Tag Archives: The Singing Lizard

Weekend Plans TBD…

Look for Abe rolling down Constitution Avenue tomorrow. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is ON!

My recommendations for family recreation this weekend hinge on one sort of major detail:  the potential government shutdown.  There is a good chance many scheduled events will be postponed or even canceled altogether because of federal agency furloughs and museum closures.   So, I’m just going to list the events that will definitely be “on” first with the “maybe” picks to follow.  No matter the outcome of today’s talks at the Capitol, you’ll find ways to have a good time with the kids. Happy Weekend!


National Cherry Blossom Festival ParadeThe mac daddy of cherry blossom festivities is happening on Saturday no matter what, according to the Washington Post Breaking News Blog.  Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel from 7th to 17th Streets. (Note: the route will likely be shortened this year, so I will post an update as soon as I hear more.) The parade begins at 10am and lasts about two hours.  Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $17, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free.  Plan to arrive early to get a good view.

Sakura Matsuri Immediately following the parade, many folks head right over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. Stretching down six city blocks from 9th to 14th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, there will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, a Children’s Corner with storytelling, origami, Japanese games, calligraphy, and more.  Festivities go on until 6pm, and there is a $5 charge for adults (free for children under 12).

See a LEGO Master at Work On Saturday and Sunday, the master behind the National Building Museum’s “LEGO® Architecture” exhibit will be in the Great Hall constructing a new piece – the White House! — for the collection. And you’re invited to watch it happen.  See this post from a couple of weeks ago for details.

Boogie Down at Eastern MarketCelebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with the Boogie Babes! The Festival’s Music of Spring program includes a Children’s Stage at the Market’s North Hall where some of Boogie Babes’ regular performers will entertain kids throughout the day. On the schedule:  Saturday – 10:30am John Henry, The Guitar Playing Man 1:30pm Crash Chord, 4pm The Singing Lizard.  Sunday -10:30am Bridgette with Dawn on Bongos, 1:30pm Bridgette with Dawn on Bongos, 4pm Groovy Nate. Suggested $10/family for the performer.

Airplanes, soccer, and a little R&R at Gravelly Point

Picnic, Play, & PlanesHave you been to Gravelly Point, the small park along the GW Parkway next to Ronald Reagan Airport?  I just recommended it a few weekends ago, but am bringing it into the mix again because Sunday will be a great day to go.  The beautiful spot along the river is nice place to spread out a picnic, people watch, and kick around a soccer ball  — if you really like airplanes.  I have to warn about this one:  it’s hit or miss with kids (and adults, for that matter).  The park is located just beyond the airport runway, so planes take off or land (depending on which way they are going that day) literally right overhead. That’s the hit or miss part — it’s loud and potentially scary for those who don’t like the looks of a plane coming right at them, but quite exciting for those that love a thrill.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Marshmallow HarvestStart your Easter celebration a little early at Great Country Farms. The Loudoun County working farm well known for its u-pick produce and seasonal celebrations its holding is annual Egg Hunt and Marshmallow Harvest this weekend.  Along with the main festivities, admission ($10/kids, $12/adults) grants access to loads of fun on the farm.  For details, see this post from yesterday.

Good News The Newseum is turning 3 and to celebrate, tickets will be buy one, get one free this weekend.  This is a good opportunity to check out the museum dedicated to all things media if you’ve never been, since there’s a good chance most of the city’s other museums will be closed.

Au Pair Cultural FairAre you curious about au pairs as a childcare option? On Saturday, Au Pair in America invites families to their Cultural Fair at Glen Echo Park to learn more about their programs.  It’s a family affair with an afternoon of fun activities for all ages.  For more info, see this post from a few days ago.

See Becks Bend ItPut a little sports action into your weekend at a soccer match on Saturday evening.   The DC United is taking on the LA Galaxy – yes, the David Beckham will be in the house!  Tickets are still available for the 7:30pm game.  Visit the DC United website to purchase online.

Show TimeSeveral productions will be on stages this weekend, including George and Martha – Tons of Fun opening at Imagination Stage tomorrow and Synetic Theater’s The Magic Paintbrush, which has been so successful, they are doing two weeks of encore performances. For info on tickets and more live entertainment in town, see this post on spring shows in the area.

Everyone’s PlaygroundEnjoy one of the best playgrounds in the area. If you have young children, and you haven’t been to Clemyjontri Park, I highly recommend taking them there. Since the park is privately funded, it will be open this weekend. The play possibilities there will seem endless to little ones.  And the beautiful fairytale-themed carousel is now open for the season.  Read more about the Clemyjontri in this post from last summer.


Blossom Kite FestivalRescheduled for Sunday after being postponed due to inclement weather, this is definitely one of the most anticipated events this weekend.  And to think there is a very good chance it will be canceled again!  If the Festival does, indeed, happen on Sunday, it’s going to be great – the weather forecast is looking ideal for kite-flying, and there is sure to be a celebratory spirit — along with the kites — in the air.

White House Garden ToursThis weekend is your chance to enjoy spring at the White House — and you don’t need to win a lottery to do it.  The annual Spring Garden and Grounds Tours are being held on Saturday and Sunday.  And gaining admission to the event is as easy as picking up tickets the day of.  For more details and info on how to get tickets, see this post from last week.

Born to Be Wild 3DThis heart-warming film about the bond between humans and animals opens at the Johnson IMAX Theater today. Documenting orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them, this is a movie all ages will adore.  My longer review will come soon, but the short of it is that I highly recommended taking your kids to see it.  For a longer description of the film, see this post from last week (note: the giveaway has ended).  Tickets are $9. You can see the film on Friday, but the Natural History Museum, where the Johnson IMAX is located, might be closed this weekend.

Earth Day Family CelebrationReduce, Reuse, Recycle! On Saturday, the Smithsonian American Art Museum will teach guests how to turn their trash into artwork they’ll treasure. Artist David Edgar will show kids how to make fantastic creatures out of yogurt cartons and musician Billy B. will be on stage to help rock the planet! This free event runs from 11:30am – 3pm.

Super Science Saturday: How Things FlyHead to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center on Saturday for a day of aero fun. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration.  The event runs from 10am – 3pm. Parking is $15, but admission is free.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Deal, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Monuments & Memorials, Movies, Museums, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Sports, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Dance, Bid, and Support a Local Nursery School

Get on your dancing socks and get ready to bid!  River Park Nursery School in Capitol Hill is hosting its annual Sock Hop and Silent Auction on Saturday, March 5, from 4 – 7pm.  And folks all over the area are invited to join the party.

Guests can enjoy live entertainment by The Singing Lizard, food, drinks, games and the chance for some auction wins.  Bring your checkbooks and bid on fabulous items donated by local Capitol Hill businesses. All proceeds benefit the nursery school.

Tickets are $30 per family and can be purchased online.  The event will take place at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, where the nursery school is hosted, at 212 E. Capitol Street NE.




Filed under All ages, Annual, Charity, DC, Live Entertainment, Music, Weekend

Kids Gifts: Music and Books

If you celebrate Christmas, there’s a good chance that, like me, you’re in the throes of holiday shopping for the kids. And if, like me, you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, and have kids with January birthdays, then you understand how the whole gift thing can be… challenging, to say the least. Not only do my husband and I want to avoid spoiling our kids with an overload of presents, we also want to keep our house from turning into a vortex of electronic noises and gadgets and plastic pieces strewn everywhere.

My solution: books and CD’s. Both of my kids love a good story and groovy music. I love that reading and dancing (or even just listening) is something we can do together. And the fact that books and CD’s don’t come with a million hard-to-clean-up pieces is a huge plus for everyone. So, here are a few recommendations of some of our favorite books and CD’s, along with one on my own holiday shopping list, that your little ones (and you parents) might enjoy, too.


Keller Williams – Kids

We acquired the newest addition to our kids’ music collection at Keller Williams’ recent concert in Falls Church. It was supposed to be one of their holiday gifts, but we were all so excited about the music we’d just heard that I ending up popping the disc into the CD player in the car on the way home from the concert. And it’s gotten tons of play since. The acoustic bluegrass/rock/funk tunes are enjoyable for children and adults. The lyrics are fun (what kid wouldn’t love singing, “Mama tooted?”) and imaginative, and the beats are interesting and groovy. And even though “Hula hoop to da loop” is often on repeat in my head, I have yet to feel the slightest bit of annoyance about it.


The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This story about a boy’s growing garden that beautifies a gloomy city is a regular in our bedtime story rotation. The illustrations are charming and the story is easy for young kids to follow. Even better, the messages about being green and how even one person can make a big difference are comprenhensible as well as a great conversation starter about those very topics.


The Singing Lizard – AlphaBeat

If you frequent Boogie Babes or any toddler music performances in the area, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with The Singing Lizard. Liz DeRoche’s one-woman show is a local favorite, and not just with the kids. Her poppy, synthesized renditions of children’s classics as well as her original tunes have a definite 80’s vibe, and I mean that in a good way. If John Hughes had made a movie for toddlers, this music could be the soundtrack. Check out her new CD, AlphaBeat, on The Singing Lizard website. And if you like it, you can purchase one there, too.


Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy by Jacky Davis and David Soman

I am convinced the authors saw Owen playing on the playground with one of his friends and wrote this book about them. But that’s not the only reason why I love it.  It’s a wonderful story about friendship and compromise and inclusion, concepts that are so relevant to the pre- and gradeschool set. The illustrations are interesting, too; Owen is always re-examining the pictures and finding new, cool things in them. While we have this book and read it fairly regularly, I’ll still be purchasing more copies – as holiday and birthday gifts for friends.


They Might Be Giants – Here Come the ABCs

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about about They Might Be Giants and how their music resonates with a range of generations. I love their quirky sound and find that even their “adult” music is fun for kids, too. We don’t own this CD, but I’ve heard it numerous times and after watching a friend’s adorable two-year-old happily sing one of the songs along with his dad, I’m sold – a definite item for Sasha’s stocking.


Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

We bought Owen this book for his first Christmas and haven’t stopped reading it since, even when it’s not holiday time. It’s now part of Sasha’s little library, but Owen still pops in for a listen now and then when we read it. So, you may already know said bear – it’s the same one of the well-known Bear Snores On, and the holiday version has the same impeccable rhyming and pleasant cadence as the original. Sometimes I think I actually like reading the book more than the kids like listening to it – there’s something gratifying about the easy flow of words and perfection of the rhymes.  Best of all, the sweet story of animals sharing a lovely Christmas is a perfect bedtime read.


Filed under Christmas, Holidays, Music, Shop

‘Tis the Weekend

The holiday season is upon us. This is evident by the holiday-themed events that have begun popping up around town. Of course, if you’re not quite ready to embrace the spirit, there are plenty of other things to do, such as Family Days at the museums and the Gustafer Yellowgold show at the Alden Theater. For more ideas for family fun this weekend, both with and without the turkeys and tinsel in mind, hear are some recommendations.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Get into the Turkey Day spirit a little early. On Saturday, November 20, the 13th Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade will bring a procession of holiday fun to the streets of Downtown Silver Spring. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, trained dogs, antique cars, and holiday displays will be part of the procession. The pageantry begins at 9:30am at Georgia and Ellsworth Avenues.

The National Harbor’s signature holiday attraction sounds pretty cool, both literally and figuratively. I have yet to experience it myself, so here’s the description from the website:

“Bringing to life the 1957 Dr. Seuss holiday classic tale, ICE! features 10 colorful scenes straight out of the pages of the original storybook. Sculpted from TWO-MILLION pounds of ice, the indoor walk-through attraction brilliantly showcases how the “Whoville-hating” Grinch learns the true meaning of Christmas. Visitors will take an adventure through the Grinch’s frozen world, see jaw-dropping ice sculptures and walk through larger-than-life scenes that re-create the original storyline. Little kids and big kids alike can even zip down two-story-tall slides made completely of ice!”

ICE! will be open through January 9. Tickets are $29/ages 13+, $18/kids 4-12 and can be purchased online for various times.

The Singing Lizard — for Free!
As part of their ARTdays at CHAW series, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop presents a free concert for families. The Singing Lizard’s live shows are fast-paced, fun, and full of exciting songs that both kids and adults enjoy. The concert is from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. in CHAW’s Black Box Theater.

Grand Canyon Adventure
Just because the Natural History Museum isn’t hosting a Family Day this weekend, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Besides the incredible exhibits that get kids of all ages ogling – dinos, mammals, insects, butterflies – the IMAX theater has some compelling movies, including the recently opened Grand Cayon Adventure: River at Risk 3D. The film about a whitewater ride with inspirational message about water conservation is a more than worth every cent of the $9 tickets.

Jewish Folk Arts Festival
The Jewish Folk Arts Festival is a celebration of the talent and diversity of Jewish performing and visual arts in the Greater Washington DC/Baltimore region. The richness of values, culture, and heritage is passed from generation to generation through singers, writers, dancers, visual artists, storytellers and craftspeople. All performers and workshop presenters donate their time to the festival. In its final few days, the festival is being held at the JCC of Greater Washington located at 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. Hours are 12pm – 6pm. Ticket prices vary by day and age; visit the website for specifics.

Holiday Shows
“Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer” opens at Adventure Theater today, November 19, and “A Christmas Carol” opens at Ford’s Theater tomorrow, November 20. See this post about holiday shows for complete details on both.

Ice Skate Amid the Sculptures
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink opened for the season last weekend, and mild temps over the next few days will make it a great time to get gliding. Afterward, treat yourself and the kids to hot chocolate and other goodies at the Pavilon Café. The rink is located on the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Open Saturday 10am – 11pm and Sunday 11am – 9pm. Admission is $7/adults, $6/children 12 and under.

Geckos and Wild Music at the Nat Geo
There’s a reason why I keep recommending Geckos: Tales to Toepads and Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life at the National Geographic Museum: Both exhibits are awesome. For more details, photos, and a lengthier review, check out this post from a few weeks ago.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Weekend

Free Artdays at CHAW

Starting this weekend, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop will present ARTdays, a series of six free concerts and visual arts classes for the whole family.

The program kicks off with The Singing Lizard this Saturday, October 9. From 10am – 11am, families can jam at a show full of exciting songs that both kids and adults enjoy. Sasha and I saw her play a few weeks ago, and we both enjoyed her pop versions of many children’s classics. If you can’t make it to this Saturday’s show, you can catch The Singing Lizard on November 20 and December 11. Concerts take place in CHAW’s Black Box Theater.

Visual arts classes for caregivers and children (no drop-offs) will take place on several other Saturdays. Two sittings, at 10am and 11am, will be available each day in CHAW’s gallery. Space is limited, so call the office at (202.547.6839 to reserve your spot. The visual arts schedule is as follows:

Saturday, October 16: 2D/3D Collage Scenes
Saturday, November 13: Clay Handbuilding
Saturday, December 18: Painting with Yarn

All ARTdays events will take place at CHAW located at 545 7th Street SE. Both concerts and classes are free and open to the public.

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Filed under All ages, Art, Class, DC, Free, Live Entertainment, Music, Weekend