The glorious effects of the summer Polar Vortex will continue through the weekend, and there are plenty of outdoor happenings where you can take advantage — a flower festival, colonial fair, butterfly and blueberry fest, Nats game, and summer pursuits among them. And there are plenty of indoor pursuits to round out the fun — museum programs, an ice cream contest, live entertainment, and then some. For even more, check out the Everyday Play page for tons of mainstay ideas. Happy Weekend!
Lotus and Water Lily Cultural Festival
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration, and the public is invited to join in. The 2014 Lotus & Water Lily Festival will feature activities for all ages — traditional Asian and African dancing and drumming, gardening workshops, park tours, arts & crafts, face painting, and other family-friendly pursuits. If you haven’t visited the Gardens yet, this is the best time to do so; the blossoming flowers really are spectacular.
18th Century Summer Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $7/adults, $3/ages3-13 & seniors
Enjoy the colonial museum and working farm’s Summer Market Fair. There will be tons of activities for all ages: See colonial farm family and community members in character and costume, as well as chickens, turkeys and other animals. Dance and sing to period music. Watch the colonial blacksmith and cabinetmaker as well as spinners and pewter smith. Sit in the shade and enjoy rosemary chicken, fresh vegetables, roasted olives, fruit pies and more. The Colonial Tavern offers variety of chilled beverages including beer, wine, and fresh ginger ale. Browse original jewelry creations, soaps, lotions, herbs and flowers. Along with the special festivities, stroll the living history museum grounds for a glimpse of life in the old days.
The Ultimate Urban Safari
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Join the Corcoran for a wild summer day dedicated to the animal kingdom! Spurred on by the American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley exhibition, discover how creatures big and small can inspire through workshop activities, book readings, and a live performance. Participate in an animal welfare community service project and make a difference. All ages welcome, and there no charge – it’s part of the museum’s Free Summer Saturdays program!
The DC Scoop
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
It’s a day for ice cream lovers and makers alike. It is a day of activities and fun with ice cream to taste and buy from both local artisans and makers from other cities as well. There will be a wide array of ice cream products including gelato, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and good old-fashioned ice cream. For kids there will be an Ice Cream eating contest for demonstrations and raffles as well as giveaways throughout the day. And what could go better with Ice Cream than Timber Pizza Co. and Luke’s Lobster? Both will be serving food throughout the day. The event will be held in the indoor event space above the market, Dock 5 and the alley behind it.
Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Enjoy activities around the area exclusive to summer. Start the weekend off on Friday with a free outdoor concert, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or spray park. Cool off indoors at one of a several special summer museum programs like free admission to the Newseum, Stories in Art at the NGA, or the Corcoran Summer Series. Complete it all with a family movie under the stars at National Harbor on Sunday night. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more here.
Butterflies & Blackberries
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child
The most recognizable of all butterflies are in need of HELP! The Monarch butterflies population has diminished drastically due to the lack of milkweed and other plants no longer available for their habitat. Join the folks at Great Country Farms this weekend for blackberry picking and monarch education and action to bring back their habitat. Visit the new Butterfly garden and learn about the plants that the monarchs need to survive and how you can help restore habitat in your community.
Storytime with Nats
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
The Washington Nationals are sponsoring DC Public Library’s 2014 Summer Reading program and to celebrate, the team’s players and manager Matt Williams will visit a few of the libraries to read to and interact with kids enrolled in the three-month initiative. For details, including schedule, location, and players expected to attend, go here.
Baseball Family Festival
Where: American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Play Ball with the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery! Tour the galleries to find some of the best names in the game, baseball-themed crafts, a book signing of Becoming Babe Ruth by author Matt Tavares, and appearances by local team mascots! The event will take place in the Kogod Courtyard.
Nats vs. Brewers
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Take the kids out to the ballgame this weekend! The Nats are hosting the Brewers with evening games on Friday and Saturday (7:05pm) 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.
Where: Fort Fringe – The Shop
When: Saturday, 4:30pm
If you want to check out the Capital Fringe Festival with the kiddos, this is your best bet. A show for both children (ages 5 and up) and children-at-heart. It’s fantastical enough for Fringe, whimsical enough for adults – intended for all audiences. Balloons fill the stage and become puppets, scenery, musical instruments, games, and more under the lighthearted touch of three talented clown performers. “Three clowns find themselves in a world of balloons. Each wants to tell their own story within the magical landscape. Come to play, come to pop. Balloons can be anything.” Fort Fringe – The Shop is located at 607 New York Avenue NW.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Be hugely entertained by The BFG at Imagination Stage (look for discount tickets)
* Encore Stage & Studio’s Once Upon a Mattress opens this weekend.
* Younger audiences will love Mouse on the Move, also at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy Disney’s the Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* It’s the final week of The Wizard of Oz on the Main Stage, and Winter Wonderland is the featured Tiny Tots shows at The Puppet Co.
* See the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance perform amid the trees at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
* Rock out with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo on Saturday morning at Jammin’ Java
Where: Studio 21
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
The mobile crafting business is hosting a crafting bonanza on Saturday for children for ages 3-7. Stop by and get creative! Studio 21 is located in the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market – 716 Monroe
Maryland Polish Festival
Where: Exhibition Hall at Timonium Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, 11am – 10pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $8/adults, $7/seniors, free for ages 12 and under
From homemade pierogies to traditional dancing and from polka music to learning the Polish National Anthem, there will be something for everyone at the Annual Maryland Polish Festival. Presented by The Polish Community Association of Maryland, the festival feature live entertainment throughout the day, authentic Polish food and drinks, storytelling, a children’s area, a trivia contest, Polish arts & crafts, a Polish Heritage Arena and much more.
Living Earth Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
The annual festival celebrates Native contributions to protecting the environment, promoting sustainability, and using indigenous plants to improve health and nutrition. See music and dance performances, enjoy hands-on activities, and an Iron Chef-style contest. There will also be a food market, plus cooking and craft demos that highlight the ways the Earth’s gifts feed human creativity.
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
See the sudsiest spectacle of the summer at the Maryland Science Center’s 9th annual Bubble Days. The fun will be bubbling up all over the building—and outside too! Craft your own bubble solution and wand, create bubble art to take home, experiment with homemade bubble wands, and compete in a bubble blowing contest. World-renowned bubble artist Casey Carle will be there to perform his fantastic BubbleMania show — you will be amazed at what Casey can do with seemingly ordinary soap bubbles! Performances will be on our Atrium Stage at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm.
Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Children ages 4-7 can pack their imaginations and travel to the National Gallery of Art. This week’s session of the series that explore Italy through art will focus on the works of Andrea del Verrocchio. There are several time slots available each day. Sign-in will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am on Saturday and at 11:00am on Sunday, and will continue until all spaces are filled. And they do often fill up, so plan to get there early to register. For more about the series, check out this KFDC review.
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday
Artful Conversations for kids ages 8-11 is also on again this weekend. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then sketch their own masterpiece. Sessions are on Saturday at 11am and 1pm, and Sunday at 12pm and 2pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda beginning at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.