Oops!

The September 13-14 Weekend Round-Up originally listed the Leesburg Air Show among the recommendations. However, there was a little calendar snafu on my end, and that was posted a couple of weeks early. The Air Show takes place on September 27, and will be included in the Weekend Round-Up then. Apologies for any confusion!

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The Weekend Round-Up: September 12-14

It's a shoe-in: If you're on the National Mall this weekend, stop in the Sackler Gallery to see this unique installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota

It’s a shoe-in: If you’re on the National Mall this weekend, stop in the Sackler Gallery to see this unique installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota



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This round-up of weekend happenings comes with a warning: There are so many options for fun activities with the kids, it’ll make your head spin. And that’s just referring to the list below. Dare I suggest checking out the outdoor and indoor guides, too? (You’ll be okay, I promise.) Happy Weekend!

Mmmm….Doughnuts
Where: District Doughnut
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 8am until the doughnuts are gone
Admission: Free (but be ready to buy the house specialty!)

District Doughnut is opening its first store on Barracks Row in Capitol Hill this morning! The store, located at 749 8th St SE, will open at 8am will remain open until they sell out. Stop by Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the delicious treats, plus special Grand Opening festivities to celebrate the launch, including music, games, giveaways, a photo booth, and more. Sounds pretty sweet to me!

Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Admission: Free

It’s your last chance to catch a Friday evening concert at Yards Park. The summer series that brings lives music to the boardwalk by the river is hosting its final show of the season tonight. Jeff from Accounting, a party cover band, is performing, and you can grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby eateries or BYO food and drinks for a picnic dinner.

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 36th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. And various stages throughout the neighborhood will showcase local live entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

Family Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage.
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy the Soldiers’ Home grounds as the Lincoln family did! There will be live entertainment and activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the locale for all ages. Guests can make their own top hats, go on pony rides, and visit a petting zoo featuring Tad Lincoln’s favorite animals (peacocks, goats, geese, and more). A Civil War encampment with re-enactors, Civil War-era games, and live musical performances of Civil War-era tunes will round out the fun. Plan on purchasing food from a vendor and picnicking on the grounds.

Fall Fests
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The calendar may not say fall, but that’s not stopping the seasonal celebrations. Go on hayrides, get lost in corn mazes, pick some pumpkins and apples, whoosh down slides, go medieval, and so much more. This recent post has a list of all the festivals happening around the area where you can jump into fall this weekend or plan your autumn amusement for later.

DC Shorts
Where: US Navy Memorial
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: Free

The 11th annual DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest short film event on the East Coast, has begun and runs through September 21. Among the presentations is a showcase of family-friendly mini flicks on Saturday. Ranging from 4 to 18 minutes long, the featured shorts explore a variety of themes that young audiences will enjoy. Read descriptions and see previews of the films here.

Women in Aviation & Space
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Air & Space Museum on the Mall to learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, a sample of Astronaut Training School, and more.

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 activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). 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, Virginia. The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Want a peek at the trains? Take a virtual tour.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street NW, btwn Thomas & Jefferson Streets
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

In its 21st year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of over 35 of the neighborhood’s premier restaurants, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings, a Chef Showdown, and Gypsy Sally’s Music Stage. Even more, the new Waterfront location is prime for family-friendly entertainment hosted by Pinstripes that will include bocce ball courts, hula-hooping, face-painting and balloon-animal-making with help from a number of Georgetown’s historical attractions. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Kid’s Consignment Fair
Where: Luther Jackson Middle School
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the Northern Virginia Parents of Multiples (NVPOM) and save big $$ on all of your baby and kid gear needs. You don’t want to miss this ‘must attend’ event. This huge fall children’s consignment sale typically has over 25,000 items for sale! Find great bargains on strollers, bikes, furniture, books, games, shoes, maternity, sports, safety equipment and other baby gear. Clothes range from preemie to size 14/16. Heads-up that the space is not stroller accessible. Bonus: Credit cards are accepted.

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

* Let Marinani Iranzi entertain the whole family at Bloombars late Saturday afternoon
* The hit stage version of Dirty Dancing is in its final weekend at the National Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Experience your favorite superheroes all in one epic event at Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Patriot Center
* Rainbow Rock is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* Catch Alice in Wonderland at Workhouse Arts Center

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic at the National Museum of Health and Medicine with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK – 2nd grade. This family program is free and open to the public. The Museum is located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring.

Hispanic Heritage Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month! Held in conjunction with the exhibition Portraiture Now: Staging the Self, the day includes musical performances, interactive demonstrations, arts and crafts, storytelling, gallery tours, and a special display of creative work by Fairfax County Family Literacy Program families.

STAR Family Festival: Sing, Talk & Read
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Learn how singing, talking and reading with your baby or young child now can help them later in school. DC Public Library’s STAR Family Festival will feature workshops for parents to support your child’s early learning; activities, crafts and games for children; free children’s books, live entertainment by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and drummer Jali-D; safety, health and education resources; prizes and giveaways; face painting; photo ops with costumed characters; and more. Lunch will be offered, to boot!

Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child, 2 and under are free

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for apple picking and freshly pressed cider. Most weekends this month, they are celebrate everything apple with wagon rides to the apple orchard and cider pressing demos (and tastings!) with the Zurschmeide Family antique1865 Cider press. Visitors are encouraged to try giving the press a crank to see how cider used to be produced. Admission also covers hayrides, wine tasting across the street at Bluemont Vineyard, visits with barnyard animals, and loads of fun for kids, including a pumpkin jumpin’ pillow, 60-foot slide, five mazes, and pedal tractors.

Get Movin’ Family Fun Day
Where: ProJet Aviation Hangar in Leesburg
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Inova Health System and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics are hosting Get Movin’ Family Fun Day in celebration of National Family Health & Fitness Day. The event will feature a wide variety of activities and interactive exhibits that encourage family health and fitness including a Radio Disney dance party, games and prizes to get guests moving, a Disney Junior Doc McStuffins “Toy Check-Up Clinic” (bring a favorite toy, action figure or doll for a quick check-up), family health and wellness demos and exhibits, rock wall climbing and an obstacle course, Washington Mystics player and mascot appearances, face painting, balloon art, glitter tattoos, and more.

King Street Art Fest & Ice Cream
Where: Market Square in Old Town
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free (but you buy the bowl!)

The 12th annual King Street Art Festival is back with spectacular paintings, life-size sculptures, jewelry, photography, ceramics and more, offering extraordinary art for every taste. Even more, The Art League’s popular Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser is back! Purchase one of 1,000+ hand-made bowls created by the talented and prolific artists of The Art League’s Ceramics Department and enjoy local artisan ice cream from Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria – all for only $15 per bowl! Proceeds go to benefit The Art League’s Ceramics department. Participants in the Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser can enter a free drawing to win Ceramic Artwork and an Art League gift certificate.

BoxTrolls Cardboard Challenge
Where: The Plaza at City Center
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join Tommy McFly and The 94.7 Fresh FM Promotions Team in The Plaza at CityCenter for a special Cardboard Challenge inspired by BoxTrolls The Movie! Build your best cardboard creation and you could win some awesome prizes. CityCenterDC will have all of the supplies you need to build your best cardboard creation, as well as Fresh music, fun, and games.

Silver Spring Maker Faire
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Robots, electric go-karts, interactive art, flying machines, and so much to do and see! KID Museum is hosting the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire on Sunday. A Maker Faire features free family activities and innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. The festival demonstrates creative and unusual projects and pursuits to encourage attendees to explore their own curiosity and to make something new and different. Free and open to all, the Faire will feature two performance stages as well as interactive activities for children and adults of all ages.

Despicable Me 2 en Español
Where: Mosaic District
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Language Stars, the national leader in early childhood foreign language, will host a movie screening this Sunday to expose children and their families to movies in other languages. The film, Despicable Me 2, will be played in Spanish with English subtitles. In the film, Gru, the ex-super villain, is adjusting to family life and an attempted honest living in the jam business. Meanwhile, a secret Artic lab is stolen, and the Anti-Villain league recruits Gru to help discovery who has stolen the laboratory and its research.

MOTH Family Fest
Where: Garfield Park, 2nd & F Streets, SE
When: Sunday, 1:30-4:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill families are invited to join in this annual celebration and enjoy food, games, and more. Festivities will include moonbounces, balloon animals, face painting, Turley the Magician, a performance from Tippi Toes, and live music from Mr. Skip, Meadowlark, and Most Wanted. Additional activities for families will be offered by local businesses and organizations, and a limited supply of food will be provided by local vendors. Families are welcome to bring picnics. The event will also feature a raffle with prizes donated by community businesses, including Metro Mutts, Hill Rag, and Boogie Babes.

Star Spangled Summer Finale
Where: American History Museum
When: Sunday, 12:30pm, 1:30, & 2:30pm
Admission: Free

Stop by the Flag Hall at the American History Museum for a musical celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. The U.S. Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass Quintet will be performing entertaining patriotic tunes, toe-tapping marches, and a rousing rendition of the nation’s theme song in tribute.

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Fall In: Festivals Galore to Celebrate this Season

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Fall is right around the corner and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to communities to cuisine to medieval times. Enjoy local art and culture, pick pumpkins and take a hayride on the farm, get a taste of local eats, time trip back to the 16th century… Most of the hoopla begins in a couple weeks, but some of the fun has started already. This list of fall festivals will help you plan for it all. And if there are any other good ones I’ve missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md.
When: Weekends through October 19
Admission: Thru 9/17: $17/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under

This day trip back to medieval times began in late August with a big endorsement from me as one of my very favorite annual events in the area. But it’s a must-go among fall fests, so it’s getting a plug again. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, even a flea circus. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. Get a glimpse of and a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, Md
When: September 6 – November 2, Saturdays 10am – 11pm, Sundays 11am – 7pm, Fridays (starting Oct 3) 5-11pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. A tip based on our experience there: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, Md.
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 20 – November 3, 10am – 5pm daily
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds spattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: September 6 – October 26
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under

The website promises a wonderful farm experience, and from the looks of it, they’ll make good on it. The long list of amusement includes hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). This year you can celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz by travelling through the maze of Dorothy and Toto – costumes encouraged! The apple picking also comes highly recommended.

Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: September 13 – November 2, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9.95/weekdays, $14.95 or $16.95/holiday and weekends

This festival has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there last year.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street
When: September 13, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups, and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: September 14, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities. The 36th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival offers a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. And various stages throughout the neighborhood will showcase local live entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE
When: September 20, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Fall Adventures
Where: Summers Farm
When: September 20 – November 4
Admission: $6.95/weekdays, $10.95/weekends

I have Certifikid to thank for finding out about this farm, as I read about it in a deal on admission that’s currently running. It sounds like Summers has everything one could want in autumn farm fun and then some — a pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, corn mazes, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, and more. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, Va.
When: September 20 – November 4
Admission: $10

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slide, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 28 – November 2, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up

This festival is huge. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains five slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slide that takes you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd!

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill
When: September 27, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo, back for another here of musical amusement. And a Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, Md
When: Saturdays & Sundays September 27 – October 25, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10, free for children 2 and under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. Kids will love jumping in the hayloft, hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

SW ArtsFest
Where: Southwest DC (several venues)
When: October 2-5
Admission: Varies by activity

This annual celebration will take place over several day this year, highlighting art and culture in Washington’s smallest quadrant, Southwest. The lineup of festivities will include the (e)merge art fair, music, theatrical performances, hand dancing, walking tours, and more. Find more details here.

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: September 27 – October 31, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkion Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds
When: September 27, 11am – 10pm & September 28, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of kids activities here. This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Fall For Fairfax KidFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: October 4, 10am – 7pm & October 5, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. And be sure to check back on their website – the live entertainment has yet to be announced, and they usually have some pretty big-name acts perform.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 9th – 14th Streets NW
When: October 11-12, 12-7pm
Admission: $10, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city will takes lace during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 40 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, a chili eating championship, live entertainment, and a Family Zone with fun especially for kids.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field
When: October 11, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The neighborhood’s 8th annual festival will celebrate the season and the community. There will be family activities, live entertainment, local artists and vendors, food, and fun. More details and the schedule of events are available here.

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 11-12 offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 25 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, Md
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And can’t-miss caramel apples.


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Giveaway! Big Apple Circus Presents “Metamorphosis” Under the Big Top

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Step right up! The Big Apple Circus is kicking off its 37th season with the World Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS right here in the DC area. The extravaganza begins on Thursday, September 18, with 23 shows running through Sunday, October 5, under the Big Top at Dulles Town Center. Even better, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to be there for the premiere performance.

The Big Apple Circus is packed with spectacular entertainment that will thrill all ages — I know this from first-hand experience seeing a show a couple of years ago. And there is so much going on in this new production, I’ll just let the official description reel you in…

Fly away to the magical ring, to the circus — to the Big Apple Circus! — where an All-New Show — METAMORPHOSIS — with astonishing acts and startling transformations will transport you to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top! For its 37th Season, Big Apple Circus soars on wings of artifice and illusion, to a dreamscape domain where no one sits more than 50 feet from the ring, and nothing is impossible! Big Apple Circus presents the World Premiere of METAMORPHOSIS at Dulles Town Center in Sterling, VA, on Thursday, September 18th, 2014.

Appearing before your very eyes: The thrilling flyers of the trapeze, swooping and swirling through circus skies! The razzle-dazzle of the rolla-bolla, an act that teeters right on the edge of equilibrium! The dynamo of the diabolo, the whirling double–tops of the Big Top! An aerial space-age acrobatic adventure — an ascent to amazement! The risky rhythms of the Risley team, twisting and turning, topsy-turvy! The cadenzas of camels and horses, and the exuberance of playful pooches, out to dazzle with delight! The cunning conjurors of the quick-change act, defying belief and inspiring awe! The incredible flexible limbs of the contortionist in an act that will literally bend your imagination! And Francesco the Clown, captivating the crowd with his musical merriment and gentle humor. Under the direction of maestro Rob Slowik, the renowned Big Apple Circus Band provides as always the live and glorious tunes of the sawdust spectacular. And finally, our irrepressible, magnificent Ringmaster, the illustrious and incomparable John Kennedy Kane will summon the spirits of the circus universe to immerse you in the wonder, the joy and the astounding magic of METAMORPHOSIS!

Tickets for METAMORPHOSIS start at $20. Buy tickets online at www.BigAppleCircus.org or by calling 888.541.3750. Use the promo code BIGAPPLE to save $10 off tickets* — and that’s $10 per ticket, not just off the total purchase! (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.) You can also look for a deal on select seats or, of course, try to win them through the giveaway below.

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Big Apple Circus on September 18, simply answer this: Big Apple Circus is a non-profit organization, name one of its community programs. You can find answers on the Big Apple Circus website, then leave yours in the comments below. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through Friday, and a winner will be drawn at random and announced this weekend. Good luck!


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Free for All at the Corcoran Gallery of Art

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In case you haven’t yet heard, admission to the Corcoran Gallery of Art is now free. This comes as part of the museum’s merger with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. The bottom line is that it’s great news for those of us who are used to browsing the wonderful collections and exhibits housed in our city’s many museums free of charge.

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I took advantage of the new no-fee entry when I found myself with some free time last week while Owen and Sasha were in school. (It was my first visit there in several years, which I’m almost embarrassed to admit!) Usually, I blog about our experiences visiting places together, but I figured if I got enough out of it to know I will go back with my kids very soon, then it was worth posting about, too.

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The museum isn’t huge, and it’s quite easy to navigate. Collections include American Art to 1945, European Art, Decorative Art, and Modern and Contemporary collections, where I spent most of my time. There is currently a fantastic exhibit called American Metal: The Art Of Albert Paley (on display through September 28) that I bet would enthrall children just as much as adults. A main part of the exhibit includes models of magnificent metal sculptures Paley created for the St. Louis Zoo and Cleveland Botanical Garden. The intricate designs of animals in various habitats is amazing to view both from afar and up close.

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Paley also created the colorful sculpture that you see when you enter National Harbor. Smaller models of that large-scale piece are also featured in the exhibit and are interesting to view if you’ve seen the final work.

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There’s plenty more art to see on the museum’s two levels, and the uncrowded, space would make it easy to roam through with children. It’s not large enough to make a visit a full day’s outing, but you can pair it with plan to see the monuments or a walk by the White House. After all, now that it’s free, there’s no pressure to stretch the time to make it worth it.

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The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located at 500 17th Street NW. There is a cafe in the lobby, Muse at the Corcoran, with a small menu of wraps and snack. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Admission, as noted, is free.


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