The Weekend Round-Up: September 1-4

Labor Day adventure in the trees, a perfect last hurrah of summer

Labor Day weekend may mark the unofficial end of summer, but we’ve got an extra day and lots of great options for fun to squeeze the last bit of juice out of the season. Happy Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long — outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, check out the Building Museum’s HIVE, take the kids to the Newseum for free, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, or jump in at an outdoor public pool, then check out the 2017 Summer Guide, which has details on all of these diversions, plus many more.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 7:30pm
Admission: Free

Call all bookworms! The 17th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature more than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre. Even better, they will all be there presenting book readings, talks, Q&A’s, book signings, and more. These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all ages.

Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

All ages are invited to explore the art of recycling at the 38th Annual Celebration of Textiles! Try your hand at weaving with recycled materials, watch local fiber artists at work, enjoy live music and dance, and explore the ingenious fashions on display in the exhibition Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a fantastic museum that is usually a bit mature for young children.

Merriment Galore!
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $19/adults, $17/seniors, $8/7-15, 6 & under/free

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead).

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10:30am – 11:30pm
Admission: Free

More than 60 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the 16th annual Page-to-Stage Festival — all free and open to the public. Several performances are family-friendly, including Outside The Lines: a Play-shop with Arts on the Horizon, Adventure Theatre’s Tinker Bell, and The Misadventures of the Not So Super Superheros by City Kids Theatre. Plus, there are many more for older kids and adults. See the schedule for details and the full list of shows. And note that while tickets are not required, seating is limited.

Apple Gala & Cider Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley — demos, picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Escape Velocity
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel | Woodley Park, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $25-100/adult, $10/age 11-16, free/10 & under

Pop culture meets science at this convention presented by the Museum of Science Fiction. Expect cutting-edge technology and panels on science and pop culture, hands-on STEAM activities for kids, cosplay and evening events for adults, plus astronauts, authors, artists, gaming, drone-racing, and more. There’s plenty that appeals to all ages.

Labor Day Weekend Festivities
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

It’s an exciting weekend at Glen Echo. Along with the 47th Annual Labor Day Art Show throughout the weekend, there will be an Open House to check out all kinds of art classes on Saturday, and the 11th annual Irish Music and Dance Showcase on Monday. The public is welcome to enjoy all of it for free!

DC Veg Fest
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the largest celebration of vegetarian and vegan living in the area. DC VegFest is a full day of delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, cooking demos, music, and more. A Kids Zone will feature storytime, yoga, Ask-A-Vegan Parent, kid-friendly cooking demos, and music. Attendees will enjoy free food samples along with tasty vegan cuisine from food vendors.

Where: Keegan Theatre
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $45-55

Catch a special family-friendly perforamnce of Keegan Theatre’s latest production that centers on a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest. (FYI: You can also see a grown-up version other days through September 9.) The theatre’s PLAY-RAH-KA program offers both theatrical experiences for families and creative exploration that helps empower young people and emerging artists to find their authentic voices.

hiSTORY Time
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join the museum for this special program for early learners ages 0-6. The 1st and 3rd Saturdays in September are all about farming. Bring your child to hear a story about their favorite farm animals, build their own farm, and see a tractor in the collection. The story will be read at 11am and 11:30am.

Family Movie Time
Where: Arlington Cinema Drafthouse | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Varies by show

The whole gang can enjoy some entertainment at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse this weekend. See a screening of the super cute Despicable Me 3 (Saturday @ 12:30pm, Sunday @ 1pm, & Monday @ 1:30pm). Or watch the amazing Wonder Woman (Saturday @ 3pm, Sunday @ 7pm, & Monday @ 7:30pm).

Brews and Pony Rides
Where: Waredaca Brewing Company | Laytonsville, MD
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free ($5/ride)

Parents can sample craft beers, and kids can have fun, too! There will be a great pony for everyone to pet and for kids to take a ride around the orchard. Be aware that this is weather dependent, and parents must be present and sign a waiver.

Mini Golf Pop-Up
Where: Shops at Penn Hill | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 12pm – 8pm & Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Admission: $3/person or $10/group of 4

Grab a putter and putt away at the Penn Hill Mini Golf Pop-Up! Every weekend through Columbus Day, The Shops at Penn Hill bring a fun, family friendly, artist-designed nine-hole course to Southeast, DC. The unique site produced by Building Creative is part art exhibit, part interactive entertainment. Built for the community, each hole is individually designed and built by local artists, taking an unconventional approach combining contemporary installation with leisurely recreation. After the game, players can vote on their favorite design, play their favorite lawn games, and grab a bite from local food trucks.

Labor Day Zip & Climb
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Monday

End summer with some adventure! Bring the families and a picnic to the park for a day in the trees before fall arrives! They’ll have a day of music as you navigate the ropes courses and have a blast. (It’s open the rest of the weekend, just without the tunes.)

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20adults, $5/ages 5-12, free for under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but Saturday’s concert will continue until 9pm. And children under 12 are free on Sunday!

Arrrgh, Mateys!
Where: Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake | Annapolis, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $22, $12/ages 2 and under

Set sail on the high seas in Annapolis for a jolly good adventure. Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake takes little buccaneers on a search for buried treasure. Several time slots are available throughout the day, and admission includes face painting and dress up along with the on board fun. And police, fire fighters and teachers get a 20% discount with valid ID over Labor Day weekend. Read about one of our experiences on the adventure.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building West Lawn | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Aoife O’Donovan joins the National Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor John Morris Russell this year. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (and there will be no rehearsal). You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

Labor Day Parades
Where: Around the DMV
When: Monday
Admission: Free

For some holiday pageantry on Monday, head to Maryland — both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 79-year tradition in Gaithersburg will include fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. Kensington is hosting its 50th Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, circus performers will be part of the show making its way through town starting at 10am. The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Antique Row with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more.

Go with the Flow
Where: Waterways around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by boathouse

Enjoy the weekend on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go, and you can also paddle from nearby Thompson Boathouse and Ballpark Boathouse next to Yards Park. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent along with free pontoon boat tours on weekends from 5-5:45. If you’re up for a bigger excursion, you can rent your own pontoon at Solomons Island. And you can see where else you can explore by water in this round-up of great places to go with the flow.

Weather or Not
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The forecast calls for both sunshine and rain (who’s got Rob Base playing in their head now?), so if you want to plan your activities accordingly, keep these two posts bookmarked:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

* This New York Times article has good information on how to help Hurricane Harvey victims.
* And the Washington Post has a piece on local bars and restaurants hosting fundraisers to benefit American Red Cross relief efforts.
* Prince George’s Public Schools offers Creative Kids Days, all-day structured art classes when students have days off from school. Get more info and register for October 20 & November 10 here.
* DC Baby’s 6-week Fall Session begins September 21. The program offers new moms and their babies a supportive place to connect, learn, and build community.
* District Winery just opened. Clink!

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