It finally looks and feels like spring, and you’ve got your pick of ways to savor it over the next few days. Happy Weekend!
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Ave, 7th – 17th St. NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
The annual parade just may be the pinnacle of cherry blossom season. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel down the street. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially on a pretty spring day.
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under
Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. There will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.
Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park | Great Falls, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $7/advance, $9/at event
The cherry blossoms aren’t the only pretty flowers to enjoy around the area. Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Bring the whole family for fun including games, music, wildflower walks, puppet shows, wagon rides, live animals, and more. Read more about Riverbend in this KFDC post. And to see what else is going on at other Fairfax County Parks, go here.
10th Anniversary Celebration
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill,MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free (some activities require fees)
National Harbor has been around 10 years, and they’re celebrating with a weekend of fun festivities! It kicks off on Saturday morning with a Potomac River Cleanup (8am – 12pm). On Saturday, there will be free carousel rides, a Beer Garden, a ticketed kid’s silent disco, an adult silent disco, and fireworks. Sunday features free Capital Wheel rides, a kids’ corner, a community parade, and live music. See the schedule and more details here.
Where: National Museum of the America Indian | National Mall
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Celebrate Cherokee culture at the fifth annual Cherokee Days. The festival showcases the shared history and cultural lifeways of three Cherokee tribes with an exhibition, storytelling, traditional flute music, weaponry, woodcarving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving, pottery demonstrations, and dance performances.
Living Through the Ages
Where: Patuxent River Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm
See, touch, feel and participate in two millennia of history, as hundreds of reenactors portray 2,000 years of the past in one weekend! Roman Legionaries, Charlemagne’s Army, ancient Irish warriors; 15th century English knights; 16th century German mercenaries; 17th century English Civil War soldiers; 18th century Highland Jacobites, American Rev War, Napoleonic forces; 19th century marines and militia from the War of 1812, American Civil War and British soldiers from the far flung Victorian Empire; 20th century combatants from WWI, WWII, Palestine, and Vietnam. Discover the soldiers’ lives and that of the civilians who followed their warriors. This year there are 35 camps of living historians to portray and demonstrate the real history!
Celebrate Central Asia
Where: The Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Join the George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum to celebrate the art and cultures of Central Asia. Enjoy performances by the Silk Road Dance Company featuring traditional dances from Uzbekistan, beautiful costumes, and an appearance by the ikat dragon. Try your hand at watercolor painting, and create your own Ikat designs with paper. Take the opportunity to visit our galleries to see colorful Ikat fabrics in the exhibition Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat. It’s a great opportunity for all ages to enjoy a museum that’s usually a bit sophisticated for young children.
Dog Days Bloom Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
This adventure for dogs and their people has something for every member of the family, but canines especially will have a blast at the festivities. Bring your 4-legged friend for a day of fun on the farm with a Frisbee competition, obstacle course, tips, and training. Plus, enjoy Bluemont Wine and Dirt Farm Brews at the event this season. And the rest of the farm, which is essentially a sprawling playground, is open for all to enjoy. Explore the many acres, and opt for a wagon ride to see the orchards and farm in bloom!
DC Emancipation Day Celebration
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 10th-14th St. | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday, 2-8:30pm
On April 16, 1862, the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them, and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. Join Mayor Bowser to commemorate the day at the 2018 DC Emancipation Day celebration with a parade, concert, and fireworks.
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Reserve free tickets for InterAct Story Theatre’s The Town That Cried Avalanche, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* LOL at a Potted Potter performance at Sidney Harman Hall. (Read a past review here.)
* It’s opening weekend for Robin Hood at Imagination Stage
* Ease on down the road to Ford’s Theatre for The Wiz
* Little ones will love Balloonacy at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* Catch a fairytale classic as The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
* And Jellybean Circus is the Tiny Tots performance for littles there on Saturday
* Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart at Eagle Bank Arena
* Snow Child is the newest production at Arena Stage
* Kids musician Matt Heaton is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
Spring Open House
Where: My Gym Potomac & Bethesda | Potomac & Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Check out My Gym’s facilities and learn about their programs as you enjoy fun and games — at both the Bethesda and Potomac locations! Expect lots of play time, plus get great discounts on spring classes, summer camps, and parties!From 12-1pm, tackle the Ninja Warrior obstacle courses (best for ages 3-10) and have free pizza. From 1-3pm, there will be free face painting and fun for all ages. Grown-ups wear socks, please!
Nats vs. Rockies
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Root for the home team as the Nats host the Rockies this weekend. Be sure to check out special promos — Friday is the Sean Doolittle Bobhead giveaway (first 25,000 fans), and Sunday is Jackie Robinson and Black Heritage Day, not to mention little fans can run the bases after the game. Don’t forget to sign up ages 4-12 for the Jr. Nationals Kids Club, and check these tips on how to save at the ballpark.
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Park | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Join the 77th anniversary celebration of Dumbarton Oaks Park. There are volunteer clean-up opportunities in the morning, and the afternoon will feature even more, including children’s activities, interactive exhibits, strolling tours, art in the park, and music. Enter at the top of Lover’s Lane near 3060 R Street NW. (Note: This is not the Dumbarton Gardens; the park is located just behind them.)
Where: Inner Harbor | Baltimore, MD
When: Through April 21
See Baltimore transformed with large-scale light installations, performances, music, and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area. Light City’s innovation programming generates an ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – while lights, performances, and live music re-imagine Baltimore at night.
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Every April, the mighty herring make their way upstream to lay their eggs—and swim up a “fish ladder” beside Peirce Mill. Come learn about the herring run, and test your stamina in a special obstacle course for young children. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.
Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Depot of the W&OD Railroad | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations welcome)
Take a trip down to Vienna to visit the Historic Vienna Train Station, where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s great family activity for the young and young at heart! The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna.
DC Youth Orchestra Open House
Where: Eastern High School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4:30pm
The DC Youth Orchestra Program will open its doors to the public with a day of free musical events for the entire family. Prospective young musicians (ages 4-18) can try out orchestral instruments in musical instrument petting zoos. At 12:30pm, the Youth Orchestra will give a pop-up concert, and at 3:30pm, the String Queens, a classically trained trio including DCYOP alumna and conductor Elise Cuffy, will perform pop, gospel, jazz, and R&B arrangements. Between the concerts will be a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, as well as a string instrument care workshop, chamber music performances, yoga classes with One Breath at a Time, and face painting. Food trucks and other vendors will also be at the event.
The Great British Fly-In
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
The British are coming to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center! Join the Air & Space Museum to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the oldest air force in the world — Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) — with a fly-in, presentations, and hands-on activities.
To Hill Tobacco
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child
Help the colonial farm family and neighbors prepare the fields for this season’s crop. Tobacco was used as currency or commodity money in 18th century Virginia and vital to sustain the Claude Moore Colonial Farm family. Weather permitting — call ahead.
Where: Green Acres School | North Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Discover progressive education at its best at our experiential open house for parents and students. Tour Green Acre’s 15-acre campus, meet teachers, parents, students and staff, and find out how they learn through teacher-led activities and lessons. Registration is required to attend. To reserve your space, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Anacostia, DC
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Anacostia Park and the Year of the Anacostia! Festival-goers will enjoy canoeing, fishing lessons, boating, lawn games and more. The festival will feature a community bike parade, special live performance of The Wiz, family friendly arts and crafts, storytelling, and live music and performances. Line up by the bike valet at 2:30pm to join a 3pm bike parade. River activities will be first-come, first-serve, sign up at tent #1.
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 15, 1-2pm
Children can learn the centuries-old tradition of Japanese flower arranging at an ikebana workshop at the National Arboretum. The hour-long workshop is for children ages 10-13. You can also visit an ikebana demonstration and see the Ikebana International exhibit at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery. Registration required.
A Wild Symphony
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 3pm
Admission: Free, but passes required
Enjoy a free family concert by members of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Zoo on Sunday. This animal-themed show features engaging and fun musical performances for all ages. Following both concerts, there will be an “instrument petting zoo” where visitors can learn about and interact with a variety of musical instruments. Same-day passes are free, but required for entry and will be distributed beginning at 11am for both concerts. Passes are not needed for the instrument petting zoo.
A Family Celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12pm
Join the DCJCC as they celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday by recognizing the range and diversity of its people and landscape. Through reading and activities, we’ll bring to life the charming and colorful world created by author Leslie Kimmelman in her book Everybody Says Shalom. This program is best for ages 3-7, but the whole family is welcome! Cost is $15/family. Register here.
***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* You have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt at Adventure Theatre.
* There is also an opportunity to win a Day Out with Thomas at the B&O Railroad Museum.
* Pearachute is a great way to check out kids classes and events with committing to a full session, plus you can save on costs!
* This coming week Bright Horizons is hosting Open Houses at all of their Early Childhood Education Centers around the area!
* Watson Adventures’ next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt for Harry Potter Fans is on May 13 (Mother’s Day!), and these always sell out, so book soon — and read more about it here.
* This article is a must-read if you want to know more about what Facebook has on you. (Warning: It’s kind of creepy.)