Right now I’ve got a line from the Stone Temple Pilots song “Plush” playing on repeat in my head: “And I feel so much depends on the weather.” Those lyrics could be the theme for this post. Some of this weekend’s best activities take place outdoors, but with rain in the forecast for tomorrow they may not live up to their potential. Luckily, there’s plenty going on for a great time indoors, too. (And we’ve learned by now that the forecast isn’t always reliable, anyway.) Here’s what’s happening around town, indoor and out, rain or shine. Happy Weekend!
A Peek at the Peak – It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year when the cherry trees are in bloom, and they are at their best right now. The National Mall and Tidal Basin are sure to be teeming with blossom oglers if the weather cooperates, but braving the crowds is worth it. Our family went for a sunset stroll by the Jefferson Memorial a few evenings ago and found the scene as spectacular as ever. If you’re planning to partake in the blossom experience this weekend, check out these tips before you go.
Family Fun Day at the Yards Park – As noted above and below, there two things to get excited about as spring begins in DC: Cherry blossoms and baseball. On Saturday, you can celebrate both at the Yards Park, the centerpiece of the new Capitol Riverfront area that just opened last year. The Family Fun Day will include kids activities such as boat making and moonbouncing, lantern making for all ages, demos by the Trapeze School, Japanese performers and music, a variety of Japanese cuisine from Nooshi Sushi, and Sake tasting and a Japanese beer garden (for adults, of course) from Mie N Yu. The event is free and open to the public from 11am – 4pm.
Nano Days – Celebrate nanotechnology at the National Museum of American History’s Spark!Lab with a day full of activities that teach all ages about nano science and invention and the role it plays in our lives. Staff will help visitors conducts experiments that include constructing a giant model of a carbon nanotube entirely from balloons, measuring height in nanometers, and creating a liquid crystal display that changes color. The free event runs from 10am – 4pm Friday through Sunday.
Nationals vs. Braves – Baseball season is officially underway, and we can root for the hometeam this weekend as the Nats host the Braves for two more afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are still available for both, and you can get a discount on select seats if you buy through Goldstar. And don’t forget about Kids Run the Bases on Sunday after the game—children ages 4-12 can round the plates for an extra ballpark thrill. For more about baseball games at Nationals Park, see this write up from last year.
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival – The National Cherry Blossom Festival’s annual event at the Southwest Waterfront is an all-day affair with live music and family festivities galore al kicking off at 1pm. Enjoy a variety of musical performances on three stages aong with face painting, balloon artists, strolling entertainment, mini-sailboat races,T-shirt screenings, fire boat water shows, and more. The grand finale will begin at 8:30pm when the fireworks show illuminates the evening sky and water.
Tots Rock! At Air & Space – The National Air & Space Museum is hosting one of its Tots Rock! Shows on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Kids ages 3-8 can enjoy a mix of entertainment at one of their favorite museums. They can explore a Planetarium show starring Big Bird and Elmo, listen to a flight-themed story, craft shadow puppets or build a rocket, and…drum roll…rock out at a Ryan Buckle and Friends concert as they perform their hit show Science You Can Sing To. Visit the website for a schedule of events, and note that tickets are required and seating is limited for planetarium shows.
House of Sweden Family Fun – Join the Swedish Embassy for a family day with activities for all ages. Enjoy the Space for Children interactive play room, craft your favorite animal out of fusible beads, take an interactive quiz walk where you will learn some Swedish, get a Swedish treat from the fishing pond (little red gummies, anyone?), and create a work of art in the painting corner. The free event runs from 11am – 2pm on Saturday.
Shabbatots Passover Prep – The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is hosting the first installment of Shabbatots, a new monthly Shabbat program for families with young children. Explore the intersection of Judaism and flexibility with Torah yoga, enjoy a light lunch, and learn fun ways to make a Passover seder family friendly. Each family will take home a “seder in a sack” and tools to create a personalized seder. Torah Yoga is free and runs from 10 – 10:30am. The lunch and activity portion runs from 10:30am – 12pm, and cost is $36 per family. The activity is appropriate for children ages 2-6, but siblings of different ages are welcome.
A Preschool Celebrates 50 Years – The Learning Center for Young Children (LCYC) is celebrating its 50th year of serving the Kensington area with an Open House & Children’s Fair on Sunday from 2 – 5pm. Families can enjoy activity stations set up around the school including arts & crafts, storytelling, hands-on science projects, music, and dance. LCYC’s ‘Young Music Makers’ will perform under the direction of John Horman. There will also be door prizes, face painting, and snacks available. Visit the website for more details, including location and directions.
The Magic Paintbrush – You have two more weekends to catch the Synetic Family Theater’s current production that takes the audience on a dramatic adventure through China. Owen and I saw the play a couple of weeks ago, and we were both enchanted. Performed completely through pantomime (or phyiscal storytelling, as the theater calls it) I was unsure how Owen would respond. But while he couldn’t quite follow the story, he was nonetheless captivated by the expressive actors performing along with beautiful Chinese music and action-packed scenes, including Cirque de Soleil-like choreography, as actors whirled mid-air on suspended curtains. I’d recommend reading the story with your kids prior to the show, so they have a better understanding of the plot, but even if you don’t have an opportunity, they’ll likely be mesmerized all the same. Tickets for The Magic Paintbrush are $12 and available for purchase through the Synetic Theater website.
Show Time – Several more productions will be on stages this weekend, including Dr. Kaboom at the Kennedy Center and Cinderella at Alden Theatre. For more current performances, see this post on spring shows in the area.
Tiny Tots –Two puppet shows for the littlest ones will be performed at The Puppet Co. this weekend: Animal Crackers on Saturday and Dragon Bandwagon on Sunday. Both start at 10am. Tickets are $5 and available online or at the box office. Tiny Tots shows are recommended for ages 0-4.
Portrait Story Days: Duke Ellington – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This week, learn about jazz composer, pianist, and big band leader Duke Ellington (1899-1974).