Category Archives: Music

The Weekend Round-Up:
February 14-17

What better place to be than Washington, DC, on Presidents’ Day weekend?


Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Happy Presidents’ Day! 🇺🇸 Happy Weekend! 😎

Family Social Time
Where: The Lane | Ivy City, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20/child

The newest play space/family social club on the scene opens this weekend — plan to check it out! It’s got both super cool play elements and lots of thoughtful details (get a glimpse here) to make it a place where kids and parents alike will enjoy hanging out. Let the kiddos romp while you grab a coffee (or get into the fun with them), play board games or make crafts together, explore the lovely space… and make new friends along the way. Register for a time slot to ensure admission!

Presidential Family Fun Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Every year the NPG kicks off Presidents’ Day weekend with a presidential party loaded with crafts, music, dancing, games and special tours of “America’s Presidents.” Celebrate the presidents with the Portrait Gallery, President Lincoln’s Cottage, the DC Public Library, the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents, artists, and experts from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing!

Washington Dollar Days
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout February, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $1

Practice frugality our founding father would approve of: Pay just $1 per person for any regular tour in February, the month of George Washington’s birth. Tudor Place is the only historic house museum in the District with family ties to Martha and George Washington. Highlights of the Washington Collection will be on display as part of all house tours. See it all for one “Washington dollar!” Tours begin hourly, and it’s recommended you book ahead.

The Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $20.50

Ezra Jack Keats’ was a pioneer in children’s literature as his stories were the first to break racial barriers, and his stories are perfectly timed to come to life on stage at Adventure Theatre starting this month. This beautiful show follows the character of Peter and his friend Archie around the neighborhood in four of Keats’ beloved tales, The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, and A Letter to Amy. Renowned for his tender personality, the character of Peter faces relatable everyday challenges to which children of all ages will find delightfully entertaining.

Disney on Ice: Celebrate Memories
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through Monday
Tickets: Start at $15 (find discount)

Your favorite Disney stories come to life at Disney On Ice presents Celebrate Memories. Sail along with Moana on her high-seas adventure and dance with Woody, Buzz and all the Toy Story friends. Feel inspired when love wins in Frozen and dreams come true for the Disney Princesses. Share the excitement and make new memories the whole family will treasure forever!

Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Enjoy the NSO Family Concert: Girl Power! at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth is on the Imagination Stage on Saturday (read a KFDC review)
* Spend Saturday morning with The Great Zucchini at Jammin Java
* See Rapunzel let down her hair for one last weekend at The Puppet Co.
* And really little ones will enjoy Baby Bear’s Birthday Sunday’s Tiny Tots performance there
* Take teens to The King’s Speech at National Theatre (find discount)
* Make it a date night for Synetic Theatre’s production of Phantom of the Opera

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Barack Obama and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program and museum, go here and here.

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Class for Kids
Where: Willard Continental | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $45/child

Sweeten your Valentine’s Day weekend for your littlest ones at the Willard InterContinental. Led by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez, junior bakers will receive hands-on instruction to cookie decorating using a variety of techniques and decorating tools. Ideal for children ages 4-12 years old, and they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (2 parents or guardians max per ticketed child).

Sensory Friendly Screening: Sonic the Hedgehog
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Sonic the Hedgehog on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

HBD, Frederick Douglass!
Where: Various locations | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service as they celebrate the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass as well as the Centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Following the Opening Ceremony at Anacostia High School Auditorium (1601 16th Street SE), there will be special themed house tours at Cedar Hill and an art program in the visitor center. There will also be programming at the Anacostia Arts Center and Anacostia High School that will include guest lectures, an exhibit by the DC League of Women Voters, and performances in the lobby.

Black History Month Celebrations
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum!), special tours and exhibits, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. See where they’re all happening here.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Chug on down to the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

Obata Teen Arts Workshop 
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

In this hands-on workshop, kids ages 12-16 are invited to learn about teacher and modernist artist Chiura Obata, who, as a Japanese American, played an important role in creating a cross-cultural dialogue despite widespread prejudice against Asian Americans. During World War II, Obata and more than one hundred thousand West Coast Japanese Americans were forced into incarceration camps. After touring the exhibition Chiura Obata: American Modern, participate in activities that examine how these experiences changed Obata’s art and connect to the struggles and dreams of America’s minority and immigrant communities today. This is free, but registration is required.

Wild Love
Where: City Wildlife | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Suggested donation $20/person, $40/family

Take advantage of this rare occasion to visit City Wildlife, the animal rescue and rehabilitation center, as it’s the only time of the year they open their doors to the public. At the 6th Annual Valentine’s Day Open House, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the rehabilitation facility, enjoy some goodies, and get a gift for your Valentine. Free-will donations are collected to ensure that the Center can help its animal patients.

Rumpus Room Family Valentine’s Day Dance Party
Where: Black Cat | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 2-4:30
Admission: $12

They choo choo choose you…to join them with your entire family on the dance floor! (They get all the credit for the great Simpsons reference.) DC’s only family dance party is back with a special groove session to celebrate the holiday on Valentine’s Day weekend. Practice those sweet moves and get ready to have fun!

A rare opportunity to hang out in the Library of Congress Main Reading Room this weekend

Main Reading Room Open House
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Monday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Where you can usually only glimpse from a window above, you can visit on one of just two days per year it’s open to the public! The beautiful Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress is holding its semi-annual Open House on Presidents’ Day. Marvel at the magnificent architecture and design from within, check out the old card catalogs (remember those?), and see what the Library is highlighting at the event — African American history and culture, children’s books by and about Supreme Court Justices, the Blackwell Family tree (family of Arthur Ashe, Jr.) tracing family lineage back to 1735, and more. Be sure to stop by the Young Readers Center where there will be activity stations young visitors. This is a really neat event for all ages — I highly recommend it! Read more about the LOC in this KFDC post.

Party at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $11/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Every Presidents’ Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of the first POTUS’ big day. Sample syrups, enjoy a musical to the President, and hear stories about his past birthday celebrations. Of course, take time to explore the grounds, mansion, and Education Center exhibits, including Be Washington, a great interactive experience that lets you step into his boots and make the tough decisions he faced. There will also be a special marching drill and dance demos along with ceremonial wreathlayings to honor Washington. Be prepared for a crowd — I can tell you from experience that a lot of folks show up to take advantage of the complimentary entry.

Presidential Urban Hike
Where: Various sites, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If there’s any place to make a big deal out of Presidents’ Day, certainly it’s here in the nation’s capitol. And perhaps one of the best, fun, and active ways to celebrate it is on a tour of the memorials dedicated to the honorees. Walk the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument (or vice versa). You can even go up in the Monument for a tour and a bird’s eye view of DC. From there, head over to Ford’s Theatre to learn about the life (and death of Abe Lincoln). For even more, stop by Madame Tussauds to see the US Presidents in wax.

George Washington Birthday Parade
Where: Throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Bundle up to watch the procession as it travels through Old Town. See the website for more info and route details.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy the sunshine and winter beauty with some time on the trail. Enjoy the beauty of nature in winter, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids (and it’s recently been enhanced with photos from some of our walks in the woods).

Rock the Rink
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Monday,
Admission: $12/adult, $9/child

It’s ALL CAPS at The Wharf this winter. Through February, make Caps s’mores at the Capitals Campfire at The Wharf and check out the Washington Capitals décor and ice resurfacer at The Wharf Ice Rink. Join fellow hockey fans at The Wharf to show your Caps pride. From 1-4pm, skate at the Wharf Ice Rink with a DJ, Caps trivia and gear giveaways, a visit from Slapshot, and special Caps-themed drinks from Cantina Bambina. At 6:00pm, we’ll also broadcast the Capitals’ away game against the Vegas Golden Knights on a jumbotron at the Capitals Campfire. Throughout the day, fans wearing Capitals gear receive $5 off admission to the Wharf Ice Rink.

Ice It
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

There are many more places to skate under. the sky, and with sunshine skies and cool temps throughout the weekend, it’s a great way enjoy some seasonal fun. Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Washington Wizards have fan clubs especially for kids that come with cool gear and fun perks, plus they offer camps and clinics, too!
* On March 11 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, enjoy Cultural Capital: Motherhood Redux, an evening of poetry about motherhood.
* THiNK OUTSiDE is a monthly subscription box full of outdoor gear and resources that will get your kids away from a screen and outside exploring nature.
* This is true compassion.
* I want to see JoJo Rabbit and 1917.
* One of the best things I read last week.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: February 7-9


Happy Weekend!

Wizards vs. Mavericks
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $20 (find deal)

The Wizards are playing at home on Friday night — watch them work some on-court magic against the Dallas Mavericks. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.

DIY Valentines
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Homemade love is in the air at the National Postal Museum’s annual Valentine’s Day Card Workshop. We’ve attended this event several times, so I can tell you firsthand it’s love-ly. They’ll have pretty papers and neat Valentine-themed supplies, all you need to bring is your creativity and eagerness for fun! For more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Family Concert: Symphonic Dancing
Where: Anacostia Playhouse | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $15/adult, free for kids

This fun, interactive concert will have every family member on their feet! The program explores the expressive, dance-like melodies of William Grant Still’s Danzas de Panama, and Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag. Come enjoy this energetic concert for all ages! And stick around after the performance for the Instrument Petting Zoo to meet the musicians and see the instruments up close! The show lasts approximately 40 minutes and is especially recommended for ages 3-7.

African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space
Where: Steve F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Each February, the museum celebrates the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Head to the Chantilly arm of Air & Space to enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories. Learn about African American astronauts, pilots, and scientists of the past and present and their accomplishments.

Family Day Celebration
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole gang to the National Gallery of Art for a Family Day Celebration full of creative adventures. It’s a great winter outing with activities for all ages — sketching, storytelling, art-making, and more. Enjoy them at special stations in front of works of art throughout the museum’s East Building.

Love Note Holder Workshop
Where: Lowe’s locations around the DMV
When: February 8, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This monthly DIY workshop for kids has a focus on love… love notes, anyway. The project is perfect for holding all your child’s Valentine’s cards and treats. Workshops take 15-30 minutes, and children must be accompanied by parent/guardian. Check-in by 11am. Space is limited, so sign up in advance!

Open Studio: Love in Every Language
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12–4 pm
Admission: Free

Head to the ImaginAsia Studio in the Sackler Gallery for an afternoon all about love and art. Enjoy a digital slideshow of images of love in Asian art, create Valentine’s Day cards using woodblock prints that say “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages, and fold heart-shaped origami. For all ages and adult companions.

Cards & Cookies
Where: Guy Mason Playground | Glover Park, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join Stork Childbirth Education at Guy Mason Playground for a Valentine-making, cookie-decorating extravaganza! Unleash your creativity and bring home Valentines and cookies for your friends and family.

More Events to Love
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Love is in the air — and at places all around DC this weekend! Events and activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day range from arts activities to nature programs to story time. And they’re sure to be especially sweet. This post has the scoop on all of them.

Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth opens at Imagination Stage on Saturday
* Watch Rapunzel let down her hair at The Puppet Co. (find discount)
* And really little ones will enjoy Snow Show this Saturday’s Tiny Tots performance there
* See The Big Meow at Theatre on the Run on Saturday
* Make it a date night for Synetic Theatre’s production of Phantom of the Opera

Black History Month: Family Day
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | 16501 Norwood Road | Sandy Spring | MD 20860
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: $5 Children, $7 Adults


Bring the entire family out to celebrate African American Culture. The event will feature presentations and hands-on activities for children. The event is a family-friendly and takes place inside Woodlawn Manor. Limited tickets sold day of program at the Visitor Center, so online registration is recommended.

More Black History Celebrations
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

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, live entertainment, story time sessions, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. This post has details on where many are happening this weekend and over the next few weeks.

Gnomes and Fairies Tea Parties
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: $22


Parent and child can enjoy a sit-down tea, a brief history of tea, delectable treats, and afterwards a fun hands-on craft planting a mini Gnome or Fairy garden in your teacup! Recommended for ages 6+. Please register each participant (adult and child).

Astronomy Festival
Where: Turner Farm Park | Great Falls, VA
When: Saturday, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: $10

Go on your own journey through the stars at the “Astronomy Festival” at Turner Farm Park. There will be guided stargazing and opportunities to get a close-up look at the stars through a telescope at the roll-top observatory. Join in games and warm yourself by the campfire as you listen to ancient stories about the constellations. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available for purchase.This event is designed for stargazers age three to adult. Weather permitting.

Japan Day
Where: KID Museum | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child + 2 adults (free for members)

In partnership with the Japan Information & Culture Center, the Embassy of Japan, and Table for Two, KID Museum presents Japan Day. Bring your family and enjoy hands-on, maker activities all day long. Build a a communal Zen garden, create a Kendama toy, take part in interactive performances, make your own Japanese rice balls, and much more. Arrive hungry and taste an array selection of Japanese food sold by the popular Fuji Japan food truck!

STORYTIME: We March
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your littlest art lover for an introduction to an artist on view, interactive read aloud, and a hands-on activity. This STORYTIME session explores rights. Look at artworks in Manifesto: Art x Agency and hear the story We March by Shane W. Evans. Then stay, play, and make your own art!

Tu B’Shvat Painting and Planting
Where: Home Depot | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Join Chabad Washington DC at the Home Depot to celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees, with fun for the whole family. Paint clay planters and fill them with seeds and soil. If you have a favorite vegetable or flower you’d like to plant, Let them know. There will also be Tu B’Shvat activities and foods! Be sure to register in advance to reserve your spot!

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Get outside, be active, and have fun ice skating! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; glide over the Potomac at The Wharf, 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 alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It looks like mild weather for this weekend — a great time to hit the trail for a hike! Enjoy the beauty of nature in winter, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor a sunny day outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids (and it’s recently been enhanced with photos from some of our walks in the woods).

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Books from Birth, the wonderful program started by DC Councilmember Charles Allen and part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, that sends District children up to age 5 a free book per month, just celebrated its 4th anniversary.
* Capitol Cider house is hosting 2020 Family Gras, a family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration, in a couple of weeks.
* A really good read about one guy’s experience with therapy.
* And speaking of, this book written by a therapist about her time in therapy was one of the best I read last year.
* The Morning Show on Apple TV got mixed reviews… I fall on the loved it side.
* 43 and 50. Wow.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area

Visiting the memorials is one way to celebrate MLK


Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or hope to join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 20
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Jr. Family Program
Where: Anacostia Community Museum | Anacostia, DC
When: January 18
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the whole family at the Anacostia Community Museum! Inspired by Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday song, guests can create art using King’s familiar theme of the “Beloved Community” in a workshop led by art educator, Alma Robinson. Participants can also take part in a second workshop with art educator, Rain Young to create original balloon art of a peace medal or a “I Have a Dream” hat to take home. Both workshops include a guided tour of the exhibition “A Right to the City” with an emphasis on Dr. King’s visit to DC’s Shaw neighborhood. All materials will be provided. Register in advance!

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: January 18, 11am – 6pm & January 20, 10am – 6:45pm
Admission: $20 per day

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic is an elite high school basketball showcase celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Top high school players will include freshman Elijah Fisher from Crestwood Prep, JT Thor from Norcross High School, and Mady Sissoko from Wasatch Academy. Local DMV highlight players include Cory Barnes Jr. and Tegra Izay from Archbishop Carroll High School, Erik Reynolds and Rodney Rice Jr. from Bullis School and more. All games will be played at The St. James in Springfield, VA — the state-of-the-art 450,000 square foot complex is home to more than 30 sports, including Team Durant at The St. James, Kevin Durant’s youth basketball organization. Read about what else is at The St. James in this KFDC post.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 18-19, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Martin Luther King, Jr. and complete a hands-on art project. Read (and see) more about the program and museum here and here. And note this takes place both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 20
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities geared especially toward children. Learn to recite the famous “I Have a Dream” speech at Bellevue Library, join a “Social Justice” Family Story Time at Woodridge Library, celebrate MLK’s Legacy with Author Amy Nathan at Mount Pleasant Library. There are just a few activities in DC. For quick links to see what’s happening at other libraries around the area, see this KFDC post (scroll all the way down for library links).

Be the Light — Celebrating the Legacy of MLK Jr.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 18-20
Admission: $17.95/ages 1+, free for members

If you can dream it you can change it! Join Port Discovery in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during this “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences in our community and learn how you, too, can become a Change Maker. Take part in interactive programs and performances designed to educate, inspire, and help children understand the positive impact that their actions can have, inspired by Dr. King’s message of promoting fairness. Activities are planned daily throughout the entire weekend — check the website for a daily schedule.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Dowell, MD
When: January 18-20, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Baltimore artist Gary Webb leads the 20120 MLK Days project titled, “Faces of a Dream.” Guests of all ages can create a wire mask using using his “webbing technique” of twisting and bending different kinds of wire into a self-portrait mask, which will be added to an ever growing wall of faces, celebrating the diversity and beauty of the community. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place | Brookland, DC
When: January 18, 8pm & January 19, 4pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket*)

KanKouran West African Dance Company returns to Dance Place for their annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Introducing the essence of traditional African dancing and drumming to audiences, KanKouran enriches American cultural heritage through the integration of authentic West African arts and promotes intercultural understanding. The annual MLK Day concert celebrates over 35 years of fulfilling their mission of “giving back that which was lost.” The Sunday 4pm performance is part of the Family Series – Get 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult.

Paint for Peace
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: January 18 & 19
Admission: $12-20

Bring the whole family Art Jamz for their Painting for Peace Weekend. In honor of MLK Day, they are donating $5 per canvas order to DC Central Kitchen, a local organization that helps combat hunger and poverty. During the event, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of local artists and with inspiration from their jamming social art studio and lounge. There will be plenty of images and quotes inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. plus stencils to help you create a unique masterpiece! Book your session in advance here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Jauray 20
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 20 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From 9-10am, there will be a special ceremony honoring Dr. King with speakers, the placing of a wreath on the memorial, and a song. Later, you can take a tour with a Park Ranger — they will be offered at 2pm & 6pm. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there at the top of the steps. And for a longer guided walking tour that includes those locations, check out DC by Foot, which offers name-your-own-price tour options.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 20, 10am -6pm
Admission: Free

The American Visionary Art Museum will pay lively tribute to one of the world’s greatest visionaries, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its annual, all-ages-welcome event. The intergenerational community party honors the great Dr. King’s legacy and vision with birthday cake, a Power Patch printmaking workshop, an artist talk by exhibiting artist Kyle Yearwood, a poetry slam and open mic, and more — all of it free for everyone! Read more about the wonderful AVAM here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 20, 4pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Montgomery County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s life through dramatic readings, and musical and dance performances with the theme, “Children of the Dream.” In addition, there will be the presentation of the Humanitarian Award, Children of the Dream Awards as well as a visual arts display honoring Dr. King. Free tickets are required for this event and will be distributed on-site on the day of the performance starting at 3pm.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Fair
Where: Throughout SE, DC
When: January 20
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 11am and the Parade will commence at 11:30am from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance and continue up MLK Avenue, concluding at the campus of St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair at the Gateway Pavillon located at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

Rockville Celebrates MLK
Where: Montgomery High School | Rockville, MD
When: January 20, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s 48th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will include multicultural performances, awards, and a keynote speech a keynote speech focused on the theme “Light in the Midst of Darkness.” The celebration is free and open to all ages. Free refreshments, information booths, and community service projects will also be part of the festivities.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 20, 6pm
Admission: Free

At this annual performance in honor of MLK Day, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year, the musical tribute features ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Georgetown University will also present the 18th Annual John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award to Sandra Jackson, executive director of House of Ruth. Free tickets will be given away, up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 13-17

The National Arboetum is a great place to enjoy warmer-than-normal weather


Monday – Go to Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Taking place every Monday, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Of course, stay to explore the rest of the museum, which is full of interactive exhibits that appeal to all ages. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Take kiddos to bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play workshop is a great way for kiddos to be active indoors (it was a regular outing for us when the kids were younger)! The session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am and Fridays at 4:30pm. Read more about the open play sessions here.

Wednesday – Spend what’s forecast to be a warmer-than-normal winter day at one of the prettiest places in DC, the U.S. National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections on nature walks, view the bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, check out the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees, and so much more. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read even more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list! — as well as this post and this one.

Thursday – Explore the local environment at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. Afterwards, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Friday – Rock out with local kids’ fave Rocknocerous at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. You can also nosh while you’re there — the smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available. Showtime is 10:30am, doors open at 10am. Tickets are $5.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays