Eye on the Weekend

Keeping an eye out for fun at the Spark!Lab

What a week.  As if a surprise earthquake wasn’t enough to shake things up around here, Hurricane Irene is charging up the east coast ensuring a very wet weekend.  And while I never welcome a natural disaster of any sort, I’ve learned a few things thanks to the two affecting DC this week: 1) I have no control over my potty mouth around my two-year-old daughter when I think my house is about to collapse around me  2) Facebook is a better source for information than the local news sites immediately following an earthquake  3) Far too many folks think Dexy’s Midnight Runners sing, “Come on, Irene” (it’s Eileen!).

And now for this weekend’s activities.  The storm is going to have an impact — MLK Memorial Dedication events have already been postponed due to the weather — hence, indoor activities are listed first, with outdoor ideas left in the mix,  just in case the crazy happens, and Irene passes us by.  But I have a feeling I’ll be posting more cancellations (look for them on Facebook) than rejoicing in a surprise sunny day. Happy Weekend!

Rainy Day Recreation – This weekend may be the best time ever to refer to this list of indoor fun.

Greenberg Train & Toy ShowTrain enthusiasts young and old will have plenty to be excited about at the largest traveling expo showcasing model trains in the northeast. There will be intricately crafted model train displays, hundreds of tables with model train paraphernalia, a mini train for kids to ride, and a variety of workshops and demos, and more.  For complete details, see this post from earlier this week.

Free Fun at the NewseumThere’s just one week left to take advantage of the Newseum’s Kids Free Summer Fun Deal.  There is no admission fee for guests ages 18 and under with one paid adult admission. See this post for more info and to find out which exhibits kids might enjoy best.

The Puppet Co. The Wizard of Oz will be performed on the main stage for just two more weeks; showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday, and tickets are $10.  There will also be a Tiny Tots performance of Panda-Monium on Saturday at 10am.  Tickets are $5.

Kite WorkshopSpend the afternoon at the College Park Aviation Museum building and decorating your own kite. An $8 workshop fee covers museum admission and the price of one kite kit. Pre-registration is required, so call 301.864.6029 to sign up.

Day at the MuseumsAs obvious as it may be, the museums will be great places to take shelter from the storm and have a great time with the kids.  The dinos are always a big hit at the Natural History Museum, but don’t miss the Insect Zoo upstairs where you might catch a live tarantula feeding or get a chance to hold giant caterpillars, cockroaches, and beetles. At the American History Museum, see old trains and trolley cars, and many more relics from the past, and be sure to visit the Invention at Play area and Spark!Lab, where kids can enjoy a bunch of cool hands-on activities. For museums off the Mall, explore the history of mail at the National Postal Museum or head to the National Building Museum for a romp in the Building Zone, some Lego fun, and more activities available in the Great Hall.

Portrait Story Days: Jackson PollackDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm or Sunday from 2-5pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about abstract artist Jackson Pollock.

Ren FestIf Irene should miraculously pass us by, I highly recommend taking a day trip back to medieval times at the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead). The faire runs every weekend through October 23, admission is $19/adult, $9/kids ages 7-15, free for children 6 and under. But this weekend only kids are FREE, and adults can get a discount on tickets.  See this post from a couple of days ago for details.

Make a Final SplashThe outdoor pool season is officially ending soon.  Many pools within the DC Department of Parks & Recreation have already closed, and the rest will follow over the next week. Take a swim under the sky while you still can – if Irene lets you, that is.  For a list of outdoor pool still open, see the DCDPR website.

Kids Fest & Rock-n-RompHead to downtown Silver Spring for some extra kid and adult fun at the Saturday Fenton Street Market. Along with specialty vendors selling kids toys, games, and clothes, there will be hands-on activities for little ones and live music for parents that kids can hear, too.  It all takes place 9am – 3pm rain or shine.

Columbia Heights Day FestivalWhether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you are invited to help celebrate the community on Saturday.  Columbia Heights Day is bringing together residents and businesses for a day of fun festivities–live music, a Kid’s Zone and petting zoo, food trucks, contests and raffles, a dog parade, and more.  The event runs from 10am – 6pm at the Harriet Tubman Elementary field located at 11th & Kenyon Street NW.

 

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