The Weekend Round-Up:
January 25-27

The garden at Dumbarton Oaks is a lovely place to spend a precipitation-free day

Happy Weekend!

Family Happy Hour
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: $10-12/child, $5/adult

Kick off the weekend with a casual happy hour for parents and tots! Local fave band, King Bullfrog, will hit the stage with high-energy original, folk and blues songs carefully tailored to get children dancing and delight grownups. Your first beer or glass of wine is included with admission!

Shutdown Subs
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This listing makes the round-up once again, as the government is still in shutdown mode… Many go-to spots to hang with kiddos in the DC area are still closed, but there are plenty of places to enjoy in the meantime. This post lists a bunch of great alternatives, including museums and outdoor places to visit while Smithsonian venues aren’t open and national parks may not be accessible. You might even discover a new favorite once you step off the beaten path!

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

I’m a big proponent of getting outdoors, no matter what the weather. And this weekend should actually be precipitation-free with relatively mild temps, so get out and take advantage. Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks (no admission fee this time of year), Brookside Gardens, or Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Go for a hike at Riverbend, Scott’s Run, or farther out at Cunningham Falls. Hit the playground at Watkins, Cabin John, or Clemyjontri Parks. Find even more ideas in this post about great outdoor pursuits with kids — just make sure it’s not a National Park site and, hence, closed.

School of Rock
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $54-99 (look for a discount)

This weekend is your last chance to see this show that really does ROCK!🤘🏼It’s energetic, hilarious, and full of talent — the kids in the cast are incredibly impressive (don’t be surprised if your child asks to take up music lessons after seeing them)! Based on the hit film, the musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. If you want to see a show that you and the kids will all really dig, take them to see this. Recommended for ages 8+.

Angelina Ballerina the Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Friday & Saturday
Tickets: $12-25

Angelina Ballerina brings to life the beloved storybook about a fictional mouse training to become a ballerina. Angelina and her friends perform a variety of dance styles, including hip-hop, modern, Irish jig, and ballet to show off their skills to their famous visitor.

Rise + Rhyme
Where: Busboys & Poets | Takoma Park, MD
When: Saturday, 9:30-11am
Admission: $5/child

Enjoy a morning storytelling and performance kids for ages 5 and under. The series, occurring weekly and monthly, aims to teach children to engage with their community, learn to love performing arts, and become artivists! It take place the last Saturday of every month in Takoma Park; every Monday in Takoma, Hyattsville, and Brookland; and the last Tuesday of every month in Shirlington — always 9:30-11am.

Saturday Morning at the National: Magic Balloon
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Tickets: Free

National Theatre’s free weekly program is back and kicking off the season with a performance from Synetic Theatre. Magic Balloon is a series of hilarious pantomime sketches incorporating music, ballet, clowning, and audience participation. Reserve free tickets online or get them day-of, but note they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis there, and everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

STEM Fair for Girls
Where: District Architecture Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 12pm
Admission: $10

The Washington Architectural Foundation’s “Design Like A Girl” program is opening its doors to girls ages 10+ in the Washington Metro area to meet women in a whole range of design-related fields—architecture, engineering, construction, urban planning, landscape architecture, and interior design. Join for hands-on activities, learn about programs for girls offered by WAF and partner organizations, and talk with girls who are already involved. All girls are welcome and Girl Scouts who attend can earn a District Architecture Center patch.

Monster Jam
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $15-45 (look for a discount)

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Bad News Travels Fast, Barbarian, Grave Digger, Nitro Menace, Pretty Wicked, Monster Mutt Dalmation, and Scooby Doo are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Tickets: $17-32

Join American Pops Orchestra favorite, Hilary Morrow (known most recently for her role as Detective Fix in APO’s Around the World in 80 Days), in a madcap retelling of this classic children’s story. Watch as this old woman’s appetite for strange objects transforms her quiet afternoon into a wildly spectacular tale! Use code KIDFRIENDLY to save 10% on tickets.

Sensory Friendly Screening
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of The Kid Who Would Be King on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Everything in Existence
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through March 10
Admission: $15-20/adult, $8-10/child

Check out the newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE. Everything in Existence explores concepts of eternity and infinity and offers new perspectives from which to observe and consider our reality. It does this through several digital art installations, some of them interactive, and all of them very cool. Family friendly hours are 10am – 5pm, adults only hours with neat, original cocktails also available are 5:30-11:30pm.

Multilingual Education Fair of DC
Where: Gallaudet University | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Come with your friends and family to the one and only Multilingual Education Fair for the DC region! Co-sponsored by key education institutions of the District, the fair features 70 exhibitors covering 17 languages to allow you to explore and deepen your linguistic and cultural skills, and learn about careers where languages are crucial. Resources for young professionals, families, and educators include language and culture organizations, embassies, language classes for all ages, apps, books, tutors, assessments, travel abroad programs, university programs, dual language programs, after school programs, daycares and multilingual recruiters.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $12

Applause Unlimited returns with Margery Williams’ gentle tale of how toys become real. Told with hand puppets, storytelling and song, solo puppeteer Christopher Hudert takes children through this classic story of friendship, changes, and magic. The popular tale is of particular interest to youngsters learning to read, and to anyone who has ever had a favorite stuffed toy. Recommended for kids in preK – Grade 4.

Ice It
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Ice skating is a quintessential winter activity, and there a bunch of places around the area where you can enjoy it. Glide above the Potomac at The Wharf; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or do some shopping along with your skating at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. If it’s raining, take it indoors at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in DC, Cabin John or Herbert Wells Ice Rinks in Maryland, or MedStar Ice Arena in Ballston. This post has details on all these ice skating locales in the area.

