Tag Archives: Washington DC Kids Activities

Live Entertainment on Stages Around the DMV this Summer

Catch a rockin'

Catch a rockin’ “Wonderland” production at Imagination Stage



Summer is arriving and bringing a whole new lineup of live entertainment to local stages. The best part: There are shows to indulge all ages and interests, from musicals to puppetry to dramatic plays to concerts to dance performances to acrobatics to magic. This round-up, in order of opening date, has details of all of them. Now go save your seats!

One Destiny
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 7 – July 1
Tickets: $5 with tour

In this one-act play learn about President Lincoln’s assassination from two men who were there. Actor Harry Hawk and Ford’s Theatre co-owner Harry Ford revisit the events of April 14, 1865. As they reconstruct the sequence of events, they grapple with the question: Could John Wilkes Booth have been stopped? This 35-minute performance explores the key facts of the assassination while capturing the emotions of that fateful night. The production also has been featured in local schools and at the White House. Be sure to check the schedule for days and times, as it’s not performed every day. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: June 8-25 (look for a ticket deal)
Tickets: $60/family 4-pack, $30/adult, $20/student, $15/child

Bring your imagination and get swept away to the wonderful Land of Oz as Creative Cauldron tackles one of the most iconic musicals of all time. All your favorite characters, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, will be brought to life by talented local professionals. They will be joined by an ensemble cast drawn from a new Professional Musical Theater Workshop. Enjoy all of those memorable songs from the MGM classic (Over the Rainbow, If I Only Had a Brain/A Heart/The Nerve and We’re Off to See The Wizard) that have made this show an American treasure.

The School for Lies (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Lansburgh Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through July 7
Tickets: $44-102

From the comic imagination of Shakespeare Theatre Company favorite David Ives comes a timely take on Molière’s ruthless satire. A gleeful truth-teller, Frank is a French aristocrat who despises his society of liars and doesn’t mind telling them so. His well-aimed barbs wreak havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, until rumors ricochet and alternative facts become reality.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 13 – July 2
Tickets: $59-159

Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the landmark American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “shamelessly enjoyable and furiously funny” (The New York Times). This genre-bending musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage. It’s about finding your other half; it’s the story of the origin of love. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Sound of Music
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 13 – July 16
Tickets: $49-169 (look for a ticket deal)

The hills are alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to Washington. The spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its award–winning score by Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and the title song. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 13 – July 20
Tickets: $10

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the tale follows closely the original story in L. Frank Baum’s first, best known and best-loved of the classic Oz tales: There are more adventures than included in the film: more of Baum’s original dialogue is included: and, the witch plays only a minor (less scary) role. Recommended for Pre-K – Grade 6.

Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 16 – August 14
Tickets: $19.50

When Junie B. Jones, with her two bestest friends in the world, loses her new furry mittens to some “stealers,” she has to investigate. But Junie B. might have something she forgot to return, too. Recommended for all ages.

The Tempest (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park | Ellicot City, MD
When: June 16 – July 23
Tickets: $42.50/adult, $15.50/student, free for 18 and under

Plan a picnic as you see Shakespeare in the park! Shakespeare’s magnificent final play of storm and shipwreck, mystery and magic, and profound redemption is perfect for a summer’s eve in the PFI Historic Park. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 21 – August 13
Tickets: $15-30

Alice follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland where all of the familiar characters have been transformed into live guitar-toting Rock ‘n’ Roll musicians! She takes advice from a Zen Caterpillar and a wise Cheshire Cat. She has tea with the unwelcoming Mad Hatter, and argues with the childish Tweedledee and Tweedledum. When the vicious diva Red Queen tries to destroy her, Alice fights back only to find herself in a battle of the bands with the Jabberwocky, a many-headed monster who embodies all her fears and insecurities. Alice ultimately outperforms him on keyboard and drums; she is crowned at last, and returns home, a stronger and happier girl. The writers have successfully translated Carroll’s irrational Wonderland to our own times and added lyrics and a beat that will make you want to twist and shout! Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 20 – August 5
Tickets: $10

For much of the summer, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, a varying lineup of family-friendly performances on Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30am. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $6

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.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java | Vienna, VA
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.

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.

Rent: 20th Anniversary Tour (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: The National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: June 20-25
Tickets: $28-128

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

My Fair Lady
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: June 21 – July 18
Tickets: $33-65

One of the most romantic scores of all time, featuring standards like “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “The Street Where You Live,” takes on new life in an intimate reimagining of the classic My Fair Lady. Flower-seller Eliza Doolittle wages a romantic battle with uppercrust Henry Higgins, with surprising results in this production. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: FedEx Field | Landover, MD
When: June 22 – July 23
Tickets: $17-40 (look for a ticket deal)

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Raton en Movimiento!
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 24 – July 30
Tickets:

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the La Luna, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering queso (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. This production is now performed in both Spanish and English. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Company | E Presents Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 25
Tickets: $35

The timeless tale of a boy and friends (who happen to be a bear, a snake, and a whole lot of wolves, to name a few) becomes a celebration of movement and music in Company | E’s celebrated family classic. A fun-filled family adventure for the young and the young-at-heart!

The Science of Sound
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: June 27, 11am & 12:30pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

Come hear and “see” what sound is all about! Sound waves become visible in this exciting performance that uses technology to transform sound into a multisensory experience. Caryn Lin uses her five-string electric violin, loop recorder, oscilloscope (a device that displays electronic signals and waveforms), and other special effect tools to create amazing soundscapes.

Galapagos George with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: June 28-30
Tickets: $3-8

Based on the true story of “Lonesome George,” this show tells the tale of a truly one-on-a-kind tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Described as “an uplifting eco-fable,” this engaging theatrical piece shares an important lesson about man’s impact upon the environment.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 29 – July 2
Tickets: $29-90

With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, this beautiful Broadway hit is based on your favorite Disney film! Come fall in love with the magic for the first time–or all over again! “One of the most ravishing things I have ever seen on a Broadway stage” – Time Magazine

Finding Neverland
Where: Hippodrome | Baltimore, MD
When: June 27 – July 2
Tickets: $42-132 (Look for a ticket deal)

Directed by visionary Tony winner Diane Paulus, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

Taratibu
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 5-7
Tickets: $3-8

The Taratibu Youth Association (TYA) is a sensational ensemble of young artists representing the performing arts of the African diaspora. With eclectic and diverse musical influences, TYA performs percussive dance styles from stepping to traditional South African Gumboot. They also perform modern dance and hip hop. TYA sings in Zulu and Sotho from South Africa, Kiswahili from Tanzania, Creole from Haiti, and Yoruba from Cuba. Their performances are educational and inspirational; telling stories of empowerment and cultural history from several different countries. You may learn a song in Zulu, steps from Taratibu; a Pan African drill or learn the history of ‘Ti Zwezo,’ the traditional song of Haiti. Recommended for ages 5-16.

Backyard Theater for Kids
Where: Strathmore | North Bethesda, MD
When: Thursdays, July 6-27
Tickets: $8/ages 3 and up

A summertime favorite, Backyard Theater for Children returns with enough music and magic to thrill kids and parents alike – all outdoors under a big tent! Feel free to bring blankets or low beach chairs along with a bag lunch then grab a patch of grass after the applause.

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: July 6-30
Tickets: Varies by show

Filling the city with non-stop theater, dance, music, visual art, and everything in-between, the annual Fringe Festival presents an eclectic mix of performances from all genres, for all ages. Family-friendly shows are always among the lineup; other acts would make for a great date night or adult evening out. Check out the calendar to plan your Fringe experience. Festival tickets go on sale June 19.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – In Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 7-8
Tickets: $35-58

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the National Symphony Orchestra performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

The Originalist (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: July 7-30
Tickets: $56-91

When a bright, liberal, Harvard Law School graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with the conservative Justice, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. How will their relationship affect one of the most incendiary cases ever to reach the nation’s highest court? Don’t miss your opportunity to experience the show afresh with a brand-new staging for the Kreeger Theater.

KidSpy Performance- The Magic of Spying: Tradecraft Trickery
Where: I nternational Spy Museum
When:July 8, 11am – 12pm
Tickets: $10, $9/members

In the real-life world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed. Join professional magician, Peter Wood, as he demonstrates the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. This one of a kind performance, custom-designed for the Spy Museum, is guaranteed to fascinate children and adults alike. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Rhythm & Beats with Max Bent
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 11-14
Tickets: $3-8

Max takes the audience with him as he takes the mic to make some crazy-good mouth music. This astounding human beatbox introduces kids to the most powerful musical instrument ever: their own bodies. With lots of audience participation and exciting on-the-spot improvisations, Max covers themes in hip-hop culture, language, math, and music. Get ready to make some truly hip beats! Recommended for ages 5-12.

Cabaret (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 11 – August 6
Tickets: $59-149

Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd and leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Recommended for ages 16 and up.

Latin Ballet of Virginia: Alma Latina
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: July 12, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

Embark on a tour of Latin American dance with the Latin Ballet of Virginia. Learn more about the steps and history of dances like the Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata along with Flamenco and Capoeira. Discover the origin of these popular dances in this lively celebration of Latin America’s rich cultural heritage that is steeped in tradition, rhythm, music, and dance.

By the Seashore
Where: The Lab at Convergence | Alexandria, VA
When: July 13- 30
Tickets: $6

Art on the Horizon’s summer production takes tiny theatre-goers on a magical journey to a place children love to visit — the beach! From birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between, young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky (with no need for wings or scuba gear!). Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for babies and young toddlers. Recommended for ages 0-2.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Vinson Hall Community Ballroom | McLean, VA
When: July 14-30
Tickets: $25

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. REcommended for ages 13 and up.

Summer Magic with Dave Thomen
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 18-21
Tickets: $3-8

Celebrate an American summer on the National Mall with D’s Magic. You won’t believe your eyes when Mr. Dave performs illusions with boxes, hoops and maybe even a rabbit and magic hat! D’s Magic will surprise and astound you. This Discovery Theater favorite is back for another summer of magic and entertainment! Recommended for ages 5-12.

MAMMA MIA!
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 18-19
Tickets: $25-75 (look for a ticket deal)

MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. It’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical now on its farewell North American tour! MAMMA MIA! combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Whether it’s your first visit or your fourteenth, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time at MAMMA MIA!.

An Octoroon (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Woolly Mammoth | Penn Quarter, DC
When: July 18 – August 6
Tickets: $34-44 (look for a ticket deal)

A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free, because everybody else is acting crazy.

Thurgood
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: July 19 – August 20
Tickets: $45-70

“You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.” So said Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who changed the face of American jurisprudence. He argued and won the Brown v. Board of Education decision, ending racial segregation in the schools, after a long and strategic journey that began with ending the “separate but equal” mandate in Maryland law schools. Spend an evening with the late Justice at this one-man show, and consider just how far we’ve come… or have we? Recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Music Man
Where: Kenmore Middle School | Arlington, VA
When: July 21-30
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for a ticket deal)

Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids presents the story of con man Harold Hill as he makes his next stop at River City, Iowa to start a band, despite his lack of musical knowledge. After tricking the citizens of River city into buying instruments and uniforms he plans on leaving town with all of the money. In the midst of his scheme, he accidentally falls in love with the local librarian, Marian. Will she help Harold see the error of his ways before it’s too late? Enjoy Meredith Willson’s six-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy that has been entertaining audiences since 1957. Recommended for ages 6 and older.

SOLE Defined
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 25-28
Tickets: $3-8

SOLE Defined puts an exciting twist on percussive dance by turning their bodies into human drums. In one word, SOLE Defined creates a “Percussical,” an innovative twist on the traditional musical with its integration of percussive dance and multi-media with acting, singing. Each show is a power-packed performance to create a free flowing conversation through music and movement. Recommended for ages 5-16.

Circus!
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: July 27 – August 27
Tickets: $12

In grand circus tradition, the “Greatest Show on Strings” features a collection of clowns, death-defying acrobats, and an amazing menagerie of fauna from the farthest reaches of the globe. Many of the acts were built more than 50 years ago by Christopher’s parents for “Len Piper’s International Marionette Circus.”

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 20
Tickets: $49-159

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Cello Fury: Melodies, Moods, and Movies
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: August 2, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $5/child

This cello rock powerhouse featuring three cellists and a rock and roll drummer brings movie themes to life in a lively performance designed for children that fuses symphonic sounds with driving rock beats to create an unforgettable musical experience.

Jurassic Park – In Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 5
Tickets: $35-58

An adventure 65 million years in the making comes back to the big screen. Watch Steven Spielberg’s original Oscar-winning dinosaur classic in high definition as the National Symphony Orchestra brings John Williams’ iconic music to soaring, scaly life.

KIDZ BOP Best Time Ever Summer Tour
Where: Hippodrome | Baltimore, VA
When: August 12
Tickets: $48-168

Catch The KIDZ BOP Kids live, when they hit the stage in 2017 to perform kid-friendly versions of today’s biggest hits. The ALL-NEW “Best Time Ever” tour will hit Baltimore this August!

BON VOYAGE! A Happenstance Escapade (KidFree Suggestion)
Where: Round House Theatre | Bethesda, MD
When: July 14-30
Tickets: $26

BON VOYAGE! A Happenstance Escapade is the story of a hilarious collection of 19th century dreamers who meet on the way to Paris, the obstacles and surprises they encounter, and their comic misadventures at the Moulin Rouge, the Metro, the Catacombs, and the Grand Universal Exposition of 1889. This show reminds us of the beautiful values of Liberty, Equality and Camaraderie.

Othello
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: August 15-23
Tickets: FREE!

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All will presents Othello this summer. This Washington tradition offers free performances of a Shakespearean classic to the public. Tickets are available through an online lottery or by waiting in line day-of when a limited number available.

Cirque de Soleil: OVO
Where: Eagle Bank & Royal Farms Arenas | Fairfax, VA & Baltimore, MD
When: August 16-27
Tickets: $30-156+ (look for a ticket deal)

OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight, and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.

Live from the Lawn: Uke Fest
Where: Strathmore | North Bethesda, MD
When: August 23, 7pm
Tickets: Free

It’s back and better than ever! Strathmore’s Uke & Guitar Summit celebrates its 7th year with a grand finale featuring Benny Chong, Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Sam Marchuk, Maureen Andary, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and the Strathmore Uke Orchestra. Don’t miss this all-star celebration of the little instrument that brings people together in harmony.

Know of anymore great shows that you don’t see listed here? Feel free to mention them in the comments!

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Date Night, DC, Deal, Discount, Educational, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The 2017 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC

Summer in the city:  Evening play in the sprays at Yards Park

Summer in the city: Evening play in the sprays at Yards Park



summer-camp

It’s time to bring back one of my favorite annual guides! Summer may not officially begin for a few more weeks, but as we head into the warm months, many seasonal favorites around DC are starting up again. And this guide has the scoop on the best of them, so you can jump in on the fun.

Ah, summer. The time of year to shift gears, from closed toed shoes to sandals, jeans to shorts, red wine to margaritas. It’s when play dates extend well into the evening, a dip in the pool counts as a bath, and the folks at the neighborhood water ice shop know the kids by name.

It’s also when we can enjoy some of the area’s best activities. Water-inspired recreation, music and movies in the open air, special fests and feasts, and bonus attractions at everyday places are just some of the joys of the season.

So, unpack the swimsuits and flip flops, get out the blender for cocktails (smoothies for the kids), bookmark this guide, and get ready to have some summer fun!

Outdoor Pool Season
Play in the Sprays
Water Parks
Summer Concerts
Festivals
Beaches
Big Screen Under the Stars
Museum Programs & Seasonal Exhibits
Movies, Storytimes, & More
Mini Trains, Carousels, Mini Golf, & a Ferris Wheel
Theatre Time
Summer Sports
Crab Feasts
Seasonal Experiences


Outdoor Pool Season
Nothing says summer like swimming under the sun, and there are plenty of public pools in the area where you can jump in for free or a small admission fee.

  • DC outdoor public pools will open on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27. Days and hours vary from pool to pool so be sure to check the schedule before you go. Last year they began opening earlier on weekdays, at 11am, and that’s continuing! (And some open even earlier than that for lap swim.)
  • For outdoor swimming outside of the city, Montgomery County outdoor public pools will open on May 27 through Labor Day — the Department of Recreation website has locations and hours.
  • In Northern Virginia, Arlington’s Upton Hill has a whole water park for guests to enjoy, and Alexandria has several places where the public is welcome to swim. Be sure to check the City of Alexandria website for hours, as they vary by pool.


A refreshing run through the sprays at Georgetown Waterfront Park

A refreshing run through the sprays at Georgetown Waterfront Park

Play in the Sprays
Kids can run through fountains and splash around at many area spraygrounds. Several are within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, but some of the best are built right into the urban landscape, making the concrete jungle a cool place to hang out during the hottest months.

  • Georgetown Waterfront Park, right next to the Washington Harbour, has a fountain with arcing sprays that makes for a fun, refreshing way to cool off on a hot, summer day. The rest of its pretty green space along the Potomac is a great place to hang out, too.
  • The Yards Park is a favorite for many in the city with two levels of super fun sprays, a wading pool and wall of water (essentially a water fall between the levels), plus a great scenic location on the Anacostia River in the Navy Yard
  • Canal Park in the Navy Yard is great for all ages with both a gentle, shallow fountain that is perfect for really little ones to enjoy, plus a bigger fountain with lots of sprays for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter.
  • Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 27, DPR Spray Parks will be open for the season from 10am – 7pm daily. See locations on a map here.
  • Some of the area’s most popular spray parks — Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park — can be found in Arlington.
  • The interactive fountain in Downtown Silver Spring plaza is open daily from 10am – 8pm. While my kids have never played there, I recall seeing very happy youngsters playing in the sprays on the colorful mosaic design during my lunch breaks when I worked at Discovery. It always looked like a blast.
  • The fountain in the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza located at 14th and Park Road, NW is a great place to cool down on a hot day, with many sprays that surge up from a pretty, circular tiled surface. Do a little shopping while you’re there — Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many other big retail stores are right there — and plan to grab a bite at one of many kid-friendly eateries around. And don’t miss a chance to stop in Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Co. at 826DC located right there.
  • The Fountain on the Square at Rockville Town Square welcomes kids to splish splash from May to September. It’s open Monday – Saturday 11am to 9pm and Sunday 12-8pm, but it’s turned off for maintenance at certain times during the week, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.
  • One of the newest to the sprayground scene, the fountains in the Mosaic District welcome all to play in the sprays that jet up from concrete. Surrounded by retail stores and restaurants, you can make a day of it there with some shopping and eating, too. Plan to go on a Tuesday with little ones when you can also enjoy Stories from Strawberry Park at 10-11am. (Note: Currently closed for renovations, but check back for reopening date!)


Make  splash at Soak City in Kings Dominion

Make splash at Soak City in Kings Dominion


Water Parks
Giant water slides, wave pools, waterfalls, sprays and splash pads…this is the stuff kids’ summer dreams are made of. There are actually several water parks around the area offering many of these attractions, just about all of them opening Memorial Day weekend for limited hours, until they open daily in a few weeks. Here’s a quick list — visit the websites for more details.


Friday night concerts at Yards Park are a great way to kick off a summer weekend

Friday night concerts at Yards Park are a great way to kick off a summer weekend


Summer Concerts
Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro.

