My fingers are too numb to type anymore than… Happy Weekend!
Intersect with the Performing Arts
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: See the website
The Atlas is kicking off its annual festival that presents over 125 performances in music, theatre, dance, film, spoken word. Especially for families this weekend, is a show by Happenstance Theatre, plus free Café Concerts featuring a variety of artists. And the whole line-up of shows is worth checking out by grown-ups.
Welcome Year of the Sheep!
When: Sunday, 12 – 5pm
There are a bunch of ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year this weekend, but this is easily the granddaddy of them all. Usher in the Year of the Sheep, lunar year 4713, on Sunday at the city’s annual parade and festival. The celebration kicks off at the Chinatown Community Cultural Center with live music and dance performances, children’s activities, Chinese traditions, children’s crafts, art and photo exhibits, raffle prizes, New Year souvenirs, giveaways, and much more. Don’t miss the parade, which begins at 6th & I Streets NW at , then winds through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession of traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic dragons. The parade is expected to last about two and a half hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot.
Laser Cat Kids
Where: The Yards
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: Free, but tickets required
If you’ve ever wanted to see a 20-foot-tall inflatable cat head that projects laser art from its eyes, now’s your chance! And you can experience it along with other fun festivities in the Historic Mill Building at The Yards this weekend. A special kid-friendly event on Saturday afternoon will let families experience a mellow side of the funky feline. Activities will include cat ear crafting station, face painting, glitter tattoos, a balloon artist, and the Great Laser Cat. It’s free, but tickets are required — register for them here. (And get ’em fast, because it’s guaranteed to sell out.)
Saturday Art Explorers
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $10, no registration required
Kids ages 10 and under (accompanied by an adult) are welcome to drop in to the Candy Corner at the historic Glen Scho Park for artful Saturday morning. The ongoing program switches up activities every week, so just get ready to get creative. Combine with a show at Adventure Theatre or The Puppet Co. for an extra fun-filled outing!
Celebrate the Lunar New Year
Where: Freer | Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a day full of festivities at the Smithsonian museum featuring Asian art. Explore the many countries in Asia that celebrate the holiday through family-friendly tours, hands-on activities, cooking demonstrations, and illustrated book readings.
African American Pioneers in Aviation Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Join the Air & Space Museum to celebrate the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories, plus the opportunity to meet astronauts, fighter pilots, and others who will share stories of their challenges and accomplishments. Learn about inspiring historic figures like Bessie Coleman through reenactments and story times – and more!
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Wiley and the Hairy Man is on the Imagination Stage
* Catch a performance of Petit Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood at Adventure Theatre
* Outside the Bachx brings thrilling dance and spoken word for family audiences to the Kennedy Center
* The Washington Ballet’s world premiere production of Sleepy Hollow is also at the Kennedy Center
* Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp just opened at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park
* And little ones can enjoy a Tiny Tots Sing-a-Long at the puppet theatre
Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: Black Rock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Enjoy a Free Family Fun Day with family-friendly tours of the exhibition “Transformations of Brush and Paper,” drop-in art making activities with a Lunar New Year theme, and performances of traditional Asian music, dance, and more. While the event is free and drop-ins are welcome, dance registration is recommended. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Best for ages 5 and up with adult.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Where: Leesburg Premium Outlets
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Join Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets as it celebrates the turn of the Lunar calendar with a special Chinese New Year event. On Saturday, shoppers can enjoy complimentary face painting, food samples provided by Far East Asian Fire, children’s crafts, Tae Kwan Do demos, and live entertainment. There will also be some special shopping offers throughout the day.
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $2/30-minute session, includes supplies
Stop by a local Michael’s store for some morning crafting. During this session, kids can make a fun tissue paper frame to hang on the fridge! Recommended for ages 3 and up.
The Magic of Spying: Tradecraft Trickery
Where: International Spy Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 12:30pm
In the real world of espionage, spies often call upon the art of magic and illusion to distract the enemy, make evidence disappear, and escape unnoticed. At this one-of-a-kind performance, custom-designed for the Spy Museum, Professional magician Peter Wood will demonstrate the art of misdirection, sleight of hand, and other illusions used by skilled spies. Children and adults alike are guaranteed to be fascinated!
OrKid Family Festival
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
This fun-filled day of free activities celebrates the exhibition Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty. Guests can make a field journal, an orchid corsage, and an orchid puzzle. Orchid experts from the Smithsonian and US Botanic Garden will be there to answer questions and talk about unique plants from their collections on display. Even better, you can continue enjoying the flower beyond the event — also among the activities, will be the opportunity to pot an orchid to take home.
Where: DC Armory
When: Saturday, 4pm (door open at 3pm)
Admission: $15/adults, $6/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under
After packing the DC Armory last month, the DC Rollergirls, the National Capital Region’s only women’s flat-track roller derby league, are back for another hard-hitting round of skating. See the Majority Whips take on the DC Demoncats and stay for the match-up between Scare Force one and the Cherry Blossom Bombshells.
Where: Crystal City Shops
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm & 12:30-2:30pm
ArtJamz, America’s original public art studio and lounge, is headed back to Crystal City Shops to inject a blast of creativity into winter. There will be family-friendly sessions on Sunday for ages 3 and up. Enjoy pizza, 2 hours of studio time, a medium 16×20 canvas, unlimited to access to supplies and guidance from art-trained creative enablers.
The Wild Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
Even though it’s supposed to warm up by Sunday to the whopping 40’s, the indoors will be beckoning with heat and shelter from the elements. And some places lure with the opportunity to go a little wild — or be active, anyway. If your kids (and you) have some energy to burn due to lack of playground time outside, take a look at this list of places where they can let loose and get some exercise while staying warm and dry.