Category Archives: Trains

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!

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.

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


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.


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.


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.

* * * * *

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.


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

The Weekend Round-Up: May 8-10

I'll take a note like this anytime -- regardless of where she was or what she was doing while writing it.

I’ll take a note like this anytime — regardless of where she was or what she was doing while writing it.

Start off the weekend excitement on the National Mall today with the much anticipated flyover and a garden fest. Continue it over the next couple of days with a European tour, a Washington Ballet performance, more great live entertainment, a Nats game, fun on the farm, or some tennis. Or make some plans based on these ideas for Everyday Play. Whatever you do, make sure it includes something special for mom. Happy Weekend! And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover
Where: The Skies over the National Mall
When: Friday, 12:10pm
Admission: Free

This sight that is certain to be spectacular. Honoring those who fought in World War II on its 70th anniversary, the flyover will include dozens of vintage aircraft flying in historically sequenced warbird formations from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall will be the most obvious viewing place, but it’s bound to be crowded, so you may want to find an alternative spot to witness the event.

Garden Fest
Where: Enid A. Haupt Garden
When: Friday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day with an array of activities focused on the important roles that pollinators play with regard to our food and ecosystems. Explore the history of honey bees, learn what you can do to attract pollinators to your own garden, and participate in all kinds of hands-on activities. The day will also include the return of popular events like the annual Container Contest, free water bottles from Fairfax Water, and musical performances by Bay Jazz Project. The Enid A. Haupt Garden is located behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Shortcut to Europe
Where: EU Embassies
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Avoid the hefty airfare and jet lag and explore The Continent from this side of the pond. Passport DC invites you to join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international food, dancing, kids entertainment, exhibitions, vacation planning, and more. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures. Admission is free, but bring identification, as some embassies will conduct security checks. Get an idea of what to expect in this post about our experience at an Around the World Embassy Tour.

Fly-in to Victory Day
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

If you can’t make it to the Flyover on Friday, you still have a chance to see the vintage airplanes – just not in flight. The day after formations of World War II aircraft fly over DC as part of the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover, a selection of the historic airplanes will be on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe will also feature educational and WWII-era activities, including performances by the U.S. Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note, swing dancing, themed story times, and hands-on activities.

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

The Nats are hosting the Braves this weekend, and there are a few family-friendly promos to enjoy along with the action on the baseball diamond. On Signature Sunday, kids can get autographs from players starting an hour before the game (a voucher is required and given out on a first come-first served basis on a first come, first served basis at Sections 109 and 140). Mother’s Day is also being recognized, and Kids Run the Bases welcomes 4-12-year-olds can loop the infield after the Sunday game.

Fun – & Asparagus! – on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult

Why buy mom roses when you can you can give her a bouquet of something as unique and fresh as asparagus? The veggie is at its peak and full of flavor this time of year, and you can get it at Great Country Farms – and have a ton of fun. Let dad take the kids out to the five-acre play area, while mom enjoys shopping in the Farm Market stocked with jams & jellies, honey, local meats, baked goods and great gift ideas! Or just relax over lunch and a strawberry sundae at the Roosteraunt concession stand. They’ll have a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry for each visiting mom to thank her for her love, patience, and nurturing in raising our next generation – now, that is sweet!

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

* Be enchanted by The Washington Ballet’s Alice (in wonderland) at the Kennedy Center (look for a deal on select seats)
* Enjoy the symphony with little ones at NSO Kinderclassics: Beethoven at the Ballpark, also at the Kennedy Center
* It’s opening weekend for Creatiive Cauldron’s Once on this Island
* Catch a performance of Sinbad: The Untold Tale at Imagination Stage
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Cinderella is the current main stage production
* And Penguins’ Playground and Animal Crackers are the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Rock out with Beatles & Bubblegum at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning

Spring Farm Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $7/advance, $8/at door

Have a super fun day getting the farm experience at Frying Pan Farm Park’s annual spring fest — milk a cow or goat, visit baby animals, see farm equipment demos, and watch some sheep lose their wool. Along with the farm-y stuff, there will be carousel and wagon rides, plus crafts, games, and fair food for all to enjoy.

Q’s Gadget Day
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Saturday, 11am, 12pm, or 1pm
Admission: $8

Tech-ops in training ages 8 and up have a chance to create way-cool spy gadgetry for their future missions at this KidSpy Family Workshop. From cameras that shoot through a button-hole to a secret listening device in the heel of a shoe, spies have always used the slickest tools of the trade. Whether it’s to hide top secret intelligence, escape from a sticky situation or communicate covertly, trainees will have the choice to use everyday objects, recycled materials, or basic electronics develop a pre-determined spy gadget or create a new gadget of their imagination.

National Train Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Trains played a critical part in America’s postal history. From 1864-1977, the Railway Mail Service used clerks on board moving trains to sort and process mail, speeding delivery. And this weekend, the Postal Museum is paying tribute on National Train Day. If you choo choo choose to visit the Museum on Saturday, you can see model train displays and enjoy special railway themed activities the whole family will enjoy!

Free Tennis Play Day
Where: Trinity Washington University
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Want to get a pre-summer sample of a new camp coming to DC AND have a fun time on the tennis court? RDUTennis is hosting a Free Play Day and Clinic on Saturday. Get some tips, meet the staff, learn about their programs, and have fun! Brian Rosenthal and staff will be on court for two hours to provide instruction and answer questions. RSVP to with the name of your child, age, skill level, and when you plan to arrive. Go for the whole two hours or just a few minutes. Participants should bring their own racquets, but RDUTennis will have all the balls ready. Trinity Washington University is located at 125 Michigan Ave NE.

Ultimate Frisbee Clinic
Where: Glenallan Elementary School, Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Girls in grades 3-6 are invited to this two-hour clinic that will introduce them to the basic skills of Ultimate Frisbee, one of the fastest-growing team sports in the country, in a fun and positive environment. The clinic will be led by coaches from local women’s club teams and is organized in partnership with Impact Silver Spring. Glenallan Elementary is located at 12520 Heurich Road in Silver Spring. To register call Damian at 240.650.2797 or email

Kids in the Kitchen
Where: Mosaic District’s Glass Alley
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s Spring Health Fair aims to encourage kids to live a healthy lifestyle by providing resources for child-centric exercise and nutrition education and recipes for healthy eating habits. The event will include fitness demonstrations, interactive booths, games and many other fun activities for all ages.

Pachamama: Mother Earth Celebration
Where: American Indian Museum
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a line-up of lively entertainment at the American Indian Museum. See dance performances by Tinkus Llajtaymanta, Tradiciones Bolivianas, Somos Bolivia, and Grupo Autoctono Tarkeada Bolviana. Musical group, Los Jathas will perform, and artists from ASUR Textiles, cocoa products from El Ceibo, Bolivian Stevia Growers, and quinoa products from Alimentos “La Chapaquita” will be exhibiting. Be sure to stop in the imagiNATIONS activity center for more kids’ activities.

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

How about hitting the trail? This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hike with kids (though I heard Greenbelt Park has been having a tick problem recently). Find more details on the Riverbend to Great Falls trail here. And a few that aren’t on the list, but great for family tramping: Turkey Run Park, just off the GW Parkway and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve near Great Falls.

Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island
When: Sunday (or anytime)
Admission: Varies

Still making plans for Mother’s Day? We celebrated last year with a pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River, a fun and relaxing time for all — read all about it here. But if you want to stay closer to home, you can turn many of these outdoor ventures into a family outing with some mom celebrating.

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