Space exploration, seasonal celebrations, museums for free, live entertainment, animal adoptions, an air show, and all kinds of other fun can be on your family’s agenda. Happy Weekend!
Take the Fall
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Autumn has arrived and there are tons of ways to celebrate the season, from city streets to country farms. The annual Barracks Row Fall Festival is back on 8th Street SE on Saturday, Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October, Great Country Farm’s Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival begins, and many more farms are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of them in the guide to fall festivals around area.
Where: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Experience firsthand how NASA conceives, designs, builds, and tests the spacecraft that explore our world, our solar system, and our universe. Goddard is opening its gates to the public for a day-long festival of science, engineering, and fun that will feature hands-on activities for every age, hosted by the people who are doing some of the most cutting edge Earth and space science. Highlights include the Chamber of Horrors integration and testing facility, Hubble Space Telescope control facilities, and one of the largest clean rooms in the world, where the NASA Webb Telescope is being developed to look back to the origins of our universe.
Museum Day Live
Where: Various museums
There are some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the Newseum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Koshland Science Museum, National Building Museum, Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, and many more fantastic museums in the area. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary!
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* See Caps for Sale, the world premiere musical at Adventure Theatre (look for a ticket deal)
* Let little ones discover their inner superhero at the InterAct Story Theatre’s The Hero of EVERYTHING
* When She Had Wings just opened on the Imagination Stage
* City Kids Theatre’s The Story Thief and the Princess of Dreams is on stage in Georgetown
* Catch a classic story on strings as The Puppet Co. present The Velveteen Rabbit
* And Old MacDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots show at the Glen Echo venue
* Head to the U.S. Botanic Garden for The Cerulean Time Capsule, an interactive theatrical adventure
* Illstyle and Peace Production’s The History of Hip Hop is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* It’s a Tot Rock Fest at Jammin’ Java on Saturday
Dinner and a Movie
Where: Monroe Street Market
When: Friday at dusk
Enjoy “Dinner and a Movie” at Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market in Brookland. Participating restaurants will feature special promotions, while a free outdoor movie is shown beginning at dusk. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair. Tonight, all guests will receive a free bag of popcorn as watch a screening of Rio.
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Join the American History Museum for a festival the whole family can enjoy and celebrate the accomplishments of American inventors and the spirit of innovation! Exhibits, talks, and demonstrations will showcase ingenuity at the Smithsonian and across America. Discover inventions and meet the people who design and create them. Learn how America’s intellectual-property system has driven innovation. This will all take place in the new Innovation Wing.
Be a Junior Botanist
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Adventure abounds at the as you discover all the talents needed to become a Junior Botanist. Between hands-on activities, engaging discussions with USBG staff and volunteers, and tasty cooking demos, be sure to ponder plants with root expert Dr. Jerry Glover. Then, check out a backpack and try to become an actual Junior Botanist!
Worldwide Day of Play
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
As Nickelodeon celebrates kids and all the ways they play on Saturday, the National Children’s Museum is partnering with THEARC to host a day of play and activities for children and families. The NCM’s Museum On the Move will bring its Imagination Playground™ to encourage collaborative play and building using the oversized blue foam blocks. And students from the I CAN Internship program at THEARC will lead other activities to round out the programming for the day.
Where: The Kinsbury Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free to attend & $20/adult, $15/child to walk
Dogs and their people are invited to the Washington Humane Society’s annual DC Walk for the Animals & Pet-A-Palooza. Participants can walk a mile to raise awareness and much needed funding for WHS and /or join Pet-A-Palooza, a festival of games, contests, and activities for kids, adults, and dogs. Adopt Force One, the WHS mobile adoption vehicle, will be onsite with adoptable animals looking to find their forever homes. Prizes for Top Fundraising Team and Top Individual Fundraiser will be awarded at the event. The Kingsbury Center is located at 5000 14th Street, NW, near the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Northwest DC.
