Category Archives: Monuments & Memorials

The Weekend Round-Up: March 31 – April 2

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Weekend Round-Up: January 14-16

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The holiday weekend means extra time for fun with the kids, and there are so many great ways to take advantage. Join an MLK inspired event, get artsy with DCPS creatives, discover travel & adventure options, check out a new museum exhibit, enjoy live entertainment, explore a national park for free, and much more. This round-up has all the details you need to plan. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Create DC!
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get creative with the DCPS Arts Team! Families are invited to a day of creative play alongside some of DC’s amazing artists, educators, and arts organizations. Create shadow puppets, enjoy the DC Youth Orchestra petting zoo, join a drum circle, watch Shakespeare Theatre Company perform a mini “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” check out wearable art, and much more!

Travel & Adventure Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $16/adults, free for 16 and under

Get travel inspiration, experience culture, and have fun! A big expo like this might sound like a grown-up affair, but a bunch of cool pursuits will thrill the kids, too. Besides the hundreds of travel providers and destinations featured, there will be cultural performances, Segway rides, camel rides (!), a rock climbing wall, “worldly” photo ops, and kids games.

More Live Entertainment
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is on the Imagination Stage for its final weekend
* Encore Stage & Studio presents The Little Princess — by kids for kids
* Tweens can enjoy Bud, Not Buddy at the Kennedy Center
* The Alden Theatre presents both The Ugly Duckling and The Giver on Saturday
* Titanic is still afloat at Signature Theatre, and it’s getting great reviews
* Little ones will be delighted by Blue at Imagination Stage
* Rocknoceros is playing a special MLK Day show at Jammin Java
* Plan for a KidFree night out to see ROE, which just opened at Arena Stage

Bilingual Education Fair
Where: Francis Gregory Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

DC’s first Bilingual Education Fair is poised to be a fun and educational Saturday morning! Thirty exhibitors, including 13 bilingual public schools, foreign cultural institutes, language app developers, and more organizations will take part. There will be both grown-ups and kids programs. Children can enjoy story time and activities in 7 different languages, while adults can listen to three mini-talks by a student, an American University professor, and a parent about why, how, and where in DC to raise a bilingual child, followed by 20 minutes of questions and answer.

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-13, free for 4 and under

Enjoy a full day of theater and so much more. Teatro de la Luna presents six hours of all kinds of artistic activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s festivities. And all of it is presented Bilingual.

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

Head to the book store in Old Town Alexandria for a reading just for little ones. At the weekly program, story time experts will read children board and picture books, sing songs, and perform and teach some fingerplays. Recommended for ages 0-3.

Rock On
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

One of my very favorite DC museums debuts a new exhibit on Friday. “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” explore the ways music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights. See John Lennon’s bed-in guitar, Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster guitar, stage costumes worn by the Village People, original handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” jewelry from the VMA’s, video with some of rocks most influential musicians, plus artifacts related to the Vietnam War, Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Newseum is best for older children, and this KFDC post has a bit more about it.

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

Warm up with a quintessential cold weather activity! Lace up the ice skates and get gliding at one of many outdoor rinks in the area. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; 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.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
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).  As described in Model Railroader magazine, 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.

Open Studio: Dazzling Designs of the Qur’an
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 12 – 4 pm
Admission: Free

Discover The Art of the Qur’an at this free Open Studio for families, as you explore illuminated designs in manuscripts of the Qur’an. Take a family-friendly tour of the exhibition (offered at 12:30pm and 2:30 pm), then head to the ImaginAsia classroom to get creative. Tea and refreshments provided. All ages welcome with adult companions.

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Early learners ages 0-6 and their caregivers will have the chance to hear a story and participate in hands-on activities and crafts inspired by objects from the museum’s collection at this weekly program. Saturdays in January are all about clothes! Hear a reading that makes us think about the clothes we wear and how they can change over time. Then check out some clothes that are housed at the museum collection and enjoy fun, clothing-related crafts.

Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt for kids 10 & up! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. It’s not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover — or rediscover — the museum. Designed for kids and adults to do together, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase is required.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday, 8pm & Monday, 2pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards will be hosting at home this weekend with games Saturday night and Monday afternoon. Catch them at the Verizon Center against the 76ers on Saturday, or watch some on-court action on MLK Day when they play Portland.

An Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh
Where: Northeast Library
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Join Northeast Library for an Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh, one of the world’s most lovable characters! Guests can enjoy a story reading, watch a short movie, and make a Pooh and friends craft to take home. Best for kids ages 5 and up. Snacks provided, too!

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school; explore the just posted about Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, or visit Harpers Ferry.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Looking for ways to stay active and entertained without a chill in the air? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 80 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you prefer the outdoors no matter the weather, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.




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Where to Celebrate MLK Day 2017

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Special events and activities to honor and celebrate MLK have started this week and even more will be happening throughout the coming weekend. Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kiddos about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations
When: January 16
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

ConSERVE DC
Where: Anacostia Park
When: January 16, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Admission: Just your time

Join the Student Conservation Association as they gather to ConSERVE DC this MLK Day by mobilizing the next generation of community stewards to help restore our public lands. With the support of American Express, they will be bringing together hundreds of volunteers for a massive cleanup of the Anacostia River. Join them to honor the legacy of Dr. King and connect the issues of social and environmental justice and help improve the health of DC’s urban waterfront.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

Learn about MLK
Where: Local libraries
When: MLK Week, now through January 16
Admission: Free

DC Public Libraries are hosting many events to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Storytime, arts & crafts, songs, and exhibits are just some of the ways you and the kids can take part.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
When: January 14-16
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with a community art activity! Each year, Annmarie invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This year’s big MLK Days project is a collective mural titled “#WDUS4 – What Do You Stand For?”. There will also be coloring and poetry activities, and the whole family can enjoy them.

Visit Memorials
Where: MLK & Lincoln Memorials
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at sites that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant memorial along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there.

I Have a Dream Weekend Celebration
Where: Port Discovery
When: January 14-16
Admission: $14.95/ages 2 and up

Community comes to life at the Baltimore children’s museum over the three-day “I Have a Dream” weekend. Celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with special programs, including a meet and greet with the Negro League Baseball Museum, painting quilt squares for their community quilt with the Baltimore African-American Quilters Guild, making a birthday card, a birthday tribute by The Kindersinger (Saturday), and more fun festivities.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore
When: January 16, 3:30pm
Admission: Free

This multi-cultural program engages diverse, talented performers and award honorees who serve their communities unselfishly. Approximately 2,000 young people, including county officials and local press, participate in the commemoration in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Limit four tickets per household.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place
When: January 15, 4-6pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket)

KanKouran, an integral part of the DC dance community for nearly 30 years, presents their annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an electrifying, athletic, and family-friendly performance of traditional West African dance and drumming. During this special Family Series show, reserve one free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Festival
Where: Throughout SE & SW DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10am at 2500 MLK Ave SE and ends at the R.I.S.E Center at 2730 MLK Ave SE. The MLK Parade will commence at noon from 2700 MLK Ave SE and continue up MLK Avenue to Anacostia Park, where the MLK Holiday Festival and Health Fair will be underway. All ages are welcome to join.

Let Freedom Ring at Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 16, 6pm
Admission: Free

It’s the annual special Millennium Stage performance in honor of MLK Day. The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature a special performance with Gladys Knight and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations at 5pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 14-18

Owen & FDR

Owen & FDR



Monday – Wake up really early to see the supermoon!

Later on, indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim times at all of them, and I recommend calling ahead to confirm there are no random closings.

Tuesday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, catch an IMAX film, and be sure to take advantage of FREE entry on Tuesdays to the Butterfly Pavilion! (Tip: Get tickets when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away.). Admission to the museum is free, but films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Wednesday – Let the kids burn some energy at Dynamite Gymnastics Center in Rockville. Tumbling mats, trampolines, the jungle crawl (a huge tunnel to run through), and more equipment will keep them active during Open Gym time. Sessions take place 12-12:50pm and 2-2:50pm. Admission is $8/child, $12/participating adults.

For some evening entertainment, head to The Hamilton for a family-friendly old fashioned style country & western concert. Riders in the Sky will combine music and comedy in their all-ages show. Doors open at 6:30pm, show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $17.

Thursday – Get a dose of nature in an unexpected place at Winkler Botanical Preserve. Located just off 395 and Seminary Road in Alexandria, the park is a nice outdoor surprise in an area full of office complexes and strip malls. Hours are 8:30am – 4pm, and admission is free.

Friday – Take a stroll around the Tidal Basin and visit some of DC’s memorials — Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson are all honored there. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day, and park rangers are on hand to answer questions from 9:30am – 10pm. Admission is free.


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The Weekend Round-Up: November 11-13

Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens - there's no entry fee this time of year!

Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens – there’s no entry fee this time of year!



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It’s been a heavy week, and I think we all could probably use some good diversions right about now (some more thoughts on that here). Luckily, there are plenty of them happening around the area over the next few days. Observe Veterans Day, go for a glide, see a show, kick off the holiday season, get artsy, enjoy time outdoors, and so much more. And along with these recs, these outdoor suggestions and this indoor list will come in handy, too. Happy Weekend!

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tour
Where: The Wall
When: Friday & Saturday, various times
Admission: Free

Observe Veterans Day at one of the memorials dedicated to those who have served our country. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is offering special family-friendly tours of The Wall. Kids can get an age-appropriate explanation about the day and the memorial, learn how to look up a name, see photos of service members on The Wall, and learn how to do a name rubbing.

National Veterans Day Ceremony
Where: Arlington Cemetery
When: Friday, 11am
Admission: Free

The National Veterans Day Ceremony begins at 11am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. Free and open to the public, attendees are encouraged to get there by 10:30am. Read more about Arlington Cemetery in this post about a KFDC experience there.

Opening Day — on Ice!
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide the day away as several area outdoor ice rinks start welcoming skaters for the season. Meander your way around Canal Park Ice Rink. Skate in Georgetown at the Washington Harbour. Do some shopping and snacking along with your skating at Pentagon Row in Arlington. Practice your axles and triple lutzes at Reston Town Center. Or get started on holidays gifts after a skating session at Tysons Corner Ice Rink. This post published last year has been updated to reflect this season’s skating details. (Update: Canal Park’s opening has been postponed.)

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm (closed Veterans Day)
Admission: Free

Enjoy free admission along with the lovely gardens at Dumbarton Oaks. From now through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the grounds of the Georgetown locale. Bundle up for a walk among the various plats — it’s a beautiful place to explore any time of year. After, head up to M Street and exprience Georgetwon GLOW. Read even more about about Dumbarton and get a glimpse in this early KFDC post.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Friday
Admission: FREE

It’s the last fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school; hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains covered in autumn colors, or visit Harpers Ferry.

27th Annual Museum Shop Around
Where: Strathmore
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $9

Strathmore elevates the act of gift giving to an art form over Veterans Day weekend, Thursday, November 10 through Sunday, 13, 2016, with Museum Shop Around, the popular annual holiday bazaar that this year convenes 18 area museums, art centers, and cultural destinations to open pop-up shops in the historic Mansion at Strathmore. This community favorite infuses the holidays with the unexpected, clever, heartfelt, handmade, and art-inspired—Strathmore alone will feature wares from more than 100 different artisans and small businesses.

O Say Can You See
Where: Fort McHenry
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult

Observe the holiday at the birthplace of our National Anthem. Fort McHenry makes for a very interesting, informative, and enjoyable outing for all ages. Engaging exhibits range from historical objects and structures to multimedia displays and interactives, and this weekend there will be a special WWI original uniforms and equipment display. And the grounds located right on the Chesapeake are lovely to stroll on a nice day. Read about our recent experience there.

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Drop by the American History to listen to delicious stories about food! Then, children can participate in food games and crafts, and touch cookware from the collection. This new program aims to boost early literacy, while introducing young visitors ages 0-6 to objects in the museum’s collection. It will also take place on November 19.

Family Math Expo
Where: Montgomery College, Germantown Campus
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Count our family in for this expo presented by the Montgomery College Math Department. Part of the Maryland STEM Fair, students from preK to college, parents, teachers, and math enthusiasts of all ages are invited to wide selection of board games, card games, app games, and math exploration activities for you to try your hand and mind at. Parents and teachers will also be able to explore resources they can use in their classroom and at home with their kids to build math and problem solving skills in fun ways. Thinking about starting a math club or math circle in your school or neighborhood? This is a great event to meet folks to join with to get started.

Mommy & Me Pop-Up
Where: West Elm DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Browse baby gear and more at this Mommy + Me Pop-Up Shop at the West Elm in Logan. The fun-filled day will feature BambiniWare baby + mommy gear, an organic baby puree bar, mommy mocktails, DIY demo stations, kid-friendly activities, giveaways, and more! RSVP here.

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

* Catch Looking for Roberto Clemente at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* And Little one will love Aquarium at the Bethesda theatre
* See Where Words Once Were is at the Kennedy Center (look for discount tickets)
* The Olney Theatre presents Mary Poppins
* Hansel & Gretel are the current stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* Northern Virginia Players’ ANNIE Jr. is in its final weekend
* You’ll want some more of Oliver Twist at Creative Cauldron

A Spin on the Carousel
Where: Arena Stage
When: Throughout the Weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $50

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is Arena Stage’s newest production. Owen and I just saw a performance, and it was an excellent lift to the post-election spirits. Taking place in the Fichandler Stage, the theatre-in-the-round setting really lets the audience appreciate the wonderful talent and direction of the show. Make it a date night, or bring the kids — I’d recommend it for about ages 10 and up.

Animation Mania: Creative Design
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. Ever wonder how pictures can come to life in your favorite animated movie? Learn about motion pictures in the November design challenge and create an optical illusion that will make you flip out.

Grand Opening
Where: Burger-Fi Alexandria
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Burger-Fi is celebrating the opening of its new Alexandria location with a weekend full of special events and food giveaways. On “Fry day Friday,” receive a free fry with the purchase of a burger or dog. The first 100 guests in line on Saturday will receive a free cheeseburger and be entered to win lift tickets to Ski Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail. Tommy McFly from 94.7 Fresh FM will broadcast live, and other activities will include a red carpet photo booth, face painting, and balloon twisting. Go on “Sundae Sunday” and receive a free custard cup! Burger-Fi is located at 111 N. Pitt Street in Old Town.

All Ages Dueling Pianos
Where: Bobby McKey’s at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1-3:30pm
Admission: $18

The whole crew can enjoy an afternoon of music and fun at this dueling piano shows. The two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet is a great way to stay cool on a hot summer day. And this is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats, dance in the aisles, and sing along!

Intro to 3D Modeling
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange
When: Saturday, 2-4 pm
Admission: Free

Is your teen interested in learning 3D design and learning how to use a 3D printer? Sign them up for this free class at Brentwood Arts Exchange’s new MakerBot, where kids ages 16 and up can learn the basics of 3D printing and leave the class with their very own three-dimensional object! Registration required, as seating is limited. Call 301-277-2863 or register in person at the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

The Emporiyum
Where: Union Market, Dock 5
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15-25

Meet, eat, and shop as this two-day market and celebration of everything delicious, returns to Union Market. Get a taste of 95 artisans, producers, chefs, and restaurants, will bincluding Erik Bruner-Yang’s Paper Horse, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Ramen Burger, Co Co & Co, Megpies, Eggloo, Bon Bon Bon, and many more. Meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and shop for unique edible gifts. Tickets and the full vendor roster can be found on The Emporiyum website.

Positivi-Tree Lighting and Street Fest
Where: Downtown Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

The 5th Annual event is Downtown Silver Spring’s official Tree Lighting and Street Fest. And this year it will feature the lighting of Positivi-Tre, an impressive 35-foot-tall public art installation comprised of hundreds of illuminated and multi-colored umbrellas! Other fun festivities of the evening will include food tastings, live entertainment, ice sculpting, and more!

Sunday at the Studio
Where: Gary Rosenthal Collection
When: Sunday
Admission: $22.50/family

Get ready for Chanukah with glass artist Gary Rosenthal! Get a fascinating tour of Gary’s studio (he’ll show how the glass is made!); make your own dreidel, menorah, mezuzah, candlesticks or tzedakah box; learn a bit with PJ Library’s own Sarah Rabin Spira; and enjoy a tasty snack. Gary’s studio is located at 4218 Howard Avenue in Kensington.

Full STEAM Ahead
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free for little ones, $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17

The amazing Garden & Arts Center in Solomons, MD, injects creativity and fun into STEM by adding Art, and turning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into STEAM! The program designed for toddlers and preschoolers uses hands-on investigations and challenges as children explore, observe, ask questions, and make predictions about the world around them as they create and play. Drop in Sunday for a Busy Bankers session, then plan to explore the rest of the grounds and exhibits while you’re there – it’s seriously fantastic! Read more about Annmarie in this KFDC post.

Kick off the Holidays
Where: National Harbor
When: Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for a full day of holiday fun, topped off by their annual tree lighting. They’ll have tons of holiday activities, including the opening of the holiday market, card-making for the Troops, a holiday movie on the Plaza, live entertainment, Santa at the carousel, fireworks, and more!

Baltimore, Hon!
Where: Charm City attractions
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are several great places to spend a day off. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry.

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take in the brilliant color spectrum of autumn and get a little exercise to boot on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the fall foliage and some time outdoors. This post about good area hikes with kids started in the early KFDC days, and with many new recommendations added since — Prince William Forest Park, the most recent — there are lots of great recommendations for happy trampers.

Park it in MoCo
Where: Montgomery County Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. Watch a raptor feeding at Meadowside Nature Center, enjoy some evening fun at Locust Grove Nature Center, discover amazing creatures at Brookside Nature Center, and more. See the online calendar for details and even more events happening this weekend.

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

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Go on a family Bird Walk at Green Spring Gardens. Join the Reptile and Amphibian Club at at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (ages 6 to 15). Take a wagon ride and journey to the pond at Riverbend Park. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

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