Link up to posts full of ideas for ongoing and seasonal activities:
* Spring Things
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids
Go Back to the Garden!
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
We can finally go back inside the US Botanic Garden! Starting Friday, the Conservatory will welcome visitors again for the first time since pre-Covid. Explore the different plant collections as you walk amid woodland flora, desert areas, and tropical rainforest (one of the the most stunning spaces in DC). Be sure to bring kids to the (hopefully open) Children’s Garden, where they can play and use some gardening tools. And plan on a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside, too. Read more about the USBG here and here.
One with Eternity
Where: Hirhshorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free (with timed-entry passes)
The much anticipated Yayoi Kusama exhibit opens at the Hirshhorn on Friday! Including two Infinity Rooms, the yellow and black polkadot Pumpkin, plus a couple more pieces and elements that illustrate Kusama’s fascinating life and artistry, all ages will dig it. Free same-day Timed Passes will be distributed each day it’s open, Thursday – Sunday, at the Museum starting at 9:30am. All visitors age 12+ must have a pass! Kids under 12 do not need passes, adults with a pass can bring up to two children. The museum will be staying open until 8 pm on Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2. This adds extra walk-up spots for Kusama and time to spend in five other exhibitions. Be sure to read this KFDC write-up about the exhibit that includes more info, tips, and a glimpse of what you’ll experience.
Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child
The annual magicalicious exhibit of fairy and gnome houses at Annmarie opens this weekend! This annual display adds extra delight to the already wonderful sculpture garden in Calvert County with a collection of handmade fairy and gnome homes scattered throughout the grounds. On Friday evening 5-7pm, join a family-friendly event to celebrate the opening and see all of the fairy houses on display on the patios before they are spread around the garden. You can also enjoy live music, tour the gallery exhibit, take a walk, and appreciate an evening of art and nature. Cash bar and food truck there, too. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post and this one.
Used Book Sale
Where: Walter Johnson High School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm & Sunday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free – $5
Get some good reads at this HUGE used book sale featuring all types of books for children, teens, and adults! Get first dibs with Early Bird admission from 9-10am for $5 on Saturday. On Sunday, it’s $10/bag and $15/box of books — they provide the bags and boxes. Proceeds benefit the Walter Johnson Booster Club, which funds all clubs, sports and activities at the high school.
Family Book Reading
Where: Steadfast Supply | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday 11am – 12:30pm
Steadfast Supply, the great shop at The Yards stocked with unique items by independent brands and designers from around the world, is hosting the first event in its new monthly book reading series. Local author, Scott McBride, will read his book, Connor The Courageous Cutter. Kids can also enjoy a fun craft, and local food delivery service, Vegetable & Butcher, will provide samples from their menu. This event will take place outdoors, weather permitting, and it’s all free!
Spring Gardening Program
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am -4:30pm
In celebration of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the museum will make and decorate plant pots using recycled newspaper and folding techniques inspired by the Japanese origami art form. Then, Dreamers will plant a seed in their pot and take it home to continue to care for it. Recommended for ages 3+. Included with admission, so plan to explore the rest of the museum full of STEAM-inspired exhibits and stations that kids will dig — read more about it all.
Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm | VA
When: Saturday, 1pm, 1:30pm, & 2pm
Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom festival with this free event at Frying Pan Farm Park. We invite you to trek on our nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Visit stations peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, discuss woodland creatures, and search for critters in the soil and water. Enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House.The programs start at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Where: National Colonial Farm | Accokeek, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Calling all adventurers! Go on a mission through the National Colonial Farm to discover how agriculture, water, and land use over time have affected people and the planet. Kids will explore, investigate, and get their hands dirty (literally!) to learn about soil and water. Children will embark on a quest gathering clues at each activity station to reveal how they can help improve the world around them. Recommended for ages 5-13.
Petals in the Park
Where: Franklin Park | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2-6pm
Join the Downtown DC BID for a day of food, fun, and spring-filled excitement. Franklin Park will bud into a spring-themed experience that is fun for the whole family. Enjoy live music, food, games, and market-style shopping highlighting District artisans.
The Fantastic Tale of Rumpelstiltskin
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Through May 15
In a brand new production, the Puppet Co. gives you the full story of what happens after the gold has been spun and the day has been saved. This hilarious and smart comedy will be a great romp for adults and kids alike. Can you guess Rumpelstiltskin’s new name?! Recommended ages 4+. Run time approximately 50 minutes.
The Adventures of Mr. Toad
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/child
Generations of children have roamed the countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends in The Wind and the Willows. Once again, the Learning Theater ensemble brings this heartwarming and hilarious tales to life in a show that will capture the imaginations of young and old.
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Enjoy a music-filled show at Imagination Stage! Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story — teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together. Recommended for ages 1-5.
Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through April 17
Admission: $66-105 | Find Discount
Owen and I just saw this show recently, and it was fantastic — vibrant, and clever, and bursting with talent! Here’s the official description: Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how a charming, young con man posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and then escaped police custody all before he turned 22. Where else, but Washington, DC, could a musical about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now? Recommended for tweens and up.
Karim Nagi: ARABIQA! Drums & Dances from the Arab World
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
InterAct Story Theatre presents FREE performances and events for kids and families with the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! This weekend, join Egyptian-American musician and dancer Karim Nagi for an engaging, witty performance spotlighting Arabic music, dance, and culture. Karim shares the unique sounds and histories of percussion and string instruments, demonstrates dynamic folk dances, teaches vocabulary and geography, and gives an uplifting impression of Arab culture. All ages.
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 2-9pm
Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo. Celebrating the cherry blossoms with a free spring festival full of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Enjoy beer gardens on the pier, a pop-up roller rink, photo ops, s’mores at the fire pit, and live music on all three of the outdoor stages. A fireworks finale will cap off the day.
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
There’s a link to the round-up of hikes around the area at the top of this list, but specific recs are often helpful, as some places can get crowded on weekends. And some are just great for other reasons. The bluebells should be starting to pop at Riverbend Park. Turkey Run Park is a good place to go when Roosevelt Island is overrun. Prince William State Forest is so big, there’s plenty of space for a nice walk in the woods. And Wye Island NMRA on the Eastern Shore is a lovely place to escape the city bustle.
Acrylic Pour Art Workshop
Where: Brookland, DC
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
All are welcome to join this fun and creativity filled art workshop making paint-poured natural wood panels to hang on the wall. During the workshop, participants will learn techniques to mix their own acrylic paints for pouring, then choose their favorite to pour their own pieces. No previous experience is necessary. This experience is all outdoors, and supplies and refreshments will be provided. All ages are welcome, but space is limited, so be sure to register in advance! The address will be provided to attendees after they sign up.
Cherry Blossom Celebration Match
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:45pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against Atlanta United will include cherry blossom-themed activations for fans, including cherry blossom sunglasses for the first 5k fans, along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.
Opera Start with Oh!
Where: Online via Zoom
When: Saturday, 11-11:45am
Admission: Pay what you can
How do opera singers prepare themselves for signing roles, representing the characters only through song? Guest Artist and Soprano, Cathy Thorpe, will take young opera-goers through a few arias from the ‘Oft She Visits This Lone Mountain’ | Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell and demonstrate how opera singers express emotions and bring their characters to life! Register here.
Where: National Harbor | Oxon RUn, MD
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Head to National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature cultural activities, including a Japanese market, art, music and dance performances, culinary delights, and much more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Spring Break has begun for students all around the DC area, and will continue for more over the next couple of weeks. If you’re going to be in town and looking for activities to keep your crew entertained, this annual KFDC guide is loaded with ideas.
* Local author JoAnnHill just shared Part 2 of Five Stories of Influential and Fierce Women — and the DC Sites Associated with Them.
* Young entrepreneurs are invited to apply for a booth at the the Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC, taking place on May 14! Past booths at this outdoor market have sold origami pandas, milk carton piggy banks, original board games, and more.
* Plan ahead: TransPerfect D, a local tech company, is hosting the Victory Lap 5K on April 16th at Hains Point in East Potomac Park.
* An absolutely riveting read (though a heartbreaking story).
* Who else is as obsessed with the slap incident? So many layers to it… this article and this one are two of the best I’ve read about it.
* Oh, and this one. 😉