Tag Archives: DC Events

February is Black History Month: Here’s Where to Celebrate it with Kids Around DC

Barack Obama will be a subject of Portrait Story Days this month at the National Portrait Gallery


February is Black History Month, and there are so many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, live entertainment, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. Here’s where many are happening over the next few weeks.

Tour the NMAAHC
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

This museum is the best place to learn about black history and culture in America. September through February, which is off-peak season, you can get in on weekdays without tickets, but timed entry passes are still required for weekend admission. They are available online on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 6:30am until they run out. Be sure to read the KFDC Guide to Visiting the National Museum of African American History & Culture with Kids before you go.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Most Saturdays & Sundays, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story from friends at the DC Public Library about a notable person featured in the collection and complete a hands-on art project. All through February, the program highlights black Americans in honor of Black History Month — this year, Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass, and Michelle Obama will be in the spotlight. Read more about the program and museum here.

Museum & Memorial Tour
Where: African American Civil War Museum | Shaw, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Take a tour of another museum dedicated to the contributions of the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops. The African American Civil War Museum tells the stories and preserves for posterity the historic roles these brave men of African, European, and Hispanic descent played in ending slavery and keeping America united under one flag. A rich collection of artifacts, documents, primary sources, and technology create a meaningful learning experience for families, students, Civil War enthusiasts and historians about the period from the American Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond. Be sure to stop by the nearby African American Civil War Memorial, too.

Library Programs
Where: Public Libraries throughout DC
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of programs — author talks, lectures, arts & crafts, and story times. Visit the website to see what activities are going on at a location near you.

Jim Crow on Streetcars
Where: National Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Through February, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-5pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child

In recognition of Black History Month, the Museum presents this temporary exhibit. Learn about the nature of segregation aboard the cars in 19th century New York, the efforts to black the practice as it developed across the South, and the eventual success in opening employment opportunities.

Frederick Douglass House Tour
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site | Anascostia, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $1

Learn about the life of Frederick Douglass on a guided tour is his historic house — it’s the only way to see the inside. Rangers guide interpretive tours of the house every day at the scheduled times (listed on the website). Tours cover the first and second floors and last about 30 minutes.

Lunch and Learn: Black History Month
Where: Sully Historic Site | Fairfax, VA
When: February 5, 12-1pm
Admission: $5

When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926, he wanted schools and other organizations to study black history. The week of recognition has since grown to Black History Month. In honor of this month, learn about the enslaved people who made Sully their home during the 18th century. The program includes a visual presentation and hands-on elements. Bring your lunch and your questions, as discussion is welcome. For ages 12+.

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: February 8, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space museum as they celebrate African American History Month by revealing past pioneers and giving families the opportunity to inspire the next generation of innovators in aviation and space. African Americans have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy guest speakers as they share their personal tales of triumph, participate in hands-on activities that will challenge families to be pioneers in space and aviation, and hear inspiring stories of African Americans who have overcome challenges and refused to be hidden figures.

The “Lives Bound Together” exhibit focuses on slavery at the Mount Vernon estate

The Slave Memorial & Exhibits
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see these on a visit to George Washington’s estate. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage. The exhibit Lives Bound Together explores the personal stories of the people enslaved at Mount Vernon while providing insight into George Washington’s evolving opposition to slavery. (Note: The mansion at Mount Vernon will not be open to visitors through February 9, and tickets are 25% off during that time. The rest of the exhibits and grounds are still open!)

Show What You Know: African American Inventors
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Select dates in February
Admission: $17.95

Head to the children’s museum in Baltimore for all kinds of kid play, including this fun game being offered during February: Test your knowledge in this museum floor game show. Match and learn about famous inventions from African American men and women throughout history. Play with others for the chance to win multiple prizes! Read more about Port Discovery in this recent post.

African Fabric Workshop
Where: Museum of Industry | Baltimore, MD
When: February 8, 10-11:30am
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child

Celebrate Black History Month with an intergenerational workshop on the meaning behind African printed fabrics led by Baltimore-based designer Akos “Sunday” Regal. Register in advance! The fee includes museum admission for the day (open 10am – 4pm), the 90 minute workshop, and a fabric swatch to take home. Read more about the Baltimore Museum of Industry in this KFDC post.

Into the Great Unknown: African American Adventurers and Explorers
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 11-13
Tickets: $3-8

Leadership, courage, and adventure take center stage in this inspiring Discovery Theater original. From Matthew Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole, to astronaut Mae Jemison, meet a century’s worth of bold men and women who challenged the Western frontier, the highest of mountains, and the vastness of outer space—and triumphed. In the histories and heroism of these explorers and adventurers, young audiences find models to help them reach their own highest goals.

The Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: February 14 – April 5
Tickets: $23 (find discount)

Ezra Jack Keats’ was a pioneer in children’s literature as his stories were the first to break racial barriers, and his stories are perfectly timed to come to life on stage at Adventure Theatre starting this month. This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining.

Black History Month Family Day
Where: Woodlawn Manor | Sandy Spring, MD
When: February 8
Admission: $5-7

Bring the entire family out to celebrate African American Culture. TThe event will feature presentations and hands-on activities for children, taking place inside Woodlawn Manor. Limited tickets sold day of program at the Visitor Center, so sign up in advance.

Young Portrait Explorers: Martin Luther King Jr.
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 24, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Join the National Portrait Gallery to learn about Barack Obama in a program that touches on art and history through storytelling. For toddlers up to age 5 and their adult companions. Registration is required. Class size is limited — register in advance! Parents and guardians must remain with their children.

Frederick Douglass Annual Birthday Commemoration
Where: Various locations | Anacostia, DC
When: February 15
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service as they celebrate the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass as well as the Centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Following the Opening Ceremony at Anacostia High School Auditorium (1601 16th Street SE), there will be special themed house tours at Cedar Hill and an art program in the visitor center. There will also be programming at the Anacostia Arts Center and Anacostia High School that will include guest lectures, an exhibit by the DC League of Women Voters, and performances in the lobby.

National Philharmonic Black Classical Music Pioneers
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: February 22
Admission: $89/adult, free/age 7-17

This concert highlights the works of African American pioneers of classical music… Wild Strumming of Fiddle, by Wynton Marsalis (born 1961), comes from a remarkable 12-movement work that fuses jazz and symphonic music to create a dizzying array of sounds, rhythms and melodies. The Violin Concerto No. 1 (1939) by Florence Price (1887-1953) is a highly accomplished work in the models of the European classical concerto, by the first African-American woman to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer. The Lyric for Strings (1946) by George Walker (1922-2018), the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, is a work of intimate beauty. The Symphony No. 1 (1930) by William Grant Still (1895-1978) is the first symphony written by an African-American composer. Its subtitle (“Afro-American”) points to the unique style of the work, which includes elements of blues and jazz. Recommended for ages 7+.

Going the Distance
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 20-28
Tickets: $3-8

Race to the finish line at Discovery Theater with two black Olympians who changed history! Soaring music and the exhilaration of world-class sorts motivate us to greatness in this vivid portrayal of the lives of Jesse Owens and Wilma Rudolph. Join them as they them overcome childhood illness, infirmity, and poverty to become the world’s fastest man and woman, winning the greatest honor in all athletics: the Olympic gold medal. The John Cornelius II score speaks to the heart and soul of the winner in all of us.

Black History Month Winter Walking Tour
Where: Woodlawn Manor Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: February 29, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $8

Take a guided tour of the grounds and buildings of Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and discover the role enslaved labor played on this 19th century farm. Explore how the enslaved could have nature for escape and evasion while seeking freedom. This guided tour includes exterior space and a natural trail. Participants are recommended to dress to be in the elements. Best for ages 8+. Register in advance.


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The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival is this Saturday!


I have to admit, this one snuck up on me! But if you’re going to be in town this holiday weekend and have some bookworms in your crew, plan for one of DC’s biggest, most anticipated annual events on Saturday: The 19th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival!

Book enthusiasts young and old come from all over for the day of reading-related activities. Works by more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased, and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances. It’s always a wonderful event, and I highly recommend going if you can.

All genres are represented on stages throughout the festival — Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, Thrillers & Fantasy, Fiction, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Graphic Novels — where readings, presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests will take place. And a Book Sales area gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors.

Browse the books for sale (and maybe have it signed, too!)

If your kids love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there. Jon Scieszka, Holly Black, Jon Klassen, Ngozi Ukazu, Adam Rubin, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. are just a few of them. Young readers will also be able to enjoy an array of fun and exciting activities on the Expo Floor, from the Parade of States where they can learn about each state’s literary heritage and collect a stamp to story times to poetry slams to activities from the soon-to-open Planet Word Museum, and much more.

Of course, there’s bound to be an author — or several — that parents will be excited about, too. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chef José Andrés, David Brooks, Raina Telgemeier, David McCullough, and Michael Beschloss will be featured on the Main Stage. And acclaimed writers Barbara Kingsolver, Joyce Carol Oates, Sigrid Nunez, Richard Powers, and Rebecca Makkai are among the many that will also be presenting.

Have a look for yourself at the complete list and start planning your National Book Festival experience. Most presentations are first come, first served — and people do line up early to get seats, so plan accordingly.

Booking it to last year’s Festival 🙂



The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, August 31, 9am – 8pm
Admission: FREE

* Download the Festival App to help you make the most of the event.

* Information on getting there and parking is available here.

* You can read about one of our past visits when it was still held on the National Mall — including an interview with Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne! — here.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Special Event, Summer, Weekend

Kids Euro Festival: Your Passport to 2 Weeks of Free Cultural Adventures!



You don’t have to cross the pond to introduce your kids to European art and culture. Thanks to the European Union Delegation and more than 20 local and national cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to two weeks of artistic adventures and entertainment right here in DC!

Beginning this Saturday, October 20, and running through November 4, the 11th Annual Festival will present more than 80 FREE children’s performances and adventures all around the DC-Metro area. Concerts, storytelling, puppetry, cinema, dance, magic, and workshops are among the offerings. And museums, public libraries, movie theaters, arts and cultural organizations, Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, and other local theatres are some of the many performance venues, making the experiences accessible to families throughout the area and showcasing places that enrich and bolster the community.

A few of many highlights this year: The 60th anniversary celebration of the Smurfs presented by Belgium; “United in Music,” a performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage by a Latvian youth choir composed of both students with and without hearing impairments; and a performance of “Angelina, a contemporary Cinderella,” featuring Italian opera singers at the Shakespeare Theatre. And KEEN Day on October 20 features a full day of events for kids with disabilities.

The festival, designed for children ages 2-12, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Most countries in the European Union are represented in shows and workshops that highlight national cultural traditions and art.

Visit the Kids Euro Festival website for the complete schedule of performances and age recommendations. You can also follow on Facebook for event updates and more info.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Fall, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Special Event, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

This Saturday is the 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival!



If you’re going to be in town this holiday weekend — and especially if you’ve got some bookworms in your crew — plan for one of DC’s biggest, most anticipated annual events on Saturday: The 18th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival!

Book enthusiasts young and old come from all over for the day of reading-related activities. Works by more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased, and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances.

All genres are represented on stages throughout the festival — Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, Thrillers & Fantasy, Fiction, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Graphic Novels — where readings, presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests will take place. And a Book Sales area gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors.

If your children love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there. Kate DiCamillo, Jason Reynolds, Danica McKellar, and David Ezra Stein are just a few of many. Kids will also be able to enjoy an array of fun and exciting activities on the Expo Floor, from the Parade of States where they can learn about each state’s literary heritage and collect a stamp to special story times to poetry slams to National Geographic’s Explorer Academy, and much more.

Of course, there’s bound to be an author — or several — that parents will be excited about, too. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will launch her first book, Turning Pages, at the festival. Best selling authors Isabel Allende, Dave Eggers and Amy Tan; former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham will be featured on the Main Stage. And acclaimed writers Jeffrey Eugenides, Annie Proulx, Ron Chernow, Richard Russo, Celeste Ng, and Tara Westover are among the many that will be presenting.

Have a look for yourself at the complete list and start planning your National Book Festival experience. Most presentations are first come, first served — and people do line up early to get seats, so plan accordingly.

The 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, September 1, 9am – 7:30pm (doors open 8:30am)
Admission: FREE

*Information on getting there and parking is available here.

*You can read about one of our past visits when it was still held on the National Mall — including an interview with Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne! — here.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Special Event, Summer, Weekend