The Weekend Round-Up: January 19-21

HBD to this amazing kid

Twelve years ago tonight I was lounging on the sofa, my belly huge and my back aching. Project Runway was on TV, and there was probably an empty container of Ben & Jerry’s on the coffee table in front me. Just three and a half weeks from my due date, I was taking advantage of the best excuse to indulge in some not-so-guilty pleasures. And that’s when I felt a little…pop. Like, right below where the baby was hanging out. I wasn’t sure what to think since it wasn’t anything close to the stories I’d heard that make it sound like a dam breaking. So, Levi and I called the doctor, but couldn’t reach her (turned out the pager was off?). So, we called the doula, who told us to head to the hospital, just in case. Long story short, the next day… Matthew was born! (Haha. See, we hadn’t yet decided on a name, because we thought we still had over three weeks to go, and Matthew was the front-runner at that time. But after one day with our baby boo, we knew that wasn’t the right one for him.) Needless to say, I never got to hear Heidi announce who was in and who was out that night. But it didn’t matter because we had our own winner: Owen, not only are you “in,” you are an amazing classic that will never, ever go out of style.

Hey, I warned you guys a couple of weeks ago that it’s birthday season. 🙂 Happy Weekend! And a very Happy Birthday to my sweet O.

*Saturday Update: If you’re wondering how the government shutdown will impact your weekend plans, it most likely won’t very much. National parks will remain open (though staff for concession stands, restroom maintenance, etc., will not be working, so plan accordingly). Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo will be open through Sunday Monday.

Travel & Adventure Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $16/adults, free for 16 and under

Get travel inspiration, experience culture, and have fun! A big expo like this might sound like a grown-up affair, but a bunch of cool pursuits will thrill the kids, too. Besides the hundreds of travel providers and destinations featured, there will be cultural performances, Segway rides, camel rides (!), a rock climbing wall, “worldly” photo ops, and kids games.

Family Afternoon: Pop Up Forts
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Construct an awe-inspiring fort from newspapers. Find out how a triangle’s strong shape can brace your structure and keep your fort standing longer. Create tetrahedral caverns small enough for one or big enough for your entire clan. Little ones can explore how to build forts all year round, even in the cold winter months, during a story time with local Megan Wagner Lloyd. Enjoy a reading of her children’s book, Fort Building Time, and then pick up your very own copy in the Museum Shop.

Saturday Morning at The National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free

The awesome free theatre program for kids returns this weekend with a local fave: Rocknoceros! Get ready to twist, shake, rattle, and roll as they get the whole family on their feet dancing to upbeat tunes. Advance tickets are gone, but a limited amount of walk-up tickets will be available on-site on the day of the show–arrive 30 minutes prior to performance time to take a place in the “Stand-by line.”

Women’s March on Washington: March On the Polls
Where: Starts at Lincoln Memorial | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

On the anniversary weekend of last year’s historic Women’s March, March On The Polls DC is part of the larger #WeekendOfWomen, with sister marches being planned in 30+ cities and localities all across the country. Women and allies will once again take to the streets of the nation’s capitol to make a powerful statement to the current administration and the rest of the world. This follow-up to the largest demonstration in U.S. history, will commence at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial at 11am, where March Forward Virginia will host a rally showcasing several speakers followed by a march on the White House.

Check It Out: A Library & Pop-Up
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

This new program at the Hirshhorn helps children experience the Museum. Find the cart in the galleries and check out a fun kit full of favorite finds for kids. Each kit is an art-meets-reading adventure with a special theme, children’s book, suggested artworks for viewing, and hands-on art making materials.

DC by Foot
Where: Various locations around DC & VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Name your own price!

It may have been a little too chilly last weekend for this, but the next few days will be a great time to get out and explore the city. DC by Foot offers a variety of walking tour options throughout the area, the National Mall tour said to be most appealing for kids. Along with learning about the history of the sites, guests can also enjoy scavenger hunts and trivia. And tours are name-your-own-price, so you pay at the end what you think the tour was worth.

Hand Made Shows
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $6-12

It’s opening weekend for Tales of Beatrix Potter at the puppet theatre in Glen Echo Park. Recommended for ages 3-9, showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm on both Saturday & Sunday. At 10am, really little ones can enjoy Winter Wonderland , this weekend’s featured Tiny Tots show, where the lights stay on and doors stay open for an atmosphere suited to small fries.

Mr. Jon & Friends
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $8, $25/Family of 4

Catch a family-friendly concert on Saturday morning. Mr. Jon & Friends makes music for kids and their families that inspires fun, laughter, and dancing. Full juice, smoothie, acai bowl, and coffee menu will also be available.

Paint Build Create!
Where: Fairlington Community Center | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the Arlington County Department of Parks and Rec for day of creative exploration at our second annual Paint, Build, Create event! Guests of all ages can enjoy a variety of free activities, including art-making projects, a cardboard build room, a nutrition activity, a teen lounge and senior projects. Some activities require pre-registration.

Bonsai or a Big Tree?
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $25 per child/adult pair

Every tree seedling has its fate, and in this workshop, you can learn how that fate is determined. One adult and one child will have a special day together as they work as lab partners, using their “scientist eyes” to observe details and make comparisons. We’ll learn about plant physiology, ecosystems and bonsai history, too.  At the close of class, each research team will receive a seedling whose fate they will decide. Will your tree go through the rigorous training to become a bonsai or will you plant it outdoors in spring to grow up wild, big and free?  Be sure to bring warm coats since we will be in an open exhibit area for part of the workshop. This activity is not recommended for participants under the age of 8, and is geared to children in the third and fourth grades. Due to limited classroom space, strollers can’t be accommodated. Registration is required. 

Bilingual Education Fair of DC
Where: Thurgood Marshall Center | Shaw, DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The Fair is the premier event in the DC region for families, educators, and community members to discover multilingual education options, personalized technologies, fun language resources, and how to bring bilingual education to your community. Hear from educators, exhibitors, and fellow parents about why, how, and where to foster multilingualism in your kids. And bring your kids for free fun multicultural activities while you visit over 40 exhibitors!

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Thomas Edison and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum (and the American Art Museum housed in the same building). For more about the program, see this post about a past experience and this one with scenes from a very recent visit.

Parallel Universe
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through

The newest exhibit at the gallery that specializes in art that merges art and technology just opened, and it’s as wild and immersive as the last few. Parallel Universe by Ouchhh is, as they put it, “a psychedelic, eye-of-the-storm experience of whirling fractals and light beams.” Guests of all ages are welcome, but it’s recommended for 12 and up, and I agree with that. It’s kind of like a rave minus the drugs and the dancing with trippy visuals, flashing lights, and loud thumping music. A cool experience, but maybe not for everyone, especially children who might be sensitive to a lot of stimuli.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Get out and practice your triple lutzes and camel spins! After all, the Winter Olympics is just a few weeks away. 😉 Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; glide along the area’s newest rink at The Wharf, or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Jumpin’ January Dance Party
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5 ($20 max per family)

Families are invited to a dance party to kick off the 125th birthday year of the Noyes Children’s Library in Kensington, MD. The event will include crafts, a reading room, and dancing led by A-Squad Entertainment. Admission is $5 per person ($20 max per family). RSVP on Facebook.

Laurie Berker
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: January 21, 11:30am & 3pm
Tickets: $15/child, $25/adult advance; $20/child $30/adult at door

Children’s music fave Laurie Berkner is bringing her Greatest Hits Solo Tour to the DC area for two shows on Sunday. A true pioneer in children’s music, beloved by generations of children and parents for over twenty years, she’ll be playing well-loved hits like “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz),” “Victor Vito,” “We Are The Dinosaurs,” and “Pig on Her Head” along with songs like “Bicycle,” “Bubbles,” and “I’ve Got So Much To Give” from her recent album, Superhero. Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads). (Note: We took a toddler Owen to one of Laurie’s shows years ago, and it was so much fun! Dare I admit I actually knew the words to almost every song?!)

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm
Tickets: $35-75

Step Afrika!’s fourth annual showcase at Strathmore is going to be big! The show integrates songs, storytelling, and humor into a highly entertaining, interactive performance as percussive dance styles historically practiced by African American fraternities and sororities and African traditional dance and art forms come together. If you’ve never seen Step Afrika! before, this is a great opportunity to be wowed and elated. And if you have seen them, then you already know what a treat it is!

Think Outside
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take advantage of rising temps and enjoy some time outside. You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for outdoor adventures. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for outdoor fun.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post lists more than 90 suggestions for things to do.

* This coming Thursday, January 25, 6-8pm, the JO Wilson Elementary PTA is hosting their FREE 4th Annual Summer Camp Fair! Over 50 camp exhibitors will be there representing summer programs ranging from traditional camps to academic, arts, music, sports, early childhood, and special interest camps.
* You only have a week left to see Murder is Her Hobby at the Renwick Gallery. It’s a fascinating exhibit that features dollhouse-sized recreations of real murder scenes that are actually used in forensics training. For obvious reasons, I recommend this one for older kids (teens or mature middle schoolers) or a KidFree outing.
* Save seats for upcoming shows! The round-up of live entertainment around DC this winter has details on what’s coming to local stages over the next couple of months.
* This blog post has a good round-up of various viewpoints (plus, hundreds of thoughtful comments) on one of the biggest stories of the past week.
* This one was always a favorite.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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