The Weekend Round-Up:
June 23-25


Happy Weekend!

Check out these go-to posts with info for ongoing fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Happy Summer!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
Celebrate the first official weekend of summer with activities that are quintessentially exclusive to this time of year. Catch an outdoor concert or movie under the stars. Enjoy some water fun at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Check out a special seasonal exhibit. Do some crabbing (the feasting kind). Take a spin on a carousel or mini train.  And so much more. Some activities are highlighted here, but see the 2023 KFDC Guide to Summer Around DC for even more summer favorites.

Solstice Saturday
Where: Smithsonian Museums | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – midnight
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian is marking the first Saturday of summer — Solstice Saturday — by staying open late and hosting parties, programs, performances, and more. See cultural dances at the National American Indian Museum, go to a Glow Night Arcade Party at the Arts & Industries Building, catch a DJ set in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, take an evening tour of the Peacock Room at the National Museum of Asian Art, and much more. Go here for details and schedules and note that some events may require free tickets.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10:30am
Tickets: $12

It’s the first weekend of Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods.  The annual summer series presents over 70 family-friendly performances from late June through mid-August. And it’s all on a stage nestled in a shady grove in the woods.  The productions are geared toward younger children, but all are welcome. See what’s playing this weekend.  And read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here (it’s an old post, but the series is still very much the same).

Barbecue Battle
Where: 3rd-7th Streets |  Pennsylvania Ave NW, DC
When: Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: Starts at $20/adults, free/12 & under
Join one of the biggest summer barbeques around as the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other to compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), 13 bands on four stages, cooking demos, kids’ fun featuring 90s-inspired activities, games, crafts & more!  It all takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 3rd to 7th Streets.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

With rain in the forecast, it’s a good time to explore some museums that are off the well trodden path of the National Mall. If you don’t veer from it now and then, you could miss out on some other amazing exhibits and experiences that aren’t as well known. Check out this round-up of some museums in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

Columbia Heights Day
Where: 11th St NW btwn Park & Irving | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you’re invited to bring the fam out for a fun, free day of excitement and activities to help celebrate the community. In its 15th year, the event brings together residents and businesses for all kinds of festivities. Enjoy local food vendors, live music, carnival-style entertainment, tents full of fun and unique vendors, and more.

Show Time
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

There’s all kinds of entertainment on local stages this weekend. Here’s what and where you can catch it (and you can find show details and any discount links here):
* Nate the Great at Imagination Stage
* The Fisherman and His Wife at Adventure Theatre
* Disney’s The Lion King at the Kennedy Center
* Arco Iris by Arts on the Horizon
* Seussical: The Musical at Keegan Theatre
* 1776 at the Kennedy Center
* DinoRock presents Dinosaur Babies at The Puppet Co.

One Journey Festival
Where: National Cathedral | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free, but reserve tickets 

All are welcome to join this event that celebrates the talents, stories, and contributions of refugees and other displaced people around the world. This family-friendly festival brings people together through modern-day shared languages of humanity: art, food, music, dance, storytelling, soccer, fashion, and technology. Reserve free tickets here.

Heritage Days
Where: Various locales | Montgomery County, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 even at historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, re-creations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge. Learn about the history of dairy farming, railroads, and trolleys; African American communities, astronomy, local arts & culture, and outdoor recreation. Check the online brochure for participating locations and activities.

Astronomy Festival
Where: 6th-7th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 6-11pm
Admission: Free
Presented in association with the Smithsonian Solstice Saturday events, get an eyeful of the night sky and a chance to mingle with astronomers at the Annual Astronomy Festival on the Mall. This free public stargazing event features optical and radio telescope observations of the sun, star clusters, and colorful double stars. You can also enjoy hands-on activities, and astronomical image exhibits.

The Great Zucchini
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park  | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10-10:45am
Admission: Free
Catch a free magic show courtesy of Fairfax County Parks! 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 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 him noticing.

Blue Sky Puppets Theater
Where: Burke Lake Park | Fairfax Station, VA
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Part of Fairfax County’s free summer entertainment series, this peppery show features Rufus, a shy little dog who has been lost from his owner. He’s been stuck out in the rain and he hasn’t had much to eat in two weeks. He meets the audience and asks for their help.

Fairy House Scavenger Hunt
Where: Meadowside Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-12:30pm
Admission: $7
Celebrate International Fairy Day with a self-led fairy house scavenger hunt. BYO fairy wings and flit down the trail to find the hidden dwellings. Eachhouse will provide a clue that unlocks the power of the magical flower fairy growing spell! Then, bring back your answer to the nature center and create a wildflower seed bomb to unleash beauty wherever you roam.

Vamos United!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $40
DC United is home this weekend, and there’s a match against Concincatti on Saturday. As always, I recommend taking public transportation as parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood and plan to walk from there (and maybe grab dinner after 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). Purchase match tickets here.

The World & Me: Pollinator Celebration with MISTER G
Where: National Museum of Natural History | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of Natural History is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service and USDA for a morning celebrating pollinators and learning about our connections to pollinators and plants with interactive activities and a concert with MISTER G!  It’s all free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

Festival of Freedom
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Revels welcome all to celebrate the rich cultural history of Glen Echo Park in a day-long festival featuring live musical performances, storytelling and video booth, children’s activities, carousel rides, and more. View the full schedule of events here.

Day Trippin’
Where: Around the DC area (and a bit beyond)
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

It’s summer, so head a little further out and enjoy a day trip. Some ideas for where to go:
* Zip up to Baltimore, where there are so many great attractions for families.
* See the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns.
* Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry.
* Go to Calvert County for art adventures at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park or Flag Ponds Nature Park, maritime explorations at the Calvert Marine Museum, or even a pontoon boat excursion from Solomons Island.

Take Your Pick
Where: Area Farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Cherries, blueberries, and peaches are available for picking at some local farms. If you want to gather your own, check out this list of places that offer pick-your-own (note that not all farms have all fruits, so be sure to read descriptions… one that definitely does and we love to go to is Homestead Farms). And it’s always a good idea to check websites or call for updates to confirm availability when you plan to go.

* The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, which has been closed over a year for renovations, reopens in July, and you can reserve tickets for tours now.
* In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Women’s World Cup roster — and it includes four Washington Spirit players!
* The world’s 50 best restaurants.
* A psychiatrist on her teen patients…and Taylor Swift.
* This scavenger hunt game looks like a great summer activity for kids. This family set looks fun, too.
* How adorable are these popsicle molds? And these!
* The 2023 Audubon Photography Awards winners and honorable mentions.
* This is fun 🤣
* Would you rather…

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