Tag Archives: Black History Month

The Weekend Round-Up: February 24-26

Go for a hike (or run) in the woods at Rock Creek Park

Go for a hike (or run!) in the woods at Rock Creek Park



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This spring-like weather probably won’t last through the weekend, but that doesn’t mean your fun won’t continue. Enjoy an annual performing arts fest or an event all about kids’ health and nutrition. Celebrate Black History Month or local writers. Explore STEM activities or local nature. Attend open houses for a charter school or kids active programs. These and many more ideas are detailed below. Oh, also… KFDC turns 7 today! And I’ll be celebrating with an awesome giveaway later, so be sure to check back and enter. Happy Weekend!

Intersect with the Performing Arts
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: See the website

The Atlas is kicking off its annual festival that presents tons of fantastic performances in music, theatre, dance, film, and spoken word with several exhibitions especially for families. See Jane Franklin Dance perform The Big Meow. Enjoy Callaloo: The Legend of The Golden Coqui, a puppet show by Sepia Works. Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Alight Dance Theater presents Stargazing. These are just the most kid-friendly — the whole line-up of shows throughout the Festival is worth checking out by grown-ups.

Open House
Where: My Gym Bethesda & My Gym Potomac
When: Friday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Get a preview of My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda’s spring offerings. Meet the teachers and sample the programs — there are Mommy and Me movement and music classes for babies and preschoolers, and tumbling, sports, and parkour classes for older children. The evening will include games and activities, plus discounts on registration! You can also enter a giveaway for a chance to win eight weeks of enrollment here.

Nature Explorations, Inside & Out
Where: Rock Creek Park
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Spend a day exploring at Rock Creek! Visit the Nature Center and catch a planetarium show on Saturday at 1pm and 4pm. Hike from there to Peirce Mill, where you can check out its inner workings. Visit horses at the Horse Center. Or just wander along the trails in the woods and enjoy the nature around you.

Kids in the Kitchen
Where: YMCA Anthony Bowen
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Want your kids to eat smart and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices? Join The Junior League of Washington at Kids in the Kitchen on Saturday for a fun-filled day of games, crafts, hands-on learning, and exciting prizes – all to celebrate and promote nutritional literacy.  This free kids health and nutrition event is targeted at children ages 3-13. The Anthony Bowen Y is located at 1325 W Street NW.

Black History Month Celebration
Where: Josiah Henson Park in Bethesda
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Enjoy free, educational events that highlight the stories, struggles, and successes of African Americans. Activities include guided tours of the park, the screening of a PBS documentary about the park, and the annual spoken word poetry event, “Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom.”

More Ways to Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re happening this weekend.

DC STEMfest
Where: Harmony Charter School
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

DC STEMfest invites everyone from all ages to celebrate science, technology, engineering, and math with fun activities. This free event is open to students, families and features interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments, mind-blowing demos, a full line-up of live science-themed performances and much more.

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Reserve free tickets for Struggle for Freedom: The Life of Dr. King, this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance
* Jack and the Beanstalk just opened at The Puppet Co.
* And Penguins’ Playground is this week’s featured Tiny Tots show
* The Freshest Snow Whyte just opensed at Imagination Stage
* Little ones will enjoy Kitchen Adventures with Encore Stage & Studio
* Make it a KidFree night as Shakespeare Theatre Company presents King Charles III at Sidney Harman Hall

Celebration of Writers
Where: Howard University
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The District of Columbia Area Writing Project is proud to host a “Celebration of Writers.” This event, as the name suggests, calls for a fun and exciting celebration of writers from varied fields and genres, as well as the celebration of our most recent graduates from the Teacher’s Summer Institute. Join us for an enjoyable day of interactive performances, including songs, dance, storytelling and poetry. Our guests of honor include prestigious personalities, such as Colbert I. King from Washington Post, Dr. Oneeka Williams who is a renowned childrens’ books author and an urological surgeon and finally Mark A. Williams, a teacher at Duke Ellington School of Arts and organizer of R Street Collective . Register for free here.

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Where: Steve C. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Each February, the Museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories. Learn about African American astronauts, pilots, and scientists of the past and present and their accomplishments.

Magic of Spying: Tradecraft Trickery
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Saturday, 11 am – 12 pm
Admission: $10 ($9/members)

In the real-life world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed.  Join professional magician, Peter Wood, as he demonstrates the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. This one of a kind performance, custom-designed for the Spy Museum, is guaranteed to fascinate children and adults alike. For ages 7 and up.

Feel the Heritage Festival
Where: Drew Community Center
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Arlington County will celebrate its rich African-American heritage. This free event will feature live music, dance performances, storytelling, children’s activities, including face painting, balloon art, and crafts. And food, art, and other wares will be on sale.

Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt for kids 10 & up! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. It’s not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover — or rediscover — the museum. Designed for kids and adults to do together, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase is required.

Roll with It
Where: DC Armory
When: Saturday, 4pm (door open at 3pm)
Admission: $15

DC Rollergirls, the National Capital Region’s only women’s flat-track roller derby league, are kicking (or make that, rolling) another season of hard-hitting skating. A 40-minute exposition bout paying tribute to DCRG legacy home teams DC Demoncats and Scare Force One will take place before the main event, featuring the DC Rollergirls National Maulers vs. Free State Roller Derby.

Charter School Open House
Where: Creative Minds International Public Charter School
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

As the lottery deadline nears, explore a DC school option this weekend. It’s a great opportunity to learn about their academic programs and approach to teaching, meet some of the staff, and check out the space. Read more about Creative Minds here.

Dance Your Socks Off
Where: River Park Nursery School
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: $15 or $40/family

River Park Nursery School’s annual Sock Hop is always a fun-filled, family-friendly event. Featuring entertainment by local musical celebrity Mr. Skip, food, games, and a silent auction, enjoy activities for all ages and an opportunity to support preschool education on Capitol Hill.

Lil’ Kickers Open House
Where: Cassel’s Sports Complex
When: Saturday,10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Check out a great soccer program for kids! Lil’ Kickers will be providing mini classes throughout the morning for your children to experience their program, so stop by at any time. Their balanced and creative approach to coaching will have a positive impact on your child that goes far beyond the soccer field. High-energy soccer classes are carefully designed to enhance your child’s overall growth and well-being. The result? Kids with strong physical skills, who are well-balanced and confident. And, they do all this while your child has the time of their life. This is the first of several Open House Events at their four locations. Cassel’s is located at 1400 Park Center Road in Herndon, VA.

DREAM BIG IMAX 3D
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udzar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12

With some rain in the forecast, a movie at a museum will be a great plan. This latest film on local giant screens promotes the E in STEM. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here. And, of course, plan to explore the museum while you’re there!

District of Dance: A DC Rhythm & Blues Celebration
Where: Anacostia High School
When: Sunday, 3-8pm
Admission: Free

Inspired by the rhythm & blues history of Washington, DC, from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, this event welcomes all ages for an afternoon and evening of community fun. Join in to celebrate with live performances, hand dance lessons, and panel discussions.  Anacostia High School is located at 1601 16th Street SE.

Teen Studio
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Kids in grades 9-12 are invited to examine Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s memorial to honor Civil War heroes Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the all–African American 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Through the combination of art history and studio perspectives, these immersive workshops aim to expand creative thinking. Taught by artists and museum educators, each two-and-a-half-hour workshop consists of conversation and hands-on drawing instruction in the galleries. The workshops are designed for all skill levels. Register in advance!

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Rain and colder temps are on the way, so you might need extra ideas for indoor outings. Burn some energy at an indoor playground, visit a museum, explore a historic place, catch some live entertainment, bring the outdoors in at a nature center. This post listing over 80 ideas for activities inside will get your fun started.

Out and About
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re keen on getting out no matter what the weather, this post has lots of suggestions for great places to spend a day outdoors — trails to hike, playgrounds, gardens with kids activities, and more!


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The Weekend Round-Up: February 17-20

A view of the Washington Monument from the African American Museum

A view of the Washington Monument from the African American Museum, a nod to President’s Day and Black History Month in one shot



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It’s probably no surprise that there are scores of fun ways to celebrate President’s Day around DC. But there’s much more going on over the long weekend, too. Enjoy a Black History Month activity, go to the theatre, check out a new, cool exhibit, have a laugh at kids improv, savor the great weather with some outdoor recreation… Read on for details and even more ideas for making most of the extra time off. Happy Weekend!

Get Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

When it’s high 60’s and sunny in February, a recommendation to get out and seize the nice day is going to top the round-up. Stroll the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, day trip and hike at Harpers Ferry, romp on the playground and visit the animals at Watkins Regional Park, take a walk in the woods, go fossil hunting. There are so many ways to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather — read about them all in this post about the best outdoor places around the area.

Party at George’s Place!
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17/adult, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Celebrate George Washington’s 285th birthday with special festivities at his former digs. Sample his favorite breakfast, mingle with costumed characters from the old days, and enjoy some dancing with the 18th-century. On Monday, there will be syrup-making and dance demos along with ceremonial wreathlayings to honor Washington. Bonus: Admission is free on Monday, but I can tell you from experience that a lot of folks show up to take advantage of the complimentary entry.

Stop by Abe’s, Too
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $6/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

There’s no special event, but this seems like a good way to honor our 16th POTUS for President’s Day. Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus in northwest DC, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Admission includes the Cottage tour, an innovative small group tour in which a professional guide uses “historical voices” and images through multimedia technology to bring the stories of Abraham Lincoln and his family to life. It’s recommended for ages 6 and up.

Presidential Family Fun Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate America’s presidents with games, music, crafts, and a stovepipe-hat workshops led by staff from President Lincoln’s Cottage and a guided tour in the iconic “America’s Presidents” exhibition with Senior Historian David C. Ward. The Nationals’ Racing Presidents from MLB’s Washington Nationals will also attend from 11:30am – 12:30pm.

Discover Engineering Family Day
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

The Building Museum always hosts great family events, and this annual festival is no exception. Celebrate National Engineers Week as you discover how professional engineers turn ideas into reality and do some engineering and problem solving of your own. Hands-on activities allow kids to explore forces behind roller coasters, build a structure that withstands a tsunami, discover what makes popcorn pop, launch a rocket, and more! We’ve gone several years and have always had a great time. It gets crowded, but there are so many activities available, kids can always be involved in the fun. Recommended for children ages 4-12 with adult supervision.

Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass!
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free ($1.50/house tour)

George and Abe aren’t the only ones with birthdays; Freddy was born in February, too! Celebrate the 199th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth with the National Park Service and its community partners as we hear about him more and more. The estate in Anacostia where Douglass lived for nearly the last 20 years of his life is now a historic site that welcomes the public to tour, and every year they host a birthday event in his honor. This year’s programs and activities explore the significance of the visual, performing, and culinary arts in Frederick Douglass’s life.

Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re happening this weekend.

President’s Day Weekend Spectacular
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm/Sunday, 12-5pm/Monday, 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $14.95/ages two and up

Enjoy President’s Day Weekend with fun, indoor family-friendly activities that will educate and entertain. On Saturday, there will be lots of train related fun, interactive engineering demos and experiments, and live music from roaming musician, Mr. Norman, and an interactive play of The Little Engine that Could. On Sunday, join in for art projects, Mother Goose on the Loose, Jingle Jangle Music Time, and programs like Kamishibai and The Adventure to the Imagination that will help your imagination go wild! On Monday, Celebrate President’s Day with tunes from DJ Holly, take part in an interactive story time featuring singing, dancing and finger plays, get musical during Jingle Jangle Music Time and in the hands-on Percussion Garden.

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

* Ella Enchanted is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Join a Saturday Family Jazz Session at Strathmore
* Follow that Fiddle with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center
* The Freshest Snow Whyte just opensed at Imagination Stage
* This weekend is your last chance to seeGoldilocks at The Puppet Co.
* And Snow Show is the featured Tiny Tots performance on Sunday
* Jason Didner & the Jungle Gym are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* The Folger Theatre presents As You Like It
* See the American Boychoir perform in Bethesda

DREAM BIG IMAX3D
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udzar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9/adult, $8/senior, $7.50/ages 2-12

The latest film to grace the giant screens at local museums promotes the E in STEM. From the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots to footbridges in Haiti to a solar car race across Australia, DREAM BIG celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small and highlights how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. View the trailer here.

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 and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC).  As described in Model Railroader magazine, 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, VA.

ComedySportz for Kids
Where: DC Improv
When: Saturday, 2:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $10

Kids as young as first grade can enjoy this afternoon improv show with ComedySportz, a comedy troupe that specializes in short-form improv games. This show features child-sized versions of those games, hosted by a Kids Coach. Guests will love being able to shout out during a show and some of the older kids will enjoy a chance to go crazy onstage.

Washington Dollar Days
Where: Tudor Place
When: Friday/Saturday/Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $1

Don’t miss your chance to practice the frugality our founding father approved of: George Washington was born in February, and Tudor Place is celebrating him all month through artifacts, furnishings, and stories, all for just one “Washington dollar!” Tours begin hourly, and it’s recommended you book ahead.

KidFree: King Charles III
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through March 18
Admission: $64-123 (look for a discount)

Make it a date night at this play that imagines a not too far away future when the Queen is dead and Prince Charles prepares to take the throne. It’s an interesting drama that pits the monarchy against parliament, putting England in a national conflict that is, coincidentally, timely and familiar. For more about the show, Washington City Paper has a good review.

Frozen Day of Play
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $4, free for ages 4 and under

Families are invited to a day of play and creativity as we explore the wonders of winter and ice through a variety of art projects, pretend play, investigations, and more! From frosty face painting, to a frozen treasure hunt, to guided winter walks, kids of all ages will delight in this sensory seasonal experience. Drop in and escape the winter blues with lots of fun for all! Read a KFDC write-up about Annmarie.

Earth Explorers
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/ages 5-12, under 5 are free (look for a discount)

Witness animal migrations from a hot air balloon, submerse into the deep sea to study marine life, discover new species in the rain forest, gear up for a polar expedition. These are all adventures — simulated ones, anyway — to be experienced at the Nat Geo Museum’s newest exhibition that offers a glimpse into the work and passion of explorers in the field. Full of hands-on displays and interactive installations, it’s informative and inspiring. Best for elementary school ages and up, but younger children can enjoy it, too.

Mommy and Me
Where: Congress Heights Arts & Cultural Center
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission:

Join Buffy and Breezy of A. Lauren Design at their first ‘Mommy and Me’ event on Sunday. Enjoy brunch catered by Florida Avenue Grill, along with fun activities to do together — a DIY tulle skirt, face painting, pictures, and more! Contact alaurendesign@gmail.com with any questions and follow @alaurendesign. Tickets can be purchased through EventBrite.

A Local & National Treasure
Where: Library of Congress
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Explore the largest library in the world and one of DC’s most iconic attractions. Not only does the Library of Congress have a whole great space dedicated to kids, it’s is a trove of knowledge, art, history, and culture – and the public is welcome to enjoy it all. The Young Readers Center only has hours Monday through Saturday, but the rest is open daily. Read more in this very recent KFDC post.

Eco-Explorations
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center
When: Monday, 10-11:00am
Admission: $5/adult, $4/military, $3/youth; free ages 5 & under

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons, Maryland, invites families to come along on an eco-exploration. Staff naturalist, Hester Burch, will lead youngsters and their caregivers on a hands-on exploration of the natural world of Annmarie Garden. This session is all about House cats vs Bobcats: What are the differences and similarities of domesticated and wild felines. As part of Eco-Explorations, kids will make a cat toy to take home. Families are also invited to bring in their own natural treasures to share for show & tell.

Family Fun Lego Day
Where: Bender JCC of Greater Washington
When: Monday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $8/members,| $10/general public, parents free

Imagine what you’ll create at this fun-filled day with everyone’s favorite childhood building toys. Create and build with Legos and Duplos, play in the Family Gym, enjoy a screening of Trolls, and purchase a pizza lunch!

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Bundle up to watch the procession as it travels through Old Town. See the website for more info and route details.

Free Park-ing
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s a fee free day at national parks, which means there’s no entrance price where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, or visit Harpers Ferry.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re looking for fun indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post lists more than 80 suggestions for things to do, just about all of them KFDC tried and tested.


***PLAN AHEAD***
Mock Trial for Kids!
Where: Trinity Washington University
When: March 18, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: $50/child

The Juris Prudence Academy is a one of a kind legal educational program for kids ages 8-12, which will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Trinity University in Washington, DC. The 90-minute workshop will teach academy students basic legal principles in a collaborative setting. The academy will be guided by a lawyer, and students will participate in a mock trial, applying the principles they have learned in the workshop. Mock trial topics are ones that will be interesting to children, such as the following:
– Should Kids Have the Right to Vote?
– Should Kids be Allowed to Drive at a Younger Age?
– Should School Recess Be Longer?
– Should Kids Have School on Saturdays?
For more information about the Academy, review the FAQs on the event registration page. Scholarship tuition waiver nomination forms are available by emailing academy@jurispprudence.com.


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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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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!

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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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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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