The weather factors greatly into this week’s suggested recreation. With temps in the mid-90’s and 100+ by the end of the week, most of these activities take place indoors. But if you want to savor the sunshine, this list will give you ideas on what to do. Just be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen when you get out there.
Here’s what’s happening this week, July 18-22:
Monday – Check out the new Playseum on Capitol Hill. Open for less than a week, the play space includes two floors of cute, themed rooms for pretend play, opportunities for arts & crafts and cupcake decorating, and lots of books for sale. Admission is $6/person. For evening fun, it’s Washington Kastles Family Night, which will include extra kids activities along with the matches against Sacramento Capitals. Get a discount on tickets with the code KIDDC – more details here.
Wednesday – See Imagination Stage’s latest production, The Wind in the Willows. Tickets ($10-22) are available for both the 10:30am and 1:30pm shows, and you can get a 25% discount by using the code “Willows25”. Read DC Theater Scene’s review of the play.
Thursday – Boogie down at Eastern Market! John Henry, the Guitar Playing Man is on the line-up for this week’s Boogie Babes show. The fun starts at 10:30am. Admission is $5/child, free for siblings 6 months and under.
Getting ready for the Easter egg "hunt" at last year's Eggstravagana in Lincoln Park
If you’re looking for an egg hunt, you’ll have no problem finding one. Sheep shearing? Got you covered there, too. And if the forecast proves reliable, and thunderstorms soak the area, I’ve got plenty of suggestions for family fun indoors. Happy Weekend! And Happy Easter, too!
Earth Day Party for the Planet – Looking for a Friday morning activity? Celebrate Earth Day at the National Zoo! From 10am – 12pm, guests can create eco-crafts, a meet the Zoo’s Green Team, get tips on enjoying a environmentally friendly lifestyle, and recycling opportunities (check the website for the list of recyclable items). This free event will take place at the Zoo in Your Backyard exhibit.
Hop to It – It’s Easter weekend, and with it come many egg hunts and festivals. Celebrate at Cox Farms on Saturday from 11am–2pm with games, egg coloring, farm animals, and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Annual Eggstravaganzas will be taking place at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill from 1-3pm and in Ballston at 10:30am. The Reston Zoo will host Easter egg hunts on Saturday and Sunday at several times both days. And ongoing are holiday festivities at Ticonderoga Farms and Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard (open through Monday, though it’s closed on Easter Sunday).
Show Time – From Snow White on strings to Rocknoceros at Jammin’ Java, there’s a variety of live entertainment to enjoy this weekend. For details on what’s playing, see this post about what’s on stage this spring.
The Plane, The Plane! – Love the Air & Space on the Mall, but not all the crowds? Head to the College Park Aviation Museum, just 15 minutes out of DC. The state-of-the-art facility located on the grounds of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport in College Park, MD, contains relics of early aviation, including some interactive fun. Open daily from 10am -5pm, though closed on major holidays. Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.
A Walk in the Park – It’s still National Park Week, and entrance to over 100 parks that usually charge admission is free. If weather permits, take advantage and hit the trails at a local park or even one a bit further away. For suggestions on good hikes with kids, see this post about tramping with little ones.
Think Outside… The list of best places to enjoy the outdoors with the kids keeps growing. Check it out for ideas on where to have fun al fresco. Again, if weather permits.
Space for Children at House of Sweden – The Swedish Embassy welcomes families to experience a unique exhibit 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.
Nature at Its Best and Biggest – See some amazing moments in the natural world captured in photos and on the big screen at the National Museum of Natural History. The Nature’s Best Photography exhibit showcases winners of a prestigious photography competition. And most of the films playing at the museum’s Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater have themes of nature at their core.
Portrait Story Days: Dizzy Gillespie – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Saturday and Sunday, learn about jazz trumpeter, band leader, singer, and composer Dizzy Gillespie.
Shearing Madness – Sunday is Sheep Shearing Day at Watkins Regional Park, and you’re invited to watch the wool fly. This free event will feature sheep and llama shearing demonstrations, displays of products made from wool and hair, and more. Hayrides will be available during the event for $1.
Rainy Day Recs – I’m listing this last in hopes that it’s a last resort, and those thunderstorms in the forecast don’t materialize. But if it turns out to be a wet weekend, this post contains many suggestions on where to have fun and stay dry.
There is a lot of celebrating happening this weekend. Many area farms and organizations are kicking off Easter festivities with egg hunts and more spring fun. An Emancipation Day commemoration is taking place with a big event downtown. National Parks are kicking off a special week. William Shakespeare is turning 395 years old. The earth will also be an honoree. Even coral reefs have a family festival dedicated to them.
And you’re invited to be part of it all. Here are details on all of the above-mentioned, plus a few more recommendations for family fun. Happy Weekend!
Its a scramble for Easter eggs at a local Eggstravaganza last year
Thank You Easter Bunny – Local festivals celebrating the spring holiday have begun, and several will be on this weekend. Already underway through April 24 is Ticonderoga Farms’ annual festival. Saturday marks the start of Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard, and the National Community Church is launching their seasonal Eggstravanganzas on Saturday at Top Golf in Alexandria from 10:30am -1pm and Grace Church in Georgetown (1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW) from 9:30-11am. See the website for more details. For something with a little extra sparkle, the annual Adeler Jewelers Children’s Spring Festival and Egg Hunt is on Sunday in Great Falls. For more area Easter celebrations, Go Out & Play has a lengthy list of local egg hunts.
Park It – National Park Week begins on Saturday and runs through April 24. To celebrate, entrance to over 100 parks that usually charge admission will be free. Log some time on the trails at a local park or even one a bit further away. For suggestions on good hikes with kids, see this post about hiking with little ones.
Get Out – For more outdoor pursuits, see my new list of the area’s best places to spend a beautiful day outdoors. As this weekend round-up goes up, the weather forecast for the weekend isn’t looking fabulous, but there’s always a chance that will change. Fingers crossed.
DC I AM: An Emanicpation Day Celebration – Commemorate the signing of the DC Compensated Emancipation Act 149 years ago with National Geographic. The museum is hosting a special event on Saturday from 10am – 4pm that will include readings, performances, art and writing activities, family workshops, opportunities to tour the American I Am exhibit, and more. Admission to the event is free.
Explore the Universe – On Saturday, the National Air & Space Museum invites guests of all ages to a special Family Day that explores the skies and beyond. Observe the sky through a telescope, experience how different cultures see the sky, hear stories about astronomy, and participate in hands-on astro-activities. The free event runs from 10am – 3pm.
Coral Reef Family Festival – Celebrate the National Museum of Natural History’s exhibition of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef on Saturday from 11am – 3pm. There will be Discover Stations in the Sant Ocean Hall, a chance to learn about different corals with scientist Stephen Cairns, and other special activities throughout the day.
Nature’s Best Photography – Take the kids to see some amazing moments in nature captured in pictures. A new exhibit is opening at the National Museum of Natural History on Saturday that features the winning photos from the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards. The images of wildlife, the plant world, sea creatures, and more will be fascinating and fun for the whole family. Admission to both the exhibit and museum are free.
On the Really Big Screen – If you’re planning on a visit to the museums (or even if not), how about catching an IMAX as well? Most are less than an hour long and can easily be combined with a trip to see the exhibits or one of the special festivals happening at the Natural History and Air & Space Museums, which just happened to be where both Smithsonian IMAX theaters are located. Read reviews of a few films currently playing: Born to Be Wild 3D, Arabia 3D, and Grand Canyon Adventure 3D. All tickets are $9.
Happy Birthday to the Bard – Celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Sunday from 12 – 4pm. Enjoy jugglers and jesters, music, song and dance, stage combat workshops, and more. It’s the one day of the year when the Folger reading rooms are open to all. Plus, there will be birthday cake for everyone! Admission is free, but there will be a charge for some food and drink.
Jammin’ Musical Experiences – Two kids’ music performers will be at Jammin’ Java this weekend entertaining with their unique shows and super fun sounds. The Diggity Dudes will take the stage in Vienna on Saturday at 10:30am, and Gustafer Yellowgold will take the audience on a musical journey on Sunday at 2pm. Tickets for both shows are $10 and available for purchase online.
Celebrate the Earth – Join Brookside Gardens on Sunday for a daylong Earth Day celebration. Festivities will kick off at 9am with an Earth Day Garden Project – volunteers are welcome to help Brookside get ready for the gardening season. Enjoy nature, wildlife, and plant walks starting at 10am. Participate in interactive family-friendly activities throughout the afternoon and visit the “green” vendor and craft fair.
Show Time – Several productions are happening in local theatres this weekend. Find out what you can see where in this post about spring shows.
You would never guess by the images that appear on this blog that I have a bit of background in photography. Before leaving the full-time professional world to stay at home with my kids, many years of my work were in the editorial and publishing arenas as a photo editor for a travel website and for the Discovery Channel.
There was a time when I carried an SLR with me everywhere and kept my eye out for the shot. These days, I snap most of my pics with my iPhone and reserve my focus for children who might wander.
Anyway, during my time at the travel website, one of the projects I worked on was a partnership with Nature’s Best Photography Magazine. The title couldn’t be more apropos — they publish some of the most stunning wildlife and nature photography I have ever seen. And it’s all about the photography; the images aren’t used to illustrate articles — there is often just background information about the shot and photographer — but they tell fascinating stories on their own.
Every year the magazine holds a competition to recognize the passion and dedication of nature photographers: The Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards. The winning photos are always phenomenal, capturing moments in nature that are spellbinding, inspiring, heart warming, insightful, and just beautiful to look at. Lucky for us, we’ll get to do that — up close.
Starting this Saturday, April 16, the winning photographs from the 2010 competition will be on display at the National Museum of Natural History. The Nature’s Best Photography Awards 2010 exhibit will run through September 25. You can get a preview of the images online, but what better place to view them than at the museum, where all things nature are celebrated. Go on Saturday and make it a day at the museum — check out the photos then stay for the Coral Reef Family Festival.
Admission to the museum, exhibit, and festival are free.