Tag Archives: Kids Activities

Adventure Theatre MTC Academy: Where Kids are Encouraged to Act Up

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Does your child love to perform? Are you looking for an active after school activity in a fun setting for your kids, or perhaps a new weekly series for your little one?

Adventure Theatre MTC Academy is getting ready to begin its fall semester, offering performing arts classes for children ages 3-18 that are fun and enriching, and benefit kids on stage and off. Watch below for an informative introduction to ATMTC programs:

Chances are you’ve seen a show or two (or ten) at the Glen Echo venue that is hugely popular among DC area families. Their plays and musicals, often interpretations of classic children’s stories, are always top-notch, featuring amazing talent, delightful sets, and some of the best theater experiences for young audiences around.

Those high standards are maintained in their class and camp offerings for children — and I know this first hand: Both of my kids have participated in Adventure Theatre MTC summer camps, Owen took part for three years, and Sasha made her stage debut this past July. Not only did they have an absolute blast, I loved seeing just how much they got out of the program. Over a two-week session the kids learn an incredible amount about acting and the inner workings of the theatre, which they showcase in a real production that parents and friends are invited to watch. It was obvious they received quality instruction in a fun, encouraging environment.

A brilliant performance by Adventure Theatre summer campers

A brilliant performance by Adventure Theatre summer campers

The Academy provides young people with creative drama and musical theater training, including classes, student productions, ensembles, camps, and workshops based on National & State Fine Arts Standards of Learning. Some of the fun and popular classes on the schedule this fall include:

Lightsaber Adventures – Focusing on stage combat instruction, young Padawans will learn the ways of the force through both simple tasks and challenging missions. This class will teach lessons in safety, focus, spatial awareness, teamwork and self-discipline all within a safe framework of basic stage combat movement.

Acting Up! – One of the most important classes a young performer can take! Students will journey with ATMTC through the process of acting as a professional teaching artist guides them using creative drama techniques through the basics of acting, improvisation, and character development, culminating in an informal presentation of the characters and stories the class created during the semester.

Broadway Baby – This magical introduction to the world of song, dance, and make-believe for little ones will explore music and movement through guided activities in a playful and structured environment designed for the imagination and rooted in musical theater. Props, costume accessories, and themes enhance exploration and movement. Students will work on classroom skills such as following directions, listening, and working with others.

Mini-Play: Mary Poppins – One part exploratory drama, one part improv, all around fun! This class culminates in an informal showcase of work. Participants will explore the classic story of Mary Poppins, its characters, plotline, and sequence, and work together each week to create their own improvised version of the play.

Singing for the Stage – Courses help students establish the basic techniques of vocal production, pitch controls, tone production, and breathing through various exercises and demonstrations in a choral/group setting.

The above are just a sample of the many, many classes being offered, so be sure to check out the full selection. And they take place at two locations: Glen Echo Park and Wintergreen Plaza in Rockville. Days, times, and rates vary by class — details are available on the Adventure Theatre website.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre MTC, 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, Class, Educational, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Professional Service, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 5-8

Kick off the flip flops and enjoy a day at Flag Ponds

Kick off the flip flops and enjoy a day at Flag Ponds



Tuesday – Visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where the water lilies and lotus flowers are beginning to bloom — it is gorgeous! There will be a big festival to celebrate it in a couple of weeks, but it’s also nice to enjoy without the crowds. Meander through the park to see ponds full of giant lily pads and dazzling flora, walk out on the boardwalk and peer over to watch snapping turtles in the water below, and take in views of the acres of marshland. And did I mention this is all right in NE DC? Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Make it a beach day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Swim in the Chesapeake, build sandcastles on the shore, have a picnic, spot wildlife in the woods, and definitely do some fossil hunting — the park is a great place to search for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants. Hours are 9am – 4pm (beach closes at 3:30pm), admission is $6/car.

Thursday – Catch a bilingual kids’ concert by Moona Luna at Strathmore’s Backyard Theatre for Children. The annual summer music series for kids kicks off this week and will take place every Thursday through July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8. Enjoy some evening entertainment, too, as the Capital Fringe Festival begins! The first day of performances includes the all ages show Once Upon a Bedtime by Silver Finch Arts Collective at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Showtime is 6pm, and tickets are $17.

Friday – Enjoy free admission for kids to the Newseum while you can! The annual Summer Fun Deal, which runs July 1 – Labor Day, waives the entrance fee for youth with one paid adult admission. The deal benefits kids ages 7 and up most, since children 6 and under always get in free, and much of the Newseum’s collection will be better appreciated by older children. Adult tickets are $22.95. For a museum outing with little ones, head to National Postal Museum, a fantastic but often overlooked museum full of interactive exhibits that all ages can enjoy. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

*Plan ahead for summer weekends!* Check out Ruddy Duck Adventures packages that explore all kinds of cool fun in Solomons, MD. And KidFriendly DC readers can get a discount using the code KFDC!


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Weekdays

2016 Independence Day Celebrations Around DC

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What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th weekend in DC. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 3rd to 4th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. This year’s show will include performances by Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Gavin Degraw, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 4th game against the Milwaukee Brewers, which is part of the 2016 Patriotic Series honoring members of the military. And be sure to check this post about ways to save on a Nats game.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town. (And even though the list is from 2015, the information is largely the same, and all of the links lead to this year’s events.)

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Friday or Saturday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: June 27 – July 1

Kids (and adults!) will love the Recycled Tire Playground at Seneca Creek State Park

Kids (and adults!) will love the Recycled Tire Playground at Seneca Creek State Park


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

Tuesday – See a high-energy dance show in the fresh air at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. SOLE Defined will take the outdoor stage for the first performance of the week, and you can catch other exciting acts every Tuesday – Saturday at 10:30am through August 6. Tickets are $8-12.

Wednesday – Tie dye a t-shirt at A.C. Moore’s special summer program for kids! The arts & crafts store is offering a summer-long schedule of FREE “Make & Take” activities for children ages 4–12, designed to tap their creativity. Sessions will take place every Wednesday from 1-3pm, and there is no cost to join. Find an A.C. Moore location near you.

Thursday – Play the day away at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg. You’ve got your pick of activities to enjoy throughout the 6,000+ acres of lovely recreational space. Hike through the woods, rent a canoe, play Frisbee golf, have a picnic, and be sure to let the kiddos romp on the awesome Recycled Tire Playground complete with zip line and giant tire monster to clamber upon.

Friday – Spend the day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival where Basque country and California sounds are in the spotlight. The annual celebration of living cultural heritage is full of hands-on activities, performances, demos, and much more from June 29 – July 4 and July 7-10, 11am – 5pm each day, with special events most evenings at 6:30pm. Find it all on the National Mall from 3rd-4th Streets. Admission is free.

*Plan ahead for summer weekends!* Check out Ruddy Duck Adventures packages that explore all kinds of cool fun in Solomons, MD. And KidFriendly DC readers can get a discount using the code KFDC!


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

2015 Independence Day Celebrations

Capitol Hill's "little" neighborhood parade

Capitol Hill’s “little” neighborhood parade



What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? I mean, the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!) here, and celebrations take place place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. And the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th in DC. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 3rd to 4th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. Barry Manilow is headlining this year’s show, and there will also be appearances and performances by Alabama, KC and The Sunshine Band, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society, the U.S. Army Band, and many more exciting acts. And Bradley Whiteford will be the new host. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 4 game against the San Francisco Giants, which is part of the 2015 Patriotic Series which honors members of the military. And be sure to check this post about ways to save on a Nats game.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance by the Beach Bumz, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Friday or Saturday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.


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