Category Archives: Live Entertainment

County Fair Season Around the DC Area



Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? Down at the County Fair. The season for them runs from early August through mid-September, and you can get the lowdown on this year’s events around the area below. Happy Fairin’!

Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival
What: Four days of festivities include livestock and dog demos, 4-H exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, games, vendors, live entertainment, and more.
When: August 1-4, see website for daily hours.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA
Cost: Tickets are $1 each or 24 for $20 (most ride are 3-5 tickets). Unlimited Ride Wristbands for Thursday or Friday are available for $25 — purchase by August 1.

Howard County Fair
What: The 74th annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 3-10, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5-7/age 10+, $3/seniors, free/under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 9-17, times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
Cost: Admission is $12/advance $15/at gate for age 12+, free/11 & under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 9 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 9-17, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $12/age 14-59, $6/seniors and age 5-13, free/4 & under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too!

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more. And new this year: A beer garden and goat yoga!
When: August 14-18, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center | 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 5-8, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena | Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/age 12+, $5/age 6-11, free/5 & under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 11-15, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $10/age 9+,free/8 & under. Rides and games cost extra.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Don’t Miss Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, Running Through August 3!


This post is sponsored by Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: July 5-7

Hang out on the LAWN at the National Building Museum


Happy Weekend!

Hang out on the LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $13/age 3-17

LAWN, this year’s big summer installation at the National Building Museum transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation, whatever your preference. Kids of all ages (that includes us really big kids 😉) are welcome to frolic along the turf, roll down hills, play lawn games, get bird’s eye views, enjoy special programming, or just relax in a hammock and listen to stories of summer.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 8:30pm
Tickets: $35-60

The Harry Potter™ film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that delights millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the NSO performing every note from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant HD screen while hearing the orchestra perform Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score live to picture.

Drive-In Movie Time
Where: Union Market | NoMa, DC
When: Friday, 8-11pm
Admission: $15/car, walk-ups are free

A League of Their Own is this month’s featured film at Union Market’s outdoor movie series. Watch the classic flick about an all-female baseball league on the big screen from the comfort of your car in the UM parking lot. Get there as early to enjoy delicious foods from market vendors and fun pre-show activities for movie-lovers of every age! The film begins at 8:55pm. Advance purchase is recommended.

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend

Admission: Varies by locale
Enjoy activities that make this time of year so much fun. Start the weekend off on Friday with a free outdoor concert or an evening of fishing, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or spray park. Cool off indoors at special summer museum programs like free admission to the Newseum or Lawn at the Building Museum. Feast on crabs or hit the beach to fulfill a seasonal must-do. Complete it all with a family movie under the stars at National Harbor on Sunday night. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2019 summer guide.

Bike to the Blooms
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Garden | Northeast DC
When: Daily, 7:45am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual lotus flower and water lily bloom has begun at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and it’s pretty spectacular! You can add some adventure to an outing to see it by biking the Anacostia River Trail there, which I just posted about. No matter how you get there, try to see it during the peak, but do keep in mind the annual festival celebrating them is next weekend, July 13-14, and it’s a fun one for families. See scenes from a past bloom here and read more about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens here.

Nats vs. Royals
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Kansa City Royals on Friday and Saturday and there some special programs to enjoy along with the baseball action of the field. Friday evening is Apollo Night, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing with space-themed activities, including stargazing, special guest appearances, and giveaways. And Saturday is Cat-urday, a purr-fect day for Cats fans. Before you plan your ballpark outing, checkout these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* Enjoy fun and antics with The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* See a storybook character come to life in Matilda the Musical at Olney Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* The Ballad of Mulan is now on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will love Balloonacy at the Bethesda theater
* Catch a performance of Circus! at The Puppet Co.
* Imaginary Friends is the featured Tiny Tots show there
* Take teens to see Byhalia, Mississippi at the Kennedy center

Dinosaur Park Open House
Where: Dinosaur Park | Laurel, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Discover an ancient world right in Prince George’s County! Paleontologists and educators will display fossils, casts, and models of Astrodon johnstoni, Maryland’s state dinosaur, along with other 112 million-year-old creatures found at Dinosaur Park. Weather permitting, visitors help search for new fossils and make discoveries that will be preserved with their names for all time.

Where’s Waldo Tour
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join Universal Kids, the TV Network that playfully celebrates kids’ everyday adventures, on their tour in support of the new series “Where’s Waldo?” Stop by the family-friendly mobile truck at Yards Park to watch a sneak peek episode of “Where’s Waldo?” And enjoy a fun, interactive experience. Plan to stay and hang out at Yards Park — let the kids play in the water features and grab a bite at one of the many eateries.

Weekend Walk-In: Crazy Crowns
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm.
Admission: $5

Join the museum for their hands-on, drop-in, once-a-month art-making workshop in the AVAM classroom! Education staff will help you explore new creative territory & make a project inspired by one of their beloved visionary artists. During this session, create a custom royal headpiece just for YOU using shiny tape, faux flowers & more. No reservations are necessary, just pop in any time 1-4pm.

Creativity Workshop
Where: Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child

Let your creativity fly in several art-making stations — it’s an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! Each station has a different project with art materials, instructions, and artistic inspiration from The Phillips Collection. A professional art educator is on site to support families who would like guidance. Comes with Artful Wellness Kit for parents and caregivers. Geared for families with children ages 2 to 8. See the website for more details! Read more about the Phillips and an upcoming annual event in this KFDC post.

ArtsFest 2019
Where: Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale,MD
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

The 12th Annual ArtFest and welcome dozens of local artists and purveyors showcasing and selling their original artwork, crafts and books. Find everything from original stained glass, oil paintings to hand-made jewelry and author signings, alongside a Children’s Pavilion featuring gardening crafts and face paintings. There will be local vendors selling food and a free, day-long concert featuring blues, rock, and classical musicians, dance and poetry.  

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $13+ (look for discount tickets)

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Infinite Space
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: $16/adult, $8/age 2+
The latest exhibition at ARTECHOUSE, Infinite Space explores the concept of infinity and “invites visitors to open their senses to the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of man and machine.” Six immersive installations will delight and amaze and some will make you feel like you’re floating in, well, Infinite Space. Family-friendly hours are 10am -5pm, and evening hours 5:30-11:30pm for ages 21+ when exhibit-themed cocktails are served make for a fun date night.

Women’s World Cup Viewing Party
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Cheer on team USA on the waterfront at The Wharf! Watch the Women’s World Cup Final with other fútbol fans on a 16-foot jumbotron screen on Wharf Street, broadcasting to the Pearl Street party zone. Enjoy food and drink on the patios of Kirwan’s on the Wharf, Kaliwa, Pearl Street Warehouse, and Lupo Marino (must purchase, of course). The event is free to attend, all ages welcome.

World Cup Watch
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kick it at National Harbor for the USA vs. Netherlands final. The World Cup celebration will feature live broadcasts; VIP stadium seating in the new District Stadium, a converted cargo crate complete with LED lighting, ceiling fans, shaded seating, and beverage service; plus food and beverage specials.

DC Art Book Fair
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

This curated, kid-friendly event in the Museum’s Great Hall brings together small presses, artists, and more to sell their independently published (largely paper-based) works. More than 40 artists will be selling creations from zines to books, comics to prints, and plenty in between. The Fair is part of the monthly Free Community Day, so be sure to explore the current exhibitions and permanent collection, too!

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* With mixed weather this weekend, both The Great Indoors list and the round-up of the best outdoor places will be good to keep handy.
* Jaco Juice & Taco Bar is a great little place to get a tasty bite with kids in Georgetown. (Pair it with a visit to Dumbarton Oaks, like we just did!)
* Get ready for Amazon Prime Day (well, days,)…on July 15 & 16 you can score some amazing deals!
* Free in DC is a great local blog to follow for the scoop on free and low-cost things to do.
* Pop-up cuteness!


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Filed under 2019, Annual, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

2019 Independence Day Celebrations Around DC


What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks over the city and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th (and 3rd!). Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

The annual Independence Day concert airing live on PBS, A Capitol Fourth will feature great musical pageantry. John Stamos will be back to host this year’s show, which will include performances by Carole King, Vanessa Carlton, Vanessa Williams, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, MusiCorps, and many more exciting acts. A special treat for the entire family will be Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, Elmo, Grover, Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street on hand to celebrate America’s birthday, as the Sesame Street Muppets perform a musical medley of patriotic favorites and iconic songs from the groundbreaking children’s television series. Get there early to stake out a spot! (KFDC tip: You can also enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

Fourth of July Musical Salute
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

It’s a star-spangled day at The Wharf. There will be live music throughout the day on the Pearl Street, Fish Market, and Transit Pier stages. Let the kids splash in the fountains, rock on bench swings by the water, enjoy an afternoon lunch at the waterfront, then snag a spot on one of the piers or rooftop bars for some of the best fireworks viewing the city has to offer. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Salute to America and Fireworks
Where: Lincoln Memorial & West Potomac Park, DC
When: July 4, 6:30 – 9:30
Admission: Free

Festivities on the National Mall will be a bit different from previous years. Instead of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival going on all day and a concert and fireworks happening in the evening, there will be a Salute to America by the President honoring America’s armed forces with music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more (tickets required). Later, fireworks will take place at West Potomac Park.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Kick off Independence Day on July 3rd, when the Nats play the Marlins and enjoy a postgame fireworks show. The July 4th game is all part of the Patriotic Series. Before you go, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Catch the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. It starts at 10am, but doors open an 8am am, and the first 1,000 guests will receive a special T-shirt. After that, celebrate like it it’s 1776! Enjoy family activities, story time, crafts, and more! Meet John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Hang out on the LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: July 4 (through September 3)
Admission: $16/adult, $13/child

It’s not an Independence Day celebration per se, but the Building Museum’s big annual Summer Block Party installation opens July 4th and will make for a fun and unique to do that day. Lawn will feature a vast, sloping green space set on a graceful incline and dotted with clusters of communal lounging areas. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and lawn games like croquet, bocce ball, and dominoes. A scaffolding tower that reaches the height of the Museum’s third floor will offer never-before-seen views of the Great Hall, column capitals, and sculptural busts lining the roof.

Visionary Pets on Parade
Where: American Visionary Arts Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: July 4, 9-10am
Admission: Free

Dress your pet & strut your stuff — or just go to watch the animal fun. Trophies awarded for Best Costume, Most Patriotic, Most Visionary Pet, Owner & Pet look-alikes, Least likely to succeed as a Pet, Visionary Pet Tricks and more! Friendly pets of ALL kinds are welcome to this best dog-gone parade in town. It will be followed by the Pet Talent (Or Not) Show! Pets must be leashed or carried. H20, pet cooling station, and baggies provided. Free and open to the public, and no advanced registration is required to participate or watch.

July 4th Celebration
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: 4-9:30pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to join the 8th annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Enjoy live entertainment, catch and release fishing, face painting, bouncy fun, an obstacle course, and crafts. Concessions will also be for sale and plentiful.

Family Fireworks Cruise
Where: Washington Marina | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 6:45pm
Admission: $159 (look for a discount)

View the breathtaking Independence Day fireworks display from the comfort of the boat, FREEDOM. This relaxing, family-friendly cruise with the National Ferry Corporation along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers offers front row seats to the stunning display in the sky, fun raffles, and complimentary hot dogs, chips, and an array of cookies & brownies for desert. There will also be a complimentary champagne toast for the adults during the fireworks show, plus a full bar with beverages available for purchase. Last year’s fireworks cruise sold out, so book your cruise soon.

Summer Rooftop BBQ
Where: The Eaton Hotel | Downtown DC
When: July 4, 4-8pm
Admission: $22/adult, $10/child

Wild Days, The Eaton Hotel’s indoor/outdoor rooftop music venue, is hosting a BBQ with a special menu for the holiday — and kids are welcome, too. The gathering aims to bring together members of the community around a selection of DJs, tasty food, and cocktails overlooking all of K street, inspired by the diversity and originality of DC.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School | Fairfax, VA
When: July 4, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Grab a bit fro food trucks starting at 6pm. Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, and fireworks follow at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

McLean 4th of July Fireworks
Where: Langley High School | McLean, VA
When: July 4
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual Independence Day Celebration is at Langley High School this year. Gates open at 6pm, and the fireworks show begins at sunset, approximately 9:15pm. In addition to the large fireworks display, patrons can come early to enjoy musical entertainment by a local disc jockey, as well as food trucks selling a variety of entrees and snacks.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays