Category Archives: Weekdays

A Monumental Reopening on the National Mall

I think my cheesy title of this post says it all: The Washington Monument is reopening after being closed more than three years for renovations and repairs. Along with a new security screening facility, updates to the elevator system have been made as well.

On September 19, 2019, at 9am, the Washington Monument will once again welcome visitors. From opening day to October 18, same-day, free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW.

Starting on October 10 at 10am, advance reservation tickets may be ordered online for tour dates beginning on October 19, 2019 with a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily.

At 555 feet, the Washington Monument is the tallest structure in the District. Construction of the memorial to President George Washington began in 1848, but was suspended in 1854 due to lack of funds and the Civil War. It resumed in 1877, and you can actually see where it began again as the stone changes color about a third of the way up. The obelisk was completed in 1884 and started welcoming the public in 1888.

A visit there is really interesting and offers more than great views of the city. You ride an elevator up to the top (and back down), where you can take in vistas in every direction from small windows. Along the way, you can see the interior walls of the Monument and the many commemorative stones from states and cities embedded in them. There’s also a room just a few steps down from the windows at the top with a variety of exhibits about the Monument. Watch a video of what to expect here.

The Washington Monument will be open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission is free, though tickets are required, and there will be a small fee for tickets reserved online in advance.

Put it on your DC Must Do list!

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Weekdays, Weekend

T(w)een Scene: First Show at the 9:30 Club — with Mom!

Taking kids to concerts might not be a new thing for many parents. Plenty of moms and dads have indulged young fans of Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and other popular artists and acts that perform at large venues like Verizon Center, Merriweather, and Nationals Park.

But a concert at the 9:30 Club wasn’t something I’d ever really considered for a kid. In all the years I’d gone to shows there (a long time, even at the original 930 F Street location…and, oof, now I’m totally dating myself), I just didn’t think of it as a bring-your-kids-along kind of place.

Until last spring, that is. I had just snagged a couple of tickets to see Kishi Bashi, whose music I have loved for years, and who would be playing the 9:30 in June. His new album Omoiyari had just been released, and I was listening to it pretty obsessively, playing it a lot in the house. I knew Owen enjoyed Kishi Bashi before that, but he really dug the new album, often asking me to turn it up or play again.

Dad joins on sax for a song

Then, I had a perfect idea: I should bring Owen to the concert. Sometimes when there’s going to be a show I really want to see, I just go ahead and get a couple of tickets without making plans with anyone to join me, figuring someone — Levi or a friend — will want to go. That was the case with the Kishi Bashi tickets. I had the extra ticket, with no claim to it by anyone else, so it would be Owen’s.

I checked the 9:30 Club website to make sure he could attend a show, and the FAQ section says that “Unless otherwise posted our club is all-ages, all the time.” They didn’t otherwise post for the Kishi Bashi concert, so we were good to go. I kept it a surprise until school was done a couple of weeks before the concert date. It would make for a cool end-of-7th-grade gift that he would be super psyched about.

And boy was he, both when he found out he was going and at the concert. It turned out the show was seated (a first of the all the times I’ve been to the 9:30 Club), which was nice for a first show there and kind of perfect for this particular concert. We got there pretty early and lined up outside before doors opened. When we went in, I think they gave Owen a special underage double stamp, then we grabbed a couple of seats in the second row once inside. While Owen saved them, I ordered sandwiches for us, so we could have a little dinner before the music started. It was all quite orderly and civilized — amazing what seating can do!

Encore within the audience

As for the concert, it was phenomenal, one of the best I’ve ever been to at the 9:30 Club. That’s partly because Kishi Bashi is so damn talented, partly the seats in the second row, partly the touching song he performed with his father on saxophone, and partly that he came into the audience for the encore and played a little acoustic set with all of us surrounding him making it feel intimate and like we were all in the best place to be at that time. But, mostly, what made the experience so special was sharing it with Owen and seeing how much he enjoyed and appreciated it. He wasn’t even embarrassed by my dancing.

So, I’m not saying everyone should get their kids to the 9:30 Club stat (could you imagine the wrath of all the single millennials?!). But if a particular band or artist your kid (or you) likes is going to be playing there, and you want to enjoy some live music together, know that you most likely can. And while I think 13 was a good age to be there, shows are all-ages (unless otherwise posted) — parents are the best judges of what’s appropriate for their children.

The 9:30 Club is located at 815 V Street NW. See what concerts are coming up soon!

PS: Since I’ve gushed about the show so much, here’s a quick clip from the encore that still gives me goosebumps when I watch…


Filed under DC, Live Entertainment, Music, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is Coming to National Theatre

Here’s one for the grown-ups! Mike Birbiglia, the stand-up comedian/actor/writer/director is coming to National Theatre next Tuesday, September 24 through Sunday, September 29. And I’ve got a pair of tickets for it to giveaway to one lucky KFDC reader!

Here’s more about Mike Birbiglia’s The New One:

He’s made you laugh in Sleepwalk With Me (it was a play presented by Nathan Lane, then a movie, THEN a book), My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and “Thank God for Jokes.” (He was also really funny in that one season of “Orange is the New Black.” And in “Billions.” And “Broad City.”) Now he’s direct from Broadway, telling a new story in a new way with the same heart and humor we’ve come to expect. Lin-Manuel Miranda called THE NEW ONE “as perfect a night as you’re gonna get.” Do not miss THE NEW ONE. Some people say it’s his best one. (It was John Mulaney. Also Vogue.)

Run time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes with no intermission. It’s recommended for ages 13 and up, but I recommend making this a date night or evening out with friends. 🙂

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: September 24-29
Tickets: $39 – $114

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below naming the funniest movie you’ve watched in the last six months. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through 8pm on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Filed under 2019, Date Night, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend

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