Do other parents in DC have the same song going through their heads as I do right now: “School’s out for summer…”? It’s quite apropos that the last day of school (in the District, anyway) coincides with the official first day of summer. And the season is starting off with some pretty fantastic events this weekend. So, as you try to get “No more pencils, no more books…” out of your mental musical rotation, here’s some help making plans to kick off the season. Happy Weekend!
Fête de la Musique
When: Saturday – Sunday
Admission: Free (until 11pm, $10 after)
Every year on June 21, streets, town squares, and riversides across the country in France are filled with an outpouring of rhythm and sound in the annual Fête de la Musique. Inspired by this much-anticipated tradition, the Alliance Française and Malmaison will play host to DC audiences for their own journey across musical worlds. This year’s celebration will take place right along the Potomac, with a grande fête that will transform Malmaison and the surrounding area into a haven where musicians, music enthusiasts, artists, food lovers, families, neighbors, and strangers collide for an all-day musical experience. Local and visiting acts will perform and animate this DC edition of a phenomenon that began in France and has now spread to hundreds of countries around the world. Special kids activities will run from 2-4pm, with a percussion workshop and drum decorating crafts. Admission is free until midnight and a portion of food, beverage and additional proceeds will be donated to a local charity. Malmaison is located at 3401 Water Street NW.
Pirate Family Festival
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Ahoy, mateys! Nat Geo is hosting a day full of fun, free activities inspired by the current “Real Pirates” exhibit. Pistol duels and cannon fires, sword-fighting and sea shanties, pirate puppet storytime, falconry demos, live music, plank walking, face painting, dress up, spyglass and map making, knot tying, even lessons on emergency amputations (which were not uncommon during the days of the Whydah). If that’s not enough, there’s the entire exhibit to view, too.
Ward 6 Family Day
Where: Canal Park
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Join Councilman Tommy Wells to celebrate the strengthening of Ward 6’s wonderful neighborhoods. Everyone is welcome to enjoy live music, free food, and game and activities for all ages. Serve Your City will be there to help facilitate the fun – soccer, double dutch, face painting, water slides, and water balloons all part of it. And, of course, the fountains are a great source of amusement, too!
Where: Throughout the DC-Metro
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
Ring in the official start of summer with one (or a few) of the many activities exclusive to the season: swim under the sky, see a concert under the stars, enjoy a special museum program, pick berries at a local farm, go crab feasting, and more. For the whole seasonal fun shebang, check out the 2013 Summer Guide.
Let Them Entertain You
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Here’s where the shows are this weekend: Enjoy a free musical interpretation of Peter and the Wolfat the University of Maryland’s Clarice Amith Performing Arts Center. Catch a performance of Dr. Seuss’s A Cat in the Hat during its opening weekend at Adventure Theatre. See Bathtub Pirates at The Puppet Co. Or head there early for Tiny Tots, puppets show performances especially for little ones. Storyteller Debra Mims entertains the kids with “Grandma’s Cautionary Tales” at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National. AndyRoo and the AndyRooniverse is playing the 10:30am show on Saturday, while Banjo Man Frank Cassel will entertain on Sunday at Jammin’ Java. And another symphonic version of Peter and the Wolf will be performed at the Kennedy Center on Sunday.
Where: National Museum of American History
Celebrate invention and creativity in skate culture and learn about the contributions skate innovators make to society. After a donation of skateboard artifacts to the national sports history collections, hear panel discussions about skate technology, fashion, and tricks with panelists Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, and Paul Schmitt. Also enjoy skate demonstrations by pro and invited skaters (weather permitting).
Nats vs. Rockies
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Colorado comes to DC this weekend as the Nats host the Rockies with an evening game on Friday (7:05pm) and afternnon match-ups on Saturday (12:05pm) and Sunday (1:35pm). Stay after on Sunday for Kids Run the Bases when children ages 4-12 can loop the infield after the final out. And before you go, read about the Jr. Nationals Kids Club, which for just $15 offers tons of cool benefits for kids 12 and under.
Babar in Concert
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 10am & 11am
In 1940, composer Francis Poulenc was living in the countryside outside Paris. One day, his three-year-old cousin Sophie placed her copy of “Babar the Elephant” upside down on the piano’s music stand and said, “Play this.” Poulenc improvised an accompaniment to each scene and Sophie was thrilled. Before long, everyone in the neighborhood came by to hear the new piece. Poulenc wrote the music down and dedicated it to his young cousins and neighbors. On Saturday, the Washington Conservatory will play that very piece in two performances at Glen Echo Park. Suitable for children of all ages, the public is invited to com enjoy the show free of charge.
Alexandria Food & Wine Festival
Where: John Carlyle Square
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
It may sound like a grown-up event – and the main festivity is, for the most part – but there will be activities for little ones, too. The festival will showcase some of the best of Alexandria’s restaurants and Virginia wineries. And to complement it all will be live entertainment, a children’s corner (moon bounce, arts & crafts, and more), and cooking demos. While admission is free, you will need to purchase tickets to sample food and wine – $15 for 8 tickets, $10 for the wine garden. John Carlyle Square is located at 300 John Carlyle Street in Alexandria.
Bowie Baysox Star Wars Saturday
Where: Prince George’s Stadium
When: Saturday, 6:35pm (gates open at 5:35pm)
Admission: Tickets start at $7
The Force will be with the Bowie Baysox this weekend when the team hosts Star Wars Night on Saturday, as the Baysox take on the Reading. The event will feature characters in movie-quality replica costumes, lightsaber battles on the field, and a chance to “shoot a trooper” for charity. A fireworks extravaganza will light up the sky after the game. Fans are welcome to come in costume, too! Get directions to Prince George’s Stadium here.
Tibet Fest at Artisphere
When: Saturday, 3:30-7:30pm
Admission: $10, kids 12 and under are free
Join the gang at Artisphere in their Ballrrom for Tibet Fest, a family-friendly event inspired by Tibetan Buddhist culture and the global concern for its survival inside Tibet. Share in the food, dance, music, and spirit of Tibet. Experience and explore the country’s rich traditions through an afternoon of activities for the whole family. There will be special performances from the stage, booths, and a Tibetan market so you can take home a piece of Tibetan culture.
Where: Various locations in SE DC
When: Saturday, 1pm -12am
This 12-hour festival kicks off six weeks of creative offerings presented by ARCH Development Corporation, an organizations that promotes art and culture as part of community revitalization. Saturday’s festival will be filled with creative events, performances, artistic installations, and interactive activities for participants of all-ages. Specifically for children will be the “I am a Muralist” activity playroom, the Community Tree art program, and Jackson Pollack-style painting. See what else is on the agenda for the day & evening on the festival website.
National Capital Barbeque Battle
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: $12/adults, children under 12 are free
Join one of the biggest summer barbeques around as the National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other as they compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more. It al takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 9th to 14th Streets.
American Girl Tea: Felicity and the American Revolution
Where: Anderson House
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Learn what it was like to grow up during the American Revolution at an 18th-century-inspired tea for children and adults. After reading and discussing brief passages from the Felicity books, children will enjoy a tea party and make an 18th-century ladies’ fan to take home. Dolls are welcome! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are required. Register online here.
Where: National Harbor
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Kids can get their bikes and trikes ready for summer and enjoy an afternoon of cycle-related fun with the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor. Activities will include safety-gear sizing and giveaways, bicycle rodeos, maintenance workshops, arts and crafts, raffles, live music and more. CycleFest will be held on American Way (between Fleet Street and St. George Boulevard at National Harbor). Visitors are encouraged to bring their own cycles and ride to National Harbor via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail. Children who complete the bicycle rodeo will receive a coupon for $2 off admission to the Museum from 12-4pm.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma celebrates its tribal history and heritage with two days of food, workshops and performances, all in the theme of “Cultural Awakening.” Activities and demonstrations include Native dancers, singers, storytellers and booths showcasing beadwork, pottery, flutes, the Choctaw language and tribal cooking. Hands-on activities for kids and families along with being able to meet Choctaw Nation princesses of all ages allow visitors to learn more about Choctaw culture.