Tag Archives: Newseum

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 1-5

Is it me, or is summer just zooming by?  There are merely weeks left to hang with the kids on the weekdays before they head back to school and to enjoy many activities that only have a seasonal run. Gotta get out there and savor the rest summer!

Here are some suggestions for where to do just that this week, August 1-5:

Monday – Stay cool at an IMAX movie. Several films are playing at the Smithsonian’s two theaters, the Samuel C. Johnson at the Natural History Museum and the Lockheed Martin at the Air & Space. Born to Be Wild 3D, To Fly!, Grand Canyon Adventure, Legends of Flight, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 are all on the really big screen now.  Check the schedules for showtimes.

Tuesday – It’s the final workshop of the Stories in Art summer program at the National Gallery of Art (there is one on Monday as well).  This week’s theme is Everyday Life: Join a Party in the series that explores Dutch life through art. See this post for more details on the program and info on signing up.

Wednesday – Take advantage of the Newseum’s Summer Fun Deal, where kids get in free with a paid adult admission. This post has more about the deal and recommended exhibits for younger visitors.

Thursday – Go peach picking at a local farm. Many of the farms listed in this post have pick-your-own peaches, but it’s always a good idea to check the website or call ahead to see what’s available.

Friday – Take a day trip to a swimming spot out in nature. Get ideas for places to go from The Natural Capital blog.

 

 

 

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It’s a Mixed Bag of Fun this Weekend

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a photo on Faceboook of the contents of her son’s pockets that she’d emptied before doing laundry. The random collection of sticks, bottle caps, coins, Legos, beads, and a AA battery made me laugh and drew a slew of comments and “likes”. Many of us likely have been there, finding odd items among our children’s treasures, wondering what kind of magic they held for our curious kids, and often feeling relieved we found them before the washing machine did.

This weekend’s recommended family fun is kind of like those pocket contents — a hodgepodge of events and activities with their own wonderful potential.  Whether you take the kids to run through fountain sprays, enjoy carnival thrills, savor French culture, rock out at a concert, join an art workshop, or get outdoors for a hike in the woods, a “magical” experience is always a possibility.  Happy Weekend!

Lovin’ Summer  – Free concerts, outdoor swimming, garden play, sprayground fun. Activities exclusive to the season can all be enjoyed this weekend. This post has the full scoop on these joys of summer.

Tennis, Anyone?See the sport played in a whole new way as the Washington Kastles take on the St. Louis Aces tonight. There will also be a special reception and exhibition by tennis legend Chris Evert. The match starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster.

Seize the Beautiful Days – It’s supposed to be a nice weekend weather-wise, so these suggestions for enjoying a beautiful day outdoors with the kids are definitely worth a look.

DC Summer Carnival While I can’t vouch for this fair in the parking lot behind RFK Stadium, I have driven by several times and it looks like it has all the trappings for amusement park fun. The Mega Drop, Merry-Go-Round, a Ferris Wheel and other big carnival rides are all easily visible, and game booths and food vendors round it all out.  Open tonight from 5pm – 10pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 12am. Unlimited ride passes and wristbands are available for $25 and can be purchased at the carnival entrance every day. Individual tickets are 20-for-$20 or 4-for-$5.

Farm to Street PartyCelebrate local food at Washington, DC’s first ever Farm-to-Street Party. On Saturday from 12-3pm, enjoy scrumptious dishes made with ingredients from local farms, local craft beer, and wine. Local entrepreneurs, chefs, and non-profit organizations making local food available in Washington will be in attendance. Guests can enjoy music from local artists, participate in a local pie eating contest, cool off in a dunking booth, take part in children’s activities, and more. Purchase tickets online or pay with credit/cash at the door.

Backyard CampoutThe National Children’s Museum is bringing outdoor adventure to the Launch Zone. In collaboration with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc) Outreach, guests can feel like they’re in the great outdoors by discovering the uses of various camping equipment, maneuvering through tents, and learning the fun aspects of camping in nature. Kids can also take part in hands-on exploration of deer and black bear tracks from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The program has been held various days this week and will also run on Sunday as well as next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. This is a free event.

Jam with RocknocerosThe local band adored by kids is playing two shows at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.  Families can opt for a mid-morning performance at 11am or rock at for the 7pm happy hour show.  Tickets for each are $10 and available for purchase online.

Hanna Andersson

Show Time – Catch even more live entertainment on local stages this weekend.  This post has the latest on what music, theatre, dance, even snake shows that you can see through the rest of the summer.

French FestivalExperience French culture the way it was 300 years ago at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Children and adults can enjoy lively theatrics presented by the New York Baroque Dance Company and Opera Lafayette as they engage guests in music, dance, and fanciful history. Other activities will include traditional games like jacks and hoop-tossing, an art project where kids can decorate their own miniature furniture, gallery talks about the French collection, a “Kings, Queens, & Soup Tureens” audio tour.  Admission is $18/public, $15/seniors, $12/ Hillwood and Alliance Française Members, $5/kids 6-18, free for children under 6.  The festival runs on from 10am – 7pm and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm.

Good News – Take advantage of the Newseum’s “Kids Free Summer Fun Deal” that offers free admission to kids 18 and under through September 5 with one paid adult admission. It’s a perfect opportunity to visit a museum that you may have put off touring because of the entrance fee (we’re so spoiled by all of DC freebies) as well as a great way to beat the summer heat.

Stories in ArtOn Sunday, the National Gallery of Art’s summer drop-in program welcomes kids ages 4-7 to explore Dutch art through storytelling, gallery tours, and hands-on projects. Sessions are hourly starting at 11:30am. Sign-up begins at 11am in the West Building Rotunda, and space is limited.  Read a review of our experience at a session last summer.  And for more details on this summer’s program and tips on signing up, see this post from last week.

Portrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday and Sunday from 2-5pm, 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 baseball player Roberto Clemente.

Family Films –  There are a couple of movie series especially for families that run on the weekends.  The Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts its Family Series on Saturdays at 5pm.  This week’s showing will be “Chicken Run.”  While tickets are free, there is a $2 per ticket booking fee.  For a screening under the stars, head to National Harbor on Sunday for its free Movies on the Potomac series. This week, see “Despicable Me,” starting just after sunset.

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This Just In: Newseum Announces ‘Kids Free Summer Fun Deal’

Good news, parents!  The Newseum just announced that from July 1 – September 5, there will be no admission fee for kids ages 18 and under.  The Summer Fun Deal, sponsored by WTOP, waives the $12.95 regular entrance charge for youth with one paid adult admission. Up to 10 kids can enter free with one adult.

This is a great opportunity to visit a museum that you may have put off touring because of the admission fee (we’re so spoiled by all of DC freebies). It’s also another way to beat the heat and humidity that descends on DC during the summer months.

And while there are some exhibits that may be over younger kids’ heads, there are enough they will understand and enjoy to make it worth a visit. There’s the  4-D Time Travel Adventure, the First Dogs exhibit with images of presidential pups, the chance to be a TV reporter in the NBC Interactive News Room, the Berlin Wall gallery containing actual portions of the original wall, the Hank Greenspun Terrace that over looks “America’s Main Street” Pennsylvania Avenue, and more fascinating media-related exhibits.

Note that the Summer Fun Deal is not valid in combination with other discounts. And like all Newseum tickets, these will be good for two consecutive days.

 

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Warm up to the Weekend (and maybe a cockroach, too)

Bugging out at the Natural History Museum

Baby, it’s cold outside!  But that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up this weekend.  Bundle up to enjoy holiday light displays, Santa and shopping, or a winter celebration.  Of course, if you’d rather shed the coat and scarf, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy with the kids.  Here are some suggestions for family fun, both al fresco and inside.  Happy Weekend!

Holiday Lights & Trains – Holiday lights are twinkling and mini-choos choos are chugging all around the area.  I highly recommend the drive-thru light display at Watkins Regional Park ($5/car).  Our family went last weekend, and the “oohs” and “aahs” coming from the kids in the backseat were just as cool as the glowing Santas in the Watkins woods.  It’s a perfect way to stay warm, be together, and enjoy some holiday fun. Symphony Woods in Columbia and Seneca Creek in Gaitherburg also get raves for light displays you can enjoy from the comfort of your car.

Holiday Shows – All of the classics are at our local theatres.  See this post for details on where you and the kids can see your favorites.

‘Yes, Virginia’ Family Day at the Newseum – Enjoy loads of news- and holiday-themed activities on Saturday.  Admission is free for kids who bring a new, unwrapped donation for Toys for Tots.  Parents might be able to score a discount on admission, too.  Check out this post to find out how.

National Geographic Exhibits – Take shelter from the cold and check out a couple of great exhibits.  Geckos: Tail to Toepads and Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life are fascinating for all ages. Read a review of both here.  Admission to Geckos is $7/adults, $4/children under 12, and the Wild Music exhibit is free.  The National Geographic Museum is located at 1145 17th Street NW.

Go Buggy & Recycle at the Natural History Museum – For another hands-on (or on hand, as in crawling on) museum experience, head to the Natural History Museum.  There are many areas with interactive exhibits that kids love, and one of our favorites is the insect zoo on the second floor.  At various times throughout the day, museum volunteers bring out all kinds of creepy crawlies that visitors can actually hold — think giant caterpillars, large beetles, cockroaches.  Depending on when you’re there, you may be able to watch a tarantula feeding, too.  For exhibits that aren’t alive, but still fun, kids can check out the “house” in the southwest corner to find out where different insects might make their home in your home or try to match up bugs with their contributions to the human world on an interactive panel nearby.  They can also crawl through a termite tunnel and examine scads of live insect species in terrariums.  If your kids dig bugs, they will love this area of the museum.  And for something less buggy, but eco-friendly, there will be a family workshop from 1 – 3pm where guests recycle paper and other items to make holiday gifts.

Christmas Dream from the Nutcracker – This weekend’s Saturday Morning at the National features the Virginia Ballet Company and School as they perform selections from their enchanting version of The Nutcracker. Show times are 9:30am and 11am. Tickets are free and distributed half an hour prior to performances on a first-come, first-served basis. Every person must be standing in line to receive a ticket. The National Theatre is located at 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Rocknoceros at Avalon Theatre – Tickets are still available to see local kids’ music fave Rocknoceros at The Avalon Theatre on Saturday.  The band takes the stage at 10am.  Tickets are $5.50 for Avalon members, $8 for non-members.  Reserve seats online or  hope they’re still available at the box office before the show.  The Avalon is located at 5612 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Winter Wonderland at Clarendon Market Common – Enjoy holiday shopping and fun all in one place! The festivities begin on Saturday when Santa arrives by ­firetruck at 1pm.  After that, stay for visits and photos with Mr. Claus along with kids activities and entertainment until 5pm.

Winter’s EveThe holiday fun continues after dark at Glen Echo Park on Saturday. The evening includes free craft activities for families, choral performances and a sing-along, a hot chocolate bar and fresh popcorn, and a special opportunity for teens (16 and older) and adults to make a blown glass ornament.  Admission is free.

The Mini Nut – Perfect for little ones who can’t make it through the big productions, this 50-minute abbreviated performance of the holiday classic will be performed by the Maryland Youth Ballet at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center this weekend.  Several showtimes are available on Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are $15/adults, $10/children, students, and seniors.  The venue is located at 7995 Georgia Avenue at East-West Highway in Silver Spring.

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A Deal on Newseum Admission

Have you been interested in checking out the Newseum, but not keen on the admission fee (especially when you’re used to touring DC museums for free)? Groupon has a deal to make the entrance charge a little easier to swallow: $10 for One General Admission Ticket to the Newseum. This is a $19.95 value, so if you’re buying for a group, it could lead to significant savings. The deal is available today and tomorrow, and you must redeem it at the Newseum by February 17, 2011. It’s good for two consecutive days when you use it.

For more information and to get in on it, visit the Groupon website.

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