Category Archives: Indoor Play

The Weekend Round-Up: April 28-30

Go for a spin on the beautiful Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park

Go for a spin on the beautiful Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park



This is always a great time of year in DC, and not only because of the warmer weather and colorful hues that come with spring. It’s also when some of the area’s best annual events occur. Say “oui” to a Georgetown outing, celebrate a grand carousel, explore your world at local university, enjoy a day of fun on a dairy farm, experience “shear” joy at one of the best parks around, spend a day with beloved train, and even more. And the compilation of the best outdoor places and the big list of indoor activities have even more ideas for mainstay fun. Happy Weekend!

Bon Jour, Georgetown!
Where: Book Hill Neighborhood | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday/Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The Georgetown French Market returns to the Book Hill neighborhood bringing the signature European open air market back for its 14th year, featuring nearly 40 Georgetown boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and galleries, art, and antique home furnishings. But it’s not all about the shopping; kids will enjoy the strolling mimes, children’s activities, live music, and French cuisine from Georgetown cafes and restaurants. Visit the website to download a schedule of events and list of participating shops.

Carousel Day
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free (rides are $1.25)

The park’s annual Family Day may have a new name, but the celebration of the beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel, now open for its 97th season, is the same fantastic event. Along with rides on the merry-go-round, guests of all ages can enjoy a loads of fun activities: Music and dance performances, arts & crafts, face painting, storytelling, and balloon animals are just some of the usual favorites. See the full schedule of events here.

Go, Terps!
Where: University of Maryland
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual Maryland Day celebration in College Park gets a giant thumbs-up from me, and not just because it’s my alma mater. This is a fantastic event for families, and I know from experience. Every year, the University hosts a huge open house for, well, everybody. “Explore Our World of Fearless Ideas” is the theme, and guests will be able to do that and then some. There will be over 400 activities for varying ages, including learning games; an adventure area; autograph sessions with the basketball teams; musical performances; arts & crafts; farm animal visits; puppet shows and sing-a-longs; face painting; fossil digs; insect and instrument petting zoos; and TONS more. It’s spread out all over campus — and it’s a huge campus, so prepared for lots of walking (worth every step!) and be sure to bring a stroller for little ones.

Shearing & Fiber Day
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the workers at the Old Maryland Farm for the annual shearing of the sheep and llama! See firsthand how wool and hair are collected from farms and learn how it will end up in your clothing. Enjoy the wool spinning demonstration and fiber display. Hay rides are also available for $2 per rider. And while you’re there, enjoy the rest of the wonderful offerings at Watkins Regional Park!

Picnic on the Pasture
Where: South Mountain Creamery | Middletown, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 7:30pm
Admission: $14/adult, $9/child, $40/family

Join South Mountain Creamery for breakfast and plan to stay all day to enjoy wide open country, fresh air, green grass, and wholesome fun for the entire family. Free tours of the farm, petting zoo for the kids, hay rides for everyone, live music, and fun farm exhibits, like ice cream churning and bee keeping, will be going on. Visit our farmers market and meet farm and producer partners. Admission fee includes parking, family activities, and one (adult/child) meal platter good for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Additional food and snacks will be available for purchase.

Day Out with Thomas
Where: B&O Railroad Museum
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $22-25

All aboard, little engineers! Thomas the Tank Engine™ will be able to talk to his fans when he returns to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore! Take a 25-minute train ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy a full day of live entertainment, activities, and family fun!

Book Shop Birthday Bash
Where: East City Book Shop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Help East City Book Shop celebrate their first birthday as well as Independent Bookstore Day! A daylong lineup of activities will include two storytimes, authors as guest booksellers, an a capella performance, free food throughout the day, plus a free gift to anyone who purchases $50+ at the store (while supplies last). There will be evening fun, too! Visit the website for the day’s schedule and more details.

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 is at Adventure Theatre
* Enjoy Theatre for the Very Young at a performance of Paper Dreams at the Atlas
* Go wild for The Jungle Book at Imagination Stage
* It’s the last weekend to see The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co.
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage is outstanding and appropriate for middle school ages an dup
* Gala Hispanic Theatre presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights – En Español!
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* Make it a date night at Fun Home running at National Theatre through May 13 (look for a discount)
* Synetic Theatre’s Macbeth would also make for a good KidFree outing (look for a discount)

Nats vs. Mets
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s a weekend at home for the Nats as they host the Mets. There are games Friday at 7:05pm, Saturday at 1:05pm, and on Sunday at 1:35pm. Stay after on Sunday for Kids Run the Bases, and be sure to check these KFDC tips for doing a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Root for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats aren’t the only baseball team in town. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Akron Rubber Ducks all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy, too — post-game fireworks, Purple Rain Night, Read & hit a hoe Run Night, PJ Masks Day and more. Get details on what’s happening when here. And read more about Baysox games in this KFDC post.

Charm City Bluegrass Festival
Where: Druid Hill Park | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 9:30pm
Admission: $55/advance, $60/day of, free for 10 and under

Music lovers and foodies will be gathering for the fifth annual all-day celebration of bluegrass. Three stages, 14 bands, and 12 hours of family-friendly festivities, will include local food, limited release beer from Union Brewery, artists, kid’s games, crafts, spontaneous jam sessions, and more. New to the festival this year is a third stage, providing festival goers with a more comprehensive musical experience featuring traditional and progressive bluegrass, folk and Americana. Visit the website for the lineup of music and food.

Mother’s Day Fused Glass Pendants
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $40/member, $45/non-member (includes parent & child)

Kids ages 10 and up with adults can learn to create a fused glass heart pendant with various bits of colorful mosaic glass. Each parent/child couple will create two hearts to exchange for Mother’s Day. Hearts will need to be fired in a kiln and will be ready for pickup by Mother’s Day. A special gift for the maternal figures in your life!

Catch the Ultimate Breeze
Where: Gallaudet University | Northeast, DC
When: Saturday, 6:30pm
Admission: $10/advance, $12.50/day of

Bring the kids out for fun, fresh air, and Pro Ultimate Frisbee! Not only will you get to see exciting Frisbee action as local team DC Breeze takes on the Ottawa Outlaws, kids can join a free youth clinic (for ages 6-17) before the game at 5pm (FYI: they offer this at every home game.) And while your kids are learning Ultimate out on the field, you can enjoy food and drink specials and listen to a live band to get ready for the game.

KidFree Theatre: Smart People
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through May 21
Admission Tickets start at $41

Oh, this is good! The newest production at Arena Stage is clever and captivating as it deals with race and what shapes our belief systems. The topic is explored through four smart, strong characters, their approaches to their professions, and interactions with each other. While it covers serious subject matter, the show is loaded with laugh-out-loud moments, bringing comic relief to tense situations. In the end, though, it leaves you thinking… and also wistful for a time when we thought, perhaps, we’d crossed some of those bridges.

Family Day: From a Moment to Infinity
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Hirshhorn and Smithsonian Gardens are teaming up for a day of free family friendly activities inspired by Orchids: A Moment and Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Visitors of all ages are invited to pot their own orchid, try their hands at botanical sketching, obliterate an orchid with dots, create their own “orchidgami,” explore an infinity play space, and more. And those who dress in the theme “A Moment to Infinity” will be entered in a costume contest to win exciting prizes!

Dog Days Bloom Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult

This adventure for dogs and their people has something for every member of the family, but canines especially will have a blast at the day’s festivities. The addition of a Frisbee Competition with the Appalachian Air Canines on Saturday brings a new level of excitement to this year’s event. Professionals will also be providing tips for working with your dog. And the rest of the farm, which is essentially a sprawling playground, is open for all to enjoy. Explore the many acres, and opt for a wagon ride to see the orchards and farm in bloom!

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Through September 17, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2

Walk amid a garden of butterflies as Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy during the first weekend of its annual run. The display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight! 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. Read about one of our experiences at the exhibit and rest of Brookside.

Strawberry Fields
Where: Shlagel Farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The PYO season has begun as the first farms has opened its strawberry patches to the public, so you can get out there and reap the fruits. See this post for details on Shlagel and other area farms that will open soon where you can gather your own berries, several offering much more than just picking.

Celebrate Ella
Where: Meridian Hill & Marvin Gaye Parks
When: Saturday, 6pm & Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Ella Fitzgerald is turning 100, and in the spirit of celebration for her life and legacy, The DC Youth Orchestra Program (DCYOP) and The American Pops Orchestra (APO) are partnering to bring the joy and beauty of music to the DC community with performances this weekend. Open to the public, this tribute to Fitzgerald brings music to local parks in a family-friendly environment and will feature Fitzgerald favorites including  “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “Just One of Those Things,” and “The Lady is a Tramp” among many others in the setting of two of DC’s iconic parks. Saturday’s show will take place in Meridian Hill Park in Columbia Heights, and Sunday’s will be at Marvin Gaye Park in northeast.

