Trains, Flora, and Mom Rule this Weekend

My two favorite gifts

If you’re still making plans for this weekend’s honoree and looking for fun activities for the kids, this round-up has you covered. There are several events happening over the next few days that will have the whole family feeling like it’s their special day. But the best gift we moms can ask for are happy kids (and spa packages are always awesome, too). Happy Weekend!  And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

All Aboard for National Train DayIf you’ve got a young train enthusiast in your midst, then head to Union Station on Saturday for the 4th Annual National Train Day. From 11am – 4pm, guests of all ages can enjoy and experience a variety of train-related fun, including live entertainment, interactive and educational exhibits, kids’ activities, model train displays and tours of Amtrak equipment, freight and commuter trains, and notable private railroad cars.  Read more about it in this post from earlier this week.

Go Postal for TrainsFor some extra locomotive fun, chug on over to the National Postal Museum, where even more National Train Day activities will take place, also from 11am – 4pm. Relating to its “Moving the Mail” exhibit, the celebration will include hands-on fun for the whole family. Guests can speed-sort mail, watch model trains, toot a train whistle, make a stamp collection, and more. The National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NW, and the event will take place in the Museum Atrium.

Cheverly Truck TouchOver 20 vehicles will be on display this Saturday from 10am – 2pm for young motorists-in-the-making to explore. Children can sit in the driver’s seat of a cement truck, honk the horn of a dump truck, run around inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler, check out a race car, stand on the back of a garbage truck, blare a police car siren the siren, “drive” a fire truck, and much more. And the fun doesn’t end with the wheels—there will also be a small ride-on train, games geared just for little ones, face painting, concessions, balloons, and T-shirts for sale. Admission is just $5 for ages 1-12 (under 1 and over 12 are free!) and includes 4 game. The event will be held in the Cheverly United Methodist Church parking lot. Read this post for more information.

FlowermartThe annual spring festival at the National Cathedral will take place on Friday 10am – 6pm and 10am – 5pm. While plant sales, floral and horticultural displays, and boutique booths will be of more interest to grown-ups, there will also be tasty foods, music and entertainment, rides on the antique carousel, and other fun activities to delight kids as well. Admission is free.  Proceeds from other sales benefit the Cathedral’s gardens, grounds and woodlands.

Garden Fest – The Kaupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle will be buzzing on Friday from 11am – 1pm and Saturday from 11am – 3pm  as Garden Fest connects people and plants through educational demonstrations and engaging hands-on fun. Kids will dig plant-inspired art activities, a stilt walker, tattoo station, and live music by Cuttin’ Grass. Adults can enjoy the same, plus floricultural demos, gardening book sales and signings, orchid displays, and many other plant and gardening exhibits. The event is from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free.

Shortcut to Europe Avoid the steep airfare and jet lag, and explore The Continent from this side of the pond.  Passport DC invites you to join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international food, dancing, kids entertainment, exhibitions, vacation planning, and more. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures. This all takes place this Saturday from 10am – 4pm. Free shuttle bus service will be available throughout the day, and many embassies are convenient to Metro for walking. Admission is free, but bring identification, as some embassies will conduct security checks.

Mother’s Day at Mount VernonJoin the “Mother of Our Country,” Martha Washington, and her granddaughter “Nelly” as they celebrate this special weekend with visitors. On Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 5pm, enjoy “Lady Washington’s” reminiscences of motherhood and her sage advice to her youngest granddaughter. The event is included with admission—$15/adults, $14/seniors, $7/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

Potomac Bonsai Festival  – Celebrate the tiny trees at one of the prettiest places in the city Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am – 5pm.  There will be bonsai activities to entertain everyone, from the interested observer to the accomplished artist. Each day features demonstrations, exhibits, children’s activities, Asian food vendors, and the renowned collections of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

Ride & Putt at WatkinsThe antique carousel, train, and mini golf course at Watkins Regional Park open for the season starting Saturday.  Hours through Memorial Day will be 10am-3pm Thursday and Fridays, and 12-5pm on weekends.  After that, it will be open every day but Monday (with the exception of Memorial Day) with longer hours.  For more about Watkins, read this post from last year, which ironically is about the closing of the park’s rides for the season.

Space Day – Have some out-of-this-world fun at the Air & Space Museum on the Mall on Saturday.  Guests will have the chance to meet astronauts and space experts, communicate with the International Space Station, learn how to build a flyable model rocket, build a mock space station out of recycled materials, create an astronaut paper doll, design a mission patch, and enjoy more cool astro-related activities. The free event runs from 10am – 3pm.

Joanie Leeds on the Millennium StageJoin the artist of the 2010 Parents’ Choice® Gold Award-winning album, I’m a Rock Star, as she celebrate the releae of her new album, What a Zoo!, with a performance on the Kennedy Center’s Milliennum Stageon Saturday at 6pm. Joanie Leeds and her band, The Nightlights, will make their Washington, DC, debut with a FREE rocking family show. If you haven’t heard Joanie’s music, go take a listen on her website—it’s easy to see why her poppy sound and fun lyrics strike a chord with kids. The concert is part of The Kennedy Center’s daily Free Performance series.

Let Them Entertain You – A variety of performances will be on local stages this weekend, from puppet shows at Glen Echo to plays at Ford’s and Adventure Theatres to concerts at Jammin’ Java and the Kennedy Center. For details on what and who is playing where, see this post from a couple months ago and this one from a few days ago.

Savor the SunshineIt looks like we’re in for some perfect spring weather for at least part of the weekend. Go indulge in it with the help of this list of the best places in the DC area to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the kids.


2 Comments

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Trains, Union Station, Weekend

2 Responses to Trains, Flora, and Mom Rule this Weekend

  1. Michelle

    I keep meaning to write and tell you that I am so grateful to you for this blog! I LOVE it! Ever since I stumbled upon it a few months ago, it has been my absolute go-to resource for things to do with my 4- and 2-year-old girls–and I’m certain I am not the only “lurker” follower that you have!

    We visited the Haupt Garden today for the GardenFest preview (I say preview only b/c most of the super-exciting events are happening tomorrow) but it was fantastic! Very few people compared to the crowds that are likely for tomorrow, and the girls had plenty of uncrowded opportunity to sit in a bald eagle’s “nest” and get temporary tattoos…and even participate in PAINTING a community garden mural! Even bought a gorgeous book on the Smithsonian Gardens and the author signed it for us right on the spot! So much fun! And what a gorgeous day! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, Michelle — it made my day! That’s great to hear you find my blog useful and have had good experiences with the recommendations. I’m also happy to hear you enjoyed Garden Fest. We went last year and loved it. There really are some wonderful activities for kids along with exhibits, demos, book sales, and more for adults.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend just as much. Happy Mother’s Day!

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