It’s a weekend of beginnings in DC. A new city park is cutting its ribbon today, a bunch of seasonal favorites are starting, a much anticipated exhibit at a popular museum is opening, and yours truly is about to embark on a new year (yep, it’s my birthday… a big one!). This Round-Up has the scoop on all of them (well, except for details of my celebration), and you can find even more ideas for family activities on the Everyday Play and Special & Seasonal pages. Happy Weekend!
Canal Park Opens!
Where: Canal Park
When: All weekend long
Admission: Free, but ice skating costs extra
We have been anticipating the arrival of DC’s newest recreation space for awhile now, and it’s finally here! Canal Park opens today with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 11am, then free ice skating afterwards from 12-2pm. Beyond that, the new park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood will welcome guests to hang out, ice skate at regular prices, grab a bite in the restaurant, and enjoy some outdoor time in one of the city’s most up and coming areas. On Saturday, join the grand opening celebration that will include skating, live music, art, activities for kids, and more.
Play, Work, and Build at the NBM
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday (members only) & Sunday
Admission: $8/adults, $5/youth, students & seniors, free for members
It’s opening day for another cool activity in the city. On Sunday, the National Building Museum will debut PLAY WORK BUILD, an exhibit that promises to enthrall kids and adults alike with a display of the museum’s world-class Architectural Toy Collection, a hands-on block play area, and an original digital interactive that will allow visitors to fill an entire wall of the exhibition with virtual blocks—and then knock them down. Note that Saturday is a preview day for members only. (And I’ve said this before: I highly recommend getting a membership if you frequent the museum regularly — it’ll pay for itself in just a few visits!)
Skate Amid Sculptures
Where: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $7/adult, $6/child, $3/skate rental (ID required)
Another rink is welcoming the public to hit the ice (hopefully not literally) this weekend. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink opens on Saturday for the season. Something about gliding in circles with those big whimsical sculptures in sight is especially cool. Afterward, warm up with hot chocolate at the Pavillion Café and maybe even hit a museum from there. (And for more area ice rinks, outdoors and in, see this post about fun on ice.)
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
There is so much live entertainment to be enjoyed around the area this weekend, that I’m not even going to bother listing it all here. Instead, I’ll direct you to this post, where you can get all the details about what’s going to be on local stages over the next few days.
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Shows and events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit have begun and even more commence this weekend. The KFDC Guide to DC’s Best Holiday Events has ALL you need to help make the season bright.
International Holiday Bazaar
Where: Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but be prepared to spend!
Start your holiday shopping and support a local school at Yu Ying’s International Holiday Bazaar. By featuring international artisans and celebrating cultural diversity in our nation’s capitol, the sale draws upon the creativity of dozens of local artist merchants to showcase their unique gift items and culinary delights. It’s an opportunity to find one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, seasonal treats and outstanding deals!
Experiential Exhibits and Penguinss
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: All weekend long
Admission: $8/adults, $6/seniors and students, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under
The National Geographic Museum is currently presenting a couple of exhibits that appeal to kids and adults alike. “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution” and “1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization,” like many of the museum’s exhibitions, are full-on experiences that utilize multimedia and a variety of interactive installations to educate, enrich, amuse, and wow guests. On Saturday, you can also join a Nat Geo Live event and see captivating images of emperor penguins by Paul Nicklen. This takes place from 1-2:30pm, and admission to “Meet the Penguins” is $16/adults, $12/ages 12 and under.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation celebrates its tribal history and heritage with three days of food, presentations, performances and, in honor of Veterans Day, daily stories from members of the Muscogee Nation Honor Guard. Other activities include Muscogee singers, storytellers and booths showcasing Muscogee art and craft, the Muscogee language, tribal cooking and Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal programs and services.
Arts for Families
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
This session of the Museum’s monthly program for families focuses on Ottoman rugs and textiles that bloom with floral motifs. Guests are invited to collage their own Ottoman carpet designs by tracing, cutting, and gluing an array of colorful paper and flower imagery. Recommended for ages 5–12. Registration is not required.
Movement of the People Dance Festival
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Definitely not your average youth show, Movement of the People packs a powerful punch into one explosive evening of dance. In a demonstration of astounding versatility, the Capitol Movement Pre-Professional Company will showcase their talents in hip hop, contemporary, modern, jazz, and tap, premiering new works by renown choreographers and dancers. Special treats include choreography by SYTYCD Season 4 Winner Joshua Allen, ABDC dancer Laura Edwards, and international phenom Luam, who have all toured the world spreading their love for dance. The Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center is located at 7995 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.
Hands on Architecture
Where: District Architecture Center
When: Saturday, 1-3:30pm
The District Architecture Center is offering another “Hands on Architecture” workshop for kids ages 8-14 this Saturday. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and traditions of many American Indian tribes through an exploration of architecture. The program will then shift gears and allow children to apply what they learned about Native American heritage in the design of their very own Heritage Center. The program will be led by volunteer architects and art teachers in the studio at the District Architecture Center and is open to the public as well as members of the DAC. Registration is required, sign up here.