Category Archives: Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 26-28

Glide the night away at Canal Park’s Community Skate

 

Happy Weekend!

Loads of ideas for ongoing activities in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Active Pursuits Inside
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Ice Skating
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Community Ice Skate Night
Where: Canal Park Ice Rink | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-10pm
Admission: Free – $12/child, $15/adult, $6/rental

In honor of National Ice Skating Month, join a Community Ice Skate Night at the Canal Park Ice Rink featuring DJ CiCi. Plus, FIRST 100 attendees to arrive will get the free entry and skate rental. Note that in order to get free entry, you must check in at the Canal Park Ice Rink skate shop window on the evening of the event (do not pre-purchase tickets online prior to the event). They’ll begin granting admission for Community Skate Night at 6:30 pm, so make sure to arrive early to be one of the first 100 skaters!

Explore a New (To You) Museum
Where: Museums around MD & VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by museum

In case you missed it, there’s a brand new round-up of museums in Maryland and Virginia. While DC is well known for its many great museums, both on the National Mall and in other areas around the city, there are even more beyond the District lines that are great to explore with kids. Find one to check out with the fam this weekend!

Auto Focus
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mt. Vernon Square, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $20/adults, $8/ages 6-12, free/5 & under

The 2024 Washington Auto Show is in its second and final weekend. If there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for all ages, this is it. More than 600 cars and trucks are on display for guests to check out, plus there are more activities like Ride ‘n Drives with Jeep, an Art of Motion exhibit, exotic car display, and Subaru Love Pets area with dogs from local animal shelters will give guests even more to do and see. Get a glimpse and an idea of what to expect in KFDC posts about it here and here.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $20+
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC. Gravedigger, El Toro Loco, Megolodon, Dragon, Wild Side, and more will be tearing up the indoor terrain.  Before you go, be sure to read this post with tips for making the most of the experience.

Hill Family Biking: Ride to Canal Park Ice Skating
Where: Maury Elementary to Canal Park | Capitol Hill/Navy Yard, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Hill Family Biking for short ride from Maury Elementary down to Canal Park for ice skating. (Anyone that wants to skate should pre-register to guarantee a spot in the 12pm session.) They’ll have volunteers marshaling to ensure the group stays together. MPD bike team will also be participating in the ride to connect officers with the community. If your family’s bikes need some TLC, get there 15 minutes early to get some assistance– bike maintenance tools will be available, as well as some experienced amateur bike mechanics on hand to assist.

Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Screen Time
Where: Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm & 1:30-3pm
Admission: Free

Art & Me is back in person! Visit the special exhibition Palace Life Unfolds: Conserving a Chinese Lacquer Screen and explore how art and science collide when conservators preserve precious works of art. Then return to the ImaginAsia studio to learn more about the process of repairing a work of art with Smithsonian conservators and educators, and make your own creation to take home. This program is designed for children ages 3–8 with adult participation. Sign up for the 11am-12:30pm time slot or 1:30-3:30pm.

Orchids Galore!
Where: Kogod Courtyard | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 11:30am – 7pm
Admission: Free
See several hundred varieties of orchids making the already stunning Kogod Courtyard, at the center of the National Portrait Gallery and American Art, even more so. The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration is the annual orchid exhibit presented by the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens. View the flowers alongside artwork intended to prompt viewers to think about the future of orchids. Bring along some pencils and paper for sketching.  And, of course, plan to tour the museums, too — see more about both here and here.

Hot Wheels Champion Experience
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:

This exciting immersive experience for kids combines exhilarating digital and hands-on play in a 16,000-square foot interactive environment for all ages. Conquer all kinds of digital challenges, create a car and see in in 3D on a bog screen, immerse in AR fun, and more. Get more details and a glimpse of it all in this post.

Disney Encanto x CAMP
Where: Tysons Corner | Tysons, VA
When: Through March
Admission: Starts at $32

Another immersive experience, this one inspired by the beloved Encanto movie is also running at Tysons — and delivers on the magic for kids! Tickets are limited for this weekend, but there were still some available last I checked.  If it’s sold out, snag them for another time.  And read this post for more about the experience.

Weekend Family Matinee: Trolls Band Together
Where: Avalon Theatre | Chevy Chase, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am
Admission: $10.38

The Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, the oldest operating movie house in the area and a non-profit, is hosting a Weekend Family Matinees on Saturday. Trolls Band Together will be screened both Saturday and Sunday.

DC Day: Honoring the End of Street Car Service
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: $8

Celebrate street car history in the DC area! For 100 years, street cars represented the most widely used public transit, moving millions of people and connecting communities. In honor of that, there will be special street car rides, family-friendly activities, and opportunities to explore objects from the archive.

Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Saturday, 6pm (tickets available at 4:30pm)
Admission: Free

At this Millennium Stage session, prepare to welcome the Year of the Dragon with lion dancing and drumming performances. Advance tickets are sold out, but free tickets will also be available at the Hall of States Box Office on Saturday, beginning at 4:30pm.

Annie
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $44-139 (look for discounts)
Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in a new production – just as you remember it and just when

Mindplay
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through March 3
Tickets: $41-95

Mind tricks, anyone? Mentalist Vinny DePonto delivers a performance full of them in this one-man (+ a few audience members) show. It’s a fascinating, delightful, and poignant trip down memory lane as he explores the mind’s inner workings and what we hold onto in our heads. Highly recommend for a fun evening out — for teens and older!

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Through February 18
Tickets: $15

Join the Puppet Co. for this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Directed by Danny Pushkin. Recommended for ages 4+.

Finding Nemo Jr. The Musical
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $12-15

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… This beloved story follows Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, who lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his child Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured, Marlin decides to face his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as the optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Recommended for all ages.

tick, tick…BOOM
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Opens Friday through February 4
Tickets: $59-349 (look for discounts)
Before there was RENT… there was tick, tick… BOOM!, Jonathan Larson’s explosive musical about life, death, and the necessity of art. The semi-autobiographical story follows Jon, a composer struggling to break into New York City’s theater scene. Recommended for teens and older.  Shows are mostly sold out, but you can look for resale tickets here.

Mozart & Mark Rothko
Where: National Galley of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 3pm
Admission: Free

The University of Maryland Opera Studio will perform a selection of Mozart’s works, honoring the favorite composer of Mark Rothko, whose works are on display in a special exhibition right now. The artist famously said of Mozart, “I became a painter because I wanted to raise painting to the level of poignancy of music and poetry.”  The performances will take place in the West Garden Court; the Rothko exhibit is in the East Building.

NCAA Basketball Around DC
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
We’re in the thick of college basketball season.  And with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on around town. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Nebraska on Saturday at 12pm (Go, Terps!)
* Catholic men vs Moravian on Saturday at 2pm
* Catholic women vs Moravian on Saturday at 4pm
* George Mason men vs  Rhode Island on Saturday at 4pm
* American men vs Colgate on Saturday at 4pm
* George Mason women vs VCU on SUnday at 4pm

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The International Spy Museum’s annual Spy Fest takes place next Friday evening, February 2! I can tell you from experience, it’s a very intriguing event. And the website might say it’s sold out, but I may have some intel that more tickets could be released…
* Washingtonian just released its list of the 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2024.
* You can still get (pricey) tickets for the Ravens game on Sunday!
* Latest movie rec (not for kids).
* Is it weird that I’m excited about this purchase?
* Ever shop at Everlane?  They always have great basics as well as pieces with a little extra something, like this sweater I just ordered.
* How great is this?

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Monster Jam Thunders its Way into DC this Weekend!

 

Monster Jam, the world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour, will thunder its way into Capital One Arena this weekend — January 27-28! Gravedigger, El Toro Loco, Megolodon, Dragon, Wild Side, and more will be tearing up the indoor terrain.

KFDC Contributor Emily Moise recently attended the show in Baltimore and offers a few tips:

* Bring noise canceling headphones or earplugs for everyone in your group—especially the little ones. These headphones worked well for my 4 and 6 year olds.

* The show is about two hours with many pauses and breaks in the action, particularly if any tricks go awry! Set your expectations and plan to roam around the arena if needed.

* There is some enticing merchandise for Monster Jam fanboys and girls. You may be able to find better deals online for trucks and clothing, and surprise your kids on the way to the show!

You can view more of Emily’s experience here and purchase tickets here!

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 27-28
Admission: Tickets start at $20

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Filed under 2024, DC, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 19-21

Wishing the kid adult behind the goggles the happiest 18th (!!!) birthday ❤️

 

This Weekend Round-Up warrants some extra thoughts, as it’s not just any weekend here. Today, the kid whose sweet, smiling, three-year-old face lights up each page of this blog… he turns 18, officially an adult.

There’s a reason why it’s cliché to say they grow up so fast:  Because they do.  It really feels like yesterday that Owen arrived in the world, nearly three weeks early, weighing less than six pounds, a helpless tiny human completely dependent on Levi and me.  In the blink of an eye (cliché again!), he’s grown into an intelligent, self-driven, good-natured, very competent young man.  The itty baby who once fit into the crook of my arm is now 6’4″ and makes me look like the tiny one.

One of my favorite things about Owen is how he truly experiences life with all of his senses and every fiber of his being. Anyone who has ever accompanied him on a hike, bike ride, trip to a new destination, museum visit, or even just a walk down the street to see the sunset has heard him express his appreciation for nature, art, his city, his friends and family, and how it makes him feel.  He approaches everything he does with grit and so much heart, from school to the soccer field, speaking to a delegation of 300 people, putting it all out there on the basketball court.

He has the best smile, and I love that we get to see it often.

His next trip around the sun is going to be an exciting one… this is the year he’ll make one of the biggest decisions of his life thus far, graduate from high school, leave home for college.  It’s bittersweet, to say the least. And while I’m all too aware of all of the “lasts” in this coming year, I also know it’s just the beginning of an incredible journey ahead. I can’t wait to see where it will take him.

Happy Weekend!  And a very Happy 18th Birthday to my sweet O.

 

* * * 

 

Go-to posts packed with ideas for local fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Ice Skating
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/age 13+, $6/age 6-12, free/5 & under

The annual Washington Auto Show revs up this weekend! And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for kids and adults, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — hundreds of them — on display for guests to check out. Other activities like a driving area for kids, electric vehicle test rides, an exotic car display, a classic car zone, and so much more will give guests even more to do and see. The show will be in town and running every day through January 28. Get a glimpse and an idea of what to expect in KFDC posts about it here and here.

DC Teen Scene
Where: Around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

In honor of a certain big birthday this weekend, I’m sharing this post written by the young man (he’s officially an adult!) of the moment.  It’s full of recommendations for hanging out with teens, from museums to outdoor recreation to sports events to live entertainment to a neighborhood with lots of things to do.

All Downhill…
Where: Ski resorts around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies by resort

The fresh snow makes it a great time to hit the slopes for a day trip or even an overnight this weekend!  Skiing is a fun and active way to enjoy some family time, and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). This post has info about Whitetail and one of our expriences there. And other relatively close resorts for day trips are Liberty and Bryce.  Farther away, but good to check out for longer trips are RoundtopMassanuttenWintergreen,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  Snowshoe,  Timberline, and Wisp. (PS: The photo above is not from an area resort… but it’s inspo to go and a very recent pic of the birthday boy.)

Batman Live in Concert
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Friday, 8pm
Tickets: $38-115
This is a one-of-a-kind experience that is a mixture of going to the movie theater and a concert.  Watch the film projected onto a larger-than-life screen while an orchestra plays the film score live on stage in front of you.The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes a clownishly homicidal villain known as The Joker.

Kids DIY Workshop
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Lowes is hosting their monthly in-person workshop for kids. This Saturday, they can get to work building their own toolbox, so your little helper will be eager to tag along on your next home improvement project. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!

Shaun the Sheep: Flock this Way
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Starting Saturday through May 12
Admission: $18.95

The National Children’s Museum Visiting Exhibit Hall will be transformed into Mossy Bottom Farm as Shaun the Sheep: Flock This Way! opens this weekend.
Based on the popular film and television characters, the interactive exhibit will explore, investigate, and share in the antics of Shaun the Sheep and his pals through a all kinds of hands-on play. It’s most impactful for children ages 3-9, but all are welcome. And there’s much more to explore at the museum — read all about it.

Adaptive Skating Day
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $10

The Wharf Ice Rink is hosting a special session of adaptive skating and more, designed to provide a fun experience on the ice for those that are more comfortable in a reduced stimulus setting or that may need additional support. There will be ice skating, an activity station, a snack station (make your own trail mix), a calm down corner for anyone who needs to take a little break and a photo station with zamboni. Wheelchairs and AFO’s are welcome on the ice and The Wharf will have skates and skate aids available. Four Team USA skaters will be on hand to assist on and off the ice and have experience working with children with ASD, ADHD and Down’s Syndrome. The $10 registration fee includes admission for one child or adult and one parent, guardian, or caregiver to join them on the ice.

Cub Corner
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5/adult, $2/child

Head to the museum to enjoy a short story and craft in the museum’s gallery, along with checking out all the cool aircraft and artifacts on display. The program is designed for ages 5 & under, but the museum will fascinate all ages, including adults. And FYI, it’s located right next to the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world.

Lunar New Year at Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Get creative at this studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center, where all are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities. Through February 11, get ready for the arrival of the Year of the Dragon (February 10th) with Lunar New Year-inspired projects, including shadow puppets, paper lanterns, and zodiac prints.

Freeze Dance Party
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $7/person, $25 max/family (babies free) 

The Noyes Children’s Library Foundation is kicking off 2024 with a freeze dance for families. The event will include a dance leader getting kids moving with fun tunes, tables with crafts, and a separate room with storybooks for a quiet space. The dance party is open to children of all ages; the crafts are geared to kids from 2-8 years old. Free snacks and water will be available. Space is limited and sales are only at the door.

Finding Nemo Jr. The Musical
Where: Thomas Jeffereson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $12-15

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… This beloved story follows Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, who lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his child Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured, Marlin decides to face his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as the optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Recommended for all ages.

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Starts Saturday through February 18
Tickets: $15

Join the Puppet Co. for this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Directed by Danny Pushkin. Recommended for ages 4+.

Elena Moon Park and Friends
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

Take an “unhurried journey” around the globe through song! Elena Moon Park and Friends performs folk and children’s music from East and Southeast Asia, reimagined to celebrate various musical traditions, languages, styles, and stories. Recommended for ages 7+.

Books Alive
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Tickets: Free

Interact Story Theatre’s continues its Family Theatre Series in the new year, kicking it off with a Family Literacy Fiesta. Artistic Director Ali Oliver-Krueger will lead kids and adults in exploring a favorite folk tale together through movement, drama, and song. Everyone’s a part of the story in this Family Arts Workshop! Best for ages 3 and up.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

(W)Hoop It Up
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
Watching college teams play ball  is just as exciting, sometieseven more so, than the pros.  And tickets are often cheaper.  With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs Illinois on Saturday at 1pm
* GW women vs Saint Louis Bilikens on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday at 2pm
* American women vs Lehigh on Saturday at 2pm
* Howard men & women vs Norfolk State on Saturday at 2pm
* Maryland men vs Michigan State on Sunday at 12pm

Wizards this Weekend (including Kids Day)
Where: Capitol one Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for discounts)

The Wizards have two home games this weekend. See them play the San Antponio Spurs on Saturday evening or go to the game against the Nuggets on Sunday, which is also a Kids Day — the first 5,000 fans will get a G-Wiz Squish Plushie.

Building Stories Community Celebration
Where: National Building Museum
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The National Building Museum is celebrating the opening of its new long-term exhibitionwith a FREE community celebration. Building Stories brings kids and adults alike on an immersive exploration of the world of architecture, engineering, construction, and design found in the pages of children’s books. The event includes celebrity story time, live music, puppet shows, giveaways, and more. Registration recommended!

Tu B’Shevat Painting and Planting
Where: Home Depot | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 1:30pm
Admission: Free
Tu B’Shevat is the Jewish New Year for the trees, so Chabad East DC welcomes all to celebrate with a workshop to paint terra cotta pots and then fill them with seeds and soil.  There will also be special Tu B’Shevat snacks!
All ages are welcome!

Disney’s Frozen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $35-185 (find discount)

The Tony Award–nominated Broadway musical is now on tour across North America. Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters. It’s everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy. Recommended for ages 6+.

Indoor Action
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

This post will likely come in handy this weekend, if you want to enjoy some active fun, but also want to stay indoors. From pickleball and roller skating to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts to an indoor waterpark, find ideas for  all kinds of ways to get your fun and game on.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new post about regularly occurring museum programs for kids around DC — and it’s a good one to bookmark!
* With a new snowfall, re-sharing this post with a long list of sledding spots around the area.
* Some of the best comic book stores in the DC area.
This episode  of The Daily about SATs is an interesting listen.
* Just started reading this book and really enjoying it so far.
* If you’re doing some new year purging (or buying), here’s a helpful post.
* And if you’re just buying, don’t miss Amazon’s Winter Sale. A few picks: This puffer, these and these for kids, a family game and this one for teens, this for the dry winter air, and this because it looks awesome.
* How cool is this and can Metro get them?

