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The Weekend Round-Up: May 19-20

See the turkeys during Claude Moore Colonial Farm's Market Fair

 

As if this round-up of special events isn’t enough, this list of outdoor pursuits is also a must-view this weekend if the glorious forecast holds up. (If not, then go here for indoor ideas.)  Happy Weekend!

Andrews Air Show
Where: Andrews Air Force Base
When: Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: Free
There’s excitement in the air! The Blue Angels, Golden Knights, and many more thrilling aerial performers will take to the skies this weekend at the 2012 Joint Service Open House and Air Show. The public is invited to Andrews Air Force Base to view amazing air stunts, as well as cool ground attractions on Saturday and Sunday. And to top it all off, admission to the show is free!

Music by the River
Where: The Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free
Kick off the weekend with free music in the fresh air. The Justin Trawick Group will be performing on the Yards Park boardwalk this evening. Catch the show and lovely views of the Anacostia River from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass. Get there early to let little ones splash in the fountains, and pack a picnic or purchase food there for dinner under the stars.

Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12 and seniors, free for 2 and under
Celebrate spring at the local colonial museum and working farm’s first Market Fair of the season. There will be loads of activities for all ages to enjoy: Dance and sing to period music. Play quoits and other games, and watch a children’s puppet theater. See chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farm animals. Take a fencing lesson or watch the Blacksmith in action. Order herbs and flowers from the plant vendor and browse other colonial market stands. Purchase roast chicken, fresh vegetables, fruit pies and more. Tavern offers fresh lemonade and ginger ale, wine, beer and ale. Along with the special festivities, enjoy the ongoing offerings as you stroll the living history museum grounds and see farm family and community members in character and costume.

Strawberry Fields
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location
The pick-your-own season has officially begun! Just about all local farms have opened their strawberry patches to the public, so you can get out there and reap the fruits. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries, several offering much more than just picking.

Artomatic
Where: 1851 S. Bell Street, Crystal City
When: Throughout the weekend (runs through June 23)
Admission: Free
Art, anyone? The DC area’s biggest free creative arts event launches today at 6pm in Crystal City. Featuring work by more than 1300 artists, performers, musicians, filmmakers, fashion designers, and creatives of all kinds, the month-long festival is “by artists, for everyone.” The first time I ever attended one it was held on U Street on one floor of open space above a restaurant. About 10 years later, all kinds of art will be showcased throughout ten floors in building that is slated for demolition. And it’s not just art to look at — there will also be workshops, tours, and seminars for all ages throughout the month. Especially for children this weekend are a paper quilting bee,  a bubble wrap art workshop, and a drum circle for kids.  Learn more about Artomatic here and check out the schedule here.

Park It
Where: Parks around the area
When: Saturday
Admission: Free
Celebrate Kids to Parks Day! The National Park Trust wants everyone to have an American park experience, so they’re inviting every family in America to visit a national, state, or local park and play outdoors on Saturday. As their mascot, Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” Many parks around the area will be hosting special programs for the day — find out where you can participate one!

Happy Birthday, Hello Cupcake!
Where: Hello Cupcake Capitol hill
When: Friday – Sunday, 12-6pm each day
Admission: Free
To mark their first year on Capitol Hill, Hello Cupcake is hosting a three-day celebration at their Barracks Row location. From Friday through Monday, there will be all kinds of events, activities, and giveaways, including free cupcake decorating classes, games, samples, and face painting.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult
The largest U-pick strawberry festival is this weekend, rain or shine. Get ready for lots of fun activities for all ages, including the popular diaper derby, pie-eating contests, tart toss, strawberry princess, KidzArt, great food, live music, and Strawberry wine-tasting with Bluemont Vineyard. As if that’s not enough to keep the family entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillow, slides, a pedal cart track, rope swings mazes, a tractor tire mountain, Cow Train ($2), and animal encounters. Whew!

Strike a Pose
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the art of photography with at this special Family Day with activities for all ages. Be inspired by the museum’s exhibition, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage, and discover the world through a new lens. Borrow a camera or bring your own for a photo-scavenger hunt and document your travels in an album to take home. Visit the photo station to practice your pose and add your portrait to the American Art Museum’s Flickr page.

Gaithersburg Book Festival
Where: Gaithersburg City Hall
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
The City of Gaithersburg welcomes you to their third annual literary event! Festivities will include the chance to see and meet some of the world’s best writers, from best-sellers to acclaimed up-and-comers; join in literary workshops; and a full day of fun at the Children’s Village. The Gaithersburg City Hall is located at 31 South Summit Avenue. For more specifics, see the Festival website.

A-Mazing Animal Fest
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy a fun-filled family event featuring birds of prey, reptiles, farm animals, a puppet show, food vendors, arts and crafts, and much more at the park located right on the Anacostia River. While you’re there, take a ride on the water — canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals are also available on weekends from late May to the end of October.

