Tag Archives: DC Children’s Theater

Review: The Day You Begin at the Kennedy Center

[Note:  This review was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here, and here.]

It was a timely treat taking my kindergartner to the Kennedy Center to see The Day You Begin, a musical based on the bestselling children’s book by author Jacqueline Woodson. The plot: the first day at a new school with diverse new people; the setting: a familiar, yet more vividly modern elementary school classroom. The message? The day you truly “begin” is when you discover what makes you unique, but also the same as people who may seem so different.

The show, an age-appropriate 55 minutes in length, is immediately engaging and interactive. The teacher, Ms. Veve, asks the audience self-identifying questions: “Who wants to be a writer? Who wants to be a teacher? A basketball star?” It’s such a distinguishing topic of conversation for a kid. One student, Rigoberto, clearly wants to be a soccer star, running passionately down the aisle with his cardboard soccer ball and speaking his native Spanish.

The class is comprised of four students who are unlikely friends, but by the end, meant to be. For much of America, the diversity depicted in the book and musical is the new norm and something your child may already be navigating in school. Multi-cultural, multi-lingual, disabled, and more; very few are exactly alike. How fortunate that our kids are figuring out what makes them special yet what connects them at such young ages.

My daughter’s favorite part of the show is the lengthy lunch scene. Some days, there’s nothing more interesting to a kid than what everyone had (or bought) for lunch. Food is a big deal in a little kid’s world. The plot thickens when one student, Min, opens a canister of kimchi for lunch. It could not be more jarring to the others but Min stands proud. The kids figure out how to be kindly curious about what’s different, and also agree on what favorite fruit they share – a “beginning” moment to their friendship.

Ms. Veve leaves us with the following lesson: “go tell your stories.” Finding your place in the world and with others can begin with you opening up and being proud of what makes you you. Because “every new friend has something a little like you – and something else so fabulously not quite like you at all.” During the car ride home, my daughter just kept begging me for kimchi for dinner…

The Day You Begin
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through December 18
Tickets: $20-25

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Weekend, Winter

Giveaway: Put a Little STOMP in Your Spring!

STOMP, the hit musical production of choreographed percussion, is returning to DC April 23-28, and one lucky KFDC reader can win a pair of tickets to see it on opening night!

The explosive, provocative, sophisticated, utterly unique show appeals to audiences of all ages. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps — to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. The return of the percussive hit also brings some new surprises, with some sections of the show now updated and restructured, utilizing props like tractor tire inner tubes and paint cans. As USA Today says, “STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places.” See what all the noise is about!

STOMP is running at National Theatre April 23-28. Tickets are $55-75 and can be purchased online. (KFDC tip: Look for a deal here.) Run time is approximately 95 minutes with no intermission. Children under the age of four are not permitted to attend the show.

Read a KFDC review of STOMP from a few year’s back, and get a peek at it in the video below.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a pair of tickets to STOMP at National Theatre on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 7:30pm, simply leave a comment below telling me your family’s favorite spring activity. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through April 14, 2019, then a winner will be drawn at random and announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 2-6

Exploring the FDR Memorial along the Tidal Basin

Monday – Take a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bees nests and bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Tuesday – Head to the National Building Museum for all kinds of kid fun. The monthly Little Builders Storytime takes place at 10:30am & 11:30am in the Building Zone, where children can also enjoy areas that encourage pretend play with dress up and props inspired by some of the displays. The PLAY WORK BUILD exhibit upstairs is always fun for kids as well. You can also hang out in and marvel at the grandeur of the Great Hall. Grab lunch at the Firehook Bakery located there and have an indoor picnic, too! Museum hours are 10am – 5pm. Exhibit admission is $10/adult, $7/child, free for members. I highly recommend checking out membership options if you frequent the museum a few times per year.

Wednesday – Stroll around the Tidal Basin to visit some of DC’s memorials — Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Jefferson are all honored there. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day, and park rangers are on hand to answer questions from 9:30am – 10pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Go to Great Falls! Weekdays are an excellent time to visit when the park is less crowded. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Enjoy gorgeous views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks, hike easy trails along the river or through the woods, and stop in the Visitor Center — there’s one on each side — to learn more about the area’s history and wildlife. One visit there and you’ll understand why it’s such a popular spot.

Friday – See Drumming with Dishes, Arts on the Horizon’s adorable interactive play geared toward children ages 1-5. Showtime is 10:30am, and performances take place at The Lab Theatre at Convergence in Alexandria through October 21. Tickets are $9 and can purchased in advance online.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 25-29

Picking a peck of apples at Waters Orchard

Monday – Check out your local library. Drop in for story time, sing-a-longs, arts & crafts, and other activities, or just go to browse for books. See this post from the very early KFDC days for a little background and quick links to public libraries around the area. Hours vary by location, admission is free.

Tuesday – Visit one of DC’s most tried and true for kids: The National Museum of Natural History. With exhibits to indulge all kinds of interests, you really can’t go wrong. Gawk at the beasts in the Hall of Mammals, hold live creatures in the Insect Zoo, learn about early humans and see what you’d look like as a Neanderthal, watch an IMAX flick, and be sure to take advantage of FREE entry on Tuesdays to the Butterfly Pavilion! (KFDC Tip: Get tickets to see the butterflies when you arrive, since entry is timed, and yours may not begin right away.). Admission to the museum is free, but IMAX films are $9/adult, $7.50/child. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Wednesday – See a show especially for little ones at The Puppet Co. The lights stay on, and doors remain open during Tiny Tots performances for the youngest audiences. Old MacDonald’s Farm is this week’s production. Showtime is 10am. Tickets are $6 for everyone, including babies.

Thursday – Spend the day at the National Arboretum. There are so many ways to enjoy one of the prettiest places in the city. Explore the plant collections on nature walks, view the bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, see the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees, and so much more. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list!

Friday – Go apple picking at Waters Orchard. The locale in Gaithersburg, MD, is a great place to PYO, with lovely scenery and lots of varieties of the fall fruit. Hours are 12-5pm on Fridays (9am – 5pm Saturday & Sunday). Pricing is by the peck — $15/half peck, $22/peck, $38/bushel and that includes entry fee for two ($5/guest after that). And for more place with pick-your-own opportunities, see this KFDC post.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays

Find Knuffle Bunny at Adventure Theatre this Fall (+ Giveaway!)


Adventure Theatre is kicking off its new season of family entertainment by bringing a beloved children’s book to life on stage. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale opens this Friday, September 23, and you have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see a performance!

Based on the book by Mo Willems and directed for this production by Nick Olcott, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale follows Trixie and her father as they bustle through the streets of New York City down the block, across the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. But returning home, Knuffle Bunny is gone, and Trixie can’t tell her father what’s wrong.

You can watch this all play out adorably on stage September 23 – October 23 at Adventure Theatre located in Glen Echo Park. Recommended for all ages, there are lots of opportunities to catch a performance of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale on both weekdays and weekends. Tickets are $19.50, and you can try to win four of them through the giveaway below.

*Be aware of these dates offering special opportunities and extra fun:

September 23, 7pm: Pay What You Can Pajama Party
Wear your pj’s and eat free milk and cookies in this fun kick-off performance.
Pay what you can is at the door and cash only.

September 24, 11am & 2pm: International Rabbit Day Giveaway
10 lucky families will walk away with their own official plush Knuffle Bunny.

October 2: Daddy Daughter Day
Daddy’s and daughters get commemorative cards to celebrate their fun outing.

October 8, 2pm: ASL Interpreted
This performance will have an ASL interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The performance is unaltered for all other patrons.

October 15, 2pm: Autism/Sensory-Friendly Performance
The lights are kept on and the sound is turned down for those with sensory sensitivities.

October 22: Celebrate Plush Animal Lover’s Day!
Get your photo taken with the giant Knuffle Bunny after the show.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of Tickets to see Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below letting me know which performance — date and time — you would like to see the show. To be eligible to win, you should follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to KFDC (sign-up is on the left). This giveaway will run through Thursday, September 22, 2016, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under All ages, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend