These post-Halloween days are almost as enjoyable as the extravaganza itself. After weeks of costume discussions, trick-or-treat planning, and candy hiding (mostly from myself) so it’s not eaten before the big day, this respite between major holidays is welcome. It won’t last long, as preparations for winter festivities are about to begin. (And I’ll be posting about them soon, but wanted to give you a chance to untie ghosts from trees and dispose of rotting pumpkins). So, in the meantime, enjoy these next few autumn days. Here are some ideas of where to do it. Happy Weekend!
Think Outside… – These splendid fall days are going to be fewer and farther between soon, so my top recommendation is to get out and enjoy them while you can. Do a quintessential DC outing and tour the memorials on the Mall. Go leaf peeping in the National Arboretum or explore the sprawling grounds of Brookside Gardens. Hike amid brilliant foliage at Great Falls or Riverbend Park. Play the day away Cabin John Regional Park. The options are abundant, and you can find even more in KFDC’s list of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.
Smashing Pumpkins – Now that Halloween is over, you can get rid of those jack-o-lanterns that are starting to cave in on themselves on the front porch. And you can have a good time doing it at Great Country Farms’s Punkin’ Chunkin’. Do the honors on their Silo Drop or Zip Wire Sploosh, or bring it to their Pumpkin Drop Zone to be added to the “fireworks display” as pumpkins are dropped from a 40-foot lift in the parking lot. And while you’re there, enjoy the rest of the farm’s attractions — cow trains, swings, slides, mazes — before the amusement shuts down for the winter. Open from 10am – 5pm. Admission is $10/adults, $8/children.
Euro Entertainment – We’re in the last week of the Kids Euro Festival, the program bringing a month of free continental artistic adventures to venues all over DC. This weekend see “A Cat in Paris” at AFI, “The Seasons of Palina” at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, several performances on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and much, much more. Check the schedule for times and details.
Rock Out with Recess Monkey – Seattle’s celebrated band of teacher-rockers is coming to DC this weekend to perform three shows at two different venues. First, they are playing a free concert on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on Saturday at 6pm. For shows that might work better with little ones’ schedules, see them on Sunday, November 6, at Jammin’ Java at 11am or 2pm. Tickets are $10 and available for purchase online.
Happy 90th, Phillips Collection! – The museum housing masterpieces from some of the world’s most famous artists probably isn’t exactly a go-to spot for a day out with little ones. But this Saturday is an exception. It’s the gallery’s 90th birthday/anniversary, and they’re celebrating with an all-day bash that includes free activities, gallery talks, and performances for the whole family. Cupcake favors will be handed out while they last, ballet students will be practicing among Degas paintings, an accordionist and a cappella group will perform for guests, and even more will be happening throughout the day from 10am – 8pm. See the schedule for times and details.
Celebrate American Indian Heritage – American Indian leaders, traditions, and arts are commemorated on U.S. postage stamps, and the National Postal Museum is celebrating them with a day of activities for kids. Learn about American Indians on postage stamps; make a topical stamp collection; and enjoy storytime with a book about Sequoyah, the Cherokee man who gave his people written language. Join in the fun on Saturday from aam – 2pm.
Robin Hood – Encore Stage’s production of the classic tale opens on Friday at 7:30pm, and there will be several shows to follow this weekend and next. Here’s what’s special about Encore’s performances: They are for children by children. Yes, it’s mostly a youth cast, and if their production of The Wizard of Oz is any indication, these kids will put on quite a show. The play will be performed at Artisphere’s Spectrum Theatre, tickets are $12/adults, $10/children and can be purchased online.
Children’s Flea Market – Score a few bargains and support some entrepreneurial kids at the McLean Community Center on Saturday from 11am – 1pm. Young vendors will have a variety of gently used items for sale. A donation truck will be on hand after the event to take any unsold items.
NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Tunes ‘n’ (Pig) Tales – Enjoy stories and music all about animals in this Teddy Bear Concert featuring The Three Pigs, Teddy Bear Rag, The Swan, and Baby Elephant Walk. Performed with a very unusual combination of instruments, NSO principal musicians Marissa Regni on violin and Dotian Levalier on harp join with Marissa’s father Albert Regni on four different saxophones to give each animal its own unique voice. And as a “little” surprise, along with full-sized instruments, the musicians perform on their miniature counterparts – a toy piano, a sopranino saxophone, and a tiny violin. Recommended for ages 3 to 5. Tickets are $18.
Theatre on Strings – Take the kids to a puppet show at Glen Echo Park where The Three Billy Goats Gruff is currently being performed on Main Stage. Showtimes are 11:30am and 1pm Saturday and Sunday, recommended for pre-K and up. Tickets are $10 and available for purchase online.
Portrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Chief Joseph (1840-1904), chief of the Nez Perce.
America’s Got Talent Auditions – Is your child a star in the making? Well, here’s a chance to show the nation. America’s Got Talent is holding their DC auditions Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center, and kids (and adults!) of all ages are invited to try out for the show. Doors open at 8am and close by 7pm. Pre-registration and more info is available here.