School is finally ending, and summer is officially starting! Even better, there are some pretty fantastic ways to kick off the new season. Happy Weekend!
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 Summer 2014 guide.
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 all takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 9th to 14th Streets.
Fête de la Musique
Where: Sofitel Hotel
When: Saturday, 12pm – Sunday, 3am
Admission: Free day program, $20 in evening
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 Sofitel, with a grande fête that will transform the space 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 all-ages activities will run from 12-4pm, with musical storytelling, crafts, and Beauty and the Beatz DJ.
Nats vs. Braves
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Atlanta comes to DC, as the Nats host the Braves for a four-day series. This weekend, there are evening games on Friday (7:05pm) and Saturday (7:15pm), and an afternoon match-up on 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 $20, offers tons of cool perks for kids 12 and under.
Teddy Bear Picnic
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Bring your favorite stuffed friend along for a day of crafts, contests, and cookies (because bears love dessert, too). Partner up with your parent in a Teddy Bear Toss to see how far you can successfully toss and catch your buddy. Enjoy a bear-themed story time and learn fun facts about President Theodore Roosevelt, from whom the Teddy Bear received its namesake! Bring along a picnic basket filled with your lunchtime goodies and a smile; get lemonade and cookies there. Admission includes access to all of the farm’s fun activities for you and your furry friend. Take your buddy for a trip down one of the hillside slides, go on a hayride, and even introduce your bear to the baby goats!
Alexandria Food & Wine Festival
Where: John Carlyle Square
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but purchase tickets to sample
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.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* It’s the first weekend of Disney’s the Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Be among the first audiences to see Pinkalicious at Adventure Theatre
* Creative Cauldron presents A Mid Summer Night’s Dream
* Uncle Devin is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performer
* The Wizard of Oz is on the Main Stage and Teddy Bear’s Picnic and Bunny Business are the featured Tiny Tots shows at The Puppet Co.
* EnjoyA Magical Morning w/The Great Zucchini + Barry The Magician at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning.
* Do your best Sandy & Danny during Sing-a-long Grease at Wolf Trap
World Cup with the Kids
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free, but plan to spend on food and drinks
If you and the kiddos have World Cup fever and want to catch some matches with other fútbol fanatics, check out these suggestions for family-friendly places to watch the tournament. They include local restaurants and bars (that welcome kiddos during the day) as well as outdoor venues hosting special viewing parties, including one by the DC United.
Colonial Wheat Harvest
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adults, $2/children & seniors
Help the Claude Moore Colonial Farm family harvest their wheat and rye crops, important staples of colonial living. Watch as they carefully cut the grains and join in to help bind and stack the crops. Then help make bread on an open hearth, made from those very same grains. Educational and fun!
Row Your Boat
Where: Potomac & Anacostia Rivers
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse
If weather permits, a great way to enjoy the weekend will be on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and we recently rowed from the Ballpark Boathouse at Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45.
Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & 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. This weekend, learn about author and humorist Mark Twain. And for more about the program, see this post about our experience there.
Getting to Know Degas and Cassatt
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 1pm
The National Gallery’ of Art is kicking off their Children’s Film Program for the summer. During this session, join them for for two animated films about Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt based on Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists books. Learn about the life and work of the two artists who were friends and collaborators in later 19th-century Paris. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Spread the Happy with Nutella
Where: Safeway BBQ Battle, Pennsylvania &14th Streets
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Nutella is celebrating 50 years as The Original Hazelnut Spread with a “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour around the U.S., and they’ll be in the DC area over the next couple of weeks. This Saturday, locals are invited to join the tour and receive complimentary samples of Nutella paired with various foods, play interactive games, have the opportunity to show their love for Nutella on social media, and participate in Nutella branded gear giveaways.
Baby Loves Disco
Where: Rock & Roll Hotel
When: Sunday, 11am
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.