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
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
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.
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.
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
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.
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.
Where: The Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
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.
Where: Clarendon Metro
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
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
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
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
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
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.
Where: National Zoo
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
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.
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.