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Savor the Weekend

Enjoying autumn at a Clark's Elioak Farm

Sample fare at the Taste of DC, delight in seasonal fun on a farm or at a festival, connect with your inner artist, take in a performance or special museum program, listen to live music, get out and enjoy the delicious weather… these are just some of the ways you and the kids can relish in the next few days. Read on for details and even more ideas. Happy Weekend!

Taste of DCThe annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city will take place through the holiday weekend – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Along with the obvious, samples from more than 60 DC restaurants, there will be cooking demos, and live entertainment, including performances especially for kids (read: Rocknoceros).  See the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Fall FunCelebrate the season at one of many area festivals or farms. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

Peep the WeekendStart the weekend with Peeps! At 4pm today, the Peeps store at the National Harbor is ushering in the fall season with delicious free treats, mascot appearances, coupons from neighboring retailers and chances for savings on some great new store items.  This all kicks off their DC Monumental Weekend – on Saturday and Sunday, PEEPS & COMPANY® Brand Ambassadors will take the Peepster Chick Car on a tour of D.C. and the monuments, spreading sweetness around town.

Alexandria Arts SafariOn Saturday from 12-4pm, the Torpedo Factory will host a free day of hands-on arts and crafts activities for kids and their families. Kids can get creative with fun new art activities and old favorites, including painting, clay sculpting, paper-mache, origami art, block printing, fabric collage, and much more. The Art League will present the popular Gallery Scavenger Hunt and fiber activities. And the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, located on the third floor of the Torpedo Factory, will present The Potter’s Art, where children can draw or paint patterns on paper inspired by designs on salt-glazed stoneware pottery shards excavated from local archaeological sites.

Dino-Mite Dinosaurs – Have a dino-mite time with prehistoric friends at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone.  Celebrate International Dinosaur Month with fossil digs, skeleton puzzles, claw printing, and more.  They guarantee a rex-citing time! Admission is free.  Drop in anytime from 11am – 4pm.

Super Science SaturdayHead to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Dulles arm of the National Air & Space Museum, for its monthly program for families on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration, this month’s theme being balloons and blimps. Admission is free, though parking is $15.

Saturday Morning at the NationalThis week’s performance will feature beloved children’s author Pamela Duncan Edwards, author of Dinosaur Starts School, Clara Caterpillar, and Roar! A Noisy Counting Book. Edwards will make a special guest appearance and enchant children of all ages with an imaginative “spooky” story. Kids will be encouraged to help tell this morning’s tale, and afterwards Ms. Edwards will answer questions on how she creates her delightful stories. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!

That’s EntertainmentEven more live performances are gracing area stages all weekend.  From plays to puppet shows to live music to a circus, this post has the details on this season’s shows.

Portrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm and Sunday from 2-5pm, 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 Eleanor Roosevelt.

Ren Fest – The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 23, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

And for recreation beyond the special events, these posts list tons of recreational mainstays in the DC area:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

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A Royally Fun Weekend

Owen takes a whirl on the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park

My invitation must have been lost in the mail. So, I did the next best thing and woke up at a ridiculously early hour to watch Wills and Kate tie the knot this morning. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the fairytale.  If you, too, are on this side of the pond and looking for some fun with the kids over the next few days, you have plenty of excellent options.  Happy Weekend!

Go Terps!I’m not giving this event first mention in the weekend round-up just because it’s my alma mater.  The top rec is well-deserved, as Maryland Day is a fantastic event for families. On Saturday, the University of Maryland is hosting a huge open house for, well, everybody.  “Explore Our World” is the this year’s theme of the annual fair, and guests will be able to do that and then some.  There will be loads of activities for kids, including learning games; caricature drawings; arts & crafts; a shark teeth dig; puppet shows; animal, insect, and instrument petting zoos; and much more. Experience it all from 10am – 4pm.

Family Day Festival at Glen Echo ParkCelebrate the seasonal opening of the park’s beautiful Dentzel Carousel on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Along with rides on the merry-go-round ($1.25/ride), there will be loads of activities for all ages. Magic shows, dance performances, arts & crafts, face painting, photo exhibits, and balloon animals are just some of the festivities guests can enjoy. The full schedule of events is available of the Glen Echo website.

Georgetown French MarketThe 8th Annual Georgetown French Market returns on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Book Hill’s signature European open air market will feature over 30 Georgetown boutiques, antique shops, restaurants and galleries, art and antique home furnishings.  The event also features strolling musicians and mimes, children’s activities, live music and French cuisine from Georgetown cafes and restaurants. Visit the website to download a schedule of events and list of participating shops.

South Mountain Creamery Spring Festival –  Take a ride out to the country and experience farm fresh hospitality at South Mountain Creamery’s annual festival. Both kids and adults will enjoy an inside look at where their food originates. There will also be lots of farm fun for all ages — take on a hayride, feed a calf, listen to music, and more. Admission and cool breezes are free. BBQ, ice cream, drinks, etc. are available for purchase.  Hours on Saturday are 10am – 5pm, on Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Modern Mobiles Family Workshop – Learn about public art, engineering, and balance while constructing your very own mobile to take home. This program will begin with a special exploration of the Museum’s exhibition Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Admission is $10/members, $15/non-members.

Get Out – This weekend’s forecast is looking perfect for some time outdoors with the kids.  Check out this list of places where you can savor the sunshine.

Forest Friends Festival – Head to Cabin John Regional Park on Saturday for a day of nature exploration and enjoyment. Discover some of the critters that live in the park, climb trees (with ropes & tackle), take bucket rides to the tree tops, do some arts & crafts, chck out a plant sale, and more. The event runs from 12 – 4pm, admission is $5.

The Launch Zone Turns 2!The National Children’s Museum is celebrating the second year of the Launch Zone, and you’re invited to join in the fun. The party will be held at the National Harbor on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Guests can enjoy a magic show, birthday hat decorating, face painting, rain stick making, party favors, and more. Magic shows will take place at 12pm and 2pm. And several Launch Zone neighbors will be offering free treats and special discount in celebration. See the website for more info.

Family Day at Ford’s TheaterEnjoy the theatre’s latest production, “Liberty Smith” and a special family day on Saturday that ties into the musical’s Revolution Era setting.  Read more about the play and the event and find out how to get a discount on tickets in this post from last week.

Show Time There’s a variety of live entertainment to enjoy this weekend.  For details on what’s playing, see this post about what’s on stage this spring.

Learn to Skate!On Saturday, kids ages 6-10 are invited to attend Let’s Move! Learn to Skate!, where they can enjoy an interactive lesson in healthy habits, watch a figure skating exhibition, and get lesson in ice skating themselves. This is all hosted by local Girl Scout Komi Tinkelman who is working to earn her Gold Award. The event will take place at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD, from 2-5pm.

Healthy Kids Happy Hour – Who’s up for happy hour? The Heights, a neighborhood restaurant in Columbia Heights, is hosting a few hours of fun for kiddos on Sunday, and they’re doing it with an emphasis on healthy eating. Guests can look forward to mocktails and smoothies along with carnival-style fun, including face painting, balloons, game and prizes, and snow cones.  Healthy food will be the main fare, but there will be a few treats as well. Enjoy it all for free from 4-7pm.

Audubon Nature Fair Celebrate spring with the Audubon Society and the Washington Revels on Sunday from 11am – 4pm at the Woodend Nature Sanctuary.  Guests can enjoy hands-on nature fun, a rock climbing wall, Woodend Mansion tours, bird walks, and more.  There will be entertainment by The Banjo Man, Scales and Tales, and the Wildlife Ambassadors.  The event is free for kids 12 and under, $5 for adults.

Nats vs. Giants – The Washington Nationals are hosting the San Francisco Giants this weekend, including two afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are still available for both, and on Sunday kids can run the bases after the game.  Purchase tickets through the Nationals website or at the Box Office on game day.

Cinco De Mayo on the MallGet festive a few days early with the Maru Montero Dance Company on Sunday from 12 – 6pm.  The organization is hosting its annual FREE National Cinco de Mayo Festival to celebrate Latin American dance, music and crafts. Live performances will include salsa, Mexican folk dancing, mariachis, and other dance and music. The children’s pavilion will host arts and crafts activities where young people can make piñatas, braid hair, build dancing puppets, and enjoy a day of fun activities. For more info, see the festival website.

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MLK Celebrations and More this Weekend

Whether you’re looking for ways to pay tribute to MLK, interesting activities at the museums, or fun entertainment for the kids, this weekend has it covered.  Here’s what’s going on around town Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday.  Happy Weekend!

Martin Luther Kind Jr. Holiday Family FestivalThe National Museum of Natural History has commemorated the birthday of MLK for over 30 years and will continue the tradition this weekend.  On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday guests are invited to participate in an interactive play recreating a sit-in, hear the words of Dr. King brought to life in a dramatic presentation, and participate in a discussion on civil rights.  The free event runs from 10am – 5pm each day and is open on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stories in Art at the National Gallery – The museum’s winter program for kids ages 4 – 7 begins on Sunday with a study of Alexander Calder.  The workshop will start with a reading of “Sophie’s Masterpiece,” a book about a spider and her wondrous creations.  From there, the group will explore Calder’s “Spider” and learn to weave their own wire mobiles.  The hour-long session begins at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in for Stories in Art will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day, and will continue until all spaces are filled.  No admission fee required.  For more about the series, see this post from last week.

Sharing the Dream: A Multicultural Celebration of Love & Justice – This two-day festival at the National Museum of the American Indian celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and brings together artists from African, Latino, and Native American communities. Listen, watch, and learn as  they share their expressions of love and justice through their music, spoken word, and storytelling performances. The weekend also includes hands-on activities for all ages as well as films, tours, and other regularly scheduled programs at the museum. The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 5pm.  A complete schedule of activities is available on the NMAI website.

“I Have a Dream…” PillowcasesKids are invited to share their dreams with the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone on Saturday from 11am – 4pm in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by making their own “I Have A Dream…” pillowcases. Other activities will be presented to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King.  The Launch Zone is located at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill.

Poetry Extravaganza – All ages are invited to this tribute honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library on Saturday at 1pm.  The poetry readings and recitals by Collective Voices will take place in the library’s Great Hall.

Last Call for the NutcrackerIf the kids missing the magic of the holidays or maybe you didn’t get to see the season’s most classic show, you have one last chance to recapture the holiday spirit on stage before we say farewell for a while.  The Synetic Family Theater’s production of The Nutcracker has two final performances this weekend — and KFDC readers can get a discount on tickets.  For details, see this post from a few days ago.

Girl Up “Unite for Girls”Teen girls in the Washington, DC, area have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of girls around the world. This Saturday, January 15, the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up “Unite for Girls” city tour is stopping in the nation’s capitol to hold a pep rally in support of girls across the globe, and local teens are invited to take part in the educational and empowering event.  For details about the event, see this post from earlier this week.

Theater TimeSeveral children’s stage productions begin this week, and tickets are still available for some of the performances.  Check out this post from a few days ago to see what’s playing and how to reserve your seats,

Rock Out Sunday MorningWhat better way to start the day than rocking out with local kids’ fave Rocknoceros.  The band is laying at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue at 10:30am.  Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of the show.  Purchase online through the Sixth & I website.

Give Together Family Volunteer DayLooking for something to do with the kids on the day off from work and school on Monday?  Volunteer Fairfax is hosting an event that will give families an opportunity to give back.  The second annual Give Together Family Volunteer Day will bring together several non-profits from the region with local families to work on various service projects.  For complete details about the event, see this post

Let Freedom Ring on Millennium Stage – The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. The concert featuring Grammy Award–winning, platinum-selling vocalist Patti LaBelle also includes the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Music Director, Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Georgetown University will award the ninth annual John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award to Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery—a leader in the American Civil Rights movement.  Free tickets will be given away two per person in line in the Hall of Nations at 4pm on Monday on a first-come, first-served basis.

Free Admission to National ParksIn celebration of the holiday weekend, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at more than 100 national parks that usually charge admission.  Layer up for a hike in the woods or cruise through Shenandoah and take in the views.  This is the first of five fee-free weekends at national parks this year.

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