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Save Your Seats for Holiday Entertainment

The Puppet Co.'s whimsical interpretation of The Nutcracker

 

The holidays are just around the corner, and along with them some of best traditions of the season — and our local theatres.  Take your pick of The Nutcracker productions, see Ebenezer Scrooge on stage, rock out or sing along to holiday tunes, discover celebrations around the world — there are shows to suit all theatre preferences, ages, and wallets.  Here’s the line-up of holiday shows, listed by opening date (and most descriptions pulled straight from the websites).  Tickets for most are already on sale.  And if you have a show to recommend that’s not listed here, feel free to do so in the comments section.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: November 18 – January 2
Tickets: $17
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” But wait! A mouse is stirring – because Santa missed his house last year. Before you can say “Merry Christmas!”, we’re off on the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf and a spunky little girl who just won’t take no for an answer. Don’t miss this joyful tribute to the holiday season from three-time Tony nominee and Olivier Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

A Christmas Carol
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: November 18 – December 31
Tickets: $30-65
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns to play Scrooge. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The Nutcracker
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: November 25 – December 31
Tickets: $10
Tchaikovsky’s musical adaptation of the E. T. A.Hoffman story is brought to life by the magic of The Puppet Co. “The Nutcracker” is the festive story of Clara-Marie’s adventures with her favorite toy. The larger-than-life-size costume characters and marionettes delight Clara-Marie, and the audience, on her magical journey through the “Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Recommended for Kindergarten age and older.

The Washington Ballet: The Nutcracker
Where: Thearc Theater
When: November 25-27
Tickets: $29
Celebrate The Washington Ballet’s golden anniversary with their holiday classic!  For fifty years, generations of Washingtonians have grown up loving—and introducing loved ones to–Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker.  In this 50th anniversary year, Septime Webre pays homage to Washington Ballet founder Mary Day’s 1961 production, restaging her original, a historic jewel, in his lush Washington-themed staging.  Discover, rediscover, and celebrate this one-of-a-kind Nutcracker production set in 1882 Georgetown and starring George Washington as the Nutcracker, King George II as the Rat King, Anacostia Indians, frontiersmen, and all-American delights.  Whimsical waltzes, glittering snowflakes, and gorgeous music, The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker is a magical journey not to be missed!

Nutcracker Fantasy
Where: The Puppet Co. Tiny Tots
When: November 26 – December 31
Tickets: $5
This marionette version of the holiday classic is geared toward the smallest of audience members. Tiny Tots shows are designed for theater patrons ages 0-4. They are shorter, the lights stay on, the doors stay open, and the show is set up on the floor.

Septime Weber’s The Nutcracker
Where: Warner Theatre
When: December 1-24
Tickets: $40-110
The grand, full-scale version of Septime Webre’s production, performed by the Washington Ballet.

Seasons of Light
Where: Discovery Theater
When: December 1-23
Tickets: $3-8
Discovery Theater’s seasonal favorite captures the warmth of many holidays filled with light, in this joyous interactive celebration. Explore the history and customs of Devali, Ramadan, Sankta Lucia, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Christmas, and the First Nations’ tradition of the Winter Solstice. Recommended for ages 5-10.


A Beatrix Potter Holiday
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: December 1, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $5
Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth from Florida presents the famous author at her annual holiday party. Stories including The Tailor of Gloucester and The Rabbit’s Christmas Party come to life on stage with the help of the audience, and Peter Rabbit may even make a surprise appearance.

Annual Holiday Sing
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: December 4, 4pm & 7pm
Tickets: FREE ($2 service fee to reserve)
The annual free Holiday Concert at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, in collaboration with Capital City Symphony the Congressional Chorus, the American Youth Chorus, and the Atlas Performing Arts Center. An H Street holiday tradition!
Tickets are free but must be reserved ($2 per ticket service fee). Tickets must be collected on the day of the performance at least 30 minutes before the performance. All tickets that have not been collected 30 minutes prior to the performance will be distributed to patrons on the wait list.

Holiday Sing-a-Long
Where: Wolf Trap
When: December 4, 4pm
Tickets: FREE
Kick off the holiday season with family and friends at Wolf Trap’s 2011 Holiday Sing-A-Long! This annual musical celebration hosts a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area.

A Christmas Carol
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: December 8, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $5
Mr. Scrooge, the ghosts, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the whole Dickens gang gather for a spirited musical version of the holiday classic performed by Theatre IV of Richmond. Recommended for all ages.

American Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Where: Kennedy Center
When: December 8-11
Tickets: $29-100
Magical toy soldiers, shimmering snowflakes, mischievous mice, and all the enchanting inhabitants of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s whimsical world descend upon the Kennedy Center for the DC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker. American Ballet Theatre’s artist-in-residence and former Artistic Director of Bolshoi Ballet, Mr. Ratmansky choreographed this new production, which premiered at Brooklyn Academy of Music in December 2010 to rave reviews. Performed with a live orchestra, together with extraordinary sets and costumes by Tony Award winner Richard Hudson (The Lion King), Ratmansky’s new version of Tchaikovsky’s classic unites more than 100 superb performers for a sublime retelling of the beloved story. Join young Clara and her famous wooden prince for the sweetest of all family holiday dreams. Even if you’ve already seen 50 Nutcrackers, you will not want to miss this one by Alexei Ratmansky. This Kennedy Center tradition is the most cherished in DC.

A Children’s Nutcracker
Where: Battlefield High School, Haymarket, VA
When: December 10
Tickets: $15-20
This production from the Gainesville Ballet School features local talent ranging from three years of age through adult professionals. It’s a show you don’t want to miss, with the traditional dances, such as Snow Flake and Sugar Plum Fairy, plus some very special dances with the young ballerinas, such as Blue Bird and Angels. There are two performances, at 1:30pm and 5pm.

Christmas Dreams from The Nutcracker
Where: National Theatre
When: December 10
Tickets: FREE
Saturday Morning at the National, the theatre’s free program for children, has a classic its line-up of weekly performances. Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Sweets will be in the air as the Virginia Ballet Company and School present selections for their magical, glittering Nutcracker. Familiar music, lively dances, lovely costumes and charming characters from Tchaikovsky’s classic confection bring us elegant holiday cheer. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early.

The Mini-Nut
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
When: December 10-11
Tickets:
$15/adults, $10/children 12 and under
The Maryland Youth Ballet presents a sweet treat with a delightful, 50- minute, abbreviated presentation of their classic production. Performance takes place at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

The Nutcracker
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
When:
December 16, 17, 18, 22, 26
Tickets:
$25/adults, $20/children
This is the 22nd season of the Maryland Youth Ballets beloved, full-length classic. Performances will tale place at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center of Montgomery College in Rockville.

Step Afrika! Holiday Party
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: December 14-18
Admission: $38/adult, $25/seniors & students, $15/child
Come make music with Step Afrika! in the company’s first ever holiday show! Bring the family and experience the best holiday party with the artists of Step Afrika! Who wants to sit still and be quiet for the holidays? Come ready to make some noise and bring in the festive season with a bang!

Rockin’ Hannukah Concert
Where: Alden Theatre
When: December 18, 3pm
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents
Yosi and the Superdads play an interactive and humorous family concert filled with klezmer, rock, ska and rockin’ Hanukkah tunes. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

 

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A Fall Full of Family Entertainment

A new season doesn’t just mean a change in weather; it also brings a whole new line-up of family entertainment. And this fall is no exception. From puppet shows and plays to opera at Nationals Park to kids rock concerts to shows about science, there is something to indulge all ages and interests. Here’s the scoop on performances coming to our local stages and, in at least one case, the ball park.

Tales of Beatrix Potter
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: September 16 – October 9
Tickets: $10 (Get a $5 discount on tickets to shows on 9/16-18 by using the code BK2S online)
Applause Unlimited’s puppeteer/storyteller Christopher Hudert explores the fantasy world of one of Victorian England’s best-known authors and illustrators. Set in an old-fashioned nursery, this performance includes three favorite Beatrix Potter stories as seen through the eyes of a young English girl growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century. As she pursues the everyday activities of playing and learning, the tales of “Two Bad Mice”, “Jeremy Fisher”, and “Jemima Puddleduck” seem to grow from her imagination. This 45-minute show incorporates hand, rod, and shadow puppets in a style that is sure to please young and old alike.

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park
When: September 22, 7:30pm
Tickets: FREE! Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
Join Washington National Opera for the 4th annual Opera in the Outfield, a free, live opera broadcast of Puccini’s Tosca at Nationals Park. Arrive early to the ballpark — gates open at 5:30pm — to enjoy entertainment and activities including: Performances by community youth groups including the Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars double-dutch team of Greenbelt, MD, the award-winning Yorktown High School Marching Band from Arlington, VA, and the DC-based Taratibu Pan-African Step Team; a screening of the Warner Bros.cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?,” starring Bugs Bunny and his nemesis Elmer Fudd; chances to win prizes, including a VIP suite for a Nationals Game and tickets to Kennedy Center performances.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Ongoing – Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5
The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Boogie Babes
Where: North Hall of Eastern Market & The Atlas
When: Thursdays & Fridays at 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under
The Boogie Babes have doubled the fun! Little ones can now boogie along with their favorite local musicians in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday morning AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Market and stay to play, or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor. Check out the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends
Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local groups perform every Monday through Friday and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

Various Performances for Children
Where: Discovery Theater
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $3 – $6
Songs and stories in English and Spanish, a puppet show about Amelia Earhart, talking drums, and kitchen science are all on the entertainment line-up at Discovery Theatre this fall. Most performances take place at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. See the complete schedule of shows on the theater’s website for more info and to purchase tickets online.

Big Apple Circus
Where: Dulles Town Center
When: September 22 – October 10
Tickets: $15-49
See the world’s greatest circus artists presented under an intimate big top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the ring. Let your imagination soar and summon the most amazing acts – a juggler with a suit to fit his sweet feats of fancy handiwork; a mechanical doll who comes alive in a sinuous balancing act; spirited horses, frolicsome dogs, and a capybara and porcupine to perk up the sawdust party; audacious acrobats who astound with athletic grace; comical conjurors with magical moments of grand illusion; the aerial daring of the trapeze flyers; a singing ringmistress and the Big Apple Circus Band, creating the ringing melodies of memories to last. And Grandma, apogee of comical aspiration and mirthful joy! Your dreams will inspire a Big Apple Circus of living thrills and marvelous delight — a celebration of the imagination — an astonishing circus world of wonder.

Lilly’s Plastic Purse
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 23 – October 31
Tickets: $17
Lilly loves all sorts of things. She loves school, she loves dressing up, and she even grows to love her “stinky baby brother,” Julius. In fact, Lilly loves everything! At least, she loves everything most of the time. Even Lilly has some bad days, but when you have movie star sunglasses and a purple plastic purse, how bad can it be? Recommended for all ages.

Alladin’s Luck
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 23 – October 30
Tickets: $10-22
A clever street urchin called Aladdin falls madly for the Princess Leilah when they meet by chance at the bazaar. Determined to impress the Princess, he embarks on a search for fortune and instead finds a dingy oil lamp. But this is no ordinary lamp; it houses a magical genie who helps Aladdin masquerade as a grand emir to win Leilah’s hand. Leilah, however, fell for the street urchin, not the grand emir. Frustrated that Aladdin won’t admit who he really is, Leilah gives the lamp to an unscrupulous magician and ends up his prisoner. Now Aladdin must travel across the desert to rescue Leilah by doing the thing that scares him the most…being himself. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Yo Gabba Gabba Live!
Where: Patriot Center
When: September 30
Tickets: $25-52
Yo Gabba Gabba Live! is going on the road again! The “It’s Time To Dance!” Tour is traveling to more than 50 cities with an all-new show. See all your favorites, like DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex, and Toodee, with special guests Hip Hop Legend Biz Markie and Razzle Dazzle Superstar Leslie Hall. You won’t want to miss it!

Snow White
Where: Alden Theatre
When: October 1
Tickets: $10/McLean residents, $15/non-residents
This musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale features both live actors and wonderful puppets. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Taste of DC Family Stage
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue NW
When: October 8-9
Tickets: FREE!
Rocknoceros, The Great Zucchini, and Hope Harris and the Cousins Jamboree will be part of the entertainment at this year’s Taste of DC, the annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city. See the schedule to find out when your favorite acts are playing during the multi-day event.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: October 13 – November 18
Tickets: $10
“The 3 Billy Goats Gruff” is a marionette romp in which three brothers get the goat af a hen-pecked troll, in their attempts to trip-trop-tromp to where the grass is greener. Performed on a unique round stage, the goats literally travel in three-dimensional space in a way that is unprecedented on the Playhouse or any other stage. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry.

The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 15-29
Tickets: $18
There are no puzzles in space, right? Wrong! Space is one giant puzzle waiting to be put together by physicists, astronomers, and a brainy girl who goes by the name Dr. Wonderful. Fly through the solar system with Dr. Wonderful and her amazing adventure team of Newton (the dog) and Ben (the human) in this all-new musical! Saving a super star from disappearing is no small task, especially when the star is 1.3 million times the size of Earth and 93 million miles away. But when Dr. Wonderful receives the call, her team leaps into action from their laboratory/bedroom into outer space. With a couple of butterscotch candies and a rock song from Mom in the mix, the mystery solvers are amazed by their final discovery. Girl-detective-noir meets science-geek-chic in this super cool astronomical event! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf Live
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 16
Tickets: $15-18
Here’s a puzzle: which instrument sounds most like a wolf and which can play the part of a little boy? Find out when the NSO fuses a fantastic film with magical music in the fun multimedia event Peter and the Wolf Live! Audiences will be introduced to the story’s characters and the instruments that play them in Prokofiev’s beloved score. Then they will delight in hearing the work performed live while watching the action play out on the big screen in Suzie Templeton’s Oscar(r)-winning stop-motion animated film that The Times of London praises for being “beautifully made and very funny.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Robin Hood
Where: Artisphere’s Spectrum Theatre
When: November 4-13
Tickets: $12/adults, $10/children
Encore Stage & Studio’s fall production presents the dashing outlaw Robin Hood and his Merry Men dwelling happily in Sherwood Forest, defending the people of England from the wicked Prince John. Until one day, when Robin uncovers an evil plot — it’s up to him to save the kingdom from the devious Lady Merle and rescue the fair Maid Marian! Don’t miss this rousing tale! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Tunes ‘n’ (Pig) Tales
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 5
Tickets: $18
Music and stories go together like pieces of a puzzle – together they help create a better picture. Enjoy stories and music all about animals in this Teddy Bear Concert featuring The Three Pigs, Teddy Bear Rag, The Swan, and Baby Elephant Walk. Performed with a very unusual combination of instruments, NSO principal musicians Marissa Regni on violin and Dotian Levalier on harp join with Marissa’s father Albert Regni on four different saxophones to give each animal its own unique voice. And as a “little” surprise, along with full-sized instruments, the musicians perform on their miniature counterparts–a toy piano, a sopranino saxophone, and a tiny violin! Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

The Rough-Faced Girl
Where: Synetic Family Theatre
When: November 11 – December 28
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
This tale, well known among the multicultural versions of the Cinderella story, skillfully invites the audience to look past the surface and into the soul. Cast aside by her family and tribe, the Rough Face Girl survives scorns and scars to follow her heart past vision and belief. Through a blend of music, dance, acrobatics, and Native American storytelling traditions, Synetic Family Theater actors help young theater goers celebrate Native American History Month and understand that beauty lies within.

Dangerous Encounters
Where: National Geographic Live
When: November 12
Tickets: $16/adults, $12/children 12 and under, $40/family 4-pack
Take a thrilling ride through the world of wildlife with Brady Barr, reptile expert and host of the National Geographic Channel series “Dangerous Encounters”. The first person to capture all 23 species of wild crocodiles, Brady has risked his life to preserve some of the world’s most amazing animals. Go behind the scenes with Brady, meet some live animals, and hear about his most exciting adventures.

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This Weekend: Museums, a Folk Fest, and Tons of Seasonal Fun

Playing in the fountains at the U.S. Botanic Garden

As this post goes live, the forecast is calling for both sun and showers this weekend. Luckily, there are options for family fun to suit all weather possibilities — museum family days, the Washington Folk Festival, a community children’s fair, theatre performances, strawberry picking, and much more summer recreation. Here’s where it’s all happening. Happy Weekend!

Celebration of TextilesThis free, annual two-day festival at the Textile Museum offers something for everyone.  Venture outside to the spectacular garden to participate in hands-on textile activities, watch live sheep being shorn (weather permitting), and learn from embroidery, weaving, and lace-making guilds of the region as they demonstrate their skills.  Explore the exhibitions Green: the Color and the Cause and Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles. Also on view will be DC Public School student’s textile art projects inspired by this year’s theme of recycling and created in part of the 2011 Museum-School Partnership. The celebration will take place on Saturday from 10am – 4pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. All ages are welcome.

Washington Folk Festival  – Get folksy at Glen Echo Park this weekend. In its 31st year, the Washington Folk Festival will showcase the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation, as well as the world, will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the festival that is renown in the folk community Saturday and Sunday from 12-7pm both days. Admission is free.

Imagination BethesdaOn Saturday from 11am – 4pm, join the Bethesda Urban Partnership to celebrate children, art, and all things fun at the 17th annual Imagination Bethesda. Where Woodmont Avenue meets Elm Street, activity tents will line the streets, face painters will bring butterflies and pirates to life, and a stage of live entertainment will have the whole street dancing. Activity details and the entertainment line-up are available on the Imagination Bethesda website.

Summer in the City – Outdoor concerts, a children’s garden and more ongoing seasonal fun has begun in DC. From Jazz in the Garden on Friday evenings to open swim at local pools to play time at the Botanic Garden,  this post has the scoop on where and when you can experience the joys of summer.

Bear Awareness Days – The National Zoo is hosting two days of fun, family programming all about bears. Enjoy special keeper talks and animal demos, learn about the bears of the world, and find out how to stay safe around local bears. Kids of all ages can help bear-proof a campsite, share what they love about bears, sneak a peek at our bamboo shed, and even bring their own teddy bear for a check-up. This free program will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 2pm. View a schedule of activities on the National Zoo website.

The Time is Still Ripe – Strawberry fields may not be forever on DC area farms, but they’re still yielding fruit for now.  This may be the last weekend to harvest your own — if you plan to go, this list includes farms offering pick-your-own opportunities.

Family Night Out at the Theatre1st Stage Theatre at Tysons Corner presents a special family performance of  “Jack and the Bean-Stalk” on Saturday at 6pm.  The brand new adaptation of the classic fairytale just opened last weekend and will run through June 19.  Tickets are $15 and available for purchase online.

National Trails DayThe first Saturday of every June is National Trails Day. Celebrate it this weekend by taking a family hike.  For some ideas on where to go, see this post about good walks in the woods with the kids.

History in the Making Family DayThe Smithsonian American Art Museum is celebrating  History in the Making: The Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 with a day of activities for the family.  Guests are invited to take a family-oriented tour of the exhibition galleries, then make arts and crafts inspired by the work of the four artists on view.  There will also be live music and a scavenger hunt.  The free event runs from 11am – 2pm on Saturday.

Click, Clack, MooOn Sunday at 3pm, the Alden Theatre in McLean presents a new musical based on the Caldecott Award-winning book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.  All day long Farmer Brown hears “click clack moo, clickety clackety moo…” The cows are typing and protesting their working conditions! When his granddaughter Jenny comes to visit, Farmer Brown declares the farm a “tech-free zone.” The hilarious musical is all about negotiation and compromise.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.  Tickets are $12, $8/McLean residents.

Best in Shows – Along with the above-mentioned plays, there are several more performances to see around the area, including A Year with Frog and Toad, which is in its final weekend at Adventure Theatre.  Find out what else is on stages this weekend — see this post for live entertainment options for the family.

Sunny Days – The weather forecast is looking good for at least part of the weekend.  Bask in the sunshine and have a good time with help of this list of great places to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the kids.

Rainy Days – Let’s hope you won’t have to use this, but if the skies should open up this weekend, these ideas for rainy day recreation will come in handy.

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Rapt up in the Weekend

Happy Bike to Work Day!

World cultures, strawberries, community celebrations, and two-wheelin’ recreation all factor into this family fun round-up. However, if one man’s prediction proves correct tomorrow, consider it all moot. But if life goes on as usual, here’s where you and the kids can revel in it.  Happy Weekend!

Strawberry Fields this WeekendThe pick-your-own season has officially begun!  Several local farms have already opened their fields to the public and a few more will join them this weekend. You can also celebrate strawberry season at your pick of festivals. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries and enjoy festivities.

International Children’s FestivalTake the kids on a fun and educational tour of the world without even leaving the city on Saturday from 11am – 3pm. Part of Passport DC, this 5th annual festival hosted by the Meridian International Center will feature exhibits, performances, food, crafts, and activities from across the globe as local embassies share their countries’ culture with the public. Admission is $10/adults, free for kids 12 and under.

Fiesta AsiaCelebrate Pacific Asian Heritage Month at this street fair in Penn Quarter on Saturday from 10am – 7pm. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities and more. Especially for kids is the Kiddiz Cool Lounge, a no-shoe zone with costumed characters and creative craft stations. Flash mob dancing and a parade featuring lion dances are sure to thrill all ages. Admission is free, but be prepared to spend on food and marketplace finds.

Boogie for the Cure – The Boogie Babes and Mr. Skip are hosting a special Saturday session of musical fun to help support Race for the Cure. Join them at Eastern Market’s North Hall at 10:30am to boogie the morning away. Admission is $10/family and all proceeds will be donated to Susan G. Komen – Race for the Cure.

Chic Child on the RowThe family-friendly portion of The Front Row, Bethesda’s three-day exhibition of fashion, welcomes kids to play and parents to shop. Budding fashionistas can recreate world capitals from plastic pieces at Legos on the Lane. Little ones can listen to story time at Barnes & Noble. And everyone can enjoy a concert from Kidville’s Little Maestros and a special appearance by Groovy Nate at Lebanese Taverna. This all takes place on Saturday throughout the day. For a schedule of events, see The Front Row website.

McClean DaySpend Saturday at Lewinsville Park with the McLean Community, including nonprofit groups, crafters, and local businesses. Enjoy carnival rides, live entertainment, delicious food, and more. The Alden Theatre will provide live entertainment on the McLean Day Stage starting at 11am. The kids will love the carnival rides throughout the park, as well as games and free pony.  The free event runs from 11am – 5pm.  See the Alden Theatre website for a schedule of festivities.

Celebrate Hawai’iSay ‘aloha’ to the National Museum of the American Indian on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am – 4:30pm. The annual celebration of Hawaiian arts and culture will include special food, music, storytelling, and hula performances, as well as a new exhibition, This IS Hawai‘i.  While you’re there, be sure check out activities that the museum is testing out for the imagiNATIONS Family Activity Center opening in September.

Air Show at Andrews – See thrilling action in the sky and on the ground at the 2011 Joint Service Open House and Air Show on Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 5pm.  Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and the Warrior Flight Team are among the featured performers. A full schedule and more info is available on the Air Show website. Unauthorized vehicles are not permitted on Andrews Air Force Base, but shuttle buses from the Fed Ex Field parking lot and Branch Avenue Metro will provide free transportation.  Admission is to the show is free.

Bike DCOn the heels (or is that wheels?) of Bike to Work Day, this event celebrates the cycling community in the nation’s capital with a 20-mile bike ride through Washington and Arlington on Sunday. Kids on their own bicycles, on tag-along bikes, and in trailers are very welcome, though training wheels are not recommended. Registration is $35/adult, $20/ages 13-19, free for kids 12 and under. Visit the Bike DC website to register and view route details. The ride will take place rain or shine.

Show TimeThis is the last weekend to see Snow White and the 7 Dwarves at The Puppet Co. and Liberty Smith at Ford’s Theatre. And a  variety of other performances will also be on local stages this weekend. For details on all of them, see this post about live entertainment in the DC area this season.

Fun in the SunThe weather forecast is looking good for at least part of the weekend.  Go seize a beautiful day with the help of this list of great places to spend time outdoors with the kids.

Rainy Day RecsHere’s hoping you don’t have to refer to them, but if  it turns out to be a wet weekend these ideas for activities on a rainy day will help keep you and the kids busy—and dry.

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