Tag Archives: Weekend Activities

Valentine’s Day-Inspired Activities Around the DMV

Graffiti art with heart created by Mr. Brainwash at Union Market's Dock5

Graffiti art with heart created by Mr. Brainwash at Union Market’s Dock5

Do you *heart* celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? Here are some activities happening around the area over the next week that you’re all bound to love. Happy V-Day!

Library Love
Where: DC Public Libraries
When: Various dates
Admission: Free

Join story times, craft sessions, and sing-alongs at some of the city’s libraries; Valentine’s Day-themed activities are taking places on several dates over the next week. Find one that your child will love here.

Skate Date in the Village: Pop-Up Roller Rink
Where: Village at Leesburg
When: February 10-14, 1-9pm (Sunday, 1-5pm)
Admission: Free

Grab your Valentine for a Skate Date in the Village! Go for a spin in a pop-up roller skating rink in the heart of Village at Leesburg all Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy merchant specials, surprise treats and a maybe even a fun date night. BONUS: There will be Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 4-9pm! (Rides pick up at Altar’d State.)

Sip, Sew & Art Pre-Valentine’s Day Pop-up (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: West Elm Pop-up/Lab 1270 @ Union Market
When: February 10, 6:30-9pm
Admission: $40

Sip Some, Sew Some and Create Some! Participants will use a sewing machine to make a pillow (no sewing experience needed). Once your pillow is completed, you can tap into your inner artist skills by creating a Valentine’s Day greeting card. All materials including sewing machines are provided. Light refreshments will be served.

DIY Valentines
Where: National Postal Museum
When: February 11, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Love is in the details at the Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop. We’ve attended this event several times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s one to love. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, all 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 KFDC post.

Unshrink My Heart
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange
When: February 11, 2pm
Admission: Free

The arts and crafts icon, Shrinky Dinks, from the 80’s is back! And nothing says “love” like a hand-made pre-shrunk Valentine. Families are invited to create beautiful jewelry, key chains, and other Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. Children will receive their first 2 sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks free, additional sheets will be available to purchase for 50 cents each.

Valentine’s Day Treats for the Birds
Where: Meadowside Nature Center
When: February 11
Admission: $6

This is the time of year when birds could use a little help finding food. Join staff to identify some common winter birds and make them a few treats from household items. Adults must accompany children.

Valentine’ Day Crafts & Cookies
Where: Michael’s
When: February 11
Admission: Varies by session

Head to a Michael’s location for some creative Valentine’s fun. The arts & crafts supply store is hosting drop-in workshops over the next week for cookies, crafts, & more — all with a love theme. Search the website to find a store near you.

Love in Every Language
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: February 11 & 12, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to enjoy a digital slideshow of images of love in Asian art. Use that as inspiration to create Valentine’s Day cards with woodblock prints that say “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages and fold heart-shaped origami.

The Power of Chocolate
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: February 11-12
Admission: Free

So, it’s not a Valentine’s Day activity, per se, but the timing of this festival focusing on chocolate likely isn’t a coincidence. The story of chocolate begins with a small tree that has its roots deep in the world of Mesoamerican culture, and you can join the NMAI to celebrate one of the world’s most beloved foods. Explore the rich history and ongoing story of chocolate by grinding chocolate, creating a vase with Maya glyphs, and learning more about the science, art and culture of chocolate.

Animal Valentines
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center
When: February 12, 1:30-2:15pm
Admission: $7

Play musical valentines and critter sweetheart games as you learn how animals find a mate. Meet live animals at the Nature Center and make an animal valentine craft. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Valentines Tea and Chocolate
Where:Brookside Gardens
When: February 12, 2-4pm
Admission: $12

Parents and children can celebrate with love, tea, and chocolates. Enjoy a variety of tea, treats, learn about chocolate, taste chocolate treats, plus make a valentine and a tea cup floral arrangement for yourself or a loved one!

Valentine Tea and Poetry
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
When: February 12, 3-4pm
Admission: $8

Enjoy poetry and tea at the Machen Farm at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park with your little sweetheart. A costumed interpreter shares a Walney mystery love poem and invites you to write your own while dining on mint tea and sugar cookies. Frame your poem in the style of a childhood Valentine. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For ages 2 and up.

Love on Ice (with Kids or KidFree)
Where: Canal Park Ice Rink
When: February 14
Admission: Details below

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, which conveniently is two-for-one skating at the ice rink — two can skate for the price of one from 4-6pm. Canal Park is also hosting Valentine’s Couple Skate. The rink will be romantically decorated, a capella groups from neighboring universities will perform lovely tunes, and couples can take the memories with them by snapping photos at a photo booth. For a $60 packaged deal, couples can enjoy a pre-fixe dinner for two at il Parco including a bottle of sparkling wine plus skate admission.

Brunch and Skate (with Kids or KidFree)
Where: Washington Harbour
When: February 11 & 12
Admission: $35/person

Enjoy a champagne brunch and some skating at the Washington Harbour. Bring the kids to dine with you (minus the bubbly, of course) at Nick’s Riverside Grill, then glide the day away at the ice rink. The package includes a two-course brunch menu, a bottle of champagne for every two guests, a carafe of OJ, and ice skating. If you go on Sunday, look for a deal on skating admission for the kids from CertifiKid.

All You Need Is Love 5: A Tribute to The Beatles & Love Songs (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Jammin Java
When: February 12
Admission: $16

Are you in love, looking for love, or scorning love? Either way, this is how love songs are meant to be heard — intimate and stripped down. Jammin Java’s official Valentine’s tradition is back by popular demand. Anthony Fiacco, Todd Wright and Luke Brindley pay homage to the group that influenced every musician out there with covers of your favorite Beatles love songs as well as originals of their own. Three singer/songwriters sharing the stage, telling stories, and playing songs, it’s like seeing the best local musicians singing your favorite songs in your living room.

Wild Love
Where: City Wildlife
When: February 12
Admission: Free

Take advantage of this rare occasion to visit City Wildlife, the animal rescue and rehabilitation center, as it’s the only time they open their doors to the public. join the Valentine’s Day celebration and tour the facility, enjoy some goodies and get a gift for your Valentine. You can also show your love for DC’s wildlife and help fulfill the organization’s wish list.

Spread Your Wings
Where: iFly Loudoun
When: Discount on purchase through February 14
Admission: Rates vary

Take flight and get your heart racing with sheer exhilaration this Valentine’s Day. iFly, the indoor sky diving experience, is offering a special promotion to celebrate. Use the promo code VDAY17 at checkout and get $20 OFF on the Spread Your Wings for Two and Spread Your Wings Return packages.

Seeing Deeper: Love to the World
Where: Washington National Cathedral
When: February 14, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

On Valentine’s Day, bring your family, friends or that Special Someone to weave messages of love to the world in this interactive art exhibit. Sized for the grandeur of the Cathedral and the intimacy of human connection, we’ll provide art supplies (or bust that yarn stash!) to help you build a collective expression of love. Or, find your own way to fill the space—explore the depth and breadth of the Cathedral’s space, find a nook for quiet contemplation.

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The Weekend Round-Up: March 23-25

Spring view from the Tidal Basin


If you’re hoping to see the cherry blossoms, go today!  Not only are they peaking right now, but this weekend’s forecast is looking pretty rainy. But we all know how quickly that can change around here, so keep this list of places to hang outdoors handy, along with this one listing a bunch of indoor ideas.  And, of course, this round-up of special events and activities is a good reference for family fun, too.  Happy Weekend!

A Peek at the Peak
Where: Tidal Basin, National Mall, and a few other areas
When: Best Bet is Friday
Admission: Free

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year when the cherry trees are in bloom, and they are at their best right now. The National Mall and Tidal Basin are sure to be teeming with blossom oglers, but braving the crowds is worth it. Or you can try to see them in some other cherry tree-graced spots in the area — this post has suggestions of where to go, along with other tips for families viewing the cherry blossoms. Try to get out to see them today, as the forecast for this weekend looks pretty wet.

National Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Various Venues
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
If the weather isn’t conducive to walks among the lovely cherry trees in bloom, you can still enjoy some blossom-related fun at the National Cherry Blossom Festival events taking place at a few places. This post highlights the best ones for families, and you can find more on the official NCBF website.

Kites of Asia
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Start preparing for the Blossom Kite Festival! You can experience the beauty and artistry of kites from across Asia through all kinds of hands-on fun: make and decorate kites, design a Hacimaki, fold origami carp kites, fashion paper Happi coats, try “wood block” printing, and explore the aerodynamics of falling paper flowers.

Family Fun, Swedish Style
Where: House of Sweden
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
It’s a day of free fun at the Embassy of Sweden! Children and their adults can enjoy mad Science shows, Swedish children’s stories, a Swedish fish pond (wonder if they are small red, and delicious?), scavenger hunt and interactive exhibitions. There will also be opportunities for photo ops with fun Swedish figures. See the schedule for activity times.

Hirshhorn Art on the Outside
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Suprasensorial isn’t the only cool exhibit that all ages will dig at the Hirshhorn right now. In fact, you don’t even have to go inside the museum for this new one that just opened yesterday: SONG 1 illuminates the building’s entire facade, turning it into a 360-degree convex screen cinema, as various versions of “I Only Have Eyes for You” play. Wow. That is definitely a must-see!

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Patriot Center
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $19.95-144.50
The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their ridiculous basketball skills and amazing athletes to the Washington, DC-Metro area for three fun family shows! And as a special thank you their fans, the Globetrotters have partnered with the National Children’s Museum on an event at the Launch Zone on March 18 and have also created a $5 off discount code good for each ticket purchased for one of their upcoming games. To take advantage, go to: www.ticketmaster.com/promo/8v2pmu and use the code NCM.

Show Time
Where: Various local theatres
When: Througoutthe weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
See Beauty and the Beast on Ice presented by the Gardens Figure Skating Club. Catch Basil Twists’ Petrushka before it closes after this weekend at the Lansburgh Theatre. The Puppet Co’s version of Rapunzel is delighting young audiences. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is still on stage at Adventure Theatre. The Alden Theatre in McLean presents The Revenge of the Space Pandas. Out of the Box is at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. And Bash the Trash is at BlackRock Center for the Arts. Get details on all of these productions and even a few more on stages this weekend in this post about spring entertainment or this one listing winter shows.

Nano Days
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $11.95/ages 3-12, $14.95/adults
Explore the exciting world of tiny technology at the Science Center’s NanoDay. New nanotechnologies may soon have a huge impact on our lives, and you can discover how and why through hands-on activities. Uncover the mysteries of the super-small science that makes stained glass red, butterfly wings iridescent, and pants stain-proof. Hands-on activities illuminate the mysteries of the too-small-to-see science that is making waves in many areas, from medicine to molecular gastronomy and ecology to ethics. All activities are free with paid admission, while supplies last. And while you’re there, be sure to stop by the bug exhibit – the kids will love it!

Women in Aviation Family Day
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
Learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, a theatrical presentation, book signings, and Flights of Fancy Story Time for our youngest visitors. This event is in partnership with the Girl Scouts and helps commemorate their 100th Anniversary.

Artful Adventures for Families
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 12:30pm & 3pm
Admission: Free, but registration is required
Families can explore portraits from the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions through exciting and educational games that help parents and children discover connections between the artworks. Participants also use their imagination to “step into” works of art with creative activities in the galleries. Recommended for ages 6-12. Go here to register.

Penny the One-of-a-Kind Piano
Where: Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage
When: Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free
It’s a Target Family Night at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage! That means the public is invited to enjoy a free family show. Join Penny on her musical adventure as she moves from the school band room to the stage of the National Opera. The curtain rises, the crowd hushes, and the spotlight is on Penny as she discovers her true home is within her One of a Kind self! Penny the Piano brings a heart and soul to every piano played by a child. Based on the delightful children’s book Penny the One of a Kind Piano, by Suzanne Jackson, this new musical brings a heart and soul to every piano played by a child.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: March 10-11

City kid on the loose


The options for recreation with the kiddos this weekend are varied and sundry, for sure.  From a brand new math exhibit to art shows and programs to a St. Patty’s Day parade to a host of outdoor options, and much, much more in between, there’s plenty to indulge all ages and interests.  Whatever picks your family narrows it down to, enjoy!  Happy Weekend!

Math Comes Alive!
Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center
When: March 10 – June 3
Admission: Free
See how math figures in to real life through a brand new exhibit opening at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center on Saturday. MathAlive! features an array of interactive displays that give kids an opportunity to see for themselves — they can a 3D snowboard race, operate NASA robotics simulations, design and play their own video games, control a Mars rover, and experience real math at work in everything from nature to music to dancing to movie-making. The exhibit will run from March 10 to June 3.

St. Patrick’s Parade of Washington, DC
Where: Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free
Find a spot on the curb along Constitution Ave. between 7th to 17th Streets NW to watch the 41st annual parade roll through the city. Floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and members of the police and fire departments will be part of the celebratory spectacle.

Cartoons Among the Stars
Where: Rock Creek Park Nature Center
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free
Twenty-five lucky kids are in for a treat this Saturday! Rock Creek Park invites kids ages 4 and up to discover cartoon characters in the night sky. Guests should bring your sleeping bag, pillow, and astronomical mind and be ready for a unique planetarium experience. But here’s the catch: the program is open to only 25 people. Free tickets will be available 30 minutes before start time, so be sure to get there early to get yours (and have a Plan B just in case).

Storytime with Kristi Yamaguchi
Where: Hooray for Books
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free
Join the Olympic gold medalist and world champion figure skater for a reading of her new children’s book, It’s a Big World, Little Pig. The story describes Poppy the Pig’s adventures as she heads to the World Games ice skating championship in Paris. Of course you can purchase a copy of the book while you’re there – 100% of profits benefit early childhood literacy programs supported by Kristi’s Always Dream Foundation.

“Play” with Art
Where: The Torpedo Factory
When: Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12-6pm
Admission: Free

How about an art exhibit that you’re not worried about your kids getting their hands on? The Art League’s new exhibit, Play, actually welcomes visitors to touch, including interactive artwork that can be handled, added to, moved around, and more. The exhibit will be on display at The Torpedo Factory (105 North Union Street in Old Town Alexandria) through April 2. Hours are Mon – Sat 10am-6pm (open ’til 9pm on Thurs), Sun 12-6pm. Admission is free.

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 during this session they can step right up and try their building luck with a carnival hoops kit! Bring the kids into any Lowe’s store to construct 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.

Fishy X-rays
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free
Get an “inside” look at fish in this session of the Museum’s monthly Second Saturday Arts & Science program. Inspired by the exhibit X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out, participants can learn about fish evolution and diversity through observation of fish x-rays and photographs, using iPads and digital imagery.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Violins, and Trombones, and Bears, Oh, My!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm; Sunday 1:30pm & 4pm
Admission: $18
This brand new show for wee children features NSO violinist Marissa Regni with NSO trombonist Barry Hearn. Violin and trombone, what an unusual instrument combination! Ages 3-5.

Intersections: A New America Arts Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by Performance
It’s the third and final weekend of the Atlas’ celebration of art as a form of connection and communication. Family entertainment on Saturday and Sunday includes Family Folktales with Charles H. Clyburn, the play Locomotion, the Kennedy String Quartet, and the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, and Bridgette and Dawn playing the weekend Boogie Babes show. Visit the Intersections website for show times, descriptions, and ticket info.

Dr. Seuss on the Loose!
Where: National Children’s Museum Launch Zone
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Drop in at the NCM as they wish Dr. Seuss a very happy (belated) birthday. After making their own wacky story characters out of recycled materials, guests learn how to make a book where they can write about all of the character’s adventures. At noon and 1pm, the Cat in the Hat will read classic Dr. Seuss favorites.

The Magic Lamp of Alladin
Where: Kenmore Middle School
When: March 9-18
Admission: $12/adults, $10/children
Encore Stage and Studio, the theatre company that presents shows by kids for kids, brings its newest production to the stage Friday evening for a two-weekend run. In this thrilling tale, the adventurous Aladdin crosses paths with the evil magician Jammal and his wicked sister Halima. Only with the help of his clever monkey, Alakazam, the crafty Princess Jasmine and, not one, but three comical genies, can Aladdin prevent his magic lamp from falling into the wrong hands. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Let Them Entertain You
Where: Various local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
It’s showtime on stages all around the area.  P. Nokio at Imagination Stage and The Magic Flute at The Puppet Co. are both being performed for the final times this weekend. Art on the Horizon’s Out of the Box is delighting young audiences at Landmark Mall. And Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is in its second weekend at Adventure Theatre. See this post on the season’s live entertainment for details and ticket info on all of them.

Story Time with Annie Groovie
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $5/person (adults, too)
It’s a special story time with Annie Groovie, Quebecois author and illustrator for children. Her books feature the quirky Cyclops character Léon. In an interactive workshop with les petits, Annie will explain how she created her mischievous hero, the Cyclops Léon and show kids how to create their own hero, by helping them draw a character. RSVP: 202-234-7911

Basket Weaving
Where: The Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free
Kids can get crafty at the Textile Museum’s monthly Arts for Families program. With fabric strips and a cardboard loom, learn the basic plain weave structure while creating your own colorful placemat. Recommended for ages 5-12, no reservations required.

Paper Tigers and Folding Dinosaurs
Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $40/1 adult, 1 child; $45/1 adult, 2 children ($10 less for members)
Kids and adults can learn how to make dinosaurs, flowers, even chessboards from paper in this origami workshop hosted by the Smithsonian Associates. Origami expert and math teacher John Montroll explains how dividing and folding paper results in recognizable objects, including insects, frogs, and other fun shapes. Workshop participants go home with paper art and instructions for creating more figures. Recommended for kids in 3rd grade and up. Register for the class here.

Super Science Saturday: Space Shuttle
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
This week’s theme of the monthly program at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum is Space Shuttle. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration.

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm
Admission: Free
Kids ages 4-7 can drop in at the National Gallery to learn how Helen Frankenthaler’s abstract paintings were inspired by landscapes, hear a related reading of A Day Without Crayons, then make a painting without using brushes. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled.

Portrait Story Days: Faith Ringgold
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm; Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National 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. This weekend, learn about African American artist Faith Ringgold, who is best known for her painted story quilts.

On the Outs – By the looks of this weekend’s forecast, this post with loads of ideas for weekend recreation outdoors should prove useful Go here for outdoor activities and here for indoor suggestions.

Inside TrackThis post has a big list of places to hang indoors with the kids.


Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Theatre, Weekend, Winter