Category Archives: Trains

The Weekend Round-Up: March 17-19

All eyes on the Tidal Basin... come on, cherry blossoms!

All eyes on the Tidal Basin… come on, cherry blossoms!



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There might be some questions about the fate of the cherry blossoms — will they or won’t they bloom? — but when it comes to cool pursuits around DC, there’s never any doubt, and this weekend is no exception. See basketball action that brings more laughs than madness, go green at an environmental film fest, celebrate Women’s History Month at a special museum program, let older kids have their day in “court,” shop a wacky and wonderful museum sale, take in some live entertainment, enjoy activities at local parks, have some KidFree fun, and wind it all down Sunday evening at an anniversary bash for a DC institution. Details on these and many more area happenings are all right here. Happy Weekend!

Cherry Blossom Festivities
Where: Tidal Basin
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

How our famous flowers fare after the recent blast of winter remains to be seen, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off this weekend regardless. Tickets are long gone for the Opening Ceremony event, but there will be a variety of performances at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. Hopefully, there will be pretty blooms to enjoy along with them. And for tips on viewing the cherry blossoms, be sure to check out this KFDC post.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Eagle Bank Arena
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 and up

The Ambassadors of Goodwill are bringing their A-game — an exciting combo of basketball, entertainment, and comedy — to the DC area with three shows, at the Patriot Center Friday evening, then two at the Verizon Center on Saturday, and back at the Patriot Center on Sunday. Tickets are still available for all of them.

Women’s History Month Family Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Explore the various roles women had at the Post Office throughout its long history. Watch a historic printing press demonstrations, play the “Dead Letter Office” game and learn about the first female Post Master, Mary Katherine Goddard. Meet a female Postal Inspector and learn about her exciting job “Behind the Badge.” Enjoy story time and scavenger hunt and take home an NPM airplane as a souvenir! “Amelia Earhart” will make several appearances and engage visitors by speaking about her love of stamps and her airborne adventures.

Refuge System Birthday Bash
Where: National Wildlife Visitors Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the work of 566 wildlife refuges across the US and its territories at the annual Refuge System Birthday Bash. This year’s theme is Awareness & Action, and the Refuge will be sharing ways to help wildlife through crafts, games, educational activities, and Environmental Film Festival. The National Wildlife Visitor Center is located at 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop in Laurel, MD.

White Elephant Barn Sale
Where: American Visionary Art Museum
When: Saturday, 7am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Help AVAM clear out their hoard! And if you’re familiar with the museum, then you know you this is an opportunity to score something great. Get your hands on amazing artwork, books, cards & publications, electronics, office supplies & furniture, vintage Macs, retro AVAM & Kinetic memorabilia, plenty of art fixins, and loads more… it’s a picker’s paradise! All proceeds benefit AVAM. And while you’re there, take a tour of the museum, too (admission $15.95/adult, $9.95/child). Read more about AVAM here.

Room for Children
Where: House of Sweden
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

It’s opening weekend in the space for family fun at the Swedish Embassy on Georgetown’s waterfront. This library and arts studio for the young is designed to stimulate children’s interest in books, music, storytelling, and self-expression — Room for Children pushes the boundaries of what a library can be. Parents are encouraged to engage in it all with kids and share the experience! This will be open on weekends through December, and every Saturday, there is a storytime session at 2pm.

Mock Trial for Kids
Where: Trinity Washington University
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $50/child

Kids ages 8-12 can have their day in “court” as they join this one of a kind legal educational program from Juris Prudence Academy. The 90-minute workshop will teach academy students basic legal principles in a collaborative setting. Guided by a lawyer, students will participate in a mock trial, applying the principles they have learned in the workshop.

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

* Go prehistoric at Strathmore for Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live Friday night
* See a special performance of Aladdin by The Washington Ballet at THEARC
* Reserve free tickets to see Christylez Bacon, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* The Kennedy Center presents puppetry for children with Grug and the Rainbow
* Jack and the Beanstalk in on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Magic Toyshop is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* Little ones will love Art on the Horizon’s Nutt and Bolt (sold out online, so call about tickets)
* From the Mouths of Monsters is a Frankenstein-inspired show at the Kennedy Center
* Saturday is the last chance to see The Freshest Snow Whyte at Imagination Stage
* Catch a whiff of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales at Alden Theatre
* Enjoy funky folk msic for the whole family at a Billy Jonas concert hosted at Tikvat Israel Congregation on Sunday

Women in Aviation and Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

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

Movie at the Museum: Long Way North
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Set in 1892, this animated adventure, part of the Environmental Film Fest, follows 15-year-old Russian aristocrat Sacha as she leaves behind her comfortable Saint Petersburg life in the hopes of tracking down and saving her beloved grandfather, Oloukine, a famous explorer who has gone missing near the North Pole. Sacha has always been fascinated by the exciting life of her grandfather and dreams of becoming an explorer, too. But Sacha’s parents strongly disapprove of her ambitions and, in fact, have already made arrangements for her marriage. Defying her destiny, Sacha flees her home and launches a daring quest toward the Great North in search of Oloukine and his ship. Recommended for ages 11 and up.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Several locations around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by film

Films from across the globe are being screened around the DC-Metro area for the the 25th annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them. Born in China follows three animal families into the wilds of China. Conquest of the Skies highlights the power of flight in nature. Little film-goers will be enthralled by Light on Earth about creatures that glow. Cat people will enjoy Kedi about the felines that have roamed the streets of Istanbul for thousands of years. There are even more films that older kids will likely enjoy and learn from and others to consider for a grown-up outing. View the websites watch trailers and get showtimes and details.

Spring Batiks Workshops
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $27/member, $32/non-member

Kids in grades 3-6 can learn how to create a vibrant springtime batik artwork on fabric with with instructor, Dollie Karolewski. Using melted crayons and fabric paints, each child will come away with their own unique 12×12″ artwork.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House 
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC).  As described in Model Railroader magazine, every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Park it in Fairfax
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. Search for birds and mammals at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by “going green” at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Learn about the moon during a family astronomy session at Observatory Park at Turner Farm. Details and registration for these and even more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Park it in MoCo
Where: Montgomery County Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks also presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. Go on a Family Green Hour walk at Locust Grove Nature Center, watch a raptor feeding at Nature Center, experiment with Awesome Acts of Science at Black Hill Visitors Center, and more. See the online calendar for details and even more events happening this weekend.

Clean-Up at the Colonial Farm
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Play a valuable role in preparing the Claude Moore Colonial Farm for its 2017 season and Opening Day on April 1. On this 18th century working farm and National Park trails and fields need to be cleared, fences rebuilt, and wood split, moved and stacked. There is also work in the greenhouse, cleaning animal pens, and a variety of other spruce up activities for all ages. It’s a great activity for families and groups, and you get picnic hot dog lunch! Bring work gloves and dress for the weather.

Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Eleanor Roosevelt and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about one of our experiences there.

NOVA Mini Maker Faire
Where: South Lakes High & Langston Highs Middle Schools
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/children

It’s a gathering of inventors, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and curious minds at the 4th annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire. The event inspires, informs, connects, and entertains thousands of attendees in a family-friendly environment. More than 100 makers will share their knowledge through hands-on projects for adults and kids in areas from primitive tools and blacksmithing to drones and 3D printers. Experience it all at South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston, VA.

Happy 20th, Millennium Stage!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center celebrates a major milestone this month – the 20th anniversary of Millennium Stage, the only U.S. institution that offers a free performance every day of the year, (6 p.m. daily on the Millennium Stage). The celebration will feature performances by Celtic rock band, Scythian, and New Orleans funk band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, in a massive party overtaking the Center’s Grand Foyer. Go early! The first 1,000 fans get a free T-shirt, and ticket giveaways will be open for entry until 8pm! A special MS20 happy hour from 5-6 p.m. features all beer and wine 50% off at the Grand Foyer Bars.

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.

Go KidFree!
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Need ideas for things to do sans kids? Here are a few suggestions of some places and activities for KidFree fun this weekend:
*Get your green on for St. Pat’s Day at one (or more) of these 17 places
*Watch March Madness out at a local spot
*Enjoy some Hemingway on stage at a performance of The Select (The Sun Also Rises) at the Lansburgh Theatre
*Grab an Instagram-worthy drink and bite at the Pop-Up Cherry Blossom Bar
*Savor tapas and sangria at Joselito, a new(ish) Spanish restaurant on Capitol Hill


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Shop, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: November 25-27

See model trains zip around National Parks and Historic Sites at the U.S. Botanic Garden

See model trains zip around National Parks and Historic Sites at the U.S. Botanic Garden



Tiny Prints - Black Friday Sale


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! With the big feast behind you, it’s time to get out and take advantage of the long weekend. Embrace the holiday spirit at a seasonal event. Keep the brood entertained at a theatre — there are several live shows on local stages. Enjoy extended hours at the museums. Enjoy an outdoor adventure. Or find a place to hang in the great indoors. I, for one, am thankful for all these great options the DC-Metro has to offer. Happy Weekend!

#OptOutside
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale

Take a cue from REI and get outside! You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Bundle up and take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for outdoor fun.

Post-Thanksgiving Puppets
Where: Library of Congress
When: Friday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Library of Congress to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter at their annual day-after-Thanksgiving Puppet Show. The 40-minute performance will be an original production based on three of her famous stories, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny,” and “the Tailor of Gloucester.” Showtimes are at 10:30am and 1:30pm with puppet-making crafts all day. This will take place in the Young Readers Center Room G-29.

Nights at the Museums
Where: American History and Air & Space Museums
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the National Mall, save Natural History, American History, and Air & Space for last. The three Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours this weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday. (And FYI: The American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Penn Quarter are always open until 7pm.)

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Through the weekend
Admission: Free

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, and the West Gallery boasts one of the city’s largest Christmas trees. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s National Parks and Historic Places-themed exhibit is a gorgeous as it is impressive. Get a better idea and a glimpse of what to expect in this post and this one about some of our past Season’s Greenings experiences.

Northwest Coast Dance Celebration
Where: National Museum of American Indian
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

Performances at the at the NMAI are always festive and engaging, and this one is sure to follow suit. Experience a dance celebration with internationally renowned West Coast First Nations mask-dancing group Git Hayetsk (People of the Copper Shield) from Vancouver B.C. and the award-winning multi-generational Tsimshian dancers Lepquinm Gumilgit Gagoadim (Our Own Dance in Our Hearts) from Southeast Alaska. The program will include humor and theatrical dance to teach about Indigenous lifeways of the Northwest Coast.

CANstruction
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Check out sculptures built entirely with cans of food! The works are the results of a creativedesign-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank. Teams from architecture and design firms from Washington, DC used their skills to construct the sculptures, which are on display for all to view through the weekend. After the de-canstruction, the nutritious shelf-stable food will be donated to for distribution to those in need after the event.

Must-See Modern Art
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Ragnar Kjartansson exhibit at the Hirshhorn is a must-see for modern art fans. The mix of performance art, video installations, paintings, dioramas, and more inspired works is intriguing and moving and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Kids will be just as captivated as adults (though if that’s not the case for you, there’s always the carousel right outside on the Mall).

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Gaylord National Resort’s annual holiday extravaganza has festivities galore that capture the spirit of the season. And the best part is that there are activities for all ages at varying price points (even free!), from dancing fountains and indoor snowfalls to a tour of amazing “Christmas Around the World”-themed ice sculptures.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square in Old Town Alexandria
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Alexandria’s official start to the holiday season in Old Town’s Market Square this evening. Along with the tree lighting, entertainment will include a visit from Santa, musical performances, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This weekend is the start of even more big holiday events around DC and the continuation of others. If you hope to hit ‘em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2016 KFDC Holiday Guide.

A Spin on the Carousel
Where: Arena Stage
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $64

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Carousel, recently opened at Arena Stage, and it is wonderful! Owen and I saw the musical last week, and we were both completely captivated and moved by the show. Brilliant performances by the talented cast, a simple yet beautiful theatre-in-the-round-setting, and a story that is emotional and hopeful make for a an excellent theatre experience. I recommend it for ages 10 and up, or make it a date night.

The Secret Garden
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $44

Shakespeare Theatre Company brings the beloved children’s story to life on stage in a beautiful, enchanting production. When orphaned, 10-year-old Mary Lennox moves to England to stay with her uncle, she seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden and discovers amazing secrets. It’s a show that kids and adults can enjoy, though the long running time (2.5 hours with intermission) and serious tone could make some some children antsy.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment, there’s plenty of that, too. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at THEARC or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre or see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Imagination Stage. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up in the 2016 Holiday Guide.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Strets, NW
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

This, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market.

Night Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that

Winter Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95/person, free for children under 2

The annual festival includes hayrides to the white pine fields with access to all of the farm attractions — swings, forts, slides, tunnels, and more. Fire pits are inviting to keep you warm and make some s’mores or roast hot dogs. Cut down your Christmas tree while you’re there or buy one from the lot. Read more about the Festival in this post about one of our experiences there.

Kids Day at Bobby McKeys
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Starts at $18

The whole family can enjoy an afternoon of fun at one of Bobby McKey’s dueling piano shows. It’s two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet, that’s sure to make everyone happy. And this is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats and dance in the aisles!

The Inside Scoop
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post list more than 80 suggestions for things to do.


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

Giveaway! Brighten Up the Holidays at Brookside’s Garden of Lights

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Dazzling light shows are a staple of the holiday season, and one of my very favorites in the area is Brookside Gardens’ walk-through exhibit, Garden of Lights. The gardens are transformed into a magical winter wonderland illuminated by more than one million twinkling colorful lights handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers, and other natural elements. It will all be on view for visitors every night from November 25 through January 1 (with the exceptions of December 24 and 25). And I have two admission passes (admission is per car/van) to give away to a couple of lucky KFDC readers.

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Stroll from garden to garden to enjoy long-time favorite displays, including Nessie the Serpent, flying geese, and butterflies. The gardens’ trees and hardscapes such as the Children’s Garden Treehouse and Wedding Gazebo are bedecked in a rainbow of colorful glimmering lights. It is a light display unlike any other. (Get a glimpse of it all in this post about one of our visits there.)

Inside the Conservatory, enjoy the sights and sounds of model trains as they wind their way through seasonal greenery and miniature reproductions of local landmarks such as the RedDoor Store in Sandy Spring, the Kensington MARC railway station, Glen Echo Park complete with Bumper Car Pavilion and 1921 Dentzel Carousel, and even Brookside Gardens’ Conservatories.

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A new fire pit on the South Terrace is the latest addition to Garden of Lights, where refreshments — think S’mores kits and hot cocoa — will be available for purchase. And nightly musical performances take place inside the Visitors Center.

Garden of Lights is located in Brookside Gardens at 1800 Glenallan Avenue in Wheaton, MD. It runs November 25, 2016 – January 1, 2017 (closed December 24 & 25). Hours are 5:30-9:30pm Sunday – Thursday, and 5:30-10:30pm Friday & Saturday. Admission is $25 per car/van Sunday – Thursday, and $30 per car/van Friday & Saturday.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win one of the two admission passes to Brookside’s Garden of Lights, simply leave a comment below or enter through the KFDC Facebook page or on Instagram. The passes can be used on any date the exhibit is open. This giveaway will run through November 23, 2016, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, Exhibit, Giveaway, Holidays, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Trains, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: April 23-24

He could be your host this weekend...

He could be your host this weekend…



Spring is in full swing, and there are so many great ways to make the most of it. Celebrate Earth Day, experience some fairy magic, go all aboard with Thomas, bring your pooch to the farm, be a guest at Shakespeare’s birthday party, and so much more. Take advantage, seize the day…and party like it’s 1999. Happy Weekend!

Fairy & Gnome Fest
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child

Get ready for a magical time at Annmarie’s Annual Fairy & Gnome Home Festival, a magical afternoon of imaginative fun and natural play in Solomons, MD. Festival activities will be scattered throughout the beautiful grounds, creating a charming journey of discovery for young guests. Search for hidden fairy and gnome homes and use them as inspiration to create their own special pieces. Climb, explore, build, and dream in the enchanting Fairy Lolly. Face painting, music, dancing, games, food, and drink will also be part of the festivities. As will unicorn (yes, unicorn!) rides and a petting zoo that are sure to delight little ones. Read more about Annmarie here.

A Wild Earth Day
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is committed to saving species and our planet — did you know that the Zoo recycles approximately 100 tons of materials and composts 600 tons of waste each year? – so, accordingly, they are hosting an Earth Day event with loads of green-themed activities. Get gardening tips from their expert horticulturists, take a tour of the Zoo’s green facilities, attend special demos, and much more. Plan to ride your bike there — the first 75 bicyclists to register for this event will receive free bike valet parking at the Zoo and a free recycled notebook!

Day Out with Thomas
Where: B&O Railroad Museum
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $18, $21 with train ride

All aboard, little engineers! Thomas the Tank Engine™ will be able to talk to his fans when he returns to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore! Take a 25 minute train ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy a full day of live entertainment, activities, and family fun!

Dog Days Bloom Fest
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

This adventure for dogs and their people has something for every member of the family. Canine guests can run a brand agility course set up by Joyful Dog Training owner, Marnie Montgomery, and trainer and agility competitor, Susan Sanderson.. Other professionals will also be providing tips for working with your dog. And the rest of the farm, which is essentially a sprawling playground, is open for all to enjoy. Explore the many acres, and opt for a wagon ride to see the orchards and farm in bloom!

Centennial Junior Ranger Day
Where: Peirce Mill
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Head to Rock Creek Park for a day full of activities to learn about the park and celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. Do a corn husk craft, learn how to make a map, ind out how to tie different knots, and more. Check here for a schedule of activities. And read this KFDC post for more about Peirce Mill.

Happy Birthday to the Bard!
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis Shakespeare’s 452nd birthday, and the Folger Shakespeare Library is celebrating with an Open House on Sunday afternoon. In true Renaissance fashion, there will be song and dance, Elizabethan crafts, and performances by the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Nickel Shakespeare girls. Swordfighting demos, drum corps, special tours, and a giant birthday cake (usually cut by by Queen Elizabeth I). The event is free and will take place rain or shine. Food trucks will be stationed in Puck’s Circle The Folger Shakespeare Library is located at 201 East Capitol Street SE.

Earth Day Festival
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Montgomery Parks at Brookside Gardens to celebrate the world and learn ways to keep it healthy. Go in the morning for a volunteer project in the gardens. The afternoon will offer even more: a green craft fair, native plant sale, community art project, family activities, tours of the Gardens, live music with the band Nature Jams, and more. Visit the website for a schedule of activities.

Celebrate the Kids Farm
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

State Farm is hosting a day of special activities at the Zoo to celebrate the Kids’ Farm! Visitors to the exhibit can enjoy arts & crafts, giveaways, and other fun festivities. “Tend your Garden” to learn how to recycle used shipping pallets to easily create beautiful urban gardens, meet members of the Zoo’s horticulture team and help “plant” seedlings in the pallets, and more.

Eagle Festival
Where: Mason Neck State Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fun and adventure at the 31st annual Eagle Festival by the scenic Belmont Bay. Celebrate the wonder, beauty, and serenity that make Mason Neck special as you enjoy wildlife exhibits, guided hikes, games, nature programs, archery, food vendors and, of course, bald eagles.

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

* The Emperor’s Nightingale just opened at Adventure Theatre
* Watch a production of Moby Dick in the Kennedy Center’s Family Theater
* Looking for Roberto Clemente is on the Imagination Stage
* Join Miss Nina’s Saturday Morning Sing-Along at Jammin’ Java
* Children’s classics will come to life at The Alden’s production of Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny
* See a fairy tale on strings as Sleeping Beauty is performed at The Puppet Co.
* And Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show there
* NextStop Theatre’s production of Snow White closes after this weekend
* Or bring little ones to the NSO Kinderclassic Fancy That! at the Kennedy Center
* Or take the whole family to the symphony for Lights! Canvas! Music!

Holland in Haymarket
Where: Burnside Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $8/day

Tiptoe, stroll, frolic through the tulips! Burnside Farm’s annual Festival of Spring showcasing the season’s flowers is open and blooming. Wander through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy for some brilliant photo ops.

Park It
Where: National Parks
When: All weekend long
Admission: Free

It’s the tail end of National Park Week, and there’s no entrance fee to national parks that usually charge admission this weekend. Between that and the nice weather, it’s a good time to hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains in their spring greenery, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Spring Cleaning
Where: The Container Store
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admision: Free

A great opportunity to do some spring cleaning at the The Container Store has partnered with Goodwill to help customers Kiss Clutter Goodbye with a goal to declutter, donate, and do life — organized. They are hosting in-store monetary donations for Goodwill through May, plus donation and demonstration events at stores this weekend and next. Goodwill representatives will be there to accept donations of new or used clothing, textiles, small appliances and household good (sorry, no mattresses, furniture, chemicals or paint). See demos set up throughout the store, where organizing experts will share decluttering tips and more. There will also be samples to try at home and prize drawings.

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

It’s a weekend at home for the Nats as they host Minnesota. There is a game tonight, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Don’t miss the special fun — Saturday is Pups in the Park and Sunday is Kids Opening Day as well as Screech’s Birthday. And Kids Run the Bases invites young fans ages 4-12 do just that after the game. Before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.


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

The Weekend Round-Up: April 16-17

Everything's coming up tulips at Burnside Farm

Everything’s coming up tulips at Burnside Farm



Hanna Andersson


Seasonal celebrations, educational festivals, live entertainment, outdoor adventures, and much more… these fabulous spring days will be bursting with fun — and this round-up has details on all of it. Happy Weekend!

USA Science & Engineering Expo
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

If your child has any inkling of interest in science and engineering, likes to do hands-on experiments, see fascinating live demos, or talk first-hand with the experts, then chances are very good that they will dig this event. (And so will you, parents.) Over 3,000 interactive exhibits and 150 stage shows will highlight all kinds of science-related topics in fun, engaging, exciting ways. Attendees can suit up in astronaut gear, explore the science of music, see 3-D printers at work, hold eight-legged creatures, solve science and math mysteries, check out rockets and robots, discover renewable energy sources of the future, and much, much, much more! There will also be some awesome entertainment (see below) that adults will be just as excited about as the kids!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th Streets NW
When: April 16, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This parade is for many the pinnacle of the Cherry Blossom Festival and a fantastic grand finale for the seasonal celebration. 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 it. 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: April 16, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up in advance, free for 12 and under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head right 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.

Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 1pm & 4pm
Admission: Free

They Might Be Giants is definitely going to rock when they play two free shows this Saturday as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. And if you’re thinking it’s odd that one of our generation’s bands is performing at an event for kids, then you need to brush up on your children’s music. TMBG are award-winning artists — in the kids’ music genre. But given that their fun, alternative sound spans the generations, you can bet that kids young and old will have a blast.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Where: Burnside Farm
When: Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 6pm
Admission: $8

Experience Holland in Haymarket, Va! The bloom has begun at Burnside Farm, where their annual Festival of Spring showcases the season’s flowers. Stroll through the giant fields that contain over 50 different varieties of flowers in a rainbow of colors and pick your own to enjoy at home: $1 for 2 daffodils, $1 per tulip.) Be sure to have your camera handy. (Note: This first weekend is the smallest bloom, so if you can only visit once this spring, you may want to wait a week or two.) Along with the flowers, there concessions are also for sale.

Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5

Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Bring the whole family for fun including games, music, wildflower walks, wagon rides, live animals, and more! And to see what else is going on at other Fairfax County Parks, go here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: FREE!

It’s National Park Week through April 24, so there will be no entrance fee at National Parks where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and celebrate our parks by visiting a local natural treasure. Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive, or visit Harpers Ferry. For more ideas of places to visit, see the National Park Service website.

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

* Looking for Roberto Clemente just opened on the Imagination Stage
* Reserve free tickets to see NRITYA: Rhythms of India, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* The Billy Jonas Band is playing the Saturday show at Jammin’ Java
* It’s opening weekend for Sleeping Beauty at The Puppet Co.
* And Clowning Around is the featured Tiny Tots show there
* NextStop Theatre’s production of Snow White begins this weekend
* The Gardens Figure Skating Club presents Peter Pan on Ice at the Gardens Ice Rink in Laurel
* See Teatro Hugo y Ines at the BlackRock Center for the Arts on Sunday

The Swedish Circus is Coming!
Where: Meridian Park
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Join the Embassy of Sweden and Cirkus Cirkör for free circus trial sessions in the park! Try juggling, acrobatics, and tight wire walking — all at your own level. The timid participant becomes courageous; the smallest participant becomes the strongest! No preparation or special clothes needed. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Earth Day Plant Sale & Picnic
Where: Tudor Place
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day and help Tudor Place kick off their Annual Plant Sale by supporting conservation and education at Tudor Place. For one day only, the grounds will be open for picnicking. Enjoy the historic gardens and browse a range of flowering and native sun to shade perennials. Varieties for sale will include toads lily, lambs ear, columbine, anise and more to add to your own garden. Tropical and house plants also for sale!

Presidential Cars at the Capitol
Where: National Mall
When: Through April 26
Admission: Free

The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) Cars at the Capital is hosting its second Cars at the Capitol, a display of Presidential Cars at the National Mall. The event features two iconic presidential cars as it begins the documentation of the vehicles into the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and National Historic Vehicle Register. Until April 19, you can view President Taft’s 1909 Steam Car on the Mall between the National Gallery of Art and National Air & Space Museum. President Reagan’s 1962 Willys ‘Jeep’ CJ-6 will be there April 20-26.

Family Workshop: Paper Trails
Where: Sackler Gallery
When Saturday, 1–4pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, explore the importance of paper across Asian artmaking traditions. With educators from the Freer|Sackler and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, use traditional Japanese papers and bookmaking tools and techniques to create your own artist’s book. This program is designed for children ages 6–12 and adults to enjoy together. Registration opens March 15 at 12 pm.

DC United vs. Toronto FC
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Kick it at a soccer game as the DC United host Toronto FC on Saturday evening. Be sure to stop by the Fan Zone in section 222 for a variety of kids activities. For some extra goodies just for young fans, join the Kids Club!

Market & More in Brookland
Where: Monroe Street Market
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Brookland & Edgewood communities kick off a schedule of spring events this Saturday its first Brookland’s Monroe Street Farmers Market. Special activities and performances by Only Make Believe, plus a one-year anniversary celebration for The Bike Rack DC and Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar will be among the festivities to enjoy this weekend.

Something Fishy Going On
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child

Join the Farm Family at Claude Moore as they clean and salt their yearly catch of herring – guests are invited to help scale, clean, and pack the fish into jars. Tour the rest of the grounds while you’re there, and learn about the important contributions the Potomac River made in colonial era Virginia.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s. Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in the layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything… to satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives.

Squad Up
Where: RESPECT by PRSVR Lifestyle Boutique
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Washington, DC’s fashion scene has something to celebrate! The newest RESPECT by PRSVR Lifestyle Boutique is opening in the historic Shepherd Park neighborhood at 7610 Georgia Ave NW and there will be a pop-up BBQ to celebrate the first weekend. Shop kids clothes and enjoy a cookout with al the cool kids and their parents.

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

Celebrate the connection of people to parks as the National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the second annual Anacostia River Festival. Enjoy kayaking, boating, fishing workshops, hands-on art projects, musical performances, bike parades, and other unique programs engaging families with the river, its history, and ecology.

The Magic of Books
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5/person, $20/family

Have some fun as you help support the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation Make MORE Noyes Campaign, a partnership between the Foundation and Montgomery County that is funding a major renovation of the historic library. The Magic of Books will feature a magic show by Joe Romano, a renowned performer who has entertained audiences at the White House and at a Read Across America celebration with Michelle Obama. Recommended for ages 3-10, but all ages are welcome.

The Great DC Outdoors
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale

The superb spring weather is beckoning! You’ve got your pick of spots around the DC-Metro to get outside and enjoy it. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for fun in the fresh air.


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