Tag Archives: Kids Activities in Maryland

See Your Child Light Up the Adventure Theatre Stage in Shrek, Jr.!

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Many a child has probably been to one of Adventure Theatre’s wonderful shows and imagined what it was like to be on the stage, in the spotlight, performing in front of an audience. But they don’t just have to imagine it — in ATMTC’s Student Productions, they can actually experience it!

Adventure Theatre offers intensive performance and training opportunities to perform in fully produced student productions, ensemble showcases, and recitals. This winter, kids in grades 4-6 can be part of Shrek, the Musical, Jr.. Rehearsals will take place at their Wintergreen Plaza location in Rockville in the evenings while school in session, and during the days over Winter Break. And the grand finale — the performances — will be held at the theater in Glen Echo Park, on the very stage they have watched some of their favorite productions over the years.

Everyone’s favorite ogre is back in this hilarious stage spectacle, based on the Oscar-winning smash hit film and outrageous Broadway musical. Beauty is in the eye of the ogre. Shrek leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, an irreverently fun show with a powerful message for the whole family.

With imaginative sets and costumes, and a host of over-the-top roles, there’s a part for everyone in the dazzling adventure story. This magical opportunity begins December 19 and runs through January 15 — see the complete schedule for details. No audition is required. Tuition is $800, and you can register online here.

Adventure Theatre MTC’s offers even more programs for kids of all ages, including Winter Break camps. And I can vouch for them — both of my children have participated in the summer program and loved it!


This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Camp, Class, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Theatre, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 8-10

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday

There will be beautiful music to accompany the art on Saturday



With the hubbub of the holidays completely over, it’s time to delve into some 2016 fun! Happy Weekend!

NSO in Your Neighborhood Museum
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, all day & 7:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this time in Penn Quarter. The American Art Museum will be one of the hosting venues on Saturday with family programming all day, including an instrument petting zoo, a concert for children, and pop-up performances leading up to the grand finale – an evening concert by the full orchestra in the Kogod Courtyard!

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual exposition celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center all weekend. There will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to try new sports, giveaways, and lactivities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow line to the Mount Vernon stop.

Open House
Where: Royalty Learning Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Looking for early education options for your little one? Royalty Learning Center in Maryland is hosting an Open House on Saturday, where you can learn more about their programs that focus on education and uniqueness of each child. Meet the director and lead teachers, tour the center, and gain insight into their curriculum. Children are welcome, too! Light refreshments will be served.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 12:45pm
Admission: Free

Get an up-close and personal taste of what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage – they promise you’ll have a blast! Sample camps are 20 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production. Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here.

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $10

The “cross between ‘Yellow Submarine’ and Dr. Seuss” is back with his unique multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations, and storytelling. Plan to dine along with the show — the full lunch and drink menu will be available.

NSO Kinderclassics: Break it Down
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

If your kids love to tinker, they’ll enjoy this high-energy concert, where they delight in dissecting the pieces and parts of music and instruments! There will also be pre-show fun in the Hall of States: Starting an hour before the concert, a Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo” gives children a chance to get up close with the instruments they’ll see played on stage, from violins and trumpets to oboes and flutes. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Star Wars on the Really Big Screen
Where: Air & Space Museum & Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/child

If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet (or if you have and are ready for a repeat), Smithsonian’s IMAX theaters are easily among the best places in the area to view them. Some of the key sequences of the film were shot using IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world, so only in IMAX theaters will those scenes expand vertically to fill the entire screen for a truly immersive experience. (Plus, Star Wars in the museums that showcase space!)

Ice It
Where: Local Ice Skating Rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Get out and glide. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note that both at Canal Park and Washington Harbor are hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Rock Creek Explorations
Where: Peirce Mill
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get a glimpse of Rock Creek Park’s past on a visit to the historic Peirce Mill. Tour three-levels of 19th-century machinery and find out water from the creek powered the mill to make flour and meal. Plan on some hiking, too — the site is situated right next to a couple of nice trails. This new post has details on an outing there.

Snow White
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Take your kids to see other kids perform as Encore Stage & Studio theatre brings a fairytale classic to the stage. Their signature by kids for kids is great for young audiences. This show is recommended for ages 4 and up, and there are a few performances throughout the weekend.

InterAct Story Theatre
Where: Wheaton Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Enjoy the 4th installment of Wheaton Family Theatre Series as Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries with “The Giggling, Wiggling Book Worm,” a dynamic arts and literacy program for all ages. Combining a dramatic live storytelling performance with an engaging post-performance literacy workshop for kids and families, Arianna and fellow Story Tapestries artist Suzanne Richard leads guests in a literary adventure. Kids and adults alike will dance, sing, wiggle, and giggle as their inner bookworms read, write, draw, dance, and make music about new, exciting stories.

On the Imagination Stage
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $14

This weekend is the last chance to catch A Year with Frog & Toad at the Bethesda theatre — the musical inspired by the acclaimed children’s books is coming to a close. The youngest audiences will enjoy Wake Up, Brother Bear that includes hands-on activities along with the performance.

Jonathan Blum Retrospective
Where: Caos Gallery
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

I love the work of Jonathan Blum and wanted to give him and his retrospective exhibit a shout-out. You may be aware of his art – the DC native now residing in Brooklyn occasionally sells his whimsical portraits (often of half-faces or animals sitting on serious heads) at Eastern Market and has some hanging in venues around town. Go to shop his art, or just to enjoy viewing it – kids will appreciate the fanciful faces just as much as you.

The Day the Dinosaurs Came to Noyes
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $15/family donation requested

Join the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation for a fantastic family event featuring dino-mite activities and crafts, plus a theater workshop by the teaching artists of Imagination Stage, based on the book “How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?” RSVP on the Noyes Facebook page.

NSO Goes Undercover
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Sunday, 4-5pm
Admission: Free

So, they may not be undercover, but members of the National Symphony Orchestra will again be playing in a different context as part of the NSO In Your Neighborhood program. A small ensemble will perform an espionage-themed concert for this family-friendly event. And patrons who attend this one will also receive a coupon for $5 off the price of admission to visit the museum’s exhibits!

Wizards vs. Raptors
Where: Verizon Center
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Start the weekend with some hoops action as the Wizards host Toronto. And the Verizon Center is within the NSO in Your Neighborhood area, so expect a pre-game bonus: Members from the National Symphony Orchestra will be performing during the warm-ups!

Caps vs. Senators
Where: Verizon Center
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

There will be some extra Senators in DC on Sunday as the Caps host Ottowa’s hockey team at the Verizon Center. And you can get a T-shirt along with seats to view the action on ice through from Certifikid.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Child Care, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Preschoolers, School Event, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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: December 18-20

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We’re kicking off Winter Break with a weekend full of ways to celebrate the season and then some. Holiday events, live entertainment, ice skating, college hoops, outdoor pursuits, and some movie about the force are all among this round-up of recs. Plus, the Everyday Play page has even more ideas for ongoing DC fun. Happy Weekend!

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Through the weekend
Admission: Free

The Botanic Garden’s annual holiday attraction never disappoints. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials and one of the city’s largest Christmas trees. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s theme “Pollination Station ” features oversized flowers, bees, and butterflies in a scenic wonderland. A heads-up that it’ll probably be crowded, but the line usually moves quickly, and it really is a beautiful, fun, unique display to see!

Step Afrika!’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $15-38

Put a little stomp in your step for the holidays! DC’s internationally-known percussive dance company invites you to celebrate the season with clapping, stomping, and all around fun for all ages, featuring their furry friends from the Animal Kingdom and a special dance party with DJ Frosty the Snowman! If you’re bringing the whole family, check out the Family Fun Pack: Four tickets, four snacks, four non-alcoholic drinks, all for $100!

Holiday Party & Puppet Show Anniversary
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The Fairfax County Park Authority is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a family-friendly holiday party that includes puppet show performances, plus treats and visits with farm animals. Showtimes are 10:45am and 12:30pm. Inside the Visitors Center, guests can enjoy hot cocoa, cider, and cookies. Outside, they can visit with furry friends from Kidwell Farm.

Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

‘Tis the season for outdoor ice skating, so lace up and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note that both at Canal Park and Washington Harbor are hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Gaylord National Resort’s annual holiday extravaganza has festivities galore that capture the spirit of the season. And the best part is that there are activities for all ages at varying price points (even free!), from dancing fountains and indoor snowfalls to a tour of amazing “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”-themed ice sculptures. Get details and a glimpse of it all here.

Rocknoceros Holiday Singalong
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

Get in the holiday mood and ready to sing as one of the area’s favorite kindie rock bands returns to Jammin’ Java for their 9th year of fun holiday songs and Rockno classics. Belt out the tunes along with them, and enjoy a full lunch and drink menu, too.

More Holiday Entertainment
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Much of the live entertainment on local stages right now is holiday-inspired. See the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre or A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. Get details on these shows and others in the 2015 Holiday Guide.

Showtime Beyond the Holidays
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

– The Broadway hit Matilda the Musical just opened at the Kennedy Center
– The adorable Elephant and Piggies’s We are in a Play is also running there
Oliver! and Akeelah and the Bee are on the Arena Stage
– Catch a performance of How to Catch a Leprechan at The Keegan Theatre
– Faction of Fools presents Pinocchio is at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
– See Seussical the Musical is at NextStop Theatre
– If you’re looking for a date night idea, Kiss Me, Kate is at Sidney Harman Hall and Bright Star is at the Kennedy Center.
– Little ones will love Wake Up, Brother Bear at Imagination Stage

‘O’pen House Shopping & Tours
Where: Mansion on O Street
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Starts at $15

Take a holiday tour of one of the most wonderfully outrageous places in DC while its halls are bedecked with seasonal trimmings. At this one-of-a-kind mansion in the heart of Dupont Circle, explore fantastically-themed rooms, search for secret doors, and shop — just about everything there is for sale — while enjoying the season with family and friends. Read more about the Mansion on O Street in this KFDC post.

Night Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit the Zoo or one of several parks in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. Either way, get ready to be dazzled.

College Hoops
Where: Local colleges
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

College basketball season begins this weekend, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on. The GW men’s team hosts St. Peter’s on Saturday, while the women welcome Iona on Sunday(tickets here). The Hoya men play UNC Asheville at the Verizon Center on Saturday (tickets here). At George Mason, the women play Air Force SAturday afternoon, and the men match up against Longwood Saturday evening (tickets here). Both Maryland teams are away this weekend, but they still get a ‘Go, Terps!’

Welcome to Beynia
Where: Mystic Emporium
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free (but $5 to play)

Remember Beyblades, the big toy trend a couple of years ago? They’re still a big thing with many who take them to tourney and compete for prizes. If your kid is (or was) an enthusiast, consider checking out this indoor tournament taking place in Silver Spring. Word has it the events are fun, inclusive, and a great bargain. See the website for registration and event times. Mystic Emporium is located at 7896 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring.

Kids’ Fête de Noël
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $8/non-member, $5/member

Celebrate the winter holidays with AFDC! With both French and English spoken, the event will feature an activity hour for kids and families, including a fun craft and caroling in French. Snacks will also be served to guests.

Challah Hootenanny!
Where: The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $15

Join PJ Library, The Jewish Food Experience, and their partners for a celebration at a family-friendly morning of Jewish bluegrass music, crafts, food fun, and more, featuring a performance by Mama Doni and Eric Lindberg. Bring a new pair of adult-size socks or gloves to be distributed through D25: December 25th Day of Service. Location is 6101 Executive Blvd. in North Bethesda.

Holiday Shop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Mostly free

If you’re still working through your gift list, there are several special holiday markets around the area, where you can find unique presents by local vendors and then some. Head to Penn Quarter, National Harbor, or Alexandria for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. More info about all of them is available in the 2015 Holiday Guide. And if you need some gift ideas, be sure check out the KFDC Holiday Gift Guide!

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Just because the temps are dropping, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend time outdoors – bundle up and enjoy some time in the fresh air under sunny skies! Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks (no admission fee this time of year). Hit the trail at Riverbend, Cunningham Falls, Rock Creek, and more. Explore the National Arboretum or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Hang out at Hains Point. Hit the playground at Watkins, Cabin John, or ClemyjontriParks. Find even more ideas in this post about great outdoor pursuits with kids.

See the Force
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater

So, there’s this movie out that a bunch of people are pretty excited to see… If you’re planning to take the kids to see the new Star Wars film, check out these Washington Post recommendations for the best places in the DC area to see it. And buy your tickets in advance.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Christmas, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter