Category Archives: Weekend

Review: Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Imagination Stage

[Note:  This review was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.  She’s written about both her explorations with her kids around DC, as well as recommendation for products to enhance kids’ and family experiences.  Read more of her articles hereherehereherehere,  and here.]

 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins have waddled onto Imagination Stage, delighting audiences as only these loveable creatures can. The whimsical tale about dreaming as big as an Antarctic adventure, even in bleak times, sends a timely message to kids and adults alike. And while the plot about a painter-turned-traveling-circus-act holds true to the children’s book, the novelty is the custom-built, mechanical penguins (including, spoiler alert: twenty baby penguins) that are maneuvered around stage by multi-talented, multi-role-playing actors.

This musical play, featuring puppetry, song, and dance, is recommended for ages 3-10, but some of the dialogue skews to the upper end of that range. I brought my five and three-year-olds, and while my youngest was more patiently watching the storyline build up (on his best behavior for his “first show”), my daughter was able to grasp what was happening. Once the first penguin, Captain Cook, makes his entrance, all ages are captivated. One tip: Read the book with your kids before the show to prepare them!

The show runs for 75 minutes without intermission on weekdays, and 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission on weekends. Bring snacks for intermission, and dress warmly as the theater runs cold. Proof of vaccination for ages 5+ is required at the ticket booth, and masks are required in the theater. Read more about COVID precautions here.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is showing now through August 7 at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue in Bethesda, MD. Tickets are $12-$39.

 

Comparing penguin/little human height

 

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Filed under 2022, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Come Fourth: Independence Day Celebrations Around the DC Area

The annual July 4th Parade on Capitol Hill

 

What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks over the city and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th (and 2nd & 3rd!). Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators always line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day as it make its way from 7th to 17th Street. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Fourth of July Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 7th to 12th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: Shortly after 9pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display begins. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so stake out a spot to watch them — on or off the Mall (see tips below for a list of places to view them).

Fourth of July at the Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Catch the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives .  It starts at 10am, but doors open an 9am.  Get there early to get a good seat and enjoy entertainment by the Experience Band and Show. After that, celebrate like it’s 1776! There ill be lots of fun family activities,…meet the Founding Mothers and Fathers, design your own buttons, go on a scavenger hunt, help design the National Archives Building, and sign the Declaration of Independence yourself!

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 4, 11:05am (and July 1-3)
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. The July 4th game against the Marlins is part of the Patriotic Series, when the Nats wear their red, white, and blue, and there are other Independence Day themed activities. And, FYI, the series with the Marlins starts July 1, and there will be post-game Freedom Fireworks, plus more promos for the rest of the games.  Before you purchase tickets, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

After two years, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will once again be open to the public! Grammy nominee Mickey Guyton will be hosting this year’s show, which will include performances by Gloria Gaynor, Andy Grammar, Keb’ Mo’, Daniel Criss, Rachel Platten, the National Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Army Band, the Joint Armed Forces Chorus, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC Tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, a performance by the National concert band and more live entertainment, and a chance to meet General Washington himself.  Get 20% off tickets with the code FBSUMMER.  See the full schedule of events here and read more about Mount Vernon here.

Fourth at the Wharf
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 7-10pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Fourth of July at The Wharf with a free celebration on District Pier. The celebration includes music, a bar for adults, and spectacular views of the annual fireworks launched from the National Mall. They also offer a VIP fireworks viewing experience benefitting the USO that gives you exclusive access to the Dockmaster Building on the tip of District Pie, complete with two complimentary drink tickets (additional beverages for purchase), all-American light fare, DJ, games, photo station, and a raffle. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Neighborhood Parades & Celebrations
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, here are some that are known to be good ones:  Capitol Hill (we can vouch it’s great from many years attending), Palisades, Takoma Park, College Park, Great Falls, McLean.

July 4th Celebration
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: July 4, 4-9:30pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to join the 10th annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Enjoy live entertainment, bouncy fun, a kids’ scooter parade and contest, activities for all ages, and views of the evening fireworks on the National Mall. Concessions will also be for sale and plentiful.

Fireworks Watch Party
Where: Victura Park | Kennedy Center, DC
When: July 4, 10am – end of fireworks
Admission: Free

Victura Park, the lovely outdoor area at The REACH at the Kennedy Center, will be open on July 4th to celebrate the day — and offer a great vantage point for watching the fireworks on the National Mall. Food and drinks will be available from the cafe, or you can BYO and enjoy at the picnic tables set up in the wine & beer garden area. Admission if free, and no tickets are necessary.

July 4th Fest
Where: Six Flags | Bowie, MD
When: July 2-4
Admission: Starts at $35

With amusement park fun thrown into the mix, Six Flags’ celebration will be pretty epic for kids. Along with all of the ongoing fun throughout the venue, there will also be fireworks, music, and lots of Coca Cola (sponsors of the event) on Independence Day and two days leading up to the holiday.

More July 4th Tips!
* Find good off-the-Mall suggestions for viewing the fireworks in this Washingtonian article.
* If you’re headed into DC, take public transportation! Cannot stress enough what a bad idea it would be to drive.
* July 4th specials in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.
* For more activities during the days leading up to the 4th, see the KFDC Summer Guide.
* For more July 4th events in NoVa, this article lists a bunch.

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: June 24-26

Teddy gets a view of the Mall, where there will be lots of fun happening this weekend

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to posts full of ideas for activities around the area:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Bike Rides
* The Great Indoors
* Peaceful Places

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Where: 7th – 12th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Back in person after two years, the event will once again celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions, this year highlighting United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism. Through June 27, then June 30 – July 4, all kinds exhibits, demonstrations, live performances, talks, food, markets, and much more will be on the National Mall between 7th & 12th Streets NW from 11am – 6pm each day. Admission is free. Definitely make time to go — it’s always a fantastic event with so much for all ages to enjoy! View scenes from a past Folklife Festival here.

Mr. Poppers Penguins
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Friday, 10:30am | Saturday, 4pm | Sunday 1:30pm
Tickets: $14

See a new show at Imagination Stage!  Mr. Popper, a painter of modest means, dreams of taking an Antarctic adventure. So he’s thrilled when a penguin named Captain Cook waddles out of a mysterious box left on his doorstep. The zookeeper donates a female companion and soon…the patter of 20 baby penguin feet! To feed all of these mouths, the imaginative Mr. Popper and his wife turn his talented penguins into a must-see traveling vaudeville act full of song and dance. But the rigors of performing take a toll on them all, and they must make a difficult decision. This musical play, featuring expert puppetry, depicts a wild and witty way to follow your dreams — and your convictions. Recommended for ages 3-10.

Encanto at The REACH
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday at dusk
Admission: Free

Catch a children’s fave on the outdoor screen at the lovely grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center — presented in honor of World Refugee Day. Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.

Lovin’ Summer
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get your summer on this weekend with a host of activities exclusive to this time of year. Catch an outdoor concert or movie under the stars. Enjoy some water fun at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Check out a special seasonal exhibit. Do some crabbing (the feasting kind). Take a spin on a carousel or mini train, and so much more. Some are highlighted here, but see the 2022 KFDC Guide to Summer in DC for the full scoop even more summer favorites.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the weekend with some live music in the fresh air. The Friday Night Concert series at Yards Park is a super fun way to start the weekend, and Pop/RnB band Pebble to Pearl is playing this installment of the summer staple. Enjoy the music along with food and drinks for purchase (or BYO picnic), let the kids play in the grassy spaces, and take in the scenic river views.

Yappy Hour
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Here’s one for dog fams… Celebrate summer Fridays with a “Yappy” Hour at The Boro Sandlot. Treat yourself to a cool cocktail and visit the Bone Bar to get a special something for your puppy pal while you enjoy tunes spun by a local DJ. Commemorate the evening with a branded dog bag holder and picture paw-fect moment at the Instagram-worthy “BARK” display. And if you don’t have a four-legged friend of your own, the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue will be joining for a puppy playtime! Pet some cute pups while you learn about how you could foster your own.

Solstice Saturday
Where: Smithsonian Museums | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – midnight
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian is marking the first Saturday of summer — Solstice Saturday — by staying open late and hosting parties, programs, and performances, including a free concert on the National Mall hosted by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a late-night garden dance party with glow yoga, a wellness day, and more. The following museums will be open until midnight welcoming visitors to the free festivities: Smithsonian Castle & Haupt Garden, Arts & Industries Building, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Asian Art, and the National Museum of Natural History. The Hirshhorn and National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open until 8pm.

Barbecue Battle
Where: 3-7th Streets | Pennsylvania Ave NW, DC
When: Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: Start at $12/adults, free/12 & under

Join one of the biggest summer barbeques around as the Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other to compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), 13 bands on four stages, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more. It all takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 3rd to 7th Streets.

Heritage Days
Where: Various locales | Montgomery County, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, re-creations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge. Learn about the history of dairy farming, railroads, and trolleys; African American communities, astronomy, local arts & culture, and outdoor recreation. Check the online brochure for participating locations and activities.

DC Tennis Festival
Where: Banneker Recreation Center | Shaw, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Calling all Tennis players, enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning! Join DC DPR at Banneker Recreation Center to meet the DPR citywide tennis staff and their long-standing Tennis at Shiloh partners. Enjoy a full day of tennis activities, lessons, and more! RSVP in advance.

Georgetown Sweets Tour
Where: Throughout Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: $35/person or $135 for 4 tickets

Discover Georgetown bakeries and independent retailers at the Georgetown Sweets Tour. Created as a way for DC area and visiting families to discover neighborhood bakeries and independent retailers, this experience takes you to 12 retail locations to pick up a different sweet from each one. By the end of the “tour” you’ll have 12 sweets (if you don’t eat them along the way, of course)!

Astronomy Festival
Where: 3rd-4th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 6-11pm
Admission: Free

Presented in association with the Smithsonian Solstice Saturday events, get an eyeful of the night sky and a chance to mingle with astronomers at the Annual Astronomy Festival on the Mall. This free public stargazing event features optical and radio telescope observations of the sun, star clusters, and colorful double stars. You can also enjoy hands-on activities, and astronomical image exhibits. This takes place at 3rd-4th Streets, SW, across from the National Museum of the American Indian.

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

On stage at Adventure Theatre….   Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

See a show on string at The Puppet Co… We all think we know the Big Bad Wolf from the classic fairytales, but what if it’s the same Wolf in both stories? What if there’s been a big mistake? What if the Wolf isn’t so big or so bad? Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. Read a KFDC review of the show from a bunch of years back.

Block Party
Where: Generation Hope
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $50/adult, $10/child

This family-friendly event will be held in the outdoor area of Generation Hope’s office and will include food, music, games, and activities for all ages. Come celebrate the summer with our families!

Vamos United!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission: Tickets start at $40

DC United is home this weekend, and there’s a match against Nashville SC on Saturday. I recommend taking public transportation as parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood and plan to walk from there (and maybe grab dinner after the match — El Bebe, All Purpose Pizza, The Salt Line, and Dacha are very convenient and my top recs for family-friendly spots to eat there). Purchase match tickets here.

Fairy Trail Grand Opening
Where: Piscataway Park | Accokeek, MD
When: Saturday, 6-8pm
Admission: $5-15

Celebrate the grand reopening of the Piscataway Park Fairy Trail near the summer solstice — a magical day for the fairy folk. The Forest Fairies of Piscataway Park are once again opening up their homes and inviting visitors into their world to learn about the forest they call home. This year they will take visitors on an enchanted adventure under the soil Full admission for fairies is $15 and will include wand making, wish bottles, soil activities, face painting, fairy dance class, special “Fairyologist” activity guides, and a popsicle. Partial admission for fairy-guardians is $5. Register in advance.

Take a Dip
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

As temps rise over the weekend, this round-up of non-pool places to swim around the area will be useful. Find beaches on the Bay (and even Atlantic), lakes and rivers, and swimming holes and creeks — all that welcome the public to take a dip!

Day Trippin’
Where: Around the DC area (and a bit beyond)
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

It’s summer, so head a little further out and enjoy a day trip. Some ideas for where to go:
* Zip up to Baltimore, where there are so many great attractions for families
* See the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns.
* Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry.
* Go to Calvert County for art adventures at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park, maritime explorations at the Calvert Marine Museum, or even a pontoon boat excursion from Solomons Island.

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

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 summer guide for details and links on all of these beaches.

Exhibit This
Where: Museums & venues around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by exhibit

There are some extraordinary installations and delightful annual exhibits at our museums and galleries right now. See Fairies in the Garden, immerse in the work of Yayoi Kusama, make a wish, explore King Tut’s tomb, take the kids to play at the Botanic Garden. Get details on all of these exhibits in the Summer Guide.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The National Gallery of Art East Building reopens on June 30 after being closed several months for renovations.
* On Monday, June 27, the National Postal Museum is hosting a virtual program for kids on Diversity Awareness with Guest Artist Rafael Lopez & Guest Author Sonia Sotomayor.
* The next Movies on the Pitch at Audi Field on Thursday, June 30, will feature Sing 2. Watch it from the stadium’s field as it’s transformed into an outdoor cinema. Reserve free tickets through the link.
* Tom Sietsma’s 7 favorite places to eat right now.
* The planets are aligning, and you can still get a view of them over the next couple of days.
* How cool would it be to have one of these?
* My last pair broke after 10 years of wear, so I just ordered these to replace them. One of my favorite brands…on sale, too!
* This new series is a fun watch for tween ages and up. (FTR, I enjoyed it, too.)
* Very important summer bbq advice.
* A couple of late additions… Where to find abortion services and donate to abortion funds. Plus, some thoughts from a wise, beloved woman.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. This helps me continue to bring you KFDC. Thanks so much for the support!

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Filed under 2022, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: June 17-19

 

Happy Weekend! Happy Juneteenth! And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Go-to posts full of ideas for activities around the area:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Peaceful Places
* Bike Rides

Celebrate Dad
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It’s a special day for the dads this weekend, and there are a bunch of great ways for the whole fam to celebrate if you’re still looking for ideas, from ballgames to big feasts to outdoor recreation to Juneteenth celebrations. See a whole round-up of them in this post, some of which are included below.

Summer Time
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

It still may not be official on the calendar, but when it comes to local recreation, summer has arrived. Free concerts in the open air, outdoor swimming, movies under the stars, sprayground fun, and SO much more! Activities exclusive to the season can be enjoyed all around the area this weekend. Some are listed in this round-up, and the 2022 KFDC Guide to the Best of Summer in DC has the scoop on the rest.

Portside in Old Town Summer Festival
Where: Old Town Waterfront | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, 6-9pm & Saturday, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate summer with the return of the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival! This free festival features an array of live music, local craft beer from Port City Brewing Company, and fun for the whole family on the Alexandria waterfront. Merging with the annual Alexandria Jazz Fest on Friday evening, the event will showcase jazz performances and readings by Alexandria poets, and the festival continues on Saturday with an eclectic musical lineup, local food, hands-on art and history activities, and more.

Jazz on the Riverfront
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the weekend with some live music in the fresh air. The Friday Night Concert series at Yards Park is underway, and the The JoGo Project is playing this installment of the summer staple. Enjoy the music along with food and drinks for purchase (or BYO picnic), let the kids play in the grassy spaces, and take in the scenic river views.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Sagra Field | Leesburg, VA
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Cheer on our local women’s pro soccer team, Washington Spirit, as they host Racing Louisville FC on Friday. Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports. Note that this match takes place on their home pitch out in Leesburg. Purchase tickets here.

Columbia Pike Blues Fest & Juneteenth Walk
Where: Several venues |in Arlington, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free (some activities are extra)

The annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival i s bringing music to Arlington. Starting on Saturday at 1pm and going through Sunday, the event will feature performances by many local blues bands and artists along with more family-friendly activities. Interact with the Arlington Art Truck, and enjoy food, beverages, arts, and a KidsZone. On Sunday, join a Historic Juneteenth Walk through the neighborhood in collaboration with the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington and Walk Arlington from 9-10am, visit the Columbia Pike Farmers Market for the live performance of Rick Franklin, followed by a special “Blues Brunch Menu” at Café Sazó. Close the weekend with a free screening of the musical-comedy The Blues Brothers at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse at 3pm.

Juneteenth Family Day
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Juneteenth, the annual holiday commemorating the end of legal slavery in the United States, with family-friendly art-making and activities at the National Archives Museum. For the Juneteenth weekend, the museum will also be extending hours June to stay open to the public longer, until 7pm, on June 18, 19, & 20.

Juneteenth Celebration
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to celebrate this historic date and enjoy free concerts, exhibits, and activities honoring African American culture. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, marking the date that the last enslaved people learned of their freedom — the month of June and the nineteenth day were combined to form the name. Be sure to enjoy all of the wonderful offerings at Watkins while you’re there.

Bubbleworks DC
Where: CityCenter | Downtown DC
When: Through July 4, 1-7pm
Admission: Free
There is fun bubbling up at CityCenter in Downtown DC! BubbleworksDC, an immersive world-class bubble spectacle, is bringing some extra delight to The Plaza through July 4. Stop by to play for free in the 6-8 minute interactive shows — they run every hour at the top of the hour. Since it’s a short experience, make the most of your visit to the area and head to the nearby National Portrait Gallery & Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Columbia Heights Day
Where: 11th St NW btwn Park & Irving | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you’re invited to bring the fam out for a fun, free day of excitement and activities to help celebrate the community. In its 14th year, the event brings together residents and businesses for all kinds of festivities. Enjoy local food vendors, live music and entertainment, a beer garden, and tents full of fun and unique vendors, and more.

Create by the Creek
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11:30am & 2-3:30pm
Admission: Free

Create by the Creek is a day-long celebration of art and community in Rock Creek Park. There will be art supplies for people of all ages to borrow, and local artist Denaise Seals will be teaching Animation Unplugged, a free, family-friendly workshop, where artists age 7 and up will create 24-page flip books, then watch their drawings magically come to life as the pages are flipped. Register in advance – for Workshop 1, 10-11:30am, here and Workshop 2, 2-3:30pm here. And read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

Opening this weekend at Adventure Theatre….   Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon.

Shows on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $12

See a puppet version of the fairytale classic, Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs, where the wolf might not be what you think. Recommended for ages 4+.  Really little ones will enjoy The Three Billy Goats Gruff,, this week’s Tiny Tots show that keeps the lights on and doors open and makes it a gentle experience for the youngest theatre-goers.

Drumfolk
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through June 26
Tickets: $36-75

Electrifying percussive dance fused with contemporary art forms fuels StepAfrika!’s latest production, Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. As a result, state laws mandated that enslaved Africans could not assemble or use their drums which were used to signal the uprising. They took away the drums, but they could not stop the beat. This is the rich and “inspiring” (The New York Times) story of a movement that could not be stopped and transformed African American culture from then to the present day.

Volunteer Clean Up
Where: Tyler Elementary Area | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free

DC Way is hosting a clean-up event, part of their quarterly environmental project on Sunday, and volunteers are invited to help with it! It will take place on the four blocks surrounding Tyler Elementary School. The goal is that the cleanliness of the streets surrounding their primary camp location will be improved, a clean community will be present, and a good environment for children to grow in is maintained. Let them know if you’ll be joining!

Juneteenth: Freedom Day Celebration
Where: National Harbor, | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate dad and Juneteenth at National Harbor, where there will be performances on the Plaza stage from the Prince George’s County Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate, local dancers, live music, artists, and more. The property is partnering with the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for a day of education, reflection and celebration. Food truck Mardi Gras Tyme will add to the festivities and offer a variety of southern cuisine samples, plus there are dozens of nearby restaurants. And there are even more fun activities to enjoy at National Harbor — read more about all of them here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Be aware that many DC roads will be shut down for the Something in the Water music festival (and it was already causing traffic back-up on Thursday). And there are still tickets available for the festival, though they are $$$.
* The National Museum of African American History & Culture is hosting a Juneteenth Community Day on Monday, June 20. It’s also a great place to visit this weekend (or anytime).  Reserved passes are gone, but you can try for same-day passes starting at 8:15am. Read more about the NMAAHC here.
* Beyond Kind Tut, opens at the National Geographic Museum, and while tickets are sold out fort this weekend, but you can reserve them for a later date.
* In case you missed it, there’s a new post all about Mount Vernon, a great DC area destination to out on your most-go list for this summer!
* Anacostia Riverkeeper’s Friday Night Fishing series has begun. It’s sold out for this weekend, but you can register for a later date.
* The 25 best tacos in the DC area according to the Washington Post.
* Father’s Day Gift for Every Type of Dad 😁

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Fun Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day Around DC

All adoring eyes on dad this weekend

 

It’s a special day for the dads this coming weekend, and there are a bunch of great ways for the whole fam to celebrate if you’re still looking for ideas. This round-up has a variety of suggestions, with something to suit every honoree. Happy Father’s Day!

Take Dad Out to the Ballgame
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront & Shaw, DC
When: June 16-19
Admission: Ticket prices vary

For Dads who are Nats fans, take them to the ballpark for a game against the Phillies. They are hosting them Thursday through Sunday, so if the actual Father’s Day doesn’t work, you’ve got your pick of other days — and there are special promos and activities on some of them, including Ryan Zimmerman’s retirement ceremony on Saturday.

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the day and dad on the trail.  Tramp in places with scenic views, walk and explore history at interesting locales, try to spot wild creatures, and enjoy a day of active fun. Bring along a picnic for lunch al fresco, too. This go-to KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hit the trail with kids.

Hike+
Where: Around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by place

Just mentioned above, but these specific recommendations for hikes are great if you want to extend the day to include food and drinks to celebrate, too.  A few awesome combos for that: Sky Meadows State Park and Barrel Oak WinerySugarloaf Mountain and The Comus Inn or Sugarloaf Mountain VineyardGreat Falls (MD side) and The Old Angler’s InnPatapsco Valley State Park and the Guinness Brewery.

Free Beer!
Where: All Purpose Pizza | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: June 19
Admission: Cost of your meal

According to All-Purpose Pizza, “all he wants is a hot slice (or 5) and a cold beer, trust us … we know.” Both their Riverfront and Shaw restaurants will have their respective brunch menus on offer; even better, they are gifting dads with a pint of their DC Brau collab, Full Count Lager — on the house!  And their brunch is delicious — trust me.  Make a reservation here

Columbia Pike Blues Fest & Juneteenth Walk
Where: Arlington, VA
When: June 18-19
Admission: Free (some activities are extra)

If your honoree likes the blues, take him to the annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival. Starting on Saturday at 1pm and going through Sunday, the event will feature performances by many local blues bands and artists along with more family-friendly activities. Interact with the Arlington Art Truck, and enjoy food, beverages, arts, and a KidsZone. On Sunday, join a Historic Juneteenth Walk through the neighborhood in collaboration with the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington and Walk Arlington from 9-10am, visit the Columbia Pike Farmers Market for the live performance of Rick Franklin, followed by a special “Blues Brunch Menu” at Café Sazó. Close the weekend with a free screening of the musical-comedy The Blues Brothers at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse at 3pm.

Father’s Day Fish-a- Rama
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: June 19
Admission: $15/child, $17/adult

Treat Dad to a fun-filled weekend with BBQ and catch-and-release fishing. Guests can compete in the Fish-a-Rama contest, fishing for catfish, bass, and blue gill in the stocked ponds, and prizes are on the line for the largest fish hooked from 9am – 2pm. Bring your own pole and gear to fish (no drag hooks). GCF has worms for purchase in the country store. The amusement continues on the five-acre farm-style playground featuring the Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard, and loads more fun for all.

Food & Drink Filled Festivities
Where: Around the DC Area
When: June 19
Admission: Cost of your meal

You really can’t go wrong with plans focused around food and drink, and there are a bunch of restaurants and other places around DC that are offering something special for the big day, from Juneteenth-inspired menus to five-course feasts to whiskey evenings to meals that you can pick up and enjoy at home.  This Washingtonian article has a great round-up of them.  And if you just want to go out for a good, fun meal with the fam, here are a few of my recs:  Ivy City Smokehouse, The Salt Line, Lupo Marino, Cactus Cantina, and Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Tabard Inn. Be sure to make reservations.

Fun in the Trees
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
When: Ongoing
Admission: Starts at $42

For adventurous dads who love the outdoors, particularly being in the trees, an afternoon in the aerial adventure forest of the Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is the perfect way to spend the day — it is hands down the best aerial ropes course in the area.  There are still some tickets available for Sunday, but if you can’t score them for that day, think Father’s Day gift and reserve for another day! (FYI: This is one of our favorite adventures in the area — read more about it here.)

Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
Where: National Harbor, | Oxon Hill, MD
When: June 19, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate dad and Juneteenth at National Harbor, where there will be performances on the Plaza stage from the Prince George’s County Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate, local dancers, live music, artists, and more. The property is partnering with the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council for a day of education, reflection and celebration. Food truck Mardi Gras Tyme will add to the festivities and offer a variety of southern cuisine samples, plus there are dozens of nearby restaurants. And there are even more fun activities to enjoy at National Harbor — read more about all of them here.

Thee Phantom and the Illharmonic Orchestra
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 19
Admission: $27

This show family-friendly show celebrating Juneteenth is a great evening activity on dad’s big day. Hip-hop and classical music collide when Thee Phantom and The Illharmonic Orchestra come to Wolf Trap for a special performance. The all-star lineup features some of the most outstanding Black orchestral musicians from across the country performing works by Beethoven, Donny Hathaway, Jay-Z, Rossini, Wu-Tang Clan, Mozart, Mary J Blige, and William Grant Still.

Take Dad Out to the Minors
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Bowie, MD
When: Throughout Father’s Day weekend
Admission: Starts at $16

The Nats aren’t the only team in town for some Father’s Day baseball. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, are hosting the Binghamton Rumble Ponies all weekend, and there’s extra fun and special promos to enjoy — post-game fireworks, a Roberto Clemente Latin celebration on Saturday, and giveaways among them.

Go With the Flow
Where: Around the DC area
Admission: Varies by locale

Spend quality time with the man of the hour on the water, where you can paddle and explore. A bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and pontoons. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go.   The Wharf is a great starting place for a paddling excursion.  Quiet Waters Park showcases beautiful nature in Annapolis that you can view from the South River. Bladensburg Waterfront Park also has vessels for rent for a great all-day deal.  And if you want to go a little bigger, consider a Solomons Island pontoon boat rental (the post is about a Mother’s Day excursion, but can obvi be for Father’s Day, too).  For even more recommendations, see this round-up of places for recreation on the water.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Parks Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale (usually FREE)

Celebrate the day by hitting the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to savor a day outdoors with the family.  This post has info about our favorite in College Park, and there are also great courses at Patapsco Valey State Park in MD,  Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA,  Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses are set up in pretty parks with opportunities for more recreation at all of them. Bring along a picnic for lunch in the fresh air, too.

A Grand Feast
Where: Crab houses around the area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Cost of your meal

Steamed crabs, cold beer, scenic views… that’s a recipe for a great Father’s Day for at least one dad I know. The 2022 Summer Guide has several suggestions on where to feast on Maryland’s best dish. I recommend making reservations if possible — this is always a popular way to celebrate.

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend