There’s so much going on this weekend, it almost seems more appropriate to ask, “What isn’t there to do?” Museum family days, Mardi Gras celebrations, even some outdoor fun (if the weather cooperates) are all part of the mix. Here are details on all of them and more. Happy Weekend!
Tots Rock! – Rocknoceros at the Air & Space Museum. I almost feel like nothing more needs to be said. But in case you’re wondering, a planetarium show starring Big Bird and Elmo, plus “Flights of Fancy” story time will also be part of Saturday’s entertainment at the museum on the National Mall. Visit the website for a schedule of events, and note that tickets are required and seating is limited for planetarium shows.
Space for Children at House of Sweden – The Swedish Embassy welcomes families to experience what sounds like a unqiue exhibit on weekends through April 24. Two rooms of “interactivity creativity” celebrate the parent-child bond and encourage creative play. The free exhibit is open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm. Read more about it on the Embassy’s website.
Mardi Gras Festival – This party at the Rockville Town Square will have all the makings for a New Orelans-style celebration – the family-friendly version, anyway. Put on crazy balloon hats and whoop it up with a parade, live music, masks and beads, arts & crafts, a moonbounce, and plenty more Mardi Gras fun. The free event will take place Saturday from 10am – 2pm.
D.C. Color Splash! – If you follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook, you may have seen the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s 2011 Family Festival mentioned a few days ago. It sounds like a great opportunity to check out the museum and have a fun, art-filled day with the kids. Guests can try their hands at various art mediums, join in interactive performances, groove along with local musicians, and explore the hues and illuminations of the exhibit “Washington Color and Light.”
U.S. National Arboretum– There may be some rain in the forecast for this weekend, but we all know how quickly that can change around here. So, I’ll go ahead and recommend the Arboretum for some outdoor recreation. The plants aren’t yet blooming (I know from being there last weekend), but tramping through the woods, playing among the old Capitol columns, and visiting the Koi pond are always a thrill for kids. Don’t forget to check out the new Lunar New Year exhibit at the Bonai Museum on display until March 27.
Watkins Regional Park – If weather does work in our favor, another great outdoor pursuit is a visit to Watkins Regional Park. The train and carousel aren’t open this time of year, but you can see the animals at Old Maryland Farm and maybe even catch a pony ride. The Watkins Nature Center will have even more critters that guests can check out along with a squirrel gym that showcases squirrels performing tricks and eating corn. Pack a picnic for lunch al fresco, then play on the sprawling colorful playground.
Circus of High-Flying Events – It’s another Family Saturday at Intersections: A New America Arts Festival taking place at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Starting at 11am and continuing into the evening , there will be all kinds of arts and activities for guests to enjoy, from a performance of Adventure Theatre’s “Mirandy and Brother Wind” to acrobatic acts by circus performers to a tap dancing production to a flamenco show. There will also be opportunities to take part in some movement and art workshops. Some of the activities are free – check the schedule to see which require tickets and what time they are happening.
Tie & Dye a Textile – Your kids can connect with their inner hippies at the Textile Museum’s monthly Arts for Families program. This Saturday, guests are invite to create their own colorful textiles as they explore tie-dyeing. Learn various fold and tie techniques to create unique designs on cloth to take home. This free activity runs from 2-4pm. Recommended for ages 4 -12.
Dance Your Socks Off – River Park Nursery School in Capitol Hill is hosting its annual Sock Hop and Silent Auction on Saturday from 4 – 7pm. Folks all over the area are invited to join the party. For details, check out this post from last week.
Merry Mardi Gras – Laissez les bons temps rouler! The Launch Zone at the National Children’s Museum will transform into New Orleans for a just-for-kids Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Kids can make their own jester hats, traditional masks, and all of the other essentials for a traditional Mardi Gras parade. This is all free, just head on over to the National Harbor and join the fun.
Flying in the Great Hall – The National Building Museum’s Great Hall is one of the most magnificent spaces in the city. I bet it’ll be even more so with model airplanes soaring through it. Witness the spectacle this Sunday from 11am – 4pm when DC Maxecutors’ model planes take flight. It should be quite a sight. All ages are welcome to this free event.
Theatre on Strings – A few productions will be performed at The Puppet Co. this weekend. Tiny tots can enjoy “Old MacDonald’s Farm” on Saturday and “Penguin’s Playground” on Sunday. Both start at 10am. Tickets are $5 and available online. Tiny Tots shows are recommended for ages 0-4. Older children will enjoy “Jack and the Beanstalk,” showing both Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am and 1pm. Tickets are $10 and also available for purchase online.
Show Time – Several live family-friendly productions are in local theaters, and tickets are still available for some of this weekend’s performances. Check out this post to see what’s playing and how to reserve your seats.
Stories in Art –Sculptor David Smith is the subject for this week’s children’s program at the National Gallery of Art. The workshop will start with a reading of “Half of the Elephant,” n elephant on a humorous journey to find his missing half.. From there, the group will explore the work of David Smith, then build a sculpture with wood and metal. Hour-long sessions begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm on Sunday. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day and will continue until all spaces are filled. No admission fee required.