Long holiday weekend ahead! The kids are psyched for the extra day off school, but you might be looking for extra things to do. Not to worry — these ideas have you covered. Happy Weekend!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.
Camp Arena Stage Open House
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Arena Stage is hosting its first ever Camp Arena Stage Open House this weekend! Featuring sample workshops and classes taught by Camp staff, and an opportunity to have all of your Camp questions answered, this day of programming will give prospective campers and parents an opportunity to get a taste of Camp Arena Stage. Children ages 8-15 are welcome to participate in sample workshops and classes, and there will be face painting and craft activities for accompanying younger siblings. No reservations are required. (PS: We can tell you from firsthand experience that this camp is fantastic!)
Sound Health: Second Saturdays
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30m & 11:30am
This new series of free workshops designed for families with children under the age of 8 explores the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. Every second Saturday of the month, local arts organizations offer two 45-minute workshops in the Kennedy Center Grand Foyer.
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Drop in to the National Gallery of Art as the museum’s wonderful program for children ages 4-7 returns for the season. Art Investigators introduces kids to art and encourages them to make observations and use their imaginations as they discover different works. During this weekend’s sessions, they’ll explore the art of Joan Mitchell. Read a KFDC review of the program from the early KFDC years (it’s old, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same, although the name has changed). Sessions are at 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30 on Saturday and Monday, and at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 on Sunday. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Saturday and Monday and 11am on Sunday.
Wee Ones Storytime
Where: Hooray for Books | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:30am
Head to the book store in Old Town Alexandria for a reading just for little ones. At the weekly program, story time experts will read children board and picture books, sing songs, and perform and teach some fingerplays. Recommended for ages 0-3.
DC by Foot
Where: Various locations around DC & VA
Admission: Name your own price!
Get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and have fun exploring the city on a walking tour! DC by Foot offers a variety of tour options throughout the area, the National Mall tour said to be most appealing for kids. Along with learning about the history of the sites, guests can also enjoy scavenger hunts and trivia. There’s even one that includes both the Mall and the Tidal Basin, where the MLK Memorial is located, perfect for the holiday this weekend. And tours are name-your-own-price, so you pay at the end what you think the tour was worth.
Tamayo Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum | Penn Quarter
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Celebrate renowned Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, whose work is on view in the exhibition Tamayo: The New York Years, with the American Art Museum! Bring the entire family for a day of Mexican cultural performances, crafts, and art. Take a trip through Tamayo’s New York with a scavenger hunt, make your own cityscapes with vivid colors, and use your imagination to create animals inspired by Oaxacan woodcarvings.
Race to the Moon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon is a FREE alternate reality game at the Chantilly arm of Air & Space. Set in the thrilling era of early spaceflight, the game explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts. Your mission in this installment: Develop a rocket to launch into space, travel over 200,000 miles to the Moon, and land safely. It is 1969 and national pride and prestige are on the line. The United States is in a tight race with the Soviet Union to see who can be the first to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. NASA needs engineers and scientists with real problem-solving skills.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Daniel and all of his friends invite you for a brand-new adventure in Neighborhood of Make-Believe where Daniel learns just what it takes to be King. The beloved characters come alive on stage to captivate with new songs to sing along to, magical moments, and SURPRISE guests along the way! It’s an event filled with tigertastic fun, teaching the valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend.
On Your Feet!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 28
Tickets: $59 – $149
The new musical tells the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, who came from their humble beginnings in Cuba to America and broke through all barriers to become a crossover sensation at the very top of the pop music world. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything. On Your Feet! takes you inside their real-life story, with some of the most iconic songs of the past quarter century. Recommended for ages 8+.
Jason Didner and The Jungle Gym Jam
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $8 or $25/4-pack
Jason and Amy’s performance for kids and their grown-ups is more interactive than ever! Act out the parts of a fire engine, shake an egg shaker, twirl a colorful dance ribbon, and catch the rock-n-roll spirit. This is a musical experience for the whole family to cherish together.
Where: Wheaton Interim Library | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am
InterAct Story Theatre shares a Family Literacy Fiesta celebration of books & stories as Executive and Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger leads an interactive workshop for kids and parents. Join Books Alive! and chase away the chills by exploring a kid-friendly folk tale as actors — playing drama games, sharing a storytelling experience together, acting out stories in our own words and even making up a new story to share! Everyone gets into the act with InterAct Story Theatre’s teaching artists in this engaging and fun frolic with books. Best for ages 3 and up.
Model Trains and Thomas Celebrate History
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Take a trip down to Vienna to visit the Historic Vienna Train Station! See and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s great family fun and an activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is located at 231 Dominion Road NE along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.
Where: Three Little Birds Sewing Co. | Hyattsville, MD
Join Three Little Birds Sewing Co. for a FREE Open Sew on MLK Day. Shoot them an email with your preferred two-hour time slot. You can also plan to do some shopping there — they carry modern fabrics, supplies, and notions. (They offer classes for kids and adults, too!)
Build a Better World
Where: JCC of Greater Washington | Rockville, MD
When: Monday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $8/advance, $10/at door
Spend the morning creating and learning how people can work together to build a better world! Join other local families for a morning of service, play, and creativity. You’ll also enjoy a very special MLK Day performance featuring a reading of Shane Evens’ “We March” by Dr. Antoinette Waters, and a dance performance by Therapy Art, directed by Brittany King. This performance includes the story of the continuous effort to build a brighter future for all!
Where: National Parks
It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.
DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
Looking for ways to stay active and entertained without a chill in the air? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 90 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you prefer the outdoors no matter the weather, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.
***More Good Stuff to Know***
* Washington Revels is still enrolling in their Winter After-School Workshops.
* No Monsters in My Bed’s latest “Things to Read” features six interesting articles from around the Web.
* Next time you’re at The Yards, be sure to stop by Steadfast Supply to browse and shop for unique goods — housewares, T-shirts, jewelry, packaged foods, and more — all created by local artisans.
* Get your pink pussyhats ready — the Women’s March on Washington 2018:
March to the Polls is next Saturday, January 20!
* This was superb live, and it’s also a remarkable, incredibly moving read.