Get the weekend started with the Yards Park’s final Friday evening concert of the season (if weather permits). Beyond that, you’ve got your pick of activities — museums for free, art festivals, fall festivals, children’s theatre, opera on Nats’ turf, a walk for animal welfare, family fun at Lincoln’s digs. And those are just the special events; mainstay options also abound, both outdoors and in. Happy Weekend!
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Where: Local museums
There are some area museums in the DC area that actually do charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting it’s annual Museum Day, when those that require us to open our wallets, are free. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary. For more about the program, including recs for participating museums that kids will enjoy, see this post from a few days ago.
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!
Bargain hunters take note: This Yard Sale is going to rock! I know this for sure because I helped collect the items… clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, there will be a moon bounce (and playground if weather permits), so kids can play while you shop. Maury Elementary is located on Capitol Hill at 1250 Constitution Avenue NE.
Kaleidoscope for Kids
Where: The Durant Center, 10am – 4pm
When: Saturday & Sunday,
Admission: $30/adult and child all day or pay be program
How about an art experience designed just for kids this weekend? The first-ever Kaleidoscope for Kids art festival will present all kinds of workshops and performances for all ages – kaleidoscope making, flamenco, bookmaking, origami, drumming, an Arts on the Horizon show and much more. Buy an all-day adult/child ticket for $30 or pick and choose your activities (most are $10). The Durant Center is located at 1605 Cameron Street in Alexandria.
Eyes of History 2012
When: September 28 – March 29
Admission: Free on Saturday or $21.95/adult, $12.95/7-18, free for 6 and under
Check out the Newseum’s newest exhibit during its opening weekend. Eyes of History 2012 showcases more than 70 prize-winning images from the White House Press Photographers Association’s annual competition. I had an opportunity to preview the exhibit, and its a tremendous collection, featuring images that capture newsmaking moments and convey big stories in a single shot. It’s a fairly kid-friendly exhibit — there’s nothing too graphic, and the images could spark some interesting conversations. And, of course, there is much more to see at the Newseum, and if you go on Saturday, admission is free thanks to Museum Day.
Where: Washington DC Convention Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Tickets start at $10
The nation’s premier sustainability event is where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; a green marketplace; and delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. And the Green Kids Zone will feature entertaining and enriching activities, including eco-crafts, yoga, story time, trivia and more!
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
It’s opening weekend for “P. Nokio: A Hip Hop Musical” at Imagination Stage. 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. This week’s Saturday Morning at the National show is Michael Shwedick’s Reptile World. 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.
Where: Several venues in Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 8pm
This annual celebration will highlight art and culture in Washington’s smallest quadrant, Southwest. The lineup of festivities will include a central art market, music, dance, film screenings, walking tours, and more. Among the festivities: The Wharf will be opening its outdoor art studio for a free event where kids and parents can make their own sock puppets, enjoy refreshments and register for fun door prizes. There are many more event happening all day, so be sure to check the schedule for specifics.
Opera in the Outfield
Where: National Park
When: Saturday, 7pm (gates open at 5pm)
How often do you get to hang out on the field at Nationals Park? Sure, there may not be a baseball game going on, but this is a pretty cool and unique event. Celebrate the the Washington National Opera’s new season as they present a live simulcast of Mozart;s masterpiece, Don Giovanni. Along with the music, there will be stage fighting demos, flamenco performances, a screening of the cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?”, and more. The event will take place rain or shine.
National Family Pack Walk
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday, 8am – 3pm
Join internationally renowned dog behavior expert and animal activist Cesar Millan, Scooby-Doo, and Warner Bros. on the National Mall for the 2nd Annual National Family Pack Walk, and event to help promote animal welfare. The 1.5-mile Pack Walk around the National Mall will be led by Cesar Millan and Scooby-Doo, followed by an afternoon of Scooby-themed activities from numerous Warner Bros. partners, licensees and charitable sponsors. Registration and check in begins at 8am, then there will be some warm up activities with Cesar and Scooby, and the walk will commence at 10am.
Rock Out at the Art Museum
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm & 12:30-3:30pm
There are a couple of workshops for kids at the museum on Saturday. Kids ages 8-11 are invited to join an interactive workshop that will help them discover the rock stars they already are. Whether they’ve been playing for years or never touched an instrument, participants will get inspired by the trailblazing musicians in Women Who Rock, explore a variety of musical instruments, and craft their stage confidence and identities, complete with costume. Presented in partnership with Girls Rock! DC. No musical experience necessary. The later workshop is similar, but for ages 12-15. Reservations are required for both – email firstname.lastname@example.org or all 202.783.7370 to sign up.
The Art of Video Games
Where: American Art Museum
When: Through Sunday
This weekend is your last chance to see this exhibit that explores the forty-year revolution of video games as art. Along with a room full of games, both old school and modern, to demo, there is whole other room dedicated to game systems, displaying the consoles, videos, and images of a variety of games from past and present. This is one that both kids (about ages 6 and up) and parents will both truly enjoy. Read about our experience there in this post.
Family Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but tours are $5-15
Join President Lincoln’s Cottage and the Armed Forces Retirement Home as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln family’s first season at the Soldiers’ Home. Enjoy the Lincolns’ Cottage as they once did through an array of activities and demonstrations for family members of all ages – observe a civil war encampment, make a Lincoln top hat, play at the petting zoo, listen to traditional tunes, view the Emancipation Proclamation, tour the cottage, and more. Advance ticket purchase is recommended, so get yours here.
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Celebrate the season at a festival this weekend. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. This post has details on a bunch of fall festivals the area.
Open House at the Kreeger
Where: The Kreeger Museum
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
The Biennial Kreeger Museum Open House is a celebration of the arts, filled with music, workshops and visual art for visitors of all ages. Activities will include two special art workshops for children and adults, a drum circle, free ice cream & bottled water, storytime programs for ages 3-5, a raffle with prizes, and more.
Merriment in Maryland
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under
Take a day trip back to medieval times at the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. The faire runs every weekend through October 21 and offers plenty for everyone in the family to enjoy. Get a glimpse of our recent outing there.
Rock On at Natural History
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Find out how rocks and minerals are part of our daily lives and what stories they tell us about the Earth and solar system at this Family Festival at the “Dino” Museum. Participate in demonstrations and hands-on activities, interacting directly with museum scientists, educators, and volunteers to learn about volcanoes, meteorites, rocks, and minerals, and our relationships with them. Create your own art inspired by rocks and crack open your own geodes!
Hispanics in Science & Aerospace
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
It’s a Family Day at the Dulles Arm of the Air & Space Museum. Hear about Latin Americans’ contributions to aviation and space exploration. Take part in bilingual story times and hands-on activities presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Portrait Story Days: Jim Hensen
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Jim Henson, the puppeteer who created The Muppets.