As if this round-up of special events isn’t enough, this list of outdoor pursuits is also a must-view this weekend if the glorious forecast holds up. (If not, then go here for indoor ideas.) Happy Weekend!
Andrews Air Show
Where: Andrews Air Force Base
When: Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 5pm
There’s excitement in the air! The Blue Angels, Golden Knights, and many more thrilling aerial performers will take to the skies this weekend at the 2012 Joint Service Open House and Air Show. The public is invited to Andrews Air Force Base to view amazing air stunts, as well as cool ground attractions on Saturday and Sunday. And to top it all off, admission to the show is free!
Music by the River
Where: The Yards Park
When: Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
Kick off the weekend with free music in the fresh air. The Justin Trawick Group will be performing on the Yards Park boardwalk this evening. Catch the show and lovely views of the Anacostia River from the comfort of a blanket spread out on the grass. Get there early to let little ones splash in the fountains, and pack a picnic or purchase food there for dinner under the stars.
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12 and seniors, free for 2 and under
Celebrate spring at the local colonial museum and working farm’s first Market Fair of the season. There will be loads of activities for all ages to enjoy: Dance and sing to period music. Play quoits and other games, and watch a children’s puppet theater. See chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farm animals. Take a fencing lesson or watch the Blacksmith in action. Order herbs and flowers from the plant vendor and browse other colonial market stands. Purchase roast chicken, fresh vegetables, fruit pies and more. Tavern offers fresh lemonade and ginger ale, wine, beer and ale. Along with the special festivities, enjoy the ongoing offerings as you stroll the living history museum grounds and see farm family and community members in character and costume.
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location
The pick-your-own season has officially begun! Just about all local farms have opened their strawberry patches to the public, so you can get out there and reap the fruits. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries, several offering much more than just picking.
Where: 1851 S. Bell Street, Crystal City
When: Throughout the weekend (runs through June 23)
Art, anyone? The DC area’s biggest free creative arts event launches today at 6pm in Crystal City. Featuring work by more than 1300 artists, performers, musicians, filmmakers, fashion designers, and creatives of all kinds, the month-long festival is “by artists, for everyone.” The first time I ever attended one it was held on U Street on one floor of open space above a restaurant. About 10 years later, all kinds of art will be showcased throughout ten floors in building that is slated for demolition. And it’s not just art to look at — there will also be workshops, tours, and seminars for all ages throughout the month. Especially for children this weekend are a paper quilting bee, a bubble wrap art workshop, and a drum circle for kids. Learn more about Artomatic here and check out the schedule here.
Where: Parks around the area
Celebrate Kids to Parks Day! The National Park Trust wants everyone to have an American park experience, so they’re inviting every family in America to visit a national, state, or local park and play outdoors on Saturday. As their mascot, Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!” Many parks around the area will be hosting special programs for the day — find out where you can participate one!
Happy Birthday, Hello Cupcake!
Where: Hello Cupcake Capitol hill
When: Friday – Sunday, 12-6pm each day
To mark their first year on Capitol Hill, Hello Cupcake is hosting a three-day celebration at their Barracks Row location. From Friday through Monday, there will be all kinds of events, activities, and giveaways, including free cupcake decorating classes, games, samples, and face painting.
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult
The largest U-pick strawberry festival is this weekend, rain or shine. Get ready for lots of fun activities for all ages, including the popular diaper derby, pie-eating contests, tart toss, strawberry princess, KidzArt, great food, live music, and Strawberry wine-tasting with Bluemont Vineyard. As if that’s not enough to keep the family entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the Pumpkin Jumpin’ Pillow, slides, a pedal cart track, rope swings mazes, a tractor tire mountain, Cow Train ($2), and animal encounters. Whew!
Strike a Pose
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Explore the art of photography with at this special Family Day with activities for all ages. Be inspired by the museum’s exhibition, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage, and discover the world through a new lens. Borrow a camera or bring your own for a photo-scavenger hunt and document your travels in an album to take home. Visit the photo station to practice your pose and add your portrait to the American Art Museum’s Flickr page.
Gaithersburg Book Festival
Where: Gaithersburg City Hall
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
The City of Gaithersburg welcomes you to their third annual literary event! Festivities will include the chance to see and meet some of the world’s best writers, from best-sellers to acclaimed up-and-comers; join in literary workshops; and a full day of fun at the Children’s Village. The Gaithersburg City Hall is located at 31 South Summit Avenue. For more specifics, see the Festival website.
A-Mazing Animal Fest
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Enjoy a fun-filled family event featuring birds of prey, reptiles, farm animals, a puppet show, food vendors, arts and crafts, and much more at the park located right on the Anacostia River. While you’re there, take a ride on the water — canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals are also available on weekends from late May to the end of October.
Taste of Arlington
Where: Wilson Boulevard in front of Ballston Common Mall
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but you must purcahse tickets to taste
Head across the river for a day of food, fun, and more food. Over 35 Arlington restaurants will be offering samples of their fare at the annual street festival in downtown Ballston. And while the food is the main focus, there will be plenty more to enjoy, including live entertainment, children’s activities, a moon bounce, and street performers. Tickets are available for purchase through the Taste of Arlington website, or you can buy them the day of the event.
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday, 1:30-4:30pm
In celebration of DC Yoga Week, help create the largest outdoor yoga class in DC ever! Yogis from around the city will gather at the Sylvan Stage on the Washington Monument grounds for a collective practice that welcomes children, too.
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., from 3rrd – 6th Streets
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm
Celebrate Asian Heritage Month at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities, and more. Especially for kids is the Kiddiz Cool Lounge, with origami, sidewalk chalk, doll making, henna art, story telling, balloon art, and more. While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and marketplace fun.
Best in Shows
Where: Theatres around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance
Last weekend to catch Rapunzel at Imagination Stage. Five Little Monkeys is at Adventure Theatre. Tiny Tots and Pinocchio are on the puppet stage. Milkshake Trio performing at Jammin’ Java. Details on all of them in this post about live entertainment in late spring.
Monsuno Monster Power Tour
Where: Pentagon City Mall & Anime Pavilion
When: Saturday 10am – 9:30pm, Sunday 12-3pm
So, I’m just starting to get wind of the new craze, but if it’s anything like Bakugan or Beyblades, I know there are some kids who will be pretty excited about this event. Stop by Pentagon City Mall on Saturday and Anime Pavilion in Falls Church on Sunday for special demonstrations on how to launch, spin, and battle by Monsuno Monster Power experts. Get freebies, exclusive discount coupons and more!
SunWise Kick Off
Where: National Children’s Museum Launch Zone
Head to the Launch Zone to help kick off a summer of sun safety! The NCM, along with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SunWise program, have put together fantastic programs designed to encourage kids to be “sun wise” this summer. Guests will learn about UVB rays and SPF through exciting activities, such as making your own sun visor and UV color-changing bracelet. In addition, at 1pm and 2 pm, NCM will present its original production of Princess Sunni’s Birthday, where the audience can help Princess Sunni learn about sun safety while completing the Ancient Royal Challenges so she can become queen. The performances run approximately 20 minutes and are best suited for ages 3 to 8.
Where: Barnes & Noble in Fairfax
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Join Encore Stage & Studio for a day of fun and theater at our Barnes & Noble Bookfair! A percentage of purchases will support Encore’s many exciting education and production programs including costumes, props and set dressing, score, and sound effects for our Act III performance of Pirates of Penzance, as well as scholarship for students to attend our summer camps! Also at the book fair will be a sneak preview of Encore’s upcoming performance, Charlotte’s Web at 3pm; face painting with a Charlotte’s Web character, and bookmark making. The Barnes & Noble is located at 12193 Fair Lakes Promenade Drive in Fairfax.
Where: Spotsylvania, VA
When: All Weekend, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $9, free or ages 5 and under
Ahoy! The shire is awash with pirates and privateers of all ages at the Virginia Renaissance Faire this weekend. Take a trip to the 16th century and join the festivities that include historical re-enactments, jousting, costume displays, crafts for kids, food and drink, shopping, and more. This is all taking place on the grounds of the Lake Anna Winery every weekend through June 10. Go here for directions.