  • The Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park begins May 26 and will run through September 1, presenting a different band each week on the boardwalk stage overlooking the Anacostia River. Along with the free music, food and beverages are available for purchase. (Unfortunately, the NO BYOB policy implemented last year still holds). I recommend getting there early, so the kids can play in the fountains before the concert starts at 6:30pm. And on a hot summer day, it’s nice to continue the water fun even while the tunes are playing — you can still hear them from across the park!
  • Experience live music amid art at Jazz in the Garden, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s free concert series, every Friday from 5–8:30pm. The first performance of the season is May 19, rain or shine, and there will be weekly shows through August 25. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner or purchase food and drinks there, and enjoy the sounds of a variety of jazz artists. Note: Adult drinks are available from the pavilion; BYO alcohol is not permitted.
  • The U.S. Air Force Band 2017 Summer Concert Series kicks off May 17 with a performance by Airmen of Note, Air Force Strings, and Max Impact at the Air Force Memorial. After that, you can catch free concerts all summer long at locales around the DC-Metro area, including the Capitol steps, Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument grounds, and National Harbor Plaza. Show times vary so be sure to check the U.S. Air Force Band website for the complete summer schedule.
  • In Silver Spring, the TGIF Downtown Street Party brings free music once a month on Friday evenings to the Fountain Plaza 6:30-8:30pm. Enjoy everything from pop to jazz to R&B to classic rock starting May 12.
  • All summer long, families can enjoy a variety of free fun at Rockville Town Square. Concerts for all ages on Friday evenings run from June 2 through September 30 — enjoy live music, good food, and beverages from 7-9pm.
  • Rock at the Row returns to Pentagon Row Thursdays July 13 – August 17. From 7-9pm, all are invited to the lounge on the new plaza for food samples and craft beer in the VIP section or to gather at one of the outdoor cafés while enjoying live music, giveaways, and merchant specials.
  • The U.S. Botanic Garden is bringing back the American Roots Music Concert Series every Thursday 5-7pm. Celebrate American roots with Americana and folk, country, blues, jazz, and even zydeco outside on the Conservatory Terrace. Schedule still TBD, but check back soon!
  • You can kick-start your weekends at Tysons Corner Center’s Fresh Artists Concert Series. Grab a blanket and enjoy performances ranging from ballet to blues, folk to funk, poetry to pop. Schedule still TBD, so check back.
  • Get a nice dose of nature as you listen to live tunes at Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington on Second Saturdays of the month from May 13 – September 9. The free, family-friendly performances take place on a stage in the woods surrounded by trails to explore. (FYI: The Nature Center — with snakes, turtles, owls, hawks — is great, too.
  • Enjoy music in Northern Virginia parks! The Fairfax County Park Authority presents their Summer Entertainment Series, a summer-long calendar of shows, concerts and movies appropriate families held in local parks. Bring a picnic dinner, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the best local and regional entertainers.
  • Strathmore, the North Bethesda performing arts center, hosts Live from the Lawn, free outdoor concerts, every Wednesday from July 12 – August 30.


Tour de Fat is as zany as it is fun!

Tour de Fat is as zany as it is fun — and it stops in DC during summer this year!


Festivals
Several stand-out events are anticipated around the area this time of year, celebrating everything from music to art & culture to neighborhoods to food.

  • Get folksy at Glen Echo Park June 3-4, when the 37th Annual Washington Folk Festival showcases the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation, as well as the world, will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the free festival that is renown in the folk community.
  • It sounds like a grown-ups-only event, but the Vintage Virginia Wine & Food Festival offers plenty of family fun, too. Taking place June 3-4 at Bull Run Park in Centreville, VA, festivities include wine tasting (of course), chef demos, food truck fare, live music, and a whole family-friendly area with activities especially for kids.
  • Imagination Bethesda, an annual festival occurring in the heart of its namesake city, is all about children. On June 3 from 10am – 3pm, Woodmont & Elm downtown will be lined with activity tents offering tons of fun for kids — arts & crafts, face painting, games, etc. There will also be live entertainment, food from local restaurants, and more. Admission is free.
  • The DC Jazz Festival presents a variety of performers at venues all around the city from June 9-18, but the most family-friendly of them actually precedes the main event. Jazz n’ Family Fun Days will take place June 3-4 with free shows for all ages at The Phillips Collection.
  • Attend one of the biggest summer barbeques around June 24-25 as the National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other as they compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more.
  • Every summer, the National Mall becomes stomping grounds of folks from around the globe to celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year’s event will run from June 29 – July 4 and July 6-9, celebrating circus arts and migrations of people to and within this U.S.
  • The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration. Along with the spectacular display of flowers, the annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival will feature traditional Asian and African dancing and drumming, gardening workshops, park tours, arts & crafts, face painting, and other family-friendly pursuits. The exact date is TBD, but it always takes place sometime mid-July.
  • The annual Del Ray Music Festival is always a popular event. On July 23, count on a celebration of the Alexandria community with a day of food, games, and lots of kids’ activities along with a varied line-up of live entertainment.
  • Tour de Fat, easily one of my favorite annual festivals, takes place at Yards Park on July 22. The celebration of all things bicycle is zany in the best way possible. There’s a bicycle parade, bicycle art, reconfigured bicycles to ride, a dance contest to win a bicycle, a car-for-bike swap, a bike-themed kids area, and bikes just… everywhere. There’s also beer (New Belgium is the sponsor), circus performers, vaudeville acts, musicians, magicians, and more. It’s weird and wild and so much fun for the whole family.
  • It might run into fall, but it starts in August, so I’m counting the Maryland Renaissance Festival among the summer fun. Plus, it’s one of my very, very favorite annual events (more confirmation on that here). The merriment begins August 26 and will continue every weekend through October 22. Go. Just go.


Have some fun in the summer sun at a local beach

Have some fun in the summer sun at a local beach


Beaches
Summer and beach trips go hand-in-hand, so why not hit one with the kids? You don’t have to drive all the way to the ocean for it; there are several places where you can get a nice dose of sand and surf that are within day trip-distance from DC.

  • Head out to Calvert County for a day at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Not only is there plenty of sand for playing and nice mellow waters for swimming, it’s also a great spot for fossil hunting — look for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants along the shores while you’re there, too! Hours are 9am – 6pm Memorial to Labor Day. Admission is $6/car.
  • Bayfront Park aka Brownie’s Beach is a nice little spot in Chesapeake Beach, MD. With a small but nice stretch of sand, gentle shallow water, shark teeth to fin, and cliffs edging the shoreline, it’s a great place to spend a day — especially with little ones since they can’t roam too far. The only downside is the admission fee: $16/adult, $9/child for non-residents of the county.
  • Enjoy views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the beach at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis. At nearly 800 acres, it’s a big beach park with lots of recreational opportunities — swimming, picnicking, fishing, crabbing, hiking, and more. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are lifeguards on duty. And snack food and beach and picnic supplies are available. Hours are 6am – sunset. From May 1 through September, admission is $5 for Maryland residents, $7 for non-residents.
  • The beach is narrow, and you’re on a river, but you still get sand and water at Purse State Park in Charles County, MD. This is best if your main purpose is fossil hunting — it’s a great place to go for it — and you want to get in some “beach” time, too. Wear swimsuits, bring a picnic, and be sure to check the tide table so you can make the most of your time there. Open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.


Big Screen Under the Stars
Outdoor movies have become a DC summer tradition in the last few years with films al fresco in several neighborhoods. Even better, all of them are FREE! (*Before you make plans to enjoy any of the series, be sure to check schedules, as some movies may not be appropriate for children.)

  • Catch a flick on the big screen from the comfort of your car at the Union Market Drive-In Series, occurring on select Fridays throughout the summer, with several family-friendly films in the mix. Get there as early as 6pm and have a bite to eat in the Market or bring food back to your car. The film starts at 8:15pm. Advance purchase is recommended.
  • National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac already started their Sunday night film series for families, and it will run through September 24. Movies are shown on the plaza screen beginning at sunset, usually around 8:30pm.
  • Movie lovers of all ages should head to the Four Mile Run Movie Series in Alexandria on the last Friday of the month from May 26 – August 24, when the park is transformed into an outdoor cinema. This free event will also include two hours of activities and entertainment leading up to show time. Films start at dusk, fun begins at 6:30pm
  • See Your favorite stars beneath the stars at the Capitol Riverfront’s Canal Park Outdoor Movie Series. Catch films every Thursday evening at sundown from June 1 through August 10.
  • The Golden Triangle (BID) is raising the curtain on its Golden Cinema Film Series to be hosted this summer in Farragut Park. Outdoor movies will be shown at sunset every Friday beginning June 2 – August 4, and just about all of the films are family-friendly.
  • The NoMa Summer Screen 13-week outdoor film series starts on June 7! The movies begin at dark, so get there to picnic at 7pm.
  • Bethesda Outdoor Movies will bring five days of flicks al fresco to downtown at the corner of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues from July 18-24.


Make a wish at Yoko Ono's Wish Tree in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Make a wish at Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden


Museum Programs & Seasonal Exhibits
Extraordinary installations, lovely annual exhibits, kids’ programs during the school break, and admission deals are some of the special experiences at our museums and galleries to take take advantage of over the summer.

  • First there was indoor mini-golf, after that it was a giant maze, then came the super awesome BEACH, and last year it was ICEBERGS. This summer, the National Building Museum will be buzzing with excitement over HIVE! The massive installation will be built from more than 2,700 wound paper tubes, taking up much of the space in the Great Hall, with an aim to “explore how a structure can modify and reflect sound, light, scale, and human interaction.” Admission is $5/youth member, $10/adult member and $13/youth non-member, $16/adult non-member. Open July 4 through September 4.
  • What sounds like an amazing virtual experience is coming to DC for the summer. ARTECHOUSE, a brand new destination for art, music, film, theater, and technology presents XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, an immersive sensory art exhibition composed of ten interactive digital installations. Manipulate time and space as you step into imaginary territory, manipulate algorithms, and immerse into a virtual playground of digital landscapes. For ages 6 and up.
  • Annmarie Sculpture Garden is enchanting any time of year, but it’s especially so in the summer when the fairy and gnome houses are on display. The adorable collection of little whimsical abodes for sprite-like creatures have all been selected from many submissions in an annual fairy house building contest. And they are just fantastic. Created by all ages, individuals and groups, each one has a different theme, but together they are a brilliant showcase of imagination and craftiness.
  • The National Gallery of Art’s wonderful drop-in program for children returns — with a new name! Formerly Stories in Art, Art Investigators, geared toward ages 4-7, introduces kids to art and encourages them to make observations and use their imaginations as they discover different works. It’ll run Friday – Monday from July 7-31. Read a KFDC review of the program from a few years back (we’ve been since, and it was just as good!).
  • You can walk amid a garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit. It’s back after being closed last summer during renovations. The seasonal display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world opened in April and will welcome visitors through September 25, 10am – 4pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2 (admission to the rest of Brookside is free). Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit.
  • The Hirshhorn has a couple of special exhibits happening this summer starting with sunrise, sunset, a large-scale, site-specific wall mural by Swiss artist Nicolas Party. The mural will be painted directly onto the museum wall in the circular inner gallery on the third floor over the course of two weeks, and will be on view June 7 – October 1. It’ll be a great backdrop for Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC, returning for its second year. From July 17 through September 17, the public is welcome to write wishes on small cards and tie them to the tree’s branches. They’re collected throughout the summer, then sent to Ono’s “Imagine Peace Tower” in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • As you make your way around the area near CityCenter, look out for the Fancy Animal Carnival, an installation of whimsical, larger-than-life sculptures by renowned Taiwanese contemporary artist Hung Yi. Scattered around for all to enjoy, they’ll be here until October 15.
  • Every year, the Newseum offers the Summer Fun Deal. From July 1 – September 5, there is no admission fee for kids ages 18 and under. The promotion waives the $12.95 regular entrance charge for youth with one paid adult admission, senior admission, or Newseum membership (a benefit to ages 7 and up, as kids 6 and under are always free). Up to six kids can enter free with the offer. Read a KFDC take on the Newseum and look for a deal on adult admission here.
  • The National Academy of Sciences has been showcasing Igniting the Imagination since March, and it will be on display through August 7. The exhibition of 28 children’s book illustrations from the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio, all relate to science, engineering, or medicine in some way. The show looks at the power of images and stories to ignite the imagination of young people. Copies of the books are on hand in the gallery for families to read as well as several comfortable couches and chairs.
  • During the warm months, little ones can flex their green thumbs in the outdoor Children’s Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden — they can dig in dirt, water plants, and explore a cute little Bamboo Forest. (Note: It’s currently closed for renovations, but expected to be open by summer.) The rest of the USBG’s outdoor gardens are great to explore, too!
  • The National Archives is hosting some free programs for kids and families in June and July, including it’s regular monthly drop-in storytime, Family Learning Labs, and a few special events on weekends. Some require advance registrations and have age recommendations, so check them out and sign up soon!


The National Gallery of Art's Drop-In program returns this summer

The National Gallery of Art’s Drop-In program returns this summer


Movies, Storytimes, & More for Kids
Family movies at local theaters are a great way to stay cool and keep kids entertained when the weather heats up. And several seasonal programs keep little ones engaged with storytimes and more interactive fun. Even better, they’re all free or super cheap!

  • The Regal Summer Movie Express presents flicks for kids on many Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am. Admission is just $1. Be sure to check the website for the film schedule and theater locations, as it doesn’t run at all theaters every week.
  • From May 10 – September 27, Kids Corner on The Plaza at CityCenter welcomes little ones for outdoor story time, singing, and fun with DC Public Library.
  • The new Kids in Canal is a 12-week series of kid-friendly entertainment every Wednesday 10:30-11:30am beginning June 7. Bring little ones to the middle block of Canal Park to enjoy magic shows, kids tunes, science demonstrations, and puppet shows. Top off the day with a refreshing splash in the dancing water fountains!
  • Starting July 11, THEARC Theater will present Showtime Tuesdays, free children’s movies every Tuesday at 10am and 2pm through August 1. The program includes a fun pre-show activity, snack, and movie screening — all on them.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn welcomes families to Kids Camp, a movie series that is inexpensive ($1-3) and benefits local charities, to boot.


Go for a spin on the carousel at Watkins Regional Park

Go for a spin on the Antique Carousel at Watkins Regional Park

Mini Trains, Carousels, Mini Golf, & a Ferris Wheel!
These extra delights bring even more fun to several parks around the area that are already great outdoor places to hang with the kids.

  • Watkins Regional Park opens its attractions on a limited schedule in early May, but come Memorial Day weekend, they can be enjoyed for extended hours almost every day of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 7pm; Sundays 12–5 pm, closed Mondays except May 30 (Memorial Day), July 4 (July Fourth Holiday; closes at 4pm) & August 30 (Labor Day). Read about the rest of the fun you can enjoy at Watkins!
  • Cabin John Regional Park opened its Miniature Train on weekends only back in April, but as of June 1, it’ll be operating daily 10am – 7pm through August. After that, hours will be limited, so check the schedule. Read about the wonderful Cabin John playground here
  • The Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park started taking guests for spins in early April on weekends and will be open daily June 1 through August (limited times after that). Hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 7pm Saturday & Sunday. Read about the super fun Wheaton playground here.
  • The beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel is open for its 97th season at Glen Echo Park. Plan to go for a spin before or after a show at Adventure Theatre or The Puppet Co. From May through August, it’s open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 2pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm.
  • The Clemyjontri carousel has been running on weekends since April, but will be offering rides daily starting May 31 on weekdays 9:30am – 1:00pm and weekends 9:30am – 6:30pm. Read more about Clemyjontri here.
  • Kind of like a London Eye of the U.S., The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of DC. The 42-gondola ride (all closed and climate-controlled with room for 8) soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront, offering vistas of the White House and Capitol, the National Mall, Arlington Cemetery, and more amazing sites. Ticket prices start at $15. Read more about it here.
  • The RIO Express Train and Carousel at RIO Washingtonian are open 3pm – dusk on weekdays, 11am – dusk on weekends through June 19. After that, they’ll open daily 11am – 9pm. Rides are $3.
  • Burke Lake Park’s Mini Train and Carousel are open April to October, daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day 11:30am – 5:30pm. The park is free to access for Fairfax county residents. For non-county residents, the park is free on weekdays and has a $10 entrance fee on weekends/holidays for a car or large capacity van. Carousel rides are $2-3, and train rides are $3-4.


A setting as great as the entertainment at Children's Theatre in the Woods

A setting as great as the entertainment at Children’s Theatre in the Woods


Children’s Theatre
All the world’s an outdoor stage at these venues that present entertainment especially for children throughout the summer.

  • From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents the fantastic Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade, though I think kids even younger can enjoy them, too (mine did!). Read a KFDC review of the series from a few summers ago.
  • Backyard Theater for Children, Strathmore’s summer theater series brings live music and fun to kids – all outdoors under a big tent. Weekly performances take place every Thursday at 9:30am and 11:30 from July 6-27. Admission is $8, free for ages 2 and under.
  • See a Shakespeare play in the park! The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents Shakespeare in the Ruins at the Picturesque Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City this summer. The Tempest, Shakespeare’s magnificent final play of storm and shipwreck, mystery and magic, and profound redemption, runs from June 16 – July 23. Not only can you picnic as you watch the play, but kids are free (two for every adult). Advance reservations are recommended as tickets are limited.
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All will present Othello from August 15-27 this summer. The Washington tradition offers free performances of a Shakespearean classic to the public. Get tickets through an online lottery or waiting in line day-of with a limited number available.


Minor League is major fun at a Bowie Baysox game

Minor League is major fun at a Bowie Baysox game


Summer Sports
Some of the season’s best action takes place in ballparks, stadiums, and arenas thanks to our local sports teams. Here’s where you can join the fan clubs.

  • A day at Nationals Park is all it takes to understand why baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Catching a Nats game is one of our family’s preferred ways to enjoy a nice summer (or spring) day (or evening), anyway. The excitement extends well beyond the diamond with games and activities in the park, a playground for kids, the Racing Presidents, fun in the stands, and more. Before you go, check out these tips on doing a Nats game without breaking the bank. And I highly recommend the Jr. Nationals Kids Club for children 12 and under. Just $20 gets them membership, which includes Nats swag, plus a coupon book with offers for free meals, BOGO tickets, a ballpark tour, and all kinds of discounts. Even a few months into the season, it’s still worth it!
  • Tennis, anyone? The Washington Kastles, the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, will bring some on-court thrills to the Smith Center, where Kastles Stadium is located, July 18-29. For some background, see this post and this one from a few years back.
  • Every summer, the Citi Open Tennis Tournament serves up exciting competition along with other fun activities for fans of all ages. See some of the sport’s top players in action and enjoy the thrills on and off the court.
  • Whether or not you’ve got a little soccer fan in your fam, DC United matches are fun experiences for all ages. And since games only last 90 minutes, it’s not too long for antsy young spectators. Be sure to check for any pre- or post-game activities for kids.
  • Can’t stand the heat? Head to the Verizon Center to see the Washington Mystics (w)hoop it up on the basketball court. Tickets start at $19.
  • Swing up to Charm City to see the Baltimore Orioles play. Camden Yards is a beautiful ballpark, and you can head to the Inner Harbor before or after to make a day of it up north.
  • If the Nats or O’s aren’t in town, or you want to see baseball on a smaller but still fun scale, you’ve got several great options around the area. Take ’em out to the minors at a Bowie Baysox, Potomac Nationals, or Aberdeen Ironbirds game. Summer collegiate team Bethesda Big Train is also very popular for non-majors baseball action.
  • Women’s pro soccer team, Washington Spirit, plays in Germantown. Per a KFDC reader, “you get affordable tickets and concessions, picnic seating behind the goal, a really intimate, family-friendly environment and top-level soccer.”


One of the best treats of the season

One of the best treats of the season

Crab Feasts
Easily one of the best activities during summer in Maryland and neighboring areas (this is where I get non-DC-centric because I have to give credit where it’s due). Here are some suggestions for places to get ’em, though the “best” is always a subject for debate.

  • Cantler’s is an Annapolis institution.
  • Mike’s Crab House in Annapolis is also a popular spot.
  • Drive over the Bay Bridge to Kentmorr for great crabs and an awesome beach area for hanging out while you wait
  • The Jetty on Kent Narrows has crabs, scenic views, and a fun beachy vibe
  • In Baltimore, Bo Brooks on the Canton Waterfront often tops crab eaters’ lists.
  • Stay close to the city at Quarterdeck in Arlington.
  • Waterman’s in Rock Hall after a hike at the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge makes for a great Eastern Shore day trip.
  • Pick up your own at the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Buy them already steamed or get them while they’re still alive to cook at home.


Enjoy recreation on local waterways during the warm months

Enjoy recreation on local waterways during the warm months


Seasonal Experiences
Some particularly cool activities and offerings are only possible this time of year. Sure, you can say that’s most of this guide, but these experiences that fall into the “other” category shouldn’t be missed.

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Auditions Coming Up for the National Children’s Chorus

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Does your child have musical ability and a desire to be part of a premiere youth choral group? The National Children’s Chorus in Washington, DC, is holding auditions this month for girls and boys ages 5 to 14, offering musically talented children the opportunity to learn and grow in an extraordinary environment.

The finest instructors work with students weekly to develop their vocal skills from the most basic concepts through the college level. Tone quality, breath support, and musical expression are cultivated within the individual singers, while working together as an ensemble culminates in world-class performances. With a spectacular musicianship curriculum to accompany its first-rate vocal training, the National Children’s Chorus is an unparalleled educational resource for children who love to sing! If child has musical ability, don’t waste another minute!

Auditions will take place on Thursday, April 27, at National City Christian Church. Children ages 5 to 14 are invited to apply. Set up an audition today!

For more information, visit the National Children’s Chorus website.


This post is sponsored by the National Children’s Chorus, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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