The Weekend Round-Up: November 21-23

Savoring a display at Nat Geo's "Food: Our Global Kitchen" exhibit

Savoring a display at Nat Geo’s “Food: Our Global Kitchen” exhibit



Another weekend, another fantastic selection of things to do in DC! You can rock out at a mineral, gem, and fossil show, see a classic fairytale performed as opera, get into the holiday spirit, experience cool museum exhibits, and more. With warmer temps in the forecast, the post about the best places to hang outdoors with the kids will come in handy, and the indoor list is always a good one, too. Whatever you do, Happy Weekend!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5/adult, $3/ages 13-17, free for 12 and under

Kids (and adults) who like fossils, rocks, and or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 23rd Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

Hansel & Gretel as Opera
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $25/adults, free for ages 16 and under

A children’s classic comes to life in the theatre, and in a unique way. The Capital City Symphony presents a semi-staged concert opera performance of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The Saturday performance is at 7:30pm and will be the full opera, for adults and older kids; Sunday’s show is at 4pm and will be a one-hour version for younger audiences, with special audience interaction.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Shows and events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. This weekend, catch Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre (find discount tickets) or the Ford’s Theater version, enjoy the holidays on ICE! at National Harbor, get family holiday photos at Santa HQ in Tysons, and let holiday lights displays dazzle you. The 2014 KFDC Guide to the Best Holiday Events in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

Go Nat Geo
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: 10am – 6pm
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 Geograhic Museum, and right now adults can get a discount on admission to visit them.

Pike & Rose Tree Lighting
Where: Pike & Rose
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Pike & Rose, the first major project to break ground in the designated White Flint District, invites the community to celebrate the grand opening of the development with its first-ever holiday tree lighting festival. The evening’s festivities will be emceed by beloved DC radio personality, Tommy McFly of The Tommy Show. Additionally, this free to attend event will include a kids crafting station, stilt walkers and live “reindeer” ponies available for photo ops. Live entertainment will be provided by acapella groups. Pike & Rose is located at 11580 Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda.

Family Turkey Hunt
Where: Green Spring Gardens
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $6/county residents, $8/non-residents

Learn the history of the wild turkey, its amazing adaptations, and importance to early Americans. Track this wily bird through the gardens and natural spaces of Green Spring then create a turkey-inspired decoration for your Thanksgiving table. Pre-registration is required. Read more about Green Spring Gardens in this KFDC post.

Rhode Island Row Tree Lighting
Where: Rhode Island Row
When: Saturday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Rhode Island Row community at its inaugural Neighborhood Tree Lighting and Open House holiday event, hosted by WPGC’s DJ Flexx. Enjoy live performances, photos with Santa, festive entertainment, and more. Rhode Island Row is also the new flagship location for the WPGC Coat Drive 95, in partnership with Salvation Army, a DC tradition more than 20 years in the making. WPGC will broadcast live from Rhode Island Row, collecting coats and winter accessories donations for the Salvation Army. When guests donate a coat or winter accessory they will receive one free ticket for photos with Santa to be redeemed during the holiday open house. Rhode Island Row is located at 2300 Washington Place NE.

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

* 101 Dalmations just started its run at Imagination Stage
* Watch the Mythbusters test popular theories and urban legends live at the Warner Theatre (look for a deal on tickets)
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Wake Up, Brother Bear at the Bethesda theatre
* Mary Ann Jung: Feasting with the Queen is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Alistair Moock is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing starting this weekend through December 28
* It’s the opening weekend of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Creative Cauldron presents Arabian Nights this month
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of As You Like It (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Waldorf School is holding its 45th annual Fall Bazaar, featuring family activities, artisanal goods, delectable food, and stunning seasonal décor evoking the spirit of the school. The Bazaar will include activities and crafts for kids of all ages, a puppet show, more than 30 artisan vendors from DC and beyond, live music and entertainment, hand-crated gifts, books, and toys, and the Bazaar Bistro, with delicious lunch, desserts, and specialty drinks. The work of Waldorf students will also be on display.

The Enchanted Forest Holiday Extravaganza
Where: Westin Tysons Corner
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $14

The Junior League of Northern Virginia invites you to stroll through the whimsical forest of theme-decorated holiday trees, have Cocoa and Sprinkles Cupcakes with the Ice Princesses or Breakfast and Brunch with Santa. The weekend-long festivities, presented by the Junior League of Northern Virginia and featuring Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, include live entertainment from Mr. Knick-Knack, the Great Zucchini and more, model train display by the National Capital Trackers, science experiments by the Children’s Science Center, themed crafts for children, gifts and holiday decorations for purchase, a live and silent auction, and more.

Play Virtual Ball with Stephen Strasburg
Where: Westfield Mall
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Lucky Nats fans have a chance to meet and play Xbox One with baseball star, Stephen Strasburg as part of the grand opening of Microsoft at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda! The first 200 customers in line for the grand opening at 11am will receive a ticket, however the meet and greet with Strasburg will take place in the afternoon.

Ice It
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With warmer temps on the way, it’ll be a great time to get gliding at local rinks. Skate amid art at the Sculpture Garden; join Washington Harbour’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning; meander the icy paths at Canal Park; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

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

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph. Read more about the program in this post about one of our experiences there.

Big Hero 6
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by theater
The new much-talked-about kids movie lives up to the hype! With great animation, exciting action, innovative ideas, an interesting plot, and of course, a good message, parents will enjoy it, too. (I did!)


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Giveaway: Spark Creativity & Fun with Nene Imagination Puzzles

nene_turtles

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t do many product reviews here on the blog. That’s mainly because KFDC focuses on events, activities, and places to enjoy with kids around the DC area. Also, I simply don’t have the time. So, if I am reviewing a product, you likely can assume it’s for something good. And Nene Imagination Puzzles are good, really good, in my opinion.

Pretty penguins, birds, and butterflies

Pretty penguins, birds, and butterflies

I was intrigued from the first email I received from the puzzle creators. For starters, I love hearing about parents who re-routed their careers or created something novel with the new insight and lifestyle that comes from having children — it’s inspiring and something I can relate to. This was the case with local parents Ade Luque and CJ Krizan, both economists who became interested in toys and games for their twins and decided to develop their own. What really drew me in, however, were the puzzles themselves — or the descriptions of them, anyway, when Ade first reached out to me:

We currently make two kinds of puzzles: Puzzles Without Borders (‘Animal & Friends’ series) and Tiles of Infinity. Each puzzle contains 2 or 3 shapes that can be used to create an extensive variety of patterns. Each of the shapes fits together in a certain way, but nearly each time you put the shapes together, a different pattern emerges. You can choose to put the pieces together randomly and watch a pattern emerge effortlessly, or create a planned pattern.

A team effort

A team effort

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Watching the puzzles being demo-ed on the website sealed the deal, and I asked them to send some samples for my kids to try for themselves. When they arrived and Sasha gave them the first test-run, my initial reaction was to the aesthetics, the pretty, complementary colors and super cute animal designs coming together so pleasantly. And seeing every single piece fit together in some way to form interesting, whimsical, and beautiful designs is kind of riveting. On top of that, it’s fun, like free-style puzzle playing (I guarantee that parents will want to try them, too).

Sasha designs with turtles, squid, and ray

Sasha designs with turtles, squid, and ray

The verdict: They are a hit! Both of my kids really dig the puzzles, Sasha (5) mainly plays with the Puzzles Without Borders, while Owen (8) enjoys creating designs using the Tiles of Infinity. And I love seeing their minds, particularly their imaginations, at work.

Owen and friend create a fireball breathing dragon

Owen and friend create a fireball breathing dragon

Taking a turn with the Tiles of Infinity

Taking a turn with the Tiles of Infinity

Nene Imagination Puzzles are available for purchase online for $21.99 or you can find them at local retailers. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win one.

Giveaway: Three winners will be selected, as I have one of each of Penguins & Friends, Turtles & Friends, and Tiles of Infinity to give away. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me one item on your child’s holiday gift wish list. To be eligible, you need to subscribe to KidFriendly DC (see the sign-up on the upper left hand side of the blog) and “like” KFDC on Facebook. This giveaway will run through the weekend, and a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received complimentary puzzles to try out from Nene Imagination, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


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Filed under Educational, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Holidays, Preschoolers, Preteens, Product Review, Teens, Tweens

Give the Gift of Dance with a Special Discount from Joy of Motion

This would make a perfect gift for kids — and adults — who want to get moving!


JOMDC_ad_sm

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


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Filed under All ages, Class, DC, Deal, Educational, Holidays, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Virginia

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 17-21

Stop and smell the spices in the US Botanic Garden's "Plants in Culture" exhibit

Stop and smell the spices in the US Botanic Garden’s “Plants in Culture” exhibit





Monday - No matter what the weather outside, it’s always pleasant in the U.S. Botanic Garden. Walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora without a drop of precipitation falling on you, unless you count the misters in the jungle area. Be sure to stop in the “Plants in Culture” exhibit, where you can smell the scents of various herbs and spices and learn about their everyday uses. Hours at the USBG are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Tuesday - Bounce on over to Joyful Jumps in Bowie, Md. The indoor play center offers Open Play everyday, just drop in for a two-hour session of amusement on their giant inflatables, slides, and obstacle courses. Admission is $8.50/ages 17 mos. – 16 years, $6.50/12-16 mos. and on a first come, first served basis. Hours are 10am – 1pm and 4-7pm Monday – Thursday. (10am – 1pm & 4-8pm Fridays).

Wednesday - Head out to Dulles for Air & Space exploration beyond the District. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases flight artifacts they can’t fit into the museum on the Mall. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Thursday - Go ice skating! The Washington Harbour Ice Rink is a good one for newbie skaters with push penguins to help them along. Admission is $10/adult, $9/child, $5/skate rentals. Hours are 12-9pm. Take advantage of being in Georgetown and grab a bite to eat and do some shopping, too. If the location isn’t convenient for you, find another ice rink in the area.

Friday - Take your tot to rock out with Alastair Moock, a 2014 Grammy nominee and renowned children’s music creator, at Discovery Theater’s Jammin’ at the Smithsonian Series. Showtimes are 10:15am and 11:30am. Tickets are $3-8.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Sports, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: November 14-16

This is how they roll

This is how they roll



The happenings this weekend are as cool as the weather we’re going to get — and there are plenty of them, too. Embrace the holiday spirit, enjoy a museum program, have some artsy fun, see a show, celebrate our local trails, the start of the ice skating season, or a park reopening…and those are just a few of a plethora of options. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate the Ice Skating Season
Where: Canal Park Ice Rink
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Rates to skate: $9/adult, $8/child, $4/rentals

The ice skating season has officially begun, and Canal Park is celebrating with a Grand Opening bash on Saturday. Along with the obvious (ie, gliding around the rink), guests can enjoy other fun activities, including balloon making and face painting. If you want to hit the ice in an area closer to home, check out this post for more places to skate the day away.

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

Kids can celebrate fall at the American Art Museum by making Thanksgiving Day decorations to display, learning to contra dance with a live band, and taking a scavenger hunt in the galleries to find feast-themed art!Make your own Thanksgiving centerpieces (every Turkey Day celebration needs a well-dressed table!), learn to contra dance with a live band, and take a scavenger hunt through the galleries to find feast-themed art!

Family Volunteer Day
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
When: Saturday, 9-11am
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family and participate in the annual Family Volunteer Day at Kenilworth Aquatic! Join them to jump start the holiday season by showing he kids the value of service and gratitude for nature’s beauty. Projects include separating and potting grasses, raking leaves, removing invasive plants and picking up trash. There is no set age limit but parent supervision is required for those 18 and younger. Face painting and park tours will follow the volunteer service! RSVP recommended.

Party Arty!
Where: Anna Banana Art Studio
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Anna Banana, the children’s art studio in Georgetown, is celebrating two years of offering art classes with an Open House Birthday Party. Stop by to say hi, check out the studio, enjoy treats, and make some art with the kids – all for free! It’s a thank you to YOU for two years of art classes in Georgetown. The studio is located at 3270 S Street, NW, and there’s easy parking nearby.

Holiday Cheer
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Shows and events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. This weekend, catch Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre (find discount tickets), enjoy the holidays on ICE! At National Harbor, Re-Imagine the holidays at a tree lighting in Silver Spring, go holiday shopping at Strathmore and Mosaic District, and stroll through Meadowlark Garden’s Winter Walk of Lights. The 2014 KFDC Guide to the Best Holiday Events in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

Future Trails Celebration
Where: First & Pierce Street NE in NoMA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, REI, and trail lovers from around on Saturday for a free and family-friendly celebration of the biking and walking trails that connect our region. There will be free bike repairs by REI mechanics and an interactive REI Signature Camp where you can test out camping and bike touring gear. There will also be free cookies from the Captain Cookie food truck and free coffee, free bike rentals for those who wish to join a trail tour, trail tours of the nearby Met Branch Trail, carnival games, amazing raffle prizes, face painting, and crafts. It’s a party for the whole family!

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

* Little ones can enjoy interactive theatre with Wake Up, Brother Bear at Imagination Stage
* The Okee Dokee Brothers are playing at the National Geographic Museum on Saturday
* Encore Stage & Studio’s version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is in its second weekend (get a deal on tickets)
* Catch a performance of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co.
* Parallel Exit brings physical comedy to BlackRock Center for the Arts
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Driving Miss Daisy is still in its run at Ford’s Theatre
* Michael Shwedick’s Reptile World is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* The Diggity Dudes are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* Creative Cauldron presents Arabian Nights this month
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of As You Like It (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)

Family Day: World War I -A War of Innovation
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The First World War was among the deadliest conflicts in history. In the race to gain tactical advantage, each side of the conflict worked on major advances in manufacturing, chemistry, medicine, communications, and weaponry–including the introduction of aircraft into the war. This family day will explore the social and technological history through presentations and hands-on activities.

Chew the Fat
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child

What can you do with fat? Many things! Help the Farm Family in their final preparations for winter by making soap, candles, dubbin and tallow. While you’re there, tour the grounds and get a glimpse of farm life in the 18th century. Read more about Claude Moore in this past KFDC post.

Annual Book Fair
Where: Oyster-Adams Bilingual
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Get started on your holiday shopping and support a local school at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School’s 20th Annual Book Fair. There are books for children of all ages and adults alike. The school is located at 2801 Calvert Street NW.

Girls Frisbee Clinic
Where: Walter Pierce Park in Adams Morgan
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Girls in grades 5-8 can learn to play Ultimate Frisbee! They’re invited to take part in a clinic that is part of the Girls Ultimate Movement (GUM), a nation-wide movement to get girls involved in Ultimate at a young age. Led by two local women’s club teams, the two-hour clinic will introduce the basic skills and concepts of ultimate, one of the fastest-growing team sports in the country. More information, including registration info, can be found here.

Pay MOM’s a Visit
Where: MOM’s Organic Market
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

MOM’s Organic Market is opening its first DC location today and will be celebrating with a Grand Opening this weekend. Stop by for local samples, kid’s activities, and a reusable MOM’s bag full of goodies (while supplies last), all while supporting Sasha Bruce Youthwork — 5% of Grand Opening sales will be donated to the youth shelter and services provider doing wonderful work in the city. The new MOM’s is located at 1501 New York Avenue NW.

Animal Safety Story Time
Where: Shaw Neighborhood Library
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Home Buddies DC is on a mission to reduce the millions of dog bites that occur to children each year and it all starts with education. That’s why they’re holding a fun and interactive book reading to teach kids how to interact with dogs. Join them at the Shaw Neighborhood Library on Saturday for a reading of their very own children’s book Scout Says, “Dogs Get Nervous, Too.” Each child will get a FREE copy of the book to take home! In addition, there will be a trained dog on-site for children to practice proper interaction with pets. The program is most appropriate for preschool aged children; however, kids 12 and under are welcome to attend.

Stead Park Reopening Celebration
Where: Stead Park
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

After three years of planning and renovating, Stead Park will be reopened to the public on Saturday. The park now boasts a jogging track, splashpark, performance stage, seating, trees, and an additional entrance from 17th Street. Celebrate its reopening at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Mayor Vincent. C. Gray, followed by a Family Fun Field Day, featuring games, face painting, refreshments, live entertainment, crafts and more! Stead Park is located at 1625 P Street NW.

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

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee alphabet. The story will be read at 1:05pm, 2pm and 3pm on Saturday and at 2:05pm, 3pm, and 4pm on Sunday. Read more about the program in this post about one of our experiences there.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend