Tag Archives: Spring 2023

Five Things: May 2, 2023

The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at the Asian Art Museum

 

1. The National Museum of Asian Art is celebrating its 100th anniversary over the next two weeks with a big Centennial Festival!  All kinds of events and cultural opportunities will be presented every day through May 14, including concerts, culinary adventures, special museum tours, dance performances and classes, a children’s book reading and signing, and more.  The full schedule and details are available here.

 

2.  Later this week, the Kennedy Center is welcoming the Cirque de la Symphonie to perform alongside the National Symphony Orchestra. The lively, high-flying show promises to wow audiences with jugglers, aerialists, contortionists, strongmen, and more, bringing the music of the symphony to life in unique and delightful ways. Even more, the KFDC community can get 20% off orchestra seats to see a performance May 4-6.  Use the link or the code 513960 online, over the phone, or at the box office to purchase tickets.

 

3. May the 4th Be with You this Thursday through Saturday!  Dress up like your favorite Stars Wars characters and head to Barracks Row on Capitol Hill (8th Street SE) for food and drink specials and more fun.  Join a meet and greet with characters; check out X-Wing & Star Wars deckbuilding demonstrations by Labyrinth; enjoy Star Wars themed art and entertainment; and lots more.  RSVP here and view complete details. (Also, a sale on Star Wars clothes and PJs!)

 

4. It’s been a long time since I’ve mentioned Rakuten (because I had forgotten all about it until a couple of days ago), and its a great service to know about. When you shop online, just access the store via the Rakuten website — they partner with just about everyone — and you can get cash back on your purchases.  It’s free to sign up!

 

5. New IG obsession…so many interesting and helpful ideas!

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Filed under 2023, DC, Five Things, Spring

Five Things: April 26, 2023

 

 

1. We’re going to be near Harpers Ferry this weekend for soccer, so we’ll likely take advantage and enjoy some fun there, too.  Have you been?  It’s a fantastic day trip or weekend destination from DC with great outdoor recreation and opportunities for historical explorations.  Read more about the West Virginia town in this KFDC post!

 

2. Boing! Big Bounce America, the world’s largest bounce house, is returning to the DC area May 20 June 11 at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD. The biggest touring inflatable event includes four massive inflatable attractions: a 16,000-square-foot World’s Largest Bounce House; the newly added Sport Slam featuring a customized sports arena; the 900-foot-long obstacle course named The Giant; and a unique, space-themed wonderland called airSPACE.  Three-hour sessions for varying age groups — 3 & under, 7 & under, 15 & under, and 16 & older — are $22 for the youngest group, $38 for older kids, and $41 for 16+.  Tickets can be reserved here.

 

3. And speaking of Fort Washington, it’s been a long time since I’ve highlighted Fort Washington Park, a great place to enjoy a day outdoors and get a glimpse of the past. You can explore the historic remnants of the fortress dating back to 1824 — including bastions and barracks and cannons — within the grounds and enjoy beautiful views along the Potomac River. Hours for the Fort and Visitor Center are 9am – 4:30pm, Thursday – Sunday. Admission is $10/vehicle to the park, free to Fort Washington.

 

4. A shirt almost exactly like this one (that I’ve had for years) was one of my most worn items in Portugal.  Perfect as a “spring shacket” to throw on over tanks and T-shirts or even a dress when it got a little chilly, also cute enough to wear on it’s own with pants.  Also love this one that’s more of a jacket, but not a typical denim jacket.

 

5. A fantastic feature about one of my (and I’m sure many others’) all-time favorite authors. Those books we loved as kids, are often some that stick with us the most! And they are still great kid reads… Sasha loved this one, and Owen actually did a book report about this one back in elementary school. And in case you haven’t heard, this movie comes out on Friday!

 

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Catch a Day of Fun at the National Postal Museum’s Baseball Family Festival!

 

Swing into the 2023 baseball season with Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum this Saturday, April 29, as they present a special Baseball Family Festival highlighting a recently opened exhibition!

Baseball: America’s Home Run explores our national pastime through a unique, postal lens. Using material from the National Postal Museum’s collection; original stamp art from the United States Postal Service; and artifacts loaned by other Smithsonian museums, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and private collectors, this exhibition explores the surprising ways that baseball and postal history have been deeply intertwined since the early twentieth century.

The Baseball Family Festival will offer fun for all ages with activity stations, crafts, music, and virtual author readings. In-person American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for the author readings.

  • Baseball Bingo: Check off the activities you complete on a bingo card in the event program. and claim a prize (while supplies last) for completing any row of three!
  • Play Ball: Practice pitching, batting, and running the bases in the Historic Lobby using plastic bats and beach balls.
  • Baseball Stamp Puzzles: Flex your puzzles skills with postage stamp puzzles of famous baseball players.
  • Baseball Sewing Activity: Craft a baseball  by sewing together two small paper plates with yarn.
  • Make Your Own Pennant/Stamp: Design your own postage stamp and sports pennant.
  • Tattoos & Trivia: Display your baseball pride with a temporary tattoo and test your baseball knowledge.
  • Book Corner: Explore baseball history with a wide variety of baseball-themed children’s books.
  • Virtual author readings and Q&A: At 1pm, Barb Rosenstock will read her book The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero and at 3pm, Rob Skead will read his book Something to Prove: The Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio.  These will take place on Zoo, and both will answer questions afterwards.

There will also be activities from the museum partners, the National Museum of American History and National Portrait Gallery. Explore the role that Latinos have played in the history of baseball with hands-on crafts and real objects from the American History’s exhibit Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues/En los barrios y las grandes ligas. And guests can try on baseball uniform pieces and pose like a baseball player for an instant portrait to use for making a baseball trading card.

Of course, be sure to visit the Baseball: America’s Home Run exhibit and tour the rest of the National Postal Museum, a KFDC favorite for all ages — read more about it here and here!

Baseball Family Festival
Where: National Postal Museum | 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, DC
When: Saturday, April 29, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reserve a spot!

 

This post is sponsored by the National Postal Museum, however, I only promote programs, events, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Spring, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
April 14-16

Spring showing off at Dumbarton Oaks Garden

 

Happy Weekend!

Easy links to lots of ideas for ongoing local fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Ave, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities just might be the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue to watch the procession of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers roll through the city. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $25-40, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10-15/ages 13+, $50/family package, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade (or during or on Sunday), head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest exhibition of Japanese culture. The 61st annual event will feature live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. And once again, it will be held over two days!  (PS: Note that the family package for $50 includes 2 one-day entry tickets  (kids 12 & under are free), 2 kids T-shirts , 2 Omen masks for kids, and 2 Japanese Snacks.)

Nats vs. Guardians
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for discount)
It’s a weekend at home for the Nats with games Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (4:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm) against the Cleveland Guardians. There’s a Josiah Gray bobblehead giveaway on Saturday, and Sunday is a Value Day with tickets starting at just $9. Be sure to get more KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank!

Bloom Town
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Varies by locale
Admission: Varies by locale

The cherry blossom peak at the Tidal Basin has passed, but there are more blossoms and other big blooms to enjoy around the DC area, a couple of them literally coming now. Bluebells are blanketing the grounds around the area, wisteria is brightening up local scenery, and there is a glorious cherry blossom bloom of a particular variety in at least one local spot.  And the best places to see them are great for more than just the flowers. This post has details on where to go for those and other big blooms coming up.

Lincoln Assassination Commemoration Activities
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free – $3

Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service are hosting special commemoration activities surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s assassination (April 14, 1865) on-site at Ford’s Theatre. A wreathlaying at Petersen House, ranger led walking tour, and presentations telling the story of Lincoln’s death are some of the programs being offered along with the ongoing museum visits and self-guided tours. See the schedule of commemoration events here. And read more about Ford’s Theatre in this KFDC post.

Go for a Spin
Where: Cabin John (Bethesda) & Wheaton Regional Park, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $2.50

All aboard! Montgomery Park’s Cabin John Train and Wheaton Train and Carousel are open for the season. Take kiddos for a spin around the parks on replicas of an 1863 steam locomotive. Or go for whirl on the Carousel (Wheaton only). Plan for time on the playgrounds, too — both offer lots of fun for little ones.  Read more about Cabin John here and Wheaton here.

Root (root, root) for the Baysox
Where: Prince George’s Stadium | Landover, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats aren’t the only baseball team in town. The Bowie Baysox, one of the local minor league teams, just started their season and are hosting the Akron Rubber ducks all weekend.  It’s baseball on a smaller (and less expensive) scale than at Nationals Park, and there’s always extra fun and games especially for kids — read more about Baysox games in this KFDC post. And a head’s up that Sunday is Kids Opening Day with pony rides, a petting zoo, and more special treats for young fans.

Air & Space Family Day: All About Rockets
Where: Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Learn all about rockets — how they work, what they are used for, and why they are designed the way they are — at this Soar Together Family Day. Join the Air & Space Museum to explore rockets and the important role they play in spaceflight and exploration through activities for all ages. Enjoy demos and hands-on explorations, design challenges, art activities, and more.

Rocknoceros Jam
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 11am (doors open at 10am)
Tickets: $10

Kindie rock band, Rocknoceros, is returning to Jammin Java with a new show called “All About the Sprout.” The concert will include classic Rocknoceros songs and new music about seeds, sprouts, and spring. Seating is first some, first served. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, too.

Horse Expo
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Centreville, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Frying Pan Farm Park is hosting its first-ever horse expo! There will be demonstrations, speakers, food trucks, and businesses that sell horse-related products and services. Both experienced riders and people new to the world of horses are welcome to join the festivities.

More Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Learn about animal adaptations at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Go on a wildflower walk and do some related crafts at Burke Lake Park.  See how an Oliver Evan’s mill operates at Colvin Run Mill. And there are even more interesting adventures! Details and registration for activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Herring Heroes Obstacle Course
Where: Peirce Mill | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Each spring, the mighty herring travel upstream from the Chesapeake Bay to Rock Creek, where they lay their eggs. Friends of Perice Mill invite the public to learn about the spring herring migration, and see if you’re as strong as a fish on a fun obstacle course. Can you swim up imaginary rapids and find your way on a Rock Creek balance beam? Go up the fish ladder, and carry an egg on a spoon? After you’ve completed the course, look for herring swimming past Peirce Mill! Read more about the historic spot in this KFDC post.

More Than True: Folk and Fairy Tales with Character
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Join Interact Story Theatre for this FREE Wheaton Family Series program… Once upon a time, there was a little girl — or a little boy — or a dog, or a dragon, or a fairy, or a giant. And that person, or animal, or mythical creature had an adventure, and the adventure brought choices, and the choices ushered in change. In this program, audience members have the chance to choose their own adventures, and even swap the outcomes of the tales, as they travel through stories to discover a world of character built with imagination! Best for ages 4+.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

Superman (1978) Free Screening
Where: Old Greenbelt Theater | Greenbelt, MD
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Free

Grab your favorite superhero gear and join OGT for this free showing of the 1978 classic Superman: The Movie! Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, young Clark discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor, while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane.

DC Scavenger Tour
Where: Around Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $30

Join local author JoAnn Hill and tour guide Katie Kirkpatrick of Off the Mall tours as they turn Georgetown into a giant game course with this fun scavenger hunt adventure. Based on JoAnn’s newest book DC Scavenger, this event combines the excitement of the Amazing Race with a thrilling pursuit throughout Georgetown. Teams will explore some of Georgetown’s most cherished wonders and overlooked gems by deciphering clever clues and examining puzzling photos. Throughout this fun competition, you’ll encounter historical markers and buildings, innovative artworks, and beloved neighborhood treasures while learning local history. Get a glimpse of Joann’s book here, here, and here!

Tulips Galore
Where: Burnside Farm | Nokesville, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $27-31/ages 6+

Experience a bit of Holland in Northern Virginia at Burnside Farms’ annual Festival of Spring. Blooming tulips stretching along acres of fields in an array of colors and varieties is stunning. Even better, you can pick your own (5/person) to bring the beauty home. Admission also includes bouncy fun, a playhouse area, cornhole games, and authentic dutch wooden shoes to “klomp” around in. Note that the website says tickets are sold out, but they are releasing day-of tickets each day at 12am, so you can try for those.

Happy Emancipation Day, DC!
Where: Freedom Plaza & Pennsylvania Ave. | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 2-9pm
Admission: Free

There will be a second parade in DC on Saturday to celebrate DC Emancipation Day! The procession will be led by Mayor Bowser, and it will be followed by a concert featuring local and national artists, and a fireworks display to end the night! Emancipation Day honors President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which freed over 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Visit the historical Vienna Stain station to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Locomotive, rail car, and towns industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) are chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose.

RiverRun
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through April 22
Admission: Varies by event (some free)

This international festival celebrating the world’s rivers is running at the Kennedy Center until Earth Day. All kinds of performances and events will be presented 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 with world-class performances, exhibitions, films, talks, workshops, and more events — see the website for the full schedule.

Spring Breakin’
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

As Spring Break starts for DCPS students and other kids around the area, you might be looking for extra activities to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained over while they are off from school. This annual KFDC guide has plenty of ideas to help with that. Of course, you can also use it for finding more weekend fun, Spring Beak or not.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress is now open to visitors, Tuesday through Friday, 10:30-11:30am and 2-3pm.
* This Tuesday, April 18, from 11:30am – 1pm, the 30th Annual Federal Inter-Agency Holocaust Remembrance Program, Rays of Hope, will take place. All are welcome to participate and view the program broadcast from the Department of Justice. Visit the website for more information.
* A recent fun listen that made me want to (re)watch St. Elmo’s Fire.
* Three shows to watch right now.
* This cheese and kimchi dish sounds odd but yummy.
* Warm weather means outdoor lawn games!
* Sale on sale 😁
* Entries from the Washington Post’s Squirrel Photography Contest.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things: April 11, 2023

 

1. Not all of the area cherry blossoms are past their peak… the Kwanzan cherry trees at Congressional Cemetery are in glorious full bloom right now!  And the locale on Capitol Hill makes for a great visit beyond the flowers with gravesites of notable people, lovely peaceful paths to stroll, and geocaching opportunities. You can also bring your dog to run around off-leash most days. Admission to the cemetery is free, but a doggy day pass is $15.  Open dawn to dusk, and be sure to check that it’s not closed for a funeral. Read more about Congressional Cemetery here.

 

2. The National Cherry Blossom Festival wraps up this weekend and culminating with two of its best events: The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday (10am – 12pm) and Sakura Matsuri on Saturday and Sunday (10:30am – 6pm).  The parade always draws thousands of people to watch the procession of floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers make their way down Constitution Avenue, so plan to arrive early to stake out a spot on the curb for a good view of it all. Following the parade (or even during to beat the crowds or on Sunday), head over to Pennsylvania Avenue where Sakura Matsuri, the annual Japanese street festival, will feature live music, dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and much more. Admission to the festival starts at $10 for ages 13 and up (free for 12 and under).

 

3. Five great road trips to take this spring, all within a four-hour drive from the DC area.

 

4. A friend just told me about this item for long flights. She said while it looks ridiculous, she used it on an overnight to Europe and had the best sleep she’s ever had on an airplane.

 

5. I recently shared a write-up about our summer vacation in Greece, and there’s now a new a post with packing recommendations for a trip there.

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Five Things, Spring