Tag Archives: National Children’s Museum

Party at George’s Place! (And More Ways to Celebrate Presidents Day in DC)

It’s not surprising that Presidents Day is a big holiday ’round these parts. There are scores of events and activities happening this weekend to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. So many that I decided give them their own post.  Here’s where you can pay tribute and have some fun with the kids.

Party at Mount Vernon – Every Presidents Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of our first POTUS’ big day. This always includes his favorite breakfast of “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey” served to guests during the morning hours among other activities that recall his 18th-century life. This year, they are taking it up a notch with four award-winning local chefs presenting cooking demos of the dish. Chef Cathal Armstrong from Restaurant Eve, Chef David Guas from Bayou Bakery, Chef Christophe Poteaux from Bastille Restaurant, and Chef Robert Wiedmaier from BRABO will be cooking their versions of the breakfast over open fire for “George Washington” at 12pm. Later on, guests can join characters from the 18th century as they help visitors surprise General Washington with rousing birthday cheers. At “George Washington’s Surprise Birthday Party”, the first president will be presented with gifts, which he will describe and react to during a speech to his birthday visitors.  All activities on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 & 19, are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, children under 5 are free. Hours are 9am – 4pm.

There’s even more on Monday, February 20.  Along with the surprise birthday celebration mentioned above, there will be a traditional wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb followed by patriotic music and military performances on the Bowling Green (however, the hoecakes will not be served). And as a special present to visitors, the Estate will open one hour earlier at 8am and admission on Monday is FREE.

Presidential Family Fun Day –  The National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum will celebrate our nation’s presidents on Saturday with a special Family Day.  Guests can explore U.S. history through craft activities, stories, patriotic music, and special guests. Drop in for the free event from 11:30am – 3pm.

Celebrate GW at Tudor Place!The historic estate’s collections include the largest assemblage of Washington artifacts outside of Mount Vernon. On Monday, February 20, visitors can take self-guided tours through the mansion and a special exhibit of rare Washington-related objects, including George Washington’s 1775 letter to his wife, Martha, one of only three such letters known to exist. There will also be 18th-century gaming, dancing, and crafts led by costumed interpreters. Admission is $5/member adults, $10/non-member adults, $5/children. Register in advance online.

Presidents Day Open House at Ford’sOn Monday, February 20, Ford’s Theatre will celebrate Presidents Day with a free open house featuring a variety of programming and activities. Over the course of the day, visitors can enjoy an author discussion, ranger talks, and performances of Papa Day, Tales of the Lincoln with storyteller Jon Spelman and One Destiny. They can also view the exhibits at the new Center for Education and Leadership, participate in workshops with the Education Department, and enjoy scavenger hunts and prize drawings. The Ford’s Theatre Museum will be open for visits on the hour beginning at 9am. Tickets to the event are free and will be available at the box office beginning at 8:30am that day.

George Washington Birthday ParadeOn Monday, Old Town Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops and more.  The procession will travel through Old Town from 1 – 3pm.  See the website for more info and route details.

Presidents Day at The Launch Zone–  Little ones will have fun at the National Children’s Museum as they learn about past presidents with finger puppets and other resources. They can also learn how to make their own official Shrinky Dink inaugural badges (while supplies last). This free event runs on Saturday, February 18, from 11am – 4pm.

President Lincoln’s Cottage – There’s no special event, but this seems like a good way to honor Abe for Presidents Day.  Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus in northwest DC, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Tickets are $12/adults, $6/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Admission includes the Signature Cottage Tour, an innovative small group tour in which a professional guide uses “historical voices” and images through multimedia technology to bring the stories of Abraham Lincoln and his family to life. Hours are Monday – Saturday 930am – 4:30pm, and Sunday 10:30am – 4:30pm.

Wax Presidential Get up close and personal with all 44 POTUS at Madame Tussauds in downtown DC.  The Presidents Gallery, exclusive to that location, is comprised of 14 themed rooms that include interactive exhibits along with the sculptures.  If you plan to go, be sure to get in on one of several deals: Groupon has one for $10, Goldstar is offering discount tickets,  or you can book through the venue online for a 15% discount.

 

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: February 11-12

Watching the chocolate making process at last year's "Power of Chocolate" festival

 

This post is going to serve a dual purpose.  Along with my regular list of weekend happenings, I want to make some blog roll shout-outs.  It’s been too long since I’ve done so, plus I’ve got good reason for making special mentions of other local bloggers: I had the lucky pleasure of meeting some of them last night.

I was invited to join a few ladies who pen some of the blogs I follow for dinner and wine (have to note the wine, as the invitation was very specific about drinking wine, which was a good sign), and talk about kids, life, and whatever else the conversation might evolve into after a couple of glasses. Long story short, it was pretty awesome meeting the people behind the blog posts, and it confirmed that my online reading is coming from good places. So, Darcy from No Monsters in My Bed, Shannon from But I Do Have a Law Degree, Rebecca from Not-So-SAHM, and Cath from Constance Reader, thanks for a fabulous night out!

Aaaand… here’s where fun of the family-friendly variety can be found around town over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Mmm…ChocolateJust in time for the holiday that goes hand-in-hand with the gift of chocolate, the National Museum of the American Indian is hosting their annual “Power of Chocolate” festival. We attended last year and found it to be a treat for everyone, and it sounds like many of the festivities will be repeated: Live food demos, hands-on activities, dances performances, and artisans showcasing their work.  Especially for kids are opportunities to create paper molas, grind cocoa beans to make their own hot chocolate, and sample the tasty treat (while they last).  Some activities require free tickets for timed entry. For specifics, you can download the festival brochure here. This free event is happening on Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4:30pm both days.

Butterfly Birthday BashCelebrate the fourth anniversary of the Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History on Saturday from 1-3pm. There will be special arts and crafts activities for children of all ages, and museum educators will be on hand to talk about about metamorphosis and native butterfly species of our region. This is part of the Second Saturday Arts & Science series, the museum’s monthly program for families. Admission is free.

Super Science SaturdayThe second Saturday of each month is also calendar-marker at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum. Guests are immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration. This month’s theme is Scientists & Inventors.  Admission is free, but parking at the museum is $15.

African American Pioneers in AviationThe Air & Space on the National Mall is hosting it’s own program for guests of all ages on Saturday in honor of Black History Month. The museum’s annual African American Pioneers Day focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group.  In addition, the Black Gents of Hollywood will be presenting excerpts of Layon Gray’s off-Broadway play, Black Angels over Tuskegee.  The event also includes hands-on activities, story times, and book signings. The event is from 10am – 3pm, admission is free.

Happy Birthday, Abe! – Ford’s Theatre Society is celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Saturday with a free open house featuring a variety of programming and activities. Visitors can attend author discussions, ranger talks and one-act play performances exploring Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. They can also view the exhibits at the new Center for Education and Leadership, participate in workshops with the Education Department, and enjoy scavenger hunts and prize drawings. The Ford’s Theatre Museum will be open for visits on the hour beginning at 9am. Tickets to the event are free and will be available at the box office beginning at 8:30am that day.

Show Time The theatre is a good place to spend a cold day, and there are several options for live entertainment this weekend.  I highly recommend Peter and the Wolf at The Puppet Co. – read my review of it here. Last I checked there were still tickets available for the 7pm performance of The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre (though all others are sold out). P. Nokio will be on the Imagination Stage many times throughout the weekend. This week’s Saturday Morning at the National is Theatre IV’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. The Wings of Ikarus is still running at The Kennedy Center. And 1st Stage Theatre’s a capella version of Three Bears just opened.  You can find more details and ticket info for all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

Stories in ArtThe National Gallery of Art’s drop-in program for kids is back on Sunday, and this time exploring the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Encouraging them to see the natural world as the artist did, guests will hear a reading of the book Through Georgia’s Eyes then create watercolor drawings inspired by plants. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

Tommy’s Traveling Book ClubIn celebration of the 50th anniversary of the children’s book The Snowy Day, DC Councilmember Tommy Wells is leading a special storytime this weekend. Enjoy the free reading of the Ezra Keats classic at Deanwood Libray (1350 49th. Street NE) on Saturday at 10am.  All ages are welcome.

Making Dental Health FunIn celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the National Children’s Museum wants to provide all of the information that children need to keep their teeth healthy and clean! Science experiments will demonstrate how toothpaste works and then attendees can learn how to make their own! Friends from Adventure Dental and Kids Smiles DC will present some fun interactive activities about dental health. And the Tooth Fairy will be making two very special guest appearances at 12:30pm and 2pm for “Tooth Fairy Storytime”! Drop in at the NCM’s Launch Zone for this free event on Saturday 11am – 4pm.

Design a DragonThis month’s Arts for Families program at the Textile Museum is inspired by their newest exhibition Dragons, Nagas and Creatures of the Deep. Guests are invited to make their own dragon paper mola.  Molas are the colorful appliqué panels made by the Kuna people of Panama and Coastal Columbia, two of which are on view in the exhibit. On Saturday from 2-4pm, kids can create a paper mola with scissors, glue, and their wildest imaginations. The free program is recommended for ages 5-12.  No reservations required.

And it looks like this post with even more ideas for indoor fun will prove useful this weekend as well:

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

 

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The Weekend Round-Up: January 20-22

My favorite six-year-old

 

I have to start this weekend round-up with a special shout-out. It was six years ago yesterday that my  favorite little man arrived, and life became a fantastic adventure I never could have imagined prior to becoming a parent. My tiny baby, who was less than six pounds upon his early arrival and fit snugly in the crook of my arm, now reads, writes, runs fast, jokes around, expresses his dreams.  When I take a moment (when I have a moment) to digest it all, it’s pretty darn astounding. And I couldn’t be prouder of the boy he’s become. Happy Birthday, my sweet O.

And with my sentimental moment indulged, let’s talk about the weekend.  Museums programs and special events, children’s theatre, a clothing swap, and hoops action are among my recommendations for family fun. And with dreary weather in the forecast, the indoor list makes the round-up, too.  Happy Weekend!

Spy Fest 2012Is your child the next 007? Find out at the International Spy Museum on Sunday from 11am – 2:30pm. Recommended for ages 7 and up, the event will include mini missions, tradecraft demos, and a chance for guests to try their spy skills. Tickets are $10, and advance registration is required. Go here to sign up!

Celebrate Africa!Kids of all ages are invited to the Textile Museum’s 3rd Annual Mid-Winter Festival celebrating the art and culture of Africa.  On Saturday from 12-4pm guests can enjoy dress-up, storytelling, dancing, crafts, and more.  Try on contemporary clothing and accessories inspired by cultures of Central Africa, then pose for a professional photographer and walk away with your picture. Hand-sew a Kuba-inspired textile. Enjoy snacks of cassava chips and South African red tea while master drummer Joseph Ngwa leads traditional drumming and dance, and master storyteller Baba-C entrances listeners with interactive storytelling. Visitors will also entered to win great prizes.  Admission to the event is free.

Happy Lunar New Year!  – Usher in the Lunar New Year a little early at Rockville Town Center with a day full of lively festivities, including a parade hosted by VisArts, street performers, live music, martial artists, lion dancers, an 18-person golden dragon, VisArts exhibitions, vendors, crafts, and more! It’s all free and happening on Saturday from 11am – 4pm.

Multi-Prints Family DayPress, stamp, and rub to make an artistic impression during this printmaking family day at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  On Saturday from 11:30am – 3pm, artists from George Mason University will demonstrate a variety of printing techniques to kids of all ages, who can then visit our workshop tables to create a print of their own to take home! This free event will take place in the Kogod Courtyard of the museum located at 8th & F Streets, NW.

Farm to Table Family Day – The Kogod Courtyard is going to be a busy place this weekend.  Head there on Sunday as the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the arrival of the recently commissioned portrait of chef, author, and restaurant owner Alice Waters by artist Dave Woody. Enjoy live music, learn about the “farm to table” movement, and participate in hands-on activities. The free event takes place from 11:30am – 3pm.

Swap ‘Til You DropOr for a few hours, anyway. Saturday is World Swap Day and peace. love. swap. – The Original Maternity, Baby Kid Clothing & Gear Swap is celebrating with a swap event on Saturday at Jonah’s Treehouse in Glover Park.  Pass on your old clothes and gear and score some (sorta) new stuff!  Item drop-off is from 5-6pm, and the swapping is from 6:30-7:30pm. Admission is $5 if you register in advance, $7 at the door. Go here for more information and to register online

Rubber Ducky, You’re the One – The National Children’s Museum is hosting a joint birthday party for Ernie and his best pal, Rubber Ducky, at the Launch Zone on Saturday. From 11am – 4pm, children can take part in “Percussion Playtime” to celebrate Ernie’s love of playing the drums and make bubble art to celebrate Ernie and Rubber Ducky’s favorite pastime. No R.S.V.P. is required for this party, just drop in for a splish-splashin’ good time!

Wizards vs. CelticsHow about some hoops action on Sunday afternoon? Never mind that it’s not a winning season for the Wizards so far; the games are still exciting and a fun time for all ages. Our family caught the match-up against Toronto a couple of weeks ago – Sasha’s first basketball game, and the Wizard’s first W this season – and we all had a blast. Along with the on-court thrills, kids will love the games, entertainment, and giveaways during time-outs and halftime. Game time on Sunday is 1pm, and tickets start at $10.

Art History 101The drop-in program a the National Gallery begins  its Artful Conversations series and continues Stories in Art this weekend.  On Saturday, kids ages 8-11 and an accompanying adult, can attend the former to learn about a work of art and participate in a related poetry-writing activity. Sessions are at 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 10:00 a.m., and will continue until all spaces are filled. On Sunday, kids ages 4-7 can again learn about Henri Matisse through storytelling, discussion, and an art project. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and will continue until all spaces are filled. Read a KFDC review of the program here.

Stage TimeThere’s a variety of entertainment to be enjoyed in local theatres this weekend.  The Snowy Day opens at Adventure Theatre, a rousing tale about the War of 1812 is the free show at Saturday Morning at the National, Peter and the Wolf and Tiny Tots are at The Puppet Co., and Mouse on the Move is at Imagination Stage. Find details on all of these productions in this post about winter entertainment.

The “In” Crowd – Looks like it’s going to be a good weekend to hang indoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out of the house. For sheltered adventures around town, check out this list.

 

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Peak Weekend

Sweetest scarecrow I ever saw

Late October is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a combo of the crisp, cool weather, brilliant hues of fall foliage, anticipation of Halloween, and myriad events and activities hailing it all.  These next few days are no exception — there  are plenty of family pursuits happening that fit right into that formula.  Happy Weekend!

Halloween Jump StartTrick or treat at the Zoo, decorate skulls at the National Museum of Health & Medicine, take a train ride through Maryland woods. If your little monsters are ready for a scream, these are just some of the events happening this weekend to get the Halloween party started. This KFDC post has details on all of them.

Jump Off!Join the National Children’s Museum at Watkins Regional Park on Saturday from 12-4pm for the 4th Annual Jump Off! Designed to inspire children to be physically active while having fun, the event will feature free, outdoor exhibition performances by nationally renowned Double Dutch jump rope teams along with numerous family-friendly activities. Highlights will include performances and workshops by Jump Off! Veterans, special guest appearances by The Washington Mystics representatives, music and live entertainment, giveaways and promos; Frisbee decorating (while supplies last), and parachute play with NCM staff. Admission is free.

Go EuroPerformances representing 27 countries in the European Union are part of the four-week festival presented by the French-American Cultural Foundation.  See Cool Frogs at the Kennedy Center, Irish dancing at La Maison Française, Czech films at AFI, a puppet show at CHAW, and more cultural productions throughout the weekend. See the Kids Euro Festival schedule for specifics.

Fall at Mount VernonMount Vernon welcomes the autumn season with Fall Harvest Family Days that include wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, 18th-century dancing demonstrations, a straw bale maze, farrier (blacksmithing) demonstrations, apple-roasting, corn husk dolls demonstrations and early-American games and music. Guests can also get a view of the estate from the water – Potomac River sightseeing cruises are half-price during this weekend event. Fall Harvest Family Days take place Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 5pm and are included in regular estate admission $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.

ARTdays at CHAWThe series presenting art and cultural adventures for families has several performances on the line-up on Saturday.  Catch a Kids Euro Fest performance at 10:30am and 12:30pm, as puppet performer Juha from Finland takes the all-ages audience to Finnish Lapland with his show “Off to Lapland.” Later in the day, from 4-5:30pm, get your percussion on at “Get Down With Your Rhythm Self,” a community drumming circle that welcomes all beats, experience levels, and ages.  All ARTdays events are free.

Show TimeThere’s even more live entertainment to enjoy on stages all over the area. Dr. Wonderful and her dog are having some amazing adventures at the Kennedy Center, Alladin is still trying his luck at Imagination Stage (and Certifikid has a deal on tickets for Sunday shows), and marionettes are entertaining Tiny Tots at The Puppet Co. Playhouse. Get time and ticket details on these performances and more in this KFDC post.

Woof WalkHere’s an event for the whole family, including Fido. To promote dog walking as an easy and enjoyable way to get up, get out, and get moving, THE POWER OF PETS™ by Mars Petcare and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington is hosting a community walking and family fitness event for dogs and their owners on the National Mall (near the Capitol Hill Reflecting Pool) complete with free activities. On Saturday from 10am – 2pm, there will be a 2K community dog walk, a question and answer session with a Banfield Pet Hospital veterinarian, doggie and kiddie obstacle courses, fitness demonstrations, arts & crafts, bounce house and face painting, music and a dance party, and healthy snacks for pets and people. Register online.

Arts for Families: Make an African MaskThe Textile Museum is hosting its monthly program for families on Sunday from 2-4pm. Explore the many cultures of Africa and the rich history of mask-making. Create your own mask using cardboard, paint and raffia, combining elements and features from the human, animal and spirit worlds. Paint clothes are suggested. This free activity is recommended for ages 5–12. No reservations are required.

Friends Community School FairOn Sunday from 12 – 4pm, join the FCS community for their annual Fall Fair. There will be a haunted house, an obstacle course, a moon bounce, books and toys for sale, and plenty of good food.  Friends Community School is a small Kindergarten through 8th grade Quaker school that welcomes students of all beliefs. The fair will take place at the school – 5901 Westchester Park Drive, College Park, Md.

Last Call for MerrimentIt’s the final weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the annual faire that recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family.  Partake in it all on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am – 7pm. One-day tickets are $19/adults, $16/seniors, $9/kids ages 7-15, free for children 6, and are available at the Box Office each day.  For more info about Ren Fest, see this KFDC post.

Celebrate the SeasonFall festivals are still going strong at area farms and other venues – a friend just let me know that American Plant in Bethesda has a super cute set-up for little ones, including a straw maze, a small haunted house, plus free popcorn and cider. The Cabin John Shopping Center is also hosting a fall shindig from 1-3pm that will include hay rides, scarecrow making, face painting, balloon art, and more. And for a big list of places where you can embrace the autumn spirit, see this KFDC post.

Walk in the WoodsHow about hitting the trail to enjoy the autumnal color spectrum?  This KFDC post has a bunch of recommendations for good places to hike with kids.

Out & About – If you want to get outside without committing to a long walk, check out some of The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors With the Kids.

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