Tag Archives: Smithsonian Folklife Festival

2020 Vision: 10 Awesome Things Families Can Look Forward to in DC this Year

To infinity and beyond… Yayoi Kusama’s art will return to DC this year


Some people make New Year’s resolutions, I make new… plans. (Well, mental notes for plans, anyway.) I like to take a look ahead at the coming year, see what new and exciting things are on the horizon, and put them on my radar to, hopefully, enjoy at some point — and, of course, share with the KFDC community. Which is just what I’ve done here. With this new year comes many opportunities for awesome experiences. Here are 10 that I think will be especially appealing to DC families. Happy 2020!

1. National Children’s Museum | Late January
The much anticipated reopening of the redesigned and newly-located museum especially for children is slated for the end of January. And if the sneak peek back in the fall is a good indicator of what’s to come, it sounds like the wait will be worth it. There will be STEAM-focused exhibits and creative play spaces, with the Dream Machine, a three-story climber and slide, as the centerpiece. This will all be easily accessible right downtown at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, next to the Ronald Reagan Building. I’ll, of course, keep you posted on opening specifics as more details are released.

2. The Lane | February
How I wish something like this existed when my kids were younger! Opening in February, The Lane Social Club will be a place where families — kids and parents — can hang. And by hang, I mean engage in active play, partake in special programming, throw birthday parties, enjoy good food or a drink, and make new friends. This is all the brainchild of two local moms, Rachel and Molly, who decided to make their yearning for a venue like this a reality. I’ve had a chance to spend some time with them, and can tell you that 1) They have thought of all the details 2) You’ll want to include them among those new friends. The location is in Ivy City near the new Target. Look for more info about the opening soon!

Get ready to welcome back the World Series Champions!

3. Nationals Baseball Season | March – October
Rooting for our home team isn’t a new thing, but cheering them on as the World Series Champions is — and it definitely adds some extra excitement to the anticipation of the Nats baseball season. Sure, the roster has changed a bit (we miss you, Tony!) but most of the squad is returning, and there are a couple of new players to watch out for. Plus, I’ve always recommended a day at the ballpark as a fun way to enjoy family time together. While Opening Day is March 26, the first home game this year isn’t until April 2. You can view the whole schedule here, and as you’re planning for game days, be sure to check out these KFDC tips first.

4. Yayoi Kusama Returns to the Hirshhorn | April 4 – September 20
Three years ago, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition at the Hirshhorn was the hot ticket to score. The presentation of five infinity rooms — immersive installations that transformed small rooms into boundless wonderlands with brilliant, imaginative sculptures and mirror-lined walls — caused quite a frenzy among art enthusiasts, Instagram fiends, and what seemed like everyone else, for that matter. I, personally, had mixed feelings about it — I loved the art, but wasn’t super keen on the viewing experience. This spring, some of Kusama’s works, including two infinity rooms, are coming back to the museum for an exhibit called One with Eternity. This time, there will be no advance tickets, just same-day passes. Fingers crossed it will be easier to get them!

5. Planet Word Museum | May 31
I am so intrigued by and excited for this opening! With a mission to “inspire a love of words and language,” the museum promises immersive exhibits and magical experiences to demonstrate how words and language help shape our lives. According to the website, there will be all kinds of word play opportunities (that go well beyond your crosswords and Scrabble) — create a marketing campaign, give a famous speech and watch it, hear authors read from their books, join songwriting and storytelling classes, and more. Details for visiting aren’t yet available, but I’ll be sure to share when they are!

6. Hamilton Revisits the Kennedy Center | June 16 – September 20
If you missed seeing the award winning Broadway smash when it was here in 2018 (like I did) and still have yet to see it anywhere else (like me), you have another chance this summer. Hamilton will be back at the Kennedy Center for a three-month run. Tickets will go on sale in the spring, and tip: Kennedy Center members always get first dibs at a selection of tickets (though this didn’t do me much good last time, as there was an online glitch and I got booted out of the system before finishing my purchase… but I’m not throwin’ away my shot to try for them again). It’s recommended for kids ages 10 and up, so be sure to take that into consideration and get some feedback if you’re hoping to bring children younger than that.

7. The Bard at the Building Museum
This year’s Summer Block Party at the National Building Museum is presented as a partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Shakespeare’s Playhouse will feature an Elizabethan-inspired outdoor stage, designed by a team from the University of South Carolina, in the cool comfort of the museum’s Great Hall. Guests will be able to engage in Shakespearean activities, like stage combat, during the day, and in the evenings, there will be performances of the enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (PS: If you think Shakespeare and kids don’t mix, think again! Read about some of our experiences with it here and here.)

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival brings international art and culture to DC every summer

8. Smithsonian Folklife Festival | June 24-28, July 1-5
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is far from a new event to DC, but I’m including it here because after being shortened to a weekend last year, it will return to its regular, longer 10-day run. I always recommend checking out the festivities on the National Mall during that time, because they’re always a fantastic celebration of living cultural heritage, showcasing different regions around the world through hands-on activities, performances, demonstrations, and exhibits for all ages to enjoy. And the great thing about the return to the long run is more opportunities to go. This summer, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates will be highlighted as well as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and Smithsonian Conservation Commons. Admission to all of it is free. Read about and get a glimpse of the 2018 festival here.

9. MLK Jr. Library Reopening | Fall
DC’s flagship public library closed in early 2017 to undergo a major renovation, and it will reopen this fall with loads of modernized features. Newly designed spaces include an transparent entryway, large auditorium and conference center, creative spaces for the arts, a ground level café with a patio, an interactive children’s space, and more. And like all of our public libraries, there will be programming to go along with it, with plenty of it especially for kids. MLK Jr. Library is located in Penn Quarter at 9th and G Streets NW.

10. Presidential Election | November 3
So, this is more an ongoing event for 2020 even though the actual election isn’t until November. It also reaches well beyond DC, but it’s always especially interesting and exciting (and stressful) to be here during the race for the White House. Kids all over the country learn about our government and politics, but here in DC ours practically have front row seats for it. For a related activity, take a tour of the U.S. Capitol. And as we head into the election year, note these important dates: DC primaries are June 2, Maryland primaries are April 28, and Virginia primaries are March 3. Be sure to vote — and bring your kiddos along!

What are you looking forward to most in the coming year? Leave a comment and let us know!


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2016 Independence Day Celebrations Around DC

flag

What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th weekend in DC. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 3rd to 4th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. This year’s show will include performances by Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Gavin Degraw, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 4th game against the Milwaukee Brewers, which is part of the 2016 Patriotic Series honoring members of the military. And be sure to check this post about ways to save on a Nats game.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town. (And even though the list is from 2015, the information is largely the same, and all of the links lead to this year’s events.)

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Friday or Saturday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.


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2015 Independence Day Celebrations

Capitol Hill's "little" neighborhood parade

Capitol Hill’s “little” neighborhood parade



What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? I mean, the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!) here, and celebrations take place place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. And the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th in DC. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 3rd to 4th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. Barry Manilow is headlining this year’s show, and there will also be appearances and performances by Alabama, KC and The Sunshine Band, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society, the U.S. Army Band, and many more exciting acts. And Bradley Whiteford will be the new host. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 4 game against the San Francisco Giants, which is part of the 2015 Patriotic Series which honors members of the military. And be sure to check this post about ways to save on a Nats game.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance by the Beach Bumz, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Friday or Saturday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.


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The Weekend Round-Up: July 6-7

This dog sculpture by Hungarian artist Gábor Miklós Szőke on display at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is even more awesome up close

This dog sculpture by Hungarian artist Gábor Miklós Szőke, on display at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, is even more awesome up close.



Hope everyone had a great 4th! Keep the fun going at these special events and activities happening around the area over the next few days. Or enjoy a DC mainstay — the list of Everyday Play has loads of ideas. Happy Weekend!

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Where: National Mall
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

The annual Festival celebrating living cultural heritage and community traditions is underway. Visitors of all ages will have ample opportunity to discover and explore it all through special exhibits, workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more, including plenty of activities especially children. For specifics, see the festival schedule. And it all takes place right on the National Mall where you can easily pop into museums when you need a break from the heat.

Celebrate Summer with Science
Where: Koshland Science Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $7/adults, $4/children

Celebrate summer with special hands-on science activities at the National Academy of Science’s very own museum, the Koshland Science Museum. Heading to the beach? Find out how the ocean is changing. Using a plastic cup and mollusk shells, see how our actions impact coastal communities. Making new summer memories? Learn a series of visual techniques that will help you translate this summer’s get-togethers and events into memories that last a lifetime. Planning a picnic? Think about portion size. Use everyday objects to determine whether you are eating proper portion sizes. Get tips for planning healthy meals and snacks, even when on the go. These activities are included at no cost with regular admission. Tour the exhibits to find out how small changes can make a difference for your health and our environment.

Dance Jam Family Day: Art on 8th NW
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The National Portrait Gallery and Dance Place present this fun-filled family day that includes dance performances, arts and crafts, hula hooping, and line dancing to get you moving. See the website for the schedule of entertainment and activities througout the day. This will all take place in the NPG’s Kogod Courtyard.

Summer in the City
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Seize the season with a host of activities that only occur this time of year. Enjoy an open air concert at one of the many series in the area. Stay cool under the sun at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or water park. Feast on crabs. Ride mini-trains and carousels at local parks. And much, much more. Find details on all these summer pursuits here.

An Alien’s Perspective on Art
Where: Corcoran Gallery
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

At this week’s session of the Corcoran’s Free Summer Saturday program, guests are invited to take a look at some of the Corcoran’s abstract works of art and discuss what they think the artists who created them wanted to convey. With that as inspiration, young artists can get hands-on and create their version to take home.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

See Peter Pan and Wendy or Mouse on the Move at Imagination Stage Catch a performance of Dr. Seuss’s A Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre. Dinosaur Babies are entertaining young audiences at The Puppet Co. You can also head to the venue early on Saturday & Sunday for Tiny Tots, puppet show performances especially for little ones. And the Bari Koral Family Rock Band is performing at Wolf Trap’s Children’s-Theatre-in-the-Woods on Saturday at 10:30am.

Movin’ & Groovin’ Movies at the Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the joy of dance with characters who twist, twirl, tiptoe, shake, stamp, and sashay their way through life. Featured is El Salón México (Paul Glickman and Tamarind King, US, 2009), an animation set to Aaron Copland’s 1936 musical composition of the same title, which follows the adventures of young Antonito as he dreams of attending his very first fiesta. Other films include Mobile (Verena Fels, Germany, 2010), about a cow whose precarious perch tests the laws of gravity; Ballet of Unhatched Chicks (Shaun Seong-Young Kim, US, 2011), an ode to self-expression; and Giraffes Can’t Dance (Weston Woods, US, 2007), the tale of Gerald the giraffe, whose passion for dance overcomes the doubts of the animal kingdom. Recommended for ages 5 and up, the program lasts approximately 55 minutes and takes place in the East Building concourse auditorium.

Healthy First Saturday
Where: Port Discovery
When: Saturday, 10am – 3:30pm
Admission: $13.95/ages 2 and up

Start your month off the healthy way at Port Discovery’s community health fair featuring performances by The Mr. Gabe Music Show and more. Other activities will include Art Ala Cart (10 am – 1 pm), Circle Time (11am & 12pm), and a visit from FIDOS for Freedom (2-3:30pm). And, of course, there are three glorious levels of fun hands-on exhibits to keep kids engaged for hours.

Ice Cream Sundays
Where: Dumbarton House
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: $6/child or adult

Bring the family to the Dumbarton House gardens to make your own cool ice cream treat, as well as sample an ice cream flavor popular during the Federal period. End your visit with a tour of Dumbarton House to learn about the history of early Georgetown and First Lady Dolley Madison, a visitor to our historic home, who first popularized ice cream in America when she served it at the White House. While you’re there, take a stroll through the gardens as well – they are absolutely sublime! Get a glimpse of them in this post.

Rhyme Time
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Catch a family-friendly performance from the Hip-Hop Theater Festival on the Millennium Stage this Sunday evening. Christon “Christylez” Bacon, Grammy-nominated D.C. progressive hip-hop artist and multi-instrumentalist presents Rhyme Time, a performance featuring various instruments, including the human beat-box, and the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

Model Rocket Launch
Where: NASA Goddard
When: Sunday,
Admission: Free

Join the monthly model rocket launch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Anyone is welcome, and if you’ve got a model rocket to fly, bring it along (though there are some restrictions – see them here). The program takes place the first Sunday of every month at 1pm.

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Weekend Hits

Turtle spotting at Huntley Meadows Park

Baseball, theatre, and museum programs are heavy hitters in the special events arena this weekend. Indoor play, folklife, and berry picking make a showing too. Here’s the scoop on all of them, plus links to even more ideas for ongoing family recreation.  Happy Weekend!

Nationals Baseball Family DayThe National Portrait Gallery is hosting the fifth annual Baseball Family Day with the Washington Nationals Baseball Club from 11:30am – 2pm in the Kogod Courtyard. Guests can get photo ops with ball players from 12-1pm and enjoy activities, crafts, and musical performances throughout the free event.

Nationals Game DaysThe Nats are busy guys this weekend!  Not only will they be greeting guests at the museum, they’re also hosting the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Tickets are still available for both games.

Portrait Story DaysThe baseball theme continues at the National Portrait Gallery as they host their ongoing program for kids. Drop in 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 from 2-5pm, learn about baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Stories in ArtOne of my favorite museum programs for children begins on Sunday.  The National Gallery of Art’s summer drop-in program welcomes kids ages 4-7 to explore Dutch art through storytelling, gallery tours, and hands-on projects. Sessions are hourly starting at 11:30am. Sign-up begins at 11am in the West Building Rotunda, and space is limited.  For more details on the program and tips on signing up, see this post from earlier in the week.

Come Play on Capitol Hill – The Playseum is coming to DC!  Yes, Barracks Row on Capitol Hill is getting another new business that families will love. Doors open on Saturday for a sneak peak (the Grand Opening is July 14), and all are welcome to check out the new space from 9am – 5pm. Admission will be free all day, though there will be small fees for other optional activities and crafts. The new location is at 545 8th Street SE. While you’re on the corridor, stop by thew new Hello Cupcake or 32 Below for a sweet treat.

Hiking at Huntley Meadows – Our family visited Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria for the first time last weekend and had a fantastic time exploring the woods and wetlands. Wildlife sightings were abundant as we hiked along the paved, dirt, and boardwalk trails.  Spotting turtles of all sizes became a game for the kids, and we also saw frogs, great blue herons, cardinals, and a variety of other birds.  The entire hike is just over a mile, but we stopped at lookouts and benches to snack along the way to make it a few hours’ outing.  A longer review of the park will come soon, but the gist is that I highly recommend it.  Don’t forget sunscreen, hats, and water, as there’s no shade through the wetlands section of the park. Get directions to the Huntley Meadows here.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods – If you can’t make it to Wolf Trap’s wonderful summer theatre series during the week, you can catch it Saturdays at 10am.  This week Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets and Robbie Schaefer will take the outdoor stage.  Tickets are $8/ages 3 and up (free for 2 an under) and include both shows.  Read a review of the series posted earlier this week.

Celebrate Folklife – The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is continuing its celebration on the National Mall through July 11. Enjoy exhibits, activities, demos, and workshops that focus on the nature of Colombia, 50 years of the Peace Corps, and Rhythm & Blues music in the United States. Festival hours are 11am – 5:30pm with special performances taking place later most evenings.

Theatre Fun for the Littlest Ones – Imagination Stage hosts Sunday Fun-Days for kids ages 1-5 at 10:30am.  The lessons in multi-sensory play are centered around children’s books, this week is “What Makes a Rainbow.”  Sessions are $10, register in advance online. The Puppet Co. will also have performances for the youngest audiences (ages 0-4) at their Tiny Tots series this weekend. Penguins Playground is will be performed on Saturday, and Old MacDonald Farm on Sunday.  Showtime for both is 10am. Tickets are $5 and available for purchase online or at the box office.

Take Your PickHead to a local farm to harvest some summer produce. Berries and peaches are the main crops ready for picking, but other fruits and veggies are available at a few spots.  This post lists local farms that welcome visitors to pick their own, and it doesn’t hurt to check websites or call ahead to make sure you’re favorites are ripe.

Family Recreation Staples – Check out these posts for ongoing family fun:
Joys of Summer
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 
Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)
Family Entertainment

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