27th Annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale
Where: National Arboretum
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The Arboretum’s annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale is a weekend designed for gardeners of all levels searching for their perfect plant, herbs from the Potomac Unit of the National Herb Society, or horticulture guidance from expert horticulturists. Make it a family affair — the event also features food and drink vendors, a performance by the Washington Revels, and a strawberry potting activity for children. Festivities will take place outside the Administration Building and Visitor Center, adjacent to the National Capitol Columns, near the Azalea Collection (which is beautiful now!), and in the Grove of State Trees, so you can enjoy the beautiful grounds, too.

Mother’s Day Tea Party: A Family Clay Workshop
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $65/members, $75/non-members (includes parent & child)

Celebrate Mother’s Day by working with Mom to create an entire tea service complete with teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, and teacups. Work together to make your own whimsical set out of clay, then decorate them with colorful underglazes. Create special memories with this great workshop!

***BONUS BITS***
* Learn about Flex Academies and their after school enrichment programs.
* Want a fun & educational summer camp? Check out e² Young Engineers.
* You might find a great deal on it (and lots of other camps) on CertifiKID.
* The azaleas in bloom at the National Arboretum is a beautiful!
* The National Air & Space Museum just debuted a new Virtual Reality Motion Ride. Go for a spin in space on the VR Transporter next time you’re there!


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 24-28

Butterflies return to Brookside Gardens this week

Butterflies return to Brookside Gardens this week



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. (The series also takes place in Shirlington, VA, the last Tuesday of every month, which is this week!)

Tuesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. (This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 1:30pm.)

Wednesday – Learn about the area’s wildlife, enjoy hands-on activities in the Nature Center, view the night sky, take a hike, and visit horses at Rock Creek Park. The Nature Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm, and admission is free. If you’re keen on seeing stars, there’s a planetarium show at 4pm. You can also visit the equine residents at the nearby Horse Center. (Pony rides are not offered on weekdays this time of year, but guests are welcome to stop by the stables.)

Thursday – Experience the wonderful Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens! Walk amid a garden of butterflies in the annual display of live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world. It’s a guaranteed delight for all ages. The exhibit opens April 26 and runs through September 17. Hours are 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds and be sure make time to play in the adorable Children’s Garden. The gardens are open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. Read about one of our experiences at the exhibit and Brookside.

Friday – Play the day away at Clemyjontri, the brilliantly colored, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Hours are 7am to dusk, and admission is free.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Play, Playground, Seasonal, Spring, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: April 21-23

Celebrate National Parks and Earth Day at Shenandoah (and cross fingers for no rain!)

Celebrate National Parks and Earth Day at Shenandoah (and cross fingers for no rain!)



Earth Day celebrations, the March for Science, a math festival, National Parks Week, dinosaurs! It sounds like a STEM sort of weekend. Except there’s also a birthday bash for Shakespeare, lots of live entertainment, a literary fest, an extravaganza of fairies and gnomes, and much more. It’s a well-rounded selection of fun. Happy Weekend!

Earth Optimism Day
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

A great way to spend Earth Day: Celebrating conservation success stories at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! The family-friendly event will feature fun activities and interactive demos, including a conservation scavenger hunt. Plan to bike there and get free valet bike parking – register for it here.

March for Science
Where: Starts north of Washington Monument | DC
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Celebrate science and join the “first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.” Well-timed to take place on Earth Day, the DC event will start with a teach-in and rally, then a march through the streets will follow.

Shop & Celebrate
Where: 529 Kids Consign | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, 3-6pm
Admission: Free

The go-to upscale children’s and maternity consignment boutique is celebrating five years of business and you’re invited to the birthday bash! During the festivities, get 10% off all full-price items, plus there will be balloon animal art and a photo booth with a chance to win a FREE mini photo session. Party goers will also have the chance to score raffle prizes from local shops. And no party is complete without treats, so adults can enjoy rosé and Popped Republic will be on-hand with popcorn goodies for all. Local lifestyle and family blogger Angelica Talan (who is awesome!) of ClarendonMoms.com and AngelicaInTheCity.com will serve as the guest host for the party.

Juggle Jam
Where: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 6-7:30pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Throw caution to the weekend! Conquer the thrilling challenge of juggling with veteran juggler Christian Kloc. This workshop begins with a short demo, moves into some goofy warm-ups, then puts juggling props in your hands and offers pro tips to jumpstart your newfound circus habit. After practicing controlled chaos, put on a show with your fellow jugglers and get the thundering applause you deserve! All ages are welcome. Equipment is provided. Wear comfortable clothes that allow relaxed movements.

National Math Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free

The National Math Festival brings together some of the most influential mathematicians of our time to inspire and challenge participants to see math in new and exciting ways. Through a day of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, art, films, performances, puzzles, games, children’s book readings, and more, we bring out unexpected sides of mathematics for everyone, from toddlers to adults of all ages.

Earth Day Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am-3pm
Admission: Free

The American Art Museum is going green for the 47th annual Earth Day! Follow the rhythms of Bash the Trash as they perform with instruments made from recycled and reused materials, or make artworks inspired by Mother Nature. From trees to oceans to critters, come celebrate the many gifts this planet has to give us.

Discover the Dinosaurs
Where: DC Armory | SE DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $14-52

Venture back to a time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth at the ALL NEW Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED! Experience up-close encounters with a lifelike Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, and the king T-Rex in this thrilling walk-through exhibit. Kids can meet a baby dino, take a spin in the Jurassic Jeeps on the Dino Raceway, and visit the Kids Adventure Zone filled with themed bouncy houses, crafts, face painting, and more. It’s family fun of prehistoric proportions!

Musical Morning with Uncle Devin
Where: Room & Board | 14th Street, DC
Whne: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free – RSVP here

Kids can get their groove on with the Uncle Devin Show, a DC-based musical experience featuring percussion instruments and vocals. All ages will love learning about percussion and can create their own musical instrument-themed craft to take home. Two sessions will take place at 10:20am and 11:20am. Room & Board is located at 1840 14th Street NW.

Anatomy of Sports
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bones and muscles need to work together for optimal performance. Athletes of all ages should know how their bodies work in order to compete and stay healthy. During Anatomy of Sports, athletes will demonstrate their sport while medical illustrators and physical therapists reveal how muscles and bones work together. This session is perfect for families with children playing sports, the recreational athlete ,or the practiced sports enthusiast. Read more about the National Museum of Health & Medicine 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 is at Adventure Theatre
* TreeHouse Shakers: Hatched brings family puppetry to Black Rock Center for the Arts
* It’s opening weekend for The Jungle Book at Imagination Stage
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Gala Hispanic Theatre presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights – En Español!
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* Make it a date night at Fun Home running at National Theatre through May 13

A Raisin in the Sun
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through May 7
Tickets: $40-111

Take older kids or make it a date night for this play. The story follows an African American family in the 1950’s as they yearn for a better life from their Chicago tenement and have the opportunity to realize it. With stellar performances by the cast, the show is emotional and thought-provoking as it spotlights struggles and issues that our society still grapples with today. Read the full KFDC review of it here.

Holland in Haymarket
Where: Burnside Farm | Haymarket, VA
When: Saturday, & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $8/day

Tiptoe, stroll, frolic through the tulips! Burnside Farm’s annual Festival of Spring showcasing the season’s flowers is open and blooming. Wander through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy for some brilliant photo ops.

Run of the Mill
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
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. They will also be celebrating Rock Creek’s spring herring run with a special obstacle course for kids. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Weekend Tudor Tots: Earth Day
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: $5/child, free for adults

It’s a special weekend session of the (usually) Tuesday program for little ones to celebrate Earth Day. Read, sing, and play as Tudor Place celebrates spring while learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the picturesque gardens. Tots will take home a craft they’ve made themselves.

White House Spring Garden Tours
Where: White House Grounds | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm & Sunday, 10am – 2:30pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Here’s a chance to see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn at the White House. The annual Spring Garden and Grounds Tours are being held on Saturday and Sunday — and gaining admission to the event is as easy as picking up tickets the day of. Go here for more details and info on how to get tickets.

Earth Day Campfire
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 7:15-8pm
Admission: $6

Celebrate Earth Day around the campfire! Craft some handy take-care-of-the-planet reminders for your home and wind down the evening with s’mores. All participants must register in advance.

Hop on the Eye Spy Trains
Where: Montgomery County Parks | Cabin John & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $4/ride

Montgomery Parks recently started offering Spring Eye Spy Train rides at Cabin John and Wheaton Regional Parks for the first time! (The mini trains run during summer, too, but the Eye Spy fun is usually reserved for Halloween.) Hope on board and look for hidden figures in the woods as you ride around the park. Of course, stay to play at the park, too. Read KFDC write-ups about the Cabin John playground and the Wheaton playground.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad | VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Happy Birthday to the Bard!
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday, and the Folger Shakespeare Library is celebrating with its annual Open House on Sunday afternoon. In true Renaissance fashion, there will be song and dance, Elizabethan crafts, and theatrical performances. Guests can also enjoy sword fighting demos, special tours, a giant birthday cake, and an appearance by Queen Elizabeth I. The free event takes place rain or shine. Food trucks will be stationed in Puck’s Circle The Folger Shakespeare Library is located at 201 East Capitol Street SE.

