Just because it’s going to be a wet weekend, that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. Get out the rain coats and waterproof footwear and head outdoors anyway, or take your pick of indoor pursuits from both special events listed below and ongoing activities here. I do recommend checking to make sure there aren’t cancellations due to rain, and I’ll update here as well. Wet or dry, indoors or out, have a… Happy Weekend!
Where: Parks around the area
When: Friday & Saturday
To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, National Geographic is bringing together 300 scientists and thousands of members of the public to explore the parks around DC and document all the creatures that live in them. We’ll also have a Biodiversity Festival on the Mall with music, entertainment, and booths with hands-on activities. It’s all completely free!
Where: National Mall
When: Friday & Saturday
This two-day event is part of the cornerstone BioBlitz. Head to Constitution Gardens for hands-on science exhibits, food and art, as well as family-friendly entertainment and activities. Constitution Gardens will also serve as base camp for the National Capital Parks BioBlitz and as a connection to all the other BioBlitzes taking place at national parks that weekend.
Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Kick off the weekend as the Yards Park kicks off its seasonal Friday Night concert series! Tour de Fat presents the Black Masala Band in the first installment of the summer staple, so there will be extra bemusements along with the show, as well as food and beverages will be available for purchase (note that BYO alcohol is no longer permitted, but you can still spread out for a picnic dinner).
Tour de Fat
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
The celebration of bike and bemusement is zany in the best way possible. There’s a bicycle parade, bicycle art, reconfigured bicycles to ride, a dance contest to win a bicycle, a car-for-bike swap, a bike-themed kids area, and bikes just…everywhere. There’s also beer! Registration for the parade starts at 10am, then the rest of the festivities kick off at 11am. Costumes encouraged.
Voices of Now
Where: Arena Stage
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm
Enjoy an evening of evening of original, autobiographical theater as artists ages 11 to 18 share their stories and raise important questions they have about their communities. This year’s plays examine topics including issues of race and ethnicity, self-identification, mental health and illness, heroes and role models, putting down roots in new places, risk-taking, the magnitude of our actions, and implications of language used surrounding grief and death.
MoCo Strawberry Fest & Fair
Where: Zimmerman-Ace Field in Burtonsville
When: Friday, 6-9pm & Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free to the marketplace, tents and rides extra
Celebrate spring in Montgomery County with carnival fun and seasonal treats! Enjoy local strawberries, a market of artisan goods, face painting, strawberry foods, shortcake, live entertainment, and more!
18th Century Spring Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $8/adult, $3/child, free for 2 and under
Celebrate spring at the first Market Fair of the season! The living history museum’s annual event showcases aspects of life in 1771 in lots of fun, festive ways. Play games and watch a children’s puppet theatre, or make your own Corn Husk Doll. Order nails from the Blacksmith and watch all kinds of demos by artisans. Purchase herb and flowering plants and shop for other wares. Concession include fresh vegetables, roast chicken, sausages, and bread; lemonade and sugar cakes from the Sweets stand; and wine or ale from the Tavern. Due to weather, the Fair will only take place Sunday this season. Read more about Claude Moore in this recent post.
IRELAND 100: Redhead Family Day
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
As the Kennedy Center showcasing Irish arts and culture over the next couple of weeks, this special family day welcomes redheads and redheads-at-heart to join this free celebration. Featuring music acts, dance performances, demonstrations, and activities for the whole family, the day wil culminate in a redhead kids’ parade and photo gathering.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 2pm
Head to the NMAI’s imagiNATIONS activity center for an interactive puppet show based on the children’s book The Goat in the Rug by Charles L. Blood and Martin Link.Learn about the Diné (Navajo) people from the southwest United States and the six steps involved in creating a traditional Navajo rug. Recommended for children up to age six. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Extend your visit and enjoy the many hands-on activities for kids at the museum.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* The Pop-Ups are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* Watch the World Children’s Choir perform The Magic Flute in Arlington on Saturday
* The Kennedy Center present The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly as part of its IRELAND 100 festival on Sunday
* See The Emperor’s Nightingale at Adventure Theatre
* Encore Stage & Studio’s current production by kids for kids is Shakespeare’s Tweflth Knight
* Looking for Roberto Clemente is on the Imagination Stage
* See a fairy tale on strings as Sleeping Beauty is performed at The Puppet Co.
* And Panda Monium is the featured Tiny Tots show
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
The whole crew can enjoy an afternoon of music and fun at one a dueling piano shows. The two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet is a great way to brighten a gray, rainy day. And this is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats, dance in the aisles, and sing along!
Armed Forces Day
Where: National Cryptologic Museum, Annapolis MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Honor and celebrate the men and women serving in our nation’s Armed Forces at the National Cryptologic Museum on Saturday. The event promises to be a day of fun and education for the whole family. Indoor and outdoor activities will include a chance to talk by ham radio, K-9 Unit demos, knot tying workshops with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, live jazz from the U.S. Army Field Band Ambassadors, special tours and photo ops, kids games, face painting, bouncy fun, and more. Service members will be serving hot grilled food and drinks, and ice cream will be available for a sweet treat. Rain or shine.
Book Shop Sing-a-Long
Where: Walls of Books
When: Saturday, 11am
Since it’s going to rain, make the day awesome by joining Walls of Books for some music and great stories. Bear Song will lead the tunes, and grown ups can grab some coffee provided by Heat Da Spot.
