Category Archives: Museums

Where to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Kids

The LM2 Lunar Module on display at Air & Space, was used for ground testing prior to the first successful Moon-landing mission


It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 was launched by the Saturn V rocket into space, beginning its historic mission to the moon, where it landed four days later on July 20, 1969. In just hours, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Even though many of us Gen Xers weren’t even born yet, we’re all very familiar with the footage and audio of that “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Certainly, the half-century anniversary of that landmark event is cause for celebration. Here’s where to do that around DC this week, listed in order of start date.

Apollo Artifacts
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The Air & Space Museum is an obvious (and great) place to visit during this big anniversary. Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission. A special display case on the 1st floor across from the Space Race gallery will feature a replica of the American flag erected on the Moon, plus items in three categories: Packing for the Moon, Learning From the Moon, and Remembering the Moon.

Launch Celebration
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: July 16, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

The Udvar-Hazy Center opens early to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. There will be a broadcast NASA TV’s program celebrating the launch, materials from the Air and Space Museum’s archives, hands-on activities and discovery stations, story times, and more. Artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, like the Mobile Quarantine Facility and Apollo 11 flotation collar, are on display, too.

A Monumental Sight
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: July 16-18, 9:30-11:30pm
Admission: Free

For three evenings, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face.

Out of this World: The Science of Space
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 16–19
Tickets: $3-6

Live demonstrations, fun factoids, and space stuff with the Science Guys of Baltimore! Join on a mission to investigate the physics and chemistry that govern the rotation and orbit of planets, how astronauts live in space and power the spacecraft that hurtle among the stars. Recommended for ages 5-12.

See the Space Window
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $12/adult, $8/age 5-17, free/under 5

There’s a tiny piece of the moon in one of the National Cathedral’s stained glass windows, a relic brought back by the astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission. Now called the “Space Window,” it can be viewed on a self-guided tour or a highlights tour.

Moon Madness STORYTIME
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 17, 10am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at the Hirshhorn’s STORYTIME program for littles! Enjoy a reading of “Mooncake” by Frank Ash, then explore lunar inspired artworks, and create your own moon-inspired artworks. Meet in the lobby.

Earthrise
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 4
Admission: $20

This family show is recommended for age 5+: While the world waits for the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, three children of key NASA employees watch from different perspectives: a mathematician’s daughter, an astronaut’s son, and an engineer’s daughter. By dreaming a collective dream of landing on the moon together, the kids learn to understand the historic mission — not fear it.

Apollo 50 Festival
Where: 4th – 7th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20
Admission: Free

Join the National Air & Space Museum and NASA for the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall with all kinds of festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary. A stage and 20 tents will feature hands-on exhibits and activities from exhibitors like NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, The LEGO Group, and PBS’s Ready Jet Go!; live performances featuring costumed characters; and exciting speakers including Adam Savage, ISS astronauts, authors, and NASA scientists and engineers, with more special guests to be announced.

Discover the Moon Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 19
Admission: Free

Join the museum for a day of educational and fun family activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. At Discover the Moon Day talk to our scientists and learn about lunar science. There will be activities throughout the museum for all ages.

Apollo 50: Go for the Moon
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20, evenings
Admission: Free

The celebration will continue in the evenings with “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon.” The 17-minute immersive experience with the first moon landing projected onto the Washington Monument and more screens on the National Mall, plus a 40-foot wide recreation of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock. The free show will run at 9:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm and can be viewed from the area in front of the Smithsonian Castle, btwn 9th & 12th Streets.

First Man
Where: Arlington Mill Community Center| Arlington, VA
When: July 19, 8:30pm
Admission: Free

The theme of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization’s popular Summer Movie Nights is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.” And this week it focuses on Neil Armstrong as First Man is presented at the Arlington Mill location on Friday night.

A Celebration of African Americans at NASA
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is hosting a celebration of African Americans at NASA, sharing their stories and contributions using engaging activities about space and space travel to enhance the visitors’ experiences and learning. Since the Apollo 11 mission, the US has sent many astronauts into space. Despite being one of the leaders in the space race, it would be nearly 15 years after man’s first steps on the moon until the first African American, Guy Bluford would launch into space. In total, there have been 21 African American Astronauts.

Model Rocket Contest
Where: Goddard Space Flight Center | Greenbelt, MD
When: July 20
Admission: Free

The Goddard Space Flight Center hosts model rocket launches regularly, but this is a special one — a contest — to mark the 50th anniversary. All are welcome to launch and land their model rockets in the competition on Saturday. Registration will take pace there, and the first 200 to sign up will receive a moonlanding commemorative giveaway. Read more about model rocket launches at Goddard here.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Outdoor, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Hang out on the LAWN in the National Building Museum


The National Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party installation just opened, and it’s one to put on your seasonal To Do list. LAWN transforms the Great Hall into an inviting, expansive green space that encourages recreation and relaxation — whatever your preference — with an aesthetic and activities that evoke a feeling of summer.

Designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, the studio that built the PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs, LAWN is a sloping, stretch of “grass” (it’s a soy-based, recyclable product) adorned with elements for visitors to enjoy. Adirondack chairs and blankets offer seating. Corn hole and croquet mallets and soft balls welcome play. The gentle hill is fun to run up or roll down. Hammocks invite guests to lay back and relax…and listen to stories of summer.

The hammocks are equipped with speakers above them playing audio of famous people talking about summer experiences. You can listen to Jose Andres, Whoopi Goldberg, Venus Williams, and many more celebrated folks share their memories. It kind of feels like you’re chilling out with a friend on a lazy day, listening to them relay a story.

There are more speakers placed around the exhibit that play sounds of the season — crickets chirping, a thunderstorm, birds calling. A stand at the bottom of the hill sells summer treats, lemonade and ice cream and cookies. And the museum’s fountain is incorporated into the exhibit in an interesting way, reminding me of an inflatable swimming pool in the backyard.

You can get a bird’s eye view of the whole scene from a three-story scaffolding tower at the top of the hill. Walk in and climb the stairs to a platform to watch the action below and get new perspectives of the stunning Great Hall.

There will be special programming like movie night, yoga sessions, and late nights, so be sure to check the calendar to see what’s coming up. And DC residents should be aware of Ward Days, when they can visit LAWN with complimentary admission from 9–11am when the ward they live in is invited: July 23 is Wards 7 and 8, July 30 is Wards 2 and 6, August 6 is Wards 3 and 4, and August 13 is Wards 1 and 5.

Plan a day to play and relax on the LAWN. It’s one that kids of all ages (including us really big kids 😉) will enjoy.

LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16/adult, $13/age 3-17, $10/AARP & Blue Star, FREE/members

* Museum members get free admission, so this is a good time to consider a Family Membership


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Exhibit, Indoor Play, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

A Community Weekend Full of Family Fun at the National Gallery of Art


In celebration of the exhibit The Life of Animals in Japanese Art, the National Gallery of Art invites you to a free weekend filled with family fun for all ages!

On Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, drop in the museum’s East Building for an array of artistic and cultural activities, including Taiko drumming, origami lessons, hands-on art making, Japanese folktales, DJ performances, and more!

To help you plan, here are few highlights for families:

FILMS FOR CHILDREN
Howl’s Moving Castle
Saturday, June 22 at 10:15am in the Auditorium
Run time is 2 hours, recommended for ages 11+

My Neighbor Totoro
Sunday, June 23 at 11:15am in the Auditorium
Run time is 1 hour 40 minutes, recommended for ages 4+

FOLKTALES FROM JAPAN WITH MATOKO
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23 at 1pm & 3pm at the Concourse Galleries
Run time is 45 minutes each session

DROP-IN ART MAKING
Calligraphy with Satomi China
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23 at 12-4pm in the Education Studio

TAIKO DRUMMING BY CHIN DAIKO
Saturday, 5pm & 6pm and Sunday, 11am & 1pm
On the 4th Street Plaza

More information and the full schedule, including Saturday evening activities, can be found on the Community Weekend page.


Community Weekend
What: Celebrating The Life of Animals in Japanese Art
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23
Admission: FREE


This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Special Event, Summer, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: June 7-9

Rediscover and celebrate a Eastern Market this weekend!


Happy Weekend!

Joys of Summer
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Free concerts in the open air, outdoor swimming, movies under the stars, sprayground fun, and SO much more! Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed this weekend, and the 2019 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC has the whole scoop on all of them.

Dinosaurs are Back in DC
Where: National Museum of National History | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

After a five-year hiatus during renovations, the dinosaurs have returned to Natural History Museum. The new David H. Koch Hall of Fossils–Deep Time opens to the public on Saturday, and there will be a special ceremony and activities to celebrate. The first 300 visitors will be able to attend the 10:15am opening ceremony, and all are welcome to check out the exhibition after, though be prepared for long lines. Of course, the rest of the museum is wonderful to explore, too. Oh, and guests are encouraged to come in costume!

Celebrate Capital Pride
Where: Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, & Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 4:30-7:30pm & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Capital Pride at the annual parade that’s expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators! The procession steps off at 4:30pm at 22nd & P Streets NW and will wind its way through Dupont, Logan, and other areas of NW. It’s sure to be a spectacular extravaganza of ornate floats, street performers, music and dancing, glitter and beads, and plenty of reveling. Sunday’s family-friendly festival, on Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 7th Streets NW, will feature three stages of live entertainment and host loads of exhibitors, including local and community groups, national sponsors, local businesses, food vendors, restaurants, and businesses looking to promote their services. It’s all a fun and fabulous opportunity to show support for the LGBTA community and join the celebration!

Celebrate Fairfax
Where: Fairfax County Government Center | Fairfax, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: $10-20/adult, $4-5/youth, free/2 & under

The annual Celebrate Fairfax! festival brings a whole weekend of fun June 7-9 with something for everyone — live music, carnival rides, children’s activities, art, food vendors, and much more to keep guests entertained throughout the weekend. And with Better Than Ezra and Smash Mouth headlining, you get a little time trip back to the 90’s, too!

Women’s World Cup Watch
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you want to watch the Women’s World Cup with other fútbol fanatics, a bunch of places around the area will be featuring the matches. Check out this Washington Post article for places to watch the tournament, including some family-friendly spots and viewing parties.

Community Celebration
Where: The Fields at RFK | Hill East, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

All are invited to join Events DC and Mayor Bowser as they host a ribbon cutting ceremony and community celebration to unveil the three new recreational playing fields at RFK. Festivities will include two youth clinics provided by D.C. United’s Training Academy and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, complimentary food trucks, a steel drum band, activations hosted by DC Fray, and more! Kids can sign up for the clinics onsite. There will also be a special appearance by D.C. United’s Wayne Rooney 🙌 .

Rediscover Eastern Market
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Eastern Market is DC’s oldest, continually operating, public fresh food market. Located in the heart of historic Capitol Hill, it’s a destination for fresh food, hand-made arts & crafts, and events, and has served as a community hub for 146 years. In 2007, Eastern Market suffered a devastating fire, but was restored and reopened to great fanfare in June 2009. A decade later, all are welcome to come celebrate the 10-year milestone. There will be live performances by Kidsinger Jim and the Eastern Senior High School Marching Band, free workout sessions, and, of course, the whole wonderful market to stroll, shop, and enjoy, both indoors and out!

SoundHealth: Second Saturday
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11:30am
Admission: Free

ReVision Dance Company’s Family Friendly Creative Movement class focuses on developmentally appropriate movement, music, and dance activities. Adults and children have fun moving together in activities that encourage self-expression and socialization while supporting emotional and cognitive development. Most enjoyed by ages 0–3.

DC Jazz Fest
Where: Venues around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

The first weekend of the annual DC Jazz Festival presents a selection of the jazz genre’s most acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists at venues all around the city. Bring the kids for some afternoon jazz or make it a date night at a show in the evening. See the full schedule of concerts on the website to help you plan.

Pride on the Pier
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 2pm – 9pm
Admission: Free

Pride on the Pier extends the city’s annual celebration of LGBTQ visibility to the Wharf with an exciting array of free activities and entertainment. District Pier will offer DJs, dancing, and other entertainment, including a family-friendly kid’s zone. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase for those 21 and older. And don’t miss D.C.’s first Pride fireworks display presented by Compass. While you’re there, take advantage of even more that The Wharf has to offer — read more about it in this KFDC post.

Tinner Hill Blues Festival
Where: Various locales | Falls Church, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Starts at $30/adult, $5/age 7-16, free/6 & under

From blues in restaurants to Cherry Hill Park, and gospel on Tinner Hill, it’s three days of music and blues-related events for all ages all over the City of Falls Church. The 26th Annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival will bring loads of activities along with the live music, including fun for young festival-goers. Kids can enjoy a blues reading, films, and an instrument petting zoo. See the website for details on all of it.

As the Wheel Turns
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10a – 4pm
Admission: Free

Learn about the power of water and its connection to food on a mill tour with Friends of Peirce Mill or a National Park Service Ranger at this historic site in Rock Creek Park. Ages are welcome to drop in. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Cinderella on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $12

This version of the fairytale classic is set in the elegance of 17th-century France, combining elaborate costumes of the Comédie-Française and Offenbach’s “Gaiety Parisian” to adorn the tale of the cinder girl who captures the heart of the handsome prince. The production was acclaimed at the 1997 National Puppet Festival, and performed by invitation at the Center for Puppetry Arts, in Atlanta. Recommended for ages 5+.

Step Afrika 25th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Hartke Theatre | Catholic University, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm/8pm & Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $45-60

Step Afrika! celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season several performances featuring the company’s most celebrated choreography and the world premiere of a contemporary stepping piece, “Thula.”   Each performance celebrates 25 years of stepping while paying homage to the company’s deep connections to South African dance, music, and culture.

Rumpus Room
Where: Black Cat | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday,
Admission: $12-15

It’s the School’s (almost) out for Summer edition of the Rumpus Room! The family-friendly daytime dance party transforms the club environment (think disco balls, lights, and, of course, music) into safe family-friendly fun. Prepare for a dance floor filled with little ones, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and caregivers. The soundtrack for Rumpus Room is always a PG mix of popular dance hits, classics, children’s songs and more, all at a kid-friendly volume. Rumpus Room is designed for kids 8 and under, but older siblings are welcome! No adults admitted without a child. Maximum 3 children per adult. Infants and crawling children enter free. Purchase tickets online here.

Shavuot Ice Cream Social
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 3-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Chabad at the Hill Center for a Shavuot Ice Cream Social! Meet other kids, hear the 10 Commandments, enjoy Shavuot games and prizes, and have lots of Jewish holiday fun. The whole family welcome!RSVP appreciated.

Take Your Pick
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Strawberries, cherries, even spinach are ripe and ready for harvest, and many area farms welcome guests to come PYO. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Out in DC
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Capital Pride isn’t the only thing bringing peops out this weekend. The area is full of great places to enjoy being outside. You can read about them in The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids. (But if weather has you seeking shelter, check out The Great Indoors post instead.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Smorgasburg is coming to the Navy Yard.
* Christina Applegate’s foundation, Right Action for Women, provides advanced screening assistance to women with an increased risk of breast cancer (something I just learned about from her recent interview on Fresh Air).
* This experience coming to DC in the fall looks really cool.
* There’s a new Destinations from DC page with links to write-ups about some of the places we’ve visited over the years that make for fun, easy getaways.
* The Durells in Corfu is one of the most delightful series I have watched…ever.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekend