Tag Archives: Things to Do with Kids Near Me

The Weekend Round-Up:
May 31 – June 2

 

 

The above photo is an indication of what we’ll be doing this weekend (and I’m getting teary just writing this), but there’s so much going on for those of you looking for fun ways to spend some QT with your kids. Savor every second because it really does fly…

Happy Weekend…and Happy Graduation to the Class of 2024! ❤️

Find ideas for ongoing local fun in these go-to posts:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Extraordinary Cinema: Jurassic Park
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Free

One of summer’s best activities is watching movies outdoors, and the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage film series kicks off this weekend with a screening of Jurassic Park. Every Friday through August 30, enjoy a free outdoor film starting at sundown projected on The REACH video wall. Bring blanket and food for a picnic and make a fun, family evening of it!

DC Truck Touch
Where: RFK Lot 8 | Southeast DC
When: Saturday, 8am -2pm
Admission: Free

The Truck Touch event that easily is the Mac Daddy of them all is happening on Saturday. The DC Department of Public Works welcomes guests to climb aboard and explore all kinds of cool vehicles. There will also be demos of electric cars, more kids activities, and maybe even opportunities for test rides.  RFK Lot 8 is located at 2400 East Capitol Street SE – enter off of Independence Avenue SE.  Reserve a spot in advance here.  And get a glimpse of a past DC Truck Touch here.

Fiesta Asia Street Fair
Where: Entrance at 400 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Rescheduled from May 17-18…  Celebrate Asian heritage at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation and Passport DC. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, a parade, yummy food, a marketplace, hands-on activities, and more.  While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and in the marketplace. Reserve free tickets here.

Seize the Season
Where: Around the DC Area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

Enjoy summer fun with a host of activities that only occur this time of year. See Bettelejuice under the stars at Congressional Cemetery.  Attend the U.S. Air Force Band’s first summer concert at National Harbor. Stay cool at an outdoor pool, sprayground, or waterpark. Take kiddos to the new Mindbender Mansion exhibition at the National Building Museum. Go berry picking. Ride mini-trains at Cabin John and Wheaton Regional Parks. And much, much more! See the 2024 Summer  Guide for details on all of these great pursuits.

Open Swim
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This round-up of places to swim around the area is a good one to heck out on what’s forecast to be a beautiful weekend. Find beaches on the Bay (and even Atlantic), lakes and rivers, and swimming holes and creeks — all that welcome the public to take a dip!

Pinocchio
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through June 23
Admission: $15

Celebrate 50 years of Allan Steven’s Pinocchio! A young puppet goes on a journey to become a real boy. First seen on stage at the Smithsonian Puppet Theater, we are delighted to bring the original rod-puppets back to the stage to tell Carlo Collodi’s tale. Run time approximately 50 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Long Way Down
Where: Olney Theatre
When: Through June 23
Admission: $40-70

Based o the award-winning novel by local author Jason Reynolds… Growing up, Will’s big brother taught him three iron-clad rules of how to behave when gun violence claims someone close: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So when his brother is himself gunned down, Will is determined to follow the code and gets in the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building, armed and ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. What happens on the way down is an emotional hip-hop journey through the cycles of violence that have plagued Will’s family and too many others. Rated PG.

The Matchbox Magic Flute
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through June 16
Admission: $35-119

A brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Pride Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Pride with your chosen family at SAAM. Start the day with a performance by DC’s Different Drummers, followed by GenOUT, the youth chorus of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. Then move your body to the Brazilian beats of Batalá Washington. Make rainbow-themed crafts, and kids ages 12 and under can get their faces painted. Enjoy special treats from the Courtyard Café and explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt to learn more about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to American art.

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

It’s the NGA’s monthly series that presents activities for all ages the first Saturday of the month.  Little ones can enjoy story time, have their faces painted, and play in a space just for them.  And everyone can get creative with some drop-in art making and sketching, visit the pop-up library, and of course, check out the exhibits.

Black Birders STEAM Day
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Zoological Park to celebrate Black birders, birds, and nature. Participate in bird walks on the National Mall, learn about Black birders and ornithologists, learn how to participate in Black Birders Week activities, and engage in hands-on STEAM lessons guided by Smithsonian educators.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child, $14/adult, free/2 & under

It’s another weekend  of the longest running strawberry festival in Loudoun County. Enjoy lots of fun activities for all ages, including  live music, farm contests, wagon rides, great food, and fun games for the whole fam. As if that’s not enough to keep the everyone entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the jumping pillow, slides, rope swings, mazes, a tractor tire mountain, and animal encounters. Get tickets in advance!

RiverFest & Craft Show
Where: Historic Downtown Occoquan, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This festival celebrates Occoquan’s rich history and heritage on the river. The town will close its streets ad fill up with more than 250 artisans, makers, and creators — and festival-goers can shop for everything from accessories to wood crafts to fine art to children’s items. The Whatever Floats Your Boat Parade on Sunday will showcase decorated river vessels paddling the 1/2-mile along the coastline, and kayaks and paddle boards will also be available to rent for some fun on the river. No admission fee at the gate. There is a shuttle fee is $8 round trip, or 2 for $15. Shuttle passes can be pre-purchased here.

All Aboard…BOAT Tram Day
Where: National Capital Trolley Museum | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 12-3
Admission:

Join the National Capitol Trolley useum for All Aboard! to learn about our boat tram from Blackpool, England. Your admission ticket includes a ride on the boat and participation in a craft activity.

Glover Park Day
Where: Guy Mason Rec Center | Glover Park, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to the annual outdoor festival celebrates the Glover Park neighborhood. Started over 30 years ago, the event has grown over the years to offer the neighborhood a chance to enjoy the outdoors together, spend time with family and friends, listen to good music, and enjoy local businesses and restaurants. Lots of kids’ activities and treats, too.

Family Day: Delicious Deli
Where: Capital Jewish Museum
When: Sunday, 9:30am – 1pm
Admission: Free
Join the Capital Jewish Museum for a morning of creating, learning, and crafting to celebrate the Jewish Deli, family style. Read with children’s book authors Pamela Ehrenberg, Erica Perl, and Alan Silberberg; braid challah with Paula Shoyer; and take action on food insecurity with MAZON. Enjoy specialty crafts, games, and a scavenger hunt to guide even the littlest learners through the Museum. Note that registration for this event does not include tickets to the special exhibition “I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli. You can enjoy these activities on their own or reserve your tickets to the exhibition here.

Planet Maryland
Where: Elm Street Urban Park | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Join this family-fun event that brings together the best of Bethesda’s restaurants and eateries serving up small dishes of cutting-edge and creative plant-based cuisine! With a multicultural array of food choices, there will be something for everyone. Along with the tasty fun, there will be a Kids’ Korner, complete with a Mad Science show, Henna character art, face painting, and environmental DIY crafts; there will be a pie-eating contest, Canine Courtyard, Bier Garten, giveaways, music, and more.

World Heritage Festival
Where: Veterans Plaza | Silver Spring, MD
When: Sunday, 1-7pm
Admission: Free

Explore cultures across the globe at the World Heritage Festival. Taste delicious ethnic food, while getting refreshed with a scoop of ice cream, shaved ice, or even a fresh smoothie. Enjoy a beautiful cultural performance and shop from more than 60 vendors displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between. Other vendors include area nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs, and local businesses. A kids zone will have activities and games throughout the day.

Reap the Fruits (& Veggies)
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Strawberries, cherries, even spinach are ripe and ready for harvest, and many area farms welcome guests to come PYO. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* It’s going to be a perfect weekend for this.
* There will be some road closures in Arlington this weekend for the Armed Forces Cycling Classic.
* The National Zoo will welcome new pandas later this year!
* The National Gallery of Art introduced a new Paint & Play feature on their website — a fun activity to keep in mind for kids this summer!
* 28 books to read this summer.
* Excellent, affordable dining options in the DC area.
* Spruce up your outdoor spaces… so many good deals to help with that. We have and love this set.
* Also recommend this mosquito repeller.
* Such a pretty “mom of graduate” (or other summer occasion) dress.
* Love this DC graduation gift Owen received from a friend.
* Deciphering your daughter’s “MOM” texts. (I feel this.)
* Best graduation speeches that everyone should hear.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: May 24-27

Statues honoring every branch of the military at National Harbor

 

Happy Long Weekend!

Find ideas for ongoing local fun in these go-to posts:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Unofficial Summer
Where: Throughout the DC area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

The season may not be official on the calendar, but summer fun has begun, and much more starts this weekend!  Jump in at an outdoor pool, enjoy music in the fresh air, play in the sprays, see a movie under the stars, paddle local waterways, see a special exhibit, and pursue even more seasonal joys. The 2024 KFDC Guide to Summer Around the DC Area has the scoop on where and when to experience it all.

Jump In, DC!
Where: Anacostia Pool | Anacostia, DC
When: Friday, 3pm
Admission: Free

As outdoor pool season is about to begin, join Mayor Bowser and DCDPR for their annual pool party and celebration. Enjoy free food, giveaways, and the first splash of the summer! The rest of DC’s public pools will open on Saturday.

The Spirit of Women’s Soccer
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $15
Washington Spirit, our local women’s pro soccer team, are playing at Audi Field on Friday evening against Seattle Reign. Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting our home team and women in sports. Plan for a pre- match  meal nearby — see my recs for family-friendly spots in the area.

Big Bounce America
Where: Rosecroft Raceway | Fort Washington, MD
When: Starting Saturday – June 9
Admission: Starts at $22

Boing! Big Bounce America, the world’s largest bounce house, is returning to the DC area starting this weekend. The biggest touring inflatable event includes four massive inflatable attractions: the newly expanded 24,000-square foot World’s Largest Bounce House; Sport Slam featuring a customized sports arena; the brand-new deep sea foam party inflatable OctoBlast; the 900-foot-long obstacle course named The Giant; and a unique, space-themed wonderland called airSPACE.  Three-hour sessions for varying age groups — 3 & under, 7 & under, 15 & under, and 16 & older — are $22 for the youngest group, $38 for older kids, and $48 for 16+. Reserve tickets here.

Pixar Putt
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Starting Saturday (through August 3)
Admission: $32/child, $34/adult, $108/family 4-pack

Play some putt-putt at The Wharf! Pixar Putt, a mini golf course inspired by the stories, characters, and icons from some of Pixar’s most beloved films, is popping up at the southwest waterfront from March 25 to August 3. Note that tee times are age 18+ after 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tour Memorials on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

On Memorial Day Weekend, pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for our country by visiting the memorials on the National Mall that honor them.  A loop of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial including the nearby Vietnam Women’s MemorialKorean War Veterans Memorial, and WWII Memorial makes for a good walk.  On Monday, there will be a Memorial Day observance at the Wall at 1pm and at the Korean Memorial at 4:45pm.

Nats vs Mariners
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $16 

The Nats are home for a weekend series hosting the Mariners. Catch a game on Friday at 6:45pm, Saturday at 4:05pm, or Sunday at 1:35pm. There will be a Lane “Train” bobblehead giveaway on Saturday, plus there are all kinds of ongoing cool offerings for kids — see them all here!

ViVa! Vienna!
Where: Historic Downtown Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

Join the family and community oriented celebration of Memorial Day and the greater Vienna Community spirit. Amusement rides, food, crafts, vendors, and entertainment will be part of the all-ages fun. Even better, 100% of proceeds go to charitable, community, and humanitarian organizations.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

While you’re at ViVa Vienna, stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose

Vamos United!
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary (look for a deal)
DC United is home this weekend, and there’s a match against Chicago on Saturday evening. As always, I recommend taking public transportation as parking can be difficult, especially when the Nats are also playing. Take Metro to the Navy Yard and plan to walk from there (and maybe grab dinner before the match) — see my recs for family-friendly spots in the area.

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.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday,, 11am & 2pm 
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)
It’s the last weekend to see this production…   Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style.

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $49-169 (look for discount)

The clown Mauro envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in each of us. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

The Matchbox Magic Flute
Where: Klein Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through June 16
Admission: $35-119

A brand new theatrical adaptation of Mozart’s beloved opera. Playful and imaginative, it’s big music in a small space. This “matchbox” presentation of The Matchbox Magic Flute features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of five following the fantastic adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina. With dragons, a man who is a bird, trials by fire and water, and underground corridors, Day and Night do battle.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child, $14/adult, free/2 & under

It’s weekend #2 of the longest running strawberry festival in Loudoun County takes place this weekend and next, rain or shine. Get ready for lots of fun activities for all ages, including  live music, farm contests, wagon rides, great food, and fun games for the whole fam. As if that’s not enough to keep the everyone entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the jumping pillow, slides, rope swings, mazes, a tractor tire mountain, and animal encounters. Get tickets in advance!

Take Your Pick
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

There’s even more strawberries activity to enjoy as the fruits are are ripe and ready for harvest, and many area farms welcome guests to come pick their own. Check out this post for some of the best places to go. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Flowers of Remembrance Day
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

In honor of Memorial Day and those who have sacrificed for our country, members of the public are invited to place a flower at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Flowers will be provided (do not bring your own), and visitors will also have an opportunity to place a flower on headstones throughout the cemetery.

Salute to Service
Where: Theater at MGM | National Harbor, MD
When: Sunday, 7:30-9pm
Admission: Free
The United States Air Force Band is playing a special Memorial Day concert on Sunday. They will perform alongside famed duo The War and Treaty, a husband-and-wife team who blend soul, country, and gospel influences in their music.  All ages are welcome to enjoy this free concert!

National Memorial Day Concert
Where: West lawn of the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 8-9:30pm, gates open at 5pm
(or Saturday for the dress rehearsal)
Admission: Free

Why watch on TV when you can be there in person? Yes, the public is once again welcome to the National Memorial Day Concert! Taking place on the west lawn of the Capitol on Sunday from 8 – 9:30pm, the concert will be hosted by  Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinese, and an all-star line-up of artists will join the National Symphony Orchestra and several military music ensembles in honoring those who have served and sacrificed. If you’re planning to go, the FAQ page on the concert website is worth a read. KFDC Tip: If you can’t make Sunday’s show or don’t want to deal with the crowds, Saturday’s dress rehearsal is also always open to the public — gates open at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm.

Memorial Day Observance
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Monday, 10:30am
Admission: Free

Observe the holiday at one of the most iconic spots to honor those who have served — special Memorial Day remembrance events ae once again open to the public. A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30am, and a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11am followed by an observance program in the amphitheater. Space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure access to these events and should plan to be seated no later than 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery here.

National Memorial Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th St | Downtown DC
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Free

The annual National Memorial Day Parade celebrates and honors American veterans with a grand procession through the city. Get a curbside view of military units and vehicles, marching bands, flag teams, and hundreds of veterans as they travel up Constitution Avenue.

Notes of Remembrance
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Monday, 5pm
Admission: Free

ON Memorial Day, buglers stationed at 11 sites across the National Mall and surrounding areas will play a coordinated “Taps” performance. The a bugle song is one of remembrance for servicemembers traditionally played by the U.S. Armed Forces. The public is invited to share in the event — see the locations where it will take place here.

Hike+
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Enjoy a family hike — then extend (and elevate) the day with some some snacks (or a whole meal) and sips after.  A few awesome combos for that: Sky Meadows State Park and Barrel Oak Winery. Sugarloaf Mountain and The Comus Inn or Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard.  Great Falls (MD side) and The Old Angler’s Inn.  Patapsco Valley State Park and the Guinness BreweryPatuxent River State Park and Waredaca Brewery.  See a whole post with info for all of them here.

Disc Golfin’
Where: Courses around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Hit the links, the chain links, that is! Disc golf is a great way to enjoy a nice spring day outdoors with the family. Not only is it fun and challenging, the courses, many of them set up in scenic places, are lovely this time of year. This post has info about our fave in College Park, and there are also great courses at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Patapsco Valley State Park near Baltimore, and Burke Lake Park in Burke, VA.

Feeling Crabby?
Where: Eastern Shore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Depends on how much you order!

Kick off summer is with one of the area’s best offerings: Blue crabs!  Enjoying the seasonal treat at a waterfront crab house is a bonus. Cantler’s in Annapolis is an institution, and Mike’s Crab House in Riva is popular with delicious crabs, gorgeous scenery, and a great outdoor waiting area if tables aren’t immediately available. Kentmorr on Kent Island has a great beach scene. And you can find even more recommendations for getting crabby in the Summer Guide.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The current forecast indicates a lot of rain this weekend, so a few posts to keep in your back pocket: The Great Indoors list, ideas for fun and games inside, the round-up of off-the-beaten-path museums in DC, and one of museums in MD & VA.
* The Folger Shakespeare Theatre is reopening on June 21 after being closed for several years’ renovation — and timed-entry tickets to visit can be reserved now!
* Where to eat and drink in DC this Memorial Day weekend.
* The most anticipated movies of the summer, according to Washington Post.
* And this one is now streaming, and it’s really good!
* Some great sales going on: 30% off at adidas (cool kids’ slides), up to 60% off at West Elm (pretty pillows), 20% off shorts & swim at H&M (the cutest kids wear), 40% off sale at Anthro (perfect summer dress), 30% off at Backcountry (great blankets), and up to 40% off at Container Store.
* Perfect for the beach (and beyond) — and on major sale. Throw some of these in, too. And find many more awesome steals in Amazon’s Memorial Day Sale.
* A really great listen this week.
* Shared some news 🥰

 

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Filed under DC, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: May 17-19

See Chihuahuas run at the Wharf on Sunday

 

Happy Weekend!

Backpocket KFDC posts full of ideas for fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

“Summer” Fun
Where: Throughout the DC area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

It may not be official on the calendar, but “summer” is underway! Spray play, outdoor concerts, movies under the stars, and more ongoing seasonal treats have begun around DC. Start the weekend with free music at Bethesda’s summer concert series. Play at a splash park. Go paddling, see a special exhibit, or just plan ahead for seasonal fun. The 2024 KFDC Guide to Summer Around the DC Area has the scoop on where and when you can get summer started early — and plan for even more!

It’s All Greek to You
Where: Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Saint Sophia’s annual festival brings the best of Greek food, drink and culture to DC. Festival goers can sample dishes from the Greek Cuzina made fresh and daily across the weekend. A variety of children’s games and activities will delight young guests. A marketplace will showcase wares like jewelry, pottery and home goods ,and more. And every evening under the stars (and 2pm on Sunday), enjoy live Greek music played by local musicians — all are welcome to join in and dance… Opa!  It’s a super fun fest — we’ve been several times! Saint Sophia is located at 2815 36th St & Mass. Ave. NW.

Dragon Boat Festival
Where: Thompson Boat House | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm [Rain Date: June 15]
Admission: Free

The annual DC Dragon Boat Festival is back  for its 21st year — its’s an experience for athletes and spectators alike! The family-friendly event features the best premier and local dragon boat teams from along the east coast racing in multiple distances over the course of the day. The public is welcome to watch this unique event for free, and there are usually cultural activities to enjoy, too.

Gaithersburg Book Festival
Where: Bohrer Park | Gaithersburg, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The City of Gaithersburg welcomes you to their annual literary event! Festivities will include the chance to see and meet some of the world’s best writers, from best-sellers to acclaimed up-and-comers; join in literary workshops; and a full day of fun at the Children’s Village. Bohrer Park is located at 506 S. Frederick Avenue.

Fiesta Asia Street Fair
Where: Entrance at 400 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Asian heritage at the annual street fair presented by the Asia Heritage Foundation and Passport DC. This showcase of Asian art and culture will include music and dance performances, martial arts demos, a parade, yummy food, a marketplace, hands-on activities, and more.  While admission is free, be prepared to spend on food and in the marketplace. Reserve free tickets here.

Korean Bell Garden Annual Celebration
Where: Meadowlark Botanical Garden | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday: 11am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free from 10am – 12pm
Head to the beautiful Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to celebrate Korean culture in the lovely Korean Bell Garden. This free festive celebration will feature traditional Korean dance performances, music, a Tae Kwon Do demonstration, beautiful traditional Korean clothing, Korean games, delicious complimentary Korean food, and the ringing of the 6,000 pound Korean bell.

Truck Day
Where: MCDOT Truck Depot and Salt Barn | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is kicking off “Public Works Week” with Truck Day. The free, family-friendly event welcomes the community for a hands-on exploration of the many first-response, construction, and transportation vehicles that make the county run. Climb aboard a bucket truck, tractor, semi-truck, and bus. The event also will feature first responder vehicles and a fire engine, plus a chance to meet the essential workers who operate them. The Truck Depot and Salt Barn is located at 17000 Crabbs Branch Way in Gaithersburg.

Walk the Museum Walk
Where: Dupont-Kalorama Neighborhoods, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Get off the Mall and explore the many museums in the Dupont-Kalorama neighborhood during the annual Museum Walk Weekend.  See the exhibits and enjoy special programs for free at several diverse museums, including The Phillips Collection, Dumbarton House, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, American Revolution Institute, O Street Museum in the Mansion, Dupont Underground, and the President Woodrow Wilson House.

Spring Fling: A Villgae Block Party
Where: The Village at Shirlington | Shirlington, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of Shirlington’s 3rd annual event.Stroll through streets and browse the pop-up Makers Market,join in on sports and games, enjoy live performances, and indulge in a variety of eats and treats. There will be activities especially for kids, too.

Bourbon & Bluegrass
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: $50-70/adult, $35/age 7-17, free/6 & under

The rollicking annual fundraiser is back for its 9th year!  Featuring an extraordinary line up of music, bourbon and beer tastings, and fun activities for the whole family, this is an event you don’t want to miss. Lounge on Lincoln’s lawn, sip bourbon, and enjoy lots of live bluegrass music.  Two-day passes are also available.

Loudoun Spring Farm Tour
Where: Farms around Loudoun County, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Enjoy over 40 local farm stops full of delicious produce, cute animals, farm demonstrations, and fun & educational programs.  Visit the website for a map of the locations and more info on each one.

KidStory Theatre Festival
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

All year long, InterAct Story Theatre artists create stories with kids and invite them to share their epic tales. This May, they’ve chosen some of their favorites from over the years and present a series of short plays and stories performed by InterActors. Best for ages 5 and up.

Old Town Festival of Speed & Style
Where: King Street | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

View dozens of rare and exotic cars up close, made famous by their speed, performance and elegance. This will be enhanced by a presentation of style, fashion and live music provided by over 40 local merchants. The Old Town Festival of Speed & Style highlights the unique offerings of the Old Town community –​ history, architecture, great food, fabulous people, art, style, energy. All proceeds benefit ALIVE! and Community Lodgings.

Mister G Concert at the JxJ Festival
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am
Admission: $18/age 13+, $16/students, free/12 & under

MISTER G, the GRAMMY Award winning artist, author and educator will be performing songs from his PJ Library-commissioned albums, The Mitzvah Bus and Seeds of Shalom. Following the concert, MISTER G will be signing copies of his books, including his PJ Library book, Lilah Tov Good Night. Meet him before the show at 10am for crafts and snacks and to connect with other families! Ben Gundersheimer is hailed as “a bilingual rock star” by The Washington Post and is acclaimed as one of the most widely distributed Jewish artists for children across North America. His dynamic, interactive bilingual performances aim to dissolve borders and foster cross-cultural connections.

Strawberry Jubilee
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child, $14/adult, free/2 & under

The longest running strawberry festival in Loudoun County takes place this weekend and next, rain or shine. Get ready for lots of fun activities for all ages, including  live music, farm contests, wagon rides, great food, and fun games for the whole fam. As if that’s not enough to keep the everyone entertained for the day, there’s also the five-acre play area, complete with the jumping pillow, slides, rope swings, mazes, a tractor tire mountain, and animal encounters. Get tickets in advance!

Tee Up for Sunday at Swingers
Where: Swingers | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Mini golf starts at $21
The crazy golf club in Dupont Circle has just started welcoming kids and families for mini golf fun on Sundays before 6pm! Enjoy a great day out putting on their indoors courses, savoring bites and treats, and enjoying more entertainment. Cocktails for parents are also available. Learn more about the new family option here!

Running of the Chihuahuas
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Rescheduled from a couple of weeks ago..  The Wharf’s 12th Annual Running of the Chihuahuas will include live music, family fun, cold Pacifico beer, and of course, the highlight of the afternoon, chihuahuas racing for fame and fun!  It’s family and pet-friendly event — all dogs are welcome, though only chihuahuas can race. If you don’t have a dog yet, keep an eye out for your forever furry friend during the Adoptable Dog Parade that takes place between the Chihuahua races. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Hill Family Biking: Kingman Island Ride
Where: Capitol Hill to Kingman Island, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free
Join Hill Family Biking on Sunday for a family friendly ride to Kingman Island for picnics (BYOP), free play in a safe car-free area, and kid-friendly live music from The Grandsons Jr. The ride will start at 4pm from Stanton Park, and an informal return ride to Lincoln Park will roll back around 6pm.

Alice in Wonderland…on Strings
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm | Sunday, 11am
Tickets: $25 (look for discount)
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style.

Jesus Christ Superstar
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $44-139 (look for a deal)

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, a new mesmerizing production of the iconic musical phenomenon returns to the stage. Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Appealing to both theater audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring. Recommended for ages 10+.

Cirque du Soleil – Corteo
Where: Eagle Bank Arena | Fairfax, VA
When: Through May 25
Admission: $49-169 (look for a deal)

The clown Mauro envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in each of us. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

Pick Your Own
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Strawberries and a few veggies are ripe and ready for harvest, and several area farms are now welcoming guests to pick their own. This post has a round-up of where to go.  It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Hikes You’ll Like
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Getting out for a walk in the woods is a great way to enjoy some family time on the weekend. Given the hot weather on the way, you’ll probably want to opt for spots that offer good shade. Some places to find it: Scott’s Run Nature PreserveDumbarton Oaks ParkPrince William Forest ParkRock Creek Park.  Find even more places to hike here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Looking for family getaway ideas for the summer? Here are some good ones!
Along with the brand new guide to summer in DC , this round-up of swim spots in the region is a good one to bookmark now.
* Excited to check out some of Eater DC’s recs for worth the-drive crab houses in Maryland! (There are a bunch in the KFDC Summer Guide, too.)
* As you’re prepping for summer travel, I highly recommended these. We keep them in all of our checked bags (and one on our dog’s collar).
* Love the sleek design of this rolling ice chest (ie, fancy cooler).
* For those of you who also have seniors:  The 27 best high school graduation gifts.  (I’m also going to send mine off to college with one of these 😊)
* Amazon’s big Memorial Day Sale starts Friday.
* According to this, I’m a complainy Cross Fit freak who’s a minor feminist icon. You? 😂

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: May 10-12

 

Happy Weekend!  And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Go-to posts packed with ideas for ongoing fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Celebrate Mom
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re still in need of plans to celebrate Mother’s Day, there are plenty of last-minute ways to make the occasion special. This round-up has ideas ranging from fairly mellow to very active, totally free to a total splurge – there’s sure to be something to make every mom’s day.

Drive-In Movie: Grease
Where: Union Market | Northeast, DC
When: Friday, 8:15pm (lot opens 7:30pm)
Admission: $20/car, walk-ups are free

Catch an outdoor screening of Grease at this season’s first installment of Union Market’s Drive-In Movie Series. Watch the film from the comfort of your car (or walk up and sit in the fresh air) in the UM parking lot. Get there early to enjoy delicious foods from market vendors! The lot opens at 7:30pm and the film begins at 8:20pm. Advance purchase is recommended.

Bonsai Festival
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free
See the tiny trees at one of the prettiest places in the city this weekend. Each day features demonstrations, exhibits, vendors, and the renowned collection of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. While you’re at the Arboretum, be sure to see the beautiful, blooming azaleas, too! Read more about the Arboretum here and here.

White House Spring Garden Tours
Where: White House Grounds | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Here’s a chance to see the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn at the White House. 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. Go here for more details and info on how to get tickets.

Free Museum Admission (to one that usually charges)
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

This Saturday, all of the exhibits at the National Building Museum will be free to visit!  Kids will especially enjoy Building Stories, which highlights building, engineering, and design through children’s books.  They’ll also love Brick City, showcasing re-creations of iconic architecture all constructed from LEGO bricks, plus there are opportunities to build their own masterpieces.  From 10am – 12pm, ages 4-9 can join a Builders Reading Club Meeting.  A Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit is also on view right now.

EU Open House
Where: EU Embassies | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Avoid the hefty airfare and jet lag and explore the Continent from this side of the pond. Join European Union embassies and the EU Delegation for a day of international culture. Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the embassies, some of which are among Washington’s historic and architectural treasures, and savor their cultures while you’re there through art, performances, cuisines, and more. Get an idea of what to expect in this post about one of our experiences at an Around the World Embassy Tour.

Family Day: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

Join a special Family Day featuring stories from the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the Library’s collections. Planned activities include a chance to creatively share your own family histories and experiences, join a mask-making workshop, and more.

Little Critters: Nature Play
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with creative, drop-in play at the Zoo! Migrating birds are journeying north for the summer, so there will be engaging activities like feather painting, nest weaving, and bird-seed sensory play at the Zoo’s ongoing Little Critters Nature Play program. Designed for ages 0-5 and their caregivers and families, activities have early learners in mind, but all ages are welcome.

Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, DC
Where: 1521 20th St. NW | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

At this outdoor market in Dupont Circle, over 100 young entrepreneurs ages 6-14 will be selling handmade products including homemade soap, original jewelry, marbled note cards, baked sweet treats, and more. It’s a fun event for the whole family!

Family Day: National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Where: National Museum of the Marine Corps | Triangle, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ Education Department during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month to learn about what it takes to become a Marine as well as the Marine Corps fitness standards. Participants will even be able to test themselves against the Marine Corps fitness standards to see how they would do!

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm | Sunday, 11am
Tickets: $25
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style. T

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Strawberry Fields…this Weekend
Where: Farms around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Strawberries are ripe and ready for harvest — several area farms are now welcoming guests to pick their own. It’s always a good idea to check websites or call ahead to confirm availability the day you plan to go. Sunscreen and hat also recommended.

Weekend Workshops
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to do some art making! All ages are welcome to get creative at Weekend Workshops. Learn about artists and changemakers, then create art inspired by their stories. Of course, explore the whole museum while you’re there. See more about the National Portrait Gallery here.

Swing into Mother’s Day
Where: Swingers | Dupont Circle
When: Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Tickets start at $21

Swingers, the crazy indoor golf club that has been a destination for just adults, will start welcoming kids and families before 6pm on Sundays — starting this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day. Putt through the fun course, enjoy some yummy street food and drinks, and have a blast. Along with the mini golf fun, all moms will be gifted a complimentary glass of bubbles!

Charm City Fun, Hon!
Where: Around Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Not only is it nice to get a change of metro area scenery sometimes, Baltimore, our sister city just a 45-minute drive away, is full of fantastic, family-friendly things to do. This post has info about all of them, including big attractions, suggestions for places to eat, and neighborhoods to explore.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Hours vary by museum
Admission: Varies by museum

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.

Inside Action
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

There’s rain in the forecast, so you may be looking for places to be indoors, but want some active fun or something with an engaging mission.  From pickleball and roller skating to tennis and ping pong to escape rooms and scavenger hunts to an indoor waterpark, this post shares all kinds of ways to get your fun and game on.

Museums Beyond DC
Where: Museums in MD & VA
When: Hours vary by museum
Admission: Varies by museum

While DC is known for its legion of museums, there are even more beyond the District lines that are great to explore with kids. Explore Air & Space in Chantilly and aviation in College Park, see dinos and more cool science in Baltimore.  This post has a round-up of museums in Maryland and Northern Virginia to add to your family’s activity mix.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Ideas for “me” time on Mother’s Day.
* And for “me” time on Saturday, the That’s So Vintage Market at Union Market sounds fun.
* Recipes for Mother’s Day treats.
* Eater DC’s round-up of 15 Fabulous Bloody Marys Around D.C. could come in handy for Sunday plans.
* Just started reading this novel and really enjoying it so far.
* So many cute things on sale from the sweetest kids clothing brand.
* How pretty are these sparkly strappy sandals? This simple but statement-y red pair, too.
* What I want for Mother’s Day. 😅

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
April 26-28

Celebrate the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park

 

Happy Weekend!

Link up to ideas galore for local fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Baltimore with Kids
* Bike Rides
* Paddling Options
* Stunning Spaces
* Peaceful Places

Bon Jour, Georgetown!
Where: Book Hill Neighborhood | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 10am – 5pm | Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The Georgetown French Market returns to the Book Hill area of the neighborhood, bringing the signature European open air market back for its 21st year.  More than 40 Georgetown boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, galleries, and more will be featured. But it’s not all about the shopping!  There will also be strolling mimes, hands-on activities, live music, plus French cuisine from Georgetown cafes and restaurants. Visit the website to see the schedule of events and list of participating shops.

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

Kick off the weekend with a family-friendly evening filled with live music 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. Beer, wine, and cheese & pepperoni pizza will be available for purchase.

Earth Day Movie Night: Elemental
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 8-10pm
Admission: Free (or suggested $5 donation)

Elements are what makes the earth, earth! Join The Yards for a screening of Pixar’s Elemental on The Sundeck. See how much the elements have in common with an adventure through Element City to celebrate Earth Day. Make it a picnic under the stars — stop by one of the restaurants and pick up dinner to-go to enjoy on The Sundeck. Don’t forget your blankets and chairs! For dessert, enjoy a sweet treat with Ice Cream Jubilee’s onsite scoops and deluxe topping bar.

Caps vs. Rangers
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm & Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for more options)

Caps are playing Game 3 of this Play Off round at home — and hopefully there will be a Game 4, too.  Make a longer outing of it in Penn Quarter and get a bite to eat at one of the family-friendly restaurants in the area.  And maybe pop in to the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum which are right across th estreet from Capitol One Arena and open until 7pm.

We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $10

Cheer on our local women’s pro soccer team on Friday evening as the Washington Spirit host Orlando Pride. Enjoy some amazing soccer play while supporting our home team and women in sports. Plan for a pre-match meal nearby — see some recs for family-friendly spots to eat in that area.

Carousel Day
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free (carousel rides cost a fee)

This annual tradition is one of Glen Echo Park’s most popular festivals,  celebrating the beautiful historic Dentzel Carousel spinning for 103 years!  Along with rides on the beloved merry-go-round, guests of all ages can enjoy loads of fun activities: music and dance performances, arts & crafts, artist studios and galleries, and much more. See the day’s full details here.

Go, Terps!
Where: University of Maryland | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The annual Maryland Day celebration in College Park gets a giant thumbs-up from me, and not just because it’s my alma mater. This is a fantastic event for families — and we know from experience. Every year, the University hosts a huge open house for, well, everybody. There will be hundreds of family-friendly activities for varying ages, including learning games; a sports and rec area; musical performances; arts & crafts; farm animal visits; fossil digs; insect and instrument petting zoos; and TONS more. It’s spread out all over campus — and it’s a huge campus, so be prepared for lots of walking (worth every step!) and be sure to bring a stroller for little ones.

Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday, 7pm | Saturday & Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $25 (look for discount)
Journey into the Appalachian Mountains in this award-winning musical that deftly weaves four traditional tales and original music into a keepsake quilt of mountain lore and wisdom for the whole family. Jack who lands himself a job despite his foolishness. “Catskins” is a spunky Appalachian Cinderella. “The Enchanted Tree” is a beauty-and-the-beast love story between a lost girl and a frightening crow. And in a zany, sung-through “Sow and Her Three Pigs” plucky Nancy the pig outsmarts the hungry fox. This play with music incorporates singing, mountain dances, music, and puppets to create a highly theatrical storytelling style.

Saturday Morning Live!: Off the Page
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free

The National Theatre’s free program presents shows for children on select Saturday mornings, from interactive performances, puppets, dance, and music – all designed to light up imaginations and celebrate a world of wonder. This month celebrates the magic of books… they can transport us to new worlds; illustrations and entire adventures can lift right off the page. When an imaginative young child dives into a book, the stories come to life around them. Through dance, music, puppetry, and vibrant imagery, this world premiere production will literally unfold before your eyes!

Garden Fair & Plant Sale
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Join Friends of the National Arboretum for the annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale.  Celebrate spring with a fantastic array of plants, expert gardening advice, dozens of local vendors, and free outdoor activities for all ages.  Be sure to explore the vast grounds while you’re there, and don’t miss the gorgeous azalea bloom! Go here for scenes from a past bloom. And read more about the Arb  — it’s one of my very favorite spots in DC — herehere, and here.

Do the Loop
Where: Around Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a day of free indoor and outdoor arts programming in collaboration with several wonderful museums and other places in DC, including Dumbarton Oaks, the Katzen Museum, Jackson Art Center, Kreeger Museum and galleries on Georgetown’s Book Hill. Each organization has their own exciting activities including performances, art openings, food trucks, and more. Visit the website for the full schedule and details. No tickets or reservations needed.

Spring Festival
Where: South Mountain Creamery | Middletown, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual festival is super fun and a great opportunity to experience the farm and creamery. There’s a petting zoo for the kids, hay rides for everyone, live music, corn hole, civil war reenactments, and fun farm demos, like ice cream churning and bee keeping. Shop the Farmer’s Market, plus additional food and snacks from vendors will be available for purchase.

Book It in DC
Where: Bookstores in the DC area
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, and several local book shops are celebrating with special activities. East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill will have  in-store flash sales, activities for all ages, giveaways, and more. Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle will be offering Blind Date with a Book — receive a surprise book for every $75 you spend at the bookstore — and hiding golden 20% off tickets in the store. And some other local indie stores to shop:  Capitol Hill BooksSolid State BooksPolitics and ProseLoyalty Bookstores, and Busboys and Poets.

NoVa Bookstore Crawl
Where: Bookstores Around Northern Virginia
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day beyond the District, join the NoVa Bookstore Crawl. Fifteen independent bookstores across Northern Virginia, Frederick, MD, and Wardensville, WV are partnering on a special Passport program. Book lovers can explore more of the region’s growing bookstore scene and enjoy special festivities at most of the shops.

Garden Fair & Plant Sale
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Join Friends of the National Arboretum for the annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale. Celebrate spring with a fantastic array of plants, expert gardening advice, dozens of local vendors, and free outdoor activities for all ages.  Be sure to explore the vast grounds while you’re there, and don’t miss the gorgeous azalea bloom! Go here for scenes from a past bloom. And read more about the Arb  — it’s one of my very favorite spots in DC — herehere, and here.

Art Cart: Cherry Blossoms You Can Wear
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of spring, join the Hirshhorn for a blossom-inspired Art Cart. Take a close look at artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Two Circles, and explore nature-inspired books and materials to make our own blossom-inspired artworks. Find the Art Cart on the Plaza, and pick up your blooming materials.

Mmmm…Chocolate
Where: La Maison Française | Foxhall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: $24/ages 12+ (free for kids under 12)

The DC Chocolate Festival is a celebration of artisan and fine chocolate from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond! The event brings together over 30 chocolate vendors and thousands of chocolate lovers for a day of tasting, talking, and learning. The session looks like the better pick for families & kids, with hot chocolate making demo and tasting (though the whole event is family-friendly).

STAR Fest
Where: MLK Library | Penn Quarter, DC

When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free
DC Public Library’s Books from Birth program, which gives all DC children a free book a month from birth to age 5, presents this free family festival at the wonderful MLK Memorial Library. The event features sing stations, imaginative play experiences, story times, interactive writing/scribbling activities, and much more. Read more about Books from Birth here and MLK Library here.

Alice in Wonderland
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am & 1pm
Admission: $15

This brand new adaptation based on the beloved children’s novel by Lewis Carroll will take the audience on a delightful journey into wonderland using rod puppets. This one-of-a-kind performance blends music and humor to create a new version of a familiar story. Recommended for ages 4+.

Islander: A New Musical
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through April 28
Admission: $55-91 (look for discount)

Islander tells a modern myth featuring two actors who use live mixing and looping technology to create a sonic landscape as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Eilidh is the only child on Kinnan Island, where most of the dwindling population has moved to the “Big Land.” The government has proposed to resettle the rest, and the town must vote soon on whether or not to accept the offer. But the day after a baby whale beaches itself, Eilidh discovers a young girl named Arran along the shore, who seems straight out of Scottish folklore. As the two form a friendship, Islander takes audiences on a magical journey to transcend loss, recover hope, and find community. Rated G for all families.

Brick Fest Live
Where: PG Sports & Learning Complex | Landover, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $20-40 (look for discount)

The nation’s largest LEGO Fan Festival brings together enthusiasts from across the country to showcase their amazing brick constructions, from tiny intricate works to elaborate, towering creations. Hundreds of exhibitors will be there to display their designs, along with vendors selling all things LEGO. Other activities will include live interactive stage shows, LEGO building, life-style models, games, and photo ops.

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

Challenge your Senses at the Old Firehouse! This unique and fun event, supporting Autism Awareness Month, will provide ALL who attend a sensory exploration through taste, smell, sound, sight and touch. This event is free and open to ALL.

Hill Family Biking: Anniversary Ride!
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Join a Hill Family Biking to celebrate its 1-year anniversary with a 4.5 mile ride along the new Potomac Ave and 19th St bike lanes and a block party in front of Maury Elementary. All are welcome at the block party whether or not you participate in the ride to enjoy music, face painting, food trucks, a kids’ bike course, chalk art, and special guest appearances. Think of the block party as a mini Open Streets with participation from organizations like WABA, Girls in Gear, DC Public Library, Throne Labs (yes, a working bathroom on site!), goDCgo, Capital Bikeshare and more! The ride start in the Maury Elementary Parking Lot on 12th Pl NE and ends at the block party on the 200 block of 13th St NE.

Good Morning, El Salvador | Buenos Días, El Salvador
Where: Takoma Park Maryland Library
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Enjoy a trilingual play in Nawat, español, and English, featuring puppets and live music! And a celebration of Día: Children’s Day/Book Day! Yek Peyna Guxgatan is a heartwarming story about a Salvadoran-American grandchild visiting their grandmother in El Salvador for the first time, and discovering their Indigenous history and language through song.

Porchfest
Where: Around Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 2-8pm
Admission: Free

Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches around Petworth are transformed into intimate performance spaces to be enjoyed by anyone who happens to stroll by. Featuring dozens of bands, the event celebrate the arts and the community. Performances will beon porches 2-6pm and on a main stage 6-8pm.  Access a schedule and map of porch locations here.

DC United vs Seattle Sounders FC
Where: Audi Field | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Tickets start at $27 (look for deal)

DC United is playing at home on Saturday evening, hosting Seattle. The club is partnering with Audi of America for Sustainability Night to support and encourage environmentally friendly practices and more sustainable lifestyles. Fans will also have the opportunity to learn more and connect with nonprofit organizations focused on sustainable efforts in our community. As always, I recommend taking public transportation to the Navy Yard neighborhood and walking to Audi Field from there. You can grab a bite to eat before — see some kid-friendly recommendations in the area.

Family Funday with The Great Zucchini
Where: Hook Hall | Petworth, DC
When: April 28, 10:30am
Admission: $5

Select Sundays at Hook Hall are all about FAMILY FUN! Bring the kiddos for entertainment in late April as The Great Zucchini, the DMV’s funniest and most magical entertainer, performs a magic show where every child is a star! Coffee and hot drinks available for purchase for the parents.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new giveaway for a chance to win tickets to Adventure Theatre’s new show Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales!
* The National Children’s Chorus is holding auditions for Fall 2024.
* Washington Post picks 5 of the best new food halls in the DC area.
* Very excited about this store opening in DC soon! In the meantime, coveting this pretty blouse.
* Insight for booking a National Park trip this summer.
* Great sale this weekend. Just ordered this, and there are so many great things for kids, too: girls and boys.
* This patio chair looks so cozy.
* And more ideas for small outdoor spaces.
* Play room goals.

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