Tag Archives: Family Friendly Shows

Free Cotton Candy + BOGO Tickets at the Big Apple Circus Next Week!



This post is sponsored by Big Apple Circus, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Special Event, Weekdays, Winter

Free Popcorn + BOGO Tickets at the Big Apple Circus this Week!



This post is sponsored by Big Apple Circus, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Special Event, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Liven Up Your Fall with a New Season of Entertainment Around the DMV

Catch an electrifying performance by the Flying Steps at Warner Theatre in October



With fall comes a whole new season of live entertainment around DC. Musicals, concerts, dance performances, puppet shoes, storytelling sessions, ice skating extravaganzas, and more great acts will be on local stages over the next few months. This round-up has the line-up, ordered by opening date, so you can snag your tickets and plan ahead!

Peter and the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo PArk, MD
When: Through September 30
Tickets: $12

Staged with half life-size marionettes, Peter and the Wolf is one of the Puppet Co.’s best-loved stories. Over a million children and adults have seen this one-man show, based on Prokofiev’s popular tale of good versus evil, performed by Puppet Master Christopher Piper. An introduction to the instruments in the orchestra precedes this story of Peter and his animal friends, and their attempts to capture wily “Old Lupus.” Recommended for ages 4+.

South Pacific
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: August 30 – October 7
Tickets: $42-84 (look for a discount)

With songs like “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” and “Bali Ha’i,” South Pacific is one of the most beloved of American musicals. Set on a remote Pacific island during World War II, South Pacific gave us the unforgettable love story between nurse Nellie Forbush and French expatriate Emile de Becque, a love threatened by war, as well as the dark corners of Nellie’s soul. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1950 Pulitzer Prize-winner was ahead of its time with its unflinching look at racism and prejudice that maintains its relevance today. The theater gives it a “PG” rating.

Turn Me Loose
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: September 6 – October 14
Tickets: $41-105

This intimate and no-holds-barred drama chronicles Dick Gregory’s rise as the first Black comedian to expose audiences to racial comedy. His comedy spared no one including politicians, celebrities and the white supremacists who were part of his regular audience. In confronting bigotry head-on with biting humor and charm, Gregory turned his activism into an art form, risking his own safety at each performance. Turn Me Loose is an exuberant and raw tribute to Gregory’s life as a civil rights activist, comic genius and unapologetic provocateur.

Voytto Tech: a scifi fable
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: September 14-29
Tickets: $12.50/age 12+, $10/age 4-11, free/3 & under

Voytto Tech: a scifi fable combines science and technology with a story exploring the tough topics of bullying and social inequity. Klipp Casey travels from a planet far, far away to study at Voytto Tech, the most famous science magnet school in the galaxy. Right away, Klipp has trouble fitting in at his new school, and becomes a target for bullying. What can Klipp do? Who can he go to for help? And what can anyone do about the huge energy crisis threatening the planet? This highly interactive play is performed by three actors who become a variety of characters. The entire audience participates from their seats, becoming characters in the story and brainstorming possible solutions for Klipp’s problems. Recommended for ages 4+.

Saturday Family Story Sessions
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: September 15 – October 20
Admission: $10-12

This fall, families gather once a week for fun and creativity, enjoying diverse and dynamic programs with the very best storytellers in the area who engage young audiences and instill a love of learning with every word.

Blueberries for Sal
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: September 21 – October 21
Tickets: $19.50

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother are picking delicious blueberries to can for the long winter months ahead to make delicious desserts. On the other side of Maine’s Blueberry Hill, a mama bear and baby bear are filling up for the long hybernation. But somehow Sal and a baby bear have a mixed up adventure and lose their mothers! Recommended for all ages.

Cri Cri The Mexican Singing Cricket
Where: Atlas Perfroming Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: September 22
Tickets: $12

Cri-Cri, the iconic Mexican radio character, has been popular all over Latin America since the 1930s. Joined by a zany announcer and two gifted musicians, Cri Cri brings students back to the age of radio in this interactive program. Come dance, play, and sing along to classic songs in Spanish and English. Recommended for ages 3-8.

The Comedy of Errors
Where: Lansburgh Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: September 25 – October 28
Tickets: $44-102

Two sets of twins, each with the same name—what could go wrong? Everything, apparently. Leave logic behind and delight in the confusion of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, where servants misplace their masters, wives overlook their husbands, and sons forget their fathers. The blunders double, triple and cube until chaos reigns—and everyone is pretty sure that everyone else is completely insane.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java | Vienna, VA
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 acts perform every Thursday and 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Eastern Market’s North Hall on Thursday mornings. Even better, proceeds from all shows benefit DC Diaper Bank! Go for the entertainment, then grab lunch in the market or at one of many nearby eateries after.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most 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.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Rise+Rhyme
Where: BusBoys & Poets | Brookland, DC & Hyattsville/Takoma Park, MD
When: Mondays
Tickets: $5

The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Go to one of three locations: Brookland in DC or Takoma Park or Hyattsville in MD. Plan on breakfast, too — full service is available while the little ones are grooving.

Children’s Arts & Entertainment
Where: BloomBars | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Varies by show/activity

The arts center in Columbia Heights offers a variety of enriching, entertaining, and cultural activities and performances for children. From Harambe sessions to puppet shows to musical theatre to sing-a-longs, there’s something going on for little ones just about every day of the week.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Sleepy Hollow
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: October 3 – November 4
Tickets: $20-60

This adaptation of Sleepy Hollow pulls together all the elements that made Synetic famous: Gothic horror, iconic characters and imagery, an emphasis on surreal, wordless storytelling that transcends spoken language and makes our productions something akin to live-action dreams (or nightmares, depending on the story). Recommended for ages 13+.

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: October 4 – November 16
Tickets: $12

Humperdink’s children’s opera, full of magic, music and dazzling special effects. The puppets, lights, music and effects, are all operated by Christopher Piper, who also performs all the live vocal characterizations. The production has long been a favorite of children and their parents, and is an excellent introduction to musical story for children. Recommended for ages 4+.

Disney On Ice: Mickey Search Party
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: October 3-7
Tickets: Start at $20 (look for a discount)

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through dynamic and immersive moments that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats. Produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., the worldwide leader in live touring family entertainment, Disney On Ice is once again elevating the ice show experience with brand-new engaging elements that will fascinate both newcomers and seasoned guests alike.

African Roots Latino Soul
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: October 4, 24, 25
Tickets: $3-8

How many cultures can we be? This vibrant play explores what it means to be Latino, African American, and proud. The spirit of Celia Cruz’s songs infuses this delightful show, in which the warmth of mama’s kitchen and the bustle of city life play parts in demonstrating that the pulse of the music is the heart of the people. Written with the Young Playwrights’ Theater, this is a story of the triumphs of today’s multicultural kids. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Cuentos Muy Magicos! Magical Stories!
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: October 5, 12, 23
Tickets: $3-8

This delightful Discovery Theater original offers a fresh take on three classic tales. The Little Red Hen asks the question “Who will help?” Jack and the Beanstalk proves that small is mighty. And The Gingerbread Man… well, he’s just one bad cookie. Filled with delightful songs, puppets, and audience participation, this bilingual story-time spectacular is not to be missed! Recommended for ages 3-7.

Sailing on String
Where: The Lab at Convergence | Arlington, VA
When: October 6 & 8
Tickets: TBA

Get a sneak peek of Arts on the Horizon’s production that will run later in May 2019. A simple piece of yarn can become so many things! Follow a curious explorer on a voyage into a world made entirely of string! Yarn birds fly through the air passing crocheted clouds. This gentle, engaging performance features object transformation, dance, live string music, and captivating design. Follow the twists, turns, and eventual tangles of this special immersive performance for our youngest audience members! Recommended for ages 0-2.

American Revolution
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 12-14
Tickets: $20

Can the history of the American Revolution be told in 21 square feet of space? Chicago’s award-winning Theater Unspeakable returns to take on the challenge, telling a big story on an impossibly tiny stage. Using only 7 actors and their bodies, the show recreates the entire American fight for independence in 50 minutes. Combining tongue-in-cheek humor with a dash of derring-do, American Revolution displays the company’s signature imaginative physical theater. Recommended for ages 9+.

Beetlejuice
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: October 14 – November 18
Tickets: $54-114 (look for a discount)

It’s showtime, folks! Beetlejuice is ruder, raunchier and frankly, more repellant than ever in this original musical based on Tim Burton’s wonderfully demented film. Beetlejuice tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager obsessed with the whole “being dead thing.” Lucky for Lydia, her new house is haunted by a recently deceased couple and a degenerate demon who happens to have a thing for stripes. When Lydia calls on this ghost-with the-most to scare away her insufferable parents, Beetlejuice comes up with the perfect plan, which involves exorcism, arranged marriages and an adorable girl scout who gets scared out of her wits.

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: October 20 – November 4
Tickets: FREE

Enjoy European enterntainment without leaving DC! Now in its 11th year, Kids Euro Festival is one of the largest performing arts festivals for children in America, bringing Europe’s most talented children’s entertainers to the DC metro area each fall for two weeks of free performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling sessions, puppetry, dance exhibitions, magic shows, and cinema. All free!

NSO Pops: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 23-25
Tickets: $34-149

The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar®-nominated score from The Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film. The show is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes long.

The Fever (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Woolly Mammoth | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 23 – November 4
Tickets: $20-35

Performed in complete collaboration with the audience, The Fever begins as a simple story about an ordinary party and evolves into a spellbinding examination of how we assemble, organize, and care for the bodies around us, testing the limits of individual and collective responsibility and our willingness to be there for one another.

The Tiniest Tempest
Where: Atlas Perfroming Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: October 24-28
Tickets: $12

The Tiniest Tempest is an interactive play, based on some of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The play includes three big body puppets worn by three actors, shadow puppetry projected on a screen, and two actors playing three roles. It includes both live music and recorded music created especially for the play. Recommended for ages 4-10.

Flying Bach
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: October 26-27
Tickets: $32-77

Flying Bach, starring Germany’s four-time world champion Flying Steps breakdance troupe, interprets the music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier”, widely regarded as one of the most important works in the history of classical music. The story follows seven dancers and one teacher, rehearsing for their big day as arguments, fights, disappointments and delights ensue. A mysterious woman joins the story and the conflicts climax: contemporary dance meets breakdance, man meets woman, desire meets refusal, and arrogance meets curiosity. The result is an entertaining and electrifying production for people of all ages and demographics.

Long Way Down
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 27 – November 4
Tickets: $25-35

Sixty seconds. Seven floors. One elevator. Fifteen-year-old Will’s brother has just been shot, and Will is ready to follow “The Rules”: 1) “No Crying.” 2) “No Snitching.” 3) “Get Revenge.” But on the ride down, with his brother’s gun in his pocket, his plan is interrupted by a few visitors. DC-area native Jason Reynolds’s New York Times best-selling book comes to the stage in a compelling and timely production. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will contemplates retaliation. As mysterious guests appear at each floor, Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? Recommended for ages 12+.

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Germantown, MD
When: October 27, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $18-25

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot who just moved to the “Squares Only” small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy. Inspired by Civil Rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical provides a colorful history lesson for everyone.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 28
Tickets: $15-18

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when the NSO performs new and old classics to celebrate Halloween, which this year also marks the Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with ghoulishly attired musicians. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5+.

Billy Elliot: The Musical
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: October 30 – January 6
Tickets: $65-99

All 11-year-old Billy wants to do is dance. While the 1984 miners’ strike squeezes his family and splits his town, Billy’s passion for ballet first divides, then ultimately unites, the community—and changes his life in extraordinary ways. Based on the powerful and acclaimed film, Billy Elliot swept the Tony, Drama Desk, and Olivier awards for Best Musical, by combining a dynamic score by the legendary Elton John with sensational dance to create a heartwarming, inspirational and triumphant experience for the entire family.

Anastasia
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 30 – November 25
Tickets: $59-179

Inspired by the beloved films, the romantic and adventure-filled new musical Anastasia is on a journey to Washington at last! From the Tony Award®–winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Anything Goes
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: November 3 – December 23
Tickets: $66-115

The SS American has set sail from NY to London. Aboard, the lovelorn Billy has stowed away on a mission to stop the marriage of his mystery muse, countess Hope Harcourt, to the millionaire Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Now, it is up to Billy with the help of showgirls, sailors and public enemy #13, to find, woo and win back his true love. Unlikely alliances arise as mischief and mayhem ensue in this madcap musical by beloved composer and Tony Award winner Cole Porter.

Cinderella
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: November 3 – January 6
Tickets: $17-35

This wacky retelling of the beloved fairy tale takes Cinderella on a royal adventure complete with a wisecracking rat, evil stepsisters, and a smitten prince. When Cinderella’s stepmother forbids her from attending the ball, her fairy godmother convinces here that if the shoe fits- wear it! True love may await her if only she can put down her sword. Just the right fit for the holiday season! Recommended for ages 4+.

Lessons from the Animal Peoples
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: November 8-9
Tickets: $3-8

Native American stories are playful, funny, and wise. Dovie Thomason shares her culture with understanding, sly humor, and astonishing vocal transformations to become characters who weave magic with every word. Her captivating collection of stories explore some age-old questions (Why do bears hibernate? Why don’t rabbits have tails?) that reveal timeless truths about the Earth and her animal children—and all of us, too! Recommended for ages 4-8.

Native Pride Dancers
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: November 13-14
Tickets: $3-8

Dancers, drumbeats, and stories celebrate the spirit and beauty of First-Nations peoples in a dynamic, one-of-a-kind cultural heritage program. Actor, educator, and world-champion fancy dancer Larry Yazzie brings together artists who share the rich heritage and customs passed down from generation to generation—and a history of bravery, fortitude, generosity, and wisdom. Recommended for ages 6-16.

The Hollow Stump
Where: The Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: November 14-18
Tickets: $12

Seven very different animals seek shelter from the winter cold and snow in a large hollow stump. The cuddly, hand-crafted rod-puppets will enchant any child as the characteristics of each animal are revealed through a unique and descriptive poem and song. When the animals let newcomers enter and the space inside the stump grows tighter, these songs interweave. Adapted from the popular tale, The Mitten, this tale celebrates community, as the animals learn to share one space. Recommended for ages 3-9.

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Visit
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: November 15, 16, 19, 20
Tickets: $3-8

Last Fall’s sold-out show returns! Grandma has arrived for the holiday—and that can only mean making puppets, cooking together, washing the car, and learning lots of fun new things. This musical play with a great big heart brings the whole audience into the family with singing, finger play, and call-and response as we all give thanks for being together. Recommended for ages 3-6.

Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: November 16 – January 6
Tickets: $19.50

What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles-and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Oohlala! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Recommended for all ages.

How to Catch a Star
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 20 – December 18
Tickets: $20

Once there was a boy who dreamed a star could be his new friend—if only he could catch one. He tried climbing to the top of the tallest tree. He tried flying in a paper rocket ship. But nothing worked. Just when the boy was about to give up, he discovered something as dazzling and special as the star he was seeking! Best-selling author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers’s beloved children’s book about chasing your dreams comes to vivid life in a production created and directed by Jared Mezzocchi. Featuring colorful projections and choreographed movement, How to Catch a Star is a whimsical tale of discovery, friendship, and delightful surprises. Recommended for ages 3+.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Live Entertainment Around DC this Summer

You can follow the yellow brick road to Synetic Theatre this summer



New season, whole new line-up of live entertainment! And there is something to indulge all ages and interests, from musicals to puppet shows to dance performances to concerts to comedy acts, and even more in between. Here’s where to catch it all this summer (listed in order of opening date). Now go save your seats!

Hamilton
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 16
Tickets: $99-625

Lin Manuel-Miranda’s musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is the hot ticket in DC this summer! Initial sales sold out, but tickets are being released daily for upcoming performances. Recommended for ages 10+.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: Through June 24
Tickets: $12

Yet another elegant production created by the Puppet Co., “Sleeping Beauty” combines romance and adventure in a story of fairies, frogs, kings and queens, and of course, a sleeping princess and the gallant prince destined to find her. Told with rod puppets and wonderful special effects, the show is a real treat for princesses and princes, big and small!

Camelot
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through July 8
Tickets: $44-110(look for a ticket discount)

Amid mystical forests and grand castles, Camelot tells a beloved tale of a leader’s integrity, courage and empathy—a chronicle of the struggle for civilization and goodness in a world accustomed to violence and hate. With the legendary story of King Arthur’s Round Table, doomed romance and a stunning score, Camelot has won the hearts of generations of musical theatre lovers. Recommended for teens and up.

The Second City’s Generation Gap
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 16 – August 12
Tickets: $49-69 (look for a ticket discount

Chicago comedy institution The Second City will present a new show created for Kennedy Center audiences. From the Greatest Generation to the latest generation, The Second City’s twelve-week summer run of Generation Gap…Or, How Many Millennials Does It Take to Teach a Baby Boomer to Text Generation X? takes you on a satirical crash course spanning miscommunications, careers, dating, and more in this two-act, interactive new spin on the age-old battle of the ages. Recommended for teens and up.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna Virginia
When: June 19 – August 4
Tickets: $8-12

From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10:30am Tuesday through Saturday. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. The productions welcome all ages, though most are geared toward younger children. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a previous summer here.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: June 21 – July 22
Tickets: $13+ (look for a ticket deal)

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 23rd year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Various day and times
Tickets: Almost always FREE

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro. From Jazz on the National Mall to riverside entertainment to music amid the nature of local parks to shows in local shopping centers, the 2018 KFDC Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

Tinker Bell
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo,MD
When: June 22 – August 19
Tickets: $19.50 (loo for a ticket discount)

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan. Or, at least, everyone thinks they do. But unless you have heard it from Tinker Bell’s point of view, you really have not heard it at all. A new twinkling light shines on all the characters you love including, Wendy, the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, Smee, and the nefarious Hook from a feisty fairy’s point of view. Recommended for all ages.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 23 – August 12
Tickets: $20-30 (look for a ticket discount)

Don’t miss your chance to see the comic strip characters of the lovable “Peanuts” gang comic brought to life in Summer 2018! This hit Off-Broadway musical is directed by acclaimed playwright and director Aaron Posner (Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and many more!). Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally, and Schroeder as they sing and dance their way through the timeless struggles of childhood. This show features catchy songs, including “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,”and is the perfect family outing for the young and young at heart! Recommended for ages 5+.

Paper Dreams
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 23 – August 12
Tickets: 12

In a brand-new collaboration with Mons Dansa Dance Company Barcelona, Spain, Imagination Stage brings to life their first DANCE performance based show, perfect for ages 1-5 that explores the many facets of creativity. A fun, interactive production that tells the story of two delightful creatures who live inside a wastepaper basket. Can our greatest mistake actually turn out to be the next greatest innovative idea?

Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets
Where: McLean Central Park | McLean, VA
When: June 24
Tickets: Free

Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets are helping welcome summer back to McLean! Their Grammy Award-Winning album, Home, weaves together childhood memories with textured pop tunes which is sure to turn the gazebo into a dance party. When he’s not touring, you can catch Tim every weekday morning on NBC Universal’s Sprout Channel in the only live morning show for preschoolers or as the “tambourine guy” with Postmodern Jukebox! Recommended for ages 3+.

Around the World with Yosi
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: June 27-30
Tickets: $3-8

Award-winning children’s songwriter & recording artist, Yosi, brings songs, dances & instruments from around the world to you! Don’t miss this multicultural, interactive, and educational concert. Children will learn to say “hello” and count in various languages. They’ll participate in two dances from other cultures and most importantly, learn about tolerance and acceptance of people from different parts of the world. REcommended for ages 3-8.

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: June 29 – August 5
Tickets: $12

When Snow White meets seven vertically challenged bachelors, she discovers that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that friendship and teamwork make any challenge smaller. Based on the Grimm fairytale, this production takes the Puppet Co.’s usual sideways view of the popular story, giving it timeliness and humor for adults as well as kids.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java | Vienna, VA
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 acts perform every Thursday and 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.

Boogie Babes
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at Eastern Market’s North Hall on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Even better, proceeds from all shows benefit DC Diaper Bank! Go for the entertainment, then grab lunch in the market or at one of many nearby eateries after.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most 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.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Ongoing daily, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free, no-tickets-required performances every day at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to puppetry to comedy shows to opera scenes. Millennium Stage showcases everyone from local youth choirs to internationally known bands (They Might Be Giants performed there a few years ago). This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Most Saturdays
Tickets: FREE!

The free theatre program runs on select Saturdays with performances at 9:30am and 11:30am. Musicals, plays, storytelling, and comedy shows are all part of the live entertainment line-up. See the complete schedule of performances here. Tickets are distributed day of performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must be in line to receive a ticket.

Backyard Theater for Children
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Thursdays, July 5-26
Tickets: $8-10, free/under 2

Enrich your little ones’ summer mornings with sunshine, music, and laughter at Strathmore’s Backyard Theater for Kids. This eclectic program is the perfect summer escape for busy families. Pack a picnic and enjoy live performances by highly esteemed and innovative family-friendly entertainers. From folk and jazz to the amazing sounds of the steelpan, Backyard Theater makes it easy to engage kids at every stage. They promise to keep both kids and parents entertained, so bring your family for a morning of inspiration and celebration!

Red, White, and Blue Reptiles Alive!
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 5-6
Tickets: $3-8

Red scales, white tails, and blue tongues – a variety of colorful live reptiles from the USA and all over the world will be featured during this wildly exciting show! An engaging, kid-friendly Wildlife Educator will educate and entertain with exciting animal stories and fun animal facts.

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azakban – In Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 6-7
Tickets: $40-60

Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ – In Concert. Based on the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now experience the thrilling tale accompanied by live music from the National Symphony Orchestra as Harry soars across the big screen.

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Various venues in DC
When: July 7-29
Tickets: Varies by show

Filling the city with non-stop theater, dance, music, visual art, and everything in-between, the annual Fringe Festival presents an eclectic mix of performances — from all genres, for all ages. Family-friendly shows are always among the lineup; other acts would make for a great date night or adult evening out. Check out the calendar to plan your Fringe experience.

Culture Shock DC Celebrates Hip Hop
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

Culture Shock DC shares the power, beauty, and energy of hip-hop in an interactive performance guaranteed to get you up on your feet. Find out what makes hip-hop such a unique and vibrant form, and cheer these amazing dance artist-educators in action. Get into the act as you learn some of the group’s choreography, and take the stage to show off your best freestyle moves! Recommended for Ages 5 to 16.

The Future is Now! with the Science Guys of Baltimore
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

Discover the engineering marvels, new and old, that make our world great and explore new technologies that will make it even stronger! We will ride on a futuristic hover board and fire projectiles using one of the most basic engineering defenses: a catapult! We will learn about renewable solar and wind technologies and try to demolish a building to better understand earthquake construction and natural disaster protection! Recommended for ages 5-12.

Damned If You Do (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Woolly Mammoth | Penn Quarter, DC
When: July 10-29
Tickets: $30-48

What if you finally try moonlight rock climbing? What if you call your Uncle Ted out on his godawful toupee? What if you call in drunk—sorry, sick—to work on Friday? What if you get up the courage to tell your mom you actually hate her meatloaf? How different could your life be because of one seemingly innocuous choice? Before you decide, let The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre—the world’s most audacious improv troupe that launched the careers of Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Ellie Kemper, and Bobby Moynihan—play out your potential futures in front of your eyes… just to be sure it won’t make your life a complete and total disaster.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: July 11 – August 12
Tickets: $15-30

A wizard stuck in a land far away from home-A Scarecrow tied to a pole-A Tinman rusted in a forest-A Lion afraid of his own shadow…their world as they know it is turned upside down and inside out when Dorothy arrives in Oz. Join Synetic Theater’s brand new adaptation of one of the most important cultural texts of the twentieth century, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The production is an environmental and spectacular adventure where verbal and nonverbal communication embrace each other in this innovative and heartfelt story of community, perseverance, and magic. The journey down the Yellow Brick Road to brings to life L. Frank Baum’s characters in a way only Synetic can do and you won’t see anywhere else.

The Pirates of Penzance & HMS Pinafore
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: July 11 – August 13
Tickets: $30-54

Chicago’s most innovative theatre company, The Hypocrites, returns with an encore engagement of their critically-acclaimed, immersive and family-friendly version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. To complete the repertory, they will also be introducing Olney Theatre audiences to their zany take on H.M.S. Pinafore. Enjoy either show from the promenade, where you sit onstage and move around the set as the action dictates. And don’t forget to bring the kids! They can hang out in the ball pit and experience these Gilbert and Sullivan classics in a way they’re sure to love and never forget.

Dave
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: July 13 – August 19
Tickets: $76-140 (look for a ticket discount

From a Tony and Pulitzer Prize award-winning creative team, comes the world-premiere musical comedy Dave, adapted from the Oscar-nominated film. Dave tells the story of high school teacher (and presidential lookalike) Dave Kovic, who is hired by the Secret Service as a stand-in for the Commander-in-Chief. When the President falls ill under less than “presidential” circumstances, Dave is thrust into the Oval Office to avoid a national scandal, and must find a way to gain the trust and love of the American people.. and the First Lady.

SWAGFUNK Band
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 24-27
Tickets: $3-8

You can’t spell funk without “fun”—and that’s what guaranteed when SWAGFUNK takes over the stage. The D.C. band’s musical mix of funk, jazz, rock, pop, R&B, and reggae celebrates the joy of classic styles, and their high-energy grooves will have you singing and dancing along at a summer party you won’t want to miss! Recommended for Ages 5 to 16.

Arts on the Horizon: To the Clouds
Where: Strathmore | North Bethesda, MD
When: July 28, 9:30am & 11:30am
Tickets: $8-10

A magical, interactive adventure of a day in the life of a raindrop! Kids will love a close-up look at the amazing things along the raindrop’s journey: colorful flowers, the warm sun, perhaps even a whale! Through movement, puppetry, and found object animation, this interactive world-premiere for babies and toddlers is driven by a soundtrack of classical music and creates a captivating world of transformation. Perfect for kids 0-3.

Soul in Motion
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 31 – August 3
Tickets: $3-8

This explosive company from Montgomery County shares the richness of African American culture by dancing the heritage of the African homelands. In a spectacular performance that blends chest-pounding drumming and foot-stomping leaps and steps, these performers create an infectious joy that captures hearts and sprits. Recommended for Ages 5 to 16.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo,MD
When: August 9 – September 30
Tickets: $12

Staged with half life-size marionettes, Peter and the Wolf is one of the Puppet Co.’s best-loved stories. Over a million children and adults have seen this one-man show, based on Prokofiev’s popular tale of good versus evil, performed by Puppet Master Christopher Piper. An introduction to the instruments in the orchestra precedes this story of Peter and his animal friends, and their attempts to capture wily “Old Lupus.”

Disney’s Broadway Hits
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 9
Tickets: $25-65

In celebration of 20 years on Broadway, audiences can experience the magic of Disney’s Broadway Hits with an unforgettable night of music. Performed by a live symphony orchestra, this major concert event features beloved songs from nine Tony and Academy Award-winning scores by some of the greatest composers and lyricists in the world performed by Disney’s own world-class Broadway singers, bring the sounds of Disney’s Broadway Hits to life, as you’ve never heard them before.

Music of Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: McLean Central Park Gazebo |McLean, VA
When: August 12
Tickets: Free

Two-time Grammy® Nominee, Morgan Taylor and his band will play perennial favorites and dig deep into the wild and hip back catalogue for this rare, non-video version of his nationally heralded Gustafer Yellowgold show. Tasteful, smart and FUN songs for everyone! This is part of the free Sunday Summer concerts in the Park series.

Free For All: Romeo and Juliet
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: August 21 – September 5
Tickets: FREE!

Shakespeare Theatre’s Company’s annual program that brings free performances to the public is featuring a favorite this summer: The most famous love story in the world and one of Shakespeare’s early poetic masterworks, Romeo & Juliet follows two star-crossed lovers from love at first sight to eternal life hereafter. Caught tragically between two feuding families, alike in dignity and in enmity, Shakespeare’s immortal young lovers try to fashion a new world amid the violence of the old, but cataclysmic choices and tragic twists propel them toward a final confrontation with fate.

KIDZ Bop Live 2018
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 25
Tickets: $30-70

KIDZ BOP Live 2018 is the ultimate family concert experience, “sung by kids for kids.” The KIDZ BOP Kids headline this new show, performing some of today’s biggest hit songs that have also kept them at the top of the US Kids charts for over 15 years.

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