Tag Archives: National Gallery of Art

Celebrate the Big Draw Festival this Weekend with the National Gallery of Art!


How about adding some art adventures to your weekend? The National Gallery of Art is hosting The Big Draw Festival, a two-day celebration of drawing featuring activities for artists of all ages!

On Saturday, October 26, from 5pm to 8pm, enjoy extended evening hours at the museum creating 3-D illustrations, experimenting with materials in the Sketching lab, and enjoying special performances by Joy of Motion Dance.

On Sunday, October 27, from 11am to 5pm, there will be even more festivities for families. You can create a “sidewalk” sketch in the Family Art Lab, draw wacky creatures while on a scavenger hunt, and read a book aloud, move, and play during Storytime.

This will all take place in the National Gallery of Art East Building. And admission to all of it is free!



The Big Draw Festival
Where: National Gallery of Art East Building | National Mall, DC
When: October 26, 5-8pm & October 27, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free


This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Art, DC, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Special Event, Weekend

A Community Weekend Full of Family Fun at the National Gallery of Art


In celebration of the exhibit The Life of Animals in Japanese Art, the National Gallery of Art invites you to a free weekend filled with family fun for all ages!

On Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, drop in the museum’s East Building for an array of artistic and cultural activities, including Taiko drumming, origami lessons, hands-on art making, Japanese folktales, DJ performances, and more!

To help you plan, here are few highlights for families:

FILMS FOR CHILDREN
Howl’s Moving Castle
Saturday, June 22 at 10:15am in the Auditorium
Run time is 2 hours, recommended for ages 11+

My Neighbor Totoro
Sunday, June 23 at 11:15am in the Auditorium
Run time is 1 hour 40 minutes, recommended for ages 4+

FOLKTALES FROM JAPAN WITH MATOKO
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23 at 1pm & 3pm at the Concourse Galleries
Run time is 45 minutes each session

DROP-IN ART MAKING
Calligraphy with Satomi China
Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23 at 12-4pm in the Education Studio

TAIKO DRUMMING BY CHIN DAIKO
Saturday, 5pm & 6pm and Sunday, 11am & 1pm
On the 4th Street Plaza

More information and the full schedule, including Saturday evening activities, can be found on the Community Weekend page.


Community Weekend
What: Celebrating The Life of Animals in Japanese Art
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, June 22-23
Admission: FREE


This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Special Event, Summer, Weekend

Join a Community Celebration at the National Gallery of Art this Sunday!


A visit to the National Gallery of Art makes for a great family outing any time, but this coming weekend will be an especially fantastic time to go. On Sunday, April 14, join the museum for a Community Celebration of the opening of Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings where there will be performances and activities for all ages that weave the rich sounds, rhythms, and colors of jazz with visual art.

Among some of the fun and festive ways to enjoy the day, you can:

  • Create Oliver Lee Jackson-inspired collages
  • Make your mark by contributing to a giant community puzzle
  • Engage with works of art and Gallery educators with hands-on activities
  • Soak in live jazz from DC native and saxophonist Herb Scott
  • Experience poetry by spoken word artist Charity Blackwell & create your own
  • Celebrate the diversity of Washington, DC, with Faces of DC, a photo mural starring faces of the people we encounter every day. (Located at 7th Street & Madison Drive NW)
  • The Community Celebration will take place in the East Building, 11am – 5pm. More information, including the schedule of activities and details for getting 20% at the cafe museum cafés, is available on the National Gallery of Art website.


    John Wilmerding Community Celebration: Oliver Lee Jackson
    Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
    When: Sunday, April 14, 11am – 5pm
    Admission: Free


    This post is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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    Filed under 2019, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Special Event, Spring, Weekend

    Hunt for Harry Potter in the National Gallery of Art with Watson Adventures

    A couple of wizards at work on their clues

    A couple of wizards at work on their clues



    I love discovering new ways to explore old favorites. Like many Washingtonians, we’d been to the National Gallery of Art countless times, but never on a scavenger hunt, nor with Harry Potter as inspiration for a tour.

    When I first learned about Watson Adventures’ Wizard School Scavenger Hunt, I was immediately intrigued. Not only does our crew love a good clue-driven search, we’re also big Harry Potter fans. Not to mention it takes place at a magnificent museum, where wandering through the galleries even without a purpose is fantastic.

    Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

    Does one of these paintings reveal an answer?

    This scavenger hunt is also a competition, adding a whole other fun and challenging element to the adventure. You sign up as a team, which can be a family/youth or all-adult, and compete against other groups. You’re all on a mission to find art that echoes characters, places, and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies in search of answers to 24 questions. There are clever Harry Potter-themed clues to help you locate each one, but many of them are tricky to decipher and take some sleuthing and careful examination of the art to figure out!

    Exploring the galleries armed with clues

    Exploring the galleries armed with clues

    Every team has the same questions, but ordered differently for each group to stay spread out, though we did run into other teams searching for the same art a couple of times. You have 90 minutes to complete the hunt, which takes place throughout most of the West Wing of the NGA. And that hour and a half goes by quickly — we were scrambling for those last few clues to finish before the hunt time was up!

    The search covers a lot of museum ground

    The search covers a lot of museum ground

    So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (Alexander Hamilton)

    So excited to come across the guy they always sing about (My name is Alexander Hamilton…)

    One point is given for every question answered correctly. The team that comes up with the most creative name also gets points. And you lose points if you’re not back to the starting place before the hunt time is up. The teams (one family/youth, one all-adult) that have the most points win.

    Someone is feeling stumped

    Someone is feeling stumped

    Waiting for the announcement of the winners

    Waiting for the announcement of the winners

    As the Hogwarts crew might say, this adventure is bloody brilliant! It’s unique, fun, and exciting, and something the whole family can do together. All four of us contributed to the effort, and while we didn’t win, we had such a great time together completing the task. On top of that, we all agreed that it made us take a much closer look at some of the art that we often casually stroll by, something we’ll keep in mind on our next visit.

    Want to see the clues?  Go sign up!

    Want to see the clues? Go sign up!



    So, is your family ready to prove yourselves wizards among muggles? If so, here’s what you need to know about Watson Adventures:

    * The Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is hosted monthly at the National Gallery of Art. The next one takes place Saturday, April 8, at 2pm. Sign up here.
    * Cost is $17.50/ages 17 and under, and $19.50/adults
    * While the website recommends this for ages 10 and up, I’d say about ages 8 and up can enjoy it. Sasha (8) loved it, and a couple of her 2nd grade classmates were there and had a great time, too.
    * Watson Adventures also hosts scavenger hunts with other themes at different locations. Most are geared toward adults (think KidFree!), but Secrets of Georgetown is also for teens.
    * Scavenger hunts are hosted in other cities, too. Visit the website to see where.


    Disclosure: Our family received complimentary admission for the Wizard School Scavenger Hunt from Watson Adventures, however, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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    Filed under Art, Competition, DC, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Parents, Preteens, Teens, Tweens, Weekend