Tag Archives: DC Museum Exhibits for Kids

Where to Play on the Weekdays: April 18-22

Monkey around on the Hains Point playground

Monkey around on the Hains Point playground



Monday – Play, picnic, and enjoy the surrounding scenery at Hains Point. Drive all the way down, almost to the tip, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid a large grassy area with picnic tables and bathrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Make it a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. The water may not be quite warm enough for swimming, but there’s still plenty to enjoy. Build sandcastles on the Chesapeake shore, visit the nature center, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 4pm (beach closes at 3:30pm), admission is $6/car.

Wednesday – Get a dose of Holland in Haymarket, VA, at Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring. The blooming tulips are absolutely stunning, stretching along acres of fields in a striking array of colors and varieties. Even better, you can pick your own to bring the beauty home ($1 per stem). Hours are 10am – 6pm. Admission is $6.

Thursday – Experience WONDER at the Renwick Gallery while it’s still on view — the galleries on the second floor of the exhibit are only on view for a few more weeks. Even if you’ve already seen it, a repeat look is just as enchanting. And if it’s your first time, well, you’re in for quite a treat. Hours are 10am- 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – See a show on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is the current Main Stage production. Show time is 10:30am. Tickets are $10. If weather permits, plan to stay for picnic lunch (BYO) and play time on the Glen Echo Park playground.




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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Ongoing, Outdoor, Park, Play, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend: January 1-3

The beautiful gardens at Dumbarton Oaks

The beautiful gardens at Dumbarton Oaks



Just like the last weekend of 2015, I’m keeping this first round-up of 2016 simple as we emerge from the hoopla of the holidays. There are still some seasonal events going on and plenty things to do around town, but not too many special one-time happenings. So, again, here are some go-to posts that will keep you covered over the next few days. And be sure to follow KFDC on Facebook in case I share any last minute news. Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

KFDC 2015 Guide to the Best of the Holidays in DC

Winter Entertainment

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

Indoor Playgrounds

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Skaters Gonna Skate: Where to Hit the Ice this Season

Walks in the Woods

A few specific ideas…

Season’s Greenings at the Botanic Garden

Millennium Stage: Culkin School of Irish Dance (Friday – and there are Joy of Motion performances Saturday & Sunday)

Free to Roam at Dumbarton Oaks Gardens (Saturday & Sunday)

Hometown Hoops: Wizards vs. Magic (look for a special offer)

Artistic Delights and Fairy Inspiration at Annmarie Sculpture Gardens

Walk Along the River: Hiking from Riverbend to Great Falls Park

Open Studio at the Freer Gallery


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, New Years, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend: December 25-27

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Just as I did this time last year, I’m keeping this round-up simple over the holiday weekend. But just because you don’t see the usual detailed recommendations for fun with the kids, that doesn’t mean you won’t find awesome things to do — the links below include loads of ideas for family activities, both holiday-inspired and just straight-up fun. Merry Christmas to all…. and to all a Happy Weekend!

KFDC 2015 Guide to the Best of the Holidays in DC

Winter Entertainment

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

Indoor Playgrounds

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Skaters Gonna Skate: Where to Hit the Ice this Season

Walks in the Woods

A few specific ideas…

Season’s Greenings at the Botanic Garden (Friday – Sunday)

WONDER at the Renwick Gallery (Saturday & Sunday)

Hometown Hockey: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

Holiday Hoops: University of Maryland vs. Marshall (Sunday)


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Ongoing, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: February 7-8

Ready for a winter hike at Roosevelt Island

Ready for a winter hike at Roosevelt Island



You’ve got some tough decisions here. With so many great events going on this weekend, it’ll be hard to choose which to do. Pick from museum programs that feature everything from black history to handmade Valentine to drones to local teen poets. LOL at a comedy show geared to kids. Celebrate something sweet at a chocolate festival or Crepe Day. See some live entertainment — a play, puppet show, or concert. And with warmer days in the forecast, get out for some fun al fresco — who knows how long it will last? Whatever you opt for, have a Happy Weekend!

DIY Valentines
Where: National Postal Museum
When: February 7, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Love is in the details at the Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop. We’ve attended this event several times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s love-ly. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, all you need to bring is 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. And for more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Eye in the Sky: Game of Drones Family Day
Where National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Drones have been in the news quite a bit lately, but few people really know how they are designed, built, and operated. You’ll be able to count yourself among that group after Saturday’s event. Join the National Building Museum and International Spy Museum and the DC Drone User Group to discover the secrets of drones. Local drone makers will demonstrate their wares and show families the inner workings of their drones as well as their special spy skills. A spy mission challenge will take place in which drone makers will guide their drones through a series of secret spy missions to see whose drone is the stealthiest.

Black History Month Family Day: Rising Up
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History! The full day of activities is inspired by the exhibition Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College which features murals by prominent African American artist Hale Woodruff that portray significant events in the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom. The festival includes hands-on activities, family gallery tours, musical performances and a genealogy workshop led by Karen Bennett Harmon, the artist’s grand-niece and a genealogist for the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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 the website has details.

Family Nature Walk
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Take a hike – and advantage of the Audubon Naturalist Society’s free monthly family program. On the first Saturday of each month from 9-10am, join Master Naturalists for a nature hike around Woodend Sanctuary. Each outing will have a unique and exciting natural history theme that’s appropriate for family members of all ages. Be prepared to hike in sneakers and don’t forget your water bottle. Meet at the amphitheater by the main house.

Celebrate La Chandeleur!
Where: Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/members, $18/non-members, $5/ages 2-18, free under 2

In France, La Chandeleur, also known as “Crêpe Day,” is celebrated with food and games. Alliance Francaise de Washington and Hillwood invite families to join in the tradition in festive French fashion by eating crêpes, listening to classic tales inspired by scenes from La Fontaine fables that are pictured on tapestries covering French chairs on display in the mansion, and experiencing the exciting culture of Brittany, where crêpes originated. Embark on a quest to discover French treasures in Hillwood’s mansion and decorate a plate in fanciful designs and flourishes inspired by the estate’s French Sèvres porcelain.

ComedySportz for Kids
Where: DC Improv
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $10

Have a laugh with your kids as ComedySportz makes them the stars of the show! The comedy troupe specializes in short-form improv games, and this show features child-sized versions of them, hosted by a ComedySportz Kidz Coach. We caught one of these shows when it was hosted in Arlington a couple of years ago, and the kids couldn’t stop cackling at the off-the-cuff performance and loved the chance to be part of it, too (so much that Owen had one of his birthday parties there). Doors open at 1:30pm, the show starts at 2pm, and it lasts about an hour. DC Improv is located at 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW.

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

* Catch a performance of Petit Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood at Adventure Theatre
* Join the Circus! at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* Mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Blue Sky Puppet Theatre is performing at Avalon Theatre Saturday morning
* Enjoy the NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Two Divas and a Bear! at the Kennedy Center
* Mockingbird is still running there, too
* Synetic Theatre’s Music Box is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Kindiemusicdc presents Junior Jams: Marsha Goodman-Wood at the Foundation Gallery and Liveroom in Kensington
* Black Violin will rock the house at BlackRock Center for the Arts on Sunday

Family Valentine Crafts
Where: Michael’s
When: February 7, 10am – 12pm & 1-4pm
Admission: $2/string art, $10/Valentine box

Head to a Michael’s location for some Valentine’s crafting. In the morning, drop in with little makers for string art valentines with yarn (for ages 3 and up). Later on, bring the whole family to create something special for next weekend’s holiday: Decorate a Valentine’s Day mailbox to hold cards from classmates, friends, and sweethearts. Cost for both activities includes supplies.

Hometown Hoops
Where: Area colleges
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some college hoops action to enjoy on the weekends. Both the GWU men’s and women’s teams host Dayton this weekend, the men tonight (tickets here). The lady Terps host Nebraska on Sunday (tickets here) and the women on Sunday (tickets here). The Hoya women play Villanova on Sunday (tickets here). And the George Mason Patriots women are playing the Davidson Wildcats on Sunday (tickets here).

Winterfest Children’s Carnival
Where: Learning Center for Young Children
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Help support an area preschool and enjoy a fun day with the fam! Learning Center for Young Children, a non-profit cooperative preschool, is hosting a huge, fun, family-friendly event on Saturday. The Banjo Man Frank Cassel will provide live entertainment ($3 tickets for his three performances will be sold at the door). Festivities for kids include a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, and carnival games. A family photo booth will capture the memories and a silent auction will offer a chance to sample some of the area’s best restaurants, entertainment, and services. Lunch by Armand’s Pizza and gourmet desserts will be for sale. (Note: The snow date is February 21.) The Preschool is located inside the Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church at 10123 Connecticut Avenue in Kensington, MD.

Skate Under the Sky
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

With warmer temps in the forecast, it’ll be a great time to get gliding at local outdoor rinks. Skate amid art at the Sculpture Garden; join Canal Park’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday from 10am – 12pm; skate by the Potomac at Washington Harbour; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Tyson’s Corner, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about poet, writer, and art collector George Washington Carver and complete a hands-on activity. The story will be read at 1, 2 and 3pm on Saturday and at 2, 3 and 4pm on Sunday. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about one of our experiences there.

DC Teen Poetry Slam
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

Listen to twenty of the area’s most talented teenaged poets perform their original poetry in the Kogod Courtyard in this elimination-style performance poetry competition. The top scoring youth poets, as determined by judges from the audience, will earn a spot in the Grand Slam Finals and a chance to become members of the 2015 DC Youth Slam Team. All performing poets qualified earlier in the year; this is not an open mic event.

Takoma Mid-Winter Play Day
Where: Takoma Park Community Center
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Put some play in your Sunday afternoon with Let’s Play Takoma and the Takoma Park Recreation Department. The variety of indoor entertainment will include a Bach to Rock band, a yoga “join in” demo, fun activities from the Girl Scouts, board games, dress-up, face painting, table tennis and pool, and much more. All ages are welcome to enjoy it all.

Magic Show
Where: Olive Branch Way at Oseh Shalom
When: Sunday, 2-3:30
Admission: $8

Derek Jasper, an accomplished magician and expert in deception that is perfect for any performance setting. Derek began studying magic at a young age and since then, he has spent well over a decade enchanting audiences of all sizes. His expertise lies in sleight of hand magic and Derek has been recognized by some of the top magicians and performers in the business. Derek’s repertoire is guaranteed to amaze the audience whether he is on stage, sitting at a table, or strolling through a crowd. Derek continues to travel and perform to bring magic to audiences across the United States. Olive Branch Way at Oseh Shalom is located at 7515 Olive Branch Way in Laurel, MD.

Go OUTSIDE & Play!
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

When the mercury “soars” into the 50’s after some of the biting, wind chilled days we’ve had lately, I’d be remiss not to encourage you to get out for some activity outside. Take a hike at Great Falls, Huntley Meadows, Rock Creek, Turkey Run, or Roosevelt Island. Get a winter perspective of the National Arboretum or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Watch airplanes take off or land at Gravelly point. Visit the animals at the National Zoo or Oxon Hill Farm. See history on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Stroll the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, Meadowlark, or Green Spring Gardens. Find details about all of these ideas in the post about The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.

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The Weekend Round-Up: January 30 – February 1

Take advantage of the season -- go skiing!

Take advantage of the season — go skiing!



Don’t let the cold deflate your enthusiasm for weekend fun! Kick off the good times with a special event at the Spy Museum, then run with it at one of many activity picks: ballet at the museum, a car or boat show, an ice carving fest, a day on the slopes, live entertainment, a nature center visit, indoor play, a Charm City jaunt, and more. Take a time out to browse the The Great Indoors post with over 70 ideas for outings inside. With the help of KFDC, you’re sure to score big with the kids. Happy Weekend!

Spy Fest
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Friday, 6-10pm
Admission: $14

Is your child the next 007? Find out at the Spy Museum’s annual event! Kids ages 5 and up can get an inside glimpse of the secret world of espionage at the Spy Museum’s annual event. Special spy-related activities, SPY snacks, a scavenger hunt, and prize competitions will make it an especially thrilling evening. (Note: One adult required for every five KidSpy agents.)

Washington Ballet & American Art
Where: Kogod Courtyard
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring your little ballerinas to the American Art Museum on Saturday for a special treat! That’s when the The Washington Ballet will be in the Kogod Courtyard to perform excerpts from the upcoming Sleepy Hollow. Septime Weber will also be there to discuss the production, plus there will be a scavenger hunt and a tour of the art that inspired the ballet.

Winter Ice Fest
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The kids will think Elsa has left Frozen for Leesburg at this 2nd annual ice carving celebration. This action packed day of fun with the family will feature some of the best ice sculptors in the US competing for 1st place. Watch as they transform blocks of ice into lifelike sculptures. While you’re there,, enjoy s’mores from local scout troops, warm up with hot , pose for pics with Washington Capitals cheerleaders and mascot Slapshot, and shop and dine at more than 55 boutiques, stores, and restaurants. Sculptures will be illuminated at 5pm.

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

The annual Washington Auto Show has zoomed back into town. And 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. Other activities, like Ride ‘n Drives and celeb appearances, give guests even more to do and see. And especially for kids is a Family Activity Zone and pop-ins by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. This post about one of our experiences at a past show has more about what to expect.

Hit the Slopes
Where: Liberty Mountain
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Take advantage of winter and enjoy a quintessential seasonal activity — skiing! Liberty Mountain is one of the more convenient places to go with the kids, especially if they are newbies. Just over an hour from DC in PA, it’s easy to get to for a one-day venture on the slopes, the runs aren’t too difficult, and kids can do a couple of hours of ski school (be sure to sign up in advance). Get the scoop on their children’s programs here.

Baltimore, Hon!
Where: Charm City attractions
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are several great places for kids to play and discover — all indoors. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art ever at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry.

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

* Be among the first audiences to see Petit Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood at Adventure Theatre
* It’s the last chance for little ones to enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* Join the Circus! at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* Mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* See Mockingbird at the Kennedy Center
* Marsha Goodman-Wood will be entertaining kiddos with her originial tunes at Avalon Theatre on Saturday morning

A Boatload of Fun
Where: Baltimore Convention Center
When: Friday Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, free for kids 15 and under

The annual Baltimore Boat Show drops anchor at the Baltimore Convention Center his weekend, featuring more boats than ever to check out, plus fun for all ages. There will be hundreds of new boats, from luxury cruisers and fishing boats to family runabouts and pontoons along with dozens of booths boasting the latest in marine accessories and electronics. For some activity, the Progressive Boat School led by the Annapolis School of Seamanship will offer free interactive boating education, and in another area visitors can try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). And the smallest of sailors and boaters will enjoy activities in the Kids’ Zone.

Back to Nature
Where: Local nature centers
When: Through out the weekend:
Admission: Free

If you’re jones-ing for a nature fix, but aren’t keen on tolerating the weather to get it, head to a nature center. Rock Creek Nature Center, Watkins Nature Center, and Potomac Overlook Nature Center are a few of our faves. Or find one near you with the help of The Natural Capital blog.

Indoor Play
Where: Local indoor play areas
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by venue

Go out — or make that in — and play! Even on the most dreary days there are places to go and run, bounce, climb, swing, flip, and slide — all in the warmth and comfort of the indoors. This post has a bunch of recommendations for playground-style fun out of the cold.

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