Tag Archives: DC Summer Activities

Enter to Win Tickets to Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens!

Wings of Fancy will be on view through September 25

Wings of Fancy will be on view through September 25

Wings of Fancy, Brookside Garden’s wonderful butterfly and caterpillar exhibit is back to dazzle visitors this summer. And one lucky KFDC reader can win a four-pack of tickets to experience it — and I can assure you, it’s fantastic.

Studying caterpillars before entering the butterfly garden

Studying caterpillars before entering the butterfly garden

Nearly 20 different species of butterflies from North America, Central America, and Asia flutter around the garden full of colorful flowers and plants. There are also cases on display containing cocoons and opportunities for visitors to learn about their amazing metamorphosis. We just visited a couple of weeks ago, and even though we go every year, the exhibition never ceases to amaze.

The glasswinged butterfly - I never even knew these existed before this

The glasswinged butterfly – I never even knew these existed before this

And I have to note that Brookside is great beyond the butterflies — the gardens are lovely, there are wildlife sightings galore, and the Children’s Garden will delight little ones. During our visit, we saw chipmunks, tadpoles, frogs, polliwogs, turtles, geese, even snakes!

Gorgeous grounds to roam

Gorgeous grounds to roam

Frog sightings guaranteed

Frog sightings guaranteed

Wings of Fancy will be on display through September 25. Hours are 10am – 4pm daily. Tickets are $8/ages 13 and up, $5/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under. Admission to the rest of Brookside is free.

Giveaway: For a chance to win the four-pack of tickets to the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens, simply leave a comment telling me your or your child’s favorite recent exhibit in the area — art, science, nature, anything. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and be a blog subscriber (see the sign-up to the left). This giveaway will run through Friday, June 3, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Educational, Exhibit, Giveaway, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 20-21

A scene from H Street NE, where one of the city's largest neighborhood festivals is happening this weekend

A scene from H Street NE, where one of the city’s largest neighborhood festivals is happening this weekend


Fall officially begins this weekend, and there are so many ways to welcome it. Opt for a quintessential autumn activity and head to a farm for hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches, or join an urban festival on a hip city street. Head to one of the coolest museums in the area for a BIG and super fun event. Celebrate Hispanic heritage with a parade and party downtown or at the Zoo. Go behind the ballet curtain at an annual open house. See a show, go veg, make some art, indulge in seafood, do yoga, race for a cause. And if you still need more options, check out some of DC’s mainstays for family fun. Happy Weekend!

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adult, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will absolutely dig the National Building Museum’s big annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be full of different stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hands at all kinds of construction and design techniques. There will opportunities to build a brick wall, explore construction vehicles, carve stone, build a log cabin, imagine a sculpture of plumbing pipes, create a hardware wind chime, and so much more. And it’s all totally free!

Fall Festival Fever
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival

Fall has begun, and seasonal festivals are ON at several area farms, along H Street NE in the city, even a 16th century village in Maryland (huzzah, Ren Fest!), and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

Take a day trip back to 18th-century America at Mount Vernon’s Colonial Market & Fair. Watch artisans and craftspeople from all over the country demonstrate early techniques of their crafts, many of which will be for sale. Enjoy live entertainment including music performances, puppet shows, a sword swallower, a fire eater, and a miracle medicine man. And this weekend only, Potomac River sightseeing cruises, courtesy of Spirit Cruises and Potomac Riverboat Company, are free-of-charge. Admission to the Fair is included in the entrance fee to the estate. Food will be available at extra cost. For more information and the full performance schedule, visit the Mount Vernon website.

Dulles Plane Pull
Where: Dulles Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Airplane tug o’ war, anyone? This annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. And the public is invited to watch it all go down. Along with the tug o’ airplane, there will be live music, a car show, military and civilian aircraft displays, business exhibits, and children’s games and entertainment. Gates open at 10:30am. Go here for directions and parking information.

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

DC Veg Fest
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the largest celebration of vegetarian and vegan living in the area. Now in its 6th year, DC VegFest is a full day of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, cooking demos, music, and more. A Kid’s Area will feature a Q&A with a local vegan and her kids, who will answer questions about being vegan; demos of delicious kid-friendly vegan food, and musician Norm Hogeland. Attendees will enjoy free food samples from So Delicious, Tofurky, Larabar, Way Better Snacks, and more along with tasty vegan cuisine from nearly two dozen food vendors including Vegan Treats, Bread & Brew, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, Dama Ethiopian and more.

DC State Fair
Where: Old City Farm & Guild
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Good news for us: Being an actual state isn’t a requirement to have a state fair! This agricultural, culinary, and artistic showcase of the District will be a full day of competitions and other fun and educational activities for all ages. Festivities include contests of all kinds – photography, knitting, kids art and poetry, pickling, pies, ice cream, jams, and more. Get a taste of it all, plus do some browsing among the vendors, at the Old City Farm & Guild located at 925 Rhode Island Ave NW.

Where: National Zoo
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

¡Celebramos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at ZooFiesta. See animal demonstrations and learn about animals native to Latin America, such as golden lion tamarins, sloths, Andean bears, and anteaters. Meet Zoo experts and learn how they are working to save these species and more. Family activities include animal feedings, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, educational activities highlighting conservation research in Central and South America, and authentic gourmet cuisine at a Latin American inspired food bazaar. Bring the whole familia!

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

* Be wowed by the acrobatic feats and playful performances of the Big Apple Circus!
* Catch an opening weekend show of Stuart Little at Adventure Theatre (get $10 off Friday’s performance using the code PJ10 and bring the kids in PJ’s!)
* Experience your favorite superheroes all in one epic event at Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Patriot Center
* See Rapunzel let down her hair as The Puppet Co. presents the marionette version of the classic fairytale.
* The Kazoobie Kazoo Show with Rick Hubbard is the Saturday morning performance at Jammin’ Java
* Enjoy Alice in Wonderland at Workhouse Arts Center

Baltimore Seafood Festival
Where: Canton Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Starts at $29, ages 10 and under are free

Head up to Charm City for the Inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival. Along with the area’s restaurants featuring their favorite seafood dishes, there will be live music, cooking demos, and a family area with toys, games, face painting, and more.

Colonial Autumn Chores
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adults, $2/children & seniors

Help the colonial farm family prepare for winter with their autumn chores. Learn to spin wood for yarn, help preserve the last of the garden’s bounty, clear brush from fields, stack wood for the hearth, help repair old fencing or participate in other 18th century farm tasks. The farm family welcomes all extra hands! Great event for families and small groups. Comfortable clothes and work gloves recommended.

Free Cupcakes!
Where: Georgetown Cupcakes
When: Saturday, 10am – 9pm while supplies last
Admission: Free

I think Georgetown Cupcake wants to see just how long their line can get. The shop famous for its mini-cake treats is celebrating CBS’s new drama series “Madam Secretary” by giving away FREE Madam Secretary Red Velvet cupcakes on Saturday. If you’ve got time to queue up on the M Street corner, drop by Georgetown Cupcake this Saturday for a freebie. Each one will feature a special fondant topper adorned with a custom “Madam Secretary” logo. One free cupcake per person, no purchase necessary.

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 7th to 14th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 43rd Annual Fiesta DC. It all starts with the Parade of Nations along Constitution Avenue at 10am. Later at 1pm, festivities on Pennsylvania Avenue will include several stages featuring live performances, a children’s activities, international cuisine, vendors, and more.

Washington Ballet Open House
Where: TWB Studios
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Get an inside glimpse of The Washington Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. The afternoon will be filled with ballet and dance, face painting, food trucks, treats, crafts and more. Watch Company dancers and catch special class demonstrations from students of the northwest and southeast campuses of the School. Snap a photo with professional dancers, take part in “Make a Ballet” and step into a performance preview. TWB Studios are located at 3515 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Prevent Cancer 5k
Where: Nationals Park
When: Sunday, 7;45am (check-in)
Admission: See website for registration fees

Join the Cancer Prevention Foundation at Nationals Park on Sunday for a great morning of fitness, food and fun. The 6th Annual Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run is a family (and dog!) friendly event promoting fitness, healthy eating, and cancer prevention and early detection. Enjoy the scenic route along the Capitol Riverfront and visit the health fair around the concourse of the stadium. Race with your friends and family members to help Stop Cancer Before It Starts!

Circus Yoga
Where: lil omm yoga
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: $20 (also see special 3-class promo below)

Join lil omm for a “circus” experience designed to help families discover the simple joy of romping, playing games, and finding fun ways to build connections and express yourself uniquely, from the heart. Be part of the circus at lil omm and learn what “heart style” means your family! The class is open to families with children ages 6 and up. Classes also take place on October 12 and 26. And lil omm has a $30 intro offer for new students that allows them to take 3 weeks of classes for that price.

Rock-N-Stroller 5K
Where: John Carlyle Square Park
When: Sunday, check-in 7am/race 8am
Admission: $50/adult, $20/child

This race is designed for families and strollers so they aren’t banished to the back of the pack, they are the pack! The Rock ‘n’ Stroller 5K is so much more than the most family-friendly run/walk this side of Sesame Street. It’s also the Best Play Date Ever because of the Freakin’ Fabulous Family Fun Festival that will be in full swing when the participants return from the course. Things to look forward to at this year’s Freakin’ Fabulous Fun Festivals include a Rocknoceros, freebies kids will love, sreative crafts, skills challenges, freeze dance, air guitar competitions, scooter and stroller test drives, red light green light, tie-dyes, Snacks and drinks, and even more.

Australia Homeland Dance
Where: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy this free, kid-friendly dance performance by S. J. Ewing & Dancers, and CityDance students. In Australia Home Land, Ewing shares cultural experiences from Australia with her Capitol Hill community. The evening includes a performance by students from CityDance, connecting the DC youth to the community through the joy of dance. Kids will be motivated to dance and get moving after being inspired by the mix of dance professionals, and students their age, who take the stage!

Where: Crystal Wynwood Mural
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm & 12:30-2:30pm
Admission: $10/child

Get inspired and create an original work of art in the Crystal City Wynwood Underpass, the newest mural-tastic addition to Crystal City’s growing art scene. ArtJamz, America’s original public art studio and lounge, has teamed up with Crystal City Business Improvement District to create the coolest outdoor ArtJamz to date. There are session all weekend, but Sunday’s is a family-friendly one for ages 3 and up. Cost includes for kids drinks, pizza, one small 12×16 canvas and all art materials. The Crystal Wynwood Mural is located at 1900 Crystal Drive in Arlington.


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Class, Competition, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 12-14

It's a shoe-in: If you're on the National Mall this weekend, stop in the Sackler Gallery to see this unique installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota

It’s a shoe-in: If you’re on the National Mall this weekend, stop in the Sackler Gallery to see this unique installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota


This round-up of weekend happenings comes with a warning: There are so many options for fun activities with the kids, it’ll make your head spin. And that’s just referring to the list below. Dare I suggest checking out the outdoor and indoor guides, too? (You’ll be okay, I promise.) Happy Weekend!

Where: District Doughnut
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 8am until the doughnuts are gone
Admission: Free (but be ready to buy the house specialty!)

District Doughnut is opening its first store on Barracks Row in Capitol Hill this morning! The store, located at 749 8th St SE, will open at 8am will remain open until they sell out. Stop by Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the delicious treats, plus special Grand Opening festivities to celebrate the launch, including music, games, giveaways, a photo booth, and more. Sounds pretty sweet to me!

Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Admission: Free

It’s your last chance to catch a Friday evening concert at Yards Park. The summer series that brings lives music to the boardwalk by the river is hosting its final show of the season tonight. Jeff from Accounting, a party cover band, is performing, and you can grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby eateries or BYO food and drinks for a picnic dinner.

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 36th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. And various stages throughout the neighborhood will showcase local live entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

Family Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage.
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy the Soldiers’ Home grounds as the Lincoln family did! There will be live entertainment and activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the locale for all ages. Guests can make their own top hats, go on pony rides, and visit a petting zoo featuring Tad Lincoln’s favorite animals (peacocks, goats, geese, and more). A Civil War encampment with re-enactors, Civil War-era games, and live musical performances of Civil War-era tunes will round out the fun. Plan on purchasing food from a vendor and picnicking on the grounds.

Fall Fests
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The calendar may not say fall, but that’s not stopping the seasonal celebrations. Go on hayrides, get lost in corn mazes, pick some pumpkins and apples, whoosh down slides, go medieval, and so much more. This recent post has a list of all the festivals happening around the area where you can jump into fall this weekend or plan your autumn amusement for later.

DC Shorts
Where: US Navy Memorial
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: Free

The 11th annual DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest short film event on the East Coast, has begun and runs through September 21. Among the presentations is a showcase of family-friendly mini flicks on Saturday. Ranging from 4 to 18 minutes long, the featured shorts explore a variety of themes that young audiences will enjoy. Read descriptions and see previews of the films here.

Women in Aviation & Space
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Air & Space Museum on the Mall to learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, a sample of Astronaut Training School, and more.

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 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, Virginia. The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Want a peek at the trains? Take a virtual tour.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street NW, btwn Thomas & Jefferson Streets
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

In its 21st year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of over 35 of the neighborhood’s premier restaurants, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings, a Chef Showdown, and Gypsy Sally’s Music Stage. Even more, the new Waterfront location is prime for family-friendly entertainment hosted by Pinstripes that will include bocce ball courts, hula-hooping, face-painting and balloon-animal-making with help from a number of Georgetown’s historical attractions. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Kid’s Consignment Fair
Where: Luther Jackson Middle School
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the Northern Virginia Parents of Multiples (NVPOM) and save big $$ on all of your baby and kid gear needs. You don’t want to miss this ‘must attend’ event. This huge fall children’s consignment sale typically has over 25,000 items for sale! Find great bargains on strollers, bikes, furniture, books, games, shoes, maternity, sports, safety equipment and other baby gear. Clothes range from preemie to size 14/16. Heads-up that the space is not stroller accessible. Bonus: Credit cards are accepted.

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

* Let Marinani Iranzi entertain the whole family at Bloombars late Saturday afternoon
* The hit stage version of Dirty Dancing is in its final weekend at the National Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Experience your favorite superheroes all in one epic event at Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Patriot Center
* Rainbow Rock is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* Catch Alice in Wonderland at Workhouse Arts Center

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic at the National Museum of Health and Medicine with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK – 2nd grade. This family program is free and open to the public. The Museum is located at 2500 Linden Lane in Silver Spring.

Hispanic Heritage Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month! Held in conjunction with the exhibition Portraiture Now: Staging the Self, the day includes musical performances, interactive demonstrations, arts and crafts, storytelling, gallery tours, and a special display of creative work by Fairfax County Family Literacy Program families.

STAR Family Festival: Sing, Talk & Read
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Learn how singing, talking and reading with your baby or young child now can help them later in school. DC Public Library’s STAR Family Festival will feature workshops for parents to support your child’s early learning; activities, crafts and games for children; free children’s books, live entertainment by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and drummer Jali-D; safety, health and education resources; prizes and giveaways; face painting; photo ops with costumed characters; and more. Lunch will be offered, to boot!

Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child, 2 and under are free

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for apple picking and freshly pressed cider. Most weekends this month, they are celebrate everything apple with wagon rides to the apple orchard and cider pressing demos (and tastings!) with the Zurschmeide Family antique1865 Cider press. Visitors are encouraged to try giving the press a crank to see how cider used to be produced. Admission also covers hayrides, wine tasting across the street at Bluemont Vineyard, visits with barnyard animals, and loads of fun for kids, including a pumpkin jumpin’ pillow, 60-foot slide, five mazes, and pedal tractors.

Get Movin’ Family Fun Day
Where: ProJet Aviation Hangar in Leesburg
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Inova Health System and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics are hosting Get Movin’ Family Fun Day in celebration of National Family Health & Fitness Day. The event will feature a wide variety of activities and interactive exhibits that encourage family health and fitness including a Radio Disney dance party, games and prizes to get guests moving, a Disney Junior Doc McStuffins “Toy Check-Up Clinic” (bring a favorite toy, action figure or doll for a quick check-up), family health and wellness demos and exhibits, rock wall climbing and an obstacle course, Washington Mystics player and mascot appearances, face painting, balloon art, glitter tattoos, and more.

King Street Art Fest & Ice Cream
Where: Market Square in Old Town
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free (but you buy the bowl!)

The 12th annual King Street Art Festival is back with spectacular paintings, life-size sculptures, jewelry, photography, ceramics and more, offering extraordinary art for every taste. Even more, The Art League’s popular Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser is back! Purchase one of 1,000+ hand-made bowls created by the talented and prolific artists of The Art League’s Ceramics Department and enjoy local artisan ice cream from Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria – all for only $15 per bowl! Proceeds go to benefit The Art League’s Ceramics department. Participants in the Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser can enter a free drawing to win Ceramic Artwork and an Art League gift certificate.

BoxTrolls Cardboard Challenge
Where: The Plaza at City Center
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join Tommy McFly and The 94.7 Fresh FM Promotions Team in The Plaza at CityCenter for a special Cardboard Challenge inspired by BoxTrolls The Movie! Build your best cardboard creation and you could win some awesome prizes. CityCenterDC will have all of the supplies you need to build your best cardboard creation, as well as Fresh music, fun, and games.

Silver Spring Maker Faire
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Robots, electric go-karts, interactive art, flying machines, and so much to do and see! KID Museum is hosting the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire on Sunday. A Maker Faire features free family activities and innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. The festival demonstrates creative and unusual projects and pursuits to encourage attendees to explore their own curiosity and to make something new and different. Free and open to all, the Faire will feature two performance stages as well as interactive activities for children and adults of all ages.

Despicable Me 2 en Español
Where: Mosaic District
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Language Stars, the national leader in early childhood foreign language, will host a movie screening this Sunday to expose children and their families to movies in other languages. The film, Despicable Me 2, will be played in Spanish with English subtitles. In the film, Gru, the ex-super villain, is adjusting to family life and an attempted honest living in the jam business. Meanwhile, a secret Artic lab is stolen, and the Anti-Villain league recruits Gru to help discovery who has stolen the laboratory and its research.

MOTH Family Fest
Where: Garfield Park, 2nd & F Streets, SE
When: Sunday, 1:30-4:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill families are invited to join in this annual celebration and enjoy food, games, and more. Festivities will include moonbounces, balloon animals, face painting, Turley the Magician, a performance from Tippi Toes, and live music from Mr. Skip, Meadowlark, and Most Wanted. Additional activities for families will be offered by local businesses and organizations, and a limited supply of food will be provided by local vendors. Families are welcome to bring picnics. The event will also feature a raffle with prizes donated by community businesses, including Metro Mutts, Hill Rag, and Boogie Babes.

Star Spangled Summer Finale
Where: American History Museum
When: Sunday, 12:30pm, 1:30, & 2:30pm
Admission: Free

Stop by the Flag Hall at the American History Museum for a musical celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner. The U.S. Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass Quintet will be performing entertaining patriotic tunes, toe-tapping marches, and a rousing rendition of the nation’s theme song in tribute.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 5-7

The bridge to Roosevelt Island leads to some nice family walks in the woods

The bridge to Roosevelt Island leads to some nice family walks in the woods

Hanna Andersson

Eke out that last bit of summer fun while a few of the season’s activities — and weather — are lingering. Or set your sights ahead for an early taste of fall. Of course, there’s also plenty to keep everyone entertained no matter the time of year. Happy Weekend!

Make One Last Splash
Where: DC Public Splash Parks
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free or small fee

Just when we thought the outdoor aquatic facilities had closed for the season, the DC Department of Parks & Recreation did us a solid and made the decision to keep all public splash parks and select pools open for one more week, through September 7, due to the heat (which isn’t even that bad compared to past years). For a list of places to play in the sprays, go here. And to see which outdoor pools are still open, go here.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Admission: Free

Summer is lingering and not just in the temps outside; there are still a few activities keeping the spirit season going. Friday concerts at Yards Park are on for another couple of weeks, so you can rock by the river for a little while longer. Tonight, recall your college days (or mine, anyway) as Dave Matthews tribute band Crowded Streets plays on the boardwalk by the Anacostia. BYO food and drink for a picnic dinner or purchase it from nearby eateries and food trucks.

All Aboard Kensington!
Where: Kensington Armory/Town Hall
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $5/adult, $2/child, $10/family

See model trains chug around tracks at this annual family-friendly event to benefit the Noyes Library Foundation and the Kensington Historical Society. Along with the locomotive fun, there will be live music by Dixie Land Express Band on Saturday from 11am – 1pm, and Matthew Dodd will present railroad sings and stories on Sunday from 1-4pm. The Kensington Armory/Town Hall is located at 3710 Mitchell Street in Kensington.

Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Catch a game during this exciting season as the Nats host the Phillies this weekend, with an evening game on Friday (7:05pm) and afternoon games on Saturday (4:05pm) and Sunday (1:35pm). Kids will be running the show on Sunday (ie, announcing the game), which young fans will enjoy. Take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Pack promo, and enjoy other extras on Sunday, like Kids Run the Bases after the last out.

Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child, 2 and under are free

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for apple picking and freshly pressed cider. Most weekends this month, they are celebrate everything apple with wagon rides to the apple orchard and cider pressing demos (and tastings!) with the Zurschmeide Family antique1865 Cider press. Visitors are encouraged to try giving the press a crank to see how cider used to be produced. Admission also covers hayrides, visits with barnyard animals, and loads of fun for kids, including a pumpkin jumpin’ pillow, slides, mazes, and pedal tractors.

Fall In! Sample Class Day
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Sample Imagination Stage’s line-up of fall classes – on them! Sample classes are about 20 minutes in length, and give students and families a taste of the Imagination Stage classroom setting. They have exciting offerings for ages 12 months to grade 5. So, try a class and get into YOUR Imagination Stage. This is not a drop-off event; children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Register in advance here.

Rosslyn Jazz Festival
Where: Gateway Park
When: Saturday, 1-7pm
Admission: Free

Head across the Key Bridge from the city for this free annual music festival. Enjoy a great line-up of jazz acts, including Rebirth Brass Band, Red Baraat, Ghost Train Orchestra, and The Corey Wallace DUBtet. Along with the music, there will be food and fashion trucks. Festival parking is available in the garage at 1911 North Fort Myer Drive. The parking entrance is on North Moore Street. Or, take Metro to the Rosslyn station (orange/blue) and walk a few blocks to the event.

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

* The hit stage version of Dirty Dancing is at the National Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Experience your favorite superheroes all in one epic event at Marvel Universe LIVE!
* Cirque Dream Jungle Fantasy will enthrall all ages at Wolf Trap (look for discount tickets)
* Mr. Gabe and the Circle Time All-Stars are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* Catch Alice in Wonderland at Workhouse Arts Center

Ren Fest
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $17/adults, $15/seniors, free for 11 and under

There’s merriment and much, much more at Revel Grove, the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Fair. And you can take a little daytrip back in time to enjoy it all on weekends through October 19. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

Back-to-School at DCMeet Market
Where: Logan Circle
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

DCMEET Market, the monthly community market, is celebrating Back-to-School this Saturday! The jam-packed event will include a pop-up library from the DC Public Library, a live art installation by Kelly Towles, and DIY craft activities led by Topaz + Arrow! Live music by School of Rock, DJ vANNIEty, and Harry Ransom will be presented by Rock-n-Romp, and there will also be a pig roast prepared by the owner of DC’s top-rated restaurant, Toki Underground and communal marketplace, Maketto. Prepare to shop, too — the market will showcase over 40 local vendors selling their goods in various categories such as fine arts, home décor, handcrafted jewelry, fashion apparel, baby accessories, and prepared foods. The market is located at 15th and P St NW, in the heart of Logan Circle.

Shake Up Your Saturday
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library
When: Saturday, 10-11am

Recommended for ages 6-12, this family program at the Folger explores a different aspect of the life and times of Shakespeare during each session. This Saturday, discover how people, including Shakespeare himself, used heraldry to describe their family history. You need to reserve a spot – go here to register.

Vulture Day
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day at a Featured Creature Day at the Zoo! Learn all about these misunderstood scavengers, including the vital role they play in a healthy ecosystem and the threats to survival vultures around the world face. This fun, educational event will feature keeper talks, educational activities for adults and kids, and special animal demonstration featuring the Zoo’s vultures.

Family Picnic
Where: Hillwood Estate
When: Saturday,
Admission: $15/adults, free for 18 and under

In a nod to Post’s lovely garden parties, the GLBT Family Picnic in partnership with Rainbow Families DC will start off the series of programs on September 6. In addition to picnicking on the Lunar Lawn, families can also decorate their own gold boxes inspired by pieces in the special exhibition, Cartier: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Dazzling Gems. There will also be putting on the Putting Green, as well as dress-ups, games, and face-painting.

Dance Class Open House
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Zumba. Creative Movement for Kids. Tap. Afro Cuban Dance. Hip Hop/Jazz Dance. Adult Ballet. African Drum & Dance. Yoga. Hoop Jam. Alexander Technique. Step for Youth. These are just a few of the ways both young and old can get moving this fall at Joe’s Movement Emporium. Try them out for free at Joe’s Fall 2014 Open House on Saturday! Joe’s Movement Emporium is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road in Mount Rainier, Md.

Back to School Fashion Show
Where: The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Start the school year in style! Lord & Taylor is hosting a fashion show that will highlight the latest children’s trends for the fall. Local kids from the area will model the clothing, there will be a DJ playing kid-friendly pop music, and face painting for guests who are game, plus information sheets on all the featured apparel will be available for easy shopping. It’s a casual family-friendly event, so join the fun and fashion with the kids.

Paw Paw Festival
Where: Meadowside Nature Center
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5

Many people are familiar with the age-old children’s Pawpaw song “Pickin up Pawpaws, Puttin’ ‘em in your pocket?” But how many people in and around Montgomery County have ever actually tried a Pawpaw – or even know what one is? Find out – and get a taste – this weekend as Montgomery Parks hosts the Second Annual Pawpaw Festival at Meadowside Nature Center. There will be a Pawpaw tasting station; a variety of activities, games, and music; and area pawpaw expert and breeder, Neal Peterson, will open the festival with a special talk about the fruit. Attendees will learn all about this delicious fruit that is native to the region, and its rich history.

Parachute Fun, Bagel Feast
Where: Dupont Circle
When: Sunday, 9:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Stop by Dupont Circle on Sunday morning for bagels and cream cheese with Moms Clean Air Force, an organization that fights climate change with mom-power. Stay awhile for some kid-fun with their big earth parachute and balls. MCAF’s DC Field Organizer will be happy to chat with moms and dads about how to get involved in the organization in ways big and small. Pair it with a visit to the nearby Dupont Farmer’s Market. Look for them in the western quadrant of Dupont Circle near CVS. RSVPs appreciated to jhantman@momscleanairforce.org.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

How about hitting the trail? This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hike with kids (though I heard Greenbelt Park has been having a tick problem recently). Find more details on the Riverbend to Great Falls trail here. And a few that aren’t on the list, but great for family tramping: Turkey Run Park, just off the GW Parkway and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve near Great Falls.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 29 – September 1

Make Revel Grove your happy place

Make Revel Grove your happy place

If the start of school didn’t mark the unofficial end of summer, then Labor Day weekend will take the cake. Many of the season’s quintessential activities come to a close after this, but that doesn’t mean the fun ends, too. As you savor the last of summer joys, start welcoming some of the delights of fall…and find plenty DC mainstays to enjoy in between. Happy Long Weekend!

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free

One of DC’s biggest annual events is happening this weekend — a few weeks earlier than usual and a change of location, but it’s going to be just as good. The 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. There will be book readings, Q&A’s, fun for kids, book signings, and more reading-related activities for all. For a glimpse of what to expect, see this post about our experience there a couple of years ago.

Season Finales
Where: Various locales
When: Through Monday
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, The Big Maze among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, a romp through the Building Museum’s labyrinth, or a day at an outdoor public pool, then check out the Summer 2014 guide, which has details on all of those diversions and many more.

Hear the Blues
Where: Carter Barron Amphitheater
When: Saturday, 12-7:30pm
Admission: $10/member, $15/non-members

Head to the outdoor stage in Rock Creek Park for the 26th Annual DC Blues Festival. Along with the line-up of performers, there will be musical workshops throughout the day, where both children and adults can learn about Blues music. Kids will especially enjoy instrument and vocal workshops, including an instrument petting zoo. View the schedule of both musical acts and extra fun here.

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove, Crownsville, Md.
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17/adults, $10/ages 7-18

The merriment continues at Revel Grove in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 19, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. For more details on what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

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

* A super waaaay, to spend some time together: The Fresh Beat Band concert at Wolf Trap on Saturday (look for discount tickets)
* Children’s fave Rocknoceros is playing a special Labor Day show at Jammin’ Java
* The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs on the Main Stage for its final weekend
* Animal Crackers and Old MacDonald’s Farm are the featured Tiny Tots shows at the Glen Echo puppet theatre
* Be wowed by Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna at National Harbor
* The hit stage version of Dirty Dancing is at the National Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is performed at Adventure Theatre before it closes after this weekend.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This list of area farms and orchards offering pick-your-own opportunities was posted awhile back, but all of the locales are still recommended, and links and festival dates have been updated as the apples are ready for harvest once again. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

More than 40 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the Kennedy Center’s 13th annual Page-to-Stage Festival. And they are all free and open to the public. Performances will take place at several venues around DC, and there are a few that are family-friendly, including Adventure Theatre’s Garfield, the Musical with Cattitude, The Millennium Stage performance In His Own Words: A Concert in Tribute to Walter Dean Myers, and My Creative Spirit’s Kidz at Play. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, Virginia
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20adults, $5/ages 5-12, free for under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and game to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but concerts will continue until 9pm.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, this year’s program explores American music from TV, movies, and beloved Broadway musicals, and features Emmy Award–winning actress and singer Nicole Parker and Broadway and opera sensation Christopher Johnstone. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

The Big Dig
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farm’s annual Potato Harvest takes place this Saturday and Sunday. Take the scenic drive out to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains early for all-you-can-eat pancakes topped with homemade fruit syrups, then hop on a hayride that will take you out to u-pick fields where you can dig for gold — Yukon gold potatoes, that is. Breakfast is served from 9am – 12pm, and the hayrides run all day, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Along with breakfast and the Dig, admission includes access to the rest of the farm’s attractions, including a cow train, mazes, barnyard petting area, pick your own fields, and more. Visit the website for more information and directions.

Where the Buffalo Roam
Where: National Zoo
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: Free

In celebration of the National Zoo’s 125th Anniversary, the National Zoo is bringing back the animal that inspired its founding and helped spark the conservation movement, the American bison. The Zoo started in 1887 as an exhibit on the National Mall behind the Castle featuring American bison and a handful of species native to North America. To mark this anniversary, two bison will be taking up residence at the National Zoo — they will be located adjacent to the Zoo in Your Backyard Exhibit and the lower entrance to Asia Trail. Welcome them with a visit!

Ice Cream at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Get a glimpse of culinary life in the 18th century through ice cream making demos at Mount Vernon. The special program takes place every Saturday in August, so this is your last chance to check it out. Visitors can watch as costumed staff make one of George Washington’s favorite desserts using reproduction period equipment to emulate ice cream-making process of the olden times.

The Ins & Outs
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re just looking for things to do outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Sunday, 2:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25

It’s Kids Day at the DC United game! Along with an exciting match at RFK, there will be lots of extras for young fans — activities and a play area located behind Section 222. Start enjoying them at 1:30pm when stadium gates open, but get to the parking lot even earlier for tailgating and Food Trucks.


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend