Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in Maryland

Fall into Winter with this Live Entertainment Lineup

See the Broadway classic, Cats, this winter! (Photo courtesy of National Theatre)

 

As cooler weather sets in, local stages are heating up with all kinds of shows for everyone in the family. Here’s the lineup to help you stay warm and entertained the rest of fall and through winter.  Shows are listed in order of start date with most descriptions coming straight from from their sources.  Keep in mind that tickets make for great holiday gifts.  Happy Viewing!

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the holiday season
Tickets: Vary by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired shows to celebrate the season, you can find them all listed here. There are several productions of The Nutcracker, plays especially for children, shows about Chanukah, festive concerts and singalongs, dance performances, and more!

The Day You Begin
Where: The Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through December 18
Tickets: $20-25

This musical is based on the bestselling children’s book by author Jacqueline Woodson. The plot: the first day at a new school with diverse new people; the setting: a familiar, yet more vividly modern elementary school classroom. The message? The day you truly “begin” is when you discover what makes you unique, but also the same as people who may seem so different.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 8
Tickets:$12-39
It’s a new, high-energy musical to rock the holiday season! When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Based on Mo Willem’s beloved picture book, the show explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves. Recommended for ages 4-10.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most Wednesdays & Saturdays at 10am
Tickets: $8

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). Run times are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 1
Tickets: $37-74 (find discount)

Last winter, Olney’s internationally acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast won hearts and attracted the admiration of audiences from around the country. This year, be Olney’s guest along with several returning cast members and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Into the Woods
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through January 29
Tickets: $40-109 (find discount)

Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free. A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds. Weaving a euphoric score with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables. Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including one intermission. Parents should use discretion about what is age appropriate for their children.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Sydney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 11
Tickets: $35-125 (find discount)

The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare’s cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is promised to be the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and revelatory romance. Recommended for teens and older.

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Theatre on the Run | Arlington, VA
Alexandria Country Day School | Alexandria, VA
When: Dec 2-4, 14-18 (Arlington) | Dec 10-11 (Alexandria)
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presents this holiday show for little ones… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals. Recommended for children ages 2-5 and their families.

Wicked
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: December 8 – January 22
Tickets: $59-349 (find discount)

The Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” Recommended for ages 8+.

Bat Boy: The Musical
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: December 9-11
Tickets: $12

Inspired by a series of tabloid headlines published in 1992 by The Weekly World News, the award winning show Bat Boy: The Musical is a musical comedy/horror show about a half boy/half bat creature who is discovered in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia. For lack of a better solution, the local sheriff brings Bat Boy to the home of the town veterinarian, Dr. Parker, where he is eventually accepted as a member of the family and taught to act like a “normal” boy by the veterinarian’s wife, Meredith, and teenage daughter, Shelley. Bat Boy is happy with his new life, but when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded people of Hope Falls, they turn on him, prodded by the schemes of Dr. Parker, who secretly despises Bat Boy. Shelley and Bat Boy, who have fallen in love, run away together from the ignorant town folk, but their happiness is shattered when Meredith arrives and reveals a secret. Soon the entire town arrives and hears the shocking story of Bat Boy’s origin. Funny, quirky, but also touching and poignant, Bat Boy’s story spans an incredible score encompassing the styles of rock, gospel, and musical theatre. Recommended for ages 11+.

A Soldier’s Play
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: December 13 – January 8
Tickets: $45–135 (find discount)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning thriller has rocketed back into the spotlight thanks to this 2020 Tony-winning Best Revival. In 1944, on a Louisiana Army base, two shots ring out. A sergeant is murdered, triggering a gripping barrage of questions about sacrifice, service, and identity in America. Broadway’s leading man Norm Lewis stars in the show Variety calls “a knock-your-socks-off-drama.” Recommended for ages 13+.

No Excuses, No Limits
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 13-15
Tickets: $20

Be inspired by ILL-ABILITIES™—the international all-star breakdance crew of seven of the world’s best differently-abled dancers. 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+.

Ride the Cyclone
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 13 – February 19
Tickets: $66-115

Part comedy, part tragedy and wholly unexpected, this wildly imaginative story delivers surprises at every turn. The lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a roller coaster. A mechanical fortuneteller invites each to tell their story of a life interrupted, offering the chance to come to terms with their fates. At once quirky and smart, edgy and beautiful, Ride the Cyclone ultimately reveals the resilience of the human spirit in spite of senseless tragedy. Recommended for teens and older.

Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 13-22
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!

Aquarium
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: January 14 – February 12
Tickets: $16.50

Enter a fantastical island world where fish soar through the air, lemons light up the sky, and sheep go parading by. With gentle music, puppets, and props, actors lead children and caregivers in an interactive exploration of a magical place of play. Recommended for ages 1-5.

Cats
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 17 – 22
Tickets: $55-105 (find discount)

Tony Awards winning musical CATS tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: January 19 – February 12
Tickets: $15

A Puppet Co. Legacy favorite with a new spin! This English and Russian bilingual production will incorporate the classic music in this two-person small marionette romp of the classic fairytale. Run time approximately 40 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: January 28-29
Tickets: $25+
The world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour featuring the biggest names in monster trucks will thunder its way into DC.  Gravedigger, Magolodon,  Dragon, Just Get-Er-Done, Terminal Velocity, and Wild Side are among the vehicular beasts that will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Beauty and the Beat
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: February 4-5
Tickets: $20

See NSO principal second violinist Marissa Regni and NSO assistant principal timpanist/percussionist Scott Christian in an exciting program exploring the magic created when the violin and percussion join forces. This melodic and rhythmic ride proves that no matter how different the instruments are, they can come together to make some beautiful music. Recommended for ages 3+.

123 Andrés
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: February 11, 11am & 1pm
Tickets: $20

The Latin Grammy®-winning music duo is back by popular demand! Join Andrés and Christina on an exciting cultural exploration of Latin America through an introduction of language, music, and dance. The 11am show is a sensory-friendly performance. Recommended for ages 3+.

Sunset Boulevard
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: February 4-5
Tickets: $59-299

Alone in her Hollywood mansion with little more than celluloid memories, former silent-screen goddess Norma Desmond remains what she has always been: the greatest star of all. For Broadway Center Stage, Tony-winning powerhouse Stephanie J. Block takes on the iconic role. Based on the 1950 film noir, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece—winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical on its release—weaves a compelling tale of romance, obsession, and faded glory. Recommended for ages 12+.

How Old is a Hero?
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 7-10
Tickets: $3-9

Everyone can make a difference! This Discovery Theater original play infused with archival music of the Civil Rights era celebrates three young people who helped change the nation by their heroic actions. Meet Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin, who months before Rosa Parks, also refused to give up her seat on a bus; and Ruby Bridges, who was only six in 1960 when she stepped into first grade—and into history—as the first student to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans. Their inspiring stories demonstrate that hope begins with the courage of young people. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Girlhood
Where: Roundhouse Theatre | Bethesda, MD
When: February 17-19
Tickets: $25

A show from the Round House Theatre Teen Performance Company… A patch of land beneath an abandoned overpass serves as a common, yet sacred, ground for a group of teenage girls as they navigate adolescence. Identity, sexuality, and their unique upbringings all play a part in how they transition from childhood to young adulthood and figure out what comes next. Girlhood explores the dreams, fears, humor, and heartache of coming of age in an intimate series of vignettes. Recommended for teens and older. Students age 13+ can request free tickets through their Free Play program.

Laurie Berkner Band
Where: Gordon Center for Performing Arts | Owings Mills, MD
When: February 19, 11am & 3pm
Tickets: $$45-70

Best selling children’s music artist Laurie Berkner is returning to the DC area for two shows. A true pioneer in children’s music, beloved by generations of children and parents for over twenty years, she’ll be playing well-loved hits like “Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)” and “We Are the Dinosaurs” along with newer songs. Kids should plan to bring their dancing shoes and a stuffed animal (for their heads). FYI: We took a toddler Owen to one of Laurie’s shows years ago, and it was a blast!

Aladdin!
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Masassas, VA
When: February 19, 3pm
Tickets:

Virginia National Ballet’s popular production of Aladdin!
VNB is reviving the extremely popular ballet “Aladdin” which was first premiered in 2018! Follow Aladdin, Jasmine, Jafar, and the magic carpet on their adventures, with a fantastic orchestral score, gorgeous costumes and scenery, and great dancing!

Into the Woods
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 23 – March 19
Tickets: $45-159

Here’s a reason to be happy ever after… Following a sold-out engagement at New York City Center and a hugely acclaimed transfer to Broadway, Into the Woods is coming to the Kennedy Center. Directed by Lear deBessonet (Hercules), this theatrical event honors Stephen Sondheim’s legendary memory and his Broadway masterpiece like never before.

Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: February 23-26
Tickets: $24-103 (find discount)

Description from Hippodrome website… Miami’s sassiest seniors have returned for one more hurrah. 2022 finds Sophia out on bail, having been busted by the DEA for running a drug ring for retirees. Blanche and Rose have founded CreakN, a thriving sex app for seniors of Miami. And Dorothy is trying to hold it all together, with help from a new young lover. Relive the heartfelt hilarity of four ladies who never stopped being your friends! (This may be more of a mom’s night out show, but all ages are welcome!)

King Lear
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 23 – March 26
Tickets: $35-110

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents this production… Caught in a carousel of memory, the head of a dysfunctional royal family grapples with power-hungry children and the threat of losing the empire he created. Real and imagined worlds coalesce, creating a political and personal horror that threatens to swallow the mind of the monarch. The incomparable Patrick Page returns to STC as the once-revered king caught in an emotional hurricane ravaging his home, head, and heart. Recommended for teens and older.

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 25 – April 8
Tickets: $12-39

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street in Harlem. But she has to prepare for Miz Adeline’s birthday party, and almost ruins the day. Until Miz Adeline confesses that she’s also got the itch–the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street.

INTERSECTIONS Festival
Where: Atlas Center for Performing Arts | H Street NE, DC
When: February 25 – March 12
Tickets: TBA, vary by show

The Atlas’ signature event, this performing arts festival presents work that impacts our society, culture, and world by informing, inspiring, educating, and entertaining. INTERSECTIONS is about presenting excellent art that inspires a connected community, engages artists and audiences alike, and creates a vibrant neighborhood, city, and world. More details about the festival to come!

Kofi’s African Village
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 28 – March
Tickets: $3-9

Drummer Kofi Dennis brings the vibrant life of a West African village to the Discovery Theater stage though music, storytelling, and dance. Using authentic instruments, the Ghanaian native leads lively call-and-response songs, games, and movement that gets audiences on their feet in a high-energy exploration of African cultural traditions. Recommended for ages 3-6.

War of the Worlds
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: March 3 – April 8
Tickets: $20-60 (find discount)

In a world premiere, Synetic Theater brings its stunning and immersive style to H.G. Wells’ renowned novel of devastation and faith in the midst of catastrophe. This multimedia fusion of acrobatics, music, and movement makes us question who we are and what is truly worth fighting for.

The Mortification of Fovea Munson
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: March 4-19
Tickets: $20

Mary Winn Heider brings her uproarious book to musical life in this world premiere Kennedy Center commission. Fovea Munson is stuck working at her parents’ cadaver lab, but she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein’s snuffling assistant, Igor! That is, until three disembodied heads start talking. To her. Out loud. And they need a favor. March 18 at 11am is a sensory-friendly performance. Recommended for ages 10+.

Fitting In
Where: Theatre on the Run | Alexandria, VA
When: March 10-26
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presents this show for littles… Three siblings find themselves in a room full of possibilities and one not so simple task- to put things in their proper place. However, they soon discover that throwing this and that into a box is not the same as finding where it fits in. Through clowning, movement, and original music, three performers will transform everyday objects into something extraordinary. Is a blanket a blanket? Or is it the sail of a boat setting off on an epic voyage? Together, we can find the magic buried in the bottom of every box, and hidden inside the world around us! Recommended for ages 2-5.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: March 11 – April 8
Tickets: $12-39

Sister Bear and Brother Bear are back from hibernation to take little ones on an interactive journey through the seasons. Meet a curious butterfly, play in a rushing waterfall, and catch lightning bugs as the bears frolic through the forest in an unforgettable theatre experience. REcommended for ages 1-5.

Jagged Little Pill
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: March 14-26
Tickets: $55-105

Joy, love, heartache, strength, wisdom, catharsis, LIFE — everything we’ve been waiting to see in a Broadway show — is here in the exhilarating, fearless new musical based on Alanis Morissette’s world-changing music. Recommended for ages 14+.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: March 18
Tickets: $25+
The Harlem Globetrotters 2023 World Tour is coming with game like never before! Your favorite Globetrotter stars are bringing out their amazing basketball skill, outrageous athleticism, and a non-stop LOL good time. Join the Globetrotters as they go head-to-head against the Washington Generals who will stop at nothing to try and defeat the world’s winningest team!

 

Are there any great shows coming up this winter that we missed?  If so, let us know in the comments!

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Filed under 2022, 2023, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Winter

Christmas Magic at Gaylord National

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.  She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here, here,]

 

An oasis of Christmas magic awaits you at National Harbor’s Gaylord Resort & Convention Center. If you’ve never been, you’ve likely still heard of ICE!, the resort’s annual holiday season event boasting incredible, themed ice sculptures. But the ad on your social media feed doesn’t illustrate the extent of the elaborate, immersive experience, in addition to the world-class Christmas Village and overall holiday joy carried throughout the resort.

My family spent the night at Gaylord prior to attending the holiday events, and it may be our new tradition. We arrived at sundown when the magic is really at its best. The balcony to our room overlooked the entire atrium, aglow with a Christmas tree and twinkling lights overhead. The core memories being created were 1000% worth a night of sharing a room with two over-excited kids. We also spied the amazing Christmas Dream Suites from our room.

The next morning, the Christmas Village and ICE! – themed around A Christmas Story – were officially open.  Plan to start your experience with ICE! – an outdoor, tented exhibit space chilled to an unimaginable 9 degrees. Think ice bar or walk-in freezer if you’ve ever been in one, and bundle up in your warmest gear. Parkas are also provided but are not warm enough on their own, though cute for a family photo op.

No words can fully describe ICE! and the mind-blowing, multi-colored ice creations that a team of ice carvers from Harbin, China, are brought in to build. On your way in, there is a small display showing the process and tools used – try to pause and explain things to your kids beforehand – they may be too cold to chat in the exhibit. And if they have yet to see A Christmas Story, watch some of the classic scenes ahead of time to make it more meaningful as well.

Hopefully your kids aren’t too cold in ICE! to take advantage of the coolest (pun intended) ice slides ever. Otherwise, you should head directly to Snow Flow Mountain indoors and plan to park it there for awhile. This four-lane tubing slide does not mess around! The height requirement is 42” and it makes total sense once you see how fast the tubes careen down the slope. The smiles and laughter are priceless.

Next, we checked out Snow Factory, where you can build and toss real snowballs, but it wasn’t quite ready for our visit. Temporary disappointment until we saw the next stop was a visit with Santa – the real one according to my 5-year-old (I’m more discerning with my Santas). After the prerequisite photo-op, we spotted a gingerbread girl named “Cinnamon” and followed her to the Gingerbread Decorating Corner. My kids chose the pre-constructed houses over cookies.

On our way out of the Christmas Village, we said hi to Mrs. Claus, who leads 25-minute Christmas Traditions experiences featuring story readings, sing-a-longs, and cookies with milk. (Tickets must be purchased in advance.) We got bundled up to head back outdoors to the Ice Skating and Ice Bumper Cars area (but not really on ice), but my kids were a bit holidazed so we decided to call it a day – and a very memorable one at that.

Christmas at Gaylord National runs daily from November 20 – December 31. ICE! is back after a two-year hiatus, so expect it to be a popular event, especially on weekends. Tickets start at $25/child and $37/adult; ages 3 and under are free.

More Tips & Info
* There are professional photo-ops at ICE! and with Santa. Be prepared to pay $25 per photo or take your own photos where photo-taking is allowed.
* Have a place to store your cold weather gear after ICE! or make a run to your car to drop things off once you are settling indoors.
* Cirque: Spirit of Christmas and The Greatest Story Stage Show begin November 25, both shown in the Gaylord National atrium.
* Harbor Social is a super kid-friendly option for dinner at the resort. There are games everywhere, including duckpin bowling (call to reserve a lane in advance).
* Stop by The Holiday Sweet Shoppe at the resort for some treats and nostalgia.
* Holidays at National Harbor includes a nightly tree light show, as well as fireworks Saturday nights November 12 – December 17 at 5:30pm.

Christmas at Gaylord National
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: Varies by activity

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Filed under 2022, All ages, Fall, Holidays, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

The Best Tip You’ll Get for the Rest of this Year’s Ren Fest

 

The Maryland Renaissance Festival has been bringing merriment galore to Revel Grove, a charming hamlet in the woods of Crownesville, MD, since late August.  But with a very busy schedule this fall, we didn’t make it there until yesterday.  This was actually quite serendipitous, as it turned out to be one of the most beautiful days of the season so far.  The cool, crisp,  sunny weather made for perfect conditions to roam the lively, sprawling grounds.  And the early fall scenery, with the first tinges of autumn foliage glowing amid the fading green, was a gorgeous backdrop for all the festivities.

 

Surely, you know by now how much I love Ren Fest and how strongly I recommend it for a fantastic, fun-filled outing.  So, I’ll just get to the gist of this post.  Along with scenes from our day there yesterday, I wanted to share a few extra tips (more are already listed here).  Let’s get to it…

 

1) The best tip you’ll get for the rest of this year’s Ren Fest is DO NOT WAIT TO GET TICKETS!  They are selling out, and earlier than they have in previous years.  This past Saturday was sold out by Wednesday.  I bought Sunday tickets for our family early in the day last Thursday, and when I went back on the website to get a couple more for friends, they were all gone.  And I just checked… the weekend of October 15-16 is already sold out, leaving only the last weekend, October 22-23. So, again, if you know you want to go, get your tickets!

 

2) It almost pains me to share this one because I never want to discourage anyone from going to Ren Fest, BUT if you really hate crowds and being around a lot of people, this may not be the event for you. A lot of people love Ren Fest, and sold out days means a lot of people will be there.  It’s not like you’ll be walking shoulder-to-shoulder — there is still plenty of space to move around  comfortably — but it’s heavy on stimulus and lines can get long.

 

3) And that leads to my next tip… be prepared to wait in lines for food and drinks, especially right around lunchtime.  This can be tough with little ones, but you can be strategic about it if you’re with other adults and take turns waiting and walking around with the kiddos (but note that if you’re buying adult beverages, all must be there, only one per person).  You can also plan to eat a little later in the afternoon when the lines let up.  But don’t skip the food!  There are so many fun, yummy options:  Turkey legs!  Meat on sticks! Fried mac-n-cheese balls! Fried pickle chips! Cones of cookies!  And much, much more.

 

4) Get to the jousting area early, at least 30 minutes ahead, if you want decent seats to see the show.  The jousts are a highlight of Ren Fest (fun fact: jousting is Maryland’s state sport!), and if you want to guarantee you and the kids get a good view, you need to get seats.  I suggest getting food and “having a picnic” at your joust seats to pass the time while you wait for the events to begin.

 

5) Dress up!  Our crew did not, but it felt like more people than ever were in costume this year.  It makes for the best people watching, and it would have been fun to be part of it.

 

6) This one is random, but good (credit goes to my friend, Margaret, for it) …  If you plan to eat a turkey leg, bring some of these along. It will make a big difference in your comfort for the rest of your day.

 

So, between these tips and my usual KFDC tips here, you’re all set for a fantastic time at Ren Fest.  Now go reserve your tickets.  And have a blast!

Huzzah!

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends through October 23, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $30/adult, $26/senior, $15/age 7-15, free/6 & under

 

A few more scenes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 2022, Fall, Festival, Maryland, Weekend

InterACT Story Theatre Presents “The Hero of EVERYTHING” + a Ticket Giveaway!

 

As we soar into September, InterAct Story Theatre is bringing back a fan-favorite show to make the trip even more fun for children — and I have three Family 4-Packs of tickets to see it up for grabs!

The Hero of EVERYTHING explores the importance of teamwork and the perils of trying to do everything yourself.  This action-packed interactive play is performed by three actors on stage and a whole team of superheroes in the audience, who join in to become part of the action to save the day in Citytown City.

Who needs a sidekick or a team when you can do everything yourself, and do it just the way it should be? Captain Everything loves saving the day and doesn’t need anyone’s help to do it. Sure, she has an Amazing Alliance of Superheroes, but no one minds if she just does everything herself. Or do they? What happens when everyone else gets tired of being left out of everything and quits? And what happens when Captain Everything faces something she can’t do? Can she face her fears and cooperate with her team to save Citytown City? Or will it be too late?

Parents come away from the show with activities in the playbill they can use to explore the ideas in the play. Kids come away with an amazing superhero adventure and an invitation to create adventures of their own to share.

The Hero of EVERYTHING will run at Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD, September 23-October 2. Public performances are on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. Recommended for ages 5 and up, tickets are $13.50 (free for ages 3 and under).

* * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see The Hero of EVERYTHING  on Saturday, September 24, simply leave a comment telling me your (or your child’s) super power. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page! This giveaway will run through Tuesday, September 20, then three winners will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

 

This post is sponsored by InterAct Story Theatre, however, I only promote programs, events, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2022, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway, Weekend

The Live Entertainment Line-Up Around DC this Fall

Olney Theatre is bringing back a Disney classic

 

Autumn is on its way and bringing a whole new season of live entertainment along with cooler temps. Here’s the round-up of what you can catch on stages around the area, listed in order of opening date, with discounts noted where available.  Happy Viewing!

 

Milo the Magnificent
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through September 30
Tickets: $15

See a highly engaging puppet show about an aspiring magician. This wordless comedy, inspired by turn of the century vaudeville entertainers, is as highly physical as it is charming. Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo presents a variety of magic tricks which don’t always go as planned. Run time approximately 60 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Most Wednesdays & Saturdays at 10am
Tickets: $8

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). Run times are shorter, the lights stay on, and the doors stay open. They have an arsenal of shows that they switch up every performance, so be sure to check the schedule to see what’s playing when you go.

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 25
Tickets: $79-199 (look for discount)

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Recommended for age 12+. (This is one of my favorite shows of all time!  Read a KFDC review  from when it debuted at Arena Stage several years ago.)

Hamilton
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through October 9
Tickets: $59-379 (look for discount)

Seats are still available for the iconic show that began its run this summer.  Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. Recommended for ages 10+.

Host & Guest
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: September 12 – October 2
Tickets: $20-60

Based on a Georgian epic poem, Host & Guest tells the ancient story of a family who takes in a lost stranger to discover he is from an enemy clan, and their valiant attempt to save him when their village wreaks vengeance. Performed around the world, Host & Guest is a timely and relevant tale of war, strife, the beliefs that tear us apart, and the humanity that brings us together.

To Sail Around the Sun
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: September 17, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $30

This National Dance Day, kids can take an enchanting trip across the globe to celebrate movement, music, and the planet we call home. To Sail Around the Sun caters to kids through dance, live music, and storytelling that takes audiences on one child’s journey to gather all four seasons before dinner time. The show travels beneath the springtime waves of the Australian shores, through the summertime rainforests of Argentina, among the autumn leaves of Japan, and in the wintry snows of Kazakhstan. Recommended for all ages, run time is one hour.

The Hero of Everything
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: September 23 – October 2
Tickets: $13.50/12+, $10/age 4-11, free/under 3

This action-packed interactive play is performed by three actors on stage and a whole team of superheroes in the audience… Who needs a sidekick or a team when you can do everything yourself, and do it just the way it should be? Captain Everything loves saving the day and doesn’t need anyone’s help to do it. Sure, she has an Amazing Alliance of Superheroes, but no one minds if she just handles everything herself. Or do they? What happens when everyone else gets tired of being left out of everything and quits? And what happens when Captain Everything faces something she can’t do? Can she face her fears and cooperate with her team to save Citytown City? Or will it be too late? Recommended for ages 5 & up.

The Trip to Bountiful
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Downtown DC
When: September 23 – October 28
Tickets: $24-54 (look for discount)

Carrie Watts dreams of escape from the bustling city and of a return to simpler times in her beloved Bountiful, Texas. She sets out on a risky journey to her beloved hometown, with her family in hot pursuit. Along the way, she encounters kindness and compassion … and makes a remarkable discovery about the true meaning of home. One of the foremost interpreters of Horton Foote’s work, Michael Wilson directs Nancy Robinette as Carrie Watts with Joe Mallon as her son, Ludie, and Kimberly Gilbert as her daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. This classic American drama is a touching portrait of family, what we hold onto and what we leave behind. Recommended for ages 13+.

Dance Nation
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: September 28 – October 30
Tickets: $49-79 (look for discount)

The explosive off-Broadway smash is kicking off Olney Theatre Center’s 2022-23 season! The pre-teen dance team from Liverpool, Ohio is primed for competition, but the stakes are much higher than just a first-place trophy. Lives are at stake, future happiness lays in the balance, emerging sexuality strikes with the power of a thousand lightning bolts, and every interaction in the tight-knit group is suffused with threat, risk, and the urgency of adolescence. Adult actors of all ages portray the adolescent girls (and one boy) amidst their tween confusion, as well as their future adult selves in a dream play with moments of true terror, complete with fangs, blood, and wild, stylized, dance. Olney gives this an R rating, but it sounds like one older could enjoy.

Once on this Island
Where: Source Theatre | 14th Street NW, DC
When: September 29 – November 6
Tickets: $15-55 (look for discount)

As this show by Constellation Theatre Company opens, a child is terrified by a tropical storm and the community comes together to comfort her with a story. On an island where people are separated by color and class, the four Gods (Earth, Water, Love and Death) place a bet. A young girl leaves her humble upbringing to pursue her true love, the Prince, only to be faced with an impossible choice. With Calypso-flavored music and fantastical storytelling, Once On This Island is a celebration of hope and kindness that will nourish your soul.

Witch Wartsmith’s Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: October 1-31
Tickets: $15

Witch Wartsmith (the sister of Witch Wartsmith from our Legacy and touring show Rapunzel), hosts the annual Halloween Spooktacular and you get to vote on the winner! Part contemporary competition show, part vintage telethon, and part punpalooza, this spooky variety show will tickle your funny bone. Some of our contestants will change year to year, so come back to see old and new friends alike! Run time approximately 45 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Baba Bomani & The ABCs of Hip-Hop
Where: Publick Playhouse | Hyattsville, MD
When: October 2, 2pm
Tickets: $5

This workshop explains the reading, writing, and arithmetic of Hip-Hop performance. From learning to recognize vowels and syllables, to understanding the rhythm patterns that turn those syllables into raps over a beat, students will be engulfed in dance and song through this highly interactive presentation.

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: October 4-23
Tickets: $60-130

This new musical reveals a comeback story like no other, of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of racism, sexism and ageism to become the global Queen of Rock n’ Roll. TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is a celebration of resilience and an inspiration of triumph over adversity.

The Ballad of Emmet Till
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: October 4 – November 19
Tickets: $29-50 (look for discount)

With music and magic, Ifa Bayeza’s Edgar Award-winning drama recounts the last two weeks of Emmett Till’s life on his journey from Chicago to Money, Mississippi in 1955. We meet a young man with boisterous energy and boundless charm whose fateful encounter with Caroline Bryant changes his life and our country forever. Recommended for teens and older.

Ichabod: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: October 6-30
Tickets: $20-45

Journey back in time to a quiet glen called Sleepy Hollow, where the denizens of the town are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new school master, Ichabod Crane. An adaptation of Washington Irving’s Classic tale of lore, love and the legendary Headless Horseman, this World Premier Musical by the critically acclaimed creative team Conner and Smith arrives just in time for autumn leaves, pumpkins, and ghost tales around the campfire.

Disney on Ice: Frozen & Encanto
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: October 6-10
Tickets: $20-110

Two shows in one! Join the race to find Elsa and stop the eternal winter, dream about summer with Olaf, and sing-along with Kristoff and Sven. Then, celebrate the love of family in the new show everyone will be talking about! Experience Disney’s Encanto brought to life like never before. Sing and dance with Mirabel, her sisters, Isabela and Luisa, and more!

Master Chef Junior Live!
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown DC
When: October 7
Tickets: $30-75 (look for discount)

This high-energy, interactive, stage production brings the culinary hit TV show MasterChef Junior to fans and foodies alike… LIVE on stage! Watch Season 8’s winner, finalist, and fan favorites as they take to the stage in head-to-head cooking demonstrations and fun (sometimes messy!) challenges with an overall immersive audience experience fun for all ages.

Guys and Dolls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 7-16
Tickets: $59-299

Set in bustling 1950s Manhattan, Guys and Dolls follows a rowdy bunch of gamblers, gangsters, and sassy showgirls in a wild game of chance—then love sneaks in. The classic Broadway show is hailed by many as the perfect musical comedy. Recommended for ages 9+.

Holiday
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: October 7 – November 6
Tickets: $56-95 (look for discount)

An up-and-coming Wall Street lawyer from a working-class family aspires to quit his job and enjoy life once he’s made enough money to do so. The prospect doesn’t thrill his wealthy, well-born fiancée, but excites her more unconventional sister. Can his dreams survive his soon-to-be bride’s narrow view of affluence? Opposing societal hierarchies and differing views of success confront each other in this classic romantic comedy set in the 1920s, which became a beloved 1938 film starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and which is still a timely commentary on how to pursue a life worth living. Recommended for teens and older.

Saturday Morning Live! At The National
Where: National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: October 8 & November 12, 9:30am & 11:30am
Tickets: FREE

Fun takes center stage at the National Theatre for Saturday Morning Live! Join us Saturday mornings for wow-inspiring children’s entertainment of all sorts, from interactive performances, puppets, dance, and music – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This season we’re back IN PERSON and better than ever. We’re all different in lots of wonderful ways, and our season lineup reflects that fact! It’s a season that’s all about the colors, words, and motion that make us unique. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s a great way to Saturday.

Wheaton Family Theater Series
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Throughout fall
Admission: Free

InterAct Story Theatre presents season eight of the Wheaton Family Theatre Series, a FREE public performing arts program for kids and families. For fall 2022, their touring version of The Hero of EVERYTHING will swoop in October 8-9, Grupo Rompe Cajón brings a fun weekend of song and Afro-Peruvian celebration and for November 12-13.

Masters of Illusion
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown De
When: October 12
Tickets: $36-59 (look for discount)

See cutting-edge illusionists perform sleight-of-hand, perplexing interactive mind magic, hilarious comedy, dangerous escapes and large scale illusions. These modern masters display skills that have taken a lifetime to perfect. Audience members will be baffled by the astounding skills of these modern illusionists.

Dracula
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: October 13 – November 6
Tickets: $20-60 (look for discount)

The sensuous and terrifying thriller arrives just in time for Halloween. With blood-sucking temptresses and creeping mists sure to send a chill up your spine, Stoker’s classic 1897 tale rises again. Dracula, the legend that inspired an entire genre of literature and film, explores the universal theme of good versus evil. As a bloodthirsty vampire terrorizes the countryside, an unlikely group fights to defend their home. Director Paata Tsikurishvili’s vision comes to life in this dark and menacing piece. Recommended for teens and older.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: October 15-22
Tickets: $25-39

Adapted from the award-winning novel, this play tells the touching story of a young Chinese American girl and her family moving from China to the United States in 1947. Using humor and a rich multimedia staging, the play celebrates the bravery and sacrifice of those who bring new perspectives to our country. Recommended for ages 7+

NSO Family: Sleepover at the Museum
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 15, 2pm & 5pm
Tickets: $18
Imagine spending your birthday at the museum! Join Mason and his friends for a musical and scientific scavenger hunt through the many exhibits that make any museum special in this National Symphony Orchestra concert with music and story by Karen LeFrak based on her book of the same name. Recommended for ages 5+.

Sanctuary City
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: October 21 – November 27
Tickets: $76-95

Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok brings us the powerful story of two young DREAMers who fight to establish a place for themselves in America, the only country they know as home. Poignant, timely and highly theatrical, Sanctuary City illuminates the triumphs and challenges these lifelong friends face, and how much they are willing to risk for each other when they have everything to lose. Recommended for teens and older.

Disney Junior Live on Tour: Costume Palooza
Where: Warner Theatre | Downtown De
When: October 22-23
Tickets: $36-59 (look for discount)

This show brings beloved Disney Junior characters and favorite Marvel Super Heroes live on stage for a jam-packed, concert-style show with singing, dancing, acrobatics, and more. It will feature favorite songs from hit Disney Junior series, as well as new original music. Mickey, Minnie, and their pals are getting ready to throw a huge costume party but mysterious green weather keeps interrupting the fun. Can Spidey and his Amazing Friends help save the Costume Palooza? Come join the party! Find ticket links here.

S.P.I.E.S. 2: Flight of the Hawk
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: October 29 – November 20
Tickets: $25

Join S.P.I.E.S. in person, where it is more interactive than ever! This follow-up to the online hit S.P.I.E.S. & the Lost Treasure of Atlantis combines live theatre and taped adventure scenes to create a collaborative and exciting experience where each audience gets to be the hero and solve the puzzles–and no two performances are alike. Recommended for ages 5-11.

Finding Rhythm: Go-Go Music
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: October 29, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

Take a journey through the musical brain with Mother Dance, Father Rhythm, and the Curious Scientist! D.C.’s own Go-go music and brain science come together for this lively show that’ll have kids singing and dancing to the beat. Learn the origins of human rhythm, how rhythm grows the brain, and where children find the source of their own power AND connection. Music neuroscientist and show creator Dr. Jessica Phillips-Silver draws together a team of master musicians and teaching artists to tell this powerful, unifying story. Recommended for ages 5+.

The Princess and the Goblin
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: November 4-20
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/student, $65/Family 4-Pack (look for discount)

When the always curious Princess Irene discovers a secret stair to the top turret of the castle, it leads to a wonderful revelation that she has a fairy grandmother. At the same time, the miner’s son Curdie overhears a fiendish plot by the goblins who live below the mountain. It will take all their strength and courage, and the help of Irene’s magic ring, to foil the goblin’s schemes. Adapted for the stage with music, humor and wit that has become the signature of Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater productions, this show has appeal for every age.

Air Play
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 6
Tickets: $20-35 (look for discount)

Umbrellas fly, fabrics soar over the audience, balloons swallow people, and snow swirls, filling the stage. Air Play transforms ordinary objects into uncommon beauty through a wordless, magical adventure as two siblings journey through a surreal land of air. Created by circus performers in collaboration with a kinetic sculptor, this enchanting spectacle combines comedy, live sculpture, circus, and theater to fill both the young and young at heart with wonder. Recommended for all ages.

Diggin’ Puppets & Paleontology: A STEAM Event
Where: Publick Playhouse | Hyattsville, MD
When: November 6
Tickets: Free

The Dino Rock puppets are back at the Playhouse and bringing science with them. Join the dinosaurs and their friends as they sing and dance the scientific method and teach other fantastic fun facts for an entertaining afternoon of family fun.

Into the Woods
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: November 8 – January 29
Tickets: $40-109

Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free. A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds. Weaving a euphoric score with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables. Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including one intermission. Parents should use discretion about what is age appropriate for their children.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: November 9 – January 1
Tickets: $37-74

Last winter, Olney’s internationally acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast won hearts and attracted the admiration of audiences from around the country. This year, be Olney’s guest along with several returning cast members and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Sydney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: November 10 – December 11
Tickets:

The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare’s cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is promised to be the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and revelatory romance. Recommended for teens and older.

Chicago
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: November 14-27
Tickets: $25-125  (look for discount)

After 25 years, Chicago is still the one musical with everything that makes Broadway shimmy-shake: a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz, with one show stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: November 16 – January 6
Tickets:

When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Mo Willem’s beloved picture book explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves. Based on the book by Mo Willems, recommended for ages 4-10.

The Day You Begin
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 19 – December 18
Tickets: $20

This world premiere commissioned musical is based on the popular picture book by Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet…but somehow you do it. The Day You Begin is a poignant and heartening musical about finding courage to connect, even when you feel afraid. Recommended for ages 7+.

Bluey’s Big Play
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 22-29
Tickets: $29-99 (look for discount)

When Dad feels like a little bit of Sunday afternoon time out, Bluey and Bingo have other plans! This brand-new theatrical adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning children’s television series features an original story by Bluey creator Joe Brumm and music by Bluey composer Joff Bush. This is Bluey as you’ve never seen it before—brought to real life! Recommended for all ages.

NSO Pops: Disney’s Frozen in Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 25-26
Tickets: $39+ (look for discount)

Travel to Arendelle and experience Frozen like never before! Watch in high-definition as Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf set off to break Elsa’s icy spell and save the kingdom. Of course, enjoy all of the favorites — “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” “Let It Go,” “First Time in Forever,” and more performed LIVE by the NSO as the incredible score comes to life!

 

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