Category Archives: Summer

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 3-6

 

Happy Long Weekend!

Quick links for all kinds of ongoing & seasonal fun:
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Local Hikes with Kids
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long, outdoor swimming, entertainment  under the stars, and special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to get in one last splash in a public pool,  see fairy houses at Annmarie or cherry blossom digital art, take a dip at some local swimming spots, or have fun at a waterpark, then check out the 2021 Summer Guide, which has details on all of these diversions, plus many more.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Several communities in DC & MD
When: September 3-22
Tickets: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra’s annual program is back! Over three weeks in September, NSO musicians will perform free concerts within the uptown DC neighborhoods of Ward 4, Takoma Park, and downtown Silver Spring. This year’s IYN has 17 events, including two full NSO performances. Events will be offered both indoors and outdoors — at parks, coffee shops, taverns, schools, and more local venues. All concerts and events are free to the public with first-come, first-served seating. See the website for the full schedule.

Merriment Galore
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $21/adults, $19/seniors, $10/7-15, free/6 & under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone to love. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy.

DC Jazz Fest
Where: Venues around DC
When: Through September 5
Tickets: Vary by performance

The annual DC Jazz Fest is back with in-person performances during this first week of September. Shows are taking place at several venues around DC, including The Wharf, The Hamilton, and Phillips Collections (unfortunately, the fantastic Jazz ‘n Fun Family Days is not happening this year, but you can still enjoy performances at the museum). See the website for the schedule of shows.

Field Day: A Three Day Festival for Emerging Voices
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

In this installment of the Millennium Stage Summer Series, 44:21 and Shout Mouse Press team up to celebrate emerging storytellers. Events include a short film festival featuring the work of young filmmakers, a reading featuring teen authors around the DMV, a writing workshop, and a community open mic. You’ll also get to enjoy live music, buy art from local artists, and buy books from local authors. While you’re there, plan to visit Victura Park — the pop-up wine garden and cafe on the grounds of The REACH is a great place to hang out and enjoy a nice day.

Nats vs. Mets
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are home this holiday weekend and hosting the Mets for five games (double header on Saturday, one is a make-up). Some special things going on: a Ryan Zimmerman Bobblehead giveaway on Friday, post-game fireworks on Saturday evening, and a Heroes Day – September 11 Remembrance on Monday. Of course, any day is great to catch the baseball action.

Catch the Ultimate Breeze
Where: Carlini Field, Catholic University | Northeast DC
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: $12-18

Root for the home team of a different sport: Pro Ultimate Frisbee! See exciting Frisbee action as local team DC Breeze takes on Raleigh Flyers in a playoff game.  If they win, they’ll get to play in the Championship Weekend, which is being held in DC at Audi Field this year!

A Wind in the Door
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: September 2-11
Tickets: $20

Catch this show for young audiences at the Kennedy center….   A cosmic mission is unfolding! Don’t miss the onstage debut of the exciting sequel to Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time. Recommended for ages 9+, this one-hour show takes place indoors in the Family Theatre. Patrons 12 and older must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 – with a physical or digital copy of their vaccination card and government-issued ID with the same name. Children under 12 must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before performance time. Recommended for ages 9+.

A Raisin in the Sun
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: September 2-4
Tickets: Pay-What-You-Can

Olney presents this stage classic that Common Sense Media recommends for ages 12 and up….  The members of the Younger family dream bigger than the small house where they live on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s. When their deceased father’s insurance money comes through, those dreams might actually become reality. Walter Lee wants to run his own business and earn financial independence, but his sister Beneatha dreams of attending medical school. Meanwhile, their mother Lena wants to move them all to a bigger home in a white neighborhood. What will finally allow the Youngers to move up in the world, and who will have their dreams deferred? National Players is honored to portray this award-winning drama with a universal story about an African American family dealing with prejudice, history, and a world where everything changes.

Family Bike Fest
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Kid bikers, family bikers, and the bike-curious are welcome to this bike fest! Check out different rides, show off your own (bikes, trikes, unicycles, scooters…), and have fun zooming around paved areas. Beloved mobile bike mechanic Lauren @ Mittens will be providing free back-to-school safety checks and mini-tune-ups. And Kona Ice Truck will be there with freebies courtesy of Bunch Bikes.

