Category Archives: Special Event

Giveaway: Enter to Win Tickets to “The King’s Speech” at National Theatre!


It’s a giveaway for MLK Day! I have a pair of tickets up for grabs for The King’s Speech, coming to National Theatre February 11-16.

The King’s Speech is based on the true story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he formed with his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around the King as he’s thrust onto the world stage. David Seidler’s original play — which inspired the 2010 Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – will make its long-awaited U.S. debut in a production The Mail proclaims “A right royal treat.”

This stage production is recommended for ages 13 and up. Tickets are $54-114, and you can look for a discount here. Of course, you can try to win them through the giveaway below.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see The King’s Speech at National Theatre on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below letting me know which activity from the latest Weekend Round-Up (January 17-20) you enjoyed most. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Sunday, February 2, 2020 then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under 2020, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Special Event, Theatre, Weekdays, 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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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 10-12

Have a ball at the Wizards Kids Day and a game on Sunday!


Happy Weekend!

Family Happy Hour
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: $10/child, $5/adult

Kick off the weekend with a casual happy hour for parents and tots! Local fave band, King Bullfrog, will bring the entertainment with high-energy original folk and blues songs carefully tailored to get children dancing and delight grownups. Meet new friends and gather with old. Complimentary pizza and a water dispenser there, too (but consider donating to the pizza fund!).

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

CityDance POP! will be teaching a Creative Movement class for ages 3-5 at this Second Saturday event. Get ready to explore balance, coordination, and imagination through dance. Parents are welcome to join in on the fun! This is part of Sound Health: Second Saturdays, a series of free workshops designed for families with children under the age of 8 that explore the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. It occurs every second Saturday of the month. Sign up in advance!

Nationals Winterfest
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $20+/child, $30+/adult (find discount)

The World Series Champion Washington Nationals will return to Nationals Park this weekend for the annual Winterfest!  Nats players, coaches, and front office staff will make appearances throughout the weekend, participating in Q&A sessions and signing autographs for fans. Other activities include photo ops with the World Series Trophy and WGL Energy Bullpen Cart, a snow angel photo station, and the return of the curling station! Single-day and two-day passes are available.

Camp Arena Stage Open House
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Get a preview of Camp Arena Stage at an Open House this weekend! Children ages 8-15 are welcome to participate in sample workshops and classes focusing on theater, musical theater, visual art, singing, and dance — all taught by Camp staff. It’s also a great opportunity to have all of your camp questions answered. (PS: We can tell you from firsthand experience that this camp is great!)

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

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Frozen II 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.

Think Outside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

When temps reach the high 60’s in January, it kind of feels obligatory to take advantage, even if there is rain. (Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. 😉 ) Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do in the fresh air in this round-up with all kinds of ideas for outdoor fun. (But if you are seeking fun inside, check out The Great Indoors list with over 100 recommendations.)

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

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Join for a campfire, s’mores, and animals at Hidden Oaks Nature Center on Friday evening. Learn how animals stay safe and snug at Riverbend Park. Build your own time capsule at Eleanor C. Lawrence Park. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Park it in MoCo
Where: MoCo Parks | Montgomery County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks also presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. Explore Art in the Park at Black Hill Nature Center, join at gnome and fairy tea party at Brookside, enjoy s’mores and more at Clarksburg Neighborhood Park. See the online calendar for details and even more events coming up.

Literacy Fiesta
Where: Wheaton Library | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In this Literacy Fiesta program, kids and adults are part of the story as you celebrate books and stories through drama, music, movement and dance! Join the fun and leave the winter blues behind! Register online, by calling the library at 240.777.0678, or by visiting in person! Spots will be available up to the program’s start time while spaces remain.

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 us as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Pete the Cat
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admissions: $20

See a show recommended for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade: For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. So the minute the groovy blue cat meets The Biddles, he gets the whole family rocking. That is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet Earth. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $35-120/adult, $35/14 & under (find discounts)

It’s the final weekend for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of a classic. It’s a fantastic production with one of the most magical sets ever — audiences of all ages will be enchanted! Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers. Recommended for ages 5+.

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 Albert Einstein 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 the museum, see this post and this one.

Drop in at THE REACH
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The Moonshot Studio at The REACH, the Kennedy Center’s expansion offering more ways to experience the arts, welcomes weekend drop-ins. Offering activities especially for families, you can learn to draw like Mo Willems; use hand made technology called a zoetrope to make characters squawk, jump, and dance; have fun at the Mixmaster Station to creating mixes using sounds, rhythms, and beats. The Studio is open every Saturday and Sunday, and you can see what other offerings are coming up on the schedule here.

Story Time
Where: Book shops around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Several local bookstores around the area host free story times for children on weekends that often include more than just a reading. At Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, they’ll watch your kiddos while you grab a coffee on Sundays at 11am. Head to Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria on Friday or Saturday for story time from 10:30-11am. Solid State Books hosts readings on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am. You can also join sessions at DC Public Libraries — see where and when they take place this weekend.

Harbor Point Ice Festival
Where: Harbor Point | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Central Plaza in Harbor Point will come alive for the Harbor Point Ice Festival with fun for all ages! The plaza will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland with twinkling lights, live ice sculptures lining the walkways, live music, food trucks, drinks, kids’ crafts and more! Watch the excitement as award-winning ice sculptors use chainsaws and chisels to create spectacular mega ice sculptures. (Heads up! The Baltimore Ravens playoff game is Saturday evening, so traffic could be messy in downtown. Something to consider if you’re planning to go there. Thanks to KFDC reader Ali for cluing me in on that!)

More Charm City Fun, Hon!
Where: Various venues in Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Whether you pair something with the Ice Festival or pick just one activity, a visit to our sister city just up I-95 makes for a great family outing. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Tour the historic ships moored at the Inner Harbor. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. (PS: See above listing for note about the Saturday evening Ravens game.)

Teen Night at the USBG
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kids between the ages of 13 & 17, are invited to the US Botanic Garden for an evening of art and science. Spend the time wandering through the Conservatory, exploring the USBG plant collection, and encountering hands-on art and science stations. Pre-registration is required!

Cap It
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Washington Capitals will be taking over Capital One Arena on Saturday night. Watch the action on the ice as the host the New Jersey Devils. If you want to plan on a pre-match dinner in Penn Quarteo, there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.

Washington Wizards Kids Day
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to a day full of Wizards fun! This year it’s LEGO-themed, and the first 200 kids in the arena receive a pretty awesome gift. As a bonus, special paid Kids Club Members will be chosen to hit the court to join the Wizard players during the National Anthem or for a postgame autograph session. They’re also very excited for the Cradle Club baby race during halftime when the tiniest fans crawl-race to the finish line — they’re looking for a few contestants for that, too. Stick around for the game against the Utah Jazz at 3:30pm!

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: $35-75

Enjoy a showcase of the region’s finest step squads featuring lightning-fast footwork, percussive chants, and incredible synchronicity. In addition to Step Xplosion, Step Afrika! showcases a portion of their new work, Drumfolk, commissioned by Strathmore. Drumfolk honors the heritage of step and places the evolution of this vibrant art form in its historical context. Tracing step’s roots to the African American percussive traditions of patting juba, hambone, ring shout, and tap, Drumfolk reflects on the harsh realities of the American South and celebrates the fortitude of enslaved Africans who practiced these transcendent musical forms.

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

If the high temps don’t cause melty conditions, ice skating outdoors will be a great way spend some time. Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s cool rink; 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***
* How you can help Australia.
* 10 awesome things families can look forward to in 2020.
* Kids can sign up for an origami & bonsai workshop at the National Arborteum on January 18 — use code CHILDREN10 for 10% off.
* Acorns is a neat, easy way to invest and save money — we’ve been signed up for a couple of years now. (Full disclosure: Sharing via my referral link, but it really is a great app!)
* Humans of NY changes lives… maybe it’ll help this one, too.
* If, like me, you’re trying to make eco-conscious changes, I recommended these.
* A heartwarming story that will also make you LOL.
* Amy Schumer wins Instagram this week 😂


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

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

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


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

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

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

Get ready to welcome back the World Series Champions!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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