Rhino sculptures for RiverRun at the Kennedy Center
1. RiverRun, an international festival celebrating the world’s rivers, begins today at the Kennedy Center! Fittingly starting on World Water Day and running through Earth Day, April 22, the festival will present all kinds of performances and events by talent from across the globe. Performing and visual artists, authors, chefs, filmmakers, climate experts, and more fascinating people will help carve an artistic path throughout the Kennedy Center — from the concerts halls and theaters to the Hall of States to The REACH to the outdoor grounds — with world-class performances, exhibitions, films, talks, workshops, and more events. View more details and the full schedule here.
2. Cherry Blossom Update: The iconic Tidal Basin trees are realllly close to peaking (see some pics here), but not quite there yet. My completely non-expert prediction is that they will be in full bloom in the next couple of days, which means it will be packed this weekend. Once again, I strongly recommend reading my Tips for Families Viewing the Cherry Blossoms if you plan to see them, and I can’t stress enough to avoid driving if you can. Not only is parking a pain, traffic getting to and nearby the blossoms can be a total cluster during bloom time, especially when big blossom events are happening like the annual Kite Festival on Saturday. And, generally, Metro is great way to get around anytime — and a DC thing to do!
1. The newest exhibition at ARTECHOUSE is a delightful and mesmerizing celebration of spring! PIXELBLOOM: Timeless Butterflies features vivid projections of flowers and the flitting insects on the walls and floors of the main gallery room. You can sit on a bench (or right on the floor) and immerse in the dazzling scenery or roam around and play — interactive elements, including beautiful displays that swirl, grow, even chime with your movement are in other areas. There are also neat augmented reality ops. Both kids and adults will be enchanted. Timed-entry tickets are available for 10am – 9pm daily. Admission is $20-25/adult, $17/age 4-15, $72/family 4-pack — and you can find a discount here.
3. Registration for DC Department of Parks and Rec (DPR) summer camps is by lottery this year, and it just opened a couple of days ago. Four, two-week sessions will run from June 26 – August 18 at locations all around the city. There are a variety of options for kids ages 3 – 13 starting at just $80 per session. The lottery will be open through April 5, and results will be out on April 18. More info is available on the website — be sure to read all details. These camps are only open to DC residents.
1. Looking for last minute Spring Break ideas? Some suggestions for easy escapes within a few hours’ drive from DC: Colonial Williamsburg is a really fun (and educational!) time trip. Great Wolf Lodge, also in Williamsburg, is currently 30% off when you stay two or more nights Sunday – Thursday. (You could even combine those two trips!) Shenandoah also makes for a great family getaway destination — we once enjoyed a fantastic Spring Break stay at this beautiful farm with day trips for recreation around the area (more pics here).
2. There are still some time slots available for virtual hand cut portrait sessions with reknown silhouette artist Karl Johnson! These make for fantastic Mother’s Day & Father’s Day gifts…or any occasion, for that matter.
3. Support a local school and score some great stuff! Bidding has started for Ross Elementary’s silent auction, and you don’t have to be part of the school to bid on nearly 200 items and experiences. These include an incredible baseball package; a pair of tickets to a New York Fashion Week show; a Specialized kid’s bike; theater, museum and sports tickets; and dozens of restaurant, health & beauty, and other gift certificates. (PS: All are also welcome to attend the in-person Starry Night auction on March 18! Tickets available for purchase here.)
4. Tea Collection’s swimsuits for kids are so cute! And right now you can get 20% off with the code SWIMWEAR.
1. Yesterday, the National Park Service announced their predicted cherry blossom peak dates: March 22- 25. Other sources have projected both earlier and later dates — it remains to be seen who is right! In the meantime, if you’re hoping to see the iconic flowers while they’re at their best, my annual Tips for Families Viewing Cherry Blossoms are a must to check out as you’re making plans for it.
2. The cherry blossoms aren’t the only bloom in town, and there’s one now starting to pink-en up parts of DC: Magnolias! Specifically, saucer magnolias have begun blooming, and one of the best places to see them is the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle. The KFDC post Bloom Town: Where and When to See the Best Flower Displays Around DC has details along with more about big local blooms to look forward to. It was created several years ago and is updated every year to reflect new dates for festivals and any other pertinent info.
3.NSO in Your Neighborhood, the National Symphony Orchestra’s annual program that presents free performances in different areas of DC each year begins next Monday. From March 7-13, NSO musicians will play free concerts in Brentwood, Brookland, Eckington, Fort Lincoln, Trinidad, University Heights, and Woodridge. Events are offered both indoors and outdoors — at parks, restaurants, arts and rec centers, libraries, a yoga studio, the Basilica of the National Shrine, and more local venues — with pre-concert festivities at some of them. All are open to the public with first-come, first-served seating.
The Mothership at the National Museum of African American History & Culture
1. If you’re looking for things to do the rest of this week with kids on February Break, it’s a great time to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Right now, during Black History Month, is a meaningful time to go. (And if you have been, there is so much to be gleaned, teach to kids, contemplate, and celebrate, you can never visit too much.) It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids. There are still tickets available for a few time slots Thursday and Friday — none available this weekend — so snag them while you can!
3. Several new shows are opening at DC theaters this week — Into the Woods, King Lear, The Hula Hoopin’ Queen, and Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue. Get details on all of them in this round-up of winter entertainment, including discount links, and see what else is coming to local stages soon.