Tag Archives: DC Exhibits with Kids

New on View at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden this Summer

Make a wish at Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree for Washington”

You can’t really go wrong with an outing to the National Mall. There are always museums to visit, exhibits and memorials to check out, and just so much to see as you wander. Here are a couple of new exhibitions running at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden this summer to keep in mind next time you’re on the Mall. It’s easy to stop by to see them — no tickets required, and admission to both are free!

Ai Weiwei makes a political statement in LEGOS

Opening today, “Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn” is a massive installation spanning 700 feet all the way around the museum’s second floor, featuring portraits of 176 indivisuals from around the world who the artist believes to have been detained, exiled, or have sought political asylum as a result of their actions, beliefs, or affiliations.

Like many of his works, it makes a political statement and is pretty heavy for kids. But also like many of his works, there’s an aesthetic element that will appeal to all ages: It’s made entirely of LEGOS! While you might not make a special trip to see it with children, I recommend stopping by if you’re at the museum or nearby. It could be a conversation starter if you want to discuss those topics with your kids. It’s also a chance for them to see how they can create art with their everyday toys. Apparently, Ai Weiwei chose LEGOS as his medium because his son was playing with them a lot. The exhibit runs through January 1, 2018.

In the Sculpture Garden, be sure to stop by Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree for Washington,” where visitors are encouraged to write their wishes on tags and tie them to a Japanese dogwood tree. It’s quite a sight to see them all lining the branches — and interesting, moving, even amusing to read some of them. Throughout the summer, Hirshhorn staff collect the wishes and send them to Ono’s “Imagine Peace Tower” in Reykjavik, Iceland. You can add your tags with written wishes through Labor Day, and the rest of the year you can whisper them to the tree.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Outdoor, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Immerse in Art & Technology at XYZT: Abstract Landscapes, the Debut Exhibit from ARTECHOUSE


Recent record-breaking crowds and long, snaking lines at museums have shown just how much we love experiencing new evocative and innovative exhibits here in DC. So, I’m about to fill you in on one that, in my opinion, is a must to experience this summer: XYZT: Abstract Landscapes. And let me stress “experience,” because this is one that you don’t just look at, but interact with, and even immerse in, too.


The exhibit is the first for ARTECHOUSE, a new destination for art, music, film, theater, and technology opening today, June 1, in Southwest DC. The 15,000-square-foot gallery is the District’s first innovative digital art center dedicated to showcasing experiential and immersive large scale installations by artists who are forerunners of the new age in arts and technology.


And ARETCHOUSE is launching in an extraordinary way. XYZT: Abstract Landscapes is an immersive sensory art exhibition created by leading contemporary digital artists and multimedia choreographers Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne. Composed of 10 interactive and immersive digital installations, the exhibit is a virtual playground of technology and light. Images are projected onto walls, the floors, on screen, in aquariums, and all of them can be manipulated with the touch of a hand or foot, movement, or sound.


It’s at once beautiful, playful, and dazzling — and enlightening! Each installation is accompanied by a console with headphones and a small screen that describe and depict the technology and processes at work.



A testament to how much I love XYZT: It’s only been open a day, and I’ve already been twice — for a media preview, and back today to experience it again with a friend. And even though I’ve only been sans kids, mine will definitely join next time for the very kid friendly exhibit. They can watch a letter tree grow and see its alphabet leaves blow in the wind. A clap of the hands turns letters into flying insects. A cloud of light will follow their movements. Making light move with the touch of a finger or the tap of a foot will make them feel like they have superpowers.



However, there are a few things to note as you plan to bring your kids. XYZT is recommended for ages 6 and up. Children younger than that are welcome, but parents should be aware that very little ones and kids with sensory issues might find some of the installations overwhelming and possibly a little creepy. And, of course, accompanying adults are expected to stay with small children at all times.

For the most part, though, visitors big and little are in for a treat! If this is how ARTECHOUSE is making their debut, I’m excited to see what else they have in store. Though XYZT is so cool, I can wait for it patiently.

XYZT: Abstract Landscapes runs at ARTECHOUSE through September 3, 2017. It’s open daily and hours are 10am – 4pm for ages 6 (recommended) and up, and 5:30-9:30pm for ages 21 and up only with valid ID — there is a bar where cocktails are can be purchased. Admission is $15/adult, $10/child, student, and senior during the day, and $25 in the evenings. Timed entry tickets can be purchased online, and you can also buy tickets there, but there’s a good chance they’ll start selling out as word spreads about the exhibit. ARTECHOUSE is located at 1238 Maryland Ave. SW, next to the Mandarin Oriental.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Art, Date Night, DC, Exhibit, Seasonal, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend

Enter to Win Tickets to Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens!

Wings of Fancy will be on view through September 25

Wings of Fancy will be on view through September 25

Wings of Fancy, Brookside Garden’s wonderful butterfly and caterpillar exhibit is back to dazzle visitors this summer. And one lucky KFDC reader can win a four-pack of tickets to experience it — and I can assure you, it’s fantastic.

Studying caterpillars before entering the butterfly garden

Studying caterpillars before entering the butterfly garden

Nearly 20 different species of butterflies from North America, Central America, and Asia flutter around the garden full of colorful flowers and plants. There are also cases on display containing cocoons and opportunities for visitors to learn about their amazing metamorphosis. We just visited a couple of weeks ago, and even though we go every year, the exhibition never ceases to amaze.

The glasswinged butterfly - I never even knew these existed before this

The glasswinged butterfly – I never even knew these existed before this

And I have to note that Brookside is great beyond the butterflies — the gardens are lovely, there are wildlife sightings galore, and the Children’s Garden will delight little ones. During our visit, we saw chipmunks, tadpoles, frogs, polliwogs, turtles, geese, even snakes!

Gorgeous grounds to roam

Gorgeous grounds to roam

Frog sightings guaranteed

Frog sightings guaranteed

Wings of Fancy will be on display through September 25. Hours are 10am – 4pm daily. Tickets are $8/ages 13 and up, $5/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under. Admission to the rest of Brookside is free.

Giveaway: For a chance to win the four-pack of tickets to the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens, simply leave a comment telling me your or your child’s favorite recent exhibit in the area — art, science, nature, anything. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and be a blog subscriber (see the sign-up to the left). This giveaway will run through Friday, June 3, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Educational, Exhibit, Giveaway, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Weekdays, Weekend