Tag Archives: Children’s Activities DC

Immerse in Infinite Space at ARTECHOUSE

Experience infinity (and beyond!) at ARTECHOUSE this summer


ARETCHOUSE has made its mark on the DC art scene with exhibitions that fuse art and technology, and encourage visitors to not just view it, but experience it. The latest, Infinite Space, is no exception. Exploring the concept of infinity, the exhibit asks, “…if finitude is the only absolute truth in life, how can we imagine structures and patterns that repeat themselves into an imperceivable horizon? How do we frame imagined realities that represent something beyond our perception of life and of linear time?”

Owen neverending

Yes, that’s a lot to contemplate, especially for a kid. But you really don’t have to think about it too deeply to experience and enjoy Infinite Space. The exhibit is comprised of several major installations, including three infinity boxes, an infinity room, a hall of mirrors, and large-scale projections on the walls of the main room, images generated by a machine using data sets ranging from human memories, photographs of Mars, cultural archives, and sea surface activity. All of the works are immersive in some way, and visitors can, in a way, be part of the art and delight in it from within.

Artist Refik Anadol explaining how it works

You can step into the infinity boxes with changing digital designs reflected on all sides (except the open front), including the ceiling and floor, and see yourself floating within them. It’s also interesting to get an “outside-the-box” perspective, too. You can walk through a maze of mirrors with multiple versions of you walking along with you. A whole infinity room surrounds you with digital patterns, all reflected onto mirrored walls, seeming to go on forever and eliciting that rubber-knees sensation when you look down and feel like you’re standing on a precipice (or maybe that’s just me). You can also relax on a beanbag in the main room, watch the images sweep over the lofty walls, and ponder what it all means to you.

Contemplating infinity

Infinite Space is running at ARTECHOUSE through September 2. Family-friendly hours are 10am -5pm, and evening hours are 5:30-11:30pm for ages 21+ when exhibit-themed cocktails are served. It’s recommended for ages 6+, but all ages are welcome, and I think younger children would like it, too. Admission is $16/adult, $8/age 2+.

Put this on your summer activity list, for sure. In the meantime, here’s more of a glimpse…










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Filed under 2019, All ages, Art, DC, Exhibit, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

“In Peak Bloom” at ARTECHOUSE is a Fantastic Celebration of Spring



The newest digital art exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, the gallery in Southwest DC known for its fusion of art and technology, may just be my favorite yet. Perfectly timed to open on the first day of spring, In Peak Bloom is a fantastic celebration of the season and its beauty, and visitors are encouraged to join in through interactive works that are delightful and enchanting, unique and profound.

Of course, cherry blossoms are featured in some of the installations. Digital projections of the flowers float along the walls of the main room along with other vibrantly colored blooms. Like many of the works at ARTECHOUSE, you can engage with the imagery, directing it back and forth and in swirls as you move your arms. Owen looked like a conductor as he stood in front of the floral scenes waving his hands around. And the floor painted a glossy black looks like water with images from the walls above reflected on it. It’s quite a stunning scene to take in from the balcony above or even standing (or lounging) within.

In a smaller room, you can make an image of a cherry tree bloom through connection with others. Powered by biometric sensors in four circular pads on the floor, you stand on one while other people stand on the rest, and touch hands (or lock arms or hug), and the tree goes from a pre-bloom white to a flourishing pink. Created by Korean-American artist Lisa Park, the work is inspired by Park’s experiences living abroad in the US and feeling detached from family and friends back home in Korea. It shows how connection and physical contact between people helps them thrive.

There is a nod to Japanese culture with an area of shoji screens, panels of translucent paper and wooden frames used as doors, windows, and room dividers in traditional Japanese design. In this exhibit, some of them have shadowy plant scenes on them, indicating their use as windows, while others are backlit so you can make shadows appear on the other side. (Great for photo ops, and kids will undoubtedly have fun in that area — Owen and I did!)

The maze of shoji screens leads to a wonderful, wild installation of “musical” plants, three planters of live hanging ivy that respond to contact. Each plant makes a different sound from nature — tweeting birds, croaking frogs, and either chirping insects or chattering monkeys (I couldn’t quite tell). You walk below and gently touch a leaf or stem to hear them sing. And multiple people touching them is like a little symphony of nature.

Finally, there’s the Enchanted Garden, a room full of whimsical designs created from a mix of natural and recycled artistic mediums. An augmented reality (AR) app accompanies the installation to tell the story of The Rabbit in the Moon, a legend from Japanese folklore. Right now, it’s only available on android phones, and there are a couple available there to access it. The AR will be available on iPhones soon. But even without the AR, it’s neat to wander around and explore details of the art.



Put In Peak Bloom on your family’s must-do spring activity list — it’s one you’ll all enjoy! Kids are welcome during all-ages daytime hours, but evenings are for adults only. The bar is open during these hours, and ARETCHOUSE always serves unique and tasty exhibit-inspired cocktails.

In Peak Bloom
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Daily, March 20 – May 27, 2019
All Ages Hours: Sun-Thurs 10am – 7pm, Fri-Sat 10am – 5pm
After Hours (Age 21+): Sun-Thurs 7-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30-11:30pm
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child




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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Exhibit, Seasonal, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Go “Under the Big Top” at the B&O Railroad Museum!



Come one! Come all! To the B&O Railroad Museum’s circus celebration extravaganza Under the Big Top! Two lucky KFDC readers can even win a Family 4-Pack to come for free!

Enjoy tons of interactive fun as you test your balance walking across the “high” beam, try your luck while playing carnival games, explore your creative side as you design and paint your very own big top, and so much more!



This will all take place daily from Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29, 10am – 3pm. Story time begins at 12pm. Train rides depart promptly at 11:30am on Thursday and Friday only.

Admission is $20/adults, $12/age 2-12, $17/senior. Coach Class Train Ride tickets are $3/adult, $2/child with paid admission. Admission & Coach Class Train Rides are FREE for B&O Members. Of course, you can also try to win admission through the giveaway below!

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GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win one of the Family 4-Packs of admission to Under the Big Top at the B&O Railroad Museum, simply leave a comment below telling me what family activity you’re most looking forward to this summer. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through June 7, 2018 then a winner will be drawn at random and announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Giveaway, Maryland, Special Event, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

A Celebration of Artes de Cuba at the Kennedy Center



Sometime from now through May 20, plan for a visit to the Kennedy Center to experience Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World. The festival is a celebration of the Cuba’s “artistic richness,” showcasing it through a variety of live entertainment, art exhibits, hands-on activities for kids, fashion, films, and more.

Performances will include everything from ballet, flamenco, and modern dance to plays reflecting Cuban culture to jazz, orchestra, and a mix of other music by Cuban artists. There are both ticketed and FREE shows — every evening at 6pm, you can enjoy complimentary entertainment on the Millennium Stage as well as acts later in the evening on Thursday and Fridays See the festival schedule for details on all of the upcoming performances.

You don’t need a set time or tickets to enjoy the art exhibits or activity stations on display around the venue. The installations by a few different Cuban artists are fantastic to view, especially in the Hall of Nations and Hall of States, where the works are imaginative, quirky, and beautiful. Who knew old coffee pots, forks, stacked pots, and enormous vats could make for such marvelous art? Ot that giant spheres of bones, beans, bark, and silverware, all created as commentary on issues of today’s society, would be so compelling to examine from varying angles?


Be sure to take kids to the River Terrace, where Hybrid of a Chrysler combines an old automobile and wings of plane. And upstairs in the Nations Gallery, there is a whole family activity area designed in collaboration with the American Natural History Museum in New York. Kids can learn about Cuba’s geologic history through a variety of interactive stations. There are coloring tables, opportunities to get an up-close look at native creatures, dominos, Cuban wildlife games on iPads, and maps featuring Cuba’s national parks and baseball teams. There’s also even more art on that level, like Cuban movie posters and baseball-inspired paintings, and large installations.



One of those installations is the Cubano Club at the Terrace Gallery, designed to capture the spirit of jazz and the Afro-Cuban culture. Plan for a grown-up night out to enjoy free performances and cocktails for purchase in the transformed space — both will be available on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30pm – midnight during the festival.

A few events that children will especially enjoy, all free and happening on Saturday, May 12: A Drum Beat Parade, talks about Cuban Natural Wonders by scientist Dr. Ana Luz Porzecanski, and Batucada for Cuba: From Brooklyn to Brazil, a drumming performance on the Millennium Stage.



The Kennedy Center presents Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World through May 20, 2018. More details about the free exhibits and the performance/event schedule are available on the website.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Music, Special Event, Spring, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend