Tag Archives: Live Entertainment

Review: A Raisin in the Sun at Arena Stage

Photo courtesy of Arena Stage

Photo courtesy of Arena Stage



Whenever I write a review of show for the blog, I always feel like prefacing it with a reminder that I am not a professional theatre critic. I love going to the theatre and the whole experience of it — seeing stories brought to life on stage, admiring the talent and courage of actors, appreciating the set design and stage direction, and just losing myself in a (hopefully) good production for a while.

But when it comes to writing about theatre… I’m no expert. That said, I always hope I can at least convey a good sense of what a show is about, make age recommendations, and give readers an idea of whether it’s something they want to experience with (or without) their kids.

I feel compelled to say this because my lack of expertise may not always do a show justice, especially one as outstanding A Raisin in the Sun, currently running at Arena Stage. There are some productions that nail it on many levels, and to me, this is one of them.

Written by Lorraine Hansberry and first performed on Broadway in 1959, the play follows a 1950’s African American family as they yearn for a better life from their Chicago tenement and have the opportunity to realize it when they receive a windfall from a life insurance policy. The Youngers — Ruth and Walter, their son Travis, Walter’s mother Lena, and his sister Beneatha — all live together, but have differing views on what will make for a better life and how they will attain it.

Their diverging dreams are sources of conflict within the family and, at times, within the characters themselves that are played out brilliantly by the cast. Especially stellar is Lizan Mitchell in the role of Lena. Her emotion is palpable, and you can almost physically feel it watching her tremble with a mix of frustration, yearning, and a deep love for her family. It’s this love, plus a steadfast pride in who they are, that maintain a strong family bond despite their differences.

The show is poignant, hopeful, and thought-provoking as it spotlights struggles and issues that our society still grapples with today. And taking place on the Fichandler Stage, the intimate theatre-in-the-round setting is just right for this production, almost making you feel like a guest in the Younger’s living room.

As for age recommendations, I think kids about middle school ages and up could appreciate the story and performances (my friend who joined me for the show agrees). However, it’s a long production — nearly three hours including a 15-minute intermission — something to keep in mind for young theatre-goers who might get antsy. Of course, this would make for a nice KidFree outing, too.

A Raisin in the Sun is running at Arena Stage through May 7. Tickets are $40-111. And if you love theatre, I highly recommend considering a subscription to Arena Stage, which are now available for the 2017-18 season — more details are available here.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to A Raisin in the Sun from Arena Stage, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2017, Date Night, DC, Live Entertainment, Middle Schoolers, Parents, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Win Tickets to InterAct Story Theatre’s One Gold Coin–una moneda de oro

OneGoldCoin_logo_square

InterAct Story Theatre is bringing back a favorite from their repertory to entertain young audiences this September! One Gold Coin–una moneda de oro is a fun and engaging play for kids and families about the power of giving, performed in English and Spanish with lots of audience participation.

Could the magic of giving be locked inside one little coin? When the wise old healer Doña Teresa comes to Regalo, she carries a gold coin that brings magic to everyone that holds it — but it must be given to one who truly needs it. But how do you decide who has the greatest need? And who does the coin’s magic benefit most — the one who receives it, or the one who gives it away?

Javier del Pilar, Elicia Moran, and Elle Sullivan in One Gold Coin una moeda de oro

Javier del Pilar, Elicia Moran, and Elle Sullivan in One Gold Coin–una moeda de oro



Penned by founding director Lenore Blank Kelner and directed by Executive Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger, this fresh adaptation of an InterAct Story Theatre classic is set in El Salvador and features music by award-winning musical duo Cantaré Latin American Music.

One Gold Coin–una moneda de oro will run September 9-18 at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, Theatre II. Performances will take place Fridays at 11am & 1pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 11:30am & 1:30pm. There will also be a Special Sensory Friendly performance on Sunday, September 11 at 1:30pm. Recommended for ages 4 and up, run time is 50 minutes. Tickets are $12.50/adult, $10/ages 4-11, free for 3 and under (plus service fee) and can be purchased online. Of course, you can try to win a free set through the giveaway below.


GIVEAWAY: I have two sets of four tickets up for grabs to see InterAct Story Theatre’s One Gold Coin–una moneda de oro on September 10 at 11:30am or 1pm! For a chance to win one of them, simply leave a comment below telling me what activity you enjoyed most this summer that you learned about from KidFriendly DC. To be eligible, you should subscribe to the KFDC blog (see sign-up to the left) and follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook and InterAct Story Theatre on Facebook. This giveaway will run through Sunday, August 28, then the winners will be picked and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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

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Filed under All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Theatre, Weekend

Live Entertainment to Enhance Your Spring

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3



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Warmer weather, cherry blossoms, and extra daylight aren’t the only things to look forward to this spring. Along with the seasonal delights, there’s also a whole new crop of live entertainment coming to local venues. Here’s what you can see on stages in the upcoming months.

James and the Giant Peach
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through April 4
Tickets: $19.50 (look for a discount)

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach – and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald. We just caught a performance, and it’s a delight for all ages!

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $10

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $14

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Romeo & Juliet
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $20-50

It’s probably hard to imagine a wordless Shakespeare production, but Synetic Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, and it’s phenomenal. Innovative, fluid choreography set against dramatic scenery of gears in a clock, all to a unique soundtrack of ticks, tocks, and chimes makes for a gorgeous, mesmerizing production. Words aren’t necessary when a familiar story is told in such a beautifully expressive way. If you’re a fan of the bard or just appreciate superb theatre, I highly recommend this show. Teens and up could enjoy it, but it makes for a great grown-up night out.

Hamlet
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 23 – April 3
Tickets: $32.25 – $130.00

Sleek and elegant with contemporary staging and performed by The Washington Ballet to the spellbinding music of Philip Glass, Stephen Mills’ Hamlet redefines this tragic masterwork and the limits of dance in a modern production that presents Hamlet’s internal struggle over avenging his father’s murder in an innovative and riveting reinvention of this literary classic. Recommended for teens and up.

Superman 2050
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 1-3
Tickets: $20-25

Seven performers on a tiny platform act out the Man of Steel’s latest adventure at hilarious breakneck speed using only their bodies and voices to create every prop, scene, character, and sound effect in the story. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Boogie Babes
Where: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Saturdays & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Saturday Family Jazz Session
Where: Strathmore
When: Select Saturdays, 11am
Tickets: $10

Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of jazz appreciation at this fun, creative, kid-friendly series featuring classes with multi-instrumentalist and local jazz legend Seth Kibel and renowned jazz singer Rochelle Rice. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Mother Earth and Me
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 6-8 & 12-15
Tickets: $3-6

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original as we explore the origins of our planet, the water cycle, and our important role in the ecosystem, as well as folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home. Kick off Earth Month by pledging to become an Earth Warrior—and find out some great ways to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Love that Dog
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 9
Tickets: $15-21

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments – and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say. With a fresh and deceptively simple style, acclaimed author Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Snow White
Where: NextStop Theatre
When: April 9-24
Tickets: $20/adult, $16/child

This is not your mother’s Snow White! Join the feisty heroine as she defies the path set before her to live out her story, her way. A spin on the classic Brothers Grimm tale, this new princess adventure will reaffirm your belief in the power of following your dreams.

Looking for Roberto Clemente
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 13 – May 22
Tickets: $10 and up

Sam and Charlie are best friends and baseball fanatics in Pittsburgh, PA, in the year 1972. Puerto Rican superstar Roberto Clemente is the hero of the Pittsburgh Pirates, having led the team to victory after years of losing. When a mysterious fly ball transforms Sam into a Little League Superstar pitcher, he is invited onto the most prestigious Little League team in town, while Charlie is rejected for being a girl. Charlie forms her own team with the less athletic kids and her new friend Tommy, a boy with a disability. Sam and Charlie ultimately discover what it truly means to be a “hero” when their final game coincides with Clemente’s fateful decision to deliver supplies to hurricane victims in Nicaragua.

Performances for Children
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Vary by show

The Playhouse in Riverdale, MD regularly presents plays, concerts, puppet shows, and more live entertainment for young audiences, often on weekday morning and at lunchtime — perfect activity for little ones and caregivers! Visit the website for the full calendar.

Teatro Hugo e Ines
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 17
Tickets: $18-22

Crafted from a lifetime of creating characters through exceptional artistry and imagination, the Peruvian-based Teatro Hugo e Ines bring their Short Stories tour to BlackRock. Founded in 1986, the duo combines mime, dance, and puppetry in creative pieces that play out the poetic moments of daily life. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: April 19 – May 29
Tickets: $10

Yet another elegant production created by the Puppet Co., “Sleeping Beauty” combines romance and adventure in a story of fairies, frogs, kings and queens, and of course, a sleeping princess and the gallant prince destined to find her. Told with rod puppets and wonderful special effects, the show is a real treat for princesses and princes, big and small! Recommended for ages 3.5 and up

Emperor’s Nightingale
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: April 22 – May 30
Tickets: $19.50

The sweet song of a Nightingale saves an Empire. This brand new adaptation set in eighteenth century China, brings to light the younger days of Emperor Qianlong, who would become one of the greatest rulers of the Middle Kingdom. It takes a magical bird to help the headstrong and aimless Prince to become a King. Recommended for all ages.

The 20th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Gunston Arts Center
When: April 22-24
Tickets: $10

Encore Stage and Studio, theatre by kids for kids, present the show about six young spellers who come together at a local school to use their talents to decide who will represent Putnam County in the national bee. Their zany personalities shine as they take on words that most people have never heard of, let alone can spell. Words fly as this fun, modern musical tells a tale of growing up while competing for prestige and bragging rights. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Shrek the Musical JR.
Where: Burke Community Church
When: April 22-23 & 29-30
Tickets: $14

Everyone’s favorite upside down fairy tale comes to life with Northern Virginia Players’ newest production: Shrek the Musical JR! Join them as they travel Far Far Away with a cantankerous ogre, a wise-cracking donkey, and a crazy cast of misfit characters that embark on a quest to find freedom and acceptance. However, the road to happiness is fraught with monstrous danger, short-tempered lords with tall expectations, and a princess with an alter ego. Part romance and part crooked fairy tale, this show has enough twists and turns and zany antics to entertain the whole family. What could be better than the ultimate discovery that we are all unique, we are all important, and we are all worthy of love? The phenomenal cast of 60 youth aged 8-18, is excited to bring another classic tale to life.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: April 23 – May 1
Tickets: $9

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Moby Dick
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 23-24
Tickets: $20

he courageous crew of the Pequod sets out to find a legendary whale in this inventive production featuring three actors who use their bodies, ever-switching hats, and a variety of musical instruments to create excitement and suspense. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Lights! Canvas! Music!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $15-18

In this new program unlike any other NSO Family Concert, internationally acclaimed “speed painter” Dan Dunn joins the orchestra to turn your favorite music into amazing visual artwork in a matter of musical measures!

NSO Kinderclassics: Fancy That!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $20

Sometimes it’s fun to look fancy, but did you know that you can make music sound fancy, too? Graphic artist Marie Cheek joins NSO violinist Marissa Regni onstage to help illustrate the idea of “decorating” your music in a unique, visual way.

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: April 30
Tickets: $15 and up

The annual music festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River includes eight hours of performances by local bluegrass and folk acts on six stages. Fuel up with DC’s favorite food trucks and Sierra Nevada beer. Entertain little ones in the kids area with music and arts & crafts, especially for them. There will also be giveaways and sponsored activities for all to enjoy.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: National Theatre
When: May 3-17
Tickets: Start at $48 (look for a discount)

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family. This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.

Make Way for the Lion Dance
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 5
Tickets: $3-8

The excitement of an authentic Chinese parade marches onto the Discovery Theater stage! The lion, said to be the ninth son of the mythic dragon, is a symbol of power, majesty, and courage and dances to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to all. As performed by the Wong People Association, the lion dance offers a thrilling spectacle (including traditional drumming and a martial arts demonstration) that introduces and interprets an integral element of Chinese and Southeastern Asian culture. Malevolent spirits are guaranteed to be banished!

Air Play
Where: Strathmore
When: May 6
Tickets: $22-52

Come along on a comic adventure that is fun for the whole family! Air Play is an innovative and spectacular show that merges the high art of Daniel Wurtzel’s air sculptures with crowd-pleasing comedy. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder, laugh until it hurts, and be touched by the affection and the rivalry between a sister and brother on a life-changing and surreal journey.

Tigers, Dragons and Other Wise ‘Tails’
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

Last season’s all-star cast returns in this delightful Discovery Theater original hit, in which three freshly imagined folk tales reveal nuggets of traditional Asian wisdom. The Tiger, the Thief, and the Dried Persimmon (Korea) features a trickster tiger whose antics recall the teachings of Anansi. The natural innocence of childhood outwits the villain in The Boy and the Fly (Vietnam). In The Wise Mole (Japan) true love takes charge, complete with cell phones and iPods. The sumptuous and mythic creation story The Four Dragon Rivers of China features beautiful flying dragon puppets.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: May 13-22
Tickets: $10

A production by Encore Stage & Studio. During a fierce storm and devastating ship wreck, twins Viola and Sebastian are separated. Viola surfaces on the island of Illyria, and, believing her brother drowned, finds employment by disguising herself as a man named Casario. In a classic case of mistaken identity and unexpected love, hilarity ensues as we meet the island’s colorful cast of characters. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Chicken Dance
Where: Alden Theatre
When: May 14
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

ArtsPower’s newest musical portrays the colorful story of Marge and Lola, two barnyard chickens on a mission to win the barnyard talent contest first prize of two tickets to see the great Elvis Poultry in concert! But first, they must present a performance that will score higher than a flock of very talented ducks who seem to have the contest locked up. Can Marge and Lola face their challengers, against all odds, and win the talent contest? Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: The Pop Ups
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 19-20
Tickets: $3-8

You’ll go crazy for a California musical duo who mix puppets, flashy dances, huge collages, a talking banana, drawing, surprise costume changes, and giant beach balls into their act. The Grammy-nominated Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein zoom in from Brooklyn with plenty of great songs, including several from their latest CD, Appetite for Construction. Don’t miss the final Tot Rock concert of the season! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Nextival
Where: Anne Arundel Fairgrounds
When: May 21
Tickets: $30/adult, free for 14 and under with adult

This new music festival from Juice Box Jams Corporation will introduce music fans to the next big names in music now. The diverse lineup offers something for everyone: Three stages of music (a main stage, local stage, and a kid’s stage), 15+ food trucks, children’s entertainment and activities, arts and craft vendors, and more. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Juice Box Jams Corporation’s (501c3) mission to help kids and musicians in need. Tickets are currently 50% off!

IRELAND 100: The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 20-21
Tickets: $20

A brave Irish lass crosses snow-capped mountains and treacherous seas to unleash her true voice in this one-man show from storyteller Louis Lovett, who unfolds his mysterious crate of delights to lead audiences on an epic adventure. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Coppélia: The Magical Toy Shop
Where: THEARC Theatre
When: May 21-22
Tickets: $25-50

Part of the The Washington Ballet’s Family Series. The Studio Company performs this charming and amusing ballet about an eccentric dollmaker, Dr. Coppelius, and his yearning to create a doll with a soul.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 2 – July 17
Tickets: $10

What’s so bad about the Big Bad Wolf? At last B.B. (Big Bad) Wolfe tells his side of the story, in rap, no less. Has the notorious pork poacher and grandma impersonator gotten a bum rap, or is he truly deserving of his moniker? You be the judge! This is one of our funniest productions and includes lots of audience participation. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

The Wind in the Willows
Where: ArtSpace Falls Church
When: June 3-19
Tickets: $16

Generations of children have roamed the English countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends of The Wind in the Willows. Now Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater Ensemble brings these timeless tales of friendship to life!

Cul de Sac
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: June 3-12
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents this show about four-year-old Alice Otterloop and her older brother, Petey, learn about friendship and the importance of being yourself in this world premier play adaptation of Richard Thompson’s nationally syndicated Cul De Sac comic strip. When Alice decides to help Petey become more exciting she risks sending Petey further into his shell. With the help other their parents, teachers, and new and old friends the Otterloop children just might be able to learn something from each other. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Strathmore Children’s Chorus Meets The Beatles
Where: Strathmore
When: June 8
Tickets: $20-25

Meet the Beatles all over again in a unique presentation of Fab Four favorites performed by a new generation of soloists, choirs, and orchestra. From “Twist and Shout” to Sgt. Pepper, you’ll need “Help!” to keep from dancing in the aisles!

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Alden Theatre
When: June 12
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

Gustafer Yellowgold is a friendly fellow who came from the Sun and landed in the Minnesota woods. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show is a multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Ongoing, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 16 -19

Our surrealist rayograph at the Hirshhorn - stop by to make your own!

Our surrealist rayograph at the Hirshhorn – stop by to make your own!



Tuesday – Have some constructive fun at the National Building Museum. Little ones will dig playing in the Building Zone ($3/non-members) and the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit ($10/adult, $7/child). And the Great Hall just reopened after undergoing some updates, so be sure to make time to hang out, have lunch (BYO or buy at the Fire Hook Bakery there), and marvel at the magnificent space.

Wednesday – Enjoy a day of indoor play at a Dynamite Tumbling & Cheer Open House. The event is a combo open gym and intro to Dynamite’s preschool program for kids up to age 5. There will be trial classes and free play on safe, preschool-friendly gymnastics apparatus, including obstacle courses, trampolines, swing ropes, and more. Participants will also be entered into a raffle for a free birthday party at the gym! Hours are 10am – 1pm, and admission is free.

Thursday – Head to the Hirshhorn Museum for a modern art fix, including a couple of fun hands-on activities in the upstairs walkway that kids and adults can do together. It should be a sunny day, so plan to stroll around the sculpture garden, too! Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Catch a performance of Pinocchio on strings at The Puppet Co. while you can — the show closes after this weekend. Showtime is 10:30am, and tickets are $12.


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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Schools, Theatre, Weekdays, Winter

NSO in Your Neighborhood Brings Free Music to Downtown & Penn Quarter

NSONeighborhood_Downtown_PennQuarter logo

The National Symphony Orchestra has brought back its wonderful NSO in Your Neighborhood initiative. From January 5-11, Downtown DC and Penn Quarter will be a hive of musical activity as the NSO presents a week’s worth of free events for the entire family.

The American Art Museum, International Spy Museum, MLK Library, community churches, local theatres, and more venues around the Downtown/Penn Quarter area will host a variety of presentations, including chamber music performances, orchestral concerts, and educational events.

The performances highlighted below will likely appeal to families with young children most, but just about all of the events can be appreciated by any age. You can view the complete schedule on the Kennedy Center website.

Saturday, January 9
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Streets NW
All day & 7pm

There will be pop-up performances throughout the day, including the NSO Family Concert: Inspiration! at 2-3pm, plus instrument petting zoos. And the entire National Symphony Orchestra will perform a special evening concert in the Kogod Courtyard.

Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW
Master Class, 10:3am – 12:30pm

Audiences are invited to observe NSO musician Holly Hamilton (violin) leading a master class for Symphony Kids of the Prince George’s Philharmonic.

Sunday, January 10
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW
Artistic Exchange: Music and Spoken Word, 2-4pm

NSO musician Glenn Donnellan (violin) performs with spoken word artists from Words, Beats & Life and members of the Hip Hop Orchestra of UMD.

International Spy Museum , 800 F Street NW
Spy-themed music 3-4pm

NSO musicians Nurit Bar-Josef (concertmaster), Natasha Bogachek (violin), Eric deWaardt (viola), and James Lee (cello) perform an espionage-themed program for this family-friendly event. Patrons who attend the performance will also receive a coupon for $5 off the price of admission to visit the museum’s exhibits.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter