Happy Long Weekend!
Go-to posts packed with ideas to enjoy the long weekend:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Active Pursuits Inside
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Ice Skating
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places
Lincoln Memorial Tour
Where: Memorials on the National Mall
When: Throughout the weekend
An activity for Presidents’ Day weekend: Tour the Lincoln Memorial. Every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm, you can explore the art and history of the structure with a National Park Service ranger. And on Monday at 11am and 2pm, there will be a special tour called “O Cpatin! My Captain!” with Ranger Tim to learn about Abraham Lincoln, the man, the monument, and his legacy. Of course, you can go anytime and explore on your own.
Hang Out at George’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Throughout the Weekend
Admission: $26/adult, $13/age 6-11, free/5 & under
What better place to visit over Presidents’ Day weekend than our first POTUS’ former home? While Mount Vernon is neat to explore anytime, George’s 292nd birthday is a good occasion to go. Tour the expansive grounds with original buildings, the mansion where he lived, and the Education Center full of interesting exhibits about Washington’s life and colonial times. Enjoy the sunny weather outside as you take in views of the Potomac River from the backyard. To celebrate the holiday, admission is free on Monday, and tickets will be distributed on-site upon arrival (though limited). And FYI: There is also free admission on Thursday, February 22, (Washington’s actual bday), if you can swing a weekday visit. Read more about Mount Vernon here.
Presidential Family Fun Day
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Celebrate Presidents’ Day at the Portrait Gallery’s annual festival for all ages! Discover more about presidents during guided tours of the “America’s Presidents” exhibit and story times, or enjoy art-making and writing activities — there’s something for everyone!
Blossom to Beverage: The Story of Chocolate
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
The story of chocolate begins with a small cacao tree rooted deep in the history of Mesoamerican culture. Learn the symbolism and history of this beloved and storied ingredient through art making and other hands-on activities at the National Museum of the American Indian. Create your own cacao-inspired codex book, do some cacao-inspired mural painting, learn about the process of harvesting and turning cacao beans into chocolate, watch artist demos, and more!
Shaun the Sheep
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Bring kiddos to experience the newest visiting exhibit at the National Children’s Museum. They can share in the antics of Shaun the Sheep and his pals through hands-on play in the interactive exhibit (recommended for learners age 3-9), which builds problem-solving and motor skills while playfully exploring technology and literacy. Plan to check out the permanent exhibits, too — read all about them here.
Great Backyard Bird Count
Where: Outdoors around the DC Area (or anywhere)
When: Through Monday
Admission: Depends on where you go
Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these days, people are invited to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and report them to the Great Backyard Bird Count. The observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. Participating is easy — learn more about it here.
Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 1pm | Sunday, 1pm & 4pm
A bilingual Cinderella with a twist that kids will love! What will happen to Cinderella at the ball … game? That’s the surprising question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical that weaves subtle lessons on empathy, sportsmanship, and respect into an exciting, high-stakes story. An Imagination Stage original that broke new ground in bilingual children’s theatre. Recommended for ages 5+.
Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Fri, 7pm | Sat & Sun, 11am & 2pm
It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.
Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Fri, 10:30am | Sat & Sun, 11:30am & 1pm
Join the Puppet Co. this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Recommended for ages 4+. Run time approximately 45 minutes.
Where: Kogod Courtyard | Penn Quarter DC
When: Through April 28
Smithsonian Gardens and the US Botanic Garden’s yearly orchid exhibition is bringing extra beauty to the Kogod Courtyard, one of DC’s most stunning spaces. “The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration” fills the entire Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery with around 350 live orchids. The display also features a series of newly commissioned and loaned works by contemporary multimedia artist, Phaan Howng, to help audiences visualize the future of orchids and be inspired to take action toward a sustainable future.
Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family activity for the young and young at heart. Hosted by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, the station is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.
Rock the Rink
Where: The Wharf Ice Rink | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 6-10pm
Admission: $13/adult, $10/youth, $8/rental
Join other hockey (and ice skating) fans at The Wharf to show your Caps pride. From 6pm-10pm, skate at The Wharf Ice Rink with a DJ, Caps gear giveaways, and more. At 7pm, they’ll also broadcast the Capitals’ away game against the Montreal Canadiens on the bar TV at the Caps Cantina Bar on Transit Pier. Wear your Capitals gear and receive $5 off admission to The Wharf Ice Rink!
A Monumental Experience
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 5pm
For a “presidential” pursuit this holiday weekend, the Washington Monument is super fun to tour. You can go up inside to check out interesting exhibits and take in DC views. Advance reservation tickets for the next day are available online for a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets are also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW. Get a glimpse from the inside here.
Learn about Lincoln’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free – $3
Ford’s Theatre isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through exhibits about the president, the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and that fateful night at the theatre. The National Historic Site features a museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and guests are welcome to explore it all. Best for about ages 8 and up. Reserve tickets online in advance for $3 or get them at the Box Office for free.
Stop by Abe’s Old Digs
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday – Monday, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: $10-15/adult, $4-5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under
Another great way to honor our 16th prez is with a visit to his “summer” house. Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus in Petworth, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Take a guided tour and see the current installation or go on a self-guided tour of it all — pricing depends on what you opt for.
Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity
February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs, guided and self-guided tours, visits to significant sites, story time sessions, special exhibits, and more will be enlightening, enriching, and entertaining for all.
Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
The recommendation to hit the trail is a staple in these round-ups. And it looks this weekend will be a great time to do it. Enjoy the sunshine, take in the winter scenery, maybe explore local history or spy some wildlife. You can even work in some geocaching! This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to tramp with kids. Some specific recs for right now: The National Arboretum in Northeast DC has lots of easy trails and beautiful plant collections; head out to Harpers Ferry for hiking and history; include some Black History in your outing on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail; walk in the woods at Pohick Bay Regional Park.
(Geo)Cache in on Fun
Where: Around the Area
Take kids on a “treasure” hunt and have a little adventure along the way. Geocaching is a perfect way to be active and enjoy a day outdoors. Whether you search in the city or seek out a destination that requires a hike in the woods, locating the hidden cache will be a thrill for everyone. See this post about our first foray into the pursuit awhile back.
Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: Sunday, 10am & 3pm
Best selling children’s music artist Laurie Berkner is returning to the DC area for two shows. A true pioneer in children’s music, beloved by generations of children and parents for over twenty years, she’ll be playing well-loved hits like “We Are the Dinosaurs” and “Victor Vito,” plus popular newer songs, like “Chipmunk At The Gas Pump” and “Waiting For The Elevator,” and even some brand new singles! Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads). FYI: We took a toddler Owen to one of Laurie’s shows years ago, and it was a blast!
Presidents Day with Rocknocerous
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: February 19, 11am
A stalwart presence in the D.C. area for nearly twenty years, Rocknoceros returns to their roots with a school holiday concert at the venue they call home. They will play original songs, new arrangements of children’s songs, and an eclectic mix of danceable pop and classic rock songs. All ages are welcome.
George Washington’s Birthday Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria, Kind & Royal Streets
When: Monday, 1-3pm
Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops, and more. Watch the procession as it travel through Old Town Alexandria. See the website for more info and route details.
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink
Enjoy some quintessential seasonal fun: Ice skating! Get your skate and art on at the Sculpture Garden. Glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink. Circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views. Meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park. Do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. Or head to an ice arena for some skating out of the elements. Check out this post with info for ice rinks — outdoors and in — around the area.
Where: All Around Charm City | Baltimore, MD
When: All Weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
The long weekend is a great time for a day trip (or even overnight) to Baltimore — there are so many great family-friendly attractions there, you may want an extra day to enjoy a few. Explore the exhibits at Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. View history in the works at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. And even more! This KFDC guide has the scoop.
Where: Around the DC area
Admission: Varies by locale
Take advantage of the sunny weather and get outdoors this weekend! This post, written during Covid, is full of recs for activities that take place in the fresh air, from hikes to art experiences to seasonal sports to garden explorations to all-season fun. (Note that none of the light shows are running now.)
Romeo & Juliet
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through March 24
It’s probably hard to imagine a wordless Shakespeare production, but Synetic Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, and it’s phenomenal. (I saw a performance of it a few years ago.) Innovative, fluid choreography set against dramatic scenery of gears in a clock, all to a unique soundtrack of ticks, tocks, and chimes makes for a gorgeous, mesmerizing production. Words aren’t necessary when a familiar story is told in such a beautifully expressive way. If you’re a fan of the bard or just appreciate superb theatre, I highly recommend this show. Teens and older could enjoy it, but it makes for a great grown-up night out.
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through March 3
Tickets: $41-95 (check for discount)
Mind tricks, anyone? Mentalist Vinny DePonto delivers a performance full of them in this one-man (+ a few audience members) show. It’s a fascinating, delightful, and poignant trip down memory lane as he explores the mind’s inner workings and what we hold onto in our heads. Highly recommend for a fun evening out — for teens and older!
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* A couple of immersive experiences for kids are still running: See more about Disney Encanto x CAMP DC and the Hot Wheels Champion Experience!
* Arise Academy Camp is hosting a virtual Valentine’s Celebration via Zoom on Saturday, 11am – 12pm.
* DCist recommends four local winter getaways from DC.
* Coming to the Shoppes at Bethesda Row is Rowan, a safe and celebratory one-stop destination for ear piercing that exclusively uses licensed nurses — perfect for kids getting their first studs.
* Amazon is having a President’s Day Sale — here are a few picks: This set that was already in my cart, this contraption that I keep hearing good things about, this worldly board game, and these packing cubes.
* More good sales this weekend: For kiddos, for teens, for everyone, for the home.
* A perfect cute jumpsuit for spring, when it warms up, but isn’t too hot.
* Just finished this book and recommend! Now starting this collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors.
* How awesome would it be to see this show at The Anthem? It’s sold out, but resale tix are available here.
* Anyone else also enjoying One Day on Netflix?
* Because we’re all dying to know what they said 😍