The Weekend Round-Up: February 18-21



Happy Presidents Day Weekend!

Quick links to posts full of ideas for ongoing & seasonal activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Covid Winter Activities
* Indoor Outings
* Ice Skating
* Little Kid Play
Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Hang Out at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Throughout the Weekend
Admission: $28/adult, $15/age 6-11, free/5 & under 

What better place to visit over Presidents Day weekend than our first POTUS’ former home?  While Mount Vernon is neat to explore anytime, George’s 290th birthday is a good occasion to go.  Tour the expansive grounds with original buildings,  the mansion where he lived, and the Education Center full of interesting exhibits about Washington’s life and colonial times.  Enjoy the sunny weather outside as you take in views of the Potomac River from the backyard.  Note that Monday (when admission is free) is already sold out, BUT there is also free admission on Tuesday, if you can swing a weekday visit.

Stop by Abe’s Old Digs
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 9:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

A great way to honor our 16th prez is with a visit to his “summer” house.  Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus in Petworth, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Admission includes the Cottage tour, an innovative small group tour in which a professional guide uses “historical voices” and images through multimedia technology to bring the stories of Abraham Lincoln and his family to life.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Where: Outdoors around the DC Area (or anywhere)
When: Through Monday
Admission: Depends on where you go

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these days, people are invited to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and report them to the Great Backyard Bird Count. The observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. Participating is easy — learn more about it here.

A Monumental Experience
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

For a “presidential” pursuit this holiday weekend, the Washington Monument is super fun to tour.  You can go up inside to check out interesting exhibits and take in DC views. Advance reservation tickets for the next day are available online for a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets are also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW.  Get a glimpse from the inside here.

Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs, guided and self-guided tours, visits to significant sites, story time sessions, special exhibits, and more will be enlightening, enriching, and entertaining for all.

Learn about Lincoln’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free – $3

Ford’s Theatre isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through exhibits about the president, the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and that fateful night at the theatre. The National Historic Site features a museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and guests are welcome to explore it all. Best for about ages 8 and up. Reserve tickets online in advance for $3 or get them at the Box Office for free.

Goodnight Moon Room
Where: Torpedo Factory | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

In the great green room (in a gallery at the Torpedo Factory), there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of — the cow jumping over the moon! The Goodnight Moon Room , an immersive storybook installation on view at the art center in Old Town Alexandria, is only on view through March 13.  The re-creation of the room from the beloved children’s book is a delight to see brought to life in the little gallery space. Be sure to explore the rest of the Torpedo Factory while you’re there — the many galleries welcome visitors to view and shop the art. There are all kinds of works in a variety of mediums with something that all ages will dig. Get a glimpse of it all here.

Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through Monday
Tickets: Prices start at $20

Don’t just watch ice dancing in the Olympics on TV; get a rink side seat to see it in person!  Mickey and 50 of your favorite Disney friends come to life through world-class ice skating. Get ready for show-stopping stunts and non-stop fun — all on ice.

Make Way for Ducklings 
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Eco Park, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $25
It’s opening weekend for this show at Adventure Theatre!  Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are exhausted from their search for a starter home when they land in the Boston Public Garden as a potential home. Surprised by a few conditions in the Garden, the Mallards move on to continue their search until their baby ducklings are born. When the ducklings begin to explore the world around them. The challenges of parenthood in the busy Boston environment create a fun bit of family drama. A classic story for all ages, this world premiere musical celebrates family, Boston, children, and the beings who make an unfamiliar place a home. Recommended for all ages.

Rapunzel on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15

Rapunzel is still letting down her hair in this puppet version of the fairy tale at The Puppet Co., a charming retelling performed by just one person! Princesses can be named after vegetables, witches can have good intentions, and sometimes you need a little song to help you get you through your day. Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 40 minutes.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Sunny days are in the forecast, so make a plan to hit the trail.  This post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to go with kids. Some specific recs for this weekend: Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in Mclean, VA; Roosevelt Island within the Potomac River in DC; Fountain Regional Park in Fairfax Station, VA; Sugarloaf Mountain (plus a great après hike spot) in Dickerson, MD.

Word Up
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

I saw that some passes are still available for Friday and Monday to visit Planet Word, the outstanding museum all about language.  It’s full of fun and interesting exhibits, most of them interactive, with something for all ages to enjoy — including wonderful bits of magic. Our whole family loves it! Admission is free, but you need to reserve timed-entry passes

Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building reopened last fall — with a fascinating exhibition, to boot!  FUTURES spans 32,000 square feet inside, and it’s full of large-scale installations, displays, and interactives that are exciting, powerful, and thought-provoking as they offer a glimpse of future possibilities — and prompt us to wonder how we can contribute. It’s an exhibition for everyone and all ages, and one to put on your must-visit list! Get a glimpse of it here.

Orchids Galore
Where: Kogod Courtyard | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 11:30am – 7pm
Admission: Free
See several hundred varieties of orchids making the already stunning Kogod Courtyard, at the center of the National Portrait Gallery and American Art, even more so.  Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women is the annual orchid exhibit presented by the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens. View the flowers alongside stories of women with notable connections to orchids — horticulturalists, scientists, painters, and more. Bring along some pencils and paper for sketching.  And, of course, plan to tour the museums, too — see more about both here and here.

Transient: Impermanent Paintings
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through March 6
Admission: $20-30/adult, $17/age 5-17, free/4 & under (Get a deal!)

The current digital exhibit at ARTECHOUSE is a fantastic, vibrant escape from the winter world outside. The fantastic fusion of art, music, and technology includes beautiful floor-to-ceiling projections on walls and floors along with music from a motorized piano that syncs up with the art. Watching the colors and patterns “dance” all around you is delightful, mesmerizing, and relaxing, too. Get a glimpse here.

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria, Kind & Royal Streets
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Watch the procession as it travel through Old Town Alexandria. See the website for more info and route details. KFDC Tip:  Plan to visit the Goodnight Moon Room (listed above) at the Torpedo Factory while you’re in the area!

Alif Ba, Thomas & Friends, & Special Hours
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15.95/age 1+

It’s your last chance to experience the Arabic alphabet brought to life through touch and sound as the Alif Ba Exhibition is about to close. Also check out the new Thomas & Friends exhibit, a can’t-miss for kiddos who adore the tank engine. And, of course, explore all of the other STEAM inspired fun while you’re there. And FYI: The Museum will be open with special hours on Monday, 2/21; Tuesday, 2/22; and Wednesday, 2/23.

Hoops, NCAA-Style
Where: Universities around the DC Area
When: Throughout the break
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on. Here’s where you can check out schedules and look for tickets:
* American men vs Army on Saturday at 2pm
* GMU women vs VCU on Saturday at 3pm
Howard women vs Morgan State on Saturday at 4pm
* GWU men vs Rhode Island on Saturday at 6pm
* Maryland men vs Penn State on Monday at 7pm – Get a deal! (Go, Terps!)

Ice It 
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Enjoy some quintessential seasonal fun: Ice skating! Get your skate and art on at the Sculpture Garden.  Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements. Check out this post with info for ice rinks — outdoors and in — around the area.

Member Story Time in the Great Hall
Where: National Building Museum | Juidiciary Square, DC
When: Monday, 11:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Members of the NationalBuilding Museum are invited to the Great Hall for a reading of Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture by Joshua David Stein. Young readers will be sure to love this story about a young brick and her adventure around the world. After the reading, members can head to the Museum Shop to purchase their own copy of the book for 25% off. [Note: If you’re not a member of the NBM, it’s a good time to look into it. Totally worth it if you visit the museum exhibits (including Play Work Build for kids!) more than a couple of times a year.]

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

I haven’t highlighted this list of over 100 activities and places to go around DC that are inside since probably pre-Covid. Programming has changed at many, and some are even temporarily closed, so I’ve been redirecting here. BUT, the post apparently got some attention recently, so here it is highlighted again — with updates to reflect current statuses. Something to note about this list: We have been to nearly every single place on it (and if we haven’t been to an actual place, like one of the roller skating rinks or indoor tennis courts, we have at least done the activity at one of the others). This is all to say the recommendations come from real experience!

* In case you missed it earlier this week, there’s a new post about the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, one of the coolest museums in DC that most people don’t even know exists.
* DC Way is offering February Break soccer camp this coming week, and registration is also open for summer camp.
* New shows are coming to local stages in late winter — see a round-up of them with links to reserve your seats!
* Some good sales this holiday weekend: J.Crew, Hanna Andersson, Backcountry, Target.
* Somebody, Somewhere on HBO Max is kind of my new Ted Lasso — so funny, moving, and heartwarming.
* The recent Armchair Expert episode featuring Kristen Bell is a great listen. (PS: It promotes her new show The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window,  a fun, suspenseful watch (every time she pours a glass of wine makes me LOL.)
* Love the new Scrollworthy series from Upworthy.


Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. This helps me continue to bring you KFDC. Thanks so much for the support!


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