Tag Archives: Tween and Teen Activities in DC

Events & Activities Around DC to Celebrate Black History Month (2024)

Statue of the Black Power salute at the NMAAHC

 

February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages.  Here’s where they’re all happening over the next few weeks.

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Filed under 2024, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Activities and Events to Celebrate Women’s History Month Around DC

See a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt (and the cherry blossoms!) this month

 

March is Women’s History Month, and there are so many great ways to celebrate it around DC, with something for all ages.  See some exhibits, tour local landmarks, enjoy live entertainment, attend a festival… all of it showcasing women and their accomplishments.  Here’s where you can do that over the next month — and beyond!

Women’s History in American History
Where: National American History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The American History Museum houses several exhibits that focus on women, from a section on women inventors to displays about women’s suffrage to the First Ladies dresses and much more. See all the ways to explore women’s history through the museum here.

Statue-esque Women
Where: Around DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free
Yes, there are some statues honoring women amid the many memorials and monuments dedicated to men — even one on the National Mall! Make it a mission to visit them over the month and see how many you can get to. You can find a map of them here on Curbed.

Creativity is Magic: Maya Lin Festival
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 11, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Join this all-ages festival to celebrate Women’s History Month and the life and work of Maya Lin. Known best as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the architect, sculptor, and environmentalist creates work that meets at the intersection of art and environmentalism. At the festival, you can tour the museum’s One Life: Maya Lin exhibition, participate in Lin’s multi-site memorial “What is Missing?”, take part in workshops, and create art inspired by her designs. (PS: Women are showcased in many other ways throughout the Portrait Gallery… see a painting of the female Supreme Court justices, photographs of great female athletes, portraits of pop stars, and so many more notable women.)  Read more about the museum here and here.

Women of the Freer
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Daily through March, 12-1pm
Admission: Free

To celebrate Women’s History Month, everyday through March, the National Museum of Asian Art is offering docent-led tours of art by the women in their collection — ancient and modern, human and divine. The tours will introduce you to influential women and their little-known stories. No reservation needed.

Sisterhood of Spies
Where: International Spy Museum | L’Enfant, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission:

The Spy Museum highlights women of espionage through many exhibits in the museum. You can learn about the Mata Hari, find how Harriet Tubman and Julia Childs gathered intel, discover how Josephine Baker used her star status to spy, and more! Go here for more details about where you can find them. And read more about the Spy Museum in this KFDC post.

Put It This Way
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Explore art by women in this exhibition that brings together nearly a century of works by 49 female and nonbinary artists. Put It This Way: (Re)Visions of the Hirshhorn Collection displays a variety of works in many mediums, some that are part of the museum’s collection and some that have have never been on view at the Hirshhorn. If you go, plan to see other fantastic exhibits by notable women artists like Yayoi Kusama’s One with Eternity (note that you need free passes) and Laurie Anderson’s Chalkroom, still there from The Weather exhibit there in 2021-22.

 

One of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe paintings a the NGA

More Works by Women
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The National Gallery of Art is full of remarkable works by women artists, from Georgia O’Keefe to Alma Thomas to Mary Cassat to Faith Ringgold — and so many more. Wander around them museum to explore them or take a tour (while not solely about women, they will cover some of them). And see below for special programs coming up to celebrate Women’s History Month at the NGA.

Legacies on Call Boxes
Where: Around DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Find old fire call boxes and see where several notable women are commemorated. The Wander Women Project, a travel blog that celebrates women’s creations and follows female legacy, landmarks, and heritage trails, has a map to follow, plus more info about all of the women on their website. It’s a fun way to explore downtown and learn about some pioneering women!

Music HerStory Zine Workshops
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: March 4, 10:30am & 2pm
Admission: Free

Get creative and celebrate at a Zone Workshop focusing on women’s music. Zines are vibrant celebrations of self-expression using simple materials. In the early 1990s, they were propelled by the riot grrrl movement, connecting like-minded readers and musicians. Today, zines continue to promote community-building and creativity, especially among young women. These Zine Workshops will be led by comic artist Evan Keeling and last 2-3 hours. All supplies will be provided, just bring yourself and some creativity! The early workshop is suggested for kids and families, the later one for tens and adults. Reserve a spot for each member of your party. And sign up soon, as spaces are limited!

Musical Explorations
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Select dates in March
Admission: Free

Join the museum during Women’s History Month for a series of concerts by five exceptional women in an exploration of music, scholarship, and mastery. Hear works by female composers from the 17th century to the present performed on harp, violin, guitar, and piano by some of today’s most talented and innovative musicians. One is highlighted below, and you can see the rest of the schedule here.

The Future is Female Piano Concert
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: March 8, 12-2pm & 2:45-4:45pm
Admission: Free

On International Women’s Day, pop in at the National Gallery of Art to enjoy music by pianist Sarah Cahill, described as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times. The Future is Female features more than seventy compositions by women around the globe, from the Baroque to the present day. Cahill will perform music from the project spanning from the 1600s to 2022 by composers including Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, Regina Harris Baiocchi, Margaret Bonds, Teresa Carreño, Fanny Mendelssohn, Hélène de Montgeroult, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Clara Schumann, Arlene Sierra, Mary D Watkins, Theresa Wong, and many more.

(S)heroes
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: March 9, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

National Gallery Nights, after hours events at the museum, are returning with a salute to women. During this one, you can dance to tunes by iconic women musicians, experience experimental pop-up performances, explore works by women artists, get a preview of the future Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, and make art inspired by Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South. A variety of beverages, special-edition gelato flavors, and snacks will also be available for purchase. And extra points for dressing as your favorite shero! (This one sounds like more of an adult event, but teens could probably attend, too.)

BGR!Fest
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: March 9-12
Admission: Vary by activity

This multi-day, live, immersive experience celebrates and recognizes the exceptional cultural contributions of Black women artists, thought leaders, and creatives. The festival’s headlining feature is the Black Girls Rock Concert boasting a lineup of Black women artists Alice Smith, Estelle, and Jade Novah. There will also be a more live performances, a late-night music and DJ series, and a film screening. Find more details along with the full schedule of events on the website.

Jagged Little Pill
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: March 14-26
Tickets: $55-105 (look for discount)

See a show based on the music of a fierce female musician (not to mention a book by a woman writer and producer, Diablo Cody)! Alanis Morisette’s songs are the score to this Broadway musical that encompasses joy, love, heartache, strength, wisdom, catharsis, LIFE.  It’s recommended for ages 14+ — be sure to read plot details if you’re bringing kids.

Female Inventors
Where: Parklands-Turner Neighborhood Library | Congress Heights, DC
When: March 15, 4-5pm
Admission: Free

Take kids to the library to learn the stories of women who changed our way of life through their inventions. We’ve all heard of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, but very few female inventors are household names.

Sunday Cinema: A Month for Women
Where: Juanita E. Thornton Library | Sherpherd Park, DC
When: March 19, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Head to the library for a showing “Moana.” The theme of the movie is an important one for kids and adults alike — it’s never too late to find your true self and follow your heart. Moana sets out on an epic journey to find Maui, a legendary demigod, who can help her save her people. Along the way, she discovers her true identity and learns to follow her heart.

We Who Believe: Black Feminist DC
Where: MLK Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Opens March 30 through September 2024
Admission: Free

The National Women’s History Museum has existed online for years, but at the end of March, its first-ever physical exhibit will be launched at the MLK Memorial Library. We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC traces Black feminism in Washington, DC from the turn of the 20th century through the civil rights and Black Power movements to today. The exhibit examines the voices and stories of more than a dozen trailblazing women, from the early Black feminism of the “Jane Crow” era to the future of Black feminism. Learn more about the Women’s History Museum here and see more about the MLK Library here.

Girl Bosses
Where: Around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free (but plan to spend — and support!)

A fun activity this month: Shopping! (And some eating, too!) This is a great time to make a point to patronize women-owned businesses around DC, and there are many awesome, beloved places to do that. This Washingtonian article from last year highlights a bunch. I’d also add Labyrinth Games and Puzzles, Steadfast Supply (an amazing selection of giftable goods), the best family photographer in the area, and an incredible interior designer if you’re in need of a home spruce up.

 

Do you know of any activities or events that celebrate women that you don’t see listed here? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Events & Activities to Celebrate Black History Month Around the DC Area

Celebrate at the National Gallery of Art with works by Black artists + more museum programs

 

February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. Here’s where many are happening over the next few weeks.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing | Mon, 12- 5:30pm, Tues-Sat 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture may just be the best place to learn about Black history and culture in America, covering everything from early slave trading to modern day achievements by Black people.  If you’ve never been, this month is a great, meaningful time to go.  And if you have been, there is so much to be gleaned, teach to kids, contemplate, and celebrate, you can never visit too much .  It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go. Free, timed-entry passes are required, and they are available online here.  You can reserve in advance or try for same-day tickets — a limited number are released online beginning at 8:15am.

American Folklife Center Open House
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: February 2, 5-7pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry ticket

To kick off Black History Month, the American Folklife Center is hosting an open house featuring items related to African-American history and heritage in the U.S. Visitors are welcome to stop by and view the collections, and chat with Folklife Center staff. Reserve tickets here. And read more about visiting the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

Kids’ Films: Celebrating Black Stories
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: February 4, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Recommended for ages 10 and up, the National Gallery of Art showcases short films for kids that highlight Black stories. The films share the joy, determination, resilience, and complexity of being Black and young, and explore a range of genres and styles in a program that spans the globe.

Culture Queen Kids Hour: Magnificent Monuments
Where: Anacostia Community Museum | Anacostia, DC
When: February 4, 12-1
Admission: Free

In this session of the monthly Culture Queen Kids hour, participants will honor African Americans who inspire them by creating their own monuments. Grammy-nominated children’s entertainer, Culture Queen, holds court once a month at ACM for live performances, interactive community building, stories, crafts, movement and more. Registration recommended.

Explore Works by Black Artists
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Explore works from Black artists across centuries, mediums and geographies, ranging from 19th century still life painter Robert Seldon Duncanson to modern and contemporary pieces by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Alma Thomas, Sam Gilliam, Kara Walker, and more. The current exhibit, Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South, is great to see now. And check the museum calendar for special programs that celebrate Black artists.

How Old is a Hero?
Where: Discovery Theater | National Mall, DC
When: February 7-10
Admission: $3-9

This Discovery Theater original play infused with archival music of the Civil Rights era celebrates three young people who helped change the nation by their heroic actions. Meet Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, the first black student to graduate from an integrated high school; Claudette Colvin, who months before Rosa Parks, also refused to give up her seat on a bus; and Ruby Bridges, who was only six in 1960 when she stepped into first grade—and into history—as the first student to desegregate an all-white school in New Orleans. Their inspiring stories demonstrate that hope begins with the courage of young people. Recommended for ages 6-12.

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration
Where: Capital Turnaround | Southeast DC
When: February 11, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Park Service for this annual event celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Birthday! The program will include music by the Jubilee Voices of the Washington Revels, performances by the student winners of the Douglass Oratorical Contest, and a light-hearted debate style program that asks the question: “What place did Frederick Douglass call home?” Douglass lived in three states and the District of Columbia during his lifetime, and while it is impossible to ask Douglass this question, our panelists will support their positions in the debate, and we will let the audience decide! Doors open at 12:30pm and include music by DC Strings, exhibitors, info about about Frederick Douglass’ interest in DC’s streetcars, and photo ops with Frederick Douglass. Capital Turnaround is located at 770 M Street SE.

Young Portrait Explorers: Toni Morrison
Where: National Portrait Gallery Online
When: February 13, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

The National Portrait Gallery’s program that highlights African Americans who have made significant contributions has an in-person event this month.  Kids can learn about author Toni Morrison as they take a close look at her portrait and enjoy movement and art-making, too.  This is geared toward toddler and preschoolers up to age 6.  See more about the museum here.

Community Day: 25th Anniversary of The Lion King on Broadway
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: February 20
Admission: Free, but tickets required

THe National Museum of African American History & Culture is hosting a Community Day to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Lion King on Broadway. Festivities will include show-themed workshops led by Disney Theatrical Teaching Artists (separate passes required–information upon registration) and other in-museum activities for the whole family. All are invited you to join us in the celebration of Black Joy! Register here!

Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active way to spend time outdoors.  On February 18, Woodlawn Manor will be hosting a special Black History Month Family Day, when you ca stop in the Visitors Center to pick up take-home activities for kids as well as a trail map (though you can also print that out at home if you go a different day).

Meetinghouse Open House
Where: Frying Pan Baptist Meetinghouse | Herndon, VA
When: Saturdays in February, 12-2pm
Admission: Free

In honor of Black History Month, the Frying Pan Baptist Meetinghouse will be open each Saturday of February. Established in the 18th century, the original congregation of the meetinghouse included enslaved, free Black, and slaveholding members. Join the Fairfax Park Authority to explore a different facet of Black history in Floris and Herndon each weekend. Pop in for a few minutes or stay the whole two hours.

Library Programs
Where: Public Libraries throughout DC
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of offerings for kids (and adults) of all ages. Participate in a Black history themed scavenger hunt. Watch a related film.  Go on a StoryWalk. Play black History Jeopardy…. and more! Visit the website to see what activities are being offered at each library.

Visit BLM Plaza
Where: 16th Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The two blocks along 16th Street NW, between K Street and Lafayette Park just across from the White House, was emboldened with the giant yellow BLACK LIVES MATTER statement in the summer of 2020 as the BLM movement began to swell after the murder of George Floyd. It’s since been repainted and become permanent.  The pedestrian area is now a site of historic significance in DC, a meeting place and focal point of protests and other events, and a location providing good context for a conversation with kids about BLM.

Tour Memorials
Where: Several locations in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Tour some memorials around the city that highlight notable African Americans and related historic events. Head to the MLK Memorial at the Tidal Basin, where you can view the grand sculpture of Dr. King and read some of his most inspiring quotes engraved in surrounding walls. From there, head to the Lincoln Memorial, where even more MLK words, “I Have a Dream” are etched into the steps where he gave his famous speech. In the Shaw neighborhood, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who served in the U.S. Army and Navy.  On Capitol Hill, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park isa tribute to the civil rights leader.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

There are a few major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour.  Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.

Black History with PG Parks
Where: Sites around PG County, MD & Online
When: Through February
Admission: Varies by location

Celebrate and honor African American heritage with the PG County park system during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are a lot of exciting events and activities planned both in person at locations throughout Prince George’s County and online.

Celebrate with Dance
Where: Maryland Youth Ballet In Person & Online
When: Throughout February
Admission: Varies by event

To celebrate Black History Month, Maryland Youth Ballet is presenting virtual and in-person masterclasses, plus performances and talks led by black dance artists. It will bring together numerous dancers, choreographers, and teaching artists from throughout the metropolitan DC region as well as nationally to celebrate and recognize the culture and contributions of Black people in dance. Events will take place at various locations around the DC area and online — see the website for specifics.

The Slave Memorial
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see this on a visit to George Washington’s estate. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage.

Celestial Navigation and the Underground Railroad
Where: Josiah Henson Museum and Park | North Bethesda, MD
When: February 25
Admission: Free

This educational program explores the crucial role of the night sky in guiding and empowering freedom seekers on their journeys north along the Underground Railroad. Historian Dr. Sylvea Hollis, astronomer Dr. Lou Strolger, and PhD candidate Sophie Hess will provide more insight as you observe the stars. The free, family-friendly program will take place at the Josiah Henson Museum and Park visitor center and does not include museum admission. Recommended for ages 6+.

*Do you know of a Black History Month event or activity that you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share in the comments!

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Celebrate Black History Month Around the DC Area (2022)

A recent family visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture

 

February is Black History Month, and there are so many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs (including an entire museum), special events, tours and exhibits, and more will be enlightening and fun for all ages. Here’s where many are happening over the next few weeks.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing | Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture may just be the best place to learn about Black history and culture in America, covering everything from early slave trading to modern day achievements by Black people.  If you’ve never been, this month is a great, meaningful time to go.  And if you have been, there is so much to be gleaned, teach to kids, contemplate, and celebrate, you can never visit too much — we’ve been many times over the years, most recently on MLK Day.  It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go. Free, timed-entry passes are required, and they are available online here.  You can reserve in advance or try for same-day tickets — a limited number are released day-of beginning at 8:15am.

Museum & Memorial Tour
Where: African American Civil War Museum | Shaw, DC
When: Ongoing | Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Take a tour of another museum dedicated to the contributions of more than 200,000 members of the United States Colored Troops. The African American Civil War Museum tells the stories of the historic roles these brave men played in ending slavery and keeping America united under one flag. A collection of artifacts and documents, plus primary sources and technology create a meaningful learning experience for visitors about the period from the American Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond. Be sure to stop by the nearby African American Civil War Memorial, too.

Hike the Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Daily, sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

A great outing with kids during Black History Month (or anytime), this hike offers insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. The walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active, Covid-safe way to spend time outdoors.  On February 19, Woodlawn Manor will be hosting a special Black History Month Family Day, when you ca stop in the Visitors Center to pick up take-home activities for kids as well as a trail map (though you can also print that out at home if you go a different day).

Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Ongoing | Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes

This exhibit about Rosa Parks goes well beyond her famous stance of not giving up her seat on the bus. Learn about Parks’ early life and family as well as her activism and achievements through a variety of displays, including photographs, old documents, newspaper clippings, and rarely seen materials. Find it in the gallery just beyond the Thomas Jefferson Library on the second floor.

Library Programs
Where: Public Libraries throughout DC
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of offerings for kids of all ages. Pick up craft and STEM kits, coloring pages, and maps to help you explore Black history in DC.  Join virtual story times. Catch a flick in the Black Love Film Series (recommend for adults, but teens could likely join, too). Visit the website to see what activities are being offered at each library.

Visit BLM Plaza
Where: 16th Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The two blocks along 16th Street NW, between K Street and Lafayette Park just across from the White House, was emboldened with the giant yellow BLACK LIVES MATTER statement in the summer of 2020 as the BLM movement began to swell after the murder of George Floyd. It’s since been repainted and become permanent.  The pedestrian area is now a site of historic significance in DC, a meeting place and focal point of protests and other events, and a location providing good context for a conversation with kids about BLM.

Tour Memorials
Where: Several locations in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Tour some memorials around the city that highlight notable African Americans and related historic events. Head to the MLK Memorial at the Tidal Basin, where you can view the grand sculpture of Dr. King and read some of his most inspiring quotes engraved in surrounding walls. From there, head to the Lincoln Memorial, where even more MLK words, “I Have a Dream” are etched into the steps where he gave his famous speech. In the Shaw neighborhood, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who served in the U.S. Army and Navy.  On Capitol Hill, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park isa tribute to the civil rights leader.

Visit the Grounds of Frederick Douglass’ Estate 
Where: Frederick Douglass Historic Site | Anascostia, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: $1

Visit the Frederick Douglass Historic Site in Anacostia.  While the Visitor Center and Cedar Hill remain closed, the grounds are open on Fridays and Saturdays for the public to explore.  Since no tours are currently being offered, get background on Douglass’ life and the estate before you visit to discuss with kids while you’re there.

Discover Women’s Landmarks
Where: Various locations around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The Wander Women Project, which maps the HerStories of worldwide wonder women, has a round-up of places honoring pioneer black women in the DC area area (and slightly further). This includes museums, memorials, call boxes, and online exhibits — both indoor and outdoor sites, so there are plenty to visit without Covid worries.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity

There are a few major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout Alexandria. Walk along the Duke Street Black History Trail. Or hop in the car for a Black History Driving Tour.  Manumission Tour Company also offers an Underground Railroad-themed tour.

Black History with PG Parks
Where: Sites around PG County, MD & Online
When: Through February
Admission: Varies by location

Celebrate and honor African American heritage with the PG County park system during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are a lot of exciting events and activities planned both in person at locations throughout Prince George’s County and online.

Celebrate with Dance
Where: Maryland Youth Ballet In Person & Online
When: Throughout February
Admission: Varies by event

To celebrate Black History Month, Maryland Youth Ballet is presenting virtual and in-person masterclasses, plus performances and talks led by black dance artists. It will bring together numerous dancers, choreographers, and teaching artists from throughout the metropolitan DC region as well as nationally to celebrate and recognize the culture and contributions of Black people in dance. Events will take place at various locations around the DC area and online — see the website for specifics.

African Americans at Walney Walking Tour
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 5, 11am – 12pm
Admission: $8

The Fairfax County Park Authority regularly offers programs for families, and during February, there are a few that focus on Black History. During this one, hear the names and stories of many African American families who lived and worked at Walney. Learn about slave tenancy and hear stories of resistance and survival.

