The Weekend Round-Up:
January 26-28

Learning some ninja moves at last year’s SpyFest

Both big special events going and lower key activities are among the happenings around town over the next few days. There will also be warmer temps and sunshine (yay!), so be sure to keep the round-up of the best outdoor places handy, too. Happy Weekend!

Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Friday, 12-10pm; Saturday, 10am -10pm; Sunday 10am – 7pm
Admission: $12/adult, $5/age 6-12, free/5 & under

The annual Washington Auto Show has zoomed back into town. And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — more than 600 of them — on display for guests to check out. Other activities like Ride ‘n Drives and celeb appearances give guests even more to do and see. There will also be fun especially for kids and pop-ins by some of their favorite characters along with the sweet rides. The show will be in town through February 4. This post about one of our experiences at a past show has more about what to expect.

Spy Fest: A Kidspy Family Festival
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: $14

Do you have the savvy to beat a lie-detector? The smarts to break a top secret coded message? The wits to create secret writing? The moves of a Ninja? Families are invited to find out how they measure up at the Museum’s Annual Spy Fest. Mini-missions, tradecraft demonstrations by the experts, and the chance to try spy skill challenges will give KidSpy agents and their handlers an insider’s peek into the shadow world of spying — and who knows, there just may be a spy or two in your midst! (FYI: We had a super fun time at this event last year!)

Monster Jam
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $15-45

The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Blue Thunder, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Monster Mutt Rottweiler, Wonder Woman, and Zombie are among the vehicular beasts you’ll see tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Discover the Dinosaurs
Where: DC Armory | SE DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $14-52

In this interactive dinosaur exhibit, trek back to the Jurassic and experience enormous, realistic prehistoric dinosaurs and other epic creatures! Look out for the T-rex skeleton on the loose, meet a baby dino, and enjoy stage events and family challenge games. There may even be sharks and dragons, too (varies by venue).

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

Reserve free tickets for this week’s free performance: Beech Tree Puppets’ Hollow Stump, a show that celebrates community, as the animals learn to share one space. Recommended ages 4 to 10 years, a limited amount of walk-up tickets will also be available on-site on the day of the show if reserved tickets sell out.

Winter Blast! A Family Weekend of Native Games
Where: National Museum ofthe American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Learn to play Native games from across the Western Hemisphere in celebration of winter. These games teach mental and physical skills that are important to all people. Join Jeremy Red Eagle (Sisseton Wahpeton) from the International Traditional Games Society as he shares games of intuition and chance played in his community. Other games include the Miami-style moccasin game, string games, and Inuit yo-yos. Play traditional Hawaiian games, including Pala’ie (a ball and hoop game), konane (“Hawaiian checkers”), hu (a spinning game with kukui nut tops), and more.

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

Tales of Beatrix Potter is on the Main Stage 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 Magic Toyshop, this weekend’s featured Tiny Tots show, where the lights stay on and doors stay open for an atmosphere suited to small fries.

Inside Out
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am & 11:15pm
Admission: $14

In this interactive show recommended for ages 1-5, children can discover the joy of turning things inside out! It’s bedtime, but instead of getting ready, two children use their imaginations to turn their room into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastic creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet.

There’s No Food like My Food
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

This delicious collection of short documentary films features food from around the world. Hear firsthand from child narrators how they and their families prepare traditional dishes. This program features food from France, Argentina, Trinidad, Thailand, and Kazakhstan. Learn that how food is gathered, prepared, and eaten reflects the unique culture and history of a particular location. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Family Workshop: Musical Innovations
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm & 1:30-3pm
Admission: Free

What kind of music did people listen to thousands of years ago? Visit the exhibition Resound: Ancient Bells of China and learn about the technologies that led to innovations in early Chinese music. Then, return to the studio to create your own cutting-edge music makers using twenty-first-century technologies with teaching artists from FutureMakers. This program is designed for children aged 1-12 and adults to enjoy together. Register in advance here.

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
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 attorney and women’s rights activist, Belva Ann Lockwood, 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.

Coco & Lunch
Where: Arlington Cinema Draft House | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 12:45pm & Sunday, 1:15pm
Admission: $8 (plus food & drinks)

Catch an Oscar nominated flick and enjoy a good meal at a screening of Coco at the Draft House! If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a great one to watch with kids. The animation is as beautiful as the story is clever and heartwarming. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Polar Bear Plunge
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: Saturday, 8am – 2pm
Admission: $75 to plunge, free to spectate

If you want to take a quick dip in the cold, cold Chesapeake Bay for a good cause or want to watch others endure a frigid swim, head toward the Bay Bridge on Saturday for the 22nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge. All ages can participate in this event that raises funds for Special Olympics Maryland. And you can still donate if you don’t want to plunge in.

Parallel Universe
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through March 4
Admission:$8/child, $15/adult

The newest exhibit at the gallery that specializes in creative works that merge 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. Take older kids or consider it for a KidFree outing when you can enjoy the funky cocktails, too!

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

Get out and practice your triple lutzes and camel spins! (The Winter Olympics is just a couple of 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.

College Hoops
Where: Universities around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many colleges in the area, there’s always some good NCAA basketball going on during the season — and it’s a really fun time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* GWU women vs. St. Louis on Saturday at 12pm
* American women vs. Colgate on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs. Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday at 2pm
* Maryland men vs. Michigan State on Sunday at 1pm (Go, Terps!)
* George Mason women vs. Fordham on Sunday at 2pm

Date Night Theatre
Where: Sidney Harman Hall & Arena Stage | Penn Quarter & Southwest, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

If you’re looking for something to do sans kids, consider a night at the theatre! Hamlet is Shakespeare Theatre company’s current production, and this modern version puts an interesting spin on the classic. At Arena Stage, Sovereignty highlights the history, struggles, and truths of the Cherokee Nation in this play that’s also part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.

Hit the Slopes
Where: Ski resorts near the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

Take advantage of winter and enjoy a quintessential seasonal activity — skiing! Liberty Mountain and Whitetail Resort are two of the more convenient places to go with the kids, especially if they are newbies. Just over an hour from DC in PA, both are easy to get to for a one-day venture on the slopes, the runs aren’t too difficult, and kids can do a couple of hours of ski school (be sure to sign up in advance). Get the scoop on their children’s programs here and here.

* This KFDC post is a good one to keep in your back pocket during the winter.
* Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro in Reston will be hosting a free Open House all next week.
* Check out The Atlantic’s list of the 50 Best podcasts of 2017 — so many good ones!
* This looks like it will be a fun home design project to follow. Plus, you can enter a contest to win a getaway to the finished house!
* Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” at Adventure Theatre!

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

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