As if we need anymore reasons to adore Glen Echo Park, the venue known for its children’s plays and puppet shows (and carousel and playground and rail car) will offer even more entertaining and educational experiences this summer. From a weekend folk festival and new theatre productions to concert series and classes that explore the environment, there’s something for every age and interest to enjoy.
Washington Folk Festival
In its 31st year, the festival showcases the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation and the world will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the festival renown in the folk community this weekend, June 4-5 from 12-7pm both days. Admission is free.
You have merely days to catch the final shows of “A Year with Frog and Toad,” as curtains close on June 5. And it will be a couple of weeks before they open again for the theatre’s next production. “Charlotte’s Web” will take the stage June 24 and run through September 5. The play based on the classic children’s book is sure to be a hit. Tickets for both shows are available for advance purchase online.
The Puppet Co.
“The Great Dinosaur Mystery” opens June 9 and runs through July 17. Less than a week later “The Wizard of Oz” will come to puppet life from July 22 – September 4. Tickets for both shows are $10 and available for advance purchase online. And the littlest ones can enjoy Tiny Tots shows just about every Wednesday and Saturday this summer. See the schedule for details.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 3pm, families can explore and experience the local environment through various activities, including environmental programs, short hikes to the creek, arts & crafts, and live animal encounters. Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. There are also various classes on Saturday mornings at 9am & 10am, specifically for kids ages 3-7 (with a parent). Visit the Living Classrooms website for complete class descriptions and registration information.
Summer Concert Series
Starting June 23, the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts & Culture will present six nights of live music in the Bumper Car Pavilion on various Thursdays evenings throughout the summer. Families are invited to bring a picnic dinner or visit the Ballroom Cafe for a meal or dessert. Concerts begin at 7:30pm rain or shine, and the Carousel will also be open from 7-9pm on these evenings. The Glen Echo website has the full concert schedule, and for more summer concerts in the area, see this post about summer recreation and entertainment.
The Magic of Music Series
The Washington Conservatory of Music presents a summer series of family music and magic shows on several Saturday afternoons during June and July (see the complete schedule for specifics) . The Magic of Music, a fun introduction to music for the young (and the young at heart!), features Musico the Magnificent – aka Drew Owen, cellist and WCM faculty member – and musical guest artists. Concerts will take place in Washington Conservatory’s recital hall in the South Arcade Building. Tickets are $10 and available through the Washington Conservatory website until 1pm. on the day of the show. All shows begin at 3pm.