Where in DC?


Think you know where this photo was taken? If so, you could win a cool prize! Leave your answer in the comments, and everyone who guesses correctly will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win TWO Certifkid deals for admission to Shenandoah Caverns for one adults and one child.

This contest will run through the weekend, and a winner will be picked on Monday, so get your guesses in soon.

Good luck!


Filed under Contest, Giveaway

Get Your Fill of Live Entertainment this Fall

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a nature-inspired spectacle of acrobatics and athleticism for all ages

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a nature-inspired spectacle of acrobatics and athleticism for all ages

Don’t let the temps outside fool you! Autumn is on its way, and it’s bringing a whole new season of live entertainment, too. Here’s the round-up of what you can catch on stages around the area, listed in order of opening date. And if there’s anything I’ve missed — from elaborate productions to simple shows — feel free to add them in the comments.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage
Where: National Theatre
When: Through September 14
Tickets: $48-93 (find discounted seats here)

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Featuring the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Don’t miss your chance to see this live theatre sensation. You’ll have the time of your life!

Boogie Babes
Where: Union Market, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Union Market on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor. Check the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Marvel Universe LIVE!
Where: Verizon Center & Patriot Center
When: September 4-7, 12-14, 19-21
Tickets: $20-130 (find discounted seats here)

Marvel Universe LIVE! promises to captivate audiences with an authentic and original story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest. The story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe, that has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe. To defeat Loki, Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes must band together and trek across the globe to retrieve the Cosmic Cube fragments and unite them. As the Super Heroes track the Cube, they will encounter some of their biggest adversaries on a quest for the very same fragments. These foes have no problem teaming up if it gets them closer to their ultimate goal of world domination.

Cirque Dream – Jungle Fantasy
Where: Wolf Trap
When: September 5-6
Tickets: $25-100 (find discounted seats here)

This wild encounter is inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations that are brought to life by an international cast of soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians. The astounding feats performed in this action packed Cirque Dream are enhanced with spectacular costumes that come to life in a fantastical jungle setting ignited by striking visual effects. From the breathtaking soaring aerial butterflies to the balancing giraffes, gigantic flowers, trees and kings of the jungle, this world-class explosion of athleticism, theatre and imagination will exhilarate and entertain audiences of all ages anywhere in the world.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Admission: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: Workhouse Arts Theatre
When: September 6-28
Tickets: $13/adult, $10/ages 10 and under

An original musical adaptation inspired by the classic Lewis Carroll stories. Poor Alice has found herself lost in strange land filled with wondrous inhabitants! Featuring songs based on the poetry from the original text, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit and the rest of the zany cast will be on hand as Alice adventures through Wonderland. Will she ever find her way home again, or was it all just a dream..?! Recommended for all ages.

Big Apple Circus: Metamorphosis
Where: Big Top, Dulles Town Center
When: September 18 – October 5
Tickets: $25-80 (find discounted seats here)

Fly away to the magical ring of the Big Apple Circus, where an their all-new show, METAMORPHOSIS, thrills with astonishing acts and startling transformations that will transport you to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top! See flyers of the trapeze, an aerial space-age acrobatic adventure, cadenzas of camels and horses, the exuberance of playful pooches, the incredible flexible limbs of the contortionist, the merriment and gentle humor of Francesco the Clown, the glorious Big Apple Circus, the magnificent Ringmaster, and so much more. Read about our past Big Apple Circus experience here.

Stuart Little
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 19 – October 26
Tickets: $19

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Shy and thoughtful, Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend? Recommended for all ages.

Where: The Puppet Co.
When: September 19 – October 12
Tickets: $10

A “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, of the Grimm’s fairytale, featuring the music of Jacques Ibert. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring-book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for preK – grade 4.

The Night Fairy
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 24 – October 26
Tickets: $12-25

Flory is a Night Fairy who is attacked by a bat. When her wings are damaged in the struggle, she is forced to learn how to survive in the daylight among the other birds and animals in a typical backyard. During her adventures, Flory makes new friends, and eventually reconciles with her foe. By the time her wings begin to sprout back, Flory has discovered a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience that she never knew she had. Recommended for Ages 4–10.

Under the Canopy
Where: The Antheum
When: September 25 – October 5
Tickets: $5

Imagine a theatrical world designed especially for babies and young toddlers to explore – a world inspired by the wonders of the rainforest! That’s what’s in store when the innovative style of Arts on the Horizon targets our very youngest fans and their caregivers. Using colorful objects and playful sounds, our performers will discover and build a rainforest setting around, within and above the audience. Whistling flowers, a clacking caterpillar, and brightly-colored umbrella birds await! After each performance, children are invited to explore the different props and objects used to create the playscape. Geared toward children ages 0-2.

Driving Miss Daisy
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: September 26 – October 26
Tickets: $20-54

Acclaimed Washington stage actors Nancy Robinette and Craig Wallace return to Ford’s to perform in this beloved classic. When Daisy Werthan causes a car wreck, her son hires hard-working chauffeur Hoke Colburn to look after her. What begins as a hostile clashing of wills between a stubborn Jewish matriarch and a proud black man evolves into a decades-long friendship as the two navigate Civil Rights-era Atlanta. With humor and heartfelt emotion, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play poignantly explores the transformative power of true friendship. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: September 27 – December 13
Tickets: Free

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Uno, dos, tres…con ANDRES!
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 1-3
Tickets: $3-8

Counting has never been more fun in English and Spanish. Local kids’ music star Andrés Salguero offers sing-alongs to songs familiar and new, including great music from his debut CD, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés!, creating plenty of bilingual fun. Get set to bailar y aprender (dance and learn) with Andrés!

Doktor Kaboom: LIVE WIRE! The Electricity Tour
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 4
Tickets: $20

Grab your lab coats and safety goggles, because this one-man show can be explosive! Doktor Kaboom is bringing an all-new interactive science comedy show focused on the amazing power of electricity. The stand-up scientist with the thick German accent will keep crowds transfixed and rolling on the floor with his increasingly spectacular (and usually successful) experiments. With his hilarious improvisational style, no two shows will be exactly the same–you may even be called on stage to help with one of his zany demonstrations! If you’re ready to get psyched about science, just say “ja!” to Doktor Kaboom. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 5
Tickets: $15-22

The Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion – Not your run-of-the-mill magic show, Spencers’ Theatre of Illusion is a unique fusion of magic and illusion, humor and mystery, and persona and personality that’s presented with theatrical elements of a Broadway-style production and the high energy of a rock concert. The performers have been described as “Modern Day Houdinis” by the critics, have the skills of master showmen, and create a world for audiences of all ages where nothing is impossible and anything can happen. You won’t believe your eyes!

Fabulas Fairytales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 15-16
Tickets: $3-8

Start with three bears, three pigs, and three billy goats gruff. Add two languages, and what do you get? The perfect combination for a fresh and fun introduction to Spanish words—and a fabulas new take on a trio of familiar stories in this interactive Discovery Theater original. Kids will find the “found” costumes and set pieces crafted from recycled materials pretty fabulous, too.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: October 16 – November 20
Tickets: $10

In this marionette romp, three brothers get the goat of a hen-pecked troll in their attempts to trip-trap-tromp to where the grass is greener. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry.

Disney on Ice: Frozen
Where: Patriot Center
When: October 22 – 27
Tickets: $15-105

Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond all imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen! The heartwarming, Academy Award-winning tale you love is now LIVE and skating into your town. You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintery world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to inspiring songs, including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all!

Starry, Starry Night
Where: Air & Space Museum
When: October 23-24
Tickets: Free with reservation

Blast into space with wacky Professor Van Gogo for an incredible celestial voyage! This imaginative introduction to stargazing includes star stories brought to life by StoneLion Puppet Theatre’s hand and rod puppets. After the show, we invite you to visit the Explore the Universe Gallery. You can reserve tickets online, and do so soon because shows are filling up fast! Recommended for ages 3-8

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Whodunit
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 26
Tickets: $15-18

There’s a mystery in the Concert Hall on All Hallows’ Eve! For this frightfully fun third chapter in the NSO’s popular Spooktacular concert series, don your freaky-deakiest costumes and join all the ghoulishly attired musicians for a wickedly wacky, music-filled whodunit. When the NSO’s Stephen Dumaine alerts the orchestra that his tuba has been stolen, NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl asks the audience to help them rewind time, follow the clues, lure out the “thief,” and crack the case! Get there early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for spine-tingling classics–including Adam Glaser’s March of the Little Goblins, the “Infernal Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique–plus new favorites like “Let It Go” from the smash animated movie Frozen, and plenty of Halloween surprises!

Fiddler on the Roof
Where: Arena Stage
When: October 31 – January 4
Tickets: $50-99 (find discounted seats here)

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of an American classic! More than just a poor milkman, Tevye is a humble Jewish father who finds his devotion to God severely tested by his headstrong daughters, who want to be their own matchmakers, and the increasingly ruthless government forcing him from his land. With a jubilant and masterful score including “If I Were a Rich Man;” “Sunrise, Sunset;” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “Tradition,” Tony nominee Jonathan Hadary makes his Arena debut as Tevye in this celebration of family, community and life’s unexpected miracles, large and small.

Fancy Nancy The Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 1-2
Tickets: $15

Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” Nancy is positive (that’s fancy for 100 percent sure) that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn’t the one she wanted? This 50-minute show manages to entertain both adults and children in a masterful way. A special Fancy Nancy Tea Party will take place the hour before the November 1 show – tickets are available here.

NSO Kinderclassics: Musical Opposites
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 1
Tickets: $20

Sometimes you’re left with two puzzle pieces that just don’t seem to fit. But then with a little squinting and a lot of imagination, you find that they go together perfectly! The Kennedy String Quartet demonstrates many types of musical contrasts that work together, from the technical to the emotional. The four NSO musicians engage the audience as they explore such simple musical building blocks as high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow, arco and pizzicato. Then, playing excerpts by string quartet masters Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich, the quartet shows how composers use opposites to express a stunning variety of musical moods and emotions. Get there early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Starting one hour before each Kinderkonzert, this hands-on activity in the Kennedy Center Hall of States gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Coyote Mischief Tales
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 5-6 & 13-20
Tickets: $3-8

Trickster Coyote is a crafty, funny, and fearless fellow and a little too smart for his own good. In this play by Philip Blue Owl Hooser, audiences laugh along with his adventures with his wife Mole, and his spirit guide Hashtali as they learn about making choices, sharing, and giving gifts from the heart. Recommended for ages 5-10.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: November 7-16
Tickets: $12/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents their version of a classic. Sleepy Hollow is a little town with more than its fair share of spooky ghost stories. The citizens of Sleepy Hollow know the legend of the Headless Horseman is just make-believe…until the new schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, arrives. Suddenly, strange things begin to happen and he comes face to face with the famous ghost. Will Ichabod triumph over the mysterious Horseman? Join Encore as the legend unfolds, and see for yourself. Some sequences may be frightening for young children. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage
When: November 11-30
Tickets: $12

This audience-favorite show is back from hibernation! Watch as Brother and Sister Bear experience a full year of glorious seasons. Together we see a waterfall melt, meet a butterfly, chase an elusive fish, and skate on an icy pond. Children are invited to join the action with a small bag of props that help create magical moments. Recommended for ages 1-5

Parallel Exit
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: November 15
Tickets: $15-22

Physical comedy: the newest oldest art form! Physical comedy troupe and two-time Drama Desk nominee Parallel Exit offers a very special presentation of Exit Stage Left – a rollicking speed-of-light comedy. Harkening back to the days of vaudeville, Exit Stage Left packs more entertainment in a single show than a three-ring circus. An ensemble of five presents a wide range of old-fashioned family entertainment, from tap dance to live music to slapstick comedy.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: Alastair Moock
Where: Discovery Theater
When: November 21
Tickets: $3-8

Meet one of Boston’s premier folk artists, a 2014 Grammy nominee for best children’s album and a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner. Time Out New York calls Alastair Moock ”a musical descendant of Woody Guthrie with a zany sense of humor.” His shows, described as “half Appalachian hootenanny, half honky-tonk jam session” are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Gift of Nothing
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 22
Tickets: $20

Today is a very, very merry special day! Mooch, a charming and curious cat, wants to get the purr-fect holiday gift for his best friend Earl, a loveable pup. But Earl already seems to have all he needs: a bowl, a bed, and a squeaky chew toy. So what do you get someone who has everything? Well, nothing, of course! Based on characters in the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, this world premiere musical adaptation of Patrick McDonnell’s The Gift of Nothing follows Mooch’s frantic and hilarious search to find Earl absolutely nothing–which always turns out to be something! Join the delightful duo, along with their owners Millie and Ozzie, cantankerous Frank, adorable Doozy, and an onstage pianist for this festive and heartwarming adventure. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


Filed under All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 2-5

Getting cozy at the National Building Museum's PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit

Getting cozy at the National Building Museum’s PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit

Shutterfly Labor Day 40% Off - 300x250

Tuesday - Beat the heat on what’s probably going to be one of the hottest days this summer at the National Building Museum. The Book of the Month program invites children to a special storytime in the Building Zone. During this session, there will be readings of Tools Rules by Aaron Meshon. Stay to romp in the play space for kids, head upstairs to the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit, or hang out in the magnificent Great Hall. Book of the Month runs from 10am – 12pm, admission is $3/person. Admission to other exhibits is $8/adult, $5/child (Certifikid currently has a $4 deal). Museum hours are 10am – 5pm.

Wednesday - Spend the morning grooving with the Boogie Babes! After a brief hiatus, they are back with kiddie entertainment at Union Market presenting Unos, dos, tres…con Andres. Showtime is 10:30am, admission is $5/child. (You can also catch Mr. Skip at Eastern Market on Thursday and The Singing Lizard at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Friday.) Later on, skip the cooking and eat pizza at a family-friendly happy hour at Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan. Some toys provided, plus you can BYO! Your host will be Moms Clean Air Force, an organization that fights climate change with mom-power. The DC Field Organizer will be happy to chat with moms and dads about how to get involved in the organization in ways big and small. Drop in anytime between 4:30-7pm. RSVPs appreciated to jhantman@momscleanairforce.org.

Thursday - Enjoy reading, singing, and fun at The Plaza at City Center’s Kids Corner! The weekly program promotes early language and literacy skills through stories, songs, rhymes, and other delights for kids — bubbles, parachutes and coloring — with a librarian from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Starts at 11am, and admission is free. The Plaza is located at I Street between 9th & 10th Streets NW.

Friday - Get a nature fix, indoors and out, at Long Branch Nature Center. Peek inside terrariums for a close look at snakes, turtles, frogs, and toads, and see fish swim in a small indoor pond. If weather permits, continue your viewing outdoors at the larger pond and hike the nearby trails. Hours are 10am – 5pm (Tuesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday), and admission is free.


Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: August 29 – September 1

Make Revel Grove your happy place

Make Revel Grove your happy place

If the start of school didn’t mark the unofficial end of summer, then Labor Day weekend will take the cake. Many of the season’s quintessential activities come to a close after this, but that doesn’t mean the fun ends, too. As you savor the last of summer joys, start welcoming some of the delights of fall…and find plenty DC mainstays to enjoy in between. Happy Long Weekend!

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free

One of DC’s biggest annual events is happening this weekend — a few weeks earlier than usual and a change of location, but it’s going to be just as good. The 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. There will be book readings, Q&A’s, fun for kids, book signings, and more reading-related activities for all. For a glimpse of what to expect, see this post about our experience there a couple of years ago.

Season Finales
Where: Various locales
When: Through Monday
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, The Big Maze among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, a romp through the Building Museum’s labyrinth, or a day at an outdoor public pool, then check out the Summer 2014 guide, which has details on all of those diversions and many more.

Hear the Blues
Where: Carter Barron Amphitheater
When: Saturday, 12-7:30pm
Admission: $10/member, $15/non-members

Head to the outdoor stage in Rock Creek Park for the 26th Annual DC Blues Festival. Along with the line-up of performers, there will be musical workshops throughout the day, where both children and adults can learn about Blues music. Kids will especially enjoy instrument and vocal workshops, including an instrument petting zoo. View the schedule of both musical acts and extra fun here.

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove, Crownsville, Md.
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17/adults, $10/ages 7-18

The merriment continues at Revel Grove in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 19, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. For more details on what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

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

* A super waaaay, to spend some time together: The Fresh Beat Band concert at Wolf Trap on Saturday (look for discount tickets)
* Children’s fave Rocknoceros is playing a special Labor Day show at Jammin’ Java
* The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs on the Main Stage for its final weekend
* Animal Crackers and Old MacDonald’s Farm are the featured Tiny Tots shows at the Glen Echo puppet theatre
* Be wowed by Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna at National Harbor
* The hit stage version of Dirty Dancing is at the National Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is performed at Adventure Theatre before it closes after this weekend.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This list of area farms and orchards offering pick-your-own opportunities was posted awhile back, but all of the locales are still recommended, and links and festival dates have been updated as the apples are ready for harvest once again. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

More than 40 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the Kennedy Center’s 13th annual Page-to-Stage Festival. And they are all free and open to the public. Performances will take place at several venues around DC, and there are a few that are family-friendly, including Adventure Theatre’s Garfield, the Musical with Cattitude, The Millennium Stage performance In His Own Words: A Concert in Tribute to Walter Dean Myers, and My Creative Spirit’s Kidz at Play. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, Virginia
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20adults, $5/ages 5-12, free for under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and game to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but concerts will continue until 9pm.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, this year’s program explores American music from TV, movies, and beloved Broadway musicals, and features Emmy Award–winning actress and singer Nicole Parker and Broadway and opera sensation Christopher Johnstone. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

The Big Dig
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farm’s annual Potato Harvest takes place this Saturday and Sunday. Take the scenic drive out to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains early for all-you-can-eat pancakes topped with homemade fruit syrups, then hop on a hayride that will take you out to u-pick fields where you can dig for gold — Yukon gold potatoes, that is. Breakfast is served from 9am – 12pm, and the hayrides run all day, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Along with breakfast and the Dig, admission includes access to the rest of the farm’s attractions, including a cow train, mazes, barnyard petting area, pick your own fields, and more. Visit the website for more information and directions.

Where the Buffalo Roam
Where: National Zoo
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Zoo’s 125th Anniversary, the National Zoo is bringing back the animal that inspired its founding and helped spark the conservation movement, the American bison. The Zoo started in 1887 as an exhibit on the National Mall behind the Castle featuring American bison and a handful of species native to North America. To mark this anniversary, two bison will be taking up residence at the National Zoo — they will be located adjacent to the Zoo in Your Backyard Exhibit and the lower entrance to Asia Trail. Welcome them with a visit!

Ice Cream at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Get a glimpse of culinary life in the 18th century through ice cream making demos at Mount Vernon. The special program takes place every Saturday in August, so this is your last chance to check it out. Visitors can watch as costumed staff make one of George Washington’s favorite desserts using reproduction period equipment to emulate ice cream-making process of the olden times.

The Ins & Outs
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re just looking for things to do outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Sunday, 2:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25

It’s Kids Day at the DC United game! Along with an exciting match at RFK, there will be lots of extras for young fans — activities and a play area located behind Section 222. Start enjoying them at 1:30pm when stadium gates open, but get to the parking lot even earlier for tailgating and Food Trucks.

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The 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival


This one snuck up on me, as it usually happens in late September and most years has taken place on the National Mall. But no matter where or when the annual Library of Congress National Book Festival occurs, it’s an event worth clearing time for in your weekend schedule.

That time would be this Saturday, August 30, from 10am – 10pm. For the first year ever, the Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. It will be run much like it has been for the last 13 years with various pavilions highlighting the works of over 100 authors, illustrators, and poets.

Book enthusiasts, young and old, come from all over for a day of reading-related activities. Pavilions categorized by genre — Children, Teens, Picture Books, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Science and Special Programs — host presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests.

The Pavilion of the States salutes the literary traditions of all 50 states plus the territories the Library of Congress Pavilion provides an inside look into the workings of the world’s largest library, and a Book Sales Pavilion gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors. The Let’s Read America Pavilion offers lots of activities for children and families to enjoy, including story time, live entertainment, and arts & crafts. New this year is an International pavilion featuring artists from around the world as well as evening hours, when special programs will occur.

If your children love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there (Andrea Beaty, author of the much loved Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer is among the presenters!). And there’s bound to be a writer — or many — that parents will be excited about, too. Have a look for yourself and start planning your Festival experience!

The National Book Festival will be held at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 30, from 10am to 10pm. Admission is free.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Summer, Weekend