Music for Young Audiences: Banda Magda
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $20

This award-winning band combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, sung in six languages for a globetrotting adventure. Banda Magda returns with a lively performance showcasing its new album Tigre, featuring Uruguayan candombe to Greek folklore to Brazilian samba beats. With plenty of audience participation and irresistible rhythms led by accordionist and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda will get the whole family moving. Recommended for ages 7+.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $12

Sister Bear and Brother Bear are back from hibernation to take your little ones on an interactive journey through the seasons. Meet a curious butterfly, play in a rushing waterfall, and catch lightning bugs as the bears frolic through the forest in this unforgettable live theatre experience. Reimagined for this 10th anniversary performance, this audience favorite is sure to delight and inspire. Recommended for ages 1-5.

The Phantom Tollbooth
Where Sat: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
Where Sun: GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $15/adult $10/child

The beloved and inventive childhood classic book, The Phantom Tollbooth, is brought to life in an original stage adaption. Norton Juster’s original story begins with Milo, who is very bored until a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room. He decides to drive his toy car through it, and everything changes! Once on the other side, Milo is thrilled to find a fantastical world where he is welcomed, and his help is desperately needed. Using puppets, masks, magic, inventive scenic effects, and original music, Enchantment Theatre Company recreates Milo’s adventures as he travels the Lands Beyond in his exciting quest to rescue Princesses Rhyme and Reason. Recommended for ages 6-11.

Mouse in House
Where: Theatre on the Run | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 4pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/child (look for a discount)

Adapted from the book by Elizabeth Spires, Mouse in House is about a friendship between a lively mouse and reclusive 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson. The mouse’s life changes forever when a gust of wind blows one of Emily’s poems her way. Moved by Emily’s evocative words that capture her own feelings, the mouse becomes determined to be a poet herself.

Fire and Ice: Havdalah and Ice Skating
Where: Rockville Town Square Ice Rink | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 6:30-8:30 pm
Admission: Starts at $8

Join Pop-Ups to Pop In! and welcome a new week with family, friends, and ice skating. Families can participate in a sing-along Havdalah ceremony led by Miss Ellie, followed by ice skating, hot chocolate, and activities. Check in with them at the Pop-Ups to Pop In! table to receive a discount on rink admission and skate rental. Great for all ages!

The Brothers Grimm Excellent Adventure
Where: Arts on the Green | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Sunday, 10:30am
Admission: $12

In partnership with the Landless Theatre Company, the Baughman brothers bring their wacky take on the Grimm’s tales to the Arts Barn stage. The brothers will reenact their favorite stories including Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. Recommend for ages 4+.

McLean Chocolate Festival
Where: McLean Community Center | McLean, VA
When: 11am – 5pm
Admission: $2, free/under 3

If you love chocolate, check out this sweet event: McLean Rotary is hosting its 8th Annual Chocolate Festival on Sunday. Vendors include Dave’s Candy Kitchen, Seasons 52, Fluffy Thoughts, Capital Candy Jar, and many more. Patrons can buy treats to eat on site or to stock up for Valentine’s Day, and there will be a children’s game room with face painting and live entertainment throughout the day. American Heritage, a Mars company, demonstrates how chocolate was made in colonial America. Proceeds go to fund local charitable organizations.

Tu B’Shvat Workshop
Where: NE Neighborhood Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 2-2:45pm
Admission: Free

Join American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) to commemorate Jewish Arbor Day with plant-themed crafts. Paint your own planter, fill it with soil and seeds, and create a window sill garden! Kids of all ages are welcome to join this free event. Register in advance here.

Once Upon A Time…The Noyes Fairy Tale Ball
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Sunday, 3-5PM
Admission: $5/person or $20/family

The Noyes Children’s Library Foundation will host The Noyes Fairy Tale Ball, a family dance party celebrating imagination, fun and—of course—books! Kensington Town Hall will be transformed into a fairy tale palace, with children invited to a Royal Procession before joining the fabulous A-Squad DJ on the dance floor. There will be crafts, photo-ops and a special Royal Reading Room with stories and songs. Costumes are encouraged for children and parents alike. RSVP on Facebook.

Moco Camp & Summer Fun Expo
Where: Hilton DC/Rockville Hotel | Rockville, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

At Washington Parent magazine’s Annual Camp and Summer Fun Expo, attendees can gather details about camp options and learn about summer activities for the entire family. Learn all about various kinds of camps — general, sports, residential, special needs, arts, STEM, special focus, and summer programs. You can also explore summer fun destinations like theme parks, vacation spots, and general summer happenings. There will be plenty for kids to do while parents focus on the programs for their children, including face painting, balloon arts, giveaways, and more.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* American women vs. Lafayette on Saturday at 12pm
* Howard women vs. Delaware State on Saturday at 2pm
* American men vs. Bucknell on Saturday at 4pm
* Howard men vs. Delaware State on Saturday at 4pm
* George Mason men vs. GWU on Saturday at 7pm
* George Mason women vs. University of Rhode Island on Sunday at 2pm

Nature’s Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you’re not feeling outdoorsy, you can still get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the warm indoors at a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer lots of cool exhibits along with fun programs. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, Potomac Overlook in Arlington, Long Branch in Falls Church, and Brookside in Silver Spring all make for a nice outing.

* Washington City Paper has a great, comprehensive DC guide for those affected by the government shutdown
* There are still a couple of giveaways running on the blog — tickets to Huckleberry Finn’s Big River at Adventure Theatre and a session of Spring Break Camp with RDU Tennis!
* This documentary about the disaster that was the Fyre Festival is fascinating. So is this one.
* Washingtonian Magazine just released its 2019 Very Best Restaurants List, and you can get a peek at the Top 5 here.
* Even more reason why José Andrés deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

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