Tag Archives: Thinsg to do with Kids in Maryland

The Weekend Round-Up: September 12-14

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia. The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Want a peek at the trains? Take a virtual tour.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Weekend Round-Up: August 29 – September 1

Make Revel Grove your happy place

Make Revel Grove your happy place



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Weekend Round-Up: August 22-24

Scaling a castle wall is a possibility this weekend

Scaling a castle wall is a possibility this weekend

The old “time flies when you’re having fun” adage has been confirmed by this summer break. It seems like yesterday the kids gleefully left school, ready for camp and seasonal adventures. But here we are, two fun-filled months later, in the last weekend before they head back to class again. Good timing, though, because there are plenty of ways to get in a good last hurrah (or, in one case, huzzah!) of the summer. Happy Weekend!

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

The best — or my very favorite, anyway — annual event of the area begins this weekend! The Maryland Renaissance Festival is a fantastic day trip back to medieval times that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows, cheeky comedy, tight rope walkers, jugglers, puppetry, Celtic music… and that’s just some of the live entertainment. There are also pony rides, a pirate playground, a giant slide, and all kinds of fun, fascinating things to see. Walk among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead. The Faire runs every weekend through October 17, and this weekend kids ages 11 and under get in for FREE. Huzzah!

Happy 1st Birthday, Bao Bao!
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

It was a year ago this time that we were all glued to our screens as the Zoo’s webcam followed the new baby panda’s every move. To mark the milestone, Bao Bao and Mei Xiang will receive a specially made frozen cake at 11:30am, and keepers will give panda talks at 11am and 1:30pm. And guests can enjoy complimentary dandan (dahn-dahn) noodles (a cold dish from Sichuan province where the China Conservation and Research Center in Wolong is located) on a first-come first-served basis. Bearitos® healthy snacks, and its signature mascot, Louie, are also helping fellow bear, Bao Bao, celebrate her first birthday party. Join them at the National Zoo on Saturday at the entrance to the Asia Trail as they ring in Bao Bao’s new year. The Bearitos Bear Den will offer fun games, giveaways and, of course, Bearitos samples for the whole family.

DCPS Beautification Day
Where: DC Public Schools
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Help local schools get ready for the new year as DCPS holds its 10th annual Beautification Day on Saturday. DCPS needs volunteers for a variety of projects to help clean up and spruce up schools in preparation for the first day of school. Activities will include gardening and landscaping, organizing books and libraries, painting, flower planting and more. Volunteers are needed at nearly 100 schools city-wide. This is a great opportunity to contribute to neighborhood schools. For more info, to volunteer, or donate supplies, go here.

Logan Chugs into Town
Where: Barston’s Child’s Play
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

All Aboard! Barstons Child’s Play in DC is celebrating the arrival of Thomas & Friends’ newest engine, Logan, with a special family friendly welcome bash. The newest engine to Sodor is a limited-release being introduced to the Thomas crew. Little engineers are invited to test out the all new Thomas Wooden Railway track sets in person as well as participate in family-fun Thomas-themed activities. Each attending family will also be entered for the chance to win some great Thomas & Friends prizes. Barston’s is located at at 5536 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Nats vs. Giants
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the San Francisco Giants. There are games tonight at 7:05pm, Saturday at 4:05pm, and Sunday at 1:35pm. Take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Fun Pack and Kids Run the Bases invites young fans ages 4-12 to do just that after Sunday’s game.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s not much time left to enjoy some of the best activities of the season. Outdoor pools and spraygrounds, music and movies in the open air, mini golf and carousels rides at local parks and museums, or a good ol’ crab feast. The Summer 2014 guide has all the inspiration you need to eke out the most of the summer wind-down.

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

* Children’s musician Brady Rymer is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs on the Main Stage
* Clowning Around and Bunny Business are the The Puppet Co.’s featured Tiny Tots shows
* Be wowed by Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna at National Harbor
* Synetic Theatre’s Miraculous Magic Ballon is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is performed at Adventure Theatre

Canstruction
Where: National Building Museum
When: Through September 5
Admission: Free

This design/build competition features amazing structures made entirely of canned goods by local architecture and construction teams, benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank. This year, teams build off of the theme “play with your food.” See entries on display in the Great Hall starting Saturday through September 5. (De-Canstruction takes place on September 6 as the teams disassemble their entries to donate the canned food used in their projects.)

Sing-a-long Sound of Music
Where: Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, 7:30
Admission: $25-38

A few of your favorite things are back! Quickly becoming a Wolf Trap tradition, this Oscar-winning movie will be shown on HUGE screens in-house and on the lawn, accompanied by an audience sing-a-long. Be sure to dress in your Sound of Music best – the sing-a-long is paired with an unforgettable costume contest.

BlackRock Open House
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 10am -1pm
Admission: Free

Help BlackRock Center kick off its 2013-14 season at an Open House on Saturday. Join them for a complimentary day of fun and activities for the whole family and get a taste of all that BlackRock offers, from sample classes in dance, music, theater, and art to exciting performances and exhibits in their gallery. There will also be a “Discover BlackRock” Scavenger Hunt; opportunities to try ballet, piano, printmaking, painting and more; tours of the center; arts and crafts activities; performances by Rolie Polie Guacamole; and a cupcake toast to welcome the season.

Battle of Bladensburg Commemoration
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 9pm
Admission: Free

Festivities will start with a dedication of the new monument, followed by a Grand Procession into Bladensburg Waterfront Park, then conclude with a thrilling battle re-enactment! Throughout the day enjoy the activities from trade demonstrations to boat rides to live entertainment – fun for kids and adults alike!

Wags n’ Whiskers
Where: Village at Shirlington
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This animal-centric event a community-oriented event for animal loving shoppers of all ages to spend an afternoon at The Village at Shirlington with their pet. The event will feature demonstrations, exhibitions, pet portrait photos, children’s activities, live music, and more along with Village at Shirlington merchant specials and free giveaways.

Dragon Boat Regatta
Where: Southwest Waterfront
When: Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 3rd annual National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta takes place on Saturday. This family-friendly event will feature the best premier and local dragon boat teams from along the east coast racing in multiple distances over the course of the day. The event is free to the public to watch and will highlight this wonderful example of Asian culture.

Meet the Peeps
Where: Pasture Raised Eggs Farm
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Fluffy baby peeps will be making their debut at Pasture Raised Eggs’ farm in Purceville. These balls of fluff on toothpick salmon colored legs will fearlessly explore their environment (and you) looking for food, water and shelter. You are invited to come stop the farm to meet the peeps, feed the laying hens treats, and see if you can spot all 300 trout in the pond. At noon a Q&A session will answer visitors’ questions.

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

Get a glimpse of culinary life in the 18th century through ice cream making demos every Saturday in August at Mount Vernon. Visitors can watch as costumed staff make one of George Washington’s favorite desserts using reproduction period equipment to emulate ice cream-making process of the olden times.

Big Fun at the Big Maze
Where: National Building Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $5/age 3-11 members; $16/adult, $13/age 3-11 non-members

You have just over a week left to experience this super cool installation at one of our favorite museums. It looms up to 18 feet high in the Great Hall and measures 60 feet by 60 feet. Within there are twists and turns and dead ends, all formed by finely constructed walls of maple plywood at varying heights. Navigating it is a blast, especially for the kids, and viewed from upper levels, it’s like a work of art. Read more about it and get a glimpse here.

The Lego Movie en Español
Where: Mosaic District
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Language Stars, the national leader in early childhood foreign language, will host the first annual Language Stars Family Foreign Language Film Festival this Sunday to expose children and their families to movies in other languages. The debut film, The LEGO® Movie, will be played in Spanish with English subtitles. Based on the LEGO line of construction toys, the film tells the story of an ordinary LEGO construction worker who is prophesised to save the LEGO universe from an evil tyrant bent on gluing it into eternal stasis.

Drum Circle
Where: Meridian Hill Park, upper pavilion
When: Sunday, 3:30-6:30pm
Admission: Free

This weekly drumming circle doubles as a veritable amusement park for kids and is filled with good sights, plus picnicking, for everyone. This summer there’s been hammocks and tightropes, hula hooping and soccer pick-up, practitioners of ‘aerial yoga’ doing their thing, and more. Plus this coming Sunday you can find Moms Clean Air Force, an organization that fights climate change with mom-power, there too — with a big earth parachute for the kids. MCAF’s DC Field Organizer will be happy to chat with moms and dads about how to get involved in the organization. Look for the red balloons. Can’t make it? Attend another MCAF social around town. RSVPs appreciated to jhantman@momscleanairforce.org.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It appears there may be a disruption in the streak of sublime weekends we’ve been having (ie, rain in the forecast), so keep the list of indoor activities handy. It’s stacked with ideas for ongoing pursuits that will keep you sheltered from the elements.


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The Weekend Round-Up: August 1-3

dc_fountain

There’s something to indulge just about every interest in this latest round-up. But if you need more ideas to pique yours, check out the lists of outdoor and indoor suggestions along with the recs below. Happy Weekend!

BrickFair ’14
Where: Dulles Expo Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12, free for ages 3 and under

The nation’s largest LEGO Fan Festival will be enthralling guests of all ages this weekend. BrickFair brings together LEGO enthusiasts from across the country to showcase their amazing brick constructions, from tiny intricate works to elaborate, towering creations. Over a thousand exhibitors will be there to display their designs, along with vendors selling all things LEGOS — T-shirts, hats, mini figures, models, and more.

Seize the Summer Days
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Summer is whizzing by, so seize the season while you can with activities that only occur this time of year. Enjoy an open air concert at one of many series in the area. Stay cool under the sun at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Ride mini-trains and carousels at local parks. And much, much more. Find details on all these pursuits in the Summer 2014 guide.

Family Workshop: Animal Maquettes
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

It’s a Free Summer Saturday at the Corcoran! In this session inspired by Albert Paley’s maquettes, families can work together to create their own animal displays.

Nats vs. Phillies
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the Phillies. There are games tonight and Saturday evening at 7:05pm, and on Sunday at 1:35pm. Don’t miss the special fun — Signature Sundays welcome fans to arrive early to meet select players and get autographs and Kids Run the Bases invites young fans ages 4-12 to do just that after the game.

Postal Family Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

It’s a special delivery from this awesome but often overlooked museum! Learn about the diverse and fascinating work of postal employees, both past and present, through exciting activities and games. This includes using interactive apps that connect visiotrs to the exhibits, a scavenger hunt to investigate and explore the museum, opportunities to sort letters, story time with museum staff, and much more.

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

Get a glimpse of culinary life in the 18th century through ice cream making demos every Saturday in August at Mount Vernon. Visitors can watch as costumed staff make one of George Washington’s favorite desserts using reproduction period equipment to emulate ice cream-making process of the olden times. Certifikid has a deal on admission!

Take Your Pick
Where: Area Farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Peaches, blueberries, and blackberries are among the fruits that have ripened, and just about all the farms in this post about strawberry picking have something ready for harvest now and welcome guests to come pick ’em themselves. However, it’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Fairfax 4-H Fair & Carnival
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $25

Head on down to the 4-H fair! From Friday through Sunday, enjoy carnival rides, amusements, treats, farm animals and rabbits, rides and displays, horse and dog shows, the tractor pull, kids crafts and face painting, plus plenty of good food, drinks and live music. Held at Frying Pan Farm Park, hours for the many activities vary by day, so be sure to check the website before you go.

Howard County Fair
Where: 2210 Fairground Rd. in West Friendship, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5/age 10 and up, $2/seniors, free for under 10, rides and games extra

It’s carnival time as the Howard County fair kicks off a slew of county celebrations around the area. Whirl on rides, indulge in junk food, visit farm animals, and much more. This post about all the county fairs coming up has all the details you need.

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

* Be hugely entertained by The BFG at Imagination Stage
* Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs is on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* Brian Curry: It’s Magic is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Younger audiences will love Mouse on the Move, also at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy Disney’s the Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* See the Pushcart Players perform Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories amid the trees at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
* Walter Martin (of The Walkmen) is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java

DCMeet Market
Where: Logan Circle
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate summer at his month’s DCMeet Market with live music by Black Hills, Olivia Mancini, and a musical set by DJ Ayeshcold, all presented by Rock-n-Romp, a family-friendly music series. And while you enjoy delicious and authentic Peruvian dishes by one of DC’s top food trucks, Peruvian Brothers, learn how to create your own DIY Paper Fans using a colorful assortment of paper & décor at the market’s crafting tent. Be sure to brwose, too — the market will showcase over 40 local vendors selling fine arts, home décor, handcrafted jewelry, fashion apparel, baby accessories, and prepared foods. And as always, the market is free, open to the public, and of course, family and pet-friendly!

