Tag Archives: Inauguration Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: January 20-22


This Weekend Round-Up is being brought to you a bit earlier than usual since it includes info about big events happening on Friday. And a little ulterior motive: It also lets me give a special shout-out to my very favorite tween on his 11th (!) birthday. I could gush forever about what an incredible kid I think he is — he’s kind, smart, fun, curious, adventurous, positive, compassionate — but then I’d be that mom (okay, so I am that mom). And now more than ever my hopes are that all these qualities serve not just him, but also others well. With that, here are your recommendations for activities with the kids over the next few days. Happy Weekend! Happy Birthday, my sweet O. And even though I try to keep my blog non-political, I have to say… Thank you, President Obama.

Hang at the First President’s Place
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Thursday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adult, $10/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under at the door
($2 less if you purchase tickets online)

The home of the nation’s first POTUS, George Washington, is hosting special Inauguration Weekend activities. Scavenger hunts, exhibits, photo ops, and more, not to mention the ongoing programs will be offered at the estate. There will also be special extended hours to enjoy it all.

Inauguration: Swearing In and Parade
Where: National Mall & Downtown DC
When: Friday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

If you want to experience the inauguration ceremony as close to the event as possible, you can head to the National Mall and watch it all go down on big screens that will be set up there. Be prepared for crowds — during the last two inaugurations, people were packed like sardines, and just walking was incredibly slow-going. Following the ceremony from 3-5pm, there will be a parade following the President and Vice President from the Capitol to the White House. The Washington Post has a guide on all you need to know for planning — road closures, public transportation details, access points, security info, and more.

Women’s March
Where: Starts at Independence Ave. & 3rd St. SW
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The turnout for this is expected to be huge! The event starts with a rally by the U.S. Capitol from 10am – 1:15pm, then the marching begins after that. Be sure to check the FAQ for information on transportation, what to bring, etc. And this map from Washingtonian of restrooms, refreshments, and more places welcoming marchers will come in handy, too.

Rock On
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

Explore the ways music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights at the Newseum’s latest exhibit, “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics.” See John Lennon’s bed-in guitar, Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Stratocaster guitar, stage costumes worn by the Village People, original handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” jewelry from the VMA’s, video with some of rocks most influential musicians, plus artifacts related to the Vietnam War, Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Newseum is best for older children, and this KFDC post has a bit more about it.

Explore the Rails with Thomas & Friends
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission:$14.95/ages two and up

All aboard! Everyone’s favorite blue engine will roll into Port Discovery Children’s Museum this weekend for a brand new exhibit! Climb aboard Thomas’ cab, fix wobbly wheels, pull levers, dress as a train conductor, and more. Join on opening weekend for special activities…or be sure to stop by before the exhibit departs the station on May 7th.

More Charm City Fun
Where: Baltimore
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Escape the DC crowds and zip up I-95 for even more fun in our sister city, where there are several great ways to spend the day — or even the whole weekend. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. Tour the ships at the Inner Harbor. And both the Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art offer free activities on weekends!

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Goldilocks is the new Main Stage show at The Puppet Co.
* And Winter Wonderland is the featured Tiny Tots performance this weekend
* Find out what ballet and juggling have in common at 4×4:Ephemeral Architectures at Strathmore on Sunday evening
* Titanic is still afloat at Signature Theatre, and it’s getting great reviews
* Little ones will be delighted by Blue at Imagination Stage
* Make it a KidFree night out at Arena Stage where ROE recently opened

Astro-Bots: Astronomy
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Join the Air & Space Museum for Making STEM Magic, a monthly program that introduces young visitors to engineering in a fun and creative way. Ready to explore our solar system? During this session, program a robot to travel through space and gather information about our nearest neighbors in this January design challenge.

Broadway Bound
Where: Herndon High School
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: $10, $5/students & seniors

Join Herndon High School students as they present “Broadway Bound,” an evening of song and dance featuring some favorites from West Side Story, Newsies, A Chorus Line, In the Heights, Rock of Ages, Little Women, and more! The school is located at 700 Bennett Street in Herndon, VA, and the show will take place in the auditorium — enter through door #6, at the back of the school.

Out of Many Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday, 1-5pm & Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Festivals at this museum always include vibrant performances in the atrium, and this one centers around them. The two-day celebration highlights Native performers, both traditional and contemporary, from across the country, including groups from the DC area, highlighting mariachi music, West African dance, taiko drums, salsa music and dance, Chinese youth lion dances, jazz, and much more!

Portrait Story Days: Barack Obama
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to our departing POTUS at a special story time. Drop by the Portrait Gallery to enjoy this regularly featured program — young visitors and their families can listen to a story and complete an art project. This weekend’s sessions will feature Barack Obama.

The Wild Rumpus Dance Party 
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $5, $20/family

Enjoy an afternoon of fun to benefit the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation’s Make MORE Noyes Campaign! Dance your claws off with Aaron Anderson of A-Squad Entertainment at the party. Create “monstrous” masterpieces at the craft table. Enjoy the Where the “Wild Things Are” Penny Theater show. Browse the display of Maurice Sendak memorabilia — and make sure to enter the Sendak raffle. Dancing is geared to ages 18 months to 6 years, but all ages are welcome! RSVP here

Think Outside
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take advantage of warmer winter weather and enjoy some time outside! You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for outdoor adventures. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for outdoor fun.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post list more than 80 suggestions for things to do. For locations in DC, especially downtown, I recommend calling ahead to check Inauguration Weekend schedules.

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Ways to Celebrate the Inauguration with Kids (2013)

Wax presidential at Madame Tussauds

Wax presidential at Madame Tussauds

Looking for information about Inauguration events and related activities for kids? Here are some ways to get into the Inauguration spirit, listed by start date, beginning as soon as tomorrow.

Inauguration Activities for Kids
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Thursday – Tuesday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

There will be special activities at George Washington’s former home inspired by the inauguration of the 44th president! Kids can participate in a “George Washington Presidential Scavenger Hunt” and look for clues that will lead to a special prize (while supplies last). Guests can also take the oath of office, view a replica of the first presidential inauguration with a life-size figure of Washington taking the oath of office, “step into Washington’s shoes” by placing their hand on a reproduction of the Bible upon which Washington took the oath of office, and recite the presidential oath. This is on top of the tours and regular offerings at Mount Vernon.

Celebrate Freedom
Where: Newseum
When: Thursday, Friday, & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

In honor of the inauguration, the Newseum and Hirshhorn Museum are collaborating to celebrate freedom by projecting the art and words of renowned artist Ai Weiwei onto the exterior of the Newseum. Images will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sounds worthy of not just a drive-by (or walk- or bike-by), but a park-and-check-it-out-for-awhile, too.

National Day of Service
Where: Throughout the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

As the inauguration coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, President Obama has called for a National Day of Service in his honor to kick off this weekend’s ceremonies. He has said he wanted “service to be a big part of my inauguration because it’s played a huge role in my life,” and encourages people to take part by helping out in their communities and beyond. It starts with a summit on the National Mall on Saturday at 9:30am. And there are opportunities to clean up parks, help feed the homeless, distribute coats to those in need, collect books for a book drive, help beautify the memorials, and much more. Search the National Day of Service database to find a way you and the kids can participate.

Meet the Presidents and First Ladies
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to meet George and Martha Washington (1-3pm) and Abraham and Mary Lincoln (3-6pm). They may share their inaugural experiences! You can also get to know the Presidents through “Portrait Story Days” (1-4pm on Saturday, 2-5pm on Sunday), where you can listen to stories about them, see their portraits, and do a related art activity.

Wax Inaugural
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: $22.26/adults, $18.02 ages 4-12, free for 3 and under

It’s Kids Inauguration Day at the wax museum downtown. Tour the President’s Gallery, featuring wax figures of all 44 POTUS, and learn some interesting inauguration facts along the way. All kids who visit the museum will receive a certificate of inauguration. Save 15% on tickets by purchasing in advance online.

Celebrate at the Smithsonian
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The National Mall will be bustling, and so will the many museums lined up along it and in other parts of the city. The Smithsonian is celebrating the big occasion by presenting special programs and highlighting exhibits related to the presidency. From musical performances to the First Ladies’ dresses to “Portrait Stories” about the presidents to hobnobbing with the Washingtons and the Lincolns (as mentioned above), there is plenty going on to get the kids involved.

Collect the Presidents
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-3:30pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of the Inaugural events, the National Postal Museum is hosting related activities for kids & families. Visitors can make and take home their very own stamp collection featuring famous American presidents, as well as design their own presidential stamp.

Swearing In
Where: National Mall
When: Monday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

This is the big moment, and while you can’t get close enough to see it firsthand, you can be part of the experience and watch it all go down on big screens set up on the National Mall. Think of it as an extension of the VIP section — you are in DC, merely blocks away from the action. The ceremony begins at 11:30am, but it’s recommended to get there early, as it definitely will be crowded. Entry is in just a few specific places — go here to see where they are.

Inaugural Parade
Where: Pennsylania Avenue
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

After the swearing in, then a luncheon at the Capitol, festivities will take to the streets. Pennsylvania Avenue, to be more precise, as the President and Vice President make their way to the White House. Along with the guests of honor and the First and Second Ladies, there will be floats, marching bands, and representatives from many organizations among the procession. Tickets are not required to view the parade. Public entry points will open at 6:30am, and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people. It’s recommended to get there early for a chance of seeing anything.

Dear Mr. President
Where: Washington Post Building
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to the Washington Post, where they can write letters to President Obama expressing what they think his goals should be for his next term. Every letter will be delivered to the White House, and a selection will be displayed in The Post’s front window. Every participant will receive a KidsPost pen and the first 20 will get a T-shirt, too. And if you can’t make it on Monday, kids can submit a letter online here.


Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Outdoor, Parade, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Celebrate Freedom with the Newseum, the Hirshhorn, and Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei's words and works will be projected onto the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet

Ai Weiwei’s words and works will be projected onto the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet

I posted about this on the KFDC Facebook page yesterday, but in case you don’t follow there, I wanted to make mention here, too. Because not only is this unique, it sounds kind of awesome. (And, btw, I do recommend following on Facebook, since I often mention events, deals, and more there that I don’t have time to put on the blog.)

Every evening from January 17-19, the Newseum, in partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum, will present a projection featuring images and quotes by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Ai is an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy whose advocacy of universal human rights complements the Newseum’s mission to champion freedom of speech and expression for all people.

I posted about his current exhibit at the Hirshhorn, Ai Weiwei: According to What?, not too long ago. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend going. His work is fascinating, and even if the kids don’t understand the meaning behind it, they likely will enjoy just looking at his many remarkable pieces.

Visible from Pennsylvania Avenue and parts of the National Mall, the projection will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet on the exterior of the Newseum. It will feature the trio of images from one of Ai’s most recognizable works, “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,” 1995/2009, as well as quotes from the artist about freedom of expression and the importance of individual engagement and action within society. Projected over the 45 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the powerful images and quotes are intended to draw attention to the important freedoms all Americans enjoy. The projections will begin at 7pm each evening.

This sounds worthy of, not just a drive-by (or walk- or bike-by), but a park-and-check-it-out-for-awhile, too. Enjoy!

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Exhibit, Free, Museums, Outdoor, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter