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

Live Entertainment on DC Area Stages this Spring

Lots of great entertainment at the Kennedy Center, including FREE Millennium Stage events

 

Ready for a new season of entertainment?  Here is what’s currently on and coming to local stages this spring, plus links to any discount tickets.  Happy Show-Going!

Inside Out and Backwards
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through March 31
Tickets: $19.50

It’s bedtime, and two children use their imaginations to turn their room inside out, into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet! Recommended for ages 1-4.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through March 30
Tickets: $25

It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 5
Tickets: $12+
A bilingual Cinderella with a twist that kids will love! What will happen to Cinderella at the ball … game? That’s the surprising question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical that weaves subtle lessons on empathy, sportsmanship, and respect into an exciting, high-stakes story. An Imagination Stage original that broke new ground in bilingual children’s theatre. Recommended for ages 5+.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through May 18
Tickets: $41-77 (find discount)
Come down to Skid Row for a non-stop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. Recommended for ages 13+.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Wednesdays – Sundays, 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!

Unknown Soldier
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 29 – May 5
Tickets: $56-95 (look for discount)

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home, Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of a soldier, tucked away in a box of keepsakes. And so begins this sweeping, heartfelt musical about one woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Spanning three generations, Unknown Soldier unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history—and charts her future.

Romeo & Juliet (Synetic Teen Production
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: April 3-6
Tickets: $30-50

Since its initial production in 2008, Synetic Theater’s wordless retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has entranced audiences throughout the DC Metro region with its sinewy grace and heartbreaking expressiveness. The production has also served as wonderful trading ground for the teen company to learn Synetic’s unique art form through performing one of its seminal pieces. This has the added benefit of lending a true authenticity to the play, as Shakespeare’s original characters are themselves adolescents. So even without words, with Synetic’s Romeo and Juliet, you’re seeing Shakespeare’s play in a way it was truly meant to be seen.

Off the Page
Where: Theater on the Run | Arlington, VA
Where: The Lyceum | Alexandria, VA
When: April 5 – May 11
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presentsthis show for little theatre goers… The magic of books can transport us to new worlds! When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will use an immersive design to unfold around the audience. Watch a new world come to life right before your eyes! Catch at two theatres, plus other locations as it tours the area.

Star Wars: The Force Awaken in Concert
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: April 5
Tickets: $23-100

Experience the film on the big screen as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the score live on stage. Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, Luke Skywalker has vanished and a new threat has risen: The First Order, led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and his dark side enforcer, Kylo Ren. General Leia Organa’s military force, the Resistance—and unlikely heroes brought together by fate—are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil. The film features a new score composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 6-7
Tickets: $20

This daring double act of classical fun is BACK. National Symphony Orchestra musicians—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Recommended for ages 3+.

Mutts Gone Nuts
Where: Hylton Center for Performing Arts | VA
When: April 6 & 7, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $15

Canines and comedy collide in Mutts Gone Nuts in a show that includes some of the most talented dogs in the world doing barrel tricks, dancing, magic, and jump rope routines! The talented lineup even includes a Guinness World Record holder for the highest jump by a dog, a world champion frisbee dog, comedian Jonathan Burns, and more! Recommended for all ages.

Peter Pan
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $44-139 (look for a deal)
This high-flying musical has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a new adaptation. The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget.

Macbeth
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: April 9 – May 5
Tickets: Mostly sold out, look for resale tix

Shakespeare Theatre Company present this classic starring Ralph Fiennes… Blood will have blood. Unbridled ambition, supernatural forces, and murderous desires reign supreme in Shakespeare’s most poetic examination of evil. When three witches tell Macbeth that he will become King of Scotland, he plots with his wife to attain the title through an assassination; a bloody act that gives him his crown and sends him careening down the path of his own undoing. A thrilling account of how our minds deceive us and how a guilty conscience can undo us all. Recommended for teens and older.

Message In A Bottle
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $45-105 (look for discount)

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show inspired by and set to the iconic hits of Sting.The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati, and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive. Recommended for ages 12+.

Mother Earth & Me
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 9, 11, 12, 25, 26
Tickets: $3-8

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original. Explore the origins of our planet, sing about the water cycle, and understand our vital role to protect the ecosystem. Science and folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home kick off Earth Month, and audiences become Earth Superheroes and take home some great ideas to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Islander: A New Musical
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $55-91

Islander tells a modern myth featuring two actors who use live mixing and looping technology to create a sonic landscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Eilidh is the only child on Kinnan Island, where most of the dwindling population has moved to the “Big Land.” The government has proposed to resettle the rest, and the town must vote soon on whether or not to accept the offer. But the day after a baby whale beaches itself, Eilidh discovers a young girl named Arran along the shore, who seems straight out of Scottish folklore. As the two form a friendship, Islander takes audiences on a magical journey to transcend loss, recover hope, and find community. Rated G for all families.

Chicks in Heaven
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $20-45

When four friends come together in a rural southwest Virginia town for a reunion, it’s a happy gathering filled with remembrance and ritual. But when some religious crusaders stage a book-burning, and a local boy sets fire to one of the friend’s van, their friendship is tested. Can the same magical activism that forged their early feminist bonds bring them together now to fight patriarchy and racism, at a time when the fight is needed most? A “Bold New Voices” premiere that celebrates the resilient power of the feminine spirit. Recommended for teens and older.

Love and Information
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: April 12-14
Tickets: $12

Someone shares a forbidden secret, someone confronts their best friend, someone admires a snail. In this kaleidoscopic play, over fifty unrelated scenes flash by faster than a doomscroll as over a hundred characters strive to connect with each other, learn from one another, and look for love. Love and Information, written to be transformed into it’s own unique vision by every company that performs it, makes this production a once in a lifetime theatrical experience. Recommended for ages 11+.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 13 – May 12
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Swing Makes You Sing!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

On a mission to uplift, connect, and spread the joy of jazz, Swing Makes You Sing! is an award-winning jazz concert for kids ages 2 to 102 by Svetlana & the New York Collective. The critically acclaimed ensemble explores key elements of jazz in an engaging, historically grounded way, featuring virtuoso musical performance, exciting storytelling, and energizing movement. Recommended for ages 7+.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Block Party!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 1-4pm
Tickets: Free

This Kennedy Center Block Party is hosted by Education Artist-in-Residence and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson! Free performances, fun-filled games, and various activities will take place on the REACH grounds all afternoon, featuring artists with roots in the DC area.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Where: GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
When: April 21, 10:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

The Okee Dokee Brothers infuse bluegrass music and playful lyrics with an interest in the great outdoors, hoping to spark a desire in children to explore their surroundings and imaginations. Recommended for ages 3-8.

Tot Rock: Groovy Nate
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 23-25
Tickets: $3-8

Get your young ones ready to dance with Groovy Nate and his interactive mix of comedy, music, and puppets. This performance encourages kids and families to move, sing, and play together creatively with many instruments and musical genres. Recommended for ages 3-6.

The Illusionists
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 23-28, 1-4pm
Tickets: $45-149 (look for discount)

The world’s biggest-selling magic show has played hundreds of cities, spawned two TV specials, and shattered box office records across the globe, dazzling audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions featuring the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Recommended for ages 7+.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 26 – May 26
Tickets: $25
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. The score, which interweaves music throughout the tales, is inspired by “Old Time” Appalachian music featuring fiddle and banjo that drives the play’s action and makes music itself a character in the play.

Saturday Morning Live!: Off the Page
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 27, 9:30am & 11am
Tickets: FREE!

The National Theatre’s free program presents shows for children on select Saturday mornings, from interactive performances, puppets, dance, and music – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This month celebrates the magic of books… they can transport us to new worlds; illustrations and entire adventures can lift right off the page. When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will literally unfold before your eyes!

Family Funday with The Great ZucchiniWhere: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: April 28, 10:30am
Tickets: $5

Select Sundays at Hook Hall are all about FAMILY FUN! Bring the kiddos for entertainment in late April as The Great Zucchini, the DMV’s funniest and most magical entertainer, performs a magic show where every child is a star! Coffee and hot drinks available for purchase for the parents.

Divinity Roxx
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 3-5
Tickets: $20

Celebrate self-love and positivity in Divinity Roxx’s fun and empowering live show. The upbeat and sunny music is filled with powerful messages that encourage young people to become the best versions of themselves. A Grammy®-nominated musician, recording artist, and composer who has toured with Beyoncé, Divinity is praised for her ability to inspire others with her infectious grooves and memorable lyrics. Recommended for ages 5+.

Taiko Drumming
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: May 9
Tickets: $3-8

BOOM! Taiko drum artist Mark Rooney mixes the traditional power of this huge instrument with a modern vibe. His interactive performance rocks the house with massive sound and energy as participants learn some fascinating musical history and Japanese vocabulary—and have a chance to try their hand at playing these big drums! Recommended for ages 5+.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 17-19
Tickets: $44-139 (find discount)

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. 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. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Recommended for ages 10+.

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: May 17-25
Tickets: $49-169 (look for discount)

The clown Mauro envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in each of us. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

The Matchbox Magic Flute
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: May 21 – June 16
Tickets: $35-119

A brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Long Way Down
Where: Olney Theatre
When: May 22 – June 23
Tickets: $40-70

Based o the award-winning novel by local author Jason Reynolds… Growing up, Will’s big brother taught him three iron-clad rules of how to behave when gun violence claims someone close: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So when his brother is himself gunned down, Will is determined to follow the code and gets in the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building, armed and ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. What happens on the way down is an emotional hip-hop journey through the cycles of violence that have plagued Will’s family and too many others. Rated PG.

Pinocchio
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: May 25 – June 23
Tickets: $15

Celebrate 50 years of Allan Steven’s Pinocchio! A young puppet goes on a journey to become a real boy. First seen on stage at the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, we are delighted to bring the original rod-puppets back to the stage to tell Carlo Collodi’s tale. Run time approximately 50 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Galapagos George with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 30-31
Tickets: $3-8

The true story of “Lonesome George,” the last tortoise to be found on Pinta Island in the Galapagos archipelago, delightfully unfolds as you watch him grow up among sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, sea lions, and dancing birds with blue feet. This engaging and uplifting eco-fable shares an important lesson about human impact on the environment. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Rapunzel
Where: TJ Community Center | Arlington, VA
When: May 31 – June 9
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for discount)

Encore Stage and Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… When Rene Schwartzbuckle spots rapunzel, a turnip-like vegetable, in Witch Izwitch’s garden, she sends her husband Walt out to ‘borrow’ some. Using her diabolical henchmen, the Glumpwarts, Witch Izwitch terrorizes Walt into promising her his first-born child in exchange for his freedom. Jumping ahead to Rapunzel Schwartzbuckle’s 18th birthday, the witch and her henchmen show up and whisk poor innocent Rapunzel away to a tower deep in the forest. Can prince Llwellyn persevere over the power of evil? Join to find out in Encore’s production of Rapunzel!

International School of Music Honors Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 14
Tickets: $58

Immerse yourself in an evening of jubilation, embracing the themes of community, unity, and the profound influence of music on their lives, as the International School of Music celebrates two decades of excellence. Experience the brilliance and remarkable talent of ISM’s students as they present an eclectic program, spanning from classical masterpieces to contemporary gems. Through solo and ensemble performances, these musicians will share their passion and skill, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.

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The Best Events & Activities for Families During Cherry Blossom Season

Blossoms, kites, and lots of peops at the annual Blossom Kite Festival

 

It’s peak time in DC as cherry blossom season has begun! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate them. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 20 – April 14 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are some blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. Happy Cherry 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. Get a glimpse of the 2024 bloom!  And view scenes from blooms past herehere and here.

ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through June 11
Admission: $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack

The spring  exhibition at ARTECHOUSE is always a celebration of the cherry blossoms, and this year ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds explores multiple universes of blossoms — inspired by Anime. Floor to ceiling projections, plus interactive elements make this one beautiful, engaging, and fun to experience. Get a glimpse of it here.

Help a Wishing Tree Grow
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: March 20 – April 16
Admission: Free, but passes required

During the cherry blossom season, Planet Word invites guests to help build a Wishing Tree. They can select a poem from a collection of poetry, write it on a slip of paper, and place it inside an origami paper petal ‘pocket’ that is adhered to the branches of the museum’s cherry blossom tree. At the end of the festival, the petals will be passed on to visitors in the museum as a symbol of friendship. Note that (free) passes are required for admission to the museum. Read more about Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Petal Porches
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Through April 16
Admission: Free

This newer tradition invites residents in DC and surrounding communities in MD and VA 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!

Art in Bloom
Where: Around DC
When: Through April 14
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. A map of them will be shared soon, so you can make it a mission to see all of them during the season!

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: March 23 – April 7
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. 

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: March 23, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Library of Congress is hosting a day of fun to celebrate cherry blossom season.  Family activities include Japanese drum and traditional dance performances, a book author talk, storytelling, and arts and crafts from Japan.  Get tickets here! And read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Cherry Blossom Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 23, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the season of cherry blossoms with the American Art Mueum! Begin the day on the F Street Plaza (weather permitting) with a taiko drumming performance. The festivities continue in the Kogod Courtyard for Japanese pop, boogie, and more with Les The DJ. Be dazzled by the precision jump rope team, Kangaroo Kids, and enjoy other performances while kids make cherry-blossom themed crafts. Face painting is available for ages 12 and younger. A spring-themed scavenger hunt through the galleries extends the cherry blossom fun.

The Art of Pink
Where: Metropolitan Park | Arlington, VA
When: March 23, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Head to National Landing for Art of Pink, which celebrates artists, makers, and small businesses from across the region, featuring the Sari Sari Pop-Up Market by SAMASAMA. Experience a variety of art activities throughout the afternoon, including live mural paintings inspired by all things pink. Explore a preview of EatLoco’s Farmers Market and enjoy musical vibes throughout the event provided by DJ Em-Pulse and Les the DJ.

Bloomaroo
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: March 23, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

The Wharf’s annual Bloomaroo is a free spring extravaganza featuring a full day of cherry-blossom themed art, music, fireworks, and family-friendly fun along the waterfront! Decorate koi kites, create haikus, do some karaoke, enjoy ballon art, sample matcha tea, and more.  There will also be beer gardens on District pier, s’mores at the firepit, and live music. It’ll all be capped off with a blossom fireworks finale.

Sakura Sunday
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Run, MD
When: March 24, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Join National Harbor for their annual Sakura Sunday Festival. The celebration will feature a wide array of free cultural activities including an artisanal Japanese marketplace, cultural performances, culinary delights, and more! Read more about all there is to do at National Harbor here.

Hill Family Biking: Books & Blossoms Ride
Where: | Capitol Hill & Southwest, DC
When: March 24, 3:45pm
Admission: Free

Hill Family Biking is teaming up with DC Public Library for a ride to the stunning, new SW Library for a special story time and a librarian-guided tour of the facility with Cherry Blossom peeping opportunities all along the route. The ride starts at Eastern Market Metro and weaves down 3.7 miles of some of the most bikeable streets in the District to SW Library. There will be a scheduled exit from SW Library for anyone that wants to ride back to Eastern Market as a group.

Wizards Cherry Blossom Night
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 27, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Whoop it up at a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game! See the Wizards take on the Nets as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Purchase tickets through this link to get a cherry blossom water bottle. A portion of proceeds also supports year-round care for the iconic trees through the Trust for the National Mall.

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 30, 10am – 4:30pm (rain date March 31)
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.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, join the museum for kid’s films, create a floral collage, and make a custom-designed cherry blossom screenprint with local printmakers Soul and Ink. Then, enjoy pop-up musical performances and venture over to the Sculpture Garden for a tour of outdoor art installations.

Pink in the Pool
Where: Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness | Arlington, VA
When: April 6, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate cherry blossom season with swimming and more fun! Enjoy free access to the Long Bridge Aquatics Center, plus activities like an origami class, tea tasting, story time, free snacks, and more! Register in advance.

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | NationalMall, DC
When: April 6, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s monthly series has a cherry blossom theme this time. In this installment, bring little ones to storytime, create floral art inspired by the season with paper artist Emily Paluska, and practice sketching with a stunning floral arrangement. There will also be face painting, musical performances, and a pop-up library showcasing Japan.

Art Blooms at Mosaic
Where: Mosaic District | McLean, VA
When: April 6-7
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, sip on a cocktail while you stroll, and more!

Petalpalooza
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: April 6, 1-9pm
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Riverfront community for Petalpalooza! This day-long signature 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 & Me Preservation Family Workshop: Cherry Blossoms
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: April 6, 11am & 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate spring and DC’s beloved cherry blossoms with a festive family workshop cohosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This hands-on preservation workshop is designed for children ages 3-8 and their caretakers. Be sure to register here in advance!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 13, 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 13-14, 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 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks

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..

 

Which events are you looking forward to this cherry blossom season?

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Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms (2024)

[Note: This was originally written in 2011 (hence, the now verrry 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 revisions 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 by the National Park Service to occur March 23-26 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. Happy Viewing!

 

The peak brings the crowds

1. Don’t drive if you value your sanity. Take the Metro, ride the city 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 miiight 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.

 

Beautiful light and barely any others on a weekday morning last year

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. Even better if you can go super early, when the morning light on the Mall makes for quite a picturesque setting.

 

A babe enjoying the blossoms

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.

 

Kites and blossoms (and crowds) during the annual Kite Festival

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 14.  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 right after the festival starts, so you can enjoy some of the blossom-inspired activities and the efflorescent trees at the same time.

 

 

See 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. Potomac Water Taxi, City Cruises, and Boomerang Boat Tours 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.

 

Cherry blossoms at the National Arboreum

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 year.  Congressional Cemetery has some nice, cherry tree-lined paths (that have already been blooming) and a few around the large locale. President Lincoln’s Cottage in Petworth  has cherry trees on the grounds. And Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, has a nice collection of the trees, too.

 

Flying amid the flowers

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, DC.  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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Easter Events and Activities Around DC in 2024

Get ready for eggcellent fun around DC!

 

Don’t put your eggs all in one basket when it comes to Easter celebrations around the DC area!  Numerous places host egg hunts, Easter bunny visits, and much more spring fun this time of year. Even if you’re not big on the holiday, there are attractions and activities beyond bunnies and candy-filled eggs that will have the whole family hopping with joy. Here’s where you can find them, listed in order of start date. (And note that some require advance registration, so sign up before they sell out.). Happy Easter!

Easter Egg Hunts
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: March 22 – April 1
Admission: $10-14/child, $12-16/adult + $7.99/hunt

After a long cold winter, nothing chases away the chill like a visit to the farm. The Easter Bunny has hidden some eggs  filled with treats to enchant the children, and you can help us find them!  While you’re there, see the  spring chicks and baby animals, take a wagon ride, and enjoy the season. Be sure to get advance tickets  — these Egg Hunts Sell out every year!

Bunnyland
Where: Butler’s Orchard
When: March 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, April 1, 6, 7
Admission: $12-15/online, $15-18/at gate

One of the more popular spring festivals in the area, Butler’s has all the trappings for seasonal fun: bunnies, eggs, and other Easter-related treats to get young guests in the holiday spirit. Attractions include hayrides down the Bunny Trail, egg hunts, the Rubber Ducky Derby, giant slides, a jumping pad, and a small petting zoo. Face painting, pony rides, and mini-digger riding are offered for an extra fee. Concessions are available, and there are also plenty of picnic tables if you prefer to pack a lunch.

Easter Eggstravaganzas
Where: Garfield Elementary | Springfield, VA
Where: Lincoln Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: March 23, 10am – 12pm (VA) & 12-3pm (DC)
Admission: Free

For more than 20 years, National Community Church has hosted these festivals with no other reason than to be a blessing to families in our neighborhood and to put a smile on the faces of kids. They are held in a couple of neighborhoods around the area offering all kinds of Easter fun – egg hunts, Easter bunny visits, face painting, yummy treats, games, prizes, and more.

Bunny Train Ride
Where: Walkersville Southern Railroad | Walkersville, MD
When: March 23, 24, 30

Admission: Starts at $22/adult, $21/senior, $20/age 1-12
All aboard for a trip back in time with the Easter Bunny! Travel over track that the Pennsylvania Railroad originally built in 1872. See Walkersville Southern’s turn-of-the- century railroad station and tool house, then visit with the Bunny on the train (who will also give each child an Easter gift!). Ride in vintage 1920s passenger cars or on an open flatcar as your rail excursion runs past a 100-year-old lime kiln, and then out into picturesque Maryland farm country. Enjoy juice and Uncle Ralph’s cookies in the museum after your ride. Reservations required!

Bull Run Egg Scavenger Hunt
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: March 23-31, 8am – 6pm
Admission: $8/child

Spring is just a hop around the corner, and the egg scavenger hunt is returning at Bull Run! This is a self-guided event, so just pick up your egg hunt sheet at the Camp Store, hop around the park to complete the scavenger hunt, and then return to the Camp Store with your completed sheet for a prize!

Spring Egg Hunts
Where: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Vienna, VA
When: March 23-31, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $8

Enjoy a delightful egg hunt adventure at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens! Embark on a self-guided hunt through the gardens as you search for treasures — giant eggs! Start your quest at the Visitor Center where you’ll receive your egg scavenger hunt sheet, your key to unlocking the fun. Hop along winding paths through the Spring gardens. When you find a giant egg, draw its design on your egg hunt sheet. Once you have found all of the eggs, show your completed egg hunt sheet to our staff and receive an EGGcellent prize!

Spring Egg Hunt
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: March 23-24 & 26-31, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $8

Spring is here, and the egg hunt is back at Potomac Overlook! Drop in to take part in this ongoing event… just pick up your egg hunt sheet at the nature center, explore the park on a scavenger hunt, and then return to the nature center with your completed sheet for a prize! Hop on over and experience a new kind of egg hunt for you and your family!

Egg Hunts Galore
Where: Clark’s Elioak Farm | Clarkesburg, MD
When: March 23-31
Admission: $8

Little ones (in groups for ages 1-3 and 4-6) will have a chance to hunt for eggs throughout the day on weekends at this Maryland Farm that looks like something out of a story book! After hunting, they get to turn the eggs in for a goodie bag. The petting farm, rides, and play areas will be open for all to enjoy, too, along with gem mining and geode cracking. Be sure to take a look at the website for a heads-up on how the egg hunts will run, so you can make the most of your day there. Read more about Clarks Elioak in the KFDC post about the best outdoor places in the area.

Easter Bunny Hosts Kids & Family Festivals
Where: Shipgarten | Tysons, VA
When: March 24, 12-6pm
Admission:

Step into a world of family-friendly fun at Shipgarten, Tysons Corner top restaurant for families! Enjoy a day of excitement, including FREE face painting and arts & crafts, egg hunts, live music, great drinks, moonbounces, and a full outdoor playground to ensure everyone has a blast. Dogs are more than welcome at Shipgarten, too, whether on-leash or in our off-leash dog par — treat furry friends to Pup Cups and Kongs filled with peanut butter for a delightful family treat. See the website for the full schedule and to reserve a spot.

Eggstravaganza!
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: March 29, 10am – 12pm (only date still open)
Admission: $18/child non-member, $13/child member, $8/adult

Join Tudor Place for their annual for Eggstravaganza!, a favorite spring tradition. Children of all ages can take part in a lively Easter egg hunt and egg roll on the South Lawn. Afterwards, make crafts and take a picture with the Easter Bunny. The egg hunt begins at 10:30am and the egg roll begins at 10:45am Each child must bring a basket, hard-boiled egg, and spoon to participate.

Easter Tour & Candy
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: March 29 – April 1

Admission: $50
Don your favorite Easter bonnet and celebrate spring with a fun filled treasure hunt! Search for special Easter & spring-themed items found only at The Mansion. Enjoy candy, explore themed rooms, search for secret doors, and try to win a prize for best bonnet. BYO shopping bags, because everything is for sale. Read more about the Mansion on O Street in this KFDC post.

Family Funday: Easter Egg Hunt
Where: metrobar | Shaw, DC
When: March 30, 12-5pm
Admission: $5/family

Enjoy Easter fun for the whole family at metrobar at their annual outdoor table-side Easter Egg Hunt — BYOB (bring your own Easter basket)! All children will receive a candy egg upon arrival. The Easter Egg Hunt begins at 2:30pm and will last for approximately 15 minutes, or until all eggs have been collected. Also, celebrate local Black children’s book authors with story time, raffles, and other activities. Register in advance!

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Where: St. James | Springfield, VA
When: March 30, 9am – 1pm
Admission: $25-30

Enjoy a morning of breakfast, crafts, and pictures with the Easter Bunny! Tickets include a photo op with the Easter Bunny (BYO camera), a delicious breakfast buffet, a mimosa for adults, and an Easter candy goody bag. Sign up for a time slot! Guests and children over 4 are required to purchase tickets.

Bunny Hop
Where: Stead Park Field | Northwest DC
When: March 30, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

We will have all the fun you have come to enjoy – games, crafts, snacks, face painting, egg collecting and photos with the Bunny! If you haven’t seen the new recreation center – you are in for a treat! Take a tour while at the Bunny Hop. The event is free, but we ask that you register so we know how many are coming!

Egg Dyeing Egg-stravaganza
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Hyattsville, MD
When: March 30, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the annual Egg Dyeing Egg-stravaganza and celebrate the season by creating bright, beautiful, and colorful eggs. Participants will receive two eggs to paint and design at this FREE family-friendly workshop.

Falls Church Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Cherry Hill Park | Falls Church, VA
When: March 30, 9:15-11am
Admission: Free

Join this annual family celebration hosted by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department. Children dressed in their spring finest can hunt for candy and special eggs in Cherry Hill Park and have their photo taken with a special guest, the Easter Bunny! BYO basket — they’ll supply the candy, fun, and happy springtime memories. In addition to scrambling for eggs and photo ops, children ages 11 and younger can participate in a make-your-own-candy-bag craft project.

4th Annual Easter Eggtravaganza
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park | Bladensburg, MD
When: March 30, 12-6pm
Admission: $1-10 (depending on age)

Come and enjoy a day of fun activities with The Easter Bunny and Friends. Get ready for an eggstraordinary experience at our upcoming Easter Event! Your admission fee covers a day filled with joy, laughter, and delightful surprises. We are thrilled to share that, as part of your admission, you’ll enjoy an array of fantastic offerings, making this celebration truly unforgettable! Admission varies by age: $1/age 0-3, $2.50/age 3-5, $5/age 6-8, $7.50/age 9-11, and $10/age 12+.

Egg Hunt & Easter Bunny
Where: Astro Beer Hall | Shirlington,VA
When: March 30, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Astor Beer Hall will host an Egg Hunt for families on the Saturday before Easter. Children participating in the egg hunt will be provided a basket to collect eggs filled with Easter candies and goodies. They can win prizes like candy, doughnut keychains, doughnut stickers, space stickers, and coupons for complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and mini doughnuts. There will also be a hidden golden egg with a $100 gift card for the winner. Families can meet the Easter Bunny, who will be on site then, too!

Baskets & Bunnies
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: March 30, 10:30am
Admission: $5

Children ages 5-7 can hop on down to Burke Lake Park and get egg-cited to participate in a timed egg hunt. Egg Hunt tickets go on sale through two days before the event. Only children participating in the egg hunt need to purchase an egg hunt ticket; one parent is allowed to accompany each child for this egg hunt age range.  [Note: For ages 1-4, sign up here. And for a sensory-friendly hunt, sign up here.]

Easter Monday
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: April 1, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Easter on Monday at the Zoo!  HEad to the Great Meadow area for a special Easter egg scavenger hunt! This kid and family-focused activity takes you through 15 interactive tables that unveil the wonders of the zoo, introduce you to scientists, and shed light on exciting animal career opportunities. Don’t miss the chance to get a special prize at the end of the scavenger hunt!

White House Easter Egg Roll
Where: White House Lawn | Downtown DC
When: April 1
Admission: Free, tickets required

The annual White House Easter Egg Roll requires tickets won through lottery for admission. If you entered, you should have found out by now if you were “successful” in scoring them or not. Unofficial tip: I’ve heard in the past that people have been at the entrance giving away extra tickets they may have. While I can’t confirm that’s always the case, if you’re going to be in that area and really want to go, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by and see if someone might have tickets for you. Note that entries are timed, so while it goes all day, guests only stay for their designated amount of time.

🐰Items and treats to elevate your Easter fun🐰
* Sweet Easter outfits.
* A super cute egg dying kit.
* Adorable personalized baskets.
* An amusing book.
* A fun serving piece for Easter brunch.
* Non-candy basket stuffers like rainbow pencils, cool dino egg toys, a craft kit, and an Easter Lego set.
* Candy!

 

Do you know of other good Easter events happening that you don’t see here?  Let us know in the comments!

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Mouse on the Move + Free Family Fun Coming to the Atlas Next Week!

 

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This post is paid for by the Atlas Performing Arts Center, however, I only promote programs, places, and businesses that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers. 

 

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