Category Archives: Theatre

Where to Play on the Weekdays: February 24-28


Monday – Enjoy a quintessential winter activity and go ice skating! It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the season, and there are rinks located all around the area. Several offer push aids to help newbie skaters, and most are located in places with even more to do beyond the ice. This post has details for all of them.

Tuesday – Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden, where it kind of feels like pulling a fast one on the weather gods. Explore the different plant collections as you walk amid tropical rainforest, desert, and woodland flora. Take a stroll through the lovely National Garden outside if it’s not too rainy. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is free. Read more about the USBG here and here.

Wednesday – Catch a performance of Mouse on the Move at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE. The interactive show recommended for ages 1-5 is also part of the annual INTERSECTIONS Festival. Showtime is 10am, and tickets are $15. Plan to grab lunch at one of many nearby eateries after.

Thursday – Explore an off-the-beaten path gem: The U.S. Navy Museum. Located on base in the Navy Yard, it’s a trove of fascinating exhibits. See an amazing collection of model ships, peer into a real periscope, sit in the gun seats of old fighter planes, view naval artifacts hundreds of years old, and much more. Hours are 9am – 5pm. Admission is free. *Be sure to note requirements for access to the base and museum.

Friday – Head out to Calvert County to Annmarie Sculpture Garden for artsy adventures. Tour beautiful works, both indoors and out, play in the Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. The grounds are lovely all year ’round, just bundle up to roam around. Trust me, it’s worth the drive out there. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, 10am – 5pm at the arts center. Admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free for 5 and under.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

{Review!} Thumbelina at Imagination Stage

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

[Note: This review is by KFDC contributor Emily Moise.]

Young theater-goers can experience the art of storytelling like never before at Imagination Stage’s Thumbelina, playing now through April 5. The classic Hans Christian Andersen tale about a girl trying to find her place in the world is reimagined with artistry inspired by Kamishibai, a form of Japanese street theater. Along with traditional acting performances, this unique production utilizes live video projections of small-scale puppetry and dioramas to bring the story of a thumb-sized girl to life.

Thumbelina employs the same ensemble of actors as Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth, a musical currently playing in repertory, in this contrasting brand of theater. [You can read the KFDC review of Zomo here.] If you happen to see both shows, the versatility of these actors is awe-inducing — once rapping and hip-hop dancing in Zomo, now maneuvering mini puppets along mini video-projected sets on right and left stage, then moving center stage for their life-sized roles in Thumbelina.

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Thumbelina, like Zomo, offers lessons abound for young audience members just beginning to learn about the world and their place in it. Most importantly: you have the power to create your own story, and you will eventually find your people and place, just be kind to those that are different along the way.

The multi-media aspect of the production adds a whole other layer to the lessons, as Thumbelina certainly writes its own category of theater. And look at all of the different skill-sets needed to bring it to life!

Zomo is a tough act to follow with its high-energy and audience engagement. But Thumbelina captivates with its creative production methods, flawless lead performance, a climactic act with a villainous mole, and a touching ending that’s a reminder to kids and adults alike that the rest is still unwritten.

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

Thumbelina is playing now through April 5 at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD. Tickets are $15 – $35. Recommended for ages 4+.


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Filed under 2020, DC, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Middle Schoolers, Preschoolers, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend, Winter

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, 1-4pm
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

Giveaway: Enter to Win Tickets to The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats at Adventure Theatre!


Perfectly timed to open during Black History Month and the winter season, Adventure Theatre presents A Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats. A pioneer in children’s literature, Keats’ stories were the first to break racial barriers. You can see them come to life on stage starting this Friday, February 14. And there’s a giveaway for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see it!

Based on the beloved books by Ezra Jack Keats — and New York Public Library’s most popular book of all time — 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.

A Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats is running at Adventure Theatre February 14 to April 5. Tickets are $20.50, and available for purchase online or at the Box Office. You can also try winning them through the giveaway below.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see A Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below with your preferred date and time to see the show (after February 23). Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Sunday, February 23, 2020, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Spring, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter