Memorial Day Weekend

Three. Day. Weekend. Perhaps among my favorite words in the English language when used together. And this extended break from the grind is chock-full of fun things for the family to do, from jazz in the Sculpture Garden to strawberries in the country to a holiday parade in the city. Here’s a review of what’s going on, both previously posted events and a few new ones. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Jazz in the Garden
A great way to start a summer weekend is with Jazz in the Garden, the free concert series that takes place at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden every Friday from 5:30 – 8:30pm. The first performance is this this evening, rain or shine. Lay out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy some good jazz artists and sounds.

Sunset Celebration at Mt. Vernon
Hang out after hours at George Washington’s old digs this weekend. The Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon is a new Memorial Day event taking place every evening from 6 – 9pm this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Enjoy desserts (and wine for grown-ups), 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides, and costumed residents. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under.

Pen & the Post: Collect, Correspond, Celebrate
Remember when smail mail was our only letter writing option? The National Postal Museum is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 29, that explores the history of pens and mail. Kids can learn about the past and present of letter writing with loads of composition activities—card design, calligraphy, a pen “petting zoo,” and letter to military members. The event is free and open from 11am – 5pm.

Great Country Farms Strawberry Jubilee U-Pick Festival
Strawberries, kids activities, strawberries, pie eating contest, strawberries, farm animals, strawberries, live music, and more strawberries! Great Country Farms’ Strawberry Jubilee is this weekend, May 29-31, and there will be tons of fun, games and food (including strawberries) for the whole family to enjoy. A $10 admission fee gets you all of the above and more. Check out their website for details.

National Memorial Day Concert
Why watch on PBS when you can be there? The 2010 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday, May 30 from 8 – 9:30pm. Gary Sinise and Jow Mantegna are hosting the event, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrifice for for the U.S. Gates open at 5pm, admission if free.

Get Wet – Outdoor Pool and Spray Parks Open
Cool off as the weather heats up. All of the outdoor pools and spray parks within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation open this Saturday, May 29. Outdoor pools will be open all summer Monday through Friday 1 – 8pm and Saturday/Sunday 12 – 6pm. Spray Parks will be open weekends only 10am – 4pm. Starting June 21, they will also be open Monday – Friday 11am – 7pm. But some of the best places to play in the spray can be found in Arlington County—Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park are spray fan favorites.

Put YOU in the Musical
Give your kids a Glee experience! This Saturday, May 29, the National Children’s Museum is hosting the special event, Put YOU in the Musical. It’s a chance for kids to learn some classic dance moves, belt out some Broadway tunes, and explore the world of the stage. From 11am – 4pm, recommended for children ages 2 and older.

National Memorial Day Parade
The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. On Sunday, May 31, the procession of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans will travel down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets. The parade begins at 2pm. Watch from the sidewalk for free.

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