Category Archives: Summer

Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 22-26

This week may be your last chance to enjoy this view


Monday – Take in some of the best views of the DC area while you can. Word has it the Observation Deck at CEB Towers will no longer be open to the public after July 26 —- which is a bummer. The 30+ story high space in Rosslyn offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic vistas plus neat interactive and immersive experiences to enjoy them even more (and just about all of it is indoors). Hours are 10am – 8pm, and admission is $21/adult, $11/age 5-13, $16/seniors & military, free for children under 5 (they are $1 more at the box office). Look for a deal here. But if you’re an Arlington resident, admission is FREE!

Tuesday – Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s life and death at Ford’s Theatre. Self-guided tours of the National Historic Site include the museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and Petersen House across the street where Lincoln died. It’s open daily 9am – 4:30pm. Tickets can be reserved online in advance for $3, or same-day passes are available for free at the Box Office, which is open 8:30am – 5pm. (FYI: This is the busy season, so reserving in advance is recommended.)

Wednesday – Hit the trail at Riverbend Park. Make that your starting point for a 2-mile hike to Great Falls, where you can take in magnificent vistas, visit the nature center, and have a picnic. Or just explore the area around Riverbend and enjoy the Visitor Center and views there. Park hours are 7am to dusk, Visitor Center 9am – 5pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Enjoy Anime for All, a celebration of East Asian culture, mythology, pop culture and inspiration, at the Library of Congress. See a film screening of the newly released GKIDS animated film “Okko’s Inn” along with a collection display of rare Japanese graphic art, a panel discussion on the emergence of Japanese hip-hop ,and a live Studio Ghibli performance. It’s a showcase of the evolution of Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern forms of expressions and overall pop-culture fandom. This will all take place from 9am – 4pm on Thursday and Friday. Free tickets can be reserved here — they are not required, but space for some activities is limited. Read more about the Library of Congress here.

Friday – Head to Watkins Regional Park for all kinds of fun adventures. The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have little ones frolicking for hours. Be sure to stop by Old Maryland Farm to visit the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds, then hike the nearby trails. Go for a spin on the carousel, take a ride on the miniature train that winds through woods, and play mini golf, too! Park hours are dawn to dusk, 9am – 4pm at the Farm, and 10am – 5:30pm at the Nature Center. Admission is free, but rides and mini golf are a small fee.


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The Weekend Round-Up: July 19-21

Ready for blast off 🚀🌕


Happy Weekend!

A Monumental Sight
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Thursday, 9:30-11:30pm
Admission: Free

View the Washington Monument in a whole new light. A 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 into orbit, will be projected on the east face. We went to see it last night, and while gawking at an obelisk lit up by a large-scale image might sound like a simple thing to do, it was quite an awesome “Only in DC” experience, elevated by the excitement of the many other Washingtonians who were there to get a glimpse, too. It will be even more elaborate on Friday and Saturday (see below). For more ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, see this post.

Apollo 50 Festival
Where: 4th – 7th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 made its historic moon landing, and the National Air & Space Museum and NASA are marking it with a big celebration. Join them for the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall for all kinds of festivities on Friday & Saturday. A stage and 20 tents will feature hands-on exhibits and activities from exhibitors like NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, The LEGO Group, and PBS’s Ready Jet Go!; live performances featuring costumed characters; and exciting speakers including Adam Savage, ISS astronauts, authors, and NASA scientists and engineers, with more special guests to be announced.

Apollo 50: Go for the Moon
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

The celebration will continue in the evenings with “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon.” The 17-minute show telling the story of the first moon landing will be projected onto the Washington Monument and supporting screens on the National Mall. The free spectacle will run at 9:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm and can be viewed from the area in front of the Smithsonian Castle, btwn 9th & 12th Streets.

Kids in the Castle: Scavenger Hunt
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Once again, the Heurich House Museum will open its doors for free, kid-friendly, self-guided tours. Kids in the Castle: Scavenger Hunt gives families the chance to explore the ornate details of the Heurich family home. Children and parents are invited to wander through the house at their own pace and complete a photo scavenger hunt to win prizes. Once visitors have finished their tour, they can relax and play games in the museum’s Castle Garden (weather permitting). Typically, the museum is not open to children under 10, but during this special event, children are the main focus. This event is free, but registration is suggested.

Family Day: Secrets of Egypt
Where: National Geographic Museum | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5 (free for members)

Join the fun at Family Day, National Geographic’s annual event where you and up to five guests can visit the amazing museum, see award-winning films, and hear live talks from National Geographic Explorers to learn about the incredible work they are doing around the world. This year, they’re taking guests back in time to ancient Egypt! Embark on a virtual visit to the land of the Nile some 3,500 years ago, when the queens of the 18th and 19th dynasties ruled over this storied empire. Check out the multisensory exhibition, “Queens of Egypt,” where you’ll learn about the lives of seven incredible queens, visit the “Sistine Chapel of ancient Egypt,” and see more than 300 precious artifacts from every aspect of Egyptian women’s daily lives. Then try your hand at some hands-on activities, play Egyptian-themed games, see an Egyptian dance performance, and much more! Recommended for kids ages 3-12. Register in advance!

Dig an Archaeology Fest
Where: Dumbarton House | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Be part of a celebration of archaeology, at the annual Day of Archaeology Festival. Talk to archaeologists in person and learn about the science and art of archaeology. Kids can enjoy engaging activities, including mock‐excavations, hands‐on artifact displays, crafts, and demonstrations. The archaeology of local prehistoric and historic inhabitants will also be featured — a great way to learn about local history! Live music, face painting, and visits from some of DC’s best food trucks will also be part of the day’s festivities.

Family Art Programs
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

The NGA’s wonderful Art Investigators is on again this weekend. The drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 will explore works by Jasper Francis Cropsey with a a book reading, a look at his work, then an art project that directly relates to it. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Friday and Saturday, and 11am on Sunday. Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly. Read a KFDC review of the series back when it was called Stories in Art (it’s an older post, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same). There will also be Drop-In Art Making on Friday and Saturday 10am – 2pm, and on Sunday 11am – 3pm.

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

* Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing at a performance of Earthrise at the Kennedy Center.
* Disney’s Aladdin is also beginning it’s run at the Kennedy Center.
* It’s opening weekend for Treasure Island at Synetic Theatre
* Enjoy fun and antics with The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* See a storybook character come to life in Matilda the Musical at Olney Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* Reserve free tickets to a Gemini Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Newsies is Encore Stage & Studio’s latest by kids, for kids production
* The Ballad of Mulan is now on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will love Balloonacy at the Bethesda theater
* Catch a performance of Circus! at The Puppet Co.
* Dragon Babies is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Sunday
* Take ages 10 and up to The Band’s Visit at the Kennedy Center
* Enter the lottery for tickets to Hamlet, this year’s Free for All production from Shakespeare Theatre Company

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through July 28
Tickets: $18+ (look for a ticket deal)

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 24th year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Artscape
Where: The Lyric | Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

America’s largest free arts festival is happening all weekend long in Baltimore, featuring more than 100 artists of all kinds. There will also be concerts on outdoor stages, street theater, jazz, opera, and classical music. Kids can enjoy lot of activities, and concessions will be available for purchase.

The Lion King (in Luxury)
Where: IPIC Theater | North Bethesda, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16

The new Lion King film opens this weekend, and you can take your viewing up a notch to see it. IPIC is a luxury movie theater with on-demand food and drink service brought directly to your seat, a convenience amenity only seen at IPIC Theaters that comes in handy when taking the kids to the movies. Note there are other flicks playing, too!

