Tag Archives: Collecting History: 125 Years of the National Philatelic Collection

The Weekend Round-Up: January 6-8

The birthday girl enjoying some nature at Roosevelt Island last weekend.


Free museum and art activities, family entertainment, and a strong recommendation to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts comprise this weekend round-up. As for our family, we’re adding a little celebration to the mix…

Three years ago today, life got a lot sweeter. And pinker. And sparklier. And crazier in the best way possible. All thanks to one very special and insanely adored baby girl (because at 3 or 43 or 103, she’ll always be my baby).

Happy Weekend! And a very, very happy birthday to my sweet Sashi.

Collection ConnectionsThe National Postal Museum is hosting a drop-in workshop on Saturday from 12-3pm. Associated with the exhibit Collecting History: 125 Years of the National Philatelic Collection, guests of all ages can make a topical stamp collection to take home with them. The session will take place in the atrium, which is a sight in itself, showcasing several cool relics of postal transportation history – a mail truck, a train car, an airplane, even the cab of a tractor-trailer. The museum is conveniently located next to Union Station, a convenient Metro stop as well as a great place to grab a pre- or post-workshop bite to eat.

Movie Time at the MuseumKids can explore art through film at the National Gallery of Art’s monthly film program. This weekend they’ll present Magic Silver on Saturday at 10:30am and Sunday at 11:30am.  Here is the description from the website: “Princess Bluerose is a gnome living deep in the Norwegian mountains with her small community. They are responsible for making the transition between day and night. This moment, the “magic hour,” depends on the magic silver that only these gnomes possess. When the silver is stolen, the world is plunged into eternal night. Find out what happens when Princess Bluerose sets out on a remarkable journey to retrieve the silver and save the world from unending darkness.” The 84-minute movie is in Norwegian with English subtitles and is recommended for ages 7 and up. All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. No registration is required. Programs are free and subject to change without notice. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!Drop in to the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm or Sunday from 2-5pm for Portrait Story Days.  This weekend, listen to a story written by Ted Geisel (a.k.a Dr. Seuss) as you view his portrait, a sketch by Everett Raymond Kinstler, currently on display.  Stay after to create a related piece of art and explore the rest of the museum.

Free Fun at CHAWHelp celebrate 40 years of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop at one of their 40 FREE events in 40 days.  A couple of the family-friendly variety will take place this weekend. On Saturday from 10-11:30am, kids ages 6 and up can join an animal mask-making workshop to design creature disguises then create a short play. Space is limited in the class, and registration is required.  Later that day, all ages are welcome to view the CHAW’s 6th Annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition from 5-7pm. More info, registration, and the complete calendar of free events can be viewed on the website.

Squeals on Wheels – The first Saturday Morning at the National show is bringing a miniature petting zoo to the stage for an “Education Safari”. An experienced handler will teach the kids about caring for animals while providing an opportunity for “hands-on” visits. Shows 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!

Stage TimeKids entertainment abounds this weekend with several new shows opening and a few in their for their final days.  Catch Dr. Dolittle and Knuffle Bunny before curtains close, or see Mouse on the Move or a one-evening performance by the Airborne Comedians.  Details, descriptions, and ticket info for all of these productions are available in this post about winter entertainment.

Geology Rocks!– It may be a new year, but the National Children Museum is welcoming guests to study some really old stuff.  Join them on Saturday from 11am – 4pm as they go on a geological expedition right in the Launch Zone to learn about everything from rocks to minerals to crystals. Kids can discover how to identify rocks and minerals, how crystals form, and what kinds of minerals exist in their own homes. The day promises to be “bi-o-tite”!

Soar at the NBMThere are some super fly activities happening at the Building Museum on Sunday. Kids ages 8 and up can take part in a Model Airplane Workshop from 9-11am ($8/members, $14/non-members – registration required). And all ages can drop in from 11am – 4pm to see the DC Maxecuters demo all kinds of model planes through the Great Hall. Visit the website for more info and to register.

You are My SunshineWarm weather (for this time of year, anyway) is here, and it’s supposed to be remain at least through tomorrow! Get out and enjoy it while you can —  this list of places to spend a great day outdoors has loads of ideas for fun al fresco. And if/when it cools down again on Sunday, this post with lots indoor suggestions is always good reference.



Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

It’s the Weekend…Party Time!

Okay, so maybe partying isn’t on the agenda for everyone this weekend, but it’s about all we’re thinking about in our household.  Both of my kids celebrated their birthdays within the past two weeks, and the big shebang is happening tomorrow. Soon, I’ll post a review of the party locale along with other party ideas and venue recommendations (similar to this post from many months ago).  In the meantime, here are some ideas for family fun over the next few days.  Happy Weekend!

See Stars… and Help Save the Planetarium – The Arlington Planetarium presents four shows of In My Backyard this weekend – Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1pm and 3pm.  The program aimed toward younger takes the audience on a tour of the narrator Fred’s backyard, first by day exploring nature as the seasons change, then at discovering the night sky after the sun goes down.  Unlike most planetarium shows where guests are expected to remain quit, the audience is encouraged to sing, clap, and even recite a poem along with Fred as they learn about the stars, planets, and moon.  Tickets are $3/ages 13 and up, $2/12 and under.  Read more about the planetarium along with Friends of the Arlington Planetarium’s efforts to keep the venue open.

Lego Aircraft Building Day – This Saturday, the College Park Aviation Museum  is hosting a Lego building day. Guests can design their own aircraft out of provided Legos and take home a picture of their creation. Top designs will be displayed throughout the museum.  The event runs from 12pm – 4pm.  Museum admission is $4/adults, $2/ages 2-18, free for 2 and under.

Collection Connection at the Postal Museum – Discover the fun of stamp collecting!  The museum invites guests to drop by to learn how to make a topical collection, select stamps to take home, and explore the exhibition Collecting History: 125 Years of the National Philatelic Collection.  The free program will take place in the museum’s atrium from 1 – 5pm.  While you’re there be sure to check out the rest of the exhibits – the Postal Museum is a fantastic, but often overlooked, attraction for families.

Snow Show at The Puppet Co. – Take the littlest ones to the Tiny Tots show on Saturday morning for a marionette performance all about snow.  Presented especially for children ages 0-4, the shows are short and accommodating to newbie audience members.  Read more about it here.

Science You Can Sing To – Entertainment and experiments will be on the line-up at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning. Ryan Buckle & Friends will perform “Science You Can Sing To,” a show that combines great tunes with amazing science experiments to inspire curious kids.  For more about the show and ticket info, see this post from a few days ago.

Storytelling at Mount Vernon – Children enter a world of fantasy and fables when costumed interpreters weave three tales together during Mount Vernon’s storytelling session, “Once Upon a Time at Mount Vernon,” held every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 3pm. “Working Together” is the theme for January’s storytelling sessions. During the 20-minute session, children learn Aesop’s fables and listen to stories about George Washington’s life. Recommended for children 3-8, parental supervision is required. Sessions will take place in the Hands-On History Room in the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center. Sessions are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, $7.00, free for ages 5 and under.

Family Game Day at Labyrinth – If you’re bored with your board games or looking for a unique out-of-the-house family activity, then head to Labyrinth Games & Puzzles on Sunday for Family Game Day.  The event will give guests a chance to try out some fantastic European-style games that are perfect for revitalizing family game night.  See this post for more details.

Stories in Art – Alexander Calder will again be the subject for this week’s Stories in Art at the National Gallery. The workshop will start with a reading of “Sophie’s Masterpiece,” a book about a spider and her wondrous creations.  From there, the group will explore Calder’s “Spider” and learn to weave their own wire mobiles.  Hour-long sessions begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day and will continue until all spaces are filled.  No admission fee required.  Check out this post for more about the series.

Portrait Story Days: George Washington Carver – Young visitors with their parents are invited to drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, African American scientist and educator George Washington Carver will be the honored subject.  The program is free and runs from 1-4pm.

Theater TimeSeveral children’s stage productions are in local theaters, and tickets are still available for some of this weekend’s performances.  Check out this post to see what’s playing and how to reserve your seats.

Post Recs for Ice Skating – This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested ice skating as a winter family activity, but this Best Bets piece from the Washington Post provides some useful insight on several area rinks.


Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Theatre, Weekend, Winter