Tag Archives: Things to do with kids in Northern Virginia

Where to Play on Thanksgiving Day

The Air & Space Museum and all of the Smithsonian Museums remain open on Thanksgiving!



How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving turkey? If you’re going to be in town for the holiday and looking for pre- or post-feast activities, here are some ways to complement the main event of the day. Happy Thanksgiving!

* Visit a Smithsonian museum or the National Zoo. They are all open on Thanksgiving from 10am – 5:30pm, except for the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery which are open 11:30am – 7pm. The National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian, just a neighbor on the Mall) is open, too, from 10am – 5pm.

* Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden on opening day! Get an idea of what to expect in this post with scenes from last year’s exhibition.

* Hang out at a playground. Hains Point, Clemyjontri, Watkins Regional Park, Beauvoir, Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in NoVa and Maryland are great places to play while you’re waiting for the feast.

* Get gliding and enjoy some active fun. You can skate under the sky at one of several ice rinks in the area that are open on the holiday. Find info for them here.

* Bundle up and enjoy a holiday hike. For those who like to get out, even on chilly days — it’s going to be a cooold Turkey Day this year — Rock Creek, Great Falls, Roosevelt Island, Huntley Meadows, Prince William Forest, Riverbend, and Turkey Run are all great parks for family tramping. This post has details on all of them along with even more recs for local walks in the woods.

* Go bowling. Pinstripes in Georgetown hosts Kids Bowling from 10am – 12pm, when ages 12 and under bowl for just $6 (and parents bowl free!). You can also hit the lanes at Lucky Strike in Penn Quarter, Bowlmor in Bethesda or Rockville, or Bowl America in several NoVa locations.

* Get into the holiday spirit at Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s spectacular seasonal attraction.

* Dance off the turkey dinner at the Kennedy Center. The evening’s free Millennium Stage performance features their annual Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party with music by Pittsburgh’s Dr. Zoot and swing dance instruction and performances by Gottaswing. This all takes place from 6-9pm, and admission is free.

* Take an evening drive or stroll through a holiday light display — several in the area have started dazzling visitors with twinkling wonderlands.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

Ticket Giveaway: Disney on Ice Presents Follow Your Heart

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Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing a host of Disney•Pixar favorites to EagleBank Arena in Fairfax October 19 – 23, for nine performances. The live production ice-skating extravaganza produced by Feld Entertainment will feature Inside Out, Frozen and other beloved Disney stories, including Finding Dory on the ice for the first time. Even more, I have a 4-Pack of tickets for the Wednesday, October 19 show up for grabs for one lucky KFDC reader to win!

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust – as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into Fairfax, VA!

Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart will be at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax for nine performances from October 19-23. Tickets start at $20. The show is recommended for all ages.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a 4-Pack of tickets to see Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart at EagleBank Arena on October 19 at 7pm, simply leave a comment below or on the KidFriendly DC Facebook page. This giveaway will run through Wednesday October 12, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to Disney on Ice in exchange for this post, 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 All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

PYOP: Pick Your Own Produce at These Local Farms

The apple of his eye at Waters Orchard 🍎



The pick-your-own produce season starts with strawberries in the spring, then continues with more delicious fruits and veggies in the summer and fall. Heading out to the farm to do some picking is among my favorite seasonal activities with the kids. It’s a nice break from the urban bustle and a great chance to show them that food doesn’t magically appear on a plate or shelf at Trader Joe’s. Even better, the enjoyment continues with a basketful of fresh produce at home. The time is ripe for planning your own PYOP outing. Here are some great places around the area to reap some of the best treats of spring, summer, and fall. Happy Picking!

Shlagel Farms
Less than 20 miles from DC in Waldorf, MD, Shlagel Farms is one of the more popular pick-your-own strawberry places in the area, their season always beginning before other area farms, and because that’s the only PYO they offer. The fields are expected to open around May 1 and should yield berries until early June. While there, you can also purchase bedded plants grown in their greenhouse, romp on the playground, and treat the kids (and yourself) to ice cream. You can also pick up something up to cook for dinner — Shlagel also offers farm raised beef, pork, and chicken! Shlagel’s is open for PYO from 8am – 6pm seven days a week. Follow them on Facebook to stay updated on their pickings.

