Category Archives: Summer

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 16-20

See Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens before it closes!


Monday – Summer isn’t quite officially over according to the calendar — or the weather — so savor the last of it at Yards Park. Play in the sprays and wading pool, hang out in the grassy areas, stroll the boardwalk, take in the views, and have a picnic by the water or go for lunch at one of the many nearby eateries.

Tuesday – Check out the new Comic Art exhibit at the Library of Congress. Featuring original drawings and printed pages of some of the most famous and beloved characters to appear in print, its one that will appeal all ages. Plan to roam around the rest of the Thomas Jefferson building while you’re there — it’s one of the most stunning spaces in DC (imo). And make time to hang out in the Young Readers Center, a cozy area especially for kids full of books and occasionally crafts just for them. The Library of Congress is open Monday through Saturday, 8:30am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Pick out some new reads at the Beatley Central Library’s Fall Book Sale! Over 20,000 books, plus CDs, DVDs, and audio books will be available for anywhere from $1 to $5. Plan to join a story time session, too — there are several for children throughout the day. The sale is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, and hours vary by day, so be sure to check the schedule when you plan to go. The Library is located at 5005 Duke Street in Alexandria, VA.

Thursday – Experience Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens while you still can! The wonderful exhibit featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world closes after September 22. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2. Stay to explore the rest of Brookside’s beautiful grounds! The gardens are open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free. See more about the exhibit and Brookside here and here.

Friday – Go apple picking! There are several places around the area that open their orchards to guests for PYO. This round-up of pick-your-own places has details. I always recommend checking websites or calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good that day.


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

The Weekend Round-Up: September 13-15

Zipping into the weekend like… (new at Trinidad Rec playground 🙂 )



Happy Weekend!

NSO in Your Neigborhood
Where: Around Northeast DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this year celebrating Northeast DC across Wards 5, 6, and 7. This weekend, see community performances at Kenilworth Rec Center, the U.S. National Arboretum, Chuck Brown Memorial Park, Benning Neighborhood Library, and City Winery. View the website for details.

Free Family Movie Night
Where: Chinatown, DC
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Admission: Free

Monkey Kin: Hero is Back is the final film in the Chinatown Park Movie Nights series, which presented free screenings of Asian-themed movies to Chinatown Park! Reserve your free tickets and go early for pre-screening fun including arts & crafts and free snacks.

Nats vs. Braves
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are back home and hosting the Braves all weekend, and there are some fun things going on along with the baseball action. On Friday, there’s an Anthony Rendon Bobblehead giveaway. And on Sunday, kids can score a lumberjack hat, plus there will be extra kid-friendly activities near the PenFed Kids Fun Zone, including face painters, caricature artists, and balloon twisters. It’s also Kids Run the Bases after the game. Before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate design, textiles, and the cozy comforts of home at a free festival for all ages. Build a fabric fort, watch demos by local artists, enjoy live dance, and explore spectacular fabrics from the ancient Mediterranean in the exhibition Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt. This is a great opportunity for little ones to experience a museum that usually is a bit sophisticated for them!

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. Take in the sights and sounds of it all on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as expert artisans demonstrate period crafting techniques. Learn how the Washingtons enjoyed ice cream and watch as interpreters showcase the process. Lots of fun for the whole family!

The REACH Opening Festival & Family Day
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 22
Admission: Free

The celebration of the opening of The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center, is starting its second week. All are invited and excouraged to enjoy all kinds of performances, events, hands-on learning, and more opportunities for creativity in action. Sunday is Family Day, so there will be lots of programs especially for kids and families. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.

Tot Swap
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10m – 2pm
Admission: $10

Are you a new parent in need of necessities? Have your kids grown out of all the clothes, toys, and high-chairs they were using just a year ago? Donate your gently used childcare items and pick up a few new ones at Imagination Stage’s first Tot Swap! It’s the perfect way to save a bit of money while helping out your fellow caregivers. (And you don’t have to donate to participate!)

DCPS Back to School Block Party
Where: Roosevelt High School |
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All DCPS staff, students, families, friends, and community members are invited to celebrate the beginning of School Year 2019-2020 at the the DCPS Back to School Block Party. There will be food, student performances, opportunities to learn more about the resources from District partners, and lots of activities for students.

Book Launch & Signing at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Meet Eva J. Pell, author of middle grade (9-12 years old) adventure book “ResQ and the Baby Orangutan.” She will read a few excerpts from her book, sign copies, and have on hand some coloring projects for the younger kids. This will take place in the pavilion opposite Lion and Tiger Hill. Eva Pell is the Former Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution, Sr. VP for Research & Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus, Penn State University and internationally known environmental plant scientist. See more about Eva and her books here.

Fall Festival
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6-20 depending on dates

One of the biggest fall festivals in the area begins this weekend! Cox Farms’ seasonal extravaganza is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling site that contains multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under.

More “Fall” Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival

It may not officially be fall, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, in city neighborhoods, even a 16th century village in Maryland (huzzah, Ren Fest!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.

Back to School with Rocknocerous

Where: Dangerously Delicious Pies | H Street NE, DC

When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $5


Catch a concert with local kids fave Rocknocerous! The band of three guys — Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Bennie — are playing a special Back to School show, and you can groove along to them on Saturday morning! Doors open at 10:30am, and the show starts at 11am.

Taste of Falls Church
Where: Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but tastes and rides are a fee

Falls Church’s annual autumn tradition returns for its 44th year, highlighting the area’s popular restaurants and featuring live entertainment, pony rides, children’s amusements, crafters, businesses and civic organizations. Festival goers can sample cuisine from city restaurant kitchens, plus there will be a beer garden to sample local brews and spirits. The children’s activity tent offers face painting and craft projects. Most rides will also require the purchase of tickets.

Baltimore Seafood Festival
Where: Canton Waterfront | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $12-15/adult, free/kids (look for discount)

Head to this 6th annual waterfront festival showcasing some of Baltimore’s favorite restaurants serving their signature seafood dishes. Toss in refreshing drinks, live music, cooking demos, and an area for families with toys, games, face painting and more, and you have the Baltimore Seafood Festival – the only large scale seafood festival in Baltimore City. 

Celebrate Petworth
Where: 800 block of Upshur Street NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11-5pm
Admission: Free

Organized by and for the residents of Petworth and surrounding neighborhoods, Celebrate Petworth is a free community festival celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, people, and quality of life in the wonderful neighborhood.

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

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

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $37

The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, is playing at Audi field this weekend, as they take on Seattle Reign (that’s Megan Rapinoe’s team!). Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the World Cup championship team in action! We are extra excited for this match as Sasha and her soccer team will be walking the Spirit out onto the field! 🙌⚽❤️

Drop-in Art Making
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Visit the Education Studio on the Concourse level of the NGA to experiment with different art materials and techniques. Drop-in art making is a great way to try your hand at making art in an informal, relaxed environment. Art making activities are designed for all ages and abilities.

Art All Night
Where: Throughout DC
When: Saturday – Sunday, 7pm – 3am
Admission: Free

Be part of this free overnight arts festival that takes place in eight DC Main Streets neighborhoods. The festival will bring visual and performing arts — including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, fashion, music, dance, theater, film, and poetry — to indoor and outdoor public and private spaces, including businesses.

WalkingTown DC
Where: Various neighborhoods in DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Put on your walking shoes (or get out the bikes) for a stroll (or roll) in the city! WalkingTown DC features outdoor walking and bike tours of DC’s most interesting locations and neighborhoods September 14-22. The annual event offers more than 50 free guided walking and biking tours that feature distinctive aspects of DC, introducing residents and visitors to the culture, history, and stories of Washington’s neighborhoods through a series of “bite-size” lunchtime tours, after-work “happy hour” tours, as well as tours throughout the day on weekends. Tours take place outside, rain or shine, and just about all are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. See the schedule for details and to sign up.

Cirque de Soleil: Volta
Where: Under the Big Top| Tysons II, VA
When: Through September 29
Tickets: $49+

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is about finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

KID Museum FutureFest
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

KID Museum’s annual FutureFest is one of the DC area’s largest, free family festivals where kids can spark their imagination and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future through all kinds of exhibits, demos, and live performances. A few highlights: KID City: Participants will build a city of the future — from the ground up — for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience. Light up a high-tech street, construct a sculpture using 3D-printed bolts, race a vehicle down the maker highway, and more. Cultural Crossroads: Explore cultures that shape our community, from China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Korea, and beyond, through hands-on activities, collaborative art installations, and live music and dance performances. Innovation Expo: Discover technologies and innovations that are transforming our world and inspiring the next generation of innovators. Glimpse the future of Work & Play, Space & Exploration, Food & Sustainability, and more.

Used Children’s Book Sale
Where: Providence (X) Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11 am – 2 pm
Admission: Free to shop | $20/family for fall picnic

Shop Brent Elementary’s annual used book sale of children’s books on Sunday. They have a great selection, including board books, picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, young adult books, as well as a wide variety of juvenile nonfiction books — everything from Sandra Boynton to Magic Treehouse to Percy Jackson to the pictorial history of Rome! It’s a great place to start your child’s library or get books for those moving on to the next stage. Prices are always super low, and all sales go to support the school’s PTA. Stay and enjoy a fall picnic, too! Providence (X) Park is located between D and E and 2nd and 3rd Streets SE.

Authorpalooza
Where: Bard’s Alley | Vienna, VA
When: Sunday, 12:30-5pm
Admission: Free

Join Authorpalooza on Sunday and enjoy storytime, “book tastings,” the chance to meet authors, and more. Picture book author Laura Gehl will be reading Except When They Don’t and Juniper Kai Super Sky at 1pm, and there will be fun and fake mustaches for all. The full schedule of events can be found here.

Arts Alive! 2019
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the local arts community in Prince William County! The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 8th annual family-friendly arts festival features arts council members along with other community performers and fine artists. Enjoy activities for all ages, multiple stages of performances indoors and out, plus food and craft vendors with items for sale.

Falls Church Feeds the World – Volunteers Needed!
Where: Christ Crossman | Falls Church, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Christ Crossman UMC will once again partner with Rise Against Hunger to assemble more than 20,000 meals to be packed and shipped around the world to those struggling with hunger. Volunteers of all ages (4 and up) are needed!  Join in a meaningful and engaging service opportunity that honors the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Christ Crossman is located at 384 N Washington Street in Falls Church. Sign up to volunteer or to donate here. Go here for more information. Participation is free.  

**PLAN AHEAD**
Annual Fall Open House!
Where: My Gym | Bethesda & Potomac, MD
When: Friday, September 20, 4-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda for their Annual Free Fall Open House on Friday, September 20th, 4-7:30pm. Meet the teachers, play in the super fun gym, learn tumbling and gymnastic skills, enjoy fitness games, and get their best fall discounts for classes, parties, and camps. Find more info and RSVP here!

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Check out all the live entertainment for families coming to the area this fall.
* Family Trip Guides, created by a local mom, provide great info and tips for exploring Smithsonian museums (and you can get the guide to the American History Museum free)!
* On October 6, the whole fam can race down Pennsylvania Ave together in The Navy Mile to support the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the Safe Harbor Foundation, and the United States Navy Memorial.
* Not-So-SAHM just posted 6 months of dinners, with a bunch of yummy-sounding recipe links included.
* I am “looking at bathroom renovation porn“ years old.
* The movie looks just as good as (maybe even better than) the book!

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

The Weekend Round-Up: August 30 – September 2

You’ve got three chances to get to Ren Fest this weekend!


Happy Long Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one last Friday night concert at Yards Park, check out the Building Museum’s LAWN, take the kids to the Newseum for free, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, or jump in at an outdoor public pool, then check out the 2019 Summer Guide, which has details on all of these diversions, plus many more.

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: $5/PG County resident, $7/non-resident

Head out to Watkins for an evening of outdoor fun with friends and family! Enjoy unlimited rides on the train and carousel, and rounds of miniature golf for one price per person. The outdoor patio and surrounding grounds are the perfect places to bring and enjoy an outdoor snack or picnic dinner. Read more about Watkins Regional Park in this KFDC post.

Root for the Home Team
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are home this holiday weekend and hosting the Marlins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the Mets on Monday (and Tuesday). Some fun things going on: post-game fireworks on Friday an Kids Run the Bases on Sunday. This is also the last weekend for the Kids Eat Free summer promo, so take advantage. And before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

LEGOLAND New York Preview
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Friday thru Monday, 7am – 7pm
Admission: Free

LEGOLAND New York will be previewing their newest theme park and resort at National Harbor, bringing one of America’s most beloved brands to the waterfront destination. At this interactive event, families can learn from Master LEGO® Builders, see a preview of the LEGOLAND® Driving School cars, and provide the perfect family photo-ops! In addition to all of this, National Harbor is showing The LEGO Movie 2 during Family Movie Night on the Potomac on Sunday evening. Read more about spending a summer day at National Harbor in this KFDC post.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
Where: Roosevelt Center | Greenbelt, MD
When: Friday thru Monday
Admission: Free; fees for activities

This annual festival is more like a fair with all kinds of amusement for all ages. Enjoy rides and carnival games, live bands and entertainment, food and refreshments, sports and recreation, art exhibits and activities, used book sales, and a Labor Day Parade. Hours vary by day, so see the website for the schedule.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Calling all bookworms! The 19th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages. It’s a wonderful, can’t-miss event for book lovers.

Merriment Galore
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $20/adults, $18/seniors, $9/7-15, free/6 & under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead for littles).

Page to Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10:30am – 11:30pm
Admission: Free

More than 60 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the 18th annual Page-to-Stage Festival — all free and open to the public. Several performances are family-friendly, including Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop by Arts on the Horizon, Happy Theater’s Nest, Monumental Theatre Co’s Montgomery among them. Plus, there are many more for older kids and adults. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows. And note that while tickets are not required, seating is limited.

Apple Gala & Cider Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

This time of year may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley — demos of the Zurschmeide Family’s antique 1865 Cider press, apple picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/adults, $5/age 5-12, free/under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but Saturday’s concert will continue until 9pm. And children under 12 are free on Sunday!

Rise of the TMNT Sewer Studio Tour
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Nickelodeon is giving kids and families the ultimate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle experience with this summer’s Sewer Studio Tour. On Saturday, it will be stopping at The Wharf, and fans will be able to meet their favorite Turtles from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Turtles. The Sewer Studio Tour will allow kids to create their own dynamic stop-motion videos with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. And the best videos will have the opportunity to be featured on Nickelodeon platforms!

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

* Disney’s Aladdin brings magic for the whole family to the Kennedy Center (look for discount tickets)
* Take tweens and older to Legally Blonde at Keegan Theatre
* It’s the final weekend for The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co.
* Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Saturday
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II
* I highly, highly recommend Dear Evan Hansen, on stage at the Kennedy Center, for middle school ages and up.

Last Round of Pop-Up Mini Golf
Where: Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: First round free for kids

Bring the kids to Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR for the last weekend! All day on Saturday any child under the age of 10 will get one FREE round of mini golf. Other programming for kids will include a balloon-artist station and a face-painting station, both open from 10am to noon. In addition to a nine-hole mini golf course, the indoor Candy BAR at Rosslyn Putt-Putt has arcade games. Parents and kids can also enjoy sweet treats and beverages. Stay all day — the whole attraction is open until 6pm!

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

The Great Zucchini & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its The Great Zucchini. Doors open at 10am. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Free Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity to 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. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own. Current exhibitions include More is More: Multiples and Betsabeé Romero: Signals of a Long Road Together, plus there are many more wonderful works in the permanent collection.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building West Lawn | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This year’s show will feature vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm start time is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (and there will be no rehearsal). You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

Labor Day Parades
Where: Gaithersburg & Kensington, MD
When: Monday
Admission: Free

For some holiday pageantry on Monday, head to Maryland — both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 81-year tradition in Gaithersburg will include fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. Kensington is hosting its 52nd Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, and more town representatives will be part of the show making its way around starting at 10am. The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Armory Avenue with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more.

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

So far it looks like it will be a splendid weekend weather-wise, so take advantage and get outdoors — there are endless options around the DC-Metro for great al fresco adventures. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do under the sun in this round-up with all kinds of ideas for outdoor fun. (But if you’re seeking fun inside, check out The Great Indoors list with over 100 recommendations.)


***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Gelato Festival will be here next weekend, and you have a chance to win admission for four!
* The U.S. Botanic Garden is hosting a Night Adventure for kids ages 9-12 on September 7 that requires advanced registration.
* Infinite Space, the current exhibit at ARTECHOUSE has been extended until September 30, so you still have plenty of time to immerse within its digital dimensions.
* The best way to enjoy summer tomatoes.
* Primary.com is great for comfy basics for kids — and you can get 20% off your first order with code AFF20PCT.
* Just bought Sasha a pair of yellow Converse and kind of want some myself.
* Has anyone seen this movie? I’m intrigued!


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

The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival is this Saturday!


I have to admit, this one snuck up on me! But if you’re going to be in town this holiday weekend and have some bookworms in your crew, plan for one of DC’s biggest, most anticipated annual events on Saturday: The 19th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival!

Book enthusiasts young and old come from all over for the day of reading-related activities. Works by more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased, and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances. It’s always a wonderful event, and I highly recommend going if you can.

All genres are represented on stages throughout the festival — Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, Thrillers & Fantasy, Fiction, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Graphic Novels — where readings, presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests will take place. And a Book Sales area gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors.

Browse the books for sale (and maybe have it signed, too!)

If your kids love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there. Jon Scieszka, Holly Black, Jon Klassen, Ngozi Ukazu, Adam Rubin, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. are just a few of them. Young readers will also be able to enjoy an array of fun and exciting activities on the Expo Floor, from the Parade of States where they can learn about each state’s literary heritage and collect a stamp to story times to poetry slams to activities from the soon-to-open Planet Word Museum, and much more.

Of course, there’s bound to be an author — or several — that parents will be excited about, too. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chef José Andrés, David Brooks, Raina Telgemeier, David McCullough, and Michael Beschloss will be featured on the Main Stage. And acclaimed writers Barbara Kingsolver, Joyce Carol Oates, Sigrid Nunez, Richard Powers, and Rebecca Makkai are among the many that will also be presenting.

Have a look for yourself at the complete list and start planning your National Book Festival experience. Most presentations are first come, first served — and people do line up early to get seats, so plan accordingly.

Booking it to last year’s Festival 🙂



The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, August 31, 9am – 8pm
Admission: FREE

* Download the Festival App to help you make the most of the event.

* Information on getting there and parking is available here.

* You can read about one of our past visits when it was still held on the National Mall — including an interview with Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne! — here.


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