Category Archives: Educational

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 26-30

Get a great nature fix at Riverbend Park

Get a great nature fix at Riverbend Park



Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets in Takoma or Hyattsville, MD. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving. (FYI: The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, the last Tuesday of every month.)

Tuesday – Hit the trail at Riverbend Park. The Great Falls locale may not be as popular as its national park neighbor, but it’s just as fantastic a place to enjoy some time in nature — especially with kids. Trails are mellow for little hikers, the views are gorgeous, there are plenty of nice picnic spots, and admission is free. Plus, if you want to see the magnificent falls up river, they’re an easy two-mile walk in the woods away. Riverbend Park hours are 7am to dusk.

Wednesday – Check out your local library. Drop in for story time, sing-a-longs, arts & crafts, and other activities, or just go to browse for books. See this post from the very early KFDC days for a little background and quick links to libraries around the area. Hours vary by location, admission is free.

Thursday – Catch a production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre. The all-ages production adapted from the classic book begins at 10:30am, and tickets are $19.50. If weather permits, stay to play at Glen Echo Park after the show and have a picnic lunch — BYO or pick up a bite at the Praline Cafe there.

Friday – Enjoy a free screening of One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure at the Einstein Planetarium in the National Air & Space Museum. Showtime is 10:30am every Friday (and Sunday, plus the first Saturday of every month). It only lasts about 20 minutes, so explore the many impressive exhibits and discover How Things Fly, a room full of hands-on activities with major kid appeal, while you’re there.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: September 24-25

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival



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I would call this a big weekend for DC, as we welcome a new museum to the National Mall, host one of the most anticipated annual festivals for book lovers, celebrate the city’s theatre scene, and kick off the official start of fall with a bevy of seasonal fun. But big things always happen here, so it’s really just another (awesome) weekend in Washington. The great variety of fantastic, enriching events in this round-up is proof. Happy Weekend!

Freedom Sounds Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this weekend, and while you can’t yet visit if you don’t have tickets, you can celebrate the Smithsonian’s newest addition at a big festival right outside the museum. There will be all kinds of festivities throughout the days — music and dance performances, storytelling, art activities, a drum circle, concessions, and more — and the official dedication ceremony will be on Saturday at 10am. Want some evening entertainment? There will be concerts both Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm. The Roots, Public Enemy, and Living Colour are among the performers.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free

Bookworms, take note! One of DC’s biggest annual events is on Saturday. The Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 120 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages. For an idea of what to expect, see this post about one of our past experiences there.

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. Cox, Great Country, Montpelier, Clark’s Elioak, and many more farms around the area are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of these events in KFDC guide to Fall Festivals.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music, and great food! For the 47th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore. Located just 20 minutes south of Washington DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Volunteer for Public Lands
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Celebrate and serve with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on National Public Lands Day. Volunteer for the morning to help remove cut lotus from the ponds, clear invasive species from the forest, pick up litter, and complete other tasks around the park. After, stay for a free lunch in the picnic area. Individuals, groups, families, friends welcome — there is something for everyone! SSL credit can be earned. Sign up online here. And if you can’t make it this weekend, you can sign up for October 22 or November 12.

Museum Day Live
Where: Various museums
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE

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!

theatreWeek
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15-35

The theatre world’s version of Restaurant week celebrates the fun of going to the theatre by offering patrons tickets for less. Through October 2, you can see any of the participating shows for $15-35, giving you some kind of discount on the regular price — and several of this week’s Show Time recommendations (see below) are among them!

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

* It’s opening weekend for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair as The Puppet Co. presents the marionette version of the classic fairytale.
* And Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Catch the Shakepeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Jungle Gym Jam & Friends featuring Marsha Goodman-Wood are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* The Little Foxes is coming to the Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy Pinkalicous the Musical at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Shop Local & Support a School
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!

Bargain hunters take note: This is one Yard Sale you don’t want to miss — it’s always huge and excellent. Clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, all proceeds help support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located at 1250 Constitution Ave. NE.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2

It’s your last chance to walk amid the garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit. The display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight! Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit. Plan to tour the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds while you’re there and see if there are any other special kids’ programs to enjoy.

STEM Magic | Core Concept: OSIRIS-REx
Where: Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. During this session, learn about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to land on an asteroid, take a sample, and bring it back home, then design your own sampling device!

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 8th year with a simulcast performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume dress-up station, fun photo ops, arts & crafts, face painting, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.

Veg Out
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the largest celebration of vegetarian and vegan living in the area. Now in its 9th year, DC VegFest is a full day of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, cooking demos, music, and more. A Kid’s Area will feature entertainment by Teatro de la Luna and Norm Hogeland, storytelling, an Ask-A-Vegan Parent Panel, kid-friendly cooking demos, and a child nutritionist. Attendees will enjoy free food samples along with tasty vegan cuisine from food vendors.

Leesburg Airshow
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 7th 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.

Yoga on the Mall
Where: National Mall Sylvan Theatre
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Yogis of all ages are welcome to get on the mat for downward dogs and tree poses on the National Mall. Well known instructors will be leading a variety of classes, including meditation, a family fun session, and an acro-yoga demo. While admission is free, you should RSVP.

Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

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. Take a ride on the historic Dentzel Carousel, get little faces painted, see vintage cars, and be wowed magic shows, too. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.

Turkish Festival
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 12th-14th St.
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

You’ll be whirling like a dervish from all there is to enjoy at the 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.

Curse of the Boggin Book Reading
Where: Barnes & Noble Tysons
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Bring young readers to Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner Center for a reading by acclaimed children’s author D.J. MacHake. He will read and sign copies of his newest book The Curse of the Boggin, the first in The Library Series about a mysterious library between dimensions and the incredible adventures of 13-year-old Marcus O’Mara and his friends. Mr. MacHale has also written several popular series including Pendragon, Morpheus Road and The SYLO Chronicles. Recommended for ages 8-12.

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

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


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend

Plan a Perfect Autumn Day Trip with Ruddy Duck Adventures

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This post is sponsored by Ruddy Duck Adventures, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Destination from DC, Educational, Fall, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Weekend

Celebrate the Grand Opening of Bright Horizons in Reston!

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Bright Horizons recently opened a new state-of-the-art early education and preschool center in Reston, and they are hosting a Grand Opening party to celebrate the launch! On Saturday, October 1, from 10am – 1pm, community families are invited to enjoy all kinds of family fun and get a first look at the new location.

Festivities will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30am, followed by a pumpkin smash science experiment and leaf sorting activity for children. After that, there will be a musical puppet show by Carousel Puppets, then an interactive performance with Cody & BJ, plus more fun for all!

Plan to get there early — the first 12 families to arrive at the event will receive a complimentary mini photography session with professional photographer, Robert Holley! The session includes the rights to five high resolution digital files. All attendees will have a chance to meet Robert at the event!

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This new opening gives local parents an opportunity to balance their work life and family life, while providing high-quality education for their children. With capacity for 164 children, the center offers Infant, Toddler, Twos, Preschool, and Kindergarten Prep programs as well as drop-in care.

Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center is located at 11400 Commerce Park Drive, Suite R140 in Reston, VA. It’s open year-round year-round Monday – Friday, 6:30am to 6:30pm. To learn more about their programs and stay updated on new and events, visit their website and follow them on Facebook.


This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Babies, Daycare, DC, Educational, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Preschoolers, School Event, Schools, Sponsored Post, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Line-Up of Live Entertainment Around DC this Fall

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With autumn comes a whole new season of live entertainment. From plays to puppet shows, concerts to comedy, dance performances to ice capades, even a two-week long free festival showcasing European performing arts, there is something to indulge all theatrical interests on DC stages this fall (including some KidFree recommendations!). This list, ordered by opening date, has details. Which ones will you be saving seats for?

Rapunzel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: September 16 – October 9
Tickets: $12, under 2 are free

Witch Wartsmith wants a baby. After bargaining for little Rapunzel, she must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring-book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for ages 3-9.

The Diary of Anne Frank
Where: Olney Theatre
When: Through October 23
Tickets: $35-60

What could be more thrilling than hearing masterful performers tell one of the most powerful stories of the 20th century in our intimate 150-seat black box theater? Join Anne Frank, her family, the Van Daans and more for a vivid, dynamic exploration of the “banality of evil” and the ever-present flame of hope in the story of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam during World War II, and her family’s desperate attempt to preserve humanity in an inhumane world. Directed by Derek Goldman (Grounded), an artist with a national reputation for bringing the lessons of the Holocaust to life.

Knuffle Bunny
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 23 – October 23
Tickets: $19.50

Trixie and her father bustle through the streets of New York City down the block, across the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. But returning home, Knuffle Bunny is gone, and Trixie can’t tell her father what’s wrong. Recommended for all ages.

The Little Foxes
Where: Arena Stage
When: September 23 — October 30
Tickets: $65-90*

There are people who eat and there are those who get eaten. First in line to be served is Regina Giddens, clawing her way to wealth with her equally calculating brothers. When their plan to control the local cotton mill is thwarted, they’ll turn to ever more devious schemes, even as it further divides their family. Starring Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger, Lillian Hellman’s classic tale of greed, betrayal and all the sordid ties that bind takes sibling rivalry to unimaginable heights and reveals how far a ruthless family can bend the rules before they break each other. Recommended for teens and up. **There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Flowers Stink
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: September 24 – October 29
Tickets: FREE

When struggling to write a nature-themed poem for school, a middle-school girl gives up and tweets: “#natureisboring #flowersstink.” Suddenly, two zany and loveable plants magically come to life, encouraging her to open her eyes, ears, and mind to the beauty all around her. Enjoy plenty of singing, dancing, folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, all set in the colorful world of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Pinkalicious The Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: September 25
Tickets: $18-24

Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament. The show is preceded by a Cupcake Tea Party at 1:30pm

Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés
Where: Discovery Theater
When: September 29
Tickets: $3-8

Counting has never been more fun in English and Spanish. Local kids’ music star Andrés Salguero offers sing-alongs to songs familiar and new, including great music from his newest CD, ¡Arrriba y Abajo!, creating plenty of bilingual fun. Get set to bailar y aprender (dance and learn) with Andrés! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Migration
Where: UDC Theater of the Arts
When: September 30 – October 2
Tickets: $30-45

Step Afrika! in cooperation with The Phillips Collection presents the return of The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence, the D.C.-based dance company Step Afrika!’s critically acclaimed multimedia work. The performance, inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s celebrated masterwork on the Great Migration, blends body percussion, dance, jazz, projected images of Lawrence’s paintings, and both recorded and live music, featuring members of the Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Romeo & Juliet *KidFree Recommendation*
Where: Landsburgh Theatre
When: Through November 6
Tickets: $44-102

The most famous love story in the world and one of Shakespeare’s early poetic masterworks, Romeo & Juliet follows two star-crossed lovers from love at first sight to eternal life hereafter. Caught tragically between two feuding families, alike in dignity and in enmity, Shakespeare’s immortal young lovers try to fashion a new world amid the violence of the old, but cataclysmic choices and tragic twists propel them toward a final confrontation with fate.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays and in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday over the summer. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Tap Kids
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 1
Tickets: $20, $15/McLean District Residents

Featuring an extraordinary cast of eight young tap dancers, “Schooldayz” tells the story of how the arrival of a new kid disrupts the equilibrium of a group of teenagers during their last months of high school. Highlights include dancing on lunch trays in the cafeteria, forging friendship over a game of basketball, drama at the school dance, mischief in detention and finally graduation as they are launched into their futures. The story is told in amazing, high-energy tap routines that will leave you breathless and astonished!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
*KidFree Recommendation*
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 5-23
Tickets: $39-119

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. This critically acclaimed production is the Tony Award(r)–winning new play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony(r) winner Marianne Elliott.

Fábulas Fairy Tales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 6-7 & 12-13
Tickets: $3-8

Three’s the charm in the newest version of this interactive Discovery Theater original. Start with three bears, three pigs, three little kittens, and three billy goats gruff. Add two languages, and what do you get? The perfect combination for a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish, literacy through storytelling, math, music, and more—and a fábulas new take on a quartet of familiar stories. New this year: Join the kittens on their search to find their essential outdoor accessory—their beloved mittens!

Ruthless, The Musical
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: October 6-30
Tickets: $30

The beautiful and talented 8-year-old Tina Denmark will do ANYTHING to play the lead in the school play…. ANYTHING! Ruthless! famously spoofs Broadway musicals such as Gypsy and Mame, as well as classic films like The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Ruthless! is a hilarious romp through the world of Broadway, child acting, parenthood, and unbridled ambition. Recommended for ages 12 and up; parental discretion advised for children under 12.