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 12-15

Enjoy picturesque views and free admission at Great Falls on Monday!

 

Happy Long Weekend!

Link up to ideas galore for ongoing fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the DMV & Online
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the whole weekend, Volunteer opportunities, art adventures, self-guided tours of local sights, and special events are some of the many ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Drop-In Family Program
Where: Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday 1-3pm
Admission: $20/adults, free for kids

Bring the whole fam to investigate materials, methods, and ideas in art. The Phillips is partnering with the Embassy of Switzerland to celebrating the work of contemporary Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Families will explore One-on-One: Ugo Rondinone / Louis Eilshemius, which connects a contemporary artist and poet with one from the past. Laura J. Frantz, the Poet-in-Chief of the Charlottesville Poem Store (and her vintage typewriter) will help compose poems about magical places. Experiment with bringing poetry to life using illustrative techniques, intertwining words and images to create a unique work of art.

Second Saturday Sungazing
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Enjoy a special activity at the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum! Become an astronomer and observe the sun safely with a filtered telescope. Join museum staff outside the entrance to view a variety of features on the sun. Knowledgeable staff will be there to answer questions and guide observing.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admisison: Free

Stop by 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 activity for the young and young at heart.  Hosted by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, the station is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

STEAM Saturday
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/adult, $7/child

Join the museum for STEAM activities related to the Brick City exhibition. Each activity challenges children to think creatively and experimentally using principles of design thinking and engineering.From building with LEGO bricks to working with AI to plan a city, each child will solve problems large and small and come to a greater understanding of the built world around us. STEAM Saturdays are targeted towards children in grades 2nd-8th and their caregivers and occur monthly on the second Saturday. Registration strongly encouraged.

The Other Side
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1:30pm & 4pm
Tickets: $20

See a show that’s oly here this weekend… Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s simple yet powerful book comes to life in an evening-length dance piece from choreographer and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor for Dance Education Hope Boykin.  Recommended for ages 5+.

Disney’s Frozen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through January 21
Tickets: $35-185 (find discount)

The Tony Award–nominated Broadway musical is now on tour across North America. Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters. It’s everything you want in a musical: It’s moving. It’s spectacular. And above all, it’s pure Broadway joy. Recommended for ages 6+.

Rock the Rink
Where: The Wharf Ice Rink | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $13/adult, $10/youth, $8/rental

It’s a Capitals Winter at The Wharf! Show your Caps pride at the ice rink on Saturday. From 12pm-4pm, enjoy ice skating with a DJ, Caps gear giveaways, and more. At 1pm, they’ll be broadcasting the Capitals’ away game against the New York Rangers on the bar TV at the Caps Cantina Bar on Transit Pier. Throughout the day, fans wearing Capitals gear receive $5 off admission to The Wharf Ice Rink.

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free 

Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park – there is so much fun to be had at the PG County locale.  Visit the Old Maryland Farm to see the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds.  The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Trails winding through the woods make for nice hikes, too!

Caps vs Rangers
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for discounts)

Hockey, anyone? The Capitals are playing at home on Saturday afternoon as they host the New York Rangers. Grab a bite to eat in the Penn Quarter neighborhood before the game.  This post about kid-friendly eats in DC has suggestions for places to go.

Hook Hall Family Funday: The Great Zucchini
Where: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission:  $5 per family

Local popular children’s entertainer, The Great Zucchini, will highlight Hook Hall’s Family Funday on Sunday. Zucchini’s interactive “Frosty Show” is filled with wintery and snowy themes, magic and kid participation. Hook Hall’s Family Funday is $5 per family and is a benefit for DC Action. Coffee and drinks are available for purchase along with a kid-friendly breakfast and snacks.

Winter Inspo
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Don’t let the cold keep you from getting outdoors. This post, written during the height of Covid, is full of recs for activities that take place in the fresh air, from hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun.  Get out and enjoy some sunshine!

Inside Fun & Games
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

If you prefer to be inside,  you can still be active or do something with an engaging mission. From pickleball and roller skating to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts to an indoor waterpark, this post has ideas for  all kinds of ways to get your fun and game on.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

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

Wizards vs Pistons
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Monday, 3pm
Admission: Tickets start at $16  (check for discounts)

The Wizards are playing at home on Sunday afternoon, hosting the Detroit Pistons.  Plan to take the fam to lunch or before or dinner after in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Hill Country BBQ… details on these and more here.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs Purdue on Saturday at 12pm
* Howard men vs Maryland Eastern on Saturday at 4pm
* American men vs Army on Saturday at 4pm
* GWU men vs George Mason vs GWU on Monday at 2pm
* Howard men vs Morehouse on Monday at 7pm

Ice It
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars — or indoors if that’s your preference.  Get your skate on and and art at the Sculpture Garden.  Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements.  This post has details on alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

All Downhill…
Where: Ski resorts around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies by resort

With an extra day this weekend, how about heading to the slopes for a day trip or even an overnight? (Don’t worry, they make plenty of snow!) Skiing is a fun and active way to enjoy some family time, and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). This post has info about Whitetail and one of our day trips there last winter. And other relatively close resorts for day trips are Liberty and Bryce.  Farther away, but good to check out for longer trips are RoundtopMassanuttenWintergreen,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  Snowshoe,  Timberline, and Wisp.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

If you want to do some indoor exploring, consider a not-so-well-known place.  Because if you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* If you’re looking for places to hang out indoors on chilly days, make it a stunning one!
* There’s more live entertainment this weekend than what’s listed above — see what’s in theatres and coming this winter!
* DCist recommends where to go for Washington Restaurant Week, January 15-21. Make your reservations!
* Did you know teens age 13-17 can have their own Uber accounts? And through January 15, they’re offering two free rides (up to $15) for new teen Uber users to see the new Mean Girls movie!
* 52 Places to Go in 2024.
* Get an extra 50% off sale items at Gap. I just ordered this for a steal.
A cute Amazon fashion find with great reviews.
* Who else loves a good puzzle for winter? And here’s one for kids.
* For all the Gen X girls.
* Darcy’s 10 Happy Things for January  + a family photo session giveaway!

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2024)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe MLK Day, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.  A good option for the whole gang is an outdoor volunteer clean-up at a local park, and there are a lot of them happening throughout the weekend. Check here, herehere, and here.

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

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 15
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.  A Peace Rally begins at 9am, then the Peace Walk steps off at 10:45am from Shepherd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but be sure to RSVP

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. And there will be special activities on Monday to celebrate MLK: the Student artists from the Cinematic Arts & Media Production Department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts will perform original work that reimagines and reinterprets the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There will also be hands-on activities and pecan pie (MLK’s favorite) available at the Sweet Home Cafe. Of course, plan to tour the exhibits, too, but be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Shaping the Dream: a Community Clay Event
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 13-15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Join Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an uplifting community art event and exhibit inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Claudette Taylor lto earn how to make a bas relief tile in air-dry clay and sculpt their your own unique and uplifting motif to display on the wall.  Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DC area
When: Through January 15
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

It Starts with Me!
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 15, 1-5pm
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library for a day of celebration and reflection. Musical performers, spoken word artists, and more activities will take place to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 15, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. Along with the exhibits, enjoy open mic, art-making, music, dance, and more. And for this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE!  Be sure to RSVP!

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday with this annual free and family-friendly event that’s back in the Folger after being closed for a few yeas’ removation. The day will feature music, contemporary poet Alexa Patrick, and actors Sara Barker, Fatima Quander, Greg Reid, and others reading historic speeches from Dr. King as well as their own poems.

MLK Service and Learning Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: January 15
Admission: $8

Introduce your young ones to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as we gather at the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center to learn about Martin Luther King and the importance of giving back to our community. Rotate through stations to hear about the Civil Rights Movement, participate in a service project, and reflect on the power of community cooperation. All participants must be registered.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tribute
Where: City Hall | College Park, MD
When: January 15, 9am, 10am, 1pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the City of College Park at a performances of two children-focused educational shows! The “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” show, offered at 9am ad 10am, will focus on the life and works of the famed civil rights leader, while the “Spirit to Overcome” show, at 1pm and 2pm, highlights the many contributions of African American women. Be sure to reserve a spot!

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 15 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free, registration required

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 15
Admission: Free

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 15, 6pm
Admission: Free

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is a DC tradition.  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host this musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature Jordin Sparks, Nolan Williams Jr., and Cécile McLorin Salvant. Free tickets will be given away, up to two per person in line, in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Filed under 2024, All ages, DC, Weekend, Winter