School’s out, the solstice occurred, kids are in camp… summer has officially begun. Seize the first weekend of the season with these ideas for family fun. Happy Weekend!
Music Al Fresco – Start off your weekend with free music in the fresh air at one of many outdoor concerts. Jazz vocalist Shelia Ross will entertain at Jazz in the Garden at 5:30pm, Jimi Smooth will bring Motown sounds to The Yards Park at 6pm, and the United States Air Force Band performs at the Air Force Memorial at 8pm with the theme ‘The Singing Sergeants Present…”
Girls Make History Day – The U.S. Navy Museum will host the third annual “Girls Make History Day” to encourage children, especially young ladies, to take an interest in American naval and maritime history and science. On Saturday from 10am – 5pm, children ages 5-13, can enjoy all kinds of activities inspired by the historic characters of the American Girl book series. Jacqueline Dembar Greene, author of the Rebecca series, will also be on hand to sign books and talk with program participants. All kids attending the event wil be eligible for a raffle for an American Girl Doll. And any child who chooses to dress as their favorite character will receive an additional raffle ticket for an American Girl mini-doll. More information about the event is available on the U.S. Navy Museum website.
Montgomery County Heritage Days – Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, recreations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge. This will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm, but be sure to check the list of places, as some are only participating for one day.
National Capital Barbeque Battle – Nothing says summer like a good barbeque, and you can experience the area’s biggest one at the annual Safeway National Barbeque Battle on Saturday from 11am – 9pm and Sunday from 11am – 7:3opm. Top BBQ-ers from all over the country will cook for grilling glory (and $40,000 in prizes), and the public is invited to watch it all go down. There will also be cooking demos, children’s activities, interactive cooking displays, and lots of food samples. This all takes places on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between 9th and 14th Streets. Admission is $10/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under.
Take Your Pick – The pick-your-own strawberry season has ended, but you can still have a “berry” (couldn’t resist!) good time at local farms, as the fields are yielding a whole new crop of fruits. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and more fresh produce are ripe for the picking for at least the next few weeks. This post has more details on where you can reap the fruits of your labor.
CycleFest 2011 – Kids can bring their bikes and trikes to the National Harbor on Saturday from 11am – 4pm for an afternoon of cycle-related fun with the National Children’s Museum, the Alexander Lance Booker Child Safety Foundation, Calleva, Wheels to Africa, and Trails for Youth. Activities will include creating bicycle nameplates; a bicycle rodeo featuring a safety obstacle course with the Prince George’s County Park Police; an obstacle course and a bicycle race with Trails for Youth; bicycle maintenance workshops; and much more. There will also be a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Revolution Cycles, bicycle-inspired jewelry from Phoenix Bikes, and many more bike-themed giveaways. CycleFest will be held on American Way, between St. George’s Blvd. and Fleet Street. Additional activities will also take place at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone.
Georgetown Waterfront Celebration – Join the Georgetown BID and Washington Harbour as they celebratethe start of summer on Sunday from 12 – 3pm. Washington Harbour restaurants will be firing up their grills and serving summertime staples including gourmet burgers, crab cake sandwiches, and fresh seafood, giving attendees the ultimate backyard BBQ on the Potomac. The family-friendly event will include a steel drum band, face painting, a balloon artist, and lots of fun and games for all ages. The event will culminate in The Great Georgetown Water Balloon Toss at 2pm, inviting Washingtonians to recapture their summer camp days and compete for prizes from Georgetown businesses. The event will take place at Washington Harbour Condominium.
DC Caribbean Carnival – The 19th Annual DC Caribbean Carnival will liven up the town on Saturday from 11am – 5pm with a spectacular parade through the city, then an international marketplace—De Savannah— at Howard University Campus. The parade begins at 11am on Saturday, proceeding down Georgia Avenue to the marketplace. The rest of the festival runs from 12 – 8pm. Festival admission is $10, free for seniors and children under 12. See the website for the parade route and more marketplace/festival details.
Happy Birthday, Shenandoah! – One of our nearby national parks is turning 75 and there will be a Rededication Celebration to mark the occasion on Saturday starting at 9:30am. Live entertainment, the rededication ceremony, a Family Fun Tent, ranger-led walks and talks, and more outdoor fun will be part of the day’s activities. This will all take place in the Shenandoah National Park’s Big Meadows area at Milepost 51 on Skyline Drive.
Swing into Summer Family Day – Celebrate the start of summer at the Nation Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 11:30am – 3pm. Enjoy a fun-filled day of hands-on art activities, special performances, and tours of the related exhibitions, Calder’s Portraits: A New Language and Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections, 1730-2010. This is a free event.
The Wind in the Willows – Imagination Stage’s latest production just opened, and seats are still available for this weekend’s shows. Several times are available, with ticket prices starting at $12. Read more about the show on the Imagination Stage website.
These go-to posts have even more ideas:
Joys of Summer – Swimming and spray ground fun, outdoor concerts and movies, special play time and shows, and more.
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids – According to the weekend forecast, this one deserves a good look.
Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun) – Use this if you need a break from the sun.
Family Entertainment – See what’s on local stages this weekend.