The Weekend Round-Up: September 22-23

Creating a pipe structure at last year's Big Build

Happy Weekend!

National Book Festival
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm & Sunday, 12-5:30pm
Admission: Free
One of the biggest annual events to take place in Washington, DC, is this weekend: The 2012 National Book Festival. Organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Festival regularly attracts over 100,000 visitors to the National Mall for a fantastic celebration of books and reading. More than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre will be presenting and doing readings and book signings. These will take place along with many other reading-related activities for all. See this post for more about the event.

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30
Admission: Free
We attended last year, so I know firsthand that this is one super cool event. Budding builders can start honing their skills as they work alongside professionals, including architects, designers, builders, artisans, and trades people at the National Building Museum. Guests can try their hands at a variety of construction techniques, build a miniature house from sticks, create mosaics, talk with the experts, play in a KaBOOM imagination playground, and more. While admission to the event is free, a $5 donation is suggested. Recommended for ages 4-12.

Show Time
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
It’s opening weekend for several new shows on stage at area theatres after a few weeks’ break between productions. The Puppet Co. presents both Tiny Tots and “Carnival of the Animals” (ticket discount here). Next door, you can catch “Big, the Musical” at Adventure Theatre. The National Theatre is bringing back its free Saturday Morning at the National series with a performance by the Bright Star Theatre Company. Local kids fave Rocknoceros is playing a Friday Happy Hour show at Jammin’ Java. And the Big Apple Circus will be wowing crowds under the Big Top at Dulles Town Center. For details and ticket info for all of these shows, see this post about live entertainment this fall.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill
When: September 22, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. This year’s festivities will include tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, aerialists from the trapeze school, and tons of fun for kids. And chefs from all branches of the military will be back again for a Military Culinary Competition. Go here for a schedule of festivities.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free
Take a day trip back to 18th-century America at Mount Vernon’s Colonial Market & Fair. Watch artisans and craftspeople from all over the country demonstrate early techniques of their crafts, many of which will be for sale. Enjoy live entertainment including music performances, puppet shows, a sword swallower, a fire eater, and a miracle medicine man. Admission to the Fair is included in the entrance fee to the estate. Food will be available at extra cost. For more information and the full performance schedule, visit the Mount Vernon website.

Dulles Plane Pull
Where: Dulles Airport
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
See people pull planes! This annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. And the public is invited to watch it all go down. Along with the tug o’ airplane, there will be live music, a car show, military and civilian aircraft displays, business exhibits, and children’s games and entertainment. Gates open at 10:30am. Go here for directions and parking information.

Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall has officially begun, and you can celebrate the season and then some at one of many festivals happening this weekend, from city neighborhoods to country farms. The 17th Street Festival is on Saturday, Renn Fest gets medieval very weekends through October, and several farms are welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about fall festivals.

Jim Hensen Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the birthday – and the creative mind – of Muppet creator Jim Henson. See his portrait in the Twentieth-Century Americans exhibit and enjoy music, hands-on puppet-making activities, interactive puppet theater, gallery talks, and a special treat (while supplies last). Most activities will take place in the Kogod Courtyard.

Reel Portraits: The Muppet Movie
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 3:30pm
Admission: Free
After the Jim Hensen Family Day, stay to catch a film starring all of the puppet master’s creations. The Muppet Movie will be shown in the McEvoy Auditorium on the museum’s lower level. Doors open 30 minutes before the film starts, and seating is on a first come, first served basis. (After writing about it I can’t get “Why are there so many songs about rainbows” out of my head…and now you won’t be able to either. Love the Muppets.)

Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/children, $12/adults
Great Country Farms is celebrating apple season with a focus on one of the fruit’s yummiest products – cider. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be cider pressing demos with the farm’s antique cider press as well as tastings. Visit the website for activity times. Admission also covers hayrides, wine tasting across the street at Bluemont Vineyard, visits with barnyard animals, and loads of fun for kids, including a pumpkin jumpin’ pillow, 60-foot slide, five mazes, and pedal tractors.

Pride of Baltimore II Tours and Sail
Where: Gangplank Marina
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tours are free, sails are $45/adults, $30/children
The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer, has sailed in to DC waters and will be docked at the Gangplank Marina this weekend. Free general deck tours will be available to the public on Saturday from the boat’s arrival until 3pm and on Sunday 10am – 3pm. You can also cruise the Potomac on a sailing adventure from 3-5:30pm.

DC VegFest
Where: The Yards Park
When: 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free
Explore and celebrate the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital at the fourth annual DC VegFest. This free outdoor (and dog-friendly) festival will feature engaging speakers, cooking demonstrations, free food samples, more than 100 exhibitors, a kids’ area, a cupcake eating contest, a beer and wine garden for adults, and much more. The Yards Park is located at 300 Water Street SE near Nationals Park.

Clarendon Day
Where: Clarendon Metro
When: 11am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free
Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Dozens of vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, music on two stages, fitness classes, and a KidZone will be part of the action. And Virginia Hospital Center is once again hosting its own “avenue” at Clarendon Day, where guests can enjoy performances, kids’ fun, free health screenings, seated massage, visits from local sports mascots, and more.

Takoma Play Day
Where: Takom Park Middle School
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free
Rally the troops for a day full of play! The fourth annual Takoma Park Play Day will feature many of the activities that guetsts have enjoyed in previous years, including Simon Says with Takoma Park’s own Senator Jamie Raskin, Just Boxes, face painting, tennis, Touch a Truck, zumba and dress up. Musical performances by the Takoma Park Community Band, plus Anna Grace and Joe Uehlein, a Violin Ensemble from the Keri Tomenko Violin Studio, and the Scrub Pines will help keep everyone entertained all day. New this year will be Imagination Playground (provided by Rolling Terrace Elementary School), an obstacle ourse, an oil painting demonstration by Takoma Park artist Jamie Combs, a giant chess set, and skate boarding demonstrations in Takoma Piney Branch Park.

Plant Literacy
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Drop by the USBG for the 3rd annual Plant Literacy Festival to learn more about the amazing world of plants. From roots to fruits and microbes to menu items, travel through various activity stations highlighting how plants work and explore all the parts that make plants unique, valuable and tasty. This will all take place in the Conservatory Terrace.

Calvalcade of Street Cars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $7/ages 18 and up, $5/ages 2-17
Hop on for a day of fun! Along with the museum’s array of exhibits and regular trolley rides, there will be several European trams and North American street cars offering visitors a spin through Northwest Branch Park during a single visit.

Riverside Music
Where: The Yards Park
When: Sunday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free
Head to Yards Park on Sunday afternoon for a family-friendly lineup of live music. Bach to Rock, featuring Healthy Addiction, will kick off the concert. Then Scott Kurt and Memphis 59 will take the stage for a two-hour performance. These concerts are always casual and fun, and this one will be especially so with a moonbounce for kids. There is a Nats game that day, so plan accordingly for parking and transportation.

Where: Area stadiums
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
Three of DC’s pro sports teams are bringing the action home this weekend. The post-season bound (yeah!) Nats host the Brewers Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (and Monday). The Redskins’ home opener is Sunday against Cincinnati. And the DC United plays Chivas USA on Sunday evening. Tickets are available for all games — just follow the links above.

And find even more ideas in these popular posts:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors


1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

One Response to The Weekend Round-Up: September 22-23

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