Tag Archives: August 2019

The Weekend Round-Up: August 30 – September 2

You’ve got three chances to get to Ren Fest this weekend!


Happy Long Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one last Friday night concert at Yards Park, check out the Building Museum’s LAWN, take the kids to the Newseum for free, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, or jump in at an outdoor public pool, then check out the 2019 Summer Guide, which has details on all of these diversions, plus many more.

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: $5/PG County resident, $7/non-resident

Head out to Watkins for an evening of outdoor fun with friends and family! Enjoy unlimited rides on the train and carousel, and rounds of miniature golf for one price per person. The outdoor patio and surrounding grounds are the perfect places to bring and enjoy an outdoor snack or picnic dinner. Read more about Watkins Regional Park in this KFDC post.

Root for the Home Team
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are home this holiday weekend and hosting the Marlins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the Mets on Monday (and Tuesday). Some fun things going on: post-game fireworks on Friday an Kids Run the Bases on Sunday. This is also the last weekend for the Kids Eat Free summer promo, so take advantage. And before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

LEGOLAND New York Preview
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Friday thru Monday, 7am – 7pm
Admission: Free

LEGOLAND New York will be previewing their newest theme park and resort at National Harbor, bringing one of America’s most beloved brands to the waterfront destination. At this interactive event, families can learn from Master LEGO® Builders, see a preview of the LEGOLAND® Driving School cars, and provide the perfect family photo-ops! In addition to all of this, National Harbor is showing The LEGO Movie 2 during Family Movie Night on the Potomac on Sunday evening. Read more about spending a summer day at National Harbor in this KFDC post.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
Where: Roosevelt Center | Greenbelt, MD
When: Friday thru Monday
Admission: Free; fees for activities

This annual festival is more like a fair with all kinds of amusement for all ages. Enjoy rides and carnival games, live bands and entertainment, food and refreshments, sports and recreation, art exhibits and activities, used book sales, and a Labor Day Parade. Hours vary by day, so see the website for the schedule.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Calling all bookworms! The 19th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages. It’s a wonderful, can’t-miss event for book lovers.

Merriment Galore
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $20/adults, $18/seniors, $9/7-15, free/6 & under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead for littles).

Page to Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10:30am – 11:30pm
Admission: Free

More than 60 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the 18th annual Page-to-Stage Festival — all free and open to the public. Several performances are family-friendly, including Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop by Arts on the Horizon, Happy Theater’s Nest, Monumental Theatre Co’s Montgomery among them. Plus, there are many more for older kids and adults. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows. And note that while tickets are not required, seating is limited.

Apple Gala & Cider Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

This time of year may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley — demos of the Zurschmeide Family’s antique 1865 Cider press, apple picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/adults, $5/age 5-12, free/under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but Saturday’s concert will continue until 9pm. And children under 12 are free on Sunday!

Rise of the TMNT Sewer Studio Tour
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Nickelodeon is giving kids and families the ultimate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle experience with this summer’s Sewer Studio Tour. On Saturday, it will be stopping at The Wharf, and fans will be able to meet their favorite Turtles from Rise of the Teenage Mutant Turtles. The Sewer Studio Tour will allow kids to create their own dynamic stop-motion videos with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. And the best videos will have the opportunity to be featured on Nickelodeon platforms!

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

* Disney’s Aladdin brings magic for the whole family to the Kennedy Center (look for discount tickets)
* Take tweens and older to Legally Blonde at Keegan Theatre
* It’s the final weekend for The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co.
* Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Saturday
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II
* I highly, highly recommend Dear Evan Hansen, on stage at the Kennedy Center, for middle school ages and up.

Last Round of Pop-Up Mini Golf
Where: Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: First round free for kids

Bring the kids to Rosslyn Putt-Putt + Candy BAR for the last weekend! All day on Saturday any child under the age of 10 will get one FREE round of mini golf. Other programming for kids will include a balloon-artist station and a face-painting station, both open from 10am to noon. In addition to a nine-hole mini golf course, the indoor Candy BAR at Rosslyn Putt-Putt has arcade games. Parents and kids can also enjoy sweet treats and beverages. Stay all day — the whole attraction is open until 6pm!

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. 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.

The Great Zucchini & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its The Great Zucchini. Doors open at 10am. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Free Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity to explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own. Current exhibitions include More is More: Multiples and Betsabeé Romero: Signals of a Long Road Together, plus there are many more wonderful works in the permanent collection.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building West Lawn | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This year’s show will feature vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton in a program of popular songs by R&B hitmakers, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm start time is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (and there will be no rehearsal). You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

Labor Day Parades
Where: Gaithersburg & Kensington, MD
When: Monday
Admission: Free

For some holiday pageantry on Monday, head to Maryland — both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 81-year tradition in Gaithersburg will include fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. Kensington is hosting its 52nd Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, and more town representatives will be part of the show making its way around starting at 10am. The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Armory Avenue with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more.

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

So far it looks like it will be a splendid weekend weather-wise, so take advantage and get outdoors — there are endless options around the DC-Metro for great al fresco adventures. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do under the sun in this round-up with all kinds of ideas for outdoor fun. (But if you’re seeking fun inside, check out The Great Indoors list with over 100 recommendations.)


***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Gelato Festival will be here next weekend, and you have a chance to win admission for four!
* The U.S. Botanic Garden is hosting a Night Adventure for kids ages 9-12 on September 7 that requires advanced registration.
* Infinite Space, the current exhibit at ARTECHOUSE has been extended until September 30, so you still have plenty of time to immerse within its digital dimensions.
* The best way to enjoy summer tomatoes.
* Primary.com is great for comfy basics for kids — and you can get 20% off your first order with code AFF20PCT.
* Just bought Sasha a pair of yellow Converse and kind of want some myself.
* Has anyone seen this movie? I’m intrigued!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 23-25

Tee up for some fun at Nationals Park!


Happy Weekend!

Top Golf Crush It
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10-80

Topgolf is bringing its iconic experience to Nationals Park! Join as they light up the night with massive glowing targets on the field, private bays for group events, and Toptracer technology tracking every single shot with replays and stats. Expect a lively crowd, delicious snacks, more games on the concourses, ice cold beers for adults, and fierce (but friendly) competition that golfers and non-golfers alike will enjoy. (KFDC Tip: Consider getting a group together to save on admission!)

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $20/adults, $17/seniors, free/15 & under

It’s time for merriment! And the Maryland Renaissance Festival is all about it. The fantastic trip back to medieval times is an event that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows, comedy acts, tight rope walkers, jugglers, puppetry, Celtic music…and that’s just some of the live entertainment. There are also pony and elephant rides, a pirate playground, a giant slide, and some of the best people watching opportunities ever. Walk among knights, maidens, pirates, and wizards in a 16th-century Tudor village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead. It all begins Saturday and will run every weekend through October 20. And this weekend only, kids ages 15 and under get in for FREE!

Free Films for All
Where: Sydney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Shakespeare Theatre Company welcomes movie-lovers of all ages to Sidney Harman Hall for this free film. The five summer blockbusters featured (Jurassic Park, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Inside Out, and The Princess and the Frog) include a couple that even young children can enjoy, and for many, it will be their first visit to the beautiful theater. Popcorn, drinks, and snacks will be available at concessions. See the film schedule and reserve tickets here.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s not much time left to enjoy some of the best activities of the season; in fact, it’s the final weekend for Jazz in the Garden and outdoor pools have started to close. But plenty is still going on for now… Spraygrounds, museum exhibits, music and movies in the open air, beach fun, mini golf and carousels rides, crab feasts. The guide to Summer in DC has all the inspo you need to eke the most out of the summer wind-down.

Family Movie Night
Where: King Farm Village Center | Rockville, MD
When: Friday,7-9:30pm
Admission: Free

Join King Farm Village Center for a free showing of the movie Incredibles 2 outdoors on the grass area at The Village Green. Families should bring their own bean bags, beach chairs, or blankets to watch the film. The first 100 kids to check in at the registration table will receive a goody bag, and free popcorn & snow cones will be provided as well as complimentary face painting and balloon art. Other food, drinks, and snack items will be available for purchase through various restaurants & retailers.

Irish Festival
Where: Waterfront Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Head to Old Town for a day of fun and music to celebrate Irish history and culture. Along with lots of live Celtic music and Irish dancing, shop the vendor booths featuring a variety of Irish items, arts & crafts, and traditional festival foods.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 1500-1600 blocks, 17th Street NW | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: $10

The event in the Dupont Circle neighborhood will feature all kinds of activities for the whole fam. Live entertainment; more than 50 artists and makers selling food, art, and other cool wares; a Kids Zone with bouncy fun, face painting, games, and more; exhibits by non-profit groups; and appearances by city officials will be part of the festivities that celebrate the community and businesses.

Community Day & Props Sale
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Arena’s 2019/20 Season with a great day full of activities including live music, face painting, pony rides, dance performances, storytelling, delicious cuisine and much, much more! There will also be a Props Sale — straight from the stage, pick up the perfect accent item featuring beautiful pieces from many Arena Stage productions!

Community Open House
Where: RoundHouse Theatre | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Another local theater is welcoming all for a look: After more than six months of construction, Round House Theatre will reopen its doors in Bethesda with a Community Open House to celebrate the completion of a full interior renovation. The free event is open to the public and will be held on Saturday, August 24, from 11:30am – 6pm, followed by a production preview with the cast and creative team behind the first show of the upcoming season. Guests of all ages are invited to enjoy performances, games, and other activities designed to showcase some of the most significant upgrades.

Skate N’ Celly
Where: Ashburn Ice house | Ashburn, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Ashburn Ice House is marking 20 years of serving the community with free, fun, family celebration that the public is welcome to join. Guests can enjoy all kind of cool activities, including skating with complimentary rental skates, mini lessons for newbies, a hockey shooting station Caps mascot Slapshot, fun off the ice, tasty treats, giveaways, music, and more! Pre-register for free here.

Dolley Days
Where: Dumbarton House Museum | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

On August 24th, 1814, as the British marched on Washington, DC, First Lady Dolley Madison fled her beloved White House, taking refuge with friends at Dumbarton House. Two hundred and five years later, Dumbarton House Museum is celebrating Dolley Days with free educational and fun festivities for families.  Dolley Days attendees can enjoy self-guided tours featuring special collection and archive documents related to the Madisons as well as re-enactors, historic lawn games, making ice cream, and kids’ activities.

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

* It’s the last chance for fun and antics with The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre
* Take tweens and older to Legally Blonde at Keegan Theatre
* Disney’s Aladdin brings magic for the whole family to the Kennedy Center (look for discount tickets)
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is at The Puppet Co.
* World on a String is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Saturday
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $79-175

The musical that premiered here in DC at Arena Stage a few years ago then became a Broadways smash is back! Whether a family outing with older kids (not recommended for all ages) or a grown-up night out, I highly recommend seeing it if you can. Dear Evan Hansen is profoundly moving and full of songs and a story that will stick with you for a while. (I saw it back in 2015, and it’s still with me.) Tickets are mostly sold out on the Kennedy Center website, but you can find them on outlets like StubHub. PS: Bring tissues.

Ping Pong Lessons
Where: SPIN
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Work on your ping pong skills with free lessons from the masters at SPIN! The lessons are taught by ping pong champions, like Malin Pettersson, a 13 time Swedish national champion and a grand opening manager at SPIN. Lessons cover skills such as how to hold a ping pong paddle, perfecting your ping pong stance, and how to hit a basic forehand, backhand, and serve. Free, but register in advance here.

Children’s Business Fair Fairfax
Where: 5601 Snowy Owl Dr.| Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Support the Children’s Business Fair where kids launch their very own startup business! These youth have developed a brand, created a product or service, built a marketing strategy, and now will open for customers at this one-day marketplace. Admission is free, but plan to spend on their items!

Music, Baseball, and More
Where: National Postal Museum | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 3-4:30pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the Smithsonian Year of Music (and in sync with baseball season), the National Postal Museum is hosting Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Music and Song at American Baseball Stadiums. All ages are welcome to join the museum on Saturday afternoon for a discussion panel about music in baseball along with a live concert of classic baseball songs performed by Josh Kantor, organist for the Boston Red Sox.

Teen Night on the LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: Cost of exhibit entry

Get on the Lawn at the NBM! The Museum’s Teen Council invites kids ages 13-18 to hang out on the latest Summer Block Party installation. Teens can groove to sounds by Words, Beats, and Life, play cornhole and other lawn games, swing in a hammock, enjoy free food, strike their best pose with oversized lawn ornaments, and more!

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $37

The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, is playing at Audi field this weekend, as they take on Orlando Pride. Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the World Cup championship team (Spirit’s Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh and Pride’s Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, and Ashlyn Harris) in action! Purchase tickets here.

Rocknocerous & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its Rocknocerous. Doors open at 10am. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Step Xplosion
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free

Step Afrika! is kicking off its 25th anniversary season with their energetic and exciting annual tour of all 8 Wards! On Sunday, they stop in Ward 6 to host a dance party to the latest and most popular party songs, featuring DJ Nitecrawler.

The Ins & Outs of DC

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure


Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of ongoing pursuits:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

The Great Indoors

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* What’s happening in the Amazon Rainforest is utterly devastating. This article offers some ways you can help.
* Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day is coming up on September 22, offering free admission to many museums that usually require an entrance fee (and there actually are some in the DC area).
* Get ready for back to school with a Lunch Squares kit, created by a local mom! (And you can get them for $3 off right now.)
* Free Forest School, 1.5-2 hour sessions of outdoor time that consists of a snack, child-led play, and a story, are offered in the DC area every day of week!
* Some good book recommendations from a great source.
* Disney on Ice is coming to the area in October, but discount tickets are available now.
* You can also get a deal on tickets for Cats, coming to the Kennedy Center next month.
* The Beltways Series — when the Nats face their neighbors from the North, the Baltimore Orioles — is this week, August 27-28.
* Just started this book. And if anyone has recommendations for other good reads, please share!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

What’s the Best? Ren Fest! (And it begins this weekend!)

The festively adorned village of Revel Grove


What time is it? It’s Ren Fest time! Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile surely knows that the Maryland Renaissance Festival is my hands. down. very favorite annual event in the area. If you want to know why, just go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for a whole lot of rambling and gushing and, of course, huzzahs.

In this post, you’ll find all the information you need for this year’s event. And I can’t recommend Ren Fest enough… it’s one to put on your family’s fall calendar, for sure. Huzzah!

Logistics
The merriment begins this Saturday, August 24, and runs every weekend, rain or shine, through October 20 in the lovely 16th century-style hamlet of Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD. Hours are 10am – 7pm. Admission is $20/adults, $18/seniors, $9/ages 7-15, free for ages 6 and under through September 9. After that, tickets go up to $27/adults, $23/seniors, $12/ages 7-15, still free for 6 and under. Multi-day passes that offer a discount are also available. Tickets can be reserved in advance online.

Special Days:
* August 24-25: Children’s Weekend – FREE admission for ages 15 and under with adult
* September 2: Seniors day — Free admission for all seniors age 62+
* September 7 & October 6: ASL Interpretation Days
* September 7-8: Myth and Magic Weekend
* September 14-15: Celtic Celebration
* September 21-22: Romance Weekend — Singes party Saturday, vow renewals Sunday
* September 28-29: Pirate Weekend — dress in your pirate best, aaargh!
* October 6-7: Shakespeare Weekend

KFDC Tips
* Bring a stroller or carrier for little ones, as there’s a lot of walking. I recommend a stroller that navigates over dirt paths easily.
* Get a map and schedule on your way in to help you navigate and plan your day
* If there’s a show you really want to see, get to the stage a few minutes ahead of time to get good seats, so the kids have a good view.
* You might encounter less crowds on Sunday, when many folks are watching football
* Plan to spend on extras like food, games, and fun for kids (all reasonably priced, but it can add up)
* Tickets can sell out, especially on beautiful fall days as the chances to go dwindle, so it’s never a bad idea to reserve in advance.
* Let the kids dress up! Princesses, knights, fairies, pirates will fit right in.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 24 – October 20, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $20-27/adult, $18-23/senior, $9-12/age 7-15, free/6 & under


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 16-18

Explore the underground world of Luray Caverns at the annual Discovery Day

Happy Weekend!

Joys of Summer
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Activities exclusive to the season are happening all weekend. See a special museum exhibit, like LAWN or Infinite Space. Have some water-inspired fun. Enjoy free music outdoors and movies under the stars. Go with the flow on local waterways. Hit the beach. Feast on seasonal treats. And so much more. Details on all of these joys of summer in DC can be found here.

Fair Game
Where: Arlington, Montgomery, and PW Counties | VA & MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Arlington’s annual fest is underway, and Montgomery and Prince William counties host their final days. All are chock full of amusement for everyone, with carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. This post has the whole scoop on all of the county fun.

Pokémon World Championships
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount VErnon Square, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $10 to spectate

Pikachu and friends will be in town for the 2019 Pokémon World Championships August 16-18, bringing thousands of elite Trading Card Game (TCG) and video game players, supporters, and fans to the Washington Convention Center. The best players from all over the world will be competing for the title of Pokémon TCG, Video Game, or Pokkén Tournament World Champion—and for their share of the prizes, including more than $500,000 in scholarships. There’s plenty to do at the annual Pokémon World Championships if you don’t plan to participate in the main event — tournament viewing, game demos, a gaming longe, and more. A spectator badge includes access to all three days of the event and comes with two Pokémon TCG booster packs.

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

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the Brewers. Catch them on Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (7:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm). Take advantage of the new Kids Eat Free summer promo, and kids can run the bases after the Sunday game. Before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Anatomy of Sports
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bones and muscles need to work together for optimal performance. Athletes of all ages should know how their bodies work in order to compete and stay healthy. During Anatomy of Sports, athletes will demonstrate their sport while medical illustrators and physical therapists reveal how muscles and bones work together. This session is perfect for families with children playing sports, the recreational athlete ,or the practiced sports enthusiast. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post from a few years back.

Annual Discovery Day
Where: Luray Caverns | Luray, VA
When: Saturday
Admission: $28/adult, $15/age 6-12, free/under 6

Join the annual celebration of the 1878 discovery of Luray Caverns, which will also highlight the new grand accessible entrance.  A main attraction throughout Discovery Day will be the Grand Illumination Tours. The first Grand Illumination took place in 1878, with The New York Herald reporting that a “thousand candles illuminated the antechambers making it nearly as bright as day.” Guests will experience the thrill of adventure from this bygone era as period-costumed guides tell of Luray Caverns’ storied past in special candle lighted sections throughout the caverns.  At the end of the day-long celebration there will be a spectacular fireworks display.  The spectacle will be coordinated with a recital by Jess Ratcliff from Luray Singing Tower, a 47-bell carillon located on the event’s perimeter. Read more about Luray Caverns in this KFDC post.

Around the World Cultural Food Festival
Where: Freedom Plaza | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrating the rich intercultural diversity, this annual food festival brings together authentic living traditions from different countries around the world. And the public will have the opportunity to learn, eat, dance, shop, and witness these vibrantly connected cultures and create their own connections with each and every single country presented in the event. Food and drinks are for purchase.

Big Dig Potato Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child or $12/adult

Most people don’t know that store bought potatoes are usually last year’s harvest and are amazed by the flavor and texture of freshly harvested potatoes! At Great Country, you can take a wagon ride out to the fields to dig up your own potato treasures (and maybe get a little help from a tractor make it easier). After digging, play all day in the five-acre play area, with attractions including Putt Putt golf, the Farm Ninja Warrior obstacle course, mazes, swings, slides, animals to visit, and feed, and so much more!

Portrait Party for Young Learners
Where: Museum of Women in the Arts
When: Saturday, 10–11am
Admission: Free

Children ages 3 to 6 and their guardians can join a Young Learner Tour, designed to get little bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making and mouths talking about works of art. Participants go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection as they also learn about the museum, practice museum manners, and discover art concepts through discussions, a themed story, and hands-on activities.

Korean Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to the off-the-Mall Smithsonian museum to learn about Korean culture and celebrate the exhibition, Portraits of the World: Korea, with one-of-a-kind crafts, K-Pop workshops, Taekwondo demonstrations, and lively music. See more about the NPG here.

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

* Enjoy fun and antics with The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre
* Go on a Treasure Island adventure at Synetic Theatre (look for a ticket discount)
* Legally Blonde is running at Keegan Theatre (for tweens and up)
* Reserve free tickets for Stone Soup & Other Stories, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Disney’s Aladdin brings magic for the whole family to the Kennedy Center
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is at The Puppet Co.
* Baby Bear’s Birthday is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Saturday
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II

Free Family Fun
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday,
Admission: Free

While the beloved carousel it is closed for building renovations (re-opening Spring 2020), Glen Eco PArk is offering free activities over a few weekends in August and September 2019 to help you have loads of fun there, including a climbing wall, inflatable fun, photo ops, sidewalk chalk, and face painting. This along with the playground and picnic area (pick up food at the cafe in premises). And plan to combine all this with a performance of A Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre or The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co., too. And pick

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $79-175

The musical that premiered here in DC at Arena Stage a few years ago then became a Broadways smash is back! Whether a family outing with older kids (not recommended for all ages) or a grown-up night out, I highly recommend seeing it if you can. Dear Evan Hansen is profoundly moving and full of songs and a story that will stick with you for a while. (I saw it back in 2015, and it’s still with me.) Tickets are mostly sold out on the Kennedy Center website, but you can find them on outlets like StubHub. PS: Bring tissues.

The Lion King: Kids Paint Party
Where: Creative Saints Loft | Hyattsville, MD
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $25

Create memories with painting, music, and refreshments!  Kids will have an amazing time creating two own Lion King-themed masterpieces in a fun, jungle-themed room! Get messy in the DIY “slimy yet satisfying” grub pudding bar and enjoy some refreshing jungle punch and pizza! All supplied provided.

Ping Pong Lessons
Where: SPIN DC | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Work on your ping pong skills with free lessons from the masters at SPIN! The lessons are taught by ping pong champions, like Malin Pettersson, a 13 time Swedish national champion and a grand opening manager at SPIN. Lessons cover skills such as how to hold a ping pong paddle, perfecting your ping pong stance, and how to hit a basic forehand, backhand, and serve. Free, but register in advance here.

Improv Workshop for Parents and Kids
Where: Source Theater | 1835 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 2-4pm 
Admission: Free

Washington Improv Theater proudly presents an Improv for All workshop designed for parents to take together with their kids! This two-hour workshop specifically focuses on kids ages 10-12 and will be taught by improviser (and mom) Ceci De Robertis. WIT’s free introductory Improv for All workshops are high-fun, low-stress classes designed to show you how improvisers create spontaneous, off-the-cuff theater. Our enthusiastic and friendly instructors work to make sure everyone is able to participate in a playful and trusting atmosphere. These workshops are free but registration is required as they tend to fully enroll.  

Groovy Nate & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its Groovy Nate. Doors open at 10am. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, 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 campfire safety and enjoy s’mores around one at Hidden Oaks Nature Center on Friday evening. See grinding demos at Colvin Run Mill. Enjoy Dairy Days at Sully Historic Site. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Hit the trail to enjoy some outdoor time with the fam! Check out the flora, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post, started in the early KFDC days and updated several times since, has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

DC, Inside & Out

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure


Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

The Great Indoors

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Just posted a little round-up of 5 places to go shark tooth hunting near DC. (What took me so long?)
* The Brass Knob, the store full of antique treasures, is closing after 38 years.
* A supercute IG account to check out.
* So excited this movie is coming out this weekend — I loved the book!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend