The Weekend Round-Up: February 7-8

Ready for a winter hike at Roosevelt Island

Ready for a winter hike at Roosevelt Island

You’ve got some tough decisions here. With so many great events going on this weekend, it’ll be hard to choose which to do. Pick from museum programs that feature everything from black history to handmade Valentine to drones to local teen poets. LOL at a comedy show geared to kids. Celebrate something sweet at a chocolate festival or Crepe Day. See some live entertainment — a play, puppet show, or concert. And with warmer days in the forecast, get out for some fun al fresco — who knows how long it will last? Whatever you opt for, have a Happy Weekend!

DIY Valentines
Where: National Postal Museum
When: February 7, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Love is in the details at the Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop. We’ve attended this event several times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s love-ly. They’ll have pretty papers and neat valentine-themed stamps, all you need to bring is your creativity to decorate your card. Visit the museum’s stamp store and send the cards to your loved ones with a special Postal Museum postmark. And for more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Eye in the Sky: Game of Drones Family Day
Where National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Drones have been in the news quite a bit lately, but few people really know how they are designed, built, and operated. You’ll be able to count yourself among that group after Saturday’s event. Join the National Building Museum and International Spy Museum and the DC Drone User Group to discover the secrets of drones. Local drone makers will demonstrate their wares and show families the inner workings of their drones as well as their special spy skills. A spy mission challenge will take place in which drone makers will guide their drones through a series of secret spy missions to see whose drone is the stealthiest.

Black History Month Family Day: Rising Up
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History! The full day of activities is inspired by the exhibition Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College which features murals by prominent African American artist Hale Woodruff that portray significant events in the journey of African Americans from slavery to freedom. The festival includes hands-on activities, family gallery tours, musical performances and a genealogy workshop led by Karen Bennett Harmon, the artist’s grand-niece and a genealogist for the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Land of Chocolate
Where: City of Fairfax
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Depends on activities

The City of Fairfax presents its annual festival centered around one of the most wonderful things in the world: Chocolate. There will be all kinds of activities for all ages throughout the weekend, both chocolate and non-chocolate themed — tastings, story time, puppet shows, face painting, chocolate challenges, a chocolate caper mock trial, and much more. The events list on the website has details.

Family Nature Walk
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: Free

Take a hike – and advantage of the Audubon Naturalist Society’s free monthly family program. On the first Saturday of each month from 9-10am, join Master Naturalists for a nature hike around Woodend Sanctuary. Each outing will have a unique and exciting natural history theme that’s appropriate for family members of all ages. Be prepared to hike in sneakers and don’t forget your water bottle. Meet at the amphitheater by the main house.

Celebrate La Chandeleur!
Where: Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/members, $18/non-members, $5/ages 2-18, free under 2

In France, La Chandeleur, also known as “Crêpe Day,” is celebrated with food and games. Alliance Francaise de Washington and Hillwood invite families to join in the tradition in festive French fashion by eating crêpes, listening to classic tales inspired by scenes from La Fontaine fables that are pictured on tapestries covering French chairs on display in the mansion, and experiencing the exciting culture of Brittany, where crêpes originated. Embark on a quest to discover French treasures in Hillwood’s mansion and decorate a plate in fanciful designs and flourishes inspired by the estate’s French Sèvres porcelain.

ComedySportz for Kids
Where: DC Improv
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $10

Have a laugh with your kids as ComedySportz makes them the stars of the show! The comedy troupe specializes in short-form improv games, and this show features child-sized versions of them, hosted by a ComedySportz Kidz Coach. We caught one of these shows when it was hosted in Arlington a couple of years ago, and the kids couldn’t stop cackling at the off-the-cuff performance and loved the chance to be part of it, too (so much that Owen had one of his birthday parties there). Doors open at 1:30pm, the show starts at 2pm, and it lasts about an hour. DC Improv is located at 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW.

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

* Catch a performance of Petit Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood at Adventure Theatre
* Join the Circus! at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* Mother Goose Caboose is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre
* Blue Sky Puppet Theatre is performing at Avalon Theatre Saturday morning
* Enjoy the NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Two Divas and a Bear! at the Kennedy Center
* Mockingbird is still running there, too
* Synetic Theatre’s Music Box is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Kindiemusicdc presents Junior Jams: Marsha Goodman-Wood at the Foundation Gallery and Liveroom in Kensington
* Black Violin will rock the house at BlackRock Center for the Arts on Sunday

Family Valentine Crafts
Where: Michael’s
When: February 7, 10am – 12pm & 1-4pm
Admission: $2/string art, $10/Valentine box

Head to a Michael’s location for some Valentine’s crafting. In the morning, drop in with little makers for string art valentines with yarn (for ages 3 and up). Later on, bring the whole family to create something special for next weekend’s holiday: Decorate a Valentine’s Day mailbox to hold cards from classmates, friends, and sweethearts. Cost for both activities includes supplies.

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. Both the GWU men’s and women’s teams host Dayton this weekend, the men tonight (tickets here). The lady Terps host Nebraska on Sunday (tickets here) and the women on Sunday (tickets here). The Hoya women play Villanova on Sunday (tickets here). And the George Mason Patriots women are playing the Davidson Wildcats on Sunday (tickets here).

Winterfest Children’s Carnival
Where: Learning Center for Young Children
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Help support an area preschool and enjoy a fun day with the fam! Learning Center for Young Children, a non-profit cooperative preschool, is hosting a huge, fun, family-friendly event on Saturday. The Banjo Man Frank Cassel will provide live entertainment ($3 tickets for his three performances will be sold at the door). Festivities for kids include a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, and carnival games. A family photo booth will capture the memories and a silent auction will offer a chance to sample some of the area’s best restaurants, entertainment, and services. Lunch by Armand’s Pizza and gourmet desserts will be for sale. (Note: The snow date is February 21.) The Preschool is located inside the Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church at 10123 Connecticut Avenue in Kensington, MD.

Skate Under the Sky
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

With warmer temps in the forecast, it’ll be a great time to get gliding at local outdoor rinks. Skate amid art at the Sculpture Garden; join Canal Park’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday from 10am – 12pm; skate by the Potomac at Washington Harbour; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Tyson’s Corner, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

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

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about poet, writer, and art collector George Washington Carver and complete a hands-on activity. The story will be read at 1, 2 and 3pm on Saturday and at 2, 3 and 4pm on Sunday. 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.

DC Teen Poetry Slam
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

Listen to twenty of the area’s most talented teenaged poets perform their original poetry in the Kogod Courtyard in this elimination-style performance poetry competition. The top scoring youth poets, as determined by judges from the audience, will earn a spot in the Grand Slam Finals and a chance to become members of the 2015 DC Youth Slam Team. All performing poets qualified earlier in the year; this is not an open mic event.

Takoma Mid-Winter Play Day
Where: Takoma Park Community Center
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Put some play in your Sunday afternoon with Let’s Play Takoma and the Takoma Park Recreation Department. The variety of indoor entertainment will include a Bach to Rock band, a yoga “join in” demo, fun activities from the Girl Scouts, board games, dress-up, face painting, table tennis and pool, and much more. All ages are welcome to enjoy it all.

Magic Show
Where: Olive Branch Way at Oseh Shalom
When: Sunday, 2-3:30
Admission: $8

Derek Jasper, an accomplished magician and expert in deception that is perfect for any performance setting. Derek began studying magic at a young age and since then, he has spent well over a decade enchanting audiences of all sizes. His expertise lies in sleight of hand magic and Derek has been recognized by some of the top magicians and performers in the business. Derek’s repertoire is guaranteed to amaze the audience whether he is on stage, sitting at a table, or strolling through a crowd. Derek continues to travel and perform to bring magic to audiences across the United States. Olive Branch Way at Oseh Shalom is located at 7515 Olive Branch Way in Laurel, MD.

Go OUTSIDE & Play!
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

When the mercury “soars” into the 50’s after some of the biting, wind chilled days we’ve had lately, I’d be remiss not to encourage you to get out for some activity outside. Take a hike at Great Falls, Huntley Meadows, Rock Creek, Turkey Run, or Roosevelt Island. Get a winter perspective of the National Arboretum or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Watch airplanes take off or land at Gravelly point. Visit the animals at the National Zoo or Oxon Hill Farm. See history on the Potomac at Fort Washington Park. Stroll the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, Meadowlark, or Green Spring Gardens. Find details about all of these ideas in the post about The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.


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