Apple Gala & Cider Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $16/adult, $14/child

This time of year may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and freshly picked apples. Celebrate the start of the apple picking and cider pressing season with tastings of Rinkers freshly pressed cider — touted as the best in the Valley — demos of the Zurschmeide Family’s antique 1865 Cider press, apple picking, donuts, and more. Of course, the farm’s five-acre play area will be open for fun and amusement, too!

Full STEAM Ahead
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10.95/age 1+

The National Children’s Museum just reopened,  with its array of STEAM-inspired exhibits that offer fun and interesting ways to engage, learn, and exercise creativity.  It’s geared toward kids up to age 12, and there are areas especially for littles. See their Covid precautions here, and  read more about the museum in this post written shortly after it opened back in early 2020. Tickets must be reserved in advance, and it’s likely to be very popular this first weekend!

Big Bounce America
Where: Rosecroft Raceway | Fort Washington, MD
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $19-39
Boing!  Jump into the weekend as the world’s largest bounce house comes to the DC area.  Big Bounce America includes four massive inflatable attractions: A 13,000 sq. foot World’s Largest Bounce House; the newly added Sport Slam featuring a customized sports arena; the 900+ ft. long obstacle course named The Giant; and a unique, space-themed wonderland called airSPACE.  The massive touring inflatable event will run this weekend, September 3-6, and next, September 10–12.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/adults, $5/age 5-12, free/under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30.

Labor Day Art Show
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday/Sunday/Monday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Glen Echo Park’s 50th Annual Labor Day Art Show runs all weekend. One of the largest art shows in the region, the exhibition features works by more than 200 artists from the mid-Atlantic. Browse and buy all kinds of art — sculpture, painting and drawing, ceramics, glass, jewelry, photography, and more. Plan to let kids go for a spin on the delightful Dentzel Carousel and bring along a picnic to enjoy in the designated area.

Rockville Arts Festival
Where: Rockville Town Square | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Throughout the weekend, VisArts will transform the streets surrounding Rockville Town Square into a vibrant outdoor gallery full of fine arts and crafts, live music, ceramics and plein air painting demonstrations, and artisanal foods. Festival goers can discover 140 master artists from 22 states who work in ceramics, drawings, fiber, glass, graphics, jewelry, metalwork, paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood, and mixed media.They’ll also be able to shop and dine at Rockville Town Square retailers and eateries.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

Labor Day Concert
Where: The REACH Plaza | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The NSO’s annual Labor Day weekend concert returns, but to a different location. Instead of the West Lawn of the US Capitol, it will be at The REACH Plaza at the Kennedy Center. The concert will be conducted by Larry Loh with special guests NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds and saxophonist Charlie Young. This special concert features music from Duke Ellington, new Kennedy Center Composer-in-Residence Carlos Simon, Jessie Montgomery, and Michael Abels. The performance is FREE to attend, no tickets required. Seating is first-come, first serve.

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Looks like it’s going to be a splendid weekend weather-wise, so take advantage and get outdoors — there are endless options around the DC-Metro for great al fresco adventures. Take a hike, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do under the sun in this round-up with all kinds of ideas for outdoor fun. (But if you’re seeking fun indoors, get the Inside Info on where to go.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new round-up of live entertainment coming to the DC area this fall.
* In case you missed it earlier this week, local author JoAnn Hill shared new and fascinating stories about some very familiar sites!
* The giveaway for a chance to win a free lesson with the International School of Music is still running.
* Some of Emily’s recs for Back to Fall Shopping for Little Ones are selling out — proof of how good they are, so go check ’em out!
* This Labor Day Menu looks so yummy (and healthy).
* For those who like Everlane, there’s a good sale this weekend (that’s my referral link, btw).
* Clickbait is the most thrilling show I’ve watched in awhile…so good!
* 20 Organizations Fighting the Texas Abortion Ban. Also this. (Omg, how crazy is that website?!)
* Let’s end this round-up on a happy note, courtesy of Darcy. 🙂

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 27-29

An airmail plane at the National Postal Museum

 

Happy Weekend!

Bookmark-worthy links loaded with ideas for local activities:
* Indoor Outings
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Go Postal
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Friday – Tuesday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

They saved one of the best for last! The final Smithsonian to reopen, the National Postal Museum will once again welcome visitors starting this weekend. I’ve raved about the museum for years — as a locals’ secret that’s often overlooked by tourists and overshadowed by its counterparts on the Mall. It’s not humongous like many DC’s popular museums, so it’s easy to explore with younger kids, plus it’s full of interesting and interactive exhibits — some of them very large-scale — that appeal to all ages.  Along with being a fantastic museum, it also contains one of the most stunning spaces in DC! Read more about the Postal Museum in this KFDC post.

Ren Fest Returns!
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $21/adults, $18/seniors, free/15 & under

It’s time for merriment! And the Maryland Renaissance Festival is all about it. The fantastic trip back to medieval times is an event that has something all ages and sensibilities. Enjoy jousting matches, kids shows, comedy acts, tight rope walkers, jugglers, puppetry, Celtic music… and that’s just some of the live entertainment. There are also pony rides, a pirate ship playground, a giant slide, and some of the best people watching opportunities ever. Stroll among knights, maidens, pirates, and wizards in a 16th-century Tudor village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead. It all begins Saturday and will run every weekend through October 24. And this weekend only, kids ages 15 and under get in for FREE!

March On for Voting Rights
Where: Starts at McPherson Square, DC
When: Saturday, 8am
Admission: Free

On the 58th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic March on Washington, this mass mobilization in cities across the country demands that elected officials denounce voter suppression and ensure fair, easy access to the vote for all. The DC March kicks off from McPherson Square past Black Lives Matter Plaza, passing the White House and Washington Monument, ending on the National Mall. See website for schedule.

Seize the Season
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Time is dwindling to enjoy some of the season’s best places and activities. Outdoor pools and spray parks, special museum programs and exhibits, music and movies in the open air, beach fun, mini golf and carousels rides, a good ol’ crab feast. Check out the Summer Guide to help you seize the season as it winds down.

Final Friday Night Fishing
Where: Diamond Teague Docks | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

It’s the last chance to join Anacostia Riverkeeper for their summer Friday fishing program. All essentials are provided: rods, reels, bait, and lessons for first time fishers. Staff are there to answer any questions and help with casting, tips, and tricks. All ages are welcome. Be sure to register and fill out a waiver if you plan to go. When you’re done, head to one ofthe many nearby eateries for a bite to eat.

Silent Disco
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Free

Dance the evening away at the C Street SE Plaza as EastBanc, a local real estate development, lifestyle, and technology company, hosts a silent disco. All are welcome to don some headphones and show off their moves!

Star Wars & Symphony Under the Stars
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Friday, 8pm
Admission:

Catch a screening of Stars Wars: A New Hope at Wolf Trap’s lovely outdoor setting as the National Symphony Orchestra performs the soundtrack live. In the first of the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke, Leia, Han, and the rest of their rogue group mount an attack against the Death Star for a climactic battle with the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. See the website for Covid policies.

Women Shredding the Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

This weekend’s Millennium Stage is an all-inclusive festival featuring women in action sports and music. Join as they carve out space in the unconventional arenas of jazz and skateboarding for a more equal future together. While you’re there, plan to visit Victura Park — the pop-up wine garden and cafe on the grounds of The REACH is a great place to hang out and enjoy a nice day. (Note: Victura Park is also open on Sunday.)

Beachy Keen
Where: Several destinations in Maryland
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If it’s your family’s final weekend before the start of school, do something quintessentially summer and hit the beach! You don’t have to go all the way to the ocean — there is sand and surf (and shark tooth hunting, in some places) within day trip distance from DC. Head a bit past Annapolis to Sandy Point, go to one of several spots in Calvert County, or make fossil hunting your main focus at the Purse Area in Charles County. See the 2021 Guide to Summer in DC for details and links on all of these beaches.

Fossil Hunters
Where: Calvert and Charles Counties, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by place

Mentioned above, there are several spots that are a day trip-distance drive away from DC, where you can search for shark teeth and other remnants from the Miocene and Paleocene eras. Play paleontologist and spend a day at one of them… I can assure you from a lot of experience it’s a fun and fascinating (those fossils are millions of years old!) activity. Beware that you might encounter crowds — this post is one of the most popular on KFDC if that’s any indication — so have a Plan B just in case.

