The REACH Opening Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 22
Celebrate the opening of The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center, where the public is welcome and encouraged to interact with the arts. The new building(s) and spaces within are stunning, and they will host an array of arts programs for the public to enjoy. The Opening Festival begins this weekend and features all kinds of performances, events, hands-on learning, and more opportunities for creativity in action. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here. And heads-up: Sunday, September 15, is Family Day, so there will be lots of programs especially for kids and families.
Scarecrow Planter Workshop
Where: Home Depot locations around the DMV
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Harvest the fun during this hands-on workshop, where kids with an adult can build a scarecrow planter. Young farmers can learn how a seed grows, while you help them construct a festive home for their plant. They will sand, glue, and paint pieces of wood to create this holiday planter. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Virginia Native American Festival
Where: Riverbend Park | Great Falls, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Learn about the culture of Virginia’s first residents when the Virginia Native American Festival returns to Riverbend Park. The festival includes Native American tribes from Virginia including the Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Pamunkey, and the Rappahannock dancers and drummers. Enjoy hands on activities and live demonstrations including Native American storytelling, archery, beading and using stone tools. Also, assist in building a dugout canoe and visit our marketplace of Native American crafts, pottery and jewelry. Other activities include ethnobotany walks, fire making, hide tanning demonstrations. Read more about Riverbend Park here.
Where: City Market at O | Shaw, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: 30/adult, $10/under 12, free/under2
America’s capital may be associated with heated politics, but cold, creamy gelato is a bipartisan treat! For this reason, America has voted to once again bring the Gelato Festival back to the capital. Join for delicious gelato made by world-class local and visiting artisans. A wristband grants you all you can eat gelato, the opportunity to participate in all festival activities, and a vote for your favorite scoop! The chef with the most votes will continue their gelato journey in the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021.
Wildlife Migration Day
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
This free event features fun, hands-on activities for kids of all ages, as well as live music, bird banding demonstrations and opportunities to talk to scientists who study wildlife migration. Learn about the animals that make incredible journeys and some of the challenges they face along the way. You can also get an up-close look at exotic birds as they soar overhead and exhibit natural behaviors in a special Birds in Flight show being offered this weekend and next 10:30am – 2:30pm.
TheatreWeek Kick Off Party
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Join theatermakers from across the DMV at to help kick off Theatre Week when more than 25 participating theaters and productions offer tickets for just $15 or $35! Enjoy an afternoon of performances, demonstrations, conversations, and giveaways. There will also be free food, drinks, and special programming for kids. Talk to a designer or director and learn about your favorite company’s upcoming productions.
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 20
Admission: $20/age 16+, $10/age 7-15, free/6 & under
This medieval time trip began is still going strong! And you just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment — exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, plus slides, play areas, and games. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of “mead” is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. KFDC Tip: Admission prices go up after this weekend, so take advantage!
The Big 4-0
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 3pm
Imagination Stage is celebrating it 40th birthday this Saturday, and you’re invited to join in the fun!
They’re starting the year off right with a day of sample classes, a dance party, performances of Balloonacy, behind the scenes tours, costumes from the past, photo ops, crafts and activities,
and, of course, cake! (Note: Many of the sample classes are at capacity and both performances of Balloonacy are sold out, but walk ups will be admitted on the day of the event, as space allows.)
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Get your paws on this delightful native fruit and celebrate it with Meadowside Nature Center. They’ll have music, crafts, games, face painting, and advice on growing pawpaws. You can also get a taste of the fruit and purchase pawpaw trees, so you can grow your own at home. And attendees age 21+ will also be able to sample pawpaw beer from Checkerspot Brewing Company in Baltimore.
Prince George’s County Fair
Where: Show Place Arena | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $6/ages 13+, $5/age 6-11, free/5 & under
The county fair season continues! Enjoy a variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages at PG County’s annual event — 4-H exhibits, magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more carnival-style fun.
Where: Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child
Let your creativity fly in several art-making stations — it’s an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! Each station has a different project with art materials, instructions, and artistic inspiration from The Phillips Collection. A professional art educator is on site to support families who would like guidance. Comes with Artful Wellness Kit for parents and caregivers. Geared for families with children ages 2 to 8. See the website for more details! Read more about the Phillips and an upcoming annual event in this KFDC post.
“All Aboard for Kensington” Train Show
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $7/adult, $2/child, $15 max/family
Calling all train enthusiasts, from the littlest fans to the oldest history buffs and everyone in between, as Kensington Town Hall transforms into a model train spectacular this weekend. The National Capital Trackers will run “O” gauge electric trains on multiple layouts, with flourishes such as train whistles, steam, depots and bridges giving visitors lots to marvel at. There will also be live music, railroad songs and stories by Matthew Dod, and activities for kids. Visit the website for the updated schedule as new events are being added.
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $22/adult, $18/youth
Raccoons, rattlesnakes, ghouls and … what is that thing, anyway? Explore the 200+ whimsical and fearsome gargoyles and grotesques that adorn the exterior of Washington National Cathedral on this family-friendly tour. Along with the design details, there’s also the LEGO cathedral to see. FYI: This is the last tour until next May!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* It’s the last chance to see Disney’s Aladdin a the Kennedy Center (look for discount tickets)
* Take tweens and older to Legally Blonde at Keegan Theatre
* Witness amazing acrobatic feats as Cirque de Soleil: Volta is performed Under the Big Top at Tysons II
* Dear Evan Hansen is on stage for one more weekend at the Kennedy Center (for middle school ages and up)
* Kids entertainer Danny Schwartz is playing a show at Capital Cider House on Saturday morning
Drop-in Art Making
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Visit the Education Studio on the Concourse level of the NGA to experiment with different art materials and techniques. Drop-in art making is a great way to try your hand at making art in an informal, relaxed environment. Art making activities are designed for all ages and abilities.
White House History & Legends
Where: Starts at Lafayette Park | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Name your own price!
You don’t have to be a tourist to take a tour of your city. On Saturday, join DC by Foot’s White House History & Legends Tour, full of fun and intriguing tales of our founders and historic DC residents. It’s also name-your-own-price! (And FYI: This is the daytime, family-friendly version of the scandalous White House at Night adults-only tour, which could make for a fun grown-up night out.)
Where: Georgetown U Hotel & Conference Center | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $65/adult, $25/child
If you’re serious about board games, this tabletop gaming convention is an event you don’t want to miss. There will be opportunities to demo new games, enter tourneys to test your gaming skills against some of the best players, meet people who make and sell games, and much more.
Fall Preview Open House
Where: Room & Board | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Room & Board is previewing their Fall 2019 collection with all new products! The new collection is full of warm, sophisticated colors, fresh designs, and natural materials. Host and Design Associate, Mark Riddle, will guide guests through the additions and offer tips for redecorating your home for Fall into the New Year.
Apple Gala & Cider Festival
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10-12/adult $8-10/child, free/2 & under
The annual Apple Gala and Cider Festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday in September. Over 7,000 apple trees are planted throughout our farm, with plenty for picking and pressing to make fresh apple cider. Learn how apple cider was made back in the day with cider pressing demos from an antique 1835 cider press, enjoy live music, nosh on donuts baked fresh each morning, take wagon rides out to the apple orchards, and and have lots of fun in the five-acre play area, corn maze, and more.
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
For peeps who are really into their kicks, Sneaker Con is where you want to be this weekend. The world’s premier sneaker show provides a huge platform for vendors and attendees to buy, sell, and trade some of the most sought-after footwear in the game. See what the nation’s capital has in it’s collection!
Kids Concert in the Park
Where: Lincoln Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
King Bullfrog is playing a concert in the park on Saturday. Located in the heart of Capitol Hill, Lincoln Park has two playgrounds and lots of space to relax and run around — perfect for playtime, music, and a picnic dinner. BYO blanket, chairs, and picnic fare!
Savor the Bay
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15, free/12 & under
How about a day filled with delicious seafood, live entertainment, kids activities, food demos and competitions, loads of shopping options, vendors, exhibits, contests? You can enjoy all that and more at the 52nd annual Maryland Seafood Festival. Even better, it all takes place on the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: Throughout Adams Morgan, DC
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 41st Annual Adams Morgan Day, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. The family-friendly celebration will have activities for all ages, including free crafts, multiple stages of entertainment, all kinds of demos, a whole Family Fun Zone, and tons more. More details and the schedule of performances are available on the website.
Takoma Park Folk Fest
Where: Takoma Park Middle School | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 6:30pm
Folk music and performances from around the world will be on six stages at the annual Takoma Park Folk Festival. The Grassy Nook Stage will offer activities for children — folksinging, musical games and dancing, storytelling, and more. And a crafts show and sale will showcase the works of local artisans. Pack snacks or purchase food from vendors there. Rain or shine.
Rainbow Families Picnic
Where: Hillwood Estate | Upper Northwest, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $5/advance, $18/day of free/under 18
Connect with LGBT families and enjoy Hillwood’s urban oasis at this family celebration. Pack a picnic or purchase food from the café’s express menu, play lawn games, get faces painted, try on costumes, make a craft, explore the exhibitions, and more!
DC State Fair
Where: Gateway DC – St. Elizabeths East | Anacostia, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Apparently, being an actual state isn’t a requirement to have a state fair! But this annual event in it’s 10th year is a free showcase of the District’s agricultural, culinary, and creative talents and a daylong celebration of all things homegrown. While inspired by time-honored state fair traditions — growing and gardening, animal husbandry, and deep-fried foods — it also honors the things that make the District unique. This fair holds competitions to find the tastiest mumbo sauce, best honey, and most creative hula hoopers in the city; puts on a Pet Parade instead of a pig race; and works with local businesses and organizations that are committed to helping our community thrive.
I Dissent: Kids Taking a Stand
Where: Tenley-Friendship Library | Tenleytown DC
When: Sunday, 3-4pm
What do you stand for? Become inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to stand up for what you believe in and use your voice to make a difference. Hear a reading of I Dissent by Debbie Levy, play games, see a real white lace collar worn by Justice Ginsburg from the Capital Jewish Museum’s collection, and consider how you might dissent! Best for ages 7 and up. Hosted by the Capital Jewish Museum, this is the pilot of new museum programming.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The new KFDC Guide to the 2019 Fall Festival Season has all the information you need for an awesome autumn!
* There’s a giveaway going on — enter for a chance to win tickets to InterAct Story Theatre’s Bobtail Bong Bong: A Monkey’s Tale.
* Generation Hope aims to break the cycle of poverty by helping teen parents in the DMV graduate from college by providing them with one-on-one mentoring, tuition assistance, and crisis support — and they are seeking volunteers.
* District Family is a new video series that highlights people who run businesses that serve families with young children.
* This is bravery.