The Weekend Round-Up: September 22-24

Tour museums that usually charge a fee – like the Newseum – for free on Museum Day Live!

There are so many great ways to enjoy this first official weekend of autumn, just plan on wearing shorts and sandals while you do. Happy Weekend!

Museum Day Live
Where: Museums around the DMV
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE!

There are some museums in the DC area that actually charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting its annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets to visit are free. Take advantage at the Newseum, National Building Museum, Koshland Science Museum, Kreeger Museum, Dumbarton House, College Park Aviation Museum, and many more fantastic museums in the area. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary!

Happy 1st, NMAAHC!
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

It’s been a year since the museum opened its doors, and they’re celebrating with two days of festivities for the community. The will highlight different aspects of African American history and culture through music, dance, storytelling, theater, and hands-on activities. Tickets are still required to tour the museum, but much of it will take place outdoors on the Museum grounds — free and open to the public.

Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s officially fall, and you can celebrate the season and then some at one of many festivals happening this weekend, from city neighborhoods to country farms. The Town of Occoquan hosts its annual autumn fair (see below), many farms — Cox, Ticonderoga, Wayside, Summers — are opening this weekend, and several others have been welcoming visitors for all kinds of fall-inspired fun already. Get details on all of them in this guide to fall festivals around area.

Where: Venues around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $12-35

The theatre world’s version of Restaurant week celebrates the fun of going to the theatre by offering patrons tickets for less. Through October 1, you can see any of the participating shows for $12-35, giving you some kind of discount on the regular price — and several of this week’s Show Time recommendations (see below) are among them!

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:45am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce of 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live music, The Great Zucchini, performing Jack Russel terriers, a petting zoo, roaming Star Wars characters food and art vendors, a donkey procession, trapeze school tricks, and tons more fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo. A Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

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

* How I Became a Pirate Sails onto the Adventure Theatre stage this weekend!
* Reserve FREE tickets for Michael Shwedick’s Reptile World, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Catch a FREE performance of The Adventures of the Extra Ordinary Super Heroes by City Kids Theater
* Here Comes Trouble is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* See the Greatest Show on Strings watching Circus! at The Puppet Co.
* And take little ones to Old MacDonald’s Farm, the Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* Make it a KidFree outing to Arena Stage for Native Gardens
* Puppet Playhouse presents Jungle of Bungaloo at Ecore Stage & Studio
* Capoeira Angola with Skher Brown & The Dancing Warriors will be at Publick Playhouse
* Death of a Salesman opens at Ford’s Theatre – best for ages 13+

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music, and great food! For the 49th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore. Located just 20 minutes south of Washington DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Ren Fest
Where: Revel’s Grove | Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

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!

Dulles Plane Pull
Where: Dulles Airport, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Airplane tug o’ war, anyone? This annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s “heaviest” fundraiser, pitting teams of 25 against one another to see who can pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus 12 feet the fastest. And the public is invited to watch it all go down. Along with the tug o’ airplane, there will be a Run the Runway competition in the early morning, Kid’s Pull competitions, food, games, exhibitions, and live music. Gates open at 10:30am.

Rock Creek Park Day
Where: Fort Circle Parks | Rock Creek, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admmission: Free

It’s Rock Creek Park’s 127th birthday, but instead of throwing themselves a party, they’re throwing you one! The park was established by an act of Congress on September 27, 1890 under President Benjamin Harrison. Join the celebration and head down to the Fort Circle Parks, where they will be hosting free events all day, from ranger led programs to history-walks, and more!

September Taste
Where: Steadfast Supply | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Food + Drinks + Music. At this local food and drink fest, get inspired by the stories of some amazing, local food and beverage businesses. Taste new things, discover new stuff to be obsessed with, get your shop on in the store, and embrace the meaning of weekend chill. With bites like dumplings, ice cream, mac-n-cheese, and fancy lemonade and sodas, there is something for foodies young and old to savor. After, plan to enjoy some outdoor time at Yards Park!

Fall Ready Shopping
Where: Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

“Fall” in love with warm weather trends at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City! Fashionistas are invited to attend the Fall Ready Event on Saturday for a plethora of pop-up style stations featuring beauty bars offering mini-makeovers and the opportunity to peruse the season’s hottest trends. Shoppers can also look forward to brand samplings from Nordstrom, kate spade new york, Aveda, and more! As a special bonus, shoppers who spend $150 or more at any store that day will receive a fashionista cosmetic tote filled with complimentary goodies, available while supplies last at Guest Services.

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 10th year with a simulcast performance of Aida on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume dress-up station, fun photo ops, arts & crafts, face painting, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.

Art All Night
Where: Over 40 venues in Shaw, DC
When: Saturday – Sunday, 7pm – 3am
Admission: Free

Considering the “all night” timing, this one is may be more for just parents than the whole fam. Presented by Shaw Main Streets, but celebrated by six neighborhoods, this citywide festival promises to be larger than life. A parade featuring drummers, bands, and costumed characters will be a big draw. FEsival-goers can also enjoy an array of concerts and live performances, arts activities, food and drink specials, and tons of swag!

Make Great Strides for a Great Cause
Where: Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 8-11am
Admission: $30

Looking for a fall Fun Run/Walk for a Great Cause? Orthobethesda is organizing the first Great Strides Family Fun 5k Run & Walk on Sunday in Bethesda.  The event will help raise critical funds for a rare brain tumor/seizure disorder. For more information or to run/walk, go here.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street, Wisconsin to Thomas Jefferson | Georgetown, DC
When: Sunday 24, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

Savor the spectacular cuisine of over 30 of Georgetown’s premier restaurants, highlighting culinary personalities and featuring delectable dishes to sample from more than 30 neighborhood restaurants, as well as wine pairings. Bring young foodies for free activities including face painting, coloring, and more fun little ones. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

¡Celebramos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at ZooFiesta! See animal demonstrations and learn about animals native to Latin America, such as Andean bears, two-toed sloths, giant anteaters, golden lion tamarins, and Panamanian golden frogs. Meet Zoo experts and learn how they are working to save these species and more. Festivities also include live music and authentic gourmet cuisine. Bring the whole familia!

DC “State” Fair
Where: Waterfront Station | Southwest, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

Apparently, being an actual state isn’t a requirement to have a state fair. This showcase of the region’s agricultural and artistic talents is a celebratory day, full of competitions and other fun and educational activities for all ages. Festivities include contests of all kinds – photography, knitting, kids art and poetry, pickling, pies, ice cream, jams, and more. Get a taste of it all, do some shopping among the vendors, and enjoy live entertainment, to boot.

Turkish Festival
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 12th-14th St. | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

You’ll be whirling like a dervish from all there is to enjoy at the Annual Turkish Festival on Sunday. Watch Turkish dance and stage performances, enjoy a Turkish coffee and tea and have and find out your destiny from the ever-popular Turkish fortune-tellers who read fortunes from coffee grinds, and sample Turkish cuisine from local restaurants. Shop an authentic Turkish bazaar with vendors showcasing everything from Turkish jewelry to clothing to home accessories. And a “Kid’s Tent” will provide an interactive introduction to Turkey with hands-on activities for children of all ages.

Where: Silver Spring Civic Building | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Interactive activities and hands-on family fun abound at KIDfest ! The KID Museum’s signature community event is dynamic celebration of creativity and innovation. It’s part of the museum’s aim to expose children and adults alike to the power of hands-on maker learning, and inspire them to find their own “spark.” All ages can engage in electronics, art, engineering, science, and crafts activities along with awe-inspiring demos, “KIDtalks,” and two stages of live musical performances and entertainment.

The Endless Summer Concert
Where: Downtown Silver Spring Fountain | Silver Spring, MD
When: September 24
Admission: Free

School of Rock is hostig a free, family-friendly concert for all ages on Sunday. They’ll take you back with music from the 70’s from 1-2:30pm, then catch a wave with Surf Rock from 2:30-4pm, then end on a high note with the best of Motown at 4pm.

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

If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

* Looking for things to do on the Friday DCPS day off from school? Check out the Everyday Play page for tons of ideas.
* Budding fashion designers can start learning tricks of the trade with Sew Creative Kids, a sewing program for ages 8-14.
* Don’t miss a chance to win a $100 Whole Food gift card from DC Pediatric Smiles dental practice as they celebrate fall!
* There’s lots of live entertainment coming to local stages this fall — get details, including KidFree suggestions and tips on ticket deals here!
* On Monday, September 25, Joselito Casa de Comidas is hosting its first “Winemaker Hemingway Hour” from 6-7:30pm with wine tastings and passed hors d’oeuvres with winemaker Victor Fuentes, from Finca Rio Negro in Castilla de la Mancha, Spain. Tickets are $15.

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