Tag Archives: Jazz in the Garden

Summer Weekend

Friday evening concert at The Yards

School’s out, the solstice occurred, kids are in camp… summer has officially begun.  Seize the first weekend of the season with these ideas for family fun.  Happy Weekend!

Music Al Fresco – Start off your weekend with free music in the fresh air at one of many outdoor concerts. Jazz vocalist Shelia Ross will entertain at Jazz in the Garden at 5:30pm, Jimi Smooth will bring Motown sounds to The Yards Park at 6pm, and the United States Air Force Band performs at the Air Force Memorial at 8pm with the theme ‘The Singing Sergeants Present…”

Girls Make History Day  – The U.S. Navy Museum will host the third annual “Girls Make History Day” to encourage children, especially young ladies, to take an interest in American naval and maritime history and science.  On Saturday from 10am – 5pm, children ages 5-13, can enjoy all kinds of activities inspired by the historic characters of the American Girl book series. Jacqueline Dembar Greene, author of the Rebecca series, will also be on hand to sign books and talk with program participants. All kids attending the event wil be eligible for a raffle for an American Girl Doll. And any child who chooses to dress as their favorite character will receive an additional raffle ticket for an American Girl mini-doll. More information about the event is available on the U.S. Navy Museum website.

Montgomery County Heritage Days – Celebrate the history, culture, and natural beauty of Montgomery County, MD, as more than 30 historic sites welcome visitors for guided tours, recreations of historic events, children’s activities, and more — all free of charge.  This will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm, but be sure to check the list of places, as some are only participating for one day.

National Capital Barbeque Battle – Nothing says summer like a good barbeque, and you can experience the area’s biggest one at the annual Safeway National Barbeque Battle on Saturday from 11am – 9pm and Sunday from 11am – 7:3opm.  Top BBQ-ers from all over the country will cook for grilling glory (and $40,000 in prizes), and the public is invited to watch it all go down.  There will also be cooking demos, children’s activities, interactive cooking displays, and lots of food samples.  This all takes places on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between 9th and 14th Streets. Admission is $10/adults, $5/ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under.

Take Your PickThe pick-your-own strawberry season has ended, but you can still have a “berry” (couldn’t resist!) good time at local farms, as the fields are yielding a whole new crop of fruits. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and more fresh produce are ripe for the picking for at least the next few weeks.  This post has more details on where you can reap the fruits of your labor.

CycleFest 2011Kids can bring their bikes and trikes to the National Harbor on Saturday from 11am – 4pm for an afternoon of cycle-related fun with the National Children’s Museum, the Alexander Lance Booker Child Safety Foundation, Calleva, Wheels to Africa, and Trails for Youth. Activities will include creating bicycle nameplates; a bicycle rodeo featuring a safety obstacle course with the Prince George’s County Park Police; an obstacle course and a bicycle race with Trails for Youth; bicycle maintenance workshops; and much more. There will also be a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Revolution Cycles, bicycle-inspired jewelry from Phoenix Bikes, and many more bike-themed giveaways. CycleFest will be held on American Way, between St. George’s Blvd. and Fleet Street. Additional activities will also take place at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone.

Georgetown Waterfront Celebration – Join the Georgetown BID and Washington Harbour as they celebratethe start of summer on Sunday from 12 – 3pm. Washington Harbour restaurants will be firing up their grills and serving summertime staples including gourmet burgers, crab cake sandwiches, and fresh seafood, giving attendees the ultimate backyard BBQ on the Potomac. The family-friendly event will include a steel drum band, face painting, a balloon artist, and lots of fun and games for all ages. The event will culminate in The Great Georgetown Water Balloon Toss at 2pm, inviting Washingtonians to recapture their summer camp days and compete for prizes from Georgetown businesses.  The event will take place at Washington Harbour Condominium.

DC Caribbean Carnival – The 19th Annual DC Caribbean Carnival will liven up the town on Saturday from 11am – 5pm with a spectacular parade through the city, then an international marketplace—De Savannah— at Howard University Campus. The parade begins at 11am on Saturday, proceeding down Georgia Avenue to the marketplace. The rest of the festival runs from 12 – 8pm. Festival admission is $10, free for seniors and children under 12See the website for the parade route and more marketplace/festival details.

Happy Birthday, Shenandoah! – One of our nearby national parks is turning 75 and there will be a Rededication Celebration to mark the occasion on Saturday starting at 9:30am.  Live entertainment, the rededication ceremony, a Family Fun Tent, ranger-led walks and talks, and more outdoor fun will be part of the day’s activities.  This will all take place in the Shenandoah National Park’s Big Meadows area at Milepost 51 on Skyline Drive.

Swing into Summer Family DayCelebrate the start of summer at the Nation Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 11:30am – 3pm.  Enjoy a fun-filled day of hands-on art activities, special performances, and tours of the related exhibitions, Calder’s Portraits: A New Language and Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections, 1730-2010.  This is a free event.

The Wind in the WillowsImagination Stage’s latest production just opened, and seats are still available for this weekend’s shows.  Several times are available, with ticket prices starting at $12. Read more about the show on the Imagination Stage website.

These go-to posts have even more ideas:

Joys of SummerSwimming and spray ground fun, outdoor concerts and movies, special play time and shows, and more.

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids  – According to the weekend forecast, this one deserves a good look.

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun) – Use this if you need a break from the sun.

Family Entertainment – See what’s on local stages this weekend.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Joys of Summer

Fun in the fountains at The Yards Park

Flip flops, check. Bathing suit, check. White pants…hmm, maybe not the best idea with small children around. But you probably know where I’m going with this: It’s summer!

Okay, so we still have a few weeks until the earth’s north-south axis is tilted to just the right angle to result in the longest day of the year and calendar start of the season (ie, June 21).  Yet for many of us, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial summer kick-off.  This is when when my mental switch automatically flips to casual.  It’s also when some of the area’s quintessential summer activities begin.  From outdoor swimming and fun in fountains to music in the garden and movies under the stars, here are some of the area’s best summer-only family pursuits.

Outdoor Pool Season
Nothing says summer like swimming under the sun. DC outdoor public pools will open on Saturday, May 28, from 12 – 6pmand will be open weekends only until June 21.  After that, they will open daily, though all pools are closed one day a week for maintenance, so be sure to check the schedule before you go.  For swimming outside of the city, Montgomery County outdoor public pools will be open May 28 through Labor Day — the Dept. of Recreation website has locations and hours.  In Northern Virginia, Arlington’s Upton Hill has a whole waterpark for guests to enjoy, and Alexandria has several places where the public is welcome to swim. Be sure to check the website for hours, as they vary from pool to pool.

Play in the Spray
Kids can run through fountains and splash around at many area spraygrounds. Several are within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and you can find out where on their website. Starting this Saturday, May 28, DPR Spray Parks will be open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm. Starting June 21, they will open all other days of the week (check their website for hours). For spray fun with a riverfront view, the Yards Park has fountains and a great location on the Anacostia.  And some of the area’s most popular spray parks—Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park–can be found in Arlington.

Jazz in the Garden
Enjoy music amid art at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s free concert series, Jazz in the Garden, every Friday from 5:30 – 8:30pm. The first performance is this Friday, May 27, rain or shine. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy the sounds of a variety of jazz artists.

Yards Park Friday Concerts
Wind down your week on the river! Already underway, the Yards Park Friday Concert Series presents a new band each week on the boardwalk stage overlooking the Potomac.  Along with the free music, food and beverages will be available for purchase. Children can enjoy a little extra entertainment in the CSX Kids Zone, where there will be activities especially for them.

U.S. Air Force Band Summer Concert Series
The U.S. Air Force Band 2011 Summer Concert Series kicks off Wednesday, June 1 at 6pm, at the World War II Memorial.  After that, you can catch the free performances all summer on Tuesday evenings on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, Wednesdays at varying locations around Washington (see the schedule for specifics), and on Friday evenings at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington. Aside from the first concert, most shows begin at 8pm.  Check out the U.S. Air Force Band website for the complete summer schedule.

Glen Echo Summer Concert Series
The park known by most families for its puppet shows, children’s plays, and carousel will present music in the Bumper Car Pavilion on several Thursday evenings throughout the summer.  All performances of the Glen Echo Summer Concert Series are free and will begin at 7:30pm rain or shine. And that carousel will be open for rides from 7 – 9pm.

Mini Train, Carousel, & Mini Golf  at Watkins
These extra delights at Watkins Regional Park opened on a limited schedule in early May, but come Memorial Day weekend, they can be enjoyed for extended hours almost every day of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 7pm; Sundays 12 – 7 pm, closed Mondays except 5/30 (Memorial Day), 7/4 (July Fourth Holiday; closes at 4pm) & 9/5 (Labor Day).

Children’s Garden
The U.S. Botanic Garden is a wonderful place to spend time with the kids, and it’s even better during the warm months when the Children’s Garden is open. Kids can exercise their green thumbs with shovels and watercans and ground space to dig. There is also a working water pump, a couple of fountains, a bamboo “forest,” and a little garden house where kids can play. Like all things Smithsonian, admission is free.

Big Screen Under the Stars
Outdoor movies have become a DC summer tradition in the last few years with films al fresco in several neighborhoods.  The longest running, Screen on the Green, takes place on the National Mall on Mondays in July and August, though exact dates for 2011 have yet to be announced.  The NoMa Summer Screen, probably the most family-friendly of all the outdoor movie series, begins May 25 and will run weekly on Wednesdays until August 3 on L Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue NE. Food and music start at 7pm, and the movie at 9pm.  The Capitol Riverfront will start Front Flicks on May 26 and run every Thursday evening at 8:45pm.  And the National Harbor hosts Movies on the Potomac, with family movies every Sunday night beginning June 10.  Before you make plans to enjoy any of series, be sure to check schedules, as some movies may not be appropriate for children.

Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods
From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents over 70 family-friendly performances at 10am and 11:15am on Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows in available of the Wolf Trap website.

Free Family Entertainment in Rockville
All summer long, families can enjoy a variety of free fun at Rockville Town Square — Kids Night every Tuesday, monthly Mommy & Me and Daddies Too play dates, and concerts for all ages on Thursday evenings. This post has details on each of the series.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Last Chance to Groove in the Garden

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last Jazz in the Garden show of the 2010 season. Jazz saxophonist Bruce Swaim will be performing on what is going to be a beautiful evening. Catch the show from 5pm – 8:30pm at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

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Just Two More Jazz in the Garden Shows

This summer’s Jazz in the Garden series is winding down; there are only two more Friday evenings left to enjoy music at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Jazz guitarist Josh Bayer will be performing tomorrow from 5pm – 8:30pm. Pack a picnic dinner for the family, head to the Mall, and start off the weekend with some live entertainment amid the art.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, you still have a chance to go next Friday, September 10, when jazz saxophonist Bruce Swain performs the last show of the season.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is located on the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Three. Day. Weekend. Perhaps among my favorite words in the English language when used together. And this extended break from the grind is chock-full of fun things for the family to do, from jazz in the Sculpture Garden to strawberries in the country to a holiday parade in the city. Here’s a review of what’s going on, both previously posted events and a few new ones. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Jazz in the Garden
A great way to start a summer weekend is with Jazz in the Garden, the free concert series that takes place at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden every Friday from 5:30 – 8:30pm. The first performance is this this evening, rain or shine. Lay out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy some good jazz artists and sounds.

Sunset Celebration at Mt. Vernon
Hang out after hours at George Washington’s old digs this weekend. The Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon is a new Memorial Day event taking place every evening from 6 – 9pm this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Enjoy desserts (and wine for grown-ups), 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides, and costumed residents. Tickets are $18/adults, $12/children ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under.

Pen & the Post: Collect, Correspond, Celebrate
Remember when smail mail was our only letter writing option? The National Postal Museum is hosting a special event on Saturday, May 29, that explores the history of pens and mail. Kids can learn about the past and present of letter writing with loads of composition activities—card design, calligraphy, a pen “petting zoo,” and letter to military members. The event is free and open from 11am – 5pm.

Great Country Farms Strawberry Jubilee U-Pick Festival
Strawberries, kids activities, strawberries, pie eating contest, strawberries, farm animals, strawberries, live music, and more strawberries! Great Country Farms’ Strawberry Jubilee is this weekend, May 29-31, and there will be tons of fun, games and food (including strawberries) for the whole family to enjoy. A $10 admission fee gets you all of the above and more. Check out their website for details.

National Memorial Day Concert
Why watch on PBS when you can be there? The 2010 National Memorial Day Concert will take place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday, May 30 from 8 – 9:30pm. Gary Sinise and Jow Mantegna are hosting the event, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra in honoring those who have served and sacrifice for for the U.S. Gates open at 5pm, admission if free.

Get Wet – Outdoor Pool and Spray Parks Open
Cool off as the weather heats up. All of the outdoor pools and spray parks within the DC Department of Parks and Recreation open this Saturday, May 29. Outdoor pools will be open all summer Monday through Friday 1 – 8pm and Saturday/Sunday 12 – 6pm. Spray Parks will be open weekends only 10am – 4pm. Starting June 21, they will also be open Monday – Friday 11am – 7pm. But some of the best places to play in the spray can be found in Arlington County—Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, and Drew Park are spray fan favorites.

Put YOU in the Musical
Give your kids a Glee experience! This Saturday, May 29, the National Children’s Museum is hosting the special event, Put YOU in the Musical. It’s a chance for kids to learn some classic dance moves, belt out some Broadway tunes, and explore the world of the stage. From 11am – 4pm, recommended for children ages 2 and older.

National Memorial Day Parade
The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. On Sunday, May 31, the procession of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans will travel down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets. The parade begins at 2pm. Watch from the sidewalk for free.

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