Tag Archives: Arabia 3D

Enter to Win 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Movie or Planetarium Show!

It’s time for the first KFDC anniversary giveaway!  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m celebrating my blog’s one-year mark with a week of contests and prizes for lucky readers, all of which relate to activities and venues that I’ve written about over the past year.

Today’s giveaway is related to something I covered just last week:  An IMAX movie!  You can win four tickets to see ANY show playing at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Theater, the National Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Dulles location, or the Albert Einstein Planetarium.  Read my review of Arabia 3D, which just opened at the Johnson Theater last Friday.  You can also check out my take on Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D, which also is currently playing there.  Or, just go ahead and enter the contest.

To Enter:
For a chance to win the 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Theater or Planetarium Show, do one or all of the following. Each will count as a separate entry.

1 – Leave a comment telling me your kids’ favorite movie.

2 – Like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and come back to let me know you’ve done so.

3 – Tweet the following message and come back to let me know you’ve done so:

Enter the @KidFriendlyDC giveaway to win 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Movie or Planetarium Show! More info here:  http://bit.ly/igeC1k


Filed under DC, Giveaway, Movies, Museums

Washington (and Lincoln’s) Weekend

Celebrate our former Presidents, sharpen the science and engineering skills, take a cinematic tour of Arabia, catch some live entertainment.  There’s plenty to enjoy with the family this weekend — and you have an extra day to do it.  Happy Weekend!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Presidents From museum events to special activities at Washington’s old digs to a parade through Old Town, there are several family-friendly ways you can celebrate George and Abe’s big days.  See this post from yesterday for a round-up of area events.

Family Science DaysBrowse interactive tabletop exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have questions answered by experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This free event is open to all, but organized especially for middle- and high-school students.  All Family Science Days events will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 19-20, in Exhibit Hall D of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Visit the AAAS website for the program schedule.

Arabia 3DJourney through the Arabian Peninsula and its rich culture and history in the Smithsonian’s IMAX Johnson Theater’s newest film.  For a full review of the movie, see this post from yesterday.

Discover Engineering Family DayThe National Building Museum and the National Engineers Week Foundation invite you to debunk the myths of engineering and discover how professional engineers turn an idea into reality.  Celebrate National Engineers Week by participating in this free, hands-on and fun-filled festival.  Discover Engineering Family Day is a FREE, drop-in program, though a $5 donation is suggested. Recommended for children ages 5 to 13 with adult supervision.

Centennial of Airmail Family Festival – Games and activities at the National Postal Museum bring the first airmail flight to life on Saturday. Learn about daredevil pilot Fred Wiseman, the woman who received the first mail by airplane, and the differences between the Wright Brothers’ planes and the one Wiseman flew. This free event runs from 11am – 3pm.

Theater Time – At least two new shows opened this week – The Magic Paintbrush at Synetic Family Theater and Jack and the Beanstalk at The Puppet Co.  Check out this post for details and to see what else is playing on our local stages.

Billy Kelly & the Blah Bah Blahs in ConcertWith jaunty aplomb and a giddy inclination to rock out, Billy Kelly and his band The Blahblahblahs will bring The Billy Kelly Show to Café Nola in Frederick on Sunday, February 20.  Says Billy, “Our family show is all about dancing, shouting and laughing, both on stage and off.  It’s loose, it’s a hodgepodge, it’s friendly, comfortable, and just about anything goes!”  For  more information about the show, visit Billy’s website.

Discover StrathmoreLooking for something to do on the day off from school? This event on Monday, February 21, promises family fun in a terrific showcase featuring performers, music, workshops, sample classes, fine art and roving entertainment throughout the Mansion and Music Center.  This is part of Strathmore’s season-long Guitar Festival, celebrating the most influential instrument of the century.  No tickets are required for this free event. Open at 11am. Strollers are not allowed inside the buildings. Free parking in the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Garage.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

A 3D Journey through Arabia

One of the best, most defining things about IMAX movies is that feeling of being there — at the location, amid the action, immersed in the context of both the movie and the onscreen environment.  This bodes well for Arabia 3D, a film that virtually transports the audience across the globe in exploration of the land, culture, and history of the Arabian Peninsula.

A camel caravan through the Saudi Arabian desert

Arabia 3D, opening at the Smithsonian’s Johnson IMAX Theater this Friday, February 18, follows Saudi Arabian film student, Hamzah Jamjoom, in his return home from studying in the United States as he makes a film about his heritage.  Through present-day documentary of his life there along with historical re-enactments and computer-generated graphics, we get a glimpse into a culture and country that, for many of us, feels like a world (and literally is half-a-world) away.

Perhaps the most striking element of the film, both visually and conceptually, is the contrast of the vast desert landscape with the grand, flourishing metropolis of contemporary Saudi Arabia.  It’s especially interesting when you consider the region’s history – Islamic  culture dates back well over a thousand years, yet the country itself is practically brand new, having been founded in 1932.

The film does a good job of presenting both the past and present, shifting between Jamjoom’s own modern life as he examines his country’s roots and recreations of ancient times that focus mainly on Arabia’s two Golden Ages of wealth and knowledge.

The Hajj, Mecca

This journey through time is also interspersed with smart animated graphics that illustrate geographical transitions and Arabia’s contributions to the arts and sciences (you can thank the Muslims for that 7th grade Algebra class).  There are also some incredible scenes that take viewers below the Red Sea in search of sunken ships, across the desert on a camel caravan and into a Bedouin tent, and along the streets of today’s Saudi Arabia.

But the most captivating scene — hands down — is the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca where more than three million Muslims congregate to worship. Arabia 3D captures the moment in a way I’ve never seen any news outlet do before.  An aerial view coveys the magnitude of the event, showing rows upon rows of people donned in white robes circling the Kaaba as they pray.  When a low roar erupted through the sound system, I thought for a second there was a problem with the audio, until I realized it was the sound of three million people moving in unison as they knelt and bowed in religious ritual. It is truly an extraordinary scene.

Filmmaker Hamzah Jamjoom

This is all narrated by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, along with Jamjoon, whose dream is to help pioneer a new film industry in Saudi Arabia and make films about his people.  He’s already made huge strides  — Arabia 3D is the first film to be shot from start to finish in his country.

Arabia 3D will open at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Theater on February 18.  Tickets are $9 and can be purchased in advance online or at the box office.  Recommended for ages 10 and up.


Filed under DC, Educational, Movies, Museums, Preteens, Tweens