The Weekend Round-Up: August 13-15

Play in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring


Happy Weekend!

Quick links for all kinds of ongoing & seasonal fun:
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Local Hikes with Kids
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

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

Summer is whizzing by, so take advantage of all the activities exclusive to the season. See a special museum exhibit. 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 summer joys in DC can be found here.

All’s Fair
Where: Montgomery, Prince William, & Howard Counties | MD & VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Montgomery and Prince William kick off their annual fests that are chock full of amusement for everyone in the fam. Carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. You can also find it in Howard County, where the fair is on for its final couple of days. This post has the scoop on all of the county fun.

Nats + Braves + Smithsonian
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Fri 7:05pm, Sat 6:05pm, & Sun 1:05pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

There’s more than just baseball at Nats games this weekend. As they host the Braves at home, the Nationals will also celebrate 175 years of the Smithsonian. Each day, one of the iconic museums (or Zoo) will be featured during pregame and in-game breaks, and fans will have opportunities to win fun prizes. Friday will focus on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Saturday is the National Postal Museum, and Sunday is all about kids’ fave the National Zoo! There is also a Nationals Kids Lunch Box Giveaway for the first 10,000 fans 12 and under that day.

Step Afrika! @ Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free
Step Afrika! is kicking off their 2021-2022 season with a three-day celebration at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Join the dance company along with amazing step teams as they take over the REACH. Take classes in stepping, the South African gumboot dance, and more from world-class artists.  While you’re there, plan to visit Victura Park — the pop-up wine garden and cafe on the grounds of The REACH is a great place to hang out and enjoy a nice day. (Note: Victura Park is also open n Sunday.)

Movie Time
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $6/matinee, $8/after 5pm

Catch a cheap movie with the fam at the Miracle Theater on Capitol Hill. Playing this weekend: On Friday, Space Jam: A New Legacy at 4:30pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 7:30pm. On Saturday, In the Heights at 4pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 7:30pm. On Sunday, Space Jam: A New Legacy at 2pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 4:40pm. Plan o lunch or dinner before or after the film — Barracks Row is full of family-friendly places to get a bite, and there are even more close to nearby Eastern Market.

Last Call for Music by the River
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free

It’s the final performances of the Yards Park Friday Night Concert Series. JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience will be playing the last show on the boardwalk stage. Bring the kiddos early to play in the water features. Or enjoy free Friday Night Fishing hosted by Anacostia Riverkeeper at Diamond Teague Pier (1520 First Street, SE), then head over to hear the music. BYO food for a picnic, but note that no outside alcohol is allowed (wine, beer, and seltzer will be available for sale). If not fully vaccinated and over the age of 18, they ask that masks are worn.

Final Days of Forces of Nature
Where: Renwick Gallery | Downtown Dc
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

This weekend is the last chance to visit the fantastic Forces of Nature at the Renwick. The exhibition consists of striking and intricate works that take up entire galleries and make you want to examine them from all angles. Even little ones will dig seeing the big pieces that sparkle, look like giant flowers, resemble a rain storm, and sometimes make you feel like you’re within the art.

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! PYO peaches will also be available this weekend.

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

There are still spots open at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring this weekend. Kids as young as five years old can experience thrills on the ropes courses and zip lines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 with an 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 recent post and  this ones from several years back.  And if you can’t get in this weekend, I highly recommend reserving ahead for another time.

Sunflower Spectacular
Where: Butler’s Orchard | Germantown, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10 (free for children under 2)

It’s the final weekend of Butler’s celebration of sunflower season. Stroll through two football fields of sunflowers and stop at the props they’ve set up along the way for perfect Insta-worthy photos. Admission also includes 5 acres of farm fun and access to the pick-your-own fields!

Free Theatre in the Park
Where: FRESHFARM Market | National Landing, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Synetic Theatre for a free pop-up performance of their family theater classic The Miraculous Magical Balloon. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and dazzling choreography, it tells a story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk, full of toys, tricks, and surprises. This show is beloved by audiences of all ages. (PS: It will be performed at parks around Arlington into the fall!)

Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend
Where: Rock Hall, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Buccaneers and landlubbers of all ages! Head out to the Eastern Shore for a fun, unique experience. This town-wide family-friendly event will be loaded with kids activities, shows, and costume contests. Check out the website for details and schedules. Pirate attire is highly encouraged!

Family Patio Party
Where: The Lane Social Club | Ivy City, DC
When: Sunday, 10am & 12pm
Admission: $20/child (free for members)

There’s a new kid on the (cinder)block at The Lane, the play space and hang out hun for families, and all are invited to celebrate the arrival and help give the new mural a proper welcome. While you’re there, enjoy family photoshoot mini sessions, ice cream, foursquare, sidewalk chalk, open play inside, a special art project, and more! Two-hour time slots are available at 10am and 12pm — sign up in advance!

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
Where: Rhode Island Center | Logan Circle, DC

When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $34.90/adult, $19.90/child
Step into more than 300 of Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings, and paintings for an intimate understanding of the Post-Impressionist genius and his work. Floor-to-ceiling digital projections, made possible by state-of-the-art video mapping technology, offer visitors a socially distanced, hands-free immersive art experience. All ages are welcome to explore this exhibition. Rhode Island Center is located at 524 Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Fashion + FUN
Where: Georgetown Park | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday, 5-9pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $28/adult, $19/age 4-15 (get a discount!)

Go “Inside the Wardrobe” at this new art installation/fashion funhouse in Georgetown. The 20,000 square foot space contains more than 20 exhibits/spaces, all them wildly creative, fashion-inspired, interactive, even kind of trippy.  You can try on paper doll cutouts, play with size in a fun house, get a close look at beautiful handiwork, take pics in whimsical and delightful settings, strut the catwalk, and much more. Read more about it and see some snaps from a visit there in this KFDC post!

Circus Vasquez
Where: Tysons III | Tysons, VA
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: $25-45

Enjoy some thrilling family entertainment at this circus that I learn about on Goldstar. Here’s their description: “Circo Hermanos Vazquez will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Delivering their best show yet with a turbo-charged take on the traditional circus that’s sure to thrill audiences of all ages. From graceful dancers and daring trapeze artists to a hilarious clown. This gasp-inducing performance gathers tons of amazing world known talent under the big top for a huge dose of family fun.” (Note: Reviews of it mentioned the show is mostly in Spanish.)

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $12

Enjoy a musical show especially for kids as Sonia De Los Santos and The Okee Dokee Brothers perform at Wolf Trap’s delightful outdoor theatre surrounded by trees and nature. Friendship is at the heart of the joyful collaboration between the Mexican songstress and the Americana folk duo. The bilingual program includes both old and new songs that span the musical traditions of North America and illustrates the collective power of singing together and learning from each other. Recommended for ages 3-12.

Olney Outdoors: Paper Dreams
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am & 12pm
Admission: Free

Olney Theatre is presenting Theatre for Young Audiences outdoors this summer, and this weekend is “Paper Dreams,” one of Imagination Stage’s original shows for little ones. Best for ages 1-7, it will be at Olney Theatre’s outdoor Root Family Stage through August 15.  Purchase tickets in advance. If you are vaccinated, masks are encouraged but not required. Those who have not been vaccinated should follow CDC guidelines and wear a mask.

Fairytales in the Sun
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm | Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $20.50 (look for a discount)

Adventure Theatre is presenting live, in-person family entertainment again! Two one-act plays, The Flood in the Future by Lyra Yang and From Cinders to Ella by Michelle Lynch, will be performed outside in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn. Covid protocols will be followed. BYO blanket or chair.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $27+

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 28th year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

ABBA the Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Sunday, 8pm

Some shows are way more fun to sing and dance along to than others, and this tribute concert is sure to be one of them. It’s full of iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and of course “Dancing Queen.” Bring the kids to hear music from the past or make it a date night at the lovely outdoor venue.

* The National Children’s Museum, which was only open briefly before Covid, will celebrate its grand reopening on September 2!
* KinderCare, which now has locations in Glover Park and Foggy Bottom, shared a guest post on how to navigate family feelings about returning to school.
* DC Way soccer leagues for boys and girls launch in September.
* Just bought this little contraption recommended by Wirecutter in a new attempt to ward off mosquitos, which are especially bad in DC this summer.
* How the Pandemic Ends Now
* Subway melodies around the world.


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