Tag Archives: Smithonian Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater

Enter to Win Tickets to National Parks Adventure 3D!


National Parks Adventure 3D is the latest film to hit the big screen at the National History Museum’s Johnson IMAX Theater. And I have two 4-Packs of tickets to see it up for grabs.

Explore the wilds of America and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service in this giant screen film as big as the outdoors. National Parks Adventure, narrated by Robert Redford, is an adventure for the whole family. Join world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe, and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb, and explore their way across America’s most pristine parks in an action-packed expedition that will inspire the adventurer in us all.

National Parks Adventure is an awe-inspiring visual and musical journey that reminds us of America’s great natural heritage. Immersive IMAX® 3D cinematography takes viewers soaring over red rock canyons, hurtling up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor playgrounds, including Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, and Arches.

I caught a screening of the film a few weeks ago, and for the full 45 minutes, was completely immersed in the spectacular scenery and thrilling adventure. We soared through Yosemite, walked among the giant redwoods of Muir Woods, scaled rock faces in Arches, and climbed ice walls in Glacier as we explored the beauty and history of the nation’s protected lands. It’s a magnificent journey sure to captivate viewers of all ages.

National Parks Adventure 3D is playing at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Tickets are $9/adult and $7.50/ages 2-12, and can be purchased online at or at the IMAX box office located in the Museum. View showtimes here.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a 4-Pack of tickets to see National Parks Adventure 3D, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite National Park or one you’d most like to visit. To be eligible, you must follow KidFriendly DC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (sign up on the left). There will be two 4-Pack giveaways, the first will run through March 3, and the second through March 10. After the end of each, a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Smithsonian Entertprises, however, I only promote programs, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Giveaway, Movies, Museums, Nature, Sponsored Post, Spring, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Local Deals with Family Appeal

When it rains, it pours.  Such is the case with the latest offerings from our local deal sites. Discounts on everything from IMAX movies to holiday entertainment to mani/pedis for kids landed in my inbox this morning. And in case they didn’t make it to yours, here’s the scoop on all of them.

Groupon: See a movie in 3-D at one of Smithsonian’s IMAX Theaters for just $4. That’s a $5 savings off the regular price for tickets. KFDC has reviews on Born to Be Wild 3-D and Grand Canyon Adventure 3-D, both currently playing at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater located in the Museum of Natural History.

LivingSocial: Admission to the National Zoo’s annual light show may be free, but this ZooLights Package for 4 deal gets you all the extras. For $28 get parking, plus four ice skating tickets with skate rental, four hot chocolates, and four train rides. (Scroll down to their “families” section for the offer.)

Plum District: It’s just about time to start thinking about putting the kids’ smiling face on holiday greeting cards. And for $20 you can get $40 worth of holiday cards, invitations, and more from Pear Tree Greetings to save some money on them.

Juice in the City: What a fun treat this is for kids! For $24 get a kid’s mani/pedi spa package at Cafe Kids Spa. If my daughter were a little older, I’d snatch it up in a second.

Certifikid: This site currently has a bunch of awesome deals available right now — $20 for holiday ornaments and studio time at Clay Cafe of Chantilly, 60% off Gymboree classes, $7 to Port Discovery in Balitmore, and more! Go check ’em all out here.

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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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Easter Weekend (Including Ideas for Non-Holiday Fun)

Getting ready for the Easter egg "hunt" at last year's Eggstravagana in Lincoln Park

If you’re looking for an egg hunt, you’ll have no problem finding one. Sheep shearing? Got you covered there, too. And if the forecast proves reliable, and thunderstorms soak the area, I’ve got plenty of suggestions for family fun indoors. Happy Weekend!  And Happy Easter, too!

Earth Day Party for the Planet  – Looking for a Friday morning activity?  Celebrate Earth Day at the National Zoo!  From 10am – 12pm, guests can create eco-crafts, a meet the Zoo’s Green Team, get tips on enjoying a environmentally friendly lifestyle, and recycling opportunities (check the website for the list of recyclable items).  This free event will take place at the Zoo in Your Backyard exhibit.

Hop to It – It’s Easter weekend, and with it come many egg hunts and festivals. Celebrate at Cox Farms on Saturday from 11am–2pm with games, egg coloring, farm animals, and a visit from the Easter Bunny.  Annual Eggstravaganzas will be taking place at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill from 1-3pm and in Ballston at 10:30am. The Reston Zoo will host Easter egg hunts on Saturday and Sunday at several times both days.  And ongoing are holiday festivities at Ticonderoga Farms and Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard (open through Monday, though it’s closed on Easter Sunday).

Show Time From Snow White on strings to Rocknoceros at Jammin’ Java, there’s a variety of live entertainment to enjoy this weekend.  For details on what’s playing, see this post about what’s on stage this spring.

The Plane, The Plane! –  Love the Air & Space on the Mall, but not all the crowds?  Head to the College Park Aviation Museum, just 15 minutes out of DC.  The state-of-the-art facility located on the grounds of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport in College Park, MD, contains relics of early aviation, including some interactive fun.  Open daily from 10am -5pm, though closed on major holidays.  Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.

A Walk in the Park – It’s still National Park Week, and entrance to over 100 parks that usually charge admission is free.  If weather permits, take advantage and hit the trails at a local park or even one a bit further away. For suggestions on good hikes with kids, see this post about tramping with little ones.

Think Outside…  The list of best places to enjoy the outdoors with the kids keeps growing.  Check it out for ideas on where to have fun al fresco. Again, if weather permits.

Space for Children at House of Sweden – The Swedish Embassy welcomes families to experience a unique exhibit through April 24.  Two rooms of “interactivity creativity” celebrate the parent-child bond and encourage creative play. The free exhibit is open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm.  Read more about it on the Embassy’s website.

Nature at Its Best and Biggest – See some amazing moments in the natural world captured in photos and on the big screen at the National Museum of Natural History.  The Nature’s Best Photography exhibit showcases winners of a prestigious photography competition.  And most of the films playing at the museum’s Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater have themes of nature at their core.

Portrait Story Days: Dizzy Gillespie – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art.  On Saturday and Sunday, learn about jazz trumpeter, band leader, singer, and composer Dizzy Gillespie.

Shearing MadnessSunday is Sheep Shearing Day at Watkins Regional Park, and you’re invited to watch the wool fly. This free event will feature sheep and llama shearing demonstrations, displays of products made from wool and hair, and more. Hayrides will be available during the event for $1.

Rainy Day RecsI’m listing this last in hopes that it’s a last resort, and those thunderstorms in the forecast don’t materialize. But if it turns out to be a wet weekend, this post contains many suggestions on where to have fun and stay dry.




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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Review: Born to Be Wild 3D

The magic of IMAX is especially effective in Born to Be Wild 3D, a new film documenting rescues of orphaned baby orangutans and elephants.  Not only do you want to reach out and touch the images that seem to be mere inches away from your face.  You want pull them in and hug them.

It’s not just that the young animals featured in the movie are incredibly adorable. Their stories of loss and subsequent rescue by teams of remarkable people tug at the heart strings with a force that viewers of any age will feel.

The film depicts the parallel worlds of primatologist Dr. Birute Galdikas, who runs a sanctuary for orphaned orangutans in Borneo, and Dame Daphne Sheldrick, who rescues and rehabilitates baby elephants in Kenya. Bouncing between the two places, the movie highlights the dedication and compassion of the two extraordinary women and their teams who devote themselves to helping give these animals a second chance at life in the wild.

My five-year-old, Owen, and I watched a screening together, and we both were captivated for the entire 40-minutes.  Some of the scenes elicited giggles — elephants kicking a soccer ball across a field and orangutans going for a wheelbarrow ride are a couple of amusing images.  Others brought tears to my eyes — an elephant caretaker staying up all night with a new, anxious orphan is one of many that stir the emotions.  These are just a sample; some of the best you have to see for yourself.

All of it is stunning on the big screen and, narrated by Morgan Freeman, it’s easy for little ones to follow as well.  The concepts of conservation and compassion will not be lost on young eyes and ears.  As I watched Owen try several times to give those animals hugs, I knew he truly understood  them.

Born to Be Wild 3D is playing at the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater in the National Museum of Natural History at various times daily.  Tickets are $9 and available for purchase online or at the box office.


Filed under All ages, Animals, DC, Educational, Movies, Museums