Category Archives: Art

The Weekend Round-Up: April 7-9

Jump (and hop) with spring joy at Ticonderoga Farm!

Jump (and hop) with spring joy at Ticonderoga Farm!



Crazy 8 Sale On Now!


Spring Break is about to begin for a lot of local and visiting kids, and there are a ton of fun ways to get it started this weekend. Celebrate the cherry blossoms, Easter, or the season. See Charm City in a whole new light. Join a Pirate Adventure. Catch a live performance. Visit a historic site. Take a family hike. These are a just a few of many special events and activities going on. And with the great spring weather on the horizon, be sure to explore this compilation of the best outdoor places around the DC-Metro, too. Happy Weekend!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is easily the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel down Constitution Avenue. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: M Street & New Jersey Ave. SE
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up in advance, free for 12 and under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. There will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. All at a new location in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Be prepared for a crowd.

Easter Celebrations for DC Peeps
Where: Around the Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

Egg hunts, bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season are happening all around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for your whole gang. Find a great nature-themed activity at NoVa Parks. Enjoy loads of festive activities at Ticonderoga Farm or Butler’s Orchard. Take a special Bunny Train Ride. Fill a basket at an Eggstravagnza. Or find another egg-cellent event where you can celebrate here.

Springfest: Crowns, Cowboys & Easter Bunny
Where: B&O Railroad Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $18/adult, $16/senior, $12/child

Enjoy festive activities though April 15 at the museum dedicated to trains! Along with train rides & appearances by Anna, Elsa, the Easter Bunny, and some your favorite royal characters, there will be loads of hands-on fun. See the full schedule of it all here.

Light City
Where: Baltimore’s Waterfront
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

See Baltimore transformed with large-scale light installations, performances, music, and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area. Light City’s innovation programming generates an ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – while lights, performances, and live music re-imagine Baltimore at night. Be sure to check out the family-friendly features of the festival.

PEEPS Day
Where: National Harbor
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: Free

It’s the second annual PEEPS Day at National Harbor, a celebration of the spring season and the uniqueness of everyone’s favorite marshmallow treat! The day will feature games and activities, a DJ, a movie, and the World PEEPS Eating Championship! Check out the full schedule on the website.

Set Sail on the Chesapeake, Matey!
Where: Annapolis Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $22, $12/ages 2 and under

It’s opening weekend for Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, returning for its 15th season! This unique outings promises a fun adventure on the water for kids. Young buccaneers starts by getting faces painted and dressing up as pirates, then they set sail for a treasure hunt on the water. While reading a map to find sunken treasure the crew of children use water cannons in defense against an enemy pirate, discover a secret stash of pirates’ grog, and so much more! The Sea Gypsy sails seven days a week, six times a day (9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm 3:30pm, and 5pm) — make a reservation for this weekend! Read about a KFDC experience with Pirate Adventures.

Run of the Mill
Where: Peirce Mill, Rock Creek Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to see the 2,000-pound millstone convert corn to cornmeal using good old-fashioned renewable energy of water. Miller Jeanne and Friends of Peirce Mill invite you to see DC’s only gristmill in action. Be sure to stop by Peirce Barn next door to explore the exhibits and enjoy children’s crafts. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $5/adult, $4/senior, $3/child

Annmarie’s magicalicious exhibit of fairy and gnome houses opens this weekend. As if the sculpture garden near Solomons, MD, wasn’t already wonderful, this annual display adds extra delight to a visit there with more than 50 handmade fairy and gnome homes scattered through the grounds. Visit the Arts Building to borrow a costume (or purchase one in the Gift Shop) to get into the fanciful spirit, grab a guide, and start your journey to locate them all. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

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

* Your wish for all-ages entertainment has been granted: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp opens at Adventure Theatre this weekend
* Reserve free tickets to Celebrate America’s Jazz Heritage with Unified Jazz Ensemble, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Imaginary Friends is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Paper Dreams at Imagination Stage will delight young audiences
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* The Broadway hit Chicago just opened at the Kennedy Center
* A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage is a good option with older kids or for a date night
* Circus and theater meets onstage cooking as The 7 Fingers of the Hand presents Cuisine & Confessions at George Mason’s Center for the Arts (be sure to read description to see if appropriate for your kid)

Emancipation Day Celebration
Where: Freedom Plaza
When: Saturday, 1-3pm & 9pm
Admission: Free

Commemorate the end of slavery in Washington, DC, with a parade, truck touch, and more all-ages festivities. Watch a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue at 1pm, then check out vehicles and enjoy a concert at Freedom Plaza. The event will culminate with fireworks at 9pm.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
Where: Bethesda Row
When: Saturday, 10am – 8pm
Admission: Free, but treats range in price

Take the kids to a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers a delicious array of Hello Kitty sweets and special goodies to fans of all ages. The yummy treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water. In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.

Family Literary Fiesta
Where: Highland Elementary School
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Kids and adults can join together in a celebration of books and stories! Ali Oliver-Krueger, playwright/composer, performing artist, and Artistic Director of InterAct Story Theatre, will lead a special interactive performance of Mama-San Stories, weaving tales from her Japanese-American childhood with traditional Japanese mukashibanashi (Long-Ago Stories) in this funny and heart-warming east-meets-west storytelling experience.

Weekend Walk in the Woods
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 9-10am
Admission: Free

Take a hike — and advantage of the Audubon Naturalist Society’s free monthly family program. On the first Saturday of each month from 9-10am, join Master Naturalists for a nature hike around Woodend Sanctuary. Each outing has a unique and exciting natural history theme that’s appropriate for family members of all ages. Be prepared to hike in sneakers. Meet in the gazebo by the main house. Read a KFDC review of Woodend Nature Sanctuary.

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $15/adults, $5/children

The whole family will be amused and amazed by the juggling skills of Gregory Popovich and the antics of his furry and feathered friends. This award-winning Moscow Circus veteran has given his loveable troupe of rescue animals — cats, dogs, geese, parrots, a Shetland pony, and others — a new leash on life through this popular show. Clowns, acrobats and jugglers accompany a menagerie of adorable animals that eagerly perform remarkable circus tricks.

Japanese Woodblock Printing
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, all ages are welcome to join the Sackler Gallery for opening weekend of Inventing Utamaro and free family activities. In this Open Studio, witness firsthand the beauty and complexity of Japanese woodblock prints. Take a family-friendly tour (offered at 12:30pm and 2:30pm) of the exhibition, then explore traditional tools and papers. A teaching artist will demonstrate transferring designs to a block, carving, and basic printing techniques. Be prepared to get your hands inky.

Cherrybration Days
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6

Let little princesses & princes dress up for this visit to the storybook-themed farm (you can read more about it in the list of outdoor outings). Clark’s Elioak will be celebrating Howard County’s “Cherrybration” Days with treats fit for young royalty and plenty of pink pizzazz. Children in a family will get a free hayride if at least one person in the family is dressed as a pink princess. Kids can also dress up in gowns on hand at the farm for a photo opportunity with “Princess Cherrybella.”

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt
Where: Maydale Conservation Park
When: Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Earth Month at Maydale with a “Who’s Here?” Scavenger Hunt! Learn about the pond, stream and forest and the animals and insects found there and how and why we should protect them. Registration required for all attending!

Spring Light Show
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12.95

Who says lights displays are only for the winter holidays? Not Ticonderoga Farm! Their Spring Walk of Lights welcomes you to enjoy Farm Town as it comes alive. Wander past the notorious pirate ship adventure, stroll through the tunnel of amaze, gaze up at an 18-foot bunny, and take in more delightful illuminated scenes. It’s the kind of event that will become seasonal family tradition! Be sure to check out the website for details on timing.

Family Afternoon: Design with Nature
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages can drop in for creative hands-on activities, a community garden design project, and opportunities to learn about Japanese art and design. See how nature is intentionally integrated into the built world, different ways people design with nature, and how nature can inspire design in and around built spaces. Learn about symbolism of the natural world across cultures and make connections between springtime symbolism, design, nature, and the built world they live in.

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the third annual Anacostia River Festival, a premier event of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival. For a taste of local D.C., come celebrate the Anacostia River and take a canoe out to explore the River, ride in our bike parade, play lawn games with your family and experience Southeast D.C.’s local arts scene at this special FREE event. This year will be a celebration of biking in the District with trail rides, safety classes, quick bike tune ups, and special bike activities for all ages. Festival location is Good Hope Road & Anacostia Drive SE.

Flower Power
Where: Anacostia Arts Center
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy an interactive art installation, art exhibitions, floral arranging classes, workshops, live music, spring fashion. This free, family-friendly event is part of the Anacostia River Festival, a premier event of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

DC Way Soccer Festival
Where: Marine Barracks Soccer Field
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

This festival’s goal: To gather children & parents to play soccer, socialize, and have fun! It’s a great chance to introduce kids to the magnificent game of soccer, test your own skills, participate in fun competitions, and ask the coaches questions regarding the game and sports in general. The day will include multiple games and activities, such as soccer tennis, a parents vs. children challenge, best strike contest, and more! The Marine Barracks Soccer Field is located at 7th & I Streets SE.

Banish Boredom
Where: Tenley-Friendship Library
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Looking for some creative fun with the kiddos? Stop by the Tenley Friendship Library on Sunday for a drop-in art activity with Rebecca Green from the blog Not-So-SAHM and author of the book Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids that You’ll Actually Enjoy. Join her to make super fun collage portraits that you can bring home to display!


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The Weekend Round-Up: March 31 – April 2

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend



This round-up is coming to you a little earlier than usual, and you’re going to need that extra time to figure out your plans because there are so many cool things going on this weekend. Watch the sky fill with kites around the Washington Monument. See Baltimore in a whole new light — literally. Get your Easter fun started. Cheer on local sports teams. Catch live entertainment on local stages. Take a time trip to the 18th century at a colonial farm. And there’s way more…read on for details on all of it. Happy Weekend!

Go Fly a Kite!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is probably my favorite event of the cherry blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly one to behold. It’s magical for kids (and even for me as a jaded adult)! The sails you see flying there each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so BYO or make one there at an activity station (available while supplies last). There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Light City
Where: Baltimore’s Waterfront
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Head up to Baltimore for what sounds like a uniqu e, amazing experience! See the waterfront transformed with large-scale light installations, performances, music, and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area. Light City’s innovation programming generates an ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – while lights, performances, and live music re-imagine Baltimore at night.  Be sure to check out the family-friendly features of the festival.

Nats Are Back!
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, 4:05pm & Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The official baseball season hasn’t begun, but you can start getting into the swing of it at exhibition games this weekend as the Nats host the Red Sox. Tickets are still available for the Friday match, though sold out on Saturday, but you can try scoring seats through a secondary ticket outlet. And before you go, be sure to check out these KFDC tips for doing a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Cherokee Days
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the fourth annual Cherokee Days Festival with the NMAI Representatives from all three federally recognized Cherokee tribes — the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are taking part. The event showcases the shared history and cultural lifeways of the Cherokee through interactive exhibits, storytelling, traditional flute playing, weaponry, woodcarving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving, and pottery demonstrations, along with music and dance performances. FYI: The NMAI always throws a good festival — the dance performances in the atrium are particularly great!

Egg Hunt & Marshmallow Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult at the gate

Head to Great Country for the first “crop” of the spring: Marshmallow Picking! Do marshmallow peeps grow on trees? Be sure to check it out and harvest a few to roast on the bonfire with Farmer Bob. You can even purchase a s’mores kit to melt away that chocolate craving. Kids can also help find Easter Bunny eggs during egg hunts (by age – see schedule on website) with over 18,000 treat-filled eggs. Plan to visit spring chicks and baby animals, check out the spring plantings in the greenhouse, take a hayride and rejoice in the new season. Don’t forget to bring your camera for photo ops with the Easter Bunny. Buy advance tickets online for only $10/adult — visit the website to purchase, and look for the schedule of events there, too.

Artomatic Children’s Day
Where: Vornado/Charles E. Smith in Crystal City
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

This six-week art event featuring work by more than 600 artists, performers, musicians, and creatives of all kinds is hosting special activities and workshops especially for kids this Sunday. Young art-goers can help create a mural, catch a roaming magician performing tricks, join a community weaving project, work on an origami installation, and more! Visit the website for details and the schedule of activities.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
Where: Bethesda Row
When: Saturday, 10am – 8pm
Admission: Free, but treats range in price

Take the kiddies to a mobile vehicle of cuteness that offers a delicious array of Hello Kitty sweets and special goodies to fans of all ages. The yummy treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set, a rainbow macaron box set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design, a 4-pack of mini cakes, and bow-shaped bottles of water. In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe t-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.

Kids Capitol Hill Walking Tour
Where: Start & end at Southeast Library
When: Saturday, 1-3:30pm
Admission: $15/members, $20/non-members

Kids ages 8-12 can join this District Architect Center DACkids program! Whether your family lives on Capitol Hill, or you’ve visited the US Capitol and Supreme Court buildings, there’s plenty to discover about the history and architecture of this neighborhood where people have lived, worked, and shopped for many years. This kids’ tour will explore why buildings look the way they do and the stories of the people who shaped the neighborhood. Learn new terms and identify the architectural features of libraries, churches, the Marine Barracks, as well as row houses and buildings that have been adapted to new uses. Parents are welcome to join the tour and be part of the learning experience.

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

* Reserve free tickets to see Peabody Opera’s Papageno!, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff just opened on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Mother Goose Caboose is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Watch virtuoso juggling gone wild with Water on Mars at Black Rock Performing Arts Center
* Paper Dreams at Imagination Stage will delight young audiences
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* A Raisin in the Sun opening at Arena Stage is a good option with older kids or for a date night
* Go KidFree at a performance of The Select (The Sun Also Rises) at the Lansburgh Theatre — this weekend is your last chance to see it!

Saturday Family Jazz Session
Where: Strathmore
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $10

Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Music, history, and fun come together this weekend when kids learn about blues superstar Gertrude “Ma” Pridgett Rainey, plus the foundations of singing, vocabulary, and form essential to the blues. Recommended for ages 3-8. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Kite Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $10-12

Children ages 3-10 are invited to make and decorate a kite, then watch it soar during kite flying activities. Pre-reservations required! Plan to hang out and enjoy the many other attractions at the park after (or before) your session. Animal visits, wagon rides, and playgrounds are just a few of them!

More Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Several Fairfax parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages to enjoy. Enjoy a nature session for tiny tots at Huntley Meadows Park, join an April Fool’s campfire at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, let kids be animal scientists at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, celebrate National Poetry Month at Green Spring Gardens. Go here to see all of your options and register for activities.

Nat Geo Kids Club
Where: Bloomingdale’s Court, Tysons Corner Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Explore with National Geographic at their monthly Kids Club! Enjoy free fun, educational games and activities — it’s a great opportunity for children to learn with activities and games that focus on discovery through play. It’s all complimentary and also includes snacks provided by California Pizza Kitchen, music, balloon animals, and face painting.

DC United vs. Philadelphia Union
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $20

Kick it at a soccer game on Saturday. The DC United are hosting the Philadelphia Union for an evening match. Be sure to stop by the Fan Zone in section 222 for extra activities that kids and adults can enjoy.

Annual Garden Party
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Throughout the winter, Community Forklift collects gently-used and surplus lawn & garden supplies as well as outdoor décor and furniture. Come spring, they put it all out for your shopping pleasure at their Annual Garden Party. Even more, along with the sale, the event will feature gardening demonstrations, experts, and vendors; activities for kids; and local bands and food. It’s become so popular, they extended it to two day this year!

Spring Egg Hunt & Farm Fun
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $14.95 ages 2 and up

With giant slides, awesome jumping pillows, playgrounds, animals, mazes, and more, the farm in Chantilly is a blast everyday (it’s open daily), but they take the fun up a notch on weekends in early spring. Along with the permanent amusement, there are egg hunts ( and visits from the Easter Bunny. Be sure to check the website for timing of specific activities. For an idea of what’s there, see this post about their Winter Festival, which is much of the same, but with Easter instead of Christmas festivities. And this post about a class field trip has info and pics, too.

Go Colonial
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $3/adults, $2/ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm opens for the first weekend of its 2017 season, welcoming visitors to explore family life on a pre-Revolutionary War working farm! There is a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, and animals. Guests can also interact with a family portraying life as it was back then. Read more about it in this post (ignore the “autumn” part; it’s a great outing in the spring, too) and this one.

Everyday Play
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Want even more options for local activities with the kids? The Everyday Play page is loaded with ideas for ongoing fun — every single one of them tried and tested by yours truly and crew. And if you’re looking specifically for things to do outside, check out The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids. And for inside pursuits, The Great Indoors post has you covered.

***PLAN AHEAD!***
* Secure parking before you come into the city with Parking Panda, a free, handy app that lets you reserve a space in a garage, so you don’t have to waste time searching for a spot.
* Plan for more Cherry Blossom Festival events with this round-up of the best ones for families
* There are egg hunts, Bunny visits, and spring fun galore over the next few weeks that will have your whole fam hopping with joy. This annual round-up of ’em has details.
* If you haven’t seen Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshorn, there is still a chance to score tickets (Mondays at noon!). This post lets you know what to expect and has tips on going with kids.
* Thomas the Tank Engine & friends are rolling into Baltimore for Day Out with Thomas at the B&O Railroad Museum. There’s a KFDC giveaway to win a family 4-Pack of tickets!


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, School Event, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 27-31

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery



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Monday – Visit the Sackler Gallery on the National Mall. The Smithsonian museum houses a great collection of Asian art as well as special exhibits, like the current Chinamania. Be sure to head all the way downstairs to an area full of stations that encourage visitors to touch and get a close look. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Go to Tudor Place for Tudor Tots. The weekly program at the historic estate in Georgetown invites little ones to learn about the world around us through songs, stories, crafts, and movement, all tailored to growing tots with a different theme each session. The fun takes place 10-10:45am, and admission is $5/child (accompanying adults free).

Wednesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.

Thursday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where The Three Billy Goats Gruff begins its month-long run this week. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If the weather is nice, plan to stay at Glen Echo Park, where the theatre is located, for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch — BYO fare or buy food from the Praline Bakery on premises.


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The Weekend Round-Up: March 24-26

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is open for the season!

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is open for the season!



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This first weekend of spring is full of seasonal fun and then some! Enjoy a cherry blossom-inspired event, celebrate Maryland’s birthday, zip through the treetops, catch a live show, have fun on the farm, learn to make slime….plus, the blossoms should be in full bloom anytime now, so plan get out and see the DC in peak mode. Happy Weekend!

Cherry Blossom Celebration
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture! A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Japanese music and dance performances, face painting, and cherry blossom themed crafts. Make your own tatebanko (a Japanese paper diorama) with our friends from the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Asian art museums. Go on a scavenger hunt to find spring-themed artworks and more!

Maryland Day
Where: Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County
When: Friday – Sunday, times vary by activity
Admission: Activities are free or just $1

Celebrate Maryland’s birthday and rediscover the state’s history during fun-filled annual festival highlighting the uniqueness of the Four Rivers Heritage Area, as local cultural and heritage sites offer special activities and tours. Stroll through downtown Annapolis or visit Historic London Town and the Annapolis countryside to enjoy educational tours, costumed re-enactors, art exhibits, kids’ activities, and more. Visit the website for more details ad schedule of events.

Kites of Asia Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: March 25, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get ready for the Blossom Kite Festival and celebrate spring and Asian heritage! At the Air & Space Museum’s annual event, you can talk to kite experts, see pan-Asian kite displays, marvel at indoor kite flying, make your own kite, and maybe even take a dance lesson!

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress Young Readers Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Learn about Japanese culture as you create origami artwork creation, try on kimonos, and enjoy more other activities. Cherry Blossom princesses from the last few years will instruct children in the art of tiara-making. At 11am and 1:30pm, the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC, will present “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” a program about Japanese life and culture. Following each of these presentations, there will be a karate demonstration along with other attractions. Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature – read more about it here.

Friendship Between Nations Family Day
Where: National Archives
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Archives for a fun, activity filled day exploring the many ways countries show their friendship. Investigate treaties, learn about some of the crazy gifts countries have given, and participate in interactive activities designed for the entire family to enjoy.

Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The kick of warmth starting today should give the cherry blossoms the final nudge needed to get to full bloom, so get out and view the splendor of it all. The Tidal Basin is the most iconic spot to see them, but other places in the area also showcase the famous flowers. This post suggests some spots and offers tips on making the most of your viewing experience.

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring recently opened for the season! Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience thrills on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do much more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

Composting Workshop
Where: National Arboretum
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $10

Join Washington Youth Garden for a family-friendly Urban Composting workshop lead by Compost Cab. Join them at the demonstration garden to learn about indoor and outdoor home composting and leave with the knowledge to make your own soil for your garden. Wear clothing that can get dirty — compost can get messy!

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

* Reserve free tickets to see Bilbo’s Journey presented by Traveling Lantern Theatre Company, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Jack and the Beanstalk in on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Magic Toyshop is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Paper Dreams at Imagination Stage will delight young audiences
* Older youth audiences will enjoy The Manhattan Project’s production of Alice in Wonderland at the Bethesda theatre
* From the Mouths of Monsters is a Frankenstein-inspired show at the Kennedy Center
* Justin Roberts is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* See To Sail Around the Sun at the Kennedy Center
* Go KidFree at a performance of The Select (The Sun Also Rises) at the Lansburgh Theatre

Spring Farm Fun
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $14.95 ages 2 and up

Start celebrating Easter as soon as this weekend at Ticonderoga’s annual spring festival! With giant slides, awesome jumping pillows, playgrounds, animals, mazes, and more, the farm in Chantilly is a blast everyday (it’s open daily), but they take the fun up a notch on weekends in early spring. Along with the permanent amusement, there are egg hunts and visits from the Easter Bunny. Be sure to check the website for timing of specific activities. For an idea of what’s there, see this post about their Winter Festival, which is much of the same, but with Easter instead of Christmas festivities.

Going Wild Weekend
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $$14.95/ages 2 and up

Spring is finally here – and it’s time to “Go Wild” at Port Discovery! Join Wildlife Adventures and programs all about wildlife: Interact with live animals, learn about wildlife with fun programs like Living WILD, Wild Tales, and UnWrap, UnRoll and UnWind, and enjoy animal-themed art projects where you can create Fire Breathing Dragons and Going Wild Masks. Plus, take part in interactive plays and theater performances, yoga for kids, and enjoy roaming music throughout the day!

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Several locations around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by film

Films from across the globe are being screened around the DC-Metro area for the the 25th annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them. This weekend, Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale is the one family-friendly film showing on Sunday. There are even more films that older kids will likely enjoy and learn from and others to consider for a grown-up outing. View the website to watch trailers and get showtimes and details.

Cántale a Tu Bebé (Sing To Your Baby)
Where: The Mansion at Strathmore
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $10

Join a bilingual music party celebrating the release of Cántale a Tu Bebé, the Spanish-language version of the award-winning book/CD Sing To Your Baby by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer. Sonia De Los Santos (solo musician and Dan Zanes Band) and Jorge Anaya (Dc-area Latino vocalist) join Cathy & Marcy for this intimate event. Learn how to use music for fun, skill development and as an ongoing expression of love in both Spanish and English. It’s never too early (or too late!) to sing with family!

DC Youth Orchestra SpringFest
Where: Easter High School
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

The DC Youth orchestra Program is celebrating Spring with the community!  It’ll begin with a prelude concert featuring DCYOP chamber groups and faculty. The Orchestra Idol competition concert will follow — think Battle of the Bands meets DC youth! Over 200 students from 80 different schools will be assigned to one of three hybrid orchestras. Each orchestra will have one hour to prepare a piece which will then be performed in front of a panel of celebrity judges and community audience. The winner will be determined by the combined votes of the celebrity panel and audience texts score. Join to enjoy the music and chip in with your vote! 

Museum Movie: The Eagle Huntress
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Among the isolated Kazakh tribe in the mountains of northwest Mongolia, the long tradition of eagle hunting has only been practiced by men. This documentary follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her family to become an eagle hunter. Her decision causes controversy amongst older members of the community, but Aisholpan boldly embarks on a strict program of training. This inspiring film captures her courage. English narration, and Kazakh with English subtitles. Recommended for ages 11 and up.

Make Slime to Fight Cancer
Where: Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax
When: Sunday, 2-3pm
Admission: $20

Local 9-year-old, Hannah, has been making slime since last summer, and with the recent with slime craze many kids have asked to buy it as well as how to make their own. So, her mom thought it would be fun have her teach a class for kids in the area — and this Sunday Hannah will be doing just that. (How cool is that?!) Even better, part of the proceeds will go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps fight childhood cancer. All supplies are included in the fee, and you can use the code HANNAH to get a $5 discount.

Make Room for Matzah
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC
When: Sunday, 10:30am -12pm
Admission: $10/family by 3/24, $15/family after

Join for hands-on Passover workshop to get ready for Passover and learn more about this tradition for your interfaith or Jewish family. Your child will make a beautiful Miriam’s Cup to enhance your seder and do a mitzvah for seniors celebrating Passover. Then we will have a Seder Plate Taste Test, as you delve into why we have the things on the Seder plate that we do. Best for ages 3 and up.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy the season and some active fun. See flowers that are popping up with warmer temps, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor the time outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids.

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

If you’re looking for things to do outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Babies, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Hunt for Harry Potter in the National Gallery of Art with Watson Adventures

A couple of wizards at work on their clues

A couple of wizards at work on their clues



I love discovering new ways to explore old favorites. Like many Washingtonians, we’d been to the National Gallery of Art countless times, but never on a scavenger hunt, nor with Harry Potter as inspiration for a tour.

When I first learned about Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Scavenger Hunt, I was immediately intrigued. Not only does our crew love a good clue-driven search, we’re also big Harry Potter fans. Not to mention it takes place at a magnificent museum, where wandering through the galleries even without a purpose is fantastic.

Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

This scavenger hunt is also a competition, adding a whole other fun and challenging element to the adventure. You sign up as a team, which can be a family/youth or all-adult, and compete against other groups. You’re all on a mission to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies in search of answers to 24 questions. There are clever Harry Potter-themed clues to help you locate each one, but many of them are tricky to decipher and take some sleuthing and careful examination of the art to figure out!

Exploring the galleries armed with clues

Exploring the galleries armed with clues

Every team has the same questions, but ordered differently for each group to stay spread out, though we did run into other teams searching for the same art a couple of times. You have 90 minutes to complete the hunt, which takes place throughout most of the West Wing of the NGA. And that hour and a half goes by quickly — we were scrambling for those last few clues to finish before the hunt time was up!

The search covers a lot of museum ground

The search covers a lot of museum ground

So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (Alexander Hamilton)

So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (My name is Alexander Hamilton…)

One point is given for every question answered correctly. The team that comes up with the most creative name also gets points. And you lose points if you’re not back to the starting place before the hunt time is up. The teams (one family/youth, one all-adult) that have the most points win.

Someone is feeling stumped

Someone is feeling stumped

Waiting for the announcement of the winners

Waiting for the announcement of the winners

As the Hogwarts crew might say, this adventure is bloody brilliant! It’s unique, fun, and exciting, and something the whole family can do together. All four of us contributed to the effort, and while we didn’t win, we had such a great time together completing the task. On top of that, we all agreed that it made us take a much closer look at some of the art that we often casually stroll by, something we’ll keep in mind on our next visit.

Want to see the clues?  Go sign up!

Want to see the clues? Go sign up!



So, is your family ready to prove yourselves wizards among muggles? If so, here’s what you need to know about Watson Adventures:

* The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is hosted monthly at the National Gallery of Art. The next one takes place Saturday, April 8, at 2pm. Sign up here.
* Cost is $17.50/ages 17 and under, and $19.50/adults
* While the website recommends this for ages 10 and up, I’d say about ages 8 and up can enjoy it. Sasha (8) loved it, and a couple of her 2nd grade classmates were there and had a great time, too.
* Watson Adventures also hosts scavenger hunts with other themes at different locations. Most are geared toward adults (think KidFree!), but Secrets of Georgetown is also for teens.
* Scavenger hunts are hosted in other cities, too. Visit the website to see where.


Disclosure: Our family received complimentary admission for the Wizard School Scavenger Hunt from Watson Adventures, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Art, Competition, DC, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Parents, Preteens, Teens, Tweens, Weekend