If there’s any complaint about this weekend, it’s that there are so many great events happening, deciding what to do is going to be tough. Just take a look at the recs below and you’ll see what I mean. Happy Weekend!
Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: Saturday 1-8pm
Admission: $10 suggested donation
The 5th Annual Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River includes seven hours of performances by local bluegrass acts on two stages, a Children’s Stage presented by the Boogie Babes, DC’s favorite food trucks, Sierra Nevada beer, bike giveaways and demos from BicycleSPACE and tours of the island, land more. The $10 suggested donations helps support Living Classrooms’ environmental education programming for DC youth on Kingman Island. Tickets can be purchased ahead online, and all advance purchased tix include a free beer. Kingman Island is located on the Anacostia River at 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE (at the entrance to RFK Stadium).
USA Science & Engineering Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm
If your child has any inkling of interest in science and engineering, likes to do hands-on experiments, see fascinating live demos, or talk first-hand with the experts, then chances are very good that they will dig this event. (And so will you, parents.) Over 3,000 interactive exhibits and 150 stage shows will highlight all kinds of science-related topics in fun, engaging, exciting ways. Attendees can take a “trip” to Antarctica, see a 3-D printing robot, play wild with Animal Jam, learn about wildlife that lives in their backyards, experience out of this world fun as they explore space, discover renewable energy sources of the future, and much, much, much more.
Don’t Fear the Turtle
Where: University of Maryland
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
The Maryland Day celebration in College Park gets a giant thumbs-up from me, and not just because it’s my alma mater. This is a fantastic event for families, and I know from experience. The University is hosting a huge open house for, well, everybody. “Explore Our World” is the theme of the annual fair, and guests will be able to do that and then some. There are loads of activities for kids, including learning games; a kids carnival with moonbounces, bungee runs, climbing walls, and more; a hip hop orchestra; arts & crafts; farm animal visits; puppet shows and singalongs; face painting; fossil digs; insect and instrument petting zoos; and tons more. It’s spread out all over campus, and it’s a big campus. Be prepared for lots of walking (worth every step!) and be sure to bring a stroller for little ones.
Frozen at the Drive-In
Where: Union Station
When: Friday, 8pm (gates open at 6)
Admission: $10/car or free in the picnic area
Take the kids to see (and sing along to ’cause you know they will) one of the their favorite flicks from the comfort of your car! Union Market’s outdoor movies series has returned, and this week’s they are showing the film that had “Let it Go” on repeat in all of our heads. That’s right, Frozen will be screened on the Market’s 3-story wall, and you can watch from your parked car and listen through your car radio or from the picnic area in front of the market. A variety of Union Market vendors and Suburbia will also participate serving themed food, drinks, and snacks. The Union Market Drive-In is $10 per car (tickets are available online), but seating in the picnic area will be first come first serve, free of charge.
Celebrate & Say Goodbye to the Dinos
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday
This weekend is your very last chance to see the dino exhibit closes for a five-year renovation. And the museum is saying farewell with a celebration of dinosaurs and fossils. Join the fossiliferous fun that will include special activities — meet paleontologists, watch popular dinosaur films, see and touch fossils up close, and share photos and memories of the Fossil Hall.
South Mountain Creamery Spring Festival
Where: South Mountain Creamery
When: Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm
You don’t have to be a customer to experience farm fresh hospitality at South Mountain Creamery’s annual festival. (We’re not and have had a great time there!) Take a ride out to the country in Middleton, Md, to enjoy farm fun for all ages — go on a hayride, visit the animals and feed a calf, sample SMC products, listen to Bluegrass, and more. BBQ, ice cream, drinks, and other concessions are available for purchase.
Where: Barstons Childs Play in McLean
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Calling all superheroes! Join Barstons Child’s Play in McLean for a Superhero Training Course! Batman and Spiderman of Superheroes of Southern Maryland will be leading little heroes. Not only are the heroes exactly like what you see on film –dressed in movie-quality costumes – but they will teach children how to “Be A Hero!” every day by doing the right thing, standing up to bullying, and helping others. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes, and parents should bring a camera for a picture with the heroes. All ages welcome. Barstons is located at 1382 Chain Bridge Road.
Day of Play at the YMCA
Where: Local YMCA locations
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
The YMCA is celebrating Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative that inspires families to move and learn all summer long. At 12 free events across the DC region, you can take part in fun, active play and educational opportunities such as obstacle courses, healthy eating and exercise demos, arts and crafts, games, giveaways and more. Visit www.ymcadc.org or call 202-232-6700 to find the event near you.
Where: Rockville Town Square
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
This free family event features live entertainment, giveaways, a fabulous vendor marketplace, and much more! Enjoy entertainment by Mizmarni and the JJ’s, plus tons of booths with activities for kids and great local resources for the family.
Mount Ranier Better Block Party
Where: Mount Ranier Circle
When: Friday, 6-10pm
The Mount Rainier Circle and intersecting streets of Rhode Island Avenue and 34th street will come alive for an evening of music, workshops, parade, performances, open studios, arts activities, and more. This year, creative placemaking activities will feature Lesole’s Dance Project, Urban Eats Arts and Music Café, Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio, Beloved Community Mosaics, artist Kenny George and Patrick McDonough’s Chard/Hops spot, a Hoop Jam by Noelle Powers to the body rollin’ tunes of BOOMscat, an open studio at Ani Kasten Ceramics, a pop-up exhibition by Krista Schlyer, and family crafts with Community Forklift.
Where: National Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
It’s National Park Week through Sunday, so celebrate it by visiting one of our local national parks. These include spectacular natural areas, historic homes, battlefields, seashores, and archaeological sites, and we have many of them throughout the region. Get a nature fix at Rock Creek, tour the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, bike along the C&O Canal, see living history at Claude Moore Colonial Farm, take in the views at Great Falls, hike at Roosevelt Island. These are just a few suggestions; search for many, many more national park pursuits on the NPS website.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Catch a performance of The Jungle Book at Adventure Theatre
* Cinderella: The Remix just opened at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Hansel & Gretel is on the main stage and Magic Toyshop is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* See Once on this Island at Olney Theatre
* Fly away to Neverland with The Washington Ballet’s Peter Pan at the Kennedy Center
* Me and My Shadow will also be performed at the Kennedy Center
* Dancer-illusionist company MOMIX presents Botanica at GW Lisner Auditorium
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.
Where: Piscataway Park
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 3pm
Pack a picnic lunch, grab your work gloves and sturdy shoes, and join your fellow park lovers for the second annual Earthfest to celebrate Earth Day. It will be a fun filled day of volunteering and family friendly activities in Piscataway Park in Accoceek, Md. In the morning, there will be volunteer opportunities for all ages and skill levels. Donate your time to the volunteer activity of your choice by helping with installing rain barrel irrigation for some of the gardens, planting and prepping the beds for the season, pollinating paw paw trees, and picking up trash around the parking lot and visitor center. There will also be a craft and activity fair from 12-3pm.
Ludlow-Taylor Spring Jubilee
Where: Lulow Taylor Elementary School
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: $5 (12 and under are free)
Head to Capitol Hill for a day of fun and to support a DCPS elementary school. The Spring Jubilee will feature a yard sale, moon bounces, face painting, yoga, arts & crafts, yummy food, and more. Ludlow-Taylor is located at 7th & G Streets NE.
Promenade Grand Opening
Where: Promenade at Virginia Gateway
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 9pm & Sunday, 12-4pm
The Peterson Companies invites the public to attend the Grand Opening of Promenade at Virginia Gateway. The weekend events will celebrate the officialopening of the highly anticipated 300,000 square foot lifestyle center with newstore openings, live entertainment, giveaways, fashion presentations,promotional offers, fireworks, and more. See the full schedule of events on the website.