Tag Archives: DC Inauguration Events for Kids

The Weekend Round-Up: January 19-21

Celebrating 7 years of this little guy

Celebrating 7 years of this special guy

DC is going to be one happening place this weekend. Whether you’re ready to revel in the excitement or intent on avoiding it, there are plenty of ways to do both, all while having a great time with the kids. As for us, we’re planning to brave the crowds and do some celebrating…of the nation’s honorees, but even more for our special little guy, who is ringing in another year. Happy Weekend! (And a very happy birthday to my sweet O.)

Inauguration Celebrations
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the long weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Whether you’re seeking official festivities or activities inspired by the big occasion, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the inauguration over the long weekend. Get sworn in at George Washington’s estate, see special exhibits relating to the presidency, observe the National Day of Service by volunteering, be among the extended audience on the National Mall, watch the procession on Pennsylvania Avenue as the Inaugural Parade makes its way to the White House. This post has details on all these pursuits and more.

Geico Free Family Night
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: FREE

Start the weekend at the National Children’s Museum, as they host their inaugural Free Family Night, sponsored by GEICO, on Friday evening. The free family nights will take place monthly, offering different hands-on activities and programs each time. January’s “Learning to be a Helper” theme will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of service. Note that tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the NCM box office beginning at 5pm. The museum will close for half an hour at 4:30 p.m. to give staff time to prepare for the event.  

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The NGA’s drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 is back for its winter session! In its opening weekend, guests can explore the work of artist Pable Picasso, as they hear a reading of the book When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden, see the geometric shapes and bold colors of his cubist paintings, then create a related art project. Sessions are at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm on Saturday, and 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30 on Sunday. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 10am on Saturday (11am on Sunday) and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Out of Many Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

In honor of the presidential inauguration, the NMAI presents Out of Many, a festival celebrating the music, dance, and storytelling of the region’s indigenous and multicultural communities. Activities for all ages will take place throughout the museum, from mask-making workshops for kids to storytelling in imagiNATIONS to traditional native dancing in the atrium. Check the schedule for times and details.

Let Them Entertainment You
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Be among the first audiences to see Winnie the Pooh at Adventure Theatre and Toyland at The Puppet Co. — both shows open today. Wake Up, Brother Bear will delight little ones at Imagination Stage. Encore Stage and Studio presents Honk, Jr. for one more weekend (get a ticket deal here). Rocknoceros is playing an MLK Day show at Jammin’ Java. Older children will enjoy Zorro at the Source Theatre. And the National Ballet of Canada is performing Alice in Wonderland at the Kennedy Center. Find more details and links in this post about winter entertainment.

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Artisphere
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/ages 13+, $10/ages 4-12, free for 3 and under

Enjoy a full day of theater and much more. Artisphere presents six hours of theater and other activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s fun. All activities are Bilingual.

Smokey Robinson on the Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free

The R&B legend will take the Millennium Stage on Sunday evening along with the Let Freedom Ring choir in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

NASA Sunday Experiment
Where: NASA Goddard Space Flight Visitor Center
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

The activities, scientists, and engineers will inspire and wow at this monthly program that showcases Goddard’s world-renowned research and technological developments. Recommended for kids ages 5-10, the Sunday Experiment celebrates all things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as it presents a new theme to visitors each session.

Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $10

To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., NCM is presenting special programming to encourage children to be thoughtful leaders and helpers in their own communities. Families will be able to contribute to the Museum’s living quilt by decorating panels depicting how they wish to live like Dr. King. Other hands-on activities will include making books and journals highlighting our visitors’ hopes for peace and service.

Think Outside
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It looks like we may have our first nice day all week, so get out and savor it! Even if temps dip, you can still bundle up and enjoy the sunshine and replenish the vitamin D. What to do? Go check out this list of the best places in DC to spend a beautiful day outdoors with the kids. You’re guaranteed to find a suitable outing among them.

Celebrate MLK at AVAM
Where: American Visionary Art Museum
When: Monday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: FREE

The museum full of whimsical, imaginative art is offering free admission to a celebration in honor of the life and dreams of one of the greatest visionaries in America’s history. Join them for guided tours, birthday cake, music, special performances, workshops, and even more exciting entertainment at this FREE fun-filled day. For more on the museum, read about our recent visit there.

