The Weekend Round-Up: March 15-16

DC's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is a weekend highlight

DC’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a weekend highlight


Green is a theme among this weekend’s events. Along with a couple of St. Patty’s Day parades, you can play in the treetops at Sandy Springs and learn about sustainable food at a local restaurant. If that’s not your color, there’s also plenty of live entertainment, a couple of birthday celebrations, museums programs, a Maker Fair, and more. Happy Weekend!

DC St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

Find a spot on the curb along Constitution Ave. between 7th to 17th Streets NW to watch the 43rd annual St. Patrick’s parade roll through the city. Floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, bag pipers, members of the police and fire departments, and other entertainment will be part of the celebratory spectacle.

Women in Aviation and Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Bring the whole family to the Chantilly arm of Air & Space to learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, stories, and more!

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring opens for the season this weekend! Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s worth it. Trust me.

Meet the Farmer
Where: Commissary
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Kids are invited to join Farmer Erica at Commissary, one of several restaurants in the EatWell group, to plant tomato seeds and learn about sustainable food. The event is one of several this weekend that aims to introduce the community to EatWell Natural Farm, which harvests naturally raised vegetables and fruits to feature in the restaurants. The event begins at 9am and will continue throughout the day. Commissary is located at 1443 P Street NW.

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

* This weekend is your last chance to see Rumplestiltskin at Imagination Stage.
* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is also on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is on the main stage and Mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* Rick Potter: Bert the Nerd is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Banjo Man Frank Cassel is playing a Family Show at Jammin’ Java Saturday morning.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.

Port Discovery Birthday Bonanza
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $5

The children’s museum in Baltimore is turning 15, and you’re invited to help celebrate with a special reduced admission of just $5! Along with the discounted entry, you can enjoy performances, a visit from the Chick-Fil-A cows, design your own birthday “cake,” create Happy Birthday Shrinky Dinks, and more.

A Day at the Ballet
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

CHAW and Connect the Dots Dance Company present “A Day at the Ballet” on Saturday. The interactive ballet program is perfect for children ages 3-12. Along with performances from major works, there wil be ballet crafts, costumes, a backstage tour, and more. While it’s free, registration is requested — call 202.547.6839 or email to sign up. CHAW is located at 545 7th Street SE.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House 
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia. It is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Check out the virtual tour on the website.

Gaithersburg St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Washingtonian Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The city’s 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will include both traditional Irish performances and classic parade pageantry. Celtic dancers, bagpipes, marching bands, clowns, firetrucks, and more will make their way through town. Afterward, stay for live music in the Lakefront Plaza until 1pm.

Pendragwn Youth Film Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

The Pendragwn Youth Film Festival showcases the best and brightest young filmmakers between 11-18 years old. Twelve films will be screened and a Q & A with the filmmakers will be held after each screening block.

Lullabies from Around the World
Where: Vienna Baptist Church
When: Saturday
Admission: $25/adults, $16/student, free for kids 12 and under

Enjoy children’s classics from all over the world at this concert by the Vienna Choral Society, including songs in Ladino, Zulu, and Russian. They’ll also sing pieces from closer to home by Aaron Copland and Billy Joel. Yes *that* Billy Joel. Special guests at this family-friendly concert will include the Mosby Woods Mustang Chorus and a student accompanist on violin. And because they know kids (of all ages) can only sit still for so long, there will also be a campfire, with a story teller, and silly songs like “Sarasponda” that all can join in singing. Comfortable attire – PJs! – encouraged. Guests are also invited to stay for a post-concert cookie reception, catered by Whole Foods-Vienna.

A Wild Birthday Bash
Where: Patuxent Research Refuge
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Birthday of the National Wildlife Refuge System at the Patuxent Research Refuge on Saturday. Activities will include live animal viewing, children’s crafts, hikes, live music, and much more. The Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center is located off of Powder Mill Road, 2 miles east of the Baltimore/Washington Parkway, just south of Laurel, Md.

Last Skate
Where: Local Ice Rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This weekend is your last chance to hit the ice al fresco. Our local outdoor ice skating rinks (that are still open) are closing for the season after this weekend. See this post listing them all for details on where you can glide ‘neathe the sky one last time this winter (and note that Canal Park is already closed).

See Stars
Where: David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium
When: Friday/Saturday, 7:30pm & Sunday 1:30pm/3pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/children

Get a close look at the night sky at a planetarium show. Open for public multimedia programs on weekends throughout the school year, the Arlington Planetarium presents “Black Holes – The Other Side of Infinity” on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm. “Magic Tree House:  Space Mission” will be shown at 3pm. Doors open 15 minutes prior to show time and are closed and locked once the program begins. Sky theater has a 58 seat capacity.  Once full capacity is reached, the doors will be closed.

Baby Loves Disco
Where: Rock and Roll Hotel
When: Sunday, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: $18 or $60/four-pack

The family dance party is back on H Street! The fun will feature BLD’s signature DJ and MC, along with all kinds of kids activities. The MC will pump up the crowd, and the DJ will spin G-rated dance tunes, while kids and parents groove along and enjoy the disco.

NOVA Mini Maker Faire
Where: South Lakes High and Hughes Middle Schools
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $15 advance or $20 at door/adults, $5 advance or $8 door/child

This family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness is a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making and share what they are learning. Ranging from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers, Makers are of all ages and backgrounds. And the aim of the Faire is to entertain, inform, connect, and grow their community.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National 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. This weekend, learn about Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the founders of the women’s rights movement.

Think Outside
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Savor warmer temps while you can! Because according to the weather forecast, we’re in for a wintry mix on Monday. The round-up of the Best Places in the DC Area to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids is full of ideas for al fresco adventures.

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