Category Archives: DC Volunteer Opportunities

The Weekend Round-Up: January 14-16

mlk_memorial

The holiday weekend means extra time for fun with the kids, and there are so many great ways to take advantage. Join an MLK inspired event, get artsy with DCPS creatives, discover travel & adventure options, check out a new museum exhibit, enjoy live entertainment, explore a national park for free, and much more. This round-up has all the details you need to plan. Happy Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Create DC!
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get creative with the DCPS Arts Team! Families are invited to a day of creative play alongside some of DC’s amazing artists, educators, and arts organizations. Create shadow puppets, enjoy the DC Youth Orchestra petting zoo, join a drum circle, watch Shakespeare Theatre Company perform a mini “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” check out wearable art, and much more!

Travel & Adventure Show
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $16/adults, free for 16 and under

Get travel inspiration, experience culture, and have fun! A big expo like this might sound like a grown-up affair, but a bunch of cool pursuits will thrill the kids, too. Besides the hundreds of travel providers and destinations featured, there will be cultural performances, Segway rides, camel rides (!), a rock climbing wall, “worldly” photo ops, and kids games.

More Live Entertainment
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is on the Imagination Stage for its final weekend
* Encore Stage & Studio presents The Little Princess — by kids for kids
* Tweens can enjoy Bud, Not Buddy at the Kennedy Center
* The Alden Theatre presents both The Ugly Duckling and The Giver on Saturday
* Titanic is still afloat at Signature Theatre, and it’s getting great reviews
* Little ones will be delighted by Blue at Imagination Stage
* Rocknoceros is playing a special MLK Day show at Jammin Java
* Plan for a KidFree night out to see ROE, which just opened at Arena Stage

Bilingual Education Fair
Where: Francis Gregory Library
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

DC’s first Bilingual Education Fair is poised to be a fun and educational Saturday morning! Thirty exhibitors, including 13 bilingual public schools, foreign cultural institutes, language app developers, and more organizations will take part. There will be both grown-ups and kids programs. Children can enjoy story time and activities in 7 different languages, while adults can listen to three mini-talks by a student, an American University professor, and a parent about why, how, and where in DC to raise a bilingual child, followed by 20 minutes of questions and answer.

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $10/ages 5-13, free for 4 and under

Enjoy a full day of theater and so much more. Teatro de la Luna presents six hours of all kinds of artistic activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s festivities. And all of it is presented Bilingual.

Wee Ones Storytime
Where: Hooray for Books
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Head to the book store in Old Town Alexandria for a reading just for little ones. At the weekly program, story time experts will read children board and picture books, sing songs, and perform and teach some fingerplays. Recommended for ages 0-3.

Rock On
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

One of my very favorite DC museums debuts a new exhibit on Friday. “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” explore the ways music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights. See John Lennon’s bed-in guitar, Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster guitar, stage costumes worn by the Village People, original handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” jewelry from the VMA’s, video with some of rocks most influential musicians, plus artifacts related to the Vietnam War, Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Newseum is best for older children, and this KFDC post has a bit more about it.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Warm up with a quintessential cold weather activity! Lace up the ice skates and get gliding at one of many outdoor rinks in the area. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC).  As described in Model Railroader magazine, every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Open Studio: Dazzling Designs of the Qur’an
Where: Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 12 – 4 pm
Admission: Free

Discover The Art of the Qur’an at this free Open Studio for families, as you explore illuminated designs in manuscripts of the Qur’an. Take a family-friendly tour of the exhibition (offered at 12:30pm and 2:30 pm), then head to the ImaginAsia classroom to get creative. Tea and refreshments provided. All ages welcome with adult companions.

hiSTORYtime
Where: National Museum of American History
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Early learners ages 0-6 and their caregivers will have the chance to hear a story and participate in hands-on activities and crafts inspired by objects from the museum’s collection at this weekly program. Saturdays in January are all about clothes! Hear a reading that makes us think about the clothes we wear and how they can change over time. Then check out some clothes that are housed at the museum collection and enjoy fun, clothing-related crafts.

Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $17.50/ages10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt for kids 10 & up! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. Wizards and muggles alike can play and enjoy this hunt. It’s not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. It’s a great way to discover — or rediscover — the museum. Designed for kids and adults to do together, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase is required.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday, 8pm & Monday, 2pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards will be hosting at home this weekend with games Saturday night and Monday afternoon. Catch them at the Verizon Center against the 76ers on Saturday, or watch some on-court action on MLK Day when they play Portland.

An Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh
Where: Northeast Library
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: Free

Join Northeast Library for an Afternoon with Winnie the Pooh, one of the world’s most lovable characters! Guests can enjoy a story reading, watch a short movie, and make a Pooh and friends craft to take home. Best for kids ages 5 and up. Snacks provided, too!

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

It’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school; explore the just posted about Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, or visit Harpers Ferry.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Looking for ways to stay active and entertained without a chill in the air? Then The Great Indoors post, a list of over 80 ideas for places to go inside, should have you covered. And if you prefer the outdoors no matter the weather, The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids, has a bunch of recommendations, too.




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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Babies, Date Night, DC, DC Volunteer Opportunities, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Volunteer, Weekend, Winter

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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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