Ways to Celebrate MLK Day 2015


Special events and activities to honor and celebrate MLK will be happening throughout the coming weekend. If you’re looking for ways to observe the holiday with the kids, here are some ideas.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations
When: Monday
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 with the here to find opportunities that suit your family. This Kids Post article also has some good suggestions.

Learn about MLK
Where: Local libraries
When: Through January 18
Admission: Free

DC Public Libraries are hosting events all week 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.

Visit Memorials
Where: MLK & Lincoln Memorials
When: Monday
Admission: Free

If you’re up and at ‘em early enough, there will be a wreathing ceremony at the MLK Memorial at 8am that is free and open to the public. If you can’t wrangle the kids (and yourself) in time, visit the attraction on the Tidal Basin later in the day. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Portrait Story Days: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and complete a hands-on activity. The story will be read at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm on Saturday, and at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. on Sunday.

I Have a Dream Weekend
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $14.50/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, a birthday tribute by The Kindersingers (Saturday), and more fun festivities.

“I Have A Dream”
Where: McClean Community Center
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: $15 or $10/ McLean tax district residents

See a dramatization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s phenomenal impact, from the arrest of Rosa Parks that inspired Dr. King to becoming the dominant force in the Civil Rights Movement during its decade of greatest achievement. Theatre IV’s production aims to inspire the audience with the story of this great leader’s struggle and his dream of lifting “our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” Reccomended for ages 8 and. After the performance, join a service project benefiting SHARE of McLean.

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25

See the world’s first professional company dedicated to the percussive dance tradition of stepping for a special Martin Luther King Weekend performance. The show will feature six spectacular step teams.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $15-20 (1 child free with adult paid ticket)

KanKouran, an integral part of the DC dance community for over 28 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.

Parade & Peace Walk
Where: Throughout SE & SW DC
When: Monday
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The procession of international marchers starts at the United Black Fund and winds its way through the city and across the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge before ending at Shepherd Park. All ages are welcome t join.

Let Freedom Ring Choir
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Monday, 6pm
Admission: Free

It’s the annual special Millennium Stage performance in honor of MLK Day. The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University are hosting a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature Grammy–winning artist Natalie Cole and the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. 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, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 12-16

Old autos on exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry

Old autos on exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Industry

Monday - Go for a swim! It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside when there are plenty of indoor pools in the area that are open to the public. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim times at all of them, and I recommend calling ahead to make sure there are no weather-related closings.

Tuesday - Take a little time trip through Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The Inner Harbor attraction highlights the trades and people that helped build the port city through exhibits that showcase relics from the past and recreate various industry environments. Hours are 10am – 4pm (Tuesday – Sunday). Admission is $12/adult, $7/ages 7-12, free for 6 and under, and you can currently get a deal through Certifikid.

Wednesday - Discover American Indian culture with all kinds of hands-on pursuits at imagiNATIONS, the family activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian. Weave a big basket, play in a teepee and models of native dwellings, do some arts & crafts, hear bird calls of the wild, read kids books in the library, and much more. Go in the afternoon to explore Native music through drums, rattles and other percussion instruments at 2pm. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm, but imagiNATIONS closes at 5. Admission is free.

Thursday - Enjoy a musical morning with the Boogie Babes as they bring kiddie entertainment to Eastern Market at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, and siblings 6 months and under are free. Stay after for lunch — there are plenty of great options for a bite both right in the market and nearby.

Friday - See a movie! There are several great flicks for kids out now: Annie, Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb are all playing at a theater near you (we’ve seen and enjoyed ‘em all!). Read more about them and buy tickets here.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Ongoing, Sports, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 10-11

A winter walk to school

A winter walk to school

Baby, it’s coooold outside! Luckily, options abound for fun in the warm indoors this weekend. Live entertainment, a free health & fitness expo, museum programs and exhibits, a special family symphony, local hoops, and Charm City adventures are among the recommendations. And given the weather so far this winter, I suggest browsing — actually, bookmarking — The Great Indoors post, too. Happy Weekend!

Winter Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Don’t fly south for the winter, flock to the museum! The American Art Museum has feathery fun for kids and the whole family as they celebrate The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art with bird-themed crafts by Smithsonian Gardens, print-making with Lily Press, a scavenger hunt, live music, and more.

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual exposition celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center. There will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to test out new sports, giveaways, and activities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow line to the Mount Vernon stop.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Various venues in NoMa & Brookland
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra is back with its NSO in Your Neighborhood initiative, this year to the NoMa and Brookland areas of DC. This weekend, they’re presenting a variety of activities, with an emphasis on chamber performances, education, and community engagement programs for audiences of all ages. While all of the performances can be appreciated by any age, there’s a Family Concert & Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” at McKinley Technology Education Campus on Saturday afternoon geared toward young children. View the full schedule for details and other performances.

Things That Make You Go “Vroom”
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $6/child (use code FACEBOOK15 online for a discount)

Do you feel the need for speed? Or like to ogle things that go fast, anyway? Then head to the Progresive International Motorcycle Show this weekend to check out all kinds of cool wheels. See the hottest street bikes, dirt bikes, vintage motorcycles, cruisers, scooters, side-by-sides, and ATVs. Along with the automotive eye-candy, there will be live entertainment, gear and accessories on display, tank painting demos, t-shirt screen printing, awesome custom bikes, and more. Cycle enthusiasts, young and old, will dig this, for sure.

Hometown Hoops
Where: Area colleges
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies

Cheer on a local college team and see some exciting basketball action! The women Hoyas welcome Providence College to the Georgetown court tonight (tickets here). The GW Colonials women’s team is playing Richmond on Saturday (tickets here). American University’s men’s b-ballers are hosting Colgate on Saturday (tickets here). And the George Mason Patriots men are playing UMass on Sunday afternoon (tickets here).

Rock on with the grandsons, Jr.
Where: FNDTN Gallery and Liveroom
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $8 at door (free for infants)

How about some live entertainment from one of the area’s most popular kindie rock bands? the grandsons, Jr. are bringing their unique mix of rock, swing, New Orleans R&B, country, and latin music that they call Americana to Kensington on Saturday. The concert is presented by Junior Jams, which promotes local artists and the independent kids music genre, booking shows and sharing a calendar of live music and other events for families in the Washington-Metro area. Check it out here or follow @kindiemusicdc on Twitter for regular updates.

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

* Encore Stage & Studio debuts its production of Cinderella this weekend (look for a deal on tickets)
* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at the Bethesda theatre
* See the romantic Broadway musical for all generations, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, at the Warner Theatre
* Gustafer Yellowgold is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday
* Bastian & Batsianna, a comic fairy tale opera-musical by the 12-year old Mozart, will be at the Source Theatre
* Imagination Stage’s teen performance ensemble will perform the musical comedy The Addams Family
* Enjoy an adaption of The Little Mermaid at Olney Theatre (look for a deal on tickets)

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

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or tour the historic ships at the Inner Harbor.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get an up-close and personal taste of what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage – they promise you’ll have a blast! Sample camps are about 30 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production samplers (which also include a free pizza lunch). Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here. And note that all ages and grades listed are indicative of your child’s age/grade on September 1, 2015.

Get Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Friday 2-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The interactive and experiential learning space at the Natural History Museum is, in a word, AWESOME. Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. Microscopes let young guests feel like real scientists, and drawers full of everything from animal species to cultural relics are accessible for examination. And even though it’s been promoted as a space for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can appreciate it, too. On Sunday afternoon, there will be a special “Genes in a Bottle” program, where guests can take part in a molecular biology activity and create a necklace pendant made up of your own DNA (recommended for ages 7 and up).

Go Nat Geo
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under

Experience two interactive exhibits recommended for all ages. “Spinosaurus” and “Food: Our Global Kitchen” are currently at the National Geographic Museum, and right now adults can get a discount on admission to visit them.

Heath & Happiness Fest
Where: Bowie, Md
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The Mama Sisterhood of Prince Georges County is hosting an event to educate and provide resources for families to live healthy from the inside out, from eating healthy and staying fit to being happy. Guests can enjoy some “Mommy Pampering,” door Prizes, as well as a variety of seminars geared towards the adults such baby prep, acupuncture, make-up. For kids there will be a craft table, a Music and Movement, yoga, singing, and story time. This all takes place at 10201 MLK Jr Highway, 2nd floor in Bowie, Md. The event is free but registration is requested.

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

Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This Sunday, learn about artist Benny Andrews. Read more about the program in this post about a KFDC experience there.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Pinstripes in Georgetown is Right up Your Alley


Even though school wasn’t cancelled for the snow today (DCPS, anyway), it made me recall last winter, when there seemed to be an exorbitant amount of days off, between holidays, snow days, and other random administrative reasons. It’s a good reminder to have some activities in my back pocket that the kids and I could enjoy together, different than our usual go-to pursuits, but still ones we can count on happening just about any day.

Pinstripes in Georgetown recently made the cut. On one of those random days off, we took advantage of Tots Playtime at the venue that’s a bistro, bowling alley, and bocce court all in one. Every weekday from 10am to 12pm, kids can bowl for just $5, and there’s no cost at all for parents to join them.

A little lemonade stand welcomes little guests

A little lemonade stand welcomes little guests

Cozy couches and nice tables where you can dine and relax

Cozy couches and nice tables where you can relax while you wait your turn and dine, too

So, when you think bowling alley, you probably picture a big, loud place that serves pizza, hot dogs, and fries that you probably have to eat in a separate area from where you bowl. Pinstripes is different. To start, the lanes are nice and modern; the seating/scoring area right behind them has cozy couches and a table, so you can eat right there; and the music isn’t blaring. On top of that, they have great menus (it’s also a bistro, after all), including a Kids Menu with several choices — for $8 they get a starter, entree, dessert, and drink — and a nice selection on the main menu.

Morning fare, and kiddies options in addition to an extensive main menu

Morning fare and kiddies options in addition to an extensive main menu

Grilled salmon at the bowling alley...yum!

Grilled salmon at the bowling alley…yum!

The kids and I bowled a couple of rounds, eating lunch about halfway through. Ramps are available for little bowlers as are bumpers in a couple of lanes. The staff was incredibly nice and attentive, helping us find balls light enough for Sasha and taking food and drink orders and bringing everything right to us. It might seem a little luxurious for a bowling outing with kids, but there are no complaints here. The Tots Playtime is such a great deal, and regular bowling alleys often end up being just as, if not more, pricey.

A little help from the ramp

A little help from the ramp

The tots deal isn’t the only reason to go to Pinstripes. They occasionally host special events for kids — they had an egg hunt last Easter, provided family entertainment at Taste of Georgetown, and held a Kids in the Garden day, where the chef taught guests about gardening, plants, and seeds. You can also host your own private events there, including children’s birthday parties, and there’s a special Sunday brunch that welcomes families. Of course, you can also go for a kid-free outing and enjoy a meal in the restaurant along with some bocce to top it off.

Next time: Bocce

Next time: Bocce

Did I spare any details? Check out the website for even more info.

Pinstripes Georgetown is located in The Shops at Georgetown Park at 1064 Wisconsin Ave NW. Hours are Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 11:00pm, Friday: 10:00am – 12:30am, Saturday: 10:00am – 12:30am, and Sunday: 10:00am – 10:00pm.

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Filed under Date Night, DC, Eats, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Ongoing, Preschoolers, Preteens, Sports, Teens, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Junior Jams Presents the grandsons, Jr. this Weekend!


How about some live entertainment from one of the area’s most popular kindie rock bands? the grandsons, Jr. are bringing their unique mix of rock, swing, New Orleans R&B, country, and latin music that they call Americana to Kensington this Saturday, January 10, and you have a chance to win a four-pack of tickets to see them!

The concert is presented by Junior Jams, a weekend live music series for kids and families brought to you by Kindiemusicdc and GIGS, a music instruction studio for young guitarists, vocalists, drummers and the like. Junior Jams promotes local artists and the independent kids music genre, booking shows and sharing a calendar of live music and other events for families in the Washington-Metro area. Check it out here or follow @kindiemusicdc on Twitter for regular updates.


This weekend is the grandson’s Jr.’s debut on the Junior Jams stage! Showtime is 10:30am at FNDTN Gallery and Liveroom in Kensington, Md. Admission is $8 at the door (free for infants) or $6 (plus fee) when you purchase online. You can also try to win tickets through the giveaway below.

Just about all Junior Jams concerts take place on select Saturdays at 10:30am. An exception to note is a special Junior Jams Jazz Brunch with the six-piece New Orleans-style kids band Jazzy Ash, which will be on Sunday, March 29, at 10am.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a four-pack of tickets to ANY Junior Jams show this season, simply leave a comment below telling me your child’s favorite kindie rock act. To be eligible, you must “like” KidFriendly on Facebook. This giveaway will run through Wednesday, January 7, and a winner will be drawn and random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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


Filed under All ages, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Sponsored Post, Weekend, Winter