Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in Maryland

Live Entertainment for All Around the DC Area this Fall

Cirque de Soleil’s Volta is still in town and mesmerizing audiences of all ages


With autumn comes a whole new season of live entertainment. From plays to puppet shows, concerts to comedy, dance performances to Disney on Ice, even a two-week long showcase of European performing arts, there is something to indulge all theatrical interests on DC stages this fall, including several KidFree recommendations. This list, ordered by opening date, has details.

The REACH Opening Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 22
Tickets: Free

The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center where the public is welcome and encouraged to interact with the arts, just opened. The new building and spaces within are stunning, and they will host an array of arts programs for the public to enjoy. The Opening Festival runs through September 22 and features all kinds of performances and more opportunities for creativity in action. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here. And heads-up: Sunday, September 15, is Family Day, so there will be lots of programs especially for kids and families then.

Cirque de Soleil: Volta
Where: Under the Big Top| Tysons II, VA
When: Through September 29
Tickets: $49+ (look for discounts)

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is about finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

What the Constitution Means to Me
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: September 11-22
Tickets: $49-169

Fifteen-year-old Heidi Schreck earned her college tuition money by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In her boundary-breaking new play, the Obie Award winner resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women in her family and the founding document that shaped their lives. This “endearingly funny and deeply affecting” (Washington Post) exploration breathes new life into our constitution and imagines how it might impact the lives of future generations. Recommended for ages 12+.

Jitney
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: September 13 – October 20
Tickets: $56-132

August Wilson’s Jitney opens Arena Stage’s season-long Festival celebrating the Pulitzer Prize-winning giant with Ruben Santiago-Hudson directing his 2017 Broadway production — recipient of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. The dramatic story of a Pittsburgh jitney station, a symbol of stability, struggles against an oppressive lack of opportunity and unnerving neighborhood gentrification that threatens the way they live and work. The drivers resist powerful forces while coming to grips with their pasts to fulfill their own hopes and dreams for the future. Arena Stage’s presentation kicks off the National Tour of one of this great master’s masterpieces. Jitney runs approximately 2 hours & 15 minutes with one 15-minute intermission. Recommended for teens and up.

Cats
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: September 17 – October 6
Tickets: $49-149 (look for discounts)

Cats tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. The Tony Award-winning, record-breaking musical spectacular by Andrew Lloyd Webber is now on tour across North America. Audiences and critics alike are rediscovering this beloved musical with breathtaking music, including one of the most treasured songs in musical theater, “Memory.”

The Diary of Anne Frank
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: September 17-24
Tickets: Call Box Office

In 1941 Amsterdam, 13-year-old Anne Frank goes into hiding with her family from the Nazis. For the next two years, she never leaves the attic where her family is concealed. With fear of discovery ever present, Anne finds solace writing in her diary, capturing the daily lives of the secret annex’s inhabitants—from the horrors of war to the excitement of first love—with wit, determination, and idealism. With a multicultural cast, National Players brings the true story of this incredibly insightful young girl that is often read in school to the stage in hopes of inspiring the next generation to stand up for justice rather than sit back in apathy.

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are In A Play!”
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: September 20 – October 27
Admission: $25

The award-winning, best-selling children’s books jumps from page to stage as a musical experience you won’t forget! Gerald and Piggie are “bestus” friends, with Gerald taking care of all the worrying and Piggie living her best life. Piggie’s even happier and more excited than usual. They’re going to a party hosted by the Squirrelles! And so begins a day when anything is possible.

Bobtail Bong Bong: A Monkey’s Tale
Where: Montgomery College Arts Center | Rockville, MD
When: September 20-28
Tickets:

InterAct Story Theatre presents the world premiere of a new play made just for early childhood, and you’re invited! Bob the Monkey is the smartest monkey in the land, and they want everyone to know it! Bob the Monkey wants what they want, and they should be able to get it! But why is everyone mad at Bob? Why is everyone so mean? Bob didn’t do anything! In this interactive theatre forum, children follow Bob’s misadventures and help Bob figure out where they went wrong, and where they could try out Caring, Fairness, and Respect to turn things around. Led by InterAct’s Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger, audience members make suggestions about how Bob could do things differently, and watch Bob roleplay out their suggestions to see if Bob can make things better by making better choices. Does it work? What happens next? Recommended for ages 4+.

The Tempest (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Synetic Theatre | Pentagon City, VA
When: September 20 – October 20
Tickets: $10-60

Synetic’s legendary, cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest returns — with the famed water-filled stage and visual poetry that made the original production an unforgettable sensation when it premiered in 2013- plus a new twist as Synetic co-founder Irina Tsikurishvili steps into the role of “Prospera.” When the magical and powerful Prospera creates a sea storm, she gets more than she bargained for as romantic drama, deception, and quests for vengeance emerge from the depths. Spirits, monsters, witches, drunken fools, and lithe lovers contort and cavort with passion and bravado in one of Shakespeare’s most high-stakes and irreverent comedies.

The 3 Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: September 20 – October 6
Tickets: $12

The 3 Billy Goats Gruff is a marionette romp in which three brothers get the goat of a hen-pecked troll, in their attempts to trip-trap-tromp to where the grass is greener. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry. Recommended for ages 3.5-9.

Coat of Many Colors: The Music of Dolly Parton
Where: Mead Center, Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: September 21
Tickets: $25-75 (look for discounts)

Join The American Pops Orchestra for a season opener featuring the music of the iconic, country legend, Dolly Parton. Let this timeless American music enchant you with fresh arrangements performed by the best in the biz. From greatest hits to hidden gems, this Dolly tribute is sure to delight. One night only!

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: September 24-29
Tickets: $39-114

He’s made you laugh in Sleepwalk With Me (it was a play presented by Nathan Lane, then a movie, THEN a book), My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend and “Thank God for Jokes.” (He was also really funny in that one season of “Orange is the New Black.” And in “Billions.” And “Broad City.”) Now he’s direct from Broadway, telling a new story in a new way with the same heart and humor we’ve come to expect. Lin-Manuel Miranda called The New One “as perfect a night as you’re gonna get.” Recommended for ages 13+, but probably great for a grown-up night out.

Escaped Alone (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: September 24 – November 3
Tickets: $40-90

In a serene British garden three old friends are joined by a neighbor to engage in amiable chitchat—with a side of apocalyptic horror. The women’s talk of grandchildren and tv shows breezily intersperses with tales of terror in a quietly teetering world where all is not what it seems.

The Royale
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: September 25 – October 27
Tickets: $54/adult, $49/child

In 1905, Jay “The Sport” Jackson dreams of becoming the first African American boxer to fight for the heavyweight championship. Despite racking up a string of vicious knockouts, racial segregation and his white manager’s own reservations stand in the way. Inspired by the true story of Jack Johnson, The Royale breaks new ground by taking us inside the fighter’s mind where the disciplined brutality of boxing reveals itself in theatrically-unforgettable bouts. At stake is more than wins or losses, but equality and survival. Recommended for tweens and up.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: September 28 – October 27
Tickets: $15-30

Beloved by children for generations, Eric Carle’s children’s books come off the page and onto the stage in an unforgettable theatrical experience. With more than seventy larger-than-life puppets and original music, this special event follows all your favorite characters from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Lonely Firefly, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, and –of course – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From a lumbering brown bear, to a curious caterpillar, to a fleet of rubber ducks, to countless other critters, Carle’s beautiful illustrations come to life through theatre magic. Recommended for ages 3+.

Peppa Pig’s Adventure
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: September 28, 12pm & 3:30pm
Tickets: $33+ (look for discounts)

Peppa Pig Live! is coming with the all new action-packed live show featuring favorite characters as life size puppets and costume characters in her new live show, Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Join Peppa on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunchboxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and friends are excited about their outdoor adventure, full of singing, dancing, games and surprises!

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: The Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Thursdays, 10:30am
Tickets: $6/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians on Barracks Row (8th Street SE) every Thursday morning. Even better, proceeds from all shows benefit DC Diaper Bank! Go for the entertainment, then grab lunch 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.

Disney On Ice presents Road Trip Adventures
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: October 2-6
Tickets: $25+ (look for discounts)

Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and his pals for a high-octane ride in Disney On Ice presents Road Trip Adventures. Exciting twists and turns await as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and guests of all ages embark on an interactive and memory-rich adventure to iconic Disney destinations. See the world from the rooftops of London with Mary Poppins and Jack and his band of dancing lamplighters. Travel to the sun-soaked Motunui and help Moana restore the heart of Te Fiti. Set off on a safari and snap unforgettable photos of wild cheetahs and monkeys when guests traverse through the Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa… Be prepared for a getaway jam-packed with unexpected hijinks and surprise, up-close character interaction as Disney On Ice presents Road Trip Adventures makes a pitstop right in Fairfax!

Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: October 6, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Calling all space enthusiasts! Lightwire Theater Company uses glow-in-the dark puppets, electro-luminescent wire, movement, and dance to present a visually stunning theatrical experience that is out of this world. In an imaginative story without words, join Marvin—an outcast mouse who craves acceptance and adventure—on a thrilling space odyssey. With his homemade rocket, Marvin blasts off to the moon where he meets a strange cast of misfit creatures, learns of infinite danger, and views awesome beauty.

Peter Rabbit Tales
Where: GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
When: October 6, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter.” For more than 100 years, Beatrix Potter’s famous opening line to The Tale of Peter Rabbit has captivated generations of children, introducing them to a mischievous, little blue-coated rabbit and his escapades in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Experience this beloved classic all over again with your little bunnies in Enchantment Theatre Company’s delightful theatrical adaptation of Peter Rabbit™ Tales. All of the colorful whimsy and wisdom of the original stories will come alive on stage with the help of unforgettable characters, fantastical masks, playful puppets, gorgeous sets, and original music. Recommended for ages 3 to 9.

¡¡CUENTOS!!
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: October 9-10
Tickets: $3-8

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

Retratos: My People, Myself
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: October 9-10
Tickets: $3-8

Originally created for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and with Young Playwright’s Theater, this joyous theatrical gallery of the many faces of Latin America is rooted in the writings of D.C. school students. Their vibrant words and images infuse this interactive play with intensely personal reflections on themes of identity and heritage—and a new generation’s dreams for America’s future. Portrait Gallery educators are on hand to connect with teachers and students after the performance. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Footloose
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 9-13
Tickets: $59-175 (look for discounts)

The Kennedy Center presents an all-new, semi-staged concert production of everyone’s favorite rock’n’roll musical. When rebellious teenager Ren McCormack moves from Chicago to a small town in Texas where dance and rock music are forbidden, he leads his classmates around the law, and Reverend Shaw Moore, to break free and have a rock’n’roll senior prom.

Pinocchio
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 11 – November 22
Tickets: $12

A life-size marionette version of Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s tale, created in the 1960s by the father of the Puppet Co.’s co-founder, Christopher Piper. This production has been completely refurbished and adapted for the Puppet Co. stage. Recommended for ages 5+.

Culture Queen’s Dance Party
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: October 11-12
Admission: $15

Join the Culture Queen as she does “The Locomotion” on a journey through the swinging ’60s. This energetic show introduces young audiences to the music of Dance Hall kings and queens like Chubby Checker, Little Richard, Little Eva, and Dee Dee Sharp. She’ll teach your royal children the hottest dances of the era like “The Twist”, “The Mashed Potato”, “The Bird” and many more through music and storytelling.

The Price is Right
Where: MGM National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: October 11-13
Tickets: $35+

Imagine your name being called to “Come On Down!” The dream comes true for many lucky people every show. Contestants on The Price is Right Live™ are selected entirely at random from among all eligible people who have registered. Registration takes place at the theater or showroom on the day of the show beginning up to three hours before the scheduled start time. Prize winners will be required to present a drivers’ license or other government-issued ID.

Disney’s Frozen Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: October 11-20
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child

Encore Stage & Studio presents this”by kids for kids” production: A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen Jr. takes us on a journey with Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with obstacles, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, Frozen Jr. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart! Recommended for ages 4+.

Right to Be Forgotten
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: October 11 – November 10
Tickets:

The internet never forgets. A young man’s mistake at 17 haunts him online a decade later. Desperate for a normal life, he goes to extraordinary lengths to erase his indiscretion. But freedom of information is big business, and the tech companies aren’t going down without a fight. Secrets, lies and political backstabbing abound in this riveting new drama about one man’s fierce battle to reclaim his right to privacy. Recommended for teens and up.

Everybody (KidFree Suggestion!)
Where: Lansburgh Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: October 15 – November 17
Tickets: $49-112

Everybody–a role assigned each night from a small cast of actors by lottery live on stage—is a happy person, a free person, a person who believes nothing but the best lies ahead. Then Death comes calling and Everybody must go on the journey of a lifetime. Obie Award winner and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon) has created an irreverent, rollicking ride that asks deep questions of all who see it.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Source Theater | 14th Street NW, DC
When: October 17 – November 17
Tickets: $19-55 (find discounts)

Deep in the run-down neighborhood of Skid Row, timid floral assistant Seymour Krelborn is skyrocketed to fame when he discovers a strange and unusual plant that he names “Audrey II” after his sweet but self-sacrificing coworker. Soon, Seymour has it all – cash, glory, and the girl of his dreams – but his good fortune takes a deadly turn when the rapidly growing Audrey II develops an appetite for human blood. Recommended for tweens and up.

Kid Prince and Pablo
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 19 – November 3
Tickets: $20

Mark Twain’s classic The Prince and the Pauper is reimagined as a digital age American Hip Hop story by playwright Brian Quijada, with direction by Pirronne Yousefzadeh and music by Marvin Quijada. In the divided Capital City, the ruling class called The Promised has banned rap and dance after an attempted revolution by the progressive New Wave people. Royal Kid Prince is set to inherit the throne—until he meets Pablo, a New Wave drummer who performs for underground rap battles. When the two switch identities, mayhem and confusion follow. But by standing in one another’s shoes, Kid Prince and Pablo unearth discoveries that could start a whole new revolution. Recommended for ages 9+.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 20
Tickets: $16-18

An annual tradition! The Concert Hall transforms into a ghostly sight when our ghoulishly attired musicians perform new and old classics to celebrate Halloween. Arrive early for trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5+.

Darci Lynn & Friends
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 20
Tickets: $27-98

On the heels of a record-breaking year, the gifted Singer/Ventriloquist Darci Lynne is sharing her passion for performance and bringing her captivating show which is backed by a live band to fans across America. Darci kicked off 2019 with some of the most memorable AGT contestants from 184 countries becoming the runner up out of the 50 top competitors on the first ever “America’s Got Talent: Champions.”

Kids Euro Festival
Where: Venues throughout DC
When: October 26 – November 10
Tickets: FREE

The 12th annual Kids Euro Festival will present numerous FREE children’s performances all around the DC-Metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule that take place at a variety of venues, from public libraries to embassies to performing arts centers. Stay tuned for more details and the complete schedule.

Dragons Love Tacos
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: October 26-27
Tickets: $20 (look for discounts)

Taco-loving dragons headline this collection of your child’s favorite books including The Interrupting Chicken, The Dot, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, and Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa Schools Days.

Paw Patrol LIVE!
Where: Hippodrome | Baltimore, MD
When: October 26-27
Tickets: $44-158

It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s own Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s dastardly Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is missing. Ryder assembles the PAW Patrol to run the race and save the day! Using their unique skills and teamwork, the pups show that “no job is too big, no pup is too small” as they make several heroic rescues as they race to the finish line.

Balancing Bodies
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 31 – November 3
Tickets: $20

Take a seat in a rolling office chair and observe an ordinary space transform into a universe full of surprises and twists. Dance/theater company Woest from the Netherlands brings this interactive show in which the interplay between performer and spectator is the nucleus around which everything orbits. As a world builds from nothing to something, audience members take part in balancing playfulness and organization, young and old, foolishness and seriousness, and more. Recommended for ages 9+.

Hoop of Life with Ty Defoe
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: November 1
Tickets: $3-8

With his vivid presence as a performer, Ty Defoe recounts an eloquent story of life though movement, music, and words rooted in his Oneida and Ojibwe heritage. He uses the athletic form of the ritual Hoop Dance to explore Native American stories framed by traditional and contemporary culture, history, and values. As the colorful interlinked hoops move, they speak of the unity and interdependence of all living things—and offer lessons for our everyday lives. Recommended for ages 5+.

Newsies
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: November 1 – December 22
Tickets: Start at $66

In the summer of 1899, the newsboys of New York City took on two of the most powerful men in the country — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — and won. Inspired by true events, the Broadway smash hit is a testament to the power of standing up and speaking out. The Tony Award-winning musical features fan-favorites like “Carrying the Banner,” “King of New York” and “Seize the Day.” Newsies is “a winning, high-energy musical” (Entertainment Weekly) just in time for the holidays and perfect for the whole family.

Inside Out
Where: Imagination stage | Bethesda, MD
When: November 2-24
Tickets: $12

It’s bedtime! But instead of getting ready, two children use their imaginations to turn their room into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastic creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet. In this interactive show, discover the joy of turning things inside out! Recommended for ages 1-5.

GET’M
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 2-3
Tickets: $20

Watch a television show go uproariously wrong. Three television hosts prepare to go live in the studio. The problem? There’s only one microphone! Witness the great lengths these so-called “mature” presenters go to hold the attention. Dutch theater company Bontehond presents this imaginative production in the spirit of Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes, featuring silly misunderstandings, a fantastic puppet show, and some hilarious hide-n-seek. Recommended for ages 3+.

The Jungle Book
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: November 8-24
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/student

A musical adaptation of one of the most well-loved books in the English language in 2015. Danger lurks everywhere for young Mowgli as he learns the “laws of the jungle” from his friends Akela, the wolf, Baloo, the bear, and Bagheera, the panther, who warn him that Shere Khan, the tiger, wants to eat him. But when Mowgli is forced to leave his friends and return to the village from which he came, he soon learns that man is the most dangerous creature of all. With sensitive themes about loyalty, honor, courage, and persistence, the Jungle Book stories have irresistible appeal for audiences of every generation.

Amadeus
Where: Folger Theatre | Capitol Hill, DC
When: November 5 – December 22
Tickets: $27-85 (look for discounts)

Genius and jealousy collide in the opulent salons and opera houses of 18th-century Vienna. When an impulsive and eccentric prodigy outshines an envious, God-fearing composer consumed by bitterness, theatrical fireworks emerge. The mediocre Salieri will do everything in his power to destroy his musical rival. Recommended for tweens and up.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: November 8 – January 5
Tickets: $42-79 (look for discounts)

The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” Our biggest production of the year is certain to impress Broadway regulars and enchant kids meeting this musical for the first time.

Airness
Where: Keegan Theatre | Northwest DC
When: November 8-30
Tickets: $41-51

When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she thinks winning will be easy. But as she befriends a group of charismatic nerds all committed to becoming the next champion, she discovers that there’s more to this art form than playing pretend. A hit at the 2017 Humana Festival, AIRNESS is a comedy about competition, completion, and finding the airness inside yourself.

EGG-tion HERO
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 9-10
Tickets: $20

See that egg? The one in the museum gallery guarded by two boring attendants? It’s very expensive and no one is allowed to touch it. But just when the job of these attendants starts to feel extra boring, they’re needed more than ever! Will they succeed at keeping the egg safe? Join Dutch theater/dance company Maas in a charming production for young audiences featuring miming actors, a chase scene, and a hysterically egg-cellent time. Recommended for ages 3+.

KIDZ BOP
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 10
Tickets: $25-55

KIDZ BOP, the #1 music brand for kids, is bringing its highly anticipated world tour to DC in November. The show is an interactive experience for the whole family, where the KIDZ BOP Kids will be performing some of today’s biggest hits “sung by kids for kids,” with engaging new set design, exciting choreography, and more.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: November 15 – January 3
Admission: $20.50

Margery Williams’s classic toy story gets a vibrant retelling in this brand new adaptation. When the Child gets the Rabbit for Christmas, she is at first disappointed in her gift. But as the two quest and adventure through her storybooks, both Rabbit and Child grow and care for each other. And they discover that love is the greatest force in the Universe and can make impossible things Real.

Baby Beats with Max and Root
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: November 15-16
Tickets: $15

Two Beat Boxing Dads making music and songs the whole family can enjoy! Take little ones to the Atlas for some fun and beats with Hip Hop Artist Jamaal Collier and Beatboxer Max Bent. Recommended for ages 0-8.

Circo Comedia
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: November 17, 1pm & 4pm
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

In the tradition of the Quebec Circus, Circo Comedia brings thrills, comedy, stunts, magic, and eccentricity to delight and amaze the whole family. Direct from Montreal, “straight man” Jean Saucier juggles, cycles, balances, and performs magic atop dizzying heights, while Patrick Côté clowns around on skates or while drumming as his (imperfect) assistant.

Disney Junior Holiday Party!
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 17
Tickets: Start at $29 (look for discounts)

Disney Junior Holiday Party! is a dazzling musical wonderland where children and their families can sing and dance along to their favorite Disney Junior songs plus holiday classics with their favorite Disney friends, including Mickey & Minnie Mouse, the Puppy Dog Pals, Vampirina and many more, plus a special visit from Santa Claus!

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Visit
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: November 21-26
Tickets: $3-8

Back by popular demand! 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.

Washington National Opera: The Magic Flute
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 2-23
Tickets: $25-299 (look for discounts)

This great adventure starts with an unexpected pair: Tamino, a handsome young prince, and Papageno, his silly bird-catcher sidekick. When the mysterious Queen of the Night enlists the duo to rescue her kidnapped daughter Pamina, a fantastic journey follows. Armed with a magic flute and bells, they’re prepared for whatever trials they may face. However, not all is as it seems—and not everyone can be trusted. Friends will become foes and enemies will become allies in Mozart’s final and beloved opera. A whimsical production designed by children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, known for his rumpus-filled artistry, sets a playful landscape for this enchanting fairy tale. Rich with colorful characters, unforgettable vocal acrobatics, and evocative symbols and allegory, Tamino’s quest for love and truth is fantastical entertainment for all ages.

Family Look-In: The Magic Flute
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 23-24
Tickets: $15-50

In this introduction to opera designed for children and families, audience members will experience excerpts from The Magic Flute along with insight into the behind-the-scenes aspects such as lighting, scene changes, costuming, and more that go into creating stage magic. A whimsical production designed by children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak sets a playful landscape for this enchanting fairy tale. Join handsome prince Tamino and his silly sidekick Papageno as they set out on a fantastic journey to rescue the kidnapped Pamina in this special opera exploration. Recommended for ages 5+.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Peter and Friends
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 23-24
Tickets: $20

Inspired by Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, this concert developed specifically for toddlers is sure to have audience members playing like ducks, catching a wicked wolf, and engaging with music all along the way! This wild adventure features actors, puppets, and a quintet of woodwind and brass musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra, presented in collaboration with Atlanta, Georgia’s Teller Productions. Recommended for ages 5+.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical)
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 23 – January 5
Tickets: $20

Whatever you do, don’t let the Pigeon star in his own musical production! Starring an innovative mix of actors, puppets, songs, and feathers, this world premiere Kennedy Center commission features a script by Mo Willems, creator of the best-selling “Pigeon” picture books, along with Muppet Babies executive producer Mr. Warburton, plus music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, the composer of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! Recommended for ages 5+.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, 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

County Fair Season Around the DC Area



Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? Down at the County Fair. The season for them runs from early August through mid-September, and you can get the lowdown on this year’s events around the area below. Happy Fairin’!

Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival
What: Four days of festivities include livestock and dog demos, 4-H exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, games, vendors, live entertainment, and more.
When: August 1-4, see website for daily hours.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA
Cost: Tickets are $1 each or 24 for $20 (most ride are 3-5 tickets). Unlimited Ride Wristbands for Thursday or Friday are available for $25 — purchase by August 1.

Howard County Fair
What: The 74th annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 3-10, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5-7/age 10+, $3/seniors, free/under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 9-17, times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
Cost: Admission is $12/advance $15/at gate for age 12+, free/11 & under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 9 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 9-17, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $12/age 14-59, $6/seniors and age 5-13, free/4 & under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too!

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more. And new this year: A beer garden and goat yoga!
When: August 14-18, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center | 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 5-8, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena | Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/age 12+, $5/age 6-11, free/5 & under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 11-15, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $10/age 9+,free/8 & under. Rides and games cost extra.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Live Entertainment Around DC Through Summer

The wonderful Synetic Theatre presents “Treasure Island” this summer


Summer is here and so is a whole new lineup of live entertainment. Here are details on what’s coming to local stages, listed in order of start date, with discounts noted where available. Happy Viewing!

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna Virginia
When: June 18 – August 3
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.

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 2019 KFDC Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through July 28
Tickets: $18+ (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 24th 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!

The Cat in the Hat
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through August 18
Tickets: $20

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he is certainly fun to play with. And he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mom find when she gets home…? Recommended for all ages.

Matilda the Musical
Where: Olney Theater | Olney, MD
When: Through July 21
Tickets: $54-99 (look for a ticket discount)

From the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes another unlikely hero: Matilda Wormwood. Born to parents who prize their own ignorance and disdain books, learning, and any information they can’t get from television, Matilda somehow manages to emerge…a genius. Maybe even a magical one. However, she and the rest of the school are under the tyrannical rule of a deliciously devious villain, principal Agatha Trunchbull. Matilda embraces the fearful and terrifying moments of childhood with humor, hard-earned optimism, and astoundingly witty musical numbers. Songs like “Miracle,” “Naughty,” and “Revolting Children” will ring true to adults and belong in the survival kit of any child making their way through pre-adolescence and beyond.

Byhalia, Mississippi
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through July 7
Tickets: $25-89 (look for a ticket discount)

Don’t miss this new Kennedy Center production of Evan Linder’s heartfelt comedy. Winner of Chicago’s prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work in 2016, the play centers on Jim and Laurel—they are broke, young, and deeply in love. They are also about to become new parents. When Laurel gives birth to their overdue child, the biracial baby is a surprise to everyone, especially her husband Jim, igniting a firestorm in their small southern town. Recommended for age 14+.

Justin Roberts
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: June 25, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Navigate the adventures of childhood and parenthood with this three-time Grammy nominee and indie music family favorite! The show is part of Hylton’s 2019 Summer Performances for Young Audiences, an entertaining, affordable series of three lighthearted performances in June and July.

The Ballad of Mulan
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 26 – August 11
Tickets: $17-35
Courage, honor, and country! When China is forced to war with the invading Xi Xia, each family must send one man into battle. In her quest to protect her baba, our young heroine proves girls can do anything- including saving a nation. Inspired by Peking Opera, this partnership production with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth is full of music, pageantry, and humor. Recommended for ages 4+.

Kuumba Kids
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: June 26-28, July 2-3
Tickets: $3-6

The smash-hit show is back! Gather round the iconic tree of life for traditional, songs, stories, and dances from “Iya” Bashea Imana and her talented troupe of Kuumba Kids. This high energy, interactive show features puppets, movement, and motivational music that rouses the spirit and moves the heart. Recommended for ages 4-8.

L’homme Cirque The One Man Circus
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: June 27 – July 7
Tickets: $30-33/adult, $20-23/youth

Enter the magical world of David Dimitri. Lauded “Lord of the Wire” by The New York Times, this world-famous high wire dancer and veteran of Cirque du Soleil and Big Apple Circus epitomizes innovation as he alone performs an entire circus. Creating what he calls “a unique magic” in the intimate setting of a one-of-a-kind tent, his L’homme Cirque—or one-man circus—balances dramatic feats like high wire flips and a human cannon launch with humor, poetry, and an accordion serenade. It’s as gripping as it is charming—and with grand flourish, you will be awestruck as he exits the tent on his high wire, crossing above at 150 feet and into the sky.

Circus!
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 28 – August 4
Tickets: $12

In grand circus tradition, the “Greatest Show on Strings” features a collection of clowns, death-defying acrobats, and an amazing menagerie of fauna from the farthest reaches of the globe. Many of the acts were built more than 50 years ago by Christopher’s parents for “Len Piper’s International Marionette Circus.” Recommended for all ages.

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.

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Various venues in DC
When: July 5-28
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.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 5-6
Tickets: $35-60

The Harry Potter™ film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that delights millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the NSO performing every note from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant HD screen while hearing the orchestra perform Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score live to picture.

Balloonacy!
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: July 6 – August 3
Tickets: $12

Nothing can go right for the character of the old man, whose days are gray and dreary until he is visited by a friendly red balloon. Reminiscent of the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the playwright has imagined the man as an older version of the boy in the movie The Red Balloon, now grown up and grown old, having forgotten his youthful adventure. That is until the red balloon returns to the rescue! Recommended for ages 1-5.

The Amazing Max
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: July 9, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Bring your imagination and sense of wonder for magic tricks, humor, and a show filled with boundless energy! The show is part of Hylton’s 2019 Summer Performances for Young Audiences, an entertaining, affordable series of three lighthearted performances in June and July.

Sprit of South Africa with Lesole’s Dance Project
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 9–12
Tickets: $3-6

South African-born Lesole Maine invites you to discover the vibrant dance heritage of his homeland. Experience the energy, customs, and cultures of South Africa as reflected in three distinctive regional dances: indlamu, a traditional Zulu village dance; a gumboot dance slapped out on gold miner’s rubber boots; and the upbeat urban pantsula. And don’t miss the chance to try out some steps! Recommended for ages 5-16.

The Band’s Visit
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 13
Tickets: $49-149 (look for a ticket discount)

In this joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue. Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever. The cast of world-class performers is led by award-winning Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, star of the original film and the Broadway production, and Chilina Kennedy, known best for her historic run as Carole King in Broadway’s Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Recommended for age 10+.

Free For All: Hamlet
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: July 10-21
Tickets: FREE!

Shakespeare Theatre’s Company’s annual program that brings free performances to the public is featuring a favorite. Shakespeare’s classic revenge tragedy, is kinetic, shocking and “a play for now” (Theatermania). Set in a modern surveillance state Denmark, the characters spy and report on one another, even in their most intimate and vulnerable moments of grief, agony and despair. After his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears demanding vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide: Submit or Resist. Accept or Avenge. Live or Die.

Backyard Theater for Children
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Thursdays, July 11-25
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!

Don’t Let the Pigeons Do Storytime
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 13
Tickets: $20-35

Join a Concert Hall Storytime like you’ve never experienced before, featuring your favorite performers from TV, movies, and stand-up. Presenting Mo Willems’s books as sketch comedy, these hilarious performers invite the audience to laugh, sing, and draw along! This hysterical concert variety show is an expanded, fancy-dress version of sold-out performances at the 2018 San Francisco Sketchfest, and not to be missed by fans of comedy, books, or pigeons desperate to do Storytime! Recommended for ages 5+.

Out of this World: The Science of Space
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 16–19
Tickets: $3-6

Live demonstrations, fun factoids, and space stuff with the Science Guys of Baltimore! Join us on a mission to investigate the physics and chemistry that govern the rotation and orbit of planets, how astronauts live in space, and power the spacecraft that hurtle among the stars. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Treasure Island
Where: Synetic Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: July 17
Tickets: $19-60

This classic coming-of-age tale follows Jane Hawkins, an orphan who longs for adventure, as she is swept up on a wild hunt for buried treasure with a ruthless band of buccaneers. Along the way, Jane’s bravery, morality, and sense of self are put to the test as she learns about her past and the path she wants to follow. Synetic’s athletic artists will bring their signature brand of bold theatricality to sword fights and high-seas battles with notorious pirates in a daring and modern adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale of “buccaneers and buried gold.” Recommended for ages 8+.

Disney’s Aladdin
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – September 7
Tickets: $39-179 (look for a ticket discount)

Discover a whole new world at Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical! From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy, and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. Recommended for age 6+.

Earthrise
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 18 – August 4
Tickets: $20 (look for a ticket discount)

While the world waits for the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, three children of key NASA employees watch from different perspectives: a mathematician’s daughter, an astronaut’s son, and an engineer’s daughter. By dreaming a collective dream of landing on the moon together, the kids learn to understand the historic mission—not fear it. Recommended fo ages 5+.

Newsies
Where: Kenmore Middle School Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: July 19-28
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature By Kids for Kids theatre in this production. Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!

Jabali African Acrobats
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: July 9, 11am
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Experience the athleticism and grace of African circus performance in this high-octane show through percussive music, dancing, and acrobatic stunts. The show is part of Hylton’s 2019 Summer Performances for Young Audiences, an entertaining, affordable series of three lighthearted performances in June and July.

Summer VIBEZ with SOLE Defined
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 23–26
Tickets: $3-6

The excitement of the hip-hop revolution used music as Afrocentric expression, social protest, and a celebration of life. Rewind to its golden age in a DJ-spun 90’s music and high-energy percussive tap and stepping show. For more information, visit their website. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Cirque de Soleil: Volta
Where: Under the Bog Top| Tysons II, VA
When: July 26 – September 6
Tickets: $49+ (look for a ticket discount)

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is about finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

Coco the Movie in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 27
Tickets: $40-65

Disney Pixar’s Coco In Concert Live to Film is a family-friendly, live-to-picture concert event featuring Michael Giacchino’s beautiful musical score and the 2017 two-time Academy Award®-winning film for Best Original Song as well as Best Animated Feature Film. Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, audience members will follow the story of a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who travels to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family.

Beatboxing with Max
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: July 30 – August 2
Tickets: $3-6

Max picks up the mic to make some crazy-good mouth music—and wants everyone to join in! This astounding human beatbox introduces kids to the most powerful musical instrument ever: their own body. With lots of audience participation and exciting on-the-spot improvisations, Max covers themes in hip-hop culture, language, math, and music. Get ready to make some truly hip beats! Recommended for ages 5-12.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | August 2
Tickets: $40-60

Director Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming masterpiece is one of the brightest stars in motion picture history. Filled with unparalleled magic and imagination, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial follows the moving story of a lost little alien who befriends a 10-year-old boy named Elliott. Experience all the mystery and fun of their unforgettable adventure in the beloved movie that captivated audiences around the world, complete with John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score performed live by a full symphony orchestra in sync to the film projected on huge HD screens!

Legally Blonde
Where: Keegan Theatre | Dupont Circle, DC
When: August 3-25
Tickets:

Elle Woods appears to have it all, but her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle geniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 6 – September 8
Tickets: $79-175

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. (Ths is one of my favorite shows of all time. REcommended for age 12+. Read a KFDC review from when it debuted at Arena Stage several years ago.)

The 3 Billy Goats Gruff
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: August 8 – September 4
Tickets: $12

“The 3 Billy Goats Gruff” is a marionette romp in which three brothers get the goat of a hen-pecked troll, in their attempts to trip-trap-tromp to where the grass is greener. Three variety numbers precede the performance, demonstrating the making of a simple hand puppet, and manipulation of rod puppets and marionettes, as an introduction to the Art of Puppetry. Recommended for ages 3.5-9.

Sound of Music Sing-a-long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 24
Tickets: $25-45

Celebrating over 50 years, the classic family film returns to the screen in Technicolor…with a twist! Sing-a-long with the movie using on-screen lyrics and become the star of the show. Lederhosen and veils welcome! A costume contest precedes the performance.

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Is there a great show running soon that you don’t see listed here? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!


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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend