Link up to local fun with these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
Pickleball on the Mall
Where: JFK Hockey Fields| National Mall, DC
When: Through Saturday
For the first time ever, nine temporary pickleball courts will be constructed on the JFK Hockey Fields, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. This three-day event is free to register and open to players of all ages and skill levels — old, young, experts, or novices. This special event will include celebrity guests, including Rob Riggle and Katie Couric. There will be clinics, walk-on play, exhibition matches, a local DMV showcase, opportunities to play with the pros from DC PickleballTeam players, and a special healthy cooking demonstration called “Cooking in the Kitchen” with a local DC chef. You can also just go and spectate! The JFK Hockey Fields are located at 1964 Independence Ave. SW.
World Culture Festival
Where: 4th – 14th Streets | National Mall, DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Tap into joy, peace, and community on the National Mall this weekend, where there will be for entertainment and culture from across the globe. Hear live music, from hip hop to the classics to world music. Visit pavilions to learn about world cultures. Experience whirling dervishes spinning to eternity along with the stomps of flamenco dancers awakening the soul and a yoga flow with all who want to join. International food trucks will offer dishes to savor. Register in advance!
Art All Night
Where: Throughout DC
When: Friday – Saturday, 7pm – 3am
Be part of DC’s annual free, overnight, family-friendly arts festival. The event takes place in all eight wards, bringing visual and performing arts — painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, fashion, music, dance, theater, and more — to indoor and outdoor spaces around the city. Enjoy live music, dance at silent discos, take kids to story times and more activities for littles, sample food, view innovative art, and so much more. This DCist article has details on what’s happening in many neighborhoods around DC.
Where: USDA Farmers Market | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 2pm
The USDA’s weekly Farmers Market will include special activities in celebration of all, including a petting zoo, face painting, and many more fun activities for kids and families!. There will also be a Sukkot Festival for the holiday with a sukkah dedication at 12pm. The Farmer’s Market takes place on the corner of Independence and 14th Street SW from 10am – 2pm.
Back to the Yards
Where: Yards Park | CapitolRiverfront, DC
When: Friday, 5:30-8:30pm
Join The Yards for the party of the decade to celebrate the end of summer and new school year. Jam out with a totally tubular DJ playing 80s and 90s chart toppers that will get the whole family on their feet. Get a blast from the past with classic 90’s icons, like Barbie, Etch-a-Sketch, and more. Instagrammable moments and activities including vintage arcade games, break dancers, glitter tattoos, crafts, a photo booth, and a glow giveaway bar will make this a party for all the ages. Dust off your leg warmers, and tease up your hair, celebrate The Yards, be there or be square! Kids of all ages welcome!
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Free with passes
The celebration continues for the giant pandas at the National Zoo before they go home to China. And you can get in on the fun! Enjoy photo ops, hands-on arts and crafts, a ‘Kids Area’ in the Great Meadow, family stretching and yoga, panda talks, temporary tattoos, a conservation-themed scavenger hunt, live music concerts, and free film screenings of “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Miracle Panda” through the weekend. See the schedule on the website.
Where: Leesburg Executive Airport | Leesburg, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
The annual Leesburg Airshow will take to the skies with thrilling aerobatic demonstrations, sky divers, and more! Witness a showcase of impressive aircraft, plus a variety of exhibitors on the tarmac, food vendors, kids activities, flight schools, and aviation clubs among them.
Opera in the Outfield
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
How about opera where there’s usually baseball? The Washington National Opera presents Opera in the Outfield for the 18th year with a simulcast performance of Puccini’s La bohème on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm for “pregame” activities for the entire family, including a costume shop, a performance by Step Afrika, a magic show by Musico the Magnificent, arts & crafts, an instrument petting zoo, chances to win prizes, and more. Get there early for a seat on the field, otherwise there will be plenty of seating in the stands.
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event
Fall has officially begun! And while it may not feel like it weather-wise, events around the area are celebrating the season’s arrival. Fall festivals are in full swing at area farms, in local communities, even a 16th century village in Maryland, and they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through October 30
With charm, wit, and heart, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown explores life’s big questions through the eyes of the Peanuts gang as they play baseball, fly kites, struggle with homework, swoon over crushes, and celebrate the joys of friendship. Growing up is serious business! Recommended for all ages.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through October 22
Using more than 70 beautiful, larger-than-life puppets and original music, this special event follows all your favorite characters from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” “The Very Busy Spider,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” and, of course, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Recommended for ages 3-8.
Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Through October 22
Admission: Start at $33/child, 42/adult (look for a deal)
This new Circque du Soleil show just made its US debut in DC and runs through October. Fueled by the power of change, the hope of the youth, and the value of empathy, ECHO follows an inquisitive young woman named FUTURE as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores humans’ sacred bond with animals and nature. When FUTURE and her best friend the DOG encounter a mysterious CUBE, they quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape this world, and if we come together, we can rebuild our planet to create the world we all want to live in.
Where: Clarendon Metro | Clarendon, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Head to the area around the Clarendon Metro station for an event that brings the local community together. Dozens of vendors, food from neighborhood restaurants, live music, and a KidZone (including an 18-foot slide!) will be part of the action.
Mosaic’s Fall Festival
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Rescheduled from last weekend! The big shopping enter in Fairfax is hosting a fall event. Festivities include live entertainment and musical performances; the FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors; the URBNmarket with 90 handmade and vintage vendors; beer and wine gardens; kids activities like bouncy fun, balloons, and face painting; plus more special activities for all.
Because Science Festival
Where: 1759 Columbia Road NW | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Join an exciting event that celebrates the wonders of science! Immerse in a weekend filled with interactive projects, thrilling experiments, and challenges that meld science and art. Whether you’re a science enthusiast, a curious mind, or just looking for a fun-filled day, this festival is perfect for you! Headlining the festival is Charming Disaster, performing selections from their album Our Lady of Radium (a tribute to Marie Curie) on Sunday at 6pm.
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 12:30-2pm
Join docents in the exhibition Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings for engaging and collaborative hands-on activities for families with children ages 5+. Exciting stories, scavenger hunts, sketching, and other activities will bring the whole fam together to imagine, create, and learn.
Where: Throughout DC (starts at MLK Library)
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Get your team together for a city-wide scavenger hunt that’s fun and charitable! Game Genius, a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of play for social good, is hosting its 5th annual District Hunt. The live, city-wide event highlights local changemakers through an outdoor puzzle adventure all around DC. Designed around the theme of Food & Housing this year, the unique treasure hunt brings the community together while raising awareness and creating opportunities to support local organizations. [Note: There is also a self-directed option to do this from October 2-10.]
Kick it with Spirit
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $15
The Washington Spirit are playing at home this weekend, as they take on Kansas City Current. Watch some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the US women’s national team in action, too! Purchase tickets here.
Echo Arts Fest
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Attend Glen Echo Park’s new fall visual & performing arts festival! The celebration will showcase all of the park’s offerings across many disciplines of art — pottery, painting, dance, plays, and more. It’s also the final day of the 2022 carousel season, so take the kids for one last spin on the beautiful Wendztel Carousel!
Family Day 2023
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 2-6pm
Hill Center’s annual Family Day returns, bringing a completely FREE day of crafts, shows, carriage rides, balloon animals, and more! Performances by Turley the Magician and King Bullfrog, to boot! Be sure to register (for free).
Takoma Park Street Festival
Where: Carroll Ave. to Carroll St. | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
The streets of Takoma Park will be filled with music, artisans, community groups, kids activities, food vendors and a variety of green companies at the city’s 41st annual festival. Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping — over 150 vendors will be selling all kinds of artistic wares. Music lovers will enjoy three stages hosting 18 bands playing all day.
Rolling on the River
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Celebrate World Rivers Day and Theatre Week with the Theatre Washington and Potomac River Partners at Rolling on the River, a free hour-long outdoor concert on the Transit Pier Floating Stage at The Wharf. Celebrate life on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers with your favorite local musical artists, “river music” and storytelling. All are welcome. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Before the concert, enjoy free activities from partners at DC Water, NASA, and Blue Origin.
Dory Fantasmagory Book Release Party
Where: Takoma Park Library | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 2pm
At long last, there is a new Dory Fantasmagory book (#6), and the Takom Park Library is celebrating it this weekend. Hear the first chapter of the new book, make a “Dory” craft, and enjoy a banana snack (because Dory calls her fairy godmother on a banana phone!). There will also be a giveaway of one free copy of the new book!
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
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.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The list of volunteer ops for kids around the area is always great to check out, especially if you have high schoolers who need to complete hours.
* Washington Post’s 16 best theaters in DC to catch a play. (And for fall family-friendly entertainment, check out this KFDC round-up.)
* Restaurants for a (very likely) government shutdown.
* Just started this book after many recss for it and really enjoying so far.
* A new series of Roald Dahl adaptations by Wes Anderson just started on Netflix… the first one is great, can’t wait to watch the rest!
* How cute would this be for a kid’s room?
* The one week… 😆