Tag Archives: Activities for Kids in MAryland

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

Save Your Seats for Mr. Popper’s Penguins at Imagination Stage!


Does your child have a summer birthday?  Imagination Stage offers Birthday Party Packages that include a party room, 20% off show tickets, on site staff, and personalized shout-outs for the birthday kid!


This post is paid for by Imagination Stage, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Summer

“P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical” Opens at Imagination Stage this Weekend!


This post is paid for by Imagination Stage, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2022, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Weekend, Winter

Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake

A pirate battle on the high Chesapeake seas


To celebrate the end of the school year back in June, a friend organized a little cruise on the Chesapeake for a group of us.  But not just any cruise. This one included some jolly good adventure — of the pirate variety. And it made for one mighty fine time on the high Chesapeake seas.

We set sail from Annapolis with Pirate Adventures, a company that specializes in, well, pirate adventures for children.  (I mentioned them a few months ago in this post about birthday parties.)  And it truly is an adventure, one that begins even before the Sea Gypsy pirate ship leaves port.

After checking in and getting their pirate names (Octopus Owen & Sea Star Sasha), the kids were invited to suit up for the experience by donning some pirate togs — vests and head gear — and having their faces or arms painted with curly mustaches and beards or mermaids. The crew then had the kids line up as they explained the rules of  the sea, then got them psyched up for the adventure with some pirate chants.

Dressed (and painted) for adventure!

We all boarded the boat together, the kids sitting on a low bench along the bow, the adults finding seating towards the back. This experience was all for the kids; we were just there to watch them enjoy it.  Once seated, the crew explained the mission — to find sunken treasure, of course.

Learning about their mission

On the lookout for loot

And it’s all an adventure from there.  On their quest for treasure they find a message in a bottle and discover another pirate has the keys to the treasure chest.  When they encounter Pirate Pete, the kids battle him with water cannons and win, then get what they need to finish their mission.  With the treasure chest on board, everyone gets their pick of the booty, along with a cup of grog (orange soda) to celebrate. And all this happens with a soundtrack of “adventure” music and sound effects in the background, adding to fun of the whole experience.

Little mateys battle Pirate Pete

Booty… score!

The cruise takes over an hour, and I have to note the crew was absolutely crucial in making it a fantastic excursion for the kids. They directed the mission with enthusiasm, giving the kids special tasks and gathering them together to discuss important plans. I think my kids really believe they triumphed over Pirate Pete and discovered sunken treasure. They still have their plastic gold coins and jewels as proof.

The Sea Gypsy at port

Pirate Adventures operates daily until Labor Day, then just weekends through October.  There are six sailing times throughout the day, starting at 9:30am and the last at 5pm. Reservations are highly recommended, but you can pay upon arrival. Tickets are $19, $12 for children 2 and under.  If you go, I highly recommend wearing sunscreen and bringing a water bottle. There is shaded seating on the boat, but the kids will be in the sun for most of the ride.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Destination from DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend