Tag Archives: DC Winter Actvities

The Weekend Round-Up: March 29-30

A sky full of sails at last year's Blossom Kite Festival

A sky full of sails at last year’s Blossom Kite Festival



The weather may dictate activities this weekend, but no matter what the conditions outside, you’ve got plenty of options for a good time with the kids. And for ideas beyond this round-up, check out the Everyday Play page with a lengthy list of mainstay fun around the DC-Metro. Happy Weekend!

Go Fly a Kite!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is, in my humble opinion, the best event during cherry blossom season (when the weather cooperates, anyway). The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly one to behold. It’s absolutely magical for my kids, and even for me as a jaded adult. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like intricate works of art actually outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so be sure to bring one. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics. (Note: This was originally scheduled for Saturday, but will now take place Sunday due to weather.)

Make Your Mark
Where: National Archives
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Head to the National Archives and explore the many ways people have placed their signature on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit, “Making Their Mark,” this special Family Day welcomes all ages for hands-on activities in the Boeing Learning Center. Guests can write with a quill pen, make signature hats: pillbox hat, Lincoln hat, tri-corner hat, take a tour of the exhibit, enjoy story time, mock curate an exhibit, and much more.

Opening Weekend on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95 (under age 2 are free)

With spring comes a host of seasonal activities at Ticonderoga Farm! You can visit with the spring farm animals, do some bird watching and animal tracking, aalong with their myriad other attractions – think swings, hayrides, a maze, and much more. Be sure to check the website for timing of any specific activities. And this Saturday & Sunday is Spring Scout Weekend at the farm, so boy and girls can bring their troop# identification for FREE admission. For an idea of what’s at Ticonderoga, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.

Garden Party
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Now in its fifth year, Community Forklift’s Garden Party has become a local tradition, drawing gardeners, hipsters, farmers, and families from around the DC area. Get low-cost garden supplies and seedlings, enjoy live music, participate in hands-on activities like barrel painting and seed planting, and join several free workshops for gardeners young and old. Concessions will be for sale starting at 11am. And adults, children, and (leashed) pets will earn discounts and possibly prizes for sporting their best garden party attire. Last year, the nonprofit reuse center celebrated the arrival of spring with over 1,200 visitors, and this year’s free event is expected to be even bigger! It will take place at their large warehouse at 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by film

Over 200 diverse films from 38 countries will be screened at 65 venues around the DC-Metro area during the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Nature Unfolds – Animated Shorts will be at the National Gallery of Art. And Africa: Kalahari and A Year in the Wild: Snowdonia will be screened at the Natural History Museum. Be sure to check the film festival website for showtimes and details on films.

Tree Fest
Where: Tudor Place
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Salute Tudor Place’s “witness trees” and other gifts of the natural world found in the city with a free festival in the Garden. Games, puppets, storytelling, a tree tour, and an artisanal Market Fair offering sustainable merchandise will be part of the festivities. You can also see a new white oak just planted in the North Garden to replace the towering sentinel lost last year.

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

* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Hansel & Gretel just opened on the main stage and Animal Crackers and Old McDonald’s Farm are the featured Tiny Tots show.
* The Adventures of Robin Hood is opening at the Kennedy Center.
* Strathmore presents Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Rainbow Rockis playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* See Ballet Hispanico Family Matinee at the BlackRock Center for the Arts.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.

Domo Origato, Mr. Roboto
Where: The Patriot Center
When: Through Saturday
Admission: Free

The FIRST Robotics Competition is the culmination of six weeks of work by teams of high school students from around the region. Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, they work with with hundreds of components, including engineering mainstays such as programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry and mechanical parts to build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. And the public is invited to check out the innovative creations that result from the contest!

Baby Love Disco
Where: The Fillmore in Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $15

The family dance party is back in the area, but this time in Silver Spring. The fun will feature BLD’s signature DJ and MC, along with other kids activities and snacks. The MC will pump up the crowd, and the DJ will spin G-rated dance tunes, while kids and parents groove along and enjoy the disco.

Are you Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Friday 2-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

With rain in the forecast, Q?rius is a great place to take shelter: The new interactive and experiential learning space at the Natural History Museum is, in a word, AWESOME. Visitors can view up close – and in many cases handle – real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. Microscopes let young guests feel like real scientists, and drawers full of everything from animals species to cultural relics are accessible for examination. And even though it’s been promoted as a space for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can appreciate it, too.

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

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: March 22-23

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Spring has sprung, and the weather actually reflects the season — for now. Celebrate it at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival that begins this weekend or get outdoors to savor warmer temps. You can prep for the Kite Festival at a special Air & Space event or enjoy several other museum programs. Live entertainment, a Stroller Brigade & 5K, a colonial farm clean-up, and movies (drive-in, too!) round out the options for fun. Happy Weekend!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Days
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The flowers may not be in bloom yet, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off this weekend! Celebrate the start of it at the National Building Museum’s 9th annual family festival for kids of all ages. The weekend will feature hands-on activities, interactive art demonstrations, and dynamic performances that celebrate spring and explore Japanese arts and design. View the website for specifics.

Kites of Asia Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am -3pm
Admission: Free

Start getting psyched for the annual Kite Festival at the Air & Space Museum’s annual celebration. Thrill to the beauty and artistry of kites on display and in the air – kites will actually be flying indoors! Visit the museum’s collection of kites and discover the diversity of kites from across Asia. Hands-on activity stations will demonstrate how kites are made, and guests can learn how kites helped the Wright brothers develop the first airplane.

Get Out and Celebrate Spring!
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

With spring comes spring weather (for now, anyway…word has it we’re in for more snow next week?!), so get out and relish in it! Roam the glorious grounds of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, stroll around the Tidal Basin and visit the memorials, play and picnic at Hains Point, take a hike in Rock Creek Park. Find more info about all these suggestions and loads more in this post about the best places in the DC area to enjoy a day outdoors.

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

* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is also on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is on the main stage and Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* See Reptiles Alive: Live Animal Show at the Old Town Theatre on Saturday
* Jack’s Adventure by Bright Star Theatre is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Dave Brewer and the Pre-K Kingsare playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.

Making Their Mark
Where: National Archives
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It’s the opening weekend of the National Archives’ newest exhibit: “Making Their Mark” illustrates the many ways people have made their mark on history through a signature and offers something for all ages and interests. Guests can view everything from presidents’ signatures on groundbreaking legislation to signed sports memorabilia from momentous games to Michael Jackson’s patent for a “method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.”

Family Drive-In
Where: Capitol Riverfront
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

On Friday and Saturday evenings, catch “Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront,” a drive-in movie series at the parking lot of First Street, SE and M Street, SE. Pull into the converted drive-in theater to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine. Toy Story will be shown on Friday night, and The Matrix will be shown on Saturday night. Both screenings will begin at 7:30 pm. Both are free and open to the public.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Through March 30
Admission: Varies by film

Nearly 200 diverse and arresting films from 50 countries will be screened at 75 venues around the DC-Metro area during the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are several family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Little movie-goers can watch With My Friends, a series of animated shorts for ages 2-5. There’s a film incorporated into the National Gallery’s monthly program for kids (see below). Moon Man follows the journey of the title character on Earth. And Backyard Bugs investigates 16 different types of arthropods and explores a variety of backyard habitats. View the website for showtimes and details on films.

Movie at the Art Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

See more than art at the museum on the Mall. The Rooster Trademark Paper, part of the Environmental Film Festival, depicts the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming an artist, sees an advertisement for a visual arts competition and is inspired to enter. Although he works hard selling newspapers and making deliveries for a local store, he struggles to purchase the costly Rooster Trademark paper that all entrants must use to qualify for the contest. His passion and drive is bolstered by his community, as he strives to make his dream a reality. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Puppets Go Smithsonian
Where: American History Museum
When: Saturday, 3:30pm & 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Head to the museum’s “Puppetry in America” exhibit on the first floor as Puppet Master Christopher Piper brings to life a Circus Bear and Cinderella’s bossy stepmother, and shows kids how to make a sassy hand puppet with a simple rubber ball. If Piper’s puppetry seems familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo!

Yappy Hour
Where: PetMAC DC  
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Is your family looking for a new best friend? Home Buddies Washington D.C. by Camp Bow Wow, an in-home Doggy Day care franchise, is hosting a “Mutt Madness” event. The program aims to educate local members of the community on the many benefits of pet adoption. And Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will have lots of loveable and adoptable dogs there for guests to meet as potential new family member. PetMAC DC is located at 4220 Fessenden St NW.

Clean Up at the Colonial Farm
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Help the local living history museum and working farm prepare for the 2014 season! Volunteers can rake leaves, clear and mulch paths, haul brush and firewood, move rail fences, waterproof outbuildings, whitewash the colonial farmhouse, split firewood, fill garden pots and more. There are jobs for every age and skill level – families are welcome. A picnic hot dog lunch will be given out to all volunteers. Bring work gloves and dress for weather. RSVP to jengle@1771.org.

Stroller Brigade & 5K Race
Where: West Potomac Park at Hains Point
When: Sunday, 8am
Admission: See website

Bright Beginning’s 5k race and Stroller Brigade benefits homeless children in DC. Bright Beginnings, a DC-based non-profit, provides education, therapeutic and family-stabilizing services for 30-40% of DC’s homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and their families, to give them the best chance of success in school and in life.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about American athlete Wilma Rudolph.

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The Weekend Round-Up: March 8-9

Winter chillin' at the Arboretum

Winter chillin’ at the Arboretum



It’s a fun and interesting mix of special events and activities this weekend, from free art programs at local museums to storytime at NPR to show time at local theatres to the start of DC United’s season at RFK and lots more in between. Even better, the sun will be shining the whole time. And don’t forget to turn the clocks forward — a nice little sign that spring is on its way. Happy Weekend!

Family Day: The Great Escape!
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Journey to Paris, New York, and the Wild West through music, art-making, and performances for all ages! This free event includes music, circus performances, cowboy and lasso demos, art making workshops, story time with DC Public Library, fancy face painting, a raffle, and more. Be sure to catch the exhibition American Journeys—Visions of Place, the inspiration for the day’s activities.

WORD with NPR
Where: NPR Headquarters
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $10

Take the kids to storytime with some of your favorite NPR journalists as they read popular children’s titles. NPR Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin guides kids and parents alike through the Books Always Everywhere “field day” of readings, projected illustrations, and live music. Readers include TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz and NPR Science correspondent Shankar Vedantam. A complimentary healthy snack, beverages, and fun activities are included in the ticket price. NPR Headquarters are located at 1111 North Capitol NE. Purchase tickets here.

Intersections Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by Performance

It’s the final weekend of the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s 5th annual festival of the arts, and there will be several performances and activities for the entire family to enjoy: Under the Canopy from Arts on the Horizon, a free Boogie Babes show, storytime with a celebrity guest reader (the wonderful principal of my son’s school!), Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet, the bilingual puppet show Fábulas Mayas, dance performances, and even more. Visit the Intersections website for show times, descriptions, and ticket info.

Lowe’s Build and Grow
Where: Local Lowe’s Stores
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The home improvement store offers free bimonthly workshops just for kids. Guests can make a free wooden project (with parent help), and this session they’ll be building birdhouses. Each participant also receives a free goodies upon completion of their project. Go here to register.

Super Science Saturday
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

It’s Super Science Saturday, the monthly program at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles. There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities that immerse children in science and technology topics related to aviation and space exploration. On Saturday, it’ll center around “The Space Shuttle” theme.

Mamma Mia!
Where: National Theatre
When: Through March 9
Admission: Ticket prices vary

If you like ABBA, Broadway shows, music that takes you back, or all of the above, I highly recommend seeing Mamma Mia! I caught the opening night performance (for the second time…the first nearly 10 years ago), and there are so many things to love about it – the singing, dancing, delightful plot, comedic moments, the amazing costumes, and the itch to jump up and belt out every single song along with the talented cast. It’s probably a little much for young children, but tweens and older kids would enjoy it. Of course, it would make a great date night or girls’ night out, too.

Henry IV Open Rehearsal
Where: Sidney Harmon Hall
When: Saturday 11am & 12:30pm | Sunday 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: Free

Have a little Shakespeare enthusiast or budding actor on your hands? Or maybe you’re a big fan of the Bard yourself? If so, this is a fun treat from the Shakespeare Theatre: Join the cast, crew, and artistic staff as they take the stage for the first time to rehearse for Henry IV. Watch Artistic Director Michael Kahn in action as he directs the players of his upcoming play at Sidney Harmon Hall. Seating is general admission and first-come, first-served.

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

* There’s an NSP Teddy Bear Concert at the Kennedy Center. Imagination Duo is being performed both Saturday and Sunday.
* Encore Stage and Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes.
* You can still see Rumplestiltskin on the Imagination Stage.
* It’s your last chance to catch Miss Nelson is Missing at Adventure Theatre.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is on the main stage and Panda-Monium is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* Lauren O’Neill James Irish Dance is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* The Great Zucchini is will be entertaining the crowd at Jammin’ Java Saturday morning.

Are You Ready for Some Futbol?
Where: RFK Stadium
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $26

The DC United kicks off the new season at home with a match against Columbus Crew on Saturday evening. You can get a Home Opener pack, which includes 2 tickets + 2 caps for as low as $22 per seat – select section 314, 329, or 330 for home opener exclusive seating options.

Persian New Year Celebration
Where: Freer Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Dance, play, and feast your way into the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. The museums’ sixth annual Nowruz celebration features free attractions for all ages—including Haft Sin table displays, “fire” jumping, chess and backgammon, cartoons from Iran, musical performances, stories by Xanthe Gresham, hands-on activities, and traditional Persian food.

Portrait Story Days: Georgia O’Keefe
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, learn about American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. And for more about the program, see this post about our experience there.

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

There’s just over a week left to enjoy free admission along with the lovely gardens at Dumbarton Oaks. From November through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the grounds of the Georgetown locale. It’s a beautiful place to explore any time of year. Read more about about it and get a glimpse in this post from last fall.

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

It looks like we’re in for some relatively nice (as in, not snowy and freezing) weather this weekend so get outside and relish in it. Head to the National Arboretum, stroll the grounds of Brookside Gardens, hit the trail at Great Falls or Riverbend Park, visit the animals at Old Maryland Farm or the Zoo. Find more info about all these suggestions and many more in this post about the best places in the DC area to enjoy a day outdoors.

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