Category Archives: Music

The Weekend Round-Up: October 1-2

The Kennedy Center, where you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage and join in a BIG HUG

The Kennedy Center, where you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage and join in a BIG HUG

There’s plenty of fun to soak up around the area this weekend! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with a big hug at the Kennedy Center, get a taste of a couple local neighborhoods, see innovation in progress at a Maker Fair, hit a fall festival, explore the newly renovated East Wing of the National Gallery, play Minecraft or join a LEGO build, enjoy a variety of live entertainment. And when the sun makes an appearance again, there are lots of great ways to soak it up, too. Happy Weekend!

Family Day: Con Las Puertas Abiertas
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Kennedy Center! The entire Terrace level will be transformed into a fair with activities, performances, and games for all ages — art, coloring, face painting, instrument building, and poetry writing among them. Two interactive murals will welcome kids to create their own art. Foosball tables and soccer goals encourage some “sports” play. And music and dance performances, as well as dance lessons, can be enjoyed throughout the day. The highlight, however, is the THE BIG HUG of the Kennedy Center. All attendees can celebrate unity, friendship, and diversity by joining hands in solidarity and wrapping around the entire building. Batalá Washington will lead the crowd into “el abrazo.”

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual event includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment, and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. There’s plenty for adults, too, with more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, fun activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

More Fall Festing
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Seasonal festivals are in full swing at area farms, in local communities, even a 16th century village in Maryland, and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. A fee tasty ones are listed here, and you can get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.

Virginia Tech Maker Festival
Where: Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center
When: Saturday, August 20, 2016
Admission: Free

Virginia Tech and 4-H is hosting a full day of fun and science at its annual Maker Festival. The family-friendly event will be chock full of creativity, engineering, and resourcefulness where you can learn to make just about anything — natural dyes, play dough circuits, LED paintbrushes, t-shirts, jewelry, robots, rockets, and more. There will be concessions for sale 11:30am – 2pm. The first 150 kids who check in that day also will receive a free event T-shirt.

LEGO Master Build
Where: Pentagon City LEGO Store
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

In honor of the interactive store’s recent opening, shoppers and LEGO builders are invited to experience the LEGO Store Master Builder Weekend at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on the Metro Level from Friday, September 30 – Sunday, October 2 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.! All weekend long, shoppers and plastic-brick engineers can look forward to open play, photo opportunities, and prize giveaways as well as an opportunity to play and create alongside LEGO Store Master Builders! As an added bonus, each child who completes a brick for the Master Build will receive a voucher to redeem at the LEGO Store and a personalized Certificate of Achievement.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street NW, Wisconsin to Thomas Jefferson
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

In its 23rd year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of over 30 of the neighborhood’s premier restaurants, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings. Bring young foodies for free activities including face painting, balloon art, and more fun for kids of all ages. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating. The 27th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

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

* Find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Reserve your free tickets for Andres 123, this weeks Saturday Morning at the National performance
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair as The Puppet Co. presents the marionette version of the classic fairytale.
* Catch the Shakepeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Andi Roo and the Andirooniverse is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* See Tap Kids perform at Alden Theatre
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* The Little Foxes is coming to the Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy the body percussion, dance, spoken word, blend of The Migraton from Step Afrika

Super Gaming League: Minecraft
Where: iPic Pike & Rose
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: $20

Children can experience Minecraft in the most exciting way possible: In a movie theater! While gaming on the big screen, players will engage in a variety of games that reinforce STEM educational concepts, encourage creativity, and promote team building and sociability. Bonus: Every participant receives a free Super League T-shirt! Use code KIDFRIENDLY to get a 25% discount, and try to win a ticket through the latest KFDC giveaway.

Crafty Yogis
Where: Room & Board
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Room & Board 14th Street and celebrate the fall with your family at their second kids’ yoga morning. Instructor Sean Fraser returns to help budding yogis find their inner Zen while teaching children how to communicate, be healthy,Y and relieve stress. Yoga sessions are first come, first serve with a signup on-site. Mats are provided. In between yoga sessions, kids of all ages can craft and participate in hands-on activities. Enjoy sips and snacks and be inspired to create an imaginative space for children using American-made furnishings.

Rock Creek Park Day
Where: Georgetown Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

To celebrate it’s 126th birthday, Rock Creek Park is throwing us (as in, the public) a party! Join the celebration and head down to the Georgetown Waterfront, where they’ll be hosting free events all day, from ranger led programs to photo-walks, all of them celebrating Rock Creek Park as well as the NPS Centennial. And it’ll all be set up right next to the Taste of Georgetown, so you can sample some tasty bites while you explore nature!

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

It’s a showcase of multicultural arts at Alexandria’s Del Ray community festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids’ activities have always been a big part of the festival — scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Grand Opening Celebration
Where: Bright Horizons Reston
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bright Horizons recently opened its early education center at Commerce Metro Center in Reston, and they are hosting a party to celebrate the launch! On Saturday, parents and children are invited to enjoy all kinds of family fun and get a first look at the new location. Festivities will include carnival style activities, games and prizes, a ribbon cutting ceremony. Plan to get there early — the first 12 families to arrive at the event will receive a complimentary mini photography session with professional photographer, Robert Holley!

Glover Park & Burleth Farmers Market
Where: Hardy Middle School
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to your local farmers market to taste test fall favorites, like heirloom varieties of apples and all-natural goat cheeses, while listening to live music by the upbeat guitarist, Jerry Hergenreder. The market’s kid-friendly clown, Chubbzy, will be offering facepaint, balloon animals and plenty of jokes! Plus, adults can enjoy free yoga from 110-11am. Prepare for your family’s fall bike rides by getting your bikes repaired through DC Vintage Cycles. Pop ups this Saturday include home-made dog treats by Three Puppies, and Zivaara, a local artisan chocolatier! Hardy Middle School is located at 1819 35th Street NW, across from Safeway.

Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15-35

The theatre world’s version of Restaurant week celebrates the fun of going to the theatre by offering patrons tickets for less. Through October 2, you can see any of the participating shows for $15-35, giving you some kind of discount on the regular price — and several of this week’s Show Time recommendations (see above) are among them!

Trike & Bike Health Fair
Where: Patuxent Community Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 1p
Admission: $25

The National Harbor Chapter of Jack & Jill of America presents this event for kids ages 2-9. Bring your bike, trike, wagon, big-wheel, or other ride-on (don’t forget your helmet) and have fun navigating an obstacle course. Zumba, a children’s book author, fire saftey demo, health & wellness activities, and a raffle will also be part of day’s fun.

Where: Adams Morgan
When: Saturday, 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches of homes and a few local businesses are transformed into intimate performance spaces to be enjoyed by anyone who happens to stroll by. Part of Cultural Tourism DC’s Art4All festival, the Adams Morgan PorchFest creates a family-friendly, neighborhood-based alternative to the nightclub music scene. Enjoy a variety of music styles from 36 musicians and/or bands playing at a dozen homes and businesses in the area. Music maps will be available at PorchFest headquarters at 18th Street and Columbia Road NW and on the PorchFest Facebook page.

Back, East
Where: National Gallery of Art
When:Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

After being closed for long term renovations, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art is reopening! Stop in to see the additional 12,250 square feet of new exhibition space, including two soaring tower galleries and a rooftop terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue. More room to showcase the museum’s growing collection of modern and contemporary art!

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

It’s the final series of the regular season this weekend for the National League East the #1 team. Catch a them as they host the Marlins tonight (7:05pm), and tomorrow (4:05pm), and Sunday (3:05). Stay after on Sunday for Kids Run the Bases, and check these KFDC tips for doing a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Where: The Pavilion of Turkey Run
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: $35/adult, $12/ages 6-12, free for under 6

Claude Moore Colonial Farm is celebrating 43 years of operation, and the public is invited to join in the occasion! One of the only privately operated and funded National Park in the U.S., the locale providing an 18th-century experience has welcomed over two million visitors over the years. And they recently signed an agreement with the NPS to continue their work. Help them celebrate with a Bavarian Feast, live entertainment , and dancing at Turkey Run!

Cardboard Day of Play
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child

Enjoy an afternoon of imaginative play as Annmarie Scupture Garden participates in the Global Cardboard Challenge. The Main Gallery of the Arts Building will be transformed into a cardboard wonderland as families build, create, and play their way through awesome amusements, art activities, cardboard construction, creative play, and tons of tinkering. Stop by one of several art stations to create your own cardboard masterpiece. Visit Cardboard City, the Cardboard Farm, or let little engineers build and tinker in the cardboard construction zone! Go ahead of the event for even more artistic delights at Annmarie.

Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Avenue to Carroll Street
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, children’s activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 34th annual festival. Start your holiday shopping — vendors will be selling all kinds of artistic wares. Festivities for kids include crafts, face painting, inflatables, and FUN! And music lovers will enjoy three stages hosting 19 popular local bands playing everything indie folk, rock, blues, country, reggae and everything in between.

Navy Mile
Where: Navy Memorial Plaza, Pennsylvania Ave.
When: Sunday, 8am
Admission: $10-40 to run

Modeled after the famous Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, the Navy Mile is designed for all ages and abilities, from serious mile athletes and Wounded Warriors to casual runners and even non-runners. The run is only half the fun; it will be accompanied on the Navy Memorial Plaza by an Expo featuring a full slate of activities, like a push-up challenge, Teddy from the Racing Presidents, performances by the U.S. Navy Band Cruisers and the Navy Ceremonial Guard. It’s all family-friendly and open to everyone!

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. Help feed animals at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Explore the wild side of Huntley Meadows on a wagon ride. Go on a pirate treasure hunt at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Forced From Home Exhibit
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Through October 9
Admission: Free

Doctors Without Borders, the International medical humanitarian organization, will launch its free, interactive exhibit on the global refugee crisis in front of the Washington Monument this week. “Forced From Home,” aims to put a face on the ongoing global refugee crisis by explaining various migration journeys, showcasing the conditions in which refugees live, and offering first-hand accounts from aid workers working in MSF migration projects around the world.

Inside (or) Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 24-25

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival

Celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Freedom Sounds Festival

I would call this a big weekend for DC, as we welcome a new museum to the National Mall, host one of the most anticipated annual festivals for book lovers, celebrate the city’s theatre scene, and kick off the official start of fall with a bevy of seasonal fun. But big things always happen here, so it’s really just another (awesome) weekend in Washington. The great variety of fantastic, enriching events in this round-up is proof. Happy Weekend!

Freedom Sounds Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens this weekend, and while you can’t yet visit if you don’t have tickets, you can celebrate the Smithsonian’s newest addition at a big festival right outside the museum. There will be all kinds of festivities throughout the days — music and dance performances, storytelling, art activities, a drum circle, concessions, and more — and the official dedication ceremony will be on Saturday at 10am. Want some evening entertainment? There will be concerts both Friday and Saturday from 6-9pm. The Roots, Public Enemy, and Living Colour are among the performers.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free

Bookworms, take note! One of DC’s biggest annual events is on Saturday. The Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 120 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages. For an idea of what to expect, see this post about one of our past experiences there.

Take the Fall
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Autumn has arrived, and there are tons of ways to celebrate the season, from city streets to country farms. The annual Barracks Row Fall Festival is back on 8th Street SE on Saturday. Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October. Cox, Great Country, Montpelier, Clark’s Elioak, and many more farms around the area are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of these events in KFDC guide to Fall Festivals.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music, and great food! For the 47th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore. Located just 20 minutes south of Washington DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Volunteer for Public Lands
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Celebrate and serve with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on National Public Lands Day. Volunteer for the morning to help remove cut lotus from the ponds, clear invasive species from the forest, pick up litter, and complete other tasks around the park. After, stay for a free lunch in the picnic area. Individuals, groups, families, friends welcome — there is something for everyone! SSL credit can be earned. Sign up online here. And if you can’t make it this weekend, you can sign up for October 22 or November 12.

Museum Day Live
Where: Various museums
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE

There are some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the Newseum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Koshland Science Museum, National Building Museum, Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, and many more fantastic museums in the area. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary!

Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15-35

The theatre world’s version of Restaurant week celebrates the fun of going to the theatre by offering patrons tickets for less. Through October 2, you can see any of the participating shows for $15-35, giving you some kind of discount on the regular price — and several of this week’s Show Time recommendations (see below) are among them!

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

* It’s opening weekend for Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair as The Puppet Co. presents the marionette version of the classic fairytale.
* And Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Catch the Shakepeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Jungle Gym Jam & Friends featuring Marsha Goodman-Wood are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* The Little Foxes is coming to the Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy Pinkalicous the Musical at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Shop Local & Support a School
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!

Bargain hunters take note: This is one Yard Sale you don’t want to miss — it’s always huge and excellent. Clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, all proceeds help support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located at 1250 Constitution Ave. NE.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.

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

It’s your last chance to walk amid the garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit. The display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight! Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit. Plan to tour the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds while you’re there and see if there are any other special kids’ programs to enjoy.

STEM Magic | Core Concept: OSIRIS-REx
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. During this session, learn about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to land on an asteroid, take a sample, and bring it back home, then design your own sampling device!

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 8th year with a simulcast performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume dress-up station, fun photo ops, arts & crafts, face painting, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.

Veg Out
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the largest celebration of vegetarian and vegan living in the area. Now in its 9th year, DC VegFest is a full day of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, cooking demos, music, and more. A Kid’s Area will feature entertainment by Teatro de la Luna and Norm Hogeland, storytelling, an Ask-A-Vegan Parent Panel, kid-friendly cooking demos, and a child nutritionist. Attendees will enjoy free food samples along with tasty vegan cuisine from food vendors.

Leesburg Airshow
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 7th annual Leesburg Airshow will take to the skies with thrilling aerobatic demonstrations, sky divers, and more! Witness a showcase of impressive aircraft, classic cars, and a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them. Go here for directions and parking instructions.

Yoga on the Mall
Where: National Mall Sylvan Theatre
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Yogis of all ages are welcome to get on the mat for downward dogs and tree poses on the National Mall. Well known instructors will be leading a variety of classes, including meditation, a family fun session, and an acro-yoga demo. While admission is free, you should RSVP.

Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This family festival is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual celebration of the Park’s revitalization and recalling of its history. The event features kiddie rides and arcade games, as well as videos and an exhibition on the Park’s past. Take a ride on the historic Dentzel Carousel, get little faces painted, see vintage cars, and be wowed magic shows, too. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.

Turkish Festival
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 12th-14th St.
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

You’ll be whirling like a dervish from all there is to enjoy at the Annual Turkish Festival on Sunday. Watch Turkish dance and stage performances, enjoy a Turkish coffee and tea and have and find out your destiny from the ever-popular Turkish fortune-tellers who read fortunes from coffee grinds, and sample Turkish cuisine from local restaurants. Shop an authentic Turkish bazaar featuring 25 vendors showcasing everything from Turkish jewelry to clothing to home accessories. And a “Kid’s Tent” will provide an interactive introduction to Turkey with hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Curse of the Boggin Book Reading
Where: Barnes & Noble Tysons
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Bring young readers to Barnes & Noble in Tysons Corner Center for a reading by acclaimed children’s author D.J. MacHake. He will read and sign copies of his newest book The Curse of the Boggin, the first in The Library Series about a mysterious library between dimensions and the incredible adventures of 13-year-old Marcus O’Mara and his friends. Mr. MacHale has also written several popular series including Pendragon, Morpheus Road and The SYLO Chronicles. Recommended for ages 8-12.

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

If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend

The Line-Up of Live Entertainment Around DC this Fall


With autumn comes a whole new season of live entertainment. From plays to puppet shows, concerts to comedy, dance performances to ice capades, even a two-week long free festival showcasing European performing arts, there is something to indulge all theatrical interests on DC stages this fall (including some KidFree recommendations!). This list, ordered by opening date, has details. Which ones will you be saving seats for?

Where: The Puppet Co.
When: September 16 – October 9
Tickets: $12, under 2 are free

Witch Wartsmith wants a baby. After bargaining for little Rapunzel, she must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring-book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for ages 3-9.

The Diary of Anne Frank
Where: Olney Theatre
When: Through October 23
Tickets: $35-60

What could be more thrilling than hearing masterful performers tell one of the most powerful stories of the 20th century in our intimate 150-seat black box theater? Join Anne Frank, her family, the Van Daans and more for a vivid, dynamic exploration of the “banality of evil” and the ever-present flame of hope in the story of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam during World War II, and her family’s desperate attempt to preserve humanity in an inhumane world. Directed by Derek Goldman (Grounded), an artist with a national reputation for bringing the lessons of the Holocaust to life.

Knuffle Bunny
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 23 – October 23
Tickets: $19.50

Trixie and her father bustle through the streets of New York City down the block, across the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. But returning home, Knuffle Bunny is gone, and Trixie can’t tell her father what’s wrong. Recommended for all ages.

The Little Foxes
Where: Arena Stage
When: September 23 — October 30
Tickets: $65-90*

There are people who eat and there are those who get eaten. First in line to be served is Regina Giddens, clawing her way to wealth with her equally calculating brothers. When their plan to control the local cotton mill is thwarted, they’ll turn to ever more devious schemes, even as it further divides their family. Starring Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger, Lillian Hellman’s classic tale of greed, betrayal and all the sordid ties that bind takes sibling rivalry to unimaginable heights and reveals how far a ruthless family can bend the rules before they break each other. Recommended for teens and up. **There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Flowers Stink
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: September 24 – October 29
Tickets: FREE

When struggling to write a nature-themed poem for school, a middle-school girl gives up and tweets: “#natureisboring #flowersstink.” Suddenly, two zany and loveable plants magically come to life, encouraging her to open her eyes, ears, and mind to the beauty all around her. Enjoy plenty of singing, dancing, folk, bluegrass, blues, and gospel, all set in the colorful world of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Pinkalicious The Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: September 25
Tickets: $18-24

Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament. The show is preceded by a Cupcake Tea Party at 1:30pm

Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés
Where: Discovery Theater
When: September 29
Tickets: $3-8

Counting has never been more fun in English and Spanish. Local kids’ music star Andrés Salguero offers sing-alongs to songs familiar and new, including great music from his newest CD, ¡Arrriba y Abajo!, creating plenty of bilingual fun. Get set to bailar y aprender (dance and learn) with Andrés! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Migration
Where: UDC Theater of the Arts
When: September 30 – October 2
Tickets: $30-45

Step Afrika! in cooperation with The Phillips Collection presents the return of The Migration: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence, the D.C.-based dance company Step Afrika!’s critically acclaimed multimedia work. The performance, inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s celebrated masterwork on the Great Migration, blends body percussion, dance, jazz, projected images of Lawrence’s paintings, and both recorded and live music, featuring members of the Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Romeo & Juliet *KidFree Recommendation*
Where: Landsburgh Theatre
When: Through November 6
Tickets: $44-102

The most famous love story in the world and one of Shakespeare’s early poetic masterworks, Romeo & Juliet follows two star-crossed lovers from love at first sight to eternal life hereafter. Caught tragically between two feuding families, alike in dignity and in enmity, Shakespeare’s immortal young lovers try to fashion a new world amid the violence of the old, but cataclysmic choices and tragic twists propel them toward a final confrontation with fate.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays and in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday over the summer. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Tap Kids
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 1
Tickets: $20, $15/McLean District Residents

Featuring an extraordinary cast of eight young tap dancers, “Schooldayz” tells the story of how the arrival of a new kid disrupts the equilibrium of a group of teenagers during their last months of high school. Highlights include dancing on lunch trays in the cafeteria, forging friendship over a game of basketball, drama at the school dance, mischief in detention and finally graduation as they are launched into their futures. The story is told in amazing, high-energy tap routines that will leave you breathless and astonished!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
*KidFree Recommendation*
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 5-23
Tickets: $39-119

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever. This critically acclaimed production is the Tony Award(r)–winning new play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel and directed by Tony(r) winner Marianne Elliott.

Fábulas Fairy Tales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 6-7 & 12-13
Tickets: $3-8

Three’s the charm in the newest version of this interactive Discovery Theater original. Start with three bears, three pigs, three little kittens, and three billy goats gruff. Add two languages, and what do you get? The perfect combination for a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish, literacy through storytelling, math, music, and more—and a fábulas new take on a quartet of familiar stories. New this year: Join the kittens on their search to find their essential outdoor accessory—their beloved mittens!

Ruthless, The Musical
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: October 6-30
Tickets: $30

The beautiful and talented 8-year-old Tina Denmark will do ANYTHING to play the lead in the school play…. ANYTHING! Ruthless! famously spoofs Broadway musicals such as Gypsy and Mame, as well as classic films like The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Ruthless! is a hilarious romp through the world of Broadway, child acting, parenthood, and unbridled ambition. Recommended for ages 12 and up; parental discretion advised for children under 12.

The Music Box
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: October 8 & 22
Tickets: $10-15

A wonderful collection of comedic vignettes set to music: An average day becomes extraordinary when a surly janitor and an uptight businessman discover a magical mask, two cowboys in the wild west tame a bull on the loose, two road workers try to catch a butterfly in an attempt to capture the heart of a girl, and the classic invisible wall. Students are introduced to the art of storytelling without words through imagination, illusions, and physical comedy.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Where: Imagination Stage
When: October 8-30
Tickets: $12-30

Have you ever loved a special doll or stuffed toy? If you have, this is the story for you! Abilene adores her china rabbit doll, Edward Tulane. But, Edward is spoiled and ungrateful until fate takes him on an emotional roller-coaster of an adventure through the 20th century. He is lost overboard on an ocean liner, fished up by a kindly villager, dumped in a heap of garbage, rescued by a hobo and his dog, turned into a scarecrow, and adopted by a little boy who gives him as a gift to his sickly sister. Little by little, Edward discovers goodness and humility. Inspired by the constellations, he learns to keep an open heart. Kate DiCamillo’s award-winning book translates beautifully to the stage. And, as in all good stories, even our reluctant hero finds a happy ending! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Best Haunted House Ever
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: October 14-23
Tickets: $15/adults, $10/children

When students from two different high schools sneak into a local haunted house to scare their classmates, utter chaos ensues. At first it seems like the students are just pulling Halloween pranks, but when a spooky zombie and mysterious ghost don’t fit into the students’ haunting plans it can only mean one thing–they are not alone in the house! Happy haunting! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

The Miraculous Magical Balloon
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: October 15 & 30
Tickets: $10-15

A series of hilarious sketches synthesizing music, ballet, clowning, and audience participation. Students will discover the art of acting without words, opening the door to their imaginations. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and unique choreography, Balloon tells a wonderful story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of tricks and toys.

We Got It!
Where: The Den at Anacostia Arts Center
When: October 15
Tickets: $10, free for 2 and under

Join Building Better People Productions for a fun adventure in self-worth, empathy and all of those things that add up to all-around understanding, through several tales filled with interactive storytelling, laughter and a giant stuffed animal or two. The show is best for kids 4-11 and their families, but it’s good for everyone.

All the Way Live!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 15-16
Tickets: $20

Anything can come to life with a simple beat, rhythm, and rhyme. In this interactive performance, two world-renowned Hip Hop performers–Baye Harrell, a Helen Hayes Award nominee, and Paige Hernandez, a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow–collaborate on the spot to “remix” everything from folk tales to classical art. History is revived through a Hip Hop lens! Paige and Baye tell stories and perform to original beats by Nick “Nickthe1da” Hernandez with the help of a magical boom box that needs your help to power their songs. This show explores not only the language of words, but also the language of the body, sounds, and numbers. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Man Who Planted Trees
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 15
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents

Hear the wind, feel the rain, smell the lavender and laugh with Dog. In this ecologically inspired tale, a French shepherd sets out to plant a forest and transform a barren wasteland acorn by acorn. Their uplifting and unforgettable story shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world. Returning for its first full North America tour since 2012.

Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart
Where: EagleBank Arena
When: October 19-23
Tickets: $15-80 (look for a discount)

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents and discover the devotion of family as they encounter some of Disney’s most beloved characters.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Where: Warner Theatre
When” October 19
Tickets: $67-123

Armed with a unique combination of scientific brilliance and warm humor, Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired a new generation to love space exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend an evening soaking up the wisdom of this award-winning astrophysicist as he delivers an engaging talk on the universe beyond our atmosphere.

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: October 26 – November 6
Tickets: FREE

The 9th annual Kids Euro Festival will present more than 150 FREE children’s performances all around the DC-Metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule that take place at a variety of venues, from public libraries to embassies to performing arts centers. Visit the website for details and the complete schedule.

Tot Rock: Marsha & the Pistrons
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 26-27
Tickets: Free, but reservations required

The sky’s no limit when you join Marsha and the Positrons at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum for a musical event that explodes with positive energy—and plenty of fun science facts. The group blasts off with upbeat songs from their CD Gravity Vacation, full of upbeat songs like “Why Can’t You Dance on Jupiter?” and “Nobody Likes Germs and Viruses.”

Where: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: October 26-30
Tickets: $10

With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and fun props, Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers to a magical, interactive world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Where: Arena Stage
When: October 28 – December 24
Tickets: $64-109

Dazzling lights, swinging songs and a bad boy to melt your heart — see why Carousel was named the best musical of the 20th century by Time magazine. When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realize that his rebellious ways will lead to tragedy. Given a chance to make good, will a lucky star save Billy and those he loves? Director Molly Smith reunites with both Nicholas Rodriguez and E. Faye Butler for the first time since 2011’s Oklahoma! in this epic production bursting with classic songs like “June Is Bustin’ Out all Over” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” *There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Mary Poppins
Where: Olney Theatre
When: November 2 – January 1
Tickets: $55-80

Celebrate the holidays with one of the most beloved tales of all time! It’s 1910 and Mr. Banks is looking for a stern nanny for his two wayward children… but fortunately for the family, Mary Poppins comes along, and teaches them all – especially Mr. Banks – some valuable lessons in what family really means. From he magical “Chim Chim Cher-ee” to the iconic “Supercalifragalisticexpealidocious”, you’ll delight to the story of a wizardly, wise nanny, two precious children, and he family she teaches how to love each other.

Oliver Twist
Where: Creative Cauldron
When: November 4-20
Tickets: $16

Born into a life of poverty and a bleak future in the workhouse, young orphan Oliver journeys to London seeking a better life, but unwittingly falls in with the city’s criminal element. Told through the lens of a contemporary graphic novel, the Learning Theater Ensemble revisits our 2012 original adaptation of this classic Dickens tale, shedding new light on a story that has captured the imaginations and pierced the hearts of audiences for over two centuries.

Looking for Roberto ClementeWhere: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: November 5-2
Tickets: $20

A touching show centered on a young group of kids in Pittsburgh in the 1970s, a time when Clemente had taken the floundering Pirates and led them to being top competitors.

Where Words Once Were
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 5-27
Tickets: $20 (look for a discount)

Young Orhan lives in a world where words are both very precious and very dangerous. Only 1000 of them can exist: new ones are forbidden, and anything newly invented takes the place of an existing word, which is then illegal to say. Those who disobey the rules are punished in the strongest way possible. They lose their right to speak and to be spoken of; they become only “…”–a condition that causes them to slowly fade away. When Orhan accidentally takes a pen (a mighty weapon indeed!) from school, he sets in motion an adventure to reclaim lost words. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Where: Alden Theatre
When: November 6
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents

Grammy Award-winning Folk & Roots Music for Families. Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids, and have translated these adventures into song. Their extended canoe trip down the Mississippi River inspired their Grammy Award-Winning album “Can You Canoe?” and their trek along the Appalachian Trail was the subject of their follow-up release, “Through the Woods.” Their latest album, “Saddle Up,” is a joyous adventure through the American West. With songs written by campfire and harmonies born on the water, the natural world is at the heart of their Americana folk music.

Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 7 – December 4
Tickets: $14

With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and fun props, Jack and Calypso lead children and caregivers to a magical, interactive world where giant jellyfish fly through the air, sheep graze in the grass, and lemons create the sun in a “let’s pretend” sky!

Moby Dick
Where: Arena Stage
When: November 18 — December 24
Tickets: $55-100*

Set sail on the holiday season’s biggest adventure! Melville’s classic tale of man’s obsessive battle against nature comes to life in “a triumph of grand theatrical imagination, deep thought, superb acting and eye-popping, ingeniously deployed physical daring” (Chicago Sun-Times). Innovative staging fused with bold trapeze and acrobatic work turn this seafaring classic into a death-defying experiment in aerial storytelling. Climb aboard with Captain Ahab and the crew of the good ship Pequod in this harrowing and intoxicating quest for the great white whale. *There are several ways to save on tickets for productions at Arena Stage, including the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125!

Einstein in Motion
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 9-10
Tickets: $3-8

What’s relative? Everything! Just ask the genius who developed the Theory of Relativity. Marc Spiegel brings Albert Einstein to life in a program that blends science, history, and entertainment. In engaging demonstrations, he introduces elementary schoolers to physics topics including motion and rest, matter, and energy. There’s no better way to learn about science than from one of its leading innovators—and have a great time, too! Recommended for ages 6-10.

The Octonauts Live!
Where: Warner Theatre
When: October 13
Tickets: $27.50-47.50

The Octonauts follows an underwater exploring crew made up of stylized anthropomorphic animals, a team of eight adventurers who live in an undersea base, the Octopod, from where they go on undersea adventures with the help of a fleet of aquatic vehicles.

The Secret Garden
Where: Sydney Harman Hall
When: November 15 – December 31
Tickets: $44-102 (look for a discount)

When 10-year-old Mary Lennox loses her parents to a cholera epidemic in the British Raj of India, she travels to England to stay with Archibald Craven, her remote and morose uncle, still grieving the death of his wife ten years ago. Terrified of every nook and cranny of the haunted Craven Manor on the Yorkshire Moors, Mary seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden, where she discovers amazing secrets.

Mark Jaster: Piccolo’s Trunk
Where: Atlas Center for the Performing Arts
When: November 16-20
Tickets: $10

Meet Piccolo, the charming and funny character created by DC’s preeminent mime artist. Piccolo delights through his playful interactions with the audience, brilliant gestures, and witty musical surprises, all without words! Experience a production featured at the Smithsonian, Wolftrap and beyond in a new Atlas offering especially for ages 3 – 8 and their families.

Katy’s Grocery Store Birthday
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 17-18
Tickets: $3-8

Katy knows exactly what she wants for her fourth birthday: chocolate cake, flowers, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and the coolest new rocket toy. But when Katy and her parents go shopping, everything they need is out of stock! Can her big day still be perfect? Sing your way through the grocery store with them as they assemble all the makings for Katy’s celebration.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 19 – January 15
Tickets: $15-30

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of this beloved film by attending the live performance at Imagination Stage this holiday season! Packed with memorable tunes like “Be Our Guest”, “Human Again”, and “Beauty and the Beast”, this holiday musical has something for the entire family! Once upon a time, in a French provincial town, Belle is the bookish daughter of a hapless inventor. She narrowly avoids the amorous advances of the bully Gaston only to find herself imprisoned in the castle of a terrible Beast. While the servants Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Chip conspire to make Belle fall in love with their bewitched master, she gradually wins over his heart by virtue of her kindness and patience. Excitement builds as Gaston gathers a mob to rid the community of the ugly Beast and to claim Belle for himself alone. Needless to say, after much high drama, silly laughter, exuberant singing and dancing, love wins the day! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters-An African Tale
Where: Alden Theatre
When: November 19
Tickets: $15/$10 MCC tax district residents

When a great African king desires a wife, only the most perfect maidens in the land are invited to meet him. Mufaro’s pride and joy, his two daughters of very different dispositions, embark on the long journey to be presented to the king. Along the way, they encounter a number of mysterious situations that unknowingly test their courage, kindness and strength of spirit. Combining authentic African drumming, powerful choreography and thrilling original music, the splendor of Zimbabwe and the African continent comes to life in this musical adaptation of the award-winning, “Cinderella” tale! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Once *KidFree Recommendation*
Where: National Theatre
When: November 25-27
Tickets: $43-98

Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Once is a musical stage adaptation based on the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney. Like the film, music and lyrics were by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, including the Academy Award-winning “Falling Slowly”.

Adventures with Mr. Bear
Where: The Lab at Convergence & The Atlas
When: December 1-17 & 18-30
Tickets: $9, free for children under 1

The wonder and magic of a child’s imagination are brought to life in this charming world premiere. One cozy winter afternoon, a young girl and her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Bear, play a game of hide and seek which evolves into a series of exciting adventures. Together, they embark on a journey of endless possibilities – all from the comfort of her playroom! Cuddle up with your favorite stuffed animal friend and join us for a delightful holiday production. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Close Your Eyes… Now Open Your Ears!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: December 11
Tickets: $20

Especially for young audiences, the NSO is mixing Mozart and Mendelssohn with meows and moos — and just a little bit of monkey business — in this brand new animal-inspired show that demonstrates how powerful your ears can be, especially when there’s great music around! Join NSO violinist Holly Hamilton and former NSO violinist Paula Akbar as they present an earful of satisfying sounds. Plus, expect a visit from “Madam Mavis Pugh,” the famed and delightfully wacky violin teacher who’s eager to take us all on a musical tour of the zoo! With so many fuzzy friends in store, this is the perfect concert for your favorite stuffed animal to join in the fun. Recommended for ages 3 and up.


Filed under All ages, Babies, Date Night, DC, Educational, Fall, Festival, Free, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Parents, Preschoolers, Preteens, Seasonal, Teens, Theatre, Toddlers, Tweens, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 19-23

Exploring the National Gallery of Art

Exploring the National Gallery of Art

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Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a perfect place for young visitors, with eye-popping displays and hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and much more. Keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.

Tuesday – Get another, but different museum of experience at the National Gallery of Art. Head to the West Wing as most of the East is still under renovation, but be sure to take the “sparkly walkway” in between the two — that’s often kids’ favorite part (adults love it, too). Stroll among sculptures and stop to view works by many of the masters. There’s a cafe in the museum, but I recommend heading elsewhere for better value or BYO. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Enjoy a musical morning with Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to The Angelika Pop-Up @ Union Market at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. And did you know the program is now run by the DC Diaper Bank? Proceeds from the shows support the organization’s mission to help families in need. (FYI: You can also catch Boogie Babes shows at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Mondays and Eastern Market on Thursdays.)

Thursday – Celebrate the official start of the new season at a fall festival! The Pumpkin Village Fall Fest at Leesburg Animal Park runs daily, and weekdays are a great time to go when you won’t encounter crowds. Slides, wagon rides, moon bounces, a maze, and pedal carts are among the seasonal fun. And, of course, animals are part of the mix with pony rides and furry friends to pet and feed. It’s open 9:30am – 6pm. Admission is $12.95/adult, $9.95/ages 2-12, and free for children under 2.

Friday – Play in the sprays at Canal Park. The recreational space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood in southeast DC has both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones, plus a bigger one for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Admission is free. Grab a bite to eat at Il Parco on premises or at another nearby eatery — there are options right across the street and food trucks in parked right in the area often — or pack lunch for a picnic.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: September 16-18

How will you enjoy the last official weekend of summer?

How will you enjoy the last official weekend of summer?


You can eke out the last bit of summer or start focusing on fall (or both!) with this round-up of special events and activities. Taking place indoors and out, in the heart of the city to farms miles beyond, there’s fun to indulge all interests — and seasons. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate from City Streets Country Farms
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

Fall may not have officially started, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, on H Street (see below), and in locales that recall historic times (huzzah!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this guide to autumn celebrations around the area.

Where: The Bullpen at Half Street Fairgrounds
When: Friday, 11am – 11pm
Admission: Free

Go for lunch, an after school snack, or al fresco dinner and stay awhile for entertainment and fun! Truckeroo, the food truck festival showcasing local eats on wheels, features tons of food options along with live music, games for all ages, and tasty beverages (for adults). Kids and canines are always welcome to enjoy it all, too!

Colonial Market Fair
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adult, $9/child, free for ages 5 and under

At George Washington’s old digs, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts, and entertainment for all. Artisans from across the nation show off their trades and sell their wares, while family entertainment delights audiences with 18th-century amusements. Try your hand at 18th century cricket — demonstrations and cricket games will be played throughout the weekend. General Washington will preside many festivities. And concession will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant stands. (Note: Admission prices listed above are online only; they are slightly higher there.)

The National Garden 10th Anniversary
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Help the USBG celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their very own National Garden! Highlighting the three-acres of garden space adjacent to the Conservatory, the day-long festival showcases the amazing diversity of American plants through the Mid-Atlantic Regional Garden, Rose Garden, and Butterfly Garden with special activities and programs. Highlights will include tasty treats with native plants, rose garden tours, hands-on activities for all ages, and much more! Read a little more about the National Garden in this KFDC post.

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. I recommend taking public transportation there — parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Fiesta DC
Where: Constitution Ave. & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
When: Saturday, 1-5:30pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture all weekend long! on Saturday, catch the parade along Constitution Avenue from the at the 45th Annual Fiesta DC. It all starts with the Parade of Nations along Constitution Ave. NW from 7th to 14th Streets. On Sunday, head to the festival on Pennsylvania Ave. NW from 3rd to 7th Streets to enjoy live performances, children’s activities, international cuisine, vendors, and much more!

King Street Art Festival
Where: Old Town Alexandria, King & Union Streets
When: Saturday 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The King Street Art Festival returns for its 14th year with live music, special programming, and more than 200 artists’ work available for purchase at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Shop and learn about the works, try some art activities for all ages, and enjoy live entertainment, too. And the annual Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser will be back! Purchase one of 1,000+ hand-made bowls created by the talented and prolific artists of The Art League’s Ceramics Department and enjoy local artisan ice cream from Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria – all for only $15 per bowl. Proceeds go to benefit The Art League’s Ceramics department.

Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $6/adult, free for ages 11 and under

Head out to Solomons, MD, for an art-filled experience at a magical place! Browse and shop more than 165 artist booths throughout gardens and in the arts building. Enjoy entertainment from more than 30 performers on two stages. Kids will love activities in the Discovery Tent and Zany Zone, plus creative free-play in the gorgeous Fairy Lolly, the Studio School, and the Children’s Garden. Street performers — stilt walkers, mimes, live statues, and more — will entertain and mesmerize. There’s something for everyone at this anniversary celebration of the visual, performing, and creative arts. For more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden, see this KFDC post.

One Gold Coin–una moneda del oro
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:$12.50/adult, $10/ages 4-11, free for 3 and under

Catch a performance of this favorite for young audiences from InterAct Story Theatre! One Gold Coin–una moneda de oro is a fun and engaging play for kids and families about the power of giving. Performed in English and Spanish with lots of audience participation, it’s a show that all ages can enjoy.

Lego Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring your budding architects to the Kogod Courtyard for a day of LEGOs, where they can use problem-solving skills and imagination to make works of art and architecture at LEGO building stations. Recreate some of the museum’s famous sculptures on display in the galleries or build your own new designs! Get inspired by the USPTO’s LEGO model of the museum’s historic building, which was home to the U.S. Patent Office in the 19th century.

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

Throughout the history of aviation and space exploration, women have fought to be on equal terms with their male counterparts. At this family day, enjoy learning about the significant contributions women have made despite the many challenges they faced. The day will feature presentations by women in the field, hands-on activities, and stories.

Honey Harvest Festival
Where: Brookside Gardens & Nature Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Brookside will be buzzing with fun on Saturday! Join them and the Maryland State Beekeepers Association to celebrate honeybees and pollinators. Talk to beekeepers, watch honey being harvested, buy local honey and bee products, plus enjoy family-friendly activities, live music, and crafts.

Monarch Fiesta
Where: Black Hill Visitors Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the monarch butterfly’s amazing and inspiring metamorphosis and incredible journey to Mexico. Join us for music, food, dance, hands-on art, native plant sales, and plenty of opportunities to get up close with monarch butterflies. Participate in monarch tagging and learn about their habitats, and what you can do to make a difference.

Dulles Plane PullWhere: Dulles Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Airplane tug o’ war, anyone? This annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. And the public is invited to watch it all go down. Along with the tug o’ airplane, there will be live music, a car show, military and civilian aircraft displays, business exhibits, and children’s games and entertainment. Gates open at 10:30am. Go here for directions and parking information.

Georgetown Community Day
Where: Georgetown University, 37th & O Streets NW
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Join the Georgetown community for a day of fun and family-friendly activities! Enjoy the celebration where there will be free food, face painting, moonbounces, and so much more. The community fair will include tables from local schools, community organizations, and University departments with information, giveaways, and more.

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). 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, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose.

Ren Fest
Where: Revel’s Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

Enjoy the bounty of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Huzzah!

A Rainbow Rockin’ Morning
Where: Jammin Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $8/person, $25/4-pack

Get ready to rock the rainbow at a concert especially for kids! The talented Rainbow Rock tunesters will entertain the kiddie crowd with a combination of classic and original children’s songs from their CD “Meet the Rainbow.”

Let Down Your Hair!
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $10

It’s opening weekend for Rapunzel at the puppet theater in Glen Echo Park. Recommended for ages 3.5-9 years old, the show uses “coloring-book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in this production designed to delight its younger audiences. And really little ones can enjoy Old MacDonald’s Farm, the featured Tiny Tots show on Saturday morning.

18th Century I Do’s
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/ages 3-12, free for 2 & under

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm family and their neighbors cordially invite you to celebrate with them on this joyous occasion. Witness an 18th century-style outdoor wedding ceremony. You can even dance with the bride and groom afterward and taste an authentic 18th century wedding cake! It’s an outing as fun as is it educational.

Family Workshop: Afghan Fighter Kites
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 1pm & 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Children ages 6-12 and adults are invited to visit the exhibit Turquoise Mountain with teaching artist Mukhtar Ziarmal and learn about kite fighting, a popular activity for kids in Afghanistan. Then return to the classroom to collaborate with family and friends on constructing and decorating your own kite. Register in advance.

Mid-Autumn Festival
Where: Leesburg Premium Outlets
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Moon madness! Area trendsetters can look forward to a festive afternoon in honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrating the moon at its brightest and roundest point. Shoppers of all ages are invited to the Food Court to enjoy savory mooncake samples, construct one-of-a-kind lotus lanterns, and take advantage of extra-holiday savings on festive fall fashions!

Lantern Walk
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 6:30-9:3pm
Admission: Free

Inspired by the story of African American families who built their homes in historic neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River by candlelight after returning home from a long day’s work, this Lantern Walk is hosted by 1th Street Bridge Park and Washington Performing Arts. Create a lantern and join for an evening of performances celebrating the community!

Where: National Zoo
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

¡Celebramos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at ZooFiesta! See animal demonstrations and learn about animals native to Latin America, such as golden lion tamarins, sloths, Andean bears, and anteaters. Meet Zoo experts and learn how they are working to save these species and more. Family activities include animal feedings, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, educational activities highlighting conservation research in Central and South America, and authentic gourmet cuisine at a Latin American inspired food bazaar. Bring the whole familia!

Cavalcade of Streetcars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $7/ages 18 and up, $5/ages 2-17

Hop on for a day of fun! Along with the museum’s array of exhibits, enjoy trolley rides on several of the cars from the museum’s collection. This event only happens a few times a year so take advantage while you can!

Spin through Glen Echo History
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday,
Admission: $25/adult, free for ages 9 and under

Join Oscura Society DC as they go for a spin and learn about the Dentzel Carousel of Glen Echo Park. Field agent Julie Seigel will lead a tour the grounds, and National Park Service Ranger Janet Greene will illuminate the remnants of the amusement park and share how the carousel itself served as a site of protest during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Historian and co-founder of the National Carousel Association Barbara Fahs Charles will discuss the creation and twenty-year long restoration of the Dentzel Carousel. Afterward, guests will be treated to a group ride and a small picnic!

Pirates & Princesses, Sea & Tea
Where: Pirate Adventures, Annapolis
When: Sunday
Admission: $27, $12/ages 2 and under

Ahoy, your little majesties! Pirate Adventures is teaming up with Party Time Princesses for an event to please both young buccaneers and royalty. Ariel and Tinkerbell will be visiting the Pirate Adventures party room on Sunday, giving patrons a chance to mingle them after an excursion on the Chesapeake. The Meet and Greet, including a Princess Tea Party, will be available after the 9:30am cruise and before the 12:30pm cruise. Enjoy photo ops, singing songs, and tea and treats as part of the special fun!

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Hit the trail with the fam to enjoy the nice weather and some quality time. See very beginnings of autumn hues, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post, started in the early KFDC days and updated several times since, has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

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