Tag Archives: DC Weekend January 14-15

The Weekend Round-Up:
January 13-16


Happy Weekend!

Quick links to ideas for ongoing fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area

Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Ice Skating
The Great Indoors
Local Hikes with Kids
Baltimore with Kids
Peaceful Places
Bike Rides

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the DMV & Online
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the whole weekend, Volunteer opportunities, art adventures, self-guided tours of local sights, and a few special events are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

Winter Inspo
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Don’t let the cold keep you from getting outdoors. This post, written during the height of 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.  (And for indoors, check out these activities recommended in the Winter Break guide.)

No Excuses, No Limits
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $20

ILL-ABILITIES, the international all-star breakdance crew of seven of the world’s best differently-abled dancers, is bringing an inspiring, high-energy show to the Kennedy Center stage. No Excuses, No Limits takes audiences on a journey of each dancer’s story through dance, music, audience interaction, and a gained understanding of the limitless possibilities that any person can hold. Recommended for ages 7+.

Maker Morning: Shape of You
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday,10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kids (and adults) of all ages are welcome to drop by the Hirshhorn for its monthly Maker Morning. The theme is “Shape of You,” and there will be hands-on stations throughout the Museum to celebrate all the things that make you special. An affirmation station, postcard drawing, self-love library, and portrait making activities will be available to explore. And if you’re planning to go, try to see Yayoi Kusama’s One with Eternity, too!

Wonderful World of Watkins
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free 

Go over the rainbow and beyond at Watkins Regional Park – there is so much fun to be had at the PG County locale.  Visit the Old Maryland Farm to see the animals, and spend time at Watkins Nature Center to view even more cool creatures and birds.  The adorable Wizard of Oz themed playground will have kiddos frolicking for hours. Trails winding through the woods make for nice hikes, too!

See Some Wizardry
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm & Monday, 3pm

Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Wizards have a couple of home games this weekend — on Friday evening and Monday afternoon, when kids are off school and many parents have the day off work. See the on court action against the New York Knicks at 7pm on Friday and the Golden State Warriors on Monday at 3pm. Plan on a pre-game dinner or lunch in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. My top recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Oyamel, and Shake Shack.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s going to be a nice winter weekend, great for some time on the trail. Tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.  Some specific recs for right now:  Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, Rock Creek Park in Northwest DC, Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When:  Friday through January 22
Tickets: $15/adult, $13/child

Encore Stage & Studio presents this “by kids for kids” show… The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, meeting a Beast, who is the young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson before the last rose petal falls, he and his household including Mrs. Pots, Lumiere and Mr. Cogsworth will be cursed forever. Join us for a tale as old as time in Encore’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr!

Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
Get creative at the studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center.  All ages are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities. Drop in for hands-on art making and plan for time to stroll the lovely outdoor areas as well.

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. Join an Astronomy Festival at Turner Farm Park.  Learn fun facts about penguins and polar bears at Riverbend Park.  Make a bird feeder at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.  Go on a wildlife walk at Huntely Meadows.  Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admisison: Free

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.

Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Daily except for 12/25, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

If you want to check out a new-ish (not Newish, haha) exhibit, Entertainment Nation/Nación del espectáculo the centerpiece of the new CUlture Wing at the American History Museum is a good one. Featuring an extraordinary collection of theater, music, sports, movie and television objects, the exhibition exploring how entertainment has provided a forum for important national conversations about who we are, and who we want to be.  It’s very engaging and full of displays that will spark nostalgia for adults and wonder for kids — you’ll have a blast sharing memories with them!  While you’re there, stop in the Spark!Lab (age 6-12, Weds – Sat, 11am – 4pm) or Wegman’s Wonderplace (ages 0-6, Weds/Thurs/Sun 11am – 4pm) for kids to get hands-on.

Intangible Forms
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Starting Saturday through
Admission: $19/adult, $16/local, $15/child, $60/Family 4-pack
A new exhibition is opening at ARTECHOUSE, the gallery known for fusing art and technology. Intangible Forms “blurs (sic) the lines between what is real, what is not, and what it means to be human, Intangible Forms offers you the opportunity to pause and exist outside of normal space and time.” Choreographed kinetic lasers, strobes, haze, and moving lights hep make it an immersive experience. Recommended for ages 6+.

Mind Tricks
Where: Museum of Illusions | CityCenter, DC
When: Sun – Thurs, 10am – 8pm |Fri – Sat, 10am – 9pm
Admission: $42/adult, $18/age 5-12

We haven’t yet been  been to this recently opened venue, but it sounds like a fun one to explore. It’s a “one-of-a-kind edutainment destination where you can immerse yourself in the wonderful world of illusions! Guests will enjoy more than 50 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms that are designed to tease the senses and trick the mind.”

Ice It
Where: Ice skating rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide under the sky and stars — or indoors if that’s your preference.  Get your skate on and and art 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.  This post has details on alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

All Downhill…
Where: Ski resorts around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies by resort

With an extra day this weekend, how about heading to the slopes for a day trip or even an overnight? (Half of our fam is doing just that!) Skiing is a fun and active way to enjoy some family time, and there are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). This post has info about Whitetail and one of our day trips there last winter. And other relatively close resorts for day trips are Liberty and Bryce.  Farther away, but good to check out for longer trips are Roundtop, Massanutten, Wintergreen,  Seven Springs,  Hidden Valley,  Snowshoe,  Timberline, and Wisp.

Movie & a Meal
Where: The Alamo | Northeast DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior

Catching a flick with the kds is always fun, even better when you can enjoy a real meal, too.  The Alamo is the only theater in the city where you can do that — and it’s a good one! The theaters are nice, the seating is comfortable, and the food is tasty. See what’s playing there now. (PS:  There’s also a location in Crystal City, VA.)

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for a discount)

For sports action on ice, catch the Capitals on Saturday afternoon as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. See the above restaurant recs in the Wizards listing for a fam-friendly bite before the match.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs Rutgers on Saturday at 1pm
* American women vs Lehigh on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs Davidson on Saturday at 3pm
* George Mason women vs GWU University on Monday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs GWU on Monday at 4pm
* Howard men vs Morehouse on Monday at 7pm

Baltimore, Hon!
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 attraction 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 ever 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.

Art & Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Make a day of it in Calvert County, where you can visit a couple of places for fun, fascinating, hands-on adventures. Annmarie Sculpture Garden is hosting a special art project in honor of MLK. you can also tour beautiful works around the grounds and indoors, and play in the delightful Fairy Lolly.  Also out that way is the Calvert Marine Museum, where you can see interesting exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. There’s also a play area and a real lighthouse to tour. Hours are 10am – 5pm with two -hours sessions 10am – 12pm, 12:30-2:30pm, and 3-5pm, and admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond.

Glow with It
Where: Around Georgetown
When: Through January 22, nightly
Admission: Free
A great evening activity with the fam: A stroll around the neighborhood to see Georgetown Glow, then a fun dinner.  The free outdoor public art experience featuring modern light art installations is running for another week, so check it out while you can. Find a map of them here and plan your walking route. And a few restaurant recs: Pizzeria Paradiso, Filomena, Farmers Fishers BakersPinstripes, and Peacock Cafe.

The Ins & Outs of DC
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

Want even more options for fun things to do with the kids around the area? If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of ongoing pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

* How cool is this? And if it sparks some inspiration, you’ll definitely want to check out this KFDC post.
* A fun idea for a weeknight date night!
If you have teens who love to cook, Sur la Table offers all kinds of classes for ages 14 and up (also, for adults and occasionally for younger kids, too)!
* Who else’s inner tween is so excited for this movie?
* Tips on Mid-Century Modern design from an expert.
* I looove this bag that my friend had when we met for dinner the other night. On a search for something similar, I found this less expensive one, these cool options, and this more beltish style.
A good chuckle.

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Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2023)


Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.  A good option for the whole gang is anoutdoor volunteer clean-ups at a local park, and there are a lot fo them happening throughout the weekend.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10:45am from Sheperd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 16
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library for readings in honor of Dr. King. The tribute will combine poetry with historical speeches from Dr. King, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and others. Readers include James Johnson, Fatima Quander, Naomi Ayala, Truth Thomas, and others. (Note: This one likely will appeal more to older tweens and teens.). Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Monday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. For this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE! Visit the website to see special activities being offered. Be sure to RSVP!

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 14-16, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Sharon Robinson, and create a mixed media collage and journal entry to be added to an ever growing artwork in the gallery. Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 16
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. There currently are plenty of tickets available for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 16, 6pm
Admission: Free

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is back!  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host theis musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will  Leslie Odom, Jr. along with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


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