Tag Archives: Liberty Smith

Rapt up in the Weekend

Happy Bike to Work Day!

World cultures, strawberries, community celebrations, and two-wheelin’ recreation all factor into this family fun round-up. However, if one man’s prediction proves correct tomorrow, consider it all moot. But if life goes on as usual, here’s where you and the kids can revel in it.  Happy Weekend!

Strawberry Fields this WeekendThe pick-your-own season has officially begun!  Several local farms have already opened their fields to the public and a few more will join them this weekend. You can also celebrate strawberry season at your pick of festivals. See this post for a list of area farms where you can gather your own strawberries and enjoy festivities.

International Children’s FestivalTake the kids on a fun and educational tour of the world without even leaving the city on Saturday from 11am – 3pm. Part of Passport DC, this 5th annual festival hosted by the Meridian International Center will feature exhibits, performances, food, crafts, and activities from across the globe as local embassies share their countries’ culture with the public. Admission is $10/adults, free for kids 12 and under.

Fiesta AsiaCelebrate Pacific Asian Heritage Month at this street fair in Penn Quarter on Saturday from 10am – 7pm. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, food, hands-on activities and more. Especially for kids is the Kiddiz Cool Lounge, a no-shoe zone with costumed characters and creative craft stations. Flash mob dancing and a parade featuring lion dances are sure to thrill all ages. Admission is free, but be prepared to spend on food and marketplace finds.

Boogie for the Cure – The Boogie Babes and Mr. Skip are hosting a special Saturday session of musical fun to help support Race for the Cure. Join them at Eastern Market’s North Hall at 10:30am to boogie the morning away. Admission is $10/family and all proceeds will be donated to Susan G. Komen – Race for the Cure.

Chic Child on the RowThe family-friendly portion of The Front Row, Bethesda’s three-day exhibition of fashion, welcomes kids to play and parents to shop. Budding fashionistas can recreate world capitals from plastic pieces at Legos on the Lane. Little ones can listen to story time at Barnes & Noble. And everyone can enjoy a concert from Kidville’s Little Maestros and a special appearance by Groovy Nate at Lebanese Taverna. This all takes place on Saturday throughout the day. For a schedule of events, see The Front Row website.

McClean DaySpend Saturday at Lewinsville Park with the McLean Community, including nonprofit groups, crafters, and local businesses. Enjoy carnival rides, live entertainment, delicious food, and more. The Alden Theatre will provide live entertainment on the McLean Day Stage starting at 11am. The kids will love the carnival rides throughout the park, as well as games and free pony.  The free event runs from 11am – 5pm.  See the Alden Theatre website for a schedule of festivities.

Celebrate Hawai’iSay ‘aloha’ to the National Museum of the American Indian on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am – 4:30pm. The annual celebration of Hawaiian arts and culture will include special food, music, storytelling, and hula performances, as well as a new exhibition, This IS Hawai‘i.  While you’re there, be sure check out activities that the museum is testing out for the imagiNATIONS Family Activity Center opening in September.

Air Show at Andrews – See thrilling action in the sky and on the ground at the 2011 Joint Service Open House and Air Show on Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 5pm.  Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and the Warrior Flight Team are among the featured performers. A full schedule and more info is available on the Air Show website. Unauthorized vehicles are not permitted on Andrews Air Force Base, but shuttle buses from the Fed Ex Field parking lot and Branch Avenue Metro will provide free transportation.  Admission is to the show is free.

Bike DCOn the heels (or is that wheels?) of Bike to Work Day, this event celebrates the cycling community in the nation’s capital with a 20-mile bike ride through Washington and Arlington on Sunday. Kids on their own bicycles, on tag-along bikes, and in trailers are very welcome, though training wheels are not recommended. Registration is $35/adult, $20/ages 13-19, free for kids 12 and under. Visit the Bike DC website to register and view route details. The ride will take place rain or shine.

Show TimeThis is the last weekend to see Snow White and the 7 Dwarves at The Puppet Co. and Liberty Smith at Ford’s Theatre. And a  variety of other performances will also be on local stages this weekend. For details on all of them, see this post about live entertainment in the DC area this season.

Fun in the SunThe weather forecast is looking good for at least part of the weekend.  Go seize a beautiful day with the help of this list of great places to spend time outdoors with the kids.

Rainy Day RecsHere’s hoping you don’t have to refer to them, but if  it turns out to be a wet weekend these ideas for activities on a rainy day will help keep you and the kids busy—and dry.

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Spring into Summer with a New Selection of Family Entertainment

There’s a whole new crop of live entertainment for kids coming to area performing arts venues this spring and summer. Catch some of these performances as soon as this week or save your seats for shows opening at later dates. Here are details on all of them, with most descriptions straight from the websites.

Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights
Where: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
When: May 7 at 6pm
Tickets: FREE!
Join the artist of the 2010 Parents’ Choice® Gold Award-winning album, I’m a Rock Star, as she celebrate the releae of her new album, What a Zoo!, with a performance on the Kennedy Center’s Milliennum Stage. Joanie Leeds and her band, The Nightlights, will make their Washington, DC, debut with a FREE rocking family show. If you haven’t heard Joanie’s music, go take a listen on her website—it’s easy to see why her poppy sound and fun lyrics strike a chord with kids. The concert is part of The Kennedy Center’s daily Free Performance series.

Various Performances for Children
Where: Discovery Theater
When: Ongoing
Tickets: $3 – $6
From plays based on ancient fables to unique dance performances to magic shows to animal encounters, Discovery Theater entertains audiences with a variety of productions for all ages. Most performances take place at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. See the complete schedule of shows on the theater’s website.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Bears, Bears Everywhere
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 7-8
Tickets: $18
It’s a big bear world out there, and every sort of bear has its own look and growl. This Teddy Bear Concert takes a peek at these adorable creatures and the sounds of their homelands–music that is as unique as they are. NSO musicians on violin, bassoon, and, percussion assemble a wild combination of instruments in order to create music from around the world. Children will also be introduced to an out-of-this-world instrument, the Theremin, which is used to create the crazy sounds in a lot of classic films. Recommended for ages 3-5. Ge there early for “musical playtime”—starting a half-hour before each Teddy Bear Concert, there are music and movement activities designed especially for small children.

George and Martha – Tons of Fun
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through May 29
Tickets: $11 – $22
The two endearing hippos from the James Marshall picture books stomp onto stage in this warm and funny musical adaptation. George and Martha are best friends. They play music together and share meals, presents, picnics, and exciting adventures like flying a balloon. Sometimes they have differences as all friends do. But it cannot last. Like all good friends George and Martha just can’t stay angry for long! This simple story says much about our relationships at any age. Geared for our youngest theatre-goers but enjoyable for all, this new musical by Joan Cushing sparkles with clever lyrics and laughter. Enjoyed by ages 3 and up.

Liberty Smith
Where: Ford’s Theatre
When: Through May 21
Tickets: $39 – $55
Ford’s Theatre presents the world premiere of Liberty Smith, a madcap musical romp through Revolutionary America. A childhood friend of George Washington, apprentice to Benjamin Franklin and linked to Paul Revere’s remarkable ride, the elusive Liberty Smith weaves his way through familiar tales of a young nation. Rife with melody and blazing with adventure, Liberty Smith recalls the lush heyday of the American musical. Experience the birth of America through the eyes of our forgotten founding father: Liberty Smith.

The Day John Henry Came to School
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through May 29
Tickets: $11 – $22
Johnny is way into video games and not especially motivated at school. Imagine his surprise one night when there’s a loud knock at the door and his ancestor John Henry bursts into his bedroom, wielding a 12 lb hammer and insisting that he will visit Johnny’s class the next day for “Show & Tell.” At first unimpressed by John Henry’s tragic tale about his race with the steam engine, the kids in Johnny’s class come to appreciate the importance of his ultimate sacrifice. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

A Year with Frog and Toad
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: May 10 – June 5
Tickets: $15
Arnold Lobel’s well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale’s musical. It follows two great friends, the cheerful and popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, they proceed to plant gardens, swim, rake leaves and go sledding, learning life lessons along the way, including a most important one about friendship and rejoicing in the attributes that make each of us different and special. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Imagination Movers
Where: Lisner Auditorium
When: May 12
Tickets: $32 or $112 for the Mini-movers package (Groupon has a deal thru 5/1 – see below)
Disney’s Emmy Award-winning Imagination Movers come to Lisner as part of their “In a Big Warehouse” concert tour. The wildly popular New Orleans-based rock band for kids of all ages will play their most popular songs and bring the magic of the Imagination Movers television series’ Idea Warehouse to life. Concertgoers can expect special appearances from Nina, Warehouse Mouse and other characters from the TV series. Get 50% off tickets through Groupon, but buy them soon, as the deal only lasts through May 1.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: Alden Theatre
When: May 14
Tickets: $12, $8/McLean residents

This is an adaptation of the traditional Russian folktale set to music by Sergei Prokofiev. While providing a charming introduction to the world of music and musical instruments, this enchanting tale is all about the adventure of growing up. Danger becomes reality and creative innovation becomes essential as young Peter meets the challenge of survival in the outside world.  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

NSO Family Concert: Beethoven Lives Upstairs
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 15
Tickets: $15-18
What to do about the loud neighbor upstairs? When Ludwig van Beethoven moves into his family’s Vienna boarding house, young Christoph begins writing letters to his uncle about the “madman” living above him. Through a touching correspondence dramatically underscored with more than twenty-five excerpts from the composer’s most beautiful works, Christoph comes to understand the genius of Beethoven, the beauty of his music, and the torment of his deafness. Part history, part drama, all fun, this is an excellent introduction to the master’s music, including the Moonlight Sonata, Für Elise, and the great Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. Recommended for age 5 and up. Get to the show an hour early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” where young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage—from violins, trumpets, and oboes to trombones and percussion—in the Kennedy Center Atrium.

Drumming with Dishes
Where: Art on the Horizon at Landmark Mall
When: May 18 – June 5
Tickets: $8 or $25 for a Family 4-Pack
Join an adventurous toddler as she introduces her imaginary friend to a very special kitchen, where instead of food, they’ll cook up beautiful music. This gentle, whimsical adventure celebrates turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, as you never know just what will become a musical instrument next. Pasta box shakers and dishes drumming away with spoons are just some of the friendly surprises that encourage a child’s sense of play. And as our heroine empowers her timid friend to create music, we discover just what wonders can be accomplished when we all work together. This world-premiere production is a 30-minute interactive, non-verbal show, which features two adult actors and a musician. Geared towards children ages 2-5.

NSO Kinderkonzert: Got Rhythm?
Where: Kennedy Center
When: May 15
Tickets: $18
Rhythm is everywhere: it flavors our lives and lives within music. Join Glenn Donnellan, Richard Barber, Edward Cabarga, Adel Sanchez, and Joe Connell for vivid selections by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Rossini, and more. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Free musical instrument “Petting Zoo” one hour prior to each performance. Get to the show an hour early for the Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo,” where young concertgoers can get up close and hands-on with the instruments they’ll see played on the stage in the Kennedy Center Atrium.

Jack & the Bean-Stalk
Where:  1st Stage Theater
When:    May 15-June 19
Tickets: $15
Enjoy a hilarious, laugh-out-loud, brand-new adaptation of the classic fairy tale, “Jack and the Bean-Stalk.” This play is a fun-for-the-whole-family, comic rollercoaster ride of quirky characters, including an irreverent Cow, a crafty, bean-peddling Stranger, and a saucy Hen What Lays the Golden Eggs. Aimed at younger audiences, but with lots of laughs built in for adults, it’s a perfect fit for families who want to share the joy of live-performance theater. Special “Family Night Out” performances on Saturdays, June 4 and 18 at 6pm.

Click, Clack, Moo
Where:  Alden Theatre
When:    June 5
Tickets: $12, $8/McLean residents
“Cows that type? Hens on strike! Whoever heard of such a thing?!” Farmer Brown cries. When his grandaughter Jenny comes to visit, Farmer Brown declares a “tech-free zone”. This hilariously “mooooo-ving” new musical is about negotiation and compromise. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Great Dinosaur Mystery
Where: The Puppet Co. Playhouse
When: June 9 – July 17
Tickets: $10
DinoRock Productions returns to the Puppet Co. Playhouse with this story is set in the basement of the Natural History Museum. Dr. Vander Plastercaster is about to give the audience a behind-the-scenes tour of a new dinosaur exhibit when she finds a mysterious box. Enter Detective Joe Kafootsie, Special Forces: Strange Phenomena Detail. He’s found a giant shoe and thinks it might belong to a dinosaur! Suddenly dinosaurs begin appearing with messages from a mysterious character named Tootsie. Who is Tootsie? What do the messages mean? What’s going on? It’s all part of the great, great, great, great Great Dinosaur Mystery! Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The Wind in the Willows
Where: Imagination Stage
When: June 22 – August 15
Tickets: $10 – $22
Go on a wild ride with Mr. Toad! It’s early in the twentieth century, and Mr. Toad embraces the motor car with reckless abandon. When it is clear that he is on a road to disaster, Toad’s friends Mole, Ratty and Mr. Badger decide to intervene. Can they save Toad from himself? In an adventure with police chases, prison breaks and bandits, Mr. Toad learns the true meaning of friendship. This musical event is faithful to the classic, enchanting novel. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Children’s Theater in the Woods
Where: Wolf Trap
When: June 28 – August 13
Tickets: $8 for a day pass – two shows in one
With 70 performances from late June through early August, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods presents family-friendly shows 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 performances are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade. The full schedule of shows in available of the Wolf Trap website.

PLAY! A Video Game Symphony
Where: Wolf Trap
When: July 8, 8:30pm
Tickets: $20 – $52
Award-winning music from Super Mario Brothers, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, the Legend of Zelda, Halo, Battlefield 1942, and many more. Outstanding visuals on huge screens in-house and on the lawn highlight memorable moments from these blockbuster video games.

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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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Family Entertainment at Ford’s Theatre

“Liberty Smith,” at Ford’s Theatre through May 21

Ford’s Theater has families in mind this spring with a couple of productions that both kids and adults can enjoy.

Currently on stage is “Liberty Smith,” a new musical set in Revolutionary America. The production, recommended for ages 6 and up, has received great reviews from critics and audiences alike. The show runs through May 21, but there will be a special Family Day in connection with the show next weekend.

On Saturday, April 30, the Ford’s Theatre Society is hosting some pre-show entertainment and family ticket deals for the 2:30pm matinee performance. At 12:30pm, guests can enjoy colonial-inspired entertainment, including a fife and drum corps, a chance to check out costume trunks, prize drawings, photo ops with a George Washington Wax Figure, and more. These activities along with the show come at a special discount: With the purchase of each adult performance ticket ($39-55), patrons receive two kids tickets at half price. Use code FAMILY20 at on the Ford’s Theatre website or when booking through TicketMaster at 800.982.2787.

Another unique production will take place at Ford’s Theatre on May 24, when students from several area high schools will take the stage for “Stand up and be Heard,” an evening performance of historic and original speeches inspired by the words of Abraham Lincoln and other great American orators.

“Stand up and be Heard” is the culmination of a year-long study of rhetoric and oratory designed to encourage students to explore how to speak like a leader and to envision positive change in our shared world. Students begin the year studying and performing historical speeches and then write and deliver their own, ultimately performing them on the stage of Ford’s Theatre.

Tickets are free, but required for all visitors ages 2 and up. They may be reserved in advance in person at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office or via Ticketmaster. Tickets are distributed on a first-come basis. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

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