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Ways to Celebrate the Inauguration with Kids

Wax presidential at Madame Tussauds

Wax presidential at Madame Tussauds

Looking for information about Inauguration events and related activities for kids? Here are some ways to get into the Inauguration spirit, listed by start date, beginning as soon as tomorrow.

Inauguration Activities for Kids
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Thursday – Tuesday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

There will be special activities at George Washington’s former home inspired by the inauguration of the 44th president! Kids can participate in a “George Washington Presidential Scavenger Hunt” and look for clues that will lead to a special prize (while supplies last). Guests can also take the oath of office, view a replica of the first presidential inauguration with a life-size figure of Washington taking the oath of office, “step into Washington’s shoes” by placing their hand on a reproduction of the Bible upon which Washington took the oath of office, and recite the presidential oath. This is on top of the tours and regular offerings at Mount Vernon.

Celebrate Freedom
Where: Newseum
When: Thursday, Friday, & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

In honor of the inauguration, the Newseum and Hirshhorn Museum are collaborating to celebrate freedom by projecting the art and words of renowned artist Ai Weiwei onto the exterior of the Newseum. Images will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sounds worthy of not just a drive-by (or walk- or bike-by), but a park-and-check-it-out-for-awhile, too.

National Day of Service
Where: Throughout the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

As the inauguration coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, President Obama has called for a National Day of Service in his honor to kick off this weekend’s ceremonies. He has said he wanted “service to be a big part of my inauguration because it’s played a huge role in my life,” and encourages people to take part by helping out in their communities and beyond. It starts with a summit on the National Mall on Saturday at 9:30am. And there are opportunities to clean up parks, help feed the homeless, distribute coats to those in need, collect books for a book drive, help beautify the memorials, and much more. Search the National Day of Service database to find a way you and the kids can participate.

Meet the Presidents and First Ladies
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to meet George and Martha Washington (1-3pm) and Abraham and Mary Lincoln (3-6pm). They may share their inaugural experiences! You can also get to know the Presidents through “Portrait Story Days” (1-4pm on Saturday, 2-5pm on Sunday), where you can listen to stories about them, see their portraits, and do a related art activity.

Wax Inaugural
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: $22.26/adults, $18.02 ages 4-12, free for 3 and under

It’s Kids Inauguration Day at the wax museum downtown. Tour the President’s Gallery, featuring wax figures of all 44 POTUS, and learn some interesting inauguration facts along the way. All kids who visit the museum will receive a certificate of inauguration. Save 15% on tickets by purchasing in advance online.

Celebrate at the Smithsonian
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Mall will be bustling, and so will the many museums lined up along it and in other parts of the city. The Smithsonian is celebrating the big occasion by presenting special programs and highlighting exhibits related to the presidency. From musical performances to the First Ladies’ dresses to “Portrait Stories” about the presidents to hobnobbing with the Washingtons and the Lincolns (as mentioned above), there is plenty going on to get the kids involved.

Collect the Presidents
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-3:30pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the Inaugural events, the National Postal Museum is hosting related activities for kids & families. Visitors can make and take home their very own stamp collection featuring famous American presidents, as well as design their own presidential stamp.

Swearing In
Where: National Mall
When: Monday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

This is the big moment, and while you can’t get close enough to see it firsthand, you can be part of the experience and watch it all go down on big screens set up on the National Mall. Think of it as an extension of the VIP section — you are in DC, merely blocks away from the action. The ceremony begins at 11:30am, but it’s recommended to get there early, as it definitely will be crowded. Entry is in just a few specific places — go here to see where they are.

Inaugural Parade
Where: Pennsylania Avenue
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

After the swearing in, then a luncheon at the Capitol, festivities will take to the streets. Pennsylvania Avenue, to be more precise, as the President and Vice President make their way to the White House. Along with the guests of honor and the First and Second Ladies, there will be floats, marching bands, and representatives from many organizations among the procession. Tickets are not required to view the parade. Public entry points will open at 6:30am, and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people. It’s recommended to get there early for a chance of seeing anything.

Dear Mr. President
Where: Washington Post Building
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the Washington Post, where they can write letters to President Obama expressing what they think his goals should be for his next term. Every letter will be delivered to the White House, and a selection will be displayed in The Post’s front window. Every participant will receive a KidsPost pen and the first 20 will get a T-shirt, too. And if you can’t make it on Monday, kids can submit a letter online here.

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