Dance Your Style Street-Dance Battle
Where: Howard Theater |
When: Saturday, 2:30-6:30pm
Admission: $15

Red Bull Dance Your Style is bringing the top dancers from DC and across the mid‐Atlantic region together for the ultimate freestyle street‐dance battle. Sixteen competitors across hip‐hop, house, popping, waacking, locking, and more will take their talents to the dance floor in front of a live audience at Howard Theater for an all‐ages event.

Kick it with Spirit
Where: Maryland SoccerPlex | Boyds, MD
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25

Keep the World Cup fever going at a Washington Spirit match! Our local women’s pro soccer team has . two players from the championship team on their roster: Rose Lavelle (who scored the second goal in the final match against Netherlands) and Mallory Pugh. This weekend, they’re hosting the Houston Dash at their home field near Germantown. It’ll be a hot one, but you’ll get to see some great soccer!

Tennis, Anyone?
Where: Kastles Stadium | Union Market, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $58

The Washington Kastles, the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, will serve up exciting action on the court on the rooftop of Union Market. (Yes, you can enjoy some fantastic DC views along with the pro tennis play.) Plan to go early and have dinner in the market before or grab something mid-match and bring it up to your seat. For some background on WTT, see this post from a few years back (but note the location has changed since then). PS: Venus is on the roster, so there’s a chance you’ll get to see a legend play.

Table Tennis Showdown
Where: Union Market | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 7-10pm
Admission: Free

Leave the courts to the professionals, and enjoy another kind of tennis at ground level. Union Market is teaming up with DC Fray to host the ultimate table tennis show down to celebrate Kastles Stadium. Battle it out for the chance to win awesome prizes. Walk-ups registration is open until 6:30pm. Want a guaranteed spot? Pre-register here. Open to all ages + skill levels.

Summer Time Sing-a-Long
Where: Balducci’s | Reston Town Center, VA
When: Saturday, 11-11:45am
Admission: Free

Bring the littlest ones to enjoy live music and air conditioned fun! And get some tasty bites while you’re there. Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market in Reston is sponsoring this free Baby Jams singalong. RSVP here.

National Ice Cream Day Celebration
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free, but reserve tickets!

The Yards and Ice Cream Jubilee invite you to celebrate National Ice Cream Day with a sweet event: DC’s longest sundae will be created – and eaten! Each participant will receive a 2-scoop sundae with Ice Cream Jubilee’s signature flavors as you create a new city record! Tickets can be reserved here or in person at Ice Cream Jubilee’s Yards Park location. The event will take place at the Yards Park Sun Deck, next to Ice Cream Jubilee.

DC United Game Watch Party
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday 2-6pm
Admission: Free

Head to the Pearl Street pitch to cheer on DC United as they take on Atlanta. Pearl Street gets United as the street is transformed into an away game viewing party destination. The game will be broadcast live on the jumbotron and DJ Stylus Chris, official in-game DJ of DC United, will spin tunes pre-match. Parents can grab a beer from the Heineken bars, all all ages can play games and sign up for cool team gear. Plus, enter to win jerseys, game tickets, and a chance to win a trip for two to see the team take on Portland in Oregon!

Summer Time
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Summer is whizzing by, so enjoy the season while you can with activities that only occur this time of year. Start off the weekend with a free outdoor concert, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or spray park. Or take it indoors at special summer program like LAWN at the Building Museum or free admission for kids to the Newseum. Wind it all up with crab feast or a movie under the stars. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2019 Summer Guide.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The results are in for Washingtonian’s Best of 2019 Reader’s Poll. Do you agree with them?
* After months of searching for a great one-piece swimsuit, the Amalfi from this company is finally a keeper! (PS: That referral links gets you a discount!)
* For your radar: The REACH Opening Festival, 16 days of creativity in action — September 7-22 at the Kennedy Center.
* I frequently revisit this post, particularly the comments, for good book recommendations.
* Speaking of books, I just finished and loved Fleishman is in Trouble and am about to read this one that I learned about via the post above.
* Awhile back, I mentioned my architect/designer friend Margaret and her blog about the tear down/rebuild of their home. Well, it’s finished and they are back in — and it’s amazing. See for yourself!


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Where to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Kids

The LM2 Lunar Module on display at Air & Space, was used for ground testing prior to the first successful Moon-landing mission


It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 was launched by the Saturn V rocket into space, beginning its historic mission to the moon, where it landed four days later on July 20, 1969. In just hours, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Even though many of us Gen Xers weren’t even born yet, we’re all very familiar with the footage and audio of that “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Certainly, the half-century anniversary of that landmark event is cause for celebration. Here’s where to do that around DC this week, listed in order of start date.

Apollo Artifacts
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The Air & Space Museum is an obvious (and great) place to visit during this big anniversary. Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic Apollo 11 mission. A special display case on the 1st floor across from the Space Race gallery will feature a replica of the American flag erected on the Moon, plus items in three categories: Packing for the Moon, Learning From the Moon, and Remembering the Moon.

Launch Celebration
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: July 16, 9am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

The Udvar-Hazy Center opens early to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. There will be a broadcast NASA TV’s program celebrating the launch, materials from the Air and Space Museum’s archives, hands-on activities and discovery stations, story times, and more. Artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, like the Mobile Quarantine Facility and Apollo 11 flotation collar, are on display, too.

A Monumental Sight
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: July 16-18, 9:30-11:30pm
Admission: Free

For three evenings, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that launched the Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face.

Out of this World: The Science of Space
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 16–19
Tickets: $3-6

Live demonstrations, fun factoids, and space stuff with the Science Guys of Baltimore! Join on a mission to investigate the physics and chemistry that govern the rotation and orbit of planets, how astronauts live in space and power the spacecraft that hurtle among the stars. Recommended for ages 5-12.

See the Space Window
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $12/adult, $8/age 5-17, free/under 5

There’s a tiny piece of the moon in one of the National Cathedral’s stained glass windows, a relic brought back by the astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission. Now called the “Space Window,” it can be viewed on a self-guided tour or a highlights tour.

Moon Madness STORYTIME
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 17, 10am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at the Hirshhorn’s STORYTIME program for littles! Enjoy a reading of “Mooncake” by Frank Ash, then explore lunar inspired artworks, and create your own moon-inspired artworks. Meet in the lobby.

Earthrise
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 4
Admission: $20

This family show is recommended for age 5+: While the world waits for the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, three children of key NASA employees watch from different perspectives: a mathematician’s daughter, an astronaut’s son, and an engineer’s daughter. By dreaming a collective dream of landing on the moon together, the kids learn to understand the historic mission — not fear it.

Apollo 50 Festival
Where: 4th – 7th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20
Admission: Free

Join the National Air & Space Museum and NASA for the Apollo 50 Festival on the National Mall with all kinds of festivities to celebrate the 50th anniversary. A stage and 20 tents will feature hands-on exhibits and activities from exhibitors like NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, The LEGO Group, and PBS’s Ready Jet Go!; live performances featuring costumed characters; and exciting speakers including Adam Savage, ISS astronauts, authors, and NASA scientists and engineers, with more special guests to be announced.

Discover the Moon Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: July 19
Admission: Free

Join the museum for a day of educational and fun family activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. At Discover the Moon Day talk to our scientists and learn about lunar science. There will be activities throughout the museum for all ages.

Apollo 50: Go for the Moon
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 19-20, evenings
Admission: Free

The celebration will continue in the evenings with “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon.” The 17-minute immersive experience with the first moon landing projected onto the Washington Monument and more screens on the National Mall, plus a 40-foot wide recreation of the Kennedy Space Center countdown clock. The free show will run at 9:30pm, 10:30pm and 11:30pm and can be viewed from the area in front of the Smithsonian Castle, btwn 9th & 12th Streets.

First Man
Where: Arlington Mill Community Center| Arlington, VA
When: July 19, 8:30pm
Admission: Free

The theme of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization’s popular Summer Movie Nights is “Heroes and Sheroes: Movies with a Mission.” And this week it focuses on Neil Armstrong as First Man is presented at the Arlington Mill location on Friday night.

A Celebration of African Americans at NASA
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture is hosting a celebration of African Americans at NASA, sharing their stories and contributions using engaging activities about space and space travel to enhance the visitors’ experiences and learning. Since the Apollo 11 mission, the US has sent many astronauts into space. Despite being one of the leaders in the space race, it would be nearly 15 years after man’s first steps on the moon until the first African American, Guy Bluford would launch into space. In total, there have been 21 African American Astronauts.

Model Rocket Contest
Where: Goddard Space Flight Center | Greenbelt, MD
When: July 20
Admission: Free

The Goddard Space Flight Center hosts model rocket launches regularly, but this is a special one — a contest — to mark the 50th anniversary. All are welcome to launch and land their model rockets in the competition on Saturday. Registration will take pace there, and the first 200 to sign up will receive a moonlanding commemorative giveaway. Read more about model rocket launches at Goddard here.


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Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 15-19

The fountains at Georgetown Waterfront Park are a cool for play on a hot day


An idea per day keeps the boredom away! Keep in mind that most of these recommendations can be enjoyed any day of the week. And for even more suggestions for things to do, check out these go-to posts:
The Great Indoors
The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Monday – Take little ones to a special Rise & Rhyme with Culture Queen at Busboys & Poets. Join her at the Hyattsville location to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King through music, movement, storytelling, and chance to win promotional giveaways. This event begins at 9:30am and will be free of charge for guests on this day only.

For an outing with older kids, take a time trip back to ancient Egypt at National Geographic Museum. The current Queens of Egypt exhibit highlights the mighty queens of that era and the hidden role of women in all aspects of Egyptian society. Hours are 10am – 6pm, and admission is $15/adult, $12/student, $10/age 2-12.

And PS: It’s Amazon Prime Day! On July 15 (& 16) you can score some amazing deals on all kinds of products!

Tuesday – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Visit the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall, where Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit will be on display along with more artifacts from the historic mission. Plan to tour the rest of the museum, too, full of fascinating exhibits and interactives. hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free. (And note that there will be special activities going on all week to commemorate the half-century mark.)

In the evening, see the Washington Monument in a whole new light as a 363-foot Saturn V, the rocket that sent Apollo 11 into orbit, is projected on the east face. This will happen Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:30-11:30pm.

Wednesday – Have a wild time at the National Zoo, where there are some extra special creatures to see right now. Dino Summer features two dinosaur experiences of prehistoric proportions — DinoRoars is an outdoor exhibit of six massive animatronic dinosaurs that move and roar, and Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live is an experiential theater production featuring a larger-than-life dinosaurs. Of course, you can also just go to visit the animals. Check the Daily Programs schedule before you go to help plan your outing — you can chat with a bear keeper, visit the shocking new Electric Fishes Demonstration Lab, meet a small mammal, and more. This time of year, grounds are open 8am – 7pm, exhibit building hours are 9am – 6pm, and the Visitor Center 8am – 6pm. Admission is free, though parking in the Zoo lot for non-members is $25 (free for some member levels). You can also try parking on Connecticut Avenue or a side street, or take Metro to Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations then walk a few blocks.

Thursday – See SOLE Defined perform a high-energy dance show that fuses tap and body percussion at Strathmore’s Backyard Theater for Kids in North Bethesda. The annual summer entertainment series for kids takes place on Thursdays in July. Performances are at 9:30am and 11:30am. Tickets are $8-10.

Friday – Hang out at Georgetown Waterfront Park. Let the kids run through the sprays of the interactive fountain, play on the grassy areas, follow the paths of the in-ground labyrinth, and watch the boats and ducks go by on the river. After (or before, depending on when you go), have a bite to eat or do some shopping in the neighborhood full of restaurants and retail.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays