Category Archives: Outdoor

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 21-24

Bundle up for a day outdoors at Great Falls Park


Tuesday – Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, restaurant, vintage store, and hotel all in one. It’s one of the neatest and most stunning spaces in DC! And visitors are welcome to explore (and shop!) it all. Tours are offered 11am – 3pm. Self-guided tours start at $25 — purchase tickets in advance online.

Wednesday – Get excited for the Lunar New Year at the Freer|Sackler Gallery, where you can view a remarkable collection of Asian art and special exhibits. Ask for activity cards and a family guide at the front desk when you arrive to help with kiddos with their art adventure. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Bundle up for a hike and some nature fun at Great Falls Park. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Take in spectacular views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. Open 7am to 30 minutes after sunset. Admission is $20/vehicle.

Friday – See some entertainment especially for kids at The Puppet Co., where Rapunzel is the current Main Stage production. Showtime is 11am, and tickets are $12.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: January 17-20

Our weekend honoree: This cool kid who we all love so much (even Sash). Happy Birthday, O!


Happy Long Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the whole weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, sports, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

$2 Family Fun Night
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, 4 – 8pm
Admission: $2/ages 1+

Explore Port Discovery’s BIG new exhibits, The SkyClimber and The Port, and three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits for just $2 per person — presented by Maryland 529. Tickets for this event must be purchased in person at the event; they are not available in advance.

Fortnight Nerf Night
Where: Badlands Play Space | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, 5:50-8pm
Admission:$30/child includes dinner buffet

Badlands invites kids ages 7+ to join them for an evening of team based challenges with a Fortnight theme. Participants are encouraged to bring the blaster of their choosing and protective eye wear. Badlands will provide the foam darts, a complimentary dinner for the kids, and FUN! Read more about Badlands in this KFDC post.

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual expo celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center this weekend. Check out hundreds of exhibitors, plus there will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to try new sports, giveaways, and activities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow/green line to the Mount Vernon stop.

Art Investigators: Yayoi Kusama
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 11:30am | Sunday, 11:30 & 12:30pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s wonderful Art Investigators is back with winter sessions. The drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 will explore works by Yayoi Kusama with a a book reading, a look at her work, then an art project that directly relates to it. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly. Read a KFDC review of the series back when it was called Stories in Art (it’s an older post, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same).

Origami & Bonsai Workshop
Where: US National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 10-11:30am
Admission: $15 (plus service fee)

Learn how to create four origami animals from experienced origami teacher and artist, Jeff Raab. At the start of class, be inspired by the peace and calm of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s treasured trees on your private group tour lead by Museum Curator, Micahel James. Then get cozy for a folding session inside with Jeff. This is the perfect hobby to learn in time for the brisk winter months so you can stay inside and keep those creative juices flowing. Beginners and accompanied children (ages 6 and up) welcome! Plan to spend more time at the wonderfull Arboetum after the workshop — read (and see) more about it here and here.

City of Stories: A Community Book Art Project
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to contribute to the community project City of Stories with artist Sushmita Mazumdar. Inspired by photographs in the exhibit My Iran: Six Women Photographers, explore how artists share their stories and perspectives on a self-guided tour. Then return to the studio to create a house-shaped book and add it to a collaborative installation. For all ages and adult companions.

Future Sketches
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child (find discount)

A new exhibit opens at ARTECHOUSE this weekend. In Future Sketches, artist Zach Lieberman “creates digital poetry through code, technology and theory. He writes his own software to create his artwork, and is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding.” The exhibits at the gallery specializing in digital art always include large scale installations and interactives that all ages can enjoy.

It’s All Downhill…
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies

Between the long weekend and snow in the forecast, it’s a good time to get in some skiing! There are a bunch of resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and experienced swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and if you have a 4th or 5th grader, be sure to sign up for the SnowPass that offers free skiing opportunities. Some resorts to check out, both with or without the pass: Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Bryce, Snowshoe, and Wisp.

Inside Action
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you want to let the kids burn some energy, but aren’t so keen on cold, take them to an indoor playground. There are lots of places around the area where they can run, jump, slide, roll, and literally bounce off the walls in some cases — all within warm spaces. And many of them have areas for you to stay comfy while they do. This post has info on where to go.

Ginger Beard Mania
Where: Supreme Core Cider | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $20

Supreme Core Cider is throwing this second annual party to celebrate their Ginger Beard Man spiced winter cider — and the whole family is invited! A ticket gets you entrance, a free pint, signature cider cocktail from Green Hat, and a 4-pack to take with you. Awesome BBQ will be provided by the Smoke & Ember BBQ Truck. There will also be a Ginger Beard Competition — whether yours is natural or embellished (you know, fake), you are free to enter. Kids and pets welcome.

The Pied Piper
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 18, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $32/adult, $17/child (find discount)

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

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

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

Narnia
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $12/child (find discount)

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

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12

Recommended for ages 1-5, this show is about Nellie and Amelia, 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 as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Opera Starts with Oh!
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a free afternoon of artistic playtime with your family and immerse yourselves the art of all arts — opera! Unravel the many elements of opera through play and immersive activities à la Opera Lafayette. The second Opera starts with Oh! atelier of the season explores Leonore, a story of bravery, through play-acting and design with OL designers and artists. Led by internationally trained director, choreographer, and teaching artist, Emma Jaster, and featuring musicians, a singer, and a designer, the program Opera starts with Oh! is perfect for families with children aged 3 & up. Sign up here.

NCAA B-Ball
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Catch some college hoops action! With so many universities in the area, there’s always exciting play on area courts. Here where yo can watch it this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Purdue on Saturday at 2pm (Go, Terps!)
* Georgetown men vs. Marquette on Saturday at 2pm
* American men vs. Holy Cross on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs. Richmond on Saturday at 2:30pm
* Howard men vs. Yale on Monday at 1pm
* Maryland women vs. Indiana on Monday at 8pm (Go, Terps!)

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

Get outside, be active, and have fun ice skating! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; glide over the Potomac at The Wharf, or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Playbank for Elizabeth Warren
Where: CentroNía | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11:30am
Admission: Free

Supporters of Elizabeth Warren are hosting a “Playbank,” a phonebank and playdate rolled into one! From the hosts: “Elizabeth Warren knows from her years as a single mother how hard it is to raise kids, and her campaign office and policy positions reflect it! We’ll have a dedicated room with tables, toys, and books to call and play together with our small children. Laura and I (your neighbors and hosts) will bring snacks, provide phonebank training, and help entertain the kiddos. We’ll be calling critical Iowa voters ahead of the caucuses to ensure that Warren resurges and is positioned well to become our next President Playbanking may not be the most efficient way to phonebank, but it’ll surely be the most fun!” Bring your mobile phone and headphones with microphone. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to join. Please RSVP here, and feel free to join even if you don’t RSVP; and come late rather than not at all. CentroNía is located at 1420 Columbia Rd NW, 4th Floor.

2020 Women’s March
Where: Starts at Freedom Plaza | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

As it says on the website: “Three years of marching, training, organizing, and building power – it’s all been leading up to this. In 2020, we have the chance to strengthen the movement we started three years, and to unite together in the face of continued attacks on our bodies, our rights, our immigrant communities, and our planet. This year, we aren’t just marching. We’re putting our bodies on the line hand in hand with other mass movements. With your help, we can make this the largest day of action the country has ever seen, and demand that our leaders be held accountable, protect our planet, and fight for our rights.”

Complimentary Community Weekend
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

On the weekend of the Women’s March, take this opportunity to join the museum as they celebrate the creative contributions of women and champion women through the arts! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. Currently on view is Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction, Live Dangerously, Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits, and Betsabeé Romero: Signals of a Long Road Together, plus many more great works in the permanent collection.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Family Concert
Where: Temple Emmanuel | Kensington, MD
When: Monday, 11am
Admission: $10/age 12+, free/11& under

Bring the whole family to enjoy a special family concert by the New Orchestra of Washington, a chamber orchestra based in the District. The colorful program will engage listeners both young and young at heart with Eine Kleine Nacht Musik by Mozart for string instruments (2 violins, viola, cello), Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, arranged for woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, and percussion), and a newly written piece Labrinto (Labyrinth) by the NOW Artistic Director, Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, for all instruments listed above plus piano. After the concert, stay to enjoy an instrument petting zoo!

Wizards Matinee
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Tickets start $10

The Wizards are playing at home on Monday when many have the day off work. See the on-court action against the Detroit Pistons. Plan on a pre-game lunch 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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
*Local nonprofit Eliana’s Light has a wonderful way for families to give back together: Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids & Cookies for Caregivers.
* There’s a Young Learner Tour coming up at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on February 15 — a perfect way to introduce little ones to a museum you might usually consider too sophisticated for their ages.
* This book about DC is especially for little ones, and you can get a free shipping on it by emailing the code kid friendly [email protected]
* Have you heard of a Blessing Box? There is now one in our neighborhood, and I think it’s a lovely idea.
* The docuseries Cheer on Netflix is one of the best shows I’ve watched in awhile. WOW. Not only was I was blown away by the sheer athleticism and grit required for the sport (yes, it IS a sport), but I was also incredibly moved and inspired by the cheerleaders, their stories, and the leadership, compassion, and open heart of their coach. Strongly recommend!
* And a movie rec: Parasite. Whoa. So deserving of all the awards and nominations. (It’s now streaming on Amazon.)
* If you’ve already watched Cheer (or after you do), you’ll appreciate this.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area

Visiting the memorials is one way to celebrate MLK


Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or hope to join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 20
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Jr. Family Program
Where: Anacostia Community Museum | Anacostia, DC
When: January 18
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the whole family at the Anacostia Community Museum! Inspired by Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday song, guests can create art using King’s familiar theme of the “Beloved Community” in a workshop led by art educator, Alma Robinson. Participants can also take part in a second workshop with art educator, Rain Young to create original balloon art of a peace medal or a “I Have a Dream” hat to take home. Both workshops include a guided tour of the exhibition “A Right to the City” with an emphasis on Dr. King’s visit to DC’s Shaw neighborhood. All materials will be provided. Register in advance!

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: January 18, 11am – 6pm & January 20, 10am – 6:45pm
Admission: $20 per day

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic is an elite high school basketball showcase celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Top high school players will include freshman Elijah Fisher from Crestwood Prep, JT Thor from Norcross High School, and Mady Sissoko from Wasatch Academy. Local DMV highlight players include Cory Barnes Jr. and Tegra Izay from Archbishop Carroll High School, Erik Reynolds and Rodney Rice Jr. from Bullis School and more. All games will be played at The St. James in Springfield, VA — the state-of-the-art 450,000 square foot complex is home to more than 30 sports, including Team Durant at The St. James, Kevin Durant’s youth basketball organization. Read about what else is at The St. James in this KFDC post.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 18-19, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Martin Luther King, Jr. and complete a hands-on art project. Read (and see) more about the program and museum here and here. And note this takes place both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 20
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities geared especially toward children. Learn to recite the famous “I Have a Dream” speech at Bellevue Library, join a “Social Justice” Family Story Time at Woodridge Library, celebrate MLK’s Legacy with Author Amy Nathan at Mount Pleasant Library. There are just a few activities in DC. For quick links to see what’s happening at other libraries around the area, see this KFDC post (scroll all the way down for library links).

Be the Light — Celebrating the Legacy of MLK Jr.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 18-20
Admission: $17.95/ages 1+, free for members

If you can dream it you can change it! Join Port Discovery in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during this “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences in our community and learn how you, too, can become a Change Maker. Take part in interactive programs and performances designed to educate, inspire, and help children understand the positive impact that their actions can have, inspired by Dr. King’s message of promoting fairness. Activities are planned daily throughout the entire weekend — check the website for a daily schedule.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Dowell, MD
When: January 18-20, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Baltimore artist Gary Webb leads the 20120 MLK Days project titled, “Faces of a Dream.” Guests of all ages can create a wire mask using using his “webbing technique” of twisting and bending different kinds of wire into a self-portrait mask, which will be added to an ever growing wall of faces, celebrating the diversity and beauty of the community. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place | Brookland, DC
When: January 18, 8pm & January 19, 4pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket*)

KanKouran West African Dance Company returns to Dance Place for their annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Introducing the essence of traditional African dancing and drumming to audiences, KanKouran enriches American cultural heritage through the integration of authentic West African arts and promotes intercultural understanding. The annual MLK Day concert celebrates over 35 years of fulfilling their mission of “giving back that which was lost.” The Sunday 4pm performance is part of the Family Series – Get 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult.

Paint for Peace
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: January 18 & 19
Admission: $12-20

Bring the whole family Art Jamz for their Painting for Peace Weekend. In honor of MLK Day, they are donating $5 per canvas order to DC Central Kitchen, a local organization that helps combat hunger and poverty. During the event, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of local artists and with inspiration from their jamming social art studio and lounge. There will be plenty of images and quotes inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. plus stencils to help you create a unique masterpiece! Book your session in advance here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Jauray 20
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 20 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From 9-10am, there will be a special ceremony honoring Dr. King with speakers, the placing of a wreath on the memorial, and a song. Later, you can take a tour with a Park Ranger — they will be offered at 2pm & 6pm. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there at the top of the steps. And for a longer guided walking tour that includes those locations, check out DC by Foot, which offers name-your-own-price tour options.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 20, 10am -6pm
Admission: Free

The American Visionary Art Museum will pay lively tribute to one of the world’s greatest visionaries, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its annual, all-ages-welcome event. The intergenerational community party honors the great Dr. King’s legacy and vision with birthday cake, a Power Patch printmaking workshop, an artist talk by exhibiting artist Kyle Yearwood, a poetry slam and open mic, and more — all of it free for everyone! Read more about the wonderful AVAM here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 20, 4pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Montgomery County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s life through dramatic readings, and musical and dance performances with the theme, “Children of the Dream.” In addition, there will be the presentation of the Humanitarian Award, Children of the Dream Awards as well as a visual arts display honoring Dr. King. Free tickets are required for this event and will be distributed on-site on the day of the performance starting at 3pm.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Fair
Where: Throughout SE, DC
When: January 20
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 11am and the Parade will commence at 11:30am from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance and continue up MLK Avenue, concluding at the campus of St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair at the Gateway Pavillon located at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

Rockville Celebrates MLK
Where: Montgomery High School | Rockville, MD
When: January 20, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s 48th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will include multicultural performances, awards, and a keynote speech a keynote speech focused on the theme “Light in the Midst of Darkness.” The celebration is free and open to all ages. Free refreshments, information booths, and community service projects will also be part of the festivities.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 20, 6pm
Admission: Free

At this annual performance in honor of MLK Day, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year, the musical tribute features ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Georgetown University will also present the 18th Annual John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award to Sandra Jackson, executive director of House of Ruth. Free tickets will be given away, up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 13-17

The National Arboetum is a great place to enjoy warmer-than-normal weather


Monday – Go to Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Taking place every Monday, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Of course, stay to explore the rest of the museum, which is full of interactive exhibits that appeal to all ages. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Take kiddos to bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play workshop is a great way for kiddos to be active indoors (it was a regular outing for us when the kids were younger)! The session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am and Fridays at 4:30pm. Read more about the open play sessions here.

Wednesday – Spend what’s forecast to be a warmer-than-normal winter day at one of the prettiest places in DC, the U.S. National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections on nature walks, view the bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, check out the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees, and so much more. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read even more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list! — as well as this post and this one.

Thursday – Explore the local environment at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. Afterwards, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Friday – Rock out with local kids’ fave Rocknocerous at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. You can also nosh while you’re there — the smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available. Showtime is 10:30am, doors open at 10am. Tickets are $5.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays