Checking out Mustang Alley at last year’s Washington Auto Show
Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity
February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, live entertainment, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. This brand new post has details on where many are happening this weekend and over the next few weeks.
The REACH Winter Lanterns
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Thursday through Sunday evenings
This special display of Winter Lanterns in recognition of the first winter season at the REACH and the Chinese New Year is wonderful! Around 100 beautiful illuminations include the Chinese Four Symbols and 12 Zodiac Signs, a Panda Grove, Mushroom Garden, Floral Garden, and Jellyfish Lagoon — all crafted by Chinese artisans and made up of 10,000 colored LED lights. Along with the lanterns outside, there are more activities to enjoy indoors — a Beijing Opera make-up demo, panda photo ops, traditional costumes to try on, a calligraphy station, and a paper lantern making workshop are among the hands-on fun for all ages. It starts at 5:30pm every evening, except for Sunday when it begins at 4pm.
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under
The 2020 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 600 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be appearances by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. See this post from a couple of years ago and this one from earlier KFDC days years ago for more about the event.
Where: International Spy Mueum | L’Enfant Plaza, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Could you be a spy? Now’s your chance to find out! Do you have the savvy to beat a lie-detector? The smarts to break a top secret coded message? The wits to create secret writing? The moves of a Ninja? Families are invited to find out how they measure up at the Museum’s annual Spy Fest. Mini-missions, tradecraft demonstrations by the experts, and the chance to try spy skill challenges will give KidSpy agents and their handlers an insider’s peek into the shadow world of spying—and who knows, there just may be a spy or two in your midst. For ages 5 and up, with one adult required for every five KidSpy agents. Ages 3+ must have a ticket to attend. (PS: We’ve been to this, and it’s super fun!) Read more about the new Spy Museum here.
Mola Family Social
Where: Mola | Mount Pleasant, DC
When: Friday – 4-8pm
Admission: $30/adult, $15/child
Mola, the Mt. Pleasant-based, Michelin Bib Gourmand recognized tapas restaurant will be hosting monthly Family Socials on the last Friday of every month starting this weekend. These events will allow parents to enjoy Mola’s critically-acclaimed culinary offerings, while providing entertainment for the whole family. Attendees will be treated to a tapas buffet, cupcake station, kids’ activities and happy hour drink specials. There are no event fees, and reservations can be made on Resy. Tax and gratuity is extra.
Saturday Morning Music at the National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
This Saturday’s installment of the National Theatre’s free weekly live entertainment series features Mr. Jon & Carrie Rock & Rhyme — they makes music for kids and their families that inspire fun, laughter, and dancing. Reserve free tickets online or get them day-of, but note they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis there, and everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.
Chinese New Year Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Help ring in the Year of the Rat with Chinese ribbon dancing, acrobatic yo-yo performances, and an interactive magic show. Artists from the city of Shenzhen demonstrate ink finger-printing, wood printing, shadow puppets and dough figurines. Check out calligraphy demonstrations by the Confucius Institute at George Washington University, and Chinese paper cuts and good luck envelopes from the Confucius Institute at George Mason University. Go on an art scavenger hunt, create your own New Year craft, and enjoy delicious treats available for purchase at the Courtyard Café.
The Land of Chocolate
Where: Several locations in the City of Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate! There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, magic & juggling, Valentine making, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. See the schedule of events for details.
Heart String Art DIY Project
Where: Home Depot locations around the DMV
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Create a loving memory with your child at this Heart String Art Workshop. As you help your child piece together the symbol of Valentine’s Day, they will develop hands-on skills by sanding, nailing, painting and more. Celebrate the moment as your child makes a unique keepsake. All kids’ workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Register in advance — visit the website to find a store near you offering the class. (And for more Valentine’s Day-inspired events and activities coming up, see this KFDC post.)
Kids Handmade Valentines Workshop
Where: The Paper Source | Various stores in the DMV
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Grab your BFF for a workshop that will give you heart eyes! Make 5-6 Valentines for your classmates, friends, and family using your favorite stickers, stamps, washi and more. Buy two seats at the same time and save 10% off each seat. For kids ages 6 and up. Area Paper Source locations are in Georgetown, Bethesda, Alexandria, and Reston. (Note: This also takes place February 5, 2-4pm.)
Maple Sugaring Days
Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Be a part of the maple sugaring process and help collect the sap from trees, watch as its boiled down into sweet maple syrup, and enjoy a taste! This program takes place every Saturday and Sunday in February at select times. Sessions fill up, so register now!
The United States of Shakespeare
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday , 10am – 12pm
Shake up your Saturday at a workshop with the Folger Shakespeare Library! These programs occurring on the first Saturday of every month encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This session, act your way through American history using Shakespeare at President Lincoln’s home — the program is on the road as the Folger undergoes some renovations. Register in advance: 10-11am is recommended for ages 4-7, and 11am – 12pm is recommended for ages 7-11.
Kids Room Pop-Up
Where: Willow | Petworth, DC
When: Starting Saturday
Loyalty Bookstores and Willow are partnering on this Kid’s Room Pop-Up that will open on Saturday. A currently unused space in the back of Willow’s shop in Petworth will become an area especially for children and families, featuring toys, books, and games for sale; space for youth to read and play while parents shop; and ongoing children’s programming — including Loyalty Bookstores’ ever-popular Storytime and Singalong with Bearsong. In addition to the Kid’s Room Pop-Up, Loyalty Bookstores will have books for adults in the front of Willow.
Maker Morning: Color of Love
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Color your February with love. Try out Valentine’s Day activities including writing a love letter inspired by artist Marcel Duchamp’s word play, painting with light, and making a valentine to give to a loved one. Join us for a special kid-led tour of the Hirshhorn’s most loved artworks. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome. Stroller parking is available in the Lobby and on the Lower Level of the Museum.
Where: The Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child, $15/members ($5/add person)
Let your creativity soar at the Phillips’ art-making stations geared toward families with children ages 2 to 8. Each station has a different project with art materials, instructions, and artistic inspiration from The Phillips Collection. An art educator is on site to support families who would like guidance. Be sure to sign up in advance as this program often sells out! Read a KFDC write-ups about the art museum here and here.
Crêpe Day: Celebrate La Chandeleur
Where: Hillwood Museum | Upper Northwest, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adult, $12/member, $5/child, free/ under 3
We’re just about midway through winter, and Hillwood is celebrating with their annual
La Chandeleur, also known as Crêpe Day, marking the halfway point between winter and spring. In France, families celebrate by eating crêpes, which are round and golden, like the springtime sun. Hillwood and Alliance Française de Washington invite families to celebrate the holiday in festive French fashion amidst Hillwood’s spectacular gardens, magnificent mansion, and exquisite French treasures. There will also be activities for all ages, with story times and crafts especially for children.
Read Africa Festival
Where: Francis Gregory Library | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Join the library to celebrate 2020’s Read Africa Week, a literary initiative to showcase young people’s literature with realistic depictions of African life. There will be storytelling, crafts, African food, book giveaways, and more. All ages are welcome, but the program is designed with families and young children in mind.
Shows on Strings (and Hands)
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $6-12 (find discount)
Rapunzel is the Main Stage performance at the puppet theater in Glen Echo Park, recommended for children in pre-K and up. And really little ones will enjoy Snow Show, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show, on Sunday at 10am.
Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Nellie and Amelia are 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. Recommended for ages 1-5.
Lunar New Year & Fashion
Where: Fashion Center at Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Rng in the year of the rat during the mall’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration. Immerse in traditional Asian history with live entertainment and hands-on activities. Enjoy lion and dragon dances, a Hanfu fashion show, musical performances, and more! In addition, there are more than 170 stores where you can find new fashions for the new year.
Watch the Wizards
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 8pm
Admission: Tickets start at $18
The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday night — watch them work some on-court magic against the Brooklyn Nets. Plan on a pre-game dinner 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.
Groundhog Day Celebration
Where: The Fountain in Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 8:30am
Potomac Phil, DC’s most famous marmot, will offer weather and political predictions, letting us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring. There will be live accordion music, polka dancers, a puppet show, VIP celebrities and more. Meet up in Dupont Circle at the fountain.
Complimentary Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. It’s a fantastic mix of art that will appeal all ages — the collection includes bold and quirky designs that little museum-goers will love along with more profound works that big art enthusiasts will appreciate. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own.
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Washington Capitals will be taking over Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins. If you want to plan on a pre-match brunch in Penn Quarteo, there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. (Same recs as the Wizards game: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.)
Groundhog Day Screening
Where: American History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 3:30pm
Admission: $8.50/child, $10/adult
Celebrate the holiday at a showing of the classic Bill Murray film (one of my al-time favorites!): A cynical TV weatherman finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament drives him to distraction, until he sees a way of turning the situation to his advantage. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 11+. My kids have both seen it, and I’d say it even a little younger would be okay, but parents are the best judges of what’s appropriate for their own kids.
The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure
Looks like mild weather this weekend, so you may want to get out. Of course, there are always great indoor activities to enjoy, too. These posts that are chock full of evergreen pursuits for either preference:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
Free Film Screening: Like
Where: Green Hedges School | Vienna, VA
When: February 6
Green Hedges School in Vienna, VA, will host a free screening of the documentary film Like on Thursday, February 6, at 6pm on the School’s campus. Like is an IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impact of social media on our lives. The goal of this film is to inspire people of all ages, especially kids, to self-regulate. Open to the public. Children are welcome, although the film is intended for students in grades 4-8. Please RSVP here.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a pair of tickets to The King’s Speech at National Theatre.
* Birth Club, founded by two local moms in Old Town, is a space for women who are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant, or who are postpartum (newly or beyond). While it’s geared towards the mental and physical health of women, they offer some family and toddler activities, too.
* I admittedly had to Google “esports” when I learned about this, but The Washington Justice and Overwatch League will play their first DC-based matches this season at The Anthem.
* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming to National Theatre this spring, and ticket discounts are currently available on select seats.
* My favorite part of the Grammy’s. Anyone else remember this from Fame? (Also, Cyndi Lauper 🙌❤️)