The weekend is upon us once again, and as usual, our city does not disappoint on family recreation. From a walk in POTUS footsteps to a walk in the woods, there’s an activity for every young Washingtonian (and parents!) to enjoy.
White House Grounds and Garden Tour
Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with the first family’s flowers. The annual tour of the White House gardens takes place on Saturday 10am – 4pm and on Sunday 10am – 3pm. The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children’s Garden, and South Lawn will be on view to guests. The public is invited, but every visitor (small children included) needs a ticket to tour. Starting at 8am on both days, tickets will be distributed at the Ellipse Visitor Pavillion at 15th & E Streets NW on a first-come, first-served basis. Tour times are indicated on each ticket, so keep your day open if you hope to go.
Family Day: Earth Day Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Earth Day is just around the corner, and the American Art Museum is starting its celebration early with a Family Day on Saturday that also marks the opening of the exhibition, “Running Fence.” From 11:30am – 3pm, there will be several hands-on activities for kids. They can make eco-friendly woven placemats, decorate tote bags, create fabric collages, and help build a community fence. Storytellers and performers will also be there to entertain. The museum is located at 8th and F Streets NW.
Brookside Gardens Earth Day Festival
Another early Earth Day celebration will be happening at Brookside Gardens on Sunday. The festival begins with a bird walk around the garden and continues with botanic-ish activities throughout the day. Kids can listen to a reading of Jack and the Beanstalk and plant a bean seed for their own garden, then participate (for a fee) in the “Grow it, Eat it, Salad Box” workshop. And the Children’s Garden is a must! A gnome hut, tree house, turtle pond, and stepping stones to a tea party are practically out of a fairy tale. A few Earth Day specials: Photo ops with the Brookside Gardens Frog, Earth Wish Flower crafts, and worm composting.
Junior Ranger Day at Rock Creek
Rock Creek Park is kicking off National Park Week with a day full of activities for kids that highlight nature, history, wildlife, and Native American culture. Explore the Horse Center, meet its staff, and learn about horses within the park. Tour Peirce Mill and hear stories about its history. Adopt a tree, make dolls out of corn husks, and learn to write with a quill pen. Visit the National Park Service website for times and recommended ages for each activity.
Bethesda Literary Festival
The 11th annual festival celebrating reading and writing begins Friday night and runs through the weekend. Both local and national authors, journalists, and poets will be there to present their works, lead discussions, and sign books. Other events include children’s storytimes, writing contests, and poetry slams. Admission is free. View the schedule for event times and locations.