The Weekend Round-Up: October 19-21

A corn maze of epic proportions at Montpelier Farms


It’s a peak weekend in DC, and I’m not just referring to the brilliant hues of fall foliage that make for picturesque scenes everywhere.  The options for family fun seem to be boundless. Fall festivals are in full swing at locales all around the area. Local stages are buzzing with live entertainment, much of it free thanks to the fantastic month-long Kids Euro Fest. Museums are presenting art, culture, and fun with special youth programs. A couple of quirky fairs offer a little day trip back in time. Halloween activities are underway. Even the White House is part of it all, welcoming guests to tour its gardens. Plus, one I’m really looking forward to: The Fall Safety Festival, where it’s sure to be a good time, and for a great cause.  And it doesn’t hurt that we’ll be able to enjoy all of this amid delicious autumn weather during one of the prettiest time of the year. Read on for details on all of the above and then some. Happy Weekend!

Kids Euro Fest  
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues through November 13.  See what’s on the schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

White House Fall Garden Tours
Where: White House
When: Friday & Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Here’s a rare opportunity to enjoy autumn at the White House. The annual Fall Garden and Grounds Tours are being held today and tomorrow. The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn will be on view to guests. The public is invited, but every visitor (small children included) needs a ticket to tour. Starting at 8am on both days, tickets will be distributed at the Ellipse Visitor Pavillion at 15th & E Streets NW on a first-come, first-served basis. Tour times are indicated on each ticket, so keep your day open if you hope to go.

Fall Safety Festival to Support the Maslins
Where: Brent Elementary School
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, activities and concessions cost extra
The event is hosted in Ward 6, but everyone is invited to enjoy a day of family-friendly activities that promote the community’s quality of life through safety and help support the Maslins, a local family whose lives were forever changed after a senseless assault two months ago (more here).  The Festival will have all kinds of family activities, including a kids’ olympics, moonbounces, the big DCFD slide, firetrucks, and Boogie Babes performances, PLUS a wine and beer garden at the Legion, food provided by Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, car seat inspections, police tips, live bands, a book and bake sale, and Washington Nationals signed memorabilia. On top of all that, there will be an incredible raffle with chances to win an iPad, a wine tasting, theatre tickets, huge gift certificates, and much more. Brent Elementary is located at 3rd & D Streets SE on Capitol Hill.

Autumn Colonial Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $6/adults, $3/kids & seniors, free for 2 and under
Enjoy fresh air and fun at the local colonial museum and working farm’s Autumn Market Fair. Dance and sing to period music. Try hands-on crafts such as spinning and dyeing. Turn a piece of wood on carpenter’s lathe or watch the Blacksmith in action. Test your watercolor and writing skills with the Stationer. Play quoits and other games, or watch a children’s puppet theater. See chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farm animals. Stroll the grounds and farmhouse, and see the Farm family and community members in character and costume. Spit roasted chicken, crisp apples, savory and fruit pies, hearty breads, and more will be available for purchase, we will fresh lemonade, ginger ale, mulled wine, and a variety of lager, beer, and ale.

Día de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
The whole family is invited to this “reunion” that celebrates the return of the ancestors at the museum’s annual program. This colorful celebration of life includes food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe and a cultural presentation by La Danza de los Tecuanes. Guests can join in painting on a Dia de los Muertos mural in the Potomac Atrium and view other demos and diaplays. There will also be hands-on activities for kids in the imagiNATIONS Activity Center, including opportunities to create papel picado, paper marigolds and decorating plaster skulls.

Kids’ Corner Day Care Fall Festival
Where: Mitchell Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free, activities & food cost extra
Enjoy a fun-filled day of pumpkin painting, moon bounce, toddler hay rides, face painting, music, dancing, and more! A variety of lunch and dessert items from many local restaurants will be available. Performers include musician John Henry, the Georgetown University Children’s Theater, Sabra Lewis Hula Dancing, and Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers. It’s free to attend the Fair and enjoy the performers. Tickets will be sold for individual activities and food, or you can purchase an all-inclusive bracelet for $20.

Fall Carnival Fun & Harvest Days
Where: Frying Pan State Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free, activities cost extra
Fall is a busy time on the farm, and you can be part of it. Watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet the farm animals, and see traditional farm demonstrations. After doing some farm work, it’ll be time to PLAY, and there will be carnival fun to do just that with rides, games, fair food, and more.  On Friday, just the carnival will be open from 6-10pm. All activities will be available on Saturday 12-10pm, and on Sunday 12-7pm.

Show Time
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Big, the Musical is entertaining audiences at Adventure Theatre — read a KFDC review here. Beauty and the Beast  and Tiny Tots are on The Puppet Co. stage.  Author Jennifer O’Connell will read her popular book Ten Timid Ghosts and talk about writing stories at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National. Little ones will be delighted by Mouse on the Move at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. And, of course, the Kids Euro Festival will present a variety of shows throughout the weekend. Follow the links above for more details and ticket info.

Last Call for Merriment
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
It’s the final weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival,  the annual faire that recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite annual events in the DC area, and I highly recommend it.  A friend just told me her family went on my suggestion last weekend and had a blast. Huzzah!

Corcoran Community Day
Where: Corcoran Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Be inspired and create at a day-long celebration of art at the Corcoran. Activities for all ages will include paper making demos, ceramic bowl workshops, bookmaking, live music, and a community art fair. Be sure to check the schedule for activity times.  There’s no entrance fee, but book donations are recommended to benefit Books for America.

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

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals or farms. 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 many fall festivals happening around the region.

National Trademark Expo
Where: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free
This free, family-friendly event is designed to educate children, small business owners, and the general public about trademarks and their importance in the global marketplace. The Expo features an hourly Children’s Workshop, outdoor and indoor themed displays, interactive exhibits and activities, costumed characters, and inflatables showcasing federally-registered trademarks.  Visitors may also visit the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located on-site and currently features the exhibit Exercising Ingenuity, highlighting inventions, patents and trademarks that have emerged from the fitness, nutrition and exercise industries. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is located at 600 Dulany Street in Alexandria.

The History of Rock-and-Roll
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Derek McKeith will educate and entertain as you learn the history of rock-and-roll. Beginning in the late 1940’s this musical genre was formed from a combination of expressions and community influences. This afternoon program can be enjoyed by the whole family. Space is limited – for more information call 202.633.4844.

World of Montgomery Festival
Where: Wheaton Triangle
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free
Montgomery County and the Kids International Discovery (KID) Museum are hosting the 4th Annual “World of Montgomery Festival” for kids on Sunday. The Festival celebrates, explores and shares the diverse cultural heritages which play an active role in the lives of Montgomery County residents and communities. It will feature music and dance performances by County-based artists, food and craft vendors and a hands-on cultural education area, and health fair. This year’s International Village exhibition, organized by the KID Museum will focus on the four countries with the largest immigrant populations in Montgomery County — China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, and India — with each country tent featuring hands-on activities, demonstrations, and presentations to promote international and multi-cultural awareness. Other festival highlights include international crafts vendors presented by Fenton Street Market, a pupusa cook-off, two stages of live entertainment, an international youth film festival, and crafts and community service projects for kids. Wheaton Triangle is located at Grandview Avenue & Reedie Drive, one block from the Wheaton Metro station.

Fall Apple Festival at Brookside
Where: Brookside Nature Center
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $5
Brookside Gardens is celebrating one fall’s best features — apples! The whole family can enjoy apple games, folklore, crafts, hand pressed cider, and of course, made-from-scratch caramel apples. Guests can also learn about the versatile fruit and the cider making process on a delicious fall afternoon. Registration for the Festival is appreciated, but not required. Be sure to extend the outing and tour the lovely grounds of the park.

WPAS Fall Arts Festival
When: Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
The Washington Performing Arts Society presents its first annual Fall Arts Fair on Sunday. Meet local musicians, dancers, artists, and storytellers. Enjoy free concerts all day long, free music and dance classes, face painting, prizes, and a chance to win tickets to a WPAS main stage performance.

Portrait Story Days: Amelia Earhart
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free
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 aviator Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
How about hitting the trail to enjoy the autumnal color spectrum?  This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hike with kids.

Say Boo!
Where: Around the DC Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Get the Halloween party started with activities and events that celebrate the spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

And for recreation beyond the special events, these posts list tons of recreational mainstays in the DC area:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 

The Great Indoors

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