Tag Archives: Black History Month

The Weekend Round-Up: February 1-2

Celebrate the Year of the Horse at the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on Sunday

Celebrate the Year of the Horse at the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on Sunday



Football might be on the brains of many, but there’s a lot of time to kill before the big game Sunday night. And you’ve got your pick of ways to do just that: Sing along to one of the best movie soundtracks in awhile (yes, I really did say that). Immerse yourself in chocolate, or chocolate themed activities, anyway. Celebrate Black History Month, the Chinese New Year, and Groundhog Day. See a show. Or enjoy a museum program. And it’s going to be warm this weekend – a whopping 50 degrees on Saturday! – so you can also break out the flip flops and find something fun to do outdoors. Happy Weekend!

Frozen Sing-Along
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater

Okay, parents… you might say you are taking your kids to see and sing along to the soundtrack of the kids’ movie of the season because they love it so much. But we all know that you secretly can’t wait to belt out the tunes along with Elsa and Anna and friends. Yep, the theater audience is not just welcome, but encouraged to join in the film’s musical moments. Lyrics will be displayed on the screen, but I’m pretty sure most of us – I mean, our kids – won’t need them.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The 2014 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 700 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from a couple of years ago for more about the event.

Black History Month Family Day
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History Month! Inspired by the exhibition Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation,1863, and the March on Washington, 1963, there will be dramatic performances, hands-on activities, gallery tours, and a preview screening discussion of a new documentary by Stanley Nelson, Freedom Summer. Get your free tickets here.

Ice It
Where: Local Rinks and St. Elizabeths East
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies (Free at the slide!)

It’s perfect weather for winter recreation outdoors! The ice slide at St. Elizabeths East is only around a few more weekends, so get your inner tube rides in while you can. And you can skate under the sky without risk of frostbite – this post has details on local ice rinks, so you and the kids can get gliding.

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

* Bright Star Theatre is putting on a performance about George Washington Carver at this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National show.
* Peter and the Starcatcher is on stage at the Kennedy Center.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Tales of Beatrix Potter is on the main stage and Baby Bear’s Birthday and Dragon Tales are the featured Tiny Tots show.
* Next door at Adventure Theater, catch Miss Nelson is Missing.
* Really little ones will enjoy Aquarium at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
* Groovy Nate will entertain the crowd at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning.
More details about all of these shows, or links to them, can be found in this post about live entertainment around the DC area this winter.

The Land of Chocolate
Where: City of Fairfax
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission:Depends on activities

The City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate. There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, puppet shows, face painting, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. The events list on website has details.

Celebrate La Chandeleur
Where: Hillwood Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adult, $5/ages 2-18

In France La Chandeleur, also known as “Crêpe Day,” is celebrated with food and games.  Alliance Française de Washington and Hillwood invite families to celebrate this holiday in festive French fashion by eating crepes, enjoying traditional Breton music performed by Moch Pryderi, listening to classic tales told in French and English, and experiencing the exciting culture of Brittany, where crepes originated.  Embark on a quest to discover French treasures in Hillwood’s mansion and create your own French hats to wear and to take home. Tickets include 2 crepes per adult and 1 crepe per child.

Say Hola & Hello
Where: BloomBars
When: Saturday, 6pm
Admission: $7/child, $10/parties of 2 or more

Head to Columbia Heights on Saturday evening for some bilingual entertainment. Performer Mariana Iranzi is coming on from NYC to present her new Album “Hola Hello” and put on a fun show for the whole family. Bloombars is located at 3222 11th Street NW.

80′s Skate
Where: Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
When: Saturday, 6-10pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $7/12 and under, $3/rentals

Parents may get a little more excited about this one than kids: It’s an 80’s themed ice skating party at Rockville Town Square Ice Rink on Saturday evening. Guests are encouraged to dress in their most awesome 80’s gear and, like, totally rock out to Madonna, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, and other faves from the decade. At 7,200 square feet, it’s the largest outdoor ice skating rink between Baltimore and Washington, DC, so there will be plenty of space to recreate the Flashdance routine on ice.

In Every Language Love
Where: Freer & Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the museum showcasing Asian Art for In Every Language Love, an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines.

Groundhog Day
Where: Dupont Circle fountain
When: Sunday, 7:30am
Admission: Free

If you’ve got an early rising family, go see Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, make an appearance and offer weather and (because it’s DC) political predictions. Phil will let us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring (and maybe who will the mayoral race?). Live accordion music, polka dancers, a puppet show, local VIP’s and more will be part of the festivities. It all begins promptly at 7:30am, and Potomac Phil will emerge at 8am. The event is part of the Dupont Festival, which organizes and implements a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities in the greater Dupont Circle area throughout the year.

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Chinatown
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Usher in the Year of the Horse, lunar year 4712, on Sunday at the Chinese New Year Parade. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: February 9-10

Celebrate the Year of the Snake in Chinatown on Sunday

Celebrate the Year of the Snake in Chinatown on Sunday



There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend — Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, the Chinese New Year — and even more ways to celebrate them. Learn about African Americans in aviation, make your own Valentines, ring in the Year of the Snake…all among the many activities and events that observe the occasions, plus even more special and ongoing pursuits that are just plain ol’ fun. Happy Weekend!

NASM-African American Family Days .13.jpg

African American Pioneers in Aviation Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The museum’s annual African American Pioneers Day focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group. Enjoy excerpts from the hit off-Broadway play Black Angels over Tuskegee. Little ones will love the Tevin and Tuskegee Airmen Puppet Show as well as hands-on activities. And, weather permitting, guests can view the sky from a telescope in the public observatory.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
When: February 9, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Nothing delivers love better than giving a handmade card to your valentine, and the Postal Museum will help you do that at this workshop on Saturday. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, you bring your creativity to decorate your card. Visit the museum’s stamp store and send the cards to your loved ones with a special Postal Museum postmark.

NOAA Open House
Where: NOAA Silver Spring Campus
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Explore your world and learn how NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, takes the pulse of the planet every day and protects and manages ocean and coastal resources. Head to the NOAA Silver Spring campus for a series of free activities, including engaging guest presentations, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities for ages 5 and up. Meet and talk with scientists, weather forecasters, hurricane hunter pilots, and others who work in the field. Early birds can also take a tour of the NOAA National Weather Service’s Operations Center and NOAA Exploration Command Center. The Silver Spring campus is located at 1315 East-West Highway.

Lowe’s Build and Grow
Where: Local Lowe’s Stores
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The home improvement store hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and this session will bring some Valentine’s spirit as guests construct a Wheel of Love. Bring the kids into any Lowe’s store to make a free wooden project (with parent help). Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of their project. Go here to register.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under:

The 2013 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from last year from more about what to expect.

Dream Alive: a Celebration of African American History
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $14

This Saturday afternoon performance is a celebration of African American history ideal for Black History Month. Kim and Reggie Harris are dynamic and superbly talented traditional folk performers who captivate audiences with their songs and storytelling. In Dream Alive, they bring to life an array of educators, artists, scientists, poets, inventors and other key contributors to African American history through an interactive and engaging presentation.

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

There’s even more live entertainment on local stages this weekend.
Anime Momotaro is thrilling audiences at the Imagination Stage.
Winnie the Pooh is at Adventure Theatre.
Toyland is at The Puppet Co. along with a couple of Tiny Tots shows.
– The Maestro, an eccentric mute conductor, will make musical mayhem at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
– Teens will enjoy Zorro at the Source Theatre.
Steve Weeks is playing the kids show at Jammin’ Java.
Sleeping Beauty-The Broken Spell is at the Workhouse Arts Center.
Find more details in this post about winter entertainment.

In Every Language Love
Where: Freer & Sackler Gallery
When: February 9, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian museums featuring Asian Art are hosting In Every Language Love, an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Looks like it could be decent conditions for outdoor ice skating over the next couple of says, so lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; join Canal Parks’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday from 10am – 12pm; circle the new rink at Washington Harbour; 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.

Super Science Saturday
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

It’s Super Science Saturday, the monthly program at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles. There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities that immerse children in science and technology topics related to aviation and space exploration. on Saturday, it’ll center around January’s theme, “Scientists and Inventors.”

Victorian Valentines
Where: DAR Museum
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Create your own Victorian inspired valentine from stickers, paper, tissue and lace provided by the DAR Museum. Guests will have the opportunity to view authentic 19th-century valentines from the museum collection. Supplies are limited, so advance registration is requested, though drop-ins are welcome. Contact (202) 879–3240 or museum@dar.org to sign up.

Artful conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

See-Wonder-Haiku is the theme this month of the NGA’s Winter Drop-In Program for kids ages 8-11. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then write a related haiku. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium beginning at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Valentine’s Day Storytime
Where: Barnes & Noble locations
When: February 9, 11am
Admission: Free

Head to your local Barnes & Noble bookstore for a free storytime session with a Valentine theme. There will be a reading of “The Perfect Hug” by Joanna Walsh, plus fun activities and treats to follow. Find a location near you.

Be My Valentine Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: February 9, 1:30-3pm
Admission: $10/non-members, $5/members

It’s a hunt and a tour in one, as children scour the historic mansion in search of Valentine’s Day cards from the past. Then they will design their own Valentine’s cards to take home, drawing inspiration from historic and vintage cards from the Tudor Place archive. Space is limited, so register in advance.

Portraits in Art
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday to pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit and go on a self-guided tour/scavenger hunt of the museum. On Sunday, go for Portrait Story Days, where you can hear a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art — this week will feature George Washington Carver. Read more about both programs in this post about our recent experience at the NGA.

Winterfest Children’s Carnival
Where: Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Varies by activity

Celebrate the season and help support a local preschool. The Learning Center for Young Children in Kensington will host its 23rd annual Winterfest Children’s Carnival on Saturday. There will be loads of fun for the whole family to enjoy — live entertainment, children’s activities, a silent auction, a bake sale, and more. Feature acclaimed local entertainer Frank Cassel, “The Banjo Man,” music will include children’s songs, bluegrass, and folk — tickets for Cassel’s three performances featuring are $3 and will be sold at the carnival.

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Chinatown
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Usher in the Year of the Snake, lunar year 4711, on Sunday at the Chinese New Year Parade. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. View the route here to stake out your curbside spot.

Coiling Dragons
Where: Freer-Sackler Galleries
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Smithsonian museums featuring Asian Art to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some art. Use a miniature activity guide to explore the Silk Road Luxuries from China installation. Discover Tang China luxury objects, such as mirrors, wine cups, and cosmetic boxes, and learn about their foreign inspirations. Then return to the classroom to make your own repoussé Tang mirror.

President Adams’ Alligator Book Signing
Where: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Store in Logan Circle
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Humane Society (WHS) and Little Patriot Press are hosting an even for Peter and Cheryl Barnes’ new book President Adams’ Alligator.  The authors will sign books, and WHS will have adoptable animals at their mobile adoption center, Adopt Force One. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds will benefit the Washington Humane Society. The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Store is located at 1526 14th Street NW.

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

Celebrate Black History Month

Today marks the start of Black History Month, and there are many area programs and events happening over the next few weeks to celebrate it.  Here’s a round-up of them, some starting as soon as today.  Most descriptions are straight from the websites, and I’ll add to the list as I learn about more.

Black History Month at Mount Vernon
There will be several special highlights from February 1 – 28 in observance of Black History Month at Mount Vernon.  Every day from 10am – 12pm at the slave quarters, interpreters will focus on the lives and contributions of the slaves who built and operated the plantation home of George and Martha Washington. A wreathlaying and presentation will occur daily at the slave memorial site at 12pm.  And at 1pm, the Slave Life at Mount Vernon tour will explore the lives and contributions of the slaves who lived at the Estate. Black History Month activities are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

American I AM: The African American Imprint
At the National Geogrpahic Museum, take a journey through trials and triumphs while exploring nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the economic, political, cultural, and spiritual development of the United States. Bear witness to more than 200 poignant artifacts from the dungeon doors of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana to Prince’s guitar.  The exhibit will run from February 2 – May 1.  Admission is $12/adults, $6/children ages 2-12.  Open daily from 9am – 5pm.

Black History Month 2011 Family Day Celebration
On Saturday, February 5, the whole family is invited to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History Month at the National Museum of American History. The day includes the award-winning interactive theatrical presentation “Join the Student Sit-Ins,” performances by the Washington Performing Arts Society, tours of the exhibition The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey — Where Art and History Intersect, the debut of an American Girl self-guided Civil War family tour (“Addy’s World”), and many interactive activities to celebrate family and heritage.  The event runs from 11:30am – 5pm.

Play Date with Pride
Culture Kingdom Kids, a mobile cultural arts program that produces children’s events with a cultural twist, presents Play Date with Pride on Saturday February 5 at the Alexandria Black History Museum. Celebrate Black History Month at this interactive workshop for children ages 5 to 12. Enjoy hands-on creative arts such as storytelling, crafts, and music and dance activities. Parents must accompany children. The event runs from 1 – 2:30pm. Reservations recommended.

Segragation Aboard Streetcars
The National Capitol Trolley Museum will present this special exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of February in observance of Black History Month.  Located in Colesville, MD, the museum is open weekends from 12 – 5pm.  Admission including unlimited trolley rides is $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17, and  $4/all ages without rides.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
The National Air & Space Museum invites visitors to meet famed African American pilots from World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, who fought discrimination both at home and abroad; talk to Museum experts; and participate in hands-on activities, and story time. This event occurs twice – first at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles on Saturday, February 5, then again at the museum on the National Mall on February 12. Both are free and run from 10am – 3pm.

Black History Month Stamp Collecting
On Saturday, February 12, celebrate Black History Month at the National Postal Museum by making your own stamp collection featuring prominent African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. After making your collection, be sure to see the Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp exhibition. Drop in between 11am and 2pm to participate in this free program.

Black History at Rock Creek Park
Several days throughout the month, Rock Creek Park is offering programs that explore black history, including “Through a Slave’s Eyes” on February 5 and “Sounds of Black Georgetown” on February 12.  Check the website for complete details.

Portrait Story Days: Rosa Parks
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery’s weekly program to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. in observance of Black history Month, this week guests can learn about Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. This free program runs from 1 – 4pm.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Museums, Ongoing, Weekend, Winter