Category Archives: Monuments & Memorials

The Weekend Round-Up: July 1-4

owen_july4

Gymboree Sale On Now!


The holiday weekend gives us extra time for fun, and there so many ways to indulge. Live entertainment, summer activities, baseball, museums, even indoor “icebergs” among them. Happy Weekend! And have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Come Fourth!
Where: Around the area
When: Monday, July 4th!
Admission: Varies by activity

Our lovely city is one of the most exciting places to be this time of year, as people from all over the world come to celebrate America’s birthday. And from fireworks on the Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house and the home of the Declaration of Independence to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, they (and you!) won’t be let down. This post has details on the many ways to celebrate July 4th in DC.

Happy Birthday, Tudor Place!
Where: Tudor Place
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5, $3/member, free for military families

America’s Story Lives Here – now marking a rare American Bicentennial. Join Tudor Place to celebrate #TP200 and patriotism in a festive, one-time event for all ages in the historic gardens. Play traditional American outdoor games, take self-guided garden tours, make patriotic crafts, and enjoy a piece of the giant Tudor Place birthday cake from Dog Tag Bakery (while it lasts).

Summer Staples
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get your summer on this holiday weekend with a host of activities exclusive to this time of year. Kick it off with an outdoor concert or some free fishing, hit a public pool for some outdoor swimming, get in some good play at a spray ground, check out a special seasonal exhibit, and much more. Go here for the full scoop on these joys of summer, and keep in mind that some regular events might not be happening due to the holiday.

ICEBERGS
Where: National Building Museum
When: Opens Saturday! (Through September 5)
Admission: Varies, see below

Th Building Museum’s big summer exhibit opens this weekend. Floating sculptures, an environmental narrative, interactive features, and shaved ice treats make ICEBERGS pretty cool to experience. While you probably won’t stay and play for hours like you did at The BEACH last year, it’s definitely worth checking out. Plus, the admission fee gets you into all of the other NMB exhibits, too! Cost is $5/youth member, $10/adult member and $13/youth non-member, $16/adult non-member.

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

Cinncinatti comes to DC, as the Nats host the Reds all weekend. See Freedom Fireworks after the game on Friday (6:05pm), enjoy Rat Pack night on Saturday (7:05pm) and take advantage of the Herbert Hoover bobblehead promo on Sunday (1:35pm). There’s a Monday game, too, that you can read about here. Be sure to check out these tips for doing a Nats game for less as you plan.

Root for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

See baseball on a smaller scale as minor league team Bowie Baysox takes on the Akron Rubberducks. Friday is a Community Heroes celebration, and Saturday will feature fireworks after the game. Sunday has even more special promos: Daniel Tiger visiting, Educator Appreciation Day, and Kids Eat Free! Read more about Baysox games in this KFDC post.

Jumanji
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $19.50 (Get 15% off using code KFDC)

Adventure Theatre’s latest production is as funny as it is wild. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, the show takes its characters — and the audience — on an incredible journey to claim Jumanji. Read a KFDC review and enter a ticket giveaway here.

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

* See Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap where Dinorock are playing a concert al fresco
* The UniverSoul Circus is wowing audiences at National Harbor
* The Little Mermaid is a collaboration between Imagination Stage and The Washington Ballet
* Catch a performance of Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co.
* And Jellybean Circus is their featured Tiny Tots show
* Enjoy a picnic and a play as Chesapeake Shakespeare presents The Three Musketeers at PFI Park in Ellicott City, MD (bonus: kids are FREE)
*Take your teen or make it a date night to see The Bridges of Madison County at the Kennedy Center
* MOXIE: a Happenstance Vaudeville is on stage at RoundHouse Theatre
* Little Ones will enjoy Inside Out, a performance geared toward ages 1-5, at Imagination Stage

Family Nature Walk
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 9am
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 will have a unique and exciting natural history theme that’s appropriate for family members of all ages. Be prepared to hike in sneakers and don’t forget your water bottle. Meet at the amphitheater by the main house.

Kids Free – Summer Fun Deal
Where: Newseum
When: Begins Friday!
Admission: FREE for kids, $22.95/adult

Take advantage of the Newseum’s annual program that welcomes youth visitors for free during the summer, from July 1 through Labor Day. The Summer Fun Deal waives the regular $13.95 entrance fee for kids with one paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children.

Arrrr, Mateys!
Where: Potomac River via Washington Harbour
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20 (get a deal here)

Explore the high Potomac “seas” on a Boomerang Family Treasure Hunt Cruise. During the pirate adventure, you’ll help recover stolen treasure from scallywags who pilfered the ship’s booty. Several sail times are available throughout the weekend. When you book on the site, be sure you are looking at Treasure Hunt Cruise times, and not the Party Boat Cruise. For more pirate voyages on local waters, see the Summer Guide.

Pint Sized Breakfast
Where: Brookland Pint
When: Saturday, 9-11am
Admission: Free

Take the little ones to a breakfast designed with them in mind, featuring a FREE breakfast buffet just for kids, storytime and crafts with Barnes & Noble, and an interactive performance by Only Make Believe. Open seating is first come, first serve. If the weather cooperates, head out to the patio!

July Makers Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Find handmade, homemade, or homegrown products at Annmarie’s monthly market – this particular one will feature sea glass and beach crafts. Delight in the treasures made by local artists, then continue your art explorations through Annmarie’s gorgeous gardens, where you can the kids can look for fairy houses, play in the fairy lolly, and create some art of your own in the artLAB. (Admission to the market is free, but it’s $5/adult, $3/child for the rest.)

Wee Ones Storytime
Where: Hurray for Books
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Enjoy a story time especially for babies and toddlers in Old Town Alexandria! Hurray for Books’ story time experts will read your young ones board and picture books, sing songs and perform, and teach some fingerplays. The weekly program is free and open to the public!

Sunday Funday at the Races
Where: Laurel Park
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

Have an exciting day at the races with the family! Starting this weekend, Sundays during the summer will include a FREE Kids Zone (1:30-4:30pm) with pony rides, a petting zoo, and crafts — each week will feature a new project for kids to enjoy. And for the adults, Laurel Park is offering a casual summer Sunday brunch 12-4pm ($22/adults, $11/ages 3-11).

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

With extra time on the holiday weekend, you may want even more options for fun things to do with the kids. 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 Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

Smithonian Folklife Festival
Where: National Mall at 3rd-4th Streets
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The annual Festival celebrating living cultural heritage and community traditions is underway. Visitors of all ages will have ample opportunity to discover and explore the culture of Basque Country through special exhibits, workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more, including plenty of activities especially children. California Sounds is also a highlight s more than 60 artists perform throughout the festival and many host special activities and demos for guests. For specifics, see the festival schedule. And it all takes place right on the National Mall where you can have plenty more fun at all the museums.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Discount, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Make Some Family Plans for the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival

blossoms_picnic

With the National Park Service’s recent announcement of the predicted cherry blossom peak (March 31 – April 3) and the Capital Weather Gang’s declaration that winter is over and spring is on, it’s time to talk celebration. And the National Cherry Blossom Festival, along with a couple of museums, have it all figured out for us with several weeks of events and activities to enjoy during the prettiest time of year in DC. Here are the best of them for families to help you have a peak blossom experience. Happy spring! (Update: The National Park Service revised their prediction, and the peak is now expected March 18-23.)

Asia Heritage Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: March 19, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get ready for the Blossom Kite Festival and celebrate spring and Asian Heritage! 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! This year’s Kites of Asia Heritage Family Day will have a special focus on Nepal and India.

Make an Okinawan Textile Craft
Where: GW Museum & Textile Museum
When: March 18-20
Admission: Free

Discover Okinawa at this three-day celebration for all ages! Try your hand at origami, traditional bingata painting, and other art activities. Enjoy children’s stories, dance performances, and karate demonstrations. Learn about the geography and natural environment of the island, sample Okinawan treats, and take home a local souvenir. Check the website to see the schedule of events each day.

Family Day at the Building Museum
Where: National Building Museum
When: March 26
Admission: Free

The National Building Museum is hosting their annual event to kick off the cherry blossoms celebration family-style. And they’re doing it with a nod to the National Park Service’s Centennial Anniversary. The day will feature hands-on fun and games focused on parks, planning, landscape design, and architecture. Activities will include folding origami masterpieces, designing a memorial for the National Mall, constructing a tatebanko diorama, meeting DuAro (Kawasaki’s robot), trying on traditional Japanese clothing, and learning more about the National Park Service’s milestone celebration.

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: April 2, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Go fly a kite! Seriously. The Kite Festival is, in my opinion, the best event during cherry blossom season (when the weather cooperates, anyway). 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 absolutely magical for my 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 intricate works of art actually outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so be sure to bring one. 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.

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
Where: Southwest Waterfront, 600 Water Street SW
When: April 9, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

A fun family event happening along the water is the annual fireworks show at the Southwest Waterfront. It’s an all-day 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.

Family Workshop: Paper Trails
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: April 10 & 16, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, explore the importance of paper across Asian artmaking traditions. With educators from the Freer|Sackler and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, use traditional Japanese papers and bookmaking tools and techniques to create your own artist’s book. This program is designed for children ages 6–12 and adults to enjoy together.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 16, 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 16, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up in advance, free for 12 and under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head right 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.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: July 3-5

American flag LEGO build at the American History Musuem -- see it on display through summer!

American flag LEGO build at the American History Musuem — see it on display through summer!



Independence Day celebrations are the main events, and there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the holiday weekend — live entertainment, seasonal fun, an indoor “beach,” baseball, butterflies, and the Women’s World Cup on the big screen (go, USA!) among them. The Everyday Play page has even more ideas (but check to make sure places are open during the holiday). Happy Weekend! And have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Come Fourth!
Where: Around the area
When: Saturday, July 4th!
Admission: Varies by activity

Our lovely city is one of the most exciting places to be this time of year, as people from all over the world come to celebrate America’s birthday. And from fireworks on the Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house and the home of the Declaration of Independence to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, they (and you!) won’t be let down. This post details on the many ways to celebrate July 4th in DC.

American Innovation
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Enjoy the Grand Opening Week of a brand new wing at the American History Museum! The 45,000-square-foot area features exhibitions that explore the history of American business and showcase “hot spots” of invention. The much loved (and missed) Spark!Lab is also back, and along with the Object Project space, has all kinds of cool, hands-on activities and exhibits for all ages. There will also be special programs and demos taking place during this opening week — see the schedule here for details.

Joys of Summer
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get your summer on this holiday weekend with a host of activities exclusive to this time of year — outdoor swimming, spray ground play, concerts under the stars, movies al fresco. Go here for the full scoop on these joys of summer, and keep in mind that some regular events might not be happening due to the holiday.

Hit the Beach
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5-16 (see details below)

First there was indoor mini-golf, last year it was a giant maze. This summer, the National Building Museum is riding the seasonal wave and bringing The BEACH to the Great Hall and they are debuting it on Saturday! The installation opens July 4 and will cover 10,000 square feet and include an “ocean” of nearly one million recyclable translucent plastic balls. Visitors are welcome to “swim” in the ocean or spend an afternoon at the “shore’s” edge. Admission is $5/youth member, $10/adult member and $13/youth non-member, $16/adult non-member.

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

San Fran comes to DC, as the Nats host the Cubs all weekend. See Freedom Fireworks after the game on Friday (6:05pm), catch part of the Patriotic Series on Independence Day Saturday (11:05pm) and take advantage of the Steven Strasbourg bobblehead promo on Sunday (8:08pm). Be sure to check out these tips for doing a Nats game for less as you plan.

Smithonian Folklife Festival
Where: National Mall at 3rd-4th Streets
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The annual Festival celebrating living cultural heritage and community traditions is underway. Visitors of all ages will have ample opportunity to discover and explore the culture of Peru through special exhibits, workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more, including plenty of activities especially children. For specifics, see the festival schedule. And it all takes place right on the National Mall where you can easily pop into museums in case of rain.

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

* Cat-ch Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude at Adventure Theatre
* Fly away to Neverland at a spectacular performance of Peter Pan in the ThreeSixty Theatre at Tysons
* Experience Double Trouble on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will live Aquarium, just opening at the Bethesda theater
* Take the fam to Shakespeare in the park as Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents The Comedy of Errors at Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Snow White and the 7 Dwarves is the current main stage production
* And Mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* IMPOSSIBLE: A Happenstance Circus is wowing audiences at the Round House Theatre

Root for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

See baseball on a smaller scale at a Bowie Baysox game! Saturday is their Red, White, and BOOM Independence Day celebration with a post-game fireworks display. On Sunday, go Back to Future as they celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

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

Walk amid a garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit, back this year through September 25 after being closed last summer during renovations. The seasonal 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.

Women’s World Cup Finals
Where: National Harbor
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: Free

A World Cup win by the Women’s U.S. Soccer team would be a perfect way to cap off America’s birthday weekend! And you can watch the big match against Japan on the really big screen at National Harbor, where they’ll be hosting a watch party on the waterfront Jumbotron, an 18’ x 32’ foot LED screen, on Sunday. It’s located on the plaza, and guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and watch from there or grab a meal and drinks and watch from Redstone American Grill’s outdoor patio.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: May 22-25

It's spray time!

It’s spray time!



Whether you seek events that honor those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, are ready to get the summer fun started, or just want to enjoy some quality time with the kids over the holiday weekend, this round-up of family recreation should have you covered. Happy Weekend!

“Summer” in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with an activity exclusive to this time of year. Outdoor public pools, spraygrounds, and water parks open Saturday; music and movies are playing under the stars; the strawberry picking season is underway; and blue crabs are making many a feaster very happy. The KFDC guide to summer in DC has specifics on all of the special events and series that come with the warm months — and a select few are also mentioned below.

Jazz in the Garden
Where: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
When: Friday, 5-8:30pm
Admission: Free

The popular summer series is kicking off its new season with jazz guitar by Tom Lagana. Enjoy the music along with big, bold works of art in the NGA Sculpture Garden on the Mall. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner or buy a bite there. Note: Adult drinks are available from the pavilion; BYO alcohol is not permitted.

Rock by the River
Where: The Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the long weekend with free music in the fresh air. Still Surfin’, a Beach Boys tribute, is tonight’s performance. Catch the show along with great views of the Anacostia River from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass. Pack a picnic or purchase food there from one of many food trucks or nearby eateries.

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

The Nats are hosting the Phillies this weekend with an evening game tonight (7:05pm) and afternoon match-ups on Saturday (4:05pm) and Sunday (1:35pm). Stay after on Sunday for Kids Run the Bases when children ages 4-12 can loop the infield after the final out.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult

The area’s largest U-pick strawberry festival is this weekend – and next – rain or shine. Get ready for loads of fun activities for all ages, including the popular diaper derby, pie-eating contests, tart toss, strawberry princess, great food, and live music. As if that’s not enough to keep the family entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillow, slides, a pedal cart track, rope swings, mazes, a tractor tire mountain, Cow Train ($2), and animal encounters. Whew!

Smithsonian Big Screens
Where: Natural History Museum, & Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Two new IMAX films just opened at the Natural History Museum and National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. Dinosaurs Alive! will thrill anyone fascinated by the prehistoric beasts, and Tomorrowland will take viewers on a sci-fi adventure with George Clooney. Be sure to make time to tour the exhibits, too – both museums are Smithsonian favorites!

Archaeological Adventures, Indy Style
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under (look for a ticket deal)

If you opt to check out Indiana Jones & the Adventure of Archaeology at Nat Geo, then you have chosen wisely. Interesting and entertaining, the new exhibit showcases props, video, and fun facts from Indy’s cinematic adventures along with fascinating artifacts and details about real-life archaeological studies and discoveries. Nat Geo recommends it for ages 8-80. If you’ve got really little ones, the Monster Fish exhibit is more their speed and also super fun.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $19.50

Adventure Theatre’s latest production has been getting such rave reviews, they’ve extended its run to May 31. Journey with Dorothy and friends to meet the Wizard and experience some entertaining adventures along the way. Tickets are available online, or you can still try to win a 4-pack through this KFDC giveaway!

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

* It’s your last chance to catch a performance of Sinbad: The Untold Tale at Imagination Stage
* The Creative Cauldron brings Once on this Island to the stage again this weekend
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Cinderella is the current main stage production
* And Clowning Around is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre on Saturday

Land of the Free Music
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Every day, the Kennedy Center presents a free performance at 6pm on the Millennium Stage. This weekend, see winners of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition (all musicians ages 14-25 with disabilties), Slovenian accordionist Marko Hatlak, bluegrass band Bud’s Collective, and The Greek Chamber Music Project.

Street Car Show
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $5/child, $7/adult

Enjoy special programs that recall the role of the transit industry during wartime in observance of Memorial Day. See Tilley the Trolley and Billy the Bus, a wartime production of the Capital Transit Company, and Ten Seconds to Go, a wartime production by Kansas City Public Service. The special exhibit, Homefront Street Cars, will also be on display.

Memorial Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Monday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/ages 6-15 for cottage tours; other tours are free

President Lincoln’s Cottage will host an array of activities on Memorial Day to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Family-friendly activities will include guided tours of the first National Cemetery, commemorative ceremonies honoring veterans at multiple locations, picnicking opportunities on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, and tours of the Cottage, the seasonal residence of the Lincoln family during the Civil War. Registration is requested. See the website for more information and a schedule of tours and activities.

National Memorial Day Concert
Where: West lawn of the Capitol
When: Sunday, 8-9:30pm, gates open at 5pm (or Saturday for the dress rehearsal)
Admission: Free

Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? The 2015 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday from 8 – 9:30pm. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna are hosting the event once again, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrificed for the U.S. If you’re planning to go, this FAQ page on the concert website is worth a read. If you can’t make Sunday’s show or don’t want to deal with the crowds, Saturday’s dress rehearsal is also always open to the public — gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Memorials on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: All Weekend
Admission: Free

Tributes to those who have served our country will take place at the many memorials and monuments on the National Mall throughout the weekend. Times vary, but you can look for schedules on the National Park Service website. The Mall is guaranteed to be crowded, so plan accordingly.

Memorial Day Observance
Where: Arlington National Cemetery
When: Monday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Observe the holiday at one of the most iconic spots to honor those who have served. A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30am, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11am followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery in this KFDC post.

National Memorial Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th to 17th Streets
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. Get a curbside view of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans as they travel up Constitution Avenue.

Memorial Day Tour
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Monday, 1pm
Admission: Free

The museum dedicated to the history of health and medicine is commemorating Memorial Day with a special program. A free, docent-led tour will offer an overview of the museum’s exhibits, with a special emphasis on advances in military medicine from the Civil War to the present. I should warn: Some exhibits at the museum may not be appropriate for very young children or the faint of heart, as this post about one of our experiences there describes (but for many, it is a very fascinating museum).

Strawberry Fields
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location

The PYO season is well underway! Many local farms have opened their strawberry patches to the public, so you can get out there and reap the fruits. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries, several offering much more than just picking.

Find even more ideas for family fun in these popular KFDC posts:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors


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The Weekend Round-Up: April 11-12

reya_blossoms

exploreuniverse

Spring break for DC students is starting on a peak note! The cherry trees are blooming, sunshine will be abundant, and there are some fantastic events going on to savor it all. Find details below and even more ideas in the post listing The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids and The Great Indoors. Happy Weekend!

A Peek at the Peak
Where: Tidal Basin & National Mall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The cherry blossom peak is beginning! And it’s practically guaranteed to be wonderful. If you can swing a visit to the Tidal Basin and National Mall, you’ll get to see some iconic DC scenes, as the monuments and memorials are gorgeous with a backdrop of blossoms. Expect crowds and be prepared — this post has tips for families viewing the blossoms (as well as alternative locations to see the flowers).

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 11, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is, hands-down, the parade. Thousands of people line the Constitution Ave sidewalks every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel through town. 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: 12th & Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: April 11, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, free for 12 and under

Immediately following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head right 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. Be prepared for a crowd.

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the natural world by focusing on the Anacostia River, its history, ecology, and the communities along its riverbanks! 11th Street Bridge Park and National Park Service present the first annual Anacostia River Festival, a premier event and official closing of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival. Activities will include hands-on art projects, musical performances, boating, fishing workshops, tours of historic Anacostia, bike parades, and other unique programs to engage families with the environment. Read more about the festival locale, Anacostia Park, here.

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

* Catch a performance of Sinbad: The Untold Tale at Imagination Stage
* Blue is also still running at the Bethesda theatre
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Arts on the Horizon presents Blossom’s Rainbow at The Atlas on Saturday
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Jack and the Beanstalk is the current main stage production
* And Animal Crackers is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Add some Shakespeare to your weekend as Theatre on the Run presents Much Ado About Nothing
* Bring little ones and their stuffed animals to the NSO Teddy Bear Concert Imagination Duo at the Kennedy Center
* Join the Nature Jams Baby Rave at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning

Enchanted Cherrybration Weekend
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $5 (rides cost extra)

Let your little princesses dress up for this visit to the storybook-themed farm (you can read more about it in the list about 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.” A Truly Pink Treasure Hunt in the Enchanted Forest Maze will round out the weekend activities.

Explore the Universe
Where: Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

It takes a lot of hard work and innovation to go from Galileo’s early telescopic observations in the 17th century to NASA’s launch of the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit in 1990. This family day will explore the amazing accomplishments in astronomical observing from Galileo to Hubble. Through astronomy presentations, hands-on activities, and more, learn about telescopes and how different cultures see the sky.

Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park
When: Saturday
Admission: $5

Celebrate spring at Riverbend Park’s Bluebells at the Bend Festival in Great Falls! The gorgeous flowers usher in springtime by carpeting the park’s floodplain with their magnificent blooms, and the bluebells are so abundant in some areas you can’t see an end. Read more about Riverbend (and see some pics with bluebells) in this post and in this one about local hikes with kids.

Catch the Ultimate Breeze
Where: Gallaudet University
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 Toronto, kids can join a free youth clinic (for ages 6-17, register in advance here) 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.

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm (parking lot opens at 4pm)
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Kick it at a soccer game as the DC United host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening. Get there early for activities at the Lot 8 Tailgate, and be sure to stop by section 222 for a variety of kids activities. For some extra goodies just for young fans, join the Kids Club!

STEMosphere
Where:
 Charles E. Smith Center
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

The George Washington University is hosting STEMosphere on Saturday. Part of a larger event for educators called Share Fair, this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focused expo will offer fun, hands-on, interactive activities and education methods for a PreK-12 audience. Exhibitors include NASA Aeronautics, Discovery Education, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, First Robotics and more. Participants are encouraged to register in advance.

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