The Weekend Round-Up: October 15-16

The forest lights up for evening climbs at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

The forest lights up for evening climbs at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring



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Wowza, this weekend is jam-packed with fun things to do! Awesome museum programs, loads of live entertainment, opportunities to check out cool vehicles, fall festivals, nature celebrations, a Harry Potter movie binge, early Halloween fun, and so much more. No matter what you do, be sure to throw some outdoor time in the mix, because the forecast practically demands it. Happy Weekend!

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adult, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will dig the National Building Museum’s big annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be full of different stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hand at all kinds of construction and design techniques alongside experts demonstrating their craft. There will opportunities to build a brick wall, carve stone, and hammer nails, as well as build a LEGO skyscraper, do some virtual reality welding, and create an architectural masterpiece. It’s all totally free and, as we know from several years’ experience, totally fun!

Truck Touch
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $5, free for under 2

It’s scary how much kids love big vehicles—and Halloween! Combine the two at Suburban Nursery School’s 9th Annual Truck Touch for a chance to get up close and personal with fire trucks, police cars, off-road vehicles, construction rigs, delivery trucks, emergency vehicles, busses, and other cool things that GO! Additional activities include pumpkin decorating, bake & snack sale, bouncy fun, truck crafts, and face painting. Enjoy *spooktacular* eats from local food trucks, too.

Outdoor Movie Night
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for their October Halloween Movie Night series under the stars. Every Friday night in October they’ll be showing a Halloween movie on an outdoor movie screen — this week it’s Hocus Pocus. Bring a blanket and enjoy a free movie! You can see their site, meet the staff, and even sign your kids up for summer camp.

18th Century Autumn Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $8/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under

Enjoy the splendor of autumn at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s Autumn Market Fair. Watch colonial Virginia tradesman such as the blacksmith and try crafts such as spinning and dyeing. Learn to dip candles or turn a piece of wood on the carpenter’s lathe. See heritage breed animals including turkeys, pigs and chickens. Enjoy music, games, and dancing as well as interacting with colonial family members in costume and character. Savor spit roasted chicken, sausages, hearty breads and cheeses, roasted olives, pies and other desserts. Colonial Tavern offers cask ale, beers, wine and mulled wine as well as authentic ginger ale. Period food, beverages, and wares available for purchase. It’s a fun and educational experience for the whole family!

Bonsai & Beyond
Where: U.S. National Arboretum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm & 6-9pm
Admission: Free (fee for evening)

It’s the 40th anniversary of the the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum, and they’re celebrating with the Aki Matsuri Autumn Festival: Bonsai & Beyond and a traditional Japanese moon viewing. Festivities will include tram tours of the Asian Collections, fun family activities, a kimono fashion show, bonsai book signings, Asian food trucks, and a demonstration by Japanese bonsai master Tohru Suzuki. The evening moon viewing (otsukimi) will include haiku readings, origami, music by Japanese koto players and moon-shaped dumplings. Register for the evening event, which has a fee, and order a obento dinner, here.

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

* Find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre
* Catch the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s fantastic production of Romeo & Juliet (recommended for older children or make it a date night)
* Reserve free tickets for Valerie Branch’s The People We Meet and the Friends We Keep!, this week’s Saturday at the National performance
* Join InterAct Story Theatre for ‭The Legend of Pufferfish Pat: A Tall Tale for Mad Times‭, their first performance in Season 2 of the Wheaton Family Theatre‬‬‬‬
* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is on the Imagination Stage
* See (and smell?) Flowers Stink, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Kennedy Center
* Hansel & Gretel are the new stars on the Main Stage at The Puppet Co.
* And Merlin’s Magic is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* The Olney Theatre presents The Diary of Anne Frank
* See the superbly acted The Little Foxes at Arena Stage (recommended for teens and up)
* Enjoy The Best Haunted House Ever, Encore Stage & Studio’s theatre by kids for kids
* Make it a date night to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Kennedy Center
* The Man Who Planted Trees is playing at Alden Theatre
* Ruthless, The Musical is running at Creative Cauldron
* Take the whole fam to The Miraculous, Magic Balloon at Synetic Theatre
* Building Better People Productions brings We Got It! to the Den at Anacostia Arts Center
* Get into All the Way Live!, an interactive Hip Hop show at the Kennedy Center
* Hear Ghoulishly Good Music at the Atlas Performing Arts Center

Wildlife Festival
Where: Patuxent Wildlife Refuge
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Discover groundbreaking research conducted at Patuxent! Activities include live animal displays, children’s crafts, tram tours, research exhibits, and behind-the-scenes tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to see endangered whooping cranes and much more!

Bull Run River Cleanup
Where: Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Adventure Links for a Bull Run River cleanup day to help keep the waterway free of trash and to keep Fairfax County’s watershed healthy. The whole family can participate and enjoy a morning outdoors helping to better the environment!

Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. Enjoy Fall Harvest Days and Carnival Fun at Frying Pan Farm Park. Play all day at Great Country Farms’ Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival. Get into Fall Adventures at Summers Farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many of the fall festivals happening around the region.

Zip through the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Friday, 3-10pm & Saturday/Sunday, 8am – 10pm
Admission: Varies by age

Get the best vantage point for leaf peeping — up in the trees — and have a total blast! At the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, kids as young as 5 years old can experience fun on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure park forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do even more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about this KFDC fave here and here.

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

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a new program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. This month, learn more about electricity as you design circuits and get a charge out of their October design challenge!

American Girl Day
Where: National Museum of the U.S. Navy
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Learn about how women have influenced naval history and enjoy some American Girl-inspired fun. With a Great War theme as the WWI Centennial approaches, there will be activities featuring that era. There will also be American Girl products — dolls, books, clothing, games, even furniture — to browse and buy. And AG book author Valerie Tripp will be on hand to sign autographs and talk with visitors about the American Girls. Note that non-military must check in at the Washington Navy Yard’s Visitor Center (11th and O Street) and present a government-issued photo ID.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage in the United States, from South American folk traditions to the fusion of contemporary Latino and North American art and music. Dance to live music from across Latin America, enjoy original works of art from local artists experimenting with portraiture, and create your own works of art inspired by Hispanic artists and sitters featured in the National Portrait Gallery.

World of Wheels
Where: Dematha High School
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Prince George’s County is hosting its 5th annual World of Wheels for CASA, a touch-a-truck event and family festival. All kinds of cool vehicles will be on site and open for guests to explore. Adding to the excitement will be food, music, and an assortment of activities for kids of all ages, including moon bounces, games, crafts, face painting. And Game Truck mobile gaming will be there from 10am-12:30pm! Proceeds from the event will help to raise funds to recruit and train more volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children. Dematha High School is located at 4313 Madison St. in Hyattsville, MD.

Raise a Flag for Your Next President!
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

How do you show your support for your favorite presidential candidate? Join the Textile Museum at the height of today’s historic presidential election for an all-ages family day that explores how people have demonstrated their allegiance to candidates past. Enjoy presidential storytelling, play campaign games, and create your own campaign flag inspired by the rare nineteenth-century flags and patriotic textiles on view in the exhibition. It’s a perfect time for kids (and adults) to discover this wonderful off-the-beaten-Mall-path museum.

STEM Career Fair
Where: University of the District of Columbia
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Kids can check out careers in STEM! Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. (SEM Link) is hosting its 1st Annual DMV Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Career Fair and Exhibition at UDC. The fun, family event gives K-12 students an opportunity to explore STEM careers and meet and interact with professionals in the fields. UDC’s Student Center is located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW. While free and open to the public, pre-registration is strongly suggested.

Harry Potter Marathon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $13.50/youth, $50/8-movie pass

Have you missed a Harry Potter movie or just want to go on a wizard watching binge? Head to the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum, where for the first time ever, you can experience all eight Harry Potter movies in IMAX! Plus, you can also catch an IMAX exclusive peek of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits IMAX theaters this November. Everyone is invited… even muggles.

Air Show Baltimore
Where: Inner Harbor & Martin State Airport
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Nearly two dozen aviators including the Navy’s famed Blue Angels flight demonstration team will take to the skies over Charm City this weekend, as part of Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore October. There’s more on the ground, too — an open house free festival, including meet-and-greets with pilots, will take place at Martin State Airport in Baltimore County. Approximate airshow hours are 1-4pm over the Middle Branch of Baltimore’s Harbor adjacent to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Key viewing areas for the air show include Fort McHenry and areas in and around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

World of Montgomery Festival
Where: Montgomery College, Rockville
When: Sunday, 12- 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the rich cultural heritages of the DC area at the 8th annual World of Montgomery Festival with multicultural music, food, dance, exhibits and hands-on activities. Indonesia, Germany, Korea, the Caribbean, India, Ukraine, El Salvador, Ethiopia, China, and more nations will represent their cultural traditions in the International Village organized by KID Museum. Two entertainment stages, ethnic food vendors, and festivities for all ages ensure a fun, enriching day for the whole family.

Aidan Montessori Book Fair
Where Politics & Prose/Comet Ping Pong
When: Saturday, 9am – 10pm & Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Buy books and eat pizza to benefit a local school! Aidan Montessori School is holding its annual book fair event at Politics & Prose Bookshop and Comet Ping Pong on Saturday and Sunday. Twenty percent of book sales at Politics & Prose will go to the school if you mention “Aidan” at the register, and 15% of sales at Comet Ping Pong & Pizza will go to help the school if you write “Aidan” on your check. You can also purchase books to donate to Aidan classrooms and to Bright Beginnings, a local organization serving under-housed families. Multiple opportunities to give back!

Merriment and More
Where: Revel Grove in Crownesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

There are only a couple of weekends left to enjoy the bounty of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. Huzzah!

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The leaves are just beginning to turn, plus it’s going to be a gorgeous autumn weekend, so get out and enjoy on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the foliage, the lovely weather, and some time on the trail. This post about good area hikes with kids will help make for some happy trampers.

Soul Stroll
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/child

Get into the Halloween spirit on Capitol Hill as you explore Congressional Cemetery and the stories of those laid to rest there on these special guided after-hours tours. Congressman, carpenters, suffragists, and bootleggers are among the graveyard residents, and they all have a unique tale to tell.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get the Halloween party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Date Night, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, School Event, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend

One Response to The Weekend Round-Up: October 15-16

  1. Jackie Williams

    Please add me to your mailing list. Great information!

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