Category Archives: Theatre

Where to Go & What to Do Around DC During Spring Break 2017

Local explorations and sibling bonding at Great Falls

Local explorations and sibling bonding at Great Falls



Ask and you shall receive! A number of people contacted me recently to ask if I’d be posting a Spring Break guide, as many local kids get time off from school over the next couple of weeks. I’d kind of been considering it anyway, but the interest from you guys solidified my decision to do it.

Many of the ideas here are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. (What people more hip than me call *curated* 😉 ) Among these recommendations are activities being hosted especially for Spring Break, exhibits and shows that are hot tickets right now, outings that take advantage of the great spring weather, and places and experiences that kids who are in school all day can’t get to easily.

And, of course, the rest of this blog is full of suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) happy during the week off — or on, depending how you look at it. Happy Spring Break!

Special Activities

Navigate the aerial forest at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

Navigate the aerial forest at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

Spring Break in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: April 7-17
Admission: Varies by age

The park that offers a thrilling aerial forest adventure is adding some extra zip to the pursuit with a series of themes and special events. During Spring Break, each day will be themed, and guests who participate will be eligible to play games, win prizes, and receive park discounts.

Artsy Adventures
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: April 13 & 14, 9am – 3:30pm
Admission: $35-40

The wonderful art center and sculpture garden has a couple of special Spring Break Camp days open. On Thursday, join for a fun-filled day of art and nature as they explore with color. On Friday, get creative with lines. Note that these all-day camps are drop-off. You can also go together and enjoy the wonderful Fairies in the Garden exhibit (more on that below)!

Egg-Cellent Outings
Where: Around the area
When: Through April 17
Admission:; Varies by event

Egg hunts, Bunny visits, and more seasonal activities are happening all around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for your whole gang. NoVa Parks has events going on during the week, and even more places are offering fun on weekends.

Wild Knights
Where: Medieval Times
When: Through the month of April
Admission: $37/adult, $29.95 (use code SB17)

Get discount pricing on Medieval Times spectacle and feast during Spring Break. Even better, before the 5pm shows this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (April 11-13), kids ages 5-12 can participate in FREE Jr. Knights Training (limited space available first come, first serve) and a FREE activity book! Doors open at 3:30pm, and training begins at 4pm. Training is open to both boys and girls. Closed toe shoes are required to participate.



Special Exhibits

Look out for hidden gnomes at Annmarie Sculpture Gardens

Look out for hidden gnomes at Annmarie Sculpture Gardens

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $5/adult, $4/senior, $3/child

Annmarie’s magicalicious exhibit of fairy and gnome houses just opened for the season. As if the sculpture garden near Solomons, MD, wasn’t already wonderful, this annual display adds extra delight to a visit there with more than 50 handmade fairy and gnome homes scattered through the grounds. Visit the Arts Building to borrow a costume (or purchase one in the Gift Shop) to get into the fanciful spirit, grab a guide, and start your journey to locate them all. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Daily, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Surely, you’re aware of the exhibit at the Hirshhorn. It’s been one of the hottest tickets in town and photos of the spectacular Infinity Rooms are flooding social media feeds. While it’s next to impossible to get passes online, you might try for same-day — a limited number of Walk-Up Timed Passes are available daily. I hear there are lines for these, but if you don’t mind waiting, this could be your chance to go. Before you do, check out this KFDC review of the exhibit for an idea of what to expect and tips on going with kids.

Earth Explorers
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-12, under 5 are free

Witness animal migrations from a hot air balloon, submerse into the deep sea to study marine life, discover new species in the rain forest, gear up for a polar expedition. These are all adventures — simulated ones, anyway — to be experienced at the Nat Geo Museum’s newest exhibition that offers a glimpse into the work and passion of explorers in the field. Full of hands-on displays and interactive installations, it’s informative and inspiring. Best for elementary school ages and up, but younger children can enjoy it, too.

Q?rius
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Daily, 2pm
Admission: Free

The interactive and experiential learning space is designed for kids ages 11 and up (though some younger ages could enjoy it, too). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Read more about Q?rius here.

Get Outdoors

Kick off the flip flops and enjoy a day at Flag Ponds

Kick off the flip flops and enjoy a day at Flag Ponds

Beachy Keen: Sand, Surf, & Fossils
Where: Around the area
When: Daily
Admission: Varies by beach

Many of us associate Spring Break with beach trips, so why not hit one with the kids? There are several places within day trip-distance from DC that are nice for sand and surf. Head out to Calvert County for a day at Flag Ponds Nature Park, including some fossil hunting (call ahead to confirm days/hours). Head a little further out to North Beach or Brownies Beach (Bayfront Park). Or go east to Sandy Point State Park. You can also play paleontologist and look for prehistoric fragments along the Potomac at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD (one of our very favorite outings in the area).

Take a Hike
Where: Around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s a great time of year to spend some time on the trail as the weather warms up and color returns to the landscape. See flowers in bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids. (Heads up: The bluebells at Riverbend Park should be popping right about now, making the hike from there to Great Falls especially nice!)

Roam a Garden
Where: Around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

With flowers blooming and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden is a fantastic outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at plants and flowers. Explore and play at the National Arboretum, wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt, enjoy flora and wildlife and the Children’s Garden at Brookside, venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden, relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery, stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks, romp in the children’s area at River Farm, or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden.


Museums & More “DC” Sites

Newsflash:  The Newseum is awesome!

Newsflash: The Newseum is awesome!

Focus on News and Media
Where: Newseum
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-19, free for 6 and under
(look for a deal)

The museum dedicated to all things news and journalism is fascinating — and one of my personal favorite’s in DC. Much of the collection is better appreciated (and understood) by older children, so while they have off from school is a good time to take advantage of an outing there. Read more about the Newseum in this KFDC post.

African American History & Culture
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Daily, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The relatively new museum is full of powerful exhibits and a must-see on the National Mall. Advanced passes are gone through April, but with the kids home and open days ahead of you, it’s a good time to try for same-day passes — up to four(4) same-day timed entry passes are available online everyday starting at 6:30am until they run out. A limited number of walk-up passes are also available beginning at 1pm on weekdays.

Abe’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: $3-8

Ford’s isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through tours and exhibits about the president, the Civil War, and that fateful night at the theatre. This is the busy season, so it’s recommended to reserve tickets in advance.

Show Them the Money
Where: Bureau of Engraving & Printing
When: Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: Free

This is a great outing with kids on break from school, since tours are only offered on weekdays. Tours run every 15 minutes 9am – 6pm this time of year. Admission is free, but tickets are required, and you can pick them up at the booth on Raoul Wallenburg Place starting at 8am. Your time slot may be for later in the day, so have some plans in mind in case your tour is later in the day.

Day Trips & Overnights

Hike from West Virginia to Maryland at Harpers Ferry

Hike from West Virginia to Maryland at Harpers Ferry

Hiking & History
Where: Harpers Ferry
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free ($10 if you park in lot)

Get some fresh air and exercise as you enjoy spring weather and historic sites. Harpers Ferry is an easy day trip or quick getaway destination from DC, and spring is a great time to go. For more about a visit there, see this KFDC post.

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

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

Go Underground
Where: Luray Caverns
When: Ongoing, 9am – 7pm
Admission: $24/adults, $21/seniors, $12/ages 6-12, 5 and under free

Behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system at Luray. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Admission does not include attractions beyond the cavern. KFDC Tip: Be sure to make a pit stop before going into the caverns, because it can be a long walk out to a restroom, and once you’re out, you may not be able to go back in.

Tramp & Camp
Where: Shenandoah National Park
When: Ongoing
Admission: $25/vehicle, campsites are extra & vary

Whether you go for a day or even several, Shenandoah National Park is a boon for outdoor recreation close to DC. If you can only swing a day, find some good trails to hike or even ride along Skyline Drive and take in the beautiful vistas from the car. If you can stay overnight, it’s a great place for a camping experience with kids. Either way, enjoy being immersed in nature and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings!

Explore Another Capital City
Where: Annapolis
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

Maryland’s capital city is as beautiful as it is fun, and you can easily make a day (or few) of it there. Take a Pirate Adventure on the Chesapeake, enjoy some outdoor recreation at Quiet Waters Park, feast on crabs, or stroll around town and the Naval Academy grounds. It’s all an easy drive out Rt. 50 from DC.


Live Entertainment

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp will entertain all ages

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp will entertain all ages

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through
Admission: $19.50

With performances scheduled almost every day of the week, you can catch an all-ages show at the best children’s theatre around! This is Aladdin as you’ve never seen it before… Aladdin and his love, the princess Adora, must outsmart an evil Magician who wants to use the genie in Aladdin’s lamp for his nefarious schemes! Will he get away with it? Get ready for love, magic, and mystery in this show! And plan to stay after at Glen Echo Park for a picnic lunch (BYO or buy there) and some time on the playground.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through April 30
Tickets: $12

Take kids preschool-aged to 9 years to see this marionette romp in which three brothers get the goat of a hen-pecked troll, in their attempts to trip-trap-tromp to where the grass is greener. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry. Plan to stay at Glen Echo Park after the show for a picnic lunch (BYO or buy there) and some time on the playground.

A Raisin in the Sun
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through May 7
Tickets: $66-111

This is an outstanding production that kids about middle school ages and up will appreciate. The groundbreaking masterpiece follows an African American family in the 1950’s as they yearn for a better life from their Chicago tenement and have the opportunity to realize it. With stellar performances by the cast, the show is emotional and thought-provoking as it spotlights struggles and issues that our society still grapples with today.


Extra Tips

* If you’re looking specifically for rainy day ideas, see The Great Indoors list or the round-up of Indoor Playgrounds
* And for where to relish the sublime weather, check out The Best Places to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
* National Parks Week is April 15-23. Entrance to all national parks will be free April 15-16 and April 22-23!
* The Smithsonian Event Calendar is always worth checking before you head to the museums or the Zoo
* Look for deals and discounts on CertifiKID and Goldstar.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: April 7-9

Jump (and hop) with spring joy at Ticonderoga Farm!

Jump (and hop) with spring joy at Ticonderoga Farm!



Crazy 8 Sale On Now!


Spring Break is about to begin for a lot of local and visiting kids, and there are a ton of fun ways to get it started this weekend. Celebrate the cherry blossoms, Easter, or the season. See Charm City in a whole new light. Join a Pirate Adventure. Catch a live performance. Visit a historic site. Take a family hike. These are a just a few of many special events and activities going on. And with the great spring weather on the horizon, be sure to explore this compilation of the best outdoor places around the DC-Metro, too. Happy Weekend!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is easily the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel down Constitution Avenue. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: M Street & New Jersey Ave. SE
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up in advance, free for 12 and under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. There will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. All at a new location in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Be prepared for a crowd.

Easter Celebrations for DC Peeps
Where: Around the Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

Egg hunts, bunny visits, and more spring fun to celebrate Easter and the season are happening all around the area. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for your whole gang. Find a great nature-themed activity at NoVa Parks. Enjoy loads of festive activities at Ticonderoga Farm or Butler’s Orchard. Take a special Bunny Train Ride. Fill a basket at an Eggstravagnza. Or find another egg-cellent event where you can celebrate here.

Springfest: Crowns, Cowboys & Easter Bunny
Where: B&O Railroad Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $18/adult, $16/senior, $12/child

Enjoy festive activities though April 15 at the museum dedicated to trains! Along with train rides & appearances by Anna, Elsa, the Easter Bunny, and some your favorite royal characters, there will be loads of hands-on fun. See the full schedule of it all here.

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

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

PEEPS Day
Where: National Harbor
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: Free

It’s the second annual PEEPS Day at National Harbor, a celebration of the spring season and the uniqueness of everyone’s favorite marshmallow treat! The day will feature games and activities, a DJ, a movie, and the World PEEPS Eating Championship! Check out the full schedule on the website.

Set Sail on the Chesapeake, Matey!
Where: Annapolis Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $22, $12/ages 2 and under

It’s opening weekend for Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, returning for its 15th season! This unique outings promises a fun adventure on the water for kids. Young buccaneers starts by getting faces painted and dressing up as pirates, then they set sail for a treasure hunt on the water. While reading a map to find sunken treasure the crew of children use water cannons in defense against an enemy pirate, discover a secret stash of pirates’ grog, and so much more! The Sea Gypsy sails seven days a week, six times a day (9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm 3:30pm, and 5pm) — make a reservation for this weekend! Read about a KFDC experience with Pirate Adventures.

Run of the Mill
Where: Peirce Mill, Rock Creek Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to see the 2,000-pound millstone convert corn to cornmeal using good old-fashioned renewable energy of water. Miller Jeanne and Friends of Peirce Mill invite you to see DC’s only gristmill in action. Be sure to stop by Peirce Barn next door to explore the exhibits and enjoy children’s crafts. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $5/adult, $4/senior, $3/child

Annmarie’s magicalicious exhibit of fairy and gnome houses opens this weekend. As if the sculpture garden near Solomons, MD, wasn’t already wonderful, this annual display adds extra delight to a visit there with more than 50 handmade fairy and gnome homes scattered through the grounds. Visit the Arts Building to borrow a costume (or purchase one in the Gift Shop) to get into the fanciful spirit, grab a guide, and start your journey to locate them all. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

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

* Your wish for all-ages entertainment has been granted: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp opens at Adventure Theatre this weekend
* Reserve free tickets to Celebrate America’s Jazz Heritage with Unified Jazz Ensemble, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Imaginary Friends is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Paper Dreams at Imagination Stage will delight young audiences
* Ragtime is running at Ford’s Theatre, a historic DC etertainment venue
* The Broadway hit Chicago just opened at the Kennedy Center
* A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage is a good option with older kids or for a date night
* Circus and theater meets onstage cooking as The 7 Fingers of the Hand presents Cuisine & Confessions at George Mason’s Center for the Arts (be sure to read description to see if appropriate for your kid)

Emancipation Day Celebration
Where: Freedom Plaza
When: Saturday, 1-3pm & 9pm
Admission: Free

Commemorate the end of slavery in Washington, DC, with a parade, truck touch, and more all-ages festivities. Watch a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue at 1pm, then check out vehicles and enjoy a concert at Freedom Plaza. The event will culminate with fireworks at 9pm.

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

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

Family Literary Fiesta
Where: Highland Elementary School
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Kids and adults can join together in a celebration of books and stories! Ali Oliver-Krueger, playwright/composer, performing artist, and Artistic Director of InterAct Story Theatre, will lead a special interactive performance of Mama-San Stories, weaving tales from her Japanese-American childhood with traditional Japanese mukashibanashi (Long-Ago Stories) in this funny and heart-warming east-meets-west storytelling experience.

Weekend Walk in the Woods
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 9-10am
Admission: Free

Take a hike — and advantage of the Audubon Naturalist Society’s free monthly family program. On the first Saturday of each month from 9-10am, join Master Naturalists for a nature hike around Woodend Sanctuary. Each outing has a unique and exciting natural history theme that’s appropriate for family members of all ages. Be prepared to hike in sneakers. Meet in the gazebo by the main house. Read a KFDC review of Woodend Nature Sanctuary.

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $15/adults, $5/children

The whole family will be amused and amazed by the juggling skills of Gregory Popovich and the antics of his furry and feathered friends. This award-winning Moscow Circus veteran has given his loveable troupe of rescue animals — cats, dogs, geese, parrots, a Shetland pony, and others — a new leash on life through this popular show. Clowns, acrobats and jugglers accompany a menagerie of adorable animals that eagerly perform remarkable circus tricks.

Japanese Woodblock Printing
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, all ages are welcome to join the Sackler Gallery for opening weekend of Inventing Utamaro and free family activities. In this Open Studio, witness firsthand the beauty and complexity of Japanese woodblock prints. Take a family-friendly tour (offered at 12:30pm and 2:30pm) of the exhibition, then explore traditional tools and papers. A teaching artist will demonstrate transferring designs to a block, carving, and basic printing techniques. Be prepared to get your hands inky.

Cherrybration Days
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6

Let little princesses & princes dress up for this visit to the storybook-themed farm (you can read more about it in the list of outdoor outings). Clark’s Elioak will be celebrating Howard County’s “Cherrybration” Days with treats fit for young royalty and plenty of pink pizzazz. Children in a family will get a free hayride if at least one person in the family is dressed as a pink princess. Kids can also dress up in gowns on hand at the farm for a photo opportunity with “Princess Cherrybella.”

Earth Month Scavenger Hunt
Where: Maydale Conservation Park
When: Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Earth Month at Maydale with a “Who’s Here?” Scavenger Hunt! Learn about the pond, stream and forest and the animals and insects found there and how and why we should protect them. Registration required for all attending!

Spring Light Show
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12.95

Who says lights displays are only for the winter holidays? Not Ticonderoga Farm! Their Spring Walk of Lights welcomes you to enjoy Farm Town as it comes alive. Wander past the notorious pirate ship adventure, stroll through the tunnel of amaze, gaze up at an 18-foot bunny, and take in more delightful illuminated scenes. It’s the kind of event that will become seasonal family tradition! Be sure to check out the website for details on timing.

Family Afternoon: Design with Nature
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages can drop in for creative hands-on activities, a community garden design project, and opportunities to learn about Japanese art and design. See how nature is intentionally integrated into the built world, different ways people design with nature, and how nature can inspire design in and around built spaces. Learn about symbolism of the natural world across cultures and make connections between springtime symbolism, design, nature, and the built world they live in.

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the third annual Anacostia River Festival, a premier event of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival. For a taste of local D.C., come celebrate the Anacostia River and take a canoe out to explore the River, ride in our bike parade, play lawn games with your family and experience Southeast D.C.’s local arts scene at this special FREE event. This year will be a celebration of biking in the District with trail rides, safety classes, quick bike tune ups, and special bike activities for all ages. Festival location is Good Hope Road & Anacostia Drive SE.

Flower Power
Where: Anacostia Arts Center
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy an interactive art installation, art exhibitions, floral arranging classes, workshops, live music, spring fashion. This free, family-friendly event is part of the Anacostia River Festival, a premier event of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

DC Way Soccer Festival
Where: Marine Barracks Soccer Field
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

This festival’s goal: To gather children & parents to play soccer, socialize, and have fun! It’s a great chance to introduce kids to the magnificent game of soccer, test your own skills, participate in fun competitions, and ask the coaches questions regarding the game and sports in general. The day will include multiple games and activities, such as soccer tennis, a parents vs. children challenge, best strike contest, and more! The Marine Barracks Soccer Field is located at 7th & I Streets SE.

Banish Boredom
Where: Tenley-Friendship Library
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Looking for some creative fun with the kiddos? Stop by the Tenley Friendship Library on Sunday for a drop-in art activity with Rebecca Green from the blog Not-So-SAHM and author of the book Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids that You’ll Actually Enjoy. Join her to make super fun collage portraits that you can bring home to display!


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre!

Photo by Sarah Straub/Adventure Theatre

Photo by Sarah Straub/Adventure Theatre



Adventure Theatre is getting ready to bring their spring production to the stage — along with the some Arabian magic. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp opens this coming weekend with assistance from Middle-Eastern cultural consultants from Iran, India, Morocco, and Egypt among others.

Directed by Roberta Gasbarre and supported by the Weissberg Foundation’s Fund for Diversity in Theatre, the show is based on the original story, Book of One Thousand and One Nights. The multicultural cast and production team presents Aladdin as you’ve never seen it before… Aladdin and his love, the princess Adora, must outsmart an evil Magician who wants to use the genie in Aladdin’s lamp for his nefarious schemes! Will he get away with it? Get ready for love, magic, and mystery in this production for all ages.

Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp runs at Adventure Theatre April 7 – May 21, 2017. Recommended for all ages, there will be performances on weekends and weekdays, including during Spring Break. Tickets are $19.50 and available for purchase online or at the Box Office.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below letting me know which performance — date and time — you would prefer to see the show. To be eligible, you must subscribe to KFDC (see sign up on the left). Get an extra entry by also commenting on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page. This giveaway will run through Thursday, April 6, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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


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Filed under All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: March 31 – April 2

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend

Go fly your kite at the Washington Monument this weekend



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 27-31

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery

Exploring art at the Sackler Gallery



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Monday – Visit the Sackler Gallery on the National Mall. The Smithsonian museum houses a great collection of Asian art as well as special exhibits, like the current Chinamania. Be sure to head all the way downstairs to an area full of stations that encourage visitors to touch and get a close look. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Go to Tudor Place for Tudor Tots. The weekly program at the historic estate in Georgetown invites little ones to learn about the world around us through songs, stories, crafts, and movement, all tailored to growing tots with a different theme each session. The fun takes place 10-10:45am, and admission is $5/child (accompanying adults free).

Wednesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their super fantastic playground, open to the public when class is not in session. It’s open all day, and admission is free.

Thursday – Explore the woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Look for little creatures as you hike — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings — and take in sweeping vistas of the marshland. Be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where The Three Billy Goats Gruff begins its month-long run this week. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12. If the weather is nice, plan to stay at Glen Echo Park, where the theatre is located, for some fun on the playground and a picnic lunch — BYO fare or buy food from the Praline Bakery on premises.


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