The Weekend Round-Up: July 1-4


Happy July 4th Weekend!

Posts to bookmark for all kinds of ideas for fun activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Bike Rides
* The Great Indoors
* Peaceful Places

The Playhouse’s the Thing!
Where: National Building Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
The Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party opens this weekend, starting July 1! The Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired festival stage in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Along with marveling at the installation (and the rest of the museum), from July 1 – September 5, you can enjoy Shakespearean activities like stage combat demos and hands-on fun during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Where: 7th – 12th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Through Monday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free
The festival is running again this weekend, and it’s definitely worth checking out! Back in person after two years, the event celebrating living cultural heritage and community traditions highlights United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism this year. All kinds of exhibits, demonstrations, live performances, talks, food, markets, and much more will be on the National Mall between 7th & 12th Streets NW. View scenes from a past Folklife Festival here.

First Look at the Lotus and Lilies
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Garden | Northeast DC
When: Daily, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual lotus flower and water lily bloom has begun at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and while it has a ways to go until the peak, it’s still so pretty to see (though Kenilworth is wonderful anytime). Go get a glimpse of it at this early stage, and before the crowds get there.  See scenes from a past bloom here and learn about a great way to combine a visit with another activity here.   And this post has more general info and background on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Through July 6
Admission: Free
If you haven’t yet ben to the FUTURES exhibition (or even if you have), there are merely days to visit before it closes on Wednesday, July 6.  Spanning 32,000 square feet inside the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, FUTURES is 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. Get a glimpse of it here.

More Exhibits & Museums
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the wekend
Admission: Varies (but mostly free)
Our local museums are always great to visit and thee are some awesome exhibits to experience, too.  One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a fantastic delight! And Laurie Anderson: The Weather there is a really cool one, best for tween ages and up.   Afro-Atlantic Histories at the National Gallery of Art is interesting and educational. Kiddos will love the National Children’s Museum. And all ages, adults included, will dig Planet Word.

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy activities that make this time of year so much fun. Start the weekend off on Friday with a free outdoor concert or an evening of fishing, then continue the fun on Saturday and Sunday with water play at a pool or sprayground. Cool off indoors at an exhibit. Feast on crabs or hit the beach to fulfill a seasonal must-do. Round it out it with a family movie under the stars. Get details about all of these summer diversions and even more in the 2022 Summer Guide.

Nats vs. Marlins
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
Miami comes to DC, as the Nats host the Marlins all weekend, and as always there are special promos and activities to enjoy.  See Freedom Fireworks after the game on Friday (6:05pm), and take advantage of the kids bucket hat giveaway on Saturday  (4:05pm) and Sunday (1:35pm), and kids can also run the bases after the game on Sun. The July 4th game against the Marlins is part of the Patriotic Series, when the Nats wear their red, white, and blue, and there are other Independence Day themed activities. Be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

The Great Zucchini
Where: Burke Lake Park | Fairfax Station, VA
When: Saturday, 10-10:45am
Admission: Free

Part of the Fairfax County summer entertainment series, this show will delight little kids… mine loved The Great Zucchini when they were younger! The wonder of magic, silliness of comedy, and interactive nature of The Great Zucchini’s show keeps children on the edge of their seats. Watch your kids’ faces light up as they see things disappear and reappear. Watch how animated and excited the children get when they yell “Wake up Zucchini,” when he accidentally falls asleep during the show or when he turns tissue paper into colorful rainbow streamers, or when his puppet, Ruffles the Rabbit, keeps coming out of the hat without The Great Zucchini noticing. This is “eye candy” magic comedy at its best. [Note: There are several more shows to enjoy this weekend…see what’s on the calendar here.]

Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The recommendation to hit the trail is a staple in these round-ups.  And this weekend will be a great time to do it. Enjoy the sunshine, take in pretty scenery, maybe explore local history or spy some wildlife. You can even work in some geocaching!  This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to tramp with kids. Some specific recs for right now:  The National Arboretum in Northeast DC has lots of little trails and beautiful plant collections; head out to Harpers Ferry for hiking and history; walk in the woods with shade at Pohick Bay  or Fountainhead Regional Parks; or tramp in the city at Rock Creek Park.

Mr. Poppers Penguins
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Friday, 10:30am | Saturday, 4pm | Sunday 1:30pm
Tickets: $14

See a new show at Imagination Stage!  Mr. Popper, a painter of modest means, dreams of taking an Antarctic adventure. So he’s thrilled when a penguin named Captain Cook waddles out of a mysterious box left on his doorstep. The zookeeper donates a female companion and soon…the patter of 20 baby penguin feet! To feed all of these mouths, the imaginative Mr. Popper and his wife turn his talented penguins into a must-see traveling vaudeville act full of song and dance. But the rigors of performing take a toll on them all, and they must make a difficult decision. This musical play, featuring expert puppetry, depicts a wild and witty way to follow your dreams — and your convictions. Recommended for ages 3-10.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 29 – July 11
Admission: $49-100 (look for discount)

Just opened!  Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favorite characters, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter.  Read a KFDC review of the show!

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $27.50+ (look for discount)

Now running!  The world-class, live entertainment attraction is back at National Harbor through July 24.  The production celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities, blending circus arts, theater, and music — a fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When:  Through July 24
Tickets: $20-60

Synetic Theater, the home of American Physical Theater, presents this playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity, and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award Nominations when it was first produced in 2010, taking home the award for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Resident Play.  Side note: I can’t wait to see this —  Synetic’s shows are always wonderful!

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

On stage at Adventure Theatre….   Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon. Use code JULY4 to get 25% off a July 4th performance!

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

See a show on string at The Puppet Co… We all think we know the Big Bad Wolf from the classic fairytales, but what if it’s the same Wolf in both stories? What if there’s been a big mistake? What if the Wolf isn’t so big or so bad? Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. Read a KFDC review of the show from a bunch of years back.

Family Walk in the Woods
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary | Chevy Chase, MD
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: $12/member family, $20/non-member family

Join naturalist and educator, Frank Sanford, on a leisurely walk through the habitats at Woodend. Explore the wonders of trees, meadows, streams, insects, birds, and everything Woodend has to offer! Limited to 10 families. Register here, and just one adult when signing up. Read moe about Woodend here.

Cruise the C&O
Where: C&O Canal National Historical Park | Potomac, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free (park admission is $20/vehicle)

Most of us know the C&O National Historic Park as the Maryland side of Great Falls. And most of us have hiked the trails and been enchanted by the river views and stunning scenery. Starting this weekend, you can also take a boat ride along the canal from there. The replica Charles F. Mercer excursion boat offers rides along the C&O that are a time trip back in time to the 1870s as staff in period clothing describe life for the people living, working, and floating on the canal. Rides first come, first serve, and tickets can be picked up one hour in advance at the Visitor Center. If you can’t get on the ride or while you wait, the park is a great to explore — read more about Great Falls here.

Baltimore by Baltimore
Where: Inner Harbor Amphitheater| Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The brand-new Baltimore by Baltimore waterfront music and maker series will return to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Amphitheater with an all-new, family-friendly lineup of local talent, comedians, youth groups, food and maker vendors. This July festival will feature the comedy infused anti-bullying and anti-violence youth program Lil’ Laughs along with 92Q’s DJ Flow & Friends, King Midas and the natives, a BIG Laughs comedy show, surprise guests, and more. Maker and food vendors will also be there. And for more to in Charm City, check out the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

* Mark your calendars: The Women’s March is organizing a rally for July 9 to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Details TBA.
* Through August 3, children 12 & under can get a complimentary  meal at a Nats game with the Kids Eat Free program!
* Ideas for great summer trips with kids
* We just got one of these for the beach after hearing great things. (Similar, less expensive version here.)
* Good advice (ie, skip the selfies).
* This is brilliant.


Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

2 Responses to The Weekend Round-Up: July 1-4

  1. Stephanie

    Thanks for the great roundup! Just a word to the wise: a lot of beaches have started banning tents of all kinds. We have one we like a lot, but can’t use it at Rehoboth, North Beach, or several others.

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