Tag Archives: May 2024

The 2024 KFDC Guide to Summer Around the DC Area

 

The season may still be a few weeks from official on the calendar, but summer fun has begun around the DC area! Spray parks are open, outdoor movies are being screened, carousels are spinning, local sports are in full swing, exhibits are opening, crab feasts are being served, and more seasonal experiences are underway.  Even better, there’s still much more to come.  This annual guide, that I’ve been putting together in this version for over 10 years, has all the info and inspiration you need to make the most of the season… starting now!

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Play in the Sprays

Outdoor Pool Season

Beaches

Waterparks

Big Screen Under the Stars

Summer Concerts

Festivals & Special Events

Seasonal Exhibits

Special Entertainment & Programs

Mini Trains, Carousels, Mini Golf, & a Ferris Wheel

Summer Sports

Crab Feasts

Seasonal Experiences

Gear Up

 

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PLAY IN THE SPRAYS

Scenic spray fun at Georgetown Waterfront Park

Kids can run through fountains and splash around at many of them around the area. Several are within the DC, MD, & VA Departments of Parks and Recreation, but some of the best are built right into the urban landscape, making the concrete jungle a cool place to hang out during the hottest months. Dates are TBD at some, but look for updates soon!

 

Canal Park in the Navy Yard is great for kids of varying ages with both a gentle, shallow fountain that is ideal for really little ones to enjoy, plus a bigger fountain with lots of sprays for more enthusiastic play where the ice rink is in the winter. Read more about Canal Park in this KFDC post.

 

The Wharf in Southwest DC has a nice in-ground fountain that opens before other nearby fountains and stay open longer.  Kids can run through water shooting up from jets, play in mist spraying up in the center, and ride on waterproof rocking horses within all of it, all with the beautiful waterfront area as a backdrop. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

 

DC DPR Spray Parks will open will be open for the season daily 10am – 6pm starting Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 25, through Labor Day, September 2. Be sure to view the list, as open days vary by location.  See all of the locations throughout the city on this map on the DPR website.

 

Yards Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is a favorite for water play in the city, with two levels featuring Dancing Fountains up top and the Canal Basin and Waterfall below, plus a great scenic location on the Anacostia River in the Navy Yard.  Grassy areas for hanging out and lots of nearby eateries make it a perfect place to spend a summer day. The water features turn on for the season on May 24! Note that they will be closed up to 48 hours these dates: June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5, August 19, and September 22. Read more about the water features at The Yards here.

 

Georgetown Waterfront Park, right next to Washington Harbour, has a fountain with arcing sprays that makes for a fun, refreshing way to cool off on a hot, summer day.  The rest of the park’s pretty green space along the Potomac is a nice, relaxing place to hang out, too. Read more about Georgetown Waterfront Park in this KFDC post.

 

Lyon Village Park, Hayes Park, Virginia Highlands Park, Drew Park, and Mosaic Park, some of the area’s most popular spray parks, can be found in Arlington along with Penrose Square, which has an in-ground interactive fountain. Open Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. Hours vary by park, so be sure to view the websites.

 

Our Special Harbor at Lee District Recreation Area in Alexandria gets raves for its Chesapeake-Bay themed sprayground complete with a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, misting sunflowers, and a lighthouse.  Open weekends May 25 – June 14, then daily June 15 – August 18, then only weekends again through September 2.

 

Potomac Yard Park, among the many city of Alexandria parks, has an interactive in-ground fountain that kids can play in — along with a couple of playgrounds and many other recreational features.  Even better, you can plan to do some shopping at the nearby Target and other big stores while you’re out that way. Open daily 10am – 9pm daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, then 10am – 8pm through mid-October.

 

There’s an in-ground fountain on Capitol Hill at the C Street Plaza right across from Eastern Market. On most weekday afternoons during summer, there’s a small crowd of little ones playing in the gentle sprays.

 

OUTDOOR POOL SEASON

Rosedale pool in NE DC opens Memorial Day

Nothing says summer like swimming under the sun.  There are plenty of public pools in the area where you can jump in for free or a small admission fee, plus a few other options for a nice pool day.

 

DC outdoor public pools will open on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27. They’ll operate on a weekend-only schedule (Saturday & Sunday) through  June 25. Starting Monday, June 26, all outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week.  Days and hours vary from pool to pool so be sure to check schedules before you go.

 

For outdoor swimming outside of the city, Montgomery County outdoor public pools will open weekends May 25 – June 14, then daily June 15 – August 11, then weekends again August 12 – September 2. See the MoCo Department of Recreation website for locations and hours.

 

In Northern Virginia, there are several waterparks (see below) in Arlington with outdoor pools and much more for guests to enjoy, and the city of Alexandria has three outdoor public pools:  Memorial Pool at Charles Houston Rec Center opens May 25 – August 9, and Old Town Pool and Warwick Pool are open May 25 – September 2.  Hours vary by day, so be sure to view details for all of them.

 

Swimply, a service that started a few years ago, lets you search for private pools to rent. You can find pools at residences all over and pay to use them by the hour.

 

Hotel Pass: Some DC hotels offer days passes for  adults and kids to their outdoor pools. At Hyatt House at The Wharf they start at $50/adult, $30/child.  The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Woodley Park starts at $50/adult, $15/child. Hotel Zena in Downtown DC starts at $50/adult, $25/child.

 

BEACHES

Beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park

Summer and beach trips go hand-in-hand, so why not hit one with the kids? There are a bunch of places where you can get a good dose of sand and surf that are within day trip distance from DC.

 

Calvert Cliffs State Park in Calvert County is known as a fossil hunting locale — as its cliffs erode, prehistoric remains of marine life are revealed — but it’s even better for beach fun, swimming, and hiking. To access the beach, you have to hike a couple of miles through woods (and there are even more trails if you’re up for it), but the walk is worth it for a dose of quintessential summer fun. Open daily sunrise – sunset, and admission is $5/vehicle in-state residents, $7/vehicle out-of-state. Read more about Calvert Cliffs in this KFDC post.

 

Flag Ponds Nature Park, also in Calvert County, has a large sandy beach for playing and nice mellow waters for swimming.  It’s also a great spot for fossil hunting — look for shark teeth and other prehistoric remnants along the shores while you’re there, too.  Hours are 9am – 6pm on weekdays and 9am – 8pm weekends from Memorial to Labor Day (days/hours are reduced the rest of the year). Admission is $5/vehicle in-county residents, $15/vehicle non residents. Be sure to read more about Flag Ponds for tips and get a glimpse here and here

 

Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis offers striking views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge along with loads of beach fun.  At nearly 800 acres, it’s a big park with lots of recreational opportunities — swimming, picnicking, fishing, crabbing, hiking, and more. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are lifeguards on duty. And snack food and beach and picnic supplies are available. Hours are 7am – sunset. From May 1 through September, admission is $5/person weekends, $4/person weekdays.

 

The Purse Area within the Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area in Charles County, MD, is best if your main purpose is fossil hunting — it’s a great place to go for it — and you want to get in some “beach” time, too. The beach is narrow, and you’re on a river, but you still get to enjoy sand and water.  Wear swimsuits, bring a picnic, and be sure to check the tide table (read this post for details) so you can make the most of your time there. Open sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.

 

Mayo Beach Park in Anne Arundel County, MD, is open for swimming in summer to enjoy some sand and surf. Passes to access the beach park on weekends must be reserved in advance.  Be aware of other beach rules like no grills or dogs allowed. Open Memorial Day – Labor Day on Friday 4-7pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 7pm.

 

Greenbrier State Park, just over an hour’s drive from DC in Boonsboro, MD, has a beach area on a man-made freshwater lake, where visitors can swim, paddle, boat, and fish. Swimming is only allowed from May through September in designated areas when swim ropes are in place, with lifeguards there Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11am – 6pm. Admission is $3/person weekdays, $5/person weekends.

 

Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania, MD, is popular for weekend-long trips, but also good as a day trip destination, being less than two hours’ drive from DC. It’s especially great with little ones from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, since it’s very organized with a designated beach/swim area, lifeguards, a bathhouse for changing and restrooms, and a snack bar.

 

Cape Henlopen State Park is a little over two hours from DC in Lewes, DE, but definitely doable as a day trip if you leave early, especially on a weekday when there is less traffic. We’ve done this and have had a fantastic day at the beach — packed up the car with a cooler and beach gear, got on the road early, and we were on the beach by 10:30am. Enjoyed dinner outdoors and ice cream in town before heading back, arrived home at 9:15pm. Totally worth the time in the car. Open daily, 8am – sunset, and admission is $10/vehicle out of state. Get a glimpse here.

 

They may not all be beaches, but this round-up of swim spots has a bunch more recommendations for places to take a dip around DC within day trip distance.

 

 

WATERPARKS

Make splash at Soak City in Kings Dominion

Giant water slides, wave pools, waterfalls, sprays and splash pads…this is the stuff kids’ summer dreams are made of. There are some great water parks around the area offering many of these attractions, just about all of them opening Memorial Day weekend for limited hours, until they open daily a few weeks later. Here’s a quick list — visit the websites for more details.

* Ocean Dunes Waterpark at Upton Hill in Arlington, VA

* Great Waves at Cameron Run in Alexandria, VA

* Six Flags America in Bowie, MD

* The Water Park at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, MD

* The Water Mine in Reston, VA

* Atlantis Water Park at Bull Run in Centreville, VA

* Pirate’s Cove Waterpark in Lorton, VA

* Volcano Island Waterpark in Sterling, VA

* Splash Down Water Park in Manassas, VA

* Chesapeake Beach Water Park in Chesapeake Beach, MD

* Soak City Water Park at Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA

* Water Country USA at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA

 

 

BIG SCREEN UNDER THE STARS

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the drive-in movie

Outdoor movies have become a DC summer tradition over the years with films al fresco in several neighborhoods. Even better, many of them are FREE! (*Before you make plans to enjoy any of the series, be sure to check schedules, as some movies may not be appropriate for children.)

 

Catch a flick on the big screen from the comfort of your car at the Union Market Drive-In Series, occurring monthly on Fridays through October 4, with mostly family-friendly films. Get there as early as 6pm and have a bite to eat in the Market or bring food back to your car. Film start times vary, so be sure to check on that. Admission is $20/car, free for walk-ins. Advance purchase is recommended.

 

National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac series is back through the September 29. Every Sunday (family night) at 6pm and Thursday (date night) at 7pm, guests can see a free film on the big outdoor Plaza Screen right on the waterfront. .Pack your chairs, grab food to go from one of the many eateries, and meet at the Plaza’s big screen for a FREE evening of fun and entertainment.

 

CiNOMAtic, the NoMa BID’s outdoor movie series at Alethia Tanner Park is screening “Epic Expedition” themed films Wednesdays at sunset through June 5.

 

Adams Morgan Movie Nights  is back with free movies on Tuesday evenings from May 21 – June 25 with all sports-themed films to get hyped for the summer Olympics. The program runs 8-11pm at Marie Reed Recreation Center’s soccer field (18th & California St, NW). Restaurants in the neighborhood will be offering special takeout meals that attendees can bring to the field.

 

New this year are Summer Film Nights at the Zoo, a free outdoor summer event series set to dazzle and entertain.  Movies will be shown on Lion-Tiger Hill, the grassy lawn located near the Harvard Street entrance to the Zoo, on May 16, June 20, July 18.  Reserve passes in advance.

 

Sunset Cinema at The Wharf presents free movies on Transit Pier on Thursday evenings starting at 7pm. There is a mix of action movies, rom-coms, blockbusters, and classics, so be sure to check the shedule to see what’s playing.

 

At the Navy Memorial Plaza (7th & Pennsylvania Ave NW) catch Movies on the Memorial on Thursday evenings.  The series of Navy-themed films pays tribute to our rich maritime heritage.  Look for the line-up soon.

 

Audi Field will once again transform into an outdoor cinema as Movies on the Pitch shows films on the stadium’s jumbotron screen —  May 30, June 6, June 20, June 27, and July 18 — all of them family-friendly.

 

DowntownDC Summer Flicks presents the ultimate outdoor cinematic experience, where beloved films meet live scores by renowned guest DJs, on Thursdays from June 6 – July 18 at Franklin Square.

 

Join the Rosslyn BID this summer for the Rosslyn Cinema Series to enjoy your favorite movies on the lawn in Gateway Park on Fridays in June.

 

Cinematery, themed “Summer of Spirits” this year, will screen four iconic haunted films.  It takes place monthly at Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill, on May 31, July 5, August 2, and September 6.

 

Enjoy Films in the Park in the Mosaic District will show movies in Strawberry Park every Thursday, 7-9pm, from June 20 to August 15.

 

Films at the Stone will host monthly screenings of family-friendly movies on Fridays, June 21, July 19, & August 16 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

 

The Columbia Pike Movie Nights series is returning. Enjoy free movies on Fridays nights at Arlington Mill Community Center and Saturday nights at Penrose Square stating July 5 through August 24.  The selection of 16 family-friendly films include animation, adventure, comedy, musicals, and more.

 

The Library of Congress will host its 7th annual Summer Movies on the Lawn on Thursday evenings from July 11 – August 8. Films will begin at sundown on the southeast lawn of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

 

Georgetown Sunset Cinema presents movies on Tuesdays in the lovely Georgetown Waterfront Park, with the panoramic backdrop of the sunset, Potomac River, Kennedy Center, and Key Bridge.  Free and open to all. 2024 dates TBA.

 

SUMMER CONCERTS

Friday night concerts at the Yards are a great start to summer weekends

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro.

 

The Bethesda Friday Summer Concerts will run Fridays, 6-8pm, from May 17 – September 20. Enjoy music, food, and fun at the corner of Norfolk & St. Elmo Avenues.

 

Jazz in the Garden, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s free concert series, is back. Experience live music amid art at every Friday from 6–8:30pm starting May 31, and there will be weekly shows through August 9. Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic dinner or purchase food and drinks there, and enjoy the sounds of a variety of jazz artists. Note: Adult drinks are available from the pavilion; BYO alcohol is not permitted. Registration is required for all ages 2+.

 

The U.S. Air Force Band’s Summer Concert Series brings outdoor concerts to National Harbor on Saturdays at 7pm and occasionally at other sites around the area starting June 1.

 

Rock the Dock at The Wharf on Transit Pier every Wednesday evening at 7pm from May 29 – August 28. R&B, Americana, Motown, Jazz, Reggae, Go-go, Country, and your favorite pop covers will be among the sounds you can hear, all for free.  There’s much more to enjoy on the Southwest Waterfront — read about it here.

 

Starting June 1 through August 31, enjoy music in Northern Virginia parks! The Fairfax County Park Authority presents their Summer Entertainment Series, a summer-long calendar of family-friendly shows, and concerts in local parks. Bring a picnic dinner, blankets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the best local and regional entertainers. There are many shows throughout the summer, so view the schedule here.

 

The U.S. Navy Band is bringing back Concerts at the Capitol, performances on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, and other iconic spots around DC June 3 – August 26 at 8pm.  All performances are free and open to the public.

 

Glen Echo Park’s 2024 Summer Concerts Series presents free live music in the historic Bumper Car Pavilion on Thursdays at 7:30pm from June 13 through August 29 featuring a variety of local bands and musical genres, from country to reggae, swing to Latin jazz, African to Cajun and blues.

 

Friday Night Concerts at Yards Park will be back  for the 13th season from June 28 – August 23. The series will feature performances by popular local artists with cold beverages and  food available for purchase, lots of grassy space for hanging out, and the water features for kids to play in nearby to make it a bigger family evening out.

 

Rockville Town Square is bringing back its Summer on the Square concert series. Enjoy live music on Fridays 6:30-8pm, from June 7 – September 20.

 

Tysons Corner Center presents a Summer Concert Series as part of their Summer on the Plaza activities. Bring your dancing shoes and enjoy live music from 7-9pm on  May 18, June 5, and July 20.

 

Enjoy music Live from the Lawn at Strathmore on Wednesday evenings from July 10 – August 21.  (They also have Cool Concerts for Kids on select Thursdays!)

 

The Kennedy’s Center’s Millennium Stage  continues to present free live performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 6pm, occasionally outside on The REACH plaza.

 

 

 

FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS

Giant puppets at a past Folklife Festival

Several stand-out events are anticipated around the area this time of year, celebrating everything from music to art & culture to neighborhoods to food.  There are also a few smaller happenings to plan for in advance.

 

From May 25-27,ViVa! Vienna!, a family and community oriented celebration of Memorial Day and the greater Vienna Community spirit,   will have amusement rides, food, crafts, vendors, and live entertainment.

 

The Mac Daddy of Truck Touch events around the area, the DC Department of Public Works’ Annual Truck Touch will take place on June 1, 8am – 1pm at RFK Stadium, Lot 8.  Tickets are free, but reserve a spot!

 

Celebrate Capital Pride during the month of June, especially June 8-9 at the annual parade and festival that culminates a week of gay pride events around the city. The Saturday parade is always a spectacular extravaganza of ornate floats, street performers, music and dancing, glitter and beads, and plenty of reveling. Sunday’s family-friendly festival, on Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 7th Streets NW, features several stages of live entertainment, hundreds of exhibitors, and activities for all ages. It’s all a fun and fabulous opportunity to show support for the LGBTAQ community and join the celebration.

 

At The Capital Car Show on June 15, see some of the world’s most exciting rare and classic cars.  This curated exhibition of 25 collector cars will be showcaed in  CityCenterDC.

 

The National Zoo will be hosting Science Solstice Saturday on June 22.  The free, fun-filled immersive scientific experience will offer opportunities to engage with scientists, researchers, and animal experts to learn how science is shaping the future of wildlife conservation.

 

Sound Scene, an interactive sound and multi-sensory arts festival, will be back at the Hirshhorn June 22-23. The free, all-ages celebration of sonic and sensory arts will feature artists from DC and around the world. With a “Solstice” theme, visitors can explore various concepts and issues through interactive art installations, live performances, and small group workshops.

 

Attend one of the biggest summer barbeques around June 22-23 as the National Capital Barbeque Battle returns to pit some of the nation’s best barbequers against each other as they compete for big prizes. The reward for attendees: Samples from all the entrants (plus, more food), live music, cooking demos, kids’ fun, and more.

 

On June 15, get a close look at some of the most exciting aircraft at the Innovations in Flight Outdoor Aviation Day. The event takes place at the Steven C. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the National Air & Space Museum. View over 50 unique aircraft that  fly in for the day and be on display outside the museum. You can even go into some of the cockpits and cabins and talk with pilots. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

 

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival will take place this year June 26 – July 1.  Every summer, the National Mall becomes stomping grounds of folks from around the globe to celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions at the annual event. Celebrating Indigenous Voices of the Americas this year, get ready for all kinds exhibits, demonstrations, live performances, talks, food, markets, and much more!

 

Independence Day in DC is a pretty big deal, the city being the nation’s capital and all, so the annual July 4th celebrations are significant. It starts with the National Independence Day Parade down Constitution Avenue, then the A Capitol Fourth concert at the U.S. Capitol, and fireworks launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial.

 

The lotus and water lilies in full bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens are such a ravishing sight it calls for a celebration. Along with the spectacular display of flowers, the annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival offers more ways to appreciate the flowers and park. This year the festival will take place over a couple of weekends, from July 19-21. View scenes from a previous bloom here.

 

July 27-28, the Downtown DC BID presents Kids World 2024, a celebration of youth and learning in Franklin Park . Free and open to all, the event will feature a variety of creative pop-ups, hands-on activities, performances by talented local youth,  playful installations, and more to entertain and educate young visitors and their families.

 

County fair season in the region starts in early August and goes through late September.  It starts with the Howard County Fair August 3-10,  then the Montgomery County Fair August 9-17, the Prince William County Fair August 11-19, the Arlington County Fair August 14-18, the Prince George’s County Fair (dates TBA), and the Anne Arundel County Fair (dates TBA).

 

The National Book Festival, one of the most anticipated annual events in DC, takes place on August 24, 9am – 8pm! Book enthusiasts, young and old, come from all over for the day of reading-related activities. Works by more than 70 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased, and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances. See the website for more details. Admission is free. 

 

It might run into fall, but it starts August 24, so the Maryland Renaissance Festival counts among the summer fun. Plus, if you’ve been reading KFDC while then you know it’s one of my very, very favorite annual events. (More confirmation on  that herehere, herehereherehere, here, here, and here.) I take a lot of pride in the number of people I have turned into Ren Fest believers.  So, go! I promise, it is the absolute best. (PS: I shared these tips a couple of years ago, and they’ll be very helpful again.)

 

SEASONAL EXHIBITS

A fairy house find at Annmarie Sculpture Garden

Extraordinary installations, lovely annual exhibits, and kids’ programs during the school break are some of the special experiences at our museums and galleries to take take advantage of over the summer.

 

The National Children’s Museum will welcome the Mindbender Mansion exhibit to its Visiting Exhibit Hall. It will be an eclectic place full of brainteasers and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brain power and problem-solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers. Visit it May 25 – September 2.

 

It’s not actually an exhibit, but the Folger Shakespeare Library will have several fascinating exhibits plus performances at its theatre plus a brand new space when it reopens to the public after a thre- year renovation on June 21! Hours will be 11am – 6pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and 11am – 9pm Thursday – Saturday.  Admission is free (suggested donation of $15).  Get an idea of what’s at the Folger in this KFDC post from pre-renovation.

 

Annmarie Sculpture Garden is enchanting any time of year, but it’s especially so in the summer when the fairy and gnome houses are on display. The adorable collection of little whimsical abodes for spritely creatures are just fantastic to view and find throughout the grounds. Created by all ages, individuals and groups, each one has a different theme, but together they are a brilliant showcase of imagination and craftiness. Read more about it and view scenes from a past exhibit here and here.

 

ARTECHOUSE, the destination in southwest known for fusing art and technology will have a new exhibit for the summer.  Details will be shared soon! Admission is $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack, free/under 4.

 

During the warm months, little ones can flex their green thumbs in the outdoor Children’s Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Renovated a few years ago, the adorable outdoor area features dirt to dig in, plants to tend to, and a cute play structure to romp in. The rest of the USBG is great to explore, too!

 

 

SPECIAL ENTERTAINMENT & PROGRAMS

You can’t beat the lovely outdoor setting of Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods

From super cheap movies in local theaters to stay cool on hot days to live theatre at fun places, there are some great ways to keep kiddos entertained all season long.

 

The Regal Summer Movie Express presents flicks for kids on many Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 10am from late May 21 through August 27. Admission is just $2! Be sure to check the website for the film schedule and theater locations, as it doesn’t run at all theaters every week — this year’s program details should be available soon!

 

The National Portrait Gallery is hosting Portrait Gallery Kids  on select Mondays, 11:30am – 12:30pm, from June 3 through August 26.  Children and families are invited to join museum educators to will look at art, do hands-on activities, listen to music, and participate in story time. Each session will explore a new topic and use different materials. Admission is free.

 

National Harbor hosts a free Kids Day on the Plaza every Tuesday at 10:30am at the waterfront plaza stage. The fun Tuesday mornings will run June 4 – August 27. Enjoy summer sunshine and cool river breezes along with a rotation of family-friendly activities.

 

The beloved Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park will present the show Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale from June 20 – August 18.

 

And the popular Imagination Stage is performing Miss Nelson is Missing from June 20 – August 10.

 

Millennium Stage Extraordinary Cinema is presenting several family movies — Jurassic Park on May 31, Elemental on June 21, Ratatouille on June 28, and The Lorax on August 2 — all of them are FREE and will be screened around 8:30pm outside on the wall of The REACH.

 

CityCenterDC and The Washington Ballet will present live performances in The Plaza at CityCenter.  See them for free June 8-10, 6:30pm-7:30pm. Seating is first-come, first-served.

 

Throughout summer on select dates from June 10 – August 10, Montgomery Parks is hosting Parks Playhouse Junior, an entrainment series for kids featuring live puppet shows, sing-alongs, and music lessons by performers that will keep kids moving and grooving, engaged, and informed.

 

From June 20 through August 3, Wolf Trap presents the fantastic Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All of the productions are recommended for children between Kindergarten and 6th grade, though I think kids even younger can enjoy them, too (mine did!). Read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer (it’s an old one, but still relevant!)

 

Starting mid-June, Arts in the Parks, Fairfax County Park Authority will present a free children’s entertainment series on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10am.  Locations vary — catch shows at Burke Lake Park, Frying Pan Farm Park, EC Lawrence Amphitheater, Mason District, and Waterfield Park.

 

The Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse is back and offering fun $1 films for kids every Wednesday from June 10 – August 15. Check the schedule to see what’s playing at a theater near you!

 

Experience a real-life night at the museum at a Smithsonian Sleepover at the National Museum of Natural History.  Kids and parents can explore exhibits after dark, participate in games and challenges, and enjoy an overnight in a favorite DC place.  Follow the link for pricing and more details.

 

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, with locations in NoMa, Loudoun, and Woodbridge, welcomes families to Kids Camp, a movie series that is inexpensive ($5) and benefits local charities, to boot.

 

Olney Outdoors is back  with over 25 summer programs to be held on the Root Family Stage at Omi’s Pavilion, this summer from July 5 – August 31.

 

Strathmore is hosting Cool Concerts for Kids on Thursdays July 11, July 18, July 25, and August 1 at 7pm.

 

See a Shakespeare play in the park! The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company presents its annual Shakespeare in the Ruins at the picturesque Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City, MD. The Merry Wives of Windsor will run June 14 – July 21.  Tickets are $65/adult, $33/age 19-25, and one kid is free with every adult.  Bring along a picnic to enjoy as you watch the play — there are no food vendors, but you can BYO fare, beer, and wine.

 

See what regularly occurring museum programs for kids are happening this summer!

 

 

MINI TRAINS, MINI GOLF, CAROUSELS, & A FERRIS WHEEL!

Ride through the woods on the Watkins miniature train

These extra delights bring even more fun to several parks around the area that are already great outdoor places to hang with the kids.

 

Watkins Regional Park opened its Antique Carousel and Mini Golf (the Miniature Train is not open as it’s undergoing a restoration) on a limited schedule in early May, but come Memorial Day weekend, they can be enjoyed for extended hours almost every day of the week. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am – 7pm; Sundays 12–5 pm, closed Mondays except May 27 (Memorial Day), July 4 (closes at 4pm) & September 2 (Labor Day).  This along with all of the other fun features — Nature Center, Old Maryland Farm, and Wizard of Oz Playground!

 

Cabin John Regional Park opened its Miniature Train on weekends only in early May, and will run on weekends through September 10am – 6pm. Rides are $3.50. Plan to spend time at the wonderful Cabin John playground, too — read more about it here.

 

The Miniature Train and Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park started taking guests for spins in early April on weekends and will be open through the summer. After Memorial Day, it’s open Thursday – Sunday, but hours vary, so be sure to check the website..  Rides are $3.50.  Plan to stay and play at the super fun Wheaton playground — read more about it here.

 

At Glen Echo Park, the beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel is celebrating its 103rd season! Plan to go for a spin before or after a show at Adventure Theatre or The Puppet Co. From May through August 31, it’s open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 2pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Tickets are $2/ride, $5/all-day pass.

 

Get ready to kick some putt at The Wharf!  Pixar Putt, a mini golf course inspired by the stories, characters, and icons from some of Pixar’s most beloved films, is popping up at the southwest waterfront from March 25 to August 3.  Hours are Monday – Thursday, 12-8pm and Friday-Sunday, 10am – 8pm.  Note that tee times are age 18+ after 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $32/child, $34/adult, $108/family 4-pack.

 

The Clemyjontri carousel in McLean, VA, will be offering rides daily starting May 27 on weekdays 9:30am – 1pm and weekends 9:30am – 6:30pm. (Until then only on weekends) Cost is $4/weekdays, $5/weekends & holidays. Read more about Clemyjontri here.

 

National Harbor offers a couple of ways to go for a spin. Kind of like a London Eye of the U.S., The Capital Wheel is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of DC. The 42-gondola ride (all closed and climate-controlled with room for 8) soars 180 feet above the Potomac River waterfront, offering vistas of the White House and Capitol, the National Mall, Arlington Cemetery, and more amazing sites. Ticket prices are $17.50/age 13+, $13.50/12 & under. For an on-ground whirl,  The Carousel features a herd of whimsical creatures and the sparkling Potomac as a backdrop. It’s $7/ rider, and they can ride an unlimited number of times. Read about both rides and more National Harbor fun here.

 

Burke Lake Park’s Mini Train, Carousel, and Mini Golf are open daily from Memorial Day – Labor Day.  The train 11am – 5:45pm, the carousel 11am -5:30pm, and mini golf 11am – 8pm (last play 7pm). The park is free to access for Fairfax county residents. For non-county residents, the park is free on weekdays and has a $10 entrance fee on weekends/holidays for a car or large capacity van. Carousel rides are $4-5, train rides are $5-6, mini golf is $7-9. See more about the park here.

 

Play Mini Golf in the District at East Potomac Park.  (Fun fact: It’s on the National Register of Historic Places listed as the oldest continually operating miniature golf course in the country!) Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 8pm. Admission is $6/kids and seniors, $7/adults. Read more about hanging out at East Potomac Park’s Hains Point. (FYI: You can also play Foot Golf there!)

 

Tee up at several NoVa Parks that have mini golf courses. Cameron RunUpton HillPohick Bay, and Algonkian Regional Parks all welcome guests to putt around.  Cost is $5/age 12 & under, $7/13+. Check websites for hours at each park.

 

Lee District Family Rec Area in Alexandria offers ides on its Chesapeake Bay-themed carousel.  Open daily June 15 – August 18 (and weekends until June 14) — hours are 11am – 6pm Monday/Tuesday/Thursday, 11am – 5pm Wednesday, and 9am – 6pm Saturday/Sunday.  Cost is $4 per ride on Fridays, $5 per ride weekends & holidays.

 

 

SUMMER SPORTS

Kick it at a DC United match!

Some of the season’s best action takes place in ballparks, stadiums, and arenas thanks to our local sports teams. Here’s where you can join the fan clubs.

 

A day at Nationals Park is all it takes to understand why baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Our family always enjoys catching a Nats game on a nice summer (or spring) day (or evening), anyway. The excitement extends well beyond the diamond with games and activities in the park, a playground for kids, the Racing Presidents, fun in the stands, and more. Before you go, check out these tips on doing a Nats game without breaking the bank. And I highly recommend the Jr. Nationals Kids Club for children 12 and under. Just $20 gets them membership, which includes Nats swag, plus a coupon book with all kinds of offers and discounts.

 

Whether or not you’ve got a little soccer fan in your fam, DC United matches are fun experiences for all ages, and Audi Field is a great venue for watching them. Plus, since games only last 90 minutes, they’re not too long if young spectators get antsy.

 

Women’s pro soccer team, Washington Spirit, are playing their matches at Audi Field this season — and they are always very exciting to watch!

 

Can’t stand the heat? Head to the Entertainment & Sports Arena in southeast DC to see the Washington Mystics (w)hoop it up on the basketball court. Tickets start at $14.

 

Every summer, the Mubala Citi DC Open Tennis Tournament serves up exciting competition along with other fun activities for fans of all ages. See some of the sport’s top players in action and enjoy the thrills on and off the court at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center July 27 – August 4.

 

Swing up to Charm City to see the Baltimore Orioles play. Camden Yards is a beautiful ballpark, and you can head to the Inner Harbor before or after to make a day of it up north.

 

If the Nats or O’s aren’t in town, or you want to see baseball on a smaller but still fun scale, you’ve got several great options around the area. Take ’em out to the minors to see the Bowie Baysox, Potomac Nationals, or Aberdeen Ironbirds play. Summer collegiate team Bethesda Big Train is also very popular for non-majors baseball action.

 

The Breeze, DC’s Ultimate Frisbee pro team,  plays at Catholic University’s Carlini Field.  It’s fast-paced, fun to watch, and there’s a welcoming family vibe — plus, kids 8 and under get in free!

 

SEASONAL EXPERIENCES

Blackberry picking at Homestead Farm

Some particularly cool activities and offerings are only possible this time of year. Sure, you can say that’s most of this guide, but these experiences that fall into the “other” category shouldn’t be missed.

 

On Thursday evenings and some Saturdays during late spring and summer, the Anacostia Watershed Society hosts their free Discovery Series, which include boat tours, paddle tours, and wetland walks at a few local parks. Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and 11th Street Bridge Park are locations for these jaunts.

 

For other adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Fletcher’s Boathouse is a popular place to go and has a great riverside area to hang out and picnic when you’re off the water. You can also row from Ballpark Boathouse near Yards Park. Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has paddling options along with lots of other outdoor recreation. This post has a whole round-up of even more places to go with the flow on local waterways.

 

Pick your own produce at local farms. While it starts in the spring with strawberries, it carries on through summer with even more delicious fruits — blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plus veggies and more produce you can gather yourself. Find out where you can PYO around the DC area.

 

Summer in the Parks will offer weekly events every Thursday evening 6-8pm at Carter Barron in June and at Fort Slocum in August in partnership with Rock Creek Park/National Park Service. The FREE, family-friendly events will have music from DJ Lance Reynolds and fun-for-all-ages games and activities.

 

Join Anacostia Riverkeeper and Earth Conservation Corps on Friday evenings 5-8pm  from June 21 – September 5 for Friday Night Fishing, their catch and release fishing program at the dock at Diamond Teague Park (located next to Yards Park). Rods, reels, bait, and instruction are free. No sign up is required.

 

Enjoy some fun in the trees navigating the best ropes courses in an aerial forest around! The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is open in spring and fall, too, but summer is a great time to go when the kids are off school and weekdays are options too.  Read about  some of our experiences there here and here.

 

Aaaaaar, mateys! As the weather warms up and cruising conditions become more comfortable, pirate voyages are offered on local waters. In DC, take a Family Treasure Hunt Cruise on the Boomerang Pirate Ship. Head out to Annapolis for Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake. Or go for a jaunt with Urban Pirates in Baltimore.

 

Some of the most spectacular flower blooms occur during the summer. View a whole park bursting with pink, white, and peach-hued lotus flowers and water lilies. Fields upon fields of sunflowers are sure to brighten any day. Stop and smell the roses at a favorite National Mall spot. Get details on all of them in this post about our bloom town.

 

Get rolling in Southeast! The Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion, the only skating pavilion within a national park, will officially welcome skaters daily from 9am – 5pm starting Memorial Day through Labor Day. Even better, both admission and skate rentals are FREE! (You can still BYO skates and roll around the rest of the year.) And along with skating, Anacostia Park offers all kinds of recreation, including large fields for sports and running around, tennis, fishing, basketball, biking, running, and three playgrounds. Read more about the park in this KFDC post.

 

 

CRAB FEASTS

One of the best treats of the season

Crab feasting is easily one of the best activities during summer in Maryland and neighboring areas (this is where I get non-DC-centric because I have to give credit where it’s due). Here are some suggestions for places to get ’em, though the “best” is always a subject for debate.

* Cantler’s is an Annapolis institution for many.

* Mike’s Crab House in Riva has a great tiki area if there’s a table wait.

* The Point in Arnold, MD, has become one of our favorite crabby spots.

* Enjoy great crabs and an awesome beach area at Kentmorr.

* The Jetty on Kent Narrows has crabs, scenic views, and a fun beachy vibe.

* Skipper’s Pier in Deale is the most recent place we tried — and we all liked it.

* Enjoy a feast in the District at Ivy City Smokehouse.

* Stay close to the city at Quarterdeck in Arlington.

* Eat crabs in the ‘burbs at Bethesda Crab House.

* Make it a day trip to Waterman’s in Rock Hall, MD.

* Pick up your own at The Fish Market at The Wharf. Buy them already steamed or get them while they’re still alive to cook at home.

 


GEAR UP

Lawn games like Kadima elevate summer hangs

There are some items that help enhance your summer experiences, whether you’re going to the pool, headed to the beach, or just enjoying a day outdoors in the sunshine. These KFDC posts have great recommendations for gearing up for summer fun.

* Amazon Picks for Spring & Summer Adventures with Kids

* 10 Outdoor “Lawn” Games for Extra Summer Fun

* Must-Haves for Keeping Kids Cool at the Pool

* Top Picks for the Best Beach Day

* This past post and this one with Prime Day picks also include lots of summer recommendations.

 

 

Have I left out anything really good? If you think so, let me know in the comments below!

 

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: May 10-12

 

Happy Weekend!  And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Go-to posts packed with ideas for ongoing fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Celebrate Mom
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re still in need of plans to celebrate Mother’s Day, there are plenty of last-minute ways to make the occasion special. This round-up has ideas ranging from fairly mellow to very active, totally free to a total splurge – there’s sure to be something to make every mom’s day.

Drive-In Movie: Grease
Where: Union Market | Northeast, DC
When: Friday, 8:15pm (lot opens 7:30pm)
Admission: $20/car, walk-ups are free

Catch an outdoor screening of Grease at this season’s first installment of Union Market’s Drive-In Movie Series. Watch the film from the comfort of your car (or walk up and sit in the fresh air) in the UM parking lot. Get there early to enjoy delicious foods from market vendors! The lot opens at 7:30pm and the film begins at 8:20pm. Advance purchase is recommended.

Bonsai Festival
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free
See the tiny trees at one of the prettiest places in the city this weekend. Each day features demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, and the renowned collection of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. While you’re at the Arboretum, be sure to see the beautiful, blooming azaleas, too! Read more about the Arboretum here and here.

White House Spring Garden Tours
Where: White House Grounds | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Here’s a chance to see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn at the White House. The annual Spring Garden and Grounds Tours are being held on Saturday and Sunday — and gaining admission to the event is as easy as picking up tickets the day of. Go here for more details and info on how to get tickets.

Free Museum Admission (to one that usually charges)
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This Saturday, all of the exhibits at the National Building Museum will be free to visit!  Kids will especially enjoy Building Stories, which highlights building, engineering, and design through children’s books.  They’ll also love Brick City, showcasing re-creations of iconic architecture all constructed from LEGO bricks, plus there are opportunities to build their own masterpieces.  From 10am – 12pm, ages 4-9 can join a Builders Reading Club Meeting.  A Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit is also on view right now.

EU Open House
Where: EU Embassies | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Avoid the hefty airfare and jet lag and explore the Continent from this side of the pond. Join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international culture. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures, and savor their cultures while you’re there through art, performances, cuisines, and more. Get an idea of what to expect in this post about one of our experiences at an Around the World Embassy Tour.

Family Day: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

Join a special Family Day featuring stories from the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the Library’s collections. Planned activities include a chance to creatively share your own family histories and experiences, join a mask-making workshop, and more.

Little Critters: Nature Play
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with creative, drop-in play at the Zoo! Migrating birds are journeying north for the summer, so there will be engaging activities like feather painting, nest weaving, and bird-seed sensory play at the Zoo’s ongoing Little Critters Nature Play program. Designed for ages 0-5 and their caregivers and families, activities have early learners in mind, but all ages are welcome.

Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC
Where: 1521 20th St. NW | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

At this outdoor market in Dupont Circle, over 100 young entrepreneurs ages 6-14 will be selling handmade products including homemade soap, original jewelry, marbled note cards, baked sweet treats, and more. It’s a fun event for the whole family!

Family Day: National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Where: National Museum of the Marine Corps | Triangle, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ Education Department during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to learn about what it takes to become a Marine as well as the Marine Corps fitness standards. Participants will even be able to test themselves against the Marine Corps fitness standards to see how they would do!

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm | Sunday, 11am
Tickets: $25
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. T

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Strawberry Fields…this Weekend
Where: Farms around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Strawberries are ripe and ready for harvest — several area farms are now welcoming guests to pick their own. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

Swing into Mother’s Day
Where: Swingers | Dupont Circle
When: Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Tickets start at $21

Swingers, the crazy indoor golf club that has been a destination for just adults, will start welcoming kids and families before 6pm on Sundays — starting this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day. Putt through the fun course, enjoy some yummy street food and drinks, and have a blast. Along with the mini golf fun, all moms will be gifted a complimentary glass of bubbles!

Charm City Fun, Hon!
Where: Around Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Not only is it nice to get a change of metro area scenery sometimes, Baltimore, our sister city just a 45-minute drive away, is full of fantastic, family-friendly things to do. This post has info about all of them, including big attractions, suggestions for places to eat, and neighborhoods to explore.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Hours vary by museum
Admission: Varies by museum

If you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences.  Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

Inside Action
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

There’s rain in the forecast, so you may be looking for places to be indoors, but want some active fun or something with an engaging mission.  From pickleball and roller skating to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts to an indoor waterpark, this post shares all kinds of ways to get your fun and game on.

Museums Beyond DC
Where: Museums in MD & VA
When: Hours vary by museum
Admission: Varies by museum

While DC is known for its legion of museums, there are even more beyond the District lines that are great to explore with kids. Explore Air & Space in Chantilly and aviation in College Park, see dinos and more cool science in Baltimore.  This post has a round-up of museums in Maryland and Northern Virginia to add to your family’s activity mix.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Ideas for “me” time on Mother’s Day.
* And for “me” time on Saturday, the That’s So Vintage Market at Union Market sounds fun.
* Recipes for Mother’s Day treats.
* Eater DC’s round-up of 15 Fabulous Bloody Marys Around D.C. could come in handy for Sunday plans.
* Just started reading this novel and really enjoying it so far.
* So many cute things on sale from the sweetest kids clothing brand.
* How pretty are these sparkly strappy sandals? This simple but statement-y red pair, too.
* What I want for Mother’s Day. 😅

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Ideas for Celebrating Mother’s Day Around the DC Area (2024)

A lovely Mother’s Day in Annapolis last May

 

Mother’s Day is an occasion worth making extra special plans for (in my totally unbiased opinion 😉). This round-up, very similar to previous years but updated for right now, has ideas to help make it a great one for all of the honorees — whether it’s spent as a family, with friends, or even solo. With recommendations that range from fairly mellow to very active, totally free to a total splurge, there’s sure to be something to make every mom’s day. Happy Mother’s Day!

Hike & Aprés Hike
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Go for a nice walk in the woods, then follow it with some good aprés hike fun!  Hit the trail then have a yummy meal, relax with some sips, and maybe even play some outdoor games as you extend mom’s special day at a beautiful, fun place. This round-up suggests six great combos around the DC area to do just that.

An Indoor-Outdoor Art Stroll (& Brunch)
Where: Glenstone | Potomac, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by museum

For moms who love art, the indoor-outdoor art museum in Potomac is a perfect place to spend the day. Glenstone offers a unique art adventure at one of the loveliest museums around. The catch: Kids must be at least 12 to visit.  The bonus: They get guaranteed admission along with an adult. (Of course, mom can go solo if kids are too young.). There is a cafe on the grounds to enjoy a casual bite, or you can go to nearby(ish) restaurant after for a nice meal. Old Anglers Inn and MoCo’s Founding Farmers are both about 15 minutes away.

Celebrate Mom Tour
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: May 10-12
Admission: $52.50

Celebrate mom with a glass of champagne (21+) and chocolates as you explore this wonderfully unique and quirky mansion and search for secret doors. Over 100 rooms (at least 60 of which you are guranteed to see) are filled with all kind of interesting decor. Even better, just about all of it is for sale, so BYO shopping bags — and plan to find some treats for mom! Get a glimpse and read more about the Mansion on O in this KFDC post.

Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: May 11-12
Admission: $40/advance, $50/weekend of

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s annual Mother’s Day event is taking place over two days this year. Tour the insides of nine beautiful homes and three semi-public buildings within the Capitol Hill Historic District. It’s always fun and interesting to get a peek inside the house featured on this tour! A refreshment break with treats from local vendors at the historic Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is included, plus an architectural tour of the building will also be offered.

Browse & Brunch
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free (& the cost of your meal)

Enjoy a lovely day out at Eastern Market’s outdoor weekend flea market. It’s a personal neighborhood fave any time of year, but especially pleasant to browse and stroll during the spring — I can vouch that at least one mom loves it. Spend time at the vendor tents to shop art, apparel, jewelry, home goods, food and more. After (or before), enjoy Mother’s Day brunch at one of the many restaurants in the area.

Brunch & Play
Where: Around the DC area
When: ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

For moms who like to get their game on or enjoy a fun mission, take her to place that offers opportunities to play. From pickleball and roller skating to bowling and bocce to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts, this round-up has a bunch of ideas for celebrating with some active indoor fun. Even better, many of the places also serve food to include a meal, too. (If not, just find a restaurant close by!)

Flower Power
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Instead of bringing flowers to mom, take her to them! With the bloom season upon us, and landscapes bursting with color, a visit to a garden makes for a lovely outing, especially when there’s often more to do than just look at the plants and flowers. Stroll among the many multi-tiered plats at Dumbarton Oaks. Wander around the sprawling Green Spring Gardens. Venture out to the gorgeous Meadowlark Botanical Garden. Relish in the peace at the Brookland Monastery. Or stop and smell the roses (and more) at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You can bring along a picnic to many of these places and make it a whole day’s outing.

Bonsai Fest & More Fun
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: May 10-12
Admission: Free

The National Arboetum’s annual Bonsai Festival occurs the same weekend as the holiday, perfect for moms who are horticulture enthusiasts. See the tiny trees at one of the prettiest places in the city. Each day also features demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, and the renowned collection of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. While you’re at the Arboretum, be sure to see the blooming azaleas and the rest of the beautiful plant collections, and maybe even bring a picnic to enjoy amidst it all. Read more about the Arboretum here and here.

A (Crab) Feast Fit for a Queen
Where: Around the DC Area & Eastern Shore
When: Ongoing
Admission: Depends on how much you order!

Take advantage of the start of blue crab season to celebrate! And you really can’t beat a feast of the steamed Old Bay-spiced creatures at a waterfront crab house on a nice day. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is also popular with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. We’ve enjoyed Mother’s Day at Kentmorr  (no steamed crabs anymore, but still plenty of crab dishes) as well as The Point in Arnold, MD, and Skipper’s Pier in Deale, MD. Keep it closer to home (but forego the waterfront) at QuarterdeckIvy City Smokehouse, and Bethesda Crab House. Wherever you go, make reservations if possible, because special occasion days guarantee crowds.

IlluminAsia | Celebrate Mothers
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: May 12
Admission: Free

Join the museum its annual IlluminAsia festival in celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This third and final day of the festival will feature Mother’s Day-themed activities for the whole family, including a guided sound bath by Mel Beyond Yoga, paper flower-making, and more fun.

Mother’s Day Brunch with the Eric Byrd Trio
Where: The Hamilton | Downtown DC
When: May 12, 10:30am & 1pm
Admission: $25-55

Enjoy a tasty meal and some live music this Mother’s Day. The Hamilton will present an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with breakfast classics and Southern dishes to warm anyone’s down-home heart along with a performance by the the Eric Byrd Trio.  Enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz rooted in swing and be-bop, the Trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style.

Plan a Picnic Hike
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

Similar to the first suggestion, but with a BYO al fresco meal.  Take a hike to see flowers in bloom, enjoy scenic views, explore history, or just enjoy a day of active fun. And bring along a picnic lunch full of mom’s favorite treats. Some lovely places with fun trails and picnic tables:  Riverbend Park (you can hike to Great Falls), Pohick Bay Regional Park, Prince William Forest Park, Harpers Ferry, Patapsco Valley State Park, and Turkey Run Park. And this go-to KFDC post has even more recommendations for good places for the whole family to hit the trail.

Mother’s Day on the Patuxent
Where: Solomons Island, MD
When: Mother’s Day weekend (or anytime)
Admission: Rates vary by boat & time

This was a really great way we celebrated Mother’s Day with friends a few years ago. A pontoon boat outing on the Patuxent River was a super fun and relaxing time for all. Pack a cooler, don the swimsuits, slather on sunscreen, and get ready for a fantastic day on the water. Afterwards, treat yourselves to ice cream on Solomon’s Island or even stay for dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants there.

Go with the Flow
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

For other Mother’s Day adventures on the water, a bunch of places around the area rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and stand up paddleboards. Depending on where you go, plan for a picnic or a restaurant meal after your paddle. This post has a round-up of places to navigate local waters. And this post has suggestions for family-friendly places to dine in DC.

Movie & A Meal
Where: The Alamo | Northeast DC & Crystal City, VA
When: Daily
Admission: $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior

Take cinema-loving moms to The Alamo, where she can enjoy a good meal along with a great movie-watching experience.  The theaters are really nice, the seating is comfortable, and the food is tasty. See what’s playing there now.  And, of course, let mom pick the flick.

***MORE IDEAS***
* Give mom some “me” time with a spa package!
* Jose Andres’ restaurants have special dining experiences for Mother’s Day.
* Enjoy the day at home, and prepare a special meal for mom.
* Or have her favorite faraway treats delivered right to her.
* These DIY kits are sweet, too.
* Gift idea: This tiny photo necklace.

 

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia

Giveaway! Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales at Adventure Theatre

 

Adventure Theatre is bringing some toe-tapping, all-ages appealing, fun and enchanting entertainment to its stage.  Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales opens this weekend, presenting four charming stories in one award-winning musical.  Even more, you have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see it!

Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. The score, which interweaves music throughout the tales, is inspired by “Old Time” Appalachian music featuring fiddle and banjo that drives the play’s action and makes music itself a character in the play.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales is running April 26 – May 26 with performances both during the week and on weekends.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. Of course, you can also try to win them through the giveaway below.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: April 26 – May 26
Tickets: $25

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win the Family 4-Pack of Tickets to see Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite spring activity around DC. This giveaway will run through Thursday, May 2, 2024, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2024, Giveaway, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Spring

Live Entertainment on DC Area Stages this Spring

Lots of great entertainment at the Kennedy Center, including FREE Millennium Stage events

 

Ready for a new season of entertainment?  Here is what’s currently on and coming to local stages this spring, plus links to any discount tickets.  Happy Show-Going!

Inside Out and Backwards
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through March 31
Tickets: $19.50

It’s bedtime, and two children use their imaginations to turn their room inside out, into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet! Recommended for ages 1-4.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through March 30
Tickets: $25

It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through April 5
Tickets: $12+
A bilingual Cinderella with a twist that kids will love! What will happen to Cinderella at the ball … game? That’s the surprising question in this contemporary Latin-American Cinderella musical that weaves subtle lessons on empathy, sportsmanship, and respect into an exciting, high-stakes story. An Imagination Stage original that broke new ground in bilingual children’s theatre. Recommended for ages 5+.

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through May 18
Tickets: $41-77 (find discount)
Come down to Skid Row for a non-stop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. Recommended for ages 13+.

Millennium Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Wednesdays – Sundays, 6pm
Tickets: Free

The Kennedy Center presents these free performances Wednesday – Sunday at 6pm, and the public is welcome to enjoy them. The acts span the genres — you can see everything from contemporary dance to folk music to film screenings to comedy shows to opera scenes. This is a great series to keep in mind for whenever you’re looking for some free, easy entertainment. Just be sure to reserve tickets in advance!

Unknown Soldier
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: March 29 – May 5
Tickets: $56-95 (look for discount)

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home, Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of a soldier, tucked away in a box of keepsakes. And so begins this sweeping, heartfelt musical about one woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Spanning three generations, Unknown Soldier unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history—and charts her future.

Romeo & Juliet (Synetic Teen Production
Where: Synetic Theater | Crystal City, VA
When: April 3-6
Tickets: $30-50

Since its initial production in 2008, Synetic Theater’s wordless retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has entranced audiences throughout the DC Metro region with its sinewy grace and heartbreaking expressiveness. The production has also served as wonderful trading ground for the teen company to learn Synetic’s unique art form through performing one of its seminal pieces. This has the added benefit of lending a true authenticity to the play, as Shakespeare’s original characters are themselves adolescents. So even without words, with Synetic’s Romeo and Juliet, you’re seeing Shakespeare’s play in a way it was truly meant to be seen.

Off the Page
Where: Theater on the Run | Arlington, VA
Where: The Lyceum | Alexandria, VA
When: April 5 – May 11
Tickets: $10

Arts on the Horizon presentsthis show for little theatre goers… The magic of books can transport us to new worlds! When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will use an immersive design to unfold around the audience. Watch a new world come to life right before your eyes! Catch at two theatres, plus other locations as it tours the area.

Star Wars: The Force Awaken in Concert
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: April 5
Tickets: $23-100

Experience the film on the big screen as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs the score live on stage. Thirty years after the defeat of the Empire, Luke Skywalker has vanished and a new threat has risen: The First Order, led by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and his dark side enforcer, Kylo Ren. General Leia Organa’s military force, the Resistance—and unlikely heroes brought together by fate—are the galaxy’s only hope at thwarting a new reign of evil. The film features a new score composed by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

NSO Music for Young Audiences: String Thing
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 6-7
Tickets: $20

This daring double act of classical fun is BACK. National Symphony Orchestra musicians—bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green—introduce young audiences to some of the greatest music ever written. You’ll never hear a word out of them during the concert, but with instruments in hand and a trunk full of gags, this “silent” comedic tag-team presents a hilarious program of music and mayhem. Recommended for ages 3+.

Mutts Gone Nuts
Where: Hylton Center for Performing Arts | VA
When: April 6 & 7, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $15

Canines and comedy collide in Mutts Gone Nuts in a show that includes some of the most talented dogs in the world doing barrel tricks, dancing, magic, and jump rope routines! The talented lineup even includes a Guinness World Record holder for the highest jump by a dog, a world champion frisbee dog, comedian Jonathan Burns, and more! Recommended for all ages.

Peter Pan
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $44-139 (look for a deal)
This high-flying musical has been thrilling audiences of all ages for close to 70 years and is now being brought back to life in a new adaptation. The adventure begins when Peter Pan and his mischievous sidekick, Tinker Bell, visit the bedroom of the Darling children late one night. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, the children are taken on a magical journey they will never forget.

Macbeth
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: April 9 – May 5
Tickets: Mostly sold out, look for resale tix

Shakespeare Theatre Company present this classic starring Ralph Fiennes… Blood will have blood. Unbridled ambition, supernatural forces, and murderous desires reign supreme in Shakespeare’s most poetic examination of evil. When three witches tell Macbeth that he will become King of Scotland, he plots with his wife to attain the title through an assassination; a bloody act that gives him his crown and sends him careening down the path of his own undoing. A thrilling account of how our minds deceive us and how a guilty conscience can undo us all. Recommended for teens and older.

Message In A Bottle
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 9-21
Tickets: $45-105 (look for discount)

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show inspired by and set to the iconic hits of Sting.The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati, and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive. Recommended for ages 12+.

Mother Earth & Me
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 9, 11, 12, 25, 26
Tickets: $3-8

The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original. Explore the origins of our planet, sing about the water cycle, and understand our vital role to protect the ecosystem. Science and folklore about the “big blue marble” we call home kick off Earth Month, and audiences become Earth Superheroes and take home some great ideas to start right away! Recommended for ages 5-10.

Islander: A New Musical
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $55-91

Islander tells a modern myth featuring two actors who use live mixing and looping technology to create a sonic landscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Eilidh is the only child on Kinnan Island, where most of the dwindling population has moved to the “Big Land.” The government has proposed to resettle the rest, and the town must vote soon on whether or not to accept the offer. But the day after a baby whale beaches itself, Eilidh discovers a young girl named Arran along the shore, who seems straight out of Scottish folklore. As the two form a friendship, Islander takes audiences on a magical journey to transcend loss, recover hope, and find community. Rated G for all families.

Chicks in Heaven
Where: Creative Cauldron | Falls Church, VA
When: April 11-28
Tickets: $20-45

When four friends come together in a rural southwest Virginia town for a reunion, it’s a happy gathering filled with remembrance and ritual. But when some religious crusaders stage a book-burning, and a local boy sets fire to one of the friend’s van, their friendship is tested. Can the same magical activism that forged their early feminist bonds bring them together now to fight patriarchy and racism, at a time when the fight is needed most? A “Bold New Voices” premiere that celebrates the resilient power of the feminine spirit. Recommended for teens and older.

Love and Information
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: April 12-14
Tickets: $12

Someone shares a forbidden secret, someone confronts their best friend, someone admires a snail. In this kaleidoscopic play, over fifty unrelated scenes flash by faster than a doomscroll as over a hundred characters strive to connect with each other, learn from one another, and look for love. Love and Information, written to be transformed into it’s own unique vision by every company that performs it, makes this production a once in a lifetime theatrical experience. Recommended for ages 11+.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 13 – May 12
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Swing Makes You Sing!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

On a mission to uplift, connect, and spread the joy of jazz, Swing Makes You Sing! is an award-winning jazz concert for kids ages 2 to 102 by Svetlana & the New York Collective. The critically acclaimed ensemble explores key elements of jazz in an engaging, historically grounded way, featuring virtuoso musical performance, exciting storytelling, and energizing movement. Recommended for ages 7+.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Block Party!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 13, 1-4pm
Tickets: Free

This Kennedy Center Block Party is hosted by Education Artist-in-Residence and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson! Free performances, fun-filled games, and various activities will take place on the REACH grounds all afternoon, featuring artists with roots in the DC area.

The Okee Dokee Brothers
Where: GMU Center for the Arts | Fairfax, VA
When: April 21, 10:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

The Okee Dokee Brothers infuse bluegrass music and playful lyrics with an interest in the great outdoors, hoping to spark a desire in children to explore their surroundings and imaginations. Recommended for ages 3-8.

Tot Rock: Groovy Nate
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: April 23-25
Tickets: $3-8

Get your young ones ready to dance with Groovy Nate and his interactive mix of comedy, music, and puppets. This performance encourages kids and families to move, sing, and play together creatively with many instruments and musical genres. Recommended for ages 3-6.

The Illusionists
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: April 23-28, 1-4pm
Tickets: $45-149 (look for discount)

The world’s biggest-selling magic show has played hundreds of cities, spawned two TV specials, and shattered box office records across the globe, dazzling audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions featuring the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. Recommended for ages 7+.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: April 26 – May 26
Tickets: $25
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. The score, which interweaves music throughout the tales, is inspired by “Old Time” Appalachian music featuring fiddle and banjo that drives the play’s action and makes music itself a character in the play.

Saturday Morning Live!: Off the Page
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: April 27, 9:30am & 11am
Tickets: FREE!

The National Theatre’s free program presents shows for children on select Saturday mornings, from interactive performances, puppets, dance, and music – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This month celebrates the magic of books… they can transport us to new worlds; illustrations and entire adventures can lift right off the page. When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will literally unfold before your eyes!

Family Funday with The Great ZucchiniWhere: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: April 28, 10:30am
Tickets: $5

Select Sundays at Hook Hall are all about FAMILY FUN! Bring the kiddos for entertainment in late April as The Great Zucchini, the DMV’s funniest and most magical entertainer, performs a magic show where every child is a star! Coffee and hot drinks available for purchase for the parents.

Divinity Roxx
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: May 3-5
Tickets: $20

Celebrate self-love and positivity in Divinity Roxx’s fun and empowering live show. The upbeat and sunny music is filled with powerful messages that encourage young people to become the best versions of themselves. A Grammy®-nominated musician, recording artist, and composer who has toured with Beyoncé, Divinity is praised for her ability to inspire others with her infectious grooves and memorable lyrics. Recommended for ages 5+.

Taiko Drumming
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: May 9
Tickets: $3-8

BOOM! Taiko drum artist Mark Rooney mixes the traditional power of this huge instrument with a modern vibe. His interactive performance rocks the house with massive sound and energy as participants learn some fascinating musical history and Japanese vocabulary—and have a chance to try their hand at playing these big drums! Recommended for ages 5+.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: May 17-19
Tickets: $44-139 (find discount)

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Recommended for ages 10+.

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: May 17-25
Tickets: $49-169 (look for discount)

The clown Mauro envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in each of us. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

The Matchbox Magic Flute
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: May 21 – June 16
Tickets: $35-119

A brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Long Way Down
Where: Olney Theatre
When: May 22 – June 23
Tickets: $40-70

Based o the award-winning novel by local author Jason Reynolds… Growing up, Will’s big brother taught him three iron-clad rules of how to behave when gun violence claims someone close: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So when his brother is himself gunned down, Will is determined to follow the code and gets in the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building, armed and ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. What happens on the way down is an emotional hip-hop journey through the cycles of violence that have plagued Will’s family and too many others. Rated PG.

Pinocchio
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: May 25 – June 23
Tickets: $15

Celebrate 50 years of Allan Steven’s Pinocchio! A young puppet goes on a journey to become a real boy. First seen on stage at the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, we are delighted to bring the original rod-puppets back to the stage to tell Carlo Collodi’s tale. Run time approximately 50 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Galapagos George with Barefoot Puppets
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: May 30-31
Tickets: $3-8

The true story of “Lonesome George,” the last tortoise to be found on Pinta Island in the Galapagos archipelago, delightfully unfolds as you watch him grow up among sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, sea lions, and dancing birds with blue feet. This engaging and uplifting eco-fable shares an important lesson about human impact on the environment. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Rapunzel
Where: TJ Community Center | Arlington, VA
When: May 31 – June 9
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (look for discount)

Encore Stage and Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… When Rene Schwartzbuckle spots rapunzel, a turnip-like vegetable, in Witch Izwitch’s garden, she sends her husband Walt out to ‘borrow’ some. Using her diabolical henchmen, the Glumpwarts, Witch Izwitch terrorizes Walt into promising her his first-born child in exchange for his freedom. Jumping ahead to Rapunzel Schwartzbuckle’s 18th birthday, the witch and her henchmen show up and whisk poor innocent Rapunzel away to a tower deep in the forest. Can prince Llwellyn persevere over the power of evil? Join to find out in Encore’s production of Rapunzel!

International School of Music Honors Concert
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 14
Tickets: $58

Immerse yourself in an evening of jubilation, embracing the themes of community, unity, and the profound influence of music on their lives, as the International School of Music celebrates two decades of excellence. Experience the brilliance and remarkable talent of ISM’s students as they present an eclectic program, spanning from classical masterpieces to contemporary gems. Through solo and ensemble performances, these musicians will share their passion and skill, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Virginia