The Weekend Round-Up: January 15-18

The bridge from Maryland to West Virginia at Harpers Ferry

The bridge from Maryland to West Virginia at Harpers Ferry



The holiday weekend means extra time for fun with the kids, and there are so many great ways to take advantage. Join an MLK-inspired event, get your game on at the art museum, catch a glimpse of a Zoo celeb, enjoy live entertainment, explore a national park for free, visit a pony on a city street, and much more. This round-up has all the details you need to plan. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities to honor and celebrate it throughout the weekend. If you’re looking for ways to observe the holiday, this post has some ideas.

You Gotta See the Bei Bei!
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Turn off the panda cam because now you can see Bei Bei, the newest member of the National Zoo’s giant panda family, in person! He’ll be making his public debut on Saturday at 9am when the Panda House opens. To see him, enter at the Asia Trail entrance across from the Visitor Center. And note that cub viewing isn’t guaranteed — animal behavior, weather, and other factors may affect how much of an appearance he makes.

Indie Arcade
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 1-7pm
Admission: Free

The art museum will be transforming into a video game haven this weekend! For one day, MAGFest, American University’s Game Lab, and the American Art Museum present an indie arcade. Play some of your favorite old video games, participate in game building workshops, and try new indie games. You’ll enjoy seeing some of the classics – Asteroids, Pac-Man, Tron, Star Wars, Arkanoid, Donkey Kong – and seeing what the future of gaming holds.

Bei Bei Tea
Where: Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City
When: Saturday, 2:30-4:30pm & Sunday, 3-4:40pm
Admission: $16/child (prices vary for adult teas)

For a warmer way to celebrate Bei Bei’s debut, the Ritz-Carlton hotel is hosting a tea for children on weekends through March. The mini meal will include panda pastries and snacks for children, a special panda surprise, giant stuffed panda, and an assortment of kid-friendly tea and juice inspired by pandas and their favorite food, bamboo!

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-13, free for 4 and under

Enjoy a full day of theater and so much more. Teatro de la Luna presents six hours of all kinds of artistic activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s festivities. And all of it is presented Bilingual. If you plan to go, look for a deal on admission here.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) can also be seen chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose. It is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Check out the virtual tour on the website.

Show Time
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* See theatre by kids for kids as Encore Stage & Studio presents Snow White
* Watch a classic come to life when A Wrinkle in Time plays at the Alden Theatre
* Let Step Afrika! Step Xplosion electrify you at Strathmore
* Little ones will love Wake Up, Brother Bear at Imagination Stage
* Rolie Polie Guacamole is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
When: Friday – Monday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with a community art activity! Each year, Annmarie invites guests to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This year’s event will celebrate diversity, unity, and ambition through a few fun projects for all ages to enjoy.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school; hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Pony Pop-Up
Where: The Source
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

If you happen to be on 14th Street NW on Sunday (or if your child really like ponies), stop by to pet and feed a pony and miniature horse posted outside The Source at 1835 14th Street NW, in celebration of Constellation Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Equus. (Thanks to DCist for the heads-up on this one!)

Movie at the Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am and Sunday & Monday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

The NGA’s film program for children presents The Little Polar Bear this weekend. Lars, a young polar bear cub, is searching for his place in the world. When he meets a seal named Robby, their newfound friendship causes consternation between their communities until they unite to face a challenge. Based on a series of Dutch children’s books by Hans der Beer, this animated feature is a gentle tale of acceptance and friendship. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Twelve Years to Treasure
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: Free

Families can enjoy a docent-led tour of the exhibition Twelve Years That Shook and Shaped Washington (1963–1975). Afterwards, kids can go on a self-guided treasure hunt with an exhibition family guide to test their knowledge – and receive a free gift for completing the hunt. Each program lasts approximately 60 minutes and is recommended for families and children ages 6 and up).

College Hoops
Where: Local universities & Verizon Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

See some exciting basketball action on local college courts. The Maryland men take on Ohio State on Saturday. (Go, Terps! Tickets here.) And the lady Terps play Northwestern on Sunday (tickets here). The Georgetown men’s team is hosting Villanova on Saturday (tickets here), while the women play St. John’s (admission is free!) and Seton Hall on Sunday (tickets here). And American University’s women are hosting Army on Sunday (tickets here).

Wizardry in Action
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday 7:30pm & Monday, 2pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards will be busy this weekend with games Friday night, Saturday evening, and Monday afternoon. Catch them at home for a game against Boston on Saturday, or watch some on-court action on MLK Day when they play Portland.

Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge Kick Off
Where: American History Museum
When: Sunday, 10am
Admission: Free

Join the Lemelson Center and Spark!Lab in launching the 2016 ePals Global Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge Meet inventors and innovators and gather inspiration from historical collections to solve problems of today. And if you’re there with little ones, be sure to stop by Wegmans Wonderplace next door to the Spark!Lab for play time, museum-style.

The Ins & Outs of DC
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Looking for ways to stay active and entertained, yet still warm? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 70 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you’re up for some fun in the fresh air, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.

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