The Weekend Round-Up: January 24-25

Demonstrating how to make a Mini Cooper a family car at the Washington Auto Show

Demonstrating how to make a Mini Cooper a family car at the Washington Auto Show



We might be hitting the thick of winter, but that doesn’t mean the fun is thinning out. You and the kids have loads of options for a good time out of the house — yet still inside. Park yourselves at the Washington Auto Show, jam to live music or a monster truck rally, enjoy a museum program, cheer on a college sports team, take a chilly plunge in the Chesapeake, or check out the Everyday Play page for even more ideas. Happy Weekend!

Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The annual Washington Auto Show is zooming back into town. And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 700 of them! — on display for guests to check out. Other activities, like Ride ‘n Drives and celeb appearances, give guests even more to do and see. And especially for kids is a Family Activity Zone and pop-ins by some of their favorite characters along with the auto-fun. This post about one of our experiences at a past show has more about what to expect.

Monster Jam
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $17-90

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into the Verizon Center. Grave Digger, Backwards Bob, Aftershock, Krazy Train, Crushstation and Stinger are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Udvar-Hazy Open House
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

The Air & Space Museum’s other (some even say better) half is hosting it’s second annual open house. This special event gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at historic artifacts, documents, and works of art that are not on public display. Find out what it takes to collect, preserve, and restore it all.

Winter Blast
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the American Indian Museum for a family celebration of native games. Join representatives from the “World Eskimo Olympics” as they demonstrate traditional Inuit games including the seal hop, two-foot high kick, Indian stick pull, and others. There will also be exhibitions of traditional Hawaiian games like Pala’ie (a ball and hoop game), Konane (Hawaiian “checkers”), Moa pahe’e (a sliding game with wooden “darts”) and other games, plus opportunities to join the Comanche Nation for traditional Hand games.

Polar Bear Plunge
Where: Sandy Point State Park
When: Saturday, 8am – 2pm
Admission: $75 to plunge, free to spectate

If you want to take a quick dip in the cooold, cooold Chesapeake Bay for a good cause or want to watch others endure a frigid swim, head toward the Bay Bridge on Saturday for the 19th Annual Polar Bear Plunge. All ages can participate in this event that raises funds for Special Olympics Maryland. And you can still donate if you don’t want to plunge in.

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

* Little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* Join the Circus! at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* Panda-Monium is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre on Saturday morning
* Karen K and The Jitterbugs are playing the Saturday morning show, and Recess Monkey is performing on Sunday at Jammin’ Java
* Mockingbird opens at the Kennedy Center this weekend (look for a deal on tickets)
* Mr. Gabe and the Circle Time All-Stars are playing at the Takoma Park Community Center on Saturday
* Join a Playdate with Rocknoceros at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase on Sunday morning.

Hometown Hoops
Where: Area colleges
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some college hoops action to enjoy on the weekends. The Terps will try to makeup for Thursday’s loss when they welcome Northwestern on Sunday (tickets here). The lady Hoyas host St. John’s tonight and Seton Hall on Sunday (tickets here). The GW men’s team is playing Duquesne on Saturday (tickets here). And the George Mason Patriots men are playing the Davidson Wildcats on Sunday evening (tickets here).

Grounds for Play
Where: Local indoor play areas
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by venue

Don’t let winter weather stop you and the kids from getting out to play. Even on the most dreary days there are places to go and run, bounce, climb, swing, flip, and slide — all in the warmth and comfort of the indoors. This post has a bunch of recommendations for playground-style fun out of the cold.

Get Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 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 animal 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. On Sunday afternoon, there will be a special “Genes in a Bottle” program, where guests can take part in a molecular biology activity and create a necklace pendant made up of your own DNA (recommended for ages 7 and up).

See Stars
Where: Local Planetariums
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Get a glimpse of the night sky at the David M. Brown Planetarium in Arlington, at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, or the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall. All of the locations are presenting shows that explore space and the stars and planets within. Click through each link for descriptions and schedules.

Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story and participate in a hands-on activity utilizing materials of the educator’s choice based on this weekend’s theme, “Faces.” When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about one of our experiences there.

Stop & See the Orchids
Where: National Museum of National History
When: Saturday & Sunday (through April 26)
Admission: Free

See what’s blooming at the Natural History Museum. Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden 20th annual orchid exhibition opens on Saturday. More than 300 flowers will be on display as Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty explores the rich crossroads where orchid botany, horticulture, and technology connect. It’s always gorgeous exhibit, and worth stopping by if you’re visiting the museums on the Mall.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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