The Weekend Round-Up: May 4-5

A whirling Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park - it opens for the season this weekend

A whirling Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park – it opens for the season this weekend!


Between the loads of awesome events and the sublime weather ahead, we’re practically guaranteed a great weekend. (And be sure to peruse the outdoor list for even more ways to make the most of it.) Happy Weekend!

Music by the River
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

The Yards Park Friday Concert series starts up again this evening! I’m personally psyched about this; it’s one of my favorite activities during late spring and summer. Lloyd Dobler Effect will be kicking off the series, and concessions will be available from Pepe, Jose Andres’ food truck (or you can BYO). Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine, and make an evening of it with the family. A heads-up: The fountains that the Yards are so well known for are not on while construction is going on at the park, but there’s still plenty of space for kids to frolic, and, of course, the boardwalk where everyone can dance!

Flower Mart
Where: National Cathedral
When: Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The annual spring festival, in its 74th year, at the National Cathedral will take place today and tomorrow. While plant sales, floral and horticultural displays, and boutique booths will likely be of more interest to grown-ups, there will also be music and entertainment, games and rides, tasty foods, the All Hallows Guild antique carousel, and other fun activities to delight kids as well. Admission is free, though concessions and some activities will cost a fee. Proceeds from other sales benefit the Cathedral’s gardens, grounds and woodlands. See the website for the entertainment schedule.

Historic Sites Open House Weekend
Where: Local historic sites
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Head to a local historic site, where they will be hosting special activities as part of the Partners in Preservation Open House weekend. The community-based initiative by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. Twenty-four of those sites in the Washington, DC, area have been chosen to compete for $1 million in grant funding to help support their maintenance, renovations, and/or programming. To help get the public excited about the initiative, all of the sites will be participating in an Open House on Saturday and Sunday, doing something special — it might be free admission, a behind-the-scenes tour, food, a performance, etc. — to encourage people to visit and vote for their site. See all of the competing sites and click through to their websites to find out how they’re celebrating the Open House weekend.

Sousa Palooza
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

A plug for one of the Open House weekend events that sounds fun and unique: Congressional Cemetery is celebrating John Philip Sousa in his final resting place. Festivities will include an all-day scavenger hunt, performances, wine and cheese, tours pointing out some of the famous “residents,” and even a spaghetti sauce judging contest.

Space Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Fun activities nurture young peoples’ enthusiasm for the wonders of the universe and inspire them to pursue careers in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). Special activities throughout the museum will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Skylab and the 30th anniversary of the flights of Guy Bluford Jr., the first African American in space, and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

Around the World Embassy Tour
Where: More than 40 Embassies
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

You might get to hear live Australian didgeridoo music, sample tasty Korean dishes, see a Peruvian dance show, and enjoy the rich tradition of Nepalese storytelling – all in one day! On Saturday, Cultural Tourism DC presents its annual Around the World Embassy Tour, an open house to embassies from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. The free event will showcase art, music, traditional dress, culinary delights, and more. It’s also your chance to check out the interiors of those huge mansions along Mass Ave that you usually just admire from the street. The tour runs from 10am – 4pm. Free shuttle bus service will be available throughout the day (see route on the website), and many embassies are convenient to Metro for walking. Admission is free, but bring identification, as some embassies will conduct security checks. For more tips on making the most of your day, go here.

Glen Echo Family Day
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the seasonal opening of the park’s beautiful Dentzel Carousel. Along with rides on the merry-go-round ($1.25/ride), guests of all ages can enjoy a slew of activities. Magic shows, dance performances, arts & crafts, face painting, photo exhibits, and balloon animals are just some of the usual favorites. The full schedule of events is available of the Glen Echo website.

Cheverly Truck Touch
Where: Cheverly Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5/ages 1-5

Over 20 vehicles will be on display for young motorists-in-the-making to explore at Cheverly Weekday Nursery’s annual fundraiser. Children can sit in the driver’s seat of a fire truck, honk the horn of a dump truck, run around inside the trailer of an 18-wheeler, check out the inside of a police car, stand on the back of a garbage truck, and get behind the wheel of many more cool rides. And the fun doesn’t end there—games geared toward little ones, concessions, balloons, and more will also be available. The event will be held in the Cheverly United Methodist Church parking lot. All proceeds benefit the nursery school and Mother’s Day Out.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s the live entertainment on local stages this weekend:
– It’s the opening weekend of Big Nate at Adventure Theatre.
The Amazing & Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet, a special puppet show, will be at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint.
The Magic Finger & James and the Giant Peach are on the Imagination Stage.
– The Atlas Performing Arts Center presents From Here to There through Sunday.
– See the marionette version of Cinderella or a Tiny Tots show at The Puppet Co.
The Great Zucchini is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.
– Brian Curry: Magic and Mischief is this week’s Saturday morning at the National performance.
Hello Dolly! is still on stage at Ford’s Theatre production.

I Want the Wide American Earth Family Festival
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Kick off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a celebration of the new exhibition I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story. This kid-friendly event include performances, hands-on activities, readings by local authors, conversations with curators, and a scavenger hunt.

Paikbot Family Day
Where: American Art Museum
When: Sunday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Children’s Day, a Korean holiday for kids and family. Explore the Nam June Paik exhibition (creator of the giant neon video map of the U.S.) and enjoy family activities inspired by his art. Children of all ages can play with interactive TV and robot games! 

Laser Tag Space Championship Weekend
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child, 2 and under are free

Challenge yourself and your friends to a new adventure. The Farm is dedicating an entire weekend to a Great Country Farms Laser Tag Championship.   Visitors are encouraged to wear their favorite space fan gear (Trekkies, Star Wars, Aliens,) or make up your own team uniforms. The Laser field offers obstacles, hiding spots, and ‘capture the cow’ challenges that require skill and strategy. Prizes will be awarded to the individual with the best costume and winner of Last Man Standing Laser Tag sessions will be scheduled upon arrival between 11am and 3pm and are recommended for 5 -12 years of age. The rest of the farm’s attractions will also be open – hay rides, the jumping pillow, pedal cart tracks, and a new 80′ slide among them.

Kinetic Sculpture Race
Where: American Visionary Art Museum
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

You might see giant pink poodles and other outrageous works of art “race” down Charm City streets at the American Visionary Art Museum’s 15th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. Kinetinauts (the pilots of the moving sculptures) will compete for the Grand East Coast National Medicore Champion, awarded to the competitor who finishes exactly in the middle (oh, how I love that). Vehicles are wacky and whimsical, straight from a lunatic genius imagination and constructed out of all kinds of materials. They may be a small one-person machine or a 50-foot feat of engineering piloted by many. This is one of those things you really have to see for yourself.

Kids World Cinema
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington
When: Saturday, 2-4:30pm
Admission: Free

Start nuturing little foreign film buffs at the 2013 Kids World Cinema. With an aim to inspire the artistic development of DC children through the discovery of quality foreign films, significant international children’s films and accompanying workshops are coming to venues around Washington. On Saturday, they can see short animated children’s films from China and Germany, followed by related craft activities, including creating simple figures from a Chinese paper craft. This is recommended for children ages 3-9.

Naptown Barbayq
Where: Anne Arundel Fair Grounds
When: Saturday, 11am – 10pm & Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: $10/adults, kids under 12 are free

This BBQ contest and music festival is a family affair that will feature food, libations, continuous live music from three stages, activities for all ages, arts and crafts vendors, and cooking demonstrations. Especially for kids: moonbounces, obstacle courses, magicians, caricature art, balloon art, games, spin art, and more.

Spin Me Right Round
Where: Local carousels
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Ready to go for a spin? If there’s such a thing as carousel season, it officially begins this weekend. As mentioned above, the Dentzel at Glen Echo will start welcoming riders. Watkins Regional Park opens its Chesapeake Carousel on weekends starting Saturday. A brand spanking new Carousel at National Harbor opens today (though the grand opening celebration will be on May 10). Clemyjontri’s carousel is open on weekends 9:30am – 6pm. Visit animals then go for a whirl on the National Zoo’s Speedwell Conservation Carousel. And the carousel on the National Mall is a must-stop for many with little ones when they’re down that way.

Washington Jewish Music Festival in the Park
Where: Stead Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a day of free outdoor concerts with games and fun for all ages. Featuring performances from children’s music sensation Robbie Schaefer (of Eddie From Ohio), footstomping bluegrass fusion group Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, and biblical bubblegum pop duo Stereo Sinai. Other amusement for kids includes a moonbounce, arts and crafts, face-painting, field games, and more. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch. Stead Park is located at 1625 P Street NW.

Model Rocket Launch
Where: Goddard Space Flight Center
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Join the monthly model rocket launch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Anyone is welcome, and if you’ve got a model rocket to fly, bring it along (though there are some restrictions – see them here). The program takes place the first Sunday of every month at 1pm.

Super Family Sunday
Where: Signature Blue Events
When: Sunday, 4-6pm
Admission: Online – $13/adults, $10/kids online, $15/adults, $13/kids at door

This event produced by Culture Kingdom Kids features the best of family friendly music, storytelling, crafts, and vendors for your super family, including Grammy-nominated musician/storyteller Chrystylez Bacon, an all children’s Motown Revue by Visions Performing Arts Company and Zumbatomic by Zukossa Fitness. For more information, visit the website.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

5 Responses to The Weekend Round-Up: May 4-5

  1. Jamie

    And Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

  2. Thanks for the truck touch shout out! I live in Cheverly and this is such a fun event.

  3. Your Weekend Round-ups are the BEST guide in the blogosphere! Thanks so much! My family enjoyed the Goddard Space Museum’s Model Rocket Launch today and we would never have known about it if it weren’t for your awesome blog! Keep up the fantastic work! Xoxo…Angelica Talan,

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