Kaypi Perú Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate the indigenous cultures of Peru. Kaypi Perú (which means “This is Peru” in the Quechua language)at this festival devoted to sharing and acknowledging the richness and diversity of Peru through traditional dances and live music, photo exhibitions, films, Peruvian food and drinks, and hands-on activities for kids and families. The festival will also include exhibition and sale of handmade crafts by indigenous Peruvian artisans.

Humanities, Arts & Technology Festival
Where: Gateway DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Hear, see, create, learn, taste, dance and interact at the city’s first Humanities, Arts & Technology Festival at Gateway DC – Ward 8’s new innovative urban park and pavilion on the St. Elizabeths East campus. The first HATFestDC is designed to inspire families and creative entrepreneurs through unique and up-close interaction with the work and processes behind the creative economy of the nation’s capital. With a theme of “Humanities, Arts & Technology at Work,” HATFestDC will demonstrate how to thrive in creative fields, while inspiring both adults and youth to build projects and programs with H.A.T. (humanities, arts, and technology) disciplines at the center. Along with a performance area, there will be five themed tents focused on music, visual arts and graphic design, food, technology and children’s activities. Each area will include interactive workshops, readings, artist talks and panel discussions, robotics, art creation, theatrical performances and chef demonstrations.

Elmo’s Birthday Bash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10

Head to the museum at National Harbor to celebrate Elmo’s birthday with cake and special activities, including dance parties on the world map at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 3:45pm with Elmo and friends!

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Children ages 4-7 can pack their imaginations and travel to the National Gallery of Art. This week’s session of the series that explore Italy through art will focus on the works of Giovanni Paolo Panini. There are several time slots available each day. Sign-in will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am on Saturday and at 11:00am on Sunday, and will continue until all spaces are filled. And they do often fill up, so plan to get there early to register.

Artful Conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Artful Conversations for kids ages 8-11 is also on again this weekend. Guests will observe a work of art, then participate in a discussion about it. Sessions are on Saturday at 11am and 1pm, and Sunday at 12pm and 2pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda beginning at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Southside Music & Skateboarding Series
Where: Mount Ranier Skate Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Spectate or compete in this free skateboarding competition open to all ages with cash prizes. Along with the grinds, slides, ollies, and other tricks, there will be live music by Lee Blackwood & Graham and DJ sets. Registration starts at noon – skaters should get there early – and the competition begins at 1pm. Mount Ranier Skate Park is located at 3792 Otis Street in Mt. Rainier, MD.


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The Weekend Round-Up: July 25-27

A summer evening at Yards Park

A summer evening at Yards Park



You’d never know it was July in DC with this mild weather we’ve been having lately; we can usually cook eggs on the sidewalks this time of year. Looks like it’s going to continue through the weekend, so along with the recs below, be sure to browse The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids. And take a peek at The Great Indoors list while you’re at it – just in case. Happy Weekend!

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

Kick off the weekend with free music in the fresh air. Reggae band Jah Works will be performing on the Yards Park boardwalk this evening. Catch the show along with great views of the Anacostia River from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass. Pack a picnic or purchase food there from nearby eateries and food truck vendors.

Tennis, Anyone?
Where: William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, gates open at 9am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Enjoy the on-court excitement along with some special events as the Citi Open Tennis Tournament swings into action this weekend. Saturday is the first day of qualifying rounds as well as National Parks Community Day featuring activities and entertainment for families, including tennis clinics, games, face painters, pet adoptions, local mascots, and more.

Montgomery County Farm Tour
Where: Montgomery County farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Learn about agricultural heritage, promote local farms, and indulge in seasonally fresh food as Montgomery County celebrates the 24th Annual Farm Tour and Harvest Sale. Activities will vary from farm to farm, but several will have hayrides, pony rides, music, animals to visit, and other activities planned (you can find a listing here – be sure to scroll down the page). All farms will be open Saturday, and some will reopen on Sunday, so be sure to check the website for the schedule before you go.

Discover the Moon Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Friday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Head to the museum on the National Mall for a variety of fun and educational activities celebrating Earth’s Moon. Guests can interact one-on-one with scientists active in lunar research, learn about current and past lunar missions and spacecraft, see images of the lunar surface in 3-D, and much more! See the full schedule of activities here.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Free concerts, outdoor swimming, movies under the stars, sprayground fun. Activities exclusive to the season can all be enjoyed this weekend. The Summer 2014 guide has the whole scoop on all of them.

Big Fun at the Big Maze
Where: National Building Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $5/age 3-11 members; $16/adult, $13/age 3-11 non-members

You only have five more weeks to experience this super cool installation at one of our favorite museums. It looms up to 18 feet high in the Great Hall and measures 60 feet by 60 feet. Within there are twists and turns and dead ends, all formed by finely constructed walls of maple plywood at varying heights. Navigating it is a blast, especially for the kids, and viewed from upper levels, it’s like a work of art. Read more about it and get a glimpse here.

Pirate Fest
Where: Lake Fairfax
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Arrrrr, mateys! Celebrate Virginia’s seafaring past at this new festival at Lake Fairfax. Join with Ships Company Chanteymen singing traditional sea chanteys, tavern tunes, and pirate ditties. Explore up close the quarter scale ship called the “Lion” and learn sailor skills. Experience the life of a sailor first hand with lots of fun activity stations, including a pirate-themed tour boat ride. Wear your most dashing pirate clothes and enter a costume contest. Learn about global trade in the 18th century, and discover the luxury goods from international ports that compelled pirates to sail the seven seas. For more about what you’ll encounter there, go here.

Christmas in July
Where: Union Street, Old Town Alexandria
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Get into the holiday spirit with Santa and Mrs. Claus as they land their sleigh at Union Street for a little Christmas in July. Enjoy special activities for kids including storytelling & cookies at Union Street Public House, photos & face painting at The Christmas Attic, plus Christmas in July sales at The Christmas Attic and drink specials at Union Street Public House for adults ALL day!

Take ‘em out to the Ballgame
Where: Bethesda & Bowie
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Just because the Nats aren’t in town, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch some good baseball action. Minor league team Bowie Baysox and summer collegiate teams Bethesda Big Train and Rockville Express are all playing this weekend. It’s Fan Appreciation Night for the Big Train on Friday, plus their playing the express on Saturday. Over in Bowie, catch a fireworks show along with the action on the field. For game times and tickets, visit the Bethesda Big Train website and Bowie Baysox websites.

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

* Be hugely entertained by The BFG at Imagination Stage (look for discount tickets)
* It’s the opening weekend for Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs at The Puppet Co. and Mother Moose Caboose and Penguin’s Playground are the featured Tiny Tots shows
* Encore Stage & Studio’s Once Upon a Mattress is on stage this weekend.
* Younger audiences will love Mouse on the Move, also at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy Disney’s the Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* See a performance of the Hudson Vagabond Puppets amid the trees at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
* Take a musical journey with AndyRoo & the AndyRooniverse on Saturday morning at Jammin’ Java

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Children ages 4-7 can pack their imaginations and travel to the National Gallery of Art. This week’s session of the series that explore Italy through art will focus on the works of Giotto. There are several time slots available each day. Sign-in will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10am on Saturday and at 11:00am on Sunday, and will continue until all spaces are filled. And they do often fill up, so plan to get there early to register.

Artful Conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Artful Conversations for kids ages 8-11 is also on again this weekend. Guests will observe a work of art, then participate in a discussion about it. Sessions are on Saturday at 11am and 1pm, and Sunday at 12pm and 2pm. Sign-in takes place in the West Building Rotunda beginning at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Parents Day on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10.95, free for one parent per paid child

For the first time ever in recognition of Parents Day, Ticonderoga will be waiving the cost of admission for one parent per paid child. They will also have some family directed games as well as the usual “Amazing Farm Fun” hayrides, animals, slides, giant jumping pillow, panda puzzle, and so much more! Read more about Ticonderoga here.

National Dance Day
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

This celebration of the art of dance began a few years ago (read more background along with my ode to one of my favorite associated shows) and has become an annual happening. The free, two-hour celebration will feature performances by AXIS Dance Company, dance lessons, and talent from Dizzy Feet Foundation, including Jenna Elfman and hip-hop dancer Fik-Shun The celebration takes place in the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer.


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