Category Archives: Free

The Best Events of the 2017 Cherry Blossom Season for Families

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There’s much more to cherry blossom season in DC than just the famous flowers. The National Cherry Blossom Festival makes it a great celebration with all kinds of events over several weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festival. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak blossom experience. And be sure to check out this post, too, with tips for cherry blossom viewing. Happy spring!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: March 15 – April 2
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the bloom season and most of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. Enjoy them daily starting March 15 from 12-6pm.

Cherry Blossom Celebration
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: March 25
Admission: Free

Celebration of Japanese culture in the beauitful Kogod Courtyard! A taiko drumming performance will kick 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 friends from the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Gallery, go on a scavenger hunt to find spring themed artworks, and more!

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress Young Readers Center
When: March 25
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: March 25, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

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

Kites of Asia Heritage 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!

Go fly a kite on the National Mall!

Go fly a kite on the National Mall!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: April 1, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Go fly a kite! Seriously. The Kite Festival is probably my favorite event of the blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly a sight to behold. It’s magical for kids — and even for me as a jaded adult! The sails you see flying at the Festival 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. 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.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 8, 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: April 8, 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.

Family Workshop: Japanese Woodblock Printing
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: April 8-9, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, join the Sackler 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 demonstrates transferring designs to a block, carving, and basic printing techniques. Come prepared to get your hands inky. All ages welcome!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: April 9
Admission: Free

The National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the 3rd annual Anacostia River Festival, also a premier event of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival! Celebrate the Anacostia River with some fun outdoor recreation! Explore the river by canoe, ride in a bike parade, play lawn games with your family, and experience Southeast DC’s local arts scene. This year they’re celebrating biking in the District with trail rides, safety classes, quick bike tune ups, and special bike activities for all ages.

Family Afternoon: Design with Nature
Where: National Building Museum
When: April 9, 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.

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
Where: Southwest Waterfront
When: April 15, 2-9:30pm
Admission: Free

This event that takes place along the District Wharf and the Titanic Memorial on the Southwest Waterfront is one of the last of the festival this year. It’s an afternoon and part-evening affair with free live music and family-friendly festivities, including water-related activities, cultural experiences, and delicious foods. The grand finale will begin at 8:30pm when the National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Show lights up the night sky.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 13-17

Doing some sketching at the National Gallery of Art

Doing some sketching at the National Gallery of Art





Monday – Say oui to Yoga in French! This new program from Bilingual Villages, which offers language immersion playgroups and activities for families, is a series of five weekly classes, but you can drop in for single sessions, too. Designed for children ages 2-5 and their caregivers, classes are led by a certified Yoga instructor who is also a native French speaker. Classes run every Monday March 13 – April 10 from 9:30-10:15am. Admission is $20/session or $89 for all five. Bilingual Villages is located at 10518 A Connecticut Avenue, Suite 3 in Kensington, MD.

Tuesday – If the weather forecast is completely off and snow is a no-go… Head up to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore to for Pi Day (3.14)! It’ll be a celebration of the mathematical constant Pi — and the sweet, circular baked dessert! Enjoy all kinds of Pi- and pie-related activities throughout the day along with all of the ongoing fun, engaging exhibits at the children’s museum. The program runs from 10am -2pm, museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is 24.95/adult, 18.95/ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under. Read more about the Maryland Science Center in this KFDC post.

And if it snows, well, get out and enjoy our first (and probably last) real snow of the season! No word yet on whether sledding will be permitted on Capitol Hill (not that a ban ever stopped us before), but I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday – Go to Story Time in the ReSource Room at the National Archives. The monthly series welcomes children aged 3-5 with accompanying adults to enjoy a book reading, participate in group activities, and create a craft — all with a an Amelia Earheart theme, perfect for celebrating Women’s History Month. The session takes place 10-11am in the Boeing Learning Center. Admission is free.

Thursday – Spend the morning at wacky magic show as The Great Zucchini performs at Jammin Java. Doors open at 10am and the fun begins at 10:30am. General admission tickets are $5. Smoothies, juices, acai bowls, and the coffee menu will be available for purchase, too.

Friday – Get an art fix at the National Gallery of Art! The recently reopened East Building is full of contemporary art with bold colors and captivating designs. Be sure to stop in the Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes will dazzle little ones, and don’t miss the giant blue rooster on the roof. The West Building houses more classical works, the collections featuring many of the masters, including the only Leonardo da Vinci painting on public view in the US! Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.


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The Weekend Round-Up: March 10-12

A feast for the eyes at Infinity Mirrors

A feast for the eyes at Infinity Mirrors



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Between the winter temps on the way and all the great options for fun things to do, this weekend will be extra cool. Check out an exhibit or special program at a museum, shoot for some college hoops action, catch a live show, start your celebrations early for St. Pats and Pi Day, get in one last skate outdoors, find a new place to play indoors. These pursuits and more will have you and your crew ready to spring forward (don’t forget to change your clocks — Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday)! Happy Weekend!
Update: Be aware of street closings on Saturday due to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon!

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Winter is finally coming, so you might need extra ideas for indoor outings. Burn some energy at an indoor playground, visit a museum, explore a historic place, bring the outdoors in at a nature center…this post has 90 suggestions for activities and places inside, most them mainstays around DC, and just about all of them tried and tested by the Team KFDC.

Prelude to Madness
Where: Verizon Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The best part of the college hoops season is beginning, and there will be live action in DC as the Big Ten Tournament is hosted at the Verizon Center. You can still get tickets for the games, though you’ll have to go through resale outlets. With so many strong teams in the conference, it promises to be an exciting tourney! (Go, Terps!)

Family Owl-tings
Where: Huntley Meadows Park
When: Friday, 5:45 – 7pm & Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: $7/Friday, $9/Saturday

On Friday evening, discover the secret world of owls on a family owl outing. Find out what makes these raptors excellent predators of the night, then venture out on a trail hike as guides try to hear or spot one of Huntley’s resident owls. Recommended for participants ages 6 and up. On Saturday, join the Festival of Owls as special guests from the Raptor Conservancy will there with feathered friends. Meet local owls up close and personal. Learn how the raptors live, hunt and survive. Touch real owl feathers and bones, dissect owl pellets, make an owl craft, and learn how you can help protect these elusive birds of the night. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Register in advance here!

Have A Ball with American Pops
Where: First Congregational UCC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $15-32

Cinderella has never sounded sweeter! This heartwarming and comedic retelling of the fairy tale classic is one part storybook and four parts Great American Songbook. Four lovable and dynamic singer-actors bring a huge cast of characters to life with the use of colorful costumes and playful props, as they join forces with the American Pops Orchestra to introduce the next generation of music lovers to some of the best-loved American songs of the Twentieth Century. This show is interactive and immersive, with plenty of audience participation and fun for all ages. First Congregational UCC is located at 945 G Street NW.

Kids in the Castle
Where: Heurich House Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Heurich House Museum is opening its doors for free, self-guided tours, allowing visitors to explore the gilded details of the Heurich family home at their own pace. The first floor, second floor, and basement, and the museum garden will also welcome guests to play and relax after going through the house.  Children and their parents are invited to wander through it all and complete a scavenger hunt to win prizes.

Later, Skaters
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

This weekend is your last chance to hit the ice al fresco. Local outdoor ice skating rinks (the ones that are still open, anyway) are shutting down their Zambonis after Sunday. See this post listing them all for details on where you can glide ‘neathe the sky one last time this winter (and be sure to note that Canal Park is already closed).

The Tuskegee Experience
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Saturday, 11am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free, but tickets required

At this NMAAHC Community Day, guests can learn about and possibly meet Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen, who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. Experience historical tap dance (and take a tap lesson!), see a puppet show, take a self-directed tour in Double Victory: the African American Military Experience, and do hands-on activities. Register for the event here!

Weaving Winter Trees Workshop
Where: Anne Marie Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $15/member, $20/non-member

Kids in grades 3rd – 6th can get ready to say farewell to winter with a special art project. Students will learn the basic fundamentals of weaving with instructor, Dollie Karolewski. They’ll also paint a winter scene and then weave a fiber tree into the scene. Register in advance here.

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” will be at the National Theatre this weekend
* InterAct Story Theatre kicks of Season 2 of their Wheaton Family Theatre Series with a performance by Tom Teasley
* Little ones will love Art on the Horizon’s Nutt and Bolt (sold out online, so call about tickets)
* Jack and the Beanstalk in on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Tiny Tots Sing-a-Long is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* From the Mouths of Monsters is a Frankenstein-inspired show at the Kennedy Center
* Catch The Freshest Snow Whyte at Imagination Stage

KidFree Entertainment
Where: Lanburgh Theatre, Sidney Harman Hall, & Arena Stage
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents two productions to applaud right now! The Select (The Sun Also Rises) brings a Hemingway classic to the Lansburgh Theatre stage with a cleverly directed and superbly acted show. And King Charles III is a thought-provoking drama that pits the monarchy against parliament, putting England in a national conflict that is, coincidentally, timely and familiar. And at Arena Stage, Intelligence is a political thriller running through April 9. All best for KidFree outings, but older tweens and teens could enjoy them, too.

Objects of Wonder
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Catch the debut of a new exhibition at the museum that’s always a kid fave. More than 145 million artifacts and specimens, including many exceptional objects rarely seen by the public, will be on view for guests. Explore the scope and splendor of the world’s most extensive natural history research collection.

Earth Explorers
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, under 5 are free
(look for a discount)

Witness animal migrations from a hot air balloon, submerse into the deep sea to study marine life, discover new species in the rain forest, gear up for a polar expedition. These are all adventures — simulated ones, anyway — to be experienced at the Nat Geo Museum’s newest exhibition that offers a glimpse into the work and passion of explorers in the field. Full of hands-on displays and interactive installations, it’s informative and inspiring. Best for elementary school ages and up, but younger children can enjoy it, too.

See Stars
Where: Arlington Planetarium
When: Friday/Saturday, 7:30pm & Sunday 1:30pm/3pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/children 12 and under (cash only)

Get a close look at the night sky at a planetarium show. Open for public multimedia programs on weekends throughout the school year, the Arlington Planetarium presents “Undiscovered Worlds” on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm. “One World One Sky,” a Sesame Street adventure featuring Big Bird plays on Sunday at 1pm, and “Magic Tree House: Space Mission” will be shown at 3pm. Doors open 15 minutes prior to show time and are closed and locked once the program begins. Sky theater has a 58 seat capacity. Once full capacity is reached, the doors will be closed.

Gaithersburg St. Patty’s Parade
Where: Washingtonian Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The city’s 17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will include both traditional Irish performances and classic parade pageantry. Celtic dancers, bagpipes, marching bands, clowns, firetrucks, and more will make their way through town.

District of Love March
Where: Emery Rec Center
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 2:30pm
Admission: Free

March to support diversity and inclusion in our community. Celebrate with local artists, musicians, and community members, and enjoy featured musical acts Elena y Los Fulanos, Lilo, Ethiopian Dance and more! The March will go right through some of DC’s most diverse neighborhoods along Georgia Ave. NW starting at Georgia and Madison St. NW at the Emery Rec. Center and marching down to U St ending at the African-American Civil War Memorial Site.

Dr. Seuss on the Loose Dance Party!
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5 person, $20/family

Join the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation for the Dr. Seuss on the Loose Dance Party! Dance, wiggle and giggle with Aaron Anderson of A-Squad Entertainment. Create crafty masterpieces, enjoy the Dr. Seuss Read-a-Thon Room, and don’t miss the Seuss-themed raffle. All ages welcome (recommended for ages 18 months – 6 years). Please bring a book for our book drive for Crossway Community in Kensington. RSVP at facebook.com/MakeMoreNoyes. Kensington Town Hall is located at 3710 Mitchell Street in Kensington, MD.

DC St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

Find a spot on the curb along Constitution Avenue to watch the 46th annual St. Patrick’s parade roll through the city. Floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, bag pipers, members of the police and fire departments, and other entertainment will be part of the celebratory spectacle.

Purim Carnival
Where: Congregation Adat Reyim
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

This fun holiday event is open to everyone of all ages! Come in costume and enjoy games, food, face painting, balloons, a lego zone, caricaturist, and much more. Enter to win exciting raffle and silent auction prizes including Disney World passes, gift cards to restaurants, local businesses and birthday parties! Admission is free, but game tickets are $0.50 each, raffle tickets are $1 each, and food will be for sale.

Science Talent Search Project Exhibition
Where: National Geographic
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Science enthusiasts of all ages will love the Regeneron Science Talent Search Public Exhibition of Projects! Meet the top 40 young scientists in the nation (all high school seniors competing for $1.8 million in awards) as they share their original research projects.

Purim Carnival
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission:

When was the last time you dressed up like a queen or king? Now is your chance – the EDCJCC’s Purim Carnival is the perfect time for children and adults to dress up and celebrate this festive annual holiday! Enjoy carnival games, arts & crafts, hamantaschen (yummy Purim treats), music and a Purim play. And don’t forget your costume! Teen Jewish a cappella group from Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Marak HaYom (which means “soup of the day” in Hebrew) will perform. Register here

A Day of Flying in the Great Hall
Where: National Building Musem
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Partake in some super fly activities at the Building Museum. All ages can drop in on Sunday to watch as the DC Maxecuters demo all kinds of model planes in and across the Great Hall. Of course, you can enjoy all the other NBM offerings the rest of the weekend (admission fee required for some).

Full STEAM Ahead: Baffling Biomimicry
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Preschool-aged children and their caretakers are invited to visit the artLAB for hands-on investigations and challenges! This program is designed to help children explore, observe, ask questions, and make predictions as they create and play! Activities themed around money are planned for this fun and imaginative session.

Family Dance
Where: Glen Echo Park Ballroom Annex
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $5/ages 4 and up

Join the Family Dance session that takes place the second Sunday of each month. It’s a rare opportunity to experience the joy of dance with your children and the community. No experience is necessary, just and dance — a family dance leader will show you everything you need to know right then and there, with a focus on having fun! Recommended for families with kids ages 4-12, but all ages welcome!

Games + Pi
Where: Labyrinth Game Shop
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Pi Day is Tuesday, but Labyrinth is celebrating a couple of days early. Stop in for some of their favorite math-themed games as well as free pie. They’ll have a variety of games to play, so drop by and get in a play or two!

**PLAN AHEAD**
Get KFDC insight to prep for some of DC’s most popular outings and events:
* Read a review of the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn to get an idea of what to expect and tips for visiting with kids
* March 19-22 are the new predicted cherry blossoms peak dates, and KFDC has tips to help you plan for and make the most of your bloom viewing experience
* The KFDC Guide to the National Museum of African American History & Culture will help you navigate one of the city’s most remarkable new attractions with children


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 6-10

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum

Go to Story Time, then sort mail in the Railway Mail Car at the Postal Museum



Monday – Go for Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Occurring the first Monday of every month, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Stay after to explore the rest of the museum, full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – See an all-ages art exhibit with scientific themes and enjoy some reading time at the National Academy of Sciences. The organization is hosting Igniting the Imagination, an exhibition of 28 children’s book illustrations from the collection of the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. The show looks at the power of images and stories to ignite the imagination of young people, and all of the works in the show relate to science, engineering, or medicine in some way. Copies of the books will be on hand in the gallery for families to read along with comfy couches and chairs. The exhibit will be on view March 6 through August 7. Hours are 9am – 5pm, and admission of free. The Academy is located at 500 Fifth Street NW 2101 Constitution Ave NW.

Wednesday – Play the day away at Anacostia Park. The locale stretching along the Anacostia River in SE DC is full of opportunities for recreation with a pirate-themed playground; two other playgrounds; a skating pavilion; a nature center; tennis courts; and fields for playing ball or tossing a Frisbee. Plus, you can walk, run, or bike along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail or just find a table or nice spot in the grass to relax, have a picnic, and take in the views. Hours are dawn to dusk, 11am – 5:45pm for skating, and 10am – 2pm at the Education Center. Admission is free.

Thursday –Let Arts on the Horizon entertain little ones with Nutt and Bolt, a new production about robot rivals who realize that by working together the world becomes full of possibilities. Showtime is 10:30am. Tickets are $9 (free for 12 months and under). The show runs from March 8-25 at The Lab at Convergence located at 1819 N. Quaker Lane in Alexandria, VA.

Friday – Roam around the lovely grounds, view wildlife in the ponds, visit the Korean Bell Garden, and check out exhibits in the Visitor Center at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2.50/ages 7-17 and seniors, free for ages 6 and under.


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The Weekend Round-Up: March 4-5

Theatrics at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where there's a special program for kids this weekend

Theatrics at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where there’s a special program for kids this weekend



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After a nice teaser of spring, it’s going to feel a little more like winter this weekend, but that won’t affect your family fun. Stay cozy inside at a performing arts fest, theatre workshop, museum program, summer camp preview, IMAX movie, or live show. And if you want to bundle up and bask in the sunshine, there are always lots of great activities to enjoy outside. Happy Weekend!

Intersect with the Performing Arts
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show (includes free fun!)

There’s more family programming at the INTERSECTIONS Festival this weekend, most of it on Saturday. See Jane Franklin Dance perform The Big Meow. Catch the In Series’ presentation, Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood. Capitol Tap and House of Tap performs Feel the Beat Through Your Feet! Clown Cabaret brings The Heist to the stage. And Saturday morning from 10am – 12pm, the Zip Zap Circus will bring FREE fun and entertainment to the Atlas lobby! These are just the most kid-friendly shows — the whole line-up throughout the Festival is worth checking out by grown-ups.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

As the mercury drops toward temps more normal for this time of year, you might be seeking out fun indoors. This post lists more than 80 suggestions for things to do, most them mainstays around DC, and just about all of them KFDC tried and tested.

Family Shabbat Clusters
Where: DCJCC
When: Friday
Admission: $36

Celebrate Shabbat your way! Family Shabbat Clusters are groups of people that get together to celebrate Shabbat once a month and are a great way to make new friends and start traditions. Every Shabbat Cluster season starts with a Kickoff Dinner at the EDCJCC for all participants. Register here.

Shake(speare) Up Your Saturday
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free, but registration required

Join the Folger’s family program that takes place the first Saturday of every month. In this “Courtly Meetings & Country Greetings” session, imagine yourself in the two worlds of As You Like It, the court of Duke Frederick and the Forest of Arden. Ages 5-7 at 10-11am, and ages 8-14 at 11am – 12pm. Go here to sign up.

Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: Saturday, 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Irish holiday a a bit early in Old Town Alexandria. Pre-parade festivities begin in the morning, and the annual procession kicks off at 12:30pm at Alfred and King Streets, then winds through Old Town, showcasing elected officials, Irish Ambassadors, military commanders, scout troops, high school bands, and local celebrities.

Recycled Cycles for Sale!
Where: Big Bear Cafe
When: Saturday, 10am whiles supplies lasts
Admission: Free

Spring is coming and with it, great cycling weather, so now is the best time to make sure you have a quality ride that meets your needs. Well, just in time, Phoenix Bikes, a non-profit youth program and community bike shop in Arlington, VA, will be selling a large inventory of quality, refurbished bikes and new bike gear along with friends Gearin’ Up Bicycles and Bikes for the World. Check out the sale for a great deal on a bike that benefits local non-profits and be ready to ride this spring…truly a win-win!

Apollo on the Move
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Explore how Apollo 11 and the Moon landing transformed our lives 50 years ago and continues to influence space exploration and inspire people today and into the future. Go inside the Museum’s Restoration Hangar where staff work to conserve, restore, and preserve spacecraft and aircraft. See the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia undergoing conservation treatment and meet the experts who care for the artifact. Talk to experts who moved the Command Module Columbia from DC to Chantilly, VA, and learn about the preparation that goes into moving large artifacts. This is a unique opportunity for all ages to enjoy!

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Reserve free tickets for Mister G, this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance
* Jack and the Beanstalk in on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Tiny Tots Sing-a-Long is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Join a Saturday Family Jazz Session at Strathmore
* The Freshest Snow Whyte just opensed at Imagination Stage
* Dan Zanes “Song Gusto Hour” with Claudia Eliaza is the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java

Earth Explorers
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, under 5 are free
(look for a discount)

Witness animal migrations from a hot air balloon, submerse into the deep sea to study marine life, discover new species in the rain forest, gear up for a polar expedition. These are all adventures — simulated ones, anyway — to be experienced at the Nat Geo Museum’s newest exhibition that offers a glimpse into the work and passion of explorers in the field. Full of hands-on displays and interactive installations, it’s informative and inspiring. Best for elementary school ages and up, but younger children can enjoy it, too.

Suit Up!: Working in Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum in Chantilly for Making STEM Magic, a weekly program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. On Saturdays this month… Space: the final frontier, and the most dangerous. Want to be an astronaut? Learn how to suit up and protect yourself from the dangers of space in the March design challenge.

Lil’ Kickers Open House
Where: Merritt Academy
When: Sunday, 11am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Sample a soccer program for kids! Lil’ Kickers will be providing mini classes throughout the morning for children to experience their program. This is the second of several Open House Events at their four locations. Merrit Academy is located at 9211 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22031

Theatre Camp Open House
Where: Highwood Theatre
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Learn about this one-of-a-kind summer camp in downtown Silver Spring and then some at this Open House. Meet the teachers, see the space, enter raffles, and hear all about what’s coming up this summer. From Art Squared (with 3D Printing, Improv, Digital Music, and more) to technical theatre, musical theatre, and acting, they’ve got something for everyone in grades K-12.

Cocoa & Craft in the Park
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center
Whne: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $6

Crafts, cocoa, and nature all in one outing! Stay and play for 20 minutes or more as you sip cocoa and create up to three crafts at the Nature Center. There are new craft kits each month. For ages 2 -12, and children younger than 10 must be accompanied and assisted by an adult.

DREAM BIG IMAX 3D
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udzar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12

With some rain in the forecast, a movie at a museum will be a great plan. This latest film on local giant screens promotes the E in STEM. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here. And, of course, plan to explore the museum while you’re there!

Are You Ready for Some Fútbol?
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission Ticket proces vary

DC United kicks off a new season this weekend as they host Kansas City Sporting for the first match of the regular season. The game is a Heineken Green & Red Star Matchday, which means adults can enjoy a special promo: One ticket, one drink for $20 with the code HEINEKEN when you purchase online. And if you need to catch up on the local soccer scoop, check out the DC United website for a refresher.

KidFree Entertainment
Where: Lanburgh Theatre & Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents two productions to applaud right now! The Select (The Sun Also Rises) brings a Hemingway classic to the Lansburgh Theatre stage with a cleverly directed and superbly acted show. And King Charles III is a thought-provoking drama that pits the monarchy against parliament, putting England in a national conflict that is, coincidentally, timely and familiar. I’ve seen and recommend both – best for a KidFree outing, but older tweens and teens could enjoy them, too.

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Ring in the Persian New Year at the annual Nowruz celebration! Free attractions for all ages include storytelling, hands-on art activities, live music, film screenings, calligraphy, food, and the featured exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

This could ve the last good skating weekend of the season, so take advantage whileyou can! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area. And a heads-up that Canal Park closed early this season!

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Bundle up for a walk in the woods. See the flowers that popped up with warmer temps, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

**PLAN AHEAD**
A few new KFDC posts will help you prepare for some of DC’s most currently popular pursuits:
* Read a review of the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn to get an idea of what to expect and tips for visiting with kids
* The KFDC Guide to the National Museum of African American History & Culture will help you navigate one of the city’s most remarkable new attractions with children
* The cherry blossoms are expected to peak March 14-17, and KFDC has the scoop for making the most of your bloom viewing experience


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