The Weekend Round-Up: July 14-16

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Enjoy a dazzling display of flowers and cultural fun at an off-the-beaten-path park. Say “oui!” to a French fest. Dig a celebration of archaeology. Explore space and nature all in one place. Take your pick of awesome live entertainment. Sample all kinds of ice cream. And so much more. Read on for details on these special events, and find even more ideas for ongoing fun on the Everyday Play page. Happy Weekend!

Lotus & Water Lily Festival
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

See the glorious beauty at the wild wetlands of Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens as you celebrate world cultures! The annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival runs July 15 – 22, but the big kick-off event is this Saturday. Join the National Park Service for free, family friendly festivities, including traditional Latin, Asian, and African dancing performances; gardening workshops; face painting; lotus tea tasting; Junior Ranger and educational activities; and more. Of course, the spectacular beauty of blooming lotuses and water lilies at the only national park dedicated to growing aquatic plants is a main focus of the event, too! Get a glimpse of the spectacular flower display before you go.

French Festival
Where: Hillwood Estate & Gardens | Upper Northwest, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 7pm
Admission: $18/adult ($12/members), $5/ages 6-18, free/5 & under

Calling all Francophiles: Celebrate Bastille Day in grand French splendor! With exquisite French 18th-century interiors, collections, and gardens as a backdrop, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is a perfect place for a fête. Throughout the day, games, lively theatrics, dance, pantomime, French fare, and music bring the life of the French court to the lush gardens at Hillwood.

Summer Colonial Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $8/adults, $4/ages 3-12 & seniors: $3, free/2 & under

Take a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s seasonal fair. In the summer, sit in the shade and savor roast chicken and spicy sausages, enjoy dancing and singing with the fiddler, test your water color and writing skills with Mr. Andrews at the Stationer. Muster with the militia and re-outfit your home in furniture from the Cabinet Maker. Only at Market Fair can you catch up on the latest news from the frontier and trade stories while enjoying local ale and porter at the Tavern. Try hands-on crafts such as spinning and dyeing, and shop for goods from the finest merchants in the colonies.

Living Earth Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Festivals at the American Indian Museums are always well done and fun for all ages in my experience, and this annual one should follow suit. Celebrate the bounty and wisdom of the Earth at the eighth annual Living Earth Festival. The event will feature daily cooking presentations highlighting cacao as an ingredient; bead, textile, and pottery artist demonstrators; and dance performances by the Southern Ute Bear Dancers from Ignacio, CO.

Do You Dig Archaeology?
Where: Dumbarton House | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Be part of a celebration of archaeology, at the annual Day of Archaeology Festival. Talk to archaeologists in person and learn about the science and art of archaeology. Kids can enjoy engaging activities, including mock‐excavations, hands‐on artifact displays, crafts, and demonstrations. The archaeology of local prehistoric and historic inhabitants will also be featured — a great way to learn about local history! Live music, face painting, and visits from some of DC’s best food trucks will also be part of the day’s festivities.

Astronomy Day
Where: Rock Creek Nature Center & Planetarium | Rock Creek, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Explore space in this day devoted to astronomy. Activities include a 40-foot-long NASA traveling exhibit, crafts that are out-of-this-world, an animated movie about space, and planetarium programs. While you’re there, explore the rest of the Rock Creek Nature Center, take a hike, and visit the nearby Horse Center (and maybe even take a pony ride). Read more about all of these adventures in this KFDC post.

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Free concerts, outdoor swimming, special exhibits, beach time, water parks, movies under the stars, sprayground fun. Activities exclusive to the season can all be enjoyed this weekend. The Summer 2017 guide has the whole scoop on all of them.

Art Investigators: Georgia O’Keeffe
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

This weekend’s sessions of Art Investigators, the National Gallery of Art’s drop-in program for kids ages 4-7, will explore works by Georgia O’Keeffe. Guests will be guided to see the natural world through her eyes and discover the beauty found in a flower, then create a pastel drawing inspired by flowers. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Friday and Saturday, and 11am on Sunday. Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly. Read a KFDC review of the series back when it was called Stories in Art (it’s an older post, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same).

