Tag Archives: Things to do with Kids in DC

Scenes from a Visit to the Old Post Office Tower

 

We first went up in the Old Post Office Clock Tower almost 10 years ago.  As mentioned in this post about that visit, I learned about it from a now-defunct deal site, but I didn’t know anyone who had yet been, so it was kind of a great discovery then.  We’ve visited many times since — not only did the Tower become a back pocket place to take out-of-town guests for impressive views of the city, it’s also an easy stroll from the National Mall and the downtown area.

However, until this week, it had been a few years since we visited, as the Tower was closed during Covid and just reopened to the public again in early June. Sasha and I had to run an errand nearby downtown, so we decided to pop in (or should I say up?) and enjoy those city vistas and add a little fun to our outing.

Look for this sign on 12th Street NW to find the entrance

Some things have changed since that first visit I wrote about, so I thought a new post would be a good idea.  It is still operated by the National Park Service, but the building it’s within is now a hotel.  It was the Trump Hotel, but it recently changed hands (sigh of relief!), and is now a Waldorf Astoria.  And you used to access the Clock Tower through the front entrance, but it now has its own entrance at the back of the hotel.

Once inside past security, there’s a long walkway with displays about DC history, the building, and the area where it’s located (did you know it was called “Murder Bay” in the 19th century?).  That leads to the National Park Service area, where a ranger greets and guides guests to the elevator that leads up to the Tower.  It was from the ranger that I learned the NPS was ready to welcome visitors back to the Clock Tower last year, but the Trump organization wouldn’t renew the contact for security at the entrance.  It wasn’t until the Waldorf Astoria took over that security was hired again, and the Tower could officially reopen.

The elevator takes you to the 9th floor, where you can peer down to see the hotel lobby far below and get a good view of the gorgeous glass-paned roof.  From there, you take another elevator to the observation deck.  In the middle is a glass case with all the gears and inner workings of the clock.  [Side note: We once happened to be there when it was time to set the clock to fall back, and they let the kids help turn it — how cool is that?!]

Of course, the main features of the observation deck are the sweeping views of the city from every direction.  You can see so many major structures, and there are displays to help you locate them if you’re not familiar with layout of DC.  Get a glimpse of it all in the photos finishing out this post, but I can assure you these scenes are way better in person.

Old Post Office Clock Tower
Where: Within the Waldorf Astoria Hotel | Downtown DC
Access: Enter at 12th & C Streets NW (on 12th between Pennsylvania & Constitution NW).
When: Daily, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

 

A view of the Clock Tower on our way downtown (PS: love the Ukrainian flags lining Pennsylvania Ave along with the US & DC flags)

 

The front of the Waldorf Astoria (but not the entrance to the Clock Tower)

 

North view… so neat to see the rooftop patios

 

South view through plexiglass…museums and more

 

East view, with the Capitol in the distance

 

West view (well, slightly southwest) and the Washington Monument

 

Northwest view… the National Cathedral in the distance

 

Snapping city vistas

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Filed under All ages, DC

Scenes from a Visit to the (Finally!) Reopened U.S. Botanic Garden

 

After being closed for more than two years,  the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Conservatory is once again open to visitors!  The outdoor areas have been accessible for awhile, but it wasn’t until the start of this month that we could go back inside, too.   The USBG, both indoors and out, is one of those places that I’d include among DC’s must-go sites. In fact, of all the attractions along the stretch between the U.S. Capitol and Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Botanic Garden probably  is the one our family has visited most.  That’s partly because it’s the closest in to where we live and an easy walk or bike ride from our house.  But also because it’s a really beautiful, interesting, and fun place to explore for all ages, kids and adults.

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Filed under 2022, DC

Scenes from a Pop-In at the National Postal Museum

 

The National Postal Museum just reopened in late August for the first time since March 2020, the last of the DC Smithsonians to once again welcome visitors.  I was running an errand nearby yesterday, so I decided to pop in for a little museum fix and see what is/isn’t currently on view, and to enjoy what I think is one of the most stunning spaces in the city.

The museum is in the Postal Square Building, which was DC’s main post office from 1914 to 1986

I’ve always recommended the museum as a particularly great one to visit with young children.  Located in the Postal Square Building between Union Station and North Capitol Street, it doesn’t draw the big crowds that its Smithsonian counterparts on the Mall often do, which is especially nice right now.  And the space isn’t huge, making it easy to explore with little ones.   That said, it’s appealing to all ages and fantastic to visit without kids, too, like I just did…

Mailboxes from around the world

 

Since there’s already a whole KFDC write-up about the museum,  this post of scenes is really just a reminder that it’s open again and a strong recommendation to go, plus a quick update of what’s on display and some highlights. The Pony Express area is closed, but most other exhibits are currently open.  You can digitally design a stamp and start a collection in the Stamp Gallery,  learn how the post office serves cities and  scan and sort mail, read letters sent to and from soldiers in WWI, and go Behind the Badge to explore the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  And the lofty atrium featuring airmail planes, mail trucks, a train car, a horse & buggy, the trailer of a semi that you can climb aboard, and other large-scale modes of mail transport is as stunning as ever.

The National Postal Museum
Where: 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Union Station Area, DC
When: Friday – Tuesday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free
COVID Guidelines

 

Click for larger images…

The first glimpse of the atrium

 

The Stamp Gallery is located on the Main Floor of the building

 

Stamps available to start collection

 

Design your own digital stamp

 

Learn about the U.S. Postal Inspection Service

 

An old Ford Model A mail truck

 

A modern one

 

And a trailer of a semi mail carrier that you can sit in

 

View from the inside

 

A digital image and transcription of a moving letter from WWI

 

Scanning (pretend) mail is one of many hands-on ops

 

Wes Anderson vibes?

 

A last look at the space

 

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Filed under All ages, DC, Museums, Reopened, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: April 20-22

We hear all the cool gnomes will be at Annmarie Sculpture Garden on Sunday



Earth Day celebrations, a fairy and gnome fest, free admission to national parks, Shakespeare’s birthday, live entertainment, lots of spring fun… and a nice dose of sunshine (we hope), to boot. Happy Weekend!

Earth Optimism Day
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate conservation success stories at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in honor of Earth Day. This year’s event features family-friendly activities, hands-on learning opportunities, and interactive demonstrations — all in the name of conservation. Hear first-hand from Zoo experts about some of the innovative solutions being used in the fight to save species, and learn how you can take action to help protect the planet.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

National Park Week starts on Saturday, and it’s kicking off with a fee free day, so there’s no entrance fee to national parks that usually charge admission. Take advantage and hit the trail at Shenandoah, Prince William Forest, Great Falls, Harpers Ferry, or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. Find even more parks to visit here.

Frühlingsfest
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Welcome spring at Frühlingsfest! Translated as ‘Spring Festival,’ the occasion is know as ‘Oktoberfest’s little sister’ in Germany and celebrates the end of a cold winter and beginning of the new season. Heurich House Museum is partnering with local artisans and businesses to present the garden festival. Enjoy German sausages, art, gardening, crafts, museum tours, and an afternoon beer.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks in Fairfax, 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. On Friday evening, join an animal pajama party at Hidden Oaks or hear a Symphony of Frogs at Huntley Meadows. On Saturday, Build Your Own Beehouse and see bluebells at Riverbend Park. On Sunday, celebrate Earth Day at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Get more details on these activities and see what else is going on here.

Sensory-Friendly Movie Screening
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium 13 | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Join Regal for the latest My Way Matinee movie, Ready Player One. Adventurous movie fans can enjoy the fun, action-packed universe of the film. My Way Matinee gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the Ready Player One trailer here.

Wild Kratts LIVE!
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 1pm & 4:30pm
Tickets: $32-52+

Animated Kratt Brothers Martin and Chris “come to real life” in a classically Wild Kratts story. The Emmy nominated duo will activate some fan favorite Creature Power Suits to confront a comic villain. Through hilarious pratfalls and amazing animal “wow facts,” the Wild Kratts team rescues their favorite invention from Zach’s clutches so the animals of the creature world are safe once again.

Show Time
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* It’s opening weekend for Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt at Adventure Theatre
* Scrap Arts Music: Children of Metropolis at Strathmore will make for great Friday night entertainment
* Enjoy Symphony for kids at the NSO concert The String Thing
* Reserve free tickets for BOP GOES THE WEASEL – Jazz For Kids! this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* It’s your last chance to LOL at a Potted Potter performance at Sidney Harman Hall. (Read a past review here.)
* Robin Hood is on the Imagination Stage
* Ease on down the road to Ford’s Theatre for The Wiz
* Catch a fairytale classic as The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
* And there will be a Tiny Tots Sing-a-Long for littles there on Sunday
* Snow Child is the newest production at Arena Stage
* Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, perfect for ages 3-8, will be on stage at Hylton Performing Arts Center

Weekend Tots: Welcome Spring
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: $5/child, free for adults

It’s a special weekend session of the (usually) Tuesday program for little ones to celebrate spring. Read, sing, and play as Tudor Place celebrates spring in the picturesque gardens. Tots will take home a craft they’ve made themselves. Register in advance.

Eloise Greenfield Day
Where: Sankofa Video & Books | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the celebration that honors author Eloise Greenfield Day’s lifelong efforts to portray positive, realistic images of African American communities in literature. The program begins with a selection of poems read by local elementary school students; a live jazz rendition of Honey, I Love , inspired by the 1982 recording by Mrs. Greenfield and Byron Morris; a tribute from renowned illustrator and longtime collaborator, Jan Spivey Gilchrist; a conversation between Mrs. Greenfield and her daughter, Monica; a presentation by Mrs. Greenfield entitled, “Words and Music,” and a signing of Ms. Greenfield’s forthcoming book, “PAR-TAY!: Dance of the Veggies And Their Friends.”

Earth Day Plogging and Fun Run
Where: Starts at New Hampshire & Kennedy St. NW | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

DC Parks & Recreation and Uptown Main Street are celebrating Earth Day with a Plogging event! Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter. It started as an organized activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. A warm up and stretch will be facilitated by Twist and Turns Fitness. After plogging, help with trash and plantings at the small park on 14th & Kennedy St NW enjoying food, games, and fellowship! 

Happy Birthday to the Bard!
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis Shakespeare’s 454th birthday, and the Folger Shakespeare Library is celebrating with its annual Open House on Sunday afternoon. In true Renaissance fashion, there will be song and dance, Elizabethan crafts, and theatrical performances, sword fighting demos, special tours, a giant birthday cake, and appearances by Emily Jordan Folger and Queen Elizabeth I. The free event takes place rain or shine. Food trucks will be stationed in Puck’s Circle. The Folger Shakespeare Library is located at 201 East Capitol Street SE. Read more about the Folger in this KFDC post.

Fairy & Gnome Home Festival
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $7, free for member and under 2
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This annual festival at one of the most enchanting places will delight the whole family — and we know from experience. Festivities are scattered throughout the beautiful grounds, creating a charming journey of discovery for young (and old) guests. Search for hidden fairy and gnome homes and use them as inspiration to create your own special pieces. Climb, explore, build, and dream in the lovely Fairy Lolly. Get faces painting, and enjoy music, dancing, games, crafts, food, drink, and more. Oh, and don’t let little ones miss the unicorn (yes, unicorn!) rides and a petting zoo. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post and this one.

Earth Day Celebration
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free

Our planet is priceless! Head to Brookside Gardens and learn ways to keep it healthy. This event offers something for everyone: a green craft fair, native plant sale, community art project, family activities and games, environmental educational alley, live music, and more. Discover how small changes in your everyday habits can make a big impact on improving our environment. While you’re there, check out the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit, which just opened the season – read about it here!

Garden Party
Where: Frager’s Hardware | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join Frager’s at their new garden center at 1123 Pennsylvania Ave SE for their biggest gardening event & sale of the year! Get 20% off all things gardening (Saturday, too) including pottery, plants, soil & mulch, gardening supplies, and patio furniture grilling accessories. There will be a potting station, a seed starting workshop, cheese and meat samples, a DIT terrarium workshop, opps to chat with gardening pros, giveaways, and more.

Kite Fly Day & Air Play
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 1pm
Admission: Free

All are invited to spend the day on Strathmore’s rolling campus flying kites, picnicking, playing yard games, and watching flight demos from members of Wings Over Washington and the Maryland Kite Society. At 4pm, enjoy Air Play (see below).

Air Play
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $22-46

A whimsical, modern spectacle perfect for families, nothing is as it seems in Air Play’s fantastical stage show—the creation of husband and wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone that merges circus and street theater performance art. Flying umbrellas, larger-than-life balloons, giant kites, and an enormous snow globe captivate in this circus-style adventure that tells the story of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty. Fabrics dance in the wind, balloons have a mind of their own, confetti become the night sky, and an enormous canopy of hovering silk forever alters the future of this sibling pair.

Spring in the Valley
Where: Spring Valley Pediatrics | Spring Valley, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join Stork Childbirth Education, the Spring Valley Neighborhood Association, Children’s National Medical Center, and Safe Kids DC for a family fun day. There will be food trucks, face painting, local businesses, giveaways, and festivities for the whole family.

Museum Morning
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

There’s all kinds of fun for little ones at the Hirshhorn this weekend. On Saturday, join a STORYTIME session (10am) then celebrate spring with a Maker Morning (10am & 11am). After that, enjoy the Library + Art Pop-Up and find a cart in the galleries and check out a fun kit full of our favorite finds for kids. On Sunday, STORYTIME will feature The Lorax by Dr. Seuss at the Wish Tree in the Sculpture Garden.

Hop on the Eye Spy Trains
Where: Montgomery County Parks | Cabin John & Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $4/ride

Montgomery Parks recently started offering Spring Eye Spy Train rides at Cabin John and Wheaton Regional Parks ! (The mini trains run during summer, too, but the Eye Spy fun is usually reserved for Halloween.) Hope on board and look for hidden figures in the woods as you ride around the park. Of course, stay to play at the park, too. Read KFDC write-ups about the Cabin John playground and the Wheaton playground.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Gymboree Play & Music of Washington, DC, just shared some news — and a business opportunity.
* No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at the Renwick Gallery is an exhibit the whole family will dig.
* If you’re into true crime, check out this book.
* The new Amy Schumer movie, I Feel Pretty, opens this weekend, and it’s a perfect flick for a mom’s night out (cocktails after, of course).

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: April 13-15

See DC VIPs at the Cherry blossom parade


It finally looks and feels like spring, and you’ve got your pick of ways to savor it over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

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

The annual parade just may be the pinnacle of cherry blossom season. 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 down the street. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, 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 on a pretty spring day.

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

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. There will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. Be prepared for a crowd.

Bluebells at the Bend
Where: Riverbend Park | Great Falls, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $7/advance, $9/at event

The cherry blossoms aren’t the only pretty flowers to enjoy around the area. Celebrate the Virginia Bluebells as they blanket the banks of the Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Bring the whole family for fun including games, music, wildflower walks, puppet shows, wagon rides, live animals, and more. Read more about Riverbend in this KFDC post. And to see what else is going on at other Fairfax County Parks, go here.

10th Anniversary Celebration
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill,MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free (some activities require fees)

National Harbor has been around 10 years, and they’re celebrating with a weekend of fun festivities! It kicks off on Saturday morning with a Potomac River Cleanup (8am – 12pm).  On Saturday, there will be free carousel rides, a Beer Garden, a ticketed kid’s silent disco, an adult silent disco, and fireworks. Sunday features free Capital Wheel rides, a kids’ corner, a community parade, and live music.  See the schedule and more details here.

Cherokee Days
Where: National Museum of the America Indian | National Mall
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Cherokee culture at the fifth annual Cherokee Days. The festival showcases the shared history and cultural lifeways of three Cherokee tribes with an exhibition, storytelling, traditional flute music, weaponry, woodcarving, beadwork, traditional games, basket weaving, pottery demonstrations, and dance performances.

Living Through the Ages
Where: Patuxent River Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm
Admission: Free

See, touch, feel and participate in two millennia of history, as hundreds of reenactors portray 2,000 years of the past in one weekend! Roman Legionaries, Charlemagne’s Army, ancient Irish warriors; 15th century English knights; 16th century German mercenaries; 17th century English Civil War soldiers; 18th century Highland Jacobites, American Rev War, Napoleonic forces; 19th century marines and militia from the War of 1812, American Civil War and British soldiers from the far flung Victorian Empire; 20th century combatants from WWI, WWII, Palestine, and Vietnam.  Discover the soldiers’ lives and that of the civilians who followed their warriors.  This year there are 35 camps of living historians to portray and demonstrate the real history!  

Celebrate Central Asia
Where: The Textile Museum | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum to celebrate the art and cultures of Central Asia. Enjoy performances by the Silk Road Dance Company featuring traditional dances from Uzbekistan, beautiful costumes, and an appearance by the ikat dragon. Try your hand at watercolor painting, and create your own Ikat designs with paper. Take the opportunity to visit our galleries to see colorful Ikat fabrics in the exhibition Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat. It’s a great opportunity for all ages to enjoy a museum that’s usually a bit sophisticated for young children.

Dog Days Bloom Fest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $8-10

This adventure for dogs and their people has something for every member of the family, but canines especially will have a blast at the festivities. Bring your 4-legged friend for a day of fun on the farm with a Frisbee competition, obstacle course, tips, and training. Plus, enjoy Bluemont Wine and Dirt Farm Brews at the event this season. And the rest of the farm, which is essentially a sprawling playground, is open for all to enjoy. Explore the many acres, and opt for a wagon ride to see the orchards and farm in bloom!

DC Emancipation Day Celebration
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 10th-14th St. | Downtown, DC
When: Saturday, 2-8:30pm
Admission: Free

On April 16, 1862, the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had legally owned them, and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. Join Mayor Bowser to commemorate the day at the 2018 DC Emancipation Day celebration with a parade, concert, and fireworks.

Show Time
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* Reserve free tickets for InterAct Story Theatre’s The Town That Cried Avalanche, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* LOL at a Potted Potter performance at Sidney Harman Hall. (Read a past review here.)
* It’s opening weekend for Robin Hood at Imagination Stage
* Ease on down the road to Ford’s Theatre for The Wiz
* Little ones will love Balloonacy at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* Catch a fairytale classic as The Puppet Co. presents Little Red Riding Hood & the 3 Little Pigs
* And Jellybean Circus is the Tiny Tots performance for littles there on Saturday
* Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart at Eagle Bank Arena
* Snow Child is the newest production at Arena Stage
* Kids musician Matt Heaton is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java

Spring Open House
Where: My Gym Potomac & Bethesda | Potomac & Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Check out My Gym’s facilities and learn about their programs as you enjoy fun and games — at both the Bethesda and Potomac locations! Expect lots of play time, plus get great discounts on spring classes, summer camps, and parties!From 12-1pm, tackle the Ninja Warrior obstacle courses (best for ages 3-10) and have free pizza. From 1-3pm, there will be free face painting and fun for all ages. Grown-ups wear socks, please!

Nats vs. Rockies
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Root for the home team as the Nats host the Rockies this weekend. Be sure to check out special promos — Friday is the Sean Doolittle Bobhead giveaway (first 25,000 fans), and Sunday is Jackie Robinson and Black Heritage Day, not to mention little fans can run the bases after the game. Don’t forget to sign up ages 4-12 for the Jr. Nationals Kids Club, and check these tips on how to save at the ballpark.

Anniversary Celebration
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Park | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the 77th anniversary celebration of Dumbarton Oaks Park. There are volunteer clean-up opportunities in the morning, and the afternoon will feature even more, including children’s activities, interactive exhibits, strolling tours, art in the park, and music. Enter at the top of Lover’s Lane near 3060 R Street NW. (Note: This is not the Dumbarton Gardens; the park is located just behind them.)

Light City
Where: Inner Harbor | Baltimore, MD
When: Through April 21
Admission: Free

See Baltimore transformed with large-scale light installations, performances, music, and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area. Light City’s innovation programming generates an ecosystem of ideas and learning during the day – while lights, performances, and live music re-imagine Baltimore at night.

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

Every April, the mighty herring make their way upstream to lay their eggs—and swim up a “fish ladder” beside Peirce Mill. Come learn about the herring run, and test your stamina in a special obstacle course for young children. Read more about Peirce Mill in this KFDC post.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Depot of the W&OD Railroad | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations welcome)

Take a trip down to Vienna to visit 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 great family activity for the young and young at heart! The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna.

DC Youth Orchestra Open House
Where: Eastern High School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

The DC Youth Orchestra Program will open its doors to the public with a day of free musical events for the entire family. Prospective young musicians (ages 4-18) can try out orchestral instruments in musical instrument petting zoos. At 12:30pm, the Youth Orchestra will give a pop-up concert, and at 3:30pm, the String Queens, a classically trained trio including DCYOP alumna and conductor Elise Cuffy, will perform pop, gospel, jazz, and R&B arrangements. Between the concerts will be a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, as well as a string instrument care workshop, chamber music performances, yoga classes with One Breath at a Time, and face painting. Food trucks and other vendors will also be at the event.

The Great British Fly-In
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

The British are coming to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center! Join the Air & Space Museum to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the oldest air force in the world — Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) — with a fly-in, presentations, and hands-on activities.

To Hill Tobacco
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adult, $3/child

Help the colonial farm family and neighbors prepare the fields for this season’s crop. Tobacco was used as currency or commodity money in 18th century Virginia and vital to sustain the Claude Moore Colonial Farm family. Weather permitting — call ahead.

Discovery Day
Where: Green Acres School | North Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Discover progressive education at its best at our experiential open house for parents and students. Tour Green Acre’s 15-acre campus, meet teachers, parents, students and staff, and find out how they learn through teacher-led activities and lessons. Registration is required to attend. To reserve your space, please email admission@greenacres.org. 

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Anacostia, DC
When: Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Anacostia Park and the Year of the Anacostia! Festival-goers will enjoy canoeing, fishing lessons, boating, lawn games and more. The festival will feature a community bike parade, special live performance of The Wiz, family friendly arts and crafts, storytelling, and live music and performances. Line up by the bike valet at 2:30pm to join a 3pm bike parade. River activities will be first-come, first-serve, sign up at tent #1.

Ikebana
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 15, 1-2pm
Admission: $10

Children can learn the centuries-old tradition of Japanese flower arranging at an ikebana workshop at the National Arboretum. The hour-long workshop is for children ages 10-13. You can also visit an ikebana demonstration and see the Ikebana International exhibit at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery. Registration required.

A Wild Symphony
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Sunday, 1pm & 3pm
Admission: Free, but passes required

Enjoy a free family concert by members of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Zoo on Sunday. This animal-themed show features engaging and fun musical performances for all ages. Following both concerts, there will be an “instrument petting zoo” where visitors can learn about and interact with a variety of musical instruments. Same-day passes are free, but required for entry and will be distributed beginning at 11am for both concerts. Passes are not needed for the instrument petting zoo.

A Family Celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: $15

Join the DCJCC as they celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday by recognizing the range and diversity of its people and landscape. Through reading and activities, we’ll bring to life the charming and colorful world created by author Leslie Kimmelman in her book Everybody Says Shalom. This program is best for ages 3-7, but the whole family is welcome!  Cost is $15/family. Register here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* You have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt at Adventure Theatre.
* There is also an opportunity to win a Day Out with Thomas at the B&O Railroad Museum.
* Pearachute is a great way to check out kids classes and events with committing to a full session, plus you can save on costs!
* This coming week Bright Horizons is hosting Open Houses at all of their Early Childhood Education Centers around the area!
* Watson Adventures’ next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt for Harry Potter Fans is on May 13 (Mother’s Day!), and these always sell out, so book soon — and read more about it here.
* This article is a must-read if you want to know more about what Facebook has on you. (Warning: It’s kind of creepy.)

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