Category Archives: Music

The Occoquan Arts & Crafts Show is Less Than Two Weeks Away, June 3-4!

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This post is sponsored by the Town of Occoquan, however, I only promote programs and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Eats, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Shop, Special Event, Sponsored Post, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: May 19-21

Catching sprays from the fountain outside of the National Gallery of Art

Catching sprays from the fountain outside of the National Gallery of Art



Music outdoors, story time with the Redskins, a time trip to colonial days, cultural festivities, live entertainment, fun opportunities to support local non-profits, and much more. These are just some of the ways you can spend some QT with the kids over the next few days. Read on for even more. Happy Weekend!

Jazz it Up
Where: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 5–8:30pm
Admission: Free

Start the weekend with live entertainment under in the fresh air. The free, outdoor summer music series kicks off this weekend with Brazlian Buegrass band Matuto. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner or purchase food and drinks there, and enjoy the tunes and the “summer” vibe. Note: BYO alcohol is not permitted, but adult drinks are available from the pavilion.

Go Fish!
Where: Constitution Gardens | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – pm
Admission: Free

Get the kids hooked on nature at this fishing event. All ages are invited to an action-packed day of fishing instruction and fun at the Department of Energy and Environment’s 9th Annual Family & Youth Casting Call. Training and gear will be provided for participants to catch a fish. Activities aren’t limited to casting a line — guests can learn to tie knots, do some fish art, enjoy games, and learn about the Potomac watershed and the wildlife that is such an exciting part of it. And PBS Kids’ Nature Cat will be there accompanied by Buddy Bison from the National Park Trust to celebrate Kids to Parks Day. Constitution Garden is located at 17th and Constitution Avenue NW (near the Vietnam Memorial).

Acton Children’s Business Fair
Where: 3400 Connecticut Ave | Cleveland Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Experience the power of young entrepreneurs! Shop the Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC, an outdoor market where children ages 6-14 become entrepreneurs for a day. Over 100 young entrepreneurs will be selling everything from animal books to poems, tomato plants and wiggly worms, homemade bread, iPhone screen repairs, and more. This event is free and open to the public. Most businesses will accept cash only, so plan accordingly.

Redskins Read Bookfair
Where: Barnes & Noble stores throughout the DMV
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Stop by your local Barnes & Noble store for the Redskins Read Bookfair for a day of fun and a chance to meet Redskins celebrity readers, cheerleaders, and guest authors! A percentage of each purchase that day will benefit youth literacy programs in our community. Fans are encouraged to mention the Redskins Read Bookfair at checkout to participate. The voucher code (12118170) can also be used online at www.bn.com on the day of the event.

Gaithersburg Book Festival
Where: Gaithersburg City Hall | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The City of Gaithersburg welcomes you to their 7th annual literary event! Festivities will include the chance to see and meet some of the world’s best writers, from best-sellers to acclaimed up-and-comers; join in literary workshops; and a full day of fun at the Children’s Village. The Gaithersburg City Hall is located at 31 South Summit Avenue.

Playdate with a Purpose
Where: Vienna Town Green | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 8:30-11:30am
Admission: $24/family

Want to have a morning of fun and support a great local organization? Join DC Diaper Bank at Playdate with a Purpose this Saturday, 8:30-11:30am, at Vienna Town Green! Enjoy performances by the Great Zucchini and Rainbow Rock, do some kid-friendly yoga, participate in the 1st Annual Diaper Bank Olympics, and learn about how DC Diaper Bank fights family poverty and how you can help.

2nd Annual Family Fun Festival
Where: Sibley Memorial Hospital | Palisades, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Sibley is hosting its 2nd Annual Family Fun Festival with games, health screenings, live music, snacks, Zumba, giveaways, and more! Bring diapers for the diaper drive to support families in need. And anyone who was born at Sibley can join others for a Sibley Baby Reunion! This will all take place in Parking Lot 2, across from Building A.

Spring Colonial Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $8/adult, $4/child, free for under 3

Celebrate spring at the first Colonial Market Fair of the season at this local living history working farm and National Park. The Spring Colonial Market Fair takes place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 from 11 am until 4:30 pm. Play games, listen to music and interact with staff and volunteers in 18th century costume and character. Watch a children’s puppet theater and make your own corn husk doll. See spinning and candle making. Enjoy the heritage breed animals on site including Ossabow pigs, chickens, geese and turkeys. Herbs and flowering plants available for sale as well as soaps, candles, 18th century clothing and jewelry. Affordable, fun and educational event. Great family outing

SerbFest
Where: Saint Luke Serbian Orthodox Church | Potomac, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Serbian culture and enjoy some family time at this three-day festival. There‘s something for everyone, including traditional Serbian cuisine, dance and music performances, gifts and boutique items, and lots of family-friendly activities.  Saint Luke’s is located at 10660 River Road in Potomac, MD.

Kids Tree Climb
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Kids have a chance to reach new heights and climb a tree like a professional arborist! While they might not rescue an eaglet, they will definitely have a great time. This invites youth ages 4–14 years to experience the thrill of ascending into a mature tree under the direct supervision of a professional, seasoned tree care worker (arborist)! They will be fully secured with a rope, saddle and safety gear.

Birds & Presidents at Rock Creek Park
Where: Rock Creek Nature Center | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 7am -3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at the Nature Center on Saturday. Activities include bird walks, invasive plant removal, hands-on activities for kids of all ages, exhibits, information booths, a talk about Presidents in Rock Creek Park (1pm), and food.

McLean Day
Where: Lewinsville Park | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual festival to celebrate the city has something for everyone in the fam. Enjoy carnival rides, food trucks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, exhibitor booths, free field games, a tennis clinic, Bubble Ball, laser tag, balloon animals, and more that will delight all ages.

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

* Head to Glen Echo Park to see Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre
* Journey to Wonderland and catch a performance of Momentum Dance Theatre’s production of Alice featuring both company dancers and their students
* Delight little ones with Midsummer Magic at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* Go wild for The Jungle Book at Imagination Stage
* The Kennedy Center presents the NSO Family Concert Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood on Sunday
* Cinderella is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Old MacDonald’s Farm is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show there
* Ragtime is still running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* Make it a date night at Shakespeare Theatre’s Macbeth (look for a discount)
* Synetic Theatre’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame would also make for a good KidFree night
* See The Secret Garden performed by Fauquier Community Theatre

Saturday Family Jazz Sessions
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 11am
Tickets: $10/advance, $12/at door

Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday morning singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of music appreciation. This fun, creative, kid-friendly series features music by a different performer each session. Improvisation is the theme this week, and Seth Kibel will lead the group in a class about makin’ it up as you go along.

Dragon Boat Fest
Where: Thompson Boathouse
When: Saturday & Sunday, 8:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

The Washington, DC Dragon Boat Festival is a two day celebration held along the Potomac River complete with cultural exhibitions, craft demonstrations, and of course… dragon boat racing. The event is sponsored by the Taiwan-U.S. Cultural Association to promote Taiwanese culture in the DC area through the sport of dragon boat racing.

Catch the Ultimate Breeze
Where: Gallaudet University | Northeast, DC
When: Saturday, 6:30pm
Admission: $10/advance, $12.50/day of, free for 12 and under

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 take on the Montreal Royal, 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.

Date Night: Smart People
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through May 21
Admission Tickets start at $41

Oh, this is good! The Arena Stage production 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.

Civil War Day
Where: Cherry Hill Park and Farmhouse | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Take a time trip at this family-friendly, living-history event depicting the Falls Church home front during the Civil War. Presentations with Civil War soldiers and civilian re-enactments will be among the festivities along with children’s activities, Civil War dancing, displays and relic exhibits, live music, tours, and more.

Zora & Amelia Pop-Up Shop
Where: Colony Club | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Shop a curated selection of items that have empowerment of girls and women in mind. Zora & Amelia is a new online store founded by a local mom after she joined the Women’s March with her daughter. This Saturday, you can browse in person products from established companies and budding entrepreneurs who want to show the world what a feminist looks like. This Pop-Up Shop is in partnership with playwelldc, a new local, women-owned business that provides prenatal, early childhood classes, and workshops for parents and caregivers.

Armed Forces Day
Where: National Cryptologic Museum | Annapolis MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Honor and celebrate the men and women serving in our nation’s Armed Forces at the National Cryptologic Museum on Saturday. The event promises to be a day of fun and education for the whole family. Indoor and outdoor activities will include a chance to talk by ham radio, K-9 Unit demos, knot tying workshops with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, special tours and photo ops, kids gamesto earn SNO cones, music, and more. Service members will be serving hot grilled food and drinks, and ice cream will be available for a sweet treat. Rain or shine.

Powell Elementary Spring Community Carnival
Where: Roosevelt High School | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission:

Support a local elementary school and have fun at Powell Elementary’s 3rd annual Spring Community Carnival. Activities will include a dunk tank, climbing wall, moon bounces, carnival games and prizes for kids, food & treats, live performances, and more. Proceeds help fund field trips, classroom technology, classroom supplies, and other school-support activities. This will all take place on the Roosevelt football field located at 4301 13th St NW.

Celebrate Hawai`i: The Ahupua`a
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Explore Hawai’i’s unique land management system, the ahupua`a. This traditional environmental system managed the lands and the waters and extended into the air and out into the ocean. Learn the mele (songs) that went with each area of the ahupua`a and the stories that have been passed down.

Capitol Hill Classic
Where: Stanton Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday,
Admission: $10-40

Get some exercise and support DC public school at this annual race, one of my personal favorites, through the beautiful Capitol Hill neighborhood. It’s fun and family-friendly with a couple of distances — 10k or 3k — including a fun run around Stanton Park for little ones.

Leveling the Playing Field Fundraiser
Where: Pyle Middle School | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: $25

Join Leveling the Playing Field for a day full of fun activities and competitions with all proceeds going towards providing free sporting equipment to students in need in the DC area. Both kids and adults will be put on teams to compete against one another for some amazing prizes (sports tickets, memorabilia, and more!). Stations will include everything from relay and 3-legged races to water balloon and frisbee toss! All day you will be joined by some of the very kids who have benefited from Leveling the Playing Field’s equipment program and hear from a few of them about what sports mean to them. This event will take place in two shifts – 1-3pm & 3-5pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Strawberry Festival
Where: Oatlands Historic House and Gardens | Leesburg, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $10 or $20/family

The Third Annual Oatlands Strawberry Festival promises an exciting day of fun for the entire family. Enjoy u-pick strawberries, hayrides, crafts, games, tours, more! 

Taste of Arlington
Where: Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free, but pay for tasting tickets

The 30th annual Taste of Arlington transforms Wilson Boulevard and neighboring streets into a family-friendly street festival with dining, music, and entertainment for all ages. This annual event features the cuisine of more than 50 Arlington restaurants, two concert stages with live music, an expanded Beer and Wine Garden with Deschutes Brewery’s Street Pub, a 5k race benefiting Girls on the Run, BarkPark, and a KidZone with a rock climbing wall and carnival games. This will all take place on Wilson Blvd. from Glebe Rd. to N. Quincy St.

4-H FUNdraiser
Where: Northern Virginia 4-H Conference Center | Front Royal, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This family-friendly FUNdraising event is a great opportunity to visit the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational and Conference Center and explore this beautiful piece of Front Royal. Free activities include face painting, performances from local artists, and making s’mores in the campfire circle. Pay-to-play fun will add to the thrill of the day — whiz down a ride on a 275-feet-long zip line or take a dip in theJunior Olympic size pool!  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the 4-H Center, to include 10% of all food and beverage sales and select activity fees. Preregistration preferred, but tickets not required for admission on the day of.

Food Festival of the Americas
Where: Organization of American States | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Get a taste of Latin American culture at the Organization of the Women of the Americas’ fundraising event to collect funds for nonprofits in Latin America and the US helping women and children from vulnerable communities. The Festival will showcase cuisines, music, dance, and more cultural traditions from the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Observer members of the OAS. There will also be activities for children, including a piñata workshop, pasta jewelry making, and pizza decorating. While admission is free, you need to purchase tickets for food, drinks, and a raffle.

***More Good Stuff to Know***
* If you haven’t yet bookmarked the 2017 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC, go do it now. It has all you need to make the most of the warm season — which has already unofficially begun!
* Looking for a fun, active summer camp for kids? Check out DC Way Soccer — I can tell you from my kids’ experiences, it’s a fantastic program!
* Get some great dinner ideas from Not-So-SAHM’s 30 Days of Dinners, a list of her family’s evening meals for the past month with links to recipes. She doesn’t cook at home every night (because… who does?!), but the meals she makes always sound deeelish. And the ones I have made always are.
* It’s a great time to PYO strawberries! Find out some of the best places to reap the fruits here.
* If you want to shop for wonderful & whimsical art, mark your calendar for June 17. It’s the only day this summer that artist Jonathan Blum will be selling his paintings in DC at Eastern Market. His portraits are very distinct — and poignant in their own way. You’ve likely seen some of them around town, as they are beloved by Washingtonians. (We have an Ernie — you know, Bert’s friend — hanging in our kitchen!)


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Competition, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Special Event, Sports, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Playdate with a Purpose to Support DC Diaper Bank

playdatewithapurpose_instagram

Want to have a morning of fun and support a great local organization? Join DC Diaper Bank at Playdate with a Purpose this Saturday, 8:30-11:30am, at Vienna Town Green!

Enjoy performances by the Great Zucchini and Rainbow Rock, do some kid-friendly yoga, participate in the 1st Annual Diaper Bank Olympics, and learn about how DC Diaper Bank fights family poverty, and how you can help.

Tickets/Family Sponsorships are $24/family and can be purchased online in advance here.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Fundraiser, Live Entertainment, Music, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The 2017 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC

Summer in the city:  Evening play in the sprays at Yards Park

Summer in the city: Evening play in the sprays at Yards Park



summer-camp

It’s time to bring back one of my favorite annual guides! Summer may not officially begin for a few more weeks, but as we head into the warm months, many seasonal favorites around DC are starting up again. And this guide has the scoop on the best of them, so you can jump in on the fun.

Ah, summer. The time of year to shift gears, from closed toed shoes to sandals, jeans to shorts, red wine to margaritas. It’s when play dates extend well into the evening, a dip in the pool counts as a bath, and the folks at the neighborhood water ice shop know the kids by name.

It’s also when we can enjoy some of the area’s best activities. Water-inspired recreation, music and movies in the open air, special fests and feasts, and bonus attractions at everyday places are just some of the joys of the season.

So, unpack the swimsuits and flip flops, get out the blender for cocktails (smoothies for the kids), bookmark this guide, and get ready to have some summer fun!

Outdoor Pool Season
Play in the Sprays
Water Parks
Summer Concerts
Festivals
Beaches
Big Screen Under the Stars
Museum Programs & Seasonal Exhibits
Movies, Storytimes, & More
Mini Trains, Carousels, Mini Golf, & a Ferris Wheel
Theatre Time
Summer Sports
Crab Feasts
Seasonal Experiences


Outdoor Pool Season
Nothing says summer like swimming under the sun, and there are plenty of public pools in the area where you can jump in for free or a small admission fee.

  • DC outdoor public pools will open on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27. Days and hours vary from pool to pool so be sure to check the schedule before you go. Last year they began opening earlier on weekdays, at 11am, and that’s continuing! (And some open even earlier than that for lap swim.)
  • For outdoor swimming outside of the city, Montgomery County outdoor public pools will open on May 27 through Labor Day — the Department of Recreation website has locations and hours.
  • In Northern Virginia, Arlington’s Upton Hill has a whole water park for guests to enjoy, and Alexandria has several places where the public is welcome to swim. Be sure to check the City of Alexandria website for hours, as they vary by pool.


A refreshing run through the sprays at Georgetown Waterfront Park

A refreshing run through the sprays at Georgetown Waterfront Park

Play in the Sprays
Kids can run through fountains and splash around at many area spraygrounds. Several are within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, but some of the best are built right into the urban landscape, making the concrete jungle a cool place to hang out during the hottest months.

  • Georgetown Waterfront Park, right next to the Washington Harbour, has a fountain with arcing sprays that makes for a fun, refreshing way to cool off on a hot, summer day. The rest of its pretty green space along the Potomac is a great place to hang out, too.
  • The Yards Park is a favorite for many in the city with two levels of super fun sprays, a wading pool and wall of water (essentially a water fall between the levels), plus a great scenic location on the Anacostia River in the Navy Yard
  • Canal Park in the Navy Yard is great for all ages with both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones to enjoy, plus a bigger fountain with lots of sprays for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter.
  • Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 27, DPR Spray Parks will be open for the season, but hours vary by location, so be sure to check the website for hours.
  • Some of the area’s most popular spray parks — Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park — can be found in Arlington.
  • The interactive fountain in Downtown Silver Spring plaza is open daily from 10am – 8pm. While my kids have never played there, I recall seeing very happy youngsters playing in the sprays on the colorful mosaic design during my lunch breaks when I worked at Discovery. It always looked like a blast.
  • The fountain in the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza located at 14th and Park Road, NW is a great place to cool down on a hot day, with many sprays that surge up from a pretty, circular tiled surface. Do a little shopping while you’re there — Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many other big retail stores are right there — and plan to grab a bite at one of many kid-friendly eateries around. And don’t miss a chance to stop in Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Co. at 826DC located right there.
  • The Fountain on the Square at Rockville Town Square welcomes kids to splish splash from May to September. It’s open Monday – Saturday 11am to 9pm and Sunday 12-8pm, but it’s turned off for maintenance at certain times during the week, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.
  • One of the newest to the sprayground scene, the fountains in the Mosaic District welcome all to play in the sprays that jet up from concrete. Surrounded by retail stores and restaurants, you can make a day of it there with some shopping and eating, too. Plan to go on a Tuesday with little ones when you can also enjoy Stories from Strawberry Park at 10-11am. (Note: Currently closed for renovations, but check back for reopening date!)


Make  splash at Soak City in Kings Dominion

Make splash at Soak City in Kings Dominion


Water Parks
Giant water slides, wave pools, waterfalls, sprays and splash pads…this is the stuff kids’ summer dreams are made of. There are actually several water parks around the area offering many of these attractions, just about all of them opening Memorial Day weekend for limited hours, until they open daily in a few weeks. Here’s a quick list — visit the websites for more details.


Friday night concerts at Yards Park are a great way to kick off a summer weekend

Friday night concerts at Yards Park are a great way to kick off a summer weekend


Summer Concerts
Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro.

  • The Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park begins May 26 and will run through September 1, presenting a different band each week on the boardwalk stage overlooking the Anacostia River. Along with the free music, food and beverages are available for purchase. (Unfortunately, the NO BYOB policy implemented last year still holds). I recommend getting there early, so the kids can play in the fountains before the concert starts at 6:30pm. And on a hot summer day, it’s nice to continue the water fun even while the tunes are playing — you can still hear them from across the park!
  • Experience live music amid art at Jazz in the Garden, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s free concert series, every Friday from 5–8:30pm. The first performance of the season is May 19, rain or shine, and there will be weekly shows through August 25. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner or purchase food and drinks there, and enjoy the sounds of a variety of jazz artists. Note: Adult drinks are available from the pavilion; BYO alcohol is not permitted.
  • The U.S. Air Force Band 2017 Summer Concert Series kicks off May 17 with a performance by Airmen of Note, Air Force Strings, and Max Impact at the Air Force Memorial. After that, you can catch free concerts all summer long at locales around the DC-Metro area, including the Capitol steps, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument grounds, and National Harbor Plaza. Show times vary so be sure to check the U.S. Air Force Band website for the complete summer schedule.
  • In Silver Spring, the TGIF Downtown Street Party brings free music once a month on Friday evenings to the Fountain Plaza 6:30-8:30pm. Enjoy everything from pop to jazz to R&B to classic rock starting May 12.
  • All summer long, families can enjoy a variety of free fun at Rockville Town Square. Concerts for all ages on Friday evenings run from June 2 through September 30 — enjoy live music, good food, and beverages from 7-9pm.
  • Rock at the Row returns to Pentagon Row Thursdays July 13 – August 17. From 7-9pm, all are invited to the lounge on the new plaza for food samples and craft beer in the VIP section or to gather at one of the outdoor cafés while enjoying live music, giveaways, and merchant specials.
  • The U.S. Botanic Garden is bringing back the American Roots Music Concert Series every Thursday 5-7pm. Celebrate American roots with Americana and folk, country, blues, jazz, and even zydeco outside on the Conservatory Terrace. Schedule still TBD, but check back soon!
  • You can kick-start your weekends at Tysons Corner Center’s Fresh Artists Concert Series. Grab a blanket and enjoy performances ranging from ballet to blues, folk to funk, poetry to pop. Schedule still TBD, so check back.
  • Get a nice dose of nature as you listen to live tunes at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington on Second Saturdays of the month from May 13 – September 9. The free, family-friendly performances take place on a stage in the woods surrounded by trails to explore. (FYI: The Nature Center — with snakes, turtles, owls, hawks — is great, too.
  • Enjoy music in Northern Virginia parks! The Fairfax County Park Authority presents their Summer Entertainment Series, a summer-long calendar of shows, concerts and movies appropriate families held in local parks. Bring a picnic dinner, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the best local and regional entertainers.
  • Strathmore, the North Bethesda performing arts center, hosts Live from the Lawn, free outdoor concerts, every Wednesday from July 12 – August 30.


Tour de Fat is as zany as it is fun!

Tour de Fat is as zany as it is fun — and it stops in DC during summer this year!


Festivals
Several stand-out events are anticipated around the area this time of year, celebrating everything from music to art & culture to neighborhoods to food.

  • Get folksy at Glen Echo Park June 3-4, when the 37th Annual Washington Folk Festival showcases the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation, as well as the world, will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the free festival that is renown in the folk community.
  • It sounds like a grown-ups-only event, but the Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival offers plenty of family fun, too. Taking place June 3-4 at Bull Run Park in Centreville, VA, festivities include wine tasting (of course), chef demos, food truck fare, live music, and a whole family-friendly area with activities especially for kids.
  • Imagination Bethesda, an annual festival occurring in the heart of its namesake city, is all about children. On June 3 from 10am – 3pm, Woodmont & Elm downtown will be lined with activity tents offering tons of fun for kids — arts & crafts, face painting, games, etc. There will also be live entertainment, food from local restaurants, and more. Admission is free.
  • The DC Jazz Festival presents a variety of performers at venues all around the city from June 9-18, but the most family-friendly of them actually precedes the main event. Jazz n’ Family Fun Days will take place June 3-4 with free shows for all ages at The Phillips Collection.
  • Attend one of the biggest summer barbeques around June 24-25 as the National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other as they compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more.
  • Every summer, the National Mall becomes stomping grounds of folks from around the globe to celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year’s event will run from June 29 – July 4 and July 6-9, celebrating circus arts and migrations of people to and within this U.S.
  • The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration. Along with the spectacular display of flowers, the annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival will feature traditional Asian and African dancing and drumming, gardening workshops, park tours, arts & crafts, face painting, and other family-friendly pursuits. The exact date is TBD, but it always takes place sometime mid-July.
  • The annual Del Ray Music Festival is always a popular event. On July 23, count on a celebration of the Alexandria community with a day of food, games, and lots of kids’ activities along with a varied line-up of live entertainment.
  • Tour de Fat, easily one of my favorite annual festivals, takes place at Yards Park on July 22. The celebration of all things bicycle is zany in the best way possible. There’s a bicycle parade, bicycle art, reconfigured bicycles to ride, a dance contest to win a bicycle, a car-for-bike swap, a bike-themed kids area, and bikes just… everywhere. There’s also beer (New Belgium is the sponsor), circus performers, vaudeville acts, musicians, magicians, and more. It’s weird and wild and so much fun for the whole family.
  • It might run into fall, but it starts in August, so I’m counting the Maryland Renaissance Festival among the summer fun. Plus, it’s one of my very, very favorite annual events (more confirmation on that here). The merriment begins August 26 and will continue every weekend through October 22. Go. Just go.


Have some fun in the summer sun at a local beach

Have some fun in the summer sun at a local beach


Beaches
Summer and beach trips go hand-in-hand, so why not hit one with the kids? You don’t have to drive all the way to the ocean for it; there are several places where you can get a nice dose of sand and surf that are within day trip-distance from DC.

  • Head out to Calvert County for a day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Not only is there plenty of sand for playing and nice mellow waters for swimming, it’s also a great spot for fossil hunting — look for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants along the shores while you’re there, too! Hours are 9am – 6pm Memorial to Labor Day. Admission is $6/car.
  • Bayfront Park aka Brownie’s Beach is a nice little spot in Chesapeake Beach, MD. With a small but nice stretch of sand, gentle shallow water, shark teeth to fin, and cliffs edging the shoreline, it’s a great place to spend a day — especially with little ones since they can’t roam too far. The only downside is the admission fee: $16/adult, $9/child for non-residents of the county.
  • Enjoy views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the beach at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. At nearly 800 acres, it’s a big beach park with lots of recreational opportunities — swimming, picnicking, fishing, crabbing, hiking, and more. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are lifeguards on duty. And snack food and beach and picnic supplies are available. Hours are 6am – sunset. From May 1 through September, admission is $5 for Maryland residents, $7 for non-residents.
  • The beach is narrow, and you’re on a river, but you still get sand and water at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD. This is best if your main purpose is fossil hunting — it’s a great place to go for it — and you want to get in some “beach” time, too. Wear swimsuits, bring a picnic, and be sure to check the tide table so you can make the most of your time there. Open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.


Big Screen Under the Stars
Outdoor movies have become a DC summer tradition in the last few years with films al fresco in several neighborhoods. Even better, all of them are FREE! (*Before you make plans to enjoy any of the series, be sure to check schedules, as some movies may not be appropriate for children.)

  • Catch a flick on the big screen from the comfort of your car at the Union Market Drive-In Series, occurring on select Fridays throughout the summer, with several family-friendly films in the mix. Get there as early as 6pm and have a bite to eat in the Market or bring food back to your car. The film starts at 8:15pm. Advance purchase is recommended.
  • National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac already started their Sunday night film series for families, and it will run through September 24. Movies are shown on the plaza screen beginning at sunset, usually around 8:30pm.
  • Movie lovers of all ages should head to the Four Mile Run Movie Series in Alexandria on the last Friday of the month from May 26 – August 24, when the park is transformed into an outdoor cinema. This free event will also include two hours of activities and entertainment leading up to show time. Films start at dusk, fun begins at 6:30pm
  • See Your favorite stars beneath the stars at the Capitol Riverfront’s Canal Park Outdoor Movie Series. Catch films every Thursday evening at sundown from June 1 through August 10.
  • The Golden Triangle (BID) is raising the curtain on its Golden Cinema Film Series to be hosted this summer in Farragut Park. Outdoor movies will be shown at sunset every Friday beginning June 2 – August 4, and just about all of the films are family-friendly.
  • The NoMa Summer Screen 13-week outdoor film series starts on June 7! The movies begin at dark, so get there to picnic at 7pm.
  • Bethesda Outdoor Movies will bring five days of flicks al fresco to downtown at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues from July 18-24.


Make a wish at Yoko Ono's Wish Tree in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Make a wish at Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden


Museum Programs & Seasonal Exhibits
Extraordinary installations, lovely annual exhibits, kids’ programs during the school break, and admission deals are some of the special experiences at our museums and galleries to take take advantage of over the summer.

  • First there was indoor mini-golf, after that it was a giant maze, then came the super awesome BEACH, and last year it was ICEBERGS. This summer, the National Building Museum will be buzzing with excitement over HIVE! The massive installation will be built from more than 2,700 wound paper tubes, taking up much of the space in the Great Hall, with an aim to “explore how a structure can modify and reflect sound, light, scale, and human interaction.” Admission is $5/youth member, $10/adult member and $13/youth non-member, $16/adult non-member. Open July 4 through September 4.
  • What sounds like an amazing virtual experience is coming to DC for the summer. ArTecHouse presents XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, an immersive sensory art exhibition composed of ten interactive digital installations. The interactive, multi-space digital art installation lets you manipulate time and space as you step into imaginary territory, manipulate algorithms, and immerse into a virtual playground of digital landscapes. For ages 6 and up only!
  • Annmarie Sculpture Garden is enchanting any time of year, but it’s especially so in the summer when the fairy and gnome houses are on display. The adorable collection of little whimsical abodes for sprite-like creatures have all been selected from many submissions in an annual fairy house building contest. And they are just fantastic. Created by all ages, individuals and groups, each one has a different theme, but together they are a brilliant showcase of imagination and craftiness.
  • The National Gallery of Art’s wonderful drop-in program for children returns — with a new name! Formerly Stories in Art, Art Investigators, geared toward ages 4-7, introduces kids to art and encourages them to make observations and use their imaginations as they discover different works. It’ll run Friday – Monday from July 7-31. Read a KFDC review of the program from a few years back (we’ve been since, and it was just as good!).
  • You can walk amid a garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit. It’s back after being closed last summer during renovations. The seasonal display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world opened in April and will welcome visitors through September 25, 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2 (admission to the rest of Brookside is free). Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit.
  • The Hirshhorn has a couple of special exhibits happening this summer starting with sunrise, sunset, a large-scale, site-specific wall mural by Swiss artist Nicolas Party. The mural will be painted directly onto the museum wall in the Sculpture Garden over the course of two weeks, and will be on view June 7 – October 1. It’ll be a great backdrop for Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC, returning for its second year. From July 1 through Labor Day, the public is welcome to write wishes on small cards and tie them to the tree’s branches. They’re collected throughout the summer, then sent to Ono’s “Imagine Peace Tower” in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • As you make your way around the area near CityCenter, look out for the Fancy Animal Carnival, an installation of whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures by renowned Taiwanese contemporary artist Hung Yi. Scattered around for all to enjoy, they’ll be here until October 15.
  • Every year, the Newseum offers the Summer Fun Deal. From July 1 – September 5, there is no admission fee for kids ages 18 and under. The promotion waives the $12.95 regular entrance charge for youth with one paid adult admission, senior admission, or Newseum membership (a benefit to ages 7 and up, as kids 6 and under are always free). Up to six kids can enter free with the offer. Read a KFDC take on the Newseum and look for a deal on adult admission here.
  • The National Academy of Sciences has been showcasing Igniting the Imagination since March, and it will be on display through August 7. The exhibition of 28 children’s book illustrations from the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio, all relate to science, engineering, or medicine in some way. The show looks at the power of images and stories to ignite the imagination of young people. Copies of the books are on hand in the gallery for families to read as well as several comfortable couches and chairs.
  • During the warm months, little ones can flex their green thumbs in the outdoor Children’s Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden — they can dig in dirt, water plants, and explore a cute little Bamboo Forest. (Note: It’s currently closed for renovations, but expected to be open by summer.) The rest of the USBG’s outdoor gardens are great to explore, too!


The National Gallery of Art's Drop-In program returns this summer

The National Gallery of Art’s Drop-In program returns this summer


Movies, Storytimes, & More for Kids
Family movies at local theaters are a great way to stay cool and keep kids entertained when the weather heats up. And several seasonal programs keep little ones engaged with storytimes and more interactive fun. Even better, they’re all free or super cheap!

  • The Regal Summer Movie Express presents flicks for kids on many Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am. Admission is just $1. Be sure to check the website for the film schedule and theater locations, as it doesn’t run at all theaters every week.
  • From May 10 – September 27, Kids Corner on The Plaza at CityCenter welcomes little ones for outdoor story time, singing, and fun with DC Public Library.
  • The new Kids in Canal is a 12-week series of kid-friendly entertainment every Wednesday 10:30-11:30am beginning June 7. Bring little ones to the middle block of Canal Park to enjoy magic shows, kids tunes, science demonstrations, and puppet shows. Top off the day with a refreshing splash in the dancing water fountains!
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn welcomes families to Kids Camp, a movie series that is inexpensive ($1-3) and benefits local charities, to boot.


Go for a spin on the carousel at Watkins Regional Park

Go for a spin on the Antique Carousel at Watkins Regional Park

Mini Trains, Carousels, Mini Golf, & a Ferris Wheel!
These extra delights bring even more fun to several parks around the area that are already great outdoor places to hang with the kids.

  • Watkins Regional Park opens its attractions on a limited schedule in early May, but come Memorial Day weekend, they can be enjoyed for extended hours almost every day of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 7pm; Sundays 12–5 pm, closed Mondays except May 30 (Memorial Day), July 4 (July Fourth Holiday; closes at 4pm) & August 30 (Labor Day). Read about the rest of the fun you can enjoy at Watkins!
  • Cabin John Regional Park opened its Miniature Train on weekends only back in April, but as of June 1, it’ll be operating daily 10am – 7pm through August. After that, hours will be limited, so check the schedule. Read about the wonderful Cabin John playground here
  • The Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park started taking guests for spins in early April on weekends and will be open daily June 1 through August (limited times after that). Hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 7pm Saturday & Sunday. Read about the super fun Wheaton playground here.
  • The beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel is open for its 97th season at Glen Echo Park. Plan to go for a spin before or after a show at Adventure Theatre or The Puppet Co. From May through August, it’s open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 2pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm.
  • The Clemyjontri carousel has been running on weekends since April, but will be offering rides daily starting May 31 on weekdays 9:30am – 1:00pm and weekends 9:30am – 6:30pm. Read more about Clemyjontri here.
  • Kind of like a London Eye of the U.S., The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of DC. The 42-gondola ride (all closed and climate-controlled with room for 8) soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront, offering vistas of the White House and Capitol, the National Mall, Arlington Cemetery, and more amazing sites. Ticket prices start at $15. Read more about it here.
  • The RIO Express Train and Carousel at RIO Washingtonian are open 3pm – dusk on weekdays, 11am – dusk on weekends through June 19. After that, they’ll open daily 11am – 9pm. Rides are $3.
  • Burke Lake Park’s Mini Train and Carousel are open April to October, daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day 11:30am – 5:30pm. The park is free to access for Fairfax county residents. For non-county residents, the park is free on weekdays and has a $10 entrance fee on weekends/holidays for a car or large capacity van. Carousel rides are $2-3, and train rides are $3-4.


A setting as great as the entertainment at Children's Theatre in the Woods

A setting as great as the entertainment at Children’s Theatre in the Woods


Children’s Theatre
All the world’s an outdoor stage at these venues that present entertainment especially for children throughout the summer.

  • From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents the fantastic Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade, though I think kids even younger can enjoy them, too (mine did!). Read a KFDC review of the series from a few summers ago.
  • Backyard Theater for Children, Strathmore’s summer theater series brings live music and fun to kids – all outdoors under a big tent. Weekly performances take place every Thursday at 9:30am and 11:30 from July 6-27. Admission is $8, free for ages 2 and under.
  • See a Shakespeare play in the park! The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents Shakespeare in the Ruins at the Picturesque Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City this summer. The Tempest, Shakespeare’s magnificent final play of storm and shipwreck, mystery and magic, and profound redemption, runs from June 16 – July 23. Not only can you picnic as you watch the play, but kids are free (two for every adult). Advance reservations are recommended as tickets are limited.
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All will present Othello from August 15-27 this summer. The Washington tradition offers free performances of a Shakespearean classic to the public. Get tickets through an online lottery or waiting in line day-of with a limited number available.


Minor League is major fun at a Bowie Baysox game

Minor League is major fun at a Bowie Baysox game


Summer Sports
Some of the season’s best action takes place in ballparks, stadiums, and arenas thanks to our local sports teams. Here’s where you can join the fan clubs.

  • A day at Nationals Park is all it takes to understand why baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Catching a Nats game is one of our family’s preferred ways to enjoy a nice summer (or spring) day (or evening), anyway. The excitement extends well beyond the diamond with games and activities in the park, a playground for kids, the Racing Presidents, fun in the stands, and more. Before you go, check out these tips on doing a Nats game without breaking the bank. And I highly recommend the Jr. Nationals Kids Club for children 12 and under. Just $20 gets them membership, which includes Nats swag, plus a coupon book with offers for free meals, BOGO tickets, a ballpark tour, and all kinds of discounts. Even a few months into the season, it’s still worth it!
  • Tennis, anyone? The Washington Kastles, the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, will bring some on-court thrills to the Smith Center, where Kastles Stadium is located, July 18-29. For some background, see this post and this one from a few years back.
  • Every summer, the Citi Open Tennis Tournament serves up exciting competition along with other fun activities for fans of all ages. See some of the sport’s top players in action and enjoy the thrills on and off the court.
  • Whether or not you’ve got a little soccer fan in your fam, DC United matches are fun experiences for all ages. And since games only last 90 minutes, it’s not too long for antsy young spectators. Be sure to check for any pre- or post-game activities for kids.
  • Can’t stand the heat? Head to the Verizon Center to see the Washington Mystics (w)hoop it up on the basketball court. Tickets start at $19.
  • Swing up to Charm City to see the Baltimore Orioles play. Camden Yards is a beautiful ballpark, and you can head to the Inner Harbor before or after to make a day of it up north.
  • If the Nats or O’s aren’t in town, or you want to see baseball on a smaller but still fun scale, you’ve got several great options around the area. Take ’em out to the minors at a Bowie Baysox, Potomac Nationals, or Aberdeen Ironbirds game. Summer collegiate team Bethesda Big Train is also very popular for non-majors baseball action.
  • Women’s pro soccer team, Washington Spirit, plays in Germantown. Per a KFDC reader, “you get affordable tickets and concessions, picnic seating behind the goal, a really intimate, family-friendly environment and top-level soccer.”


One of the best treats of the season

One of the best treats of the season

Crab Feasts
Easily one of the best activities during summer in Maryland and neighboring areas (this is where I get non-DC-centric because I have to give credit where it’s due). Here are some suggestions for places to get ’em, though the “best” is always a subject for debate.

  • Cantler’s is an Annapolis institution.
  • Mike’s Crab House in Annapolis is also a popular spot.
  • Drive over the Bay Bridge to Kentmorr for great crabs and an awesome beach area for hanging out while you wait
  • The Jetty on Kent Narrows has crabs, scenic views, and a fun beachy vibe
  • In Baltimore, Bo Brooks on the Canton Waterfront often tops crab eaters’ lists.
  • Stay close to the city at Quarterdeck in Arlington.
  • Waterman’s in Rock Hall after a hike at the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge makes for a great Eastern Shore day trip.
  • Pick up your own at the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Buy them already steamed or get them while they’re still alive to cook at home.


Enjoy recreation on local waterways during the warm months

Enjoy recreation on local waterways during the warm months


Seasonal Experiences
Some particularly cool activities and offerings are only possible this time of year. Sure, you can say that’s most of this guide, but these experiences that fall into the “other” category shouldn’t be missed.

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The Weekend Round-Up: May 12-14

Jamming in the woods at the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival

Jamming in the woods at the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival



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Fingers crossed that the weather forecast is off and Saturday will turn out be be as lovely as it was in the photo above. If not, be sure to check ahead that outdoor events are still on — there has already been some rescheduling due to anticipated downpours – though there are plenty of great indoor activities happening, too. And the silver lining to the rain and clouds: It’ll make the sunshine on the special day Sunday that much brighter. Happy Weekend! And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

National Public Gardens Day
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

In honor of the day, entry is free all day to the historic, 5½-acre garden in Georgetown. Stroll among spring blooms at leisure or join free guided tours. Shop the Garden Sale for gifts, seeds, and live plants cultivated from heirloom specimens on the estate.

Celebrate Mom
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re still in need of plans to celebrate mom’s big day, there are so many great ways to celebrate. The are activities and offerings especially for the occasion, special events that coincide with the date, and everyday outings that can be made special with a few extra touches and great company. See this post with a bunch of ideas to help plan your day.

Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island | Hill East, DC
When: Saturday 12-9pm
Admission: $30, free for ages 13 and under

The 8th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River features a whole day and evening of performances by local bluegrass and folk acts on five stages. Fuel up with DC’s favorite food trucks and Sierra Nevada beer. For kiddos, Living Classrooms and a Kids Zone will have activities just for them, including Washington Nationals treats and giveaways, plus a show by the Great Zucchini at 5pm. Kingman Island is located on the Anacostia River at 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE (at the entrance to RFK Stadium).

Shortcut to Europe
Where: EU Embassies | Embassies Throughout DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Avoid the hefty airfare and jet lag and explore the Continent from this side of the pond. Passport DC invites you to join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international food, dancing, kids entertainment, exhibitions, vacation planning, and more. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures. Admission is free, but bring identification, as some embassies will conduct security checks. Get an idea of what to expect in this post about one of our experiences at an Around the World Embassy Tour.

Children’s Ball
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm & 1-3pm
Admission: $15/adult & child together, $10 members

It may be called a Children’s Ball, but this event for the whole family will make it a special Mother’s Day weekend at the Textile Museum. Dress in your best and enjoy fun and fancy treats, dancing beats by GW Ballroom, and a kid-centered visit to the exhibition Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. There are two time slots for this, 10am – 12pm and 1-3pm. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Register online or call 202.994.7394.

Spring Family Day
Where: Renwick Gallery | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday, 10am-2pm
Admission: Free

Help the Renwick celebrate the joys of spring! Check out the two exhibitions, June Schwarcz: Invention & Variation and Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years, then try your hand at a clay-related craft. Listen to live music performances, take a spring scavenger hunt through the Renwick galleries, and enjoy the changing colors of Janet Echleman’s work, 1.8 Renwick, hanging above you in the Grand Salon.

Neighborhood Day
Where: Throughout Arlington, VA
When: Saturday
Admission: Varies by activity

On Saturday, neighborhoods across Arlington are organizing fun community events as part of Neighborhood Day 2017. The beloved Arlington tradition brings communities together to enjoy the great outdoors (or indoors) and strengthens ties between neighbors. This year’s events include the Turtle Trot 5K race, International Migratory Bird Day Festival, home tours, a yard sale, and more! View the Web page for details.

Bee an Architect
Where: District Architecture Center | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $15/members, $20/non-members

Bees and other pollinators are more important to our parks and our food supply than you might imagine. They are responsible for one in every three bites of food we take according to a White House study. Come learn about different kinds of bees and how you can help them survive better in the city. You’ll learn about honey bees and the bee hive the District Architecture Center’s roof from DAC’s Beekeeper, Heritage Honey. You’ll also learn some amazing facts about native bees from Executive Director Mary Fitch, that she learned while working on the Bees and the City exhibition which opened in the gallery on April 10. The session will conclude with a hands-on activity to build your own bee house for native bees to take home. 

Space Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

This annual favorite Family Day welcomes visitors to enjoy STEM-inspired hands-on activities, meet an astronaut, and learn about space from experts from the Museum and NASA. And all of it takes place amid the awe-inspiring collection of historic aviation and space artifacts in the much-loved museum on the National Mall.

Spring Farm Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $7/advance, $8/at door

Have a super fun day getting the farm experience at Frying Pan Farm Park’s annual spring fest — milk a cow or goat, visit baby animals, see farm equipment demos, and watch some sheep lose their wool. Along with the farm-y stuff, there will be carousel and wagon rides, plus crafts, games, and fair food for all to enjoy.

DC Green Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12/one day, $22/weekend

Go green and enjoy family time at the nation’s premier sustainability event. As a Mother’s Day treat, moms get 50% off admission (kids 16 and under are free). Explore over 250 exhibitors, hear from inspirational speakers, indulge in delicious vegan or vegetarian food, and the PG County Parks and Recreation Family Fun Pavilion will host interactive educational activities and entertainment for kids all day.

Neighborhood Design Day (RESCHEDULED for May 20!)
Where: Next to Richard England Clubhouse 14 | Benning, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Building Museum, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Community Forklift, and DC Public Library for the transformation and unveiling of a new community space in the Benning neighborhood–designed and built by teens in the Design Apprenticeship Program. Plant a butterfly-friendly flower, learn about landscape architecture, or make something for your own garden. Bring a picnic and your friends and family to enjoy the afternoon in the newly redesigned space. The park is located next to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington’s Richard England Clubhouse 14 4103 Benning Road, NE.

Spring Fair
Where: Concord-St.Andrew’s Nursery School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5, free for under 2

All are invited to join Concord-St. Andrew’s Cooperative Nursery School Community (CSA) for the first annual CSA Spring Fair! Bring the whole gang for performances by The Great Zucchini (11am) and Groovy Nate (1pm), bounce houses, Construction Zone” and “Bang and Clang” play areas, a petting zoo, face painting, games, and more! Rolling Brick pizza will be baking personalized pies on site and sweet treats can be purchased from the CSA Bakery. Vendors from local sports, camps, and arts program will also be there to showcase their offerings.

Heroes for Moms Blood Drive
Where: Alexandria Library | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free (requested donations – see below – appreciated)

Join Heroes for Moms on Mother’s Day weekend for a blood drive and maternal health awareness event dedicated to saving the lives of mothers. The free, family-friendly event will have exciting giveaways, activities for kids, and support for women, moms and families from local maternal health organizations. It’s free and open to the public, but donations of diapers, clothing, baby items for moms and babies in need for My Grandmother’s House are appreciated.

Milkshake Celebrate Moms Concert
Where: Creative Alliance | Baltimore, MD
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: $10, $8/members in advance (+ $3 at door) free for 2 and under

The Milkshake Band is hosting a mini-activist fair as part of their Celebrate Moms Concert. Kids can have their face painted, make Mother’s Day cards for mom, and even get their picture taken with Moo, Milkshake’s mascot. Every mom will get a flower and some chocolates, and they can also Moms can connect with some great non-profit organizations. Bring a diaper and/or diaper ointment donation for Share Baby and get a free Milkshake CD!

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

* Head to Glen Echo Park to see Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre
* The Kennedy Center presents Nearly Lear, a one-woman tour-de-force for ages 9 and up
* Go wild for The Jungle Book at Imagination Stage
* Cinderella is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And World on a String is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show there
* Ragtime is still running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* Make it a date night at Fun Home at National Theatre (look for a discount)
* Shakespeare Theatre’s Macbeth would also make for a good KidFree outing (look for a discount)
* See The Secret Garden performed by Fauquier Community Theatre
* Experience Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live at the The Hylton Performing Arts Center on Sunday

International Migratory Bird Day
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens | Northeast, DC
When: Saturday, 10am through the afternoon
Admission: Free

With a theme of “Stopover Sites: Helping Birds Along the Way,” finsd out at the festival what a flyway is and how you can help birds during spring migration! Family fun activities will include beginner bird walks, educational bird games, and crafts throughout the day! There will also be exhibitors, a dance performance, and raptor shows in the afternoon. Visit the website for the day’s schedule.

Last Call for Infinity Mirrors
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Saturday is your final chance to see Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, the uber popular exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum. If you follow social media of any kind, then surely you’ve seen images of the installations — lots of polka dots! — at some point. If you don’t have passes already, free same-day walk-up timed passes will be available at the museum’s front desk starting at 10am for times throughout the day. It’s guaranteed to be crowded, so check out my review of the exhibit to for tips and idea of what to expect.

Tot Rock Festival
Where: Mount Vernon Community Center | Del Ray, VA
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the Rainbow Rock Collection and community partners for an amazing day of movement, music, and making a difference! A great line-up of kids entertainment (see the schedule here), will be accompanied by food, fun, games, and more! Donations will be collected for Now I Play Along Too, which provides music instruments and instructions to kids in Haiti, Florida, and DC with the DC Dream Center. So, bring any new or used instruments to donate — they’ll also accept cash and credit donations on-site.

Market Days
Where: Rhode Island Row | Brentwood, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Check out a city market, as the popular Community Foodworks’ Farmers Market returns to Rhode Island Row for its second year. Residents can shop for freshly picked produce, specialty baked goods, and prepared foods as well as other locally sourced products. The streets around Washington Place will be closed for the Market, creating more opportunity to shop, mingle, and meet up with favorite local vendors.

DC Bike Ride
Where: Throughout Washington, DC
When: Sunday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: $70/ages 8 and up, $50/ Girl Scouts, free for 7 and under

Celebrate the day, our communities and amazing city, and life on two wheels! In its second year, the DC Bike Ride is a closed-roads, car-free, 20-mile bike ride through DC. The inaugural ride had over 7,000 participants and raised more than $38,000, and this year they hope to do even better. There will be entertainment on the course for a lively atmosphere, plus kids ages 3-7 ride for free (though they need to be in a bike seat, tagalong, trailer, or tandem). Admission fee includes a sling backpack.

La Bella Strada
Where: Mount Vernon Avenue | Del Ray, VA
When: Sunday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free (donation to the school welcome!)

Del Ray’s main street, Mount Vernon Avenue, will come alive with vibrant chalk art on Saturday as Del Ray Montessori School hosts its second annual La Bella Strada Street Painting Festival. Modeled after an ancient Italian art form, the event will bring artists from around the region to create masterpieces up and down the sidewalk. La Bella Strada, reviving the street painting tradition of Renaissance-era Europe, will offer patrons of the Del Ray main street an afternoon of interactive public arts programming. It’s a great time to explore the vibrant community and watch artists work on their craft! Pair this event up with the Tot Rock Festival, as the two events are close by. (Note: This was originally scheduled for Saturday, but moved to Sunday due to weather.)

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

It’s a weekend at home for the Nats as they host the Phillies. There are games Friday at 7:05pm, Saturday at 7:05pm, 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.

Washington Torah Experience
Where: TheSHUL DC at the Lubavitch Center | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: $7

TheSHUL DC – Chabad welcomes all for the unique opportunity to watch a sofer at work writing the Washington Torah, the first Torah to be exclusively written in DC — with portions written in some very intriguing Washington locations. There will even be the chance to participate in the actual writing of it! The event will also feature Torah Unwrapped, an exciting, interactive workshop about how a Torah is made, as well as a balloon artist and other children’s entertainment. There’s a giveaway for a chance to win free admission for your family – enter by 2pm on Friday!

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

If you’re looking for things to do 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


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