Root for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Starts at $10

The Nats may not be in town, but you can still root for a home team.  The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Erie SeaWolves all weekend, and there’s extra fun to enjoy — post-game fireworks, Hawaiian Luau  Night on Saturday, and Bark in the Park on Sunday.  Read about one of our past Baysox experiences here.

Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Free

How about opera where there’s usually baseball? After a three-year hiatus, Washington National Opera returns to Nationals Park with its 12th year of Opera in the Outfield. All are welcome to enjoy a free outdoor broadcast of Rossini’s charming romantic comedy Cinderella. Gates open at 5pm for lots of family-friendly activities, including photo ops, balloon twisters, story time, a magic show, and pre-show screening of Mo Willem’s very family-friendly Elephant & Piggie present SLOPERA!: A Bite-Sized Opera. The evening show on the hi-def scoreboard begins at 7pm. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands. Be sure to visit the website for details on what is permitted at the ballpark.

Sunflower Festival
Where: Summer Farms | Frederick, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $17.50/age 3+

Escape to Summers Farm for their 2nd Annual Sunflower Festival and enjoy the beauty of the 8-acre field glowing with thousands of blooms! Over 35 different varieties and colors make for very Instaworthy photos. Walk through, pick your own, take stunning pictures, sip a local drink in their spacious tent, and relax at the farm.

Olney Outdoors
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am & 12pm
Admission: $12

Enjoy live entertainment especially for children on Olney Theatre’s outdoor Root Family Stage. On Saturday, see Stoopkid Stories, a compilation of fun and exciting stories that follow seven young Black characters, as they face a new adventure and overcome different obstacles (ages 5 & up). On Sunday, join a Disney Sing-along (ages 3 and up).

Fairytales in the Sun
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm | Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $20.50 (look for a discount)

Adventure Theatre is presenting live, in-person family entertainment again! Two one-act plays, The Flood in the Future by Lyra Yang and From Cinders to Ella by Michelle Lynch, will be performed outside in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn. Covid protocols will be followed. BYO blanket or chair.

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

It’s always a good time to get out for a hike. Rambling along a trail  is great for some family bonding while enjoying active time outdoors. On a hot weekend, places with shade will be good to seek out. Some recs for that: Turkey Run Park in McLean, VA; Prince William Forest in Triangle, VA; Rock Creek Park in DC (note: post is about Peirce Mill, but includes info on a nice hike from there); Riverbend Park in Great Falls, VA; and Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA.

Are You Ready for Some Futbol?
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 8pm
Admission: Tickets start at $28

DC United is home again this weekend with a match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.  Parking can be difficult, so consider public transport.  You can take Metro to the Navy Yard, have a pre-game bite to eat, then it’s an easy walk to the stadium.  El Bebe, The Salt Line, and All Purpose are very convenient and a few recs for family-friendly spots to eat there. Look for a deal on a Family Four-Pack of tickets.

Silver Spring End Of Summer Celebration
Where: Veterans Plaza | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 1-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the end of summer at this family-friendly arts & crafts event. Bring the whole crew to browse a variety of vendors, dance, shop, eat, and have fun. It’s the last outdoors hurrah of the summer at Veterans Plaza.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* All kinds of great recs for back to fall shopping for little ones.
* There’s a giveaway going on for a chance to win a free lesson with the International School of Music!
* The Lane Social Club is hosting a “back to school” morning celebration for parents (and young kids not in school) from 9am – 1pm on Monday, August 30, the first day of school for many DC kids.
* On The Daily earlier this week: Children and Covid: Your Questions, Answered.
* Anyone else watching Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu?
* 2021 Parenting Back to School Bingo

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Summer, Weekend

Huzzah…Ren Fest is Returning with Merriment for All!

 

I usually hesitate to deem one particular place or activity “the best.”  It’s rare that you’ll see Top 10 lists here on KFDC; they feel misleading to me.  Even my round-up of the best outdoor places consists of more than 60 of them in random order.  That’s because “the best” is so personal, specific, and dependent on ages, interests, convenience to where one lives.  I have favorites, for sure, but calling something the best generally is a no-no for me.

Except for one thing: Ren Fest.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile surely already knows that the Maryland Renaissance Festival is my very, very, VERY favorite annual event in the area.  We’ve been going since before we had kids, and bringing them since they were babes. There are a multitude of reasons why it’s my fave — you can go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for more on that — but ultimately I love that at the core, it’s a celebration of the unconventional, a kingdom of mirth, where fun and delight reign and offbeat is normal.  Ren Fest is the best.  It’s just fact — in my book, anyway.

After very sadly but understandably being cancelled last year, the Maryland Renaissance Festival returns in 2021 starting this weekend, August 28-29! And I oh-so-highly recommend going.  I pride myself on the number of people I have converted into Ren Festers — and I promise you want to be among them.

Logistics
The merriment begins this Saturday, August 28, and runs every weekend, rain or shine, through October 24 in the lovely 16th century-style hamlet of Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD. Hours are 10am – 7pm. Through September 12, admission is $21/adults, $19/seniors, $10/ages 7-15, free for ages 6 and under.  After that, ticket prices go up to $28/adults, $24/seniors, $13/ages 7-15, still free for 6 and under. Multi-day passes that offer a discount are also available. This year, tickets must be reserved in advance online. There are no day-of, in-person ticket sales.

Notable Dates
In previous years, many weekends had special themes, like a Celtic celebration and pirate weekend, with events and activities offered on just those dates.  While most aren’t happening this year due to Covid, there still are a few special weekends to be aware of:
* August 28-29: Children’s Weekend – FREE admission for ages 15 and under with adult
* September 6: Seniors day — Free admission for all seniors age 62+
* September 11 & October 10: ASL Interpretation Days – Selected stage shows will be interpreted in ASL

KFDC Tips
* Bring a stroller or carrier for little ones, as there is  a lot of walking. I recommend a stroller that navigates over rough terrain easily.
* Get a map and schedule on your way in to help you navigate and plan your day, but I recommend not overthinking it; Ren Fest is best experienced with a “go with the flow” mindset.
* If there’s a show you really want to see, get to the stage a few minutes ahead of time to get good seats, so the kids have a good view.
* You might encounter less crowds on Sunday, when many folks are watching football.
* Plan to spend on extras like food, games, and fun for kids — all reasonably priced, but it can add up.
* Tickets can sell out, especially on beautiful fall days as the chances to go dwindle. Between that and the new online sales only, you might want to reserve further in advance than usual.
* Consider pros and cons to going at different times: Early in the season, crowds are smaller because it’s usually very hot, and the admission fee is lower. Later in the season, the cool, crisp weather and autumn foliage adds some extra splendor to the visit, but also draws the masses.
* Let the kids dress up! Princesses, knights, fairies, and pirates will fit right in.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 28 – October 24, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $21-28/adult, $19-24/senior, $10-13/age 7-15, free/6 & under

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Fall, Festival, Maryland, Summer, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 13-15

Play in the trees at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links for all kinds of ongoing & seasonal fun:
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Pick-Your-Own Ops
* Local Hikes with Kids
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Joys of Summer
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Summer is whizzing by, so take advantage of all the activities exclusive to the season. See a special museum exhibit. Have some water-inspired fun. Enjoy free music outdoors and movies under the stars. Go with the flow on local waterways. Hit the beach. Feast on seasonal treats. And so much more. Details on all of these summer joys in DC can be found here.

All’s Fair
Where: Montgomery, Prince William, & Howard Counties | MD & VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

County fair season continues as Montgomery and Prince William kick off their annual fests that are chock full of amusement for everyone in the fam. Carnival rides and games, farm animals, live entertainment, pony rides, the junk food gamut, pig races, and so much more. You can also find it in Howard County, where the fair is on for its final couple of days. This post has the scoop on all of the county fun.

Nats + Braves + Smithsonian
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Fri 7:05pm, Sat 6:05pm, & Sun 1:05pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

There’s more than just baseball at Nats games this weekend. As they host the Braves at home, the Nationals will also celebrate 175 years of the Smithsonian. Each day, one of the iconic museums (or Zoo) will be featured during pregame and in-game breaks, and fans will have opportunities to win fun prizes. Friday will focus on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Saturday is the National Postal Museum, and Sunday is all about kids’ fave the National Zoo! There is also a Nationals Kids Lunch Box Giveaway for the first 10,000 fans 12 and under that day.

Step Afrika! @ Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free
Step Afrika! is kicking off their 2021-2022 season with a three-day celebration at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Join the dance company along with amazing step teams as they take over the REACH. Take classes in stepping, the South African gumboot dance, and more from world-class artists.  While you’re there, plan to visit Victura Park — the pop-up wine garden and cafe on the grounds of The REACH is a great place to hang out and enjoy a nice day. (Note: Victura Park is also open n Sunday.)

Movie Time
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $6/matinee, $8/after 5pm

Catch a cheap movie with the fam at the Miracle Theater on Capitol Hill. Playing this weekend: On Friday, Space Jam: A New Legacy at 4:30pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 7:30pm. On Saturday, In the Heights at 4pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 7:30pm. On Sunday, Space Jam: A New Legacy at 2pm and F9 The Fast Saga at 4:40pm. Plan o lunch or dinner before or after the film — Barracks Row is full of family-friendly places to get a bite, and there are even more close to nearby Eastern Market.

Last Call for Music by the River
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free

It’s the final performances of the Yards Park Friday Night Concert Series. JWX: The Jarreau Williams Experience will be playing the last show on the boardwalk stage. Bring the kiddos early to play in the water features. Or enjoy free Friday Night Fishing hosted by Anacostia Riverkeeper at Diamond Teague Pier (1520 First Street, SE), then head over to hear the music. BYO food for a picnic, but note that no outside alcohol is allowed (wine, beer, and seltzer will be available for sale). If not fully vaccinated and over the age of 18, they ask that masks are worn.

Final Days of Forces of Nature
Where: Renwick Gallery | Downtown Dc
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

This weekend is the last chance to visit the fantastic Forces of Nature at the Renwick. The exhibition consists of striking and intricate works that take up entire galleries and make you want to examine them from all angles. Even little ones will dig seeing the big pieces that sparkle, look like giant flowers, resemble a rain storm, and sometimes make you feel like you’re within the art.

Big Dig Potato Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child or $12/adult

Most people don’t know that store bought potatoes are usually last year’s harvest and are amazed by the flavor and texture of freshly harvested potatoes! At Great Country, you can take a wagon ride out to the fields to dig up your own potato treasures (and maybe get a little help from a tractor make it easier). After digging, play all day in the five-acre play area, with attractions including Putt Putt golf, the Farm Ninja Warrior obstacle course, mazes, swings, slides, animals to visit, and feed, and so much more! PYO peaches will also be available this weekend.

Adventure in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by age

There are still spots open at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring this weekend. Kids as young as five years old can experience thrills on the ropes courses and zip lines in the park’s aerial adventure forest, the largest in North America. Children ages 5-6 with an adult have access to two of the easier courses. Older kids can do much more. It may seem like a pricey venture, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. Read more about the park in this recent post and  this ones from several years back.  And if you can’t get in this weekend, I highly recommend reserving ahead for another time.

Sunflower Spectacular
Where: Butler’s Orchard | Germantown, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10 (free for children under 2)

It’s the final weekend of Butler’s celebration of sunflower season. Stroll through two football fields of sunflowers and stop at the props they’ve set up along the way for perfect Insta-worthy photos. Admission also includes 5 acres of farm fun and access to the pick-your-own fields!

Free Theatre in the Park
Where: FRESHFARM Market | National Landing, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Synetic Theatre for a free pop-up performance of their family theater classic The Miraculous Magical Balloon. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and dazzling choreography, it tells a story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk, full of toys, tricks, and surprises. This show is beloved by audiences of all ages. (PS: It will be performed at parks around Arlington into the fall!)

Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend
Where: Rock Hall, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Buccaneers and landlubbers of all ages! Head out to the Eastern Shore for a fun, unique experience. This town-wide family-friendly event will be loaded with kids activities, shows, and costume contests. Check out the website for details and schedules. Pirate attire is highly encouraged!

Family Patio Party
Where: The Lane Social Club | Ivy City, DC
When: Sunday, 10am & 12pm
Admission: $20/child (free for members)

There’s a new kid on the (cinder)block at The Lane, the play space and hang out hun for families, and all are invited to celebrate the arrival and help give the new mural a proper welcome. While you’re there, enjoy family photoshoot mini sessions, ice cream, foursquare, sidewalk chalk, open play inside, a special art project, and more! Two-hour time slots are available at 10am and 12pm — sign up in advance!

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
Where: Rhode Island Center | Logan Circle, DC

When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets start at $34.90/adult, $19.90/child
Step into more than 300 of Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings, and paintings for an intimate understanding of the Post-Impressionist genius and his work. Floor-to-ceiling digital projections, made possible by state-of-the-art video mapping technology, offer visitors a socially distanced, hands-free immersive art experience. All ages are welcome to explore this exhibition. Rhode Island Center is located at 524 Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Fashion + FUN
Where: Georgetown Park | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday, 5-9pm | Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $28/adult, $19/age 4-15 (get a discount!)

Go “Inside the Wardrobe” at this new art installation/fashion funhouse in Georgetown. The 20,000 square foot space contains more than 20 exhibits/spaces, all them wildly creative, fashion-inspired, interactive, even kind of trippy.  You can try on paper doll cutouts, play with size in a fun house, get a close look at beautiful handiwork, take pics in whimsical and delightful settings, strut the catwalk, and much more. Read more about it and see some snaps from a visit there in this KFDC post!

Circus Vasquez
Where: Tysons III | Tysons, VA
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: $25-45

Enjoy some thrilling family entertainment at this circus that I learn about on Goldstar. Here’s their description: “Circo Hermanos Vazquez will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Delivering their best show yet with a turbo-charged take on the traditional circus that’s sure to thrill audiences of all ages. From graceful dancers and daring trapeze artists to a hilarious clown. This gasp-inducing performance gathers tons of amazing world known talent under the big top for a huge dose of family fun.” (Note: Reviews of it mentioned the show is mostly in Spanish.)

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $12

Enjoy a musical show especially for kids as Sonia De Los Santos and The Okee Dokee Brothers perform at Wolf Trap’s delightful outdoor theatre surrounded by trees and nature. Friendship is at the heart of the joyful collaboration between the Mexican songstress and the Americana folk duo. The bilingual program includes both old and new songs that span the musical traditions of North America and illustrates the collective power of singing together and learning from each other. Recommended for ages 3-12.

Olney Outdoors: Paper Dreams
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am & 12pm
Admission: Free

Olney Theatre is presenting Theatre for Young Audiences outdoors this summer, and this weekend is “Paper Dreams,” one of Imagination Stage’s original shows for little ones. Best for ages 1-7, it will be at Olney Theatre’s outdoor Root Family Stage through August 15.  Purchase tickets in advance. If you are vaccinated, masks are encouraged but not required. Those who have not been vaccinated should follow CDC guidelines and wear a mask.

Fairytales in the Sun
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm | Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $20.50 (look for a discount)

Adventure Theatre is presenting live, in-person family entertainment again! Two one-act plays, The Flood in the Future by Lyra Yang and From Cinders to Ella by Michelle Lynch, will be performed outside in the grassy field next to ATMTC and the Irish Inn. Covid protocols will be followed. BYO blanket or chair.

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $27+

The world-class, live entertainment attraction that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a new generation of families is celebrating its 28th year of FUN. UniverSoul connects with progressive, upwardly mobile, urban pop cultures from around the world, embracing and celebrating the unique and familiar aspects of global cultures and ethnicities into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. A fresh, cool, and hip approach to live family entertainment!

ABBA the Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission:

Some shows are way more fun to sing and dance along to than others, and this tribute concert is sure to be one of them. It’s full of iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and of course “Dancing Queen.” Bring the kids to hear music from the past or make it a date night at the lovely outdoor venue.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The National Children’s Museum, which was only open briefly before Covid, will celebrate its grand reopening on September 2!
* KinderCare, which now has locations in Glover Park and Foggy Bottom, shared a guest post on how to navigate family feelings about returning to school.
* DC Way soccer leagues for boys and girls launch in September.
* Just bought this little contraption recommended by Wirecutter in a new attempt to ward off mosquitos, which are especially bad in DC this summer.
* How the Pandemic Ends Now
* Subway melodies around the world.

 

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Filed under 2021, All ages, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend