Tag Archives: DC Kids Activities

The Weekend Round-Up:
April 12-14

All aboard for a mini trian ride at Cabin John!

 

Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts full of ideas for go-to fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Ave, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $15/advance, $20/day of, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade (or on Sunday), head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and much more.

Go for a Spin
Where: Cabin John (Bethesda) & Wheaton Regional Park, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5

All aboard! Montgomery Park’s Cabin John Train and Wheaton Train and Carousel are open for the season. Take kiddos for a spin around the parks on replicas of an 1863 steam locomotive. Or go for whirl on the Carousel (Wheaton only). Plan for time on the playgrounds, too — both offer lots of fun for little ones.  Read more about Cabin John here and Wheaton here.

Horse Expo
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Frying Pan Farm Park is hosting its first-ever horse expo! There will be demonstrations, speakers, food trucks, and businesses that sell horse-related products and services. Both experienced riders and people new to the world of horses are welcome to join the festivities.

More Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Bring kids with disabilities to explore Riverbend Park. Learn about animal adaptations at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Go on nature kayaking tour at Lake Accotinct.  Observe the night sky at Turner Park Observatory. And there are even more interesting adventures! Details and registration for activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Art Cart: Art Assembly
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Hirshhorn for an art activities especially for kids… What could you create with an empty box and scrap materials? In this week’s Art Cart, get inspired by artist Joseph Cornell and his amazing assemblages (artworks inside a box). Look closely at his work, explore materials and assemble your own artwork in a box! Find the cart with supplies on the lower level.

Blossom Fest
Where: Springfield Town Center | Springfield, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Join Springfield Town Center for their annual Blossom Fest. The family-friendly festival will feature dozens of fun exhibitors outdoors, live music, face patinging and balloon art, bouncy fun, character appearances, a LEGO activity, fitness demos, and dance and theatre performances.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Visit the historical Vienna Stain station to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Locomotive, rail car, and towns industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) are chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose.

Peter Pan
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through April 21
Admission: $44-139 (look for a deal)
This high-flying musical has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a new adaptation. The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget.

Love and Information
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $12

Someone shares a forbidden secret, someone confronts their best friend, someone admires a snail. In this kaleidoscopic play, over fifty unrelated scenes flash by faster than a doomscroll as over a hundred characters strive to connect with each other, learn from one another, and look for love. Love and Information, written to be transformed into it’s own unique vision by every company that performs it, makes this production a once in a lifetime theatrical experience. Recommended for ages 11+.

The Monsters of Seahorse Island
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

It’s a the world premier of a brand new play by Interact Story Theatre… The people of Seahorse Island and the people of the Kingdom under the ocean have been at odds for longer than anyone can remember, but why? And what happens when worlds collide? This thoughtful and funny play includes lots of audience participation and is best for ages 5 & up.

Macbeth
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through May 5
Admission: Start at $115, but mostly sold out, look for resale tix

Shakespeare Theatre Company present this classic starring Ralph Fiennes… Blood will have blood. Unbridled ambition, supernatural forces, and murderous desires reign supreme in Shakespeare’s most poetic examination of evil. When three witches tell Macbeth that he will become King of Scotland, he plots with his wife to attain the title through an assassination; a bloody act that gives him his crown and sends him careening down the path of his own undoing. A thrilling account of how our minds deceive us and how a guilty conscience can undo us all. Recommended for teens and older.

Message In A Bottle
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through April 21
Admission: $45-105 (look for discount)

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show inspired by and set to the iconic hits of Sting.The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati, and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive. Recommended for ages 12+.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

Caps vs Lightning
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Look for tickets here

Hockey, anyone? The Capitals are playing at home on Sunday evening as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Make a longer outing of it and visit the Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum before the game or grab a bite to eat in the Penn Quarter neighborhood after  — this post about kid-friendly eats in DC has suggestions for places to go.

United vs Orlando SC
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
Wheb: Saturday,
Admission: Tickets start at $27 (look for discount)

DC United is playing at home on Saturday evening, hosting Orlando SC. As always, I recommend taking public transportation or parking in the Navy Yard neighborhood and walking to Audi Field from there. Plan for a pre-match bite — here are a bunch of recs for family-friendly spots to eat there.

Happy Emancipation Day, DC!
Where: Freedom Plaza & Pennsylvania Ave. | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

There will be a second parade in DC on Saturday to celebrate DC Emancipation Day! The procession will be led by Mayor Bowser, and it will be followed by a concert featuring local and national artists, and a fireworks display to end the night! Emancipation Day honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The parade begins at 2pm,  a concert of the plaza at 3pm, and there will be fireworks later at 8:30pm.

Bloom Town
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

The cherry blossom peak at the Tidal Basin has passed, but there are more blossoms and other big blooms to enjoy around the DC area, a couple of them literally coming now. Burnside Farm’s Festival of Spring featuring tulip fields is in its final weekend, bluebells are blanketing the grounds around the area, and wisteria is starting to brighten up local scenery.  And the best places to see them are great for more than just the flowers. This post has details on where to go for those and other big blooms coming up.

Spring Breakin’
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Spring Break for DC students begins this weekend, so you might be looking for extra activities to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained while they are off from school. This annual KFDC guide has plenty of ideas to help with that. Of course, you can also use it for finding more weekend fun, Spring Beak or not.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Plan ahead for museum fun (and see what’s on this weekend) with this round-up of regularly occurring programs at local museums.
* See even more things to plan for this spring!
* There is a contest going on right now to give a military family a Dream Party — details here.
* Where to find Passover meals around DC, just a little over a week away.
* Sasha’s latest social media recipe find is a yummy one.
I just bought the best swimsuit! It’s stylish and flattering — a lot like this trendy one, but less cheeky and a fraction of the price.
* Anthro has another good sale on sale going on. Love this woven tote and these silky barrel pants.
* And this Amazon workout wear brand has awesome deals right now.
* The world’s 15 best family-friendly hotels and resorts, according to AFAR.
* Saturday Night.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: April 5-7

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to tons of DC area fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Nats First Weekend
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket Prices Vary

The Nats are playing their first weekend at home against the Phillies, always an exciting match-up. Catch a game on Friday at 6:45pm, Saturday at 4:05pm, or Sunday at 1:35pm. Be sure to note the ballpark rules for bringing bags (Prohibited Items section)  and that Kids Run the Bases after Sunday games doesn’t start until April 21. But the playground will be open, and there is always fun happening along with the on-field action. And go ahead and sign up for the Jr. Nationals Kids Club (and pick up the kits later in April) – it’s so worth it! Read about that here.

Fairies in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $5 suggested donation

Guaranteed to delight, the annual exhibit of fairy and gnome houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden begins on Friday!  This year, more than 180 homes for spritely creatures will be displayed throughout the grounds. Viewing them along with more art as you walk along a trail through the woods is a fantastic adventure for all ages. Plan for play time in the adorable Fairy Lolly, and stop in the Arts Center for more creative works. Read more about and get a glimpse of it all here and here. (FYI – Annmarie is wonderful anytime, fairy houses or not!)

Artomatic
Where: 2100 M Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Friday-Saturday. 12pm – 12am | Sunday, 12-9pm
Admission: Free

The big community art event is running all month!  Throughout 300,000 square feet of an empty office building, you can view art by over 1,o00 artists.  There are also special workshops, interactive experiences, and live performances with some that kids can enjoy, too.  View the schedule here.  Hours are Wednesday – Thursday, 5-9:30pm; .  Admission is free!

Wizards vs. Heat
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $23 (look for deal)
If March Madness has you wanting to see live basketball, the Wizards are playing at home on Friday evening against the Portland Trailblazers. Make a longer outing of it in Penn Quarter — go early and pop in to the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (open until 7pm) or plan on a pre-game meal — find recommendations for family-friendly restaurants here.  And stick around postgame for the finale of the Friday Night Concert Series, featuring Grammy winner 2Chainz.

Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park | Great Falls, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $12

Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. This annual festival is back after a Covid hiatus and will have  wildflower walks, live animals, exhibitors, live music, crafts, and food trucks. Register in advance online to ensure your spot! Read more about Riverbend in this KFDC post.

Star Wars: The Force Awaken in Concert
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Tickets: $23-100

Experience the film on the big screen as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the score live on stage. Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, Luke Skywalker has vanished and a new threat has risen: The First Order, led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and his dark side enforcer, Kylo Ren. General Leia Organa’s military force, the Resistance—and unlikely heroes brought together by fate—are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil.

Get Ready for the Solar Eclipse
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Air & Space Museum is hosting a special Family Day to get ready for the solar eclipse next week. There will be hands-on activities for children that describe what happens during an eclipse, and more. The musuem will also offer tips on how to view the eclipse in a safe and fun way, activities .

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season with swimming and more fun! Enjoy free access to the Long Bridge Aquatics Center, plus activities like an origami class, tea tasting, story time, free snacks, and more! Register in advance.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Cherry Blossoms
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring and DC’s beloved cherry blossoms with a festive family workshop cohosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This hands-on preservation workshop is designed for children ages 3-8 and their caretakers. Be sure to register here in advance!

Bloom Town
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

There are still some cherry blossoms around, and even more big flower displays  are coming up around the DC area. Tulips are showing off their brilliant hues and bluebells are blanketing the grounds around the area.  And the best places to see them are fab for more than just the flowers. This post has details on where to go for those and other big blooms coming up.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm & Sunday, 1:30pm & 4pm
Tickets: $20

This daring double act of classical fun is BACK. National Symphony Orchestra musicians—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Recommended for ages 3+.

Off the Page
Where: Theater on the Run | Arlington, VA
Where: The Lyceum | Alexandria, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presentsthis show for little theatre goers… The magic of books can transport us to new worlds! When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will use an immersive design to unfold around the audience. Watch a new world come to life right before your eyes! Catch at two theatres, plus other locations as it tours the area.

Mutts Gone Nuts
Where: Hylton Center for Performing Arts | VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $15

Canines and comedy collide in Mutts Gone Nuts in a show that includes some of the most talented dogs in the world doing barrel tricks, dancing, magic, and jump rope routines! The talented lineup even includes a Guinness World Record holder for the highest jump by a dog, a world champion frisbee dog, comedian Jonathan Burns, and more! Recommended for all ages.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! This day-long signature event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Holi Festival
Where: Hardy Rec Center | Foxhall, DC
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

CommuniKids along with Kishan Putta and Divya Swamy invites the community to exprience Holi. This South Asian Festival Of Colors celebrates good over evil and welcomes spring. It’s OK to get a little messy while celebrating this holiday where colorful powder will be thrown. Wearing white and sunglasses or swim goggles is suggested for the most fun.
(Note that the colored powder is nontoxic and washable!). All ages welcome. RSVP Required.

A Healthy Opening Day
Where: Sweetgreen | Union Market District, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: The cost of your meal

Sweetgreen opens its 12th DC location on Saturday in the Union Market District (1300 4th St NE). To celebrate opening day, there will be fun giveaways, including a cookie and coffee bar by Maman, spring tulip bar by She Loves Me DC, and custom Sweetgreen swag, while supplies last from 10:30am-1:30pm. And for every meal sold on Saturday, Sweetgreen will donate a meal to Food Rescue US – DC to nourish Washingtonians experiencing food insecurity.

Rumpus Room Family Dance Party
Where: Hi-Lawn | Union Market, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: $10

The Rumpus Room, DC’s only daytime dance party for families, returns to Hi-Lawn on the rooftop of Union Market for its first event of 2024. Relive your night-life glory days with your little ones in tow as you dance to a family-friendly mix of dance floor classics, current hits, and guilty pleasures, all at a child-friendly volume. Hi-Lawn will be open for food and beverages at 11am, so you cab get a bite, too. Rumpus Room is designed for children 10 and under, but older siblings are welcome. All walking humans require a ticket. Infants/crawlers are free,

Storytime Yoga
Where: Takoma Park Maryland Library
When: Sunday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Join Children’s Yoga Instructor, Mariela Gómez, and enjoy meditation, movement, and songs in active, family-friendly yoga for children under 5 with their grown-up.

Caps vs Senators
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 6pm
Admission: Look for tickets here

Hockey, anyone? The Capitals are playing at home on Sunday evening as they host the Senators. Grab a bite to eat in the Penn Quarter neighborhood before or after the game.  This post about kid-friendly eats in DC has suggestions for places to go.

Spring Breakin’
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Spring Break has begun in the DC area, so if you’re looking for extra activities to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained over while the kids are off from school, this annual KFDC guide has plenty of ideas. (Of course, you can also use it for finding more weekend fun, Spring Beak or not.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The rain should finally be done this weekend, so highlighting the best outdoor places in the DC area, local walks in the woods, recs for good bike rides, and great hike and aprés hike combos.
* If your kids’ Spring Break is still coming up, and you’ll be in town, it could be a good time to volunteer with your kids.
* Bookmarking Eater’s round-up of top dog-friendly patios around DC.
* We finally tried Caruso’s Grocery, and it’s as good as everyone’s been saying.
* Can’t wait to watch the new TV series version of one of my favorite movies!
* Sounds weird, but I keep reading about this skin care product and am intrigued (but getting the trial size, just in case).
* A perfect spring jacket — and on sale. (Or maybe this one is more practical given the weather lately?)
* 10 Happy Things for April 🌷

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Go and What to Do During Spring Break 2024

 

Spring Break has begun in the DC area, so you may be in need of some extra reminders of all the great activities there are to do around the area to keep your kids entertained over the next few weeks — depending on when they’re off from school. And if some of this sounds familiar (including this intro), that’s because a version of this post has been published in many previous years, but it’s been updated to reflect what’s going on now.

Many of the ideas here are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. Among these recommendations are special and seasonal activities,  exhibits and shows that are currently running, iconic spots in DC, easy day trips out of the city, and outings that take advantage of the great spring weather.

And, of course, the rest of the blog is full of suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) happy during the week off — or on, depending how you look at it. Happy Spring Break!

 

 


Special & Seasonal Activities

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Filed under 2024, DC, Spring

The Weekend Round-Up:
March 22-24

See cherry blossoms at the National Arboretum

 

Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts full of ideas for ongoing fun in DC:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path DC Museums
* MD & VA Museums
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Active Pursuits Inside
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

‘Tis the Cherry Blossom Season
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

The cherry blossoms hit their peak earlier this week at the Tidal Basin, so they are no longer at their most brilliant there, but you can still see them at other spots — these cherry blossom viewing tips include suggestions for where to go.  (From what we saw at the National Arboretum last weekend, many of the cherry trees there should be blooming this weekend.)  Even more, events and activities to celebrate the iconic bloom are getting into full swing. Some are listed below, and you can find even more happening this weekend in this post as well as plan for the rest of the season.

NSO in Your Neighborhood
Where: Riverfront Areas | Capitol Riverfront & Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra’s annual program presents free performances in the city’s Riverfront areas: Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, Capitol Riverfront, Buzzard Point, and Bellevue.This weekend there will be concerts at Boombox boxing Club, Culture House DC, The Anthem, Rubell Museum, Covenant Baptist UCC Church, and Bald Eagle Recreation Center. See the website for details on the show. All are open to the public with first-come, first-served seating.

United by Hockey Mobile Museum
Where: Piney Orchard Ice Arena | Odenton, MD
When: Friday, 3-9pm & Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

This free fan experience celebrates hockey’s trailblazers, changemakers, and business leaders spanning various demographics. The 840-square-foot museum includes exclusive artifacts from players, video components, highlights about Caps players, a virtual reality experience, and a look at the next generation of young stars and other hockey personalities.

Family Day: Japanese Fashion
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry-blossom season at the museum with a family day featuring Japanese kimono, “happi” coats and crafts for all ages. Performances of traditional Okinawan dance will showcase the colorful costume of the islands, and guests can enjoy the beautiful melodies of Japan’s national instrument, the “koto.” Design your own kimono bookmark, make a cherry blossom pendant or join us for a family-friendly tour of the galleries, including Japanese textiles on display in Irresistible: The Global Patterns of Ikat.

Revolutions: Art from the Hirshhorn Collection, 1860-1960
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Hirshhorn is celebrating its 50th anniversary with this exhibition that showcases works for the museum’s permanent collection over a hundred year period. It’s wonderfully curated with paintings, sculptures and more pieces from both classic and contemporary artists. Even more, Art Cart will be back on Saturday from 10am -1pm, giving kids (and adults) the opportunity to create their own art inspired by the Alexander Calder works in the exhibit.

Make a mobile with Hirshhorn’s Art Cart!

Environmental Film Fest
Where: Several locations around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by film
Films from across the globe are being screened around the DC-Metro area for the the annual DC Environmental Film Festival. The line-up this weekend includes special family programming this weekend: Puffin Rock and the New Friend will be screening at Woodridge and Anacostia Neighborhood Libaries on Saturday. There are even more films to consider for older kids or a kid-free outing. Go to the website for more details and to view trailers.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: March 23, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun to celebrate cherry blossom season.  Family activities include Japanese drum and traditional dance performances, a book author talk, storytelling, and arts and crafts from Japan.  Get tickets here! And read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Free Family FunFest
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

This free annual festival from the Bowie Baysox is loaded with fun for the whole family. Enjoy carnival-style rides and games, lots of activities from Baysox sponsors and partners, opportunities to hang out with mascots Louie and Rocko, raffles, and more.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season of cherry blossoms with SAAM! Begin the day on the F Street Plaza with a taiko drumming performance by drumming group Nen Daiko. Then head to the Kogod Courtyard for a day of performances and Japanese pop, boogie, and more with Les The DJ. Kids 12 and younger can enjoy cherry-blossom themed crafts and face painting. A spring-themed scavenger hunt through SAAM’s galleries extends the cherry blossom fun.

Egg-cellent Outings
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Egg hunts, bunny visits, and more seasonal activities are happening all around the area. There are also attractions beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs for your whole gang. This post has a round-up of all the Easter fun going on this weekend over the coming weeks.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $25+

Be a part of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters global tour as they take the court with moments of extreme basketball innovation and unparalleled fan FUN! See the Globetrotter stars live as they dribble, spin, slam, and dunk their way past their relentless rivals, the Washington Generals!

The Spirit of Women’s Soccer
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $20

The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, plays their first home match on Saturday against Bay FC. Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting our home team and women in sports.  Plan on a pre-game bite to eat in the nearby Navy Yard — get recommendations for family-friendly restaurants here.

MatchboxCon: Die-Cast Metal Toy Convention
Where: MoCo Fairgrounds, Bldg #6 | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10-12/adult, $6-8/age 13-17, $4-5/age 4-12


Matchbox and Hot Wheels collectors from all over the east coast will be at the specialized toy show featuring 60 exhibitors and their inventories of Mattel brand, plus Corgi, Dinky, Greenlight, and more die-cast brands. MatchboxCon is an event for the die-cast community, bringing fans together to meet and gather for a weekend sharing both older rare toys and the latest hard-to-find releases at reasonable prices.

Magic Mirror
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $15

It’s the final weekend to see Magic Mirror…   Meet Toad, a young person destined for greatness in this mash-up story with lots of familiar fairy tales! Join us on this journey of dragons, monsters, and spirits of the woods. Recommended for ages 5+. Run time approximately 50 minutes.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $25

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.

Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 1pm & 4pm
Admission: $12+
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+.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Pen Quarter, DC
When: Through May 18
Admission: $41-77 (find discount)
Head down to Skid Row for a non-stop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. Recommended for ages 13+.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature a wide array of free cultural activities including an artisanal Japanese marketplace, cultural performances, culinary delights, and more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Purim Family Day
Where: Capital Jewish Museum | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Join Washington Revels and the Seth Kibel Trio for an afternoon of Klezmer music, a Purim spiel (Purim comedy), costumes, and crafts. Make a grogger (noise maker) or a golden crown and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim at this free, family-friendly event! And, while you are there, spend some time exploring the exhibitions. Crafts and activities start at 2pm. Performances start at 3pm.

Hill Family Biking: Books & Blossoms Ride
Where: | Capitol Hill & Southwest, DC
When: Sunday, 3:45-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Hill Family Biking is teaming up with DC Public Library for a ride to the stunning, new SW Library for a tour of the facility  and story time with cherry blossom peeping opportunities all along the route. The ride starts at Eastern Market Metro and weaves down 3.7 miles of some of the most bikeable streets in the District to SW Library. There will be a scheduled exit from SW Library for anyone that wants to ride back to Eastern Market as a group.

Celebrate Women’s History
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
March is Women’s History Month, and there are so many great ways to celebrate it around DC, with something for all ages. See some exhibits, tour local landmarks, enjoy live entertainment… all of it showcasing women and their accomplishments. This post has details on where you can do that this month — and beyond!

Blooms in Baltimore
Where: Fort McHenry | Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15 (some of the grounds are free)
DC isn’t the only city with cherry blossoms in bloom. You can see them in Baltimore, too, and Fort McHenry should be peaking this weekend. The site also makes for an interesting, informative, and enjoyable outing for all ages. Engaging exhibits range from historical objects and structures to multimedia displays and interactives. And the grounds located right on the Chesapeake are lovely to stroll on a nice day.  Make a longer day of it in Baltimore (or even a weekend)  — the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids has ideas and info for all kinds of things to do.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Amazon’s Big Spring Sale is going on through the weekend, and I put together some KFDC picks of things I thought were worth getting.  And there have been additions since the original post, so have another look if you’ve already seen it.
* Get ready for the Blossom Kite Festival next weekend!
* There are so many awesome spring things to get excited about around DC.
* Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring, featuring expansive fields of tulips and daffodils in a rainbow of colors, is starting soon, and tickets are now available for purchase.
* Where to watch March Madness around DC.
* It’s a pricey brand, but their current sale makes it a good time to splurge.  (PS: They make the best featherweight jeans!)
* NY Magazine’s article about the craziest college admissions season ever is a very interesting read (especially for those of us who are going through it).
* If you’re into the Kate saga (iykyk), you’ll like this.
* But what to wear? 🙂

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

The Best Events & Activities for Families During Cherry Blossom Season

Blossoms, kites, and lots of peops at the annual Blossom Kite Festival

 

It’s peak time in DC as cherry blossom season has begun! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate them. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 14 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are some blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. Happy Cherry Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. Get a glimpse of the 2024 bloom!  And view scenes from blooms past herehere and here.

ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through June 11
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack

The spring  exhibition at ARTECHOUSE is always a celebration of the cherry blossoms, and this year ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds explores multiple universes of blossoms — inspired by Anime. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience. Get a glimpse of it here.

Help a Wishing Tree Grow
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: March 20 – April 16
Admission: Free, but passes required

During the cherry blossom season, Planet Word invites guests to help build a Wishing Tree. They can select a poem from a collection of poetry, write it on a slip of paper, and place it inside an origami paper petal ‘pocket’ that is adhered to the branches of the museum’s cherry blossom tree. At the end of the festival, the petals will be passed on to visitors in the museum as a symbol of friendship. Note that (free) passes are required for admission to the museum. Read more about Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

This newer tradition invites residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: Through April 14
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. A map of them will be shared soon, so you can make it a mission to see all of them during the season!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: March 23 – April 7
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: March 23, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun to celebrate cherry blossom season.  Family activities include Japanese drum and traditional dance performances, a book author talk, storytelling, and arts and crafts from Japan.  Get tickets here! And read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 23, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season of cherry blossoms with the American Art Mueum! Begin the day on the F Street Plaza (weather permitting) with a taiko drumming performance. The festivities continue in the Kogod Courtyard for Japanese pop, boogie, and more with Les The DJ. Be dazzled by the precision jump rope team, Kangaroo Kids, and enjoy other performances while kids make cherry-blossom themed crafts. Face painting is available for ages 12 and younger. A spring-themed scavenger hunt through the galleries extends the cherry blossom fun.

The Art of Pink
Where: Metropolitan Park | Arlington, VA
When: March 23, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Head to National Landing for Art of Pink, which celebrates artists, makers, and small businesses from across the region, featuring the Sari Sari Pop-Up Market by SAMASAMA. Experience a variety of art activities throughout the afternoon, including live mural paintings inspired by all things pink. Explore a preview of EatLoco’s Farmers Market and enjoy musical vibes throughout the event provided by DJ Em-Pulse and Les the DJ.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 23, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

The Wharf’s annual Bloomaroo is a free spring extravaganza featuring a full day of cherry-blossom themed art, music, fireworks, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Decorate koi kites, create haikus, do some karaoke, enjoy ballon art, sample matcha tea, and more.  There will also be beer gardens on District pier, s’mores at the firepit, and live music. It’ll all be capped off with a blossom fireworks finale.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: March 24, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature a wide array of free cultural activities including an artisanal Japanese marketplace, cultural performances, culinary delights, and more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Hill Family Biking: Books & Blossoms Ride
Where: | Capitol Hill & Southwest, DC
When: March 24, 3:45pm
Admission: Free

Hill Family Biking is teaming up with DC Public Library for a ride to the stunning, new SW Library for a special story time and a librarian-guided tour of the facility with Cherry Blossom peeping opportunities all along the route. The ride starts at Eastern Market Metro and weaves down 3.7 miles of some of the most bikeable streets in the District to SW Library. There will be a scheduled exit from SW Library for anyone that wants to ride back to Eastern Market as a group.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 27, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Nets as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Purchase tickets through this link to get a cherry blossom water bottle. A portion of proceeds also supports year-round care for the iconic trees through the Trust for the National Mall.

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 30, 10am – 4:30pm (rain date March 31)
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: April 6, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season with swimming and more fun! Enjoy free access to the Long Bridge Aquatics Center, plus activities like an origami class, tea tasting, story time, free snacks, and more! Register in advance.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, bring little ones to storytime, create floral art inspired by the season with paper artist Emily Paluska, and practice sketching with a stunning floral arrangement. There will also be face painting, musical performances, and a pop-up library showcasing Japan.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 6-7
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! This day-long signature event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Cherry Blossoms
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: April 6, 11am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring and DC’s beloved cherry blossoms with a festive family workshop cohosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This hands-on preservation workshop is designed for children ages 3-8 and their caretakers. Be sure to register here in advance!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 13, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 13-14, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC..

 

Which events are you looking forward to this cherry blossom season?

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Filed under 2024, DC, Spring