Family Book Making Arts
Where: African Art Museum
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Learn the art of traditional book making techniques and create your own book art. Workshops will focus on different aspects of book making, featuring local and international book art making artists. The African Art Museum is located at 950 Independence Avenue, enter from the Haupt Garden.
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Experience the Air & Space Museum’s new Smithsonian TechQuest: Astronaut Academy. The free alternate reality game challenges you to become an astronaut-in-training for a future trip to Mars. Choose what role you will play on the mission; engage in fun interactive activities; and explore the science, technology, engineering, and math skills you will need as a member of the next generation of space travelers. Along the way, you’ll learn about some of the Museum’s fascinating artifacts. Read more about the adventure on the website. Best for upper elementary and middle school visitors and their families.
International Migratory Bird Day
Where: Rock Creek Park Nature Center
When: Saturday,10am – 3pm
Help Rock Creek celebrate the birds that call the park home, even for part of the year. For generations, migratory birds have connected communities across continents, providing unique opportunities for international collaboration and inspiring people to improve conditions for birds, all wildlife, and for ourselves. The day will include bird walks, hands-on activities and exhibits, food, art, and family-friendly entertainment – a special performance by Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble. See the schedule of activities on the website.
Where: Lewinsville Park, Mclean VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
McLean’s annual festival to celebrate the city has something for everyone in the fam. Enjoy canival rides, food trucks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, exhibitor booths, free field games, a tennis clinic, Bumpr Ball, laser tag, and a roaming Magician and balloon animals that will delight the littles!
Fiesta Asia Street Fair (UPDATE: Postponed to June 5)
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue, 3rd – 6th Streets, NW DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation and Passport DC. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities, and more. Kids can enjoy activities like origami, sidewalk chalk, dragon making, story telling, and more. While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and in the marketplace.
Saturday Family Jazz Session
When: Saturday, 11am
Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of jazz appreciation at this fun, creative, kid-friendly series featuring classes with multi-instrumentalist and local jazz legend Seth Kibel and renowned jazz singer Rochelle Rice. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
Parks & Yoga
Where: Constitution Gardens on the Mall
When: Saturday, 9am
Pop-up yoga brand Grip The Mat will be teaching an open yoga session on Saturday morning at 9am as part of the Biodiveristy Festival and centennial celebration of the National Park Service. Join them as they explore one of the most notable National Parks, the National Mall, and the whole fam can connect with each other during a light-hearted yoga session followed by a brunch by Peet’s Coffee. Admission is free, but RSVP here. Be sure to bring a yoga mat!
Gaithersburg Book Festival
Where: Gaithersburg City Hall, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
The City of Gaithersburg welcomes you to their 7th annual literary event! Festivities will include the chance to see and meet some of the world’s best writers, from best-sellers to acclaimed up-and-comers; join in literary workshops; and a full day of fun at the Children’s Village. The Gaithersburg City Hall is located at 31 South Summit Avenue.
Outdoor Movie Night: Minions
Where: J.O. Wilson Elementary School
When: Friday, 8pm
The JO Wilson PTA will be hosting a Outdoor Family Movie Night for kids, families, neighbors and friends on Friday, May 20 starting at 8pm. The movie will be Minions and admission is free. We will have pizza, juice, water, and concession sales. We will also have pre-activities with music and games for all between 6:30 and 8:00. The activities and movie will take place on the JO Wilson soccer field at 660 K St NE. Bring your blankets, chairs, and picnic baskets. Fun for everyone. Alcoholic beverages not permitted.
Where: KIPP DC
When: Saturday,9:30am – 2:30pm
Students and families from across the region are invited to this highly interactive expo of hands-on, brains-on adventures for learners of all ages who want to explore, invent, and experiment.
Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Where: Reston Town Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $5 suggestion donation
Experience the 25th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, an 11-block art walk filled with more than 200 artists from around the nation with their paintings, photography, mixed-media, sculpture, jewelry, and fine craft. Be inspired with art appreciation for all tastes and ages, interact with artists and learn about their processes, enjoy acclaimed family art-making activities in the Pavilion, and see innovative performances of dance inspired by public art installations.
Flocks and Farms Festival
Where: Black Hill Regional Park
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Join the Maryland Bluebird Society and Black Hill Nature Programs for a celebration of the conservation success stories of the Eastern Bluebird and Montgomery County’s very own Agricultural Reserve. Participants will learn how to help bluebirds and other cavity-nesters, while meeting farmers and organizations based in the Ag Reserve.
Full STEAM Ahead
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Families are invited to visit the Annmarie artLAB for hands-on investigations and challenges. This month’s “Wonderful Weather” themed session (and here I have to note the irony) will include a variety of fun and wildly creative games that will help kids explore, observe, ask questions, and make predictions about the world around them as they create and play.
Awesome Possum Book Reading!
Where: Upshur Street Books
When: Sunday, 1pm
Book it to Upsher Street, where author Sara Pascoe is giving a reading of her new children’s book, Oswald the Almost Famous Possum. The story is about fame-seeking opossum who must decide whether the promise of fame is more important to him than sticking by his friends is a fantasy chapter book for 7-9 year olds with great educational details sprinkled in about language (Oswald is a poet) and fun facts about the different animal characters (did you know opossums have opposable thumbs on their back legs?).