The Music Box
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: October 8 & 22
Tickets: $10-15

A wonderful collection of comedic vignettes set to music: An average day becomes extraordinary when a surly janitor and an uptight businessman discover a magical mask, two cowboys in the wild west tame a bull on the loose, two road workers try to catch a butterfly in an attempt to capture the heart of a girl, and the classic invisible wall. Students are introduced to the art of storytelling without words through imagination, illusions, and physical comedy.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Where: Imagination Stage
When: October 8-30
Tickets: $12-30

Have you ever loved a special doll or stuffed toy? If you have, this is the story for you! Abilene adores her china rabbit doll, Edward Tulane. But, Edward is spoiled and ungrateful until fate takes him on an emotional roller-coaster of an adventure through the 20th century. He is lost overboard on an ocean liner, fished up by a kindly villager, dumped in a heap of garbage, rescued by a hobo and his dog, turned into a scarecrow, and adopted by a little boy who gives him as a gift to his sickly sister. Little by little, Edward discovers goodness and humility. Inspired by the constellations, he learns to keep an open heart. Kate DiCamillo’s award-winning book translates beautifully to the stage. And, as in all good stories, even our reluctant hero finds a happy ending! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Best Haunted House Ever
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: October 14-23
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children

When students from two different high schools sneak into a local haunted house to scare their classmates, utter chaos ensues. At first it seems like the students are just pulling Halloween pranks, but when a spooky zombie and mysterious ghost don’t fit into the students’ haunting plans it can only mean one thing–they are not alone in the house! Happy haunting! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Miraculous Magical Balloon
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: October 15 & 30
Tickets: $10-15

A series of hilarious sketches synthesizing music, ballet, clowning, and audience participation. Students will discover the art of acting without words, opening the door to their imaginations. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and unique choreography, Balloon tells a wonderful story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of tricks and toys.

We Got It!
Where: The Den at Anacostia Arts Center
When: October 15
Tickets: $10, free for 2 and under

Join Building Better People Productions for a fun adventure in self-worth, empathy and all of those things that add up to all-around understanding, through several tales filled with interactive storytelling, laughter and a giant stuffed animal or two. The show is best for kids 4-11 and their families, but it’s good for everyone.

All the Way Live!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 15-16
Tickets: $20

Anything can come to life with a simple beat, rhythm, and rhyme. In this interactive performance, two world-renowned Hip Hop performers–Baye Harrell, a Helen Hayes Award nominee, and Paige Hernandez, a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow–collaborate on the spot to “remix” everything from folk tales to classical art. History is revived through a Hip Hop lens! Paige and Baye tell stories and perform to original beats by Nick “Nickthe1da” Hernandez with the help of a magical boom box that needs your help to power their songs. This show explores not only the language of words, but also the language of the body, sounds, and numbers. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Man Who Planted Trees
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 15
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents

Hear the wind, feel the rain, smell the lavender and laugh with Dog. In this ecologically inspired tale, a French shepherd sets out to plant a forest and transform a barren wasteland acorn by acorn. Their uplifting and unforgettable story shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world. Returning for its first full North America tour since 2012.

Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart
Where: EagleBank Arena
When: October 19-23
Tickets: $15-80 (look for a discount)

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents and discover the devotion of family as they encounter some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Where: Warner Theatre
When” October 19
Tickets: $67-123

Armed with a unique combination of scientific brilliance and warm humor, Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired a new generation to love space exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend an evening soaking up the wisdom of this award-winning astrophysicist as he delivers an engaging talk on the universe beyond our atmosphere.

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: October 26 – November 6
Tickets: FREE

The 9th annual Kids Euro Festival will present more than 150 FREE children’s performances all around the DC-Metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule that take place at a variety of venues, from public libraries to embassies to performing arts centers. Visit the website for details and the complete schedule.

Tot Rock: Marsha & the Pistrons
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 26-27
Tickets: Free, but reservations required

The sky’s no limit when you join Marsha and the Positrons at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum for a musical event that explodes with positive energy—and plenty of fun science facts. The group blasts off with upbeat songs from their CD Gravity Vacation, full of upbeat songs like “Why Can’t You Dance on Jupiter?” and “Nobody Likes Germs and Viruses.”

Aquarium
Where: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: October 26-30
Tickets: $10

With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and fun props, Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers to a magical, interactive world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Carousel
Where: Arena Stage
When: October 28 – December 24
Tickets: $64-109

Dazzling lights, swinging songs and a bad boy to melt your heart — see why Carousel was named the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine. When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realize that his rebellious ways will lead to tragedy. Given a chance to make good, will a lucky star save Billy and those he loves? Director Molly Smith reunites with both Nicholas Rodriguez and E. Faye Butler for the first time since 2011’s Oklahoma! in this epic production bursting with classic songs like “June Is Bustin’ Out all Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” *There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Mary Poppins
Where: Olney Theatre
When: November 2 – January 1
Tickets: $55-80

Celebrate the holidays with one of the most beloved tales of all time! It’s 1910 and Mr. Banks is looking for a stern nanny for his two wayward children… but fortunately for the family, Mary Poppins comes along, and teaches them all – especially Mr. Banks – some valuable lessons in what family really means. From he magical “Chim Chim Cher-ee” to the iconic “Supercalifragalisticexpealidocious”, you’ll delight to the story of a wizardly, wise nanny, two precious children, and he family she teaches how to love each other.

Oliver Twist
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: November 4-20
Tickets: $16

Born into a life of poverty and a bleak future in the workhouse, young orphan Oliver journeys to London seeking a better life, but unwittingly falls in with the city’s criminal element. Told through the lens of a contemporary graphic novel, the Learning Theater Ensemble revisits our 2012 original adaptation of this classic Dickens tale, shedding new light on a story that has captured the imaginations and pierced the hearts of audiences for over two centuries.

Looking for Roberto ClementeWhere: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: November 5-2
Tickets: $20

A touching show centered on a young group of kids in Pittsburgh in the 1970s, a time when Clemente had taken the floundering Pirates and led them to being top competitors.

Where Words Once Were
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 5-27
Tickets: $20 (look for a discount)

Young Orhan lives in a world where words are both very precious and very dangerous. Only 1000 of them can exist: new ones are forbidden, and anything newly invented takes the place of an existing word, which is then illegal to say. Those who disobey the rules are punished in the strongest way possible. They lose their right to speak and to be spoken of; they become only “…”–a condition that causes them to slowly fade away. When Orhan accidentally takes a pen (a mighty weapon indeed!) from school, he sets in motion an adventure to reclaim lost words. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Where: Alden Theatre
When: November 6
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents

Grammy Award-winning Folk & Roots Music for Families. Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids, and have translated these adventures into song. Their extended canoe trip down the Mississippi River inspired their Grammy Award-Winning album “Can You Canoe?” and their trek along the Appalachian Trail was the subject of their follow-up release, “Through the Woods.” Their latest album, “Saddle Up,” is a joyous adventure through the American West. With songs written by campfire and harmonies born on the water, the natural world is at the heart of their Americana folk music.

Aquarium
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 7 – December 4
Tickets: $14

With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and fun props, Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers to a magical, interactive world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky!

Moby Dick
Where: Arena Stage
When: November 18 — December 24
Tickets: $55-100*

Set sail on the holiday season’s biggest adventure! Melville’s classic tale of man’s obsessive battle against nature comes to life in “a triumph of grand theatrical imagination, deep thought, superb acting and eye-popping, ingeniously deployed physical daring” (Chicago Sun-Times). Innovative staging fused with bold trapeze and acrobatic work turn this seafaring classic into a death-defying experiment in aerial storytelling. Climb aboard with Captain Ahab and the crew of the good ship Pequod in this harrowing and intoxicating quest for the great white whale. *There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Einstein in Motion
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 9-10
Tickets: $3-8

What’s relative? Everything! Just ask the genius who developed the Theory of Relativity. Marc Spiegel brings Albert Einstein to life in a program that blends science, history, and entertainment. In engaging demonstrations, he introduces elementary schoolers to physics topics including motion and rest, matter, and energy. There’s no better way to learn about science than from one of its leading innovators—and have a great time, too! Recommended for ages 6-10.

The Octonauts Live!
Where: Warner Theatre
When: October 13
Tickets: $27.50-47.50

The Octonauts follows an underwater exploring crew made up of stylized anthropomorphic animals, a team of eight adventurers who live in an undersea base, the Octopod, from where they go on undersea adventures with the help of a fleet of aquatic vehicles.

The Secret Garden
Where: Sydney Harman Hall
When: November 15 – December 31
Tickets: $44-102 (look for a discount)

When 10-year-old Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera epidemic in the British Raj of India, she travels to England to stay with Archibald Craven, her remote and morose uncle, still grieving the death of his wife ten years ago. Terrified of every nook and cranny of the haunted Craven Manor on the Yorkshire Moors, Mary seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden, where she discovers amazing secrets.

Mark Jaster: Piccolo’s Trunk
Where: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: November 16-20
Tickets: $10

Meet Piccolo, the charming and funny character created by DC’s preeminent mime artist. Piccolo delights through his playful interactions with the audience, brilliant gestures, and witty musical surprises, all without words! Experience a production featured at the Smithsonian, Wolftrap and beyond in a new Atlas offering especially for ages 3 – 8 and their families.

Katy’s Grocery Store Birthday
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 17-18
Tickets: $3-8

Katy knows exactly what she wants for her fourth birthday: chocolate cake, flowers, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and the coolest new rocket toy. But when Katy and her parents go shopping, everything they need is out of stock! Can her big day still be perfect? Sing your way through the grocery store with them as they assemble all the makings for Katy’s celebration.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 19 – January 15
Tickets: $15-30

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this beloved film by attending the live performance at Imagination Stage this holiday season! Packed with memorable tunes like “Be Our Guest”, “Human Again”, and “Beauty and the Beast”, this holiday musical has something for the entire family! Once upon a time, in a French provincial town, Belle is the bookish daughter of a hapless inventor. She narrowly avoids the amorous advances of the bully Gaston only to find herself imprisoned in the castle of a terrible Beast. While the servants Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Chip conspire to make Belle fall in love with their bewitched master, she gradually wins over his heart by virtue of her kindness and patience. Excitement builds as Gaston gathers a mob to rid the community of the ugly Beast and to claim Belle for himself alone. Needless to say, after much high drama, silly laughter, exuberant singing and dancing, love wins the day! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters-An African Tale
Where: Alden Theatre
When: November 19
Tickets: $15/$10 MCC tax district residents

When a great African king desires a wife, only the most perfect maidens in the land are invited to meet him. Mufaro’s pride and joy, his two daughters of very different dispositions, embark on the long journey to be presented to the king. Along the way, they encounter a number of mysterious situations that unknowingly test their courage, kindness and strength of spirit. Combining authentic African drumming, powerful choreography and thrilling original music, the splendor of Zimbabwe and the African continent comes to life in this musical adaptation of the award-winning, “Cinderella” tale! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Once *KidFree Recommendation*
Where: National Theatre
When: November 25-27
Tickets: $43-98

Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Once is a musical stage adaptation based on the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney. Like the film, music and lyrics were by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, including the Academy Award-winning “Falling Slowly”.

Adventures with Mr. Bear
Where: The Lab at Convergence & The Atlas
When: December 1-17 & 18-30
Tickets: $9, free for children under 1

The wonder and magic of a child’s imagination are brought to life in this charming world premiere. One cozy winter afternoon, a young girl and her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Bear, play a game of hide and seek which evolves into a series of exciting adventures. Together, they embark on a journey of endless possibilities – all from the comfort of her playroom! Cuddle up with your favorite stuffed animal friend and join us for a delightful holiday production. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Close Your Eyes… Now Open Your Ears!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: December 11
Tickets: $20

Especially for young audiences, the NSO is mixing Mozart and Mendelssohn with meows and moos — and just a little bit of monkey business — in this brand new animal-inspired show that demonstrates how powerful your ears can be, especially when there’s great music around! Join NSO violinist Holly Hamilton and former NSO violinist Paula Akbar as they present an earful of satisfying sounds. Plus, expect a visit from “Madam Mavis Pugh,” the famed and delightfully wacky violin teacher who’s eager to take us all on a musical tour of the zoo! With so many fuzzy friends in store, this is the perfect concert for your favorite stuffed animal to join in the fun. Recommended for ages 3 and up.


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