Ai Weiwei’s words and works will be projected onto the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet
I posted about this on the KFDC Facebook page yesterday, but in case you don’t follow there, I wanted to make mention here, too. Because not only is this unique, it sounds kind of awesome. (And, btw, I do recommend following on Facebook, since I often mention events, deals, and more there that I don’t have time to put on the blog.)
Every evening from January 17-19, the Newseum, in partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum, will present a projection featuring images and quotes by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Ai is an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy whose advocacy of universal human rights complements the Newseum’s mission to champion freedom of speech and expression for all people.
I posted about his current exhibit at the Hirshhorn, Ai Weiwei: According to What?, not too long ago. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend going. His work is fascinating, and even if the kids don’t understand the meaning behind it, they likely will enjoy just looking at his many remarkable pieces.
Visible from Pennsylvania Avenue and parts of the National Mall, the projection will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet on the exterior of the Newseum. It will feature the trio of images from one of Ai’s most recognizable works, “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn,” 1995/2009, as well as quotes from the artist about freedom of expression and the importance of individual engagement and action within society. Projected over the 45 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the powerful images and quotes are intended to draw attention to the important freedoms all Americans enjoy. The projections will begin at 7pm each evening.
This sounds worthy of, not just a drive-by (or walk- or bike-by), but a park-and-check-it-out-for-awhile, too. Enjoy!
Have you heard the great news? The Newseum, along with sponsor WTOP, is bringing back the Summer Fun Deal! From July 1 – September 3, there will be no admission fee for kids ages 18 and under. The promotion waives the $12.95 regular entrance charge for youth with one paid adult admission, senior admission, or Newseum membership. Up to six kids can enter free with the offer.
Not only is this a fun, interesting, and educational way to beat the summer heat, it’s also a great opportunity to explore a museum you may have put off visiting with the kids because of the entrance fee (we’re so spoiled by all of DC freebies).
And to kick off the Summer Fun Deal, the Newseum is hosting a celebration on the first day, July 1! Along with free admission and access to all of the exhibits, guests can enjoy the work of caricature artists and face painters, meet the News Hound, hear storytellers in the Knight TV Studio, touch original artifacts at “Collection Connection”, and participate in a scavenger hunt and win prizes.
The Newseum is open 9am – 5pm daily. Regular admission is $21.95/adults, $17.95/seniors, $12.95 youth 7-12, free for ages 6 and under. Go here for Metro and driving directions.
Yes, some museums in the DC area do charge admission. And while most of them are well worth the cost, a discount is always welcome. A couple of good ones are available today through local deal sites for two wonderful museums. I predict these will go fast, so scoop them up while they last!
Groupon has a fantastic deal for one of the city’s best (and most expensive) museums: $10 for Admission to the Newseum. This deal cuts the cost in half and them some. I recently visited the Newseum for the first time, both with and without kids — read about my experience here.
Halloween has already begun, as far as Boba Fett is concerned
So, it’s not officially Halloween this weekend, but given all the events going on — and the fact that my kids are practically living in costumes — for all intents and purposes, it’s Halloween. So, I’m going with the theme. If you’re spooked by the idea of celebrating early, there’s still plenty more to do: a family day at the Newseum, theatre performances on local stages, museum exhibits, book readings, and more. And I’m not even going to mention the “s” word that’s supposedly on it’s way tomorrow (ignore it and it’ll go away, right?), but cooler weather is coming. Fingers crossed that it’s of the crisp, sunny fall day variety. Happy Weekend!
Halloween Happenings – You don’t have to wait until Monday to get the Halloween festivities started. Catch a concert in costume at National Geographic Live; design a pop-up haunted house at the Building Museum; trick or treat at Old Town Boutiques; put some air in your scare at the Udvar-Hazy Center or College Park Aviation Museum; enjoy kids festivities at the MLK Library, Discovery Theater, GW University, and the Crime Museum. Find details for all of these events in this KFDC post about the many Halloween happenings around town.
Go “Around the World” at the Newseum – Saturday is a special Family Day at the museum dedicated to all things news and media. Take a trip across the globe with journalist Nelly Bly through a variety of activities geared especially toward kids, a scavenger hunt, front page news games, a historical enactment of Bly, and a 3-D short film among them. This all starts at 11am – see the schedule for activity times. Admission to the museum is still the regular price (21.95/adults, $12.95/ages 7-18, free for ages 6 and under), but you’ll get to experience the special activities along with all the permanent collections. And, as mention in this KFDC post about the Newseum a couple of weeks ago, tickets are good for two consecutive days, so you can go back Sunday for even more.
Fall Frolic– Glen Echo Park’s annual Halloween-themed event is a seasonal fave for all ages. The public is invited to explore the park through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances. Decorate trick-or-treat bags, make a spooky spider or a friendly ghost, and color Halloween pictures for free. Pay a small fee $1-2) for pumpkin decorating and face painting. The Park’s studios and galleries will also be open for visitors to view the works of resident artists. And a costume parade will conclude the fun at the end of the day. This all happens on Saturday from 1-4pm.
Hansel & Gretel at the National – The free Saturday morning theatre fun continues. First up is Barrymore Eagle’s Costume Parade, so bring the kids in their charming or wild Halloween get-ups. Afterwards, kids will revel in the not-too-scary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel, which is brought magically to life by the enchanting marionettes from Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater. These performances at National Theatre take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!
Go Nat Geo – Families can enjoy more than just the aforementioned Halloween concert going on at the National Geographic Museum this weekend. On Sunday at 1pm, join Dig Deeper, a free archaeology workshop being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages. Email NatGeoMuseum@ngs.org to register. And while you’re there, don’t miss Animal Grossology, a new exhibit for kids featuring some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth. Admission to the exhibit is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that will captivate any photography buff or wildlife lover.
Take the Fall – This is the last weekend for many area fall festivals, so if you still have yet to pick out pumpkins, zip down lofty slides, bounce on giant pillows, and have fun down on the farm, see this KFDC post to find out where you can go to squeeze it all in. And if you have been.. hey, go back for more!
Book it to the JCC – Enjoy a morning of crafts, folktales, and fun with children’s book author Vicki Weber. Her award-winning book, It’s Too Crowded in Here!, is a collection of Jewsish folktales and midrashic stories enlivened by colorful illustrations. The event starts at 10am and is part of the Jewish Literary Festival that runs through November 2. Admission to this Sunday’s family program is $10 and includes a copy of the book.
Potrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
And as always, these posts are worth checking out once the forecast is firm:
I finally made it to the Newseum. And I have NOW Pass DC to thank for it. The museum dedicated to all things news and journalism has been high on my list of must-sees for years, but it was one of those places that, until very recently, I just hadn’t yet gotten to.
So, when the folks from NOW Pass DC approached me about partnering with them, I jumped at the opportunity. The company offers great values for some of our city’s best attractions with the NOW Pass, a single card that grants access to the Newseum, the International Spy Museum, and a double decker bus tour of the city for much less than it would cost to do all of those things individually as well as discounts at restaurants, shops, and other DC businesses. And while it’s targeted to people visiting the city, it’s also a great deal for locals interested in those attractions, too, especially since you have a year to use it (though you can only use the pass once at each venue).
Viewing the Berlin Wall
When I learned about all of this I knew my first NOW Pass foray would be to the Newseum. We made it a family venture, as I wanted to see see how kid-friendly it would be. I’ll be frank: There are some exhibits that are way over kids’ heads (especially a 2.5 and 5-year-old’s), but there are several that they will enjoy and may, in fact, prompt a great learning experience with some preparation and discussion from parents. For kids I recommend these exhibits: Pictures of the Year; the Berlin Wall Gallery; First Dogs; the 4-D Theater (for older kids); Sports Theater; The Funny Pages; The President’s Photographer; Internet, TV, & Radio Gallery; Be a TV Reporter; and a ride on the hydraulic elevator to the top level where you can go out on the Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace for great views of the city.
Front page news
For adults, I recommend it all. In a nutshell, it is an incredible museum. I actually spent two days there, one with the whole family and one on my own, so I could take my time viewing the exhibits that I couldn’t see with the kids. A Newseum ticket grants you two consecutive days to the museum, so it worked out well, though I plan to go back because I want to spend even more time taking it all in.
I’m off to a great start with my NOW Pass. Next up, an open-top bus tour of the city!