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The Autumn 2013 Line-Up of Live Entertainment

Catch Lulu and the Brontosaurus at Imagination Stage this fall

Catch Lulu and the Brontosaurus at Imagination Stage this fall


As the weather starts to cool down, local stages will be heating up with lots of great entertainment for families. Here’s where you can find it all, listed in order of start date, with most descriptions coming straight from the theaters.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harmon Hall
When: September 5 – 15
Tickets: Start at $45

Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favorite characters, a special appearance from a fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter. This brilliant family entertainment is perfect for ages 6 to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $5

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so check the schedule to see what’s playing when you plan to go.

Tot Rock
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $5/weekdays, $10/weekends

Tot Rock is Jammin’ Java’s super-popular kids music concert series, providing wholesome family entertainment at one of the DC Metro area’s finest music clubs. Local acts perform every Thursday and Friday, and touring performers drop by on many weekends. Check the calendar often to see when your favorite act is performing, and for other calendar updates.

The Lord of the Rings
Where: Wolf Trap
When: September 6-7, 7:30pm
Tickets: $25

See the shire in a new light at this multimedia event featuring the epic film on huge screens in-house and on the lawn with Howard Shore’s award-winning score performed live on stage. A live orchestra and choir will accompany the on stage and on screen performances.

Jim West’s Dinosaurs
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: September 12, 9:30 am & 11:30 am
Tickets: $4

Jim West’s giant puppets take small fry on a happy prehistoric musical journey through a land full of friendly dinosaurs. 
Recommended for grades pre-K-2.
Publick Playhouse is located at 5445 Landover Rd. in Cheverly, Md. arts.pgparks.com

Uno, dos, tres…con ANDRES!
Where: Discovery Theatre
When: September 18-19, 10am & 11:15am
Tickets: $3-8

Counting has never been more fun in English and Spanish. Play and dance with Andrés Salguero to songs familiar and new as he uses sing-alongs and movement to share Spanish words and create plenty of bilingual fun. ¡A bailar, niños! Recommended for ages 2-6.

Goodnight Moon
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: September 20 – October 27
Tickets: $19

In the Great Green Room, a Little Old Lady whispers “Hush”, in vain! The humorous antics of a very nocturnal bunny, his magical room, dancing bears, and a red balloon brings to life the most iconic children’s books of all time. Will bunny ever get to sleep? Based on the book by Margaret Wise Brown. Recommended for all ages. *Personal note: This was one of the first shows I took Owen to see when he was still a wee one, and it was the perfect introduction to the theatre world.

Winnie the Pooh!
Where: Workhouse Arts Center
When: Through September 29
Tickets: $12 adults; $8 children under 12 years old

Join Pooh, Piglet and all the rest for an adventurous afternoon in the Hundred Acre Wood! The forest is in a worry when two mysterious new neighbors, Kanga and Roo, move in. On top of that, Eeyore has lost his tail again! Will Piglet come to the rescue? Recommended for all ages. Running time 75 minutes with one intermission. Concessions available before the performance and at intermission.

Lulu & the Brontosaurus
Where: Imagination Stage
When: September 25 – October 27
Tickets: $12-22

Lulu and the Brontosaurus is the story of a feisty young girl who wants nothing but a brontosaurus for her birthday. When Mom and Dad draw the line at the impracticality of a pet dinosaur, Lulu sets off into the forest to find the large reptile all by herself. When she meets Mr. B, it’s clear that this brontosaurus is not interested in being her pet­­—he wants Lulu to be his pet instead! She has certainly met her match, and nothing turns out quite the way she expects.

Big Apple Circus
Where: Dulles Town Center
When: September 26 – October 14
Tickets: Start at $20

(Read about our experience at the big Apple Circus last year.) It’s the vivacity! It’s the velocity! It’s the LUMINOCITY — the All–New Show from the Big Apple Circus! Venture within the hubbub at the heart of Gotham, where the restless tide of humanity flows through canyons of skyscrapers and shoals of billboards: The dog-walker, whose rowdy pups perform amazing tricks! Businesswomen who arrange to meet, soaring high above on a double trapeze! The rube, a clown-prince among peers, celebrating the mirth of life! Revelry at New Year’s Eve, with teeter-board acrobats flying like fireworks! and a chic couple of wire-walkers suspended mid-air for the event! The humble repairman, climbing the ladder of his imagination! The mounted policewoman, directing a cavalcade of steeds! The flimflam man with his quicksilver moves! The food cart vendor, juggling his produce! Construction workers assembling athletic poses of incredible strength! The celebrated Big Apple Circus Band provides the lively musical soundtrack, and Ringmaster, John Kennedy Kane, will conduct your tour through this luminous cityscape. Run away and join the Big Apple Circus this season for a dazzling, unforgettable spectacle of wonder, merriment and joy!

Teacher from the Black Lagoon
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 2, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

TheatreWorks USA presents a wonderful new musical revue based on favorite contemporary children’s books. Along with the title work, the audience will meet big stinky “Dogzilla”, “Grumpy Bird”, the “I Want My Hat Back” bear, “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse”, and the “The Grasshopper and the Ant.”
Recommended for grades K-4.

Where: Studio Theatre, Katzen Arts Center
When: October 3-6
Admission: $15 adults, $10/AU community & children under 18,

What is STEAM? Curious Cat and her friends are about to find out. Through song, dance, poetry, and audience participation, Curious Cat discovers the mysteries and delights in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Recommended for ages 6 and up.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Teddy & Ten Hats
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 5-6
Tickets: $20

Back by popular demand! Little children love dress-up as much as these playful musicians spinning a story about a teddy bear whose zany collection of hats represents a wide variety of music, from Haydn to Sousa and beyond. This program actively engages children as listeners in an atmosphere of fun. Kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to these interactive programs and have their teddy bear friend join in all the fun! Lasting approximately 45 minutes, they’re perfect for even the youngest music lovers in your family. Go early for “Musical Playtime” – starting 45 minutes before each Teddy Bear Concert, enjoy music and movement activities especially designed for small children. Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

Mandy the Clown
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 10, 9:30am & 11:30am
Tickets: $4

Perfecting the art of goofiness, Mandy is a trained circus artist and kid-friendly clown who juggles, stilt walks, does magic and keeps children fascinated and having fun. Recommended for grades pre-K-2.

Capitol City Symphony Young Artist Concerto Concert
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: October 13
Tickets: Free for 16 and under

Every season, CCS presents at least one Young Artist concerto concert. This opening concert will include two young winners of the Levine School Concerto Competition: 11-year-old Avery Lin Gagliano playing the First Movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20; and 14-year-old Yukino Takehara playing the First Movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

From Here to There
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: October 16-21
Tickets: $8

A delightful show for the youngest theatre-goers all about the joy building bridges. (And knocking them down too!) Join two playful characters that climb over, craw under, and even hide behind the bridges they build, using rhythm, rhyme and imagination! A free-play session at the end of the performance invites the children to explore the show’s props. Presented by Imagination Stage collaboration with England’s award-winning Tell Tale Hearts Theatre Company.

Peter & the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: October 17 – November 22
Tickets: $10

Peter and the Wolf, performed by TPC co-founder Christopher Piper, is based on Prokofiev’s popular tale of good versus evil, staged with half life-size marionettes. An introduction to the instruments in the orchestra, and to the themes in the work, precedes this story of Peter’s, and his animal friends’, attempts to capture wily “Old Lupus.” Recommended for pre-K – grade 6.

Balé Folclólrico da Bahia
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 17, 12pm
Tickets: $20

Brazil’s incredible national dance company takes the audience on an explosive and exhilarating trip to the heart of Brazil, for an hour-long immersion into the colorful history and culture of our Latin American neighbor. Experience the excitement of one of the major folk dance companies in the world.
Recommended for all ages

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romano
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 19, 1pm
Tickets: $14

Magician Joe Romano provides the tricks, and it will be a treat for all! Be amazed at the mind-boggling illusions that this expert entertainer performs. Joe will make a “haunted table” float in the air, conjure a creepy, crawly creature, turn one lucky child into Harry Potter and more! Enjoyed by ages 4+. Pre-show party, with snacks and arts activities, starts at 12pm.

Skippyjon Jones
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 25, 10:15am &12pm
Tickets: $6

The popular storybook kitten with the big ears is presented in a musical theatre version, with Skippyjon transforming into Skippito Friskito, the greatest Chihuahua sword fighter of old Mexico! But when the local canines are terrorized by a huge bee, will Skippyjon turn into a ‘fraidy-cat or will he still be top dog? 
Recommended for grades K-4.

NSO Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular: The Sequel
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 27
Tickets: $15-18

When is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? On Halloween, of course! But watch out, because at this frightfully fun follow-up to the NSO’s popular Halloween Spooktacular program, ghoulishly attired musicians might “BOO” you from behind their instruments in return! Don your spookiest ‘ween wear and come early for pre-concert trick-or-treating plus a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Then take your seats for a “spirited” performance as an incognito Ankush Kumar Bahl conducts a new round of goosebump-inducing favorites including the Toccata and Fugue in D minor–J.S. Bach’s most famous organ piece–featuring the Concert Hall’s new Rubenstein Family Organ, the “Ritual Fire Dance” from Manuel de Falla’s ballet score El amor brujo (“Love, the Magician”), “Anitra’s Dance” from Edvard Grieg’s music for the play Peer Gynt, and a selection from John Williams’s score for the Harry Potter films. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Splat the Cat
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: October 29, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

Windwood Theatricals presents a great new musical adventure based on the popular book. It’s Splat’s first day of school and, afraid that he won’t make new friends, he brings his pet mouse for company. When Seymour the mouse escapes from his hiding place in Splat’s lunchbox, the school full of cats goes wild, until the teacher calms things down and everyone learns some important lessons. Recommended for grades K-5.

Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian presents Joanie’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 31 – November 1, 10am & 11:15am
Tickets: $3-8

There’s no reason to scare up an excuse to dance like crazy when the energetic Brooklyn-based, kindie-rock band Joanie Leeds and The Nightlights make their Halloween debut at Discovery Theater. Leeds brings songs from her latest album, Bandwagon, along with other hits and kid-friendly Halloween tunes. The band will be in costume—and families can be, too! Recommended for ages 2-6.

Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 1, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

American Family Theatre’s Broadway for Kids production of Cinderella is an enchanting musical of the classic tale, where goodness prevails and the mistreated child finds lasting happiness.
Recommended for grades pre K-5

Man of the House
Where: Kennedy Center
When: November 2-3
Tickets: $20

In this world premiere, master storyteller David Gonzalez returns with a brand-new, semi-autobiographical solo show about Pablito, a young boy of Cuban/Puerto Rican heritage who searches for his long-lost father while spending a summer in Miami. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

The Young Spectaculars and the Front Yard Adventure
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 6-11
Tickets: $8

Meet brother and sister Andrew and Emma – aka The Young Spectaculars! Energized by their super-powered imaginations, but stuck creating their own adventures near the front porch, they save a cat and a picnic lunch before stumbling upon more than they bargained for. Join the Young Spectaculars for this show intended for the little hero inside all of us.

Aesop’s Fables
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 7, 9:30am & 11:30am
Tickets: $4

Jim West returns with a stage full of puppets presenting Aesop’s delightful tales of wit and wisdom, including “The Tortoise and the Hare”, “The Fox and the Grapes” and more, including Aesop himself and his dog Moral, dancing to beautiful music. Recommended for grades pre-K-2.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theater
When: November 8-17
Tickets: $12/adult, $10/child

When four children stumble upon an old wardrobe, little do they know they would enter the magical world of Narnia. Full of mystical creatures, talking animals and great escapes, this action-packed story by C.S. Lewis shares the triumph of good over evil. The children help Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, battle the White Witch who wishes to put an end to Aslan’s reign. Join the adventure as four brave kids, one great lion, and an entire kingdom fight for what is right. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Dr. Dolittle
Where: Northern Virginia Players/Family Worship Center
When: November 8, 9, 15, 16

The classic tale of kindness to animals comes to life in the stage adaption of the original Doctor Dolittle! Animal kindnesses will trot, crawl and fly its way onto the stage and into your hearts in DOCTOR DOLITTLE JR. With a cast of 54, all of the characters we’ve come to love through the stories of Hugh Lofting and the magical movie musical are given new life in the JUST released stage version. The musical tells the classic tale of a wacky but kind Doctor who can talk to animals. The show takes the audience on a journey from the small English village of Puddleby-in-the-Marsh to the far corners of the world in search for the Great Pink Sea Snail–the oldest and wisest of the creatures on earth.

Tot Rock: Jammin’ at the Smithsonian presents Rolie Polie Guacamole
Where: Discovery Theather
When: November 14-15, 10am & 11:15am
Tickets: $3-8

Can you get any hipper than a kindie-rock band from Brooklyn? Rolie Polie Guacamole’s high-energy, interactive shows are a mix of funk, rock, and folk sounds mashed into original tunes about natural living, eating healthy, and staying active. Their latest album, Houses of the Moly, brought them a Parents’ Choice Silver Award. Recommended for ages 2-6.

Capitol City Symphony Family Concert
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 17, 2:30pm & 4:30pm
Tickets: Free for 16 and under

There will be two performances of the popular Family Concert. CCS is very excited to announce a special collaboration with Fourth Wall Ensemble, a hybrid arts ensemble in which musicians are also dancers and actors. The orchestra’s youngest audience members particularly enjoy the instrument petting zoo and interactive performance, as well as a special program book just for the younger set.
Junie B. Jones – Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 14, 10:15am & 12pm
Tickets: $6

Holiday time is approaching, and the first graders in Room One are creating the perfect party. But when Junie B. draws the name of her arch nemesis for a Secret Santa Gift, she has to decide whether to give Tattletale May what she deserves….or not.
Recommended for grades K-5.
The Bully Free Zone with Queen Nur
Where: Publick Playhouse
When: November 19, 10:15 am & 12
Tickets: $6

Folk tales, fables and hip hop take center stage in Queen Nur’s interactive and inspiring performance about accepting others’ differences. A professional storyteller, Queen Nur is also a recognized expert in adolescent psychology and dispute resolution. Her warm and friendly stage presence captures the attention and wins the involvement of young audiences.
 Recommended for all ages.

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Filed under All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Music, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Spectacular Entertainment at the Big Apple Circus

The ringmaster and performers of Legendarium


Tuesday was a day of firsts for our family: 1) Owen lost his first tooth and 2) It was the kids’, as well as my, first time going to the circus.

That’s right, in all my many (many) years, I’d never experienced entertainment under the big top. So, I was probably just as excited as the kids to see the Big Apple Circus perform their new Legendarium show at the Dulles Town Center. And after two hours of thrilling, funny, delightful, and dramatic performances, none of us were disappointed with our first circus venture.

It’s an intimate setting under the Big Apple Circus’ big top; no seat is more than 50 feet away from the ring, ensuring everyone has a great view as the action of Legendarium unfolds. The show recalls early circus traditions and presents them in an old-time setting, but with modern flair. There are trapeze artists, acrobats, a contortionist, “dancing” horses,  dog tricks, stunts on a wire, acrobatics on bicycles, a juggling tango duo, and a husband/wife clown team.  And they were all positively captivating.

Owen’s favorite act was the Dalian Acrobatic Troupe, an all-female team of bicyclists who rode in sync and performed amazing feats while doing so, jumping and flipping from bike to bike and executing perilous poses as their cycles wheeled around the ring.

Sasha loved the horses and dogs, acts that were both awesome and adorable. (And I should note that I was apprehensive about the whole animal part — a big part of why I’d never been to the circus before — but Big Apple Circus assures they exercise sensitivity and respect for their animals. They also mentioned that all of their dogs are rescues.)

All in all, it was a pretty spectacular show. And a great first circus experience for us all.

The Big Apple Circus will be at the Big Top at Dulles Town Center through October 6. Ticket prices start at $25 and can be purchased online or by calling by calling 888.541.3750. You can get a discount on select seats and shows through Goldstar.

If you go:
– Be aware that there is no parking at the Big Top. You park by Macy’s then take a shuttle or walk to the Big Top. It’s easy and convenient, but build in an extra few minutes for it.
– Concessions are available, the usual circus fare — hotdogs, cotton candy, popcorn, etc. Be prepared to pay to ball park prices (ie, $5 for a hot dog).
– If you’re sitting close in, there’s a chance you could become part of the clown act, but it’s all in great fun and very cute.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Live Entertainment, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Deal Picks this Week

If your email inbox is anything like mine, it’s overloaded with messages each morning from the horde of deal companies offering discounts on, well, everything.  I’m in no way complaining; I love a good deal.  But it can be tedious and time-consuming to go through them all to find the best ones. Yet I still peruse them, and not just to score a bargain for myself, but because I like to try to keep you informed of can’t-miss offers. I often mention good ones on Facebook and have links to a bunch of sites on the Deals page, but thought it might be helpful to post a round-up of great deals (like this one last week) more regularly, hopefully weekly.  And with that, here are your deal picks this week.  Happy Savings!

*You and the kids can get creative with this Groupon deal: $20 for $40 Worth of Art Supplies, Studio Time, and Beverages at ArtJamz in Dupont Circle.  They host an open-house painting studio both during the week and on weekends. A first look at the deal may seem like it’s a boozy happy hour type-thing, but I’ve been in touch with the folks at ArtJamz, and they definitely encourage kids to get artsy, keeping ages 5-18 in mind during the daytime hours (though I’m sure tots a little younger can do some Pollack-esque works, too).  I’ve been wanting to check out the place , and this deal will get me there.

*Guarantee yourself good seats under the bog top with this deal for up to 50% off tickets for the Big Apple Circus from Goldstar. Select seats are available  at a discount for many dates during its September 20 – October 8 run at the Big Top at Dulles Town Center. You can also try to win a four-pack of tickets through my giveaway.

*Certifikid debuted a nice deal yesterday for clay time: $10 for $20 Worth of Pottery Fun at All Fired Up in Bethesda & Cleveland Park.  Look for the offer on the right sidebar.

*If you’re looking for an indoor birthday party idea, this Plum District deal might inspire: The Ultimate Bowling Party for 10 Kids at Bowlmor Lanes in Bethesda for $180. For a DC-area party at a venue other than home, that’s not bad at all. You can also find a deal for weekday admission to Great Country Farms — just $6 (regularly $12).

*This might be a bit of a stretch, but Groupon Getaways has a terrific deal on a 3- or 4-night resort stay in Costa Rica (two kids 9 and under stay free). If you’re thinking about a family vacay, I can’t recommend the destination highly enough – we took the kids this past Spring Break, and an amazing time was had by all. While I haven’t been to this resort or region of the country, it gets great reviews on Trip Advisor, and if it’s anything like the places I have been to there, you really can’t go wrong. Less than a day left to get the deal!

*I’ve mentioned this before, but can’t stress enough what a no-brainer Ebates is if you do a lot of online shopping. Once you’re signed up, all you have to do is link to your favorite stores through the Ebates website, and you get cash back on all of your purchases, sometimes up to 10%! And they have huge selection of stores, pretty much all of the big ones.

*Be sure to read the fine print on all these deals, as there’s sometimes a weird catch.



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Filed under Art, DC, Deal, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Shop, Virginia

Giveaway: Enter to Win Tickets to the Big Apple Circus

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls, children of all ages… the Big Apple Circus is coming to town and you have a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to see it live! Lengendarium: A Journey into the Circus Past, a brand new show in honor of their 35th season, will be wowing audiences at the Big Top at Dulles Town Center September 20 – October 8.

Travel back to when circus traditions were born and witness incredible acts that would have had the villagers chattering for days! The courageous mid-air flips and catches of a man on the trapeze! A captivating contortionist whose flexibility is as impressive as her steadfast poise! An agile, adept acrobat and her strapping suitors! A swaying wire act of sure-footed strength and stability! The dizzying delights of a daring inventor in his tumbling, twirling hoop! The stunning, soaring beauty of a pair on aerial straps and a woman held aloft by hanging silks! A jaw-dropping juggling tango team performing to passionate rhythms! Bicyclists whose spinning wheels turn smooth and speedy stunts! Majestic horses with graceful gaits and playful pups with teasing tricks! And what circus would be complete without bumbling clowns who bring the spirit of timeless comedy?! It’s all led by an affable Ringmaster and the great Big Apple Circus Band playing history’s iconic songs! So run away with the Big Apple Circus and relive Big Tops of old in a memorable one-ring show for the ages!

GIVEAWAY: Enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to the show on September 22 at 12:30pm or September 23 at 4:30pm by simply leaving a comment below. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and follow on Twitter (let me know that you did). A winner will be drawn at random and announced early next week. Good luck!



Filed under All ages, Annual, Fall, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

A Milestone this Weekend

The birthday boy with some of his biggest (and littlest) fans


There are a couple of things I feel compelled to note as I post this: 1) Despite the photo accompanying this round-up of weekend events, there is no Nats game (nor will there be another one until the 2012 season) and 2) Despite there being a bunch of cool activities for families happening over the next few days, I won’t be partaking in any of them.

See, this weekend I’m celebrating a milestone, and it’s not one of my kids who’s hitting it. That cute guy in middle of the photo (no, not the one with the beard, the one with the red hat), my awesome husband, is turning 40, so this weekend is all about him. The kids will be on a sleepover while we whoop it up with friends, until they join us for a family celebration on Sunday.

Now you’re probably wondering, why broadcast all this on a blog about things to do with kids? (Because it’s my blog, and I can do what I want!) Because “40″ deserves a shout-out, even on a blog about things to do with kids.   And because parenting — and life, for that matter — wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I wasn’t sharing the adventure with him.

And with that, here’s where the family fun is happening over the next few days. Happy Weekend! (And a very, very happy birthday to you, Levi.)

Taste of BethesdaI’ve heard many a time that Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S.  True or not, the city definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and that’s just what will be happening this Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Bethesda’s famous food and music festival, in its 22nd year, will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. Aong with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

Columbia Heights Fall FestivalIf you were disappointed when the Columbia Heights Day Festival was cancelled by the hurricane, you can  make up for it on Saturday from 11am – 3pm. The Columbia Heights Youth Club, Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, The District Church, DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Columbia Heights Day Initiative welcome the public for a fun day of free food, face painting, moon bouncing, candied apples, snow cones, popcorn, live music, games, and more.

Fall for Fairfax KidsFestThis annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the Wells Fargo KidZone with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. This all takes place on Saturday from 9am -6pm.

Saturday Morning at the NationalThe awesome free weekend program at the DC theatre begins this Saturday with a Reptile World show. Exotic creatures star in this amazing presentation. Michael Shwedick and his beguiling animal friends teach kids some thrilling and invaluable lessons about the ecology and themselves. Adults will be awed by Michael’s ability to present alligators, snakes, and other sometimes-scary reptiles without frightening even the youngest children. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!

Show Time –  Yo Gabba Gabba Live, Beatrix Potter tales in puppet form, the Big Apple Circus, Lilly’s Plastic Purse, Alladin’s Luck, and Snow White are all on local stages this weekend.  This post about live entertainment this season has details on all of them.

Art on the AvenueCelebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival on Saturday from 10am -6pm.  Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy.  Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Kinderfest Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, MD, is hosting the 31st Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.  This Sunday from 12 – 5pm, there will be loads of events and activities to entertain the whole family: clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train.  Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee.  Visit the website for more info and directions and check out this post from last year for more on Watkins Regional Park.

Brazil Day at Yards ParkJoin the Amazonia Harvest Foundation and the Brazilian Consulate of Washington DC as they celebrate the Brazilian community and culture in Washington, DC.  The festival boasts an empowering mission to bring forth the best the Brazilian community of Greater-Washington has to offer and shine a spotlight on talented Brazilian performers, vendors, exhibitors and organizations that call the DC region home. Enjoy the extravaganza at the Yards Park on Sunday from 10am – 6pm.  Admission is free.

Frederick’s OktoberfestThis event rich in tradition and history offers fun for the entire family with dancing live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of kids activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities. It’s happening on Saturday 10am -6pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Thank you, NPG, thank you very muchDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm and Sunday from 2-5pm, to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Elvis Presley

Ren Fest – The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 23, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual faire. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

And for tried and true kids’ activities, rain and shine, these two posts have tons of ideas:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)


Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend