The Weekend Round-Up: May 22-25

It's spray time!

It’s spray time!



Whether you seek events that honor those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, are ready to get the summer fun started, or just want to enjoy some quality time with the kids over the holiday weekend, this round-up of family recreation should have you covered. Happy Weekend!

“Summer” in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with an activity exclusive to this time of year. Outdoor public pools, spraygrounds, and water parks open Saturday; music and movies are playing under the stars; the strawberry picking season is underway; and blue crabs are making many a feaster very happy. The KFDC guide to summer in DC has specifics on all of the special events and series that come with the warm months — and a select few are also mentioned below.

Jazz in the Garden
Where: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
When: Friday, 5-8:30pm
Admission: Free

The popular summer series is kicking off its new season with jazz guitar by Tom Lagana. Enjoy the music along with big, bold works of art in the NGA Sculpture Garden on the Mall. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner or buy a bite there. Note: Adult drinks are available from the pavilion; BYO alcohol is not permitted.

Rock by the River
Where: The Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the long weekend with free music in the fresh air. Still Surfin’, a Beach Boys tribute, is tonight’s performance. Catch the show along with great views of the Anacostia River from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass. Pack a picnic or purchase food there from one of many food trucks or nearby eateries.

Nats vs. Phillies
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Phillies this weekend with an evening game tonight (7:05pm) and afternoon match-ups on Saturday (4:05pm) and 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.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult

The area’s largest U-pick strawberry festival is this weekend – and next – rain or shine. Get ready for loads of fun activities for all ages, including the popular diaper derby, pie-eating contests, tart toss, strawberry princess, great food, and live music. As if that’s not enough to keep the family entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillow, slides, a pedal cart track, rope swings, mazes, a tractor tire mountain, Cow Train ($2), and animal encounters. Whew!

Smithsonian Big Screens
Where: Natural History Museum, & Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Two new IMAX films just opened at the Natural History Museum and National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. Dinosaurs Alive! will thrill anyone fascinated by the prehistoric beasts, and Tomorrowland will take viewers on a sci-fi adventure with George Clooney. Be sure to make time to tour the exhibits, too – both museums are Smithsonian favorites!

Archaeological Adventures, Indy Style
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under (look for a ticket deal)

If you opt to check out Indiana Jones & the Adventure of Archaeology at Nat Geo, then you have chosen wisely. Interesting and entertaining, the new exhibit showcases props, video, and fun facts from Indy’s cinematic adventures along with fascinating artifacts and details about real-life archaeological studies and discoveries. Nat Geo recommends it for ages 8-80. If you’ve got really little ones, the Monster Fish exhibit is more their speed and also super fun.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $19.50

Adventure Theatre’s latest production has been getting such rave reviews, they’ve extended its run to May 31. Journey with Dorothy and friends to meet the Wizard and experience some entertaining adventures along the way. Tickets are available online, or you can still try to win a 4-pack through this KFDC giveaway!

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

* It’s your last chance to catch a performance of Sinbad: The Untold Tale at Imagination Stage
* The Creative Cauldron brings Once on this Island to the stage again this weekend
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Cinderella is the current main stage production
* And Clowning Around is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre on Saturday

Land of the Free Music
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Every day, the Kennedy Center presents a free performance at 6pm on the Millennium Stage. This weekend, see winners of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition (all musicians ages 14-25 with disabilties), Slovenian accordionist Marko Hatlak, bluegrass band Bud’s Collective, and The Greek Chamber Music Project.

Street Car Show
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $5/child, $7/adult

Enjoy special programs that recall the role of the transit industry during wartime in observance of Memorial Day. See Tilley the Trolley and Billy the Bus, a wartime production of the Capital Transit Company, and Ten Seconds to Go, a wartime production by Kansas City Public Service. The special exhibit, Homefront Street Cars, will also be on display.

Memorial Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Monday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/ages 6-15 for cottage tours; other tours are free

President Lincoln’s Cottage will host an array of activities on Memorial Day to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Family-friendly activities will include guided tours of the first National Cemetery, commemorative ceremonies honoring veterans at multiple locations, picnicking opportunities on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, and tours of the Cottage, the seasonal residence of the Lincoln family during the Civil War. Registration is requested. See the website for more information and a schedule of tours and activities.

National Memorial Day Concert
Where: West lawn of the Capitol
When: Sunday, 8-9:30pm, gates open at 5pm (or Saturday for the dress rehearsal)
Admission: Free

Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? The 2015 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday from 8 – 9:30pm. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna are hosting the event once again, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrificed for the U.S. If you’re planning to go, this FAQ page on the concert website is worth a read. If you can’t make Sunday’s show or don’t want to deal with the crowds, Saturday’s dress rehearsal is also always open to the public — gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Memorials on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: All Weekend
Admission: Free

Tributes to those who have served our country will take place at the many memorials and monuments on the National Mall throughout the weekend. Times vary, but you can look for schedules on the National Park Service website. The Mall is guaranteed to be crowded, so plan accordingly.

Memorial Day Observance
Where: Arlington National Cemetery
When: Monday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Observe the holiday at one of the most iconic spots to honor those who have served. A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30am, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11am followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery in this KFDC post.

National Memorial Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th to 17th Streets
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. Get a curbside view of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans as they travel up Constitution Avenue.

Memorial Day Tour
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Monday, 1pm
Admission: Free

The museum dedicated to the history of health and medicine is commemorating Memorial Day with a special program. A free, docent-led tour will offer an overview of the museum’s exhibits, with a special emphasis on advances in military medicine from the Civil War to the present. I should warn: Some exhibits at the museum may not be appropriate for very young children or the faint of heart, as this post about one of our experiences there describes (but for many, it is a very fascinating museum).

Strawberry Fields
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location

The PYO season is well underway! Many local farms have opened their strawberry patches to the public, so you can get out there and reap the fruits. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries, several offering much more than just picking.

Find even more ideas for family fun in these popular KFDC posts:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors


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