The Weekend Round-Up: August 24-25

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And just like that summer break is nearly over (for us, anyway). But there’s still time to savor the all the fun that comes with this time of year… and then some. This round-up has details, and don’t forget to check the Everyday Play page for even more ways to explore and enjoy DC with the kids. Happy Weekend!

March on Washington 50th Anniversary
Where: Lincoln Memorial to MLK, Jr. Memorial & National Mall
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Commemorating 50 years since the March on Washington, the Realize the Dream March & Rally happening on Saturday will focus on “Jobs, Justice, & Freedom. ” It will begin at the Lincoln Memorial at 8am, followed by a march to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, where there will be a brief ceremony. Convenors include Martin Luther King, III, Rev. Al Sharpton, and the National Action Network. And on both Saturday and Sunday, the Global Freedom Festival will be held at West Potomac Park with more activities to observe the anniversary of the historic event.

Merriment Returns
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $17/adults, $15/seniors, free for 11 and under

One of my very favorite annual events begins this weekend: The Maryland Renaissance Festival! Take a day trip back to medieval times at the annual faire that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows cheeky comedy shows, pony rides, Celtic music… and that’s just the live entertainment. There are also pony rides, a pirate playground, a giant slide, and all kinds of fun, fascinating things to see. Walk 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 (for adults, of course). The faire runs every weekend through October 20, and this weekend kids ages 11 and under get in for FREE. Huzzah!

DCPS Beautification Day
Where: DC Public Schools
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Help local schools get ready for the new year as DCPS holds its ninth annual Beautification Day on Saturday. DCPS needs volunteers for a variety of projects to help clean up and spruce up schools in preparation for the first day of school. Activities will include gardening and landscaping, organizing books and libraries, painting, flower planting and more. Volunteers are needed at nearly 100 schools city-wide. This is a great opportunity to contribute to neighborhood schools. For more info, to volunteer, or donate supplies, go here.

Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington during this fun event for the whole family. Tour the exhibition One Life: Martin Luther King Jr. to learn more about the civil rights leader and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, make slogan buttons with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and enjoy live performances, readings, and narratives.

Greenberg Train and Toy Show
Where: Dulles Expo Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $7/ages 13 and up, free for 12 and under

Train enthusiasts young and old will have plenty to be excited about at the largest traveling expo in the northeast showcasing model trains. 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.

African Wildlife Day
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station to learn about African Wildlife and to find out what the National Zoo is doing to preserve these amazing animals. This free, family-friendly event presents educational and fun activities for children and adults, keeper talks, and animal demonstrations.

Show Time
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

The children’s theatre selection tends to slow down this time of summer, and right now there are only a few options that kids will enjoy. You can still atch a performance of Dr. Seuss’s A Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre. Or head to the Puppet Co. where they’re presenting Circus! on strings all weekend. At the same venue, really little ones will enjoy The Mother Goose Caboose, this week’s Tiny Tots show on Saturday at 10am. Musician Matt Heaton is playing a “Happy You Made It” CD Release show at Jammin’ Java on Sunday morning. And the Olney Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line is on stages for several more weeks.

18th Annual Battle of Bladensburg Encampment
Where: Riverdale House Museum
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admisson: Free

Bring the family to join British and American War of 1812 troops as they camp on the lawn to prepare for battle. You could be recruited to join the American militia! There will be children’s activities and live music throughout the afternoon. The Riversdale Kitchen Guild will be selling period-inspired refreshments.

BlackRock Open House
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Help BlackRock Center kick off its 2013-14 season at an Open House on Saturday. Join them for a complimentary day of fun and activities for the whole family and get a taste of all that BlackRock offers, from sample classes in dance, music, theater, and art to exciting performances and exhibits in their gallery. There will also be a “Discover BlackRock” Scavenger Hunt (win prizes!); opportunities to try ballet, piano, printmaking, painting and more; tours of the center; arts and crafts activities; a hip-hop and bollywood dance party; performances by Rolie Polie Guacamole at 11:30am and 12:45pm; and a reception and (kids) champagne toast to welcome the season.

Dragon Boat Regatta
Where: National Harbor
When: Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 2nd annual National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta takes place on Saturday. This family-friendly event will feature the best premier and local dragon boat teams from along the east coast racing in multiple distances over the course of the day. The event is free to the public to watch and will highlight this wonderful example of Asian culture. Head out to the National Harbor to enjoy a great day of racing and entertainment.

Wags n’ Whiskers
Where: Village at Shirlington
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This animal-centric event will feature $5 pet portraits, demonstrations, giveaways, merchant specials, family-friendly activities, and more, plus live performances by Dan Haas and The Morrison Brothers Band. It’s free and open to the public.

Redskins Rides
Where: Redskins Park in Ashburn
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/child, $40/Family 4-Pack (2 adult, 2 child)

Join your favorite Redskins players as they show off their rides and compete with other amazing cars for top awards like Best In Show and People’s Choice. Redskins Rides gives fans exclusive access to the Redskins’ practice field and the opportunity to meet and greet with players as they browse incredible cars on display. Redskins Rides provides entertainment for the whole family including a DJ booth, kid’s moon bounce, misting tent, face painter, and much more. Tickets are available for purchase online and at the door. Parking is free at Redskins Park for all event attendees. Get driving directions here

Drumming for Justice & Freedom
Where: Malcom X Park
When: Sunday, 3:30pm
Admission: Free

Calling all drummers! The DC Host Committe presents this program to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Dancers and supporters are also invited also to participate in this event which is in conjunction with the regular Sunday Drum and Dance circle that takes place from 3:00-9pm. Malcom X Park is located at 2400 15th Street NW.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s not much time left to enjoy some of the best activities of the season. Outdoor pools and spraygrounds, music and movies in the open air, mini golf and carousels rides at local parks and museums, or a good ol’ crab feast. The Summer 2013 guide has all the inspiration you need to eke out the most of the summer wind-down.


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