Category Archives: Festival

The Weekend Round-Up: October 9-12

 

Happy Long Weekend!

 

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Whether you want to experience traditional fall fun activities or enjoy the season in more mellow ways, there are plenty of options for both.  Check out this round-up of festivals that are happening around the area for pumpkin picking, farm animals, hayrides, and the like. And see this post for some great places to enjoy autumn (that are not fall festivals).

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Starts at $42/member, $46/non-member

Enjoy wine and the season at George Washington’s (former) digs. Taste unlimited samples from Virginia wineries after hours as you enjoy twilight on the grounds of Mount Vernon. Tickets are sold out for Saturday evening, but you can still snag them for Friday and Sunday.

Dinner & Concert (Kind Of)
Where: The Hamilton | Downtown DC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free, but $100 food/drink minimum/table

The Hamilton can’t host live concerts right now, but they’ve come up with a different way to enjoy live music. On weekends, they are hosting screenings of concert films by awesome acts. You can watch them as you enjoy dinner — their extensive menu will be available. This weekend they are showing Pink Floyd – The Wall on Friday and The Rolling Stones: Shine a Light on Saturday. Dors open 6:30pm, and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Tables seat up to 4 or 6, and there is a $100 deposit to reserve, which will be applied to the bill.

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Sppoktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 7pm and a classic or scary movie 10pm. This weekend it’s Hotel Transylvania and Halloween on Friday, Beetlejuice and Children of the Corn on Saturday, and Ghost Busters and Paranormal Activity on Sunday. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Take teens on a fall foliage kayaking expedition. Practice mindfulness at Green Spring Gardens. Investigate salamanders at Riverbend Park. Details and registration for these and more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

King Bullfrog Virtual Concert for Biden- Harris
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Donations start at $25/family

Join local kids band King Bullfrog online for a fun way to support Joe & Kamala’s campaign — a virtual roots-and-blues concert for families! Want to join the fun, but are busy on October 10th? Audio and video of the concert will be available to ticket buyers on King Bullfrog’s website.

Plenty of space to explore exhibits safely at the National Portrait Gallery

Inside Info
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With a chance of wet weather this weekend, you may be seeking indoor activities. There are plenty of options for them, and venues are taking extra precautions to ensure safety during COVID. This post has details on outings that take place inside and this one has suggestions especially for little kids.

Monuments: Creative Forces
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 25
Admission: $5-30

This unique outdoor art installation throughout Strathmore’s 16 acres sounds like an ideal exhibition for COVID times, being in fresh air with a lot of space.  Monuments: Creative Forces by Australian artist Craig Walsh features moving, dimensional video portraits of artists whose work and artistic endeavors are changing the shape of our community in profound ways. The expansive portraits of these creative heroes were chosen by a diverse panel of community and arts leaders  are projected on to towering trees, transforming them into animated sculptural monuments.

Carpe Librum
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The mobile book store returns to the Capitol Riverfront, selling high-quality, gently-used items. Browse thousands of books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records, all on sale for under $6. There’s something for everyone at this sale: children’s books, teen reads, brand-new bestsellers in amazing condition, classic vintage hardbacks, and more! Masks are required, check out will be no-contact, and social distancing will be practiced during browsing. Payment via e-pay methods such as Apple Pay or credit card is accepted; no cash. Carpe Librum is a donation-based used bookstore benefiting the DC nonprofit Turning the Page.

Duets on Ice
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 4pm
Admission: Free

In anticipation of Laurie Anderson: The Weather scheduled to open at the Hirshhorn in Spring 2021, internationally renowned artist Laurie Anderson is recreating her iconic performance Duets on Ice and streaming it live online for the first time from the Hirshhorn’s outdoor Plaza. Debuted in New York in 1974, the performance comprises the artist wearing skates frozen into blocks of ice and playing her violin in a series of electronic duets until the ice melts, and she loses her balance.

Riding the trails at Kingman Island

Ride On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Bike rides are an excellent activity for right now. You can enjoy the  fall weather while social distancing, and get some exercise, to boot. The DC area has plenty of good routes to ride, with something for every age and rider level. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recommendations.

Go Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice fall day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about one in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg and Burke Lake Park in Burke.

Do Some Garden-ing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall is a great time to roam the many gardens in the area as the changing leaves start to brighten up the summer green. Enjoy the fall flowers and manicured grounds of the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle (then visit the museums).  Explore, play, and see a variety of plant collections at the National Arboretum. Wander around Green Spring Gardens on a scavenger hunt. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or roam the expansive grounds of Brookside Gardens.  You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

A peek at the powerful Americans exhibit at the NMAI

Indigenous People’s Day
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free with timed entry ticket

There’s no special event going on, but the NMAI is an ideal place to go for learning about Indigenous People. While the museum is closed on the actual day (Monday), it’s open all weekend and safety protocols are in place for COVID, including timed entry passes to limit capacity. If you can’t go this weekend, let this listing serve as a reminder to book passes for another day.  Reserve free tickets here.

Even More Activities
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you want even more ideas for things to do over the long weekend, this post has plenty of inspo, listing both ongoing activities around the area as well as information on reopenings.

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Time 4 Mom is a new monthly subscription box especially for busy moms, and there’s a giveaway for a chance to win a complimentary box!
* Kids of all ages can join the Tiny Chefs and Teen Chefs Cooking Club, a new and fun (& yummy) online membership program from Tiny Chefs.
* Plan for Halloween with this round-up of wicked fun (& safe) activities coming up over the next few weeks.
* Hanna Andersson has super cute character inspired clothes for kids, plus pajamas on sale.
* N Street Village is hosting its annual SHERO Family Walk next Saturday, though it will be virtual this year. The event benefits N Street Village, the city’s largest provider of housing and services for women experiencing homelessness.
* This has been “shockingly” useful.
* Something fun and delicious to make this fall weekend.
* Scary Costume Ideas for 2020 😱 😂

 

Note: KFDC may earn a commission when you click on one of the links and make a purchase. Thank you for the support!

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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Maryland, Ongoing, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Activities & Events for Families During Cherry Blossom Season (2020)


UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and just about all other events have been canceled. You can still try view them, but use good judgement doing so.

Cherry blossom season is almost upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready for it! Because not only is the city at its prettiest when the beloved flowers are in bloom, there also are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 12 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. I’ve picked the best of them for families to help you plan for a peak experience. Happy Spring!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from last year’s bloom here.

STORYTIME: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 11, 10-11am & March 15 & 22, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of cherry blossoms, join the Hirhshorn for a read aloud of Under the Cherry Blossom Tree by Allen Say. Take a close look at the museum’s lobby’s tables, created by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto using a 700-year-old nutmeg tree, then create your own tree- and blossom-inspired works.

Hanami: Beyond the Blooms
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 13 – May 25
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child

ARTECHOUSE introduces a new exhibit every season, and it’s only apropos that its spring offering highlights the cherry blossoms. Hanami: Beyond the Blooms “pushes the limits of the cherry blossom experience, inviting visitors to enter an immersive world of spring re-imagined. Now an annual tradition, ARTECHOUSE’s cherry blossom-inspired installation continues to celebrate springtime and women in the arts and tech.” Look for a KFDC review of it soon!

Cultural Performances CANCELLED!
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Weekends, March 21 – April 12
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! On weekends during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. A highlight will be the Miyako Takio Takeover Saturday on March 28 from 11am to 6pm.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 21, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto Ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, and go on an art scavenger hunt throughout the exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern in the first-floor galleries. 

Japanese Fashion Family Day CANCELLED!
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 21, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Japanese fashion during cherry blossom season this spring. Join the Textile Museum & George Washington University museum for a family day featuring kimono, happi coats, accessories, and the creative shapes of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. Enjoy dance performances of Eisaa and Ryubu traditional dances from Okinawa. See a demonstration for how to dress in a kimono and take the opportunity to design one of your own. Make a cherry blossom pendant to take home. And enjoy family-friendly tours of the Japanese artwork on display in Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a museum that usually may be a bit sophisticated for little ones!

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossom and enjoy a fun activity on a paddling excursion. Many boathouses will open around the same time the National Cherry Blossom Festival begins, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Bason, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

River Cruisin’
Where: Local waterways
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by tour operator

Enjoy blossom filled scenery from the comfort of a cruise on the Potomac. Several companies offer boat rides along the river, many of them specifically for the season when the cherry trees are in bloom. Right now you can find great deals with Washington Marina National Ferry Corp, Boomerang Boat Tours, and Capitol River Cruises. Potomac Riverboat Company and DC Water Taxi are a couple more to check out.

Last year’s cherry blossom inspired exhibit at ARTECHOUSE

STORYTIME: The Tiny Seed CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 25, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Join the Hirshhorn for a special STORYTIME, their regular program for littles, and join them to celebrate spring with the journey of a tiny seed. Take a close look at the round bronze sculptures of Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and read-aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night with the Washington Wizards CANCELLED!
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 25, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $19

Celebrate the cherry blossom season with the Wizards and some basketball as they take on the Phoenix Suns! Each ticket purchased through this link comes with a limited edition Wizards Cherry Blossom t-shirt. In addition first 10,000 fans entering the arena will receive a Rui Hachimura Cherry Blossom inspired bobblehead!

Blossom Kite Festival CANCELLED!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is a favorite for many during the blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so BYO or make one there at an activity station. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season at the museum dedicated to Asian art! At this special event, explore Japanese art and culture through musical performances, making art, and taking a tour of Hokusai: Mad about Painting and Meeting Tessai. Try Japanese bookmaking, listen to taiko drumming, and then join the kite festival right outside on the National Mall. Japanese-inspired food and drink will be available for purchase.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: March 28, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the cherry blossoms at the farm park! Hike the nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Visit stations peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, help tally migratory and year round resident birds, and search for critters in the soil and water. Enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too. Stop by the Indoor Arena first for a map and instructions.

Cherry Blossom STEM Day
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: March 29, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $13

Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival with a twist of STEM! Visitors can learn more about the special flower and festival through hands-on activities and experiments inspired by the cherry blossom throughout the entire Lab. Read more about the Children’s Science Center Lab in this KFDC post.

Cuenta-Cuentos: STORYTIME in Spanish CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 29, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join a special STORYTIME in Spanish and inspired the season! Celebrate spring with a close look at the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and a reading of The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night at DC United
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 3, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against New York City FC will include cherry blossom-themed activations, activities, and celebrations for fans along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade CANCELLED!
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

See Racing Presidents rolling down Constitution Ave at the annual parade

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. The 60th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 4, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo, where they’ll be celebrating the cherry blossoms with a full day of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! If you want to make this a special adult experience with food and drinks included, VIP tickets are available for $55. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 4 & 5, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 2nd annual Art Blooms at Mosaic is celebratory weekend with fun for all ages. Do some shopping at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, enjoy a pop-up beer garden & wine patio, snap pics at selfie stations, join a free yoga session, and much more!

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: April 5, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

National Harbor’s Sakura Sunday is an official event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival — and a taste of the traditional Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan! The day’s activities include a traditional Japanese picnic, unique Japanese market, foods of Japan, Japanese music & entertainment, and a sake, beer & rose garden!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 5, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The 6th annual Anacostia River Festival is a premier event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year will feature an artist market, special performances, and activities that include boating, hands-on art projects, musical performances, and other unique programs engaging families with the river, its history, and ecology.

Blossoms & Baseball
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6
Admission: Ticket price vary

The Nats are getting in on the Cherry Blossom festivities again this year with a petal-packed, pink takeover of Nationals Park as they host the Marlins. A portion of ticket proceeds from the game will also benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 11, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Children of all ages and their families can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Japanese-related books will be on display, and a special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture. Other activities include Japanese drum music and dance performances, instructions on the art of tiara-making by former Cherry Blossom princesses, origami artwork lessons, decorative Konobori coloring, and the kimono dress-up experience. Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature — read more about it here.

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 11, 12-9:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! It’s the first time the event will be held in neighborhood, and it should be a blast. The event will celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Plan to go for awhile, or just stop by for a bit. The day will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Ikebana Demonstrations
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 11 & 12, 10am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy spring flowers with a Japanese twist! The Washington DC Chapter of Ikebana International is co-hosting four different Ikebana masters. Each master represents a different school and and will highlight the characteristics of their school. Demonstrations will be held in the Auditorium of the Visitor Center and are free to attend.


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The Weekend Round-Up: January 31 – February 2

Checking out Mustang Alley at last year’s Washington Auto Show


Happy Weekend!

Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, live entertainment, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. This brand new post has details on where many are happening this weekend and over the next few weeks.

The REACH Winter Lanterns
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Thursday through Sunday evenings
Admission: Free

This special display of Winter Lanterns in recognition of the first winter season at the REACH and the Chinese New Year is wonderful! Around 100 beautiful illuminations include the Chinese Four Symbols and 12 Zodiac Signs, a Panda Grove, Mushroom Garden, Floral Garden, and Jellyfish Lagoon — all crafted by Chinese artisans and made up of 10,000 colored LED lights. Along with the lanterns outside, there are more activities to enjoy indoors — a Beijing Opera make-up demo, panda photo ops, traditional costumes to try on, a calligraphy station, and a paper lantern making workshop are among the hands-on fun for all ages. It starts at 5:30pm every evening, except for Sunday when it begins at 4pm.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The 2020 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 600 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from a couple of years ago and this one from earlier KFDC days years ago for more about the event.

Spy Fest
Where: International Spy Mueum | L’Enfant Plaza, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: $16

Could you be a spy? Now’s your chance to find out! Do you have the savvy to beat a lie-detector? The smarts to break a top secret coded message? The wits to create secret writing? The moves of a Ninja? Families are invited to find out how they measure up at the Museum’s annual Spy Fest. Mini-missions, tradecraft demonstrations by the experts, and the chance to try spy skill challenges will give KidSpy agents and their handlers an insider’s peek into the shadow world of spying—and who knows, there just may be a spy or two in your midst. For ages 5 and up, with one adult required for every five KidSpy agents. Ages 3+ must have a ticket to attend. (PS: We’ve been to this, and it’s super fun!) Read more about the new Spy Museum here.

Mola Family Social
Where: Mola | Mount Pleasant, DC
When: Friday – 4-8pm
Admission: $30/adult, $15/child

Mola, the Mt. Pleasant-based, Michelin Bib Gourmand recognized tapas restaurant will be hosting monthly Family Socials on the last Friday of every month starting this weekend. These events will allow parents to enjoy Mola’s critically-acclaimed culinary offerings, while providing entertainment for the whole family. Attendees will be treated to a tapas buffet, cupcake station, kids’ activities and happy hour drink specials. There are no event fees, and reservations can be made on Resy. Tax and gratuity is extra.

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

This Saturday’s installment of the National Theatre’s free weekly live entertainment series features Mr. Jon & Carrie Rock & Rhyme — they makes music for kids and their families that inspire fun, laughter, and dancing. 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.

Chinese New Year Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Help ring in the Year of the Rat with Chinese ribbon dancing, acrobatic yo-yo performances, and an interactive magic show. Artists from the city of Shenzhen demonstrate ink finger-printing, wood printing, shadow puppets and dough figurines. Check out calligraphy demonstrations by the Confucius Institute at George Washington University, and Chinese paper cuts and good luck envelopes from the Confucius Institute at George Mason University.  Go on an art scavenger hunt, create your own New Year craft, and enjoy delicious treats available for purchase at the Courtyard Café. 

The Land of Chocolate
Where: Several locations in the City of Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, 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, magic & juggling, Valentine making, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. See the schedule of events for details.

Heart String Art DIY Project
Where: Home Depot locations around the DMV
When: Saturday, 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. (And for more Valentine’s Day-inspired events and activities coming up, see this KFDC post.)

Kids Handmade Valentines Workshop
Where: The Paper Source | Various stores in the DMV
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
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. (Note: This also takes place February 5, 2-4pm.)

Maple Sugaring Days

Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD

When: Saturday & Sunday

Admission: $7


Be a part of the maple sugaring process and help collect the sap from trees, watch as its boiled down into sweet maple syrup, and enjoy a taste! This program takes place every Saturday and Sunday in February at select times. Sessions fill up, so register now!

The United States of Shakespeare
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday , 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Shake up your Saturday at a workshop with the Folger Shakespeare Library! These programs occurring on the first Saturday of every month encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This session, act your way through American history using Shakespeare at President Lincoln’s home — the program is on the road as the Folger undergoes some renovations. Register in advance: 10-11am is recommended for ages 4-7, and 11am – 12pm is recommended for ages 7-11.

Kids Room Pop-Up
Where: Willow | Petworth, DC
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: Free

Loyalty Bookstores and Willow are partnering on this Kid’s Room Pop-Up that will open on Saturday. A currently unused space in the back of Willow’s shop in Petworth will become an area especially for children and families, featuring toys, books, and games for sale; space for youth to read and play while parents shop; and ongoing children’s programming — including Loyalty Bookstores’ ever-popular Storytime and Singalong with Bearsong. In addition to the Kid’s Room Pop-Up, Loyalty Bookstores will have books for adults in the front of Willow.

Maker Morning: Color of Love
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Color your February with love. Try out Valentine’s Day activities including writing a love letter inspired by artist Marcel Duchamp’s word play, painting with light, and making a valentine to give to a loved one. Join us for a special kid-led tour of the Hirshhorn’s most loved artworks. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome. Stroller parking is available in the Lobby and on the Lower Level of the Museum. 

Creativity Workshop
Where: The Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child, $15/members ($5/add person)

Let your creativity soar at the Phillips’ art-making stations geared toward families with children ages 2 to 8. Each station has a different project with art materials, instructions, and artistic inspiration from The Phillips Collection. An art educator is on site to support families who would like guidance. Be sure to sign up in advance as this program often sells out! Read a KFDC write-ups about the art museum here and here.

Crêpe Day: Celebrate La Chandeleur
Where: Hillwood Museum | Upper Northwest, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adult, $12/member, $5/child, free/ under 3

We’re just about midway through winter, and Hillwood is celebrating with their annual 
La Chandeleur, also known as Crêpe Day, marking the halfway point between winter and spring. In France, families celebrate by eating crêpes, which are round and golden, like the springtime sun. Hillwood and Alliance Française de Washington invite families to celebrate the holiday in festive French fashion amidst Hillwood’s spectacular gardens, magnificent mansion, and exquisite French treasures. There will also be activities for all ages, with story times and crafts especially for children.

Read Africa Festival
Where: Francis Gregory Library | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the library to celebrate 2020’s Read Africa Week, a literary initiative to showcase young people’s literature with realistic depictions of African life. There will be storytelling, crafts, African food, book giveaways, and more. All ages are welcome, but the program is designed with families and young children in mind.

Shows on Strings (and Hands)
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $6-12 (find discount)

Rapunzel is the Main Stage performance at the puppet theater in Glen Echo Park, recommended for children in pre-K and up. And really little ones will enjoy Snow Show, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show, on Sunday at 10am.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
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.

Lunar New Year & Fashion
Where: Fashion Center at Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Rng in the year of the rat during the mall’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Immerse in traditional Asian history with live entertainment and hands-on activities. Enjoy lion and dragon dances, a Hanfu fashion show, musical performances, and more! In addition, there are more than 170 stores where you can find new fashions for the new year.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 8pm
Admission: Tickets start at $18

The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday night — watch them work some on-court magic against the Brooklyn Nets. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Carmine’s, Jaleo, Pi Pizzeria, Cava Grill, and Shake Shack.

Groundhog Day Celebration
Where: The Fountain in Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 8:30am
Admission: Free

Potomac Phil, DC’s most famous marmot, will offer weather and political predictions, letting us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring. There will be live accordion music, polka dancers, a puppet show, VIP celebrities and more. Meet up in Dupont Circle at the fountain.

Complimentary Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. It’s a fantastic mix of art that will appeal all ages — the collection includes bold and quirky designs that little museum-goers will love along with more profound works that big art enthusiasts will appreciate. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own.

Cap It
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Washington Capitals will be taking over Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you want to plan on a pre-match brunch in Penn Quarteo, there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. (Same recs as the Wizards game: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.)

Groundhog Day Screening
Where: American History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 3:30pm
Admission: $8.50/child, $10/adult

Celebrate the holiday at a showing of the classic Bill Murray film (one of my al-time favorites!): A cynical TV weatherman finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament drives him to distraction, until he sees a way of turning the situation to his advantage. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 11+. My kids have both seen it, and I’d say it even a little younger would be okay, but parents are the best judges of what’s appropriate for their own kids.

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

Looks like mild weather this weekend, so you may want to get out. Of course, there are always great indoor activities to enjoy, too. These posts that are chock full of evergreen pursuits for either preference:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

**PLAN AHEAD**
Free Film Screening: Like
Where: Green Hedges School | Vienna, VA
When: February 6
Admission: Free

Green Hedges School in Vienna, VA, will host a free screening of the documentary film Like on Thursday, February 6, at 6pm on the School’s campus. Like is an IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impact of social media on our lives. The goal of this film is to inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self-regulate. Open to the public. Children are welcome, although the film is intended for students in grades 4-8. Please RSVP here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets to The King’s Speech at National Theatre.
* Birth Club, founded by two local moms in Old Town, is a space for women who are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant, or who are postpartum (newly or beyond). While it’s geared towards the mental and physical health of women, they offer some family and toddler activities, too.
* I admittedly had to Google “esports” when I learned about this, but The Washington Justice and Overwatch League will play their first DC-based matches this season at The Anthem.
* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming to National Theatre this spring, and ticket discounts are currently available on select seats.
* My favorite part of the Grammy’s. Anyone else remember this from Fame? (Also, Cyndi Lauper 🙌❤️)


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

2020 Vision: 10 Awesome Things Families Can Look Forward to in DC this Year

To infinity and beyond… Yayoi Kusama’s art will return to DC this year


Some people make New Year’s resolutions, I make new… plans. (Well, mental notes for plans, anyway.) I like to take a look ahead at the coming year, see what new and exciting things are on the horizon, and put them on my radar to, hopefully, enjoy at some point — and, of course, share with the KFDC community. Which is just what I’ve done here. With this new year comes many opportunities for awesome experiences. Here are 10 that I think will be especially appealing to DC families. Happy 2020!

1. National Children’s Museum | Late January
The much anticipated reopening of the redesigned and newly-located museum especially for children is slated for the end of January. And if the sneak peek back in the fall is a good indicator of what’s to come, it sounds like the wait will be worth it. There will be STEAM-focused exhibits and creative play spaces, with the Dream Machine, a three-story climber and slide, as the centerpiece. This will all be easily accessible right downtown at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, next to the Ronald Reagan Building. I’ll, of course, keep you posted on opening specifics as more details are released.

2. The Lane | February
How I wish something like this existed when my kids were younger! Opening in February, The Lane Social Club will be a place where families — kids and parents — can hang. And by hang, I mean engage in active play, partake in special programming, throw birthday parties, enjoy good food or a drink, and make new friends. This is all the brainchild of two local moms, Rachel and Molly, who decided to make their yearning for a venue like this a reality. I’ve had a chance to spend some time with them, and can tell you that 1) They have thought of all the details 2) You’ll want to include them among those new friends. The location is in Ivy City near the new Target. Look for more info about the opening soon!

Get ready to welcome back the World Series Champions!

3. Nationals Baseball Season | March – October
Rooting for our home team isn’t a new thing, but cheering them on as the World Series Champions is — and it definitely adds some extra excitement to the anticipation of the Nats baseball season. Sure, the roster has changed a bit (we miss you, Tony!) but most of the squad is returning, and there are a couple of new players to watch out for. Plus, I’ve always recommended a day at the ballpark as a fun way to enjoy family time together. While Opening Day is March 26, the first home game this year isn’t until April 2. You can view the whole schedule here, and as you’re planning for game days, be sure to check out these KFDC tips first.

4. Yayoi Kusama Returns to the Hirshhorn | April 4 – September 20
Three years ago, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition at the Hirshhorn was the hot ticket to score. The presentation of five infinity rooms — immersive installations that transformed small rooms into boundless wonderlands with brilliant, imaginative sculptures and mirror-lined walls — caused quite a frenzy among art enthusiasts, Instagram fiends, and what seemed like everyone else, for that matter. I, personally, had mixed feelings about it — I loved the art, but wasn’t super keen on the viewing experience. This spring, some of Kusama’s works, including two infinity rooms, are coming back to the museum for an exhibit called One with Eternity. This time, there will be no advance tickets, just same-day passes. Fingers crossed it will be easier to get them!

5. Planet Word Museum | May 31
I am so intrigued by and excited for this opening! With a mission to “inspire a love of words and language,” the museum promises immersive exhibits and magical experiences to demonstrate how words and language help shape our lives. According to the website, there will be all kinds of word play opportunities (that go well beyond your crosswords and Scrabble) — create a marketing campaign, give a famous speech and watch it, hear authors read from their books, join songwriting and storytelling classes, and more. Details for visiting aren’t yet available, but I’ll be sure to share when they are!

6. Hamilton Revisits the Kennedy Center | June 16 – September 20
If you missed seeing the award winning Broadway smash when it was here in 2018 (like I did) and still have yet to see it anywhere else (like me), you have another chance this summer. Hamilton will be back at the Kennedy Center for a three-month run. Tickets will go on sale in the spring, and tip: Kennedy Center members always get first dibs at a selection of tickets (though this didn’t do me much good last time, as there was an online glitch and I got booted out of the system before finishing my purchase… but I’m not throwin’ away my shot to try for them again). It’s recommended for kids ages 10 and up, so be sure to take that into consideration and get some feedback if you’re hoping to bring children younger than that.

7. The Bard at the Building Museum
This year’s Summer Block Party at the National Building Museum is presented as a partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Shakespeare’s Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired outdoor stage, designed by a team from the University of South Carolina, in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Guests will be able to engage in Shakespearean activities, like stage combat, during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival brings international art and culture to DC every summer

8. Smithsonian Folklife Festival | June 24-28, July 1-5
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is far from a new event to DC, but I’m including it here because after being shortened to a weekend last year, it will return to its regular, longer 10-day run. I always recommend checking out the festivities on the National Mall during that time, because they’re always a fantastic celebration of living cultural heritage, showcasing different regions around the world through hands-on activities, performances, demonstrations, and exhibits for all ages to enjoy. And the great thing about the return to the long run is more opportunities to go. This summer, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates will be highlighted as well as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and Smithsonian Conservation Commons. Admission to all of it is free. Read about and get a glimpse of the 2018 festival here.

9. MLK Jr. Library Reopening | Fall
DC’s flagship public library closed in early 2017 to undergo a major renovation, and it will reopen this fall with loads of modernized features. Newly designed spaces include an transparent entryway, large auditorium and conference center, creative spaces for the arts, a ground level café with a patio, an interactive children’s space, and more. And like all of our public libraries, there will be programming to go along with it, with plenty of it especially for kids. MLK Jr. Library is located in Penn Quarter at 9th and G Streets NW.

10. Presidential Election | November 3
So, this is more an ongoing event for 2020 even though the actual election isn’t until November. It also reaches well beyond DC, but it’s always especially interesting and exciting (and stressful) to be here during the race for the White House. Kids all over the country learn about our government and politics, but here in DC ours practically have front row seats for it. For a related activity, take a tour of the U.S. Capitol. And as we head into the election year, note these important dates: DC primaries are June 2, Maryland primaries are April 28, and Virginia primaries are March 3. Be sure to vote — and bring your kiddos along!

What are you looking forward to most in the coming year? Leave a comment and let us know!


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Sports, Spring, Summer, Theatre, Winter