The world is about to celebrate Earth Day. While the official annual date is April 22, festivals and events to observe the occasion have already begun around the area and will continue all week, culminating with The Climate Rally on the National Mall this Sunday. Many of these events don’t just welcome, but encourage participation from, the newer generations. If you and your kids want to get in on it, here’s where the action—and activisim—will be.
The Climate Rally
Earth Day is celebrated around the globe, but the main event—The Climate Rally—is happening right in our backyards. On Sunday, April 25 from 11am – 7pm, the National Mall will host what is expected to be the largest-ever rally to encourage climate legislation. Notable speakers will include Reverend Jesse Jackson, James Cameron, and Margaret Atwood. If your kids would rather boogie than sit through speeches, they can catch performances music by Sting, The Roots, John Legend, Joss Stone, Bob Weir, and many more artists. Besides the main stage, there will be tents and booths set up along the Mall with enviro-related activities, exhibits, eco-villages and more sponsored by over 50 green-thinking organizations.
American Forest Foundation Earth Day Breakfast
If your kids are early risers, this could be a fun way to start the day. From 6am – 9am, you can join the American Forest Foundation at the Mansion on O Street for omelets, crepes, waffles, and more breakfast goodies as you renew your commitment to sustainability. If this sounds like more of a grown-up event, have no worries. Families are welcome, and the O Street mansion is a unique venue of 100+ rooms adorned with funky treasures and trippy décor. All the rooms, including over 30 secret doors, are open for exploration. You must register online to attend, cost is $20/person (includes $5 donation).
Earth Day Clean-up at the National Zoo
On Saturday, April 24 from 8am – 10am, help improve the ecosystem of the zoo by joining staff and volunteers to pick up litter from zoo grounds. The clean-up will take place in the wooded area near the Connecticut Avenue entrance, a part of the park that most zoo-goers don’t get to see. Register by 8am in Parking Lot A and arrive prepared—bug spray, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. And in keeping with Earth Day spirit, volunteers are encouraged to take public transportation.
Alexandria Earth Day
Alexandria, VA, is celebrating its eco-city commitment on Saturday with a festival at Ben Brenman Park. Along with enviornmental workshops and Q&A sessions for the grown-up crowd, there will be lots of activities for kids and families. The Blue Sky Puppets will perform “Lights out for the Bunny Brothers,” a childrens story about saving energy. There will also be music performances, a trail bike ride, and family sing-along with DreamDog Foundation’s Kids Empowering Kids Program. Ben Brenman Park is located at 4800 Brenman Park Drive. The event runs from 10am – 2pm.
Earth Day Eats
Finally, several eateries in the area are doing their own Earth Day promotions. Sweetgreen is hosting an outdoor music festival on Saturday from 3pm – 9pm behind its Dupont location. On Thursday, April 22, Mixt Greens is giving away goody-filled tote bags to its first 150 customers. And if you want to brave finer dining with your kids, Restaurant Nora and Tallula have special Earth Day menus on select days this week.