The Weekend Round-Up: March 15-17

Go green in the trees as the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring opens for the season

Happy Weekend!

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 on Friday! Kids as young 5 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.

DCPS Family Night
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

For one night only, the Air & Space Museum is opening their doors exclusively to DCPS K-8th students and their families for an unforgettable evening of fun including a virtual journey through our solar system in the Albert Einstein Planetarium; Discovery Stations about spacesuits, meteorites, and more; hands-on activities, food, and prizes, and a free gift at the end of the evening for the first 100 people to register. All students must be accompanied by an adult. Register in advance here.

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

A suit of of armor, woodcarvings of animals & magical beasts, towering ceilings… for children, the Heurich mansion is a magical castle to explore. Kids in the Castle is a rare occasion to explore it all, as the museum typically is not open to children under 10, but during this special event, they are the main focus.  Heurich encourages kids and families to wander through the house at their own pace, complete photo scavenger hunts to win prizes, and take a more detailed self-guided tour if they desire. If weather permits, you can also relax and play games in the Castle Garden. Be sure to register for free tickets — only a limited number will be available at the door.

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.

Travel & Adventure Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $16/adults, free//children (look for a discount)

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, virtual reality experiences, and more family fun. Oh, you might get to meet Andrew McCarthy (yes, from the Brat Pack), too!

Gaithersburg St. Patty’s Parade
Where: Washingtonian Center | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The city’s 19th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will include both traditional Irish performances and classic parade pageantry. Celtic dancers, bagpipes, marching bands, clowns, firetrucks, and more will make their way through town.

Super Pet Expo
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $13/20/adult, $8-10/child

It’s a pet lover’s dream weekend! Enjoy exciting entertainment, shop pet products from over 150 local and national vendors, speak with pet adoption reps and learn about the process, talk to animal experts, bring your own pet to play (leashed animals welcome!), and more.

Brain Awareness Day
Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine
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, and hold a REAL brain! All ages welcome. (Note: This is museum is incredibly fascinating, but maybe not for the faint of heart. Read more about why here.)

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Ring in the Persian New Year at the annual Nowruz celebration! Free attractions and activities for all ages include storytelling, hands-on art projects, live music, film screenings, calligraphy, food, and the featured exhibitions Engaging the Senses, Feast Your Eyes, and Shaping Clay in Ancient Iran.

Women’s History Month Family Day
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment! Contemplate the issues that were debated, the struggle that ensued, and some of the people who played a part making women’s voting rights possible through hands-on activities for all ages.

Big Apple Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through March 24
Tickets: $20-25 (look for a discount)

The Big Apple Circus is still in town and celebrating its 41st season, featuring amazing stunts 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.

Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

* Reserve free tickets to Shakespeare for the Young: Midsummer Magic, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance.
* See The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 at the Kennedy Center.
* Anne of Green Gables brings a classic to Hylton Performing Arts Center.
* Little ones will love Art on the Horizon’s Beep Beep.
* Hop on the Magic School Bus at Olney Theatre
* Venture Into the Woods at Ford’s Theatre.
* Dicken’s Davy Copperfield is on the Imagination Stage.
* Anatole: Mouse Magnifique is at the Bethesda theatre, too.
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair at The Puppet Co.
* And World on a String is the featured Tiny Tots performance there on Sunday.
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java

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 27th annual Environmental Film Festival. And there are a few flicks among them that kids will likely enjoy. Science Fair, Into the Canyon, Sharkwater, Journey of the Whopping Crane, and The Dawn Wall are a few of them (and I should note that they probably aren’t for the young children). There are even more films to consider for a grown-up outing. View the website for more details and to view trailers.

Irish Dance Class
Where: Fuse Pilates | Foxhall, DC
When: Saturday, 5-5:45pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with District Irish Dance as they offer a special FREE community Irish dance class! You’ll jump, hop, step and sweat in Celtic Fit, their popular Irish dance-inspired fitness + social ceili (pronounced “kay-lee”) class! Get your heart rate up AND warm your soul with the spirit of Irish music, dance and culture! All ages and levels welcome. Pre-register here.

Magic School Bus
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $20

Hop on the Magic School Bus for a ride in this new musical adaptation based on the original book series published by Scholastic. When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip!  But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, our young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Stop by 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 a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

DC United vs. Real Salt Lake
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 8pm (gates open 6:30pm)
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Kick it at a DC United match on Saturday evening as they host Real Salt Lake. It’s recommended to go early — to get to your seats in time for kick off, plus there are usually pre-game pop-ups and activities on the plaza.

Superhero Family Yoga
Where: Hot Yoga Capitol Hill | H Street NE
When: Sunday, 2:30pm
Admission: $14/person

Join Ari and her son for a family yoga class for ages 4 and up. The class will be 45 minutes and include all levels vinyasa poses, opportunities for partner yoga and a relaxing savasana meditation at the end. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins. The room will not be heated. All children must attend with at least one parent or guardian.  Register to save your spot at (the class will be capped at 28 attendees), and if you have any questions in advance of the class, feel free to email Ari at or text her at 717.903.7878.

Shamrock Skate
Where: Cabin John & Wheaton Ice Arenas | Bethesda/Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday
Admission: $8

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the ice rinks are hosting Shamrock Skate! Wear something green or Irish and skate for just $8 — includes admission and skates. The Public Skating Session at Cabin John Ice Rink  is 12:30-2:30pm and at Wheaton Ice Arena 11am – 1p.

Purim Carnival
Where: Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School | Northwest DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $25/family

When was the last time you dressed up like a queen or king? Now is your chance – the EDCJCC’s Purim Carnival is the perfect time for children and adults to dress up and celebrate this festive annual holiday! Join for carnival games, arts & crafts, hamantaschen (yummy Purim treats), songs and a community service project! Don’t forget your costume! All ages are welcome at this Carnival, but it’s geared towards ages 3-6.

Sensory-Friendly Purim
Where:  Washington Hebrew Congregation | Woodley Park, DC
When:  Sunday, 10:30‑11:30am
Admission: $5/family + canned good donation

Does your child cover their ears in a crowd? Do they avoid loud noises?  PJ Library will minimize the noise and other sensory input, but maximize the fun for this joyous Jewish holiday of Purim! Join for crafts, an interactive reading of the Purim story (megillah), a mitzvah (good deed) project, and treats to take home. Costumes encouraged, but not required.  Best for ages 4‑8

Purim Carnival
Where: Agudas Achim Congregation | Alexandria, VA
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 1:30pm
Admission: See below

Join the Agudas Achim Congregation to celebrate Purim on Sunday. The carnival will feature games, prizes, face painting, arts and crafts, a moon bounce and more! Popcorn, cotton candy, and lunch are available for purchase. Tickets: All you can play and bounce for $25 or $1, each. The first hour (10:30-11:30am) is open to children ages 0-5 only. Starting at 11:30am, the carnival is open to all children.

Kidz Graffiti Party
Where: ArtJamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30-2:30pm
Admission: $12

Get messy like a street artist at a Kidz Graffiti Party.  Children of all ages are invited to paint their very own master pieces on the ArtJamz walls.The lounge will be open for accompanying parents, and they’ll be playing jamming tunes to inspire all the little artists. Afterwards, your family can purchase additional studio time and canvas and let your vision come to life off the wall.

St. Patrick’s Day Family Céilí
Where: Eastern Market North Hall | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child, $25/family max

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with social Irish dances for all ages along with performances by Shannon Dunne Dance. Live traditional music will be performed by Sean McCominskey and Friends.

Family Happy Hour
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 3-4:30pm
Admission: $10-12/child, $5/adult

Enjoy a casual happy hour for parents and tots! The Bright Siders will hit the stage with engaging songs to entertain adults and get children moving as they present music that helps kids and families have meaningful conversations about emotions. Created by award-winning songwriter Kristin Andreassen and Brooklyn child psychiatrist Dr. Kari Groff, the Bright Siders feature excellent musicianship and skillful audience engagement. And your first beer or glass of wine is on the house!

* Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love, by local mom Abby Maslin, was released this week and is getting rave reviews. I’m only chapter five, and already it’s an absorbing and breathtaking read.
* The National Building Museum is hosting Teen Night for kids in grades 9-12 on March 23.
* Marvel Universe LIVE! is coming to town in the next couple of weeks, and there are discount tickets available.
* It’s almost cherry blossom season, and there’s a new round-up of the best events for families to celebrate it.
* And the annual Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms will come in handy as you plan to see the famous flowers.
* Who else is excited about the new (but final 🙁) season of Catastrophe?

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