The Weekend Round-Up: March 16-18

Dumbarton Oaks’ magical gardens are open again after many months of renovations

We’re on the brink of spring, even though it might not feel like it. Luckily, this round-up is full of great ways to get you through this last weekend of winter. But if you want a taste of activities for the new season, there are some recs to do that, too. And the posts listing indoor and outdoor ideas are always worth checking out as well. Happy Weekend!

Cherry Blossom Dream
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through May 6
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE is celebrating spring with one of DC’s seasonal favorites: Cherry Blossoms! Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream offers a new way to experience our city’s famous flowers. And with stunning imagery and fun interactives, all ages will find it delightful. Even if you don’t plan to go this weekend, I recommended snagging tickets while you can — the exhibits at this gallery always sell out.

Target $2 Family Night
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, 4-8pm
Admission: $2

It’s a special Target $2 Family Fun Night at the children’s museum in Baltimore! Enjoy three floors of interactive exhibits along with fun and engaging programs for just a couple of bucks per person. You can also join in Circle Time, take part in Create and Read! activities, and learn about animals with the Maryland SPCA.

Welcome Back to the Garden
Where: Dumbarton Oaks | Georgetown
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $8/senior, $5/ages 2-12

After being closed since July for renovations, one of my very favorite places in DC is welcoming visitors again… Dumbarton Oaks has reopened its garden gates for the public to explore and enjoy its gorgeous grounds. I can’t yet tell you what’s new, but you can read about some of our past experiences at the urban oasis here and here.

Kids in the Castle
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Heurich House Museum will open its doors for free, kid-friendly, self-guided tours. Kids in the Castle gives families the chance to explore the ornate details of the Heurich. A suit of armor, woodcarvings of animals and magical beasts, and towering ceilings are just some of the features that make the mansion a magical castle to explore. Children and parents are invited to wander through the house at their own pace and complete a photo scavenger hunt to win prizes. Register for free tickets; only a limited number will be available at the door.

NoVa Maker Faire
Where: George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/children

It’s a gathering of tech enthusiasts, engineers, woodworkers, metal workers, auto hackers, artists, teachers, craftspeople, and curious minds at the 5th annual NoVa Maker Faire. The event inspires, informs, connects, and entertains thousands of attendees in a family-friendly environment. Makers from Northern Virginia,DC, and beyond will share their knowledge through hands-on projects for adults and kids in areas from primitive tools and blacksmithing to drones and 3D printers. It’s an event recommended for ages 4-94!

Cherry Blossom Entertainment
Where: Tidal Basin | National Mall Area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

We have a couple of weeks to go before the cherry blossom peak, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival officially begins this weekend. The big events come later, but starting Saturday there will be a variety of performances at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. See what’s coming up over the next few weeks in this post about the best cherry blossom events for families.

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Several locations around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by film

Films from across the globe are being screened around the DC-Metro area for the the 26th annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few family-oriented flicks among them. Backyard Wilderness at the Air & Space Museum, March of the Penguins 2 at National Geographic, and Love and Bananas at the Naval Heritage Center are a few of them. There are even more films that older kids will likely enjoy and learn from and others to consider for a grown-up outing. View the website for more details.

A Gem of an Event
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $6/age 12+ free/11 & under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. The 54th Annual Show of the Gem, Lapidary, and Mineral Society of Montgomery County, MD will have all that and then some. There will be dealers selling collectibles, demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes, free workshops, free specimens for kids, mini mines, and more

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

* Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is on stage at Adventure Theatre
* Reserve free tickets for Shakespeare For The Young: The Tiniest Tempest, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Ease on down the road to Ford’s Theatre for The Wiz
* The Prince and the Pauper – A Bollywood Tale is on the Imagination Stage for its final weekend
* And little ones will love Balloonacy at the Bethesda Theatre
* Catch a fairytale classic as The Puppet Co. presents Beauty and the Beast
* And Mother Goose Caboose is the Tiny Tots performance for littles there on Saturday
* The Alden Theatre presents The Snow White Variety Show at The Old Firehouse in McLean

Track & Field Championships
Where: PG Sports and Learning Complex | Landover, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 8am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The 2018 Masters Indoor Championships is taking place in the DC area and promises to be an exciting showcase of indoor track and field events including racewalking, relays, and the men’s and women’s indoor Pentathlon. The competition will feature athletes from 30 to 100+! Among the entrants are reigning world champions, former Olympians, recent world record setters, defending national champions, and many Washington Metro Area stars. Spectators are welcomed, and admission is free!

Big Apple Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through April 1
Admission: $25-59

The Big Apple Circus is in town and celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, featuring stunts never before seen under the big top. Known for its one-ring, artistic, European-style, no seat is more than 50 feet from the performers. That’s perfect for viewing some first-ever feats for the Circus along with fan favorites. Hire wire acts, contortionists, bicycle acrobatics, hilarious clowns, and doggie dances are some of thrills and fun you can expect. Read a review of one of our past experiences at a Big Apple Circus show.

Willy Wonka Fundraiser
Where: Mellow Mushroom | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Donations encouraged

Want to support education, celebrate community activism, and eat pizza — all while watching the classic film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory? Join Mellow Mushroom for a SCRUMPDIDDLYUMPTOUS time on Saturday for a family friendly afternoon filled with fizzy lifting drinks, photo booths, invention stations, special guests and a screening of the beloved film. The event is the brainchild of Amelia, a Marie Reed Elementary School 2nd grader! Proceeds will benefit the school’s PTA and donations for Golden Ticket admission will be accepted at the door.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capital One & Eagle Bank Arenas | Penn Quarter, DC & Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 and up

The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to DC with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy, and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family.

The Littlest Viking Story Time
Where: Solid State Books | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Join illustrator Isabel Roxas for a creative story time, live drawing demo, and signing of her newest book at the new bookstore on H Street! The Littlest Viking tells the tale of Sven… he might be the littlest Viking, but he has no trouble making himself known. He has the loudest warrior cry and the fiercest set of teeth. He loves to pillage and plunder. But there’s a new kid in town—a warrior princess, who is smaller than Sven and even louder. What’s a little Viking to do?

Protectors of the Wild
Where: National Geographic | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/age 7-12, free/6 & under

At this month’s Adventures in Exploration for families watch a screening of the thrilling film Mission Critical: Orangutans, play Kahoot!, and meet daring and innovative National Geographic Explorers Topher White and Juliana Machado Ferreira, who are using cell phones to stop illegal activity in the rain forest and working to save the world one stolen bird at a time.

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by age

The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring reopens for the season this weekend! Kids as young as 5-years-old can experience thrills on the ropes courses and ziplines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 and an accompanying adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do much more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

Burpees and Beer
Where: Capitol Quarter Community Center | Southeast DC
When: Saturday, 9:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

FIT4MOM® Capitol Hill is hosting a special family fitness class to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This FREE all ages workout will be structured like a typical FIT4MOM Stroller Strides® class, a stroller-based fitness program designed for moms (and dads) with little ones. The 60-minute, total body workout incorporates cardio, strength, core, songs and activities. The instructor will offer modifications for all fitness levels. Families are also invited to join FIT4MOM® Capitol Hill at Bluejacket Brewery after class for brunch and beers — participating adults are eligible for one complimentary beer!

Kids Corner – Make March Matter
Where: The Plaza | CityCenter, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join CityCenter and DC Public Library for Kids Corner – Make March better edition! From 11am – 12pm, librarians from DCPL will lead a story time full of books, songs, rhymes, and fingerplays. This story time is a great way to introduce your child to language skills in a positive and fun outdoor environment. There will be even more kids activities going on throughout the day — see the website for details. *Weather permitting!

Spring Clean-Up
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Help Claude Moore, a local National Park and working colonial farm, get ready for the 2018 season! There will be a variety of chores and tasks available for all ages. Dress for the weather and bring work gloves. Enjoy a complimentary hot dog picnic lunch for your work. RSVP to

Are You Ready for Some Fútbol?
Where: Maryland SoccerPlex | Boyds, MD
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
Admission: $25

DC United kicks off their first home (away from home) match of the season at the Maryland SoccerPlex. This is were they will be playing until the new Audi Field opens in an anticipated four months. And if you need to catch up more on this and the local pro soccer scoop, check out the DC United website.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Visit the historical Vienna Stain station 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). Locomotive, rail car, and towns industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) are chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose. Check out the virtual tour here.

Brain Awareness Day
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring,MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Explore the exciting world of neuroscience! Join brain scientists, researchers, clinicians, and museum educators to enjoy interactive demonstrations and exhibits about the brain. Learn about prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injury Discover how your brain works! Hold a REAL brain! (Note: This is museum is incredibly fascinating but maybe not for the faint of heart. Read more about why here.)

DC Way Soccer Festival
Where: Tyler Elementary School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

DC Way welcomes parents and kids to gather, play soccer, socialize, and have fun! This festival program consists of fun soccer related games, relays, and contests to win prizes. Activities include soccer tennis, a kids vs. parents game, sharpshooters game, 2v2 tournament, penalty and accuracy contests, obstacle courses, and more.  It’s great way to for kids to practice their skills in an interactive and engaging setting, and an opportunity for parents to join in on the fun as well! There will also be prizes, such as drawstring bags, water bottles, and t-shirts.

* Tech Savvy Mama has a great post about how to help our kids advocate for gun control after the National School Walkout.
* Looking for a fun, active way for your kid to spend Spring Break? DC Way has room available in their spring soccer camp. (Sign up is open for summer, too!)
* Just put this book on my “want to read” list. Have you read it yet?
* The first official post for the new T(w)een Scene section went up last weekend.
* Earlier this week, 7,000 pairs of empty shoes, representing children killed by guns since Sandy Hook, were lined up on the U.S. Capitol lawn to make a statement about gun control. If you didn’t get to witness it in person, see photos and get more info about the Monument to Our Kids.


Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

2 Responses to The Weekend Round-Up: March 16-18

  1. Erin

    Hi! Longtime reader, first time poster.
    A quick update: per my research, the date of the event at Solid State Books is SUNDAY, not Saturday.

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Hi Erin – So glad you finally decided to post! That was my mistake – thank you for catching it and letting me know. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!

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