Okay, so maybe partying isn’t on the agenda for everyone this weekend, but it’s about all we’re thinking about in our household. Both of my kids celebrated their birthdays within the past two weeks, and the big shebang is happening tomorrow. Soon, I’ll post a review of the party locale along with other party ideas and venue recommendations (similar to this post from many months ago). In the meantime, here are some ideas for family fun over the next few days. Happy Weekend!
See Stars… and Help Save the Planetarium – The Arlington Planetarium presents four shows of In My Backyard this weekend – Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1pm and 3pm. The program aimed toward younger takes the audience on a tour of the narrator Fred’s backyard, first by day exploring nature as the seasons change, then at discovering the night sky after the sun goes down. Unlike most planetarium shows where guests are expected to remain quit, the audience is encouraged to sing, clap, and even recite a poem along with Fred as they learn about the stars, planets, and moon. Tickets are $3/ages 13 and up, $2/12 and under. Read more about the planetarium along with Friends of the Arlington Planetarium’s efforts to keep the venue open.
Lego Aircraft Building Day – This Saturday, the College Park Aviation Museum is hosting a Lego building day. Guests can design their own aircraft out of provided Legos and take home a picture of their creation. Top designs will be displayed throughout the museum. The event runs from 12pm – 4pm. Museum admission is $4/adults, $2/ages 2-18, free for 2 and under.
Collection Connection at the Postal Museum – Discover the fun of stamp collecting! The museum invites guests to drop by to learn how to make a topical collection, select stamps to take home, and explore the exhibition Collecting History: 125 Years of the National Philatelic Collection. The free program will take place in the museum’s atrium from 1 – 5pm. While you’re there be sure to check out the rest of the exhibits – the Postal Museum is a fantastic, but often overlooked, attraction for families.
Snow Show at The Puppet Co. – Take the littlest ones to the Tiny Tots show on Saturday morning for a marionette performance all about snow. Presented especially for children ages 0-4, the shows are short and accommodating to newbie audience members. Read more about it here.
Science You Can Sing To – Entertainment and experiments will be on the line-up at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning. Ryan Buckle & Friends will perform “Science You Can Sing To,” a show that combines great tunes with amazing science experiments to inspire curious kids. For more about the show and ticket info, see this post from a few days ago.
Storytelling at Mount Vernon – Children enter a world of fantasy and fables when costumed interpreters weave three tales together during Mount Vernon’s storytelling session, “Once Upon a Time at Mount Vernon,” held every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 3pm. “Working Together” is the theme for January’s storytelling sessions. During the 20-minute session, children learn Aesop’s fables and listen to stories about George Washington’s life. Recommended for children 3-8, parental supervision is required. Sessions will take place in the Hands-On History Room in the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center. Sessions are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, $7.00, free for ages 5 and under.
Family Game Day at Labyrinth – If you’re bored with your board games or looking for a unique out-of-the-house family activity, then head to Labyrinth Games & Puzzles on Sunday for Family Game Day. The event will give guests a chance to try out some fantastic European-style games that are perfect for revitalizing family game night. See this post for more details.
Stories in Art – Alexander Calder will again be the subject for this week’s Stories in Art at the National Gallery. The workshop will start with a reading of “Sophie’s Masterpiece,” a book about a spider and her wondrous creations. From there, the group will explore Calder’s “Spider” and learn to weave their own wire mobiles. Hour-long sessions begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in will take place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am that day and will continue until all spaces are filled. No admission fee required. Check out this post for more about the series.
Portrait Story Days: George Washington Carver – Young visitors with their parents are invited to drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. On Sunday, African American scientist and educator George Washington Carver will be the honored subject. The program is free and runs from 1-4pm.
Theater Time – Several children’s stage productions are in local theaters, and tickets are still available for some of this weekend’s performances. Check out this post to see what’s playing and how to reserve your seats.
Post Recs for Ice Skating – This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested ice skating as a winter family activity, but this Best Bets piece from the Washington Post provides some useful insight on several area rinks.