The Weekend Round-Up: April 15-17


Kick off National Park Week at Great Falls — for free!


Happy Weekend! And if you’re celebrating…  Chag Sameach!  Ramadan Mubarak!  Happy Easter!

Quick links for go-to posts:
* 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

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

National Park Week starts on Saturday, and it’s kicking off with a fee free day, so there’s no entrance fee to national parks that usually charge admission. Take advantage and hit the trail at  Great FallsShenandoahPrince William ForestHarpers Ferry, or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. Find even more parks to visit here.

Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 1-9pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate spring at the final big event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Petalpalooza is a day-long, all-ages celebration featuring art, music, and play on multiple outdoor stages, interactive art installations, a beer garden (note that the bar is cashless), family-friendly hands-on activities, and more, all along the banks of the Anacostia River. The evening will be capped by a dazzling 15-minute fireworks show set to music starting at 8:30pm.

Pandaversary Party
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and Chinese partners have been saving giant pandas for 50 years and it’s time to celebrate! Partygoers can enjoy special treats from the Chinese Embassy, free world premiere screenings of the Smithsonian Channel documentary “The Miracle Panda,” lion dance performances, live music and, of course, special panda-themed activities. Be sure to reserve free entry passes!

Happy Emancipation Day, DC!
Where: Freedom Plaza & Pennsylvania Ave. | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join in the celebration of DC Emancipation Day with a parade led by Mayor Bowser, a concert featuring local and national artists, and a fireworks display to end the night! Emancipation Day honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia.

Opera Starts with Oh!
Where: Tregaron Conservancy | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 10:45am – 12pm
Admission: Pay What You Can

Budding opera enthusiasts can connect back to the land with the opera Silvain and learn about all the aspects that bring it to life in this outdoor event! Opera Starts with Oh! welcomes back Guest Artists Sarah Laughland (dance) and Patrick Kilbride (tenor), and introduces new Guest Artist Penelope Musto (cello)!  Together, they’ll rotate through each guest artists different activities, which will include dance, music, and opera singing as it relates to Silvain! Tregaron Conservancy is located at 3100 Macomb St. NW.

One with Eternity
Where: Hirhshorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free (with timed-entry passes)

Try to catch the new Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshhorn!  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 are distributed daily 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. Be sure to read this KFDC write-up about the exhibit that includes more info, tips, and a glimpse of what you’ll experience.

Exhibit A… and B, C, & D
Where: Museums around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
There are even more great exhibits to experience right now at our local museums. The whole family will be fascinated by FUTURES at the Arts & Industries Building.  Take kiddos to hang with Thomas and Friends at the National Children’s Museum.   Laurie Anderson: The Weather at the Hirshhorn is a great one for tween ages and up.  Enjoy the cherry blossoms a little bit longer as you immerse in Pixelbloom at ARTECHOUSE (get a glimpse here). And, of course, the rest of our Smithsonians have permanent collections that we never get tired of seeing — see links to them and loads of other museums and indoor places here.

Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt
Where: Victura Park | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 12-1pm
Admission: Free

Bring little ones out to the outdoor areas of The REACH at the Kennedy Center park for an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt! There will be lots of hidden treats and prizes to find throughout the grounds, plus two Golden Tickets to win a fully stocked Easter Basket! Stay to enjoy food and sips from the cafe, live music starting at 2pm, and the lovely views from the riverside park.

Egg Hunts & More
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Through Saturday
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, $7.50/egg hunt

The Easter Bunny hid some eggs  filled with treats to enchant children, and Great Country Farms welcomes kids to find them! There will be multiple egg hunts with timed ticket entrance ($7.50 extra).  Plan to see spring chicks and baby animals, take a wagon ride, and enjoy the sprawling play area, too!

Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $10/online, $12/at gate

Butler’s Orchards’s  popular spring festival begins this weekend, back wth all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats for young guests. Attractions include hayrides down the Day Trail, good baskets for children,  giant slides, jumping pads, farm animals, pedal tractors, and more.  Concessions are available, and there are  picnic tables if you prefer to pack a lunch.

Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: Daily through Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $8

Hop on over to Potomac Overlook and experience a brand-new kind of egg hunt. Pick up your egg hunt sheet at the nature center, explore the park for different “wooden eggs”, and then return to the nature center with your completed sheet for a prize!

Egg Hunt Days
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm | Clarksburg, MD
When: Daily through Monday
Admission: $8

Little ones (ages 1 to 3 and 4 to 6) will have a chance to hunt for eggs throughout the day at this Maryland Farm that looks like something out of a story book! After hunting, they get to turn the eggs in for a goodie bag. The petting farm, rides, and play areas will be open for all to enjoy, too. Be sure to take a look at the website for a heads-up on how the egg hunts will run, so you can make the most of your day there. Read more about Clarks Elioak in the KFDC post about the best outdoor places in the area.

Go for a Spin
Where: Cabin John (Bethesda) & Wheaton Regional Park, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $2.50

All aboard! Montgomery Park’s Cabin John Train and Wheaton Train and Carousel are open for the season. Take kiddos for a spin around the parks on replicas of an 1863 steam locomotive. Or go for whirl on the Carousel (Wheaton only). Plan for time on the playgrounds, too — both offer lots of fun for little ones.  Read more about Cabin John here and Wheaton here.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Is it time to get out and see something fun past “Zoom” sessions? Stop by the Vienna Train Station for great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. Visit our museum of train memorabilia.  Saturday, March 12, 2022  from 1-5 p.m.  FREE ADMISSION (donations accepted). Hosted by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders.  The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.  Phone 703-938-5157 [leave a message] or check our website  for more information and a full open house schedule.

Come From Away
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $50-95+ (find discount)

I saw this show a few years ago, and it is incredibly emotional (in the best way possible) and entertaining… Broadway’s Come From Away takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Recommended for ages 10+.

Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through April 22
Tickets: $20

This exciting world premiere for young adults is based on the chapbook Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo. The collection of folkloric poems is brought to the stage with music as the play explores the mythological and geographic identities of three first generation American sisters. From the border in the Dominican Republic to an apartment rooftop in New York City, Beastgirl considers what it means to walk the world as “beastly” beings and how the myths that make us can be both blessing and birthright. Recommended for ages 12+.

The Fantastic Tale of Rumpelstiltskin
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Friday, 10:30am | Saturday, 11:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $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.

Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $66-105 | Find Discount
This weekend is the final chance to see this show.  Owen and I caught a performance, 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.

Mean Girls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through April 24
Tickets: $45-199 (find discount)

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical based on Tina Fey’s movie. Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. Recommended for age 10+.

The Servant of Two Masters
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through April 24
Tickets: $20-50

Mistaken identities, wily servants, and madcap antics abound in this laugh-a-minute tale of the ultimate trickster. Helmed by Vato Tsikurishvili and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated team from the 2019 hit Cyrano de BergeracThe Servant of Two Masters is a raucous adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s classic farce.

Vamos United!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $30 (look for deal)

DC United host Austin FC this weekend. Tickets are still available to cheer on the black and red! I recommend taking public transportation since parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood (Audi Field is a short walk from there) and get a bite to eat before the match — El Bebe, All Purpose Pizza, The Salt Line, and Dacha are very convenient and my top recs for family-friendly spots to eat there.

* The Bonsai Museum at the National Arboretum has reopened to the public for the first time since 2020!
* There’s now a Wordlebot to analyze your Wordle play.
* Do you know about Greenlight, the debit card is especially for kids? Both of mine have one, and we all find it a great way for them to manage money (and for us parents to keep track of, too).
* This true crime podcast starring Jon Hamm is so gripping!
* Some great ideas. 🙂


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Filed under 2022, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

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