Spring has sprung, and the weather actually reflects the season — for now. Celebrate it at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival that begins this weekend or get outdoors to savor warmer temps. You can prep for the Kite Festival at a special Air & Space event or enjoy several other museum programs. Live entertainment, a Stroller Brigade & 5K, a colonial farm clean-up, and movies (drive-in, too!) round out the options for fun. Happy Weekend!
National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Days
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
The flowers may not be in bloom yet, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off this weekend! Celebrate the start of it at the National Building Museum’s 9th annual family festival for kids of all ages. The weekend will feature hands-on activities, interactive art demonstrations, and dynamic performances that celebrate spring and explore Japanese arts and design. View the website for specifics.
Kites of Asia Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am -3pm
Start getting psyched for the annual Kite Festival at the Air & Space Museum’s annual celebration. Thrill to the beauty and artistry of kites on display and in the air – kites will actually be flying indoors! Visit the museum’s collection of kites and discover the diversity of kites from across Asia. Hands-on activity stations will demonstrate how kites are made, and guests can learn how kites helped the Wright brothers develop the first airplane.
Get Out and Celebrate Spring!
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
With spring comes spring weather (for now, anyway…word has it we’re in for more snow next week?!), so get out and relish in it! Roam the glorious grounds of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, stroll around the Tidal Basin and visit the memorials, play and picnic at Hains Point, take a hike in Rock Creek Park. Find more info about all these suggestions and loads more in this post about the best places in the DC area to enjoy a day outdoors.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is also on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Sleeping Beauty is on the main stage and Teddy Bear’s Picnic is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* See Reptiles Alive: Live Animal Show at the Old Town Theatre on Saturday
* Jack’s Adventure by Bright Star Theatre is this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Dave Brewer and the Pre-K Kingsare playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.
Making Their Mark
Where: National Archives
When: Throughout the weekend
It’s the opening weekend of the National Archives’ newest exhibit: “Making Their Mark” illustrates the many ways people have made their mark on history through a signature and offers something for all ages and interests. Guests can view everything from presidents’ signatures on groundbreaking legislation to signed sports memorabilia from momentous games to Michael Jackson’s patent for a “method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.”
Where: Capitol Riverfront
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm
On Friday and Saturday evenings, catch “Groundbreaking at the Capitol Riverfront,” a drive-in movie series at the parking lot of First Street, SE and M Street, SE. Pull into the converted drive-in theater to watch great films and purchase popular DC food truck cuisine. Toy Story will be shown on Friday night, and The Matrix will be shown on Saturday night. Both screenings will begin at 7:30 pm. Both are free and open to the public.
Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Through March 30
Admission: Varies by film
Nearly 200 diverse and arresting films from 50 countries will be screened at 75 venues around the DC-Metro area during the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are several family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Little movie-goers can watch With My Friends, a series of animated shorts for ages 2-5. There’s a film incorporated into the National Gallery’s monthly program for kids (see below). Moon Man follows the journey of the title character on Earth. And Backyard Bugs investigates 16 different types of arthropods and explores a variety of backyard habitats. View the website for showtimes and details on films.
Movie at the Art Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
See more than art at the museum on the Mall. The Rooster Trademark Paper, part of the Environmental Film Festival, depicts the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming an artist, sees an advertisement for a visual arts competition and is inspired to enter. Although he works hard selling newspapers and making deliveries for a local store, he struggles to purchase the costly Rooster Trademark paper that all entrants must use to qualify for the contest. His passion and drive is bolstered by his community, as he strives to make his dream a reality. Recommended for ages 9 and up.
Puppets Go Smithsonian
Where: American History Museum
When: Saturday, 3:30pm & 4:30pm
Head to the museum’s “Puppetry in America” exhibit on the first floor as Puppet Master Christopher Piper brings to life a Circus Bear and Cinderella’s bossy stepmother, and shows kids how to make a sassy hand puppet with a simple rubber ball. If Piper’s puppetry seems familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo!
Where: PetMAC DC
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Is your family looking for a new best friend? Home Buddies Washington D.C. by Camp Bow Wow, an in-home Doggy Day care franchise, is hosting a “Mutt Madness” event. The program aims to educate local members of the community on the many benefits of pet adoption. And Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will have lots of loveable and adoptable dogs there for guests to meet as potential new family member. PetMAC DC is located at 4220 Fessenden St NW.
Clean Up at the Colonial Farm
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Help the local living history museum and working farm prepare for the 2014 season! Volunteers can rake leaves, clear and mulch paths, haul brush and firewood, move rail fences, waterproof outbuildings, whitewash the colonial farmhouse, split firewood, fill garden pots and more. There are jobs for every age and skill level – families are welcome. A picnic hot dog lunch will be given out to all volunteers. Bring work gloves and dress for weather. RSVP to email@example.com.
Stroller Brigade & 5K Race
Where: West Potomac Park at Hains Point
When: Sunday, 8am
Admission: See website
Bright Beginning’s 5k race and Stroller Brigade benefits homeless children in DC. Bright Beginnings, a DC-based non-profit, provides education, therapeutic and family-stabilizing services for 30-40% of DC’s homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and their families, to give them the best chance of success in school and in life.
Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: 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 American athlete Wilma Rudolph.