Every now and then a mom needs a weekend away with her girlfriends to hang out, catch up, shop, relax, dine, sip cocktails, and all the good grown-up stuff that’s difficult to do with the little ones in tow. I am about to embark on one of those weekends. And if I weren’t so @&*$#!% excited about my trip, I would be a kind of sad about missing some of the fantastic events that are happening around town this weekend.
For those who will be here and are looking for fun things to do with the kiddos, here’s what’s going on over the next few days.
National Book Festival
Okay, I am actually pretty bummed to miss this. Not only is it going to be a wonderful event for kids with many well-known children’s book authors doing readings and meeting young fans, some of my favorite writers will also be on hand giving talks and signing their works. The National Book Festival is free and will take place this Saturday, September 25, on the National Mall from 10am – 5:30pm. Check out this post from a few weeks back for more details.
Despite the warm weather, autumn has officially begun, and there are plenty of festivals happening to welcome the new season. The Barracks Row Fall Festival on Capitol Hill is on Saturday, and several area farms are hosting their annual celebrations with pumpkin and apple picking, hayrides, slides, swings, petting zoos, and more. Festivities are already underway at Cox and Ticonderoga Farms, and since it’s early in the season, the crowds are probably tolerable. For the full scoop on fall festivals, see this post from last week.
Happy Birthday, Rock Creek Park!
Washington’s urban oasis is turning 120 years old on Saturday, September 25, and the park is celebrating with a day full of fun activities for the family. Enjoy puppet shows, nature tours, animal encounters, crafts, planetarium shows, and more — all for free! Activities for all ages will be held at the Nature Center and Horse Center at 5200 Glover Road NW and in other locations throughout the park. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.
100 Years of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is also celebrating a birthday this weekend, and it’s a big one. NMNH was founded one hundred years ago and will be marking the occasion with a Centennial Celebration on Saturday, September 25. From 11am – 4pm, guests can talk to science experts, touch real fossils, create a souvenir using recycled materials, share ideas for the next 100 years, and more fun family activities. The event is free and takes place throughout the museum. Combine this with a visit to the National Book Festival, and you’ve got a well-rounded day of science and literature.
Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Over 50 vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, music on two stages, fitness classes, and kids activities will be part of the action. Clarendon Day is being held in conjunction with Virginia Hospital Center’s Family Fun Day, where you can enjoy performances, kids’ activities, free health screenings, seated massage, visits from local sports mascots, and more.
The National Geographic Museum will debut its new exhibit “Geckos: Tails to Toepads” on Friday, Septmber 24. Over 15 gecko species and cool interactives will thrill young reptilian fans. The exhibit runs through January 5. More info and admission details are available here.
Under the Big Top
The National Children’s Museum Launch Zone invites kids to see what it takes to be a circus performer at Under the Big Top on Saturday, September 25. Tightrope walking, plate spinning, face painting, and juggling will be part of the fun.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Just a reminder that medieval merriment is still underway every weekend through October 24 in Crownesville, MD. Admission to the festival is $18/adult, $8/children 7 and older, free for children 6 and under. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 7pm. Read about the festival here.