Tag Archives: Summer 2023

Independence Day Celebrations Around DC (2024)

Capitol Hill’s festive parade on Barracks Row


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 over the city 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 and around July 4th. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

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The Weekend Round-Up: September 15-17

Join the celebration for the Hirshhorn’s Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life exhibit!


Happy Weekend!

Link up to local activities galore in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

PARK(ing) Day
Where: Around the DC area
When: Friday
Admission: Free

Friday, September 15, is PARK(ing) Day, when people across the globe create temporary pop-up parks and social spaces where there usually is curbside parking.  Several park(ing) spots will be popping up around the DC area, and you can see where on a map here to check check them out!

Family-Friendly Exhibit Celebration
Where: Hishhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the opening of the Hirshhorn’s latest exhibition, Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life, at this special evening event with extended hours and activities for all ages. View Diamond’s artworks that reflect her life as an artist or take a mobile video tour with Hirshhorn Eye. You can also do some magnetic poetry, create circular installations, bring little ones to a kid-friendly construction zone, check out a large-scale concrete poetry station, and a make-your-own Möbius loop project with educators from the National Air and Space Museum. Dinka and gelato will be available for purchase on the Plaza.

Washington Ukrainian Festival
Where: St. Andrew Ukrainian Cathedral | Silver Spring, MD
When: Friday, 5-8pm; Saturday, 11am – 9pm; Sunday, 11am – dusk
Admission: $20/adult, $20/senior, free/kids

Bring family and friends to the 20th annual Ukrainian Festival of the Washington, DC, Metro Area. All are welcome to enjoy Ukrainian artists and dancers, crafts, children’s activities, delicious Ukrainian food, a Kozak beer garden, and live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds is for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“Fall” Festivals
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

The season may not be official on the calendar yet, but seasonal festivals have begun at several area farms, right on city streets, and in locales that recall historic times (huzzah!). And they’re welcoming visitors for all kinds of fun. Some are listed below, and you can get details on the rest of them in this round-up of autumn celebrations around the area.

Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $50 for the 5k

Lincoln’s Cottage is once again combining their two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming! During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year they welcome everyone back “home” to join in a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. There will be arts and crafts, pony rides and a petting zoo, hands-on activities for young learners, cottage tours, and picnic ops followed by a family-friendly afternoon performance by the Petworth Jazz Project.. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around to enjoy both!

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/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 experts demonstrate period crafting techniques. And you can see General Washington in the General’s Tent. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family! Read more about Mount Vernon here.

Play Date: Colors in Nature
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join this very special Saturday Play Date, as the Natural History Museum is joined by other Smithsonian museums and units — the National Postal Museum, National Zoo, and more — all to celebrate different colors found in nature. Families will be able to make close observations of different specimens and learn about the different connections different museums make with each other through nature. Enjoy r a morning full of color, play, art, and exploration!

Literary Hill Book Fest
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join us on Sunday, September 17 from 11 am to 3 pm in the North Hall of Eastern Market for the 12th annual Literary Hill BookFest, a beloved annual celebration of books and authors on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This year, we’ll feature more than 40 authors, poets, booksellers, publishers, literacy groups, and more, including acclaimed national bestselling novelist Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye, a mystery thriller adapted into a recent hit Netflix film starring Christian Bale. Other featured authors include debut novelist and former spy, I.S. Berry; National Book Award finalist Carole Boston Weatherford; Washington Post columnist and Thurber prize finalist Alexandra Petri; award-winning educator and author Liz Kleinrock; two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist Cheryl Head; and many more. Visitors will meet some of their favorite authors of fiction, history, children’s literature, mystery, poetry, memoir and more and enjoy timely panel discussions and a full slate of family-friendly activities in our bustling Children’s Corner. The BookFest is completely free and open to the public, with a popular poetry open mic immediately following the main event, where established and aspiring poets will entertain an enthusiastic crowd.

National Dance Day Celebration
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 11:15pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate National Dance Day and kick at this full-day dance party that kicks off the Kennedy Center’s season-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop. Free interactive dance classes, performances, live music, and more inspired by some of hip hop culture’s foundational pillars. There’s so much to enjoy — view the full schedule on the KC website!

Gimme an H!
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is returning! This one is always huge — so beware that there could be a crowd — and there is tons to see and do.  In past years, the event has featured loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and children’s activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is highly recommended, as parking is always difficult.

