Category Archives: Weekend

Join the Alma Thomas Community Celebration at the National Gallery of Art this Weekend!

 

The National Gallery of Art reopened its doors last spring, and it’s been wonderful to return to one of our favorite museums again.  Even better, it’s open daily, making it a go-to any day of the week.  But this coming weekend, September 24-26, will be an especially great time to visit, as the museum hosts a Community Celebration honoring late pioneering artist Alma Thomas!

The in-person, on-site event will feature a variety of activities and experiences that explore Thomas’s life and her wide range of creative endeavors, all of them self-guided for Covid safety.  Plus, there are extra goodies and discounts to enjoy while you’re there!  The weekend offerings and festivities include:

·    Free art kits with a coloring book of National Gallery works by local artists, coloring materials, and a cutout doll designed by Brittany Jackson, illustrator of the acclaimed children’s book Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment.

·     A special flower display inspired by Alma Thomas’s Pansies in Washington (1969)  

·     A display showcasing works by local community members, celebrating Alma Thomas’s art and legacy 

·     50% discount on Alma Thomas-inspired gelato at the Espresso & Gelato Bar  

·     15% discount on shops purchases with the code ALMA15 (onsite and online) 

·     A pop-up performance from Howard University Bands at 4pm on Sunday 

 

Thomas’ painting, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, inspired by sights, sounds, & smells of DC

 

The event is part of a larger citywide celebration featuring a symposium with virtual sessions September 22-23. Geared toward adults, it will bring together noted scholars, artists, and curators to discuss Alma Thomas’s life and legacy, including an introduction by Michelle Obama.

The National Gallery of Art’s Community Celebration will take place in the East Building from 1-5pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Admission is free.

Alma Thomas Community Celebration
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday – Sunday, September 24-26, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

 

This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, Art, DC, Fall, Free, Museums, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 17-19

Riding the trails at Cosco Regional Park in PG County

 

Happy Weekend!

Bookmark-worthy posts full of ideas and info for ongoing activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* On the Water
* Swim Spots
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

“Fall” Fun
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s almost officially fall (September 22!), and there are so many great ways to get into the spirit of the season, from city streets to country farms. Cox, Great Country, Montpelier, Clark’s Elioak, and several more farms around the area are welcoming visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. The annual H Street Festival is back to celebrate the thriving corridor in northeast DC. Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October. And there are even more autumn fests happening. Details on all of them are in the 2021 KFDC Guide to the Fall Festival Season.

National Dance Day
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

Break out those dancing shoes for fun in-person activities for National Dance Day! Presented through a partnership between the Kennedy Center, American Dance Movement (formally the Dizzy Feet Foundation), and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), this annual event invites people of all ages and abilities, from the littlest dancers to professionals, to participate in a free celebration of the joy of dance and movement. See the website for specfics!

In America: Remember
Where: 14th St. & Constitution Ave. | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There’s another (temporary) memorial on the National Mall.  This one honors all Americans who have died from COVID-19 with a small, white flag planted for every life lost. A similar installation by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg was on display last fall just outside of RFK Stadium. Over 260,000 flags were planted then. Less than a year later, more than 660,000 will blanket the grounds of the Mall next to the Washington Monument. The public is welcome to walk among the flags… it’s a powerful, heartbreaking sight to see.

Downtown DC on Wheels
Where: F St btwn 7th & 8th NW | Downtown DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Free

Lace up your skates and show off your moves at Downtown DC’s premier roller skating event. Join for free skating and performances, movie screenings with silent disco headphones, food offerings by Shake Shack, and live DJs. Sign up in advance! Skates provided on a limited basis, but BYO skates is encouraged. Be sure to arrive within 15 mins of your scheduled registration or your spot will be released.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: September 18, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is returning! This one is always huge — so beware that there could be a crowd — and there is tons to see and do.  In past years, the event has featured loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and children’s activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is highly recommended, as parking is always difficult.

Ride On
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There’s a quick link to bike routes above, but this is a stronger recommendation to get out for a family ride — it should be great weather for it! And you’ve got your pick of good rides around the area. Take in the almost-fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun, all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this route is particularly ideal with kids.

Bike+
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
Add some extra adventure to a bike ride and go mountain biking. There are several MTB trails to ride around the area, a few miles even right here in the District at Fort Dupont Park in Anacostia — a good place for newer mountain bikers. Cosco Regional Park in PG County and  Schaffer Farms in Gaithersburg are also great for those just starting. And for even more recs, the post about biking around the DC area includes a list of places to hit the mountain biking trails (scroll down).  [Note: This activity is better for older kids with more experience riding.]

Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The nice weather this weekend also makes it a great time to hit the trail on foot. Enjoy the not-blazing-hot temps, walk in places with scenic views, see the start of fall foliage, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids. Some specific recs for right now:  Great Falls, Patapsco Valey State Park, Huntley Meadows, Sky Meadows State Park, and Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Luchadora!
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $20.50
It’s opening weekend of Adventure Theatre’s newest production!The discovery of a worn pink wrestling mask prompts Nana Lupita, a Wisconsin grandmother, to share her tale about growing up in 1960s Texas. As her tale unfolds, Lupita’s life as a teen tomboy comes alive — bike riding with her friends Leopold and Liesl, working at her father’s flower stand and lucha libre. When a World Championship match is announced, Lupita anticipates seeing it until she discovers her ailing father is one of the wrestlers. With the help of a magical mask maker, Lupita secretly trains to take her father’s place. She soon finds it difficult keeping her secret from her friends and, most importantly, her father. This production will take place outdoors in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn (BYO blanket!).

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Where: Museums Around the DC Area
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

There are some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the College Park Aviation Museum, Dumbarton House, Baltimore Museum of Industry, and many more fantastic museums in the area.  KFDC Tip: Some already-free museums are also participating, including the National Museum of African American History & Culture, where you usually have to get passes well in advance!  You must reserve a free ticket —  and it’s good for admission for two people.

Ren Fest
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $28/age 16+, $13/age 7-15, free/6 & under

Enjoy the bounty of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Read more about Ren Fest here. (PS: Admission prices go up after this weekend.)

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $26/adult, $13/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 experts demonstrate period crafting techniques. And you can see General Washington in the General’s Tent. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family!

Artsfest ’21
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10, free/age 11 & under

Enjoy a fabulous weekend of the visual and performing arts with 160+ artists booths, 35 performers on four stages, activities for kids, great food, wine & beer, and much more. Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the 30 acre sculpture garden, explore the excitement of the Tent Circle and the Arts Building, then wander the shady Wooded Path to find artists and activities nestled in the beautiful woods. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden here and here.

Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $35-40 for the 5k

Lincoln’s Cottage is once again combining their two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming! During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year they welcome everyone back “home” to join in a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. There will be arts and crafts, pony rides, hands-on activities for young learners, cottage tours, and picnic ops. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around to enjoy both!

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

The Nats are hosting the Rockies all weekend and there are some extras to enjoy along with the baseball action. Friday night’s game will be followed by firework. Saturday is Pups in the Park, and while those tickets are sold out, you’ll get to see lots of pooches (ie, cuteness) at the ballpark, too. And at Sunday’s afternoon game, there will be Nats blanket giveaway.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Several communities in DC & MD
When: September 3-22
Tickets: Free

For another weekend, NSO musicians will perform free concerts within the uptown DC neighborhoods of Ward 4, Takoma Park, and downtown Silver Spring. This year’s IYN has 17 events, including two full NSO performances. Events will be offered both indoors and outdoors — at parks, coffee shops, taverns, schools, and more local venues. All concerts and events are free to the public with first-come, first-served seating. See the website for the full schedule.

Olympic Village
Where: Czech Embassy |
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

The Czech Embassy is hosting a fun-filled day of activities for kids and adults, all in the spirit of the Olympics. Learn about the Czech Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team and its individual athletes’ medals. And in the true spirit of games, join in sport activities such as soccer darts, basketball shootouts, racket battles, moon bounce, and more on the Embassy’s grounds. There will also be live music, a beer garden, and food. Cash only for beer & food. RSVP required.

Theatre Open House
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

BlackRock Center for the Arts, is hosting a day of celebration as they reopen their doors! Enjoy free family programming that includes a variety of free performances, demonstrations, workshops, and exhibits — plus a showing of Shrek The Musical at 8pm. No tickets are necessary for the events, but registration is required for all educational opportunities — visit he website to see the schedule of activities and to sign up. All persons regardless of age must be masked when entering our facility, and all persons ages 12+ entering our facility must show proof of vaccination status.

Model Trains + Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 2-7pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Chug on down to the Historic Vienna Train Station for their first Open House since the pandemic  began. 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. Masks are optional if fully vaccinated but recommended. Please wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Rosslyn Jazz Fest
Where: Locales around Rosslyn, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm

Admission: Free
Jazz is back in Rosslyn with local artists, food trucks, drinks, merch ,and more! Enjoy three local acts on the Gateway Park stage, plus an afternoon of food, music, and fun. Entertainment will feature Three Man Soul Machine, Aaron Myers and Sin Miedo.

Blairs Mural Festival
Where: The Blairs District | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate public art in Silver Spring! With eight new murals to explore in the Blairs District. You can also enjoy art activities especially for kids, concessions from foods trucks, live music, hula hoops, corn hole, face painting, garden tours, and more. This all takes place at Sonny’s Green Park at The Blairs (180 High Park Lane, Silver Spring).

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day
Where: Waterfront Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

The Ballyshaners are back, live and in person with the 2021 version of their Irish Festival, the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Celebration! All kinds f vendors, food, beer, and the best Irish music and dancers in town will make up the day’s fun and craic! See the website for details and the entertainment line-up. Waterfront Park is located on the Potomac River between King and Prince Streets.

Sukkah City x DC: Community Day
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but registration requested

Meet the architects and explore the public display of creative sukkahs on view outdoors at the National Building Museum’s west lawn while you learn about Sukkot and participate in an arts workshop, holiday activities, family story time, and a letter-writing campaign in support of eradicating homelessness in our city. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Register here, and be automatically entered into a drawing for museum swag and four complimentary club tickets for Nats vs Red Sox on Oct 3.

Children’s Day
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Gardening is a form of art, and Brookside Gardens is the perfect place to see some outdoor art and get creative! Children and families will be inspired as they explore Art in the Gardens and make some art too! Small groups will rotate through four outdoor stations where the children will participate in fun garden activities, artful crafts, kids’ yoga, and more. Registration is required for all children age 3 and up.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks in Fairfax, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages.Learn what happens in Nature at Night at Riverbend Park. Gather around the Campfire Saturday at Burke Lake Park. Catch a Critter at Huntley Meadows Park on Sunday. Get more details on these activities and see what else is going on here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* In case you hadn’t heard, there will be a right-wing rally in DC on Saturday. Best to stay clear, even if it’s small. Fencing has already gone back up at the Capitol.
* A new post with info and scenes from a pop-in at the National Postal Museum is a great reminder to visit the just-reopened, beloved Smithsonian venue.
* Washingtonian’s round-up of where to celebrate Oktoberfest around DC. (Note: Some are more for sans kids.)
* Potomac Overlook Park has a lot of fun programming for kids coming up — read about the Arlington park here.
* Found a perfect gift for my bird (& puzzle) loving friend!
* 20 new works of fiction coming out this fall.
* Disturbing but not surprising news of the week.
* One of the best.

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Scenes from a Pop-In at the National Postal Museum

 

The National Postal Museum just reopened in late August for the first time since March 2020, the last of the DC Smithsonians to once again welcome visitors.  I was running an errand nearby yesterday, so I decided to pop in for a little museum fix and see what is/isn’t currently on view, and to enjoy what I think is one of the most stunning spaces in the city.

The museum is in the Postal Square Building, which was DC’s main post office from 1914 to 1986

I’ve always recommended the museum as a particularly great one to visit with young children.  Located in the Postal Square Building between Union Station and North Capitol Street, it doesn’t draw the big crowds that its Smithsonian counterparts on the Mall often do, which is especially nice right now.  And the space isn’t huge, making it easy to explore with little ones.   That said, it’s appealing to all ages and fantastic to visit without kids, too, like I just did…

Mailboxes from around the world

 

Since there’s already a whole KFDC write-up about the museum,  this post of scenes is really just a reminder that it’s open again and a strong recommendation to go, plus a quick update of what’s on display and some highlights. The Pony Express area is closed, but most other exhibits are currently open.  You can digitally design a stamp and start a collection in the Stamp Gallery,  learn how the post office serves cities and  scan and sort mail, read letters sent to and from soldiers in WWI, and go Behind the Badge to explore the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  And the lofty atrium featuring airmail planes, mail trucks, a train car, a horse & buggy, the trailer of a semi that you can climb aboard, and other large-scale modes of mail transport is as stunning as ever.

The National Postal Museum
Where: 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Union Station Area, DC
When: Friday – Tuesday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free
COVID Guidelines

 

Click for larger images…

The first glimpse of the atrium

 

The Stamp Gallery is located on the Main Floor of the building

 

Stamps available to start collection

 

Design your own digital stamp

 

Learn about the U.S. Postal Inspection Service

 

An old Ford Model A mail truck

 

A modern one

 

And a trailer of a semi mail carrier that you can sit in

 

View from the inside

 

A digital image and transcription of a moving letter from WWI

 

Scanning (pretend) mail is one of many hands-on ops

 

Wes Anderson vibes?

 

A last look at the space

 

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Filed under All ages, DC, Museums, Reopened, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 10-12

Tower of Light beaming up from the Pentagon to honor the lives lost on 9/11.

 

I was at work.  I was an editor for an adventure travel website (this whole KFDC thing isn’t a total fluke), and the office was in Chinatown right above what was then a Fuddrucker’s at the corner of 7th and H.  Just a few of us were there — it was a dot-come start-up, and most of the team arrived around 9am and worked well into the evening, but I liked to get there a bit earlier.  I was in a great mood that morning, like I was many mornings. It was generally a very happy time of life.  I really liked my job; Levi and I were still newlyweds, having gotten married just four months prior; we had a big, fun group of friends; and we were enjoying life in our late 20’s in DC.  It was a beautiful day.

I was at my desk checking email, when a co-worker sitting nearby announced with slight shock in her voice, “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.”

One guy went over to her desk to check out what she was viewing on her computer.  My ears perked at the news, but I also assumed it was probably a small plane and had the thought that I was surprised an accident like that hadn’t happened sooner.  So, I stayed put and went back to checking email and preparing for the day ahead. 

Not long after, the same co-worker jumped up from her chair and said in a loud, panicked voice this time, ”Oh my god. Another plane just hit the other tower.” 

That was the moment everything changed.  

I remember the cold feeling of dread creeping through my body, my thoughts jumbled and racing as I processed what I’d just heard.  I frantically tried to check news online, but couldn’t connect to any sites.  I tried to make phone calls, but couldn’t get through.  By then, more people had arrived at the office, and there was commotion as we scrambled to get information.

Some of us eventually left the building and hurried a few blocks to the Grand Hyatt, where there was a TV in the bar.  People were packed in there, silent, staring up at the screen as they watched the horror unfold in New York City.  Then it hit closer to home:  Another plane crashed into the Pentagon.

I remember the screams when we heard that news, the scurry of people rushing out, our group among them, to get to…safety?  Where was that?  What was happening to our country? 

As we made our way back to our building, there were shouts on the street that a bomb had gone off on the Mall, that another plane was headed for the White House (as we know, both turned out to be false).  When we arrived in the office, we were told to go home.  I remember someone telling me there might be a plane headed for the U.S. Capitol, that I shouldn’t go to my house on Capitol Hill. 

So, I went home with a co-worker who was also part of our friend group.  We walked to his house up 11th Street — we were afraid to take Metro — still in a state of panic, we walked so fast.  I remember at Cardozo High School, which sits on a hill, turning around and seeing the plume of smoke from the Pentagon in the distance.  The rest of the sky was still a brilliant blue.

At my friend’s house, the first thing we did was turn on the TV.  We learned another plane had crashed in Pennsylvania.  Just minutes later, we watched the first tower collapse…

My friend’s house became a gathering place for many in our group that day.  Scared and confused, unsure of where and what was safe, we found comfort in being together.  I finally was able to contact Levi, and he joined us there after a slow commute back from work in Virginia.  We stayed until the evening when we felt it was okay to go back to the Hill.

Over that day and the next few, there were a lot of check-ins — with family, friends, colleagues — to make sure everyone was okay.  I was/am grateful that they were.  But even though I didn’t lose anyone close to me that day, I still mourned.  For all the lives lost, for their families and friends, for our country as we’d known it, for the innocence and safety that we no longer felt.

Twenty years.  It feels like yesterday, but also a lifetime ago.  Perhaps because, in many ways, time before September 11, 2001, was a whole other life. 

When Levi and I talk to our kids about 9/11 —when we explain what happened and what ensued, when we tell them how before that day we used to be able to walk right up to the Capitol building and practically look in the windows and take in views from the top of the steps on the West side — I think about how that day changed the world for them, too, and wonder if they feel a sense innocence and safety like we did in our youth. 

I hope they do.

* * * * *

It’s a somber anniversary of a national tragedy, but also a reminder to be grateful for all we have, including experiences shared with loved ones.  Which is why now, like every Friday, I wish all a Happy Weekend.

Come From Away: In Concert at the Lincoln Memorial
Where: Lincoln Memorial | National Mall, DC
When: September 10, 6pm
Tickets: Free

In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Ford’s Theatre presents a free one-night-only concert version of the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Come From Away on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The show tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers on September 11, 2001, and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them — spurring unexpected camaraderie in extraordinary circumstances.  Recommended for ages 10+. (PS: I highly recommend seeing the stage version of this beautiful show if you ever have the chance.)

Kids Concert & Family Happy Hour
Where: The Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: $5/adult, $10/child

Join a casual, outdoor happy hour for parents and tots! Kids’ local musical fave, King Bullfrog, will hit the stage with high-energy original, folk and blues songs carefully tailored to get children dancing and delight grownups. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends and gather with old. Kids under 2 are free. Register in advance. A *quiet space* will be provided for those who need a break.

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 20
Admission: $20/age 16+, $10/age 7-15, free/6 & under

The medieval time trip began is still going strong! You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment — exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, plus slides, play areas, games, and some of the best people-watching ever. It all takes place in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century Tudor village. KFDC Tip: Admission prices go up after this weekend, so take advantage!

By the Seashore
Where: Lee District Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $10

Art on the Horizon’s production takes you on a magical journey to a place children love to visit – the beach! Young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky; from birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between! Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for our youngest audience members ages 0-3. It takes place outdoors at Leonadus K. Plenty Amphitheater in Lee District Park.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Several communities in DC & MD
When: Through September 22
Tickets: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra’s annual program is back! Over three weeks in September, NSO musicians are performing free concerts within the uptown DC neighborhoods of Ward 4, Takoma Park, and downtown Silver Spring. Events are offered both indoors and outdoors — at parks, coffee shops, taverns, schools, and more local venues. All are free to the public with first-come, first-served seating. Check the website to see where they are happening this weekend.

Fiesta DC
Where: Several locations around DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

All are welcome to this annual weekend celebration highlighting Latino culture. Festivities include a Parade of Nations, children’s festival, beauty pageant, science fair, a pavilion for embassies and consulates, arts and crafts stations, and traditional Mexican and South/Central American cuisine. See the website for specifics on all of the cultural fun.

Big Bounce America
Where: Rosecroft Raceway | Fort Washington, MD
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $19-39
Boing! The world’s largest bounce house is in the DC area for one ore weekend and they’ve added extra jump sessions to accommodate more guests.  Big Bounce America includes four massive inflatable attractions: A 13,000 sq. foot World’s Largest Bounce House; the newly added Sport Slam featuring a customized sports arena; the 900+ ft. long obstacle course named The Giant; and a unique, space-themed wonderland called airSPACE.

Kensington Train Show
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $7/adult, $2/child $15 /family max

All aboard for the return of the Kensington Train Show! Features model trains and more train inspired fun, it’s an event for the whole family. Marvel at local club National Capital Trackers’ “O” gauge electric trains that will literally include al the bells and whistles. istles, steam, depots and bridges giving visitors lots to marvel at.   Enjoy a performances by Orleans Express on Saturday (11:30-1:30pm), and Matthew Dodd will share railroad songs and stories on Sunday, (1-4pm). New this year is an I Spy Train Game for kids to play as they check out the model trains. And  Boy Scout troop #439 will be selling hotdogs and snacks on-site both days.

Free Theatre in the Park
Where: Lubber Run Amphitheater | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Synetic Theatre for a free pop-up performance of their family theater classic The Miraculous Magical Balloon. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and dazzling choreography, it tells a story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk, full of toys, tricks, and surprises. This show is beloved by audiences of all ages. (PS: It will be performed at parks around Arlington into the fall!)

Falls Church Festival
Where: City Hall Campus | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but tastes and rides are a fee

The 45th Annual Falls Church Festival returns to The Little City with plenty of family fun. It features The Taste of Falls Church, a beer garden, live music, children’s entertainment, plus booths of local crafters, businesses, and civic organizations.  This year’s event also includes a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic inside the Community Center (223 Little Falls St.). Fairfax Health will offer the first or second dose of the Pfizer Vaccine to anyone ages 12 and up from 11am – 4pm.

A Wind in the Door
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Tickets: $20

Catch this show for young audiences at the Kennedy center….   A cosmic mission is unfolding! Don’t miss the onstage debut of the exciting sequel to Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time. Recommended for ages 9+, this one-hour show takes place indoors in the Family Theatre. Patrons 12 and older must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 – with a physical or digital copy of their vaccination card and government-issued ID with the same name. Children under 12 must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before performance time. Recommended for ages 9+.

Corn Maze & Apple Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Through September 30
Admission: $12-16/adult, $10-14/child, free/2 & under

September  is all about apples at Great Country Farms. You can celebrate with apple picking, award-winning apple cider donuts, a romp in our 12-acre play area, and some educational fun in the What’s Regenerative Agriculture Corn Maze. As you meander the paths, learn about how the deep roots in the soil can keep the farm’s food and environment as healthy as possible. On weekends, there’s live music, marshmallow roasting, pig races,  and cider pressing demos, too!

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from DC
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

We’re in the thick of apple season, and there are several spots around the region where you can pick your own. 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.

DC Walls Opening Event
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam for an afternoon of food, music, and amazing art! The opening event of DC Walls, a 10-day international mural festival, will host several muralists painting along the Metro Branch Trail, as well as local DJ’s, food trucks, lawn games, and more. Take in the work of these incredible artists and enjoy the park, too! Register here.

Adams Morgan Day
Where: Throughout Adams Morgan, DC
When: September 12, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 41st Annual Adams Morgan Day, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. The family-friendly event will have activities for all ages, including free crafts, multiple stages of entertainment, all kinds of demos, a whole Family Fun Zone, and tons more. More details and the schedule of performances are available on the website.

Josiah Hensen Community Celebration
Where: Josiah Hensen Park | North Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of family fun at Josiah Henson Museum & Park. There will be musical performances to remember our heroes, re-enactments to reflect on the past and look towards a hopeful future, and opportunities to participate in a Peace Pinwheels demonstration on the grounds and portray how you plan to bring peace to the world.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Tickets start at $25

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 US women’s national team in action!

Links to all kinds of ongoing adventures:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new round-up of fall festivals around the DC area, from city streets to country farms.
* From Washingtonian, five DC area events commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
* Variety’s most anticipated TV shows this fall.
* Possible baking project this weekend?
* This “Come From Away” story in the Washington Post earlier this week is so moving.
* “I am — we all are — covered forever with a bit of the ash from those towers.”

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Filed under 2021, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend