Make Your Own Valentines at the National Postal Museum this Weekend!

Love will be in the air at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop this weekend! On both Saturday and Sunday, February 10-11, guests of all ages are welcome to the free, open-house event to get creative and have fun while making one-of-a-kind greetings for next week’s special day.

The museum provides all the supplies, including patterned papers, rubber stamps, gems and other 3-D embellishments, special cut-out scissors, washi tape, stickers, markers of every color (with a surplus of red and pink!), and more. Kids and adults alike will have a great time using it all to design their cards — and we know this from firsthand experience having attended several times!

Sasha making a Valentine for a special someone at a past workshop

Once finished, cards can be placed in envelopes, then addressed and adorned with a distinctive National Postal Museum postmark at the museum’s stamp store. Even better, kids will love dropping their cards into an official USPS mailbox decorated to exactly resemble SpongeBob SquarePants.

Plan to explore the whole museum while you’re there. The workshop takes place in the lower-level Atrium, which is full of postal transports from over the years — a real train car, semi-truck (that kids can climb in and pretend to drive!), a horse-drawn carriage, and airplanes hanging from the ceiling. And there’s much more to enjoy in the rest of the galleries.

In this modern, digital era, a handmade card can be hard to come by! This event is a perfect environment for kids to express their love for friends and family with a heartfelt note of affection and appreciation. The layout of the card-making stations and supply tables fosters sharing, friendliness and a sense of community. They can also experience the satisfaction of crafting their very own unique creations from start to finish, and the pure joy of giving that creation to someone special.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
Address: 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE, WDC
When: February 10 & 11, 10am – 4pm
Admission: FREE

This post is sponsored by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, 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 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Free, Museums, Special Event, Sponsored Post, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 5-9

The Great Hall at the Library of Congress is breathtaking every time

Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a great place to go with young children, with eye-popping displays and hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and more. The current Gamera: A Monstrous Achievement exhibit features a human-powered helicopter that guests can test out. And keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! The Museum is open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2/children, free for ages 1 and under.

Tuesday – Hear Stories from Strawberry Park at the Mosaic District. The live interactive performances by a group of unique storytellers take place the first and third Tuesdays of each month and are designed for kids 10 and under. During the winter, the program is held at the Angelika Film Center. The fun starts at 10am, and admission is free.

Wednesday – See local students recite Abraham Lincoln’s speeches at the Lincoln Oratory Festival. The event brings together students from the DMV area to perform Lincoln’s own on the Ford’s Theatre stage. After an in-classroom residency with a Ford’s Theatre teaching artists, 300 kids hit the stage to perform some of Lincoln’s most important speeches (including both his inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address) — and the public is invited to be part of their audience. The events are part of the larger Ford’s Oratory programs, a powerful example of how public speaking can help young people gain self-confidence and enhance their historical education. See the schedule and reserve tickets online.

Thursday – Explore the local environment from the comfort of the indoors at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. If the weather is good for it, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Friday – Visit the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress, to explore children’s books, see interesting exhibits, and marvel at one of DC’s most beautiful buildings. The Young Readers Center is open 9am – 4pm and welcomes visitors to read books and hang out in the cozy space — you can also join a free story time 10am (takes place every Friday). And be sure to spend time checking out the rest of the LOC, too — it’s truly magnificent and a must-see for both locals and visitors to DC. Hours are 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Museums, Nature, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to See an Advance Screening of Early Man!

Here’s a chance to catch a sneak preview of a new family movie — and discover a battle for the ages! Early Man, the latest film from Summit Entertainment, opens in theaters on Friday, February 16, and I have TEN “Admit Four” passes up for grabs to attend an advance screening on Saturday, February 10, at AMC Mazza Gallerie in Chevy Chase!

From the award winning “tribe” behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit comes Early Man! Set at the dawn of time, when dinosaurs and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of how one brave caveman unites his tribe against a mighty enemy and saves the day!

Giveaway: For a chance to win an “Admit Four” pass (yes, four people can attend!) to see Early Man at AMC Mazza Gallerie on Saturday, February 10 at 10:30am, simply leave a comment below telling me what’s been your family’s favorite event or activity so far this winter. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Sunday, February 4, 2018. Winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Giveaway, Movies, Ticket Giveaway, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: February 2-4

Sign kids up for a class on ‘How to Be a Shakespearean Actor’ at the Folger Shakespeare Library!

Football isn’t the only super thing happening this weekend. This round-up of events and activities around the area confirms it. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate Black History Month
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

February is Black History Month, and a tour of the National Museum of African American History & Culture is a perfect way to celebrate it. The catch, however, is getting in. Museum admission is still by timed entry pass, and all advanced passes have been distributed. But it still is possible to get same-day tickets! They are available online everyday starting at 6:30am until they run out. (You can also try for walk-up tickets on weekdays after 1pm.) Be sure to read the KFDC Guide to Visiting the National Museum of African American History & Culture with Kids before you go.

Washington Auto Show

Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Place, DC

When: Friday, 12-10pm; Saturday, 10am -10pm; Sunday 10am – 7pm

Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free/5 & under

The annual Washington Auto Show is parked at the Washington Convention Center for one more weekend. And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 600 of them! — on display for guests to check out. Other activities, like Ride ‘n Drives and celeb appearances, give guests even more to do and see. There is also a Family Fun Zone for kids with craft activities and PBS characters, plus fun photo ops and neat interactives throughout the expo. Get more info and check out scenes from our visit last weekend. And see this post about one of our experiences at a past show.

Be a Shakespearean Actor
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am & 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Shake up your Saturday with a workshop especially for kids at the Folger Shakespeare Library! These programs occurring on the first Saturday of every month, encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This session, develop your acting skills, 1800’s style, in a “How to Be a Shakespearean Actor” workshop. The 10am class is for ages 5-7, the 11am class for ages 8-14. Register here.

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.

Valentine DIY Workshop
Where: Home Depot locations around the DMV
When: February 3
Admission: Free

At this free hands-on workshop, build a Valentine bean bag toss and score points with your loved ones. Children with and adult can construct and decorate a fun bean bag toss game the whole family will love. All participants get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times and they must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron, and pin. Register in advance — visit the website to find a store near you offering the class.

Maple Sugaring Days

Where: Brookside Nature Center | Wheaton, MD

When: Saturday & Sunday

Admission: $6

Be a part of the maple sugaring process and help collect the sap from trees, watch as its boiled down into sweet maple syrup, and enjoy a taste! This program takes place every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday in February at select times. Sessions fill up, so register now! This event is also offered in Spanish.

Chocolate Lovers Festival
Where: Several locations in the City of Fairfax, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity

Valentine’s Day and chocolate go hand-in-hand, and you can savor it and then some at this sweet event. The City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate! There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, puppet shows, face painting, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. The schedule of events has details.

DPR Puppy Bowl
Where: Columbia Heights Rec Center | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

The Department of Parks and Rec is celebrating the Super Bowl early with its own version of the popular Animal Planet show “Puppy Bowl, “ the action-packed live event where puppy owners get to put their puppies inside the game, while an audience watches.There will be two fields of play — one for adult dog free play and one special turf field for official DPR Puppy Bowl play. The event will include a referee and analysis from some of DPR’s most respected voices in local sports. RSVP in advance!

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Duke Ellington, and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum (and the American Art Museum housed in the same building). For more about the program, see this post about a past experience and this one with scenes from a very recent visit.

Race to the Moon
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join this free alternate reality game at the Chantilly arm of Air & Space. Set in the thrilling era of early spaceflight, the game explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts. Your mission in this installment: Develop a rocket to launch into space, travel over 200,000 miles to the Moon, and land safely. It is 1969 and national pride and prestige are on the line. The United States is in a tight race with the Soviet Union to see who can be the first to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. NASA needs engineers and scientists with real problem-solving skills.

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

* Digging up Dessa, recommended for ages 10+ opens at the Kennedy Center
* Enjoy Shakespeare for the Young: Tiniest Tempest at Strathmore
* Tales of Beatrix Potter is the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* And Snow Show is the featured Tiny Tots performance for littles
* Reserve free tickets for ¡Uno, Dos, Tres, con Andrés!, this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance.
* Little ones will love Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* See the Irish dance phenomenon, Riverdance, at Warner Theatre all weekend

Date Night Theatre
Where: Sidney Harman Hall & Arena Stage | Penn Quarter & Southwest, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

If you’re looking for entertainment sans kids, here are a couple of recommendations: Hamlet is Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current production, and this modern version puts an interesting spin on the classic. At Arena Stage, Sovereignty highlights the history, struggles, and truths of the Cherokee Nation in this play that’s also part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. (PS: Both shows could be enjoyed by older kids, too, about middle school ages and up,just be aware that Hamlet runs nearly three hours.)

See Stars
Where: Rock Creek Nature Center | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1pm & 4pm
Admission: Free

Explore the night sky while the sun shines outside! The Rock Creek Park Planetarium has two shows running on weekends in February. In Winter Night Sky at 1m, discover tonight’s brighter stars, planets, and constellations, and learn their stories. At 4pm, discover African star stories while exploring constellations in the Southern Hemisphere. While you’re there, check out the rest of the Nature Center, enjoy time outside, and visit the stables at the Horse Center nearby. Read more about Rock Creek Park in this KFDC post.

Tween Valentine Card Making Workshop
Where: The Paper Source | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $26

Grab your BFF and some glitter for a workshop that will give you heart eyes! Make 5 – 6 Valentines for your classmates, friends, and family using your favorite stickers, stamps, washi and more! This class is intended for ages 8-14.

Valentine Makers Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Shop for your Valentine at this indoor market with over 45 vendors. Find something special with great variety of handmade and homemade goods. While you’re there, plan to explore and enjoy the rest of Annmarie’s artsy offerings! Read more about the artsy wonderland here.

1-2-3 Andrés Concert
Where: Naval Lodge | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/child

Enjoy a family concert featuring Latin Grammy Winner 1-2-3 Andrés and have even more fun to support Gan Shalom, an inclusive, cooperative preschool in Capitol Hill. Tickets include music, lunch, drinks , and a silent auction. The Naval Lodge is located at 330 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Revenge of the Space Pandas
Where: Mount Olivet United Methodist Church | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $13/adults, $7 children

Enjoy Play-Ka-Rah, Keegan Theatre’s program that presents theatrical experiences for families! The Mount Olivet Players, in conjunction with Keegan Theatre, are performing Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock by David Mamet. This sci-fi fantasy about two 12 year-olds and a sheep hurtling through space to a panda-policed outer dimension serves up wry grown-up humor and fun for the whole family. Proceeds support the Mount Olivet Youth Summer Mission Trips.

Valentine’s Day Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum | NoMa, DC
When: February 10-11, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Love is in the air at the 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 all ages will love. They’ll have pretty papers and neat Valentine-themed supplies — rubber stamps, gems and other 3-D embellishments, special cut-out scissors, washi tape, stickers, and more. All guests need to bring is their creativity to make one-of-a-kind cards!

* Feel the love around DC over the next couple of weeks — there are lots of great Valentine’s Day inspired events coming up!
* KidPass, a membership program that gives children access to all kinds of classes, just launched in DC.
* Need kid coverage on the DCPS day off from school February 16? Register your student for a DPR Fun Day, a free, single-day program offering fun and enriching activities for ages 6-12. Sign up starts February 2 at 12pm.
* If screen time is a struggle in your household, you’ll appreciate this honest and witty (and possibly helpful) read about The Seven Day Screen Free Challenge by a local dad. (And I feel compelled to add that I do not judge screen time for kids in any way — mine enjoy it, and so do I, for that matter!)
* This is Us fans (and I know there are lots of you), there is a special Superbowl episode on Sunday evening after the game, and it looks one that will require lots of tissues — even more than the other episodes.
* There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Adventure Theatre!


Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter