Wow. There is a LOT going on this weekend. A grand parade, the old ball game, a street festival, fun on the farm, all sorts of live entertainment, a film fest, special workshops for kids, museum programs, and much (yes, much!) more. The big dilemma: Which to choose? Here’s the scoop on all of them to help you decide. Happy Weekend!
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, from 7th to 17th Streets
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
The mac daddy of cherry blossom festivities is definitely the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel down Constitution Avenue. This year, catch an American Idol finalist, The Voice winner, gymnastics shows, and 80’s pop idol Debbie Gibson. Other celebrity appearances will include Kristi Yamaguchi, Marie Osmond, Debbie Gibson, and Buzz Aldrin. And Katie Couric and Alex Trebec will be hosting ABC’s coverage of the parade. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a nice day.
Nationals vs. Reds
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday 7:05pm, Saturday 4:05pm, Sunday 1:35pm
Admission: Starts at $10
The Nats are back for their first series of the regular season against the Cincinnati Reds. Tickets are available for all of the games, and there are some special promos going on including Family Fun Days, Signature Sundays, Kids Run the Bases. For details on all of them, see this post from a couple of days ago. Or, go straight to the Nationals website to purchase your tickets.
Where: 12th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
When: Saturday, April 14, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5/ages 13 and older
Immediately following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head right over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. Stretching down six city blocks from 9th to 14th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, there will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.
Spring Garden Market
Where: River Farm
When: Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 9am – 3pm
The American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market features a variety of vendors of plants, garden supplies, garden art, and other related products. But the real reason to bring the kids is for the garden, especially the Children’s Gardens, which have got to be among the loveliest outdoor play spaces in the DC area. For more about the locale, see this post from a few days ago.
Shake Up Your Saturday!
Where: Folger Shakespeare library
When: Saturday, 9:30-11:30am
Admission: $35/one child & one adult, $10/each additional child
Children in grades 1 through 5 can immerse themselves in Shakespeare’s world as they are introduced the language of his plays and stage combat. Master Swordsman Brad Waller will teach performance-based techniques, and students will perform a scene from Macbeth! Registration is required: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.675.0395.
For Your Entertainment
Where: Various venues
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance
If you’re looking for live entertainment this weekend, you’ve got your pick of performances starting with a Boogie Babes show at the Atlas this morning (Friday) at 10:30am. Tomorrow, catch a free jazz performance for kids at the National Theatre. Or see Gustafer Yellowgold as he returns to Jammin’ Java. Septime Weber’s Alice (in wonderland) at the Kennedy Center is getting wonderful reviews. The Puppet Co. just introduced their newest production, Pinocchio and has Tiny Tots shows on the line-up as well. Also at the Kennedy Center are Sleeping Beauty and an NSO Kinderkonzert. Imagination Stage presents their version of Rapunzel. And The Gift will give its final performances tonight and tomorrow evening at Round House Theatre. For more details on all of these shows, see this post about spring entertainment.
Lowe’s Build and Grow
Where: Lowes stores throughout the area
When: Saturday, 10am
It’s another Build and Grow clinic at the home improvement store. Lowe’s hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and during this session guests can build a Game Show Chip Drop Game. The store will provide all the materials, along with goggles, an apron, and other goodies to take home. We still haven’t been to one yet, but friends have, and they gave it a great review. Go here to find your local Lowe’s and register for the workshop.
Unbuilt LEGO Washington
Where: National building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $15/members, $20 non-members
Inspired by the Museum’s exhibition Unbuilt Washington exhibit, join the Museum and staff from Play-Well Teknologies for an exciting LEGO® Build. Design your own buildings that you think should be added to our nation’s capital. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Free for adults accompanying children. Prepaid registration required.
Discovering the Titanic
Where: National Museum of Natural History
Find out how archaeologists study shipwrecks during this session of the museum’s Second Saturday Arts & Sciences program. NOAA archaeologists will be on hand to help guests work with images of Titanic artifacts, placing them on a giant sonar image of the Titanic site. Then, learn how photomosaics of compiled images are used to visualize something of Titanic’s magnitude at such a depth. Of course, there’s plenty more to explore while you’re at the museum – this post has a run-down of some of our favorite exhibits.
Filmfest DC – Eleanor’s Secret
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington
The 26th annual International Film Festival includes a kids’ offering this weekend and next. Eleanor’s Secret, a French animated film from an Academy-Award-nominated director, tells the story of a magic library where characters from classic children’s books come alive. The film will be presented in English and is an excellent opportunity for local children to view a film they would not otherwise see.
Royal Mail Ship Titanic Centennial
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 12-3:30pm
Many know about the story of the Titanic disaster, but not that it was a floating post office. During this free Family Day program, guests can learn about life on board the fated ship and the postal workers who processed tons of mail at sea through hands-on activities taking place in the museum’s atrium. The workshop is being presented in connection with the exhibit Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic.
When: Saturday, 11am – 1:30pm
The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is celebrating its 4oth anniversary in street festival meets flash mob style. ArtsNOW will feature free classes and demonstrations in ceramics, visual arts, and Zumba; performances by CHAW’s private music instructors, Suzuki violinists, ballet students, and theater groups; a gallery scavenger hunt by the Capitol Hill Art League, and much more. CHAW also invites the community to join hands outside the building at 11:40am in an interconnecting community moment requiring 1600 hands. CHAW is located at 545 7th Street SE.
Japanese Films at the Freer
Where: Freer Gallery
When: Sunday, 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm, & 7pm
Admission: Free, tickets required
The Smithsonian museum showcasing Asian Art is presents four Japanese films as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival offerings. The first film, Ponyo, has a G rating is appropraite for young viewers. Reviews of the other three, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away call them darker and suggest they are more suitable for older children, especially those interested in anime. Tickets for all films (limit two per person) will be available beginning at 10:30am. Additional tickets will be made available 30 minutes before each screening.
West African Dance Workshop
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: $20 suggested donation
Dance your way around the world this weekend! Bloombars’ Blooming Dance Program is hosting a West African Dance Workshop with instructor Afrika Dances. Students will learn various authentic West African dance styles during the three-hour class that includes a warm-up, breakdown of dance steps, and choreographed routines. Recommended for ages 5 and up, the workshop is $20 (pay at the door). RSVP to email@example.com.
Celebrate National Volunteer Month
Where: National Children’s Museum Launch Zone
When: Saturday, 11am -4pm
April is National Volunteer Month and the NCM wants to provide kids with information on ways to give back. Join them to create create heart suncatchers for The Children’s Inn of NIH for their “Thoughtful Treasures” program. In addition, friends from RJ Smiles will be at the Launch Zone from 11am – 2pm to present a craft activity.
How Things Fly
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
It’s a Super Science Saturday at the Dulles arm of the Arm & Space Museum. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. This month’s program will focus on “How Things Fly.”
Eggcellent Fun on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm & Butler’s Orchard
When:Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $11.95/Ticonderoga, $6.50-8.50/Butler’s
It’s the last of the spring/Easter celebrations at these two local farms. Ticonderoga will be open through Sunday 10am – 5pm, and Butler’s on Sunday only 9am – 3pm. For more on both festivals, see this KFDC post.
For even more (yes, more!), check out these posts with ideas for outdoor and indoor adventures:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)