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

Live Entertainment on Local Stages this Spring

So much entertainment coming to the Kennedy Center and more venues around DC!

 

With the new season comes a whole new line-up of shows for young audiences.  Here’s where you can catch live entertainment around the DC area throughout spring. Tickets are available for just about all of them now, so go save your seats!

Cenicienta: A Bilingual Cinderella Story
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 1-2
Admission: $20

Ten-year-old Belinda loves to tell stories, but when she’s in the basement preparing for a party upstairs, she’ll have to get creative. Using everyday objects like a teapot and doily, Belinda recreates the classic tale of Cinderella. Glass Half Full Theatre from Austin, Texas, presents its award-winning “story within a story” using puppetry, Spanish, and English. Recommended for ages 5+.

This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 2, 2pm & 4pm
Admission: $18

Jacqueline Woodson’s book, This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration, has been set to music by young Black composer Quinn Mason, and will be performed by the National Symphony Orchestra with the author herself as narrator. The story follows three generations of a Black family who moves from the South to Harlem, New York seeking better opportunities and equality, as more than six million African American families did during the Great Migration in the early 1900s through the 70s. As the family moves and grows, they take with them a piece of rope that helps them in normal aspects of life, but really symbolizes their cultural bonds, progress, and hope. Recommended for ages 7+.

The Jungle
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through April 16
Tickets: $59-135

Welcome to The Jungle where cultures collide and thousands dream of crossing the English Channel to the possibility of freedom. Laughter, tears, allegiances, and prayers are shared by this extraordinary community of refugees caught up in a global crisis beyond their control. Recommended for ages 12+.

Shout Sister Shout
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through May 13
Tickets: (look for discount)

Based on Gayle F. Wald’s book Shout, Sister, Shout!, this new musical tells the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe—one of America’s most influential rock, R&B and gospel crossover singers and guitarists. Ambitious, courageous and uncompromisingly public, Tharpe became a pioneer of the women’s movement for racial and sexual equality and musical legend who redefined the national and international music scene in the 1930s and 40s and beyond. Dive into Cheryl L. West’s spirited, authentic and emotionally charged story about a charismatic music forerunner and the authentic roots of rock-and-roll. Recommended for ages 12+.

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through 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.

Sleeping Beauty on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Through April 9
Admission: $15
In the Puppet Co.’s version of Sleeping Beauty, a funny frog storyteller ribbits the tale of offended fairies, silly royalty, and magic spells. Relive this classic fairy tale in this lovely Legacy rod-puppet show. Directed by Elizabeth Dapo. Recommended ages 4+. Run time approximately 45 minutes.

RiverRun Festival
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through April 22
Admission: Varies by event (some free)

This international festival celebrating the world’s rivers is bringing all kinds of performances and events from across the globe to the Kennedy Center. Live entertainment includes concerts, dance performances, a youth orchestra, a play for kids and families, and more.  See the website for the full schedule.

Wake Up, Brother Bear
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through 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.

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through April 23
Tickets: $76-95

Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning drama Angels in America is one of the great epic American plays of this past century. We meet Louis and Prior and Harper and Joe, two couples whose relationships are on the rocks; the former because of Prior’s AIDS diagnosis and Louis’ inability to cope with illness, and the latter because of Joe’s closeted homosexuality and Harper’s incessant fears and hallucinations. Recommended for teens and older.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free performances Wednesday – Sunday at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to film screenings to comedy shows to opera scenes. This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment. Just be sure to reserve tickets in advance!

King Lear
Where: Klein Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 30 – April 16
Tickets: $55-135 (look for discount)

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 (Hadestown, The Gilded Age) returns to STC as the once-revered king caught in an emotional hurricane ravaging his home, head, and heart.

Jennifer Who is Leaving
Where: Roundhouse Theatre | Bethesda, MD
When: March 30 – May 7
Tickets: $39-81

Nan is working the night shift, fielding periodic calls from her retired husband with questions about reheating dinner and where his car keys are. Jennifer is trying to tune out Joey, her elderly patient who is relishing getting on her last nerve. And Lili is stressing out about her upcoming SATs. Set in a Dunkin Donuts on the side of a Massachusetts highway, Jennifer Who Is Leaving is a familiar and hilarious exploration of the expectations placed on women; the physical, mental, and emotional labor of being a caregiver; and what happens when we reach our breaking point. Recommended for teens and older.

My Fair Lady
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 6-9
Tickets: $45-115 (look for discount)

The Broadway hit My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?

The Washington Ballet: Aurora’s Wedding
Where: Capital One Hall | Tysons, VA
When: April 7-9
Tickets: $48+

Join The Washington Ballet for a 90-minute, family-friendly performance featuring Act III of The Sleeping Beauty. Fans of Puss-in-Boots, Red Riding Hood, Princess Florine, and all the classic characters will be delighted. Plus, TWB will perform Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, the iconic classic ballet for new & seasoned fans alike. Go early for the matinee performances for Family Fun Events that feature photo opportunities with dancers, coloring stations, and more. Use code BEAUTY at purchase for 30% off your tickets.

Once Upon a Moon
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 12-14
Tickets: $3-9

Let’s go to the moon! Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing in this exciting, interactive show for our youngest audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. You might even get the chance to be a moonwalking astronaut. Recommended for ages 4-7.

Rocknoceros Concert
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: April 15, 11am (doors open at 10am)
Tickets: $10

Rocknoceros is returning to Jammin Java with a new show called “All About the Sprout.” The concert will include classic Rocknoceros songs and new music about seeds, sprouts, and spring. Seating is first some, first served. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Disney’s Aladdin
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 19-30
Tickets: $29-155 (look for discount)

Discover a whole new world at Disney’s Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical.From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of ALADDIN, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Where: The Puppet Company | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 20 – May 21
Tickets: $15

Enjoy this multimedia Legacy production that tells the story of a lazy lad whose life changes because of some magic beans! Using rod puppets and full masks and costumes, TPC fans may recognize The Giant from our annual Nutcracker show. Directed by Danny Pushkin. Recommended for ages 4+.

Sense and Sensibility
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: April 21-23
Tickets: $12

A student production from Imagination. Stage… A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s lives are turned upside down by the sudden death of their father, they must navigate financial challenge, romance, and the talk of the town while using good sense or risk their chance at love and happiness. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. Recommended for ages 11+.

The Taming of the Shrew
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: April 21-30
Tickets: $35-50 (look for discount)

Glam! Glitteratzi! Fashionistas! High art! In a world surrounded by the rich and fabulous, two unlikely suitors — her a rebel, him steampunk — find themselves embroiled in a passionate battle of wills. This electrifying “Silent Shakespeare” adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew follows Katherina and Petruchio as they discover the journey to love isn’t always the easiest of roads. This is a Synetic Teen Company production.

The Ice Cream Truck Is Broken! & Other Emotional Arias
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 22-23
Admission: $25

Join hosts Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor Renée Fleming and inaugural Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems for a family-friendly event exploring our strongest emotions through one of the world’s most dramatic genre…opera! Together with the Washington National Opera Cafritz Young Artists, Mo and Renée present famous arias as you’ve never heard them before, bursting with Mo-ified lyrics to explore the range of human emotions in a way audiences new and old can appreciate and enjoy. Recommended for ages 5+.

Gravity & Other Myths: a Simple Space
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: April 26-27
Tickets: $34-54

Bring the whole family to see Gravity & Other Myths, an Australian circus company pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus. In A Simple Space, you’ll witness seven acrobats pushed to their physical limits in an intimate setting. This poignant performance is simultaneously frantic and delicate. Propelled by the driving sound of live percussion and without the need for contrived theatrical overlay, A Simple Space evokes a visceral response, as the performers are encouraged to let down their guard and share the reality of failure and weakness. With nothing left to hide behind, the personal narratives come through naturally.

Les Misérables
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 26-29
Admission: $69-225

In 1986, the Kennedy Center hosted the pre-Broadway run of what has become, undisputedly, one of the world’s most popular musicals. Now, they are bringing her home. Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Recommended for ages 12 +.

Each Kindness
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 28-29
Admission: $20 (look for discount)

This world premiere concert features Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson reading the book, Each Kindness, onstage to music composed, arranged, and performed by six members of celebrated string production company Rootstock Republic, along with projections of E.B. Lewis’ striking artwork. About the book: Every time the new girl Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya. Recommended for ages 7+.

Fyütch
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 2, 11am
Admission: $20

Discover community, Black history, and culture through a blend of hip hop, soul, R&B, pop, and reggae! Fyütch’s live shows are filled with spirited songs, spoken word, and visual storytelling to educate, entertain, and empower the next generation.

Monty Python’s Spamalot
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 12-21
Admission: $69-325

Telling the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and the quest for the Holy Grail in song, Monty Python’s Spamalot features a chorus line of knights, men in tights, killer rabbits, and sexy dancing divas. The score will be performed onstage by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Recommended for ages 13+.

Beetlejuice
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 16-28
Tickets: $60-140 (look for discount)

It’s showtime! Based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. Under its uproarious surface (six feet under, to be exact), it’s a remarkably touching show about family, love, and making the most of every Day-O!

New Squid on the Block
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: June 1-2
Tickets: $3-9

This brand new show from Barefoot Puppets celebrates creative thinking, problem-solving, friendship, and fun! Featuring penguins, a submarine, MORE PENGUINS, orcas, and a curious squid, this show takes the audience on an epic journey to Antarctica, encountering unusual creatures in the depths of the ocean on the way. Featuring beautifully handcrafted puppets, a magical set, and an original score by Ned Haskins, this comedic, wordless performance celebrates the ability to create connections despite our differences. Recommended for ages 4-8.

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Five Upcoming Openings for Kids to Look Forward to this Year

 

[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 herehere, and here.]

 

New business openings hit different post-pandemic — especially ones for kids. In my neck of the woods, almost every kid-centered establishment within a five-mile radius shuttered completely or drastically reduced their offerings between 2020-2022. Eventually, moms groups were drowning in desperation over things to do and places to go.

The news of new openings brings relief, gratitude, and excitement. Things are finally turning around, and, perhaps, these businesses will operate even better for owners and their customers. The kid business can be booming once again. Here are five upcoming openings to look forward to…

LEGO Discovery Center Washington DC
Where: Springfield Town Center| Springfield, VA 22150
Expected Opening: Summer 2023
Recommended Ages: 2-12
A 32,000-square-foot LEGO Discovery Center is under construction at Springfield Town Center. Get ready to launch rockets on a LEGO Space Mission, journey on the Imagination Express, explore a LEGO Mini World, take a workshop with a Master Model Builder, ride a dinosaur-themed carousel in DUPLO Park, experience 4D sensory cinema, and much more!

 

An indoor waterpark even bigger than this one in Williamsburg is coming soon

Great Wolf Lodge Perryville Resort
Where: 1230 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy | Port Deposit, MD
Expected Opening: Summer 2023
Recommended Ages: 5 – tween
Lucky us: Great Wolf Lodge’s biggest park yet is set to open just an hour-and-a-half outside of the DC metro area. Aside from the brand new water park, guests can enjoy the interactive MagiQuest game, gemstone mining, bowling, ropes course, arcade, mini golf, build-a-bear workshop, and more. Forest-themed hotel rooms and suites add to the excitement. Read about a KFDC experience at a Great Wolf Lodge here.

 

Gymnastics classes and fun at Dominic Dawes’ new center

Dominique Dawes Gymnastics & Ninja Academy
Where: 5626 Randolph Rd | Rockville, MD
Expected Opening: Spring 2023
Ages: 18 & under
Former U.S. Olympic gold medalist and Maryland native, Dominique Dawes, is set to open her second Gymnastics & Ninja Academy featuring classes, camps, open gym times, and birthday parties. Dawes is focused on creating a healthy, empowering environment for children, and through ninja warrior activities, developing strength and problem-solving abilities.

 

Bring kiddos to play at Jolly Yolly

Jolly Yolly Kids
Where: Westfield Montgomery Mall | Bethesda, MD
Expected Opening: Spring-Summer 2023
Ages: 13 & under
A new play space in a popular mall is a big win for local parents. Jolly Yolly Kids is opening its second location, with a street-facing entrance, at Westfield Montgomery Mall. This is everything you’d hope for in an indoor play space, featuring brightly colored structures to climb, slide on, hang on, jump in, and explore. Enjoy open play, camps, and birthday parties.

 

Kids can scale the walls of a new Sportrock opening later this year

Sportrock Climbing Centers 
Where: Rio Lakefront | Gaithersburg, MD
Expected Opening: Late 2023
Ages: 4+
Sportrock Climbing Centers is taking over the large space next to Dave & Busters at Rio Lakefront with its third location. Sportrock boasts the tallest rock climbing walls in the mid-Atlantic  and offers a variety of programs to start ‘em young. Youth programs include open climb, The Breakfast Club, Friday Night Heights, Junior Climbing Club, youth teams, camps, and birthday parties.

 

Are there any new kid places opening up near you? Tell us in the comments!

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Last Call for the Winter Lantern Festival!

 

This weekend is the last chance to experience the Winter Lantern Festival at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, VA!  The extravaganza of lights has been running since the holiday season, showcasing its illuminated artistry through the Chinese New Year and beyond.

Over 1,000 handmade Chinese lanterns are on view in the form of all kinds of animals, plus Chinese myths, legends, and zodiacs.  There are also interactive elements like light swings, see-saws, and tunnels that let you get in on the action. And, of course, there are photo ops galore!

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the final evenings the festival is open.  Reserve your tickets here!

 

Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Through Sunday, February 12
Admission: $29.99/adult, $17.99/ youth

 

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

Feel the Love: Valentine’s Day Activities Around the DC Area

 

 

Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the occasion, here are some ideas — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day! XOXO

 

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Through May 14 | Weds -Mon, 9:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: $15.95

How about a whole exhibit that pairs perfectly with Valentine’s Day? Recommended for ages 2-12m,  XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness provides children and caregivers the opportunity to think about and explore feelings to help them understand, appreciate, and express their emotions through facial expressions, words, movement, art-making, and other hands-on activities.  Read more about the museum here.

Kids Workshop: Valentine’s Vase
Where: Home Depot locations around the DC area
When: February 4, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free – be sure to register in advance!

Home Depot’s free monthly workshop for kids will help them prep for the day (or make a gift) as they build a Valentine’s Vase. All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. Register in advance!

Love from the Library
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

DC Public Libraries are hosting a bunch of love-ly programs that celebrate the holiday. Attend a Valentine movie night, do some card making and other crafts, join a Valentine’s Day story time.  Visit the website for details on these events and more — just set the date through February 14 and use keyword “Valentine.”

Valentine Makers Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: February 11, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Find thoughtful and handmade gifts for all the sweeties in your life at this Valentine Maker’s Market. Shop a variety of options, including small batch chocolates, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, clothing, and much more! You will find vendors offering a wide selection of homemade, handmade or homegrown products, and every vendor is from the DEL-MAR-VA region. Be sure to tour the grounds, check out the Arts Center inside, and take kids to play in the Fairy Lolly while you’re there — it’s all fantastic (admission is a suggested $5 donation). Read more about Annmarie Sculpture garden here and here.

Maker Morning: Art from Your Heart
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: February 11, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Color your February with love at the Hirshhorn’s self-guided drop-in program geared toward kids. Look for stations throughout the museum, all love-themed and hands-on. Try out Valentine’s Day activities including writing a love letter, magnet poetry, and a love library — all inspired by art in the museum. Stroller parking is available in the Lobby and Lower Level.

Kids Workshop: Swan Sweetheart Note Holder
Where: Lowe’s locations around the DC area
When: February 11, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Bring your mini-DIYer to Lowe’s for a workshop hosted by a Red Vest expert. This month is Valentine’s-themed, and kids will build their own Swan Love Note Holder — a perfect gift for someone they love. All participants will receive a kit with materials. Be sure to reserve a time slot! Walk-ins are welcome, but space is not guaranteed.

Cupcake Decorating Class
Where: La Fantome Food Hall | Riverdale, MD
When: Saturday, 11am-12:30pm & 1-2:30pm
Admission: $40

Join celebrity chef Kareem “Mr. Bake” Queeman for a special Valentine’s Day cupcake decorating class. Aspiring bakers can join the highly decorated baker, currently featuring on Cooking Channel’s “Bake It Til You Make It.” Participants will leave with four decorated cupcakes, a certificate of completion, and specialized baking tips and knowledge from Mr. Bake himself. Parents are invited to join the fun and accompany their baker, as well as enjoy food and drinks (including a special kid’s menu) for breakfast or lunch following their session. Two sessions are available: Kids ages 5-11 can join the first hour-long session at from 11am-12:30pm, while bakers 12-16can join 1-2:30pm. Parents must accompany children ages 5-11 to the first session.

Won’t You Be My Owlentine?
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: February 11, 1-2pm
Admission: $7/age 6+

Love is in the air, and literally, for the beautiful birds of prey! Join Potomac Overlook staff as they discuss the mating habits of owls during their breeding season and get a picture with a live bird of prey! Register in advance, as space is limited. And be sure to explore the rest of the park while you’re there — it’s great for kids of all ages. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post.

Unshrink My Heart – Shrinky Dinks Workshop
Where: Gateway Arts Center | Brentwood, MD
When: February 11, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

The DIY arts and crafts icon from the 80’s is back! And nothing says “love” like a hand-made pre-shrunk Valentine. Families are invited to create beautiful jewelry, key chains, and other Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. Receive the first 2 sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks for free; additional sheets will be available to purchase for 50 cents each.

Nature DIY Valentines
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 11, 3-4pm
Admission: $9

Nothing says I love you more than a homemade card. Use natural materials to create your own card just in time for the holiday. Materials will be provided for cards that kids can make. Stay for a little while, or the whole time. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Family Festival with Black Panther + Beauty & the Beast
Where: Shipgarden | McLean, VA
When: February 11, 1-6pm
Admission: Free, but reserve a spot!

This Valentine’s Day keep it cozy with hot drink specials from Shipgarten’s winter menu. On February 11, bring the fam to their Valentine’s Family Festival hosted by Black Panter and Beauty & the Beast. Take pics in the photo booth and compete for prizes — they have games, activities, and competitions for all ages.

Valentine’s Day Pop-Up
Where: WAP Gallery in Westfield Wheaton Mall | Wheaton, MD
When: February 11-12, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The Wheaton Arts Parade is hosting a special Valentine’s pop-up this weekend. In addition to their shop where you can meet the artists, the WAP Gallery will have a free Valentine art making table for kids. The Gallery is located in Westfield Wheaton Mall, Lower Level Entrance 11.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: February 11, 2-3pm
Admission: $10

Animals communicate in many ways. Kids can learn how to express their affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outside Valentine’s Day walk and talk. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Sunday Makebreak: Watercolor Heart Frame
Where: Michael’s locations around the DC area
When: February 12, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in a Michael’s location to do some Valentines crafting. Make a watercolor heart frame to put a picture of your special someone in — or picture of yourself to give to someone special. All ages welcome, no reservations needed.

Queen of Hearts Tea Party
Where: Colvin Run Mill | Great Falls, VA
When: February 12
Admission: $15

For ages 3+…Bring your child to the mill and celebrate Valentine’s Day with this heart-themed tea party. We’ll have tea, savory and sweet treats and play 19th century parlor games. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Valentine’s Tea & Poetry
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: February 12, 10:30-11:3-am
Admission: $15

For ages 12 and up… Sip some mint tea with your best friend or significant other as a naturalist helps you pen your own love poems based off of famous love poems. Practice your penmanship while learning some helpful calligraphy tips to give your poems a more personalized feel.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: February 12, 2-3pm
Admission: $10

Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Nature Valentines
Where: Maydale Nature Classroom | Colesville, MD
When: February 12, 3-4pm
Admission: $7

Winter is full of celebrations. Join us as we celebrate the Winter Solstice by making lanterns, the holiday season by making nature ornaments, and Valentine’s Day by making nature valentines. Register for one or all of these family fun activities.

Valentine’s Day Science
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center | Annandale, VA,
When: February 13, 6-7pm
Admission: $10

Kids love science when they learn with engaging hands-on activities. Join the Fairfax Park Authority for science activities to let kids share that love this Valentine’s Day! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Window Shops
Where: Storefronts around Adams Morgan, DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Take a walk around Adams Morgan to see all storefront decorated especially for Valentine’s Day! The Adams Morgan Partnership BID is sponsoring a window decorating contest for all businesses facing the street. Enjoy a family outing to the neighborhood to walk around and see them all, then grab at bite at one of the many eateries there. You can also vote on your favorites through an online poll on our website from Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13!

The Love Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Ice Skate Date
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Through February 14
Admission: Varies by rink

If you just want to do something fun, active, and sweet with your kids, plan an ice skating date. Go to the Sculpture Garden, then enjoy photo ops by the AMOR sculpture. Glide along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park, then get a bite to eat at one of the many eateries nearby. Skate by the Potomac River at Washington Harbour, or over the Potomac at The Wharf — and both have even more to do beyond skating at their waterfront locations. Get details for all of the DC rinks, plus more in Maryland and Virginia in this post about ice skating around the DC Area.

DIY Valentines
Where: At home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs has been the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community as you share tables with others there to celebrate love. It’s not happening again this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some artsy supplies and get creative at home — and make your loved ones’ Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum, see this KFDC post.

Some wweet suggestions if you’re seeking gift ideas…

* A Valentine’s-themed activity book.
* Sweet kids’ reads: Board books, for elementary ages, for middle schoolers, for teens.
* A heart stuffie for little ones.
* Fun bath bombs.
* A lovely light up drawing t-shirt (or this one).
* A day at Spa World (get a discount on Groupon).
This novel will capture any adult’s heart.
* Make ’em smile with cute socks.
* Who doesn’t love the gift of food?

 

Do you know of a great Valentine’s Day event or activity not listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

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