” this grand slam duo will show how the basics of ball play relate to the fundamentals of fiddling and mastery of music. You’ll see how numbers play their part, how music adds drama to America’s favorite pastime, and how to hit your spot on an instrument, just like players on the field do. So slide into a seat and cheer along as our tuneful team hits this family concert experience right out of the park! Go early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage, from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Where: The Puppet Co
When: May 7 – June 21
Tickets: $10

The elegance of 17th-century France, combining elaborate costumes of the Comedie Francais and Offenbach’s “Gaiety Parisian” to adorn the tale of the cinder girl who captures the heart of the handsome prince. The production was acclaimed at the 1997 National Puppet Festival, and performed by invitation at the Center for Puppetry Arts, in Atlanta. Recommended for K – Grade 6.

Dog Loves Books
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: May 12
Tickets: $8

Based on The New York Times best-selling children’s book, ArtsPower’s new musical is about the irresistible dog who loves books so much that he decides to open his own bookstore. At first, no customers come to his store, but Dog decides that he’s not alone if he’s surrounded by books, and he begins to read everything in his store. When customers finally arrive, he knows exactly which books to recommend. The delightful performance celebrates the power of imagination, encourages self-expression, and helps ignite the desire to read. Recommended for K – Grade 2.

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 15-17
Tickets: $20

Known for transforming its tap shoes into new instruments of rhythm, innovative performance company Rhythmic Circus infuses its unpredictable blend of hard-hitting tap, high-spirited humor, and finger-snapping tunes into one amazing show. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

BSO Music Box: In the Treetops
Where: Strathmore
When: May 18, 10am & 11:30am
Tickets: $15

The cacophony of the rainforest comes to life through the sounds of exotic birds, monkeys and more! The BSO Music Box concert series is created for babies and toddlers 6 months to 3 years and their families. Attendees of all ages are required to have a ticket. Concerts take place in the lobby and seating is unreserved. Limited seating for those unable to sit on the floor for an extended period of time is available.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Violins and Trombones and Bears, Oh My!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 30-31
Tickets: $20

We can be as different as trombones and violins, and still play together in harmony! Kids and stuffed animals alike will hear the unique sounds of a garden hose, funnel horn, a grownup violin and a baby one, and trombones in three sizes! Kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to these interactive programs and have their teddy bear friend join in all the fun! Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they’re perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family. Go early for “Musical Playtime,” staring 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, to enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. Recommended for ages 3-5.

Dreamtime: An Australian Adventure with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater
When: June 4-5
Tickets: $3-6

Emus, crocodiles, and frogs—oh my! Experience the magic of the Land Down Under as a mother platypus tries to lull her young one to sleep by sharing three stories inspired by Aboriginal folktales. In these how-and-why tales, learn how the emu became a flightless bird, why the platypus looks so strange, and meet a giant, bloated, ocean-swallowing frog. Perhaps you’ll even be invited onstage to help. Recommended for ages 4-8.

The Little Prince
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: June 5-21

“All grown-ups were once children…but only a few of them remember it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s poetic tale tells the story of a world-weary aviator who gets stranded in the Sahara Desert. A small boy from another planet arrives and begins to share his stories about his adventures through the galaxy and his relationship with a special flower. By learning that “one sees well only with the heart,” the aviator comes to a new understanding of how to laugh, cry, and love again. This beloved French classic comes to life in an adaptation filled with enchanting music and heartfelt lyrics, with sophisticated appeal to all ages.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 23-27

Roaming around the Franciscan Monastery grounds

Roaming around the Franciscan Monastery grounds

Monday - Join National Park Service Rangers to celebrate Women’s History Month with stories and crafts about quilts. The weekly Reading Ranger series is geared toward children under 5 and their caregivers, and sessions include a fun and educational story time as well as a craft activity. Start time is 10:30am, and admission is free. This all takes place at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, located at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW.

Tuesday - Jump the morning away at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, Va. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions for children 46″ tall & under from 10am – 12pm Monday through Friday for $10/hour. Even better, all week they’ll be hiding Easter eggs throughout the park filled with candy, coupons, and prizes, including one golden egg good for a FREE Kid Flight Birthday Party!

Wednesday - Explore the beautiful grounds and cathedral of the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. A DC “secret” to many, the “Oasis of Peace” welcomes visitors to stroll through the gardens and tour the church. Hours are 10am – 4:45pm. Admission is free.

Thursday - Discover some of the behemoth creatures that lurk in the world’s rivers at the National Geographic Museum’s brand new exhibit. Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants is opening (March 26 – October 11) and will feature aquariums with live fish, interactive installations, games, and life-size sculptures. Hours are 9am – 6pm. Admission is $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under.

Friday - Enjoy a musical morning with the Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to the The Atlas at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Stay after for lunch — there are plenty of great options for a bite both right in the market and nearby.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays