Category Archives: Spring

Camping and Hiking and Bears (Oh, My!) in Shenandoah National Park

shenandoah_vista

There are plenty of great destinations for camping with kids within an easy drive from DC, and one of the best is Shenandoah National Park. At nearly 200,000 acres, you really feel immersed in its glorious nature. There are woods and streams, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, lofty waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, and lots of wildlife sightings. And it’s all easily accessible from the city — about a 75-minute drive to the park’s entrance, and not much farther to the nearest campground area.

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Four campgrounds in the park welcome parties of all sizes, and there is one more for groups of seven or more. Earlier this summer, we pitched our tents at Matthew’s Arm, the closest one at mile 22. It’s all car camping, making it easy with kids, plus there are facilities within the area and a general store just a few miles away pretty well stocked with basic groceries, firewood, and souvenirs. We somehow lucked out and snagged a group spot, which accommodated our party of two families nicely, even though we booked it just days ahead. Usually you need to reserve much farther in advance, especially for summer weekends.

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Picnic tables and a fire pit at the campsite made mealtimes convenient. And while we’d bought a cord of firewood at the store, we easily found more in the surrounding woods to keep a fire going well past s’mores time until we were ready to hit the sleeping bags.

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Like all of the campground areas, there is access to nice hiking trails, including one to Overall Run Falls. The hike there and back is about three miles through the lovely woods.

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But it’s what we saw along the way that made it most interesting: Bears!

Hi!

Hi!

We had indication that at least one was nearby before seeing them — scat on the trail that my friend Jody determine was fresh after examining it with a stick (bears do poop on the woods!). Not long after that we saw one on our hike to the waterfall. Then two more on the way back. (And a fourth as we were driving out of the park to head home.)

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Black bear sightings are common in Shenandoah (though I’d never seen them on my many previous visits), and there are a lot of signs and warnings of them in park brochures with tips on encountering them safely. We made noise, kept our distance, and didn’t linger too long. And at the campsite, we made sure to clean food up well and lock it up in the bear-proof bin.

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If you can’t swing an overnight at Shenandoah, it’s still close enough for a day trip. With over 500 miles of trails, there are walks in the woods to suit all ages and hiking levels. You can also just find a great area to hang out and have a picnic or take in the beautiful scenery from your car along Skyline Drive.

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Campgrounds in Shenandoah open in the spring, operating on a first-come, first-served basis until early May, when you can start reserving some sites in advance. Along with campsites, there are also cabins and lodges available. Rates for campsites start at $15/night and can be reserved through recreation.gov.

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Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia, 75 miles from Washington, DC. Hours vary at facilities, so see the website for details. Admission to the park is $20/vehicle and valid for a week. An annual Shenandoah Pass is $40.

There are several Fee Free days throughout the year, a few still to come in 2016:
August 25-28 – National Park Service Birthday Weekend
September 24 – National Public Lands Day
November 11 – Veterans Day


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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Fall, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 13-17

Roam around the Franciscan Monastery grounds in Brookland

Roam around the Franciscan Monastery grounds in Brookland



NORDSTROM - Shop Kids' Summer Shoes from Top Brands


Monday – Spend the beautiful day outdoors at Burke Lake Park. Hike the trails, go for a spin on the carousel ($2), take a ride on the miniature steam engine ($3), romp on one of the playgrounds, and enjoy more fun in the fresh air. Open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free on weekdays.

Tuesday – Explore the lovely grounds and cathedral of the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. A DC “secret” to many, the “Oasis of Peace” welcomes visitors to stroll through the gardens and tour the church. Hours are 10am – 4:45pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Go to Kids Corner on The Plaza at CityCenter, where they are welcoming little ones for outdoor story time, singing, and fun with DC Public Library. The weekly series runs through September 28. Starts at 10:30am, and admission is free.

Thursday – Venture up to Baltimore to see some of the most wonderful, whimsical art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. The colorful, quirky works — some of them interactive — can be appreciated by art buffs of all ages. Hours are 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is $15.95/adults, $13.95/seniors, $9.95/students & ages 7 and up, free for 6 and under.

Friday – Rock out with local kids’ fave Rocknocerous at Jammin’ Java. Plan to eat while you’re there — the full lunch menu will be available. Showtime is 10:30am, doors open at 10am. Tickets are $5.


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: June 10-12

Fun comes in all forms around DC!

Fun comes in all forms around DC!



There’s a great mix of special events and activities to enjoy around the area over the next few days. And for even more ideas for family outings, check out this compilation of the best outdoor places and this big list of indoor pursuits. Happy Weekend!

Seize the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Enjoy summer fun with a host of activities that only occur this time of year. Catch an open-air concert at one of several series in the area. Stay cool at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. See a movie under the stars. Check out a seasonal exhibit. Go berry picking. Ride mini-trains and carousels at local parks. And much, much more. Check the Summer 2016 guide for details on all of these great pursuits.

Celebrate Fairfax!
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: $12/adult, $5/youth, free for 2 and under

The annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival has something for everyone — live music (Plain White T’s, B-52’s, and Living Colour among the performers), carnival rides, children’s activities, art, food vendors, and much more to keep guests entertained throughout the weekend. For more details, along with the full musical line-up, see the Celebrate Fairfax website.

Astronomy Festival
Where: National Mall, 15th & Constitution NW
When: Friday, 6-11pm
Admission: Free

Get an eyeful of the night sky at the 7th Annual Astronomy Festival. This free public stargazing event will feature solar, optical, and radio telescope observations of the Sun, Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn; hands-on activities, demonstrations, hand-outs, posters, banners, and videos; a planetarium show with a portable blow-up dome, speakers from scientific and educational organization, and a chance to mingle with astronomers.

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

It’s a weekend at home for the Nats as they host the Phillies. There are games tonight, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday late afternoon. Check for special promos here. And before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Capital Pride
Where: Northwest DC & Pennsylvania Ave.
When: Saturday, 4:30-7:30pm & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate gay pride in our nation’s capitol at the 41st annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival that are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. The procession on Saturday kicks off at 4:30pm at 22nd & P Streets NW and will wind its way through Dupont, Logan, and other areas of NW. It’s sure to be a spectacular extravaganza of ornate floats, street performers, music and dancing, glitter and beads, and plenty of reveling. Sunday’s family-friendly festival will feature three stages of live entertainment and will host 300 exhibitors, including local and community groups, national sponsors, local businesses, and food vendors. It’s all a fun and fabulous opportunity to show support for the LGBTA community and join the celebration.

Air Force Cycling Classic
Where: Clarendon & Crystal City
When: Saturday, 11:30am & Sunday, 11:15am
Admission: Free

The official race is for adults, but kids ages 9 and under can get in on the cycling, too – there are special races just for them along with the main event. The Ethan Klancnik Memorial Kids Race to support the Tay-Sachs Awareness and Prevention Organization will be raced in honor of Ethan Klancnik, who lost his battle with the disease. The Saturday kids races will take place in Clarendon at 11:30am, and Sunday’s will be held in Crystal City around 12:25pm. Multiple heats for different age groups will vary in distance; the older the kids, the further they ride. Participants must bring their own helmets and bikes, and trikes are welcome, too. For details and to register online, visit the Air Force Cycling Classic website.

Maryland Faerie Festival
Where: Darlington, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $5/ages 3-12, $15/ages 13-99

Indulge little faerie dreams at the annual festival inspired by faerie folklore and literature. Apparently, it’s kind of like Renn Fest on a much smaller scale with facets that will delight children, especially those who believe in faeries. Treasure hunts, craft projects, nature walks, and acrobats are some of the activities kids (and adults) will enjoy. Art, crafts, musical performances, and jewelry vendors will appeal to the bigger faeries in the crowd.

Family Day: Migration, My City
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Textile Musuem in celebrating DC and the stories of how we arrived here. Create a watercolor city scene of Washington and enjoy a professional storytelling performance by Diane Macklin. Activities are fun for all ages and inspired by the exhibitions Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora and For the Record: The Art of Lily Spandorf.

National Parks Family Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Help the Postal Museum celebrate 100 years of our National Parks with a day of family fun! Visitors will have the chance to create their own stamp album, experience what it’s like on the mail mule train down the Grand Canyon, and so much more, including the chance to check out the new exhibit Trailblazing: 100 Years of Our National Parks .

Cherokee Days
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the NMAI for the 3rd annual Cherokee Days Festival on the National Mall. The three federally recognized Cherokee Tribes—the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians—will come together to celebrate their common heritage and showcase celebrated artists, storytellers, musicians, and dancers. Children’s make-and-take activities will delight little ones. And Tsa-La-Gi Dancers performing the Bear Dance, Bison Dance, Quail Dance, and Friendship Dance will entertain all ages.

Suncatcher Crafts
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $5 (register ahead online)

Join a workshop at the Building Museum to celebrate the birthday of one of America’s favorite architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. Create a faux-stained glass suncatcher inspired by Wright’s geometric glass designs and take it home to hang a piece of architectural art in your own sunny window. Walk-up registration is based on availability, so sign up online to reserve a spot – registration for Musem programs closes at midnight the day before the scheduled program.

Strawberry Fields in Petworth
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
When: Saturday, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

Okay, maybe not fields, but a Strawberry Festival is even better! St. Paul’s Episcopal Church welcomes all to enjoy free family to celebrate the season, including two bounce houses, face painting, crafts, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, and tours of Rock Creek Cemetery (where the church is located). Food, including strawberries and strawberry shortcakes, can be purchased there. St. Paul’s is located at 201 Alison Street NE.

Alice: A Wonderland Trip
Where: Fringe Theatre
When: Saturday & Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $20

ALICE: a Wonderland trip. Why does a girl need to create a Wonderland, and what happens there? This family dance and theater show offers a unique interpretation of a classic, starring young performers of Momentum Dance Theater’s Jazz Hip Hop Academy with professional performers in cameo roles.

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

– Reserve your free seats for Blue Sky Puppet Theatre’s
The Barker of Seville
, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
– Catch a performance of Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co.
– And mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show
– See Creative Cauldron’s production of The Wind in the Willows
– Encore Stage & Studio presents Cul de Sac, theatre by kids for kids
Gustafer Yellowgold, the friendly fellow who cam from the Sun is landing at Alden Theatre on Sunday

Woodlawn Opening
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
When: Saturday, 12-4
Admission: Free

Watch history come alive as Montgomery Parks celebrates the opening of the Woodlawn Visitor Center. The opening ceremony will feature the Wahsington Revelers Jubilee Voices, and the festivities will continue with activities for kids, guided tours, blacksmith and farm demos, live music, and food truck fare.

Celebrate Mama
Where: Rockville Town Square
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This free family event features live entertainment, giveaways, a fabulous vendor marketplace, and much more! And even though moms are the honorees by name, there will be tons of activities for kids, plus great local resources for the family.

Market Days
Where: North Bethesda Market
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

North Bethesda Market’s first Home and Garden Market is an outdoor event for the entire family on Saturdays through June. Shop for plants and fresh cut flowers, find decor to refresh your home and garden, and enjoy live music and a fresh grilled lunch al fresco. Whole Foods will offer gardening items just for kids, and you can get tips on flower arranging and creating a succulent garden during free weekly seminars.

Bo Obama Storytime
Where: Walls of Books
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Head to Petworth for storytime about the First Pet! Hear Heather Patterson read her children’s book “Passing the Bone: America’s Next POTUS” at Walls of Books. Bo Obama, Pup of the United States, shares the dos and don’ts of being the First Dog as he prepares to pass the bone to the next White House pup. The entire nation is wondering – Who will be the next POTUS? May the best dog win!

Yoga in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday, 10-10:30am & 10:45-11:45am
Admission: $10/adult & child

Get outside and enjoy the benefits of yoga and and quality time together, while relaxing and experiencing nature. This class is filled with yoga postures, partner poses, yoga games, breath and relaxation techniques, and lots of smiles. The 10am class is for ages 3-5; the 10:45am class for 6 and up. Dress for the weather, bring a mat or beach towel and water bottle. No yoga experience necessary. Afterwards, stay and play in the park or enjoy the artLAB!

Paint with Me: Kids Edition
Where: ReCreative Spaces
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: $50

Join Imagination Station and Camilla Schaeffer as they present Paint With Me: Kids Edition! Parents, grandparents, or close friends — enjoy an opportunity to bond with a special child in your life during an afternoon of creating beach-themed art while enjoying some delicious snacks! This event will also feature vendors, raffles, and more!

Health and Safety Summit
Where: Girard and 14th St. NW Park
When: Saturday, 12-3:30pm
Admission: Free

ANC 1B is hosting this family friendly, interactive event where community members can talk with local government and community organizations and get their questions and concerns addressed. There will also be free health screenings, hands on CPR demos, and a fire engine and police car for kids to explore.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Calvert Road or Seneca Creek State Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family. Read about one of our outings enjoying the Frisbe-golf combo here. We’ve also enjoyed it at Seneca Creek. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at both.

Family Dance
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5 ages 4 and up

Take the whole gang to a Family Dance with Eric Maring & Friends. The Folklore Society of Greater Washington offers social dance events and classes at Glen Echo Park, including one on Sundays that all ages are welcome to enjoy.

Gluten-Free Expo
Where: Doubletree Bethesda Hotel
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: $15/adult, $5/child

The Children’s National Health System Celiac Disease Program is hosting the sixth annual Gluten-Free Expo. The day-long event is aimed at educating children and families with celiac disease and gluten-free diets.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 6-10

Kids will love the play areas along with the dollhouses at the Small Stories exhibit

Kids will love the play areas along with the dollhouses at the Small Stories exhibit



Monday – Jump the morning away at Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield, VA. This bouncy nirvana hosts Kid Flight sessions for children 46″ tall & under from 10am – 2pm Monday through Friday for $10/hour (includes accompanying adult).

Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for a couple of great programs. The monthly Little Builders Storytime takes place at 10:30am & 11:30am in the Building Zone ($3/person). You can also see the new Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse exhibit featuring many dollhouses that take you through London history, all of them beautiful with intricate details. Children will also enjoy areas that encourage pretend play with dress up and props inspired by some of the displays. ($10/adult, $7/child). Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission for members is free, and I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum at least a few time per year.

Wednesday – Frolic on the playground and sprawling fields and do some light hiking at Montrose and Dumbarton Oaks Parks in Georgetown. Both are fun, easy places to enjoy a nice day with little ones (and big ones, for that matter). Admission at both locales is free. Plan to grab a bite at one of the many nearby eateries on M Street or Wisconsin Ave.

Thursday – Take a day trip out to Solomons, MD, to Annmarie Sculpture Gardens for an enchanting array of artistic delights. View eye-popping works, both indoors and out, hunt for fairy houses, play in the Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Trust me, it’s worth the hour-plus drive. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, 10am – 5pm at the arts center. Admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free for 5 and under.

Friday – Get a glimpse of Rock Creek Park’s past a Peirce Mill. See the inner workings of a structure built before modern technology that actually still runs. Pack lunch for a riverside picnic — there are tables right next to the mill. Plan to do some hiking on nearby trails, too. Hours are 10am – 4pm, and admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: June 3-5

Taking in the views from the Sugarloaf Mountain summit -- a great place to hit the trail with kids

Taking in the views from the Sugarloaf Mountain summit — a great place to hit the trail with kids



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I hope you’ve got a little time to spare because you’ll need it to read about all of the excellent events happening around the area this weekend. Pop culture, folk music, jazz, trucks, wine, space, nature, live entertainment, and local communities are among the many things you can celebrate and enjoy. Details on all of the above are below. Happy Weekend!

Awesome Con
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $40-50

This celebration of popular culture is DC’s comic-con, embracing all aspects of geekdom and pop culture. Expect a wide assortment of comic books, collectibles, toys, games, original art, cosplay, a Kids Zone, and appearance from more than fifty movie and television celebrity guests throughout the weekend. Kids will love the chance to draw along with noted comic book artists, attend Superhero University and make Superhero symbols and capes, see a wizard magic show, and participate in a kid’s costume contest and puppetry class.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Free concerts al fresco, outdoor swimming, movies under the stars, sprayground fun, and much more! Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed all around the area, several taking place on Friday evening – a perfect way to kick off the weekend. The 2016 Summer Guide has the whole scoop on all of them.

Keep on Truckin’
Where: RFK Lot 7
When: Saturday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Truck Touch event that easily takes the title as Mac Daddy of them all. This is the 9th year that the DC Department of Public Works welcomes guests to climb aboard, honk the horn, work the gears, and explore all kinds of neat vehicles that serve our city. There will also be opportunities to test ride Segways, spec out a helicopter, and sit atop police horses. Read more about it and see images from a past Truck Touch here (and be sure to note that it was posted a few years ago, so the dates don’t confuse you).

Washington Folk Festival
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Get folksy at Glen Echo Park this weekend, as the 36th annual Washington Folk Festival showcases the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation, as well as the world, will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories.

Jazz ‘n’ Families Fun Days
Where: The Phillips Collection
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Leading up to the DC Jazz Festival starting next week and part of The Phillips Collection’s Museum Walk events, there will be special performances and activities for guests, especially young ones. Enjoy both the art and live jazz throughout the museum, including musicians improvising to paintings in the galleries. Kids can join a scavenger hunt, visit an instrument petting zoo, create their own masterpieces to take home, and view the permanent collection, too. Read more about the event and museum in this post about our experience there last year.

Walk the Museum Walk
Where: Dupont-Kalorama Neighborhoods
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Get off the Mall and explore the many museums in the Dupont-Kalorama neighborhood during its 33rd annual Museum Walk Weekend. (You can also check out the Obama’s future neighborhood!) See the exhibits and enjoy special programs for free at seven diverse museums, including The Phillips Collection, Dumbarton House, Heurich House, and Woodrow Wilson House. If you don’t want to use the shoe leather express, there will be a free shuttle running between sites.

Imagination Bethesda
Where: Downtown Bethesda
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate children, art, and all things fun at the 22nd annual Imagination Bethesda. Where Woodmont Avenue meets Elm Street, activity tents will line the streets, face painters will bring butterflies and pirates to life, and a stage of live entertainment will have the whole street dancing. Activity details and the entertainment line-up are available on the website.

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

Do some shopping at the Acton Children’s Business Fair an outdoor market where children ages 6 to 14 become entrepreneurs for a day, creating a business, selling to real customers for real money, and keeping the profits. Like Eastern Market run by kids! There will be over 30 children’s businesses with products/services such as jewelry, original art, cupcakes, bath soaps, pet treats, hair braiding, facepainting, and more. A cash prize of $50 for best business will be awarded in each of the four age groups (6-7, 8-10, 11-12, and 13-14). Rain or shine!

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

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

World Ocean Day
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Interactive activities throughout the museum will be open to explore ocean science in celebration of World Oceans Day. Appreciate the beauty of the sea and express yourself through art, njoy family activities in Q?rius Jr., talk with experts in the Ocean Hall and Q?rius and more!

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

– Reserve your free seats for Monkey Tales, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National perfromance
– Catch a performance of Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co.
– And Old McDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots show
– It’s opening weekend for Creative Cauldron’s production of The Wind in the Willows
– Encore Stage & Studio presents Cul de Sac, theatre by kids for kids
– See the student show Collide-O-Scope at Imagination Stage
– Spend Saturday morning with the grandsons jr. at Jammin’ Java
– See the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance perform at Saturday’s free Millennium Stage show at the Kennedy Center

Community Day
Where: Kalorama Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the re-opening of Kalorama Park with a big, old-fashioned Community Day. Enjoy new playgrounds, a beautifully re-designed plaza, and a healthier Rock Creek Watershed, thanks to a sustainable stormwater system installed by the City. While the kids test out the new equipment, grown-ups can listen to local Bluegrass band By and By, Mayor Bowser’s remarks, and the James Benson Jazz Quartet. In between, there’ll be classes for adults, face painting for kids, and more!

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

Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of jazz appreciation at this fun, creative, kid-friendly series featuring classes with multi-instrumentalist and local jazz legend Seth Kibel and renowned jazz singer Rochelle Rice. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Celebrate Petworth
Where: 800 block of Upshur Street NW
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Head to the heart of the Petworth neighborhood to celebrate creativity, diversity, culture, people, and quality of life, the core components of what make Petworth a vibrant and wonderful place to live.

Youth Fishing Day
Where: Blackwater Wildlife Refuge
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kids can cast a line and then some at this free fishing event. Staff will be on hand to help young fishers learn the basics, plus a free hotdog lunch will be provided along with photos of participants with their catch. Bait and poles supplied, or feel free to BYO.

Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival
Where: Bull Run Park
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $30/adults, $10/kids

A wine fest might sound like a grown-ups-only event, but this one offers plenty of fun for kids, too. Chef demos, food truck fare, live music, and a whole family area with activities especially for children are among the festivities. Of course, there will be plenty of opportunity for wine tasting, too!

Please Do Touch the Art
Where: Torpedo Factory
When: Through July 17
Admission: Free

Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, encourages people to touch, feel, dine upon, and even lick the artwork in Please Touch, which opens Saturday for a six-week run. The all-media exhibition features 20 works with which audiences can get hands-on.

Happy Trails
Where: Around the area
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Saturday is National Trails Day, and you can celebrate by taking part in one of many special events around the area. Take a hike, do some volunteer trail maintenance, go bird watching, and more. Find an event for your family on the National Trails Day website. Or if you just want to hit the trail for a hike, check out this post about great walks in the woods with kids.

Market Days
Where: North Bethesda Market
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

North Bethesda Market has launched its first Home and Garden Market, an outdoor event for the entire family on Saturdays through June. Shop for plants and fresh cut flowers, find decor to refresh your home and garden, and enjoy live music and a fresh grilled lunch al fresco. Whole Foods will offer gardening items just for kids, and you can get tips on flower arranging and creating a succulent garden during free weekly seminars.

Kids Kandinsky Trees
Where: Art Jamz
When: Saturday, 1-2pm
Admission: $27-29

Jam on and paint a colorful tree in the style of Wassily Kandinsky. The session is the first in a series of Kids Summer Painting Classes. ArtJamz instructors will help participants create awesome original art work with all kinds of cool inspiration. Sign up in advance.

Savage Fest
Where: Baldwin Common and Carroll Baldwin Hall
When: Saturday, 10am – 6:30pn
Admission: Free

This 29th annual community festival will feature live music from local bands, pony rides, a petting zoo, jugglers, magic shows, local history reenactments and tours, dancing, demonstrations and other entertainment throughout the day. The venue is located at 9035 Baltimore Street in Savage, MD.

Occoquan Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Downtown Historic Occoquan
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Over 10,000 peple are expected to attend the Town of Occoquan’s 47th Annual Arts and Crafts Show. Along with the creative items for sale by more than 300 contemporary and country crafters, there will be live entertainment, a DJ, food, and a Kidz Corner.

Fiesta Asia Street Fair
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue, 3rd – 6th Streets, NW DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation and Passport DC. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities, and more. Kids can enjoy activities like origami, sidewalk chalk, dragon making, story telling, and more. While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and in the marketplace.

Falls Church Feeds the World
Where: Christ Crossman UMC
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The public is welcome to join other members of the community in working together to assemble and package 20,000+ meals to combat hunger around the world – and enjoy a children’s festival taking place outside. The free event features activities that teach children about food insecurity in our community and worldwide, and includes food at no cost.

WJMF in the Park
Where: Stead Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the park for a day of free concerts, games, and fun! Part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival, this evnt will feature The Macaroons’ catchy pop-rock mixes with The Brothers Yares’ Middle Eastern-inflected Folk and Americana sound. Ari Jacobson is the musical master of ceremonies, and there will also be face painting, games, and workshops throughout the day. The Washington Animal Rescue League will join with adoptable puppies and when you’re ready for some grub, grab a falafel or grilled cheese nearby from DC Ballers and The Big Cheese.

Nature & Recreation in Annapolis
Where: Quiet Waters Park
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $6/car

Head east to explore a new park. We recently discovered Quiet Waters, kind of by accident, and it made for a fantastic outdoorsy Mother’s Day. Hike in the woods under a leafy canopy, paddle the South River, take in scenic vistas, and even view some art. Read more the locale in this new post.


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