Tag Archives: DC Weekend September 21-22

The Weekend Round-Up: September 28-29

Miss Perception’s Mystery House at Port Discovery; the venue is among the many museums waiving the admission fee on Saturday for Museum Day Live!

Miss Perception’s Mystery House at Port Discovery; the venue is among the many museums waiving the admission fee on Saturday for Museum Day Live!


The blog might have been light on posts this week, but this Weekend Round-Up, chock full of all kinds of fun happenings for families, will more than make up for it. Explore a new museum for free, get festive on a farm or at a city celebration, veg out at Yards Park, see a show or a brand new mummy exhibit, go behind the ballet scenes, get crafty in a variety of ways, do some fine family dining, and much more — all of it amid glorious early autumn weather. Happy Weekend!

Museum Day Live!
Where: Local museums
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE

There are some area museums in the DC area that actually do charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting it’s annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets are free. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary. For more about the program, including recs for participating museums that kids will enjoy, see this post from a few days ago. And find all of the participating museums here.

Barracks Row Festival
Where: 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. This year’s festivities will include tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, aerialists from the trapeze school, and tons of fun for kids (clowns, magicians, face painting, etc.). The DC State Fair joins Barracks Row Fall Festival again, this year with unique competition categories: Funkiest-Looking Vegetable Grown in DC, Best Home Brew, Best Bike Accessory, Best Pie, and more well-deserving superlatives.

Crafty Bastards
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5/advance, $10/at door, under 10 are free

What began 10 years ago as an opportunity to spotlight local crafters has blossomed into a weekend-long arts festival for the whole family. This year, the Washington City Paper’s annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair will include more than 140 talented vendors, local food truck fare, a selection of craft brews at the New Belgium Beer Garden, and attractions for every age at the Crafty Clubhouse Tent (stroller parking included)! The carefully-selected roster of independent artisans will be selling everything from clothing, jewelry and home goods to fine art and toys. And you can leave the car at home: The Union Market shuttle, “The Roadie,” will run from New York Ave Metro Station (NOMA) to Union Market every 10 minutes starting at 11am until 3pm.

20th Annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival Opens
Where: Great Country Farms
When: All weekend long
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farms’ seasonal celebration begins this weekend and will run through October. Have an unforgettable experience picking pumpkins, cheering on the fastest piglet, smashing pumpkins with P-Rex, getting lost in the corn maze and tons more fun on the five acres of family-friendly amusement.

Mummies in Maryland
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Through January 19
Admission: $25.75/adult, $19.75/child

The national blockbuster Mummies of the World exhibition will be opening for its exclusive and final engagement in Baltimore on Saturday at the Maryland Science Center. The exhibit presents a never before seen gathering of real human and animal mummies from around the world, including South America, Asia, Oceania and Egypt. Entry is timed, so it’s not a bad idea to purchase tickets in advance for better planning.

Pirate Paaarty
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Every day of the year, there are treasures to be found at the DC area’s largest thrift store for home improvement supplies, but during the Pirate Party, there will also be special discounts throughout the warehouse, free do-it-yourself workshops, activities for kids, live music, food, and raffle prizes! Experts will be on hand to demo and instruct on home mprovement projects. Little pirates will be able to dig for buried treasure, Walk the Plank, and try their hand at Captain Hook’s Ring Toss. They can also make eyepatches, spyglasses and hats, as well as swords from reclaimed wood. Look for special discounts and unusual antiques from Salvage Arts, a consigner in its fourth year of partnership with the Forklift. Anybody dressing in costume will receive a 5% discount throughout the warehouse, and prizes will be awarded for the child, adult, and pet with the best pirate-themed costume. Community Forklift is located 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, near the D.C.-Prince George’s line.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: It’s the first weekend Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. Goodnight Moon is entertaining all ages at Adventure Theater. The Big Apple Circus brings a spectacular show to the Dulles Town Center (read about our experience there last year). Really little ones will enjoy Panda-Monium on Saturday and World on a String on Sunday at The Puppet Co.’s Tiny Tots series. It’s the final weekend forWinnie the Pooh at the Workhouse Arts Center. And Oh Susannah is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, while Ralph’s World will perform two shows on Sunday.

DC VegFest
Where: The Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Explore and celebrate the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital at the fourth annual DC VegFest. This free outdoor festival will feature engaging speakers, cooking demonstrations, food samples, more than 100 exhibitors, a special kids activities tent, a cupcake eating contest, a beer and wine garden for adults, and much more. The kids area will feature lots of games, face-painting, storytelling, and other fun for young festival-goers. The Yards Park is located at 300 Water Street SE near Nationals Park.

Clarendon Day
Where: Clarendon Metro
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Dozens of vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, music on two stages, fitness classes, and a KidZone will be part of the action. And this year they are bringing back the chili with the DC Chili Cookoff making the Clarendon Day locale their home.

Let’s Move with Music
Where: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get moving and grooving at this program geared towards children and families with encouragement to be active and make healthy lifestyle choices. The day will feature the hip, contemporary music of the U.S. Army Band “DownRange,” the Vienna Jammers, the Senior Steppers, Polynesian dancers, and Fit Kids will provide fun youth fitness activities. There will be an overarching theme of rhythmic music and dance, as well as an infusion of cultural diversity and exciting games and fitness activities.

Washington Ballet Open House
Where: The Washington Ballet Studios
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Go behind the curtain with The Washington Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet during this Open House. Meet some of the TWB dancers and join them for an afternoon of performances, classes, make-up demonstrations, food, games and crafts. Have your photo taken with a dancer, take part in “Make a Ballet,” and much more. The Washington Ballet Studios are located at 3515 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This family festival is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual celebration of the Park’s revitalization and recalling of its history. The event features kiddie rides and arcade games, as well as videos and an exhibition on the Park’s past. Other activities include carousel and bumper car rides, face painting, vintage cars, magic shows with Jay Mattioli and Chris McCauley, Urban Artistry dance performances, and mini golf. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.

Adventures in Crafting
Where: Little Loft
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies

Drop in for a creative session at the Capitol Hill art space for kids. Children ages 1.5-7 are invited to enjoy tactile stations or guided projects (depending on age) on Saturdays from 9:30am – 12pm, and 5-10-year-olds can be dropped off for a Sunday Crafternoon class from 2:30-3:30pm to work with paper, textiles, and commonplace materials to create uncommon gifts and tiny treasures. See the website for specifics.

Fiesta Musical
Where: National Zoo
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the National Zoo! The annual event will include animal demos, Hispanic and Latino music and foods, costumed dancers, and crafts for sale. Note that while admission to the event is free, if you drive and park in the Zoo lot, be prepared to pay – $16 for the first three hours, $22 beyond that. Curb the cost by taking Metro or looking for street parking nearby. Parking is free for FONZ members.

Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire
Where: Veteran’s Plaza and the Silver Spring Civic Building
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Robots, electric go-karts, interactive art, flying machines, and so much to do and see! KID Museum is hosting the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire on Sunday. A Maker Faire features free family activities and innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. The festival demonstrates creative and unusual projects and pursuits to encourage attendees to explore their own curiosity and to make something new and different. Free and open to all, the Faire will feature two performance stages as well as interactive activities for children and adults of all ages.

Fall Harvest Festival
Where: 2941 Restaurant
When: Sunday, 11am – 2:30pm
Admission: $65/adults, free for children 10 & under

The Falls Church restaurant is inviting Autumn adventurers with a fondness for fall-inspired fare and beverages to enjoy an interactive Fall Harvest Festival. A native of Auvergne, France, Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel and team are celebrating the shifting of the seasons with a culinary twist. Sip and savor your way through delicious displays, featuring sweet and savory fall comfort foods paired with a selection of seasonal wines and craft beers that incorporate French, German, and local accents. Think Oktoberfest by way of Alsace, France compliments of French native Chef Chemel. Priced at $65 per person (all-inclusive/children 10 & under are free), guests will have the opportunity to enjoy several hours sipping, savoring, and socializing in 2941’s picturesque dining room and – weather-permitting – on the beautiful patio surrounded by lush landscaping, multi-tiered koi ponds, trickling waterfalls, Chef’s on-site garden, and a lakeside view. For additional information about 2941, visit the website.

Celebrate Fall
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at a festival this weekend. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. This guide has details on a bunch of fall festivals around the area.

Farewell to the Fish
Where: DC National Aquarium
When: Through September 30

It’s your very last chance to visit the National Aquarium in DC; the venue will close its doors for good after Monday due to renovations in the U.S. Department of Commerce building where it’s housed. The small space and simple exhibits are a perfect intro to the underwater world; in fact, it’s where my kids got their first glimpse of marine life. And fear not for the fishies: The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either the National Aquarium in Baltimore or other accredited aquariums.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 21-22

You never know what kinds of characters you'll encounter at Ren Fest

You never know what kinds of characters you’ll encounter at Ren Fest

Hispanic Heritage A 300 by 250

It’s the official start of fall this weekend, and you’ve got your pick of ways to usher it in. Celebrate the season at a festival on a farm or right here in the city, get building or bookish at a couple of fantastic annual events, enjoy a museum program, harvest honey, visit Abe’s place… This round-up is chock full of details on local happenings, and this list of indoor activities will be a good one to keep on hand, too, according to the latest weather forecast. Happy Weekend!

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adults, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will absolutely dig the National Building Museum’s annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be chock full of different stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hands at all kinds of construction and design techniques. There will also be also craft areas, storytime, a scavenger hunt, construction vehicles to explore, a children’s play, and so much more. And it’s all totally free!

National Book Festival
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

One of DC’s biggest annual events is happening on the National Mall all weekend: The 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Over 200,000 visitors to the National Mall for a fantastic celebration of books and reading. More than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre will be presenting – book readings, talks Q&A’s, book signings, and more . These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all. For a glimpse at what to expect, see this post about our experience there last year.

Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall officially begins on Saturday, and you can celebrate the season and then some at one of many festivals happening this weekend, from city neighborhoods to country farms. The popular H Street is on Saturday (see below), Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October, and more farms are opening to welcome visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of them in this guide to fall festivals around area.

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is so much to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, with face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Innovators in Air and Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum is hosting a day of activities for the whole family.  Guests can hear about Latin Americans’ contributions to aviation and space exploration, meet current Hispanic scientists and engineers working in the local community, and take part in bilingual story times and hands-on activities presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: Goodnight Moon opens tonight for a 5-week run at Adventure Theater. Really little ones will enjoy Bunny Business on Saturday and Old McDonald’s Farm on Sunday at The Puppet Co.’s Tiny Tots series. Winnie the Pooh is still on stage at the Workhouse Arts Center. And ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! is the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.

Nats Season Closer
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Florida Marlins in their final series of the season. Catch evening games on Friday and Saturday or an afternoon match-up on Sunday. If the games are anything like their meetings against the Braves this week, they’ll be closing out the season on an exciting note.

Day of the Dog
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission Free

If you’re a dog owner, thinking of becoming one, or just really love dogs, this event at Congressional Cemetery (known for its off leash dog walking community) will get tails wagging. Costume contests (dress up those doggies!), games, demos, live entertainment, local vendors, and pet adoptions will be part of the festivities. Even if you don’t come with a dog, you may be gong home with one!

Musical Stories for Kids
Where: Brucker Hall, Fort Myer
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

At this kids’ concert, even the littlest audience member can experience the can-do spirit of their America and their Army through history, literature, art, movement, and music. Get your hands on real instruments in the “Black Jack’s” Instrument Petting Corral (at 10am) and more.

Free Film Shorts
Where: E Street Cinema
When: Saturday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

The 10th annual DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest short film event on the East Coast, presents a showcase of family-friendly mini flicks on Saturday. Ranging from 2 to 15 minutes long, the featured shorts explore a variety of themes that young audiences will enjoy. Read descriptions and see previews of the films here.

Honey, it’s Harvest Time
Where: Patuxent Research Refuge
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Discover the busy world of bees and other pollinators as the Patuxent Research Refuge hosts the Maryland Honey Harvest Festival. Guests can enjoy arts& crafts, honey tastings, candle-making demos, environmental tram tours and much more — all for free! The event will be held at the Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center.

Family Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

Enjoy the grounds of President Lincoln’s Cottage and Armed Forces Retirement Home as the Lincoln family did! There will be live entertainment and activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the Soldiers’ Home: A petting zoo, Civil War encampment, crafts, Civil War-era games, guided tours, and more will be part of the day’s festivities. Reservations are requested but not required

Green Festival
Where: DC Convention Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/online, $15/at door

The nation’s premier sustainability event is where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; a green marketplace; and delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. And the Green Kids Zone will feature entertaining and enriching activities, including eco-crafts, yoga, story time, trivia and more!

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 9th to 14th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 42nd Annual Fiesta DC. It all starts with the Parade of Nations along Constitution Avenue at 11am. Following that, festivities on Pennsylvania Avenue will include five stages featuring live performances, a children’s mini festival, a science fair, international cuisine, and arts & crafts.

Junior Botanist Festival
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

The USBG’s Junior Botanist program is back and they’re celebrating with a festival! Have an adventure at the U.S. Botanic Garden and discover all the talents needed to become a Junior Botanist. Between hands-on activities and engaging discussions with USBG staff and volunteers, ponder plants with Emily Porter of Project BudBurst, concoct cuisine with nutritionist Danielle Navidi and brood over bees with apiarist Tim Schuler. Then stick around and check out the all-new Junior Botanist program in the Conservatory!

Pickling Day!
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child

The Summer’s garden bounty is beginning to dwindle and and the Farm family needs to save some of it for the long winter ahead. Come help the Farm Wife prepare vegetables and other tasty treats for pickling as they show you how to combine salt, water, vinegar and spices to preserve their summer crops.

Sunday Crafternoon
Where: Little Loft
When: Sunday, 2;30-3:30pm
Admission: $18 (or $160 for a 10-class pass)

The creative space for kids on Capitol Hill is kicking off its new Sunday series for ages 5-10. Feel free to drop your child off while they get crafty creating something new each week. During this weekend’s “Mr. Roboto” session, they can make a small robot using recycled materials like old cds, legos, and cassette tape cases. Advance registration is requested, but pay at the door. Read more about Little Loft’s art offerings this fall for kids of all ages.

Stamp Gallery Opening
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Be among the very first visitors to the world’s largest stamp gallery as the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum opens its new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the only one to show stamps and mail in the context of American history and culture. To celebrate, the Museum is hosting a Family Day full of special activities, including a chance to make your own stamp collection; a stamp design contest; meet-and-greets with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Tweety; a U.S. Postal Service First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony; a correspondence salon; a scanvenger hunt; and more fun for all ages.

Cavalcade of Street Cars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $7/ages 18 and up, $5/ages 2-17

Hop on for a day of fun! Along with the museum’s array of exhibits and regular trolley rides, there will be several European trams and North American street cars offering visitors a spin through Northwest Branch Park during a single visit.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Big Build: A Huge Day of Hands-On Fun at the National Building Museum


There’s a lot of good stuff going on this coming weekend, but there’s one event in particular I highly recommend clearing some time for: The Big Build at the National Building Museum.

On Saturday from 10am to 4pm, the annual festival will give budding builders an opportunity to start honing their skills as they work alongside professionals, including architects, designers, builders, artisans, and trades people. The Great Hall will be full of different work stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hands at all kinds of construction techniques.


We are big fans of The Big Build, having been a few times over the years. It’s one of those events where kids (and grown-ups!) can spend hours engaged in various activities and discovering new things. We’ve built sculptures from pipes, carved stones, practiced spackling, created mosaic tiles, learned how to use a variety of tools, and so much more.



The interactive building fun continues this year with plenty of ways guests can get their build on. They can climb aboard cranes and tractors, build a brick wall and a log cabin, plant a tree and autumn plants, carve stone, compete in a nail driving contest, and create a hardware wind chime to take home. And new this year are a scavenger hunt, a chance to create a sidewalk chalk cityscape, a children’s play, and a book reading and signing of Urban Animals of Washington, D.C. by author Isabel Hill.


To top it all off, there are always goodies to bring home, too. Along with crafts they design, guests can pick up “hard” hats (they’re actually plastic), stickers, and other building-themed tokens from the day.

The Big Build takes place this Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit the National Building Museum website.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the National Building Museum, however, I only promote activities, events, and services that I sincerely enjoy and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Weekend