Tag Archives: WinterCity Weekend

Hello, Springtime!

Sometimes things work out exactly as they should. We officially welcome spring tomorrow, and it actually feels like springtime. March Madness is living up to its name, and there’s only been one day of play. The cherry blossom trees have started to bud and are expected to peak during the annual festival that begins next weekend (big post on that coming soon). The stars are aligned. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend, so tear yourself away from the tourney for awhile and welcome spring with some fun with the kids.

One of the best places to see the city’s favorite trees in early bloom and relish the sublime weather is the US National Arboretum.  Over 450 acres contain some amazing collections of plants, trees and flowers. And even if your kids aren’t up for a botany lesson, there is plenty they will be into.  The koi pond at the visitor center is always a big hit with little ones (bring change for the fish food dispenser), the old National Capitol columns standing smack in the middle of the Ellipse Meadow are a brilliant sight for all ages (bring camera for cool photo ops), and large expanses of open space are great places to run and play (bring a ball to kick around). Make it a picnic at the Grove of State Trees, a collection of trees from all 50 states and designated eating spot for visitors.

Another cool picnic spot is Gravelly Point, a small park along the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport.  I have to warn you about this one:  it’s hit or miss with kids (and adults, for that matter).  The park is located in a scenic spot right on the Potomac, and on nice days, it’s bustling with folks having picnics, playing soccer, biking and jogging along the Mt. Vernon Trail, and watching the airplanes take off or land (depending on which way they’re going that day).  That’s the hit or miss part.  The planes fly literally right overhead, so it’s fairly loud, and when they’re coming in, it looks like they are coming right at you.  I love it. My son, Owen, loves it… sometimes.  He has cackled with amazement at the sight of the planes, but he has also cried and asked to leave.  If you have a little thrill-seeker, it’s worth checking out.

If you’d rather look up to see treetops, head to Rock Creek Park.  The sprawling oasis of nature within the city is loaded with gems for kids.  Besides miles of hiking and biking trails, kids can explore exhibits in the Nature Center or play dress-up at Peirce Mill. One of our favorite parts of the park is the Horse Center, where kids can tour the stables, see the horses and, best of all, take a pony ride.  It’s $20 for a 10-15 minute ride that winds through the woods and back to the stables (note: riders must be at least 30” tall and two and half years old).  And, of course, the National Zoo is a mainstay of Rock Creek fun.

Happening only this Saturday from 10am – 3pm is the Kites of Asia event at the National Air & Space Museum.  See kites from all over Asia, watch experts make their kites “dance,” construct your own kite (and fly it during the kite festival next weekend), hear a story about kite flying in India, and meet kite masters from Tibet. The event may not take advantage of the weather, but if you’re going to be indoors, this sounds like a good place to be.

For a little more art and culture, don’t forget WinterCity Weekend at Barracks Row, which I posted about a couple of days ago.  The Hill’s main strip will be full of activity for the whole family.  See you there!

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Filed under All ages, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Weekend

The Winter Wind Down

The thermometer might say upper 60’s, but winter isn’t officially over until March 20. However, the rising mercury does make the season’s final WinterCity Weekend the perfect way to transition into spring. This Saturday and Sunday, Barracks Row Main Street in Capitol Hill is hosting a weekend full of fun family activities.

Something entertaining and unique for kids is the “Musical Petting Zoo.” (Okay, I admit: when I first heard about it, I pictured farm animals sitting around strumming banjos and playing fiddles. It’s not that.) This zoo doesn’t even involve animals. It’s actually an opportunity for kids to “meet” musical instruments. And not just watch someone else play them; but a chance to get up close and personal—hold a trumpet, strum a guitar, beat a drum. Members of the Capitol Hill music community will be gathering at businesses on 8th Street SE from 1pm – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday for the sole purpose of letting kids (and adults, for that matter) take a closer look at their musical instruments. Some will even let curious guests have a go at being the next Hendrix, Davis, or Grohl.

There will also be plenty more for both kids and adults to enjoy, including music performances, wine tastings, knitting workshops, local history tours, and art shows. Curbside Cupcakes will be setting up temporary shop, so take note of the time and grab a treat while you can. And if your kids have their heart set on a real petting zoo, there will be a couple of animal adoptions, so they can pet some furry friends and maybe even take one home with them.

The complete schedule of events is as follows:

Saturday March 20. (All events FREE unless otherwise noted.)

9am – 2pm
CHAL Art Show: Seascapes, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE

10am – 6 pm
Opening Party: Zak Lighting at Homebody, 715 8th St. SE

10th Anniversary at Capitol Hill Bikes, 719 8th St. SE

10:15 – 11:15 am
Sew a pencil case (fee) (ages 7-10) at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

11 am – 1pm
Short Films: Eastern Market Rebuilt at SE Public Library @ Eastern Mkt Metro, 403 7th St. SE

12pm – 2 pm
K-9 Lifesavers (Dog adoptions) at Chateau Animaux, 524 8th St. SE

12pm – 6 pm
Free Balloon Bouquets for Children, Sweet Magnolia, 703 8th St. SE

12pm – 6 pm
Art Show: Interstage’s Antiks at Long and Foster Real Estate, 8th and D St. SE

12pm – 6pm
Art Show: Rosetta DeBerardinis, The Corner Store, 900 So. Carolina Ave. SE

1pm – 2pm
Demo of computerized mat cutting at Frame of Mine, 522 8th St. SE

1pm – 3pm
KNITALONG: free workshop at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

*1pm – 2:30 pm
Keyboard +Free Concert with Singing Lizard at SE Public Library @ Eastern Mkt Metro, 403 7th St. SE

*1pm – 3pm
Clarinet Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Homebody, 715 8th St. SE

*1pm – 4pm
*Cornet Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

*Flute Family Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Pawticulars, 407 8th St. SE

*Electric Guitar Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Attitude Exact Gallery, 739 8th St. SE

*Harp Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Attitude Exact Gallery, 739 8th St. SE

*Piccolo Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Pawticulars, 407 8th St. SE

*Trumpet Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Cava Mezze, 527 8th St. SE

*1pm – 5pm
Art Reception with wine and music at Attitude Exact Gallery, 739 8th St. SE

2pm – 3pm
History Tour of Barracks Row, Begins at Eastern Market Metro

2pm – 4pm
Curbside Cupcakes in front of Groovy DC, 425 8th St. SE (while they last!)

4pm – 6pm
A Cappella Concert (fee), Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE

3pm – 5pm
Wine Tasting at Zest Bistro, 735 8th St. SE

3 pm – 5pm
Class: Ableton Photography Workshop (fee) at The Fridge (Alley behind Belga), 516 8th St. SE Rear Alley

3pm – 5pm
Art Show: Giovanni’s Art Group of Capitol Hill at Fusion Grill, 515 8th St. SE

Craft Along (free with purchase of materials) at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

3pm – 6pm
Wine Tasting at Chat’s Liquors, 503 8th St. SE

4pm – 6pm
Doggie Lama: pet coaching at Chateau Animaux, 524 8th St. SE

Sunday March 21, 2010

11am – 12pm
Free Concert with the Singing Lizard, The Corner Store, 900 S Carolina SE

11am – 2pm
Curbside Cupcakes in front of Groovy DC, 425 8th St. SE (while they last!)

11am – 2pm
Jazz Combo w/Brunch and Lunch at Matchbox, 521 8th St. SE

11:15am – 12:15pm
Knit FAST – crash course (fee) at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

12pm – 3 pm
Cat Adoption at Chateau Animaux, 524 8th St. SE

12pm – 5pm
10th Anniversary Celebration at Capitol Hill Bikes, 719 8th St. SE

12pm – 6pm
Free Balloon Bouquets for Children at Sweet Magnolia, 703 8th St. SE

*1pm – 4pm
*Cello Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Fusion Grill, 515 8th St. SE

*Violin Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Homebody, 715 8th St. SE

*Drums Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Starfish Café, 539 8th St. SE

*Electric Guitar Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Capitol Hill Bikes, 719
8th St. SE
*Acoustic Guitar Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Pawticulars,407 8th St SE
*Mandolin Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Pawticulars, 407 8th St. SE

*Keyboard Musical Instrument Petting Zoo at Café 8, 424 8th St. SE

2pm – 3pm
History Tour of Barracks Row, Begins at Eastern Market Metro

2pm – 4pm
Art Class (all ages) (fee) at The Fridge Annex, 633 E St. SE REAR

3pm – 5pm
Art Show: Giovanni’s Art Group of Capitol Hill Fusion Grill, 515 8th St. SE

Learn to sew (fee) at Stitch DC, 731 8th St. SE

8pm
Sunday Circus (age 17+) (fee) at The Fridge (Alley behind Belga), 516 8th St. SE Rear Alley

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Filed under All ages, Educational, Live Entertainment, Music, Weekend