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Falling for the Weekend

An older photo, but a fall fave

Forgive the corny, cliché title of this post – it’s hard to come up with something clever week after week (not that they ever were that clever…). But trite or not, the reference to autumn is apropos for this roundup of weekend events, as so many of them salute the season.  Of course, there are also recommendations that make no allusion to the time of year. No matter what you and the kids decide to pursue, fall-themed or not, have a great time doing it. Happy Weekend!

Kids Euro Festival Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues from October 14 – November 10.  See what’s on the schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Autumn Colonial Market FairClaude Moore Colonial Farm is holding its annual fair on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4pm both days. Tradesmen and artisans — blacksmiths, potters, silversmiths, candle makers, and more —from all over the country will be there to demo their work and sell their wares.  Guests can also enjoy all kinds of colonial fare and watch as food cooks right over a fire pit, just like olden times. Along with the fair, you can also tour the farm, which is straight out of the 18th-century. Admission to the farm on the Autumn Market Fair weekend is $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for children 2 and under.

Rock Creek Fall Heritage Day at Peirce MillStep back in time somewhere else on Saturday for a day-long celebration marking the re-opening of historic Peirce Mill during Rock Creek Park Heritage Day. Artists, craftspeople, and historians will line the mill yard and grounds, restored to their 1800’s appearance, to bring history alive. Visitors can join them for hands-on demonstrations, while park rangers and historian shed light on what life was like in the 19th century. There will also be tours of the restored mill, which will be grinding grain, as it did more than a century ago. A schedule of the day’s events and more info is available of the NPS website.

Truck TouchKids can pretend to drive a school bus, explore construction rigs, learn about EMS & recycling trucks, and many more vehicles at Suburban Nursery School’s annual Truck Touch. Along with the cool rides, guests can enjoy homemade baked goods and lunch from some favorite local vendors (pizza, ice cream, & hotdogs). It will all take place in the school’s parking lot on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Admission is $5/person, free for children under 2. All programs benefit Suburban Nursery School, a non-profit, parent-run cooperative nursery school for over 50 years.

Pinkalicous and the Pink PumpkinRoom & Board is hosting a special event featuring award-winning author and illustrator Victoria Kann, reading from her latest book Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin. Bring the kids, decorate pumpkins, and enter for a chance to win our kid-sized Jill table and four Little Jake chairs. Books are available for purchase at the event. It all takes place from 11am – 1pm, and the reading begins at noon.  The event is free, RSVP to roomandboard@brandlinkdcrsvp.com.

Taste of GeorgetownIn its 18th year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of 30 of the neighborhood’s finest eateries, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring nearly 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings, the jazz talents of Blues Alley artists, and children’s activities such as caricatures, jugglers, and balloon artists. Wisconsin and M Streets NW is where this will all go down on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Best in ShowsDrumming with Dishes at the Atlas, The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Krazy Kitchen Science at Discovery Theater,  and Saturday Morning at the National are just a few children’s productions you can catch this weekend.  For even more performances, see this post about live entertainment this season.

What’s Grosser than Gross? – The National Geographic Museum’s latest exhibit for kids, “Animal Grossology,” features some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth…and their natural bodily functions. Yes, there’s plenty about poop, puke, and other icky processes all presented through many cool, creative, interactive installments.  Kids will love it (and so will adults). Admission is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that any photography buff or wildlife lover will find mesmerizing.

Fall FestsBurgundy Farm Country Day School and South Mountain Creamery are holding their annual fall festivals this weekend. And many more seasonal celebrations are taking place at local farms and other venues around the area.  See this post for details on all of them.

Family Day in the White House ‘HoodThe Neighbors to the President’s Consortium, a group of historic sites and museums in the White House neighborhood, is hosting a day of activities for families. Activities will include a scavenger hunt at the Renwick Gallery, an art safari at the Corcoran, candle making at the DAR Museum, and more. Detailed activity descriptions are available on the NTPC website.

Hop on the Halloween TrainThe “Eye Spy” Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park rides again! Get on board this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – tickets sales begin at 2pm, and rides are every half hour from 3-8pm. Tickets are $6 person and include “Eye Spy” game card and other activities for kids.

Family Fun Literacy DayThe Play With Words Children’s Museum in Vienna, in partnership with the Vienna Whole Foods Market and PBS Kids, is hosting a Family Fun Literacy Day on Saturday from 12-3pm. Join them, along with the characters from PBS Kids “Super Why” TV show, for a fun afternoon of literacy-related activities, including hands-on activities and a treasure hunt throughout the Vienna Whole Foods store, with prizes for the first 200 children. More information is available on the Play With Words website.

And the forecast is looking great for this weekend, so this post will come in handy if you want to take advantage of the weather:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 

But if indoor pursuits sound like a better plan, you can get some ideas for them here:

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

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Get Out this Weekend

Enjoying the outdoors on the trail

Ah, the great outdoors. Most of us have been avoiding them the last few days, but we’ll soon reconnect as temps return to double digits — and just in time.  There’s an entire day dedicated to celebrating outdoor recreation this weekend, along with many more events and pursuits taking place under the sun. Of course, there’s fun to be had in the AC, too.  Here’s where it’s all happening, outside and in.  Happy Weekend!

National Get Outdoors Day  – All around the country there will be events celebrating the occasion with a day full of activities that encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. The DC-area celebration will take place at Kingman Island from 11am – 3pm on Saturday. The public is invited to try fishing, canoeing, rock climbing, mountain biking, golfing, and much more. There will also be face painting, live music, bird watching, costumed characters, flower planting, GPS activities, and a chance to win cool prizes.  And it’s all free!

Celebrate Fairfax – Northern Virginia’s largest community festival is happening this Friday thru Sunday. Live music, carnival rides, children’s activities, art and food vendors, and much more will keep guests entertained throughout the weekend. For more details, including the musical line-up (The Bangles and Third Eye blind among them), see the Celebrate Fairfax website.  Tickets are $12/adult, $5/youth, free for kids under 2.

Ride Like the Wind  – The annual Air Force Cycling Classic is this Saturday and Sunday, and kids ages 4-9 can get in on the competition, too – there will be special races just for them along with the main event. The Saturday race will take place in Clarendon at 11:30am, and Sunday’s will be held in Crystal City at 11:15am. Multiple heats for different age groups will vary in distance; the older the kids, the further they ride. Participants must bring their own helmets and bikes, and trikes and big wheels are welcome, too.  For details and to register online, visit the Air Force Cycling Classic website.

Pony Express Family DaySaddle up for the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express on at the National Postal Museum on Saturday from 11am – 3pm.  Hit the trail with tall tales, puppets, activities, and more. Admission to the event is free.

Summer RegularsFree concerts, outdoor swimming, garden play, sprayground fun. Activities exclusive to the season can all be enjoyed this weekend. This post has the full scoop on these joys of summer.

Show Time – Be among the first to solve “The Great Dinosaur Mystery” at The Puppet Co.  The Show just opened for its five-week run yesterday.  Find out what else you can see on area stages in this post about the season’s live family entertainment.

More Outdoor OptionsIf you can’t make it to Kingman Island for the official gathering, you can still celebrate the outdoors on your own.  This list will give you some ideas for al fresco fun with the kids.

Kingman Island Bluegrass FestivalA convenient locale of you’re going to the National Outdoors Day event on Saturday — head over to hear the music after the celebration. The free festival starts at 1pm, the bluegrass bands will be playing until 8pm. See the line-up on the Festival website.

Mr. Lincoln’s Air Force Family DayOne hundred and fifty years ago this month, Thaddeus Lowe demonstrated to President Lincoln how a gas-filled balloon might be used to spy on the enemy, thus helping the Union Army and establishing the earliest “air force.”  The Air & Space Museum is marking the anniversary with a day of activities. On Saturday from 10am – 3pm, discover the secrets of espionage through tours and hands-on activities, construct balloons and binoculars, design a Civil War Balloon Corps Patch, and more.

Truck Touch at RFK Kids love these events where they can explore some of the coolest wheels on the road. On Saturday from 9am – 2pm, experience the high-tech equipment and vehicles used to provide vital city services as they climb aboard, work the gears, honk the horn, and have a blast.

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Seize the Weekend

Frolicking at the U.S. National Arboretum

If you’ve been following my posts this week, then you likely are aware that Saturday is jam-packed with options for family activities.  And if you haven’t been keeping up, here’s the quick list of links:

Festival of the Building Arts at the National Building Museum
Truck Touch
Alexandria Arts Safari
ARTdays at CHAW

So, the big question is: What about Sunday? Here are some suggestions for seizing the day — on either half of the weekend:

Apple & Pumpkin Picking
Many of our area farms are still in the midst of apple picking season, and most have pumpkin patches that could be yielding your next jack o’ lantern. For some ideas on where to go, check out this post from a few months back about peach picking; these same farms are onto autumn produce now.

Fall Festivals
I wouldn’t continue recommending these festivals if they weren’t so much fun. And they are a fantastic seasonal tradition for kids. Hop on a hayride, negotiate a corn maze, pick some produce, swoop down slides, and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 24, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual faire. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out the original post about the event.

U.S. National Arboretum
You have nearly 450 acres of amazing plant collections to explore, not to mention a koi pond, the old National Capitol columns, a special orchid exhibit, and more at the Arboretum. Tour the gardens, play in the fields, then spread out a picnic in the Grove of State Trees, the designated eating spot for visitors.

See a Show
Catch a performance at one of several area theatres — Rumplestiltskin at the Kennedy Center, Bunnicula at Imaginations Stage, Spot’s Birthday Party at Adventure Theatre. Check out this post for play descriptions and ticket information.

Take a Hike
The weather couldn’t be more perfect for a family walk in the woods. Here are some ideas on where to hit the trail with the kids.

Happy Weekend!

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend

This Weekend, Mom Has Dibs

On this very special of weekends, there are several kid ventures that moms will enjoy just as much as their babes. (For the stuff that’s geared toward little ones, let dad take the helm, while you go get a mani-pedi.) Here’s a quick run-down of this weekend’s family fun. And to all the moms: Happy Mother’s Day!

National Train Day
Get on board for the 3rd Annual National Train Day. Saturday, May 8, Amtrak is celebrating with a day full of events for train enthusiasts of all ages. From 11am – 4pm, there will be exhibits, activities, and live entertainment throughout Union Station.

Flower Mart
Do some pre-Mother’s Day celebrating with the kids at Flower Mart, an annual spring festival to benefit the gardens and grounds of Washington National Cathedral. There will be plenty for both children and grown-ups to enjoy: an antique carousel, live music, puppet shows, plant & book sales, rides & games, delicious food, and more. This free event is happening Friday, May 7, 10am – 6pm and Saturday, May 8, 10am – 5pm.

EU Embassies Open House
Channel your inner Clark Griswold with this European tour! On Saturday, May 8, Cultural Tourism DC presents “Shortcut to Europe” as part of Passport DC, a month-long celebration of international culture and heritage. Join the Embassies of the European Union for a day of music & dance, art exhibits, childrens activities, food & drink tastings, and more. (Come on, you know you want to don some lederhosen and dance with the best of ’em!) Free shuttle buses with two routes will drop visitors off at various embassies. Visit the website for a full schedule of events.

Garden Fest
The Smithsonian Castle will be buzzing this Saturday, May 8, as Garden Fest brings people and plants together for an annual celebration. Kids will dig the insect release, plant-inspired art activities, stilt walker, tattoo station, and live music by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra. Adults can enjoy the same, plus floricultural demos, gardening book sales and signings, orchid displays, and many other plant and gardening exhibits. The event is from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free.

Space Day
If the National Air & Space Museum ranks high on your kid’s list of favorite places, then take note: Saturday, May 8, is Space Day at the museum. Guests will have the chance to meet astronauts and space experts, communicate with the International Space Station, learn how to build a flyable model rocket, create Lego s…pacecraft, design a satellite, and enjoy more cool astro-related activities. The free event runs from 10am – 3pm.

Truck Touch Silver Spring
If you couldn’t make it to Truck Touch in Cheverly last weekend, you can get in on it this Saturday, May 8, at Silver Spring Nursery School. Construction vehicles, a fire engine, motorcycle, recycling truck, the Book Mobile and more cool vehicles will be open for exploration from 10am – 1pm. Food, live entertainment, facepainting, crafts, and a book fair will also be part of the fun. Admission is $3, kids under 2 are free.

Babies, the Movie
Babies, the documentary that follows the first year of four infants from different parts of the globe, opens this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day. The E Street Cinema is having a Special Rattle and Reel Screening (babies welcome!) on Saturday, May 8, at 10:30am.

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May Day Weekend

You’d think there would be May Day festivals galore this weekend to usher in the new month, yet there seems to be everything but. Which is why kids won’t miss ribbons wrapped around poles—they’ll be too wrapped up in all other kinds of fun. Here’s a round-up of it all, a recap of what’s already been posted here and on Facebook plus a few more happenings to keep on your family activity radar.

Live Music
Several kids music faves are playing this weekend, and you can still score tickets to see all of them. Laurie Berkner will be at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore on Saturday at 2pm (tickets start at $20). Also on Saturday, The Sippy Cups are playing at the National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium at 12pm ($16/adults, $12/children 12 and under). And on Sunday, Dan Zanes and Friends will be at Strathmore in North Bethesda (tickets start at $15).

Truck Touch
Here’s an opportunity to make many a young motorhead dream come true: Truck Touch! On, Saturday, May 1 from 10am – 2pm, kids will have the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite road warriors — fire engines, big rigs, dump trucks, and more. The vehicles will be on display and open for exploration at Cheverly United Methodist Church in Cheverly, MD. Admission is $5/child, free for adults.

Family Day at Glen Echo Park
The Dentzel Carousel is opening for its 90th season, and the park is celebrating with a Family Day festival. There will be lots of free activities for kids—face painting, magic shows, dancing, T-Ball Extreme, and a youth art exhibition. The only thing you will have to pay for are rides on the carousel: $1.25/person.

DC United Special Autograph Session
Does your kid want to kick it with the DC united? If so, head to the game against the NY Red Bulls on Saturday, May 1. After the match, there will be a special autograph session for the Youth Fan Club. Anyone 16 and under can join the YFC, and registration is free.

Around the World Embassy Tour
Hear live Australian didgeridoo music, sample tasty Korean dishes, take in a Bangladeshi dance show, and enjoy the rich tradition of Nepalese storytelling all in one day! On Saturday, May 1, Cultural Tourism DC presents the Around the World Embassy Tour, an open house to embassies from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. The free event will showcase art, music, traditional dress, culinary delights, and more. It’s also your chance to check out the interiors of those huge mansions along Mass Ave that you usually just admire from the street. The tour runs from 10am – 4pm. Visit the website for the complete schedule of events.

Telescopes Family Day
Bring out your child’s inner Galileo. Saturday, May 1, is Telescopes Family Day at the National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar Center, the facility near IAD. From 10am – 3pm, visitors can check out all kinds of cool telescopes, talk shop wth amateur astronomers and museum staff, and be among the first to experience the Portable Planetarium, which makes its debut this weekend. Solar observing and story time will also be part of the fun. Admission is free, but parking is $15.

Cinco de Mayo Festival
The 18th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival is this Sunday from 12pm – 6pm at the Washington Monument grounds. Hosted by the Maru Montero Dance Company, the celebration of Latino culture will include live music, traditional food, dance performances, childrens activities in the Kids Pavilion, and free giveaways.

La Maison Française Street Performance Festival
Transport the family to a European street fair at the French Embassy’s La Maison Française. Jugglers, clowns, acrobats, musicians, and comedians will be among the en plein air entertainment on Sunday, May 2. Take in the shows and savor French treats (croissants, quiche, crepes!) as you enjoy the garden party. Tickets are $5, children 10 and under are free.

Curious George Live!
The musical about kids’ favorite inquisitive monkey takes the audience on the same kind of fun and intriguing adventures as the adored books. Curious George, the man in the yellow hat, and friends will take the stage at The Lyric Opera House all weekend, and seats are still available to all of the shows.

Audubon Nature Fair
Okay, so there just may be a maypole in the vicinity, after all. This annual celebration of the outdoor world will have plenty for the family to enjoy: hands-on nature activities for kids, live music, wildlife viewing, plant sales, handmade crafts, face painting, and—if tradition continues—a maypole. The fair runs from 11am – 5pm, tickets are $5/adults, free for children 12 and under.

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