Westmoreland Berry Farm
The farm in Virginia’s historic Northern Neck kicks off their PYO season in their strawberry fields in May, welcoming visitors daily. Come June, the rest of the berries (black, blue, rasp, and cherries) will become ready for picking, and peaches, nectarines, and plums won’t be far behind (see their approximate schedule here). Along with PYO, there are goats to visit and play areas for kids. Picking hours are Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm.

Great Country Farms
At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley, Great Country offers much more than just pick-your-own opportunities. The farm is well known for its big seasonal festivals and fun farm-themed attractions. A hayride takes you out to the picking fields, and kids might spy an emu or goat on the way. Visitors also have access to the barnyard, mazes, a cow train, and jumping pillow. Their u-pick strawberry fields will open in mid-late May, and you can get updates on them via Facebook and Twitter. Asparagus is available at the same time, and more berries, plums, tomatoes, okra, green beans, and hot peppers will follow in late spring and summer. The weekends of May 25-27 and June 1-2 are the annual Strawberry Jubilee with live music, pie eating contests, tart tosses, tasty food, and more. Apple season begins in late summer and goes into fall, and with it comes the Apple Gala and Cider Fest from August 31 – September 29. Admission to Great Country is $8/child $10/adult on weekdays, and $10/child $12/adult on festival weekends. Open daily 9am- 6pm.

Wegmeyer Farms
With three locations in Northern Virginia, Wegmeyer offers varying strawberry picking experiences as the settings differ at each. PYO at a historic homestead in Hamilton, then set up lunch at a picnic table (BYO) and let the kids play on a John Deere tractor slide and playground. At Oatlands, the patch and era-themed attire at the historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s, and while visiting the patch is free, you can purchase tour passes for the garden and/or mansion. And at Gilbert’s Corner, enjoy strawberry picking in its most natural state; the no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing. The PYO season will begin at all three locations in May. Check the website for updates, hours, and directions.

Mackintosh Fruit Farm
The family-owned farm in the Shenandoah Valley will open to the public in late May (check the website or call for an update) with access to their strawberry fields, then blueberries, peaches, brambles, apples, and paw paw. Plan on lunch while you’re there — along with fruits and veggies, the farm also offers a variety of menu items prepared fresh every day from their own produce. Walk it all off afterward along a trail that winds through the fields and woods of the farm and let the kids play it off on the playground. Hours are 8am – 6pm, Wednesday through Sunday, plus Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Larriland Farm
About an hour’s drive from DC in Howard County, Larriland Farms always gets great reviews for both it’s produce and beauty. The pick-your-own season is expected to start with strawberries in late May/early June this year, and they’ll have the full spectrum of berries following soon after, just about every variety of peaches, and loads of veggies available from June – October, too. Apple picking is expcected to begin August 31 with Honey Crisps. (See the list and view schedules on the website.) Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management, meaning pesticides are a last resort, to keep pests below an acceptable level with minimum harmful impact on the environment. Summer hours are Tuesdays 9am – 8pm, Wednesday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm.

Butler’s Orchard
The farm might be best known for it’s Halloween and Easter extravaganzas, but they have a bounty of great crops, too. Strawberry fields will be open to visitors everyday, expecting to start in late May. Following soon after are more berries and sugar snap and English peas. Potatoes, apples, and pumpkins come later. The Farm Park with the giant slides, a nature trail, and our farm animals can be enjoyed along with the PYO ops. And Bunnyland is still open April 27-28! Hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30am – 6pm. Admission is $3. Stay updated on their status by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Hollin Farms
Across the river in Fauquier County, VA, Hollin Farms strawberry picking season will begin in late May and will last several weeks. Hours are 9am – 4pm Wednesday through Sunday, and they recommend calling ahead to confirm that picking fields are open. But, wait, the PYO doesn’t stop with strawberries! Other spring crops that you’re welcome to gather include lettuce, peas, arugula, bok choy, radishes, Swiss chard. Come summer, peaches, plums, blackberries, red raspberries, sour cherries, and summer veggies are available. Apples are ready late summer, and fall brings the Pumpkin Patch, autumn vegetables, potatoes, and dig-your-own peanuts. And a special P.S. to meat lovers: they pride themselves on their grass-fed beef.

Green Truck Farm/Hartland Farm
Green Truck and Hartland Farms are located out I-66 less than an hour from DC (Green Truck is situated at the entrance to Hartland). Their strawberries will be ready for picking in May. The rest of their PYO offerings run the berry gamut along with tomatoes, winter squash, and pumpkins. And at Hartland, you can get berries, then peaches, apples, and pumpkins later in the year.

Homestead Farm
Homestead no longer grows strawberries, so their PYO season will begin a little later than other area farms. The first crop will be tart cherries in June, and other berries will be ripe and ready soon after. Peaches, apples, and pumpkins come later. Along with PYO, there are animals to visit (goats, pigs, and chickens), and watching the goats clamber along the goat-walk is always a trip for kids. Homestead also scores high on scenery — the lovely pastoral setting in Montgomery County makes you feel like you’re way more than 20 miles from the city. When open, the farm operates seven days a week, and PYO hours are 9am – 5pm. You can sign up to receive weekly updates by email to stay up to date on their crops.

Waters Orchard
This Gaitherburg, MD, locale is a great place for apple picking come late summer and fall. The varieties are plentiful, and the scenery is lovely. After parking, it’s a 5-10 minute walk to the orchard. Last time we visited, there was a little tent set up where staff offered apple tastings and info about the apples and orchard. Hours are Fridays 12-5pm, and Saturdays & Sundays, 9am – 5pm. Pick-your-own pricing is by the peck — $15/half peck, $22/peck, $38/bushel and that includes entry fee for two. It’s $5/guest after that.

Do you have a favorite PYO farm that you don’t see here? Feel free to share in the comments, if so!

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Fall, Farm, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Live Entertainment to Enhance Your Spring

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3

See Superman 2050 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater April 1-3



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Warmer weather, cherry blossoms, and extra daylight aren’t the only things to look forward to this spring. Along with the seasonal delights, there’s also a whole new crop of live entertainment coming to local venues. Here’s what you can see on stages in the upcoming months.

James and the Giant Peach
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through April 4
Tickets: $19.50 (look for a discount)

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion which results in a tremendous peach – and launches a journey of enormous proportions. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the TONY Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald. We just caught a performance, and it’s a delight for all ages!

Beauty and the Beast
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $10

A romantic tale of a handsome prince, and his love, Beauty, set in a great forest in old Russia. There are curses, conflicts, hopes, wishes, dreams, and exciting adventures, all the things that make a happy ending that much sweeter. Imaginative settings and beautiful costumes support this large-scale marionette version of the classic love story. Winner of a Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette, it has played successfully to children and families nationwide. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $14

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Romeo & Juliet
Where: Synetic Theatre
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $20-50

It’s probably hard to imagine a wordless Shakespeare production, but Synetic Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, and it’s phenomenal. Innovative, fluid choreography set against dramatic scenery of gears in a clock, all to a unique soundtrack of ticks, tocks, and chimes makes for a gorgeous, mesmerizing production. Words aren’t necessary when a familiar story is told in such a beautifully expressive way. If you’re a fan of the bard or just appreciate superb theatre, I highly recommend this show. Teens and up could enjoy it, but it makes for a great grown-up night out.

Hamlet
Where: Kennedy Center
When: March 23 – April 3
Tickets: $32.25 – $130.00

Sleek and elegant with contemporary staging and performed by The Washington Ballet to the spellbinding music of Philip Glass, Stephen Mills’ Hamlet redefines this tragic masterwork and the limits of dance in a modern production that presents Hamlet’s internal struggle over avenging his father’s murder in an innovative and riveting reinvention of this literary classic. Recommended for teens and up.

Superman 2050
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 1-3
Tickets: $20-25

Seven performers on a tiny platform act out the Man of Steel’s latest adventure at hilarious breakneck speed using only their bodies and voices to create every prop, scene, character, and sound effect in the story. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
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.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
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: Angelika Pop-Up, Eastern Market, & The Atlas
When: Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 10:30am
Tickets: $5/child, free for sibling 6 months and under

Little ones can boogie along with their favorite local musicians at the Angelika Pop-Up (behind Union Market) on Wednesdays, in Eastern Market’s North Hall every Thursday, AND at The Atlas Performing Arts Center on Fridays. Go for the show, then grab lunch in the Markets or hit one of the many eateries on the H Street Corridor.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most 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.

Saturday Family Jazz Session
Where: Strathmore
When: Select Saturdays, 11am
Tickets: $10

Jumpstart a love for jazz with classes that nurture talent and spark musicality! Junior jazz aficionados can spend Saturday mornings singing, playing, and preparing for a lifetime of jazz appreciation at this fun, creative, kid-friendly series featuring classes with multi-instrumentalist and local jazz legend Seth Kibel and renowned jazz singer Rochelle Rice. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. All attendees, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
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.

Mother Earth and Me
Where: Discovery Theater
When: April 6-8 & 12-15
Tickets: $3-6

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original as we explore the origins of our planet, the water cycle, and our important role in the ecosystem, as well as folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home. Kick off Earth Month by pledging to become an Earth Warrior—and find out some great ways to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Love that Dog
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 9
Tickets: $15-21

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments – and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say. With a fresh and deceptively simple style, acclaimed author Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Snow White
Where: NextStop Theatre
When: April 9-24
Tickets: $20/adult, $16/child

This is not your mother’s Snow White! Join the feisty heroine as she defies the path set before her to live out her story, her way. A spin on the classic Brothers Grimm tale, this new princess adventure will reaffirm your belief in the power of following your dreams.

Looking for Roberto Clemente
Where: Imagination Stage
When: April 13 – May 22
Tickets: $10 and up

Sam and Charlie are best friends and baseball fanatics in Pittsburgh, PA, in the year 1972. Puerto Rican superstar Roberto Clemente is the hero of the Pittsburgh Pirates, having led the team to victory after years of losing. When a mysterious fly ball transforms Sam into a Little League Superstar pitcher, he is invited onto the most prestigious Little League team in town, while Charlie is rejected for being a girl. Charlie forms her own team with the less athletic kids and her new friend Tommy, a boy with a disability. Sam and Charlie ultimately discover what it truly means to be a “hero” when their final game coincides with Clemente’s fateful decision to deliver supplies to hurricane victims in Nicaragua.

Performances for Children
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: Ongoing
Tickets: Vary by show

The Playhouse in Riverdale, MD regularly presents plays, concerts, puppet shows, and more live entertainment for young audiences, often on weekday morning and at lunchtime — perfect activity for little ones and caregivers! Visit the website for the full calendar.

Teatro Hugo e Ines
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: April 17
Tickets: $18-22

Crafted from a lifetime of creating characters through exceptional artistry and imagination, the Peruvian-based Teatro Hugo e Ines bring their Short Stories tour to BlackRock. Founded in 1986, the duo combines mime, dance, and puppetry in creative pieces that play out the poetic moments of daily life. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Sleeping Beauty
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: April 19 – May 29
Tickets: $10

Yet another elegant production created by the Puppet Co., “Sleeping Beauty” combines romance and adventure in a story of fairies, frogs, kings and queens, and of course, a sleeping princess and the gallant prince destined to find her. Told with rod puppets and wonderful special effects, the show is a real treat for princesses and princes, big and small! Recommended for ages 3.5 and up

Emperor’s Nightingale
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: April 22 – May 30
Tickets: $19.50

The sweet song of a Nightingale saves an Empire. This brand new adaptation set in eighteenth century China, brings to light the younger days of Emperor Qianlong, who would become one of the greatest rulers of the Middle Kingdom. It takes a magical bird to help the headstrong and aimless Prince to become a King. Recommended for all ages.

The 20th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Where: Gunston Arts Center
When: April 22-24
Tickets: $10

Encore Stage and Studio, theatre by kids for kids, present the show about six young spellers who come together at a local school to use their talents to decide who will represent Putnam County in the national bee. Their zany personalities shine as they take on words that most people have never heard of, let alone can spell. Words fly as this fun, modern musical tells a tale of growing up while competing for prestige and bragging rights. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Shrek the Musical JR.
Where: Burke Community Church
When: April 22-23 & 29-30
Tickets: $14

Everyone’s favorite upside down fairy tale comes to life with Northern Virginia Players’ newest production: Shrek the Musical JR! Join them as they travel Far Far Away with a cantankerous ogre, a wise-cracking donkey, and a crazy cast of misfit characters that embark on a quest to find freedom and acceptance. However, the road to happiness is fraught with monstrous danger, short-tempered lords with tall expectations, and a princess with an alter ego. Part romance and part crooked fairy tale, this show has enough twists and turns and zany antics to entertain the whole family. What could be better than the ultimate discovery that we are all unique, we are all important, and we are all worthy of love? The phenomenal cast of 60 youth aged 8-18, is excited to bring another classic tale to life.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: April 23 – May 1
Tickets: $9

Two friends use their imaginations to build bridges, birds, a train, a plane, and even a castle from cardboard boxes. Jump inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to build their own creations, using props from the show! Recommended for ages 1-5.

Moby Dick
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 23-24
Tickets: $20

he courageous crew of the Pequod sets out to find a legendary whale in this inventive production featuring three actors who use their bodies, ever-switching hats, and a variety of musical instruments to create excitement and suspense. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Lights! Canvas! Music!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $15-18

In this new program unlike any other NSO Family Concert, internationally acclaimed “speed painter” Dan Dunn joins the orchestra to turn your favorite music into amazing visual artwork in a matter of musical measures!

NSO Kinderclassics: Fancy That!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: April 24
Tickets: $20

Sometimes it’s fun to look fancy, but did you know that you can make music sound fancy, too? Graphic artist Marie Cheek joins NSO violinist Marissa Regni onstage to help illustrate the idea of “decorating” your music in a unique, visual way.

Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival
Where: Kingman Island
When: April 30
Tickets: $15 and up

The annual music festival will feature bluegrass entertainment and plenty more revelry. The celebration of local music, food, and culture as well as the revitalization of the Anacostia River includes eight hours of performances by local bluegrass and folk acts on six stages. Fuel up with DC’s favorite food trucks and Sierra Nevada beer. Entertain little ones in the kids area with music and arts & crafts, especially for them. There will also be giveaways and sponsored activities for all to enjoy.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: National Theatre
When: May 3-17
Tickets: Start at $48 (look for a discount)

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family. This new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.

Make Way for the Lion Dance
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 5
Tickets: $3-8

The excitement of an authentic Chinese parade marches onto the Discovery Theater stage! The lion, said to be the ninth son of the mythic dragon, is a symbol of power, majesty, and courage and dances to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to all. As performed by the Wong People Association, the lion dance offers a thrilling spectacle (including traditional drumming and a martial arts demonstration) that introduces and interprets an integral element of Chinese and Southeastern Asian culture. Malevolent spirits are guaranteed to be banished!

Air Play
Where: Strathmore
When: May 6
Tickets: $22-52

Come along on a comic adventure that is fun for the whole family! Air Play is an innovative and spectacular show that merges the high art of Daniel Wurtzel’s air sculptures with crowd-pleasing comedy. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, kites that float over the audience, and the biggest snow globe you’ve ever seen will make you gasp in wonder, laugh until it hurts, and be touched by the affection and the rivalry between a sister and brother on a life-changing and surreal journey.

Tigers, Dragons and Other Wise ‘Tails’
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 10-13
Tickets: $3-8

Last season’s all-star cast returns in this delightful Discovery Theater original hit, in which three freshly imagined folk tales reveal nuggets of traditional Asian wisdom. The Tiger, the Thief, and the Dried Persimmon (Korea) features a trickster tiger whose antics recall the teachings of Anansi. The natural innocence of childhood outwits the villain in The Boy and the Fly (Vietnam). In The Wise Mole (Japan) true love takes charge, complete with cell phones and iPods. The sumptuous and mythic creation story The Four Dragon Rivers of China features beautiful flying dragon puppets.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: May 13-22
Tickets: $10

A production by Encore Stage & Studio. During a fierce storm and devastating ship wreck, twins Viola and Sebastian are separated. Viola surfaces on the island of Illyria, and, believing her brother drowned, finds employment by disguising herself as a man named Casario. In a classic case of mistaken identity and unexpected love, hilarity ensues as we meet the island’s colorful cast of characters. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Chicken Dance
Where: Alden Theatre
When: May 14
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

ArtsPower’s newest musical portrays the colorful story of Marge and Lola, two barnyard chickens on a mission to win the barnyard talent contest first prize of two tickets to see the great Elvis Poultry in concert! But first, they must present a performance that will score higher than a flock of very talented ducks who seem to have the contest locked up. Can Marge and Lola face their challengers, against all odds, and win the talent contest? Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Jammin’ at the Smithsonian: The Pop Ups
Where: Discovery Theater
When: May 19-20
Tickets: $3-8

You’ll go crazy for a California musical duo who mix puppets, flashy dances, huge collages, a talking banana, drawing, surprise costume changes, and giant beach balls into their act. The Grammy-nominated Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein zoom in from Brooklyn with plenty of great songs, including several from their latest CD, Appetite for Construction. Don’t miss the final Tot Rock concert of the season! Recommended for ages 2-6.

The Nextival
Where: Anne Arundel Fairgrounds
When: May 21
Tickets: $30/adult, free for 14 and under with adult

This new music festival from Juice Box Jams Corporation will introduce music fans to the next big names in music now. The diverse lineup offers something for everyone: Three stages of music (a main stage, local stage, and a kid’s stage), 15+ food trucks, children’s entertainment and activities, arts and craft vendors, and more. A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Juice Box Jams Corporation’s (501c3) mission to help kids and musicians in need. Tickets are currently 50% off!

IRELAND 100: The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 20-21
Tickets: $20

A brave Irish lass crosses snow-capped mountains and treacherous seas to unleash her true voice in this one-man show from storyteller Louis Lovett, who unfolds his mysterious crate of delights to lead audiences on an epic adventure. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Coppélia: The Magical Toy Shop
Where: THEARC Theatre
When: May 21-22
Tickets: $25-50

Part of the The Washington Ballet’s Family Series. The Studio Company performs this charming and amusing ballet about an eccentric dollmaker, Dr. Coppelius, and his yearning to create a doll with a soul.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 2 – July 17
Tickets: $10

What’s so bad about the Big Bad Wolf? At last B.B. (Big Bad) Wolfe tells his side of the story, in rap, no less. Has the notorious pork poacher and grandma impersonator gotten a bum rap, or is he truly deserving of his moniker? You be the judge! This is one of our funniest productions and includes lots of audience participation. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

The Wind in the Willows
Where: ArtSpace Falls Church
When: June 3-19
Tickets: $16

Generations of children have roamed the English countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends of The Wind in the Willows. Now Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater Ensemble brings these timeless tales of friendship to life!

Cul de Sac
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre
When: June 3-12
Tickets: $15/adult, $10/child

Encore Stage & Studio, theatre by kids for kids, presents this show about four-year-old Alice Otterloop and her older brother, Petey, learn about friendship and the importance of being yourself in this world premier play adaptation of Richard Thompson’s nationally syndicated Cul De Sac comic strip. When Alice decides to help Petey become more exciting she risks sending Petey further into his shell. With the help other their parents, teachers, and new and old friends the Otterloop children just might be able to learn something from each other. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Strathmore Children’s Chorus Meets The Beatles
Where: Strathmore
When: June 8
Tickets: $20-25

Meet the Beatles all over again in a unique presentation of Fab Four favorites performed by a new generation of soloists, choirs, and orchestra. From “Twist and Shout” to Sgt. Pepper, you’ll need “Help!” to keep from dancing in the aisles!

Gustafer Yellowgold
Where: Alden Theatre
When: June 12
Tickets: $15 ($10 MCC district residents)

Gustafer Yellowgold is a friendly fellow who came from the Sun and landed in the Minnesota woods. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show is a multi-media performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


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