Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer, when some of the season’s best activities begin — swimming under the sky, splashing around in spray parks, catching music and movies in the open air. Along with these staples of the warm months, there are many special events going on over the next few days — holiday tributes and observances, a celebration of JFK, a strawberry fest among them. And, of course, there are ongoing activities galore to help enjoy some quality time with the kids. Happy Weekend!
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity
It may not be official on the calendar, but “summer” is underway! Water fun, outdoor concerts, movies under the stars, and more ongoing seasonal treats have begun or are about to begin in DC. Start the weekend with free music at the Yards Park’s first concert of season or Jazz in the Garden on the National Mall. Make a splash at a public pool or a sprayground, see a family flick outdoors at National Harbor on Sunday night, and so much more. The KFDC 2017 Guide to Summer in DC has the scoop on where and when you can experience all the joys of summer.
Celebrate JFK at 100
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 12–10pm
The Kennedy Center welcomes the public to a free Open House in celebration of John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday. Explore and experience the performing arts in the halls, theaters, and plazas of the Kennedy Center through more than 30 free performances, activities, and events for all ages and tastes, featuring artists from the DC region, across the U.S., and abroad.
Where: National Mall, DC
When: All Weekend
Tributes to those who have served our country will take place at the many memorials and monuments on the National Mall throughout the weekend. Times vary, but you can look for schedules on the National Park Service website. The Mall will likely be crowded, so plan accordingly.
May the Force be with Nationals
Where: Nationals Park | Navy Yard, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Nats are playing at home for the holiday weekend, and you can catch games against the Padres on Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (4:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm). Saturday is Star Wars Day when there will be costumed characters and special nods to the Force. Be sure to check out KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank. And if you go on Sunday, plan to stay after for Kids Run the Bases when children can loop the infield after the last out.
El Galeón Ship Tour
Where: City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child, free for under 5
El Galeón, a full-size reconstructed Spanish sailing vessel used in early Colonial times, will be docked at the City Marina in Old Town Alexandria as she makes a stop there on a journey up and down the East Coast. Visitors are welcome to tour five of the six decks of the 16th century Spanish galleon replica. Advance tickets are available online.
Delaplane Strawberry Festival
Where: Sky Meadows State Park | Delaplane, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Spend Memorial Day weekend at the 24th Annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival! In addition to having delicious, gourmet-sized strawberries for sale, the festival features live music, a corn hole tournament, children’s games, hayrides, pony rides, a 4-H petting zoo, crafts, strolling entertainers, a 5k trail run, and much more.
Where: Rockville Town Square | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
A music festival, the Taste of Rockville, and Memorial Day events make up most of the festivities at the Rockville Town Center this weekend. Kids activities, food, and more fun will also be part of the lineup. View the website for the complete schedule of events.
Homefront Street Cars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $5/child, $7/adult
Recall the role of the transit industry during wartime in observance of Memorial Day. Enjoy Tilley the Trolley and Billy the Bus, a wartime production of the Capital Transit Company, and Ten Seconds to Go, a wartime production of Kansas City Public Service. The special exhibit, Homefront Street Cars, will also be on view.
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
Join the Air & Space Museum in Chantilly for Making STEM Magic, a weekly program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. On Saturdays this month Blast Off!: Propulsion is the theme, and guests will earn about rockets and propulsion in the May design challenge.
The Jungle Book
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through Sunday
This weekend is the last chance to see the show about Mowgli, a human child brought up in the jungles of India by a family of wolves. Recommended for ages 4 and up, there are performances both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm and 4pm.
Shows on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/Cinderella, $6/Tiny Tots
Cinderella is the Main Stage production at the Glen Echo puppet theatre with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Old McDonald’s Farm is the featured Tiny Tots show on Saturday at 10am
Where: Central Farm Markets | Rockville & Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 1:30pm
Visit these farmers markets that help support local communities with activities, events, and programming that help to educate, give back, and fight hunger. Shop for seasonal produce and more, and don’t miss the Kids Club with activities for children ages 4 and up from 10am – 12pm — this week they can enjoy a rainbow craft project while supplies lasts. The Pike Central Farm Market is on Saturday in the REI parking lot, and the Bethesda Central Farm Market is on Sunday in Downtown Bethesda.
All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
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). 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.
Fool For All
Where: Gallaudet University Theatre | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Join the Faction of Fools Theatre Company for the 8th Annual “Fool For All” One-Day Fest: Tales of Chaos & Cannoli. Among the festivities that celebrate Commedia is a kid’s workshop offering a primer on the theatre tradition. Participants will learn about stock characters, how the plays are made, and even get to make a mask they can take home!
Take Your Pick
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Strawberries are ripe and ready for harvest, and many area farms welcome guests to come PYO. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.
Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse
Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also paddle from nearby Thompson Boathouse and Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45. If you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. And you can see where else you can explore by water in this round-up of great places to row.
National Memorial Day Concert
Where: West lawn of the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8-9:30pm, gates open at 5pm
(or Saturday for the dress rehearsal)
Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? The 2017 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday from 8 – 9:30pm. Laurence Fishburn is hosting the event this year, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country. If you’re planning to go, the FAQ page on the concert website is worth a read. KFDC Tip: If you can’t make Sunday’s show or don’t want to deal with the crowds, Saturday’s dress rehearsal is also always open to the public — gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm.
Memorial Day Weekend Fun
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm & Monday, 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $14.95/ages 2 and up
Bring the whole family to the children’s museum in Baltimore for a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, enjoy lively music from Mr. Norman, enjoy the signature story time, and learn about rhythm at an interactive Jingle Jangle Music Time! On Monday, the Museum is OPEN, and you can kick off the unofficial start to summer with with Mr. Daveed at the interactive Percussion Garden, create a shrinky dink dog tag in honor of those who’ve served, enjoy the lively Jingle Jangle Music Time, and much more.
Memorial Day Observance
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Monday, 10:30am
Observe the holiday at one of the most iconic spots to honor those who have served. A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30am, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11am followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery here.
National Memorial Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th to 17th Streets | Downtown DC
When: Monday, 2pm
The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. Get a curbside view of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans as they travel up Constitution Avenue.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: Monday, 2pm
On Memorial Day, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will teach people how to preserve veterans’ keepsakes. In the program “We Remember,” experts from the museum and the Library of Congress will advise visitors on how to care for letters, photographs, medals, uniforms and other memorabilia from family members. Informal information sessions will be held throughout the event, which will take place in the Potomac Atrium. Visitors are invited to bring their objects to the museum for caretaking advice.
***More Good Stuff to Know***
* Plan ahead for the Occoquan Arts & Crafts Show taking place next weekend, June 3-4!
* Check out Lunch Squares, a brand new blog by a local mom, with kid-friendly lunch box recipes and more based on seasonal fruits and veggies.
* Read about and get a glimpse of Luray Caverns, one of the region’s most spectacular natural landmarks.
* Did you know May is Bike Month? It is — and Public Bikes is celebrating with a great sale!
* No Monsters in My Bed recently posted a round-up of cute tops for summer!