Category Archives: Preteens

Join a Minecraft League & Play with a Team on the Big Screen (+ Giveaway!)


It was just over a week ago that I first introduced Super League Gaming, the nation-wide program that lets children experience Minecraft in the most exciting way possible: In a movie theater! That’s right, participants can play their favorite game on the big screen alongside other Minecraft enthusiasts — and now they can do so as a team in a 4-week gaming season and they can play for a chance to share a $15,000 college scholarship with their team!

The Minecraft Metropolis Madness season begins on October 19 in the DC area at iPic Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, running weekly from 4:30pm-6pm. It will also be held at Carmike Apple Blossom 12 in Winchester and many theaters around the country.

Tickets are $80 for the 4-week season and can be purchased on the Super League Gaming website. Save $20 with promo code: KIDFRIENDLY. I also have two season tickets up for grabs — you can try to win one of them in the giveaway below!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win one of the two season tickets for Super League Gaming’s Minecraft Madness Metropolis series, simply leave a comment below or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page. This giveaway will run through October 15, then two winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Tickets will be emailed, so you will have them in time for the event. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Super League Gaming, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under Competition, DC, Discount, Educational, Fall, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Maryland, Preteens, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Tweens, Weekdays

Unleash Your Child’s Inner Artist at a P Street Gallerie & Pop-Up Birthday Party!


Are you looking for a unique party venue to celebrate your child’s special day? Then plan to paint on P Street in Georgetown! P Street Gallerie and Pop-up now offers children’s painting parties for up to 14 guests (they like to call them artists!). Your young artist can enjoy painting with friends in an actual gallery.


The beautiful space is transformed into an art studio for party guests to unleash their artist within. Featuring whitewashed hardwood floors, gallery-class lighting, and high ceilings, it’s the perfect backdrop to host an art-inspired special day for your child. Paint party packages include freestyle painting, music, pizza, and kid-friendly beverages. The best part: Every child goes home with a completed acrylic on canvas masterpiece!


The Fan Favorite party package includes two hours of painting, pizza, and cake cutting. All of the art supplies are included, and each artist leaves with an art-inspired gift bag along with their completed masterpiece. You can also opt for popular a la carte items, including specialty cakes and cupcakes.


Explore the complete list of signature painting party packages on the P Street Gallerie & Pop-Up website or call (202) 333-4868 to start planning your child’s next birthday celebration!

Enjoy 10% OFF! Mention you heard about parties at P Street Gallerie and Pop-Up from KidFriendly DC and enjoy 10% off any Children’s Painting Party package hosted now through December 31, 2016.


P Street Gallerie and Pop-Up is a modern contemporary art gallery where the art is as varied and diverse as the people who collect it. The Gallerie is located at 3235 P Street NW at P and Wisconsin Avenues.

This post is sponsored by P Street Gallerie & Pop-Up, however, I only promote places, programs, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Art, Birthday Parties, DC, Gradeschoolers, Party, Preteens, Teens, Tweens, 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

See the ‘Spirit of America’ Come Alive at a Free Show for Students and Families


Over the next couple of weeks, the United States Army Military District of Washington invites the public to journey through American history with Spirit of America, a free, live-action show celebrating the spirit, strength, and history of our nation. Performances will take place September 10-12, at the DC Armory in Southeast, and September 18-19, at the EagleBank Arena (formerly Patriot Center) in Fairfax.

Teachers, especially, are encouraged to bring school groups to the production that is designed to educate as well as entertain. Performed in the tradition of both a military review and a large-scale theatrical production, Spirit of America presents our nation’s history, common values, and American musical heritage. The best opportunities for school field trips are Thursday and Friday, September 10 and 11, 10:30am, at the DC Armory and Friday, September 18, 10:30am, at the EagleBank Arena.

During the show Soldiers dressed in historic uniforms reenact key moments throughout history. From the Revolutionary War to current operations, these vignettes feature a unique perspective of American history — that of the citizen soldier. Highlights include Paul Revere’s Ride, Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner, the Lewis and Clark expedition, battle scenes with short periods of simulated gunfire, and stories of the life of a Soldier taken from letters and historical documents. The show also features music by The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and performances by the elite elements from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), including The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the Caisson Platoon, the Continental Color Guard and the U.S. Army Drill Team.

Everyone is welcome to the Saturday performances, but parents should read the FAQ section first to determine if it’s appropriate for their children. While the show is recommended for kids in Grades 5 and up, younger children can also attend, though some scenes with simulated gunfire and war re-enactments may not be advisable for them.

To reserve group tickets and for more information about Spirit of America, contact the public affairs office at 1-866-239-9425, or via email at Tickets are not required for shows at the DC Armory September 10-12, but patrons who prefer something printed to bring with them can request tickets through EventBrite here.

For shows at EagleBank Arena September 18-19, ticket reservations are accepted by either mail order, in person at the box office, and/or online. There is no limit to the number of tickets you may request, and seating is general admission.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the United States Army Military District of Washington, however, I only promote activities, events, and programs that I sincerely enjoy and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Adventure Theatre Presents OLIVER! at Round House Theatre

Franco Cabanas as Oliver

Franco Cabanas as Oliver

I always love an opportunity to bring my children to see stage productions of books they enjoy. It’s a chance to watch a story that was once just on pages and in their heads come to life, to see imagination and interpretation at work. So, as Owen is finishing up Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the timing of this new production couldn’t be better.

Adventure Theatre MTC is bringing OLIVER! to Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Opening Friday, July 24, and running through August 16, the show is ATMTC’s first full-length musical production. And if their trove of wonderful children’s productions on the Glen Echo stage is any indication, this one is sure to be a hit.


This steampunk-inspired OLIVER! features an extraordinary team of Helen Hayes Award Recognized local performers and Adventure Theatre MTC veterans, accompanied by a chamber orchestra as this version of the classic story is performed.

A young orphan who arrives on the streets of London with no friends, no money, and nowhere to live. He meets a cheeky pickpocket who shows him a whole new way of life. But as chance would have it, Oliver stumbles upon a gentleman who might just hold the key to his mysterious past. Packed full of joyful songs, including Consider Yourself, You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two, Oom-Pah-Pah! and the exuberant Food Glorious Food, this will be the theatrical highlight of your year.

Director Joseph Ritsch speaks to the heart this production, “As a director I always ask, why this play now? Why OLIVER! now? … I was so taken by Oliver’s continual ability to find the joy in life even in the most dire of circumstances. There is a light in this young man that shines bright no matter how dark his world gets. There is something so beautifully hopeful in that, and in today’s complicated world of 2015, such hope is indeed a welcomed necessity.”

It sounds like a show that will have many of us wanting more.

OLIVER! will be on stage July 24 – August 16. Tickets are $35/students and $45/adults and can be purchased on Adventure Theatre MTC’s website or by calling the box office at 301.634.2270. All performances will take place at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD.

*Important for parents to note: This is a two-act show, so it runs two hours long with a 15 intermission approximately. It is also faithful to the stage version and may be too violent for very young children. Recommended for around ages 7 and up, but parents should use their best judgement.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre MTC, however, I only promote programs, events, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Preteens, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Summer, Teens, Theatre, Tweens, Weekend