Category Archives: Parade

The Weekend Round-Up:
February 14-17

What better place to be than Washington, DC, on Presidents’ Day weekend?


Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Happy Presidents’ Day! 🇺🇸 Happy Weekend! 😎

Family Social Time
Where: The Lane | Ivy City, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20/child

The newest play space/family social club on the scene opens this weekend — plan to check it out! It’s got both super cool play elements and lots of thoughtful details (get a glimpse here) to make it a place where kids and parents alike will enjoy hanging out. Let the kiddos romp while you grab a coffee (or get into the fun with them), play board games or make crafts together, explore the lovely space… and make new friends along the way. Register for a time slot to ensure admission!

Presidential Family Fun Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Every year the NPG kicks off Presidents’ Day weekend with a presidential party loaded with crafts, music, dancing, games and special tours of “America’s Presidents.” Celebrate the presidents with the Portrait Gallery, President Lincoln’s Cottage, the DC Public Library, the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, artists, and experts from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing!

Washington Dollar Days
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout February, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $1

Practice frugality our founding father would approve of: Pay just $1 per person for any regular tour in February, the month of George Washington’s birth. Tudor Place is the only historic house museum in the District with family ties to Martha and George Washington. Highlights of the Washington Collection will be on display as part of all house tours. See it all for one “Washington dollar!” Tours begin hourly, and it’s recommended you book ahead.

The Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $20.50

Ezra Jack Keats’ was a pioneer in children’s literature as his stories were the first to break racial barriers, and his stories are perfectly timed to come to life on stage at Adventure Theatre starting this month. This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining.

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through Monday
Tickets: Start at $15 (find discount)

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

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

* Enjoy the NSO Family Concert: Girl Power! at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth is on the Imagination Stage on Saturday (read a KFDC review)
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java
* See Rapunzel let down her hair for one last weekend at The Puppet Co.
* And really little ones will enjoy Baby Bear’s Birthday Sunday’s Tiny Tots performance there
* Take teens to The King’s Speech at National Theatre (find discount)
* Make it a date night for Synetic Theatre’s production of Phantom of the Opera

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Barack Obama and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program and museum, go here and here.

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Class for Kids
Where: Willard Continental | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $45/child

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

Sensory Friendly Screening: Sonic the Hedgehog
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Sonic the Hedgehog on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

HBD, Frederick Douglass!
Where: Various locations | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service as they celebrate the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass as well as the Centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Following the Opening Ceremony at Anacostia High School Auditorium (1601 16th Street SE), there will be special themed house tours at Cedar Hill and an art program in the visitor center. There will also be programming at the Anacostia Arts Center and Anacostia High School that will include guest lectures, an exhibit by the DC League of Women Voters, and performances in the lobby.

Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re all happening here.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Chug on down to the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

Obata Teen Arts Workshop 
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

In this hands-on workshop, kids ages 12-16 are invited to learn about teacher and modernist artist Chiura Obata, who, as a Japanese American, played an important role in creating a cross-cultural dialogue despite widespread prejudice against Asian Americans. During World War II, Obata and more than one hundred thousand West Coast Japanese Americans were forced into incarceration camps. After touring the exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern, participate in activities that examine how these experiences changed Obata’s art and connect to the struggles and dreams of America’s minority and immigrant communities today. This is free, but registration is required.

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

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

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

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

A rare opportunity to hang out in the Library of Congress Main Reading Room this weekend

Main Reading Room Open House
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Monday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Where you can usually only glimpse from a window above, you can visit on one of just two days per year it’s open to the public! The beautiful Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress is holding its semi-annual Open House on Presidents’ Day. Marvel at the magnificent architecture and design from within, check out the old card catalogs (remember those?), and see what the Library is highlighting at the event — African American history and culture, children’s books by and about Supreme Court Justices, the Blackwell Family tree (family of Arthur Ashe, Jr.) tracing family lineage back to 1735, and more. Be sure to stop by the Young Readers Center where there will be activity stations young visitors. This is a really neat event for all ages — I highly recommend it! Read more about the LOC in this KFDC post.

Party at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $11/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Every Presidents’ Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of the first POTUS’ big day. Sample syrups, enjoy a musical to the President, and hear stories about his past birthday celebrations. Of course, take time to explore the grounds, mansion, and Education Center exhibits, including Be Washington, a great interactive experience that lets you step into his boots and make the tough decisions he faced. There will also be a special marching drill and dance demos along with ceremonial wreathlayings to honor Washington. Be prepared for a crowd — I can tell you from experience that a lot of folks show up to take advantage of the complimentary entry.

Presidential Urban Hike
Where: Various sites, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If there’s any place to make a big deal out of Presidents’ Day, certainly it’s here in the nation’s capitol. And perhaps one of the best, fun, and active ways to celebrate it is on a tour of the memorials dedicated to the honorees. Walk the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument (or vice versa). You can even go up in the Monument for a tour and a bird’s eye view of DC. From there, head over to Ford’s Theatre to learn about the life (and death of Abe Lincoln). For even more, stop by Madame Tussauds to see the US Presidents in wax.

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Bundle up to watch the procession as it travels through Old Town. See the website for more info and route details.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy the sunshine and winter beauty with some time on the trail. Enjoy the beauty of nature in winter, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids (and it’s recently been enhanced with photos from some of our walks in the woods).

Rock the Rink
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Monday,
Admission: $12/adult, $9/child

It’s ALL CAPS at The Wharf this winter. Through February, make Caps s’mores at the Capitals Campfire at The Wharf and check out the Washington Capitals décor and ice resurfacer at The Wharf Ice Rink. Join fellow hockey fans at The Wharf to show your Caps pride. From 1-4pm, skate at the Wharf Ice Rink with a DJ, Caps trivia and gear giveaways, a visit from Slapshot, and special Caps-themed drinks from Cantina Bambina. At 6:00pm, we’ll also broadcast the Capitals’ away game against the Vegas Golden Knights on a jumbotron at the Capitals Campfire. Throughout the day, fans wearing Capitals gear receive $5 off admission to the Wharf Ice Rink.

Ice It
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

There are many more places to skate under. the sky, and with sunshine skies and cool temps throughout the weekend, it’s a great way enjoy some seasonal fun. Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Washington Wizards have fan clubs especially for kids that come with cool gear and fun perks, plus they offer camps and clinics, too!
* On March 11 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, enjoy Cultural Capital: Motherhood Redux, an evening of poetry about motherhood.
* THiNK OUTSiDE is a monthly subscription box full of outdoor gear and resources that will get your kids away from a screen and outside exploring nature.
* This is true compassion.
* I want to see JoJo Rabbit and 1917.
* One of the best things I read last week.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, 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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Info and Tips for the Nationals World Series Victory Parade on Saturday


Fight Finished. Now it’s time to celebrate our Washington Nationals!!!

Mayor Bowser announced that a victory parade and rally will take place this Saturday, November 2, from 2pm to 5pm. The parade will begin at Constitution Avenue & 15th Street NW, then proceed down Constitution to Pennsylvania Avenue & 3rd Street NW. That’s just past the large intersection near the National Gallery of Art, DC Courthouse, and Capitol grounds.

Getting There
Obviously, streets will be closed off, and lots of people will be coming into the District, so parking and getting around by car will be very difficult. I recommend getting there by public transportation, bike, scooter, or the shoe leather express.

The closest Metro stops to the parade route and rally are Archives/Navy Memorial on the Yellow/Green line and Gallery Place on the Red/Yellow/Green lines, Metro Center on the Red/Blue/Orange lines, and Federal Triangle on the Blue/Orange line, Farragut North on the Red line, and Smithsonian on Blue/Orange. A bit farther and possibly less crowded are L’Enfant Plaza on Yellow/Green/Blue/Orange, Judiciary Square on Red, and Federal Center SW on Blue/Orange. It’ll be a nice day, perfect for some extra walking.

Metrobus is also a great option. The A30’s all service that general area, and the D-6 goes right through Penn Quarter. And keep in mind that some buses will be rerouted due to street closures, so be sure to check on that.

It’s a good time to take advantage of Capital Bikeshare, Jump Bikes, and scooters (for kids who are big enough) — see this Curbed DC article for info.

Being There
It’s always tricky to figure out the best place to stake out a spot for an event like this. (I remember our crew trying to be strategic about the Caps celebration and realizing when we got there lots of other people had the same idea we did!)

Generally, if you want to catch the parade, definitely line up on Constitution Ave. And if you care more about the rally, go straight to the ending point around Pennsylvania & 3rd. Of course, you can do both and start on Constitution, then head to the rally area, but there likely will be a crush of people doing the same. Either way, get there early if you want a good spot. I’d say at least an hour ahead. There are always big screens set up, so you should be able to see what’s going on from wherever you are, though sometimes you need to get a good spot for a good view of those, too.

Gear Up
Wear your Nats best! Modell’s and Dick’s have World Series commemorative gear, but I hear it’s selling fast! Of course, you can also purchase at the Nationals Team Stores at Nationals Park. Surely, there will be vendors selling items at the event on Saturday, too.

Fuel Up
Celebrating will make you hungry, so plan to have a meal before or after the parade and rally. There are loads of great, family-friendly places not too far from the event area. Here are some recommendations: Jaleo, Teasim, Hill Country Barbeque, Pi Pizzeria, Carmine’s, District Chophouse, Protein Bar, and Pret a Manger. Find even more on Open Table.

More Info
You can get alerts about the event by texting “NATS” to 888-777 or visit the District government’s event page for the parade to stay up to date on details (though right now there aren’t any there).

* If I hear further information and think of any other important tips, I’ll add them here, so check back before Saturday.

* For more to do while you’re downtown, be sure to check the Weekend Round-Up and, of course, the rest of the blog to find nearby activities.

* And because I am so, so, SO excited for our Nats and it’s #TBT as I post this and I’m a total sap and can’t pick just a few, here are a bunch of photos of our Nats fandom over the years. 🙂
















































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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Free, Outdoor, Parade, Special Event, Sports, 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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