The Weekend Round-Up: September 2-5

Exploring the Textile Museum where you can join a free family festival this weekend

Exploring the Textile Museum where you can join a free family festival this weekend


Labor Day weekend may mark the unofficial end of summer, but it’s also a time of some fantastic special events. Celebrate the apple season on the farm, join a family festival at a downtown museum, hear the blues in Rock Creek Park, experience the merriment of Ren Fest, attend the annual concert at the Capitol, and, of course, take advantage of the final chance to enjoy some of the season’s best activities. These recs have all you need to make the most the next few days in DC. Happy Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Various locales
When: Through Monday
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, some chill time at ICEBERGS, a free visit to the Newseum for the kids, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, check out the sculpture exhibit at the Zoo, or a day at an outdoor public pool, then check out the 2016 Summer Guide, which has details on all of those diversions and many more.

Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley! — demos, picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Huzzah for Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $19/adults, $16/seniors, free for 15 and under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at the Maryland Renaissance Festival — its a faire that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows, cheeky comedy, tight rope walkers, jugglers, puppetry, Celtic music… and that’s just some of the live entertainment. There are also pony rides, a pirate playground, a giant slide, and all kinds of fun, fascinating things to see. Walk among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead. It runs every weekend through October 25, so put it on your fall must-do list. Huzzah!

Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum for their annual community festival that celebrates diverse cultures and the textile traditions they share through live performances and activities for all ages. Watch sheep shearing, try your hand at spinning and quilting with local craft artists, take a selfie in clothing from around the world and much more. The weekend is also the last chance to see Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora,” a wonderful exhibition of works by 44 international textile artists that examine how displaced communities maintain their cultures, traditions, and languages, despite distance from their homelands.

Arrrgh, Mateys!
Where: Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $22, $12/ages 2 and under

Set sail on the high seas in Annapolis for a jolly good adventure. Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake takes little buccaneers on a search for buried treasure. Several time slots are available throughout the day, and admission includes face painting and dress up along with the on board fun. And police, fire fighters and teachers get a 20% discount with valid ID over Labor Day weekend. Read about one of our experiences on the adventure.

Hear the Blues
Where: Carter Barron Amphitheater
When: Saturday, 12-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Head to the outdoor stage in Rock Creek Park for the 28th Annual DC Blues Festival. Along with the line-up of performers, there will be musical workshops throughout the day, where both children and adults can learn about Blues music. Kids will especially enjoy instrument and vocal workshops, including an instrument petting zoo.

Get Crabby
Where: Annapolis area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Depends on how much you order!

It hasn’t been a true DC summer if you haven’t taken advantage of one of the area’s best offerings: blue crabs! Feasting on the steamed Old Bay-spiced creatures is a seasonal treat, and doing so at a waterfront crab house on the Chesapeake Bay is a bonus. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is a family fave with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. After your feast, head into downtown Annapolis for ice cream at Kilwin’s and a stroll around town. Find even more recommendations for crab feasting here.

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

More than 40 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the Kennedy Center’s 14th annual Page-to-Stage Festival — all free and open to the public! Performances will take place at several venues around DC, and there are a few that are family-friendly, including City Kids Theatre’s Cashall Alley Kids Kick It Old School, Art in the Horizon’s Adventures with Mr. Bear, A Musical Medley by Seventh Street Playhouse, The Students’ Art Collaborative by The Highwood Theatre, Monument Theatre Company’s Wendy, and Faction of Fools’ Classics Made Foolish – The Threequel. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows. And note that while tickets are not required, seating is limited.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, Virginia
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20adults, $5/ages 5-12, free for under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but Saturday’s concert will continue until 9pm. And children under 12 are free on Sunday!

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, this year’s program also features singer Storm Large and her band Le Bonheur. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

Row Your Boat
Where: Potomac & Anacostia Rivers
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Take to the water this holiday weekend, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, or you can explore the Anacostia from Ballpark Boathouse in the Navy Yard. Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis is a gorgeous place to paddle and enjoy more outdoor recreation. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45.

An Apple a Day…
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area open their orchards for guests to PYO. This list of area farms and orchards offering pick-your-own opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Weather or Not
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The forecast calls for both sunshine and rain (who has Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock playing in their head now?), so if you want to plan your activities accordingly, keep these two posts bookmarked.
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Plan Ahead for Fall Adventure!
Where: Solomons, MD
When: Future Weekends
Admission: Prices vary by package

Some outings take advanced planning, especially ones that are particularly cool. Ruddy Duck Adventures offers all-inclusive day trips around the Solomons, MD, area. They devise itineraries that include awesome activities and great dining, plus all the instruction and gear needed; all guests have to do is drive. Opt for a fossil and shark teeth hunt, a paddling excursion, or a wine and art adventure. And you can make it a family outing or a day date sans kids. Bonus: Use the code KFDC at checkout to get a discount! And for some inside scoop, read about our experience on the fossil hunt.

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