Road to the Puppy Bowl
Where: lululemon Logan Circle
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Animal Planet’s all-star adoption event is here to help animals of all sizes, shapes, and breeds find their forever homes — for half-price. Those hoping to add a playful pup or a furry feline to their home can join Animal Planet and Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) at the lululemon athletica Logan Circle for a fun-filled event with photo ops, giveaways, and overly adorable animals. The best part, half of adoptions fees will be covered!
Music School Open House
Where: Bach to Rock – Bristow, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
America’s music school for students of all ages is opening a new Virginia location in Bristow on Monday, and to celebrate the grand opening, B2R is hosting an open house on Saturday. The community is invited to tour the school, learn about individual lessons and group classes, check out the recording studio, meet the teachers, and more. The new B2R is located at 9070 Devlin Road, Suite 100.
Make Scape 2015
Where: Open Works
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Celebrate and discover Baltimore’s Maker Community at the First Annual MakeScape! Enjoy demos, food, crafts, and activities for kids, and more. You can also take a tour of the future home of Open Works, Baltimore’s new creative incubator and safe place open to all to learn, make, and innovate…no matter age, education, income, race, neighborhood or social class. Open works is located at 1400 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore.
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
The 6th annual Leesburg Airshow will take to the skies with thrilling aerobatic demonstrations, sky divers, and more! Witness a showcase of impressive aircraft, classic cars, and a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them. Go here for directions and parking instructions.
Happy Birthday, Rock Creek
Where: Rock Creek Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Celebrate 125 years of Rock Creek Park, the oldest natural urban park in the National Park System. All kind of activities – hikes, workshops, pony rides, wall climbing, skating, poetry readings, yoga, and more – will be offered throughout the day. And it will all culminate with cake. Go here for a schedule of events.
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 12th-14th St.
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
You’ll be whirling like a dervish from all there is to enjoy at the 13th Annual Turkish Festival on Sunday. Watch Turkish dance and stage performances, enjoy a Turkish coffee and tea and have and find out your destiny from the ever-popular Turkish fortune-tellers who read fortunes from coffee grinds, and sample Turkish cuisine from local restaurants. Shop an authentic Turkish bazaar featuring 25 vendors showcasing everything from Turkish jewelry to clothing to home accessories. And a “Kid’s Tent” will provide an interactive introduction to Turkey with hands-on activities for children of all ages.
Walking Town DC
Where: Various DC neighborhoods
When: Throughout the weekend
Put on your walking shoes for a free guided stroll in the city! WalkingTown DC features outdoor walking tours of DC’s most interesting locations and neighborhoods through September 27. The tours take place outside, rain or shine, and many include a restroom break. Just about all of the tours are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible and take place at varying times throughout the day. See the schedule for details and to sign up.
Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
This family festival is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual celebration of the Park’s revitalization and recalling of its history. The event features kiddie rides and arcade games, as well as videos and an exhibition on the Park’s past. Other activities include carousel rides, face painting, vintage cars, and magic shows. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.
Fall Arts Festival
Where: Workhouse Arts Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Over 100 of the nation’s best artists will exhibit their original fine art and unique fine crafts at the Workhouse Arts Center. The two-day outdoor event will feature work by artists from across the Mid-Atlantic region, showcasing paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, hand crafted furniture and much more. Local gourmet food vendors and food trucks, local beer and wine for purchase, live music, and a children’s craft tent and activities will also be part of the festivities.
Nats vs. Phillies
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Nats are hosting the Phillies as they wind down the season. Catch an evening game on Friday or afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. And be sure to check out this post on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Shop for unique wares at The Washington City Paper’s annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair. The market will include more than 170 talented vendors, local food truck fare, and a selection of craft brews at the New Belgium Beer Garden. The carefully-selected roster of independent artisans will be selling everything from jewelery and clothing to handbags and accessories to housewares and stuff for kids.