Tug o’ War with an airplane, check. A day trip back to colonial times, check. Kids disco, check. Special museum programs, check. Cider celebration, check. Traversing the trees, check. There’s definitely no lack of fun and unique activities going on this weekend. The conundrum will come with deciding which to do. Happy Weekend!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival
Fall may not have officially begun, but seasonal festivals are ON at several area farms, along 17th Street in the city, even a 16th century village in Maryland (huzzah, Ren Fest!), and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.
A Century of Women in Space
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
The Air & Space Museum on the Mall is celebrating the women who have contributed to technological advances in aviation and space. Meet women who are today’s role models and learn about the historical women who have inspired them through storytelling, arts & crafts, and more. Join astronaut Kay Hire (STS-90 and STS-130) as she shares her experiences as an astronaut and a naval officer, enjoy a story abot Amelia Earhart, design a mission patch, dress up like astronauts and pilots, and much more.
Baby Loves Disco
Where: U Street Music Hall
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: $15/all walking humans
Join the family dance party on U Street on Sunday as Baby Loves Disco returns to DC for the first time in three years. The fun will feature BLD’s signature DJ and MC, along with all kinds of kids’ activities; face painting, tattoos, crafts, games, dance contests, kid-friendly spa services, and goody bags are all part of the admission fee, as are snacks for everyone. The MC will pump up the crowd, and the DJ will spin G-rated dance tunes, while kids, parents, and grandparents groove along and enjoy the party. These super-active events are aimed at families with kids ages 6 months to 7 years old.
Dulles Plane Pull
Where: Dulles Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Airplane tug o’ war, anyone? This annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. And the public is invited to watch it all go down. Along with the tug o’ airplane, there will be live music, a car show, military and civilian aircraft displays, business exhibits, and children’s games and entertainment. Gates open at 10:30am. Go here for directions and parking information.
Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free
Take a day trip back to 18th-century America at Mount Vernon’s Colonial Market & Fair. Watch artisans and craftspeople from all over the country demonstrate early techniques of their crafts, many of which will be for sale. Enjoy live entertainment including music performances, puppet shows, a sword swallower, a fire eater, and a miracle medicine man. And this weekend only, Potomac River sightseeing cruises, courtesy of Spirit Cruises and Potomac Riverboat Company, are free-of-charge. Admission to the Fair is included in the entrance fee to the estate. Food will be available at extra cost. For more information and the full performance schedule, visit the Mount Vernon website.
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child
Great Country Farms is celebrating apple season with a focus on one of the fruit’s yummiest products – cider. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be cider pressing demos with the farm’s antique cider press as well as tastings. Apples are available for U-Pick, plues the weekend will include live music, arts, crafts, and clown entertainment. Visit the website for activity times. There is also loads of other fun for kids, like the pumpkin jumpin’ pillow, 60-foot slide, pedal tractors, and five mazes, including the brand new Tractor Corn Maize.
A Baby Affair
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: Sunday, 11am – 2:30pm
Admission: $10 or $30/4 people with promo code BUMP
DC’s best resources for new moms and moms-to-be have been brought together through a carefully curated collection, in an intimate setting, with the modern, discerning and savvy mom in mind. A collection uniting national luxury brands with local gems – top celebrity experts with trend-setting vendors for a day full of solutions, surprises and a celebration of Mommyhood … There will be a host of exhibitors, many of whom have donated fun gift bag items and raffle prizes. There will be a runway show for the chic moms, a mommy spa, demos, and an expert panel. But wait! This event is not just catered to mommies.There will be plenty for daddy’s to enjoy, too, including local craft beer and scotch tasting, cigar favors, NFL on hi-def big screens, and more.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by Venue
The live entertainment options may be slim, but what’s on stages is sure to please. Potted Potter, a hilarious show condensing all seven Harry Potter books, is on for one more weekend at Sidney Harmon Hall. See a show for really little ones at The Puppet Co’s Tiny Tots series. Justin Roberts is playing his “Recess” album Release show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning. And the Workhouse Arts Center presents Winner the Pooh! all weekend. Get details and ticket info for all of these shows in this post about fall entertainment.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
Join the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Central American Family Day Festival. Inspired by the exhibition Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed, guests can learn about Central America through a variety of activities throughout the museum – watch food demos; get an inside look at the animals, flutes, and pottery in the exhibit; create a clay medallion or clay pot based on designs found in the collection. Central American dance performances, art, and music will round out the cultural adventure. *In my experience, the NMAI always hosts a great festival, with compelling performances and great activities for kids, and this one sounds like it’ll maintain that rep.
Apples of My Eye
Where: Area farms and orchards
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Enjoy one of fall’s most anticipated traditions: apple picking! There are plenty of area orchards and farms that offer pick-your-own opportunities, and the selection is good at many of them now. See this post to find out where you can reap the fruits. (Note: It’s from last year, but all listed locales have apple picking going on now, though I always recommend calling day-of for an update on the harvest.)
Super Science Saturday
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
It’s a Super Science Saturday at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum. 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. This month’s program will focus on Living and Working in Space.
Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by age
Hang out in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience fun and adventure on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial forest, the largest in North America. For $49, children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. Hours are 9am – dusk, and admission is $39/ages 7-9, $44/ages 10-11, $49/ages 12 and older. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s worth it. Trust me.
Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Drop in 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 civil rights activist César Chávez. And for more about the program, the Portrait Gallery, and American Art Museum, see this post about our experience there.
Out & About
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
The list of best places to enjoy the outdoors with the kids keeps growing. And this weekend will be a perfect time to check it out for ideas on where to have fun al fresco.