Category Archives: 2023

Events & Activities to Celebrate Black History Month Around the DC Area

Celebrate at the National Gallery of Art with works by Black artists + more museum programs


February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. Here’s where many are happening over the next few weeks.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing | Mon, 12- 5:30pm, Tues-Sat 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture may just be the best place to learn about Black history and culture in America, covering everything from early slave trading to modern day achievements by Black people.  If you’ve never been, this month is a great, meaningful time to go.  And if you have been, there is so much to be gleaned, teach to kids, contemplate, and celebrate, you can never visit too much .  It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go. Free, timed-entry passes are required, and they are available online here.  You can reserve in advance or try for same-day tickets — a limited number are released online beginning at 8:15am.

American Folklife Center Open House
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: February 2, 5-7pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry ticket

To kick off Black History Month, the American Folklife Center is hosting an open house featuring items related to African-American history and heritage in the U.S. Visitors are welcome to stop by and view the collections, and chat with Folklife Center staff. Reserve tickets here. And read more about visiting the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Kids’ Films: Celebrating Black Stories
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: February 4, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Recommended for ages 10 and up, the National Gallery of Art showcases short films for kids that highlight Black stories. The films share the joy, determination, resilience, and complexity of being Black and young, and explore a range of genres and styles in a program that spans the globe.

Culture Queen Kids Hour: Magnificent Monuments
Where: Anacostia Community Museum | Anacostia, DC
When: February 4, 12-1
Admission: Free

In this session of the monthly Culture Queen Kids hour, participants will honor African Americans who inspire them by creating their own monuments. Grammy-nominated children’s entertainer, Culture Queen, holds court once a month at ACM for live performances, interactive community building, stories, crafts, movement and more. Registration recommended.

Explore Works by Black Artists
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Explore works from Black artists across centuries, mediums and geographies, ranging from 19th century still life painter Robert Seldon Duncanson to modern and contemporary pieces by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Kara Walker, and more. The current exhibit, Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South, is great to see now. And check the museum calendar for special programs that celebrate Black artists.

How Old is a Hero?
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 7-10
Admission: $3-9

This Discovery Theater original play infused with archival music of the Civil Rights era celebrates three young people who helped change the nation by their heroic actions. Meet Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin, who months before Rosa Parks, also refused to give up her seat on a bus; and Ruby Bridges, who was only six in 1960 when she stepped into first grade—and into history—as the first student to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans. Their inspiring stories demonstrate that hope begins with the courage of young people. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration
Where: Capital Turnaround | Southeast DC
When: February 11, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service for this annual event celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Birthday! The program will include music by the Jubilee Voices of the Washington Revels, performances by the student winners of the Douglass Oratorical Contest, and a light-hearted debate style program that asks the question: “What place did Frederick Douglass call home?” Douglass lived in three states and the District of Columbia during his lifetime, and while it is impossible to ask Douglass this question, our panelists will support their positions in the debate, and we will let the audience decide! Doors open at 12:30pm and include music by DC Strings, exhibitors, info about about Frederick Douglass’ interest in DC’s streetcars, and photo ops with Frederick Douglass. Capital Turnaround is located at 770 M Street SE.

Young Portrait Explorers: Toni Morrison
Where: National Portrait Gallery Online
When: February 13, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

The National Portrait Gallery’s program that highlights African Americans who have made significant contributions has an in-person event this month.  Kids can learn about author Toni Morrison as they take a close look at her portrait and enjoy movement and art-making, too.  This is geared toward toddler and preschoolers up to age 6.  See more about the museum here.

Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active way to spend time outdoors.  On February 18, Woodlawn Manor will be hosting a special Black History Month Family Day, when you ca stop in the Visitors Center to pick up take-home activities for kids as well as a trail map (though you can also print that out at home if you go a different day).

Meetinghouse Open House
Where: Frying Pan Baptist Meetinghouse | Herndon, VA
When: Saturdays in February, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

In honor of Black History Month, the Frying Pan Baptist Meetinghouse will be open each Saturday of February. Established in the 18th century, the original congregation of the meetinghouse included enslaved, free Black, and slaveholding members. Join the Fairfax Park Authority to explore a different facet of Black history in Floris and Herndon each weekend. Pop in for a few minutes or stay the whole two hours.

Library Programs
Where: Public Libraries throughout DC
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of offerings for kids (and adults) of all ages. Participate in a Black history themed scavenger hunt. Watch a related film.  Go on a StoryWalk. Play black History Jeopardy…. and more! Visit the website to see what activities are being offered at each library.

Visit BLM Plaza
Where: 16th Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The two blocks along 16th Street NW, between K Street and Lafayette Park just across from the White House, was emboldened with the giant yellow BLACK LIVES MATTER statement in the summer of 2020 as the BLM movement began to swell after the murder of George Floyd. It’s since been repainted and become permanent.  The pedestrian area is now a site of historic significance in DC, a meeting place and focal point of protests and other events, and a location providing good context for a conversation with kids about BLM.

Tour Memorials
Where: Several locations in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Tour some memorials around the city that highlight notable African Americans and related historic events. Head to the MLK Memorial at the Tidal Basin, where you can view the grand sculpture of Dr. King and read some of his most inspiring quotes engraved in surrounding walls. From there, head to the Lincoln Memorial, where even more MLK words, “I Have a Dream” are etched into the steps where he gave his famous speech. In the Shaw neighborhood, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who served in the U.S. Army and Navy.  On Capitol Hill, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park isa tribute to the civil rights leader.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

There are a few major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour.  Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.

Black History with PG Parks
Where: Sites around PG County, MD & Online
When: Through February
Admission: Varies by location

Celebrate and honor African American heritage with the PG County park system during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are a lot of exciting events and activities planned both in person at locations throughout Prince George’s County and online.

Celebrate with Dance
Where: Maryland Youth Ballet In Person & Online
When: Throughout February
Admission: Varies by event

To celebrate Black History Month, Maryland Youth Ballet is presenting virtual and in-person masterclasses, plus performances and talks led by black dance artists. It will bring together numerous dancers, choreographers, and teaching artists from throughout the metropolitan DC region as well as nationally to celebrate and recognize the culture and contributions of Black people in dance. Events will take place at various locations around the DC area and online — see the website for specifics.

The Slave Memorial
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see this on a visit to George Washington’s estate. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage.

Celestial Navigation and the Underground Railroad
Where: Josiah Henson Museum and Park | North Bethesda, MD
When: February 25
Admission: Free

This educational program explores the crucial role of the night sky in guiding and empowering freedom seekers on their journeys north along the Underground Railroad. Historian Dr. Sylvea Hollis, astronomer Dr. Lou Strolger, and PhD candidate Sophie Hess will provide more insight as you observe the stars. The free, family-friendly program will take place at the Josiah Henson Museum and Park visitor center and does not include museum admission. Recommended for ages 6+.

*Do you know of a Black History Month event or activity that you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share in the comments!

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 27-29

Have a blast with indigenous games at the American Indian Museum!


Happy Weekend!

Quick clicks to loads of ideas for local activities:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Ice Skating
The Great Indoors
Local Hikes with Kids
Baltimore with Kids
Peaceful Places
* Stunning Spaces
Bike Rides

Jurassic Quest
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $19-36 (look for discount)

Walk among prehistoric beasts through the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic Periods.  This huge has true-to-life size dinosaurs, from the very small to the gigantic, each replicated in every detail in collaboration with leading paleontologists. There are also attractions and activities for dino fans — dig up fossils, do some crafts, explore science stations, ride on a dino’s back, and enjoy more dino-themed fun.

Winter Blast: A Weekend of Indigenous Games
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4:3pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting a weekend of fun and games — games can be fun as well as teach important life skills. Representatives from the International Traditional Games Society along with members of the Native Hawaiian school Hālau O‘Aulani will share Indigenous games from the Great Plains, Bolivia, and Hawai’i. This will all take place in the beautiful first floor atrium, but plan to explore the rest of the museum as well, especially the imgiNATIONS activity center fo kids and families.

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $12/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free/5 & under

The 2023 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 hereLook for a ticket discount here!

Lunar New Year Family Celebration
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Ring in the Lunar New Year at SAAM! Join the annual celebration featuring Chinese and Korean traditions, including performances, crafts, food, and more. Learn about the importance of the Lunar New Year across cultures and explore SAAM’s collections with an art scavenger hunt. A Family Zone with crafts and activities to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit will be fun for kids. And a special menu in honor of Lunar New Year will be offered by the Courtyard Café. Be sure to reserve a spot!

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25+
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC.  Gravedigger, Magolodon,  Dragon, Just Get-Er-Done, Terminal Velocity, and Wild Side are among the vehicular beasts that will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Fri, 10:30am | Sat-Sun, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $15

A Puppet Co. Legacy favorite with a new spin! This English and Russian bilingual production will incorporate the classic music in this two-person small marionette romp of the classic fairytale. Run time approximately 40 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through February 12
Admission: $16.50

Take little ones to this show for ages 1-5… Enter a fantastical island world where fish soar through the air, lemons light up the sky, and sheep go parading by. With gentle music, puppets, and props, actors lead children and caregivers in an interactive exploration of a magical place of play.  (PS: If shows sell out this weekend — they tend to — grab tickets for an upcoming performance!)

Ride the Cyclone
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through February 19
Admission: $66-115

And a show for teens and older…  Part comedy, part tragedy and wholly unexpected, this wildly imaginative story delivers surprises at every turn. The lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. A mechanical fortuneteller invites each to tell their story of a life interrupted, offering the chance to come to terms with their fates. At once quirky and smart, edgy and beautiful, Ride the Cyclone ultimately reveals the resilience of the human spirit in spite of senseless tragedy.

Open House
Where: River Park Nursery School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Are you searching for a preschool for your child for next year? Do you want your child and your family to be part of a small warm welcoming community? River Park Nursery School is the quintessential nursery school experience. It is a part-time program on the Hill for 3 to 5-year-old children with a small teacher to student ratio. Join an open house with your child this weekend to talk with current and alumni families, meet our amazing Lead Teacher and Director, Ms. Erin, and see the learning space.  RPNS is located at 212 East Capitol Street NE.

Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce and Tysons Corner Center are hosting a celebration to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. Festivties will include, the famous lion and dragon dances, Vietnamese song, Chinese music and dance, a magic show, Korean and Indonesia dance performances, aMongolia Fashion Show. This will take place in the Fashion Court on the Lower Level Nordstrom Wing.

Lunar New Year Festival
Where: DAR Museum
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Here’s another way to ring in the Year of the Rabbit. Join the DAR Museum and the Asian Fusion Gallery for a celebration of Lunar New Year. The free event features games, food, and performances. While the website says registration is closed, you can join the waitlist in case more spots open up.

Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Friday – Sunday evenings, 5-10pm
Admission: $31.99/age 13+, $19.99/age 3-12 (look for discount)

This event that began during the holiday season continues to glow in Tysons to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  The illuminated display transforms Lerner Town Square into a dazzling world of light with over 1000 Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of experience. And you can do more than just look at some of them — interactive elements include light swings, see-saws, and tunnels for added fun.

Weekend Family Matinees
Where: Avalon Theatre | Chevy Chase, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am
Admission: $9.90
The Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, the oldest operating movie house in the area and a non-profit, is re-launching their Weekend Family Matinees this weekend. My Neighbor Tortoro, a classic tale of magic and adventure, will be screened both Saturday and Sunday.

Street Car Saturday
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: $10/adult, $8/child, $8/senior

The National Capital Trolley Museum is open on Saturdays offering hourly, docent-guided tours, followed by a streetcar ride.  See model street cars on display as well as movies from the 1920’s, then board an actual street car for a ride into the woods (and back, obvi). This weekend is a somewhat significant time to go as the last full day that DC passenger street cars were in service was January 27, 1961.   Online reservations are strongly recommended; walk-ins will be accommodated if space is available, but not guaranteed.

Castle Closing
Where: Smithsonian Castle | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
The Smithsonian Institution Building (aka Smithsonian Castle) will close starting Wednesday, February 1, to undergo a five-year renovation.  So, if you haven’t yet been or want to see it again before it’s inaccessible, you only few days.  What’s in the Castle?   It’s home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center, a small cafe, and a sampling of some of the collections you can find in the many museums. It’s not huge, so plan to visit some of the other museums on the Mall, too!

McLean Chocolate Festival
Where: McLean Community Center | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $2, free/under 3

If you love chocolate, check out this sweet event: McLean Rotary is hosting its 11th Annual Chocolate Festival on Sunday. Area chocolatiers will present their specialties, plus there will be a game room for kids and live entertainment throughout the day. Proceeds help fund local schools and charitable organizations.

King Bullfrog Concert
Where: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $5/family
Bring the kiddos to Hook Hall for some dancing and singing with local kids fave King Bullfrog. Parents can purchase coffee and frozen drinks, plus a craft will be available for the kids to enjoy! Proceeds help benefit local organization DC Action. And note that this will take place every Sunday with different performers each week.

National Skating Month Open House
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $14

Join Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, District Impact Skating Club, DC-ICE, and Special Olympics of Washington, DC, for a celebration of all things ice skating! Watch local skaters demonstrate figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and hockey skills, then lace up your skates for a free introductory lesson so you can Join in the fun! Free lessons offered at 12:30pm, 1:15pm, and 2:45pm. Register in advance to secure your spot!

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

I’m a big proponent of getting outdoors, no matter what the weather. And this weekend should actually be decent at least one day, so get out and take advantage. Roam free at Dumbarton Oaks (no admission fee this time of year), the National Arboretum, or Brookside Gardens. Go for a hike at Great Falls, Prince William Forest Park, or even farther out at Harper’s Ferry. Hit the playground at Watkins, Cabin John, or Clemyjontri Parks. Find even more ideas in this post about great outdoor pursuits with kids — there are tons of great al fresco adventures around the area.  And this round-up also has lots of suggestions for winterized fun outside.

College Court Dates
Where: Arenas around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college basketball going on during the season — and it’s always a fun time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Georgetown women vs Creighton on Saturday at 1pm
* GWU women vs Dayton on Saturday at 1:30pm
* Maryland men vs Nebraska on Saturday at 4:30pm (Go, Terps!)
* American women vs Navy on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason women vs Davidson on Saturday at 3pm
* George Mason men vs St. Joseph’s on Sunday at 12pm

* Washingtonian’s 100 very best restaurants in DC. Do you agree?
* Check out these video reviews of local things to do around the area from The Wandering Family!
* Acorns is a neat, easy way to invest and save money, offering bonuses when you buy certain brands and the option to invest “spare change” from credit card purchases — we’ve been signed up for a couple of years now! (Sharing my referral link that offers a little starter gift.)
* How fun is this little gadget? Kind of along the same lines of this guy that we have.
* Headed to Florida for February Break, and eyeing up this top and these bottoms for the beach.
* Love the sentiment expressed in this clip that a childhood besties sent me.
* A fun one for Gen X: Great British Bake-Off or The Cure?

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Five Things: January 25, 2023

Objects from many museum collections on view in the Smithsonian Castle Commons room


1. The Smithsonian Institution Building (aka Smithsonian Castle) will close starting next Wednesday, February 1, to undergo a five-year renovation.  So, if you haven’t yet been or want to see it again before it’s inaccessible, you only have a week.  What’s in the Castle?   It’s home to the Smithsonian Visitor Center, a small cafe, and a sampling of some of the collections you can find in the many museums.


2. Spring Break is just a couple of months away for some local students, and closer to three months for most DC kids.  Either way, if you’re still making plans and thinking about taking a trip, you might find some inspiration from these family getaway ideas.


3. Have you checked out Groupon lately? There currently are some great offers on fun things to do around the area, including a two-hour session at the St. James Super, Awesome, and Amazing activity center; this weekend’s Jurassic Quest dinosaur show; the Washington Auto Show;  local sports tickets; classes for kids; and much more!


4. Two movies I recently watched and recommend:  To Leslie (Andrea Riseborough so deserves her Oscar nomination) and Armaggedon Time (Anne Hathaway should have gotten one, too).  [Note: These films are rated R, and suggested for adults (or teens and older).]


5. A great listen with a legend.


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Filed under 2023, DC, Five Things

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 20-22

Ring in the Year of the Rabbit this weekend!


Happy Weekend!

Easy linking to all kinds of ideas for local fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Ice Skating
The Great Indoors
Local Hikes with Kids
Baltimore with Kids
Peaceful Places
Bike Rides

Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/age 13+, $6/age 6-12, free/5 & under

The annual Washington Auto Show revs up this weekend! And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for kids and adults, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — hundreds of them — on display for guests to check out. Other activities like a driving area for kids, electric vehicle test rides, an exotic car display, a classic car zone, and so much more will give guests even more to do and see. The show will be in town and running every day through January 29. Get a glimpse and an idea of what to expect in KFDC posts about it here and here. Look for a ticket discount here!

Kids Workshop
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Lowes is hosting their monthly in-person workshop for kids. This Saturday, create a wooden snowman picture frame that’s perfect for displaying heartwarming memories. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!

Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The Lunar New Year begins this weekend, and the National Museum of Asian Art is celebrating it with a day full of festivities for all ages. Hop into the Year of the Rabbit with all kinds of fun, including performances, demos, a curator tour, hands-on activities, and more. See a traditional lion dance performance, watch a cooking demo, do some crafts, take a gallery tour, and enjoy Lunar New Year–inspired snacks and beverages (available for purchase).

Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Friday – Sunday evenings, 5-10pm
Admission: $31.99/age 13+, $19.99/age 3-12 (look for discount)

This event that began during the holiday season continues to glow in Tysons to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  The illuminated display transforms Lerner Town Square into a dazzling world of light with over 1000 Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of experience. And you can do more than just look at some of them — interactive elements include light swings, see-saws, and tunnels for added fun.

Wheaton Family Theatre Series
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

InterAct Story Theatre is presenting another of its Wheaton Family Theatre Series, free performances and events for families. This weekend, celebrate the start of the New Year as Artistic Director, Ali Oliver-Krueger, leads kids and adults in exploring a favorite folk tale together through movement, drama, and song. Everyone’s a part of the story in this Family Arts Workshop! Best for ages 3 and up.

Back to the ’80s Family Dance Party” 
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $7/ $25 max per family (infants free)

The Noyes Children’s Library Foundation is kicking off 2023 with an ’80s-themed dance party for families. Hit the dance floor pumping with greatest hits from the era, plus crafts and story time. A DJ and a dance leader will help get everyone moving to the music.  All ages welcome, but activities are geared to ages 2-8. Costumes or ’80s attire are welcome. Snacks and water will be available. Proceeds will support the activities and programming by the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation. Space is limited and sales are only at the door.

Noyes StoryWalk: Bear Snores On
Where: Downtown Kensington, MD
When: Starts Saturday through February 5
Admission: Free

The latest Noyes StoryWalk features my absolute favorite children’s book that I loved reading to the kids when they were little: Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Families can read the well-loved story on posted signs along Antique Row in downtown Kensington, MD. The StoryWalk begins at the Town Kiosk at M&T Bank, located at 10420 Montgomery Ave. and progresses on store windows along Howard Ave., continuing to its end at Frankly, Pizza! (10417 Armory Ave.).

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If weather permits, bundle up and get out on the trail for some fresh air.  This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.  Some specific recs for right now: Riverbend Park to Great Falls is always a hit, loop around Roosevelt Island, explore the wonderful National Arboretum, hike and fossil hunt at Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Fire & Ice Festival
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

While Whiskey will be featured at the Fire & Ice Festival, there will be some famiy-friendly festivties, too. The WAFF Ice House returns to District Pier, and there will be ice games cornhole and shuffleboard, a DJ, fire twirlers, and whiskey sampling stations (for grown ups, obvi). S’mores by the firepit will be available for purchase, too!

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Opens Saturday through May 14
Admission: $15.95

which highlights critical social-emotional learning experiences for a multi-generational audience. On display from January 21 through May 14 in the Museum’s Visiting Exhibit Hall, the interactive exhibit provides children ages 2 to 12 and their caretakers with the opportunity to share, connect, listen, and learn about complex emotions through facial expressions, words, movement, and artmaking.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 13-22
Tickets: $15/adult, $13/child

Encore Stage & Studio presents this “by kids for kids” show… The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, meeting a Beast, who is the young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson before the last rose petal falls, he and his household including Mrs. Pots, Lumiere and Mr. Cogsworth will be cursed forever. Join us for a tale as old as time in Encore’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr!

Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $55-105 (check for discount)

It’s your chance to sing along to Memory, all alone in the moonlight! The  Tony Awards winning musical CATS is in town through the weekend, bringing its story to the stage of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm 

Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Wizards are playing at home again this weekend. See them Saturday night against the Orlando Magic. Plan on a pre-game dinner  in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo (try to get the Foosball table), Shake Shack, Carmine’s, Hill Country BBQ, and Daikaya.

Hoops, NCAA-Style
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
Watching college teams play ball  is just as exciting, sometieseven more so, than the pros.  And tickets are often cheaper.  With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* GW men vs Dayton on Saturday at 12:30pm
* American women vs Colgate on Saturday at 2pm
* Howard men & women vs Morgan State on Saturday at 2pm
* GW women vs VCU University on Sunday at 12pm

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Throughout Chinatown, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Welcome, Year of the Rabbit! On Sunday, the annual Chinese Lunar New Year Parade (back after a Covid hiatus) brings vibrant tradition to downtown DC. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic lions and dragons. Kids always love seeing the show and having trinkets and treats given to them by parade participants passing by. The parade lasts about two hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot — lots of folks come out for this one, especially if it’s a nice day.

Wheaton Winter Ice Show
Where: Wheaton Ice Arena | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 5:15-6:15pm
Admission: Free

Wind down the weekend and celebrate the new year with at Wheaton Ice Arena’s annnual winter ice show. Their resident figure skaters will perform solo and small group performances. It’s free to spectate!

Stunning Spaces
Where: Around DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by place

I just (re)shared this post on social media about local places that take your breath away the moment you walk into them — and that are great to visit with kids. It was written a few years ago, but updated for now, and I wouldn’t change any of the recommendations. With some rain in the forecast this weekend, these spots will be good to keep in mind for getting out of the house, but staying indoors.

* The Hirshhorn just announced a full slate of free art-making programs for kids, from Art Cart to Maker Mornings to the return of Storytime after a three-year hiatus. See what’s coming up!
* Where to ring in the Lunar New Year with food and drinks.
* Maple Sugaring Days at Brookside Nature Center always fill up fast, but there are some spots left… hurry!
* Just got one of these…extra seating and cute decor.
* Good tips fom Babs. And something potentially yummy to try.
* Everything is on sale at Athleta!
* A fun watch to kick off the weekend.
* An  amazing poem, too. 😉


Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Five Things: January 19, 2023

On the slopes at Timberline


1. Half of our KFDC crew (and a few friends) went skiing at Timerberline for the first time this past weekend. A post about it is coming soon, but the gist: They give the West Virginia resort a big thumbs up!


2. The real estate website, Redfin, recently shared Unique Things to Do in Alexandria: 11 Things to Experience as a Newbie with recommendations for places to go and activities to enjoy from area  bloggers. You might recognize at least one of them! 😉


3. A new exhibit is opening at the National Children’s Museum this Saturday, January 21. XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness provides children and caregivers the opportunity to think about and explore feelings to help them understand, appreciate, and express their emotions through facial expressions, words, movement, art-making, and other hands-on activities.  Read more about the museum here.


4. I’m on the hunt for a cute shacket! Anyone else?  Three options I’m looking at:  This yellow plaid, a nice soft gray, and this teddy version.


5.  17! ❤️❤️❤️  (And a little flashback about it.)


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Filed under 2023, Five Things, Winter