Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 9-13

Skating in the city at Canal Park

Skating in the city at Canal Park



Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Md. The weekly series welcomes children and caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. A $5 cash donation is suggested.

Tuesday – Head out to Dulles for Air & Space exploration beyond the District. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases flight artifacts they can’t fit into the museum on the Mall. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Wednesday – Go ice skating! The Washington Harbour Ice Rink is a good one for newbie skaters with push penguins to help them along. Admission is $10/adult, $9/child, $5/skate rentals. Hours are 12-9pm. Take advantage of being in Georgetown and grab a bite at one of the many eateries there. If the location isn’t convenient for you, find another ice rink in the area.

Thursday – Stop by Blick, the art supply store, to create some art for Valentine’s Day. Blick locations around the country are hosting a one-day hand block printing event, where customers can make their own Valentine prints or cards — for free! There is a Blick in DC at 1250 I Street NW.

Friday – Take advantage of another opportunity to do some crafting for the holiday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s SweetARTs & Valentines workshop. Drop in the Kogod Courtyard to design a personalized card for free. Or, if you want to get fancy, make a corsage for $10 (while supplies last, until 5pm). Hours are 11:30am – 7pm.


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The Weekend Round-Up: February 8-9

Creating Valentines at last year's card making workshop at the Postal Museum

Creating Valentines at last year’s card making workshop at the Postal Museum



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You can prepare for Valentine’s Day this weekend at one of several events celebrating it. But if you’re not quite ready to embrace Cupid’s holiday, there are plenty more activities going on that you and the kids are sure to love. Happy Weekend!

Discover the Dinosaurs
Where: Dulles Expo Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Starts at $18

The whole family can explore the mystery of pre-historic life in a dynamic environment of learning, discovery, and fun! This unique hands-on exhibit features over 40 moving and replica museum-quality dinosaurs and gives you the opportunity to actually get close and touch the dinosaurs! Beyond the exhibit, more activities are available for kids of all ages – Triceratops and T-rex rides, gem and fossil panning, inflatables to bounce on, a dino dig, scavenger hunt, and much more.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am -3pm
Admission: Free

Each February, the Museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Visitors enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories, and may have the opportunity to meet astronauts, fighter pilots, and others who will share stories of their challenges and accomplishments. They also learn about inspiring historic figures like Bessie Coleman through reenactments or story times. See the website for the day’s schedule.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Love is in the details at the annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop at the National Postal Museum. We’ve attended this event a couple of times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s a love-ly time. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, asll you need to bring is your creativity to decorate your card. Visit the museum’s stamp store and send the cards to your loved ones with a special Postal Museum postmark. And for more about the museum, see this recent KFDC post.

Superhero Training
Where: Barston’s Childs Play
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Barstons Child’s Play in Chevy Chase will host Batman and Spider-Man on Saturday to guide guests through a “Superhero Training Course.” Families are encouraged to wear their favorite superhero costumes and bring a camera – both will be available for photos afterward. Barston’s is located at 5536 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Creative Adventures in Film
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

The National Gallery’s latest session of their Children’s Film Program encourages kids to stretch their imaginations and let the ordinary become extraordinary with a series of animated shorts. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Visit the website to view the list of films.

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

* STOMP on over to National Theatre for an electrifying show
* Rumplestiltskin just opened on the Imagination Stage
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Tales of Beatrix Potter is on the main stage and Old McDonald’s Farm the featured Tiny Tots show
* Next door at Adventure Theater, catch Miss Nelson is Missing.
* Orphie and the Book of Heroes is in its opening weekend at the Kennedy Center
* Peter and the Starcatcher is also running at the Kennedy Center.
* SteveSongs is playing three shows at Jammin’ Java on Saturday – 10:30am, 12:30pm, & 2:30pm
* Paul Hadfield: General Foolishness is the week’s free Saturday Morning at the National show

Olympics Training
Where: St. Elizabeths & Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Take some inspiration from the Winter Olympics and hit the ice this weekend. Practice some triple axels or speeding around the rink. If you head to Washington Harbour, you can glide with characters at their weekly Cartoon Skate from 12-2pm. If the luge is more your thing, try a smaller inner tube version at the temporary ice slide at St. Elizabeths East. (Yes, the luging comparison is a stretch, but you do whoosh fast down an icy slope.)

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

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

Urban Eyes – Family Activities
Where: CHAW
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop presents free family-friendly gallery activities on Saturday in conjunction with the “Urban Eyes” Photography Exhibit currently on display in CHAW’s Gallery. Along with a chance to view the photos, there will be special games and art activities for kids.

Frozen Sing-Along
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

The special sing-along screenings of the season’s hit movie, Frozen, continue. Theater audiences are not just welcome, but encouraged to join in the film’s musical moments. Lyrics will be displayed on the screen, so you can belt out the tunes right along with Elsa, Anna, and friends.

In Every Language Love
Where: Freer & Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the museum showcasing Asian Art for an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines.

Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass
Where: Various locations in Anacostia
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Historic Anacostia, and the Anacostia Business Improvement District (BID) are hosting a community-wide 196th birthday party for Frederick Douglass on Saturday. Focusing on his lighthearted side, the event will showcase how he and other Washingtonians enjoyed their leisure time during the Victorian Era. Festivities will kick off at the Anacostia Playhouse with live music, performances by the winners of the 2013 Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest, and guest speakers. Throughout the day there will be music, games, films, lectures, tours, two family-friendly plays about Frederick Douglass, and other programs at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum, The Anacostia Art Center and other locations in historic Anacostia. Visit the website for a complete listing of programs & events.

Deadfall Days
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Volunteer to help the Farm prepare early for its 2014 season! Tasks include clearing fallen brush, branches and trees from forest surrounding the Farm’s fields; helping build up supply of the 18th century farm’s firewood; shoring up brush fence around Market Fair grounds; tidying up the Farm’s grounds; spliting new rails for fencing; and more. With jobs for both adults and kids, it’s a great family activity at one of the area’s most interesting attractions. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Wear winter outdoor clothing and gloves and bring bag lunch. To sign up, email volunteers@1771.org.

Winterfest Children’s Carnival
Where: The Learning Center for Young Children
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm3
Admission: Free, but some activities require a fee

Escape the cold at the Winterfest Children’s Carnival in Kensington. Hosted by The Learning Center for Young Children (LCYC), it’s the perfect event for families with children in preschool and elementary school.   Acclaimed local entertainer Frank Cassel, “The Banjo Man,” will play his blend of folk, bluegrass and children’s music.  (Tickets for Cassel’s performances are $3 and will be sold at the carnival.) Fun-filled activities for kids include a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, and carnival games. A family photo booth captures the memories and a silent auction offers a chance to sample some of the area’s best restaurants, entertainment, and services. Lunch from Armand’s Pizza and gourmet desserts are available at the bake sale. If you’re feeling lucky, you can try your luck with a 50/50 raffle. LCYC and Winterfest are located in the Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church at 10123 Connecticut Avenue in Kensington, MD.

Family Fun Day
Where: Port Discovery
When: Sunday
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Head to the Baltimore children’s museum for a day full of activities the whole family can enjoy. There will be special story times, a percussion garden, interactive music experiences, and more. And the multiple levels of hands-on permanent exhibits will be open for exploration, too.

Baby Loves Disco
Where: Rock & Roll Hotel
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: $18

It’s the annual Valentine’s Day Ball from the folks who bring the family dance party. Back on H Street, it will feature chocolate treats, make-your-own Valentine’s cards, mommy-daddy slow dances, arts & crafts, dance lessons, contests, unlimited juice boxes, snacks, cash bar for non-driving parents, and surprises galore.

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

Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, learn about American scientist and inventor George Washington Carver.

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The Weekend Round-Up: February 1-2

Celebrate the Year of the Horse at the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on Sunday

Celebrate the Year of the Horse at the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown on Sunday



Football might be on the brains of many, but there’s a lot of time to kill before the big game Sunday night. And you’ve got your pick of ways to do just that: Sing along to one of the best movie soundtracks in awhile (yes, I really did say that). Immerse yourself in chocolate, or chocolate themed activities, anyway. Celebrate Black History Month, the Chinese New Year, and Groundhog Day. See a show. Or enjoy a museum program. And it’s going to be warm this weekend – a whopping 50 degrees on Saturday! – so you can also break out the flip flops and find something fun to do outdoors. Happy Weekend!

Frozen Sing-Along
Where: Local movie theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater

Okay, parents… you might say you are taking your kids to see and sing along to the soundtrack of the kids’ movie of the season because they love it so much. But we all know that you secretly can’t wait to belt out the tunes along with Elsa and Anna and friends. Yep, the theater audience is not just welcome, but encouraged to join in the film’s musical moments. Lyrics will be displayed on the screen, but I’m pretty sure most of us – I mean, our kids – won’t need them.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The 2014 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 700 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from a couple of years ago for more about the event.

Black History Month Family Day
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History Month! Inspired by the exhibition Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation,1863, and the March on Washington, 1963, there will be dramatic performances, hands-on activities, gallery tours, and a preview screening discussion of a new documentary by Stanley Nelson, Freedom Summer. Get your free tickets here.

Ice It
Where: Local Rinks and St. Elizabeths East
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies (Free at the slide!)

It’s perfect weather for winter recreation outdoors! The ice slide at St. Elizabeths East is only around a few more weekends, so get your inner tube rides in while you can. And you can skate under the sky without risk of frostbite – this post has details on local ice rinks, so you and the kids can get gliding.

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

* Bright Star Theatre is putting on a performance about George Washington Carver at this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National show.
* Peter and the Starcatcher is on stage at the Kennedy Center.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Tales of Beatrix Potter is on the main stage and Baby Bear’s Birthday and Dragon Tales are the featured Tiny Tots show.
* Next door at Adventure Theater, catch Miss Nelson is Missing.
* Really little ones will enjoy Aquarium at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
* Groovy Nate will entertain the crowd at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning.
More details about all of these shows, or links to them, can be found in this post about live entertainment around the DC area this winter.

The Land of Chocolate
Where: City of Fairfax
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission:Depends on activities

The City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate. There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, puppet shows, face painting, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. The events list on website has details.

Celebrate La Chandeleur
Where: Hillwood Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adult, $5/ages 2-18

In France La Chandeleur, also known as “Crêpe Day,” is celebrated with food and games.  Alliance Française de Washington and Hillwood invite families to celebrate this holiday in festive French fashion by eating crepes, enjoying traditional Breton music performed by Moch Pryderi, listening to classic tales told in French and English, and experiencing the exciting culture of Brittany, where crepes originated.  Embark on a quest to discover French treasures in Hillwood’s mansion and create your own French hats to wear and to take home. Tickets include 2 crepes per adult and 1 crepe per child.

Say Hola & Hello
Where: BloomBars
When: Saturday, 6pm
Admission: $7/child, $10/parties of 2 or more

Head to Columbia Heights on Saturday evening for some bilingual entertainment. Performer Mariana Iranzi is coming on from NYC to present her new Album “Hola Hello” and put on a fun show for the whole family. Bloombars is located at 3222 11th Street NW.

80′s Skate
Where: Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
When: Saturday, 6-10pm
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $7/12 and under, $3/rentals

Parents may get a little more excited about this one than kids: It’s an 80’s themed ice skating party at Rockville Town Square Ice Rink on Saturday evening. Guests are encouraged to dress in their most awesome 80’s gear and, like, totally rock out to Madonna, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, and other faves from the decade. At 7,200 square feet, it’s the largest outdoor ice skating rink between Baltimore and Washington, DC, so there will be plenty of space to recreate the Flashdance routine on ice.

In Every Language Love
Where: Freer & Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the museum showcasing Asian Art for In Every Language Love, an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines.

Groundhog Day
Where: Dupont Circle fountain
When: Sunday, 7:30am
Admission: Free

If you’ve got an early rising family, go see Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, make an appearance and offer weather and (because it’s DC) political predictions. Phil will let us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring (and maybe who will the mayoral race?). Live accordion music, polka dancers, a puppet show, local VIP’s and more will be part of the festivities. It all begins promptly at 7:30am, and Potomac Phil will emerge at 8am. The event is part of the Dupont Festival, which organizes and implements a wide range of outdoor and indoor activities in the greater Dupont Circle area throughout the year.

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Chinatown
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Usher in the Year of the Horse, lunar year 4712, on Sunday at the Chinese New Year Parade. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot.


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The Weekend Round-Up: February 16-18

Mount Vernon is hosting it's annual weekend celebration for George's big day

Mount Vernon is hosting it’s annual weekend celebration for George’s big day



Spending the long weekend in town? Here’s where you and the kids can enjoy it. Happy Weekend!

Discover Engineering Family Day
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but a $5 donation is recommended

The National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to drop in and debunk the myths of engineering and discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality. Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on, and fun-filled festival. We’ve gone the last couple of years and had a great time. It gets crowded, but there are so many activities available, kids can always be involved in the fun. Recommended for children ages 4-12 with adult supervision.

Party at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, children under 5 are free

Every Presidents Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of our first POTUS’ big day. This year will start with “Breakfast with George Washington”, food demos, music, and samples while they last. Later on, guests can join characters from the 18th century as they tell stories about the first president, and the General himself will relay some tales of his own. There’s even more on Monday, February 18 — go here to see the full schedule. And as a special present to visitors, the Estate will open one hour earlier at 8am and admission on Monday is FREE. Just a heads-up that it’s one of the busiest days of the year. We were there last year, and encountered a line of cars waiting to park. Once inside, though, it was a lot of fun — the sprawling grounds offer plenty of space for the crowd to spread out.

Scooby-Doo Live!
Where: Patriot Center
When: Saturday, 3pm & 6pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25 (look for a deal here)

Take the kids to see a production based on a cartoon that you probably enjoyed as a kid! Scooby-Doo, one of television’s longest running animated series, spans the generations. And the live version is coming to town this Saturday for two performances. In this exciting new show, Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have been called upon to help solve an epic mystery. Their adventure will feature big musical numbers, original groovy tunes, wacky new characters, and uproarious antics. Be sure to look for a deal before purchasing tickets through the website.

Butterfly Celebration
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Feel the flutter! Celebrate the fifth anniversary of the exhibit Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution and the Live Butterfly Pavilion with special arts and crafts activities for children of all ages. Meet museum educators and learn about metamorphosis and native butterfly species of our region.

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

Here’s the live entertainment on local stages this weekend:
Sleeping Beauty Dreams, a marionette version of the classic fairytale, is at the Kennedy Center this weekend only
Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove is at the Verizon Center
Anime Momotaro is thrilling audiences at the Imagination Stage.
Winnie the Pooh is at Adventure Theatre.
Little Red Rising Hood and the 3 Little pigs just opened at The Puppet Co. along with a couple of Tiny Tots shows.
– Little ones will love Brother Bear at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
– Teens will enjoy Zorro at the Source Theatre.
The Not-Its are playing a Presidents Day show on Monday at Jammin’ Java.
Sleeping Beauty-The Broken Spell is at the Workhouse Arts Center.
Find more details in this post about winter entertainment.

Chinese New Year Celebration for Kids
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up, free for under 2

Head to up to Baltimore to celebrate the Year of the Snake at Port Discovry’s annual Chinese New Year Celebration! Festivities will include Chinese Lion Dancers of the Tai Yim Kung Fu School, Chinese themed arts and crafts activities, story times and Chinese performances, activities with the Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee, and Chinese food sampling with P.F. Changs. Of course, the permanent exhibits will be open for exploration, too!

Presidents’ Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum.
When: Saturday, 11:30-3pm
Admission: Free

Start off your Presidents’ Day weekend at a patriotic family day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Enjoy a variety of crafts and performances dedicated to our nation’s past leaders. Stick around to make a top hat and meet some special guests from Lincoln’s Cottage, and pose for your own Presidential portrait. This will take place in the Kogod Courtyard.

Mardis Gras Family Day: Riverfest
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Can’t make it to New Orleans? No worries. Enjoy a river-themed Mardi Gras at the Anacostia Community Museum in a day of exciting river-inspired activities, including storytelling about the Mississippi River, river art, Mississippi River culture-themed music by the Dixie Power Trio band, WPFW’s Zydeco DJ Cowboy Fred dance party, face painting, and balloon animal making. Plus, you can sign up for the Adornment Workshop with Januwa Moja-Nelson and receive a keepsake photo of yourself in colorful attire to take home. While you’re here, also visit the related exhibition, Reclaiming the Edge. Whatever your age, there is sure to be something to capture your interest.

LEO: The Anti Gravity Show
Where: Artisphere
When: Saturday, 8pm
Admission: $30/adults, $25/students & children

What would happen if the law of gravity were to suddenly change? The newest creation from innovative Berlin-based production company Circle of Eleven, LEO leaves audiences wondering which way is up and which way is down. Winner of the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Fringe Festival Award, LEO is a mind-bending, funny, surreal and surprisingly touching work that challenges the senses and tests perceptions of reality through the clever interplay of live performance and video projection. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

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

Kids ages 4-7 can explore the work of artist Romare Bearden, as they hear a reading of the book My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey by Jeanne Walker Harvey, and discover how Romare Bearden pieced together his creative works of art using everyday materials with strong patterns and textures. Then, they will do an art project inspired by his work. Sessions are at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm on Saturday, and 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30 on Sunday. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 10am on Saturday (11am on Sunday) and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Coiling Dragons
Where: Freer-Sackler Galleries
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Smithsonian museums featuring Asian Art to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some art. Use a miniature activity guide to explore the Silk Road Luxuries from China installation. Discover Tang China luxury objects, such as mirrors, wine cups, and cosmetic boxes, and learn about their foreign inspirations. Then return to the classroom to make your own repoussé Tang mirror.

Discover Strathmore
Where: Strathmore Center for the Arts
When: Monday
Admission: Free

The arts center’s free community open house will be a day packed with family-friendly music and activities, including performances by Justin Roberts, Aaron Nigel Smith, and the locally-inspired GO GO for the Kids, designed by D.C. band Mambo Sauce. There will also be hands and face painting, interactive performances, hands-on activities, and much more. Visit the website for the schedule and full scope of activities.

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

On Monday, Old Town Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops and more. The procession will travel through Old Town from 1 – 3pm. See the website for more info and route details.

Free Skate
Where: Fort Dupont Ice Arena
When: Monday,10am – 12pm
Admission: FREE

Glide Monday morning away at Fort Dupont! The Ice Arena is hosting a Presidents Day Open House, which includes free skating, rentals, and lessons. They also encourage guests to celebrate National Hockey Month by wearing your favorite teams’ jersey or colors.


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The Weekend Round-Up: February 9-10

Celebrate the Year of the Snake in Chinatown on Sunday

Celebrate the Year of the Snake in Chinatown on Sunday



There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend — Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, the Chinese New Year — and even more ways to celebrate them. Learn about African Americans in aviation, make your own Valentines, ring in the Year of the Snake…all among the many activities and events that observe the occasions, plus even more special and ongoing pursuits that are just plain ol’ fun. Happy Weekend!

NASM-African American Family Days .13.jpg

African American Pioneers in Aviation Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The museum’s annual African American Pioneers Day focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group. Enjoy excerpts from the hit off-Broadway play Black Angels over Tuskegee. Little ones will love the Tevin and Tuskegee Airmen Puppet Show as well as hands-on activities. And, weather permitting, guests can view the sky from a telescope in the public observatory.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
When: February 9, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Nothing delivers love better than giving a handmade card to your valentine, and the Postal Museum will help you do that at this workshop on Saturday. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, you bring your creativity to decorate your card. Visit the museum’s stamp store and send the cards to your loved ones with a special Postal Museum postmark.

NOAA Open House
Where: NOAA Silver Spring Campus
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Explore your world and learn how NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, takes the pulse of the planet every day and protects and manages ocean and coastal resources. Head to the NOAA Silver Spring campus for a series of free activities, including engaging guest presentations, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities for ages 5 and up. Meet and talk with scientists, weather forecasters, hurricane hunter pilots, and others who work in the field. Early birds can also take a tour of the NOAA National Weather Service’s Operations Center and NOAA Exploration Command Center. The Silver Spring campus is located at 1315 East-West Highway.

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

The home improvement store hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and this session will bring some Valentine’s spirit as guests construct a Wheel of Love. Bring the kids into any Lowe’s store to make a free wooden project (with parent help). Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of their project. Go here to register.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under:

The 2013 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from last year from more about what to expect.

Dream Alive: a Celebration of African American History
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $14

This Saturday afternoon performance is a celebration of African American history ideal for Black History Month. Kim and Reggie Harris are dynamic and superbly talented traditional folk performers who captivate audiences with their songs and storytelling. In Dream Alive, they bring to life an array of educators, artists, scientists, poets, inventors and other key contributors to African American history through an interactive and engaging presentation.

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

There’s even more live entertainment on local stages this weekend.
Anime Momotaro is thrilling audiences at the Imagination Stage.
Winnie the Pooh is at Adventure Theatre.
Toyland is at The Puppet Co. along with a couple of Tiny Tots shows.
– The Maestro, an eccentric mute conductor, will make musical mayhem at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
– Teens will enjoy Zorro at the Source Theatre.
Steve Weeks is playing the kids show at Jammin’ Java.
Sleeping Beauty-The Broken Spell is at the Workhouse Arts Center.
Find more details in this post about winter entertainment.

In Every Language Love
Where: Freer & Sackler Gallery
When: February 9, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian museums featuring Asian Art are hosting In Every Language Love, an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Looks like it could be decent conditions for outdoor ice skating over the next couple of says, so lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; join Canal Parks’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday from 10am – 12pm; circle the new rink at Washington Harbour; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

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

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

Victorian Valentines
Where: DAR Museum
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Create your own Victorian inspired valentine from stickers, paper, tissue and lace provided by the DAR Museum. Guests will have the opportunity to view authentic 19th-century valentines from the museum collection. Supplies are limited, so advance registration is requested, though drop-ins are welcome. Contact (202) 879–3240 or museum@dar.org to sign up.

Artful conversations
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

See-Wonder-Haiku is the theme this month of the NGA’s Winter Drop-In Program for kids ages 8-11. Guests will observe a work of art, participate in a discussion about it, then write a related haiku. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium beginning at 11am on both Saturday and Sunday and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Valentine’s Day Storytime
Where: Barnes & Noble locations
When: February 9, 11am
Admission: Free

Head to your local Barnes & Noble bookstore for a free storytime session with a Valentine theme. There will be a reading of “The Perfect Hug” by Joanna Walsh, plus fun activities and treats to follow. Find a location near you.

Be My Valentine Workshop
Where: Tudor Place
When: February 9, 1:30-3pm
Admission: $10/non-members, $5/members

It’s a hunt and a tour in one, as children scour the historic mansion in search of Valentine’s Day cards from the past. Then they will design their own Valentine’s cards to take home, drawing inspiration from historic and vintage cards from the Tudor Place archive. Space is limited, so register in advance.

Portraits in Art
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday to pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit and go on a self-guided tour/scavenger hunt of the museum. On Sunday, go for Portrait Story Days, where you can hear a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art — this week will feature George Washington Carver. Read more about both programs in this post about our recent experience at the NGA.

Winterfest Children’s Carnival
Where: Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Varies by activity

Celebrate the season and help support a local preschool. The Learning Center for Young Children in Kensington will host its 23rd annual Winterfest Children’s Carnival on Saturday. There will be loads of fun for the whole family to enjoy — live entertainment, children’s activities, a silent auction, a bake sale, and more. Feature acclaimed local entertainer Frank Cassel, “The Banjo Man,” music will include children’s songs, bluegrass, and folk — tickets for Cassel’s three performances featuring are $3 and will be sold at the carnival.

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Chinatown
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Usher in the Year of the Snake, lunar year 4711, on Sunday at the Chinese New Year Parade. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. View the route here to stake out your curbside spot.

Coiling Dragons
Where: Freer-Sackler Galleries
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Smithsonian museums featuring Asian Art to celebrate the Chinese New Year with some art. Use a miniature activity guide to explore the Silk Road Luxuries from China installation. Discover Tang China luxury objects, such as mirrors, wine cups, and cosmetic boxes, and learn about their foreign inspirations. Then return to the classroom to make your own repoussé Tang mirror.

President Adams’ Alligator Book Signing
Where: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Store in Logan Circle
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Humane Society (WHS) and Little Patriot Press are hosting an even for Peter and Cheryl Barnes’ new book President Adams’ Alligator.  The authors will sign books, and WHS will have adoptable animals at their mobile adoption center, Adopt Force One. Refreshments will be served. All proceeds will benefit the Washington Humane Society. The Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Store is located at 1526 14th Street NW.

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