NSO in Your Neigborhood
Where: Around Northeast DC
When: Throughout the weekend
The annual program that brings free chamber music, orchestral concerts, and educational events throughout a different neighborhood each year is back, this year celebrating Northeast DC across Wards 5, 6, and 7. This weekend, see community performances at Kenilworth Rec Center, the U.S. National Arboretum, Chuck Brown Memorial Park, Benning Neighborhood Library, and City Winery. View the website for details.
Free Family Movie Night
Where: Chinatown, DC
When: Friday, 6:30pm
Monkey Kin: Hero is Back is the final film in the Chinatown Park Movie Nights series, which presented free screenings of Asian-themed movies to Chinatown Park! Reserve your free tickets and go early for pre-screening fun including arts & crafts and free snacks.
Nats vs. Braves
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Nats are back home and hosting the Braves all weekend, and there are some fun things going on along with the baseball action. On Friday, there’s an Anthony Rendon Bobblehead giveaway. And on Sunday, kids can score a lumberjack hat, plus there will be extra kid-friendly activities near the PenFed Kids Fun Zone, including face painters, caricature artists, and balloon twisters. It’s also Kids Run the Bases after the game. Before you plan your ballpark outing, check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.
Celebration of Textiles
Where: Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Celebrate design, textiles, and the cozy comforts of home at a free festival for all ages. Build a fabric fort, watch demos by local artists, enjoy live dance, and explore spectacular fabrics from the ancient Mediterranean in the exhibition Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt. This is a great opportunity for little ones to experience a museum that usually is a bit sophisticated for them!
Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under
At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. Take in the sights and sounds of it all on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as expert artisans demonstrate period crafting techniques. Learn how the Washingtons enjoyed ice cream and watch as interpreters showcase the process. Lots of fun for the whole family!
The REACH Opening Festival & Family Day
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 22
The celebration of the opening of The REACH, the wonderful expansion of the Kennedy Center, is starting its second week. All are invited and excouraged to enjoy all kinds of performances, events, hands-on learning, and more opportunities for creativity in action. Sunday is Family Day, so there will be lots of programs especially for kids and families. See what’s on the schedule and reserve free tickets for events here.
Teddy Bear Clinic
Where: National Museum of Health & Medicine | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Bring your favorite stuffed friend and explore the Teddy Bear Clinic with activities and crafts designed to highlight the body, physical fitness, and healthy habits. This program is recommended for children in PreK-2nd grade.
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10m – 2pm
Are you a new parent in need of necessities? Have your kids grown out of all the clothes, toys, and high-chairs they were using just a year ago? Donate your gently used childcare items and pick up a few new ones at Imagination Stage’s first Tot Swap! It’s the perfect way to save a bit of money while helping out your fellow caregivers. (And you don’t have to donate to participate!)
DCPS Back to School Block Party
Where: Roosevelt High School |
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
All DCPS staff, students, families, friends, and community members are invited to celebrate the beginning of School Year 2019-2020 at the the DCPS Back to School Block Party. There will be food, student performances, opportunities to learn more about the resources from District partners, and lots of activities for students.
Book Launch & Signing at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Meet Eva J. Pell, author of middle grade (9-12 years old) adventure book “ResQ and the Baby Orangutan.” She will read a few excerpts from her book, sign copies, and have on hand some coloring projects for the younger kids. This will take place in the pavilion opposite Lion and Tiger Hill. Eva Pell is the Former Undersecretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution, Sr. VP for Research & Dean of the Graduate School, Emeritus, Penn State University and internationally known environmental plant scientist. See more about Eva and her books here.
Where: Cox Farms | Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6-20 depending on dates
One of the biggest fall festivals in the area begins this weekend! Cox Farms’ seasonal extravaganza is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling site that contains multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under.
More “Fall” Fun
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Various by festival
It may not officially be fall, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, in city neighborhoods, even a 16th century village in Maryland (huzzah, Ren Fest!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Get details on all of them in this post about autumn celebrations.
Back to School with Rocknocerous
Where: Dangerously Delicious Pies | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Catch a concert with local kids fave Rocknocerous! The band of three guys — Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Bennie — are playing a special Back to School show, and you can groove along to them on Saturday morning! Doors open at 10:30am, and the show starts at 11am.
Taste of Falls Church
Where: Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but tastes and rides are a fee
Falls Church’s annual autumn tradition returns for its 44th year, highlighting the area’s popular restaurants and featuring live entertainment, pony rides, children’s amusements, crafters, businesses and civic organizations. Festival goers can sample cuisine from city restaurant kitchens, plus there will be a beer garden to sample local brews and spirits. The children’s activity tent offers face painting and craft projects. Most rides will also require the purchase of tickets.
Baltimore Seafood Festival
Where: Canton Waterfront | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: $12-15/adult, free/kids (look for discount)
Head to this 6th annual waterfront festival showcasing some of Baltimore’s favorite restaurants serving their signature seafood dishes. Toss in refreshing drinks, live music, cooking demos, and an area for families with toys, games, face painting and more, and you have the Baltimore Seafood Festival – the only large scale seafood festival in Baltimore City.
Where: 800 block of Upshur Street NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11-5pm
Organized by and for the residents of Petworth and surrounding neighborhoods, Celebrate Petworth is a free community festival celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, people, and quality of life in the wonderful neighborhood.
Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)
Chug on down to the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.
We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do…
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $37
The Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, is playing at Audi field this weekend, as they take on Seattle Reign (that’s Megan Rapinoe’s team!). Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting women in sports and see a few players from the World Cup championship team in action! We are extra excited for this match as Sasha and her soccer team will be walking the Spirit out onto the field! 🙌⚽❤️
Drop-in Art Making
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Visit the Education Studio on the Concourse level of the NGA to experiment with different art materials and techniques. Drop-in art making is a great way to try your hand at making art in an informal, relaxed environment. Art making activities are designed for all ages and abilities.
Art All Night
Where: Throughout DC
When: Saturday – Sunday, 7pm – 3am
Be part of this free overnight arts festival that takes place in eight DC Main Streets neighborhoods. The festival will bring visual and performing arts — including painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, fashion, music, dance, theater, film, and poetry — to indoor and outdoor public and private spaces, including businesses.
Where: Various neighborhoods in DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Put on your walking shoes (or get out the bikes) for a stroll (or roll) in the city! WalkingTown DC features outdoor walking and bike tours of DC’s most interesting locations and neighborhoods September 14-22. The annual event offers more than 50 free guided walking and biking tours that feature distinctive aspects of DC, introducing residents and visitors to the culture, history, and stories of Washington’s neighborhoods through a series of “bite-size” lunchtime tours, after-work “happy hour” tours, as well as tours throughout the day on weekends. Tours take place outside, rain or shine, and just about all are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible. See the schedule for details and to sign up.
Cirque de Soleil: Volta
Where: Under the Big Top| Tysons II, VA
When: Through September 29
Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is about finding yourself and unveiling your personal powers. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.
KID Museum FutureFest
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
KID Museum’s annual FutureFest is one of the DC area’s largest, free family festivals where kids can spark their imagination and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future through all kinds of exhibits, demos, and live performances. A few highlights: KID City: Participants will build a city of the future — from the ground up — for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience. Light up a high-tech street, construct a sculpture using 3D-printed bolts, race a vehicle down the maker highway, and more. Cultural Crossroads: Explore cultures that shape our community, from China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, India, Korea, and beyond, through hands-on activities, collaborative art installations, and live music and dance performances. Innovation Expo: Discover technologies and innovations that are transforming our world and inspiring the next generation of innovators. Glimpse the future of Work & Play, Space & Exploration, Food & Sustainability, and more.
Used Children’s Book Sale
Where: Providence (X) Park | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11 am – 2 pm
Admission: Free to shop | $20/family for fall picnic
Shop Brent Elementary’s annual used book sale of children’s books on Sunday. They have a great selection, including board books, picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, young adult books, as well as a wide variety of juvenile nonfiction books — everything from Sandra Boynton to Magic Treehouse to Percy Jackson to the pictorial history of Rome! It’s a great place to start your child’s library or get books for those moving on to the next stage. Prices are always super low, and all sales go to support the school’s PTA. Stay and enjoy a fall picnic, too! Providence (X) Park is located between D and E and 2nd and 3rd Streets SE.
Where: Bard’s Alley | Vienna, VA
When: Sunday, 12:30-5pm
Join Authorpalooza on Sunday and enjoy storytime, “book tastings,” the chance to meet authors, and more. Picture book author Laura Gehl will be reading Except When They Don’t and Juniper Kai Super Sky at 1pm, and there will be fun and fake mustaches for all. The full schedule of events can be found here.
Arts Alive! 2019
Where: Hylton Performing Arts Center | Manassas, VA
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Celebrate the local arts community in Prince William County! The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 8th annual family-friendly arts festival features arts council members along with other community performers and fine artists. Enjoy activities for all ages, multiple stages of performances indoors and out, plus food and craft vendors with items for sale.
Falls Church Feeds the World – Volunteers Needed!
Where: Christ Crossman | Falls Church, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Christ Crossman UMC will once again partner with Rise Against Hunger to assemble more than 20,000 meals to be packed and shipped around the world to those struggling with hunger. Volunteers of all ages (4 and up) are needed! Join in a meaningful and engaging service opportunity that honors the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Christ Crossman is located at 384 N Washington Street in Falls Church. Sign up to volunteer or to donate here. Go here for more information. Participation is free.
Annual Fall Open House!
Where: My Gym | Bethesda & Potomac, MD
When: Friday, September 20, 4-7:30pm
Join My Gym Potomac and My Gym Bethesda for their Annual Free Fall Open House on Friday, September 20th, 4-7:30pm. Meet the teachers, play in the super fun gym, learn tumbling and gymnastic skills, enjoy fitness games, and get their best fall discounts for classes, parties, and camps. Find more info and RSVP here!
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Check out all the live entertainment for families coming to the area this fall.
* Family Trip Guides, created by a local mom, provide great info and tips for exploring Smithsonian museums (and you can get the guide to the American History Museum free)!
* On October 6, the whole fam can race down Pennsylvania Ave together in The Navy Mile to support the Naval Sea Cadet Corps, the Safe Harbor Foundation, and the United States Navy Memorial.
* Not-So-SAHM just posted 6 months of dinners, with a bunch of yummy-sounding recipe links included.
* I am “looking at bathroom renovation porn“ years old.
* The movie looks just as good as (maybe even better than) the book!