Artsfest ’23
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $10/online, $12/at gate, free/11 & under

Celebrate the visual and performing arts at this event that brings together the country’s most accomplished artists for a fabulous weekend extravaganza of the arts! Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the beautiful woods of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Artsfest is a unique art experience with a multitude of artist booths, 35 performers on four stages, creative fun for kids, artist demos, and great food and drink. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden here and here.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15 

This largest area fall festival begins this weekend ! This one is so big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling grounds that contain multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and much more. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd!

Cirque du Soleil: ECHO
Where: Under the Big Top | Tysons II, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
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.

Moulin Rouge: The Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Through September 24
Admission: $45-199 (look for a deal)
Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Recommended for ages 12+.

Halfway to St Patrick’s Festival
Where: Waterfront Park | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free
Head to Old Town Alexandria to celebrate the half-way mark to St. Patrick’s Day. Music, crafts,Irish dance performances, pipe bands, vendors, and more entertainment will be part of the festivities. A beer truck will be there for adults, too.

Old Firehouse Block Party
Where: Old Firehouse | McLean, VA
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Help celebrate the Old Firehouse’s 33 years of serving the Greater McLean community. Listen to a DJ from 99.5 playing hits as their broadcast live or groove in the silent disco. Enjoy food from Listrani’s Italian Gourmet Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Try rock climbing, and play game in a mobile arcade truck. Explore a vintage fire truck, and learn about the Firehouse history. There will also be a sensory room, art activities, and outdoor games for all ages, along with a local health and wellness booth. The Old Firehouse is located at 1440 Chain Bridge Road in McLean.

Amal Walks Across America
Where: Various locales
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

A global symbol of compassion and human rights, Little Amal is a 12-foot puppet portraying a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child who has traveled through 13 countries and been welcomed by more than a million people on the streets since 2021. Her immersive walking journeys highlight the cross-cultural experiences of the millions of refugee children fleeing war, violence and persecution throughout the globe, each with their own story. Accompanied in Washington, DC, by outdoor music performances, Amal’s walking journeys are festivals of hope, showcasing the power of compassionate welcome as strangers build stable homes in new lands, and the contributions and potential they carry within them that enhances communities as they do so. See (and walk with) her around DC on Sunday on a few different routes — in Southeast DC, at Black LiveMatter Plaza and Franklin Park, and at the Washington Monument. View complete details.

DC Family Bike Fest 2023
Where: Alethia Tanner Park | NoMa, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free
This annual gathering for kid bikers, family bikers, and the bike-curious will have fun for the whole fam! Check out family bike options, snatch up goodies community partners, join a Trike Storytime and Kids Bike Parade, get free tuneups, and enjoy free sno cones, and more!

Lotus Festival of Food & Culture
Where: Chinatown Park | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

The culmination of a week of events at Chinatown Park. Join this culinary journey at an Asian street food festival. Enjoy an eclectic mix of mouthwatering dishes and an amazing lineup of music and performances from lion dancers, DJ Katazui, and Les The DJ.

Meet the Author: Tricia Elam Walker
Where: Takoma Park Library | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Meet local children’s author Tricia Elam Walker! She will be presenting her award-winning picture book, Dream Street, named one of the five best chidrens’ books of the year by the New York times. After the presentation, stay to make a crown inspired by the book.

Shofar Experience in the Park
Where: Lincoln Park | Capitol Hill
When: Sunday, 4-4:30pm
Admission: Free

If you’re celebrating Rosh Hashanah or want to learn about it, join this event at 11th & Mass NE, the NW corner of Lincoln Park. What makes a horn fit for Rosh Hashanah? Check out the beautiful Shofar display in the park to find out! Songs, stories, snacks, and shofar will be part of the fun, and get a special holiday gift bag, while supplies last. All ages welcome, and it’s a great way to include the whole family in the Rosh Hashanah traditions. Shana Tova!

Beyond Granite
Where: Around the National Mall
When: Through Monday
Admission: Free

This series of installations around the National Mall is “designed to create a more inclusive, equitable, and representative commemorative landscape.”  Beyond Granite features six evocative works in different areas of the Mall.  Some of them are interactive, and one is even a playground that welcomes visitors to play!  See more details and get a glimpse here.  A great way to see them all is by bike, but most aren’t too spread out for a walk. View the map of installation locations here.

To Dip in the Honey
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

We’re in the thick of apple season, and there are several spots around the region where you can pick your own.  It’s also a great activity of Rosh Hashanah weekend — pick some to dip in honey for a sweet new year!  This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

* Make plans to see some great shows around the area with this round-up of live entertainment on local stages this fall!
* In case you missed it, there’s a giveaway going on to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Adventure Theatre.
* Pickleball is coming to the National Mall Septmeber 28-30!
Can’t believe what a game changer this is! (Have to give cred where I learned about the concept, but the one I bought is half the price and has a higher rating.)
* Have you heard about this outfit on Amazon that is a dupe for this Free People set at less than half the price? I got it and can vouch that it’s awesome and perfect for early (maybe even later) fall.
* Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all — whether you’re celebrating or not 🍎

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 8-10

Kick it at a DC United match!


Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts full of ideas & inspo for ongoing activities:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* The Great Indoors
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Family ‘Hoppy’ Hour with King Bullfrog
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission:  $10/child, $5/adult

Bring the family out to enjoy a Friday evening filled with live music perfect for all ages! This concert will be outdoors (weather permitting), perfect for little ones to run, dance, laugh, and play to the beat of their favorite songs!

Celebration of Textiles: Quilting DC
Where: GWU & Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole fam to celebrate DC’s quilting community at the museum during its 42nd annual Celebration of Textiles. Meet DC area quilters who are keeping traditions alive or innovating what a quilt can be. See other textile demonstrations of weaving, spinning and more throughout the day, and hit the dance floor for square-dancing lessons and live music fro a DJ. Get a sneak peek of our exhibition Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts, too!

Kensington Train Show
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $7/adult, $2/child, $15/family

All aboard for the Kensington Train Show! Featuring model trains and more train inspired fun, it’s an event for the whole family. Marvel at local club National Capital Trackers’ “O” gauge electric trains that will literally include al the bells and whistles. Play an an I Spy Train Game and take a train themed StoryWalk. Enjoy a performances by Orleans Express on Saturday (11:30-1:30pm), and Matthew Dodd will share railroad songs and stories on Sunday, (1-4pm).

Food on the Fly
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Air & Space Museum for hands-on fun for all ages during this family day! What food do you eat when you’re on the move? How is it different on an airplane or in a spacecraft? Find out more about the history of food during flights through the air and in space. Register in advance!

United for Soccer
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $27 (check for discount)

Check out some soccer action on Saturday evening. DC United is hosting San Jose Quakes at home. As always, I recommend taking public transportation or parking in the Navy Yard neighborhood and walking to Audi Field from there. Plan for a pre-match bite — El Bebe, All Purpose Pizza, The Salt Line, and Dacha are conveniently located and my top recs for family-friendly spots to eat there.

Capitol Hill Arts Walk
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free
Head to the Hill for a day of art and community!  Local artists and artisans will display their work in their own micro-galleries, in Capitol Hill home-studios, on porches, and in yards. Most will have work for sale. Stroll around to check it out all and enjoy some time in one of the city’s loveliest neighborhoods.View a map here of where you can find the art.

Game (Sale) Time
Where: Labyrinth | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 
Admission: Free (but plan to spend o good deals!)
Labyrinth is hosting its legendary annual Used Game Sale. The proceeds raised are used to buy games for local teachers’ classrooms, support the shop’s game class aftercare program, and add new games to the demo library. The sale includes live, silent, and blind auctions on the first day, and a rummage sale on the second day with prices dropping as the day progresses.

Steam Saturday
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free with museum admission ($7/child, $10/adult)

Kids in 2nd – 8th grade are invited to join the National Building Museum for STEAM activities related to their new Brick City exhibition. Each activity challenges children to think creatively and experimentally using principles of design thinking and engineering. From building with LEGO bricks to working with AI to plan a city, each child will solve problems large and small and come to a greater understanding of the built world around us. STEAM Saturdays occur monthly on the second Saturday.

Doggy Paddle DC
Where: Select public pools in DC
When: Sunday
Admission: Free but reserve a dog spot

Bring your pooch to the pool!  With the end of the outdoor swimming season (at most pools), this annual event provides dogs with a one-day opportunity to jump in the pools, enjoy a swim and play fun aquatics games. All dogs must have a valid and original DC Department of Health issued dog license (no photo copies) and tag to enter the pool. If an application for a license is needed you must have the required documentation (i.e. proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations; and proof of spaying/neutering). Dog licenses will be issued on site.

DC Bike Ride
Where: Throughout Washington, DC
When: Saturday, 8am – 12:30pm
Admission: $79/adult, $39/age 8-17, free/7 & under

This closed-roads, car-free, 20-mile bike ride through the District gives bicyclists ages 3 and up the opportunity to pedal past some of the capital’s most iconic sites with the city’s two-wheelin’ community. End up at a Finish Festival by the U.S. Capitol with beats, eats, and fun activities for all ages. BYO ride or rent bikes on-site for only $12, thanks to a partnership with Unlimited Biking — they can pick-up and drop-off their bike at the event finish line for a seamless experience, and youth pricing is available for young riders.

Ren Fest!
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 20
Admission: $24/age 16+, $12/age 7-15, free/6 & under
The medieval time trip is going strong! You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment — exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, plus slides, play areas, games, and some of the best people-watching ever. It all takes place in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century Tudor village. KFDC Tip: Admission prices go up after this weekend, so take advantage!

Nats vs Dodgers
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at 
There are home games for the Nats all weekend as they host the Dodgers. Catch them on Friday (7:05pm), Saturday (4:05pm), and Sunday (1:35pm). The Washington Ballet will make an appearance on Friday during the President’s Race, and kids can run the bases after the Sunday game. Before you go, get some KFDC tips on doing Nats game without breaking the bank.

Magic Mirror
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Fri, 10:30am | Sat & Sun, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $15

Magic Mirror is THe Puppet Co.’s special 40th Anniversary production! Meet Toad, a young person destined for greatness in this mash-up story with lots of familiar fairy tales. Bring kiddos to join a journey of dragons, monsters, and spirits of the woods.

Prince George’s County Fair
Where: Showplace Arena |  Upper Marlboro, MD.

When: Through Sunday
Admission: $6/age 13-54, $5/age 6-12 & 55+, free/5 & under
Enjoy a variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages, including 4-H exhibits, magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.

Block Party
Where: Capital Jewish Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The Capital Jewish Museum which just opened a few months ago, is still celebating its launch and kicking off the Jewish New Year with a Block Party, and all are invited! Join them for live music and workshops from local band Minnush, pop-up programs and social justice activities hosted by community partners, wares by artisans & makers, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, and more!

DC State Fair
Where: Franklin Park | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Apparently, being an actual state isn’t a requirement to have a state fair. But this annual event in its 12th year is a free showcase of the District’s agricultural, culinary, and creative talents and a day-long celebration of all things homegrown. While inspired by time-honored state fair traditions — growing and gardening, animal husbandry, and deep-fried foods — it also honors the things that make the District unique. This fair holds competitions to find the tastiest mumbo sauce, best honey, and top local photogs.

Adams Morgan Day
Where: Throughout Adams Morgan, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities at the 44th Annual Adams Morgan Day, offering a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. The family-friendly event will have activities for all ages, including free crafts, multiple stages of entertainment, all kinds of demos, a whole Family Fun Zone, and tons more. The 18th Street Pedestrian Zone is back for the day, too! More details and the schedule of performances are available on the website.

Takoma Park Folk Fest
Where: Takoma Park Middle School | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 6:30m
Admission: Free

Regroovinate at the annual Takoma Park Folk Festival, where folk music and performances from around the world will be on four stages. Along with the music, the family-friendly event features a crafts show and sale, showcasing the works of local artisans. Pack snacks or purchase food from vendors there. Rain or shine.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from DC
Where: Orchards & farms around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

We’re in the thick of apple season, and there are several spots around the region where you can pick your own. This round-up of area farms and orchards offering PYO opportunities has details. And I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the pickings are good the day you plan to go.

* Plan for autumn fun with the annual round-up of Fall Festivals in the DC area!
* The final Movies on the Pitch at Audi Field is this coming Thursday, September 14 — get free tickets here for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
* Pizzeria Pupatella is partnering with the 21st Annual Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5k  on Saturday. Racers, their families, and the community are invited to stop by Pupatella in South Arlington following the race from 8-10pm to fuel up on discounted pizza + beverages, listen to live music, and connect with the APD/AFD teams for more opportunities to give back to a good cause.
Get artsy at local museums this weekend: Hirshhorn’s Art Cart and Portrait Gallery Weekend Workshops are great for kids!
Just shared a write-up about our Portugal trip, and packing recs are coming soon, but a sneak peek at a couple of them: This and these (or similar).
* 10 Happy Things for September

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

Celebration of Textiles: A Family Festival at the Textile Museum this Weekend!


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This post is paid for by the The George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, however, I only promote events, programs, and places that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Summer, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
September 1-4


Plan ahead for next weekend



Happy Long Weekend!

Easy links to all kinds of ideas for DC family activities:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* The Great Indoors
* Swim Spots
* On the Water
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places

Season Finales
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last for some of the pursuits we’ve been enjoying all summer, outdoor swimming pools and special museum programs among them. If you’re hoping to explore Look Here at the Building Museum, see the fairy houses at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, or jump in at an outdoor public pool, then get on it this weekend! For details on these and other seasonal activities that will continue for a few more weeks, check out the 2023 Summer Guide.

Back to School Bike Ride
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: Free
Celebrate the new school year with a big group bike ride on Saturday! Hill Family Biking, which organizes monthly family-friendly group bike rides in and around Capitol Hill, is hosting a Back to School Ride. The “progressive bike party” will cruise by DCPS elementary schools in the neighborhood, starting at 10:30am at Maury Elementary (13th & C, NE). Participants can either begin there or join the ride at the school of their choice.  Younger bikers and their families are encouraged to join at Peabody Elementary (425 C Street NE), the halfway mark. The whole ride should be about 4-5 miles and will end at Watkins Watkins splash pad and athletic fields to cool off after the ride, play some games, and enjoy treats from the Maracas Ice Pops Trike. Anyone is welcome to join, not just Capitol Hill families!

First Saturday
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Gallery of Art for their monthly First Saturday, a special day-long affair with multiple free programs for kids of all ages. Enjoy a story time for little ones, create sculptures from clay, try out the new Sketching Lab, browse the museum’s pop-up library, and, of course, tour the exhibits — all for FREE!

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20-30/age 12+, $5/ages 5-12, free/under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and games to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30.

Day Trippin’
Where: Around the DC area (and a bit beyond)
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

The long weekend is a great time to head a little further out and enjoy a day trip. Some ideas for where to go:
* Zip up to Baltimore, where there are so many great attractions for families.
* See the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns.
* Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry.
* Go to Calvert County for art adventures at Annmarie Sculpture Garden, a beach day at Calvert Cliffs State Park, maritime explorations at the Calvert Marine Museum, or even a pontoon boat excursion from Solomons Island.

Horse Around on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Thursday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Stop by the Horse Stables Education Center on the National Mall to see the residents and learn about their history. The U.S. Park Police Mounted Unit opened the horse stables back in June to house their equine team, and the public is welcome to visit the Center Thursday to Sunday to get more insight. The stables are located just south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool across Independence Avenue from the MLK Memorial. While the Center is open Thursday – Sunday, you might see the horses in fenced in areas outside on other days.

Art Cart: Colors of Emotion
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Kids’ programming is back at the Hirshhorn this Saturday with Art Cart.This session is inspired by the art work of Rachel Jones, who uses her paintings to show the thoughts and emotions we all have inside. Find the Art Cart on the Plaza outside and pick up colorful materials to get creative. Head inside, too, and explore the exhibits — and to cool off!

Where: Olney Theatre Center | Olney, MD
When: Saturday, 1-6pm
Admission: Free

Olney Theatre is winding down the summer season with free activities and performances happening all day. There will be backstage tours; Irish, Thai, Persian, and folk dancing; all kinds of musical performances; a book sale, food trucks, outdoor games, and an artist marketplace. All are welcome to join the fun!

Nats vs Marlins
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $13

The Nats are hosting the Marlins all weekend. Catch a game on Friday at 7:05pm, Saturday at 4:05pm, or Sunday at 1:35pm. There will be a mug giveaway on Friday, and kids can run the bases after the game on Sunday. Be sure to check out these KFDC tips on how to do a Nats game without breaking the bank.

Hike & Hang
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the Weekend
Admission: Varies by place

There’s a link to a round-up of family hikes above, but sometimes it’s better to plan a hike around the après hike destination, places where you can relax and enjoy food and drinks, the kids can play, and the scenery adds to the enjoyment. A few awesome combos for that, where you can hike and hang: Patuxent River State Park and Waredaca BrewerySky Meadows State Park and Barrel Oak WinerySugarloaf Mountain and The Comus Inn or Sugarloaf Mountain VineyardGreat Falls (MD side) and The Old Angler’s InnPatapsco Valley State Park and the Guinness Brewery.

Merriment Galore
Where: Maryland Renaissance Festival | Crownsville, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $24/adults, $21/seniors, $12/7-15, free/6 & under

Take a glorious day trip back to medieval times at Ren Fest, where there is something for everyone. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy.

Summer at the Reach
Where: The Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

It’s the last weekend for the Kennedy Center’s summer series,  where you can enjoy free programming at the The REACH. On Friday evening, see a screening of the documentary Washington Jazz and Art Institute: In Their Own Words at sundown. On Saturday from 1-5pm Step Afrika will be there for a demo performance and a class (3pm). Then from 6-11pm, enjoy happy hour with DJs, dancing, and lawn games. And the Moonshot Studio will be open with artsy fun for all on Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm.

Maryland State Fair
Where: Timonium Fairgrounds | Timonium-Lutherville, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $5-10 (rides, games, etc. are extra)

If you missed the recent local county fairs or want to enjoy even more rides, games, live entertainment, 4-H exhibits, and carnival fun, head north to the Maryland State Fair. You can even see some thoroughbred horse racing!  The Fair will also be held September 7-10.

Labor Day Weekend Festivities
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

It’s an exciting weekend at Glen Echo. The annual Labor Day Art Show runs throughout the weekend with all kinds of art to check out. On Sunday and Monday, you can also enjoy the Social Dance Showcase, with live music and a variety of different dance styles. There will be short beginner lessons at the start of each dance, and all dances are open to people of all skill level. No partner required.

DC United vs Chicago
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $27

Kick it at a DC United match as they host Chicago on Saturday evening. Audi Field is a great stadium with excellent views of the action on the field as well as the city skyline. I recommend taking public transportation since parking can be difficult. Or park in the Navy Yard neighborhood, grab dinner at one of the many eateries (El BebeThe Salt Line, and All Purpose are my top recs), then walk from there.

Joe Holiday Family Magic Show
Where: Capital Hilton | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 1-1:50pm
Admission: $10
Bring the whole family to watch as magician and illusionist, Joe Holiday, puts on an incredible fun-filled family magic show. Holiday is an expert at keeping the kids laughing and the adults amazed. Individuals of all ages are welcome at this show. And note that this is part of the DC Festival of Magic, a weekend showcasing the best magicians from all over the country. There will be even more performances geared toward adults — check them out here.

The Spirit of Soccer
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5pm
Admission:Tickets start at $15

The Washington Spirit are hosting the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday evening. Enjoy some amazing soccer play — and a fun, action-packed chance to support women in sports. While you’re there, you can  stop by the Community Corner in the southwest corner of the stadium to learn more about local organizations and businesses from Wards 6, 7, and 8. Purchase match tickets here.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Farms & orchards around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season is underway! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This list of area farms and orchards offering pick-your-own opportunities has details on where you can harvest them. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the fruits are available the day you plan to go.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building West Lawn | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra annual Labor Day concert returns to the West Lawn of the US Capitol! Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez wil lead the NSO as they perform classics by John Williams, Duke Ellington, Florence Price, Johannes Brahms along with modern masterworks by today’s most prolific composers. The concert also features Grammy winner Sharon Isbin, the first guitarist to be named Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the show is at 8pm is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm.

Labor Day Parades
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Monday
Admission: Free

For some holiday pageantry on Monday, head to Maryland — both Gaithersburg and Kensington celebrate with Labor Day parades. The 80+ year tradition in Gaithersburg includes fire engines, high school marching bands, giant balloons, horses, and clowns in its procession through Olde Towne. Kensington is hosting its Annual Labor Day Parade and Festival. Dance troupes, equestrian groups, fire trucks, circus performers will be part of the show making its way through town starting at 10am. The fun will continue afterward at a festival on Antique Row with live music, food vendors, crafts, and more.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

Hot days this weekend will make it a great time to do some indoor exploring, maybe at a not-so-well-known place.  If you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

* There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free music lesson and more with International School of Music!
* Adventure Theatre is offering KFDC readers a discount on fall class, plus a chance to save on new shows!
* A fun way to discover Dupont Circle (and other parts of the city).
* The Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian is closing for renovations from September 5 – late spring 2024.
* The Kennedy Center is launching a ”Thank an Arts Teacher” campaign this September, and you can share your story.
* For peops with pups, Eater rounded up the top dog-friendly patios around DC.
* Just took advantage of J. Crew’s awesome Labor Day Sale and got this dress for a lot less than when I first mentioned it here. (Use code SHOPNOW.)
* Boden also has a great sale now — 30% off everything, including the cutest girls and boys clothes (and women’s, too).
* Ideas for a Labor Day menu.
* For real.

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