Category Archives: Date Night

Valentine’s Day Activities Around DC that Kids (and You!) Will Love

Make-your-own Valentines at the National Postal Museum’s annual workshop


Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to celebrate and prep for the day, here’s an array of activities happening around the area over the next couple of weeks — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day!

Chocolate Lovers Festival
Where: Several locations in the City of Fairfax, VA
When: January 31 – February 2
Admission: Varies by activity

Valentine’s Day and chocolate go hand-in-hand, and you can savor it and then some at this sweetevent. The City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate! There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, puppet shows, face painting, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. The schedule of events has details.

Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids & Cookies for Caregivers
Where: Your location in the DMV
When: Through February 14
Admission: Your time and card making/baking efforts

Celebrate the Valentine’s Day by giving back with Eliana’s Light. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to make cards for children who have to be in a DC, MD, or VA pediatric hospital over the holiday and cookies for the caregivers who support them. During this community service activity, participating adults and young people discuss topics such as empathy, kindness, helping others, volunteering, friendship, respect for diversity, and making a positive impact in life. The card and cookie recipients have reflected they’re touched and moved to know members of their community really care about them, and are sending them positive uplifts during their challenging times. This small act of kindness can have a big impact. More details about this volunteering program are here.

Heart String Art DIY Project
Where: Home Depot locations around the DMV
When: February 1, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Create a loving memory with your child at this Heart String Art Workshop. As you help your child piece together the symbol of Valentine’s Day, they will develop hands-on skills by sanding, nailing, painting and more. Celebrate the moment as your child makes a unique keepsake. All kids’ workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Register in advance — visit the website to find a store near you offering the class.

Kids Handmade Valentines Workshop
Where: The Paper Source | Various stores in the DMV
When: February 1, 1-3pm & February 5, 2-4pm
Admission: $30

Grab your BFF for a workshop that will give you heart eyes! Make 5-6 Valentines for your classmates, friends, and family using your favorite stickers, stamps, washi and more. Buy two seats at the same time and save 10% off each seat. For kids ages 6 and up. Area Paper Source locations are in Georgetown, Bethesda, Alexandria, and Reston.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: February 8-9, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Homemade love is in the air at the National Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop! We’ve attended this event many times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s one you’ll adore. They provide pretty papers, stamps, and all kinds of Valentine-themed supplies for making cards; all you need to bring is your creativity and readiness for a good time. For more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Open Studio: Love in Every Language
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: February 8-9, 12–4 pm
Admission: Free

Head to the ImaginAsia Studio in the Sackler Gallery for an afternoon all about love and art. Enjoy a digital slideshow of images of love in Asian art, then create Valentine’s Day cards using woodblock prints that say “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages, and fold heart-shaped origami.

Love Note Holder Workshop
Where: Lowe’s locations around the DMV
When: February 8, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This monthly DIY workshop for kids has a focus on love…love notes, anyway. The project is perfect for holding all your child’s Valentine’s cards and treats. Workshops take 15-30 minutes, and children must be accompanied by parent/guardian. Check-in by 11am. Space is limited, so sign up in advance!

Unshrink My Heart
Where: Gateway Arts Center | Brentwood, MD
When: February 8, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

This annual Valentine’s workshop with an 80’s twist is back! Create handmade Valentine keepsakes for your loved ones using Shrinky Dinks amazing, shrinkable sheets. Craft your own jewelry, key chains, and any other Valentine’s Day gift you can imagine. Children will receive their first two sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks free, additional sheets will be available for purchase for 50 cents each.

Animal Sweethearts Dance
Where: Hidden Pond Nature Center | Springfield, VA
When: February 8, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $10

The social event of Hidden Pond’s winter season is back! There will be dancing, refreshments, crafts, and live animals to entertain. Recommended for children ages 3-5. Register in advance.

Valentine’s Party for Little Luv Bugs
Where: Foundry United Methodist Church | Downtown DC
When: February 8, 10:30–11:30am
Admission: Free, but please RSVP

Join Friends of Stead Park and Treehouse Atelier for a SWEET time making valentines and other fun crafts. Your family will also enjoy treats and hot chocolate. They also collaborating with Eliana’s Light (see above!) and asking kids to make additional valentines that will go to a child who will be in the hospital on Valentine’s Day. The church is located at 1500 16th St NW.

Animal Valentines
Where: Hidden Pond Nature Center | Springfield, VA
When: February 9, 1:30-2:15pm
Admission: $8

Play musical valentines and critter sweetheart games as you learn how animals find a mate. Meet live animals and make an animal valentine craft. Recommended for ages 4-8. Sign up in advance online.

Library Love
Where: DC Public Libraries | Around DC
When: Various dates
Admission: Free

Join story times, craft sessions, and sing-alongs at some of the city’s libraries; Valentine’s Day-themed activities are taking places on several dates over the next couple of weeks. Find one that your child will love here.

Nature Valentines
Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD
When: February 11, 1-2pm
Admission: $7

Everyone loves homemade Valentines and none are sweeter than those made by your preschooler! We’ll go on a short walk in search of nuts, sticks, and other natural items to decorate with, and then come inside and get to work! Recommended for ages 3-5.

Storytime: Love
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: February 12, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Can an artwork depict love? Join the Hirhshorn for a special Valentine’s Day program. Look at the large photo print Untitled (for Jeff) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and read the book Love by Matt de la Peña. Following the story, little artists will create their own works for a friend or loved one.

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea
Where: Willard Continental | Downtown DC
When: February 14, 1-4pm
Admission: $68-75/adult, $30/age5-12

Enjoy a broad selection of the finest estate and boutique blended loose leaf tea, savory finger sandwiches, decadent pastries and The Willard’s famous freshly baked scones at this specialty tea service offered on Valentine’s Day. Reservations required — book on OpenTable. (PS: For a couple more Valentine offerings for adults, see the Willard calendar here.)

Woo at the Zoo (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: February 14, 7-10pm
Admission: $50/FONZ members, $60/non-members

Bring a special someone, grab a cocktail, learn about animal mating and dance the night away at a throwback ‘80s prom. Tickets include complimentary desserts. Guests will be given one drink ticket each for a specialty cocktail, beer, or wine. The ‘80s prom dance party will feature a DJ in a heated tent, plus there will be trivia and an Instagram-friendly photo station. When purchasing tickets, guests can add an exclusive Valentine’s Day gift to their ticket—a mini Adopt a Species package to pick up at the Zoo the night of the event.

Seeing Deeper: Cathedral Prom (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Washington National Cathedral
When: February 14, 7:30-10:30pm
Admission: $20

Dive into a magical underwater experience at this Second Chance Prom, where everyone gets a do-over on the high school dances they want to relive, forget, or experience for the first time. They provide the crepe-paper seaweed, bubbles, and snacks for an evening of Enchantment Under the Sea, and all you need to bring is your sweetie, bestie, or just yourself to the this Valentine’s dance party. Flashback to your childhood and add bricks to a LEGO model to help reach the goal of 100,000 bricks by March 1.

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Class for Kids
Where: Willard Continental | Downtown DC
When: February 15
Admission: $45/child

Sweeten your Valentine’s Day weekend for your littlest ones at the Willard InterContinental. Led by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez, junior bakers will receive hands-on instruction to cookie decorating using a variety of techniques and decorating tools. Ideal for children ages 4-12 years old, and they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (2 parents or guardians max per ticketed child).

Naked Scavenger Hunts (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Gallery of Art & American Art Museum, DC
When: February 15
Admission: $24

No, you don’t get naked on these scavenger hunts with Watson Adventures! Rather, you search for nude artworks throughout the museums by tracking down tricky clues and answer quirky questions to uncover alluring and amusing pieces. The National Gallery of Art hunt is at 1pm. The American Art Museum hunt is at 4pm. Follow links for more details about both.

Wild Love
Where: City Wildlife | Northeast DC
When: February 16, 12-5pm
Admission: Suggested donation $20/person, $40/family

Take advantage of this rare occasion to visit City Wildlife, the animal rescue and rehabilitation center, as it’s the only time of the year they open their doors to the public. At the 6th Annual Valentine’s Day Open House, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the rehabilitation facility, enjoy some goodies, and get a gift for your Valentine. Free-will donations are collected to ensure that the Center can help its animal patients.

Rumpus Room Family Valentine’s Day Dance Party
Where: Black Cat | 14th Street NW, DC
When: February 16, 2-4:30
Admission: $12

They choo choo choose you…to join them with your entire family on the dance floor! (They get all the credit for the great Simpsons reference.) DC’s only family dance party is back with a special groove session to celebrate the holiday on Valentine’s Day weekend. Practice those sweet moves and get ready to have fun!

All You Need Is Love 8: A Tribute to The Beatles & Love Songs (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Jammin Java
When: February 16, 7pm
Admission: $16

Are you in love, looking for love, or scorning love? Either way, this is how love songs are meant to be heard — intimate and stripped down. Jammin Java’s official Valentine’s tradition is back by popular demand. Anthony Fiacco, Todd Wright and Luke Brindley pay homage to the group that influenced every musician out there with covers of your favorite Beatles love songs as well as originals of their own. Three singer/songwriters sharing the stage, telling stories, and playing songs, it’s like seeing the best local musicians singing your favorite songs in your living room.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Live Entertainment for Families Around DC this Winter

The set of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Peter Pan and Wendy” is as magical and creative as the classic story


As it gets cold outside, plan to warm up with some entertainment indoors. There are all kinds of shows and performances to enjoy through the season. Here are details on what you can see on area stages, starting with currently running shows, then listed by start date, with most production descriptions coming straight from the sources. (KFDC Tip: Tickets to these could make for great holiday gifts!) . Happy Viewing!

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through the holiday season
Tickets: Vary by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit of the season, there’s plenty of it! There are several versions of The Nutcracker, storybook classics like The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. You can stomp along with Step Akrika!, catch An Irish Carol at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical)
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $20

Whatever you do, don’t let the Pigeon star in his own musical production! Starring an innovative mix of actors, puppets, songs, and feathers, this world premiere Kennedy Center commission features a script by Mo Willems, creator of the best-selling “Pigeon” picture books, along with Muppet Babies executive producer Mr. Warburton, plus music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, the composer of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! Recommended for ages 5+.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $54-$99 (find discounts)

The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” Our biggest production of the year is certain to impress Broadway regulars and enchant kids meeting this musical for the first time. If this were a film it would be rated G.

Newsies
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through December 29
Tickets: Start at $66

In the summer of 1899, the newsboys of New York City took on two of the most powerful men in the country — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — and won. Inspired by true events, the Broadway smash hit is a testament to the power of standing up and speaking out. The Tony Award-winning musical features fan-favorites like “Carrying the Banner,” “King of New York” and “Seize the Day.” Newsies is “a winning, high-energy musical” (Entertainment Weekly) just in time for the holidays and perfect for the whole family.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 11
Tickets: $35-120/adult, $35/14 & under (find discounts)

Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers.
This beloved tale of adventure and wonder is sure to delight adults and children alike this holiday season. Recommended for ages 5+.

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Lab at Convergence | Alexandria, VA
When: December 5-21
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon’s show is recommended for ages 2-5… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals.​

Jersey Boys
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 17 – January 5
Tickets: $39-99 (find discounts)

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true. Recommended for ages 12+.

My Fair Lady
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 17 – January 19
Tickets: $39-159 (find discounts)

From Lincoln Center Theater comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (The New York Times). Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE
When: December 27-31
Tickets: $15

Atlas presents Arts on the Horizon’s show… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals.​ Recommended for ages 2-5.

Pete the Cat
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: January 11-12
Tickets: $20

For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. So the minute the groovy blue cat meets The Biddles, he gets the whole family rocking. That is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet Earth. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out. Recommended for K – 5th grade.

Narnia
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 10-19
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (find discounts)

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre By Kids For Kids… When the four Pevensie children stumble upon an old wardrobe, little do they know they will discover the magical world of Narnia. Full of mystical creatures, talking animals, and great escapes, this action-packed story by C.S. Lewis depicts the triumph of Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, over the White Witch. Join the adventure as four brave kids, one great lion, and an entire kingdom fight for what is right. We recommend this musical for ages 4 and older.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: January 11 – February 16
Tickets: $12

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join us as we all try to reach beyond the stars. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 12
Tickets: $35-75

Strathmore is proud to welcome back Step Afrika!, the first professional organization dedicated to the African American tradition of stepping. This performance begins with a showcase of the region’s finest step squads featuring lightning-fast footwork, percussive chants, and incredible synchronicity. In addition to Step Xplosion, Step Afrika! showcase a portion of their new work, Drumfolk, commissioned by Strathmore. Drumfolk honors the heritage of step and places the evolution of this vibrant art form in its historical context. Tracing step’s roots to the African American percussive traditions of patting juba, hambone, ring shout, and tap, Drumfolk reflects on the harsh realities of the American South and celebrates the fortitude of enslaved Africans who practiced these transcendent musical forms. Recommended for ages 8+.

The Merry Wives of Windsor (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Folger Theatre | Capitol Hill, DC
When: January 14 – March 1
Tickets: $27-85

Some appetites never go out of style. The pursuit of money is bound to backfire when the targets are smarter than their gold-digging schemer. Falstaff’s dubious plan to woo Windsor’s wealthy housewives is met with hilarious retaliation, when the ladies devise a plot to teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget. The comedic comeuppance is an absolute treat in Shakespeare’s delightful comedy on love, money, deception, and the power of women.

Once Upon a Moon at Udvar-Hazy
Where: Udvay-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: January 16-17
Tickets: $3-9

Let’s go to the moon! Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing in this exciting, interactive show for our youngest audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. You might even get the chance to be a moonwalking astronaut. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Rapunzel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: January 17 – February 16
Tickets: $12

A “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring- book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for ages 3.5-9.

The Pied Piper
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 18,
Tickets: $32 (find discount)

American Pop Orchestra’s The Pied Piper will add a musical element to the classic story by placing the Piper in a town where music and dancing aren’t allowed. Piper, reimagined as a woman in this production, will have a tricky time convincing the locals that music can solve their rat problem, but if they keep their promise of a hefty reward, things just might work out!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 19, 2pm & 5:30pm
Tickets:

Daniel Tiger and all his friends from the beloved Emmy Award winning PBS KIDS television series are hopping back aboard Trolley for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Neighbor Day. Daniel Tiger and his family along with O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, and more familiar friends will take audiences on an interactive adventure to the Neighborhood of Make Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others and celebrating new experiences. The live show features new songs and fan favorites series, including the beloved Wont You Be My Neighbor? The live theatrical production is filled with music, dancing, and wonderful surprises.

Here We Go, Team!
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: January 22-23
Tickets: $3-9

This Discovery Theater original scores big with a musical play about sharing and taking turns, the importance of personal space, and the awesome power of teamwork. Five-year-old Bobby and Casey are aspiring soccer stars and best friends—but they’ve ended up on separate teams! Through a mishap on the field, they discover that helping people is cool, thanks to another kind of team—their favorite teacher and coach who make it all OK.

Monster Jam
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 25-26
Tickets: $29-110

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Alien Invasion, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Monster Mutt, Soldier Fortune, and Zombie are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Happy Theater: Five Spoons
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: January 25 – February 2
Tickets: $15-20

Interactive community building theater piece for adults and children alike. Five miniature stories are creatively told and woven together into a greater story about our personal connection to the world and to each other. Through physical theater, storytelling, audience interaction and object-based theater we meet five people who live next to us – people who may be living without vision, or hearing, who have movement limitations, or are lonely, angry, sad…. How do they see, hear or feel the world, and how do we see, hear or feel them? Recommended for ages 10+.

Capital City Symphony’s Symphonic Dancing
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: January 26
Tickets: $15-20

This fun, interactive family concert will have every family member on their feet! The program explores the expressive, dance-like melodies of William Grant Still’s Danzas de Panama, and Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag. Come enjoy this energetic concert for all ages! Join 30 minutes before the performance for an Instrument Petting Zoo!

Glimpse
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 11-12
Tickets: $20

What do colors sound like? Who can understand the moon? How do you sing a tree? This concert presented by Dutch music company Oorkaan transports young audiences to an enchanted world in which music, artists, images, and technology interact with one another. Jazzy melodies mix with bright visuals, forming a captivating new way to relate to music and sounds. Recommended for ages 2–4.

A Thousand Splendid Suns (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 17 – March 1
Tickets: $56+

Adapted from the New York Times bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner), the lives of two Afghan women are inextricably bound together. In the war-ravaged Kabul, Miriam and Laila become unlikely allies in the face of the insurmountable odds of a brutal and oppressive way of life. Hopes of a new life lead to an unselfish and shocking decision, changing the course of their futures forever. Called “emotionally stirring” (Los Angeles Times), this gripping and heart-rending fight for survival will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Beauty and the Beat
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 18-26
Tickets: $20

See NSO principal second violinist Marissa Regni and NSO principal percussionist Eric Shin in an exciting new program exploring the magic created when the violin and percussion join together. Eric may have a vast array of percussion instruments, but Marissa shows how versatile the violin can be. This melodic and rhythmic ride for families proves that no matter how different the instruments are, they can come together to make some beautiful music. Recommended for ages 3+.

The Big Meow
Where: Theatre on the Run | Arlington, VA
When: January 25, February 1 & 8
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child, $45/family of 4 (find discount)

Presented by the Jane Franklin Dance Company… Little Cat is an ever-hopeful fluff ball who desperately wants to belong to the band of neighborhood cats. The Big Meow is a story of a Little Cat’s hope, disappointment, courage and need for belonging. These simple themes are part of every neighborhood, but in this wonderful tale told through the experiences of Little Cat, a potential weakness is a unique strength. The performance incorporates spoken word, movement, music, and an interactive participatory introduction for young children.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 31 – February 1
Tickets: $59-99

This immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by folk-rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. It tells the story from their humble beginnings as Tom & Jerry to their incredible success as one of the best-selling music groups of the ‘60s to their dramatic split in 1970. It culminates with the famous “The Concert in Central Park” reunion in 1981 with more than half a million fans in attendance. Using huge projection photos and original film footage, the show also features a full live band performing all of their hits, including “Mrs. Robinson,” “Cecilia,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Homeward Bound,” and many more. Recommended for ages 4+.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java | Vienna, VA
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Boogie Babes
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $6/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

This weekly sessions of musical fun were started by two friends of mine back when all our our babes were, well, babes. While it’s changed hands since then, it still brings entertainment especially for little ones to Capitol Hill, and children can boogie along with their favorite local musicians. Plan on grabbing lunch after at one of the many nearby eateries or Eastern Market.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Rise+Rhyme
Where: BusBoys & Poets | Brookland, DC & Hyattsville/Takoma Park, MD
When: Mondays
Tickets: $5

The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Go to one of three locations: Brookland in DC or Takoma Park or Hyattsville in MD. Plan on breakfast, too — full service is available while the little ones are grooving.

Children’s Arts & Entertainment
Where: BloomBars | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Varies by show/activity

The arts center in Columbia Heights offers a variety of enriching, entertaining, and cultural activities and performances for children. From Harambe sessions to puppet shows to musical theatre to sing-a-longs, there’s something going on for little ones just about every day of the week.

Phantom of the Opera
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: February 5 – March 1
Tickets: $35+, $15-25/under 30

Gaston Leroux’s timeless supernatural classic gets a fresh update as Irina Tsikurishvili brings her captivating presence and virtuosic skill sets to the title character of The Phantom of the Opera. When tragedy strikes, a talented but now scarred ballerina takes refuge deep beneath the Paris Opera House. Years later, she becomes enraptured with the ingenue Christine in the corp de ballet. Known only as the Phantom, she terrorizes the opera house and manipulates Christine, cultivating her talent and demanding she be cast in more prominent roles. Synetic’s adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera will honor the pathos and beauty of this classic French tale while examining longing, legacy, and the tragedy of unrealized dreams.

The ABC’s of Percussion with Uncle Devin
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 6-7
Tickets: $3-9

Join Uncle Devin on a musical journey through the wide, wonderful, and boisterous world of percussion instruments. From West African agogo bells to a Chinese lithophone (made of stone!) to Brazil’s zabumba drum, learn how each unique instrument brings global beats to vibrant life. Uncle Devin makes the sounds and rhythms of percussion the perfect way to reinforce the alphabet for the youngest learners.

Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 8 – March 22
Tickets: $25-35

Zomo — one hip-hoppity rabbit — is taking on Washington, DC. When Zomo is dissed and dismissed by the other tricksters in town, he turns to the Sky God for more power. The Sky God sends him on an impossible quest taking him from the breakdancing fish on the DC Waterfront, to the graffiti artist cow at the National Zoo, and finally to the DJ Leopard in Adams Morgan. Will Zomo find the power he’s seeking? Or will he wise up? This high-energy hip-hop adaptation of a Nigerian folktale, originally commissioned by Imagination Stage in 2009 (Helen Hayes-Nominated Outstanding Production- Theatre for Young Audiences), puts a local spin and lots of silly humor on the global tradition of trickster tales. Recommended for ages 4+.

Into the Great Unknown: African American Adventurers and Explorers
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 11-13
Tickets: $3-9

Leadership, courage, and adventure take center stage in this inspiring Discovery Theater original. From Matthew Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole, to astronaut Mae Jemison, meet a century’s worth of bold men and women who challenged the Western frontier, the highest of mountains, and the vastness of outer space—and triumphed. In the histories and heroism of these explorers and adventurers, young audiences find models to help them reach their own highest goals. Recommended for ages 6-12.

