Tag Archives: American I AM: The African American Imprint

Celebrate this Weekend

There is a lot of celebrating happening this weekend.  Many area farms and organizations are kicking off Easter festivities with egg hunts and more spring fun.  An Emancipation Day commemoration is taking place with a big event downtown.  National Parks are kicking off a special week.  William Shakespeare is turning 395 years old.  The earth will also be an honoree.  Even coral reefs have a family festival dedicated to them.

And you’re invited to be part of it all.  Here are details on all of the above-mentioned, plus a few more recommendations for family fun.  Happy Weekend!

Its a scramble for Easter eggs at a local Eggstravaganza last year

Thank You Easter Bunny – Local festivals celebrating the spring holiday have begun, and several will be on this weekend.  Already underway through April 24 is Ticonderoga Farms’ annual festival. Saturday marks the start of Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard, and the National Community Church is launching their seasonal Eggstravanganzas on Saturday  at Top Golf in Alexandria from 10:30am -1pm and Grace Church in Georgetown (1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW) from 9:30-11am.  See the website for more details.  For something with a little extra sparkle, the annual Adeler Jewelers Children’s Spring Festival and Egg Hunt is on Sunday in Great Falls.  For more area Easter celebrations, Go Out & Play has a lengthy list of local egg hunts.

Park ItNational Park Week begins on Saturday and runs through April 24.  To celebrate, entrance to over 100 parks that usually charge admission will be free.  Log some time on the trails at a local park or even one a bit further away. For suggestions on good hikes with kids, see this post about hiking with little ones.

Get OutFor more outdoor pursuits, see my new list of the area’s best places to spend a beautiful day outdoors.  As this weekend round-up goes up, the weather forecast for the weekend isn’t looking fabulous, but there’s always a chance that will change.  Fingers crossed.

DC I AM: An Emanicpation Day CelebrationCommemorate the signing of the DC Compensated Emancipation Act 149 years ago with National Geographic.  The museum is hosting a special event on Saturday from 10am – 4pm that will include readings, performances, art and writing activities, family workshops, opportunities to tour the American I Am exhibit, and more.  Admission to the event is free.

Explore the Universe On Saturday, the National Air & Space Museum invites guests of all ages to a special Family Day that explores the skies and beyond.  Observe the sky through a telescope, experience how different cultures see the sky, hear stories about astronomy, and participate in hands-on astro-activities.  The free event runs from 10am – 3pm.

Coral Reef Family FestivalCelebrate the National Museum of Natural History’s exhibition of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef on Saturday from 11am – 3pm.  There will be Discover Stations in the Sant Ocean Hall, a chance to learn about different corals with scientist Stephen Cairns, and other special activities throughout the day.

Nature’s Best PhotographyTake the kids to see some amazing moments in nature captured in pictures.  A new exhibit is opening at the National Museum of Natural History on Saturday that features the winning photos from the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards. The images of wildlife, the plant world, sea creatures, and more will be fascinating and fun for the whole family.  Admission to both the exhibit and museum are free.

On the Really Big Screen – If you’re planning on a visit to the museums (or even if not), how about catching an IMAX as well?  Most are less than an hour long and can easily be combined with a trip to see the exhibits or one of the special festivals happening at the Natural History and Air & Space Museums, which just happened to be where both Smithsonian IMAX theaters are located.  Read reviews of a few films currently playing:  Born to Be Wild 3D, Arabia 3D, and Grand Canyon Adventure 3D.  All tickets are $9.

Happy Birthday to the BardCelebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Sunday from 12 – 4pm. Enjoy jugglers and jesters, music, song and dance, stage combat workshops, and more. It’s the one day of the year when the Folger reading rooms are open to all.  Plus, there will be birthday cake for everyone!  Admission is free, but there will be a charge for some food and drink.

Jammin’ Musical ExperiencesTwo kids’ music performers will be at Jammin’ Java this weekend entertaining with their unique shows and super fun sounds.  The Diggity Dudes will take the stage in Vienna on Saturday at 10:30am, and Gustafer Yellowgold will take the audience on a musical journey on Sunday at 2pm.  Tickets for both shows are $10 and available for purchase online.

Celebrate the EarthJoin Brookside Gardens on Sunday for a daylong Earth Day celebration. Festivities will kick off at 9am with an Earth Day Garden Project – volunteers are welcome to help Brookside get ready for the gardening season. Enjoy nature, wildlife, and plant walks starting at 10am. Participate in interactive family-friendly activities throughout the afternoon and visit the “green” vendor and craft fair.

Show TimeSeveral productions are happening in local theatres this weekend.  Find out what you can see where in this post about spring shows.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Celebrate Black History Month

Today marks the start of Black History Month, and there are many area programs and events happening over the next few weeks to celebrate it.  Here’s a round-up of them, some starting as soon as today.  Most descriptions are straight from the websites, and I’ll add to the list as I learn about more.

Black History Month at Mount Vernon
There will be several special highlights from February 1 – 28 in observance of Black History Month at Mount Vernon.  Every day from 10am – 12pm at the slave quarters, interpreters will focus on the lives and contributions of the slaves who built and operated the plantation home of George and Martha Washington. A wreathlaying and presentation will occur daily at the slave memorial site at 12pm.  And at 1pm, the Slave Life at Mount Vernon tour will explore the lives and contributions of the slaves who lived at the Estate. Black History Month activities are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

American I AM: The African American Imprint
At the National Geogrpahic Museum, take a journey through trials and triumphs while exploring nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the economic, political, cultural, and spiritual development of the United States. Bear witness to more than 200 poignant artifacts from the dungeon doors of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana to Prince’s guitar.  The exhibit will run from February 2 – May 1.  Admission is $12/adults, $6/children ages 2-12.  Open daily from 9am – 5pm.

Black History Month 2011 Family Day Celebration
On Saturday, February 5, the whole family is invited to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History Month at the National Museum of American History. The day includes the award-winning interactive theatrical presentation “Join the Student Sit-Ins,” performances by the Washington Performing Arts Society, tours of the exhibition The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey — Where Art and History Intersect, the debut of an American Girl self-guided Civil War family tour (“Addy’s World”), and many interactive activities to celebrate family and heritage.  The event runs from 11:30am – 5pm.

Play Date with Pride
Culture Kingdom Kids, a mobile cultural arts program that produces children’s events with a cultural twist, presents Play Date with Pride on Saturday February 5 at the Alexandria Black History Museum. Celebrate Black History Month at this interactive workshop for children ages 5 to 12. Enjoy hands-on creative arts such as storytelling, crafts, and music and dance activities. Parents must accompany children. The event runs from 1 – 2:30pm. Reservations recommended.

Segragation Aboard Streetcars
The National Capitol Trolley Museum will present this special exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of February in observance of Black History Month.  Located in Colesville, MD, the museum is open weekends from 12 – 5pm.  Admission including unlimited trolley rides is $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17, and  $4/all ages without rides.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
The National Air & Space Museum invites visitors to meet famed African American pilots from World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, who fought discrimination both at home and abroad; talk to Museum experts; and participate in hands-on activities, and story time. This event occurs twice – first at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles on Saturday, February 5, then again at the museum on the National Mall on February 12. Both are free and run from 10am – 3pm.

Black History Month Stamp Collecting
On Saturday, February 12, celebrate Black History Month at the National Postal Museum by making your own stamp collection featuring prominent African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. After making your collection, be sure to see the Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp exhibition. Drop in between 11am and 2pm to participate in this free program.

Black History at Rock Creek Park
Several days throughout the month, Rock Creek Park is offering programs that explore black history, including “Through a Slave’s Eyes” on February 5 and “Sounds of Black Georgetown” on February 12.  Check the website for complete details.

Portrait Story Days: Rosa Parks
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery’s weekly program to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. in observance of Black history Month, this week guests can learn about Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. This free program runs from 1 – 4pm.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Museums, Ongoing, Weekend, Winter