The Weekend Round-Up: August 16-18

Explore the underground world of Luray Caverns at the annual Discovery Day

Happy Weekend!

Joys of Summer
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Activities exclusive to the season are happening all weekend. See a special museum exhibit, like LAWN or Infinite Space. Have some water-inspired fun. Enjoy free music outdoors and movies under the stars. Go with the flow on local waterways. Hit the beach. Feast on seasonal treats. And so much more. Details on all of these joys of summer in DC can be found here.

Fair Game
Where: Arlington, Montgomery, and PW Counties | VA & MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Arlington’s annual fest is underway, and Montgomery and Prince William counties host their final days. All are chock full of amusement for everyone, with carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. This post has the whole scoop on all of the county fun.

Pokémon World Championships
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount VErnon Square, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $10 to spectate

Pikachu and friends will be in town for the 2019 Pokémon World Championships August 16-18, bringing thousands of elite Trading Card Game (TCG) and video game players, supporters, and fans to the Washington Convention Center. The best players from all over the world will be competing for the title of Pokémon TCG, Video Game, or Pokkén Tournament World Champion—and for their share of the prizes, including more than $500,000 in scholarships. There’s plenty to do at the annual Pokémon World Championships if you don’t plan to participate in the main event — tournament viewing, game demos, a gaming longe, and more. A spectator badge includes access to all three days of the event and comes with two Pokémon TCG booster packs.

Nats vs. Brewers
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the Brewers. Catch them on Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (7:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm). Take advantage of the new Kids Eat Free summer promo, and kids can run the bases after the Sunday game. Before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Anatomy of Sports
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bones and muscles need to work together for optimal performance. Athletes of all ages should know how their bodies work in order to compete and stay healthy. During Anatomy of Sports, athletes will demonstrate their sport while medical illustrators and physical therapists reveal how muscles and bones work together. This session is perfect for families with children playing sports, the recreational athlete ,or the practiced sports enthusiast. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post from a few years back.

Annual Discovery Day
Where: Luray Caverns | Luray, VA
When: Saturday
Admission: $28/adult, $15/age 6-12, free/under 6

Join the annual celebration of the 1878 discovery of Luray Caverns, which will also highlight the new grand accessible entrance.  A main attraction throughout Discovery Day will be the Grand Illumination Tours. The first Grand Illumination took place in 1878, with The New York Herald reporting that a “thousand candles illuminated the antechambers making it nearly as bright as day.” Guests will experience the thrill of adventure from this bygone era as period-costumed guides tell of Luray Caverns’ storied past in special candle lighted sections throughout the caverns.  At the end of the day-long celebration there will be a spectacular fireworks display.  The spectacle will be coordinated with a recital by Jess Ratcliff from Luray Singing Tower, a 47-bell carillon located on the event’s perimeter. Read more about Luray Caverns in this KFDC post.

Around the World Cultural Food Festival
Where: Freedom Plaza | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrating the rich intercultural diversity, this annual food festival brings together authentic living traditions from different countries around the world. And the public will have the opportunity to learn, eat, dance, shop, and witness these vibrantly connected cultures and create their own connections with each and every single country presented in the event. Food and drinks are for purchase.

Big Dig Potato Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child or $12/adult

Most people don’t know that store bought potatoes are usually last year’s harvest and are amazed by the flavor and texture of freshly harvested potatoes! At Great Country, you can take a wagon ride out to the fields to dig up your own potato treasures (and maybe get a little help from a tractor make it easier). After digging, play all day in the five-acre play area, with attractions including Putt Putt golf, the Farm Ninja Warrior obstacle course, mazes, swings, slides, animals to visit, and feed, and so much more!

Portrait Party for Young Learners
Where: Museum of Women in the Arts
When: Saturday, 10–11am
Admission: Free

Children ages 3 to 6 and their guardians can join a Young Learner Tour, designed to get little bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making and mouths talking about works of art. Participants go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection as they also learn about the museum, practice museum manners, and discover art concepts through discussions, a themed story, and hands-on activities.

Korean Family Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to the off-the-Mall Smithsonian museum to learn about Korean culture and celebrate the exhibition, Portraits of the World: Korea, with one-of-a-kind crafts, K-Pop workshops, Taekwondo demonstrations, and lively music. See more about the NPG here.

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

* Enjoy fun and antics with The Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre
* Go on a Treasure Island adventure at Synetic Theatre (look for a ticket discount)
* Legally Blonde is running at Keegan Theatre (for tweens and up)
* Reserve free tickets for Stone Soup & Other Stories, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Disney’s Aladdin brings magic for the whole family to the Kennedy Center
* The Three Billy Goats Gruff is at The Puppet Co.
* Baby Bear’s Birthday is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Saturday
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II

Free Family Fun
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday,
Admission: Free

While the beloved carousel it is closed for building renovations (re-opening Spring 2020), Glen Eco PArk is offering free activities over a few weekends in August and September 2019 to help you have loads of fun there, including a climbing wall, inflatable fun, photo ops, sidewalk chalk, and face painting. This along with the playground and picnic area (pick up food at the cafe in premises). And plan to combine all this with a performance of A Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre or The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co., too. And pick

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $79-175

The musical that premiered here in DC at Arena Stage a few years ago then became a Broadways smash is back! Whether a family outing with older kids (not recommended for all ages) or a grown-up night out, I highly recommend seeing it if you can. Dear Evan Hansen is profoundly moving and full of songs and a story that will stick with you for a while. (I saw it back in 2015, and it’s still with me.) Tickets are mostly sold out on the Kennedy Center website, but you can find them on outlets like StubHub. PS: Bring tissues.

The Lion King: Kids Paint Party
Where: Creative Saints Loft | Hyattsville, MD
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $25

Create memories with painting, music, and refreshments!  Kids will have an amazing time creating two own Lion King-themed masterpieces in a fun, jungle-themed room! Get messy in the DIY “slimy yet satisfying” grub pudding bar and enjoy some refreshing jungle punch and pizza! All supplied provided.

Ping Pong Lessons
Where: SPIN DC | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Work on your ping pong skills with free lessons from the masters at SPIN! The lessons are taught by ping pong champions, like Malin Pettersson, a 13 time Swedish national champion and a grand opening manager at SPIN. Lessons cover skills such as how to hold a ping pong paddle, perfecting your ping pong stance, and how to hit a basic forehand, backhand, and serve. Free, but register in advance here.

Improv Workshop for Parents and Kids
Where: Source Theater | 1835 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 2-4pm 
Admission: Free

Washington Improv Theater proudly presents an Improv for All workshop designed for parents to take together with their kids! This two-hour workshop specifically focuses on kids ages 10-12 and will be taught by improviser (and mom) Ceci De Robertis. WIT’s free introductory Improv for All workshops are high-fun, low-stress classes designed to show you how improvisers create spontaneous, off-the-cuff theater. Our enthusiastic and friendly instructors work to make sure everyone is able to participate in a playful and trusting atmosphere. These workshops are free but registration is required as they tend to fully enroll.  

Groovy Nate & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its Groovy Nate. Doors open at 10am. Full food and drink menus will be available.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Learn campfire safety and enjoy s’mores around one at Hidden Oaks Nature Center on Friday evening. See grinding demos at Colvin Run Mill. Enjoy Dairy Days at Sully Historic Site. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Hit the trail to enjoy some outdoor time with the fam! Check out the flora, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post, started in the early KFDC days and updated several times since, has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

DC, Inside & Out

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure

Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

The Great Indoors

* Just posted a little round-up of 5 places to go shark tooth hunting near DC. (What took me so long?)
* The Brass Knob, the store full of antique treasures, is closing after 38 years.
* A supercute IG account to check out.
* So excited this movie is coming out this weekend — I loved the book!

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