The King’s Speech
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: February 11-16
Tickets: $54-114 (find discounts)

The King’s Speech is based on the true story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he formed with his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around the King as he’s thrust onto the world stage. David Seidler’s original play – which inspired the 2010 Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – will make its long-awaited U.S. debut in a production The Mail proclaims “A right royal treat.” Recommended for ages 13+.

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 13-17
Tickets: Start at $15 (find discounts)

Your favorite Disney stories come to life at Disney On Ice presents Celebrate Memories. Sail along with Moana on her high-seas adventure and dance with Woody, Buzz and all the Toy Story friends. Feel inspired when love wins in Frozen and dreams come true for the Disney Princesses. Share the excitement and make new memories the whole family will treasure forever!

The Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: February 14 – April 1
Tickets: $23 (find discount)

This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining. Recommended for all ages.

NSO Family Concert: Girl Power! Celebrating Women in Music
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 16
Tickets: $15-18 (find discounts)

Don’t miss a special showcase of female composers, conductors, and performers to mark 100 years since the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. The program is to include works by Florence Price, Joan Tower, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Jessie Montgomery. Recommended for ages 5+.

Going the Distance
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 20-21 & 26-28
Tickets: $3-9

Race to the finish line with two black Olympians who changed history! Soaring music and the exhilaration of world-class sorts motivate us to greatness in this vivid portrayal of the lives of Jesse Owens and Wilma Rudolph. Join them as they them overcome childhood illness, infirmity, and poverty to become the world’s fastest man and woman, winning the greatest honor in all athletics: the Olympic gold medal. The John Cornelius II score speaks to the heart and soul of the winner in all of us.

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, DC
When: February 20 – March 29
Tickets: $12

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5+.

Imagination Stage’s Mouse on the Move
Where:Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: February 21 – March 1
Tickets: $15

Nellie and Amelia are two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join us as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Mark Nizer 4D
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: February 22
Tickets: $20

The only live 3D show in the world! Okay, technically any on-stage performance is a live 3D show, but this world-champion juggler uses lights, music, special effects and his own incredible skill to put on a dazzling performance with thrills and outrageous laughs. Special 3D glasses available to the audience give a surreal sensation of depth that take this family-friendly show beyond anything you’ve ever seen on stage before!

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare
NSO Music for Young Audiences: Mozart Mash-Up
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 22-23
Tickets: $20

Share the magic and music of Mozart in a special family concert! A string quartet featuring members of the National Symphony Orchestra plays its favorites from the prolific composer. At age 3, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart could be found observing his big sister Nannerl at the keyboard. By 4 or 5, he had written his first compositions, and by age 7 his first symphony. Mozart continues to inspire audiences and performers today—some of whom experienced his music when they were just as young as the composer! Recommended for ages 7+.

Celia and Fidel (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: February 28 – April 12
Tickets: $72+

Can one woman change the mind of a man and the fate of a nation? Fidel Castro’s most trusted confidant and political partner, Celia Sánchez, is never far from his side as he grapples with how to move his country forward. It’s 1980 and a failing economy has led 10,000 Cuban citizens to seek asylum at the Peruvian Embassy in Cuba. Castro must decide what kind of a leader he wants to be: merciful or mighty. Imbued with magical realism, Arena Stage’s seventh Power Play imagines a conversation between Cuba’s most influential female revolutionary and its most notorious political leader in a contest between morality and power.

YAO YAO
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 29 – March 1
Tickets: $20

Yao is a mischievous little girl who loves to play, but hates when her Daddy picks up his briefcase and goes off to work. One day, Yao grabs Daddy’s overcoat and accidentally pulls a thread that leads to the start of a magical world. South Korea’s Brush Theatre uses interactive screen art technology and live music to capture the whimsical adventure that follows. What Yao finds at the end of the thread playfully blurs reality and imagination. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: March 1, 11am & 3pm
Tickets: $36-65

Best selling children’s music artist Laurie Berkner is returning to the DC area for two shows. A true pioneer in children’s music, beloved by generations of children and parents for over twenty years, she’ll be playing well-loved hits like “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)” and “We Are the Dinosaurs” along with newer songs. Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads). FYI: We took a toddler Owen to one of Laurie’s shows years ago, and it was a blast!

Hot Peas ‘N Butter
Where: Center for the Arts | George Mason University, VA
When: March 1, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets:$15/adult, $10/child

Praised by the Los Angeles Times for their “hot and mellow multicultural groove,” Hot Peas ‘n Butter will have you and your whole family on their feet dancing with their infectiously fun global music celebration. This Parent Choice Award-winning, family music ensemble blends together traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock to create a “rainbow of color and sound.” (NY 1 TV). Singing in English, Spanish, French, Korean and Hebrew, Hot Peas ‘n Butter aims to show multi-cultural interconnectedness. Their repertoire of songs like “Number 1” and their signature Latin beat tracks “Somos Familia,” “Amistad,” “Que Llueva,” and “Round the World” enjoy radio play nationwide. Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!
Where: Center for the Arts | George Mason University, VA
When: March 1, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Witness the impossible with top illusionist Bill Blagg in his new mind-bending and hilarious magic show The Magic of Bill Blagg Live! “Unbelievable!” raves USA Today, and “Absolutely Incredible!” echoes The Chicago Tribune. The whole family will rub their eyes in disbelief as the “Houdini Times Ten” (NBC), makes objects disappear, teleports across the theater, levitates in mid-air, and so much more. Don’t miss your chance to experience this thrilling, action-packed, and interactive show that will leave you and your family breathless. Bill Blagg is changing reality one city at a time, and Fairfax is next! Recommended ages 8+.

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 4-6
Tickets: $3-9

Meet the grocer, the baker, the pizza-dough maker, and all of the friendly people who make our neighborhoods terrific places to live every day. Recycled crafting, interactive songs, literacy and numeracy elements make this community day the perfect blend of learning and just plain fun.

Story Tapestries: The Fastest Plane
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: March 5-7
Tickets: $10-15

Travel the World with Story Tapestries’ Family Artists and The Giggling, Wiggling Bookworm. Dive into the ocean, soar above the mountains and fly through the jungle. Leave the program swinging like a monkey, singing like a bird and eager to celebrate stories from around the world!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: 123 Andrés
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 7-8
Tickets: $20

Andrés and Christina are Latin Grammy Award®–winning teaching artists who get kids and families excited about learning and moving together in Spanish and English! Join Andrés on an exciting cultural exploration of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance. Families sing, shake, and sound out. Children can use their imaginations to ride an imaginary airplane and join in singing and dancing while practicing new vocabulary. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Science Tellers: Escape from Earth
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 12-13
Tickets: $3-9

Two curious kids venture into the forest to investigate a meteor shower and find themselves mixed up with a family of visitors from another planet. They risk everything to rescue their new friends and get them to their spaceship before it’s too late. Audiences get to learn the science behind the show’s out-of-this-world special effects.

Arts on the Horizon’s Drumming with Dishes
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: March 11-15
Tickets: $15

What happens when you invite someone very different from you to come over to play? Such an adventure awaits an energetic child when she introduces her shy imaginary friend to a very special kitchen. But instead of food, they’ll cook up beautiful music! This gentle, whimsical adventure celebrates friendship and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Join us and discover what wonders can be accomplished through friendship! Recommended for ages 2-5.

Jazz Doodle Jam! Jason Moran & Bandwagon + Mo Willems
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 13-14
Tickets: $20

Jazz Doodle Jam! is an intimate jazz concert where you collaborate with the band! Sit down at a table covered with paper, grab a marker or crayon, and join host Mo Willems for a new kind of participatory musical experience. Kids and grown-ups doodle to music played onstage by Jason Moran and The Bandwagon. The band reacts and improvises to the audience’s explorations, jamming together with pictures and music, blurring the lines between artists and audience. All ages welcome!

St. Paddy’s Day with Pete Moss and the Bog Band
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 12-13
Tickets: $3-9

Join Pete (aka Mitch Fanning) and his troupe of talented young musicians as they pick up their fiddles and bodhran drums to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Spirited music, lively step dancing, and a dash of Irish musical history guarantee “a rattlin’ good time!” Recommended for ages 5-12.

Happy Theater: Nest
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: March 14, 21, & 28
Tickets: $25-45

An interactive, multi-sensory show about the life cycle of a bird for families with children from 6 months to 4 years old… In a nest in a tree, an egg is kept warm. Then a Baby Bird hatches! The Baby is fed and nurtured by the Tree Fairy, and both the Baby and the Fairy begin to explore what it means to grow up, and to learn how to fly, and what it means to be a parent. They feel sunshine and rain, smell flowers, taste berries, and see butterflies. There are surprises. One day, the Baby learns to spread its wings and fly. Where will it go? Will it leave the Tree Fairy?

Once Upon a Moon
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: March 19-20
Tickets: $3-9

Let’s go to the moon! Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing in this exciting, interactive show for our youngest audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. You might even get the chance to be a moonwalking astronaut.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 21
Tickets: $25 and up (find discounts)

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are on the road for their action packed tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt and unforgettable family moments.

Is there a great show running soon that you don’t see listed here? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!


2 Comments

Filed under 2019, 2020, All ages, Date Night, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Rent is at an All Time High at National Theatre


I first saw Rent at National Theatre about 22 years ago, just over a year after it debuted on Broadway and was an instant hit. It was one of those powerful theatre experiences that sticks with you, something greater than the beautiful story told on stage through sensational performances and stirring music.

Rent pushed boundaries in a way that no other Broadway show had before as it explored themes of life and love and friendship. The story follows the lives of seven artists over a year in the 1990’s struggling to achieve their dreams and navigate their relationships — in the shadow of the AIDS crisis. It was raw and edgy and unapologetic as the storyline included addiction, homosexuality (and homophobia), and a disease associated with panic and fear. It was also hopeful, inspiring, and joyous as it celebrated life and love and friendship, and prompted audiences to ponder what matters, how they measure a year in the life.

Fast forward 20+ years, and Rent is back in DC at the National Theatre on the 20th Anniversary Tour. When I was invited to see the show to review for KFDC, I jumped at the opportunity. But I would have gone to see it, anyway, having loved it so much the first time. I wondered, though, would it hold up after all these years? Was it just the timing that made it strike the chord it did back in the 90’s, when AIDS angst was intense and incorporating it into a musical a novel idea?

Well, as the title of this post indicates, Rent holds up — and then some. The show was just as phenomenal, if not more, than it was all those years ago. Perhaps it has to do with my perspective and seeing the characters from a maternal point of view more than as a peer (amazing what changes in 20+ years). Or maybe this time I was processing less and just enjoying more. Regardless, I loved it. All of the performances were brilliant, delivered with passion and grit, but I have to note that Joshua Taveres as Angel, Kelsee Sweigard as Maureen, and Shafiq Hicks as Tom Collins were especially wonderful.

The score is still soul stirring, and this time I had to hold myself back from bursting into song along with the cast. The story, while viewed a bit differently as the AIDS situation has changed, captures that period of time in a powerfully evocative way. And the heart of the show, its themes of life and love and friendship, remain steadfastly universal.

I highly recommend seeing Rent during its run at National Theatre. And when you do and hear the question “How do you measure, measure a year?”… I think the answer will be easy.

RENT – 20th Anniverary Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 12-17, 2019
Tickets: $54 – $117 (look for discounts)
Run time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, including one intermission
Recommended for ages 13 and up.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to see and review Rent, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Teens, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Review: Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre


Last night, Levi and I went to Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre. I was invited to see the show in exchange for doing a review, so here we are.

I wasn’t very familiar with Mike Birbiglia before this, but when I learned more about him and his comedy, it seemed like it would make for a fun date night. The show was mostly a story about his parenting journey, from his pre-kids perspective to becoming a dad. From the get-go, it was evident that Mike is a talented storyteller. In fact, much of the audience was laughing for the entire show.

However, Levi and I were not among them. I’m not sure exactly what it was (though reading this over, it seems that maybe I do), but I just wasn’t super into it. Perhaps it’s that I’m a more seasoned parent and my head is in a totally different phase of parenthood. Hearing the pre-kids view of how children take away all the joy bothered me, even if he was being facetious; I was especially annoyed at younger people in the audience who clapped vigorously at that part. And the jokes about how the house becomes such a mess, and there’s so much baby stuff everywhere are kind of tired and cliché. As was the stereotype that dads don’t help at all…a bit about his wife wanting to have sex with him because he did the dishes once was like a meme that keeps popping up, but wasn’t even funny the first time.

As Levi said afterward, “Louis CK did all that years ago, but it was funnier and raunchier.” [And here I must be clear that by mentioning LCK, I in no way condone his “Me Too” actions, I’m just relaying what Levi said.] Hey, maybe Levi and I are just old and boring. (I don’t think we are, but I could be too old and boring to be a good judge of that.)

But as I mentioned, Mike Birbiglia is a good storyteller, and I appreciated the structure of his show. Loads of audience members seemed to love it. This is just my review.

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is running at National Theatre through September 29. Tickets are $39-114, and run time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes with no intermission. The official description says it’s recommended for ages 13 and up, but I’d recommend this for adults.


Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to see the show, but all views expressed here are quite obviously my own.


6 Comments

Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Parents, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend