The Weekend Round-Up:
September 22-24

Electronic Superhighway is on view again


Happy Weekend!

Quick links to posts full of ideas for local fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Fall, Y’all!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Fall officially begins this weekend, and there are a lot of events around the area celebrating it. Fall festivals are in full swing at area farms, in local communities, even a 16th century village in Maryland, and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. A few are listed here, and you can get details on the rest of them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Modern Art Explorations
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Starting Friday
Admisson: Free

After being closed since 2021 for renovations, the third floor of the American Art Museum is reopening! The galleries feature modern and contemporary art, and many well known works will be retuning, like Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway. There will also be new collections that highlight a variety of artists and art that have unique perspectives and impacts. See more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Panda Palooza
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Starting Saturday through October 1
Admission: Free with passes

The giant pandas at the National Zoo are going home to China, and the Zoo is giving them a nine-day celebration send-off that starts this weekend. Even better, you can get in on the fun! Enjoy photo ops, hands-on arts and crafts, a ‘Kids Area’ in the Great Meadow, family stretching and yoga, panda talks, temporary tattoos, a conservation-themed scavenger hunt, live music concerts, and free film screenings of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Miracle Panda.”

Theatre Week Kickoff Fest
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Theatre Week kicks off the launch of the theatre season in the DC area, and this party kicks off Theatre Week! See samples of programming from area theatres, join a Step Afrika workshop, watch a fight choreography demo, hear monologues from young playwrights, and so much more from over 40 DC-area theaters. And FYI: Theatre Week is a great opportunity to check out all kinds of shows — musicals, dramas, comedies, theatre for young audiences, and more — when there is special ticket pricing.

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 3rd to 7th Streets | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 51st Annual Fiesta DC.  On both days of the weekend, A few-blocks stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue will be filled will lively festivities, including stages featuring a variety of performances, children’s activities, international cuisine, arts & crafts, and more!

Volunteer on National Public Lands Day
Where: Around the DC area
When: Saturday
Admission: Just your time and effort

Saturday is National Public Lands Day, when all are welcome and encouraged to help restore and preserve public lands. Volunteer opportunities like clean-ups, tree plantings, weed removal, trail maintenance, and more are available everywhere from big national parks to small urban green spaces, including many in the DC area.  Search here for places nearby where you and the kids can help out.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks everywhere
When: Saturday
Admission: Free
Not only can you volunteer on National Public Lands Day,  you can also get free admission to national parks to celebrate!   It’s one of several fee-free days, so  there’s no cost to visit those that usually charge for entry. Take advantage and hit the trail at ShenandoahPrince William ForestGreat FallsHarpers Ferry, or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. Find even more parks to visit here.

Now & Forever Windows Celebration
Where: National Cathedral | Glover Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Washington National Cathedral is celebrating the unveiling of its new racial justice-themed stained glass windows. The event will kick off with a public dedication of the windows, followed by an afternoon of festivities, including a Cathedral open house, live music on the west front, DC food truck favorites, and kids’ activities. A screening of a new documentary about the “Now and Forever” windows and a special docent presentation of African American highlights of Cathedral art will also be offered to visitors.

Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 11:30am
Admission: Free

Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade. Read more about the National Museum of Health & Medicine here — especially before you explore it with young kids beyond the sweet teddy bear program.

Celebrate Petworth – CANCELLED!
Where: 800 block of Upshur St. NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This free neighborhood festival is organized by and for the residents of Petworth, but all are welcome to enjoy. Celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods, festivities include Petworth history storytelling, live music and performers, kids activities, tasty food, and a dog show. View the schedule here.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through October 30
Admission: $25

With charm, wit, and heart, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life’s big questions through the eyes of the Peanuts gang as they play baseball, fly kites, struggle with homework, swoon over crushes, and celebrate the joys of friendship. Growing up is serious business! Recommended for all ages.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 22
Admission: $25-39
Using more than 70 beautiful, larger-than-life puppets and original music, this special event follows all your favorite characters from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “The Very Busy Spider,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” and, of course, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Recommended for ages 3-8. [Note that tickets are only available for the Friday show, but snag them for future weekends!!]

Not My Monkey
Where: Mont. College Cultural Arts Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1:30pm & 3:30pm
Admission: $14/adult, $11.50/child, free/3 & under

InterACT Story Theatre presents this show for kids… In Not My Monkey, the new circus leader wants to do a good job leading her zany crew of circus folk, but there’s a new problem every time she turns around, and no one wants to pitch in or even try to get along. “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” they say. To make matters worse, the monkeys have broken loose and are wreaking havoc everywhere! How can a community work together to solve its problems, when everyone thinks it’s not their problem to solve? And how can the community work together to stop the monkey madness? Everyone in the audience gets into the act right from where they’re sitting, becoming part of the community of performers and townspeople who need to tackle this hair-raising problem.

Wild Kratts Live! 2.0
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 4:30pm
Admission: Start at $45

Wild Kratts Live 2.0 is a theatrical stage show based on the #1 animated television series Wild Kratts. Martin and Chris Kratt, stars of the Emmy-nominated Wild Kratts step out LIVE ON STAGE to engage the audience in a classic Wild Kratts story. [Note: This is just about sold out, but look for tickets from a third-party seller here.]

Fotos & Recuerdos Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30 am – 3pm
Admission: Free

All ages are invited to join the Portrait Gallery for Fotos & Recuerdos Festival with friends from the bilingual children’s book publisher Lil’ Libros. The event will feature gallery tours, story times, book signings with Lil’ Libros authors, live performances, and crafts workshops inspired by the Lil’ Libros book series “The Life of / La vida de,” which features Latinx sitters from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. Wear your dancing shoes — The Washington Ballet will also be there to lead a story time and salsa and bomba workshop!

Children’s Day
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy free family fun at Peirce Mill! Try grinding grain and sifting by hand, then learn how water powers the mill. Make your own corn husk dolls and other toys. Play old-fashioned board and lawn games like checkers and corn hole. There will be special tours for kids, too. Read more about the historic site in Rock Creek Park here.

Nats vs. Braves
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are at home and hosting the Braves all weekend, and there are some fun things going on along with the baseball action. On Friday, there’s a Keibert Ruiz Bobblehead giveaway and a pet calendar giveaway on Saturday.  On Sunday, kids can run the bases after the game. Before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to get festive at The Boro’s annual Oktoberfest celebration! Fuel up with specialty German food from local food trucks and sip back and relax at The Boro’s biergarten (or show off your strength during abeer stein-holding competition). A live polka band promises classic tunes with a modern twist, and little ones will enjoy glitter tattoos, face painting, crafts, giveaways, and more at a kids’ celebration area.

RiverFest – CANCELLED!
Where: Historic St. Mary’s, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 17th annual RiverFest is a celebration of the St. Mary’s River and surrounding lands and their beauty and serenity. Join for family-friendly activities including live music all day, birds of prey, oyster tonging, fish seining, a River Wade-In at 2pm, and free admission to the Historic St. Mary’s City Museum.  The festival also informs residents from in and around the watershed on ways to protect, improve, and promote our waterways through various entertaining and educational activities and exhibits.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show – CANCELLED!
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music and great food! The historic town will close its street and host over 250 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore! Located just 20 minutes south of DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Mosaic’s Fall Festival – RESCHEDULED 9/30-10/1
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The big shopping enter in Fairfax is hosting a fall event. Festivities include live entertainment and musical performances; the FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors; the URBNmarket with 90 handmade and vintage vendors; beer and wine gardens; kids activities like bouncy fun, balloons, and face painting; plus more special activities for all.

United vs Red Bulls
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Starts at $25 (check for a deal)

Kick it at a soccer game on Saturday The DC United are hosting the New York Red Bulls for an evening match. Audi Field is a great stadium with excellent views of the action on the field as well as the city skyline. I recommend taking public transportation since parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood, grab dinner at one of the many eateries (El BebeThe Salt Line, and All Purpose are my top recs), then walk from there.

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Through October 22
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal

This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.

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

Rain forecasted for this weekend will make it a great time to do some indoor exploring, maybe at a not-so-well-known place.  If you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

* Since it’s officially fall, plan for ways to enjoy autumn in the DC area (that are not farm festivals), with these 10 ideas.
* Want a cool place to hang out with kids? Check out these stunning spaces.
* DCist has 14 ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
* A fantastic NYT feature about being 13 in a social media-driven world.
* This piece from The Cut on a very similar topic is a great read, too.
* Are Travelers Ruining Travel?  (I actually think about this a lot!)
* Just binged the series Painkiller (Netflix) and highly recommend.
* Found the perfect little desk organizer for Sasha.
* And these cooking/storage containers are a kitchen game changer.
* This cute number has become one of my favorite late summer to fall outfits. And, no, I didn’t make that splurge…I got it for a steal secondhand!
* New York Times’ Connections, Toddler Edition 😆

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