If you’re looking for a festival this weekend, you’ve got your pick. They celebrate everything from museum exhibits to autumn to a city neighborhood to jazz. You can also check out a local kids’ theatre, sample some ice cream, or go to the ol’ ball game. Here are details on all of these pursuits, and for even more ideas see the Everyday Play page. Happy Weekend!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival
Fall may not have officially begun, but you can celebrate the season and then some at one of several festivals happening this weekend, from city neighborhoods to country farms. The annual Adams Morgan Day Festival is on Sunday, Renn Fest gets medieval on weekends through October, and a couple of farms are welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about fall festivals.
1001 Inventions Family Festival
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Enjoy a day of family fun surrounding the exhibition 1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization. National Geographic staff and local vendors will lead workshops and hands-on activities. There will also be arts and crafts bazaar, dance and musical performances, vendor displays, raffles, photo ops, and a spire building competition. Plan to grab a bite from food trucks that will be on site.
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9am – 3:30pm
See what’s new at the children’s theatre company in Bethesda and enjoy activities for the whole family. Sample classes; take a tour of Suess on the Loose, one of the season’s upcoming shows, preview Mouse on the Move and P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, get the kids’ faces painted, and more. Registration for sample classes and the tour is recommended, go here to sign up.
Family Day at Fairgrounds
Where: Half Street Fairgrounds
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Head to the Navy Yard neighborhood for a day full of family activities, including carnival rides and games, bouncy fun, live children’s entertainment, and more. Concession will be for sale by some of the area’s best food trucks parked there.
Free Family Film Shorts
Where: E Street Cinema
When: Saturday, 11:30am
It’s the 9th year of the DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest short film event on the East Coast. Already underway, 140 films from 27 nations will be featured, included a showcase of family-friendly mini flicks this weekend and next. Most appropriate for kids ages 8 and up, eight featured shorts explore a variety of themes that the audience will enjoy. Read descriptions and see previews of the films here.
The DC Scoop
Where: Union Market
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
I scream, you scream… about a sweet event that the whole family will love — if you all love ice cream, that is. The District’s best ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, and custard vendors are having a taste-off to determine the best scoop in the city. And the public is invited to sample them all!
All That Rosslyn Jazz
Where: Gateway Park
When: Saturday, 1-7pm
Head across the Key Bridge from the city for this free annual music festival. Enjoy a great line-up of jazz acts, including Joshua Redmond (scheduled to perform at 5:45). Along wit the music, there wil be a street festival nearby on Lee Highway featuring both art and food vendors. Festival parking is available for $5 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at 1911 North Fort Myer Drive. The parking entrance is on North Moore Street. Or, take Metro to the Rosslyn station (orange/blue) and walk a few blocks to the event.
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm
Reboot your system and play at the museum before The Art of Video Games exhibit closes. Test your skills with a new live-action game from Spontaneous Art, or challenge a buddy to onscreen video games. Craft activities, scavenger hunts, and music will keep guests moving all day, from one level to the next! Don’t miss two presentations in the McEvoy Auditorium: Level Up at 12pm and Electronic Gaming Before Pong at 2pm.
Nats vs. Marlins
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $10
The Nats are hosting the Florida Marlins this weekend, with an evening game on Friday and afternoon games on Saturday on Sunday. Take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Pack promo and enjoy other extras on Sunday, like Kids Run the Show, and stay after for Kids Run the Bases when children ages 4-12 can loop the in field after the final out.
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Drop in to spend a Saturday afternoon creating your very own dragon puppet with ribbon, paper, and glue. Will your dragon be gentle or fierce? Scaly or smooth? Bring your creative dragon ideas along.
Super Science Saturday
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
The Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum hosts a special program on the second Saturday of every month, and this weekend it’ll be all about living and working in space. Visitors can enjoy hands-on demos and activities related to space life. And the permanent exhibits – a hangar full of amazing air and spacecraft – are worth a trip out there themselves.
Folksy in Takoma Park
Where: Takoma Park Middle School
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 6:30pm
Folk music and performances from around the world will be on seven stages at the 35th annual festival, some even welcoming the audience to join in. The Grassy Nook Stage will offer activities for children — folksinging, musical games and dancing, storytelling, and more. And a crafts show and sale will showcase the works of local artisans. Pack snacks or purchase food from vendors there.
Portraits of Flags
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
On Saturday, children ages 5 and up can explore flags as art during the Be the Artist youth program. Participants will take a brief guided tour of the related exhibition, 1812: A Nation Emerges, listen to a children’s story or short gallery talk, and create a piece of art. On Sunday, kids can drop in to listen to a story about flags and the War of 1812.
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Stop in for the museum’s Second Saturday Arts and Sciences Program. This month, guests can learn how the ocean is a global system essential to all life — including their own! They’ll also find out more about the threats to the ocean’s health and how they can use their connection to the ocean to help preserve it for future generations. For hands-on fun, they can create ocean origami to take home.