Category Archives: Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: February 15-18

Huntley Meadows park is a great place to savor a bit of sunshine

Happy President’s Day Weekend!

Art Investigators
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

Drop in for the museum’s wonderful program for children ages 4-7. Art Investigators introduces kids to art and encourages them to make observations and use their imaginations as they discover different works. During this weekend’s sessions, they’ll explore works of Alma Thomas. Read a KFDC review of the program from the early KFDC years (it’s old, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same, although the name has changed). Sessions are at 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30 on Saturday and Monday, and at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 on Sunday. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Saturday and Monday and 11am on Sunday.

Discover Engineering Family Day
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Join a fun-filled day designed to introduce kids ages 4-12 to the wonder of engineering and the importance of technological literacy. The event attracts thousands of people and kicks off DiscoverE Engineers Week activities in the national capital area. Meet professional engineers of all kinds. And try out exciting, hands-on engineering experiences! Construct a building that can withstand high winds, design a motorized bot to walk across a table, mix slime and learn about different chemical reactions, meet an astronaut, create a zoetrope movie, cypher secret messages with coding, and much more!

Make Your Own Abe Hat
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, various times
Admission: $15/adult, $6/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

In honor of President’s Day, President Lincoln’s Cottage is offering an opportunity for children and their families to answer the question, “What do you do with a chance?” As President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln took many chances in the hopes of unifying the country. At times, Lincoln felt his ideas were just out of his reach and worried that he might fail. With some courage and support, he developed his brave ideas by taking notes and keeping them safe in his signature stovepipe hat. Join an interactive program (45 minutes) on taking chances and create your own Lincoln hat to hold your brave ideas. Recommended for ages 4-9, but all are welcome! Register in advance.

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

The Big Apple Circus is in town and celebrating its 41st season, featuring 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 feats for the Circus along 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.

Washington Dollar Days
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout February, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $1

Practice frugality our founding father would approve of: Pay just $1 per person for any regular tour in February, the month of George Washington’s birth. Tudor Place is the only historic house museum in the District with family ties to Martha and George Washington. Highlights of the Washington Collection will be on display as part of all house tours. See it all for one “Washington dollar!” Tours begin hourly, and it’s recommended you book ahead.

HBD, Frederick Douglass!
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service as they end the bicentennial year of Frederick Douglass’s birth and continue a celebration of the man, his legacy and his impact to the world. Enjoy a commemorative ceremony D.C. Prep Academy (1409 V Street, SE) from 1-2:30pm. Take a walking tour of the neighborhood surrounding Douglass Cedar Hill estate titled “Douglass Anacostia” and enjoy ranger led house tours on the quarter of every hour from 1-4pm. Registration required at the visitor center.

Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re all happening here.

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

It might be chilly, but it looks like there will be some sunshine after the snow this weekend, so get out and soak it up and get some exercise. Tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

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

* Journey Down Huckleberry Finn’s Big River at Adventure Theatre!
* She a Gem at the Kennedy Center is recommended for ages 12+
* Dicken’s Davy Copperfield is opening at Imagination Stage
* See Anatole: Mouse Magnifique at the Bethesda theatre, too
* It’s opening weekend for Rapunzel at The Puppet Co.
* And Snow Show is the featured Tiny Tots performance there on Sunday
* Catch a President’s Day concert as Rocknocerous plays at Jammin Java on Monday
* Take teens to see the stage adaptation of Once at Olney Theatre (look for discount tickets)
* The Virginia National Ballet performs Aladdin at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Tickets: $39-139

In this adaptation of the best-selling novel by Rick Riordan, the Greek gods are real, and they’re ruining Percy Jackson’s life. As a son of Poseidon, Percy has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and is on an epic quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt to prevent a war between the gods. Recommended for ages 8+.

BSO Music Box Concert
Where: AMP at Pike & Rose | North Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am & 11:30am
Admission: $12

Families can introduce little ones to classical music during the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s BSO Music Box concerts with a repertoire inspired by travel and discovery. These take place at Strathmore’s club-style venue, AMP at Pike & Rose. Concerts are recommended for children ages 6 months to 3 years.

President’s Day with a View
Where: Observation Deck at CEB Tower | Rosslyn, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $17.76/adult (with code), $11/age 5-13

Gaze out of floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a new perspective of DC. The 30+ story high space in Rosslyn offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic vistas plus neat interactive and immerse experiences to enjoy them A perfect history lesson on President’s Day and they are offering a discount for the occasion — use the code PRESIDENTS for a reduced ticket rate of $17.76. Read more about the experience in this KFDC post.

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

Stop by 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.

Annual Summer Camp Fair
Where: McLean High School | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 3-5:30pm
Admission: Free

The Fairfax County Association for the Gifted is hosting its annual Summer Camp Fair on Saturday. Meet representatives from summer programs of all varieties, from adventure day camps to rigorous academic programs at prestigious campuses. Explore camps and programs for STEM, visual and performing arts, computer technology, environmental science, math enrichment, nature, science, sports, and leadership. Find the camp that is just right for your elementary, middle or high school student. All are welcome to attend this free event.

Saturday Morning with Rocknocerous

Where: Dangerously Delicious Pies | H Street NE, DC

When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm

Admission: $6.90

Catch a concert with local kids fave Rocknocerous! The band of three guys — Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Bennie — are celebrating their 10th year together with a brand new album. With the pending release of Plymouth Rockers, the band’s fifth record, Rocknoceros have hit their creative peak. The new batch of songs entertain and educate in equal measure, and you can groove along to them on Saturday morning! Doors open at 11am, and the show starts at 11:30am.

President’s Day Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $5

Hours on President’s Day Weekend: Friday: 10 AM – 4PM, Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday: Noon – 5 PM, Monday: 10 AM – 5PM| Location: The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery (located directly next door to the main Museum at 35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202)
Admission is included in entry to The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery, which is $5 per person for individuals two and over. Members and children under two enter for free.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Where: Kingman and Heritage Islands | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Living Classrooms for a local Great Backyard Bird Count! They’ll lead group monitoring sessions at Kingman Lake and the Main meadow, but you are also encouraged to conduct your own counts through out the islands. Binoculars and checklists will be available to borrow. Meet at the Bridge platform between Kingman and Heritage islands. Register in advance here.

Wild Love
Where: City Wildlife | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Take advantage of this rare occasion to visit City Wildlife, the animal rescue and rehabilitation center, as it’s the only time of the year they open their doors to the public. At the 5th Annual Valentine’s Day Open House, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the rehabilitation facility, enjoy some goodies, and get a gift for your Valentine. Free-will donations will be collected to ensure that the Center can help its animal patients.

Open Explore
Where: KID Museum | Bethesda, MD
When: Monday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12 (includes one child, two adults)

School’s out, KID’s open with a special day of Open Explore activities and Maker Studio workshops! Drop in anytime for Open Explore, featuring unique hands-on learning experiences designed by our professional Maker Educators. Activities include: Stop-Motion Animation using the power of green screen technology, Coding Corner with KIBO robotics (designed for younger makers), Service Project involving knitting with textiles to create a blanket for those in-need, and much more!

Party at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $11/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Every Presidents Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of the first POTUS’ big day. Sample syrups, enjoy a musical to the President, and hear stories about his past birthday celebrations. Of course, take time to explore the grounds, mansion, and Education Center exhibits, including Be Washington, a great interactive experience that lets you step into his boots and make the tough decisions he faced. There will also be a special marching drill and dance demos along with ceremonial wreathlayings to honor Washington. Be prepared for a crowd — I can tell you from experience that a lot of folks show up to take advantage of the complimentary entry.

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Bundle up to watch the procession as it travels through Old Town. See the website for more info and route details.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Word has it there is some snow on the way, so this go-to post listing over 100 suggestions for things to do inside — just about all of them tried and tested by yours truly and co. — will be a good one to keep in your back pocket. And if you’re looking specifically for places where kids can burn energy and be active, check out this round-up of Indoor Playgrounds.

* Just in time for wet and snowy weather on the way, this brand new post highlights seven stunning spaces in DC where you can hang out with kids.
* Imperfect Produce, a delivery service on a mission to reduce food waste by delivering “ugly” produce to people’s doorsteps, is launching in DC.
* Love this Wapo piece about how being a parent helped shape Nancy Pelosi as a politician.
* The National Geographic Museum will be closed through February 28 as installation of the Queens of Egypt exhibition, opening March 1, is underway.
* Russian Doll on Netflix — whoa! Don’t give up after one or two episodes thinking it’s just a Groundhog Day/Happy Death Day ripoff. I promise, you’ll be glad you stuck with it. (PS: Not for kids!)

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 11-15

Scenic views + interactive exhibits at the Observation Deck at CEB Tower

Monday – Rise + Rhyme with Culture Queen at the Anthony Bowden YMCA (2021 14th St NW). Presented by Busboys & Poets, this is a special offsite addition to their weekly series that welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Admission is $5/child.

Tuesday – Make a day of it at the National Museum of American History, where you can catch a screening of Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and a sweet discount — tickets are just $5 on Tuesdays! While you’re there, stop by the Superhero’s exhibit complete with George Reeves’s Superman costume from Adventures of Superman and Halle Berry’s Storm costume from X-Men. And don’t miss The BatMobile from Tim Burton’s film “Batman” parked right outside the Warner Bros. Theater. Of course, the rest of the museum is always fantastic to explore — hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission is free.

Wednesday – Join a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, where they’ll explore a mansion room through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this session of the three-part Treasure Quest-themed series, they’ll hunt for hidden gems and magnificent treasures that glitter and sparkle. The whole series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult ($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on February 13, 20, and 27.

Thursday – Celebrate the day by making Nature Valentines at Brookside Nature Center. You’ll go on a short walk in search of nuts, sticks, and other natural items to decorate with, and then head inside and get to work. The program is from 10:30-11:30am, and admission is $6 — register in advance! For more activities that kids will love, see this post about Valentine’s Day-inspired fun around the DMV.

Friday – Get a bird’s eye view of the DC area from the Observation Deck at CEB Towers. The 30+ story high space in Rosslyn offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic vistas plus neat interactive and immerse experiences to enjoy them even more. 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). But if you’re an Arlington resident, admission is FREE!

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

The Weekend Round-Up: February 8-10

The annual Chinese New Year Parade is a fantastic, vibrant DC tradition

Happy Weekend!

Huckleberry Finn’s Big River
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: February 8 – March 10
Tickets: $20

A new show opens at Adventure Theatre this weekend! Mark Twain’s timeless classic sweeps you down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, a slave, escape to freedom at the mouth of the Ohio River. Touching and timeless, this tale of friendship against all odds is recreated for young audiences as two best friends demonstrate the power of changing the world. Recommended for all ages.

Chinese New Year Family Day
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

All ages are welcome to this fun-filled day of activities and entertainment! Family Day is part of the Kennedy Center’s annual Lunar New Year festivities, this year celebrating the Year of the Pig with three days of festivities, including special events showcasing the arts and culture of China’s Guangdong Province.

Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend

Catch a screening of Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which will be playing at the American History Museum starting Friday. While you’re there, stop by the Superhero’s exhibit complete with George Reeves’s Superman costume from Adventures of Superman and Halle Berry’s Storm costume from X-Men. And don’t miss The BatMobile from Tim Burton’s film “Batman” parked right outside the Warner Bros. Theater. 

DIY Valentines
Where: National Postal Museum | NoMa, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Homemade love is in the air at the National Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop. We’ve attended this event several times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s one to love. They’ll have pretty papers and neat Valentine-themed supplies, all you need to bring is your creativity and eagerness for fun! For more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Open Studio: Love in Every Language
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12–4 pm
Admission: Free

Head to the ImaginAsia Studio in the Sackler Gallery for an afternoon all about love and art. Enjoy a digital slideshow of images of love in Asian art, create Valentine’s Day cards using woodblock prints that say “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages, and fold heart-shaped origami. For all ages and adult companions.

Chocolate Festival
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

It’s not a Valentine’s Day activity, per se, but the timing of this festival focusing on chocolate isn’t a coincidence. Join the NMAI to celebrate one of the world’s most beloved foods. Enjoy tastings, cooking demonstrations, and hands-on activities while listening to songs played on a traditional wooden harp.

Be My Valentine Party
Where: Ballston Quarter | Ballston, VA
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the whole family and share the love a little early at this sweet event. There will be crafts, Valentine making, and story time, plus snacks for kids. The lunchtime event can be topped off with a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants close by or with a visit to Nook, Ballston Quarter’s new beautiful and minimalist play space where young families can learn and engage in a quality way.

Feel the Love
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Love is in the air — and at places all around DC this weekend! Events and activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day range from story time and crafts to nature programs to tea time. And they’re sure to be especially sweet. This post has the scoop on all of them.

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.

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Each February, the museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories. Learn about African American astronauts, pilots, and scientists of the past and present and their accomplishments.

Black History Month Family Day
Where: Woodlawn Manor Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: $3-8

Bring the entire family out to celebrate African American Culture. The event will feature presentations and activities to highlight the rich culture of the free and enslaved communities and the connection to contemporary culture. All ages are welcome.

More Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re all happening here.

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

* Get Schooled with Mr. Root, this week’s free performance in the Saturday Morning at the National series
* Anatole: Mouse Magnifique opens at Imagination Stage
* This weekend is the final chance to see The Velveteen Rabbit at The Puppet Co.
* And Snow Show is the featured Tiny Tots performance there
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java
* Take teens to see the stage adaptation of Once at Olney Theatre (look for discount tickets)

Babyjam Singalong
Where: Nordstrom Montgomery Mall | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This sing-along of Disney tunes is a free, fun, and interactive outing for 0-8 year olds, sponsored by Disney on Ice. Enjoy live music for kids with Disney songs and more. And if it inspires you to buy tickets for Disney on Ice at Capitol One Arena, save $8 on tickets with offer code BABYJAM at for these shows: Feb 15 @ 7:30pm, Feb 16 @ 6:30pm, Feb 17 @ 4:30pm, Feb 18 @ 4:30pm.

Kids Pizza Party
Where: Matchbox
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $32/child

Matchbox is celebrating National Pizza Day by offering a Kids Pizza Party on Saturday at multiple locations. The hands-on classes will please any small chef! The session includes a chef hat, crayons, and coloring page; a tour of the kitchen and pizza ovens, a pizza class where each child will make a customized personal pizza, and a round of complimentary mimosas for the adults. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Weekend Walk-In: Cosmic Galaxy Egg
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5

Make your own mini version of visionary artist Andrew Logan’s Cosmic Galaxy Egg, a fan favorite of our permanent collection. Decorate your egg with sparkly bits and other shiny bling! This is part of AVAM’s monthly series of hands-on, drop-in, art workshops. Supplies and boundless inspiration provided!

Open House + Valentines Craft Party
Where: Makeshift | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Get a first look and enjoy a fun activity at a new creative space for art and music classes! Makeshift is hosting an open house and Valentines Craft Party this Sunday. Meet instructors and create a pop-up card, treasure box, or ribbon wall hanging during a free Valentines craft workshop. This event is for all ages. Makeshift is located just off H Street NE at 1321 Linden Ct NE, behind The Atlas theater.

Expressions of a People
Where: Arts Harmony Hall | Fort Washington, MD
When: Sunday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

This Black History celebration will feature musical performances, children’s activities, workshops, and entertainment for the entire family. Enjoy shows from regular favorites, including warm and engaging greeter and storyteller, Baba-C, and the always-popular Culture Queen, Jessica Smith. Activities will include mask making, face painting, a caricaturist, a make-and-take pottery workshop, and a STEAM workshop.

Mid-Winter Play Day
Where: Takoma Park Community Center | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Put some play in your Sunday afternoon with Let’s Play Takoma and the Takoma Park Recreation Department. The variety of indoor festivities includes board games and crafts, dancing, live entertainment, and many more hands-on activities for all ages.

Spider Man Yoga
Where: Hot Yoga Capitol Hill | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: $14

Join Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, yoga teacher and mom to an 8-year-old for a Spider-Man yoga class inspired by practice with her son and the fantastic new Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse movie. Get ready for Spider-Man style moves and music from the movie’s soundtrack during the 45-minute long class. All levels of vinyasa poses, opportunities for partner yoga, and a relaxing savasana meditation at the end will be included. All children must attend with at least one parent or guardian. Reserve your spots in advance!

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Throughout Chinatown, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Welcome, Year of the Pig! On Sunday, the annual Chinese New Year Parade brings vibrant tradition to downtown DC. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic lions and dragons. Kids always love seeing the show and having trinkets and treats given to them by parade participants passing by (mine really dig this!). The parade lasts about two hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot — lots of folks come out for this one, especially if it’s a nice day.

Family Literary Fiesta
Where: Wheaton Interim Library | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 2:30pm
Admission: Free

InterAct Story Theatre’s Wheaton Family Theatre Series continues on a special day and time this Sunday with a FREE afternoon of theatre and arts for kids. Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger will lead kids and adults in an interactive Literacy Fiesta, bringing new stories for February to life through creative drama. Join them and beat the winter blues acting, singing, and dancing through favorite folk tales to chase the chills away! In these interactive workshops, kids and adults work together to explore a folk tale or children’s story, act out the stories in our own words, and maybe even make up stories of our own! 

* There’s a brand new post up about the Observation Deck at CEB Tower, which offers incredible views of the DC area plus cool experiences to enjoy them!
* Two great giveaways are currently running, for tickets to Finding Neverland at National Theatre and the Big Apple Circus at National Harbor!
* During the month of February, Lyft is offering one free ride up to $10 using code BHMDCA19 to local black history museums in our community, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Anacostia Community Museum, and the Alexandria Black History Museum.
* Books from Birth, the wonderful program started by DC Councilmember Charles Allen that sends children up to age 5 a free book per month, just celebrated its 3rd anniversary.
* Looking for a good family flick? We really enjoyed the documentary Science Fair.


Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Indoor Play, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Enjoy the Views from the Observation Deck at CEB Tower

A monumental view of DC

Washington, DC, is a pretty cool city to view from high up. Unfortunately, due to building height regulations that limit structures to about 13 stories high, there are very few places in the District that offer a good bird’s eye perspective of the area.

But, now, just across the river in Northern Virginia you can enjoy incredible, sweeping vistas of DC and VA — and then some. The Observation Deck at CEB Tower in Rosslyn was designed just for this purpose. The 12,000-square-foot space on the 31st and 32nd floors of the building offers 360° panoramas of the capital region.

The Observation Deck opened last June, but without very much buzz (that I’d heard, anyway). So, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I finally checked it out with Sasha after seeing a great Certifikid deal on admission. It wasn’t just the discount that reeled me in, though. It sounded like a really neat experience, kind of like flying into or out of DCA when the wind is in your favor, you’ve got a window seat on the right side of the plane, and you can gaze upon the memorials, the green stretch of National Mall, and the flowing rivers below. But even better here, we could take it all in for as long as we wanted, not just the fleeting seconds it takes soar over it.

Getting started on the glass elevator

Our adventure at CEB Tower actually began in the elevator. With glass on two sides, we watched the bustling streets of Rosslyn retreat below us and got a glimpse of Georgetown and Northern Virginia in the distance as we zipped up 30-plus floors. I have to admit it gave me a bit of jelly knees, but it also made us excited for what was to come — which was awesome.

A first look at the space

Walking out of the elevator, the spacious room with floor-to-ceiling windows, sunlight spilling through them, and long shadows streaking across the floor was a sight in itself. We were greeted by friendly staff who got us oriented by pointing out a water tower in the distance near the CIA Headquarters in Langley, explained how the interactive displays worked, and generally gave us the lay of the land, both in the tower and the landscape around it.

A guide along the rail helps you locate landmarks

Sasha and I first approached the windows carefully — it’s very high up! — but once we were comfortable, we started making our way around the circular space. The views really are incredible. We could see for miles, and it was fun to pick out major landmarks, try to find our house (or the general area), and see some of the places we frequent regularly from that vantage point. I loved seeing how the Potomac meandered through the scene and the shape of Roosevelt Island. And the Washington Monument with the Kennedy Center in the foreground and U.S. Capitol beyond it was a sight we lingered on for awhile.

Potomac, Roosevelt Island, Kennedy Center, Monument, Capitol — all in one scene

Interactive digital kiosks placed next to the windows offer an in depth look at what you see beyond them. We scrolled through timelines depicting the development of places, learned about people connected to them, and pondered various issues of historic times and now. A fun and interesting element of the displays was the chance to cast votes on different issues that were later tallied for a “Collective Perspectives” display.

Learning about the scenes beyond the window

A group gets the HoverDC experience

Another interactive element is HoverDC, an immersive adventure that “flies” you through restricted airspace over the nation’s capital, offering 10,000-foot high views of iconic landmarks like the Jefferson Memorial, breathtaking nature like Great Falls, and concealed places like the courtyard within the Pentagon. Essentially, you’re standing on the edge of a large screen as video plays at your feet, “wind” blows in your face, and you listen to the captain talk about the sights below through headphones.

“Flying” over Great Falls

Head upstairs — and outside

If you want to literally take your experience to another level, a stairway leads to the 32nd floor, where there is an outdoor terrace. Loungy seating is available if you want to hang out, relax, and take in the views from a comfortable distance, or you can walk to the edge where the only thing separating you and a 380-foot drop are tall panels of thick glass. (Of course, they are securely in place, but I wasn’t about to go anywhere near them. Sasha, however, was much braver.)

Just watching her near the edge made my knees weak

I’ll enjoy the view from back here, thank you 🙂

There is also a champagne bar on the upper level, as well as small cafe/bar on the main concourse below. It would be great to take advantage of them on an evening out — and enjoy what are surely stunning views of the skyline at night.

The Observation Deck at CEB Tower is located 1201 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn (the official address is Arlington, VA). The box office is located at Central Place Plaza, on the 1700 block of North Moore Street, across from the Rosslyn Metro Station.

Tickets purchased online are $21/adult, $11/age 5-13, $16/seniors & military, free for children under 5 (they are $1 more at the box office). Be sure to check CertifiKid for a discount. And if you live in Arlington, put away your wallet — residents get in FREE! Hours are 10am – 8pm Monday – Friday, and 9am – 8pm Saturday – Sunday.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend