Tag Archives: Stories in Art

The Weekend Round-Up: February 11-12

Watching the chocolate making process at last year's "Power of Chocolate" festival

 

This post is going to serve a dual purpose.  Along with my regular list of weekend happenings, I want to make some blog roll shout-outs.  It’s been too long since I’ve done so, plus I’ve got good reason for making special mentions of other local bloggers: I had the lucky pleasure of meeting some of them last night.

I was invited to join a few ladies who pen some of the blogs I follow for dinner and wine (have to note the wine, as the invitation was very specific about drinking wine, which was a good sign), and talk about kids, life, and whatever else the conversation might evolve into after a couple of glasses. Long story short, it was pretty awesome meeting the people behind the blog posts, and it confirmed that my online reading is coming from good places. So, Darcy from No Monsters in My Bed, Shannon from But I Do Have a Law Degree, Rebecca from Not-So-SAHM, and Cath from Constance Reader, thanks for a fabulous night out!

Aaaand… here’s where fun of the family-friendly variety can be found around town over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Mmm…ChocolateJust in time for the holiday that goes hand-in-hand with the gift of chocolate, the National Museum of the American Indian is hosting their annual “Power of Chocolate” festival. We attended last year and found it to be a treat for everyone, and it sounds like many of the festivities will be repeated: Live food demos, hands-on activities, dances performances, and artisans showcasing their work.  Especially for kids are opportunities to create paper molas, grind cocoa beans to make their own hot chocolate, and sample the tasty treat (while they last).  Some activities require free tickets for timed entry. For specifics, you can download the festival brochure here. This free event is happening on Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4:30pm both days.

Butterfly Birthday BashCelebrate the fourth anniversary of the Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History on Saturday from 1-3pm. There will be special arts and crafts activities for children of all ages, and museum educators will be on hand to talk about about metamorphosis and native butterfly species of our region. This is part of the Second Saturday Arts & Science series, the museum’s monthly program for families. Admission is free.

Super Science SaturdayThe second Saturday of each month is also calendar-marker at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum. Guests are immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. This month’s theme is Scientists & Inventors.  Admission is free, but parking at the museum is $15.

African American Pioneers in AviationThe Air & Space on the National Mall is hosting it’s own program for guests of all ages on Saturday in honor of Black History Month. The museum’s annual African American Pioneers Day focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group.  In addition, the Black Gents of Hollywood will be presenting excerpts of Layon Gray’s off-Broadway play, Black Angels over Tuskegee.  The event also includes hands-on activities, story times, and book signings. The event is from 10am – 3pm, admission is free.

Happy Birthday, Abe! – Ford’s Theatre Society is celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Saturday with a free open house featuring a variety of programming and activities. Visitors can attend author discussions, ranger talks and one-act play performances exploring Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. They can also view the exhibits at the new Center for Education and Leadership, participate in workshops with the Education Department, and enjoy scavenger hunts and prize drawings. The Ford’s Theatre Museum will be open for visits on the hour beginning at 9am. Tickets to the event are free and will be available at the box office beginning at 8:30am that day.

Show Time The theatre is a good place to spend a cold day, and there are several options for live entertainment this weekend.  I highly recommend Peter and the Wolf at The Puppet Co. – read my review of it here. Last I checked there were still tickets available for the 7pm performance of The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre (though all others are sold out). P. Nokio will be on the Imagination Stage many times throughout the weekend. This week’s Saturday Morning at the National is Theatre IV’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. The Wings of Ikarus is still running at The Kennedy Center. And 1st Stage Theatre’s a capella version of Three Bears just opened.  You can find more details and ticket info for all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

Stories in ArtThe National Gallery of Art’s drop-in program for kids is back on Sunday, and this time exploring the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Encouraging them to see the natural world as the artist did, guests will hear a reading of the book Through Georgia’s Eyes then create watercolor drawings inspired by plants. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Tommy’s Traveling Book ClubIn celebration of the 50th anniversary of the children’s book The Snowy Day, DC Councilmember Tommy Wells is leading a special storytime this weekend. Enjoy the free reading of the Ezra Keats classic at Deanwood Libray (1350 49th. Street NE) on Saturday at 10am.  All ages are welcome.

Making Dental Health FunIn celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the National Children’s Museum wants to provide all of the information that children need to keep their teeth healthy and clean! Science experiments will demonstrate how toothpaste works and then attendees can learn how to make their own! Friends from Adventure Dental and Kids Smiles DC will present some fun interactive activities about dental health. And the Tooth Fairy will be making two very special guest appearances at 12:30pm and 2pm for “Tooth Fairy Storytime”! Drop in at the NCM’s Launch Zone for this free event on Saturday 11am – 4pm.

Design a DragonThis month’s Arts for Families program at the Textile Museum is inspired by their newest exhibition Dragons, Nagas and Creatures of the Deep. Guests are invited to make their own dragon paper mola.  Molas are the colorful appliqué panels made by the Kuna people of Panama and Coastal Columbia, two of which are on view in the exhibit. On Saturday from 2-4pm, kids can create a paper mola with scissors, glue, and their wildest imaginations. The free program is recommended for ages 5-12.  No reservations required.

And it looks like this post with even more ideas for indoor fun will prove useful this weekend as well:

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

 

4 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 27-29

Crossing a high footbridge at Living Classrooms in Glen Echo Park

 

Who would ever guess that near-60-degree nice days in DC would be a regular occurrence in the middle of winter?  This is exactly why this weekend round-up is steeped with recommendations that take place indoors, despite at least one of those glorious days on the way.  If you want to get out and seize it — because who knows when Snowmageddon II could hit? — scroll right down to the end of the list for a link to a wealth of outdoor ideas.  Otherwise, read on to explore all of your options for family fun, from the Auto Show and the Monster Jam, to Chinese Lunar New Year and birthday celebrations, to a puppet festival and puppet shows, and even more possibilities in between.  Happy Weekend!

Auto FocusThe 2012 Washington Auto Show begins today and runs through next weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. And I know from firsthand experience; our family went to the show last year and practically had to drag the kids out when it was finally time to go. It’s like a Truck Touch, but with autombiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. And especially for kids will be Playland, an area filled with games, toys, videos, and cuddly mascots, including some from the PBS show SuperWhy! This all takes place at the Washington Convention Center. Tickets are $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Hours are 12-10pm Friday, 10am-10pm Saturday, and 10am-7pm Sunday. See this post for even more details.

Year of the Dragon  – Usher in the lunar year 4017 on Sunday at the Chinese New Year Parade.  Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. View the route here to stake out your curbside spot.

Build-a-Saurus at Lowe’sIt’s another Build and Learn Clinic at the home improvement store on Saturday. Lowe’s hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and during this session guests can build a wooden dino, then choose the stickers to make it a cartoon or a realistic dinosaur. The store will provide all the materials, along with goggles, an apron, and other goodies to take home. We haven’t yet been, but a friend went to the last one and gave it a great review.  Go here to find your local Lowe’s and register for the workshop.

Monster JamIf you hear a rumble echoing around the city this weekend, chances are it’s coming from the Verizon Center where 12-foot-tall, 10-thousand-pound monster trucks will be wowing crowds with big stunts, power races, and wheelie contests (can you imagine one of those things popping a wheelie?!). There are shows Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $60/VIP seats, $25/Gold Circle seats, and Mid-Level are $20/adults, $10/kids 2-12, kids under 2 are free.   There is also a pit party on Saturday from 11am – 12:30pm, where guests can meet drivers, check out cars up close, and more. According to the website, pit passes are generally available for free at Advance Auto Parts retailers while supplies last. They are also available for purchase at the Verizon Center the day of the show when accompanied by the appropriate event ticket.

Show Time – Sit back, relax, and enjoy the shows at local theaters. The Snowy Day is at Adventure Theatre, Peter and the Wolf and Tiny Tots are at The Puppet Co., and Mouse on the Move is at Imagination Stage. You can find details on all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

Living Classrooms – Whether you’re at Glen Echo Park to catch a show or just looking for a little nature fun for the kids, Living Classrooms, located just off the path that leads from the park to the parking lot is worth checking out.  We’ve passed by numerous times, but never actually visited until last weekend, after we found out the show we were supposed to see was canceled. What a neat discovery — the small building contained a giant ant hill that kids cold crawl through, a high foot bridge to cross and a tree to slide down, various critters and creatures observe, and more. One of the highlights was a an animal encounter with a rosy boa and a chance to pet the snake.  There’s also an art room that’s open to the outdoors — a great place to draw inspiration from nature when weather permits.  It’s all open to visitors on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 3pm both days.  Admission is $5/person, free for children under 2.

Happy Birthday, Renwick!Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the opening of the Renwick Gallery. Enjoy live music, hands-on activities, a docent led touch table, craft activities, mini scavenger hunts through the galleries, and, of course, cake! This all takes place on Saturday from 11am – 2pm. Admission is free.

Happy 25th, IKEA Woodbridge – Everyone’s favorite DIY furniture and everything else store is celebrating 25 years at the Northern Virginia location with goodies for customers — four days of savings, giveaways, design workshops, and family fun! Be the first 100 in line on Saturday and Sunday and win an IKEA gift card worth anywhere from $5-$250.   Also among the festivities: live entertainment, including a string quartet, pianist, and opera singer from the Opera Performance Group from the college of William and Mary; fun events for the kids, including face painting each day from 12-2pm; and on Sunday, Radio Disney will be there from 1-3pm with non-stop music, games and giveaways.

See Us Fly: The Wright Brothers – On Saturday at 11:30am and 1pm, the National Air & Space Museum presents a puppet performance about Orville and Wilbur Wright and their journey into the history books. This is the story of two very determined brothers who beat the odds to create the world’s first self-propelled flying machine. Rainbow Puppet Productions will perform two 40-minute performances. Recommended for ages 4-8. Admission is free.

The Artist in YouThe National Children Museum’s Launch Zone welcomes kids to discover their inner-artists — the only supply needed is their creativity! They can learn about artists such as Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder and have the chance to create their own artistic masterpieces using marbles, construction paper, and more interesting textiles. Drop in on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Admission is free.

Puppet FestivalThe McClean Community Center’s Alden Theatre is hosting a day dedicated to puppetry on Saturday.  Guests can enjoy two puppet shows starting at 1:30pm, then make their own puppets at puppet creation stations.  Admission is $10, children 2 and under are free.  Purchase tickets through the Alden Theatre website.

Stories in ArtHenri Matisse is the featured artist once again at the National Gallry of Art’s drop in program this Sunday.  Kids ages 4-7 can learn about him through storytelling, discussion, and an art project. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and will continue until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Outward BoundNear sixty-degree days in the middle of winter seem to be the new normal in Washington. And you will not hear a single complaint about it from me. Get out and enjoy the unseasonably awesome weather while you can; Snowmageddon 2012 could be right around the corner. For ideas on where to seize the sunny days, see this post about the best places in the DC area to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the kids.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 13-15

Enjoying the outdoors from a warm, comfy place at Watkins Nature Center.

 

Our museums will be full of special events this weekend — good timing, as a blast of chilly weather is on its way (to be followed by a heat wave, I’m sure).  For some off the Mall activities, there’s a health & fitness expo, several children’s theatre shows, a building workshop,  free fun at CHAW, and plenty of mainstay pursuits all around the DC-metro. Happy Weekend!

Art Class at the National GalleryOne of my favorite museum programs for kids begins this weekend and will offer weekly classes throughout the winter. This Sunday, you can drop in for Stories in Art, a workshop designed for kids ages 4-7, to learn about Henri Matisse through storytelling, discussion, and an art project. The hour-long classes are free, and no registration is required, but there is a limit to the number of children in each class. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am on Sundays, and will continue until all spaces are filled in each of the four time slots at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. There is also a Family Workshop for kids ages 8-11 that is already full (but you can get on the waitlist here.) See this post for more information about both, as well as Artful Conversations, a class for older children that will take place starting next week.

Build & Grow at Lowe’sKids can be the kings (& queens) of their castles at the home improvement store this weekend. Lowe’s hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and the first of 2012 is this Saturday at 10am. During this session, the store will provide castle building kits and guidance on putting it together, along with other to take home. Go here to find your local Lowe’s and register for the workshop.

In Theatres Near You – Local stages will be full of kids’ entertainment this weekend.  Catch Encore Stage & Studio’s Darius the Dragon & Rap-Punzel (read the KFDC review) before curtains close on Sunday. See a performance at Glen Echo — Peter & the Wolf is at The Puppet Co. and The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre. Enjoy a Teddy Bear Concert at the Kennedy Center.  Get more details about these shows and more in this post about winter entertainment.

Native Storytelling FestivalThe weekend-long festival at the National Museum of the American Indian sounds like a special treat for Twihards, and a fun, fascinating activity for non-fans, too. Celebrating the exhibit Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves, Chris Morganroth, a Quileute elder, will tell traditional stories geared towards kids and families. He’ll also give an introduction to Quileute culture and discuss how the tribe is presented in the popular Twilight books and movies.  Along with storytelling, there will be pow wow dances, drumming, and a totem pole unveiling.  While you’re at the museum, be sure to check out imagiNATIONS, the family activity center full of interactive fun for kids.

To the MountaintopsAll weekend long, the National Museum of American History will honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with a stirring and inspirational tribute. Actor Xavier Carnegie presents selections from some of Dr. King’s most powerful and compelling speeches and sermons in a combination of live performance, historic photographs, and audio recordings. Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the multitude of others who struggled and sacrificed so that this nation might become a more perfect union. The free presentation will take place Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11am, 1pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm in the museum’s Flag Hall, 2nd floor.

NCM Honors MLK– In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone is hosting a program honoring his life and accomplishments. Make your own I Have A Dream…Catcher and participate in their “Valentines for Veterans” service project in recognition of Dr. King’s commitment to service. Drop in from 11am – 4pm for this free event.

Health & Fitness Expo – NBC’s annual exposition will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center.  There will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to test out new sports, meet and greets with a couple of The Biggest Loser winners, giveaways, plus activities especially for kids.  Young guests can be a meteorologist, test their skills at a Bike Safety Pavilion, score a goal at a soccer area, reach for the top of a climbing wall, show off some dance moves, learn some yoga, and more.  Admission to the expo is free, and it’s open both Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 5pm. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW, and the expo takes place in halls B & C. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow line to the Mount Vernon/th St-Convention Center station.

Stories and Art at the Portrait Gallery On Saturday from 2-4pm, children ages 5 and up, with an accompanying adult, can explore portraiture in depth at the National Portrait Gallery. Participants will take a brief guided tour of the exhibition Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories, listen to a children’s story or short gallery talk, then create a piece of art using some of the same materials or concepts. The session is free, but registration is required. On Sunday, drop in for Portrait Story Days from 2-5pm for a story about Gertrude Stein and a related art project (no registration necessary).

CHAW Gratis  – The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is continuing it 40th anniversary celebration with freebies galore.  In the family-friendly vein this weekend, there is a mural painting recommended for ages 5-12 from 10am-12pm on Saturday – sign up online. There are also two concerts the whole brood can enjoy, the All Points West Chamber Music Ensemble at 11am and Bokamoso Youth in Performance at 6pm.  More details for all three activities are available on the CHAW website.

The Wright Stuff – It’s Super Science Saturday, the monthly program at the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles.  There will be demonstrations and hands-on activities that immerse children in science and technology topics related to aviation and space exploration. January’s theme is From the Wright Brothers to the Right Stuff.

Fee-Free at National ParksIn honor of MLK Day, all National Parks that usually charge entrance fees will waive admission from Saturday through Monday.  It might be on the chilly side for a hike, but perhaps perfect for a scenic drive through Shenandoah or the George Washington National Forest.

Get Back to Nature – For some outdoor-inspired fun in the comfort of a warm place, head to nature center. See furry, feathery, and scaly critters and learn about their natural habitats in the environments surrounding them. In DC head to Rock Creek Nature Center. In Maryland, check out Watkins Nature Center, Meadowside Nature Center, or Brookside Nature Center. In Virginia, try Huntley MeadowsLong Branch Nature Center, or Riverbend Nature Center.

The Great Indoors – For a lengthy list of ideas for fun out of the cold, this post is full of recommendations for indoor fun.

Bundle Up and Get Out – It may be chilly, but the sun will be shining. Don some extra layers, a warm hat, and gloves, and check out this post with numerous recs for outdoor activities with kids.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Drop in for Art and Fun at the National Gallery this Winter

Absorbed in a Stories in Art class last summer

 

When it comes to museums, the National Gallery of Art isn’t exactly a go-to venue for our family.  Besides a near disaster there a couple of years ago (think unwitting child almost putting his hand through a canvas), my kids, like many kids, prefer big, interactive exhibits over works of art hanging on walls.

Unless the art is presented to them in a cool way, as the National Gallery does in its free drop-in programs. Over several weekends during winter and summer, the NGA invites kids to explore art through a variety of classes designed for young museum-goers. And the next winter session starts this Saturday, January 15, with several workshops for kids to enjoy well into March.

Stories in Art introduces kids ages 4-7 to art through storytelling, discussion, and a hands-on art project (read a review here).  This winter, guests will investigate modern and contemporary art as three thoughtful stories are paired with three artists in the NGA collection (Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe, and Helen Frankenthaler). After examining how nature inspired each artist, guests will experiment with diverse media to create their own works of art. The hour-long classes are free, and no registration is required, but there is a limit to the number of children in each class. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am on Sundays, and will continue until all spaces are filled in each of the four time slots.  Visit the website for dates, times, and more details about each class.

Artful Conversations, recommended for ages 8-11, is designed for children and adults to participate in together. Led by museum educators, each program includes looking at one work of art in the galleries, accompanied by a poetry-writing activity. One-hour classes will take place on January 21, February 18, and March 10 at three different times each day. No registration or fees are required, and sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium beginning at 10:00am and continue until all spaces are filled.

Family Workshops, recommended for ages 8-11, are also designed for children and adults to participate in together. Taught by artists and museum educators, each two-hour workshop includes an interactive tour in the galleries followed by a hands-on studio session. In this session, guests will investigate Edgar Degas’ wax sculptures of dancers and horses, and learn how to construct their own using a wire armature and clay. All workshops begin in the Education Studio, located on the East Building Concourse. Workshops are free, but registration is required. Registration begins at noon on January 11 — visit the website to sign up, and be aware that classes fill up fast!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Class, DC, Educational, Free, Gradeschoolers, Museums, Preschoolers, Preteens, Seasonal, Weekend, Winter