Football may be on the minds of many this weekend, but we’ve still got a couple of days until the big game. In the meantime, take the opportunity to enjoy some family time: Chinese New Year and Black History celebrations, Valentine’s Day workshops, movies and art at the museums, live music shows, and more. Here’s where you can find it all. Happy Weekend!
Celebrate Black History Month – Family Days at the American History and Air & Space (in Dulles) Museums, an exhibit at National Geographic, special tours at Mount Vernon, and a Play Date with Pride in Alexandria are just a few ways kids can celebrate and observe Black History Month. For details on all of them, see this post from earlier in the week
Happy Chinese New Year! – The Year of the Rabbit is beginning in Chinese cultures, and the Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival 2011 will be ringing it in this Sunday, February 6. From 12 – 5pm, the Chinatown Community Cultural Center will host an afternoon of festivities to celebrate their heritage, and the public is invited to enjoy them for free. Guests can look forward to musical and traditional dance performances, a marketplace, kids’ activities, martial arts, Chinese painting and calligraphy, and more. The highlight will undoubtedly be the colroful parade through Chinatown and the much anticipated Lion Dance. For more information, visit the Community Center website.
Feel the Love – Kids can participate in few of different Valentine’s Day workshops this weekend. Tudor Place, Paper Source, and home Depot are all hosting heart-themed sessions. For details on all of them, see this post from last week.
Movies at the National Gallery – Food Glorious Food is the theme of this installment of the Nation Gallery’s film program for children. Recommended for ages 5 and up, the delicious collection of live-action and animated short films whips up a program full of satisfying stories crammed with delectable and juicy characters! All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium. Seating is free and offered on a first-come, first-seated basis. For a list of movies to be shown during the 50-minute screening, see the National Gallery website.
Baby, You Can Drive My Car – The Washington Auto Show is still going on through the weekend, and it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. We went last Saturday, and the kids had a blast checking out all of the cars — sitting in the driver’s seat pretending to take the wheel and even lounging in the back sans car seats. There’s also a cute magic/comedy show just for kids as well as appearances by characters like Dora, Super Why, Clifford, and Word Girl. Check the schedule to see what times the fun is happening. Taking place at the Washington Convention Center, tickets are $12/adults, $5/kids 6-12, free for children 5 and under. Hours vary by day, so check the website for specifics.
Shabbot Shaboom! – The award winning Mama Doni Band brings its special brand of “funky music with a Jewish twist” to an all-new family show featuring a sneak peek at songs from Mama Doni’s new CD Shabbat Shaboom! The show starts at 2pm on Sunday, February 6, at the JCC of Greater Washington.
Dragonfly Races at Jammin’ Java – Ellis Paul, one of the leading voices in American songwriting, will be performing songs from his Parents Choice Award winning album,The Dragonfly Races. Ellis was a principle leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, creating a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990’s. The show starts at 10:30am on Saturday, tickets are $10 for everyone age 1 and older
Winterfest Children’s Carnival – Celebrate the season and help support a local preschool. The Learning Center for Young Children in Kensington will host its 21st annual Winterfest Children’s Carnival on Saturday, February 5. There will be loads of fun for the whole family to enjoy — live entertainment, children’s activities, a silent auction, a bake sale, and more. For more info, see this post.
Treasure Quest! –Ready for the newest Saturday Morning at the National Performance? Here’s what’s in store… or ship: Ahoy, Mates! Captain Nobeard is a swash-buckling, bumbling scoundrel of a buccaneer who has lost his treasure and his “X-Marks-the-Spot” map. Cursed to search the seas, he employs a little magic, much amusement and lots of help from his audience mates to regain the gold. Matthew Pauli leads this merriest of misadventures. The rollicking pirate comedy is part of the Saturday Morning at the National series. Free performances are at 9:30am and 11am. Tickets are required and handed out on a first-come, first-served basis half an hour prior to shows.
Theater Time – Several children’s stage productions are in local theaters, and tickets are still available for some of this weekend’s performances. Check out this post to see what’s playing and how to reserve your seats.
Puppet Shows for Little Ones – Two Tiny Tots shows will be performed at The Puppet Co. this weekend: Old MacDonald’s Farm on Saturday and Baby Bear’s Birthday on Sunday. Both start at 10am. Tickets are $5 and available online. Tiny Tots shows are recommended for ages 0-4.
Portrait Story Days: Abraham Lincoln – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, learn about Abraham Lincoln from 1pm – 4pm. This is a free program.