Category Archives: Winter

Review: Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn

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There is so much hype surrounding Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Hirshhorn. And the big question: “Does the exhibit live up to it?” The answer — my answer, anyway — is that depends on how you look at it. I know… not so helpful, but read on for some insight.

You know how sometimes you want to love something, and you think that under the right circumstances you would be utterly dazzled and blown away, but those circumstances are just completely unattainable? That’s pretty much how I feel about this exhibit.

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The art itself is absolutely stellar. The whole experience of going to see it, not quite so much. That’s because it was difficult to really experience and enjoy the art, at least in those “right circumstances” I would have preferred. And I don’t think it’s unreasonable for me to feel that way, because this art is so enchanting. You want to immerse in it and hang out for awhile, but there isn’t opportunity to do that.

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* * * * *

So, let me back up and offer a bit more information about Infinity Mirrors. The main features of the exhibition are five installations — small rooms transformed into boundless wonderlands with Kusama’s brilliant, imaginative sculptures and mirror-lined walls that make the spaces feel like they go on for, well, infinity.

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It’s so incredible to see you want to stand (and sit and even lie down) there forever and relish in it from every angle. But that feeling ends abruptly when your 30 seconds to see it — which go by so fast — are up, the door opens, and you have to exit.

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Part of what makes that short span of time fly by so fast is the comparison to the wait in line to go in, which was up to about 25 minutes when I visited. Also, you might share some of the spaces with others, making it a little awkward to move around and stand in different spots to absorb it all. I was able to go in two installations on my own, but I’ve heard they are not allowing individual sessions anymore to help the lines move faster.

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There is art on display besides the Infinity Mirror Rooms. Colorful paintings and sculptures, plus small infinity rooms that you peer into through little windows are beautiful and fun to view. At the end is the Obliteration Room, a completely white space — the walls, floor, furniture, decor, everything — where you can stick colorful dots wherever you want. The people watching is an interesting part of the experience, too. Quite a few visitors dress for the exhibits in dots (a common pattern in Kusama’s work), bold colors, and outfits that will convey well on Instagram.

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And that brings up a whole other aspect of this show. Its Instagram-iness seems to be a big part of its appeal, and it looked like many people were there more for a perfect selfie than to enjoy the art itself. On one hand, I think it’s fantastic that people are engaging with the art, and its being celebrated and shared. On the other hand, when there are long lines and limited time to enjoy it, I kind of wish that wasn’t adding to the crowds.

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Is it worth it to take the kids?
This is what you’re probably now wondering, and here are my thoughts: This is art that definitely will delight kids, even young children. However, there is a good chance lines and wait times will be long. (See this Washington Post article about wait times this past weekend.) You know best what your kids can handle, how patiently they can wait, and how much you think they’ll get out of being there. A couple of things about viewing the art to keep in mind, too: 1) Space is limited in the rooms, and it could be hard keeping little hands off the art 2) Young kiddos might not be happy about having to exit the rooms before they are ready. (I’m an old kiddo and I wasn’t happy!)

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If you do bring the kids…
– Let children know beforehand that there will be waiting and limited time inside the rooms to manage expectations.
– Bring along something to keep them occupied while you wait in lines.
– Try to go with another adult and take turns waiting in line and walking around with your children (this means lucking out and getting multiple tickets, or you can buy the membership – see below).
– Strollers are not permitted in the exhibit, though there is stroller parking outside.
– Have a back-up plan in case you get to the museum and determine the lines are too long for your kids (and you) to wait — you have your pick of other museums on the Mall.

Other general tips & info
Free Timed Passes are available every Monday at 12pm for the following week. They sell out quickly, so be ready to reserve yours online as soon as it turns noon.
– If you have timed passes, all guests with you need them, even infants.
– A limited number of free same-day Walk-Up Timed Passes will be available at the Museum, with a line starting at 9:30am, and the passes distributed first-come, first-served at 10am. You can get real-time updates on availability on Twitter.
– You can purchase a special Kusama Circle Membership for $50, which lets you and a guest bypass the general admission line one time. Children under 18 are not considered guests and get in free with you.
Other membership options are available at higher rates.
– Get tickets for a weekday if you can.
– Try to put your camera away as much as possible. You may spend so much time trying to get the perfect shot that you miss out on enjoying the art. Really, that 30 seconds flies!

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Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors will be on view at the Hirshhorn through May 14. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30, and word has it they are staying open until 7:30 to accommodate guests with later passes.


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 27 – March 3

It's a jungle in there at the U.S. Botanic Garden

It’s a jungle in there at the U.S. Botanic Garden



Monday – Let imaginations run wild with pretend play at the Playseum in Bethesda. Little ones can visit the pet shop, bake in the kitchen, dress up in costumes, enjoy story time, and do some art projects — all possibilities in the many themed rooms and crafts areas. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/person.

Tuesday – Cruise over to the U.S. Navy Museum, where there will be a special program about sailors’ lives aboard ship during World War II from 11am – 1pm. You can also see the museum’s amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. Be sure to note requirements for access to the base and museum.

Wednesday – Drop in for an open play session at SkillZone, a brand new children’s activity center in the heart of Capitol Hill. Welcoming little ones from babies up through 6 years old, the space includes slides, towers, racing ramps, and water play with a section just for toddlers. Hours are 10am – 6pm (M/W/Th/F & 11am – 4:30pm Sat/Sun). Admission is $20/1st child, $15/siblings, free for infants.

Later on… Do you think BIG thinks? And dream BIG dreams? Do you LOVE Dr. Seuss? If so, join Northeast Neighborhood Library from 3:30-5:00pm for an afternoon of crazy crafts, silly snacks, and goofy games! There will also be music, giveaways, a reader’s theater, and birthday cake in honor of the man who loved words, rhyming, and imagination. RSVP is required! Stop by the Children’s Desk on the second floor or call 202.698.0183 to RSVP.

Thursday – If you can’t make it to the Wednesday event, celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on the actual day by visiting your local library. There are special programs at many of them — story times, crafts, and more — that pay tribute to the beloved children’s book author. This post has background on our early experiences at and links to area libraries.

Friday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where there’s plenty to enjoy both indoors and out. Walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora, and see the beautiful collection of orchids in the annual exhibit. If weather permits, take a stroll through the National Garden outside, too. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.


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The Weekend Round-Up: February 24-26

Go for a hike (or run) in the woods at Rock Creek Park

Go for a hike (or run!) in the woods at Rock Creek Park



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This spring-like weather probably won’t last through the weekend, but that doesn’t mean your fun won’t continue. Enjoy an annual performing arts fest or an event all about kids’ health and nutrition. Celebrate Black History Month or local writers. Explore STEM activities or local nature. Attend open houses for a charter school or kids active programs. These and many more ideas are detailed below. Oh, also… KFDC turns 7 today! And I’ll be celebrating with an awesome giveaway later, so be sure to check back and enter. Happy Weekend!

Intersect with the Performing Arts
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: See the website

The Atlas is kicking off its annual festival that presents tons of fantastic performances in music, theatre, dance, film, and spoken word with several exhibitions especially for families. See Jane Franklin Dance perform The Big Meow. Enjoy Callaloo: The Legend of The Golden Coqui, a puppet show by Sepia Works. Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Alight Dance Theater presents Stargazing. These are just the most kid-friendly — the whole line-up of shows throughout the Festival is worth checking out by grown-ups.

Open House
Where: My Gym Bethesda & My Gym Potomac
When: Friday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Get a preview of My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda’s spring offerings. Meet the teachers and sample the programs — there are Mommy and Me movement and music classes for babies and preschoolers, and tumbling, sports, and parkour classes for older children. The evening will include games and activities, plus discounts on registration! You can also enter a giveaway for a chance to win eight weeks of enrollment here.

Nature Explorations, Inside & Out
Where: Rock Creek Park
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Spend a day exploring at Rock Creek! Visit the Nature Center and catch a planetarium show on Saturday at 1pm and 4pm. Hike from there to Peirce Mill, where you can check out its inner workings. Visit horses at the Horse Center. Or just wander along the trails in the woods and enjoy the nature around you.

Kids in the Kitchen
Where: YMCA Anthony Bowen
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Want your kids to eat smart and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices? Join The Junior League of Washington at Kids in the Kitchen on Saturday for a fun-filled day of games, crafts, hands-on learning, and exciting prizes – all to celebrate and promote nutritional literacy.  This free kids health and nutrition event is targeted at children ages 3-13. The Anthony Bowen Y is located at 1325 W Street NW.

Black History Month Celebration
Where: Josiah Henson Park in Bethesda
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Enjoy free, educational events that highlight the stories, struggles, and successes of African Americans. Activities include guided tours of the park, the screening of a PBS documentary about the park, and the annual spoken word poetry event, “Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom.”

More Ways to Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re happening this weekend.

DC STEMfest
Where: Harmony Charter School
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

DC STEMfest invites everyone from all ages to celebrate science, technology, engineering, and math with fun activities. This free event is open to students, families and features interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, mind-blowing demos, a full line-up of live science-themed performances and much more.

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Reserve free tickets for Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King, this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance
* Jack and the Beanstalk just opened at The Puppet Co.
* And Penguins’ Playground is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* The Freshest Snow Whyte just opensed at Imagination Stage
* Little ones will enjoy Kitchen Adventures with Encore Stage & Studio
* Make it a KidFree night as Shakespeare Theatre Company presents King Charles III at Sidney Harman Hall

Celebration of Writers
Where: Howard University
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The District of Columbia Area Writing Project is proud to host a “Celebration of Writers.” This event, as the name suggests, calls for a fun and exciting celebration of writers from varied fields and genres, as well as the celebration of our most recent graduates from the Teacher’s Summer Institute. Join us for an enjoyable day of interactive performances, including songs, dance, storytelling and poetry. Our guests of honor include prestigious personalities, such as Colbert I. King from Washington Post, Dr. Oneeka Williams who is a renowned childrens’ books author and an urological surgeon and finally Mark A. Williams, a teacher at Duke Ellington School of Arts and organizer of R Street Collective . Register for free here.

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Where: Steve C. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Each February, the Museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories. Learn about African American astronauts, pilots, and scientists of the past and present and their accomplishments.

Magic of Spying: Tradecraft Trickery
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Saturday, 11 am – 12 pm
Admission: $10 ($9/members)

In the real-life world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed.  Join professional magician, Peter Wood, as he demonstrates the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. This one of a kind performance, custom-designed for the Spy Museum, is guaranteed to fascinate children and adults alike. For ages 7 and up.

Feel the Heritage Festival
Where: Drew Community Center
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Arlington County will celebrate its rich African-American heritage. This free event will feature live music, dance performances, storytelling, children’s activities, including face painting, balloon art, and crafts. And food, art, and other wares will be on sale.

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.

Roll with It
Where: DC Armory
When: Saturday, 4pm (door open at 3pm)
Admission: $15

DC Rollergirls, the National Capital Region’s only women’s flat-track roller derby league, are kicking (or make that, rolling) another season of hard-hitting skating. A 40-minute exposition bout paying tribute to DCRG legacy home teams DC Demoncats and Scare Force One will take place before the main event, featuring the DC Rollergirls National Maulers vs. Free State Roller Derby.

Charter School Open House
Where: Creative Minds International Public Charter School
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

As the lottery deadline nears, explore a DC school option this weekend. It’s a great opportunity to learn about their academic programs and approach to teaching, meet some of the staff, and check out the space. Read more about Creative Minds here.

Dance Your Socks Off
Where: River Park Nursery School
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: $15 or $40/family

River Park Nursery School’s annual Sock Hop is always a fun-filled, family-friendly event. Featuring entertainment by local musical celebrity Mr. Skip, food, games, and a silent auction, enjoy activities for all ages and an opportunity to support preschool education on Capitol Hill.

Lil’ Kickers Open House
Where: Cassel’s Sports Complex
When: Saturday,10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Check out a great soccer program for kids! Lil’ Kickers will be providing mini classes throughout the morning for your children to experience their program, so stop by at any time. Their balanced and creative approach to coaching will have a positive impact on your child that goes far beyond the soccer field. High-energy soccer classes are carefully designed to enhance your child’s overall growth and well-being. The result? Kids with strong physical skills, who are well-balanced and confident. And, they do all this while your child has the time of their life. This is the first of several Open House Events at their four locations. Cassel’s is located at 1400 Park Center Road in Herndon, VA.

DREAM BIG IMAX 3D
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udzar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12

With some rain in the forecast, a movie at a museum will be a great plan. This latest film on local giant screens promotes the E in STEM. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here. And, of course, plan to explore the museum while you’re there!

District of Dance: A DC Rhythm & Blues Celebration
Where: Anacostia High School
When: Sunday, 3-8pm
Admission: Free

Inspired by the rhythm & blues history of Washington, DC, from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, this event welcomes all ages for an afternoon and evening of community fun. Join in to celebrate with live performances, hand dance lessons, and panel discussions.  Anacostia High School is located at 1601 16th Street SE.

Teen Studio
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Kids in grades 9-12 are invited to examine Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s memorial to honor Civil War heroes Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the all–African American 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Through the combination of art history and studio perspectives, these immersive workshops aim to expand creative thinking. Taught by artists and museum educators, each two-and-a-half-hour workshop consists of conversation and hands-on drawing instruction in the galleries. The workshops are designed for all skill levels. Register in advance!

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Rain and colder temps are on the way, so you might need extra ideas for indoor outings. Burn some energy at an indoor playground, visit a museum, explore a historic place, catch some live entertainment, bring the outdoors in at a nature center. This post listing over 80 ideas for activities inside will get your fun started.

Out and About
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re keen on getting out no matter what the weather, this post has lots of suggestions for great places to spend a day outdoors — trails to hike, playgrounds, gardens with kids activities, and more!


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

The Weekend Round-Up: February 17-20

A view of the Washington Monument from the African American Museum

A view of the Washington Monument from the African American Museum, a nod to President’s Day and Black History Month in one shot



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It’s probably no surprise that there are scores of fun ways to celebrate President’s Day around DC. But there’s much more going on over the long weekend, too. Enjoy a Black History Month activity, go to the theatre, check out a new, cool exhibit, have a laugh at kids improv, savor the great weather with some outdoor recreation… Read on for details and even more ideas for making most of the extra time off. Happy Weekend!

Get Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

When it’s high 60’s and sunny in February, a recommendation to get out and seize the nice day is going to top the round-up. Stroll the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, day trip and hike at Harpers Ferry, romp on the playground and visit the animals at Watkins Regional Park, take a walk in the woods, go fossil hunting. There are so many ways to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather — read about them all in this post about the best outdoor places around the area.

Party at George’s Place!
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Celebrate George Washington’s 285th birthday with special festivities at his former digs. Sample his favorite breakfast, mingle with costumed characters from the old days, and enjoy some dancing with the 18th-century. On Monday, there will be syrup-making and dance demos along with ceremonial wreathlayings to honor Washington. Bonus: Admission is free on Monday, but I can tell you from experience that a lot of folks show up to take advantage of the complimentary entry.

Stop by Abe’s, Too
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $6/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

There’s no special event, but this seems like a good way to honor our 16th POTUS for President’s Day. Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus in northwest DC, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Admission includes the Cottage tour, an innovative small group tour in which a professional guide uses “historical voices” and images through multimedia technology to bring the stories of Abraham Lincoln and his family to life. It’s recommended for ages 6 and up.

Presidential Family Fun Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate America’s presidents with games, music, crafts, and a stovepipe-hat workshops led by staff from President Lincoln’s Cottage and a guided tour in the iconic “America’s Presidents” exhibition with Senior Historian David C. Ward. The Nationals’ Racing Presidents from MLB’s Washington Nationals will also attend from 11:30am – 12:30pm.

Discover Engineering Family Day
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

The Building Museum always hosts great family events, and this annual festival is no exception. Celebrate National Engineers Week as you discover how professional engineers turn ideas into reality and do some engineering and problem solving of your own. Hands-on activities allow kids to explore forces behind roller coasters, build a structure that withstands a tsunami, discover what makes popcorn pop, launch a rocket, and more! We’ve gone several years and have always had a great time. It gets crowded, but there are so many activities available, kids can always be involved in the fun. Recommended for children ages 4-12 with adult supervision.

Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass!
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free ($1.50/house tour)

George and Abe aren’t the only ones with birthdays; Freddy was born in February, too! Celebrate the 199th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth with the National Park Service and its community partners as we hear about him more and more. The estate in Anacostia where Douglass lived for nearly the last 20 years of his life is now a historic site that welcomes the public to tour, and every year they host a birthday event in his honor. This year’s programs and activities explore the significance of the visual, performing, and culinary arts in Frederick Douglass’s life.

Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re happening this weekend.

President’s Day Weekend Spectacular
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm/Sunday, 12-5pm/Monday, 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $14.95/ages two and up

Enjoy President’s Day Weekend with fun, indoor family-friendly activities that will educate and entertain. On Saturday, there will be lots of train related fun, interactive engineering demos and experiments, and live music from roaming musician, Mr. Norman, and an interactive play of The Little Engine that Could. On Sunday, join in for art projects, Mother Goose on the Loose, Jingle Jangle Music Time, and programs like Kamishibai and The Adventure to the Imagination that will help your imagination go wild! On Monday, Celebrate President’s Day with tunes from DJ Holly, take part in an interactive story time featuring singing, dancing and finger plays, get musical during Jingle Jangle Music Time and in the hands-on Percussion Garden.

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Join a Saturday Family Jazz Session at Strathmore
* Follow that Fiddle with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center
* The Freshest Snow Whyte just opensed at Imagination Stage
* This weekend is your last chance to seeGoldilocks at The Puppet Co.
* And Snow Show is the featured Tiny Tots performance on Sunday
* Jason Didner & the Jungle Gym are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* The Folger Theatre presents As You Like It
* See the American Boychoir perform in Bethesda

DREAM BIG IMAX3D
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udzar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12

The latest film to grace the giant screens at local museums promotes the E in STEM. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here.

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.

ComedySportz for Kids
Where: DC Improv
When: Saturday, 2:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $10

Kids as young as first grade can enjoy this afternoon improv show with ComedySportz, a comedy troupe that specializes in short-form improv games. This show features child-sized versions of those games, hosted by a Kids Coach. Guests will love being able to shout out during a show and some of the older kids will enjoy a chance to go crazy onstage.

Washington Dollar Days
Where: Tudor Place
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $1

Don’t miss your chance to practice the frugality our founding father approved of: George Washington was born in February, and Tudor Place is celebrating him all month through artifacts, furnishings, and stories, all for just one “Washington dollar!” Tours begin hourly, and it’s recommended you book ahead.

KidFree: King Charles III
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through March 18
Admission: $64-123 (look for a discount)

Make it a date night at this play that imagines a not too far away future when the Queen is dead and Prince Charles prepares to take the throne. It’s an interesting drama that pits the monarchy against parliament, putting England in a national conflict that is, coincidentally, timely and familiar. For more about the show, Washington City Paper has a good review.

Frozen Day of Play
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $4, free for ages 4 and under

Families are invited to a day of play and creativity as we explore the wonders of winter and ice through a variety of art projects, pretend play, investigations, and more! From frosty face painting, to a frozen treasure hunt, to guided winter walks, kids of all ages will delight in this sensory seasonal experience. Drop in and escape the winter blues with lots of fun for all! Read a KFDC write-up about Annmarie.

Earth Explorers
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/ages 5-12, under 5 are free (look for a discount)

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

Mommy and Me
Where: Congress Heights Arts & Cultural Center
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission:

Join Buffy and Breezy of A. Lauren Design at their first ‘Mommy and Me’ event on Sunday. Enjoy brunch catered by Florida Avenue Grill, along with fun activities to do together — a DIY tulle skirt, face painting, pictures, and more! Contact alaurendesign@gmail.com with any questions and follow @alaurendesign. Tickets can be purchased through EventBrite.

A Local & National Treasure
Where: Library of Congress
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Explore the largest library in the world and one of DC’s most iconic attractions. Not only does the Library of Congress have a whole great space dedicated to kids, it’s is a trove of knowledge, art, history, and culture – and the public is welcome to enjoy it all. The Young Readers Center only has hours Monday through Saturday, but the rest is open daily. Read more in this very recent KFDC post.

Eco-Explorations
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
When: Monday, 10-11:00am
Admission: $5/adult, $4/military, $3/youth; free ages 5 & under

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons, Maryland, invites families to come along on an eco-exploration. Staff naturalist, Hester Burch, will lead youngsters and their caregivers on a hands-on exploration of the natural world of Annmarie Garden. This session is all about House cats vs Bobcats: What are the differences and similarities of domesticated and wild felines. As part of Eco-Explorations, kids will make a cat toy to take home. Families are also invited to bring in their own natural treasures to share for show & tell.

Family Fun Lego Day
Where: Bender JCC of Greater Washington
When: Monday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $8/members,| $10/general public, parents free

Imagine what you’ll create at this fun-filled day with everyone’s favorite childhood building toys. Create and build with Legos and Duplos, play in the Family Gym, enjoy a screening of Trolls, and purchase a pizza lunch!

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Bundle up to watch the procession as it travels through Old Town. See the website for more info and route details.

Free Park-ing
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

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

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re looking for fun indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post lists more than 80 suggestions for things to do, just about all of them KFDC tried and tested.


***PLAN AHEAD***
Mock Trial for Kids!
Where: Trinity Washington University
When: March 18, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $50/child

The Juris Prudence Academy is a one of a kind legal educational program for kids ages 8-12, which will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Trinity University in Washington, DC. The 90-minute workshop will teach academy students basic legal principles in a collaborative setting. The academy will be guided by a lawyer, and students will participate in a mock trial, applying the principles they have learned in the workshop. Mock trial topics are ones that will be interesting to children, such as the following:
– Should Kids Have the Right to Vote?
– Should Kids be Allowed to Drive at a Younger Age?
– Should School Recess Be Longer?
– Should Kids Have School on Saturdays?
For more information about the Academy, review the FAQs on the event registration page. Scholarship tuition waiver nomination forms are available by emailing academy@jurispprudence.com.


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Giveaway! DREAM BIG in IMAX 3D at the National Air & Space Museum

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DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World is the latest film to grace the giant screen at the National Air & Space Museum. Promoting the E in STEM, the movie was produced to offer a fresh perspective on engineering, show the creativity and compassion of engineers, and inspire kids of all backgrounds to want to become engineers. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here.

The kids and I recently caught a screening, and we all left impressed and inspired. I especially appreciated that it featured several women engineers and their accomplishments. There was mention at the beginning of an aim to get more little girls interested in STEM, which excited Sasha. She actually said excitedly, “That’s me!” and was thoroughly engaged until the end. Owen was completely captivated and particularly fascinated by an engineer who works in Haiti building footbridges for needy communities. When the credits started rolling, he pulled off his 3D glasses and exclaimed, “That was awesome! I want to be an engineer!”

DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World in IMAX 3D opens at the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in Washington, DC, and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Airbus IMAX Theater in Chantilly, VA on February 17, 2017. It’s rated G, and run time is 42 minutes. Tickets are $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12 and available online or at Box Office. You can also try to win a 4-Pack through the giveaway below!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see DREAM BIG: Engineering Our World at the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater or the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s Airbus IMAX Theater, simply leave a comment below naming an engineering feat you find fascinating (a building, bridge, etc.). To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook, and you can get an extra entry by entering there, too. This giveaway will run through February 23, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Enterprises, however, I only promote services, events, and programs that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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