Tag Archives: October 2018

Kids Euro Festival: Your Passport to 2 Weeks of Free Cultural Adventures!

You don’t have to cross the pond to introduce your kids to European art and culture. Thanks to the European Union Delegation and more than 20 local and national cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to two weeks of artistic adventures and entertainment right here in DC!

Beginning this Saturday, October 20, and running through November 4, the 11th Annual Festival will present more than 80 FREE children’s performances and adventures all around the DC-Metro area. Concerts, storytelling, puppetry, cinema, dance, magic, and workshops are among the offerings. And museums, public libraries, movie theaters, arts and cultural organizations, Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, and other local theatres are some of the many performance venues, making the experiences accessible to families throughout the area and showcasing places that enrich and bolster the community.

A few of many highlights this year: The 60th anniversary celebration of the Smurfs presented by Belgium; “United in Music,” a performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage by a Latvian youth choir composed of both students with and without hearing impairments; and a performance of “Angelina, a contemporary Cinderella,” featuring Italian opera singers at the Shakespeare Theatre. And KEEN Day on October 20 features a full day of events for kids with disabilities.

The festival, designed for children ages 2-12, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Most countries in the European Union are represented in shows and workshops that highlight national cultural traditions and art.

Visit the Kids Euro Festival website for the complete schedule of performances and age recommendations. You can also follow on Facebook for event updates and more info.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Fall, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Special Event, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 15-19

Interact with New Nature at ARTECHOUSE

Monday – Rise + Rhyme at Busboys and Poets. The weekly series welcomes children 5 and under with their caregivers to enjoy a morning of performances and stories from 9:30-11am. Go to one of three locations: Brookland in DC or Takoma Park or Hyattsville in MD. Admission is $5. Plan on breakfast, too — full service will be available while the little ones are grooving.

Tuesday – Experience New Nature, the current digital exhibit at ARTECHOUSE. The installation is a “colorful digital menagerie of nature-inspired creatures and plant life,” and it’s full of stunning imagery and interactives that will delight all ages. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm (21+ 5:30-10:30pm), and admission is timed entry. Tickets are $15/adult, $8/child.

Later on, join Living Classrooms for their Watch and Learn Birding Series at Kingman and Heritage Island, where they observe feathered friends and host a book reading or hands-on activity. This week the topic is Bird Beak, and you’ll observe bird feeding habits and learn how different bird beaks are adapted to eating different foods. Read more about Kingman and Heritage Island here.

Wednesday – Enjoy the fantastic fall weather at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. As you hike the woods and wetlands, look for little creatures — turtles, frogs, fish, and birds are practically guaranteed wildlife sightings. Take in sweeping vistas of the marshland, which should include tinges of autumn foliage now. And be sure to stop in the Visitors Center, where there are several interactive exhibits about the surrounding environment. Open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Thursday – Go ice skating! The outdoor rink at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring has opened for the season. They have skate sizes ranging from toddler 7 to adult 14, plus push penguins for newbies, so little ones can get gliding, too. Hours are 12-10pm Monday – Thursday (10am–12am Friday – Saturday, 10am–10pm Sunday). Admission is $9/age 13+, $8/12 & under, $5/skate rental.

Friday – Roam the beautiful grounds and explore the cathedral of the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland. A DC “secret” to many, the site welcomes visitors to stroll through the gardens and tour the church. Hours are 9am – 4:45pm. Admission is free.

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Filed under 2018, DC, Fall, Maryland, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: October 12-14

Celebrate Capitol Hill Day at several iconic DC destinations!

Spooky SPY Family Night
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: $15

Test your family’s spy skills as you run top secret missions, go deep undercover and transform your appearance with the help of professional make-up artists, challenge yourself in Code Cracker competitions, and enjoy SPY snacks and a chance to explore all forms of spy tradecraft. Go in disguise as your favorite spy! For ages 5 and up, includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Space is limited — register in advance. (One adult required for every five KidSpy agents.)

Fall Carnival & Fall Harvest Days
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free, but carnival ride passes are $16-25

Fall is a busy — and fun — time on the farm, and you can be part of it at Frying Pan’s annual festival! Carnival fun and games start Thursday with rides, games, fair food, and more. On Saturday & Sunday, you can also watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet farm animals, and see traditional farm demonstrations.

Celebrate Capitol Hill Day!
Where: Several Capitol Hill destinations, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join the Capitol Visitors Center, U.S. Botanic Garden, Folger Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, National Postal Museum, and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument for a celebration of the 225th anniversary of the laying of the U.S. Capitol cornerstone! Bring a picnic lunch and roam the Capitol campus while enjoying the day. Special activities for all ages will also be hosted by all of the destinations. Check their websites and social media for more information on their programs.

The Big Build
Where: National Building Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Any kid (or adult, for that matter) with an interest in building and construction will dig the National Building Museum’s huge annual event celebrating all things, well, building. The Great Hall will be full of different stations where guests aren’t just welcome, but encouraged, to try their hand at all kinds of construction and design techniques alongside experts demonstrating their craft. Discover what it’s like to be a builder and meet plumbers, ironworkers, landscape architects, woodworkers, and experts in many other fields. A special feature this year is author Joshua David Stein who will lead story time with activities around his new book Brick: Who Found Herself in Architecture. All ages welcome, but best for kids 5-12.

Art Safari
Where: The Torpedo Factory | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s art-filled tradition for families returns for its 23rd year! Art Safari is a day of hands-on activities for kids and accompanying adults. Artists will lead young visitors in creative projects across a variety of media, including clay, fiber, painting, even bottle caps. All activities are free, most of them appropriate for children ages 5 – 11 and some requiring parental assistance. Children should wear clothing that can get a little dirty.

Suit Up to Clean Up
Where: Kingman Island | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Ocean Conservancy invites DC area residents to #suituptocleanup Kingman Island at its flagship International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). All ages can join the event that hauled in 4,000 pounds of trash last year! And it’s not all garbage collecting; other activities include live music, lawn games, and a “weird finds” contest. Volunteers will receive t-shirts and other giveaways; and gloves, bug spray and sunscreen are all provided, along with a light breakfast and lunch. Go here for more info and registration.

New Nature
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 13
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE invites you to experience nature in a whole new way — through a colorful digital menagerie of nature-inspired creatures and plant life. It’s full of stunning imagery and fun interactives that all ages will find delightful. Even if you don’t plan to go this weekend, plan a visit for later, and snag tickets now.

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE | Atlas District, DC
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on Northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind huge crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and some kids’ activities. I recommend taking public transportation there, since parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

More Fall Fests
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Say “huzzah!” to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, pick some pumpkins, get lost in corn mazes, go on and hayrides, whiz down giant slides, bounce around on jumping pillows, and so much more. There are activities galore to you embrace the autumn spirit, and the KFDC guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

World of Wheels
Where: Dematha High School | Hyattsville, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Explore many forms of transportation in person at this family friendly fundraiser. Touch and climb on a variety of vehicles. Enjoy an assortment of activities for kids of all ages. Pepco’s World of Wheels for CASA, an annual touch-a-truck event and family festival is nirvana for motor obsessed kids. They’ll have a fleet of police, construction, utility and other vehicles for you to see, touch, and sit in. Adding to the excitement will be food, music, and an assortment of activities for kids of all ages. Dematha High School is located at 4313 Madison St. in Hyattsville, MD.

Water Discovery Day
Where: Environmental Center at Alexandria Renew | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria Renew Enterprises is hosting its annual Water Discovery Day, co-hosted by Virginia American Water. The free, indoor/outdoor community event features food, music, and family-friendly activities to help attendees deepen their understanding of their role in Alexandria’s water system. Build a rain water barrel, take a walking tour of AlexRenew, join a water discovery lab, and enjoy plant giveaways, free yoga, slime making , and more. See the website for the schedule of activities.

Sensory Friendly Screening: Goosebumps 2
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Goosebumps 2 on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* The children’s book classic Blueberries for Sal comes to life on the Adventure Theatre stage
* Theater Unspeakable recreates the entire American fight for independence in American Revolution at the Kennedy Center
* Sleepy Hollow brings a haunting tale to Synetic Theater
* Hansel & Gretel is the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* Little ones will love Panda-Monium, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre.
* Take the preschool set to see Blue at Imagination Stage
* Encore Stage & Studio’s Ghostchasers is theatre by kids for kids (get a ticket deal)
* Make it a date night for Turn Me Loose at Arena Stage.

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Halloween may not be for a few more weeks, but you can get the party started with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit. This post has details on where the tricks and treats are happening.

Visit Viking Ship
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through October 15
Admission: $12/adult, $6/child, $30/family

The world’s largest Norwegian Viking ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre, is at The Wharf for just a few more days. Visitors have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the deck of the massive ship and interact with the crew. Look for a deal on tickets here).
And tours only last about 20-25 minutes so plan to hang at The Wharf longer.

Grand Opening Community Day
Where: National Law Enforcement Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $21.95/age 12+, $14.95/age 6-11, free/5 & under

This family-friendly Grand Opening event will mark the first time that the National Law Enforcement Museum has opened its doors to the public. It will include activities and entertainment for all to enjoy including K9 demonstrations, a variety of police vehicles and technology, face painting, live entertainment, and more.

Weekend Workers: Paper Airplane Design
Where: Museum of Industry | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: $12/adult, $7/age 7-11, free/6 & under

Join the museum for a Weekend Workers session that is taking paper airplane design to new heights. Joint he fun – it’s open to all ages. Cost is included with museum admission, and you should, of course, plan to tour it while you’re there! Read more about the Museum of Industry in this KFDC post.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

Kalamata’s Kitchen Food Adventureland
Where: 6th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
Admission: Free

Kalamata’s Kitchen is partnering with the Neighborhood Restaurant Group at its annual Snallygaster Beer Festival to provide fun, family friendly activities that make every guest feel like a VIP – even the kids! Bring your family, appetite, and sense of adventure to the Kalamata’s Kitchen experience featuring activities designed to connect kids and grownups to other cultures through food adventures. Family friendly goodies and adventures include a Taste Bud Membership lanyard, a Food Adventure Passport as you try new cuisines and collect stamps, a chance to purchase a Kalamata’s Kitchen book and have it signed by author Sarah Thomas and illustrator,Jo Edwards, fun photo ops, games, and giveaways.

Family Fun Day | Jazz and Lily Pad Concert
Where: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Music and fun for all ages! Enjoy live entertainment from Janelia Soul, pumpkin and face painting, games, snacks, and even a booth showcasing live birds of prey. Of course, guests will also be able to marvel at the beauty of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. For more about DC’s hidden gem, see this KFDC post.

Taste of the Harvest
Where: THEARC | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a beautiful evening at THEARC to celebrate the harvest from the Bridge Park Plots and THEARC Farm. Dine with your family and neighbors at the king’s table. Experience tastings from the gardens that will compliment any meal that you bring yourself. Stay for performances curated by THEARC THEATER and activities that will get you in the fall spirit!  reserve your seat at the table!

OPUS Merriweather
Where: Merriweather-Post Pavilion | Columbia, MD
When: Saturday, 5-11pm
Admission: Free

Imagine what it would be like to stand inside a 75-foot laser cathedral, to jam to DJs on a grass lawn, to experience a 16-foot tall animated owl communicating in film quotes, and to let loose during a meditative dance party. This is OPUS: the boundary-breaking festival that invites families to explore and indulge in discovery. For one night only, OPUS will bring together 25 groundbreaking artists and musicians from all over the world, merging art, music and technology for an enchanting evening in the forest. In addition, OPUS will feature a culinary village with some of the DMV’s best food trucks + restaurants featuring glow in the dark cotton candy by Fluffness and gelato from Dolci Gelati.

Harbor Harvest Children’s Festival
Where: Inner Harbor’s Rash Field | Baltimore, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The 11th annual Harbor Harvest fall family festival is returning to the Inner Harbor’s Rash Field. The free event will feature a petting zoo, hay maze, face painting and more — without having to leave the Waterfront. Guests can also enjoy a variety of food trucks and live interactive musical experience by The Uncle Devin Show and the Sons of Pirates. New this year, the event is extended two hours for an extra dose of fun! 

Used Bike Sale
Where: Bike and Roll DC | National Mall, DC & Alexandria, VA
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but plan to buy!

Bike and Roll DC’s famous annual bike sale is back! Each year they sell inventory from their expertly maintained fleet bikes to the public, and the prices cannot be beat. This year they are selling Trek Verve 3 Comfort Hybrids in a variety of sizes, beginning at $220 + tax.  (New models retail for close to $699.99.)  The sale will take place at both the National Mall and Alexandria Waterfront locations.  Arrive early because they often sell out!

Community Day
Where: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site | Anacostia, DC
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service as they continue to celebrate 200 years of the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass, the “Lion of Anacostia,” as they host their annual Community Day at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. This year will feature hands-on activities, games, local exhibitors, and live entertainment. Make ice cream with a churner, learn how to drill like a Civil War soldier, play outdoor and board games, make a craft, tour Frederick Douglass’s historic house, and check in with local organizations who serve our community. Fun for the whole family!

* DCSchoolHub is hosting its annual Preschool and Private School Fair next Sunday, October 21.
* Tiny Chefs offers parties, classes, and camp for kids who are keen on cooking!
* Throughout October, the National Gallery of Art is hosting Sketching is Seeing, a celebration of drawing with sketchbooks available at Info Desks and special programming for all ages.
* Goldstar is always great to check out for deals on local entertainment and events.
* This is so great.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 8-12

Explore a viking ship at The Wharf!

Monday – Take a tour of the Draken Harald Hårfagre, the world’s largest Norwegian Viking ship, that will be docked at The Wharf through October 15 as part of its Expedition America. You’ll be guided around the deck and offered a look at a day-in-the-life of the crew and the historic craftsmanship used to build it. Admission is $12/adult, $6/child, $30/family — look for a deal before you go. Timed entry tours start at 10:30am and are offered every 30 minutes until 7pm. And they only take about 20-25 minutes, so plan to hang out longer at The Wharf — there is even more for all ages to enjoy there!

Tuesday – Go for a walk in the woods and explore the grounds of Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, MD. The home of the Audubon Naturalist Society is perfect for hiking with little ones. The trails are mellow, there are several small exhibits like bird feeding areas, and wildlife sightings are practically guaranteed. Open dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

Wednesday – Join a class especially for preschoolers (ages 2-5) at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, where they discover a world of adventure through make believe, art projects, and imaginative play. During this three-session Spectacular Statues-themed series, look for animals and other fanciful creatures in the sculptures throughout the gardens. The whole series is $30 per child with one accompanying adult ($25 member; $18 additional adults), or you can pay $12 per class ($10/members). Classes are 10:30-11:15am on October 10, 17, and 24.

Thursday – Play, learn, and discover at the National Museum of American History. Take little ones to Wegmans Wonderplace, the activity center designed especially for ages 0-6 years old — it’s full of fun and interesting features that cater to curious young visitors. If you’re with older kids, go to the Spark!Lab right next door. Of course, the rest of the museum is great to explore, too! Hours at Wegmans Wonderplace and Spark!Lab are 10am – 4pm, and free admission is on a first come, first served basis. Museum hours are 10am – 5:30pm.

Friday – Embrace the season at a fall festival! Weekdays are a great time to go, when crowds thin out, and admission prices are often lower. Take a hayride, pick out a pumpkin, PYO apples, jump and slide, visit farm animals, and lots more. This post has details on farms around the area offering seasonal fun.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: October 5-7

Enjoying an early autumn day at Dumbarton Oaks gardens

Happy Weekend!

Velkommen, Viking Ship!
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Through October 15
Admission: $12/adult, $6/child, $30/family

The world’s largest Norwegian Viking ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre, will visit The Wharf for a 10-day stay. It’s the final stop on its Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018. The ship will dock at the Transit Pier, and visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the massive ship and interact with the crew. A free arrival ceremony will take place on Friday at 3pm, and Village and Deck Tours will be offered October 6-14 — get tickets here (but first, look for a deal here). And there’s so much more to enjoy at The Wharf, which you can read all about in this KFDC post.

Celebrate the Season
Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy autumn fun and then some at a number of farms around the area. Pick pumpkins, whiz down slides, visit animals, jump on giant inflatables, take pony rides, indulge in caramel apples, and much more. This guide to fall festivals has details on all of them.

Autumn off the Farm
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Farm festivals may be the go-to autumn outing, but there are lots of other fantastic ways to enjoy the season around the area. A recent KFDC post lists 10 great places to for fall adventures — view it here.

Wicked Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get the Halloween party started early with activities and events that celebrate the spooky spirit throughout October. This post has details on where all the tricks and treats are happening.

Cool Runnings @ The Drive-In
Where: Union Market | Northeast DC
When: Friday, 8:15pm (lot opens at 5:45pm)
Admission: $10/car, free for walk-ups

Catch a family-friendly flick at the drive-in! Cool Runnings is this month’s featured film at Union Market’s outdoor movie series. See the story of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team on the big screen from the comfort of your car in the UM parking lot. Get there as early as 6pm and have a bite to eat in the Market or bring food back to your car. The lot closes at 7:30pm, and the film begins at 8pm. Advance purchase is recommended.

Shake Up Your Saturday
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am & 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Shake up your Saturday with a workshop at the Folger! These programs occurring on the first Saturday of every month, encourage families to experience Shakespeare’s language together. This session, hide your true self and see what mayhem you can bring in a Deception & Disguise workshop. Register here. And read a KFDC write-up about the Folger here.

Children’s Arts & Crafts Workshop
Where: Embassy of Sweden | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Swedish artist Karin Lithell will lead children ages 3-10 in expressing themselves through art at House of Sweden this Saturday! This session is part of a series of art workshops for kids that take place on select Saturdays. Attendees are set up with everything they need to participate free of charge. Plan to spend even more time in Room for Children, a Swedish library and arts studio for ages 0-10 years, designed to stimulate their desire for books, music, storytelling, and self-expression.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating. The 27th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment. Along with food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5.

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage at the American History Museum. Participate in hands-on activities, learn about animation and storytelling, enjoy the Cooking Up History demonstration with renowned Mexican-American chef Zarela Martinez, meet members from Disney·Pixar’s “Coco” team, including character modeling artist Alonso Martinez, watch “Coco” with your friends and family, and dance to the music of Grupo Bella, an all-female mariachi band. All festival activities are free, but reservation tickets will be needed for the timed film screenings of Coco.

Library + Art Pop-Up + More
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Fun for little ones at the Hirshhorn! Enjoy the Library + Art Pop-Up on Saturday from 10am – 12pm and find a cart in the galleries and check out a fun kit full of favorite finds for kids. On Sunday at 2pm, drop-in for Hirshhorn/DRAW, a gallery sketching session that pairs an artwork with a drawing exercise. Of course, explore the rest of the exhibits while you’re there, including the striking Pickett’s Charge, which has been extended at the Hirshhhorn through 2021!

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave | Del Ray, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Adventure Theatre brings Blueberries for Sal to their stage
* Sleepy Hollow brings a haunting tale to Synetic Theater
* Its opening weekend for Hansel & Gretel, the Main Stage production at The Puppet Co.
* And little ones will love Dragon Babies, this week’s featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theatre.
* Encore Stage & Studio’s Ghostchasers is theatre by kids for kids.
* South Pacific is on stage at Olney Theatre
* Make it a date night for Turn Me Loose at Arena Stage.
* Disney on Ice is back at EagleBank Arena with Mickey’s Search Party

Saturday Family Story Session
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10:15am & 11:30am
Admission: $10-12

Join the weekly family session for fun and creativity, enjoying diverse and dynamic programs with the very best storytellers in the area who engage young audiences and instill a love of learning with every word. In this delightful, interactive workshop, miniature items and toys create a captivating story. Parents will take away effective storytelling techniques that can be used at home to promote literacy and other cognitive skills.

Get Merry at Ren Fest
Where: Revel Grove | Crownesville, Md
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $22/age 16+, $10/age 7-15, free/6 & under

There are only a few weekends left to enjoy the bounty of merriment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The annual faire recalls medieval times with a village full of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This is one of my very favorite events in the DC area, and it could very well become one of yours, too. View scenes from our visit to Ren Fest a few weeks ago here. Huzzah!

College Park Day
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the College Park community for the 9th annual festival celebrating the city! The day will feature live entertainment, free admission to the College Park Aviation Museum, obstacle courses, a climbing wall, bounce house, face painting, arts & crafts, and more! Say hello to the folks who keep you safe and check out their fire trucks and squad cars. Put your dancing shoes on…music all day long will include jazz, rock, cumbia, pop, and R&B. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Love Beer Fest (Family-Friendly!)
Where: Park at 1st & M Streets SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

For the first time ever, Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery will host the Love Beer Festival in DC! Love Beer Fest will take place in the park bordered by First St, M Street SE and New Jersey Ave SE, directly across from the Navy Yards-Ballpark Metro Stop and is a family-friendly event open to all beer lovers at no cost. During the festival, guests will have the opportunity to experience fun for all ages, including appearances from the Budweiser Clydesdales, live music, yard games, face painting, and more. There will also be unique food and beer pairings prepared by chefs from famed DC restaurants, Old Ebbitt Grill and The Hamilton.

Farm Day
Where: Cherry Hill Park | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but fees for some activities

Enjoy old-fashioned fun for the whole family, including: horse-drawn hayrides, petting farm, pumpkin painting, scarecrow-making, blacksmith demonstration, cider pressing from locally grown apples, pony rides and much more. Not to be missed is a performance by King Street Bluegrass, a traditional bluegrass band with blues, folk, and country influences. Free tours of the 1845 Cherry Hill Farmhouse will also be offered throughout the day. Bring your own long-sleeved shirts and pants to make a scarecrow or purchase clothing items at the event. Food will be available for purchase from Carnivore BBQ and Stay Cool Ice Cream. The weekly Farmer’s Market will run concurrently from 8am – 12pm.

Harvest Festival
Where: Agricultural History Farm Park | Derwood, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $15/car

Get a taste of farm life from the 1850s to present through a day of hands-on activities and experiences on a working farm. The Agricultural History Farm Park is situated on 455 acres of land in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve and serves as a historic farm site as well as a modern farming activity center. Activities include hayrides, live farm animals, corn maze, farm tours, antique farm equipment, garden tours.

Co-op Festival
Where: 10th – 12th Streets on the National Mall, DC
When: Saturday 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Co-ops are coming together on Sunday to entertain, educate and provide fun for all ages. Learn how to grow rice with Riceland Foods, take a virtual farm tour with Organic Valley, sample Cabot Creamery cheese, experience solar demos with America’s Electric Cooperatives, learn about your financial health with America’s Credit Unions, and enjoy music from WASH Radio and WMZQ-FM. Families can also kick off the weekend by participating in The Co-op 5K on Saturday, October 6, at Hains Point! This fun event will feature prizes for the whole family, from REI Co-op Backpacks, to Co-op Swag baskets! While the festival is free, there is a fee to participate in the 5K.

Where: Garfield Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

The daylong music festival will feature two main stages and four small stages with a variety of international, national, regional, and local acts in addition to high school, college/university, and students from independent music programs. There will also be fitness classes, children’s storytelling, dance performances and more entertainment.

Parenting: An Art Without a Manual
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $6/child, $8/senior

AVAM’s newest exhibition focuses on what might be humanity’s most essential performance art — the intuitive, transformative, and complex art of parenting. Thirty-six artists express their personal experience of parenting or of being parented — be it good, bad, horrific, and/or sublime, alongside revelations from the latest scientific research, globally-sourced wisdoms, and fun. Adults will best appreciate this exhibit, but the whole museum can be enjoyed by all! They are also hosting a Weekend Walk-In, their monthly drop-in art-making workshop from 1-4pm — this one has a Bot-Shop theme. Read a KFDC write-up about the wonderful, wacky American Visionary Art Museum here.

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story and create art inspired by someone in the collection — this weekend features artist Frida Khalo. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum (and the American Art Museum housed in the same building). For more about the program and gallery, see this post about a past experience and this one with scenes from a more recent visit.

Kids Night
Where: STEM & Flower | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: $10/child

Enjoy a few hours of KidFree time! STEM and Flower will be hosting a Kids Night event this Saturday. Drop your children off in the evening for three hours filled with fun, take-home crafts, science projects, and dinner. Just call or email to let them know that your child will be joining. (PS: They are also offering camp for kids on Columbus Day when there’s no school.)

Where: McLean Central Park | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

MPAartfest returns for its 12th year, offering something for guests of all ages. The festival features the work of nearly 40 selected artists, creative interactive experiences, new food vendors, expanded musical offerings and more. During MPAartfest, McLean Central Park is transformed into a lively landscape of mini art galleries showcasing and offering for sale the work of acclaimed artists from the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.Along with the artists’ tents and food from local restaurants, MPAartfest features the best of DC’s musical artistsas well as a variety of arts and STEAM (STEM+Art) activities to engage creative minds and captivate art-lovers of all ages.

Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Head to Watkins Regional Park for the 35th Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October. The scores of events and activities to entertain the whole family include clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train. Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee. Read more about all the fun offerings at Watkins Regional Park here.

Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Ave. to Carroll St. | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, children’s activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 37th annual festival. Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping — vendors will be selling all kinds of artistic wares. Festivities for kids include crafts, face painting, inflatables, and more fun. And music lovers will enjoy three stages hosting 18 bands playing all day.

Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Enjoy the season and some active fun. See the very beginning of fall foliage, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor the time outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids.

* If you need kid coverage on Monday when most schools are off for Columbus Day, DC Way Soccer is offering One Day Camp!
* The annual Kids Euro Festival, presenting two weeks of free performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling sessions, puppetry, dance exhibitions, magic shows, and cinema all around DC begins on October 20!
* Local dad and writer Tom Nochera has written a book called A Goat Named Joey for bullied kids, and he needs some support as he works to get it published.
* I am hearing really great things about Rothy’s. Anyone have a pair? (PS: The link will get you $20 off your first order!)
* Just started reading An American Marriage and cannot put it down.

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Filed under 2018, All ages, DC, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend