Tag Archives: Fun Things to do with Kids in Washington DC

Spring Entertainment Coming to Local Stages

The Puppet Co. is one of many venues presenting family entertainment this spring!

 

With the new season comes a whole new line-up of live entertainment!  There are shows for all ages and interests — plays, puppet theatre, musicals, singalongs, and more — to enjoy at venues all around the area. Here’s what you and the kids can see on local stages this spring, listed in order of opening date.

P.Nokio – A Hip-Hop Musical
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through March 30
Tickets: Coming soon!

G.Petto is an ingenious computer games designer who one day discovers that his newest game character, P.Nokio, can live outside the computer! G.Petto is thrilled at the prospect of having a “son,” and with the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he teaches P.Nokio how to become a real boy. But, P.Nokio falls in with con artists and finds himself in a web of lies that endangers his father. To save G.Petto, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real, and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all. Recommended for age 5-11.

Make Way for Ducklings 
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Eco Park, MD
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $25
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are exhausted from their search for a starter home when they land in the Boston Public Garden as a potential home. Surprised by a few conditions in the Garden, the Mallards move on to continue their search until their baby ducklings are born. When the ducklings begin to explore the world around them. The challenges of parenthood in the busy Boston environment create a fun bit of family drama. A classic story for all ages, this world premiere musical celebrates family, Boston, children, and the beings who make an unfamiliar place a home. Recommended for all ages.

Riverdance – The 25th Anniversary Show
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through March 27
Tickets: $39-155 (find discount)

Riverdance, as you’ve never seen it before! This powerful and stirring reinvention of a beloved favorite is celebrated the world over for its Grammy Award-winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of Irish and international dance. Recommended for all ages.

The Adventures of Mr. Toad
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: Through April 3
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/child

Generations of children have roamed the countryside in the company of Rat, Mole, Toad, and Badger, the immortal animal friends in The Wind and the Willows. Once again, the Learning Theater ensemble brings this heartwarming and hilarious tales to life in a show that will capture the imaginations of young and old.

Mother Goose
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 10
Tickets: $12

A brand new, music-filled piece by the creators of Wake Up, Brother Bear and Mouse on the Move! Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through April 17
Tickets: $66-105 (find discount)
Owen and I saw a performance of this show… it’s  vibrant and clever and bursting with talent!  Needless to say, we both loved it. Here’s the official description:  Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how a charming, young con man posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and then escaped police custody all before he turned 22.  Where else, but Washington, D.C., could a musical about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now? Recommended for tweens and up. KFDC readers can get a 15% discount with code FANTIX!

Grace
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Through May 14
Tickets: $40-81

Packed with an eclectic mix of styles including jazz, R&B, rousing up-tempos and raise-the-roof ballads, Grace is an electrifying musical celebrating the perseverance of family and the power of traditions. Created by Washington, DC,’s own celebrated composer Nolan Williams, Jr., with a book by Nolan Williams, Jr. and actress and writer Nikkole Salter, Grace examines the little-told history of African-American culinary tradition and the challenges faced by Black-owned businesses. The musical captures a day in the life of the Mintons, a Philadelphia family who gather to mourn the loss of their matriarch and deal with the future of their family restaurant in a changing neighborhood. Heartfelt and hopeful, timely and timeless, Grace is the new American musical where, although family comes first, everyone has a seat at the table. Recommended for ages 10+.

RENT – The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: March 25-27
Tickets: $50-110

RENT follows a year in the lives of a diverse group of artists and friends struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. This powerfully resonant phenomenon has become more than a musical – it’s a cultural touchstone, a rite of passage and a source of joy and strength for millions. The extraordinary RENT fan community spans every continent and every generation – including many born over a decade after the show opened on Broadway. Read of A KFDC review from the last time it toured here (note that there are changes to the cast).

Tiny Tots: Tree Songs
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: March 25, 26, & 30 (More dates coming soon!)
Tickets: $15

The Puppet Co.’s sweet Tony Tots series is back! At these shows especially for little ones (2-4 years old). lights remain on, doors stay open, and running times are short (30 minutes) to accommodate smaller attention spans. In Tree Songs, Jasper and his puppet friends take you on an interactive, musical adventure. Sing and dance to your favorite tree songs, while exploring pre-school science.

The Fantastic Tale of Rumpelstiltskin
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: March 31 – May 15
Tickets: $15

In a brand new production, the Puppet Co. gives you the full story of what happens after the gold has been spun and the day has been saved. This hilarious and smart comedy will be a great romp for adults and kids alike. Can you guess Rumpelstiltskin’s new name?! Recommended ages 4+. Run time approximately 50 minutes.

Pippin
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 1-3
Tickets: $60

A concert performance of the Broadway favorite. This classic musical about a young man in search of his purpose features some of music-theater’s best-loved songs and most theatrical moments. From the battlefield to the bedroom, from intrigues political to intrigues romantical, Pippin just can’t figure out how to be extraordinary.

Mean Girls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 5-24
Tickets: $45-199 (find discount)

Direct from Broadway, Mean Girls is the hilarious hit musical based on Tina Fey’s movie. Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. Recommended for age 10+.

Oklahoma!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 5-10
Tickets: $49-159

This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen or heard it before — reimagined for the 21st century, and now the Tony winner for Best Revival of a Musical. Funny and sexy, provocative and probing, “this production shocked me and moved me. This is the OKLAHOMA! that was there all along,” raves New York Magazine. Direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! “lets us experience Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatness anew” (The New Yorker). Note that the show contains fog, loud gunshot effects, moments of total darkness, and violence. Recommended for ages 12+.

The Servant of Two Masters
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: April 6-24
Tickets: $20-50

Mistaken identities, wily servants, and madcap antics abound in this laugh-a-minute tale of the ultimate trickster. Helmed by Vato Tsikurishvili and the Helen Hayes Award-nominated team from the 2019 hit Cyrano de Bergerac, The Servant of Two Masters is a raucous adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s classic farce.

Beastgirl
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 7-22
Tickets: $20

This exciting world premiere for young adults is based on the chapbook Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo. The collection of folkloric poems is brought to the stage with music as the play explores the mythological and geographic identities of three first generation American sisters. From the border in the Dominican Republic to an apartment rooftop in New York City, Beastgirl considers what it means to walk the world as “beastly” beings and how the myths that make us can be both blessing and birthright.
Recommended for ages 12+

NSO Music for Young Audiences: Super Cello!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 9-11
Tickets: $20

The city is safe with the help of a unique cellist: professional musician by day, superhero by night. SCOTTIE ROWELL of Atlanta’s TELLER PRODUCTIONS and NSO cellist DAVID TEIE unite to tell a fantastic story using puppets, props, and plenty of music to help a very super musician save the day. Recommended for ages 3+. Following select performances, young audience members can ask questions and hear stories in an up-close-and-personal talk with some of the artists.

Brigadoon
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 8-10
Tickets: $60 (find discount)

A concert performance of the Broadway classic. New Yorker Tommy Albright unexpectedly arrives at mysterious Scottish Highland village of Brigadoon, which only appears for one day every 100 years. When Tommy meets and falls in love with Fiona, a beautiful villager in this magical hamlet, he must decide whether to return to his old life, or stay in Brigadoon — forever. Featuring such standards as “Almost Life Being in Love”, “Come to Me, Bend to Me”, and “Heather on a Hill.”

Come From Away
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 12-17
Tickets: $50-95+ (find discount)

I saw this show a few years ago, and it is incredibly emotional (in the best way possible) and entertaining… Broadway’s Come From Away takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Recommended for ages 10+.

The Other Side
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 21-30
Tickets: $20

Adapted from the book by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Clover’s mom says it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But when the two girls strike up a friendship, they’ll find a clever way to get around the grown-up rules together. Recommended for ages 5+.

Poop the Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: April 22 – May 30
Tickets: $25

Taro, a young Asian American boy, faces the ridicule and bullying of his classmates when he accidentally “poops in his pants”. Too ashamed to talk to anyone or return to school, Taro can only confide in his “best friend”—a stuffed toy rabbit named Blackberry, who invites three special friends to visit Taro to help him overcome his shame by taking him on a “magical” journey through space and time. Each of the three visitors—Thomas Crapper, the real-life 19th century British inventor known as the “father of the modern toilet”, Zhi Yan, the beautiful Chinese goddess of the toilet, and Cheddar, a toy mouse with performance issues—helps Taro learn that only by letting go of our societal disgust with poop can we take our first steps to make positive change for the billions of people whose lives are impacted because of this issue. Recommended for all ages.

Mother Goose
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 23-24
Tickets: $15

Imagination Stage presents their show on the Olney Theatre stage!  Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

NSO Family: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 30
Tickets: $20-55

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur…and a dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway! That’s just the beginning of this hilarious, fractured, symphonic take on “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” as retold by Mo Willems. This new classic is presented by favorite performers and the National Symphony Orchestra, featuring original music by indie pop icon and NSO Artistic Advisor Ben Folds.

Wu Fei
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 30
Tickets: $20

WU FEI is a renowned master of the guzheng, the 21-string Chinese zither. She plays in the guzheng’s language—almost 2,000 years old—by mixing Western classical and Chinese traditions with a contemporary sound. The classically trained composer and vocalist has taken her music around the world to venues such as the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and New York’s MoMA, and collaborated with renowned artists across disciplines and genres. Recommended for ages 8+.

Into the Woods
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: May 5-29
Tickets: $40/adult, $25/child

With an imaginative book by James Lapine that skillfully intertwines the stories and characters from Grimm fairy tales, and a luscious score by Stephen Sondheim, this Tony Award-winning musical has become a timeless masterpiece. A baker and his wife wish for a child, Cinderella wishes to go to the King’s Festival and Jack wishes to sell his cow, so into the woods they must go in search of their prize. Happily ever after eludes them, however, as they soon learn the tangled consequences of getting exactly what you wished for.

Hairspray
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 10-15
Tickets: $50-95+

You Can’t Stop the Beat! HAIRSPRAY, Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960’s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Recommended for ages 8+.

Freestyle Love Supreme
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 10-15
Tickets: $45-135

Before Hamilton, before In the Heights, there was Freestyle Love Supreme. Now—direct from Broadway—the original hip hop musical phenomenon from Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale. The subject of the recently released Hulu documentary We are Freestyle Love Supreme, every performance of this Grammy®-nominated show brings the unexpected, as the crew takes the crowd on a freestyle, hip hop, improvisational comedy ride. The performers take suggestions from the audience and spin them into instantaneous riffs and full-length musical numbers. See it for the first time each time—as no two shows are ever the same. Recommended for ages 14+.

Show Way the Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 13 – 29
Tickets: $20

Soonie’s great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way, a quilt with secret meanings to show enslaved people the way to freedom. As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise. Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s book of history, love, and resilience becomes a world premiere stage adaptation. This moving, lyrical account based on Woodson’s own family pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives—from enslavement to freedom, through segregation, freedom marches, and the fight for literacy. Recommended for ages 7+.

Our Town
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: May 12 – June 11
Tickets: $49-112

Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theatre becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life, and death.

Disney Singalong
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: May 14-15
Tickets: $15

Three of Olney Theatre’s favorite performers, Patricia Hurley Carpenter (Mary Poppins herself!), Ashleigh King (Elf the Musical), and Matt Schleigh (Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors) lead kids of all ages in their favorite Disney songs from stage and screen.

NSO Family Concert: Philharmonia Fantastique
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 15
Tickets: $18-20

Dynamic concerto meets animated film! Through a mesmerizing hybrid of animated and live action filming, follow a magical Sprite as it embarks on a musical journey through the inner workings of an orchestra. Violin strings vibrate, brass valves slice air, and drum heads resonate like you’ve never seen before—all set to live music from members of the NSO. By the film’s end, the orchestra comes together in a spectacular finale! Recommended for all ages.

2022 Teen Twelfth Night
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: May 20-29
Tickets: $20-60

If music be the food of love, play on! The brilliant young artists of the Teen Company present Synetic’s celebrated 1920s take on Shakespeare’s whirlwind of romance and slapstick.

A Monster Calls
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 25 – June 12
Tickets: $45-139

Patrick Ness’s piercing novel A Monster Calls is brought to the stage in a powerful new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson. Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears. Recommended for ages 10+.

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

Activities & Events Especially Great for Families this Cherry Blossom Season

 

 

Cherry blossom season is upon us, and it’s time to start getting ready for it! Because not only is the city at its prettiest when the beloved flowers are in bloom, there also are loads of special events and activities to celebrate it all. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 17 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching activities over a few weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. I’ve picked the best of them for families to help you plan for it all. Happy Blossom Season!

Cherry Blossom Viewing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Late March
Admission: Free

Viewing the cherry blossoms may just be the top thing to do during the season — and lots of people agree. The scenery really can’t get more iconic DC than the flowering trees around the Tidal Basin at their peak pink and white brilliance with our grand memorials in the background. However, viewing the famous blooms can be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things, so be sure to check out these KFDC tips before you go to see them. And view scenes from blooms past here and here.

PIXELBLOOM
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 12 – June 5
Admission: $20-25/adult, $14/age 4-15, free/under 4

The exhibits at ARTECHOUSE often reflect the season in some way, and for the fifth year, they are highlighting spring by celebrating the cherry blossoms with a gorgeous digital exhibit that immerses you in the blooms. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience! Get more of a glimpse of it here.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 19, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Smithsonian American art Museum and the National Cherry Blossom Festival outside on the museum’s F Street plaza for a celebration of Japanese culture. A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Les The DJ spinning Japanese pop, funk, and boogie beats and the Koto ensemble performing traditional Japanese dance.  Pick up a step-by-step cherry blossom craft kit to take home, and discover spring-themed artworks in SAAM’s galleries with a self-guided scavenger hunt designed for all ages. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Petals porches from 2021

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: March 19 – April 17
Admission: Free

For the second year, residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA were invited to decorate their front yards, porches, and windows to show their cherry blossom spirit during the Festival’s run. A digital map with the locations of all registered Petal Porches will be made available, so we can all get in on the fun and do some Petal Porch viewing!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: Weekends, March 19 – April 17
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the cherry blossom peak, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area at a new location on West Basin Drive SW (between the Martin Luther King, Jr., and Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials and near the Japanese Pagoda).  The National Park Service will offer Ranger talks, Bloomin’ Junior Ranger activities, and more.  The daily live performances on the ANA stage presented by All Nippon Airways will take place 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and showcase a cross-cultural mix of American, Japanese and other performing arts celebrating 110 years since the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC. A full list of performers and performance schedules can be viewed here. 

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: March 20 – April 17
Admission: Free

View blossom inspired art all around the city! The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures scattered in all eight wards last year will be back in permanent locations. And April 1-17, a series of immersive installations, perfect for photo ops, will be displayed along the Petalpalooza Art Walk in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

Book Hill in Bloom
Where: Book Hill Area | Georgetown, DC
When: March 20 – April 17
Admission: Varies by activity

Georgetown is celebrating DC’s cherry blossom season with Book Hill in Bloom. More than 15 small businesses on upper Wisconsin Avenue are participating by decorating their storefronts with pink and cherry blossom-themed decorations, and offering special promotions. More events include an outdoor letterpress demonstration, and nearby the 10-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate offers some of DC’s most picturesque cherry tree-lined gardens and walkways.

Celebrate Spring
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 25 – April 3, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring at the Home of the Cherry Blossoms! Everyday from March 25 through April 3, there will be cherry blossom-themed activations and specials to go with the amazing views of all the cherry blossom trees across the Washington Channel at East Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin.

Go with the Flow
Where: Local waterways
When: Starting mid-March
Admission: Rates vary

Get a new perspective of the blossoms and enjoy some outdoor recreation on a paddling excursion. Several boathouses will open during cherry blossom season, offering canoe, kayak, and other rentals to take you out on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Tidal Basin, where you can see the blooming cherry trees from the water. This KFDC post has more information on where to go with the flow around DC.

Go fly a kite at the Washington Monument!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 26, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, a favorite for many during the blossom season, will be back!  And the sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument truly is a sight to behold. The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so plan to BYO. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Oxon Run Pinknic & Kite Fly
Where: Oxon Run Park | Anacostia, DC
When: March 27, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

For a smaller kite flying fest than the big one on the National Mall, head to Oxon Run Park in Anacostia, There will be kite programming, entertainment, and more in coordination with the Blossom Kite Festival.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 29, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Chicago Bulls as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. A limited number of tickets come with an exclusive co-branded cherry blossom t-shirt, and a portion of the proceeds supports year-round care for the iconic trees through the Trust for the National Mall.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 2, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf for Bloomaroo, their local version of Bonaroo.  They’ll be celebrating the cherry blossoms with a  free spring festival full of art, music, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront!  Enjoy beer gardens on the pier, a pop-up roller rink, photo ops, s’mores at the firepit, and live music on all three of our outdoor stages. A fireworks finale will cap off the day.

Spring Gardening Program
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: April 2
Admission: $15.95

In celebration of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, the museum will make and decorate plant pots using recycled newspaper and folding techniques inspired by the Japanese origami art form. Then, Dreamers will plant a seed in their pot and take it home to continue to care for it. Recommended for ages 3+. Included with admission, so plan to explore the rest of the museum full of STEAM-inspired exhibits and stations that kids will dig — read more about it all.

Into the Woods
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: April 2 | 1pm, 1:30pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with this free event at Frying Pan Farm Park. Trek on their nature trail to experience the changes of spring. Along the way, visit stations that are peppered throughout the trail to build a fairy house, discuss woodland creatures, and search for critters in the soil and water. Plan to enjoy Japanese teas at the historic Frying Pan Meeting House, too! Recommended for ages 5+.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 2-3, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at the Mosaic District with a celebratory weekend featuring fun for all ages. Shop at the market, catch live entertainment and art exhibits, do some kids activities, enjoy a pop-up beer garden, and more!

Cherry Blossom Celebration Match
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: April 2, 7:45pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Support local sports and be a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival at once! DC United’s home match against Atlanta United will include cherry blossom-themed activations for fans, including cherry blossom sunglasses for the first 5k fans, along with the action on the pitch. Score tickets here.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon RUn, MD
When: April 3, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature cultural activities, including a Japanese market, art, music and dance performancs, culinary delights, and much more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 9, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun especially for kids to celebrate cherry blossom season.  All ages are welcome to learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals during the Library’s Japanese Culture day. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display. Special highlights include a Japanese drum presentation by Miyako Taiko led by Mark Rooney (outside on the Plaza) and a karate demonstration by Tsuyoshi Takemori from D.C. Yamato-juku Club in the Great Hall.  Register here!

See Racing Presidents rolling down Constitution Ave at the annual parade

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 9, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 9-10, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 60th annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Even better, this year it will be held over two days!

Cherry Blossom Jubilee
Where: Torpedo Factory | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: April 10, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Cherry Blossoms on the other side of the Potomac, too! Head to the heart of Alexandria for cherry blossom-themed activities and other events at the Torpedo Factory, the wonderful riverfront arts center. The fun kicks off with a live performance by taiko drum group Nen Daiko on the Waterfront side. Afterward, view the Art Center-wide exhibition of cherry blossom-inspired works by resident artists and galleries while enjoying music and live art demonstrations from participating TFAC artists.

Blossoms & Baseball
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 10, 1:35pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats will get in on the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebration during their opening series against the Mets. A cherry blossom celebration is scheduled for the Saturday afternoon match-up. Details are still TBA, but check back soon for more info!

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 10, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

The annual Anacostia River Festival is a premier event of the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year enjoy a series of musical performances, including the sights and sounds of Go-Go music, local drum lines, and military bands. Along with live music, the Festival will feature pre-registered and socially distant river activities such as canoeing and fishing along the Anacostia River.  Sign up here!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 16, 5-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! The final big event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be a blast, with live music, art installations, a beer garden, and lots of family-friendly activities. Go for awhile or just stop by for a bit. The evening will cap off with a fireworks show over the Anacostia River.

Art in Bloom on Capitol Hill last spring

 

 

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Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms (It’s Time!)

[Note: This was originally written in 2011 (hence, the now very outdated Lost reference) and has been updated every year since. But because the tips always apply, I’m re-posting yet again, just with a few minor updates applicable to this year’s bloom.]

 

🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸
 

Taking the family to the National Mall to see some pretty flowers sounds easy enough. If only it actually was. The cherry blossom peak, predicted to occur March 23-25 this year, is one of the best times to visit DC. The city is at its most beautiful, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival provides loads of fun activities to help enjoy it all. But viewing the famous blooms can also be a bit challenging without being aware of a few things. Here are seven recommendations to consider if seeing the cherry blossoms is on your family’s spring agenda. And as trees are in the beginning stages of bloom in some places, it’s a good time to get a head start on your  planning for the peak.  Happy viewing!

 

1. Don’t drive if you value your sanity. Take the Metro, ride the bus, bike, walk, jet pack. Get here however you can, just leave the car at home. Traffic is beyond frustrating during the cherry blossom peak, and your chances of finding decent parking are about as good as hitting the Powerball with Hurley’s numbers (okay, slight exaggeration, but it is hard). The masses descend on Washington, DC, this time of year, and way too many do so in their vehicles. Besides, kids love riding the Metro — it’s like an urban version of Hogwarts Express. The Smithsonian stop on the Blue/Orange Line is mere minutes from all of the blossom action, but it’s also likely to be crowded. Consider riding to L’Enfant on Yellow/Green, Federal Center on Blue/Orange, or even a stop downtown or in Penn Quarter and taking a nice stroll to the Tidal Basin for the blossom scene. Another good option is the bus — the DC Circulator runs between Eastern Market and L’Enfant Plaza, a convenient route with even more to do on both ends. And the 32, 34, and 36 routes of Metrobus stop at the National Mall close to the Washington Monument.

*If you absolutely must drive and need parking you might find a spot at Hains Point, where there is free and metered parking, then walk to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin. There is also garage parking at L’Enfant Plaza, which is a short stroll to the blossoms as well. Your best bet, though, may be to find a garage in the downtown or Penn Quarter area, then walk or Metro to the National Mall. You can ensure yourself a spot with Spot Hero, an online parking reservation service that lets you search for and reserve garage spaces in advance.

Flying amid the flowers

 

2. Visit on a weekday if you have the flexibility. Crowds are significantly smaller from Monday to Friday, so you can stroll around the Tidal Basin at a nice pace, and public transportation won’t be nearly as packed (though it likely still will be more crowded than usual). But if the kids are in school or daycare during the week, think about going later in the day. The National Mall and monuments look beautiful at sunset, and the blossoms make it even more sublime. In the same vein, if you can go super early, the morning light on the Mall makes for quite a picturesque setting, too.

Peak time around the National Mall

 

3. Consider using a child carrier instead of a stroller for little ones. This is especially applicable if you take Metro, since elevator lines can be very long and slow-going. I learned my lesson back in my kids’ baby days on a weekday and ended up taking my daughter out of the stroller and carrying both on the escalator, which was probably as unsafe as it was difficult. Even if you don’t take Metro, a carrier is still a wise option. Navigating crowded walkways while pushing a pram takes focus, and you could end up spending more time concentrating on not rolling over others’ heels than enjoying the sights you came to see. It’s a bonus for wee ones, too — perched on your back, your babe will get a better view of the blossoms.

Cherry tree cluster all abloom

 

4. Check the National Cherry Blossom Festival schedule, so you can plan your visit accordingly. Some of the city’s most anticipated events are part of the annual celebration that runs March 20 – April 17, and they are all returning after being cancelled for the last two years.  The Blossom Kite Festival, National Cherry Blossom Parade, and Sakura Matsuri are among them, and there are some non-official festival happenings as well. Most events take place nearby the blossoms or an easy Metro ride away. Peak bloom is expected to occur during the beginning of the Festival this year, so you can enjoy some of the blossom-inspired activities and the efflorescent trees at the same time.

Get a view of the blossoms from the water

 

5. Get a new view of the blossoms and enjoy a fun activity. Several companies offer boat rides along the river, many of them specifically for the season when the cherry trees are in bloom.  Boomerang Boat Tours. City Cruises, and DC Water Taxi are some to check out. You can also opt for a paddling excursion and navigate the waters yourself.  Or go on a bike tour to easily cover more ground and experience the blossoms from two wheels.

Playing under blossoms at the Arboretum

 

6. Seek out other spots to see the cherry blossoms if you don’t want to deal with crowds and chaos around the Tidal Basin and National Mall. Several places around the DC-Metro area are well known for their annual cherry blossom displays. When I worked in Bethesda many years ago, it was an annual tradition for my colleagues and me to take a drive through Kenwood, a lovely neighborhood between Little Falls Parkway and River Road with cherry tree-lined streets. The National Arboretum also has a nice collection of the trees and offers a beautiful  environment in which to view them in bloom. Dumbarton Oaks Gardens is one of the prettiest places in DC and its annual cherry blossoms only add to it. Stanton Park on Capitol Hill glows with the pink and white trees this time of years.  Congressional Cemetery has some nice, cherry tree-lined paths (that are already starting to bloom). And Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, has a nice collection of the trees, too.

 

7. Have your camera ready to take advantage of some of the best photo ops DC offers. The peak colors plus the memorials are about as iconic as you can get when photographing Washington.  Get your kids to sit still — or even let them run and play for a fun candid — and you’ve got this year’s holiday card.

Can’t beat the blossom backdrop for photos

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Scenes from a Lovely Fall Hike at Rock Creek Park

 

How lucky are we to have a large, beautiful national park right here in our city?  Rock Creek Park sprawls gloriously through Northwest DC, its 1,700+ acres encompassing an amazing mix of recreation.  There are nice hiking trails that traverse the tree-filled woods; historic sites like Peirce Mill and Old Stone House; a wonderful Nature Center that contains a planetarium (the only national park in the country to have one, though sadly, the whole center is currently closed); tennis courts open for public play and the Rock Creek Tennis Center that also hosts a major annual tournament; the Carter Barron amphitheater that presents annual music series and more entertainment; the Horse Center, and of course, the beloved National Zoo.

Our family has enjoyed all of the above mentioned sites and activities over the years, most of them many times.  But the ones we’ve taken advantage of most are the Zoo and hiking, the latter most recently over Thanksgiving weekend on Black Friday, when we always make a point to #optoutside instead of getting sucked in by the sales. Rock Creek is a go-to for many locals for a good hike in the District  — the varying trail options and feeling of escaping the urban bustle (while still being in the city) are major appeals.

It was a pretty fall day, albeit it a cold one due to the wind.  But that never stops us from getting out… as the saying goes, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”  (Not to mention my kids never seem to get cold!) We often begin our Rock Creek hikes at Peirce Mill.  There is a small parking lot right across the street that always has open spots in our experience, and the paved path that runs along the creek next to it leads right to the green-blazed Western Ridge Trail.

There is a short uphill walk on the first section of the trail where we catch it near the Tilden Street Bridge, but it’s fairly mellow with just some gentle hills beyond that (the shorter section we often hike, anyway).  The foliage was still in full effect this past weekend with plenty of leaves still on the trees, and we all remarked that it seemed especially brilliant this year — and so pretty with sunlight spilling through it all.

The full Western Ridge Trail winds a good 10-ish miles through Rock Creek Park, but we usually just hike to the Nature Center or a bit beyond and back, about three to four miles total.  This visit we did less, turning around about a mile in, but hanging out in different areas longer to let Teddy the pup sniff around and find sticks.

During pre-Covid times, a lot of great ranger led programs were available at Rock Creek, from guided hikes to planetarium shows to kids activities.   The Horse Center also offered trail and pony rides and welcomed people to tour the stables.  All of those activities are suspended right now, but hopefully will be offered again soon.

I should mention that the Nature Center is another good starting point for a hike on the Western Trail, especially right now. There is a larger parking lot that tends not to fill up quickly while the facility is closed.  And you can find even more great Rock Creek Park hikes here.  Whatever route you choose, you’re in for a great walk in the woods.

 

Rock Creek Park is located mostly in Northwest DC (parts are in Maryland). Peirce Mill is located at the corner of Tilden Road and Beach Drive NW, and the parking lot is right next to it. The Rock Creek Nature Center is located at 5200 Glover Road NW. It’s open daily during daylight hours.

 

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Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter

Join the Wheaton Family Theater Series for a FREE Urban Artistry performance!

 

As we head into the cold season, you may be starting to think about indoor options for activities, especially now that younger kids are getting vaccinated — and good timing as more and more live entertainment is returning to local venues!   Plays, musicals, concerts, puppet shows, basketball magic, and even monster truck battles are among the line-up coming to stages and arenas soon. Even better, tickets to see them make for great holiday gifts!   Here’s a round-up of all the entertainment, listed in order of start date, and most descriptions from theatre websites. Be sure to check Covid policies, as many venues require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.  (And note that this round-up does not include holidays shows — you can find those in the Holiday Guide).  Happy viewing!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theater | Olney, MD
When: Through January 2
Tickets: $42-79

Be their guest this holiday season as the classic animated story comes to life on the Olney Theatre Mainstage. It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge.  Olney’s biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, 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. Rated G.

Rent
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: November 2 – January 2
Tickets: $40-108 | Find Discount

La Vie Boheme! The iconic rock musical’s pure rush of adrenaline, passion, energy, and joy is boldly and immersively reimagined in Signature style for a triumphant reopening. At the end of the millennium, a group of bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggle with gentrification, love, loss, and legacies amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through songs such as “Seasons of Love,” “One Song Glory,” “I’ll Cover You,” “Out Tonight” and more, they embrace hope, find strength and survive. Recommended for teen ages and up.

Aesop’s Fables
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: Through November 21
Tickets: $20/adult, $18/student | Find Discount

The lessons learned in Aesop’s simple fables like The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Tortoise and the Hare, and the The Lion and the Mouse, have weathered the test of time. The Learning Theater crew brings them to life with a 21st century twist and their classic heart. Great for the whole family! Music by Conner & Smith.

Urban Artistry: Let the Rhythm Hit Em
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
When: November 13, 11am & November 14, 2pm
Tickets: Free!

InterAct Story Theatre presents FREE performances and events for kids and families with the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! This session welcomes Urban Artistry: Celebrate the diverse communities and influences that contribute to urban dance culture through music and dance. The emcee, DHG and dancers tell the story of where, when and how these dance styles were developed through storytelling, dance demonstrations, call-and-response games and interactive dance workshops. Recommended for all ages.

Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: November 18-27
Tickets: $20 | Find Discount

Best-selling author Kwame Alexandr brings two of his beloved children’s books, Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume, to the stage in a world premiere Kennedy Center commission. The show tells a story about being scared, being brave, and believing in yourself. With special guests like Duck Ellington and Ms. Dairy Parton—plus Preston appearing as Acoustic Rooster—this musical adaptation will have children (and families) dancing in their seats. Recommended for ages 5+. Following shows on November 18 & 19 at 7pm and November 20 at 1:30pm, audience members can ask questions and hear stories with Kwame Alexander, writing partner Mary Rand Hess, and more of the show’s artists.

NSO Pops: Disney & Pixar’s Up in Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy bottom, DC
When: November 26-27
Tickets: $29+ | Find Discount

The unforgettable animated classic returns to the big screen with Michael Giacchino’s Oscar®- and Grammy Award®-winning score performed live to the film! Follow the unlikely duo of a curmudgeonly 78-year-old balloon salesman and his 8-year-old stowaway on this hilarious, heartwarming journey to a lost world filled with danger and surprises.

Seven Guitars
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: November 26 – December 26
Tickets: $56-95

The 1940s Pittsburgh is the backdrop for August Wilson’s fifth cycle play and the second production in the August Wilson Festival. Seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance. Infused with deep and soaring blues rhythms, this “rich and exceptionally vivid” (Variety) play pits the desire for a better future against the harsh realities ultimately leading to heartbreaking and inescapable circumstances.

Cinderella
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: November 27 – December 26
Tickets: $15-30

Cinderella is joining the Synetic our family series repertoire and stepping into her own shoes! Led by an all-female team of Syneticons, this innovative take on the classic fairytale is a perfect fit for audiences of all ages.

Once Upon a One More Time
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: November 30 – January 2
Tickets: $82-145 | Find Discount
In this highly anticipated world premiere of the Broadway-bound musical, beloved classic fairytale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, longing for a new story. When a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, it spurs a royal revelation: there is more to life than bird-made dresses and true love’s kiss! Powered by the chart-topping anthems of the Princess of Pop herself, Britney Spears—including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger,” and “Toxic”—Once Upon a One More Time sends audiences on a heartwarming and uproarious musical adventure about smashing the glass slipper and reclaiming your own happily ever after.

The Miraculous Magical Balloon
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
When: December 4-5
Tickets: Free!

InterAct Story Theatre presents FREE performances and events for kids and families with the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! This session welcomes Synetic Theatre: A series of hilarious pantomime sketches incorporates music, ballet, clowning, and audience participation in this theatre assembly. In The Miraculous Magical Balloon, students will discover the art of acting without words, opening the door to their imaginations. Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and unique choreography, The Miraculous Magical Balloon tells a wonderful story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of tricks and toys.

Tootsie
Where:National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 7-12
Tickets: $50-95+ | Find Discount
Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Call it TOOTSIE! This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime.

Corduroy
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: December 11 – January 24
Tickets: $28

We all need a friend, and Lisa is instantly drawn to the perfectly imperfect teddy bear on display at the department store. If only she can convince her stressed-out mother to buy Corduroy for her! Meanwhile, Corduroy is determined to find his missing button and become worthy of going to a real home. After the store has closed, he goes on a hilariously destructive search–with the Night Watchman in comical pursuit. Full of mischief and clowning, this story of unconditional love captures both the humanity and the merriment of the holiday season. Recommended for ages 3-9.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 14 – January 2
Tickets: $49-149 | Find Discount
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend and 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her 20s, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ’n roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Recommended for ages 11+.

Pretty Woman: The Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 28 – January 2
Tickets: $50-95+ | Find Discount
Based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical stars Broadway superstar and Tony Award®-nominee Adam Pascal as Edward Lewis and rising star Olivia Valli as the charming and charismatic Vivian Ward.  The show springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time Tony Award®-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde).

The Prom
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 4 – 16
Tickets: $49-139 | Find Discount
Everyone’s invited to the joyous Broadway musical that inspired the hit Netflix adaptation. New York Magazine calls it “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times says the show “makes you believe in musical comedy again!” The Prom is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. You belong at The Prom! Recommended for ages 10+.

Dinosaur World Live
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 9
Tickets: $24-58

When is the last time you took a t. rex for a walk or got to groom a microraptor? Never? Well, now is your chance! Dinosaur World Live takes your family on an adventure across unchartered territories to discover a prehistoric world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favorite flesh-eating giant, the tyrannosaurus rex! Plus, special appearances by triceratops, giraffatitan, segnosaurus, and more. Stick around after the show for the dino meet and greet!

Show Way
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: January 27 – February 20
Tickets: $20

Soonie’s great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way, a quilt with secret meanings to show enslaved people the way to freedom. As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise.

Monster Jam
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: January 29-30
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.  El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, and Hooked are confirmed for the event, and more soon-to-be-announced vehicular beasts  will be tearing up the indoor terrain this year.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: January 29-30
Tickets: $55-95+
The immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by the folk-rock duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. It tells the story from their humble beginnings as Tom & Jerry to their incredible success as one of the best-selling music groups of the ‘60’s to their dramatic split in 1970. It culminates with the famous “The Concert in Central Park” reunion in 1981 with more than half a million fans in attendance.

Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 17-21
Tickets: Coming soon!

Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for non-stop fun when 50 of your favorite Disney friends come to life through world-class ice skating.

Balloonacy
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 5-20
Tickets: $12

Written by the same person who adapted Corduroy for the stage, Balloonacy returns to the Imagination Stage for a limited 3-weekend run and is filled with physical humor. The beautiful, movement-based show revisits the classic film The Red Balloon. Nothing can go right for the character of the old man, whose days are gray and dreary–until he is visited by a friendly red balloon. In the playful physical style of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the old man–an adult version of the boy in the film–regains his youthful spirit, with the help of the red balloon! Best for ages 1-11

Our Town
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: February 17 – March 20
Tickets: $35-110
Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town continues to leave audiences awestruck with wonder and a shared sense of our humanity. Guided by an amiable stage manager, the theatre becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where the occurrences of everyday life reveal universal truths about community and love, life and death.

Make Way for Ducklings 
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Eco Park, MD
When: February 18 – March 27
Tickets: $25
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are exhausted from their search for a starter home when they land in the Boston Public Garden as a potential home. Surprised by a few conditions in the Garden, the Mallards move on to continue their search until their baby ducklings are born. When the ducklings begin to explore the world around them. The challenges of parenthood in the busy Boston environment create a fun bit of family drama. A classic story for all ages, this world premiere musical celebrates family, Boston, children, and the beings who make an unfamiliar place a home. Recommended for all ages.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: February 22 – March 13
Tickets: $49-159 | Find Discount
Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love.” Recommended for ages 10+.

INTERSECTIONS Festival
Where: Atlas Center for Performing Arts | H Street NE, DC
When: February 26 – March 4
Tickets: TBA

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!

P.Nokio – A Hip-Hop Musical
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: February 26 – April 10
Tickets: Coming soon!

G.Petto is an ingenious computer games designer who one day discovers that his newest game character, P.Nokio, can live outside the computer! G.Petto is thrilled at the prospect of having a “son,” and with the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he teaches P.Nokio how to become a real boy. But, P.Nokio falls in with con artists and finds himself in a web of lies that endangers his father. To save G.Petto, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real, and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all. Recommended for age 5-11.

Catch Me If You Can
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 4 – April 17
Tickets: $66-105
Humor, music and dance drive this rousing musical based on true events and a critically acclaimed film. See how a charming, young con man posed as an airline pilot, a lawyer and then escaped police custody all before he turned 22. Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Corbin Bleu returns to Arena Stage to take on the role of this young con man Frank Abagnale Jr. The Tony-nominated musical comedy is jam-packed with dynamic numbers such as “Don’t Break the Rules,” “Live in Living Color” and “Doctor’s Orders.” Catch Me If You Can is “a high-flying musical comedy” (The Hollywood Reporter) packed with glamour and delight for the entire family. Where else, but Washington, D.C., could a musical about con men and being conned be the perfect story we need right now? Recommended for tweens and up. KFDC readers can get a 15% discount with code FANTIX!

NSO Music for Young Audiences: I Dream of the Moon & Xavier’s New Friends
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 5-6
Tickets: $20

Discover the range of percussion instruments through two imaginative stories featuring assistant principal timpanist of the NSO, Scott Christian. I Dream of the Moon (A Young Boy’s Adventure Through Space) by Keeghan Fountain tells the story of a young boy’s journey from his own backyard to the furthest reaches of the moon in a non-verbal performance on the vibraphone with projected images of original artwork by Nehemiah Russell. Xavier’s New Friends by Peter Gilbert introduces the main percussion family instruments through Xavier the Xylophone as he searches for percussion friends to join his band. Local musicians will join Scott and other NSO percussionists to tell this story and highlight the rhythmic and melodic facets of the percussion section. Recommended for ages 5+.

Mother Goose
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: March 11 – April 10
Tickets: $12

A brand new, music-filled piece by the creators of Wake Up, Brother Bear and Mouse on the Move! Mother Goose leads the audience through some of her most beloved nursery rhymes, using puppets and props to bring to life Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, the Eensy Weensy Spider, and more. The magical Mother Goose invites your little ones to join in with each rhyme’s story – teaching them that the very best way to do what needs to be done is to do it together.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Capitol One Arena | Downtown DC
When: March 19
Tickets: $25+
The Original Harlem Globetrotters are on the road for their action packed tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. There will be new high-flying dunks, hilarious stunts, a new record-breaking attempt and unforgettable family moments.

NSO Family Concert: Because
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 20
Tickets: $20-35

Because Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems wrote a powerful story of how chance, discovery, and persistence changed the Amber Ren related to the hero of the story, she created magical illustrations. Because the book moved them, the NSO wanted to turn it into an orchestral piece. Because acclaimed composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery was also changed by music as a young person, she composed the score. Because is a world premiere symphonic exploration that you and your loved ones want to see and hear to become part of the story. Recommended for ages 5+.

 

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Filed under 2021, 2022, All ages, DC, Fall, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Virginia, Winter