Tag Archives: A Year with Frog and Toad

This Weekend: Museums, a Folk Fest, and Tons of Seasonal Fun

Playing in the fountains at the U.S. Botanic Garden

As this post goes live, the forecast is calling for both sun and showers this weekend. Luckily, there are options for family fun to suit all weather possibilities — museum family days, the Washington Folk Festival, a community children’s fair, theatre performances, strawberry picking, and much more summer recreation. Here’s where it’s all happening. Happy Weekend!

Celebration of TextilesThis free, annual two-day festival at the Textile Museum offers something for everyone.  Venture outside to the spectacular garden to participate in hands-on textile activities, watch live sheep being shorn (weather permitting), and learn from embroidery, weaving, and lace-making guilds of the region as they demonstrate their skills.  Explore the exhibitions Green: the Color and the Cause and Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles. Also on view will be DC Public School student’s textile art projects inspired by this year’s theme of recycling and created in part of the 2011 Museum-School Partnership. The celebration will take place on Saturday from 10am – 4pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. All ages are welcome.

Washington Folk Festival  – Get folksy at Glen Echo Park this weekend. In its 31st year, the Washington Folk Festival will showcase the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation, as well as the world, will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the festival that is renown in the folk community Saturday and Sunday from 12-7pm both days. Admission is free.

Imagination BethesdaOn Saturday from 11am – 4pm, join the Bethesda Urban Partnership to celebrate children, art, and all things fun at the 17th annual Imagination Bethesda. Where Woodmont Avenue meets Elm Street, activity tents will line the streets, face painters will bring butterflies and pirates to life, and a stage of live entertainment will have the whole street dancing. Activity details and the entertainment line-up are available on the Imagination Bethesda website.

Summer in the City – Outdoor concerts, a children’s garden and more ongoing seasonal fun has begun in DC. From Jazz in the Garden on Friday evenings to open swim at local pools to play time at the Botanic Garden,  this post has the scoop on where and when you can experience the joys of summer.

Bear Awareness Days – The National Zoo is hosting two days of fun, family programming all about bears. Enjoy special keeper talks and animal demos, learn about the bears of the world, and find out how to stay safe around local bears. Kids of all ages can help bear-proof a campsite, share what they love about bears, sneak a peek at our bamboo shed, and even bring their own teddy bear for a check-up. This free program will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 2pm. View a schedule of activities on the National Zoo website.

The Time is Still Ripe – Strawberry fields may not be forever on DC area farms, but they’re still yielding fruit for now.  This may be the last weekend to harvest your own — if you plan to go, this list includes farms offering pick-your-own opportunities.

Family Night Out at the Theatre1st Stage Theatre at Tysons Corner presents a special family performance of  “Jack and the Bean-Stalk” on Saturday at 6pm.  The brand new adaptation of the classic fairytale just opened last weekend and will run through June 19.  Tickets are $15 and available for purchase online.

National Trails DayThe first Saturday of every June is National Trails Day. Celebrate it this weekend by taking a family hike.  For some ideas on where to go, see this post about good walks in the woods with the kids.

History in the Making Family DayThe Smithsonian American Art Museum is celebrating  History in the Making: The Renwick Craft Invitational 2011 with a day of activities for the family.  Guests are invited to take a family-oriented tour of the exhibition galleries, then make arts and crafts inspired by the work of the four artists on view.  There will also be live music and a scavenger hunt.  The free event runs from 11am – 2pm on Saturday.

Click, Clack, MooOn Sunday at 3pm, the Alden Theatre in McLean presents a new musical based on the Caldecott Award-winning book by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin.  All day long Farmer Brown hears “click clack moo, clickety clackety moo…” The cows are typing and protesting their working conditions! When his granddaughter Jenny comes to visit, Farmer Brown declares the farm a “tech-free zone.” The hilarious musical is all about negotiation and compromise.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.  Tickets are $12, $8/McLean residents.

Best in Shows – Along with the above-mentioned plays, there are several more performances to see around the area, including A Year with Frog and Toad, which is in its final weekend at Adventure Theatre.  Find out what else is on stages this weekend — see this post for live entertainment options for the family.

Sunny Days – The weather forecast is looking good for at least part of the weekend.  Bask in the sunshine and have a good time with help of this list of great places to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the kids.

Rainy Days – Let’s hope you won’t have to use this, but if the skies should open up this weekend, these ideas for rainy day recreation will come in handy.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Summer Fun Abounds at Glen Echo Park

The Carousel, one of many reasons kids (and adults!) love Glen Echo Park

As if we need anymore reasons to adore Glen Echo Park, the venue known for its children’s plays and puppet shows (and carousel and playground and rail car) will offer even more entertaining and educational experiences this summer. From a weekend folk festival and new theatre productions to concert series and classes that explore the environment, there’s something for every age and interest to enjoy.

Washington Folk Festival
In its 31st year, the festival showcases the diversity of traditional music in Washington. All of the artists hail from the DC area, but cultures from around the nation and the world will be represented through music, dance, crafts, and stories. The public is invited to enjoy the festival renown in the folk community this weekend, June 4-5 from 12-7pm both days. Admission is free.

Adventure Theatre
You have merely days to catch the final shows of “A Year with Frog and Toad,” as curtains close on June 5. And it will be a couple of weeks before they open again for the theatre’s next production. “Charlotte’s Web” will take the stage June 24 and run through September 5. The play based on the classic children’s book is sure to be a hit. Tickets for both shows are available for advance purchase online.

The Puppet Co.
The Great Dinosaur Mystery” opens June 9 and runs through July 17. Less than a week later “The Wizard of Oz” will come to puppet life from July 22 – September 4. Tickets for both shows are $10 and available for advance purchase online.  And the littlest ones can enjoy Tiny Tots shows just about every Wednesday and Saturday this summer. See the schedule for details.

Living Classrooms
On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 3pm, families can explore and experience the local environment through various activities, including environmental programs, short hikes to the creek, arts & crafts, and live animal encounters. Admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. There are also various classes on Saturday mornings at 9am & 10am, specifically for kids ages 3-7 (with a parent). Visit the Living Classrooms website for complete class descriptions and registration information.

Summer Concert Series
Starting June 23, the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts & Culture will present six nights of live music in the Bumper Car Pavilion on various Thursdays evenings throughout the summer. Families are invited to bring a picnic dinner or visit the Ballroom Cafe for a meal or dessert. Concerts begin at 7:30pm rain or shine, and the Carousel will also be open from 7-9pm on these evenings. The Glen Echo website has the full concert schedule, and for more summer concerts in the area, see this post about summer recreation and entertainment.

The Magic of Music Series
The Washington Conservatory of Music presents a summer series of family music and magic shows on several Saturday afternoons during June and July (see the complete schedule for specifics) . The Magic of Music, a fun introduction to music for the young (and the young at heart!), features Musico the Magnificent – aka Drew Owen, cellist and WCM faculty member – and musical guest artists. Concerts will take place in Washington Conservatory’s recital hall in the South Arcade Building. Tickets are $10 and available through the Washington Conservatory website until 1pm. on the day of the show. All shows begin at 3pm.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Class, Educational, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Weekend

Memorial Day Events and More this Weekend

Whether you seek events that honor those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, are ready to get your summer started, or just want to enjoy some quality time with the kids over the holiday weekend, these suggestions for family recreation should have you covered.  Happy Weekend!

National Memorial Day Concert Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? The 2011 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday, May 29 from 8 – 9:30pm. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna are hosting the event, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrificed for the U.S. Gates open at 5pm, admission is free.  If you’re planning to go, this FAQ page on the concert is worth a read.

National Memorial Day ParadeThe annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. On Monday, May 30, the procession of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans will travel down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets. The parade begins at 2pm. Watch from the sidewalk for free.

Joys of SummerJust posted yesterday, this list of activities exclusive to summer will prove useful as soon as, well, now. Jazz in the Garden kicks off this evening, The Yards Park presents Friday music shows along with special activities for kids, and…wait for it…DC public outdoor pools open this weekend!  For complete info on all of these summer pursuits and more, click here.

Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon – Visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed this Friday through Sunday from 6-9pm.  Guests can take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase, and delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation and costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington and her granddaughter Nelly interact with visitors. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.  Admission is $18/adults, $12/ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.

Memorials on the Mall – Tributes to those who have served our country will take place at the many memorials and monuments on the National Mall throughout the weekend. Times vary, but you can look for schedules on the National Park Service website. The Mall is guaranteed to be crowded, so plan accordingly.

Great Country Farm Strawberry JubileeThe largest U-pick strawberry festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm rain or shine. Get ready for lots of fun activities for all ages, including the popular diaper derby, pie-eating contest, tart toss, strawberry princess, KidzArt, great food, live music, and Strawberry wine-tasting with Bluemont Vineyard.  That should be enough to keep the family entertained for the day. Admission is $10.

Delphane Strawberry FestivalGet your summer off to a “berry” good start at the 18th annual festival celebrating the spirit of the region. Head to Sky Meadows State Park on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5pm rain or shine for hay rides, live music, a petting zoo, pony rides, crafts, field games, and of course, strawberries will make it a fun day for everyone.  Admission is $20 per car at the gate.

Reap the FruitsA recent email from Homestead said their strawberry season is in full swing, and the rest of the area farms are right there with them. You can get in on the pick-your-own action; this post has all the info you need to get started.

The Potomac by TaxiMake your way from Old Town Alexandria to the National Harbor (or vice versa) on the river. Water taxis ferry between the two destinations several times throughout the day for a mini-adventure on the water and a fun time exploring on land.  This post has all the info you need to plan your river crossing.

Show Time“A Year with Frog and Toad” is delighting audiences at Adventure Theatre—read the recent KFDC review. And for more children’s entertainment in the area, check out this post about what’s on local stages this season.

The Great OutdoorsIf you and the kids want to take a hike, explore a garden, or check on new grounds for play,  this list has plenty of ideas for enjoying a beautiful day outdoors with the kids.

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Review: A Year with Frog and Toad at Adventure Theatre

Frog and Toad begin their on-stage adventure

Frog and Toad have become two of the most beloved characters in the children’s book world, and that sentiment translates easily to the stage in Adventure Theatre’s latest musical production “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

Based on the books by Arnold Lobel, the show follows the amphibian friends through a year together, starting with their springtime rouse from hibernation until it’s time to go back to sleep the next winter. The seasons serve as a chronological backdrop for their adventures, as they plant flowers, swim, rake leaves, go sledding. And while the setting transforms to convey a change in weather and time of year, one thing remains endearingly steadfast throughout: the devoted and touching friendship of Frog and Toad.

Turtle and Mouse wow with a musical number

Along with a gang of other animal characters (played by just three other actors), Frog and Toad put on a performance that is abundantly entertaining for all ages. From the songs to the set to the story, both the overall production and well-thought details keep the audience engaged for the entire hour of show. The ragtime-style music, played by a three-piece band “hidden” in the marshland set, had my five-year-old bopping in his seat (I had to exercise some restraint myself) as the wonderfully talented cast sang and danced with spirited energy.

The set is imaginatively designed to look like a swamp, with tall wooden pieces painted muted greens and browns to create grass, dandelions, and cattail growing along a pond scattered with lily pads. New seasons are indicated with bubbles for a summer swim, leaves falling in autumn, and snow spraying from above for a wild winter sled ride.  Some of my favorite touches were the clever props used to remind us that the characters are little creatures living in a big world–a watch face is Toad’s clock, forks are used to rake leaves, their sled is made of a matchbox, a frying pan is fashioned from a bottle cap. Spotting these small details is almost a game in itself that only adds to the fun.

Friends on a sledding adventure

Amid all the fantastic musical numbers and charming scenery, at the core of the show is the tale of Frog and Toad’s friendship. Many life “lessons” about thoughtfulness, comaraderie, acceptance, and loyalty are played out through their interactions. At the beginning of the show Toad complains that he never receives any mail, so Frog writes him a letter that he sends by “snail mail.”  In a scene when Frog wants to be alone, Toad goes to find him thinking something is wrong, until Frog explains that sometimes he just wanted to be by himself. They rake each other’s leaves as a nice surprise for their friend (only to have them messed up by a mouse).  And when the letter finally arrives at the end of the play, Toad realizes just how lucky he is to have a friend like Frog.

A Year with Frog and Toad” is playing at Adventure Theatre through June 5.  Performances are at 10:30am Wednesday through Friday, and at 11am and 1pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are are $15 and can be purchased online in advance, which I recommend, as I saw some disappointed theatre-goers at the box office when they learned the show was sold out. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

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Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Preschoolers, Theatre