The weather may dictate activities this weekend, but no matter what the conditions outside, you’ve got plenty of options for a good time with the kids. And for ideas beyond this round-up, check out the Everyday Play page with a lengthy list of mainstay fun around the DC-Metro. Happy Weekend!
Go Fly a Kite!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds
When: Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
The annual Blossom Kite Festival is, in my humble opinion, the best event during cherry blossom season (when the weather cooperates, anyway). The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly one to behold. It’s absolutely magical for my kids, and even for me as a jaded adult. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like intricate works of art actually outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so be sure to bring one. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics. (Note: This was originally scheduled for Saturday, but will now take place Sunday due to weather.)
Make Your Mark
Where: National Archives
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Head to the National Archives and explore the many ways people have placed their signature on history, from developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law. To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit, “Making Their Mark,” this special Family Day welcomes all ages for hands-on activities in the Boeing Learning Center. Guests can write with a quill pen, make signature hats: pillbox hat, Lincoln hat, tri-corner hat, take a tour of the exhibit, enjoy story time, mock curate an exhibit, and much more.
Opening Weekend on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95 (under age 2 are free)
With spring comes a host of seasonal activities at Ticonderoga Farm! You can visit with the spring farm animals, do some bird watching and animal tracking, aalong with their myriad other attractions – think swings, hayrides, a maze, and much more. Be sure to check the website for timing of any specific activities. And this Saturday & Sunday is Spring Scout Weekend at the farm, so boy and girls can bring their troop# identification for FREE admission. For an idea of what’s at Ticonderoga, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 9am – 5:30pm
Now in its fifth year, Community Forklift’s Garden Party has become a local tradition, drawing gardeners, hipsters, farmers, and families from around the DC area. Get low-cost garden supplies and seedlings, enjoy live music, participate in hands-on activities like barrel painting and seed planting, and join several free workshops for gardeners young and old. Concessions will be for sale starting at 11am. And adults, children, and (leashed) pets will earn discounts and possibly prizes for sporting their best garden party attire. Last year, the nonprofit reuse center celebrated the arrival of spring with over 1,200 visitors, and this year’s free event is expected to be even bigger! It will take place at their large warehouse at 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, MD.
Environmental Film Fest
Where: Various locations
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by film
Over 200 diverse films from 38 countries will be screened at 65 venues around the DC-Metro area during the 22nd annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them this weekend. Nature Unfolds – Animated Shorts will be at the National Gallery of Art. And Africa: Kalahari and A Year in the Wild: Snowdonia will be screened at the Natural History Museum. Be sure to check the film festival website for showtimes and details on films.
Where: Tudor Place
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Salute Tudor Place’s “witness trees” and other gifts of the natural world found in the city with a free festival in the Garden. Games, puppets, storytelling, a tree tour, and an artisanal Market Fair offering sustainable merchandise will be part of the festivities. You can also see a new white oak just planted in the North Garden to replace the towering sentinel lost last year.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Inside Out, theatre aimed at the toddler and preschool crowd is on the Imagination Stage.
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Hansel & Gretel just opened on the main stage and Animal Crackers and Old McDonald’s Farm are the featured Tiny Tots show.
* The Adventures of Robin Hood is opening at the Kennedy Center.
* Strathmore presents Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* Rainbow Rockis playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
* See Ballet Hispanico Family Matinee at the BlackRock Center for the Arts.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.
Domo Origato, Mr. Roboto
Where: The Patriot Center
When: Through Saturday
The FIRST Robotics Competition is the culmination of six weeks of work by teams of high school students from around the region. Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, they work with with hundreds of components, including engineering mainstays such as programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry and mechanical parts to build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. And the public is invited to check out the innovative creations that result from the contest!
Baby Love Disco
Where: The Fillmore in Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 11am
The family dance party is back in the area, but this time in Silver Spring. The fun will feature BLD’s signature DJ and MC, along with other kids activities and snacks. The MC will pump up the crowd, and the DJ will spin G-rated dance tunes, while kids and parents groove along and enjoy the disco.
Are you Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Friday 2-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
With rain in the forecast, Q?rius is a great place to take shelter: The new interactive and experiential learning space at the Natural History Museum is, in a word, AWESOME. Visitors can view up close – and in many cases handle – real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. Microscopes let young guests feel like real scientists, and drawers full of everything from animals species to cultural relics are accessible for examination. And even though it’s been promoted as a space for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can appreciate it, too.
Portrait Story Days
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 labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta.