Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in Northern Virginia

Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Winter Lantern Festival

 

While most of the enchanting light displays that illuminated the holiday season have closed, one is still here…  The Winter Lantern Festival, which made its DC area debut in December, is still welcoming visitors on weekends, offering a brilliant way to celebrate the Chinese New Year and enjoy the luminous works of art a little longer.

The Winter Lantern Festival has transformed Lerner Town Square in Tysons, VA, into an illuminated wonderland with over 1,000 Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of experience.  See Chinese myths, legends, and zodiacs “brought to light” as you wander through it all.  The vibrant lanterns also come in forms of animals, including turtles, polar bears, mammoths, and penguins. And you can do more than just look at some of them — interactive elements include light swings, see-saws, and tunnels.

The Chinese New Year begins this weekend, January 22, and celebrations continue beyond that!  The Winter Lantern Festival is running through February 12, plenty of time to work it into your family’s schedule.  Tickets are available through the website, and you can also look for a discount on them here.

 

Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Through February 12, Fri – Sun, 5-10pm
Admission: $31.99/age 13+, $19.99/age 3-12 (look for discount)

 

This post is sponsored by the Winter Lantern Festival, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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

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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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The 2022 County Fair Season Around the DC Area

 

Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? Down at the county fair. The season for them runs from early August through mid-September, and this post has the lowdown on this year’s events around the area. Happy Fairin’!

 

Howard County Fair
The 76th annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
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When: August 6-13, ground open 8am – 10pm daily, though most exhibits open at 10am, and activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD
Cost: $10/ages 13+, $5/seniors, free for under 10. Rides and games are extra.

 

Montgomery County Fair
This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a several years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
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When: August 12-20, times vary by day so check the website for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
Cost: Admission is $12/advance $15/at gate for age 12+, free/11 & under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $20/online until 8/14, $30/on site. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

 

Prince William County Fair
Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 9 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
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When: August 13-21, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $6-12/age 14-64, $4-8/seniors and age 5-13, free/4 & under. Check for package deals and daily specials, too!

 

Arlington County Fair
We’ve been to this fair and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races when they were younger. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, a beer garden for adults, and more.
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When: August 17-21, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center | 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is FREE. But, of course, you need to buy tickets for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets. There is an online special of 72 ride tickets for $55.

 

Prince George’s County Fair
A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
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When: September 8-11, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena | 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/age 13-54, $5/age 6-12 & 55+, free/5 & under. Rides and games are extra.

 

Anne Arundel County Fair
Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more.
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When: September 14-18, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $10/age 10+, free/9 & under. Rides and games cost extra.

 

The Great Frederick Fair
Rounding out the county fair season, this one in Frederick has many of the same offerings as the others, so if you can’t make it to a fair earlier in the season (or even if you can), keep this one on your radar. There are agricultural events, rides and games, live performances, a Kids Zone with free entertainment, and much more.
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When: September 16-24, 4-10pm the first day, then 9am – 10pm daily
Where: Frederick Fairgrounds | 797 E Patrick Street, Frederick, MD
Cost: $10/age 11+, free/10 & under. Tickets for rides and some activities are extra.

 

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Filed under 2022, Maryland, Special Event, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area this Summer

The UniverSoul Circus will be back at National Harbor this summer

 

Summer might bring the heat, but the line-up of live family entertainment coming to the DC area is pretty cool. Here are details on what you can catch on local stages, listed in order of start date,  with discounts noted where available. Happy Viewing!

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Where: Throughout the area
When: Various day and times
Tickets: Almost always FREE

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro. From Jazz on the National Mall to riverside entertainment to music amid the nature of local parks to shows in local shopping centers, the 2022 KFDC Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

Drumfolk
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through June 26
Tickets: $36-75

Electrifying percussive dance fused with contemporary art forms fuels StepAfrika!’s latest production, Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. As a result, state laws mandated that enslaved Africans could not assemble or use their drums which were used to signal the uprising. They took away the drums, but they could not stop the beat. This is the rich and “inspiring” (The New York Times) story of a movement that could not be stopped and transformed African American culture from then to the present day.

Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: June 2 – July 3
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

We all think we know the Big Bad Wolf from the classic fairytales, but what if it’s the same Wolf in both stories? What if there’s been a big mistake? What if the Wolf isn’t so big or so bad? Recommended for ages 4+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes. Read a KFDC review of the show from a bunch of years back.

Tiny Tots
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Most Wednesdays, Saturdays, & Sundays at 10am
Tickets: $8 (look for discount)

The series presents puppet shows designed for the youngest theater patrons (ages 0-4). They 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.

Birds of a Feather
Where: Leonadus K. Plenty Amphitheater | Alexandria, VA
When: June 8-26
Tickets: $10

Arts on the horizon presents this show esepcially for little ones… It’s a beautiful summer day when Fiddle, a camper, and Beeker, a birdwatcher, meet in a national park. One is adventurous ​and the other is a bit more reserved, but they quickly discover how to share the outdoor space. With Fiddle’s knowledge of the great outdoors and Beeker’s bird expertise, they work together to build a home for a bird… but will any birds come to visit? This whimsical outdoor adventure celebrates the joy of making new friends and the wonders of nature. Join us and discover what amazing things can be accomplished through friendship and collaboration! Recommended for ages 3-6.

Fantastagirl and the Math Monster
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: June 19 – August 21
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)

Fantastagirl, a second-grade superhero who uses words to save the day, comes face to face with her worst nightmare: the Math Monster! When confronted with problems too big for words alone to solve, Fantastagirl must accept help from her friendly, furry, fraction-loving foe. While Fantastagirl and Math Monster use words and numbers to help her friends and scientist moms, something far more sinister than Math brews on the horizon.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 21 – August 6
Tickets: $12

From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10:30am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. The productions welcome all ages, though most are geared toward younger children. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here (it’s an old post, but the series is still very much the same).

To Kill a Mockingbird
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 21 – July 10
Tickets: $49-199

All rise for Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork. The New York Times Critic’s Pick To Kill A Mockingbird is “the most successful American play in Broadway history” (60 Minutes).

Mr. Poppers Penguins
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 22 – August 7
Tickets: $14

Mr. Popper, a painter of modest means, dreams of taking an Antarctic adventure. So he’s thrilled when a penguin named Captain Cook waddles out of a mysterious box left on his doorstep. The zookeeper donates a female companion and soon…the patter of 20 baby penguin feet! To feed all of these mouths, the imaginative Mr. Popper and his wife turn his talented penguins into a must-see traveling vaudeville act full of song and dance. But the rigors of performing take a toll on them all, and they must make a difficult decision. This musical play, featuring expert puppetry, depicts a wild and witty way to follow your dreams — and your convictions. Recommended for ages 3-10.

Blippi The Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: June 25
Tickets: $35-55 (look for discount)

Blippi The Musical brings the energetic and loveable character Blippi off the screen and onto the stage with world-class production, audience engagement and amazing music. Children across the world have quickly taken to Blippi’s charismatic personality and innovative teaching lessons. In the live show they will continue to learn about the world around them while singing and dancing along with this one of a kind show.

Potted Potter
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: June 29 – July 11
Tickets: $49-100 (look for discount)

Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favorite characters, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic! Even if you don’t know the difference between a Horcrux and a Hufflepuff, Potted Potter will make you roar with laughter.  Read a KFDC review of the show!

UniverSoul Circus
Where: National Harbor at the Plateau
When: June 30 – July 21
Tickets: $27.50

A big top spectacle of global proportions, the 2016 production of UniverSoul Circus takes fans of all ages on an unforgettable journey of light, sound and soul. Get ready for electrifying, edge-of-your-seat performances, including extreme motorsports, back-flipping canines, twirling bicycles, disco-dancing pachyderms, free-flying aerial acts and much much more.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: July 1-24
Tickets: $20-60

Synetic Theater, the home of American Physical Theater, presents this playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity, and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award Nominations when it was first produced in 2010, taking home the award for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Resident Play. Since then, the production has performed to great acclaim in 2013 and 2015, and toured Mexico for the 2014 Festival Internacional.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: July 12 – September 5
Tickets: $20-50
The Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Building Museum are teaming up this year for the museum’s annual Summer Block Party:  The Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired festival stage in the cool comfort of the Great Hall. Guests will be able to enjoy Shakespearean activities like stage combat demos and hands-on fun during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Always a Shakespeare favorite…young lovers lost, the intrigues of fairies, and the hilarious machinations of mechanical players enchant through a delightful, romantic dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

Six
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: July 5 – September 4
Tickets: $65-150

From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over.

CHEER Live
Where: EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: July 16
Tickets: $24-99
(look for discount)
The hit Netflix series is going on tour! CHEER Live features 14-time national champion coach, Monica Aldama alongside many cheer stars. The premiere athletes all make mat for the Ultimate Pop Concert for Cheer. Watch never-before-seen stunts, plus pyramids and dance performances that are sure to have fans on the edge of their seats. Without the restraints of score cards, judges and time limits, CHEER Live will transform the nail-biting sport of competitive cheerleading into a first-of-its-kind premiere athletic event staged with the epic production value of a live concert.

Sound of Music Sing-a-long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 18
Tickets: $27

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Julie Andrews film in glorious technicolor, complete with on-screen lyrics so everyone can sing along to “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Maria,” and more! A preshow costume contest invites audience members in costume on stage to show off their fantastic tailoring skills. Fancy dress is not obligatory but highly recommended.

Blue Man Group
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 19-31
Tickets: $49-129 (look for discount)

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is Blue Man Group, and now it’s your turn! It’s everything you know and love about Blue Man Group—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity, and quirky comedy—the men are still blue but the rest is all new!

Cinderella
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: July 21 – August 28
Tickets: $15 (look for discount)

Rod puppets convey the classic tale of rags to riches, love at first sight (twice!), and getting what we all deserve. Don’t miss this fan favorite production, or your magical midnight curfew! Recommended for ages 5+. Run time is approximately 45 minutes.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 22-23
Tickets: $37+

Relive the magic of year six in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert. With this film, based on the sixth installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now experience the thrilling tale of Harry’s obsession with a mysterious potions book accompanied by the music of a live symphony orchestra as Harry soars across the big screen in HD!

Kidz Bop Live 2022
Where: Jiffy Lube Live | Bristow, VA
When: July 24
Tickets: $36-69 (look for discount)

Kidz Bop Live 2022 is back and bigger than ever! The ultimate pop concert for kids (and grown ups, too!) is coming, and it’s all new for 2022. Sing and dance along with the Kidz Bop Kids as they perform today’s biggest hits, live on stage, including “Good 4 U” and “Dance Monkey.”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 29
Tickets: $42+

“You must feel the Force around you…” The battle for the galaxy intensifies in this thrilling fifth episode of the unfolding saga. The National Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams’s iconic Oscar-nominated score from The Empire Strikes Back performed live along with the full feature film.

Hamilton
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 2 – October 9
Tickets: $59-379

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. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. Recommended for ages 10+.

ABBA The Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 7
Tickets: $37+

Sweden’s ABBA The Concert continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling audiences with fantastic performances of ABBA’s iconic hits including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen.”

Encanto: The Sing Along Film Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 8
Tickets: $29+

Bring the whole crew to sing along with a family movie fave! Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning film comes to life in a one-of-a-kind concert event, featuring the entire feature-length film and an on-stage band celebrating all the record-breaking hit songs from the beloved soundtrack.

Dear Evan Hansen
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 30 – September 26
Tickets: $79-199

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.)

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Filed under 2022, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Summer, Virginia