Category Archives: Volunteer

The Weekend Round-Up: January 14-16

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The holiday weekend means extra time for fun with the kids, and there are so many great ways to take advantage. Join an MLK inspired event, get artsy with DCPS creatives, discover travel & adventure options, check out a new museum exhibit, enjoy live entertainment, explore a national park for free, and much more. This round-up has all the details you need to plan. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Create DC!
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get creative with the DCPS Arts Team! Families are invited to a day of creative play alongside some of DC’s amazing artists, educators, and arts organizations. Create shadow puppets, enjoy the DC Youth Orchestra petting zoo, join a drum circle, watch Shakespeare Theatre Company perform a mini “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” check out wearable art, and much more!

Travel & Adventure Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $16/adults, free for 16 and under

Get travel inspiration, experience culture, and have fun! A big expo like this might sound like a grown-up affair, but a bunch of cool pursuits will thrill the kids, too. Besides the hundreds of travel providers and destinations featured, there will be cultural performances, Segway rides, camel rides (!), a rock climbing wall, “worldly” photo ops, and kids games.

More Live Entertainment
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is on the Imagination Stage for its final weekend
* Encore Stage & Studio presents The Little Princess — by kids for kids
* Tweens can enjoy Bud, Not Buddy at the Kennedy Center
* The Alden Theatre presents both The Ugly Duckling and The Giver on Saturday
* Titanic is still afloat at Signature Theatre, and it’s getting great reviews
* Little ones will be delighted by Blue at Imagination Stage
* Rocknoceros is playing a special MLK Day show at Jammin Java
* Plan for a KidFree night out to see ROE, which just opened at Arena Stage

Bilingual Education Fair
Where: Francis Gregory Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

DC’s first Bilingual Education Fair is poised to be a fun and educational Saturday morning! Thirty exhibitors, including 13 bilingual public schools, foreign cultural institutes, language app developers, and more organizations will take part. There will be both grown-ups and kids programs. Children can enjoy story time and activities in 7 different languages, while adults can listen to three mini-talks by a student, an American University professor, and a parent about why, how, and where in DC to raise a bilingual child, followed by 20 minutes of questions and answer.

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-13, free for 4 and under

Enjoy a full day of theater and so much more. Teatro de la Luna presents six hours of all kinds of artistic activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s festivities. And all of it is presented Bilingual.

Wee Ones Storytime
Where: Hooray for Books
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Head to the book store in Old Town Alexandria for a reading just for little ones. At the weekly program, story time experts will read children board and picture books, sing songs, and perform and teach some fingerplays. Recommended for ages 0-3.

Rock On
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

One of my very favorite DC museums debuts a new exhibit on Friday. “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” explore the ways music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights. See John Lennon’s bed-in guitar, Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster guitar, stage costumes worn by the Village People, original handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” jewelry from the VMA’s, video with some of rocks most influential musicians, plus artifacts related to the Vietnam War, Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Newseum is best for older children, and this KFDC post has a bit more about it.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Warm up with a quintessential cold weather activity! Lace up the ice skates and get gliding at one of many outdoor rinks in the area. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

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.

Open Studio: Dazzling Designs of the Qur’an
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 12 – 4 pm
Admission: Free

Discover The Art of the Qur’an at this free Open Studio for families, as you explore illuminated designs in manuscripts of the Qur’an. Take a family-friendly tour of the exhibition (offered at 12:30pm and 2:30 pm), then head to the ImaginAsia classroom to get creative. Tea and refreshments provided. All ages welcome with adult companions.

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Early learners ages 0-6 and their caregivers will have the chance to hear a story and participate in hands-on activities and crafts inspired by objects from the museum’s collection at this weekly program. Saturdays in January are all about clothes! Hear a reading that makes us think about the clothes we wear and how they can change over time. Then check out some clothes that are housed at the museum collection and enjoy fun, clothing-related crafts.

Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt for kids 10 & up! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. It’s not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover — or rediscover — the museum. Designed for kids and adults to do together, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase is required.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday, 8pm & Monday, 2pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards will be hosting at home this weekend with games Saturday night and Monday afternoon. Catch them at the Verizon Center against the 76ers on Saturday, or watch some on-court action on MLK Day when they play Portland.

An Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh
Where: Northeast Library
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Join Northeast Library for an Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh, one of the world’s most lovable characters! Guests can enjoy a story reading, watch a short movie, and make a Pooh and friends craft to take home. Best for kids ages 5 and up. Snacks provided, too!

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school; explore the just posted about Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, or visit Harpers Ferry.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Looking for ways to stay active and entertained without a chill in the air? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 80 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you prefer the outdoors no matter the weather, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.




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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Babies, Date Night, DC, DC Volunteer Opportunities, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend, Winter

Where to Celebrate MLK Day 2017

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Special events and activities to honor and celebrate MLK have started this week and even more will be happening throughout the coming weekend. Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kiddos about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations
When: January 16
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

ConSERVE DC
Where: Anacostia Park
When: January 16, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Admission: Just your time

Join the Student Conservation Association as they gather to ConSERVE DC this MLK Day by mobilizing the next generation of community stewards to help restore our public lands. With the support of American Express, they will be bringing together hundreds of volunteers for a massive cleanup of the Anacostia River. Join them to honor the legacy of Dr. King and connect the issues of social and environmental justice and help improve the health of DC’s urban waterfront.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

Learn about MLK
Where: Local libraries
When: MLK Week, now through January 16
Admission: Free

DC Public Libraries are hosting many events to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Storytime, arts & crafts, songs, and exhibits are just some of the ways you and the kids can take part.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
When: January 14-16
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with a community art activity! Each year, Annmarie invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This year’s big MLK Days project is a collective mural titled “#WDUS4 – What Do You Stand For?”. There will also be coloring and poetry activities, and the whole family can enjoy them.

Visit Memorials
Where: MLK & Lincoln Memorials
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at sites that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant memorial along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there.

I Have a Dream Weekend Celebration
Where: Port Discovery
When: January 14-16
Admission: $14.95/ages 2 and up

Community comes to life at the Baltimore children’s museum over the three-day “I Have a Dream” weekend. Celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with special programs, including a meet and greet with the Negro League Baseball Museum, painting quilt squares for their community quilt with the Baltimore African-American Quilters Guild, making a birthday card, a birthday tribute by The Kindersinger (Saturday), and more fun festivities.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore
When: January 16, 3:30pm
Admission: Free

This multi-cultural program engages diverse, talented performers and award honorees who serve their communities unselfishly. Approximately 2,000 young people, including county officials and local press, participate in the commemoration in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Limit four tickets per household.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place
When: January 15, 4-6pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket)

KanKouran, an integral part of the DC dance community for nearly 30 years, presents their annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an electrifying, athletic, and family-friendly performance of traditional West African dance and drumming. During this special Family Series show, reserve one free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Festival
Where: Throughout SE & SW DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10am at 2500 MLK Ave SE and ends at the R.I.S.E Center at 2730 MLK Ave SE. The MLK Parade will commence at noon from 2700 MLK Ave SE and continue up MLK Avenue to Anacostia Park, where the MLK Holiday Festival and Health Fair will be underway. All ages are welcome to join.

Let Freedom Ring at Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: January 16, 6pm
Admission: Free

It’s the annual special Millennium Stage performance in honor of MLK Day. The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature a special performance with Gladys Knight and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations at 5pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Volunteer Opportunities in the DC Area Where Kids Can Help Out, Too

DC Diaper Bank welcomes all ages to bundle diapers and more at  their warehouse

DC Diaper Bank welcomes all ages to bundle diapers and more at their warehouse



I’ve received quite a few inquiries over the last few weeks — and, really, over the years — about family-friendly volunteer opportunities around the DC area. I used to respond with one or two places that I knew welcomed kids to help out, but finally did some deeper research to offer more suggestions of organizations where children and parents can give back in a hands-on way together. And if you know of opportunities that you don’t see listed here, feel free to let me know in the comments, and I’ll add them to the mix. Happy Volunteering!

DC Diaper Bank
The Silver Spring non-profit that provides diapers and other essential items to families in need welcomes volunteers of all ages to help with bundling diapers and other tasks at the warehouse. And if your babes are too little to pitch in, they have a sweet little area where they can play while you help.

Capital Area Food Bank
The largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger and related problems distributes food to hundreds of thousands of people per year. Kids ages 12 and up can help sort and package food in the warehouse. Families with younger children can volunteer together in an area outside of the warehouse — the kids will be assigned easier tasks like prepping boxes and bags.

DC Central Kitchen
Volunteers can help their mission to break the cycle of hunger and poverty by actually working in the kitchen — cut, chop, peel, and package meals for the community. Kids must be at least 12 years old and prepared to stand for three hours.

Wreaths Across America
On Saturday, December 17, you can help place Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There is no sign-up or age requirement — families are encouraged to volunteer together. Be sure to visit the website for details, including schedule and meeting location.

Washington DC Jewish Community Center
The DCJCC has volunteer opportunities throughout the year but December 25 is their annual Day of Service. Thousands of volunteers in the DC-Metro area serve meals, sing carols, visit home-bound seniors, throw holiday parties, play bingo, and deliver holiday cheer to those in need — and many of the opportunities are family-friendly. Registration with more details will be available in late November. And something to keep in mind for next year: The signature Everything But the Turkey event takes place right before Thanksgiving. As the name implies, they prepare everything except the bird (that’s provided by DC Central Kitchen) for Thanksgiving meals for thousands of people in need around the area. And they have family-friendly sessions, too.

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
During the school year, kids in grades 3-12 can take part in the Book Buddies program and read to cats and other small animals at the shelter. It’s a win-win — kids can improve their reading skills while the kitties enjoy the human interaction. Sign-up is 30 days in advance for 20-minute reading sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12-6pm. Children must be accompanied by a parent.

S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat)
The interfaith, community-based organization helps the poor and homeless in DC by meeting the immediate daily needs of the people they serve with food, clothing, and health care. While kids need to be at least 13 to volunteer in the dining room (and up to age 15 needs an accompanying adult), there are other ways younger children can help, too. Youth groups can organize food drives, create holiday or seasonal decorations, and make treats that can be served to clients.

Thrive DC
The group provides vulnerable people in Washington, DC, with a wide range of services to help stabilize their lives. They welcome young volunteers to help with their evening program, which includes dinner service and enrichment programming. There is no age requirement; they leave it up to the discretion of the parents to decide if their child is ready for the experience.

Meals on Wheels Maryland
The non-profit helps homebound people to eat well and remain in their own homes by preparing and delivering nutritious meals. Their Moms for Meals program encourages parents to volunteer with their children during the summer and winter breaks from school as a driver/visitor team. Home School families are welcome and community service hours are available.

National Park Service
There are many opportunities to get involved with the NPS in the DC area, from helping out with maintenance on the National Mall and memorials to removing invasive plants at local parks to cleaning up trails.

Help from Home
You don’t always have to be on site to give back. If the options above don’t work for your family, have the kids do activities at home with end results that benefit others. They can help sort clothing to donate (see this article from DCist for where to take it), set up a lemonade stand and give the earnings to charity, or organize a food or clothing drive with friends or a youth group. And if you have other ideas, feel free to share them below!


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Filed under All ages, Charity, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend

Volunteer with the Kids at DC Diaper Bank to Help Babies & Families Thrive

DC Diaper Bank Founder and Executive Director Corinne Cannon

DC Diaper Bank Founder and Executive Director Corinne Cannon



“We want to give babies what they need to thrive.”

On a recent visit to DC Diaper Bank in Silver Spring, this is how Executive Director Corinne Cannon began explaining the mission of her amazing organization that provides diapers to families in need.

A small sample of the many Size 1 diapers ready for distribution

A small sample of the many Size 1 diapers ready for distribution

The non-profit was born in 2010 from Corinne’s own experience as a new mother with a challenging baby. Realizing how hard parenting was even with a lot of support, she thought about those who weren’t as fortunate and began to research ways to help make caring for an infant easier. It was then she learned that diapers, a basic necessity for babies, are not covered by WIC, food stamps, or other social welfare systems, and she set out to help make them available. Six years later, DC Diaper Bank provides over 100,000 diapers a month to families in need and has donated over 3,000,000 diapers since launching. (Wow!)

Keeping track of DC Diaper Bank's amazing work

Keeping track of DC Diaper Bank’s amazing work

It truly takes a village to make it all happen. Donations, both diapers and monetary, are contributed by everyone from huge multinational companies to individuals in the community. Diaper drives are held by businesses, schools, and other area organizations. Local ambassadors help spread the word about DC Diaper Bank and offer drop-off locations around the region. And members of the community — kids included! — are welcome and encouraged to volunteer at the warehouse to help bundle diapers and prepare them for distribution to partners.

Volunteers tables where diapers are bundled to prep for distribution

Volunteers tables where diapers are bundled to prep for distribution

So, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I had never been to the DC Diaper Bank warehouse until that visit a few weeks ago. I have been very aware of it for years and even know Corinne — our kids attend the same school, and we served on the fundraising committee together a few years ago. I am seriously in awe of what she has created and achieved, what she has given to those in need, how it all brings the community together. While I have helped promote their diaper drives and Boogie Babes — the music show is now run by DC Diaper Bank, and all proceeds support the organization — I have yet to volunteer there. But that’s about to change, as the kids and I are signed up to go next month. 🙂

Diapers are often donated in original boxes then repackaged to fit more in each bundle

Diapers are often donated in original boxes then repackaged to fit more in each bundle

You can help out, too! Interested in volunteering at DC Diaper Bank? Check out their family-friendly warehouse volunteer hours for a day and time to sign up. And don’t worry if your kiddos are too little to help package diapers — they are still welcome to join, and there’s even a small play area where they can stay busy while you help.

A sweet area for little kiddos to play while you volunteer

A sweet area for little kiddos to play while you volunteer

And if you want to donate to DC Diaper Bank, there are several ways to give, all listed on the website here. And I should mention that they take more than just diapers, there are many other essential items, like formula and breast feeding supplies, that they also accept — see a complete list here.

Follow DC Diaper Bank to stay updated:
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Instagram
* Subscribe to their e-newsletter

More quick links:
* Host a Diaper Drive
* Become a DC Diaper Bank Ambassador
* Donate to DC Diaper Bank’s Amazon Wishlist
* Donate to this non-profit in your charitable giving


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Filed under All ages, Babies, Cause, Charity, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Moms, Ongoing, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 15-16

The forest lights up for evening climbs at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

The forest lights up for evening climbs at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring



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Wowza, this weekend is jam-packed with fun things to do! Awesome museum programs, loads of live entertainment, opportunities to check out cool vehicles, fall festivals, nature celebrations, a Harry Potter movie binge, early Halloween fun, and so much more. No matter what you do, be sure to throw some outdoor time in the mix, because the forecast practically demands it. Happy Weekend!

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adult, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will dig the National Building Museum’s big annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be full of different stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hand at all kinds of construction and design techniques alongside experts demonstrating their craft. There will opportunities to build a brick wall, carve stone, and hammer nails, as well as build a LEGO skyscraper, do some virtual reality welding, and create an architectural masterpiece. It’s all totally free and, as we know from several years’ experience, totally fun!

Truck Touch
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5, free for under 2

It’s scary how much kids love big vehicles—and Halloween! Combine the two at Suburban Nursery School’s 9th Annual Truck Touch for a chance to get up close and personal with fire trucks, police cars, off-road vehicles, construction rigs, delivery trucks, emergency vehicles, busses, and other cool things that GO! Additional activities include pumpkin decorating, bake & snack sale, bouncy fun, truck crafts, and face painting. Enjoy *spooktacular* eats from local food trucks, too.

Outdoor Movie Night
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for their October Halloween Movie Night series under the stars. Every Friday night in October they’ll be showing a Halloween movie on an outdoor movie screen — this week it’s Hocus Pocus. Bring a blanket and enjoy a free movie! You can see their site, meet the staff, and even sign your kids up for summer camp.

18th Century Autumn Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $8/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under

Enjoy the splendor of autumn at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s Autumn Market Fair. Watch colonial Virginia tradesman such as the blacksmith and try crafts such as spinning and dyeing. Learn to dip candles or turn a piece of wood on the carpenter’s lathe. See heritage breed animals including turkeys, pigs and chickens. Enjoy music, games, and dancing as well as interacting with colonial family members in costume and character. Savor spit roasted chicken, sausages, hearty breads and cheeses, roasted olives, pies and other desserts. Colonial Tavern offers cask ale, beers, wine and mulled wine as well as authentic ginger ale. Period food, beverages, and wares available for purchase. It’s a fun and educational experience for the whole family!

Bonsai & Beyond
Where: U.S. National Arboretum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm & 6-9pm
Admission: Free (fee for evening)

It’s the 40th anniversary of the the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum, and they’re celebrating with the Aki Matsuri Autumn Festival: Bonsai & Beyond and a traditional Japanese moon viewing. Festivities will include tram tours of the Asian Collections, fun family activities, a kimono fashion show, bonsai book signings, Asian food trucks, and a demonstration by Japanese bonsai master Tohru Suzuki. The evening moon viewing (otsukimi) will include haiku readings, origami, music by Japanese koto players and moon-shaped dumplings. Register for the evening event, which has a fee, and order a obento dinner, here.

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

* Find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Reserve free tickets for Valerie Branch’s The People We Meet and the Friends We Keep!, this week’s Saturday at the National performance
* Join InterAct Story Theatre for ‭The Legend of Pufferfish Pat: A Tall Tale for Mad Times‭, their first performance in Season 2 of the Wheaton Family Theatre‬‬‬‬
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is on the Imagination Stage
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Hansel & Gretel are the new stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Merlin’s Magic is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy The Best Haunted House Ever, Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids
* Make it a date night to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center
* The Man Who Planted Trees is playing at Alden Theatre
* Ruthless, The Musical is running at Creative Cauldron
* Take the whole fam to The Miraculous, Magic Balloon at Synetic Theatre
* Building Better People Productions brings We Got It! to the Den at Anacostia Arts Center
* Get into All the Way Live!, an interactive Hip Hop show at the Kennedy Center
* Hear Ghoulishly Good Music at the Atlas Performing Arts Center

Wildlife Festival
Where: Patuxent Wildlife Refuge
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Discover groundbreaking research conducted at Patuxent! Activities include live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, research exhibits, and behind-the-scenes tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to see endangered whooping cranes and much more!

Bull Run River Cleanup
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for a Bull Run River cleanup day to help keep the waterway free of trash and to keep Fairfax County’s watershed healthy. The whole family can participate and enjoy a morning outdoors helping to better the environment!

Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. Enjoy Fall Harvest Days and Carnival Fun at Frying Pan Farm Park. Play all day at Great Country Farms’ Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival. Get into Fall Adventures at Summers Farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many of the fall festivals happening around the region.

Zip through the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Friday, 3-10pm & Saturday/Sunday, 8am – 10pm
Admission: Varies by age

Get the best vantage point for leaf peeping — up in the trees — and have a total blast! At the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, kids as young as 5 years old can experience fun on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure park forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about this KFDC fave here and here.

Make STEM Magic
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a new program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. This month, learn more about electricity as you design circuits and get a charge out of their October design challenge!

American Girl Day
Where: National Museum of the U.S. Navy
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Learn about how women have influenced naval history and enjoy some American Girl-inspired fun. With a Great War theme as the WWI Centennial approaches, there will be activities featuring that era. There will also be American Girl products — dolls, books, clothing, games, even furniture — to browse and buy. And AG book author Valerie Tripp will be on hand to sign autographs and talk with visitors about the American Girls. Note that non-military must check in at the Washington Navy Yard’s Visitor Center (11th and O Street) and present a government-issued photo ID.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage in the United States, from South American folk traditions to the fusion of contemporary Latino and North American art and music. Dance to live music from across Latin America, enjoy original works of art from local artists experimenting with portraiture, and create your own works of art inspired by Hispanic artists and sitters featured in the National Portrait Gallery.

World of Wheels
Where: Dematha High School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Prince George’s County is hosting its 5th annual World of Wheels for CASA, a touch-a-truck event and family festival. All kinds of cool vehicles will be on site and open for guests to explore. Adding to the excitement will be food, music, and an assortment of activities for kids of all ages, including moon bounces, games, crafts, face painting. And Game Truck mobile gaming will be there from 10am-12:30pm! Proceeds from the event will help to raise funds to recruit and train more volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. Dematha High School is located at 4313 Madison St. in Hyattsville, MD.

Raise a Flag for Your Next President!
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

How do you show your support for your favorite presidential candidate? Join the Textile Museum at the height of today’s historic presidential election for an all-ages family day that explores how people have demonstrated their allegiance to candidates past. Enjoy presidential storytelling, play campaign games, and create your own campaign flag inspired by the rare nineteenth-century flags and patriotic textiles on view in the exhibition. It’s a perfect time for kids (and adults) to discover this wonderful off-the-beaten-Mall-path museum.

STEM Career Fair
Where: University of the District of Columbia
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Kids can check out careers in STEM! Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. (SEM Link) is hosting its 1st Annual DMV Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Career Fair and Exhibition at UDC. The fun, family event gives K-12 students an opportunity to explore STEM careers and meet and interact with professionals in the fields. UDC’s Student Center is located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW. While free and open to the public, pre-registration is strongly suggested.

Harry Potter Marathon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/youth, $50/8-movie pass

Have you missed a Harry Potter movie or just want to go on a wizard watching binge? Head to the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum, where for the first time ever, you can experience all eight Harry Potter movies in IMAX! Plus, you can also catch an IMAX exclusive peek of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits IMAX theaters this November. Everyone is invited… even muggles.

Air Show Baltimore
Where: Inner Harbor & Martin State Airport
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Nearly two dozen aviators including the Navy’s famed Blue Angels flight demonstration team will take to the skies over Charm City this weekend, as part of Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore October. There’s more on the ground, too — an open house free festival, including meet-and-greets with pilots, will take place at Martin State Airport in Baltimore County. Approximate airshow hours are 1-4pm over the Middle Branch of Baltimore’s Harbor adjacent to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Key viewing areas for the air show include Fort McHenry and areas in and around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

World of Montgomery Festival
Where: Montgomery College, Rockville
When: Sunday, 12- 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the rich cultural heritages of the DC area at the 8th annual World of Montgomery Festival with multicultural music, food, dance, exhibits and hands-on activities. Indonesia, Germany, Korea, the Caribbean, India, Ukraine, El Salvador, Ethiopia, China, and more nations will represent their cultural traditions in the International Village organized by KID Museum. Two entertainment stages, ethnic food vendors, and festivities for all ages ensure a fun, enriching day for the whole family.

Aidan Montessori Book Fair
Where Politics & Prose/Comet Ping Pong
When: Saturday, 9am – 10pm & Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Buy books and eat pizza to benefit a local school! Aidan Montessori School is holding its annual book fair event at Politics & Prose Bookshop and Comet Ping Pong on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty percent of book sales at Politics & Prose will go to the school if you mention “Aidan” at the register, and 15% of sales at Comet Ping Pong & Pizza will go to help the school if you write “Aidan” on your check. You can also purchase books to donate to Aidan classrooms and to Bright Beginnings, a local organization serving under-housed families. Multiple opportunities to give back!

Merriment and More
Where: Revel Grove in Crownesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

There are only a couple of weekends left to enjoy the bounty of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Huzzah!

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The leaves are just beginning to turn, plus it’s going to be a gorgeous autumn weekend, so get out and enjoy on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the foliage, the lovely weather, and some time on the trail. This post about good area hikes with kids will help make for some happy trampers.

Soul Stroll
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/child

Get into the Halloween spirit on Capitol Hill as you explore Congressional Cemetery and the stories of those laid to rest there on these special guided after-hours tours. Congressman, carpenters, suffragists, and bootleggers are among the graveyard residents, and they all have a unique tale to tell.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get the Halloween party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.


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