Tag Archives: Maryland Fall Events

The Weekend Round-Up: October 26-27

Halloween fun abounds this weekend!

Halloween fun abounds this weekend!

air and scare

Halloween celebrations may rule this round-up, but there are plenty of non-spooky ways to scare up a good time with the kids. Between these recs and ideas on the Everyday Play page, there’s more than plenty of options to keep the whole family entertained. Happy Weekend!

Air and Scare
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 2-7pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 9th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character!

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. And new this year are pumpkin-themed kiddie games with prizes. The Halloween celebration will conclude with a costume parade through the Park at 3:30pm.

Truck Touch
Where: Suburban Nursery School
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $5, children under 2 are free

Join Suburban Nursery School on Saturday for a favorite family event, Truck Touch! A ton of trucks will be there for for kids (and adults) to explore and touch. Home-baked goods, refreshments, snacks, and lunch will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit Suburban Nursery School, a 50-year-old non-profit, cooperative preschool and its creative programming The event will be held at the school: 7210 Hidden Creek Road; Bethesda, MD 20817. Cash only, rain or shine.

Euro-Style Entertainment
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Art and culture with European roots continue to entertain kids throughout the area, thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions. Mimes, storytellers, children’s films, and puppeteers are just a few of the shows and art sessions on the lineup this weekend. See the schedule for specifics.

Fall Fun on the Farm
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals on the farm. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks relish in the fun autumn brings. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: This weekend is your last chance to catch Goodnight Moon at Adventure Theatre. Peter and the Wolf and special Halloween Tiny Tots shows are on at The Puppet Co. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is in its final days at Imagination Stage. The Story Pirates are performing at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning. And the NSO Halloween Spooktcular concert is at the Kennedy Center on Sunday.

Pumpkin Patch Parties
Where: Gymboree DC
When: Friday, 4:45-6:15pm & Sunday, 11am – 12:30pm
Admission: $5 or free for Gymboree members

Children ages 0-2 on Friday and ages 0-5 on Sunday are invited to Pumpkin Patch Parties at the new Gymboree DC. The parties are a time to dress up the little one (adults can dress up, too!), for a Halloween parade, special treats, seasonal crafts and holiday themed activities. Reservations are required. The Gymboree is located at 2639 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 113.

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Saturday, 7-9pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.
Halloween at the Medical Museum
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join NMHM for some spooky Halloween fun on Saturday. Children of all ages are invited to learn about skulls through fun arts and crafts activities at NMHM’s free Halloween event. Visitors can also tour the Museum’s exhibits, which feature several full human skeletons and skeletal preparations. Halloween costumes are welcome. For more about what to expect at the museum, see this KFDC post.

Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 26, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. People and pets in costume are invited to join in the FALLoween Parade at 11am, led by The Jokesters. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

Spooky Science
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/ages 3-12

Celebrate the chills and thrills of Halloween at our fifth annual Spooky Science, where creepy chemistry and mysterious science combine to provide a hauntingly good time. There will be hair-raising activities, creepy crafts, and fangtastic demonstrations. Visitors can look forward to making gooey, glowing slime, decorating pumpkins and trick or treat bags, playing mummy bowling, and exploring mystery boxes filled with eerie items. Save room for more spooky fun with Reptiles Alive! Their live animal show will feature slithering snakes, terrifying toads, beaded dragons and more. Shows will be at 1pm and 3pm.

Fall-o-ween Family Festival
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Dress the kids up in their favorite costumes and join Port Discovery’s annual festival! Enjoy not-so-scary, family friendly programs and performances include nature-themed activities, crafts, tutu making, wildlife adventures, spooky science, live entertainment, and more.

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free
Join the American Indian museum for its annual Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), a celebration originating in Latin America, particularly in Mexico and Central America, to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed and welcome the return of their spirits. Learn and take part in this centuries-old tradition, which includes pre-Hispanic and Spanish customs alike.

Healthy Kids Fun Run
Where: Pentagon North Parking Lot
When: Saturday, waves begin at 9:30am
Admission: $10 + fees

Kid can get in stride at the Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Nearly 3,600 children ages 5-12 will participate in the one-mile just-for-fun event. All participants receive a T-shirt, medal and snacks at the finish line. The Kids Run hosts six separate starting times. An individual young runner’s designated wave is indicated on the official participant bib as noted by color, start time and bib number.  There will also be a menagerie of mascots kids can meet. Miles and Molly welcome: Sammy the Sea Otter from Navy Federal; Lift Off from Sodexo; the GECIO Gecko; Sip, Dip and Milk from My Cookie Dipper Co.; Jack the Bulldog from Georgetown University; J. Slice and the National Watermelon Queens from the National Watermelon Promotion board; Talon from DC United; Jukebox from Silver Diner, and Archie the Eagle from Quantico Eagle Eyes.

Wax Frightful
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: October 26, 10AM – 4PM
Admission: $20/adult, free for ages 4-12 (online)

Join Madame Tussauds for fun Halloween crafts, costume competitions, spooky tales and more! Three sessions are available at 11am – 12pm, 1-2pm, and 3-4pm.

Giant Yard Sale
Where: Children’s House of Washington
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Comb through an array of fantastic toys, children’s clothes and household what-nots  You’ll be sure to find something to make your kids smile. Speaking of kids, children can enjoy sliding and climbing in the school’s lovely tree covered playground, balloons, a crafts table, delicious home baked goods and flexing their imaginations at the foot of the Dumbarton United Methodist Church’s beloved oversized, magical, purple double doors.  The Children’s House of Washington is located at 3133 Dumbarton Street NW.

Fall Fun Festival
Where: Mount Vernon Triangle, 5th & K Streets NW
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 2:30pm
Admission: Free

The Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (CID) presents a Fall Fun Day on Saturday. The event will include a variety of festive fall activities ranging from volunteer bulb plantings to a free zombie zumba class, plus a Mini Monsters Kid Parade and Pet Costume Parade.

Monster Mash
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: October 26, 10am
Admission: $10, under 12 months are free

Bring your little “monsters” for a day of Halloween surprises, mask making, Sesame Street character fun and much more! Make sure to wear your best Halloween costume!

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 27, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Baby Loves Disco Halloween Ball
Where: U Street Music Hall
When: October 27, 11am
Admission: $15/ticket or 4 for $55

Come dressed up in your costume (you, too, Mom and Dad!) for a special Halloween family dance party. Prizes, contests, tricks, and lots of treats will be part of the fun along with the always-groovy DJ-spun music set and lively MC.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 27, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumed child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

More Wicked Fun
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Special train and carousel rides, tricks and treats at the zoo, and more ways to celebrate the Halloween a few days early are going on around the area the weekend. Find the list of ’em here.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Educational, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 19-20

Watching kayakers at Great Falls, open again after the shutdown

Watching kayakers at Great Falls — open again after the shutdown

Between the many re-openings after the shutdown, fantastic lineup of entertainment and events, and glorious weather in the forecast, there’s no excuse for a dull weekend. There’s live entertainment galore, opportunities to time trip for a day, outdoor adventures to be had, and seasonal celebrations to enjoy. And if that’s not enough, you can find even more options here. Happy Weekend!

Kids Euro Fest  
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues through November 13.  See what’s on the schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Hike & Seek
Where: Seneca Creek State Park
When: Saturday, 9am
Admission: $12/adults, $7/ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under

Join REI and the National Wildlife Federation for some special event in the great outdoors of Gaitherburg. A cross between a nature hike and scavenger hunt, the adventure brings kids and their families together for fresh air and lots of fun. Live animals and Stop & Study interactive nature stations along the trails will provide an entertaining learning experience for kids 3-10 yrs. Plan to arrive 9-10am for two to three hours of activity, and be sure to bring a water bottle for everyone in the family. Registration is required online or at the event. Online registrations are discounted, so sign up now!

Autumn Colonial Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $6/adults, $3/kids & seniors, free for 2 and under

Enjoy fresh air and fun at the local colonial museum and working farm’s Autumn Market Fair. Warm yourself by the fire and enjoy the splendor of autumn with crisp local apples, warm savory meat pies, and hearty breads. Let Market Fair entertainers, tradesmen, and the militia amuse and educate you. Have your fortune told or take a fencing lesson. Allow Mistress Barrow and Mr. John to entice you with their wares at the Dry Goods and the Gentlemen’s Goods stand. Learn to dip a candle or turn a piece of wood on the carpenter’s lathe. Stop by the Tavern for a cup of mulled wine before you begin your holiday shopping at the many tradesmen’s and merchant’s stalls. Period food, beverages, and wares are available for purchase.

NSO Young People’s Concert
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Listen Up! Music is a Language is a full orchestra concert that explores how music inspires the imagination and speaks to us in various ways. The concert will touch upon the unique qualities music has as a language to energize us, to describe complex emotions, tell us stories, and connect us to each other. Join the NSO in this live concert experience that shows how music is our first language! Space is limited, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. One hour prior to the concert, there will be an “Instrument Petting Zoo,” a project of the Women’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra.

Last Call for Merriment
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under

It’s the final weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the annual faire that recalls medieval times with a tudor village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite annual events in the DC area, and I highly, highly recommend going if you haven’t been yet. Huzzah!

River Park Epic Yard Sale
Where: Eastern Market
When: Saturday, 8am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Find loads of fabulous buys, including gently used kids clothing, gear, and toys; housewares, books, and more! Some hot ticket items are a wine fridge, razor scooter, children’s bikes, a flat screen TV, a gorgeous cherry convertible crib, jumperoo, train table, children’s desk, and some really nice rugs. There will also be a bake sale with lots of yummy treats. All proceeds benefit River Park Nursery School, a non-profit preschool serving Capitol Hill for 50 years with a stimulating and safe learning environment, highly qualified instructors, and a supportive and involved group of parents. The sale will take place outside Rumsey Aquatic Center next to Eastern Market at 635 North Carolina Avenue SE.

Mr. Gabe Music Show
Where: Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $5

Join Mr. Gabe for some morning music at the coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. The popular children’s entertainer performs nursery rhymes, folk songs, and modern favorites for children ages zero to six. He appears at schools, cafes, and libraries throughout the DC area, and released his first CD, Play Date, last year, receiving a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award and nomination for a Washington Area Music Award.

Arts for Families
Where: Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Weave a work of art on your own miniature loom. Hang your finished piece at home—the loom serves as a built-in frame. No reservations are required for this free event, but space and supplies are limited.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: Now that the shutdown is over, Goodnight Moon is up and running again at Adventure Theatre, and Peter and the Wolf and Tiny Tots shows are on at The Puppet Co. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is hosting From Here to There. Halloween starts early at the BlackRock Center for the Arts with The Spooky Magic of Joe Romano. And Mister G is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday. See this post for details and ticket info for all the above shows.

World of Montgomery Street Festival
Where: Westfield Wheaton Plaza Mall parking lot
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The DC area is a modern-day global village with a diversity that enriches the lives of children and helps them to become successful 21st global citizens. The World of Montgomery Festival celebrates this stunning diversity and invites families to learn more about the many wonderful cultures that surround us every day. Experience it all through food, music, dance, traditional arts and hands-on projects for children and families at this 5th festival. Exhibits will include culturally authentic arts demonstrations and activities aimed at promoting international and multi-cultural awareness. An “Essentials of Life” theme will focus on food, water, culture and community service – the essential resources and common bonds we share across communities globally.

Fall Apple Festival
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Brookside Gardens is celebrating one fall’s best features — apples! The whole family can enjoy apple games, folklore, crafts, hand pressed cider, and of course, made-from-scratch caramel apples. Guests can also learn about the versatile fruit and the cider making process on a delicious fall afternoon. Registration for the Festival is appreciated, but not required. Be sure to extend the outing and tour the lovely grounds of the park.

Fall Fair
Where: Friends Community School, College Park
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

This annual Fall Fair will feature student-run traditional games, a moon bounce, a toy and book sale, face painting, a strolling clown, and plenty of good food prepared by local restaurants and school families. The school will also celebrate the opening of its new arts and teaching spaces in a ceremony at 1 pm. FCS has expanded its LEED Silver Certified building to include a lower school science lab, an art studio, and a performing arts space, as well as additional classrooms, offices and much-awaited student lockers. Students have begun to use the new space this fall. The Fair will take place rain or shine and all are welcome. Friends Community School is located at 5901 Westchester Park Drive, College Park, MD.

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DC Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get the Halloween party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

Where: Around the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

The shutdown is over, so visit a Smithsonian museum; tour the memorials on the Mall; enjoy the Botanic Garden; check out the collections at the National Gallery; go wild at the Zoo; explore the National Arboretum; see a show at Glen Echo Park; or take a hike at Great Falls, Roosevelt Island, Rock Creek Park, or Shenandoah National Park. Just because you can.


Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, School Event, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 5-6

Fall fun at Clark's Elioak Farm

Fall fun at Clark’s Elioak Farm

Shutdown, shmutdown. A little Congressional stalemate can’t stop the fun from happening around the DC-Metro. Take the kids to a farm for some seasonal amusement. Celebrate a neighborhood in the city. Get some great steals at DC public school yard sale. Catch a show or a Thomas DVD premiere. Take to the Takoma Park streets. Dig away at Dinosaur Park. Or you can browse the post full of outdoor ideas or the one with indoor recommendations for even more ways to enjoy DC with the kids. Happy Weekend!

Fall Fests
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Say “huzzah!” to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, pick some pumpkins, get lost in corn mazes, go on and hayrides, whiz down giant slides, bounce around on jumping pillows, and so much more. There are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. The guide to Fall Festivals has details on many of them happening around the region.

Columbia Heights Day
Where: Tubman Elementary Field
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you are invited to help celebrate the community on Saturday.  Columbia Heights Day is bringing together residents and businesses for a day of fun festivities–live music, a KidsZone with games arts & crafts and more activities especially for little ones, moon bounce, food trucks, a cupcake eating contest and much more! The Tubman Elementary field is located at 11th & Kenyon Streets NW.

Legendary Yard Sale
Where: Maury Elementary School
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but be ready to spend on awesome finds!

Bargain hunters take note: This Yard Sale is going to rock! I know this for sure because I helped collect the items… clothes, toys, bikes, books, baby gear, housewares, furniture, and much more fantastic stuff will be on sale for super cheap. Even better, proceeds all support a DC public school. Maury Elementary is located on Capitol Hill at 1250 Constitution Avenue NE.

Fall For Fairfax
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 7pm & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual event includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

Final Truckeroo
Where: Corner of Half and M Streets SE
When: Friday, 11am – 11pm
Admission: Free

The monthly festival held May thru October is hosting its final event of the season! Showcasing food trucks from the DC area, Truckeroo brings together just about all of the cuisine on wheels that cruise around the city. Take the kids for lunch or grab dinner, then bring it to Yards Park for a riverside picnic.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and you can do just that this Saturday. The 24th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

Thomas the Tank Film Screening
Where: Avalon Theater & Child’s Play Toys
When: Saturday, 10:15am
Admission: Free (but tickets are limited)

Barstons Child’s Play and Fisher-Price® will host the Washington, DC, premiere of the new Thomas the Tank Engine DVD, Thomas and Friends: King of the Railway on Saturday at the Avalon Theatre. Tickets are FREE but limited and can be picked up at any Child’s Play location – no purchase is necessary. And, straight from the Land of Sodor, special guest, Sir Topham Hat will also be attending the movie premiere! After the film, Sir Topham Hat will be available at Child’s Play Toys’ Chevy Chase location (5536 Connecticut Ave, NW) to sign trains until 12:30pm. All Child’s Play locations will also be offering a 10% discount on all Thomas Wooden Railway items on both Saturday and Sunday. The Avalon Theater is located at located at 5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days. Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. The Big Apple Circus brings a spectacular show to the Dulles Town Center (read about our experience there last year). The Kennedy Center presents an NSO Teddy Bear Concert, Teddy and the Ten Hats both weekend days. And Robbie Schaefer is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, while Ralph’s World will perform two shows on Sunday.

Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md, is hosting the 33nd Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.The scores of events and activities to entertain the whole family include clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train. Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee. Visit the website for more info and directions.

Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Avenue to Carroll Street
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, children’s activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 32nd annual festival. A diverse collection of items from over 150 artisans makes holiday shopping easy — find paintings, photographs, pottery, silk-screening, soaps, stained glass, jewelry, wood-working, textiles, ceramics, kids’ items and much, much more! Kids also love activities just for them, including inflatables and FUN! Music lovers can enjoy three stages hosting 18 popular local bands playing everything indie folk, rock, blues, country, reggae and everything in between.

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Diggin’ Dinos
Where: Dinosaur Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The 41-acre park in Laurel, Md, features a rare deposit of fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago). The public is invited to join paleontologists and and volunteers on-site to interpret fossil deposits on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.

Model Rocket Launch
Where: NASA Goddard
When: Sunday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Join the monthly model rocket launch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Anyone is welcome, and if you’ve got a model rocket to fly, bring it along (though there are some restrictions – see them here). The program takes place the first Sunday of every month at 1pm.

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The Weekend Round-Up: September 28-29

Miss Perception’s Mystery House at Port Discovery; the venue is among the many museums waiving the admission fee on Saturday for Museum Day Live!

Miss Perception’s Mystery House at Port Discovery; the venue is among the many museums waiving the admission fee on Saturday for Museum Day Live!


The blog might have been light on posts this week, but this Weekend Round-Up, chock full of all kinds of fun happenings for families, will more than make up for it. Explore a new museum for free, get festive on a farm or at a city celebration, veg out at Yards Park, see a show or a brand new mummy exhibit, go behind the ballet scenes, get crafty in a variety of ways, do some fine family dining, and much more — all of it amid glorious early autumn weather. Happy Weekend!

Museum Day Live!
Where: Local museums
When: Saturday
Admission: FREE

There are some area museums in the DC area that actually do charge admission. But on Saturday, Smithsonian Magazine is hosting it’s annual Museum Day Live!, when those that require us to open our wallets are free. You do have to register and bring a ticket (that is good for admission for two people), but it’s all complimentary. For more about the program, including recs for participating museums that kids will enjoy, see this post from a few days ago. And find all of the participating museums here.

Barracks Row Festival
Where: 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. This year’s festivities will include tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, aerialists from the trapeze school, and tons of fun for kids (clowns, magicians, face painting, etc.). The DC State Fair joins Barracks Row Fall Festival again, this year with unique competition categories: Funkiest-Looking Vegetable Grown in DC, Best Home Brew, Best Bike Accessory, Best Pie, and more well-deserving superlatives.

Crafty Bastards
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $5/advance, $10/at door, under 10 are free

What began 10 years ago as an opportunity to spotlight local crafters has blossomed into a weekend-long arts festival for the whole family. This year, the Washington City Paper’s annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair will include more than 140 talented vendors, local food truck fare, a selection of craft brews at the New Belgium Beer Garden, and attractions for every age at the Crafty Clubhouse Tent (stroller parking included)! The carefully-selected roster of independent artisans will be selling everything from clothing, jewelry and home goods to fine art and toys. And you can leave the car at home: The Union Market shuttle, “The Roadie,” will run from New York Ave Metro Station (NOMA) to Union Market every 10 minutes starting at 11am until 3pm.

20th Annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival Opens
Where: Great Country Farms
When: All weekend long
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farms’ seasonal celebration begins this weekend and will run through October. Have an unforgettable experience picking pumpkins, cheering on the fastest piglet, smashing pumpkins with P-Rex, getting lost in the corn maze and tons more fun on the five acres of family-friendly amusement.

Mummies in Maryland
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Through January 19
Admission: $25.75/adult, $19.75/child

The national blockbuster Mummies of the World exhibition will be opening for its exclusive and final engagement in Baltimore on Saturday at the Maryland Science Center. The exhibit presents a never before seen gathering of real human and animal mummies from around the world, including South America, Asia, Oceania and Egypt. Entry is timed, so it’s not a bad idea to purchase tickets in advance for better planning.

Pirate Paaarty
Where: Community Forklift
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Every day of the year, there are treasures to be found at the DC area’s largest thrift store for home improvement supplies, but during the Pirate Party, there will also be special discounts throughout the warehouse, free do-it-yourself workshops, activities for kids, live music, food, and raffle prizes! Experts will be on hand to demo and instruct on home mprovement projects. Little pirates will be able to dig for buried treasure, Walk the Plank, and try their hand at Captain Hook’s Ring Toss. They can also make eyepatches, spyglasses and hats, as well as swords from reclaimed wood. Look for special discounts and unusual antiques from Salvage Arts, a consigner in its fourth year of partnership with the Forklift. Anybody dressing in costume will receive a 5% discount throughout the warehouse, and prizes will be awarded for the child, adult, and pet with the best pirate-themed costume. Community Forklift is located 4671 Tanglewood Drive in Edmonston, near the D.C.-Prince George’s line.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: It’s the first weekend Lulu and the Brontosaurus is on the Imagination Stage. Goodnight Moon is entertaining all ages at Adventure Theater. The Big Apple Circus brings a spectacular show to the Dulles Town Center (read about our experience there last year). Really little ones will enjoy Panda-Monium on Saturday and World on a String on Sunday at The Puppet Co.’s Tiny Tots series. It’s the final weekend forWinnie the Pooh at the Workhouse Arts Center. And Oh Susannah is playing the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday, while Ralph’s World will perform two shows on Sunday.

DC VegFest
Where: The Yards Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Explore and celebrate the best of everything vegetarian in and around the nation’s capital at the fourth annual DC VegFest. This free outdoor festival will feature engaging speakers, cooking demonstrations, food samples, more than 100 exhibitors, a special kids activities tent, a cupcake eating contest, a beer and wine garden for adults, and much more. The kids area will feature lots of games, face-painting, storytelling, and other fun for young festival-goers. The Yards Park is located at 300 Water Street SE near Nationals Park.

Clarendon Day
Where: Clarendon Metro
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Dozens of vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, music on two stages, fitness classes, and a KidZone will be part of the action. And this year they are bringing back the chili with the DC Chili Cookoff making the Clarendon Day locale their home.

Let’s Move with Music
Where: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Get moving and grooving at this program geared towards children and families with encouragement to be active and make healthy lifestyle choices. The day will feature the hip, contemporary music of the U.S. Army Band “DownRange,” the Vienna Jammers, the Senior Steppers, Polynesian dancers, and Fit Kids will provide fun youth fitness activities. There will be an overarching theme of rhythmic music and dance, as well as an infusion of cultural diversity and exciting games and fitness activities.

Washington Ballet Open House
Where: The Washington Ballet Studios
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Go behind the curtain with The Washington Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet during this Open House. Meet some of the TWB dancers and join them for an afternoon of performances, classes, make-up demonstrations, food, games and crafts. Have your photo taken with a dancer, take part in “Make a Ballet,” and much more. The Washington Ballet Studios are located at 3515 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Then & Wow!
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This family festival is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual celebration of the Park’s revitalization and recalling of its history. The event features kiddie rides and arcade games, as well as videos and an exhibition on the Park’s past. Other activities include carousel and bumper car rides, face painting, vintage cars, magic shows with Jay Mattioli and Chris McCauley, Urban Artistry dance performances, and mini golf. Admission to the park is free, but rides and some activities require tickets.

Adventures in Crafting
Where: Little Loft
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Varies

Drop in for a creative session at the Capitol Hill art space for kids. Children ages 1.5-7 are invited to enjoy tactile stations or guided projects (depending on age) on Saturdays from 9:30am – 12pm, and 5-10-year-olds can be dropped off for a Sunday Crafternoon class from 2:30-3:30pm to work with paper, textiles, and commonplace materials to create uncommon gifts and tiny treasures. See the website for specifics.

Fiesta Musical
Where: National Zoo
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the National Zoo! The annual event will include animal demos, Hispanic and Latino music and foods, costumed dancers, and crafts for sale. Note that while admission to the event is free, if you drive and park in the Zoo lot, be prepared to pay – $16 for the first three hours, $22 beyond that. Curb the cost by taking Metro or looking for street parking nearby. Parking is free for FONZ members.

Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire
Where: Veteran’s Plaza and the Silver Spring Civic Building
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Robots, electric go-karts, interactive art, flying machines, and so much to do and see! KID Museum is hosting the Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire on Sunday. A Maker Faire features free family activities and innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers of all kinds. The festival demonstrates creative and unusual projects and pursuits to encourage attendees to explore their own curiosity and to make something new and different. Free and open to all, the Faire will feature two performance stages as well as interactive activities for children and adults of all ages.

Fall Harvest Festival
Where: 2941 Restaurant
When: Sunday, 11am – 2:30pm
Admission: $65/adults, free for children 10 & under

The Falls Church restaurant is inviting Autumn adventurers with a fondness for fall-inspired fare and beverages to enjoy an interactive Fall Harvest Festival. A native of Auvergne, France, Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel and team are celebrating the shifting of the seasons with a culinary twist. Sip and savor your way through delicious displays, featuring sweet and savory fall comfort foods paired with a selection of seasonal wines and craft beers that incorporate French, German, and local accents. Think Oktoberfest by way of Alsace, France compliments of French native Chef Chemel. Priced at $65 per person (all-inclusive/children 10 & under are free), guests will have the opportunity to enjoy several hours sipping, savoring, and socializing in 2941’s picturesque dining room and – weather-permitting – on the beautiful patio surrounded by lush landscaping, multi-tiered koi ponds, trickling waterfalls, Chef’s on-site garden, and a lakeside view. For additional information about 2941, visit the website.

Celebrate Fall
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at a festival this weekend. 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 guide has details on a bunch of fall festivals around the area.

Farewell to the Fish
Where: DC National Aquarium
When: Through September 30

It’s your very last chance to visit the National Aquarium in DC; the venue will close its doors for good after Monday due to renovations in the U.S. Department of Commerce building where it’s housed. The small space and simple exhibits are a perfect intro to the underwater world; in fact, it’s where my kids got their first glimpse of marine life. And fear not for the fishies: The collection of more than 1,500 animals will be transitioned to new homes at either the National Aquarium in Baltimore or other accredited aquariums.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: September 21-22

You never know what kinds of characters you'll encounter at Ren Fest

You never know what kinds of characters you’ll encounter at Ren Fest

Hispanic Heritage A 300 by 250

It’s the official start of fall this weekend, and you’ve got your pick of ways to usher it in. Celebrate the season at a festival on a farm or right here in the city, get building or bookish at a couple of fantastic annual events, enjoy a museum program, harvest honey, visit Abe’s place… This round-up is chock full of details on local happenings, and this list of indoor activities will be a good one to keep on hand, too, according to the latest weather forecast. Happy Weekend!

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adults, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will absolutely dig the National Building Museum’s annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be chock full of different stations where guests of all ages aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hands at all kinds of construction and design techniques. There will also be also craft areas, storytime, a scavenger hunt, construction vehicles to explore, a children’s play, and so much more. And it’s all totally free!

National Book Festival
Where: National Mall
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

One of DC’s biggest annual events is happening on the National Mall all weekend: The 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Over 200,000 visitors to the National Mall for a fantastic celebration of books and reading. More than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from every literary genre will be presenting – book readings, talks Q&A’s, book signings, and more . These will take place along with lots of other reading-related activities for all. For a glimpse at what to expect, see this post about our experience there last year.

Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Fall officially begins on Saturday, and you can celebrate the season and then some at one of many festivals happening this weekend, from city neighborhoods to country farms. The popular H Street is on Saturday (see below), Ren Fest gets medieval every weekend through October, and more farms are opening to welcome visitors for all kinds of autumn-inspired fun. Get details on all of them in this guide to fall festivals around area.

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is so much to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, with face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Innovators in Air and Space
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum is hosting a day of activities for the whole family.  Guests can hear about Latin Americans’ contributions to aviation and space exploration, meet current Hispanic scientists and engineers working in the local community, and take part in bilingual story times and hands-on activities presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Show Time
Where: Local Theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Here’s where you can find live family entertainment over the next few days: Goodnight Moon opens tonight for a 5-week run at Adventure Theater. Really little ones will enjoy Bunny Business on Saturday and Old McDonald’s Farm on Sunday at The Puppet Co.’s Tiny Tots series. Winnie the Pooh is still on stage at the Workhouse Arts Center. And ¡Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés! is the 10:30am show at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.

Nats Season Closer
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Florida Marlins in their final series of the season. Catch evening games on Friday and Saturday or an afternoon match-up on Sunday. If the games are anything like their meetings against the Braves this week, they’ll be closing out the season on an exciting note.

Day of the Dog
Where: Congressional Cemetery
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission Free

If you’re a dog owner, thinking of becoming one, or just really love dogs, this event at Congressional Cemetery (known for its off leash dog walking community) will get tails wagging. Costume contests (dress up those doggies!), games, demos, live entertainment, local vendors, and pet adoptions will be part of the festivities. Even if you don’t come with a dog, you may be gong home with one!

Musical Stories for Kids
Where: Brucker Hall, Fort Myer
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

At this kids’ concert, even the littlest audience member can experience the can-do spirit of their America and their Army through history, literature, art, movement, and music. Get your hands on real instruments in the “Black Jack’s” Instrument Petting Corral (at 10am) and more.

Free Film Shorts
Where: E Street Cinema
When: Saturday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

The 10th annual DC Shorts Film Festival, the largest short film event on the East Coast, presents a showcase of family-friendly mini flicks on Saturday. Ranging from 2 to 15 minutes long, the featured shorts explore a variety of themes that young audiences will enjoy. Read descriptions and see previews of the films here.

Honey, it’s Harvest Time
Where: Patuxent Research Refuge
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Discover the busy world of bees and other pollinators as the Patuxent Research Refuge hosts the Maryland Honey Harvest Festival. Guests can enjoy arts& crafts, honey tastings, candle-making demos, environmental tram tours and much more — all for free! The event will be held at the Refuge’s National Wildlife Visitor Center.

Family Day at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $15/adult, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

Enjoy the grounds of President Lincoln’s Cottage and Armed Forces Retirement Home as the Lincoln family did! There will be live entertainment and activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the Soldiers’ Home: A petting zoo, Civil War encampment, crafts, Civil War-era games, guided tours, and more will be part of the day’s festivities. Reservations are requested but not required

Green Festival
Where: DC Convention Center
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/online, $15/at door

The nation’s premier sustainability event is where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; a green marketplace; and delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. And the Green Kids Zone will feature entertaining and enriching activities, including eco-crafts, yoga, story time, trivia and more!

Fiesta DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 9th to 14th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Latino culture at the 42nd Annual Fiesta DC. It all starts with the Parade of Nations along Constitution Avenue at 11am. Following that, festivities on Pennsylvania Avenue will include five stages featuring live performances, a children’s mini festival, a science fair, international cuisine, and arts & crafts.

Junior Botanist Festival
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free

The USBG’s Junior Botanist program is back and they’re celebrating with a festival! Have an adventure at the U.S. Botanic Garden and discover all the talents needed to become a Junior Botanist. Between hands-on activities and engaging discussions with USBG staff and volunteers, ponder plants with Emily Porter of Project BudBurst, concoct cuisine with nutritionist Danielle Navidi and brood over bees with apiarist Tim Schuler. Then stick around and check out the all-new Junior Botanist program in the Conservatory!

Pickling Day!
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child

The Summer’s garden bounty is beginning to dwindle and and the Farm family needs to save some of it for the long winter ahead. Come help the Farm Wife prepare vegetables and other tasty treats for pickling as they show you how to combine salt, water, vinegar and spices to preserve their summer crops.

Sunday Crafternoon
Where: Little Loft
When: Sunday, 2;30-3:30pm
Admission: $18 (or $160 for a 10-class pass)

The creative space for kids on Capitol Hill is kicking off its new Sunday series for ages 5-10. Feel free to drop your child off while they get crafty creating something new each week. During this weekend’s “Mr. Roboto” session, they can make a small robot using recycled materials like old cds, legos, and cassette tape cases. Advance registration is requested, but pay at the door. Read more about Little Loft’s art offerings this fall for kids of all ages.

Stamp Gallery Opening
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Be among the very first visitors to the world’s largest stamp gallery as the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum opens its new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, the only one to show stamps and mail in the context of American history and culture. To celebrate, the Museum is hosting a Family Day full of special activities, including a chance to make your own stamp collection; a stamp design contest; meet-and-greets with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Tweety; a U.S. Postal Service First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony; a correspondence salon; a scanvenger hunt; and more fun for all ages.

Cavalcade of Street Cars
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $7/ages 18 and up, $5/ages 2-17

Hop on for a day of fun! Along with the museum’s array of exhibits and regular trolley rides, there will be several European trams and North American street cars offering visitors a spin through Northwest Branch Park during a single visit.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend