Tag Archives: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Weekend Outlook: Snow, with a Cherry Blossom on Top

Surely, I’m not the only one who has been staring at the weather forecast in disbelief.  That can’t be a picture of a little white cloud surrounded by tiny snowflakes on Sunday.  Not only does this not bode so well for the kite festival that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks, I just packed up all of our winter coats for storage in the basement for what I thought would be the next few seasons.  Plus, OldMan Winter just announced his hiatus for the better part of the remaining year.

But I’ll keep the glass half full (like mine literally will be by 5pm today) as I get to my picks for family fun.  Snow may not be the ideal weather scenario, but plenty of great indoor activities will be happening to override any meteorological disappointment.  However, if that forecast turns around, I highly recommend the kite festival.  Happy Weekend!

Celebrate the Bloom – The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off on Saturday with a Family Day and Opening Ceremonies at the National Building Museum.  On both Saturday and Sunday, there will music and activities on the National Mall, including the Blossom Kite Festival on Sunday, if it doesn’t get snowed out.  Find out more about the best family events and get tips for viewing the spring blossoms.

Under the Big TopThe Greatest Show on Earth is at the Verizon Center now through March 27. Barnum 200 – Barnum’s Funundrum features 130 performers from six continents, almost 100,000 pounds of performing pachyderms, cowboys, pirates, and mermaids — a super-sized spectacle so massive you just can’t miss it.   Tickets are still available, and I found a promo code on Go Out & Play – save $8 by entering the code 8MOM when buying your tickets at Ticketmaster.com.  If you purchase your tickets the day of the show, you can save $4 with the code 4MOM.

Boogie Down at Eastern MarketCelebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with the Boogie Babes! The Festival’s Music of Spring program includes a Children’s Stage at the Market’s North Hall where many Boogie Babes regular performers will entertain kids throughout the day. On the schedule:  Saturday – 10:30am Mr. Skip, 1:30pm The Banjo Man, 4pm The Singing Lizard.  Sunday -10:30am The Banjo Man, 1:30pm Mr. Skip, 4pm John Henry, The Guitar Playing Man.  Suggested $10/family for the performer.

It’s Showtime – Along with the circus, a few more family shows will bring uniqe entertainment to the area this weekend.  Strathmore will host “Imago Theatre: Zoo Zoo”; an NSO Family Concert, “The Trumpet of the Swan” will play at the Kennedy Center, and the Gardens Figure Skating Club presents “Alice in Wonderland on Ice.”  Tickets are still available for all of them.  For details on these performances and more, see this post on spring shows.

Bowie Baysox Free Family FunFest – Get ready for baseball season with minor league team, the Bowie Baysox.  Their 12th annual Free Family FunFest will take place on Saturday from 10am – 2pm rain or shine.  Festivities include free rides, games, inflatables, music, and face painting.  Plus, there will be special appearances by Louie, the Oriole Bird, Dora, and the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS department with vehicles on display.  More details are available on the Out by Ten blog.

South African Family FunOn Saturday from 12 – 2:30pm at the African Art Museum, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of South Africa as Lesole Dance Project performs a variety of South African dances, including gumboots, which originated in the gold mines; the fast-paced and colorful pantsula; and the indlamu, known as “the warrior dance.” Discover the beauty of South African wall painting among the homesteads and houses of the Ndebele peoples and create your own Ndebele-inspired design. Join storyteller Lucretia Anderson as she weaves old and new tales from South Africa.  This is a free event.

Have a Ball this Saturday at The NationalThe audience gets into the act at this with Globe Trotter Alumnus and basketball star, Spencer “Spinny” Johnson, celebrated for high scoring, integrity, and trick-shot artistry. Spinny gives a dynamic display of digital dexterity and invites anyone to step up and join in. Behind dazzling fast-action tricks are inspiring lessons in respect, goal-setting, and self-confidence. Performances are at 9:30am and 11am.  Tickets are free, but required. Distributed day of on first-come, first-served basis.

Maury at the MarketIf you have a sitter for Saturday evening, consider attending Maury at the Market, a silent auction and reception to support PTA programs at Maury Elementary, a DC public school on Capitol Hill.  From 7-10pm, Eastern Market’s North Hall will be transformed into a swanky party venue where guests can mix and mingle, enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and bid on a variety of fantastic auction items.  Tickets are $30 at the door.  See this post for more details.

Space for Children at House of Sweden – The Swedish Embassy welcomes families to experience what sounds like a unique exhibit on weekends through April 24.  Two rooms of “interactivity creativity” celebrate the parent-child bond and encourage creative play. The free exhibit is open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm.  Read more about it on the Embassy’s website.

Tiny Tots –Two puppet shows for the littlest ones will be performed at The Puppet Co. this weekend: Baby Bear’s Birthday on Saturday and Second-Hand Stars on Sunday.  Both start at 10am.  Tickets are $5 and available online or at the box office.   Tiny Tots shows are recommended for ages 0-4.

Portrait Story Day: PocahontasDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This week, learn about Pocahontas, the Native American chief’s daughter who married English settler John Rolfe.



3 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Spring, Weekend

The Elephants are Coming

The circus is coming to town soon, which means another “huge” event is also on the way.  The annual Elephant Walk, the procession of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s biggest stars from the train station to the performance venue, has become a much anticipated yearly tradition for many.

On Tuesday, March 22, you can catch the parade of pachyderms as they travel through DC’s streets.  The walk is scheduled to start at 2pm on Virginia Avenue SE, right behind Garfield Park on Capitol Hill.  The route will take them by the Capitol on Independence Avenue  then down 3rd Street to Penn Quarter, where they will make their way to the Verizon Center.   Here’s the exact course (you can also view it on a map):

  • Start on Virginia Ave SE (By Garfield Park)
  • Northwest on Washington Ave. SW
  • West on Independence Ave. SW
  • North on 3rd St. SW
  • West on G St. NW.
  • North on 6th Street to the loading dock of Verizon Center

*Due to unpredictable train schedules, starting time and route are subject to change.  You can call the animal walk hotline at 1-866-683-3670 for updates.

3 Comments

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Free, Outdoor, Parade, Spring

Plan Ahead for These Special Events

Some events are worth clearing the calendar for weeks ahead of time.  A few annual favorites that merit advance planning are coming up in the next couple of months.  Tickets are on sale for all of them, and I’ve found a couple of discounts and special offers, to boot!

Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus
When:    March 24 – 27, various times
Where:  Verizon Center
Tickets:  $14 – $100 (read below for special offers)
The Greatest Show on Earth is coming to the Verizon Center for five days of circus thrills. Barnum 200 – Barnum’s Funundrum features 130 performers from six continents, almost 100,000 pounds of performing pachyderms, cowboys, pirates, and mermaids — a super-sized spectacle so massive you just can’t miss it. This monumental, once in a lifetime event celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of the legendary P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth, and can only be experienced at The Greatest Show On Earth, Barnum’s living legacy. Goldstar currently has a half-price offer on select seats and dates.  You can also get a $5 promo code if you follow @RinglingTweets on Twitter.

NatsFest and Opening Day
When:    March 30, 4pm – NatsFest & March 31 – Opening Day
Where:   Nationals Park
Tickets:   NatsFest $10/adults, $5/children, packages also available (see below); Opening Day – starting at $20, but cheaper seats are going fast
Celebrate the start of the Nationals 2011 season on Wednesday, March 30, the afternoon before MLB Opening Day. The Third Annual NatsFest will be open to fans of all ages and will include opportunities to watch the Nationals practice, enjoy a meet-and-greet with players and coaches, and much more fun for fans, especially young ones. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.  You might also consider buying the NatsFest 3-Pack, which includes tickets to NatsFest and two other games.  And if you want to experience America’s pastime on Opening Day, tickets are still available for the Washington Nationals’ home opener against the Florida Marlins.

Day Out with Thomas
When:    April 29 – May 1 & May 6-8
Where:   B&O Railroad Museum
Tickets:   $19
All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine™ is chugging into the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore for Day Out With Thomas™: Leader of the Track Tour 2011.  Thomas fans are invited to come spend the day with their favorite No. 1 engine and experience a day full of locomotive fun, including a ride on a full size Thomas the Tank Engine™, a meet and greet with Sir Topham Hat, storytelling, live music, and even more museum activities.

Guppy Gala
When:    May 13, 6 – 8:30pm
Where:   The National Zoo
Tickets:   $20 for FONZ members only
Note: This annual family-friendly event is now for FONZ members only!  Dive into an ocean of fun at Guppy Gala. Bring the whole gang for a night of tasty treats, silly songs, and fun. Plus, dinner provided by Subway. In addition to exciting animal encounters and yummy food, a variety of spectacular activities such as rock climbing, face painting and specially designed, kid-friendly obstacle courses are all free with the cost of your ticket.  You can also see the lion cubs at dusk — the entire pride will be on exhibit during Guppy Gala.



1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Deal, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Sports

The Annual Elephant Walk

When was the last time you saw a 15-ton elephant walking down the street? (If you can actually answer that question with something other than “never,” then you probably know where this is going.) Yes, it’s that time of year—the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to town and kicking off its five-week visit to the DC-metro area with the traditional Elephant Walk. On Tuesday, March 16 at 1pm, the parade of pachyderms will take to the city streets, making their way from the train (by Garfield Park in Capitol Hill) to the Verizon Center. Catch them along the following route:

• Start on Virginia Ave. S.E.
• Northwest on Washington Ave. S.W.
• West on Independence Ave. S.W.
• North on 3rd St. S.W./N.W.
• West on G St. N.W.
• North on 6th Street to the loading dock of the Verizon Center.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Outdoor