On this very special of weekends, there are many kid ventures that moms will enjoy just as much as their babes. (For the stuff that’s geared toward little ones, let dad take the helm, while you go get a mani-pedi.) Here’s a run-down of the family fun happening over the next few days. Happy Weekend! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!
Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
One of my favorite spring & summer activities starts up again this evening. The Yards Park Friday Concert series kicks off their 2014 season with the R&B sounds of Jimi Smooth. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, or you can BYO and make a picnic dinner of it with the family. The fountains should be on, and there’s plenty of space for kids to frolic, and, of course, the boardwalk where everyone can dance!
National Train Day
Where: Union Station
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
All aboard for National Train Day! Events celebrating the occasion will take place all around the country, and Union Station’s will feature free kids’ activities sponsored by Chuggington, interactive and educational exhibits, model train displays and giveaways. Visitors will have the chance to tour private luxury railcars, freight and commuter trains, as well as current Amtrak equipment.
Shortcut to Europe
Where: EU Embassies
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Avoid the hefty airfare and jet lag and explore The Continent from this side of the pond. Passport DC invites you to join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international food, dancing, kids entertainment, exhibitions, vacation planning, and more. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures. Free shuttle bus service will be available throughout the day, and some embassies are convenient to Metro for walking. Admission is free, but bring identification, as some embassies will conduct security checks. Get an idea of what to expect in this post about our experience at the Around the World Embassy Tour last year.
Where: Yards Park
When: Saturday, 5-10pm
The first ever sideshow extravaganza Side Yards at The Yards will take place this Saturday. The evening of amusement and wonder invites locals to let their freak flag fly while taking in the sights and sounds of the DC area’s top circus performers. Three stages of entertainment will showcase the terrifying talents of contortionists, magicians, jugglers, fire breathers, sword swallowers and more. The event will also feature live concerts throughout the evening with music by Drop Electric, Shark Week, and U.S. Royalty. Delicious food on the boardwalk, a photo booth, body painter, fortuneteller, and beer garden by Bluejacket will round out the evening’s carnival delights.
Where: 800 block of Upshur Street NW
This festival on the heart of the Petworth neighborhood will celebrate creativity, diversity, culture, people, and quality of life, the core components of what make Petworth a vibrant and wonderful place to live. Anchored around four main themes — Art, Music, Food and Healthy Living, and Kids/Family — Celebrate Petworth will bring residents of the community together, not just for the day of the event, but through the creation of new opportunities for collaboration, partnership and engagement amongst residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations.
Mother’s Day Family Fest
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Celebrate your family and the caregivers in your life during this special program. Make portraits of loved ones like the ones artist Fasanella did of his parents; create a bouquet of paper flowers to give to someone special; and make a decorative family tree to display in your home with artist Alyson Johnson. Enjoy a puppet performance by Wits End Puppets in the museum. Then get your dancing shoes on, as folk band the Knuckle Dusters performs live!
Fun – & Asparagus! – on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult
Great Country Farms salutes moms and grand moms during their annual Asparagus Mother’s Day Weekend. The whole family is welcome to spend the day enjoying beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, fresh blossoms, and the first produce of the season. The Farm’s unique Asparagus Bouquets create a new way to thank Mom for all the love and understanding she provides all year long. Let dad take the kids out to the five- acre play area, while Mom enjoys shopping in the Farm Market stocked with jams & jellies, honey, local meats, baked goods and great gift ideas! Or just relax over lunch and a strawberry sundae in our Roosteraunt concession stand. All visiting moms receive a chocolate dipped strawberry and everyone is welcome to purchase lunch in the Roosteraunt or bring a picnic to enjoy the great outdoors.
Family Fun Day
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Celebrate two different yet uniquely connected themes: Chinese heritage and National Train Day. Through special exhibits, programs and events, the Postal Museum will showcase how trains and the people of China have long shared a very special place in American history. A variety of educational activities and demos will take place throughout the day, giving visitors of all ages opportunities to learn, engage, and take part in fun-filled activities, including a special celebration of the 145th anniversary of the completion of the intercontinental railroad as the museum honors the Chinese immigrants who built it.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Catch a performance of The Jungle Book at Adventure Theatre
* Cinderella: The Remix is playing on the Imagination Stage
* Enjoy theatre on strings at The Puppet Co., where Pinocchio is on the main stage and World on a String is the featured Tiny Tots show.
* The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is at Ford’s Theatre through May 17.
* Rocknoceros is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java.
Maryland Faerie Festival
Where: Darlington, MD
When: Friday 5pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $5/ages 3-12, $15/ages 12-99
Indulge little faerie dreams at the annual festival inspired by faerie folklore and literature. From what I hear, it’s kind of like Renn Fest on a much smaller scale with facets that will delight children, especially those who believe in the faeries. Treasure hunts, a May pole, craft projects, giant bubbles, and acrobats are some of the activities kids (and adults) will enjoy. Art, craft, and jewelry vendors, plus classes on gardening and cooking will appeal to the bigger faeries in the crowd.
Toolkit for a Healthy Summer
Where: Koshland Science Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $7/adults, $4/students
Join the Koshland Science Museum for hands-on activities and more to prepare your family for a fun and healthy summer. Get food smart with the Perfect Picnic, an interactive game and mobile app from the Partnership for Food Safety Education. Sharpen your strategy skills while managing potential food safety problems in a virtual park. Combine exercise and nutrition when you stop by the Capital Area Food Bank’s Smoothie Bike, and as you blend a mix of fresh fruit, take a moment to learn about Free Summer Meals for children and teens. Assess air quality and protect yourself from the sun with activities from Children’s National Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment. Map your bike route to select a safe and scenic ride with the Washington Area Bicycle Association.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
Where: Great Meadow, The Plains, Va.
When: Saturday, 8:15am – 5pm
Families are invited to Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. to spectate the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest student rocket contest that’s bringing nearly 1,000 middle and high school students from across the country to the nation’s capital. The all-day event will feature competitive rocket launching and an outdoor expo with displays from more than 20 aerospace industry organizations. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch (food available for purchase will be limited) as well as lawn chairs or a blanket. Parking is free and plentiful. Great Meadow is located at 5089 Old Tavern Rd. in The Plains, Va.
The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: All over the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by adventure
If you’re just looking for things to do outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors