Category Archives: Educational

Virtual DC Activities & Experiences for Kids at Home During the Coronavirus

Last year’s cherry blossoms… you may not see them live this year, but you can get a peek online!

If kids can’t get to some of their favorite local places and activities during this time, you can bring the experiences to them — virtually. From webcams featuring the cherry blossoms and zoo animals to special live streamed programs especially for kids to online tours of iconic spots, there are a bunch of ways to access DC and keep your crew entertained while you #optinside. Stay healthy and safe!

See the Cherry Blossoms
If viewing the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin has become an annual tradition you’re going to miss, view them online instead. The Trust for the National Mall just launched #BloomCam – a live, 24/7 feed of the blossoming cherry trees in DC as they hit peak bloom, bringing this beautiful sight to all the people who can no longer get down to the Tidal Basin because of COVID-19.

The Lane Anti Social Club
The Lane, the brand new play space/family social club, just opened its doors a few weeks ago, and already they have to (temporarily) close them. So, this is a fantastic was to entertain the kids AND support a support a local business: The Lane (Anti) Social Club offers virtual events for kids to help give parents a much needed break or concentrated time to actually be able to work. Their “pay what you can” model makes it accessible to all, but a contribution is greatly appreciated — any donations received are going directly to pay their staff to help them stay afloat during this time. The Lane is partnering up with some wonderfully talented people like Corinne from Crescendo Communications and local artist Megan Elizabeth, otherwise all of the events will put on by their awesome staff. Follow the link to sign up for a session or a few!

Story Time with DC Public Libraries
On Friday, March 20 at 10:30am, join DC Public Library for a virtual story time on Facebook Live. This is short notice, but I’m guessing this will be the first of many more, so be sure to follow their social channels for updates.

Lunch Doodle with Mo Millems
It may not be in DC, but it’s presented by a DC place, the Kennedy Center, so that counts. Every day, kids can virtually join Mo Willems in his studio to draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons weekdays at 1pm — and the sessions will remain online to be streamed afterwards if you miss it live. Post art to social media and use the hashtag #MoLunchDoodles!

Virtual Circle Time
Crescendo Communication invites you to join for song, dance, instrument exploration, storytime, and silliness. They are led by Corinne Zmoos, a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, who provides joyful & genuine music classes, speech-language therapy, developmental programming, and inclusion trainings.

Visit Animals at the Zoo
The National Zoo is closed, but its webcams are still running. You can catch live glimpses of lions, pandas, elephants, and naked mole rates. You may not always see much action — last we looked the lion was just sitting there and we saw piles of elephant poop, but no elephants — but you may catch some fun and entertaining moments. Also, the Zoo notes that while the “animal webcams remain online, volunteers will not be operating them, so animals may not be visible at all times.”

Explore our Museums
While we can’t go to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, kids can still explore many of them online through photo galleries, activities, and more interesting features just for young visitors. Start with the general Smithsonian page here, and access indivual museums here. You can also take a virtual tour of the National Gallery of Art, which is not part of the Smithsonian.

Virtual Family Game Night
Lincoln’s Cottage has come up with an activity the whole fam can enjoy — a virtual community game night to play together in creative ways. While the Lincoln family didn’t use computers or the internet to connect, they did enjoy spending time together at the Cottage playing games. Join on Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm with your imagination and these items: a cup, 2 coins, 2 pens, and a book. Together, you’ll turn these Lincoln-related objects into games that spark brave ideas.

Tour the Capitol & Library of Congress
Get a close look at the inside of the U.S. Capitol Complex, which includes the Library of Congress and US Botanic Garden, too. See the magnificent buildings — Virtually Anywhere has captured 360 degree photography in many areas, including the Capitol Rotunda, National Statuary Hall, Library of Congress, many important Congressional caucus rooms, and much more.

Virtual Camp
Badlands Play Space has launched a series of videos while they are temporarily closed. You can access them through YouTube or IGTV. So far, they’ve had a doodle session, a dance break, a science show, cooking with Tiny Chefs, and even a cocktails and mocktails class (for adults).

Do you know of other local places and businesses offering virtual activities for kids right now? Please share in the comments, if so!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Educational, Spring

Tips for Parents During this Social Distancing Time at Home (that Don’t Involve the Kids)

Work space at home… with emergency supplies within arm’s reach on the console 😉

Parents, this one is for you. And I don’t mean to help you with the kids during this time — that’s been covered already — but to help you take care of you, mentally and physically and practically. As our routines are disrupted and lives turned sideways, we can use some good ideas for figuring it all out. Whether it’s constructive advice for getting work done, fun tips for filling the unanticipated extra time at home, or suggestions for alternatives to our usual activities, this post offers some information and inspiration to not just get through the quarantine, but make the best of it, too.

Working from Home
Working from home may sound wonderful (and it is great in many ways), but when it’s been unexpectedly thrust upon you under unnerving circumstances, that changes things a bit. I thought about offering my own tips, since I’ve been working from home for years, but to save time and because others have already made the suggestions I would have made, here are some good resources for making the quick office-to-home switch.

* This NPR article has great advice for working at home, particularly during this time when kids are home, too.

* USA Today has some good advice on being cybersafe as you telework.

* I shared these tips already, but they are good and concise and worth sharing again.

* How to use Zoom like a pro.

* A little work-at-home humor. 🙂

[Note: The tips in some of these next sections might sound indulgent when many of us now have the kids and work at home, but even more reason to take some time for activities that are relaxing, enriching, and fun. Pick one (or more if possible) and fit them in when you can, even if it’s after the kids go to bed or only on weekends. Parents can take turns — one hangs with the kids, while the other has solo time. And if there’s any good reason to be a little more flexible with screen time, perhaps this is it. Putting a show on for the kids so you can have time for yourself or with each other won’t hurt them; in fact, it’ll probably be better for everyone. ]

Working Out
Exercising is a priority in my daily routine, for both physical fitness and mental wellness. I belong to a gym and do a mix of workouts there, so finding alternatives since I stopped going a week ago has been somewhat of a mission. I have discovered some good workouts on YouTube, gotten suggestions from friends, and heard about more ways to keep fit during this time that might also work for you.

* Les Mills has the best online workouts I have found so far. You can sign up for a free trial through their website, and I also found some workouts on YouTube. I do (and love) the Body Combat at my gym, so was psyched to find it online. It’s martial arts-based and has a big agility component along with cardio and strength, which I dig. Most of the YouTube workouts are only 30 minutes, so you might want to do two.

* I also just discovered Les Mills’ GRIT workouts, which come closest to the boot camp-style HIIT I love at the gym. Again, most are only 30 minutes, so you might want to do two (though one will get you sweating).

* Whether you’re a yogi or a newbie, yoga may just be a good thing for all of us right now. A friend who does yoga regularly recommended Asana Rebel Yoga. They have all kinds of workouts, so you’re sure to find something that suits what you need.

* Washingtonian just published this round-up of local fitness studios that are streaming workouts online.

* East Side Yoga is doing online classes now — a great way to exercise, de-stress, and support a local business!

* Of course, you can go outside for a bike ride or run, just maintain your six feet from others as you go. To keep it interesting, you can look for different running workouts.

* If you’re into OrangeTheory, take it from the treadmill to the pavement, switching up your pace the same way you do in class, then do some body weight strength training, since you probably don’t have access to weights and other equipment.

* Another class I’ve recently gotten into is Sensazao, a dance fitness workout that combines Latin and hip hop dancing. There are videos on YouTube, you kind of just have to start following what they do. Warning: If you were offended by the Shakira-JLo Super Bowl halftime show, this is not for you. But I think it’s a booty shaking blast. 💃🏽 [PS: You can get a free 7-day trial, which gives you access to all their online content/classes and tutorials, and use the code SSZGBoss for 10% off a subscription.]

Get Cooking
There is a reason why comfort food is even a phrase. Eating good food really can make us feel better, and while the comfort part traditionally refers more to heartier dishes, even light healthy meals can bring calm, too. Even better, cooking any of them can be a great way to get our heads out of an anxious space and into one that makes us (and those who get to eat the results) happier. With more time at home, especially since dining out isn’t an option, it’s an ideal opportunity to get in the kitchen, maybe tackling some of those involved recipes that required more time than you had, trying some new dishes, or even getting into cooking altogether. These links should provide some inspo for that.

* Alison Roman is a cooking goddess — every one of her recipes I’ve made has turned out an amazing dish (if I do say so myself). Many of her recipes are in the New York Times Cooking Section, so they might require a subscription, but try anyway. If you can’t access those, there are plenty you can get through her website.

* Smitten Kitchen is full of fantastic recipes, but the ones that lean heavily on pantry items are good to keep on hand right now.

* Skinnytaste has been one of my go-tos for years with tons of easy, healthy recipes that are great for feeding the family.

* The only print magazine I still have a subscription to is Bon Appetit, which says a lot about it as a resource for cooking ideas. Of course, the website is great, too.

Up Your Skill Set
Nearly 14 years ago, Levi bought me a guitar as a present for my birthday or a holiday after I expressed interested in learning how to play. I’d just stopped working full-time and figured that since I would be home with my infant, I would be able to take up all these new hobbies. Well, that must have been postpartum crazy brain thinking, because there was no time or energy or free hands or focus to learn a new instrument then….and I have this great guitar that’s been sitting in a corner since. Well, guess what I plan on doing now? I recommend this for others, too. You don’t have to learn how to play an instrument, but if there’s a skill or hobby you’ve wanted to add to your set, perhaps now is a perfect time to do it.

* Skillshare has thousands of online classes for creatives, everything from illustration to design to photography, and more.

* If you’re into photography (or want to be), you might find a course to enhance your skills or get started.

* Take some art lessons via online tutorials or live streaming sessions. A quick Google search will give you lots of suggestions for them. And Mo Willems just started a “Lunch Doodle” every weekday at 1pm.

* Learn a new language for free with Duolingo.

* This New York Times article has good advice for starting music lessons from anywhere.

* You’ll need to get some needles and yarn, but you can learn to knit for free. People I know who do it, say it’s very relaxing for them.

Catch Up on Your Reading
Confession: I have a bad habit of taking books from Little Free Libraries then holding on to them for a looong time before I read them. Like, there is a stack collecting dust on my nightstand. So, I’m hoping to start tackling it while we have this extra time at home. For others who love to read, take advantage of this time to delve into some good books, too. A friend just asked on Facebook for all-time favorite books, and I’m sharing what I posted below, along with links to good reading-related resources. (PS: When all of this is over, I promise to put back those LFL books I haven’t yet gotten to and let others have a go at them.)

* Some favorite books I shared on my friend’s Facebook post: Unaccustomed Earth/Jhumpa Lahiri, A Thousand Acres & Duplicate Keys/Jane Smiley, The World According to Garp/John Irving, Three Junes/Julia Glass, A Gentleman in Moscow/Amor Towles, Born A Crime/Trevor Noah.

* If you’re not yet on Good Reads, this is a great time to sign up. It’s kind of a social network for reading and books. You can connect with friends who are also on it and get recs for and keep track of books you want to read (and have already read). You also have access to a catalog of book reviews and reading lists beyond your friends’. Feel free to connect with me!

* As shared in the tips for weekdays at home with kids, you can stock up on books and support local small businesses by shopping online while you’re staying home and/or their brick-and-mortars are closed — some even deliver! Check out Kramerbooks, East City bookshop, Solid State Books, Politics and Prose, and Loyalty Bookstores.

* The New York Times is providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak.

* Several authors share their “comfort books.”

Cocktail Hour(s)
I’ve seen lots of “quarantinis” on social media and, generally, more posts than usual about what peops are drinking, which is not surprising. No judgement here at all, but I feel like I should say be careful of overdoing it (both for liability and because you’ll be dealing with a hangover and close quarters with your kids). Here are some imbibing-inspired links…cheers!

* If we can’t really get out to enjoy the cherry blossoms, maybe we can drink one. These cocktail recipes include one named for the iconic blooms, plus many more spring drinks.

* Perfect the classics while you have extended home time.

* This is a good time for delivery. I’ve never received my booze that way, but here is a link to Yelp’s page for liquor delivery in Washington, DC. UPDATE: This new Eater DC article info on local booze delivery and carry-out kits.

* Before you partake in too many, check out this DCist article about the increase in alcohol sales due to coronavirus.

Listen Up
Most of us are hearing the drone of the news that is constantly on our TVs or radios as we keep up on the coronavirus latest. It’s probably a good thing to take a break from it for other kinds of listening. Music can heal the soul and lift the spirits — Italy has shown us that recently. A good podcast is a great escape, too. Follow these links for some listening suggestions.

* Did you hear that Rita Wilson made a Quarantunes playlist on Spotify while she was in isolation with COVID-19?

* Catch live streams of concerts (or recorded versions of them) just for coronavirus

* Some podcast recommendations, and be sure to check the reader comments, too, because there are always more good ones there.

* So, these involve watching along with listening, but NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts are so fantastic.

* This Cheer Up playlist on Spotify really is uplifting.

Watch It
I shared some viewing recommendations in this post a few days ago, but there are always so many more. Really, I could write a whole blog just about shows and movies to watch (hmmm….). Anyway, here are some more TV and film recs, plus some other sources for suggestions.

* Some not-for-kids movies I watched in the past few months and really enjoyed: JoJo Rabbit, Booksmart, Parasite, Good Boys, Marriage Story, The Farewell.

* Some great not-for-kids series, both recent and not-so-recent: Fleabag, Succession, Lovesick, Catastrophe, Shrill, You, My Brilliant Friend, Six Feet Under (that one’s really not recent, but I kind of want to watch it again).

* Vulture’s list of 33 Best Movies Over 3 Hours Long will help fill up your time.

* I suggested introducing these shows from the past to our t(w)eens, but I think maybe we should also rewatch them ourselves: My So Called Life, Felicity, Beverly Hills 90210, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Veronica Mars

Help Out
This pandemic is taking its toll in so many ways, on so many levels, and some people and businesses are facing greater challenges than others. If you’re looking for ways to assist from home (or occasional, quick runs out for necessities) here are some things you can do.

* Check in with neighbors, friends, and family who are older, have health issues, or have extra challenges right now and see how you can help. Offer to pick up groceries if you’re making a run to the store or just spend some time chatting (via text or phone), as they might feel isolated and lonely.

* Are you on Next Door? It’s a great way to keep in contact with people in your immediate community to share updates, check in, seek help, offer recommendations, etc.

* Support small businesses, like bookstores, (see the reading section above), shops, and restaurants, by ordering items or take out online. Many have curbside pick up or even delivery to make it as convenient and contact-free as possible. DCist has a big list of which are offering take-out (along with those that are closed). And check with any of your favorite places not listed to see if they are open. ADDED: is “keeping you fed while supporting local businesses during COVID-19” by maintaining lists of local businesses still open for delivery and takeout in cities around the world.

* You can also purchase a gift card from businesses that are closed or difficult to patronize right now. I found an amazing spreadsheet through WAMU with a crowdsourced list of local places that allow people to buy gift cards online.

Think Ahead
With so many unknowns right now, it’s wise to be pragmatic and proactive about the near future. I’m not suggesting we give up our optimistic outlooks, but it doesn’t hurt to take some simple plan-ahead actions. Here are some tips to help with that.

* These grocery shopping “rules” are very sensible — and the link includes some recipes, too.

* It’s been recommended to get prescription medications filled sooner than later and make sure you have any over-the-counter essentials, too.

* Find out how to freeze fruits and vegetables to keep them as long as possible.

* How to make your own hand sanitizer. (Of course, you need to be able to find all the ingredients for it.)

* Starting thinking about changing up your home space, like rearranging furniture, organizing, or switching up decor. My friend, Margaret, will do an online virtual consultation with you, if you’ve got a room you’d like to makeover.

* The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is having a Looking Forward Sale.

* A good one to bookmark in case anxieties swell.

I, personally, would love more recommendations for any/all of the above — and I’m sure others would, too. If you have some good ones to share, please do so in the comments!


Filed under 2020, DC, Educational, Parents

What to Do on the Weekdays At Home During the Coronavirus

Our cat Lola’s “What are you still doing here” look that we’ll surely see a lot this week

For obvious reasons, the usual Where to Play on the Weekdays feature, offering ideas for activities with kids around DC each day of the week, is being replaced right now. We’re entering new territory as we begin this extended time at home that will include keeping up with school work, keeping everyone engaged and entertained, and — let’s be honest — keeping us all sane. Here are some ideas to help with all of that (be sure to check comments, too, for ideas shared by readers). Stay healthy and safe…and sane. 🙂

Get Schooled
Most of our kids still have assigned school work, plus we don’t want them to get out of the routine of learning. While many schools are setting up online instruction, parents may want to create a schedule for their kids to follow. Even if you have little ones who don’t have assigned work, learning activities and structure to the day could help them stay in “school mode” to make the transition back to the classroom easier. Here are some links I found to help.

* Kahn Academy is free and has tips, schedules, and programs especially for this time.

* Scholastic’s Learn at Home website is a free resource that provides children from pre-K to grade 6+ with 20 days of exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges.

* Tips from homeschooling parents

* Kiwi Crate just launched this resource hub for parents to help with learning at home.

* Zoom is offering their video conferencing tools to schools for free (possibly something to share with your kids’ schools and educators)

* Here’s another suggested (perhaps, more realistic?) schedule.😉

* Here’s a huge list of all education companies offering free subscriptions now.

* Wirecutter’s recommended educational apps and learning games for kids.

* As an education institution, the International Spy Museum has free lesson plans (up to curriculum standards), resources, recommended reading, and at-home activities.

* On March 30, Capitol Teachers is launching, offering tutoring services, enrichment opportunities, and homeschooling programs to students in grades K-12.

* Kids and teens ages 8-18 can learn to code from home through live, online classes with CodeWizardsHQ.

I shared some links with suggestions for fun and games at home in this post, and here are even more ideas to keep everyone engaged, enriched, and entertained during this time.

* Art Bar Blog put together this Art & Play Activity Guide for Learning at Home. (The rest of the blog is great for arts & crafts ideas, too!)

* Get the kids in the kitchen and cook together.

* It’s spring, so do some spring cleaning! This blog post has good ideas to get the kids involved.

* Kids will want to get moving. If you have a game system (or even if you don’t… apparently you can play it online), I highly recommend Just Dance.

* Let the kids capture this time… in photos! If they don’t have their own, give the kids your camera (ie, phone) and let them snap away. This website has fun ideas and activities to guide and encourage them.

* To keep everyone chill during this anxious time, how about some yoga? I found Cosmic Kids Yoga, which looks good for little ones. (Admittedly, I’m not much of a yoga person to know what’s good, so do a search for “kids yoga” on YouTube for even more videos.)

* Take a Virtual Field Trip while kids can’t go on real ones. There are a bunch of places around the world to explore (plus the moon!) online in fun and educational ways.

* While kids can’t experience DC in person right now, let them visit virtually.

* The Lane Social Club just launched “The Lane (Anti) Social Club” — virtual events for kids to help give parents a much needed break or concentrated time to actually be able to work. It’s a pay what you can model, so it’s accessible to all, but donations are greatly appreciated to help support their staff.

* The International Spy Museum can guide you to some intriguing home activities, including designing a spy gadget, cracking a top secret code, and a mind memory activity.

* Keep children active even when they can’t get outdoors with Kids Workouts to Do at Home.

* Kids of all ages can learn to code for free at home through online classes, websites, and apps.

Book It
This is a great opportunity to get kids reading more. Implement a set reading time each day (and plan to join them with your current book if they can read on their own). Rather than offer specific book recommendations — because there are SO many! — here are some links to help you pick out and purchase books for your kids.

* Stock up on books and support local small businesses by shopping online while you’re staying home and/or their brick-and-mortars are closed — some even deliver! Check out Kramerbooks, East City bookshop, Solid State Books, Politics and Prose, and Loyalty Bookstores.

* These Amazon Editors’ Picks include recommendations for kids books by age up to young adult.

* Common Sense Media also has good recommendations, plus plenty of ratings and details to help you decide if it’s appropriate for your child.

* So, it’s not actually reading, but Audible for Kids is a good way to access books without having to wait for deliveries or if multiple kids want to hear it. Also, kids who don’t read on their own yet can listen to stories while you’re getting work done. Even better, it’s FREE for kids for as long as schools are closed.

Screen Time
I think we’re all going to need some good shows and movies during this period of our lives, whether or not we’re big on screen time. (For the record, I’m pretty loose about it, but my kids do plenty of non-screen activities, too, and aren’t distracted from their school work by TV.) Anyway, if you’re looking for stuff for kids to watch, you can find recommendations through these links.

* My friend Darcy’s old blog, No Monsters in My Bed, had the best Family Movie Night list.

* Here’s a quick link to Kids’ TV on Netflix.

* Lots of our t(w)eens have already discovered The Office and Friends, but here are a few more faves from the past to introduce to them: My So Called Life, Felicity, Beverly Hills 90210, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Veronica Mars

* Common Sense Media’s Best Movie lists and Best TV lists are quick and easy go-tos for viewing ideas.

* Sasha digs this YouTube show (even though I think it’s weird).

* Amazon just made a bunch of their kids shows available for free.

Hang Out(side)
While it is best to stay at home as much as possible right now, it’s tough to keep kids inside 24/7. If you feel the need to get out, do it responsibly for this time, and go where there is plenty of space to keep good social distance. These links have ideas to help with that, just be sure to check ahead that locales are open before you go.

UPDATE: I can’t stress enough that it’s best to stay at home right now, as even outdoor spots might draw too many visitors to make them safe. The National Arboretum closed to prevent the spread after the masses started flocking there. I also recently heard from a KFDC reader who went shark tooth hunting at Purse State Park that she felt very uncomfortable with so many others there, and it’s usually empty. Thus, I am now recommending you don’t go to those places.

* The KFDC round-up of Walks in the Woods has info on good places to hike with kids.

* The flowers blooms may not be happening, but this KFDC post highlights gardens around the area where you can roam around.

* A shark tooth hunting adventure gets you outdoors with lots of open space, plus it’s fun and kind of educational.

* A walk or bike ride close to home may be enough to get the indoor willies out.

Do you have recommendations for activities at home this week? Feel free to share in the comments! I’m sure they’ll be much appreciated.


Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Educational, Maryland, Outdoor, Virginia

Activities & Events for Families During Cherry Blossom Season (2020)

UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and just about all other events have been canceled. You can still try view them, but use good judgement doing so.

Cherry blossom season is almost upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready for it! Because not only is the city at its prettiest when the beloved flowers are in bloom, there also are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 12 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. I’ve picked the best of them for families to help you plan for a peak experience. Happy Spring!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DMV
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from last year’s bloom here.

STORYTIME: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 11, 10-11am & March 15 & 22, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of cherry blossoms, join the Hirhshorn for a read aloud of Under the Cherry Blossom Tree by Allen Say. Take a close look at the museum’s lobby’s tables, created by artist Hiroshi Sugimoto using a 700-year-old nutmeg tree, then create your own tree- and blossom-inspired works.

Hanami: Beyond the Blooms
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 13 – May 25
Admission: $16-20/adult, $8-10/child

ARTECHOUSE introduces a new exhibit every season, and it’s only apropos that its spring offering highlights the cherry blossoms. Hanami: Beyond the Blooms “pushes the limits of the cherry blossom experience, inviting visitors to enter an immersive world of spring re-imagined. Now an annual tradition, ARTECHOUSE’s cherry blossom-inspired installation continues to celebrate springtime and women in the arts and tech.” Look for a KFDC review of it soon!

Cultural Performances CANCELLED!
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Weekends, March 21 – April 12
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! On weekends during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. A highlight will be the Miyako Takio Takeover Saturday on March 28 from 11am to 6pm.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 21, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto Ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance. Enjoy face painting, make cherry blossom crafts, and go on an art scavenger hunt throughout the exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern in the first-floor galleries. 

Japanese Fashion Family Day CANCELLED!
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 21, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Japanese fashion during cherry blossom season this spring. Join the Textile Museum & George Washington University museum for a family day featuring kimono, happi coats, accessories, and the creative shapes of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. Enjoy dance performances of Eisaa and Ryubu traditional dances from Okinawa. See a demonstration for how to dress in a kimono and take the opportunity to design one of your own. Make a cherry blossom pendant to take home. And enjoy family-friendly tours of the Japanese artwork on display in Delight in Discovery: The Global Collections of Lloyd Cotsen. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience a museum that usually may be a bit sophisticated for little ones!

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossom and enjoy a fun activity on a paddling excursion. Many boathouses will open around the same time the National Cherry Blossom Festival begins, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Bason, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

River Cruisin’
Where: Local waterways
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by tour operator

Enjoy blossom filled scenery from the comfort of a cruise on the Potomac. Several companies offer boat rides along the river, many of them specifically for the season when the cherry trees are in bloom. Right now you can find great deals with Washington Marina National Ferry Corp, Boomerang Boat Tours, and Capitol River Cruises. Potomac Riverboat Company and DC Water Taxi are a couple more to check out.

Last year’s cherry blossom inspired exhibit at ARTECHOUSE

Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 25, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Join the Hirshhorn for a special STORYTIME, their regular program for littles, and join them to celebrate spring with the journey of a tiny seed. Take a close look at the round bronze sculptures of Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and read-aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night with the Washington Wizards CANCELLED!
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 25, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $19

Celebrate the cherry blossom season with the Wizards and some basketball as they take on the Phoenix Suns! Each ticket purchased through this link comes with a limited edition Wizards Cherry Blossom t-shirt. In addition first 10,000 fans entering the arena will receive a Rui Hachimura Cherry Blossom inspired bobblehead!

Blossom Kite Festival CANCELLED!
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is a favorite for many during the blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so BYO or make one there at an activity station. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Cherry Blossom Celebration CANCELLED!
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: March 28, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season at the museum dedicated to Asian art! At this special event, explore Japanese art and culture through musical performances, making art, and taking a tour of Hokusai: Mad about Painting and Meeting Tessai. Try Japanese bookmaking, listen to taiko drumming, and then join the kite festival right outside on the National Mall. Japanese-inspired food and drink will be available for purchase.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: March 28, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the cherry blossoms at the farm park! Hike the nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Visit stations peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, help tally migratory and year round resident birds, and search for critters in the soil and water. Enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too. Stop by the Indoor Arena first for a map and instructions.

Cherry Blossom STEM Day
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: March 29, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $13

Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival with a twist of STEM! Visitors can learn more about the special flower and festival through hands-on activities and experiments inspired by the cherry blossom throughout the entire Lab. Read more about the Children’s Science Center Lab in this KFDC post.

Cuenta-Cuentos: STORYTIME in Spanish CANCELLED!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: March 29, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join a special STORYTIME in Spanish and inspired the season! Celebrate spring with a close look at the round bronze sculptures Spatial Concept: Nature by Lucio Fontana, and a reading of The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Then, explore how plants move and change throughout their life cycle. Following the story, children will participate in a hands-on art activity.

Cherry Blossom Night at DC United
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 3, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against New York City FC will include cherry blossom-themed activations, activities, and celebrations for fans along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade CANCELLED!
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

See Racing Presidents rolling down Constitution Ave at the annual parade

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 4, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. The 60th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.

Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 4, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo, where they’ll be celebrating the cherry blossoms with a full day of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! If you want to make this a special adult experience with food and drinks included, VIP tickets are available for $55. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 4 & 5, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The 2nd annual Art Blooms at Mosaic is celebratory weekend with fun for all ages. Do some shopping at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, enjoy a pop-up beer garden & wine patio, snap pics at selfie stations, join a free yoga session, and much more!

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: April 5, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free

National Harbor’s Sakura Sunday is an official event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival — and a taste of the traditional Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan! The day’s activities include a traditional Japanese picnic, unique Japanese market, foods of Japan, Japanese music & entertainment, and a sake, beer & rose garden!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 5, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The 6th annual Anacostia River Festival is a premier event of the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year will feature an artist market, special performances, and activities that include boating, hands-on art projects, musical performances, and other unique programs engaging families with the river, its history, and ecology.

Blossoms & Baseball
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6
Admission: Ticket price vary

The Nats are getting in on the Cherry Blossom festivities again this year with a petal-packed, pink takeover of Nationals Park as they host the Marlins. A portion of ticket proceeds from the game will also benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 11, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Children of all ages and their families can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Japanese-related books will be on display, and a special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture. Other activities include Japanese drum music and dance performances, instructions on the art of tiara-making by former Cherry Blossom princesses, origami artwork lessons, decorative Konobori coloring, and the kimono dress-up experience. Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature — read more about it here.

Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 11, 12-9:30pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! It’s the first time the event will be held in neighborhood, and it should be a blast. The event will celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Plan to go for awhile, or just stop by for a bit. The day will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Ikebana Demonstrations
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 11 & 12, 10am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy spring flowers with a Japanese twist! The Washington DC Chapter of Ikebana International is co-hosting four different Ikebana masters. Each master represents a different school and and will highlight the characteristics of their school. Demonstrations will be held in the Auditorium of the Visitor Center and are free to attend.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Shop, Special Event, Spring, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend