From chill to thrills, this weekend has it all. Keep it mellow with some evening fishing, disc golfing, museum hopping, yoga, and easy seasonal pursuits. Go big at the Capital Pride extravaganza, Jazz Fest, Star Wars themed baseball, a faerie festival, or a spectacular race of wacky and whimsical vehicles through the streets of Baltimore. Or try something in between — Shakespeare in the park, National Maker Faire, a kids cycling race, children’s theatre, ongoing Everyday Play around the area. The one thing they all have in common: Fun. Happy Weekend!
Seize the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity
Enjoy “summer” with a host of activities that only occur this time of year. Enjoy an open-air concert at one of several series in the area. Go berry picking. Stay cool under the sun at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Ride mini-trains and carousels at local parks. And much, much more. Check the Summer 2015 guide for details on tons of seasonal pursuits.
Friday Night Fishing
Where: Diamond Teague Park
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Join Anacostia Riverkeeper at the dock at Diamond Teague Park for catch and release fishing – a wonderful parent/child experience with the Anacostia River. This evening is the first in the series that will take place every Friday through September 4. Diamond Teague Park is located at 100 Potomac Avenue SE, between Nationals Park and Yards Park.
Jazzfest at the Yards
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free on Friday, $45 on Saturday
This two-day blowout of music at Yards Park is part of the DC Jazz Festival. While great jazz performances will be the highlight, there will also be a marketplace, food and drink tastings, and other activities. And don’t forget the fountains and wading pool are always a hit with the kiddos.
Where: Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15-38/adult, free for kids
Take the whole fam to see Shakespeare in the park. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents The Comedy of Errors, a play appropriate for all ages, with music, slapstick, and physical humor. The production is part of their In-The-Ruins summer series that runs June 12-July 19 (Thursday – Sunday). Even better, kids are free (two for every adult) and picnics are encouraged, as are sturdy shoes for park playtime. FYI: Sunday is Family Fun Day, when gates open 4:30pm, and the performance starts at 6pm. Advance reservation are recommended to ensure seats for everyone.
Where: Northwest DC & Pennsylvania Ave.
When: Saturday, 4:30-7:30pm & Sunday, 12-7pm
Celebrate gay pride in our nation’s capitol at the 40th annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival that are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. The procession on Saturday kicks off at 4:30pm at 22nd & P Streets NW and will wind its way through Dupont, Logan, and other areas of NW. It’s sure to be a spectacular extravaganza of ornate floats, street performers, music and dancing, glitter and beads, and plenty of reveling. Sunday’s family-friendly festival will feature three stages of live entertainment and will host 300 exhibitors, including local and community groups, national sponsors, local businesses, food vendors, restaurants, and businesses looking to promote their services. It’s all a fun and fabulous opportunity to show support for the LGBTA community and join the celebration.
Air Force Cycling Classic
Where: Clarendon & Crystal City
When: Saturday, 11:30am & Sunday, 11:15am
The official race is for adults, but kids ages 9 and under can get in on the cycling, too – there are special races just for them along with the main event. The Ethan Klancnik Memorial Kids Race to support the Tay-Sachs Awareness and Prevention Organization will be raced in honor of Ethan Klancnik, who lost his battle with the disease. The Saturday kids races will take place in Clarendon at 11:30am, and Sunday’s will be held in Crystal City around 12:25pm. Multiple heats for different age groups will vary in distance; the older the kids, the further they ride. Participants must bring their own helmets and bikes, and trikes are welcome, too. For details and to register online, visit the Air Force Cycling Classic website.
National Maker Faire
Where: University of the District of Columbia
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Inventors, tinkerers, tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, hobbyists, engineers, students and Makers of all ages will come together in the nation’s capital for the inaugural National Maker Faire. Part science fair and part county fair, the event is an all-ages gathering of curious, inventive people (ie, Makers) to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. It’s also a chance for attendees to interact with technologies, STEM projects, textiles, crafting activities, homemade robots, and more.
Maryland Faerie Festival
Where: Darlington, MD
When: Friday 5pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $5/ages 3-12, $15/ages 12-99
Indulge little faerie dreams at the annual festival inspired by faerie folklore and literature. Apparently, it’s kind of like Renn Fest on a much smaller scale with facets that will delight children, especially those who believe in faeries. Treasure hunts, craft projects, nature walks, and acrobats are some of the activities kids (and adults) will enjoy. Art, crafts, musical performances, and jewelry vendors will appeal to the bigger faeries in the crowd.
Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Saturday, 1 – 5pm
Admission: Free, but some activities require a small fee
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The celebration at Watkins offers a great lineup of culturally inspired dance and musical performances, plus family activities. Face painting, the interactive playground, the animals at the Old Maryland Farm, miniature train and Carousel rides, and mini-golf will all be available, those requiring a fee at discounted prices. There will also be several vendors selling a variety of food.
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation
Picture the city of the future — then build it, make it, shape it, and share it! In this unique urban planning project in our historic Great Hall, join fellow makers of all ages and experience levels and create a collective model of an imaginative metropolis. Use unusual and creative materials to solve real urban planning challenges in miniature, or make something original that improves the cityscape. Throughout the program, the city will change as new people add, subtract and build — just like a real city.
May the Force be with Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium
When: Saturday, 6:35pm
Admission: Tickets start at $7
Baseball goes galactic on Saturday as the Bowie Baysox host Star Wars Night on Saturday, as the Baysox take on the Portland Sea Dogs. Enjoy light saber battles and meet your favorite Star Wars heroes & villains in move quality costumes — see Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, Star Wars collectibles and more. Fans are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character, too. A fireworks extravaganza will light up the sky after the game. (FYI: There are games on Friday and Sunday, too!)
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Potted Potter, a hilarious act condensing all seven Harry Potter books, is at the Lansburgh Theatre (look for a ticket deal)
* See a show on strings at The Puppet Co. where Cinderella is the current main stage production
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday and Panda-Monium are the featured Tiny Tots shows at the puppet theatre
* Enjoy theatre by kids for kids as Encore Stage & Studio presents Alice in Wonderland
* See Newsies at the National Theatre, on stage through next weekend
* Creative Cauldron presents The Little Prince through June 21
* Tom Chapin is playing a family show Saturday morning at Jammin’ Java
Root for A Fun Festival
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Get to the root of things at the U.S. Botanic Garden, where they’re celebrating the beauty and importance of roots. An offshoot of the Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots exhibit, the Festival of Roots welcomes all ages to explore the wonders of plant parts usually found belowground. Sample vegetable dishes, try out some hands-on root-related activities, and chat an agricultural ecologist and the man behind the preserved plants on display in the East Gallery.
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Join the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Shawnee Tribe to learn more about the culture, history and contemporary lives of these tribal entities through dance performances, artist demonstrations, music, hands-on activities for families and more.
George Mason Day
Where: Gunston Hall
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Join Gunston Hall for a historic event and celebrate the ratification of the Virginia Declaration of Rights! Enjoy a parade on the grounds, sample food from the hearth kitchen, and converse with historic characters about life in the 18th century. Food vendors will be available and activities for children will be offered throughout the day.
Kinetic Sculpture Race
Where: American Visionary Art Museum
When: Sunday, 11am
You might see giant pink poodles and other outrageous works of art “race” down Charm City streets at the American Visionary Art Museum’s 17th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. Kinetinauts (the pilots of the moving sculptures) will compete for the Grand East Coast National Mediocre Champion, awarded to the competitor who finishes exactly in the middle (that is the BEST). Vehicles are wacky and whimsical, straight from a lunatic genius imagination and constructed out of all kinds of materials. They may be a small one-person machine or a 50-foot feat of engineering piloted by many. This is one of those spectacles you just have to see for yourself. And for more about the American Visionary Art Museum, see this KFDC post.
Where: Calvert Road or Seneca Creek State Parks
When: Throughout the weekend
Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family. I wrote about the golf-Frisbee combo and my kids’ first venture with it last fall. They’ve played a few times since then, mostly recently at Seneca Creek. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at both.
Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum will host its annual “Celebration of Textiles” festival to immerse visitors of all ages in the world of textiles. The event features art and dress-up activities, live demonstrations by local guilds—including spinning, lace-making and sheep-shearing—international dance and music performances and self-guided tours of textiles on display in the museum.
Love Your Body Yoga Festival
Where: Reston Town Center
When: Sunday, 10am – 3pm
The 7th annual festival will feature activities for the whole family, including live music, complimentary massages, energy healing demonstrations, healthy food samples, plus opportunities to learn about alternative therapies in addition to yoga such as Reiki, chiropractic, and massage. A Kids Tent will offer fun especially for little ones, including storytelling and laughter yoga. There will also be giveaways and drawings for free yoga classes, massages, and other services.
Ancient Chinese Secret
Where: Panda Gourmet
When: All weekend long
Admission: Depends on how much you order
Take the fam out to eat at a DC “secret” in northeast. Grab a bite after an outing to the National Arboretum, as it’s just minutes down the street. Or go out of your way to make a trip there — the delicious, authentic meal you’ll get is worth it.