Loads of ideas for ongoing activities in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Active Pursuits Inside
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Ice Skating
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places
Community Ice Skate Night
Where: Canal Park Ice Rink | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-10pm
Admission: Free – $12/child, $15/adult, $6/rental
In honor of National Ice Skating Month, join a Community Ice Skate Night at the Canal Park Ice Rink featuring DJ CiCi. Plus, FIRST 100 attendees to arrive will get the free entry and skate rental. Note that in order to get free entry, you must check in at the Canal Park Ice Rink skate shop window on the evening of the event (do not pre-purchase tickets online prior to the event). They’ll begin granting admission for Community Skate Night at 6:30 pm, so make sure to arrive early to be one of the first 100 skaters!
Explore a New (To You) Museum
Where: Museums around MD & VA
Admission: Varies by museum
In case you missed it, there’s a brand new round-up of museums in Maryland and Virginia. While DC is well known for its many great museums, both on the National Mall and in other areas around the city, there are even more beyond the District lines that are great to explore with kids. Find one to check out with the fam this weekend!
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $20/adults, $8/ages 6-12, free/5 & under
The 2024 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 600 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out, plus there are more activities like Ride ‘n Drives with Jeep, an Art of Motion exhibit, exotic car display, and Subaru Love Pets area with dogs from local animal shelters will give guests even more to do and see. Get a glimpse and an idea of what to expect in KFDC posts about it here and here.
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Gravedigger, El Toro Loco, Megolodon, Dragon, Wild Side, and more will be tearing up the indoor terrain. Before you go, be sure to read this post with tips for making the most of the experience.
Hill Family Biking: Ride to Canal Park Ice Skating
Where: Maury Elementary to Canal Park | Capitol Hill/Navy Yard, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Join Hill Family Biking for short ride from Maury Elementary down to Canal Park for ice skating. (Anyone that wants to skate should pre-register to guarantee a spot in the 12pm session.) They’ll have volunteers marshaling to ensure the group stays together. MPD bike team will also be participating in the ride to connect officers with the community. If your family’s bikes need some TLC, get there 15 minutes early to get some assistance– bike maintenance tools will be available, as well as some experienced amateur bike mechanics on hand to assist.
Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Screen Time
Where: Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm & 1:30-3pm
Art & Me is back in person! Visit the special exhibition Palace Life Unfolds: Conserving a Chinese Lacquer Screen and explore how art and science collide when conservators preserve precious works of art. Then return to the ImaginAsia studio to learn more about the process of repairing a work of art with Smithsonian conservators and educators, and make your own creation to take home. This program is designed for children ages 3–8 with adult participation. Sign up for the 11am-12:30pm time slot or 1:30-3:30pm.
Where: Kogod Courtyard | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 11:30am – 7pm
See several hundred varieties of orchids making the already stunning Kogod Courtyard, at the center of the National Portrait Gallery and American Art, even more so. The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration is the annual orchid exhibit presented by the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens. View the flowers alongside artwork intended to prompt viewers to think about the future of orchids. Bring along some pencils and paper for sketching. And, of course, plan to tour the museums, too — see more about both here and here.
Hot Wheels Champion Experience
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
This exciting immersive experience for kids combines exhilarating digital and hands-on play in a 16,000-square foot interactive environment for all ages. Conquer all kinds of digital challenges, create a car and see in in 3D on a bog screen, immerse in AR fun, and more. Get more details and a glimpse of it all in this post.
Disney Encanto x CAMP
Where: Tysons Corner | Tysons, VA
When: Through March
Admission: Starts at $32
Another immersive experience, this one inspired by the beloved Encanto movie is also running at Tysons — and delivers on the magic for kids! Tickets are limited for this weekend, but there were still some available last I checked. If it’s sold out, snag them for another time. And read this post for more about the experience.
Weekend Family Matinee: Trolls Band Together
Where: Avalon Theatre | Chevy Chase, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am
The Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, the oldest operating movie house in the area and a non-profit, is hosting a Weekend Family Matinees on Saturday. Trolls Band Together will be screened both Saturday and Sunday.
DC Day: Honoring the End of Street Car Service
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Celebrate street car history in the DC area! For 100 years, street cars represented the most widely used public transit, moving millions of people and connecting communities. In honor of that, there will be special street car rides, family-friendly activities, and opportunities to explore objects from the archive.
Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Saturday, 6pm (tickets available at 4:30pm)
At this Millennium Stage session, prepare to welcome the Year of the Dragon with lion dancing and drumming performances. Advance tickets are sold out, but free tickets will also be available at the Hall of States Box Office on Saturday, beginning at 4:30pm.
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $44-139 (look for discounts)
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in a new production – just as you remember it and just when
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through March 3
Mind tricks, anyone? Mentalist Vinny DePonto delivers a performance full of them in this one-man (+ a few audience members) show. It’s a fascinating, delightful, and poignant trip down memory lane as he explores the mind’s inner workings and what we hold onto in our heads. Highly recommend for a fun evening out — for teens and older!
Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Through February 18
Join the Puppet Co. for this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Directed by Danny Pushkin. Recommended for ages 4+.
Finding Nemo Jr. The Musical
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through Sunday
Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… This beloved story follows Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, who lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his child Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured, Marlin decides to face his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as the optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Recommended for all ages.
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Opens Friday through February 4
Tickets: $59-349 (look for discounts)
Before there was RENT… there was tick, tick… BOOM!, Jonathan Larson’s explosive musical about life, death, and the necessity of art. The semi-autobiographical story follows Jon, a composer struggling to break into New York City’s theater scene. Recommended for teens and older. Shows are mostly sold out, but you can look for resale tickets here.
Mozart & Mark Rothko
Where: National Galley of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 3pm
The University of Maryland Opera Studio will perform a selection of Mozart’s works, honoring the favorite composer of Mark Rothko, whose works are on display in a special exhibition right now. The artist famously said of Mozart, “I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry.” The performances will take place in the West Garden Court; the Rothko exhibit is in the East Building.
NCAA Basketball Around DC
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
We’re in the thick of college basketball season. And with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on around town. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Nebraska on Saturday at 12pm (Go, Terps!)
* Catholic men vs Moravian on Saturday at 2pm
* Catholic women vs Moravian on Saturday at 4pm
* George Mason men vs Rhode Island on Saturday at 4pm
* American men vs Colgate on Saturday at 4pm
* George Mason women vs VCU on SUnday at 4pm
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The International Spy Museum’s annual Spy Fest takes place next Friday evening, February 2! I can tell you from experience, it’s a very intriguing event. And the website might say it’s sold out, but I may have some intel that more tickets could be released…
* Washingtonian just released its list of the 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2024.
* You can still get (pricey) tickets for the Ravens game on Sunday!
* Latest movie rec (not for kids).
* Is it weird that I’m excited about this purchase?
* Ever shop at Everlane? They always have great basics as well as pieces with a little extra something, like this sweater I just ordered.
* How great is this?