Earth Day Festival
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Montgomery Parks at Brookside Gardens for a celebration of their wild animal friends and learn how you can help them. Fun crafts, games, nature walks, and talks will are some of the festivities to enjoy. And you’ll also have opportunities to see and meet the animals who live at Brookside up close!

Fairy & Gnome Festival
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5, free for member and under 2
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This annual festival at one of the most enchanting places will delight the whole family — and we know from experience. Festivities are scattered throughout the beautiful grounds, creating a charming journey of discovery for young (and old) guests. Search for hidden fairy and gnome homes and use them as inspiration to create your own special pieces. Climb, explore, build, and dream in the lovely Fairy Lolly. Get faces painting, and enjoy music, dancing, games, crafts, food, drink, and more. Oh, and don’t let little ones miss the unicorn (yes, unicorn!) rides and a petting zoo. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

Park It
Where: National Parks
When: All weekend long
Admission: Free

It’s the tail end of National Park Week, so there’s no entrance fee to national parks that usually charge admission this weekend. If weather permits, hit the trail at Shenandoah, Prince William Forest, Great Falls, Harpers Ferry, or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. Find even more parks to visit here.

HERtime2shine
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join Montgomery County Recreation at the second #HERtime2shine Sports & Fitness Event in celebration of girls and women in sports. The event aims to empower girls to get involved in sports and live healthy, active lifestyles by bringing the county’s sports and fitness organizations together to showcase new opportunities. The fun, carnival-style day will include demonstrations, entertainment and informational booths,cool prizes, and activities for the whole family.

Bethesda Literary Festival
Where: Throughout downtown Bethesda, MD
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free

The 18th annual festival celebrating reading and writing begins Friday night and runs through the weekend. Both local and national authors, journalists, and poets will be there to present their works, lead discussions, and sign books. While most of it is geared toward adults, especially for the younger set will be family storytime on Saturday morning. View the schedule for event times and locations.

Falls Church Feeds the World
Where: Christ Crossman UMC | Falls Church, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Volunteer with the community to assemble and package 30,000+ meals to combat hunger around the world — kids aged 4 and older can help with meal packaging. There also will be a children’s festival with games and fun activities that will teach children about food insecurity in our community and the world.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Rain is in the forecast, so you might need extra ideas for indoor outings. Burn some energy at an indoor playground, visit a museum, explore a historic place, catch some live entertainment, bring the outdoors in at a nature center. This post listing over 90 ideas for activities inside that will get your fun started.

***BONUS BITS***
* The Chime giveaway to celebrate moms is still running – enter for your chance to win a $200 gift card to Bliss Spa and $100 in free babysitting!
* How about a fun — and yummy — day date? Hank’s Oyster Bar is hosting it’s 10th Annual Oyster Fest on Saturday!
* This weekend may be too rainy for it, so plan ahead for some recreation on the water with this new round-up places to paddle, pedal, sail, and go with the flow.
* Looking for summer activities? Kids can kick it at DC Way Soccer Camp!

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Date Night, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Weekend

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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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 3-7

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center

Chat with Rio the sun conure at Buddie Ford Nature Center



Monday – Bring little ones to play at Wegmans Wonderplace in the National Museum of American History. Designed especially for children 0-6 years old, the activity center is full of fun and interesting features that cater to curious young visitors. If you’re with older kids, check out the Spark!Lab right next door. Hours at Wegmans Wonderplace are 10am – 4pm, and free admission is on a first come, first served basis, so there may be a short wait to get in. If that’s the case, there’s a whole museum to explore in the meantime!

Tuesday – Take a time trip through Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under.

Wednesday – Enjoy a hike and a dose of history all at once at Roosevelt Island. The trails are easy for little legs to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge, and accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm. Admission is free. Get a little more of the KFDC take on it in this post about local walks in the woods with kids. (Update: Just learned the parking lot is closed at Roosevelt Island, and while you can still get there — see parking/walking recommendations on the website — you may want to opt for an alternative hike to avoid any hassle. The Walks in the Woods post above has plenty of ideas!)

Thursday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. And if weather permits, continue the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo! Check the Daily Events schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can see an elephant training demo, meet a farm animal, watch feedings, and more — or pick your animal visits as you go. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm this, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 9am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $22 (free for members). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays