Category Archives: DC Public Schools

The Weekend Round-Up: August 22-24

Scaling a castle wall is a possibility this weekend

Scaling a castle wall is a possibility this weekend

The old “time flies when you’re having fun” adage has been confirmed by this summer break. It seems like yesterday the kids gleefully left school, ready for camp and seasonal adventures. But here we are, two fun-filled months later, in the last weekend before they head back to class again. Good timing, though, because there are plenty of ways to get in a good last hurrah (or, in one case, huzzah!) of the summer. Happy Weekend!

Huzzah for Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $17/adults, $15/seniors, free for 11 and under

The best — or my very favorite, anyway — annual event of the area begins this weekend! The Maryland Renaissance Festival is a fantastic day trip back to medieval times that appeals to all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows, cheeky comedy, tight rope walkers, jugglers, puppetry, Celtic music… and that’s just some of the live entertainment. There are also pony rides, a pirate playground, a giant slide, and all kinds of fun, fascinating things to see. Walk among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead. The Faire runs every weekend through October 17, and this weekend kids ages 11 and under get in for FREE. Huzzah!

Happy 1st Birthday, Bao Bao!
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

It was a year ago this time that we were all glued to our screens as the Zoo’s webcam followed the new baby panda’s every move. To mark the milestone, Bao Bao and Mei Xiang will receive a specially made frozen cake at 11:30am, and keepers will give panda talks at 11am and 1:30pm. And guests can enjoy complimentary dandan (dahn-dahn) noodles (a cold dish from Sichuan province where the China Conservation and Research Center in Wolong is located) on a first-come first-served basis. Bearitos® healthy snacks, and its signature mascot, Louie, are also helping fellow bear, Bao Bao, celebrate her first birthday party. Join them at the National Zoo on Saturday at the entrance to the Asia Trail as they ring in Bao Bao’s new year. The Bearitos Bear Den will offer fun games, giveaways and, of course, Bearitos samples for the whole family.

DCPS Beautification Day
Where: DC Public Schools
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Help local schools get ready for the new year as DCPS holds its 10th annual Beautification Day on Saturday. DCPS needs volunteers for a variety of projects to help clean up and spruce up schools in preparation for the first day of school. Activities will include gardening and landscaping, organizing books and libraries, painting, flower planting and more. Volunteers are needed at nearly 100 schools city-wide. This is a great opportunity to contribute to neighborhood schools. For more info, to volunteer, or donate supplies, go here.

Logan Chugs into Town
Where: Barston’s Child’s Play
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

All Aboard! Barstons Child’s Play in DC is celebrating the arrival of Thomas & Friends’ newest engine, Logan, with a special family friendly welcome bash. The newest engine to Sodor is a limited-release being introduced to the Thomas crew. Little engineers are invited to test out the all new Thomas Wooden Railway track sets in person as well as participate in family-fun Thomas-themed activities. Each attending family will also be entered for the chance to win some great Thomas & Friends prizes. Barston’s is located at at 5536 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Nats vs. Giants
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

It’s a weekend of home games for the Nats as they host the San Francisco Giants. There are games tonight at 7:05pm, Saturday at 4:05pm, and Sunday at 1:35pm. Take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Fun Pack and Kids Run the Bases invites young fans ages 4-12 to do just that after Sunday’s game.

Summer Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s not much time left to enjoy some of the best activities of the season. Outdoor pools and spraygrounds, music and movies in the open air, mini golf and carousels rides at local parks and museums, or a good ol’ crab feast. The Summer 2014 guide has all the inspiration you need to eke out the most of the summer wind-down.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* Children’s musician Brady Rymer is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java
* The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs on the Main Stage
* Clowning Around and Bunny Business are the The Puppet Co.’s featured Tiny Tots shows
* Be wowed by Cirque de Soleil’s Amaluna at National Harbor
* Synetic Theatre’s Miraculous Magic Ballon is this week’s free Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Catch a colorful show as Pinkalicious is performed at Adventure Theatre

Canstruction
Where: National Building Museum
When: Through September 5
Admission: Free

This design/build competition features amazing structures made entirely of canned goods by local architecture and construction teams, benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank. This year, teams build off of the theme “play with your food.” See entries on display in the Great Hall starting Saturday through September 5. (De-Canstruction takes place on September 6 as the teams disassemble their entries to donate the canned food used in their projects.)

Sing-a-long Sound of Music
Where: Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, 7:30
Admission: $25-38

A few of your favorite things are back! Quickly becoming a Wolf Trap tradition, this Oscar-winning movie will be shown on HUGE screens in-house and on the lawn, accompanied by an audience sing-a-long. Be sure to dress in your Sound of Music best – the sing-a-long is paired with an unforgettable costume contest.

BlackRock Open House
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 10am -1pm
Admission: Free

Help BlackRock Center kick off its 2013-14 season at an Open House on Saturday. Join them for a complimentary day of fun and activities for the whole family and get a taste of all that BlackRock offers, from sample classes in dance, music, theater, and art to exciting performances and exhibits in their gallery. There will also be a “Discover BlackRock” Scavenger Hunt; opportunities to try ballet, piano, printmaking, painting and more; tours of the center; arts and crafts activities; performances by Rolie Polie Guacamole; and a cupcake toast to welcome the season.

Battle of Bladensburg Commemoration
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 9pm
Admission: Free

Festivities will start with a dedication of the new monument, followed by a Grand Procession into Bladensburg Waterfront Park, then conclude with a thrilling battle re-enactment! Throughout the day enjoy the activities from trade demonstrations to boat rides to live entertainment – fun for kids and adults alike!

Wags n’ Whiskers
Where: Village at Shirlington
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This animal-centric event a community-oriented event for animal loving shoppers of all ages to spend an afternoon at The Village at Shirlington with their pet. The event will feature demonstrations, exhibitions, pet portrait photos, children’s activities, live music, and more along with Village at Shirlington merchant specials and free giveaways.

Dragon Boat Regatta
Where: Southwest Waterfront
When: Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 3rd annual National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta takes place on Saturday. This family-friendly event will feature the best premier and local dragon boat teams from along the east coast racing in multiple distances over the course of the day. The event is free to the public to watch and will highlight this wonderful example of Asian culture.

Meet the Peeps
Where: Pasture Raised Eggs Farm
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Fluffy baby peeps will be making their debut at Pasture Raised Eggs’ farm in Purceville. These balls of fluff on toothpick salmon colored legs will fearlessly explore their environment (and you) looking for food, water and shelter. You are invited to come stop the farm to meet the peeps, feed the laying hens treats, and see if you can spot all 300 trout in the pond. At noon a Q&A session will answer visitors’ questions.

Ice Cream at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Get a glimpse of culinary life in the 18th century through ice cream making demos every Saturday in August at Mount Vernon. Visitors can watch as costumed staff make one of George Washington’s favorite desserts using reproduction period equipment to emulate ice cream-making process of the olden times.

Big Fun at the Big Maze
Where: National Building Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $5/age 3-11 members; $16/adult, $13/age 3-11 non-members

You have just over a week left to experience this super cool installation at one of our favorite museums. It looms up to 18 feet high in the Great Hall and measures 60 feet by 60 feet. Within there are twists and turns and dead ends, all formed by finely constructed walls of maple plywood at varying heights. Navigating it is a blast, especially for the kids, and viewed from upper levels, it’s like a work of art. Read more about it and get a glimpse here.

The Lego Movie en Español
Where: Mosaic District
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Language Stars, the national leader in early childhood foreign language, will host the first annual Language Stars Family Foreign Language Film Festival this Sunday to expose children and their families to movies in other languages. The debut film, The LEGO® Movie, will be played in Spanish with English subtitles. Based on the LEGO line of construction toys, the film tells the story of an ordinary LEGO construction worker who is prophesised to save the LEGO universe from an evil tyrant bent on gluing it into eternal stasis.

Drum Circle
Where: Meridian Hill Park, upper pavilion
When: Sunday, 3:30-6:30pm
Admission: Free

This weekly drumming circle doubles as a veritable amusement park for kids and is filled with good sights, plus picnicking, for everyone. This summer there’s been hammocks and tightropes, hula hooping and soccer pick-up, practitioners of ‘aerial yoga’ doing their thing, and more. Plus this coming Sunday you can find Moms Clean Air Force, an organization that fights climate change with mom-power, there too — with a big earth parachute for the kids. MCAF’s DC Field Organizer will be happy to chat with moms and dads about how to get involved in the organization. Look for the red balloons. Can’t make it? Attend another MCAF social around town. RSVPs appreciated to jhantman@momscleanairforce.org.

The Great Indoors
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It appears there may be a disruption in the streak of sublime weekends we’ve been having (ie, rain in the forecast), so keep the list of indoor activities handy. It’s stacked with ideas for ongoing pursuits that will keep you sheltered from the elements.


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The Weekend Round-Up: October 5-6

Fall fun at Clark's Elioak Farm

Fall fun at Clark’s Elioak Farm



Shutdown, shmutdown. A little Congressional stalemate can’t stop the fun from happening around the DC-Metro. Take the kids to a farm for some seasonal amusement. Celebrate a neighborhood in the city. Get some great steals at DC public school yard sale. Catch a show or a Thomas DVD premiere. Take to the Takoma Park streets. Dig away at Dinosaur Park. Or you can browse the post full of outdoor ideas or the one with indoor recommendations for even more ways to enjoy DC with the kids. Happy Weekend!

Fall Fests
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Say “huzzah!” to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, pick some pumpkins, get lost in corn mazes, go on and hayrides, whiz down giant slides, bounce around on jumping pillows, and so much more. There are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. The guide to Fall Festivals has details on many of them happening around the region.

Columbia Heights Day
Where: Tubman Elementary Field
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you are invited to help celebrate the community on Saturday.  Columbia Heights Day is bringing together residents and businesses for a day of fun festivities–live music, a KidsZone with games arts & crafts and more activities especially for little ones, moon bounce, food trucks, a cupcake eating contest and much more! The Tubman Elementary field is located at 11th & Kenyon Streets NW.

Legendary Yard Sale
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!

Bargain hunters take note: This Yard Sale is going to rock! I know this for sure because I helped collect the items… clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, proceeds all support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located on Capitol Hill at 1250 Constitution Avenue NE.

Fall For Fairfax
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual event includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

Final Truckeroo
Where: Corner of Half and M Streets SE
When: Friday, 11am – 11pm
Admission: Free

The monthly festival held May thru October is hosting its final event of the season! Showcasing food trucks from the DC area, Truckeroo brings together just about all of the cuisine on wheels that cruise around the city. Take the kids for lunch or grab dinner, then bring it to Yards Park for a riverside picnic.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and you can do just that this Saturday. The 24th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

Thomas the Tank Film Screening
Where: Avalon Theater & Child’s Play Toys
When: Saturday, 10:15am
Admission: Free (but tickets are limited)

Barstons Child’s Play and Fisher-Price® will host the Washington, DC, premiere of the new Thomas the Tank Engine DVD, Thomas and Friends: King of the Railway on Saturday at the Avalon Theatre. Tickets are FREE but limited and can be picked up at any Child’s Play location – no purchase is necessary. And, straight from the Land of Sodor, special guest, Sir Topham Hat will also be attending the movie premiere! After the film, Sir Topham Hat will be available at Child’s Play Toys’ Chevy Chase location (5536 Connecticut Ave, NW) to sign trains until 12:30pm. All Child’s Play locations will also be offering a 10% discount on all Thomas Wooden Railway items on both Saturday and Sunday. The Avalon Theater is located at located at 5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. The Big Apple Circus brings a spectacular show to the Dulles Town Center (read about our experience there last year). The Kennedy Center presents an NSO Teddy Bear Concert, Teddy and the Ten Hats both weekend days. And Robbie Schaefer is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, while Ralph’s World will perform two shows on Sunday.

Kinderfest
Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md, is hosting the 33nd Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.The scores of events and activities to entertain the whole family include clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train. Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee. Visit the website for more info and directions.

Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Avenue to Carroll Street
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, children’s activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 32nd annual festival. A diverse collection of items from over 150 artisans makes holiday shopping easy — find paintings, photographs, pottery, silk-screening, soaps, stained glass, jewelry, wood-working, textiles, ceramics, kids’ items and much, much more! Kids also love activities just for them, including inflatables and FUN! Music lovers can enjoy three stages hosting 18 popular local bands playing everything indie folk, rock, blues, country, reggae and everything in between.

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Diggin’ Dinos
Where: Dinosaur Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The 41-acre park in Laurel, Md, features a rare deposit of fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago). The public is invited to join paleontologists and and volunteers on-site to interpret fossil deposits on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.

Model Rocket Launch
Where: NASA Goddard
When: Sunday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the monthly model rocket launch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Anyone is welcome, and if you’ve got a model rocket to fly, bring it along (though there are some restrictions – see them here). The program takes place the first Sunday of every month at 1pm.

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Get Bargains GALORE and Support a DC Public School!

maury-yard-sale-2013_2-color-2

So, here’s the full disclosure: This Yard & Bake Sale is a fundraiser for my kids’ school, Maury Elementary on Capitol Hill, and I’m part of the fundraising committee that coordinates it. That also means I know firsthand that there will be TONS of can’t-beat deals on everything from clothes to furniture to baby gear to books & toys to housewares and much, much more! Seriously, everyday as I help sort items, it’s like navigating through an intricate maze of treasures (ie, there’s a LOT of stuff, and it’s fantastic).

The Yard Sale will take place this Saturday, October 5, from 9am – 2pm, rain or shine at Maury — both in the multi-purpose room and the front yard. If you make it there, be sure to come say hi! (Ask for Linda.)

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DCPS Beautification Day: Help Local Schools Get Ready for the New Year!

Bday-Logo

Want to help DC Public Schools get ready for the new school year? DCPS is holding its ninth annual Beautification Day this Saturday, August 24, from 9am to 1pm. Volunteers are still needed for a variety of projects to help clean up and spruce up schools in preparation for the first day of school. Activities will include gardening and landscaping, organizing books and libraries, painting, flower planting, and more.

Volunteers are needed at nearly 100 schools city-wide. This is a great opportunity to contribute to neighborhood schools. We’ll be at the kids’ school helping out, but you don’t need to have a child enrolled to volunteer your time.

If you’re interesting in volunteering on Saturday or donating supplies, go here for more information and to register.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, DC Public Schools, DC Volunteer Opportunities, DCPS Beautification Day, School Event, Volunteer