Taste of Arlington
Where: Wilson Boulevard in front of Ballston Common Mall
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but you must purcahse tickets to taste
Head across the river for a day of food, fun, and more food. Over 35 Arlington restaurants will be offering samples of their fare at the annual street festival in downtown Ballston. And while the food is the main focus, there will be plenty more to enjoy, including live entertainment, children’s activities, a moon bounce, and street performers. Tickets are available for purchase through the Taste of Arlington website, or you can buy them the day of the event.

Say “Om”
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday, 1:30-4:30pm
Admission: Free
In celebration of DC Yoga Week, help create the largest outdoor yoga class in DC ever! Yogis from around the city will gather at the Sylvan Stage on the Washington Monument grounds for a collective practice that welcomes children, too.

Fiesta Asia
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., from 3rrd – 6th Streets
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities, and more. Especially for kids is the Kiddiz Cool Lounge, with origami, sidewalk chalk, doll making, henna art, story telling, balloon art, and more. While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and marketplace fun.

Best in Shows
Where: Theatres around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance
Last weekend to catch Rapunzel at Imagination Stage. Five Little Monkeys is at Adventure Theatre. Tiny Tots and Pinocchio are on the puppet stage. Milkshake Trio performing at Jammin’ Java. Details on all of them in this post about live entertainment in late spring.

Monsuno Monster Power Tour
Where: Pentagon City Mall & Anime Pavilion
When: Saturday 10am – 9:30pm, Sunday 12-3pm
Admission: Free
So, I’m just starting to get wind of the new craze, but if it’s anything like Bakugan or Beyblades, I know there are some kids who will be pretty excited about this event. Stop by Pentagon City Mall on Saturday and Anime Pavilion in Falls Church on Sunday for special demonstrations on how to launch, spin, and battle by Monsuno Monster Power experts. Get freebies, exclusive discount coupons and more!

SunWise Kick Off
Where: National Children’s Museum Launch Zone
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Head to the Launch Zone to help kick off a summer of sun safety! The NCM, along with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SunWise program, have put together fantastic programs designed to encourage kids to be “sun wise” this summer. Guests will learn about UVB rays and SPF through exciting activities, such as making your own sun visor and UV color-changing bracelet. In addition, at 1pm and 2 pm, NCM will present its original production of Princess Sunni’s Birthday, where the audience can help Princess Sunni learn about sun safety while completing the Ancient Royal Challenges so she can become queen. The performances run approximately 20 minutes and are best suited for ages 3 to 8.

Encore Bookfair
Where: Barnes & Noble in Fairfax
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free
Join Encore Stage & Studio for a day of fun and theater at our Barnes & Noble Bookfair! A percentage of purchases will support Encore’s many exciting education and production programs including costumes, props and set dressing, score, and sound effects for our Act III performance of Pirates of Penzance, as well as scholarship for students to attend our summer camps! Also at the book fair will be a sneak preview of Encore’s upcoming performance, Charlotte’s Web at 3pm; face painting with a Charlotte’s Web character, and bookmark making. The Barnes & Noble is located at 12193 Fair Lakes Promenade Drive in Fairfax.

Arrrr… Merriment!
Where: Spotsylvania, VA
When: All Weekend, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9, free or ages 5 and under
Ahoy! The shire is awash with pirates and privateers of all ages at the Virginia Renaissance Faire this weekend. Take a trip to the 16th century and join the festivities that include historical re-enactments, jousting, costume displays, crafts for kids, food and drink, shopping, and more. This is all taking place on the grounds of the Lake Anna Winery every weekend through June 10. Go here for directions.

 

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Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 13-17

Visit Oleander, a rare albino American alligator, at DC's National Aquarium through April 29th.

 

Monday – Start the week with story time at Kinder Haus Toys. The Clarendon shop host readings for children every Monday and Friday at 10:30am.  And if you’re looking to do some kids’ gift shopping, the store has quite a selection!

Tuesday – Wouldn’t you LOVE to get your heart pumping with some bouncy fun?  Head to Pump It Up in Lanham for Pop-In Playtime.  Children ages 2-6 can enjoy open jump time from 10-11:30am. Admission is $8/child, free for accompanying adults. Don’t forget socks!

Wednesday – It’s been awhile since The Puppet Co. has presented a mid-week Tiny Tots, but the series for young audiences is back with “World on a String“.  Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $5.

Thursday – Discover the underwater world at the DC’s National Aquarium. Located in the lower level of the Dept. of Commerce building, it’s a perfect place for little ones to see colorful fish, sharks, turtles, even a very rare albino alligator up close. Admission is $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under.  Open 9am – 5pm.

Friday – Play Safari Bingo with Carol Collins at Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall.  Part of the Cabin John Kids series that takes place the first and third Fridays of every month, the session welcomes children to enjoy free entertainment, crafts, and more.  Activities start at 10:30am in the atrium.

 

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Filed under Animals, Art, Babies, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Theatre, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays, 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.

 

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The Weekend Round-Up: January 20-22

My favorite six-year-old

 

I have to start this weekend round-up with a special shout-out. It was six years ago yesterday that my  favorite little man arrived, and life became a fantastic adventure I never could have imagined prior to becoming a parent. My tiny baby, who was less than six pounds upon his early arrival and fit snugly in the crook of my arm, now reads, writes, runs fast, jokes around, expresses his dreams.  When I take a moment (when I have a moment) to digest it all, it’s pretty darn astounding. And I couldn’t be prouder of the boy he’s become. Happy Birthday, my sweet O.

And with my sentimental moment indulged, let’s talk about the weekend.  Museums programs and special events, children’s theatre, a clothing swap, and hoops action are among my recommendations for family fun. And with dreary weather in the forecast, the indoor list makes the round-up, too.  Happy Weekend!

Spy Fest 2012Is your child the next 007? Find out at the International Spy Museum on Sunday from 11am – 2:30pm. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the event will include mini missions, tradecraft demos, and a chance for guests to try their spy skills. Tickets are $10, and advance registration is required. Go here to sign up!

Celebrate Africa!Kids of all ages are invited to the Textile Museum’s 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Festival celebrating the art and culture of Africa.  On Saturday from 12-4pm guests can enjoy dress-up, storytelling, dancing, crafts, and more.  Try on contemporary clothing and accessories inspired by cultures of Central Africa, then pose for a professional photographer and walk away with your picture. Hand-sew a Kuba-inspired textile. Enjoy snacks of cassava chips and South African red tea while master drummer Joseph Ngwa leads traditional drumming and dance, and master storyteller Baba-C entrances listeners with interactive storytelling. Visitors will also entered to win great prizes.  Admission to the event is free.

Happy Lunar New Year!  – Usher in the Lunar New Year a little early at Rockville Town Center with a day full of lively festivities, including a parade hosted by VisArts, street performers, live music, martial artists, lion dancers, an 18-person golden dragon, VisArts exhibitions, vendors, crafts, and more! It’s all free and happening on Saturday from 11am – 4pm.

Multi-Prints Family DayPress, stamp, and rub to make an artistic impression during this printmaking family day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  On Saturday from 11:30am – 3pm, artists from George Mason University will demonstrate a variety of printing techniques to kids of all ages, who can then visit our workshop tables to create a print of their own to take home! This free event will take place in the Kogod Courtyard of the museum located at 8th & F Streets, NW.

Farm to Table Family Day – The Kogod Courtyard is going to be a busy place this weekend.  Head there on Sunday as the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the arrival of the recently commissioned portrait of chef, author, and restaurant owner Alice Waters by artist Dave Woody. Enjoy live music, learn about the “farm to table” movement, and participate in hands-on activities. The free event takes place from 11:30am – 3pm.

Swap ‘Til You DropOr for a few hours, anyway. Saturday is World Swap Day and peace. love. swap. – The Original Maternity, Baby Kid Clothing & Gear Swap is celebrating with a swap event on Saturday at Jonah’s Treehouse in Glover Park.  Pass on your old clothes and gear and score some (sorta) new stuff!  Item drop-off is from 5-6pm, and the swapping is from 6:30-7:30pm. Admission is $5 if you register in advance, $7 at the door. Go here for more information and to register online

Rubber Ducky, You’re the One – The National Children’s Museum is hosting a joint birthday party for Ernie and his best pal, Rubber Ducky, at the Launch Zone on Saturday. From 11am – 4pm, children can take part in “Percussion Playtime” to celebrate Ernie’s love of playing the drums and make bubble art to celebrate Ernie and Rubber Ducky’s favorite pastime. No R.S.V.P. is required for this party, just drop in for a splish-splashin’ good time!

Wizards vs. CelticsHow about some hoops action on Sunday afternoon? Never mind that it’s not a winning season for the Wizards so far; the games are still exciting and a fun time for all ages. Our family caught the match-up against Toronto a couple of weeks ago – Sasha’s first basketball game, and the Wizard’s first W this season – and we all had a blast. Along with the on-court thrills, kids will love the games, entertainment, and giveaways during time-outs and halftime. Game time on Sunday is 1pm, and tickets start at $10.

Art History 101The drop-in program a the National Gallery begins  its Artful Conversations series and continues Stories in Art this weekend.  On Saturday, kids ages 8-11 and an accompanying adult, can attend the former to learn about a work of art and participate in a related poetry-writing activity. Sessions are at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 10:00 a.m., and will continue until all spaces are filled. On Sunday, kids ages 4-7 can again learn about Henri Matisse 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. Read a KFDC review of the program here.

Stage TimeThere’s a variety of entertainment to be enjoyed in local theatres this weekend.  The Snowy Day opens at Adventure Theatre, a rousing tale about the War of 1812 is the free show at Saturday Morning at the National, Peter and the Wolf and Tiny Tots are at The Puppet Co., and Mouse on the Move is at Imagination Stage. Find details on all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

The “In” Crowd – Looks like it’s going to be a good weekend to hang indoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out of the house. For sheltered adventures around town, check out this list.

 

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