Shutdown, shmutdown. A little Congressional stalemate can’t stop the fun from happening around the DC-Metro. Take the kids to a farm for some seasonal amusement. Celebrate a neighborhood in the city. Get some great steals at DC public school yard sale. Catch a show or a Thomas DVD premiere. Take to the Takoma Park streets. Dig away at Dinosaur Park. Or you can browse the post full of outdoor ideas or the one with indoor recommendations for even more ways to enjoy DC with the kids. Happy Weekend!
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
Say “huzzah!” to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, pick some pumpkins, get lost in corn mazes, go on and hayrides, whiz down giant slides, bounce around on jumping pillows, and so much more. There are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. The guide to Fall Festivals has details on many of them happening around the region.
Columbia Heights Day
Where: Tubman Elementary Field
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you are invited to help celebrate the community on Saturday. Columbia Heights Day is bringing together residents and businesses for a day of fun festivities–live music, a KidsZone with games arts & crafts and more activities especially for little ones, moon bounce, food trucks, a cupcake eating contest and much more! The Tubman Elementary field is located at 11th & Kenyon Streets NW.
Legendary Yard Sale
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, proceeds all support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located on Capitol Hill at 1250 Constitution Avenue NE.
Fall For Fairfax
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
This annual event includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.
Where: Corner of Half and M Streets SE
When: Friday, 11am – 11pm
The monthly festival held May thru October is hosting its final event of the season! Showcasing food trucks from the DC area, Truckeroo brings together just about all of the cuisine on wheels that cruise around the city. Take the kids for lunch or grab dinner, then bring it to Yards Park for a riverside picnic.
Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples
According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and you can do just that this Saturday. The 24th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.
Thomas the Tank Film Screening
Where: Avalon Theater & Child’s Play Toys
When: Saturday, 10:15am
Admission: Free (but tickets are limited)
Barstons Child’s Play and Fisher-Price® will host the Washington, DC, premiere of the new Thomas the Tank Engine DVD, Thomas and Friends: King of the Railway on Saturday at the Avalon Theatre. Tickets are FREE but limited and can be picked up at any Child’s Play location – no purchase is necessary. And, straight from the Land of Sodor, special guest, Sir Topham Hat will also be attending the movie premiere! After the film, Sir Topham Hat will be available at Child’s Play Toys’ Chevy Chase location (5536 Connecticut Ave, NW) to sign trains until 12:30pm. All Child’s Play locations will also be offering a 10% discount on all Thomas Wooden Railway items on both Saturday and Sunday. The Avalon Theater is located at located at 5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW.
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. The Big Apple Circus brings a spectacular show to the Dulles Town Center (read about our experience there last year). The Kennedy Center presents an NSO Teddy Bear Concert, Teddy and the Ten Hats both weekend days. And Robbie Schaefer is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, while Ralph’s World will perform two shows on Sunday.
Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md, is hosting the 33nd Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.The scores of events and activities to entertain the whole family include clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train. Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee. Visit the website for more info and directions.
Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Avenue to Carroll Street
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, children’s activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 32nd annual festival. A diverse collection of items from over 150 artisans makes holiday shopping easy — find paintings, photographs, pottery, silk-screening, soaps, stained glass, jewelry, wood-working, textiles, ceramics, kids’ items and much, much more! Kids also love activities just for them, including inflatables and FUN! Music lovers can enjoy three stages hosting 18 popular local bands playing everything indie folk, rock, blues, country, reggae and everything in between.
Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.
Where: Dinosaur Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
The 41-acre park in Laurel, Md, features a rare deposit of fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago). The public is invited to join paleontologists and and volunteers on-site to interpret fossil deposits on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.
Model Rocket Launch
Where: NASA Goddard
When: Sunday, 1pm
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.