Category Archives: Spring

National Children’s Chorus Holding Auditions on May 6!

Looking to get your child involved in the arts with one of the premier choral organizations in the country? The National Children’s Chorus based near Thomas Circle in Washington, DC, is holding auditions on May 6th for children ages 5 to 18, offering the opportunity to learn and grow in an extraordinary musical environment. Recent and upcoming performances include the Kennedy Center and Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, in addition to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and internationally every summer!

The finest instructors work with students weekly to develop their vocal skills from the most basic concepts through the college level. Tone quality, breath support, and musical expression are cultivated within the individual singers, while working together as an ensemble culminates in world-class performances. With a spectacular musicianship curriculum to accompany its first-rate vocal training, the National Children’s Chorus is an unparalleled educational resource for children who love to sing. If your child has musical ability, don’t waste another minute!

Auditions will take place on May 6, 2019 at National City Christian Church: 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC, 20005. Children ages 5 to 18 are invited to apply. Set up an audition today!

This post is sponsored by the National Children’s Chorus, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2019, DC, Music, Sponsored Post, Spring

Where to Play on the Weekdays: March 25-29

The first tinges of spring at the National Arboretum

Monday – Go for a swim! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you can take a dip on a cold day. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim hours and make sure there are no random closings, which happen occasionally.

Tuesday – Take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Spring Break and head to their fantastic playground. Located on the grounds of the National Cathedral, the school welcomes the public to enjoy its outdoor facilities when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Join the Hirshhorn for a special STORYTIME session that’s part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival programs. Take a trip to the depths of the earth and discover what can grow from it. Visit the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, hear a reading of Call Me Tree by Maya Christina González, then do a related hands-on activity. The program runs 10-11am, and admission is free.

Thursday – Get out and enjoy the day at Great Falls Park, which boasts some of the most magnificent nature in the area. 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. For more places to get a dose of nature, see this post about local walks in the woods.

Friday – Enjoy early spring at one of the prettiest places in DC, the National Arboretum. Flowers are just beginning to bloom and the cherry trees are budding in the area around the Ellipse Meadow, where the striking Capitol Columns are located. Be sure to explore the rest of the Arb, too! Take nature walks among the plant collections, view the impressive bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, 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!

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: March 22-24

Cherry blossoms are In Peak Bloom at ARTECHOUSE

Happy first weekend of spring!

In Peak Bloom
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through May 27
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child

ARTECHOUSE is celebrating many things with its newest digital art exhibit: Cherry blossoms, spring, renewal, and women artists! In Peak Bloom features interactive and immersive digital art installations inspired by the fragile beauty and ephemeral nature of the cherry blossom. The works are beautiful and delightful, unique and profound. They’ll have kids and adults alike smiling and appreciating the gifts of art and nature.

Cherry Blossom Family Festival
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission: Free

Join the American Art Museum and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. Kick off the day with a taiko drumming performance outside of the museum at the F Street entrance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, listen to Japanese music, and go on a spring-themed scavenger hunt through the museum’s galleries. This is just the start of many cherry blossom celebrations over the next few of weeks — plan for more with this post listing the activities families will enjoy best.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Children of all ages and their families can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Japanese-related books will be on display, and a special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture. Other activities include Japanese drum music and dance performances, instructions on the art of tiara-making by former Cherry Blossom princesses, origami artwork lessons, decorative Konobori coloring, and the kimono dress-up experience. Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature – read more about it here.

Marvel Universe LIVE!
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Tickets: $15-90+

Spider Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk, Black Widow, and the Guardian of the Galaxy…Marvel’s mightiest heroes face off against some of the most threatening villains in the Marvel Universe. In this live stage production, see them unite in a race against time to defeat Loki in an epic quest to defend the universe from evil.

Slime Expo
Where: Waterford at Springfield | Springfield, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $10-75

It’s slime time at SLIME EXPO DC, the DC metro area’s largest slime event! The fun-filled day will include meet & greets with your favorite slime brands, live demos, slime recipes, raffles, giveaways, DIY slime workshops, contests, a trade area, and many more slime-related activities!

Mt. Olivet KidStuff Sale
Where: Mount Olivet United Methodist Church | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 8:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The Mount Olivet Preschool is hosting their annual KidStuff Sale! Shop for a HUGE selection of gently used items. There will be children’s clothing (sizes 0-6+), maternity clothes, baby equipment & accessories, strollers, toys & DVDs, books, and furniture. Go early to score great deal — and bring a friend! Cash or check only. Parking is available in the lot located off Glebe Road next to the church.

Flying in the Great Hall: Final Fight
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Witness death-defying feats of aeronautics — well, model aeronautics, anyway! The DC Maxecuters, a club for model aviation enthusiasts, have been sharing their love of model aviation in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall for over 20 years. Don’t miss this opportunity to watch them send both rubber band- and electric-powered model planes soaring between the 75-foot columns and overhead. And this will be the DC Maxecuters’ last year of Flying in the Great Hall, so this is a chance to wish them clear skies and safe landings in all their future travels! 

Big Apple Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through March 24
Tickets: $20-25 (look for a discount)

This weekend is your last chance to experience the Big Apple Circus while it’s in town. Celebrating its 41st season, the show features amazing stunts under the big top. Known for its one-ring, artistic, European-style, no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers. That’s perfect for viewing some first-ever featsalong with fan favorites. Hire wire acts, contortionists, bicycle acrobatics, hilarious clowns, and doggie dances are some of thrills and fun you can expect. Read a review of one of our past experiences at a Big Apple Circus show.

Women’s History Celebration
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Women’s History Month at the DAR Museum! Join us to recognize powerful American women who left their mark on history. Come learn about your favorite heroines and discover some new faces as well. Enjoy activities, crafts, games, music, and a preview performance of 19: The Musical from 12pm-1pm (seating for that is first come, first served).

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

* Reserve free tickets to a musical adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* See The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 at the Kennedy Center.
* Dicken’s Davy Copperfield is on the Imagination Stage.
* Anatole: Mouse Magnifique is also at the Bethesda theatre.
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair at The Puppet Co. for one last weekend.
* And Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots performance there on Saturday.
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java.
* Venture Into the Woods at Ford’s Theatre.

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. Head to Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria on Friday or Saturday for story time from 10:30-11am. Solid State Books on H Street NE hosts readings on Saturday (ages 0-5) and Sunday (age 4+) at 10:30am. At Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, they’ll watch your kiddos while you grab a coffee on Sundays at 11am.

Sensory-Friendly Screenings
Where: Regal Cinemas | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6

Catch Sensory-Friendly Screenings of Captain Marvel and Wonder Park on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinees from Regal give everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for Captain Marvel here and Wonder Park here.

Storybook Theatre
Where: Northeast Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

You’re invited to Storybook Theatre — dramatic interactive readings of children’s books! This is presented by Royal Proteges for a group that offers supplemental education focusing on success, finance, and leadership to youth and young adults. Seating is limited so register in advance.

Balloon Animals 101
Where: Makeshift | H street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 3-4pm
Admission: $15

Delight your friends and family with this crowd-pleasing talent! Join professional balloon twister Julie Zauzmer for Balloon Animals 101. You’ll learn the basics of balloon twisting, from balloon selection and sourcing to twisting mechanics, and you’ll walk away with 3 of your own balloon animals! For ages 5+. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

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

Get a dose of nature, enjoy spring weather, and have some active fun on the trail! See buds getting ready to bloom, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor the time outdoors. This post has a bunch of recommendations for great places to walk in the woods with the kids.

* There’s a new post listing live entertainment for families coming to local stages this spring — check it out and save your seats!
* A good list of places to watch March Madness, some even kid-friendly.
* Prep for peak bloom with Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms.
* And check out cherry blossoms around the world!
* Next trip to NYC, this is a must-do.
* Date night at the Zoo? Tickets for the annual Zoofari are now on sale.
* Anyone else obsessed with Alison Roman from NYT Cooking? If so, there’s this! (Apparently, it’s been out awhile, but I only just discovered it.)
* Along with the outstanding fare, another reason to love Rose’s Luxury.
* Amy Schumer 🙌🙌🙌

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

“In Peak Bloom” at ARTECHOUSE is a Fantastic Celebration of Spring

The newest digital art exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, the gallery in Southwest DC known for its fusion of art and technology, may just be my favorite yet. Perfectly timed to open on the first day of spring, In Peak Bloom is a fantastic celebration of the season and its beauty, and visitors are encouraged to join in through interactive works that are delightful and enchanting, unique and profound.

Of course, cherry blossoms are featured in some of the installations. Digital projections of the flowers float along the walls of the main room along with other vibrantly colored blooms. Like many of the works at ARTECHOUSE, you can engage with the imagery, directing it back and forth and in swirls as you move your arms. Owen looked like a conductor as he stood in front of the floral scenes waving his hands around. And the floor painted a glossy black looks like water with images from the walls above reflected on it. It’s quite a stunning scene to take in from the balcony above or even standing (or lounging) within.

In a smaller room, you can make an image of a cherry tree bloom through connection with others. Powered by biometric sensors in four circular pads on the floor, you stand on one while other people stand on the rest, and touch hands (or lock arms or hug), and the tree goes from a pre-bloom white to a flourishing pink. Created by Korean-American artist Lisa Park, the work is inspired by Park’s experiences living abroad in the US and feeling detached from family and friends back home in Korea. It shows how connection and physical contact between people helps them thrive.

There is a nod to Japanese culture with an area of shoji screens, panels of translucent paper and wooden frames used as doors, windows, and room dividers in traditional Japanese design. In this exhibit, some of them have shadowy plant scenes on them, indicating their use as windows, while others are backlit so you can make shadows appear on the other side. (Great for photo ops, and kids will undoubtedly have fun in that area — Owen and I did!)

The maze of shoji screens leads to a wonderful, wild installation of “musical” plants, three planters of live hanging ivy that respond to contact. Each plant makes a different sound from nature — tweeting birds, croaking frogs, and either chirping insects or chattering monkeys (I couldn’t quite tell). You walk below and gently touch a leaf or stem to hear them sing. And multiple people touching them is like a little symphony of nature.

Finally, there’s the Enchanted Garden, a room full of whimsical designs created from a mix of natural and recycled artistic mediums. An augmented reality (AR) app accompanies the installation to tell the story of The Rabbit in the Moon, a legend from Japanese folklore. Right now, it’s only available on android phones, and there are a couple available there to access it. The AR will be available on iPhones soon. But even without the AR, it’s neat to wander around and explore details of the art.

Put In Peak Bloom on your family’s must-do spring activity list — it’s one you’ll all enjoy! Kids are welcome during all-ages daytime hours, but evenings are for adults only. The bar is open during these hours, and ARETCHOUSE always serves unique and tasty exhibit-inspired cocktails.

In Peak Bloom
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Daily, March 20 – May 27, 2019
All Ages Hours: Sun-Thurs 10am – 7pm, Fri-Sat 10am – 5pm
After Hours (Age 21+): Sun-Thurs 7-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-11:30pm
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child


Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Exhibit, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend