Category Archives: Tweens

T(w)een Scene: First Show at the 9:30 Club — with Mom!


Taking kids to concerts might not be a new thing for many parents. Plenty of moms and dads have indulged young fans of Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and other popular artists and acts that perform at large venues like Verizon Center, Merriweather, and Nationals Park.

But a concert at the 9:30 Club wasn’t something I’d ever really considered for a kid. In all the years I’d gone to shows there (a long time, even at the original 930 F Street location…and, oof, now I’m totally dating myself), I just didn’t think of it as a bring-your-kids-along kind of place.

Until last spring, that is. I had just snagged a couple of tickets to see Kishi Bashi, whose music I have loved for years, and who would be playing the 9:30 in June. His new album Omoiyari had just been released, and I was listening to it pretty obsessively, playing it a lot in the house. I knew Owen enjoyed Kishi Bashi before that, but he really dug the new album, often asking me to turn it up or play again.

Dad joins on sax for a song

Then, I had a perfect idea: I should bring Owen to the concert. Sometimes when there’s going to be a show I really want to see, I just go ahead and get a couple of tickets without making plans with anyone to join me, figuring someone — Levi or a friend — will want to go. That was the case with the Kishi Bashi tickets. I had the extra ticket, with no claim to it by anyone else, so it would be Owen’s.

I checked the 9:30 Club website to make sure he could attend a show, and the FAQ section says that “Unless otherwise posted our club is all-ages, all the time.” They didn’t otherwise post for the Kishi Bashi concert, so we were good to go. I kept it a surprise until school was done a couple of weeks before the concert date. It would make for a cool end-of-7th-grade gift that he would be super psyched about.

And boy was he, both when he found out he was going and at the concert. It turned out the show was seated (a first of the all the times I’ve been to the 9:30 Club), which was nice for a first show there and kind of perfect for this particular concert. We got there pretty early and lined up outside before doors opened. When we went in, I think they gave Owen a special underage double stamp, then we grabbed a couple of seats in the second row once inside. While Owen saved them, I ordered sandwiches for us, so we could have a little dinner before the music started. It was all quite orderly and civilized — amazing what seating can do!

Encore within the audience

As for the concert, it was phenomenal, one of the best I’ve ever been to at the 9:30 Club. That’s partly because Kishi Bashi is so damn talented, partly the seats in the second row, partly the touching song he performed with his father on saxophone, and partly that he came into the audience for the encore and played a little acoustic set with all of us surrounding him making it feel intimate and like we were all in the best place to be at that time. But, mostly, what made the experience so special was sharing it with Owen and seeing how much he enjoyed and appreciated it. He wasn’t even embarrassed by my dancing.

So, I’m not saying everyone should get their kids to the 9:30 Club stat (could you imagine the wrath of all the single millennials?!). But if a particular band or artist your kid (or you) likes is going to be playing there, and you want to enjoy some live music together, know that you most likely can. And while I think 13 was a good age to be there, shows are all-ages (unless otherwise posted) — parents are the best judges of what’s appropriate for their children.

The 9:30 Club is located at 815 V Street NW. See what concerts are coming up soon!

PS: Since I’ve gushed about the show so much, here’s a quick clip from the encore that still gives me goosebumps when I watch…


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Filed under DC, Live Entertainment, Music, Teens, Tweens, Weekdays, Weekend

National Children’s Chorus Holding Auditions on October 18th!


Looking to get your child involved in the arts with one of the premier choral organizations in the country? The National Children’s Chorus based near Thomas Circle in Washington, DC, is holding auditions on October 18 for children ages 5 to 18, offering the opportunity to learn and grow in an extraordinary musical environment. Recent and upcoming performances include the Kennedy Center and Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, in addition to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and internationally every summer!

The finest instructors work with students weekly to develop their vocal skills from the most basic concepts through the college level. Tone quality, breath support, and musical expression are cultivated within the individual singers, while working together as an ensemble culminates in world-class performances. With a spectacular musicianship curriculum to accompany its first-rate vocal training, the National Children’s Chorus is an unparalleled educational resource for children who love to sing. If your child has musical ability, don’t waste another minute!

Auditions will take place on October 18, 2019 at National City Christian Church: 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC, 20005. Children ages 5 to 18 are invited to apply. Set up an audition today!

This post is sponsored by the National Children’s Chorus, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, Gradeschoolers, Music, Teens, Tweens

Giveaway: Brave Your Adventure at the Kids Obstacle Challenge!


Want to embark on an adventure that is as active and challenging and as it is fun and rewarding?

The Kids Obstacle Challenge is the nation’s premier obstacle course race series for kids ages 5-16 — and it’s coming to the DC area this summer! The family-friendly event will be charging into Centreville, VA, at the Bull Run Special Events Center on June 29. This unique venue, located near routes 66 and 29, features grassy areas and wide open space, a perfect setting for families to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure in the great outdoors.

The course is a fun and challenging 1.5-2 miles, specially made for this DC kids event. It includes 13 to 15 distinctive obstacles that range in difficulty, so KOC is just as fun for a 5-year-old as it is for a 16-year-old — and, of course, for parents. Families will enjoy traversing rock walls, army crawling through mud pits, rope swinging over water, scaling up rugged cargo nets, and much more.

​Parents and caregivers are encouraged to get out and active alongside their kids, so two parents/legal guardians can join the Kids Obstacle Challenge for free with their child(ren). It’s a great opportunity to show kids the importance of an active lifestyle by participating with them, all while having a blast and spending quality time as a family.

The cost per child to the Kids Obstacle Challenge is $44 for early bird sign up (spots are going fast) or $52 regular fee — register online here. And you can get 15% off with the code BEBRAVE. As mentioned, two parents/legal guardians can participate for free. You can also try to win entry for two children through the giveaway below.

Get dirty. Have fun. Be a family. Brave Your Adventure together!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win two tickets (entry for two children) to the Kids Obstacle Challenge at the Bull Run Special Events Center in Sully, VA, on July 29, 2019, simply leave a comment below telling me what kind of obstacle your child is most excited to conquer. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through June 9, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


This post is sponsored by Kids Obstacle Challenge, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, Competition, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Middle Schoolers, Outdoor, Special Event, Summer, Teens, Tweens, Virginia, Weekend

Smithsonian Summer Camp — Inspiring Kids for 50 Years!



There’s no more exciting place to be than Smithsonian Summer Camp, now in its 50th year. Where else can campers blast into space or take center stage, create a masterpiece or invent a fantasy world, relive history or learn to shape the future of the planet?

The rich and exciting world of the Smithsonian is all theirs to discover in these one-of-a-kind learning experiences that spark the imagination—and offer plenty of great fun. A limited number of summer camps are still available!

Camps for children in kindergarten through ninth grade are held from June 17 through August 16 at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. Camps take place Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 4:3pm. Before-camp (8am to 9am) and after-camp (4:30pm to 6pm) activities are also available.

Smithsonian Summer Camp is also looking for responsible and highly motivated teens to assist camp instructors. Students entering ninth grade this fall or who are 14 years old can learn the skills needed to become an outstanding future Youth Teaching Assistant (YTA) in a one-week intensive training program. Participants learn how to successfully work with young campers, build a toolkit of games and activities, practice navigating busy Smithsonian museums with groups, and gather other practical tips to help campers get the most out of their experience. Completing the boot camp offers applicants a priority for YTA selection the following summer.

Call 202.633.3030 for more information or visit SmithsonianAssociates.org/Camp.


This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Associates, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, Camp, DC, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Middle Schoolers, Museums, Seasonal, Summer, Tweens, Weekdays