Go Green this Weekend

Playing among the old Capitol columns at the National Arboretum

Whether you celebrate Irish heritage, savor the weather and get outdoors, exercise your eco-consciousness at a wildlife refuge, or simply try something new, there are many ways to embrace “green” with the family this weekend.  Here’s where you can employ your green around town the next few days.  Happy Weekend!

Green in the CityI just recommended the U.S. National Arboretum last weekend, but with all the sunshine predicted for the next few days, I have no problem duplicating, and this time it’s topping the list.  Our family visited on a surprise sunny day a couple of weeks ago for a lovely late-winter nature fix.  There’s so much to explore on the 450 acres, but easy hikes through the woods, the old National Capitol columns in the middle of the Ellipse Meadow, and the koi pond where fish frequently poke their faces above the surface, were highlights for our brood.  Don’t forget to check out the new Lunar New Year exhibit at the Bonai Museum on display until March 27.

I Love a Parade – If you’re looking for a family-friendly way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, here’s some advice:  1) Avoid RFK 2) See this post from a few days ago with the scoop on several parades celebrating Irish culture that will be rolling through the streets this weekend.

Boogie Down at Eastern MarketChildren’s music comes to the market this weekend as the Boogie Babes present a rare Saturday show.  It’s a great chance for families who can’t make it during the week to see what the raves are all about.  Local band Crash Chord will get kids grooving in Eastern Market’s North Hall at 10:30am.  Cost is $10/family. The sun will be shining, so plan to stick around for some shopping and food sampling after the musical fun.

A “Wild” Birthday BashCelebrate the Birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System at the Patuxent Research Refuge on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Activities will include live animal viewing with feature performances by Reptile World at 11:30am and 1:30pm.  There will also be children’s nature crafts and other activities, the first guided tram tours of the season, and food for purchase from the Crane Café sponsored by Friends of Patuxent.  The event is free, though there are small fees for tram tours and food.  The Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center is located off of Powder Mill Road, 2 miles east of the Baltimore/Washington Parkway, just south of Laurel, Maryland.

Book it to Petworth – The newly renovated Petworth Neighborhood Library just opened a couple of weeks ago, and the Grand Opening Party is this Saturday from 10am – 4pm.  Take a tour and join in other festivities, including art workshops, face painting, and more fun for all ages.  And for a sneak peak at the new space, see this post from Prince of Petworth.

Glide ‘Neathe the Sky – This weekend is your last chance to hit the ice al fresco.  Our local outdoor ice skating rinks are closing for the season Sunday or Monday.  The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and Silver Spring Veteran’s Plaza ice rinks will shut down their Zambonis on March 13, and Pentagon Row will close it’s skating area on March 14.

Women in Aviation and SpaceLearn about women’s contributions to aviation, science, and aerospace at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Dulles Annex of the National Air & Space Museum.  On Saturday from 10am – 3pm, there will be presentations and activities for all ages to enjoy. In honor of Girl Scout Day, the Smithsonian is offering a discounted $5 rate for Girl Scouts and their families at the Airbus Imax Theater and Pulseworks flight simulators.  Admission to the event and museum is free, but parking is $15/car.

Night at the PlanetariumThere’s still room in the 5pm and 6pm shows presented by Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium.  The first, “Mystery of Missing Seasons” is recommended for ages 5 and up, and the later screening “Solar Sytem Tour” is suggested for ages 3 and up. While guests wait for their show, there will be astronomically cool stuff to do outside the planetarium, including hands-on science activities and celestial viewing through multiple telescopes. These activities will engage both children and adults in fun science education before and after each show.

That’s EntertainmentA few new theater and musical shows are opening on local stages this week.  This post about spring entertainment from a couple of days ago has info on what and who’s playing and where.  Also be sure to check this post from a couple of months ago listing winter productions, several of which are still running.

Stories in ArtSculptor David Smith is again the subject for this week’s children’s program at the National Gallery of Art. The workshop will start with a reading of “Half of the Elephant,” about an elephant on a humorous journey to find his missing half.. From there, the group will explore the work of David Smith, then build a sculpture with wood and metal. Hour-long sessions begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm on Sunday. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day and will continue until all spaces are filled.  No admission fee required.

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