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Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 1-5

Is it me, or is summer just zooming by?  There are merely weeks left to hang with the kids on the weekdays before they head back to school and to enjoy many activities that only have a seasonal run. Gotta get out there and savor the rest summer!

Here are some suggestions for where to do just that this week, August 1-5:

Monday – Stay cool at an IMAX movie. Several films are playing at the Smithsonian’s two theaters, the Samuel C. Johnson at the Natural History Museum and the Lockheed Martin at the Air & Space. Born to Be Wild 3D, To Fly!, Grand Canyon Adventure, Legends of Flight, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 are all on the really big screen now.  Check the schedules for showtimes.

Tuesday – It’s the final workshop of the Stories in Art summer program at the National Gallery of Art (there is one on Monday as well).  This week’s theme is Everyday Life: Join a Party in the series that explores Dutch life through art. See this post for more details on the program and info on signing up.

Wednesday – Take advantage of the Newseum’s Summer Fun Deal, where kids get in free with a paid adult admission. This post has more about the deal and recommended exhibits for younger visitors.

Thursday – Go peach picking at a local farm. Many of the farms listed in this post have pick-your-own peaches, but it’s always a good idea to check the website or call ahead to see what’s available.

Friday – Take a day trip to a swimming spot out in nature. Get ideas for places to go from The Natural Capital blog.




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Where to Play on the Weekdays: July 18-22

The weather factors greatly into this week’s suggested recreation.  With temps in the mid-90’s and 100+ by the end of the week, most of these activities take place indoors. But if you want to savor the sunshine, this list will give you ideas on what to do.  Just be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen when you get out there.

Here’s what’s happening this week, July 18-22:

Monday –  Check out the new Playseum on Capitol Hill.  Open for less than a week, the play space includes two floors of cute, themed rooms for pretend play, opportunities for arts & crafts and cupcake decorating, and lots of books for sale.  Admission is $6/person. For evening fun, it’s Washington Kastles Family Night, which will include extra kids activities along with the matches against Sacramento Capitals.  Get a discount on tickets with the code KIDDC – more details here.

Tuesday – Join a play date at Rockville Town Square.  Their Mommy & Me and Daddies Too series takes place the third Tuesday of every month from 10am – 12pm.  Register here for the free program.

Wednesday – See Imagination Stage’s latest production, The Wind in the Willows.  Tickets ($10-22) are available for both the 10:30am and 1:30pm shows, and you can get a 25% discount by using the code “Willows25”.  Read DC Theater Scene’s review of the play.

Thursday – Boogie down at Eastern Market! John Henry, the Guitar Playing Man is on the line-up for this week’s Boogie Babes show.  The fun starts at 10:30am.  Admission is $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under.

Friday – The National Museum of Natural History is always a great place to stay cool.  The dinos, insects, butterflies, and mammals are popular permanent exhibits, and I also recommend the Nature’s Best Photography exhibit, which captures some incredible moments from the natural world. You can also watch an IMAX movie at the museum’s Johnson Theater.  Born to Be Wild 3D and Grand Canyon Adventure are two of several films currently playing.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Summer, Theatre, Weekdays

Enter to Win 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Movie or Planetarium Show!

It’s time for the first KFDC anniversary giveaway!  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m celebrating my blog’s one-year mark with a week of contests and prizes for lucky readers, all of which relate to activities and venues that I’ve written about over the past year.

Today’s giveaway is related to something I covered just last week:  An IMAX movie!  You can win four tickets to see ANY show playing at the National Museum of Natural History’s Johnson IMAX Theater, the National Air & Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Dulles location, or the Albert Einstein Planetarium.  Read my review of Arabia 3D, which just opened at the Johnson Theater last Friday.  You can also check out my take on Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D, which also is currently playing there.  Or, just go ahead and enter the contest.

To Enter:
For a chance to win the 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Theater or Planetarium Show, do one or all of the following. Each will count as a separate entry.

1 – Leave a comment telling me your kids’ favorite movie.

2 – Like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and come back to let me know you’ve done so.

3 – Tweet the following message and come back to let me know you’ve done so:

Enter the @KidFriendlyDC giveaway to win 4 Tickets to a Smithsonian IMAX Movie or Planetarium Show! More info here:  http://bit.ly/igeC1k


Filed under DC, Giveaway, Movies, Museums

Thankful for the Weekend

Sasha digs the trains at the U.S. Botanic Garden

When it comes to family recreation in Washington, we have plenty to be thankful for, especially as the holiday season gets underway.  Here’s what’s happening around town this weekend — including new and ongoing events, holiday-themed and just plain ol’ fun activities – starting with links to previously posted ideas, then some new recommendations.

Holiday Train and Light Displays

Holiday Performances – If you’re thinking about buying tickets for any shows, I recommend checking Goldstar.com for possible deals first.

Keller Williams Concert for Kids

National Geographic Museum Exhibits (World Animal Day is over, but this post includes a review of the exhibits)

Grand Canyon Adventure IMAX

Christmas at Mount Vernon
The special daytime holiday program at George Washington’s homestead includes 12 Christmas trees, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations (and tastings!), and 18th-century dancing.  Guests will also have the chance to tour the rarely opened third floor of the mansion to learn how the first First Family celebrated Christmas.  And outside, Alladin the camel and the National Thanksgiving Turkey (recently pardoned by President Obama) will be on view as well.  Admission is $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, free for children 5 and under.  Hours are 9am – 4pm for the daytime program.  The event runs throgh January 6.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight
More festivities at Mount Vernon carry on into the evenings; however, they are separate from the daytime Christmas program.  Join “Mrs. Washington” for candlelit tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies.  Characters from the 18th-century will lead tours through the old house, and music and holiday shopping will take place in the more modern buildings.  Admission is $10/adults, $14/kids 11 and under.  The regular daytime general admission does not cover the evening event. Hours are 5pm – 8:30pm.  The event runs on select evenings through December 19, check the website for the exact schedule.

Alexandria Tree Lighting
Welcome the holiday season in Old Town Alexandria this evening at the city’s 2010 Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Mayor Euille will be on hand to help kick off the festivities, Santa’s Frosty Folllies will bring the musical entertainment, and Santa himself will be there for visits with children.  The ceremony begins at 7pm at the Market Square – 301 King Street.  Be sure to stick aorund after the tree lighting for a community sing-along.

Harbor Lights Festival
Another tree lighting will be happening this evening at the National Harbor, and kids can start getting ready for it at the National Children’s Museum earlier in the day.  From 2pm – 7pm today, the museum’s Launch Zone invites children to enjoy holiday art projects to help deck the halls.  More festivities – food sampling, shopping, crafts, face painting, music — will begin at 5pm, and the actual treet lighting will take place in the National Habor Plaza at 8pm with a fireworks show following at 8:30pm.  Both the Launch Zone activiity and Festival are free.

Snow White, Red Rose (and Fred)
Tickets are still available for the re-imagined Brothers Grimm tale that opens at the Kennedy Center today.  Check out this post for more info, though the deal is no longer available.  The show runs through December 19.  Tickets are $18.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Music, Ongoing, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend, Winter

‘Tis the Weekend

The holiday season is upon us. This is evident by the holiday-themed events that have begun popping up around town. Of course, if you’re not quite ready to embrace the spirit, there are plenty of other things to do, such as Family Days at the museums and the Gustafer Yellowgold show at the Alden Theater. For more ideas for family fun this weekend, both with and without the turkeys and tinsel in mind, hear are some recommendations.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Get into the Turkey Day spirit a little early. On Saturday, November 20, the 13th Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade will bring a procession of holiday fun to the streets of Downtown Silver Spring. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, trained dogs, antique cars, and holiday displays will be part of the procession. The pageantry begins at 9:30am at Georgia and Ellsworth Avenues.

The National Harbor’s signature holiday attraction sounds pretty cool, both literally and figuratively. I have yet to experience it myself, so here’s the description from the website:

“Bringing to life the 1957 Dr. Seuss holiday classic tale, ICE! features 10 colorful scenes straight out of the pages of the original storybook. Sculpted from TWO-MILLION pounds of ice, the indoor walk-through attraction brilliantly showcases how the “Whoville-hating” Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas. Visitors will take an adventure through the Grinch’s frozen world, see jaw-dropping ice sculptures and walk through larger-than-life scenes that re-create the original storyline. Little kids and big kids alike can even zip down two-story-tall slides made completely of ice!”

ICE! will be open through January 9. Tickets are $29/ages 13+, $18/kids 4-12 and can be purchased online for various times.

The Singing Lizard — for Free!
As part of their ARTdays at CHAW series, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop presents a free concert for families. The Singing Lizard’s live shows are fast-paced, fun, and full of exciting songs that both kids and adults enjoy. The concert is from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. in CHAW’s Black Box Theater.

Grand Canyon Adventure
Just because the Natural History Museum isn’t hosting a Family Day this weekend, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Besides the incredible exhibits that get kids of all ages ogling – dinos, mammals, insects, butterflies – the IMAX theater has some compelling movies, including the recently opened Grand Cayon Adventure: River at Risk 3D. The film about a whitewater ride with inspirational message about water conservation is a more than worth every cent of the $9 tickets.

Jewish Folk Arts Festival
The Jewish Folk Arts Festival is a celebration of the talent and diversity of Jewish performing and visual arts in the Greater Washington DC/Baltimore region. The richness of values, culture, and heritage is passed from generation to generation through singers, writers, dancers, visual artists, storytellers and craftspeople. All performers and workshop presenters donate their time to the festival. In its final few days, the festival is being held at the JCC of Greater Washington located at 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. Hours are 12pm – 6pm. Ticket prices vary by day and age; visit the website for specifics.

Holiday Shows
“Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” opens at Adventure Theater today, November 19, and “A Christmas Carol” opens at Ford’s Theater tomorrow, November 20. See this post about holiday shows for complete details on both.

Ice Skate Amid the Sculptures
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink opened for the season last weekend, and mild temps over the next few days will make it a great time to get gliding. Afterward, treat yourself and the kids to hot chocolate and other goodies at the Pavilon Café. The rink is located on the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Open Saturday 10am – 11pm and Sunday 11am – 9pm. Admission is $7/adults, $6/children 12 and under.

Geckos and Wild Music at the Nat Geo
There’s a reason why I keep recommending Geckos: Tales to Toepads and Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life at the National Geographic Museum: Both exhibits are awesome. For more details, photos, and a lengthier review, check out this post from a few weeks ago.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Weekend