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

* Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook is running at Adventure Theatre
* Vital Theatre Company presents Pinkalicious the Musical at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods series
* Go down the rabbit hole for Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure at Imagination Stage
* And little ones will love Raton en Movimiento!, also playing at the theatre in Bethesda
* Arts on the Horizon brings entertainment to littles with By the Seashore
* The UniverSoul Circus is wowing audiences at FedEx Field
* This weekend is the final chance to see a classic on stage as the Kennedy Center presents The Sound of Music
* See another classic on strings as The Puppet Co. presents The Wizard of Oz
* And Bunny Business is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre in Glen Echo
* Recommended for ages 13 and up, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee will be performed by the McLean Community Players
* My Fair Lady at Olney Theatre is recommended for ages 10 and up
* Catch Shakespeare in the Park As the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company brings The Tempest to PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City, MD

The DC Scoop
Where: Union Market | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

DC’s sweetest event is back at Union Market! This is a day for ice cream lovers and makers alike — there will be a wide array of ice cream products to sample and for sale. Local food trucks will also be there serving savory snacks. The event will be held at Union Market’s Dock 5 and the alley behind it.

Rock Out with Rocknoceros
Where: River Mill Park | Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Local kids fave, Rocknoceros, is playing Music on Mill, the Town of Occoquan’s free summer concert series. Bring a blanket or lawn chair (no tents or pop ups), pack a snack or picnic, and head down to River Mill Park for show and stunning views of the Occoquan River.

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

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). As described in Model Railroader magazine, 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. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Family Entertainment at the Drafthouse
Where: Arlington Cinema Drafthouse | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies by show

The whole gang can enjoy some entertainment at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse this weekend. On the big screen, catch a viewing screening of Cars 3 (Saturday, 12:30pm & Sunday, 1pm & 3:45pm). Or see a fun live show as PIFF the Magic Dragon from America’s Got Talent puts on a family-friendly performance at 4pm (but note his usual shows are rated PG-13).

Capital Fringe Festival
Where: Venues around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

The Capital Fringe Festival is in its second weekend and presenting several performances kids will enjoy. Take a musical journey with the Del Ray Players in LIFE: A Comic Opera in Three Short Acts. Hear free music in the courtyard at the Logan Fringe Arts Space. Catch a tour de force of dance and music at Dancing through life…by the way ©. Those are just a few shows with the all-ages tag; there are many more for ages 13 and up to entertain tweens and teens. More details and ticket sales are on the Capital Fringe Festival website. And, parents, consider catching a performance for a KidFree night out!

Bubble Days
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/child

See the sudsiest spectacle of the summer at the 12th annual Bubble Days. The fun will be bubbling up all over the building—and outside too! Craft your own bubble solution and wand, create bubble art to take home, experiment with homemade bubble wands, and compete in a bubble blowing contest. World-renowned bubble artist Casey Carle will be there to perform his fantastic BubbleMania show!

Centennial of the Everyday Open House
Where: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum welcome visitors to see Centennial of the Everyday and meet the artists who created it — for free. This public-art exhibition features layers upon layers of artistic interventions tucked in among Gadsby’s exhibits that explore the intersection of contemporary art with Alexandria’s rich and multifaceted history. Artist-led tours will be offered at 11am, 2pm, and 4pm.

Fancy This
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $8/ages 13 and up, $5/3-12, free ages 0-2

Walk amid a garden of butterflies at Brookside Garden’s amazing Wings of Fancy exhibit, on view through September 2. The seasonal display featuring live butterflies and caterpillars from all over the world is sure to delight. Read about a KFDC experience at the exhibit. And plan to tour the rest of Brookside’s lovely grounds while you’re there and see if there are any other special kids’ programs to enjoy.

World War I & II Weekend
Where: Oatlands Historic House & Gardens | Leesburg, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: $10/person, $20/family

Learn about our country’s experience in World War I & World War II with a focus on Loudoun County and Oatlands. The event will feature living history interpreters & re-enactors, jeep rides, vintage cars, activities for children, service dogs, music, food and much more.

Out and About
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Temps are dipping a bit this weekend, so you may want to enjoy some adventures outside. The round-up of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids has ideas galore for doing just that. But if you still can’t stand the heat, The Great Indoors post has over 90 suggestions for outings that take place inside.

* Tickets for XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, the must-experience digital exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, have been selling out days ahead, so be sure to plan for this one and book admission in advance.
* Something cool to do as the weather heats up: Save your seats for winter entertainment. Tickets to The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker go on sale Friday, July 14.
* Did you know THEARC presents FREE kids’ movies every Tuesday? Catch a flick at 10am or 2pm — see what’s playing in upcoming weeks.
* Looking for a dentist for your kids? DC Pediatric Smiles just opened in Bethesda!

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