Talking about the cold is starting to feel redundant, so I’ll just say that I’m happy there are so many great things to do indoors this weekend. The annual Auto Show has rolled back into town, but if water transport is more your thing, there’s the Baltimore Boat Show, too. You can get up close and personal with the Nats or see monster trucks tear it up. Museum programs and live performances round out the fun. And if that doesn’t do it for ya, check out The Great Indoors list with more than 60 ideas for activities inside. Happy Weekend!
Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Through February 2
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under
The annual Washington Auto Show is zooming back into town. And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from a couple of years ago for more about what to expect.
Where: Verizon Center
When: Friday & Saturday
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into the Verizon Center. Grave Digger, Bounty Hunter, Team Survivor, Crushstation and Illuminator are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.
Where: Gaylord National Resort
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/child online; $25/adult, $15/child at event
Nats fans can get a baseball fix at this annual prelude to the season. Join select Washington Nationals players, coaches, and team personnel for a day full of fun activities for all ages, including photo ops with players and mascots, player story times, caricature art, live batting cages and demos, Nationals merchandise and authenticated memorabilia, interactive games, autographs, and much more.
Baltimore Boat Show
Where: Baltimore Convention Center
When: Through Sunday,
Admission: $12/adults, free for kids 15 and under
The Baltimore Convention Center will be packed with more boats, more exhibits, and more family fun than ever before as it returns for its annual expo. See and board boats for every lifestyle, activity and budget. Browse booths showcasing the latest in all things boating, plus fishing tackle and gear, too. There’s something for everyone, including kid-friendly activities: a kids’ fly casting competition; a book reading and signing by Steve Buckley, author of the award-winning adventure series, Blackbear the Pirate; pirate-inspired activities, including coloring pages, making a pirate hat, a treasure hunt, and free pirate booty; toy boat building; and appearances by Spongebob Squarepants! Be sure to check the schedule for details and times.
Udvar-Hazy 10-Year Open House
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
The Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary with its first-ever open house. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at historic artifacts, documents, and works of art that are not on public display. Find out what it takes to collect, preserve, and restore it all.
Where: Local theatres & entertainment venues
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
There are shows galore to keep the whole crew entertained this weekend! Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Tales of Beatrix Potter is on the main stage and Baby Bear’s Birthday and Dragon Tales are the featured Tiny Tots show. Next door at Adventure Theater, catch Miss Nelson is Missing. Really little ones will enjoy Aquarium at Imagination Stage. Canada’s Cas Public dance ensemble presents Gold at the Kennedy Center on Friday and Saturday. See Penelope’s Pesky Pen at Theatre on the Run Saturday & Sunday. The The Amazing Magic of Louis will wow the audience at Old Town Theatre. And Gustafer Yellowgold and The Diggity Dudes are playing Jammin’ Java Saturday and Sunday, respectively. More details about all of these show, or links to them, can be found in this post about live entertainment around the DC area this winter.
Chinese New Year Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
The American Art Museum invites the whole neighborhood to join them in celebrating the Chinese New Year in the heart of Chinatown. Festivities to ring in the Year of the Horse begin at 11:30am by awakening the Lion for a Lion Dance performance by the JHU Yong Han Lion Dance group. Then enjoy two puppetry performances by the Tianjin Arts Troupe from China, and live music on traditional Chinese instruments by the The Washington Guzheng Society. Visit a display on Giant Pandas, make a panda-craft and send a New Year’s greeting to Bao-Bao at the National Zoo. Learn the art of calligraphy and watch expert paper cutters, dough sculptors, and painters create artworks on-site. Try your own hand at making red paper lanterns to take home and bring yourself good luck in the New Year!
Where: St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $5/adult, free for kids
There are four weekends left to enjoy the ice slide at St. Elizabeths, and I highly recommend taking advantage while you can. It’s like a mini-version of tubing at a ski resort, but a lot more convenient and way less expensive. The slide might be small, but the fun is huge. Worth bundling up and braving the cold for!
Snow Much Fun
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free, but clothing donations encouraged
Come n from the cold and enjoy the wonders of winter at the Corcoran after hours. Art making workshops and a performance are on the evening’s agenda. Make the season warmer for all by bringing a donation of winter clothing and blankets benefiting Covenant House Washington. Registration is not required, but it’s encouraged.
Movie at the Art Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
The museum’s Winter Film Series for Children presents Nocturna, an animated feature about a hero whose courage is tested as he tries to put aside his fear of the dark in order to rescue his beloved lost star. See the complete description of the film on the NGS website. Recommended for ages 7 and up. The screening is in the East Building Concourse auditorium.
Winter Blast Family Day
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday
Bring the kids to the American Indian Museum for a family celebration of winter games. Learn various string games from across the hemisphere and join representatives from the “World Eskimo Olympics” as they demonstrate traditional Inuit games such as the “high kick” and “knuckle hop.” After the games, relax with other winter pastimes, including making a beaded bracelet. Winter family fun for all!
Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, learn about American chef Julia Child. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discoveries Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about our experience.