Black History in the Kid’s Room
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout February
Admission: $19.95/age 3-12, $25.95/adult

All through February, the Maryland Science Center is celebrating Black History Month with activities to celebrate the achievements of black scientists in their Kid’s Room. This area of the children’s museum is dedicated to young children and learning through play. Check the Kid’s Room schedule on the door during your visit to see what activities are planned for the day. Read more about the Maryland Science Center in this recent post by KFDC writer Emily Moise and this one from when my kids were little.

The Slave Memorial
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see this on a visit to George Washington’s estate. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage.

Show What You Know: African American Inventors
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When:  February 5
Admission: $19.95

Head to the children’s museum in Baltimore for all kinds of kid play, including this fun game being offered during February: Test your knowledge in this museum floor game show. Match and learn about famous inventions from African American men and women throughout history. Play with others for the chance to win multiple prizes! Read more about Port Discovery in this recent post.

Young Portrait Explorers
Where: National Portrait Gallery Online
When: February 9, 16, & 23, 11-11:30am
Admission: Free

Join the National Portrait Gallery virtually for this program geared toward toddler and preschoolers up to age 5.  Learn about African Americans who have made significant contributions to society as you take a close look at their portraits — Michelle Obama on February 9, Barack Obama on February 16, and George Washington Carver on February 23,  Movement and art-making are part of the sessions, too! Register in advance for each session.

Black History Month Sneaker Exhibition
Where: Sole Wash | Capitol Hill, DC
When: February 19-20, 5-8pm
Admission: $35

Sole Wash “Sneaker Laundry” is hosting its Annual Sneaker Exhibit highligting the rise of sneakers within black films, sports, hip-hop music, fashion, and more. Make an evening of it if you go — the sneaker cleaning and restoration business is located on Barracks Row near a bevy of family-friendly restaurants.

 

*Do you know of a Black History Month event or activity that you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share in the comments!

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Celebrate Black History, Online and Around DC Through February — and Beyond

 

February is Black History Month, and if you’re looking for ways to celebrate it with kids, you have plenty of options, both virtually and in person around the DC area.  Museum programs, guided and self-guided tours, visits to significant sites, story time sessions, online concerts, and more will be enlightening and entertaining for all ages. And while some of these are happening on specific dates this month, many of them are ongoing for year-round enjoyment and education.  For even more good reads and related content, check out the Black Lives Matter page.

African American History and Culture
Where: NMAAHC | Online
When: Through February
Admission: Free

The National Museum of African American History & Culture may just be the best place to learn about Black history and culture in America. And while the actual place is closed right now, there still are lots of digital resources available through the website that let you explore it all, including online exhibits, programming for children and adults, and a whole section on talking about race.

The Underground Railroad Experience Trail
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Take a hike that provides insight into the experience of enslaved peoples’ escape to freedom. This walk through woods and along edges of fields (with a map and explanation of the hike) is interesting and enlightening as well as an active, socially distanced way to spend time outdoors.

Visit BLM Plaza
Where: 16th Street NW | Downtown DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The two blocks along 16th Street NW, between K Street and Lafayette Park just across from the White House, was emboldened with the giant yellow BLACK LIVES MATTER statement this past summer as the BLM movement began to swell after the murder of George Floyd. The now pedestrian area became a meeting place and focal point of protests and other events — and a site of historic significance in DC. The protest signs that covered the fence around the park have been removed, but the location still provides good context for a conversation with kids about BLM.

Tour Memorials
Where: Several locations in DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Tour some memorials around the city that highlight notable African Americans and related historic events. Head to the MLK Memorial at the Tidal Basin, where you can view the grand sculpture of Dr. King and read some of his most inspiring quote engraved in surrounding walls. From there, head to the Lincoln Memorial, where even more MLK words, “I Have a Dream” are etched into the steps where he gave his famous speech. In the Shaw neighborhood, the African American Civil War Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of soldiers and sailors who served in the U.S. Army and Navy.  On Capitol Hill, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Lincoln Park isa tribute to the civil rights leader.

Discover Women’s Landmarks
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

The Wander Women Project, a has gathered all the places honoring pioneer black women in the DMV area (and slightly further). Since many indoor museums are closed due to Covid-19, mostly outdoor sites and online resources are listed, making outings to visit to them perfect for social distancing.

Black History in Alexandria
Where: Throughout Alexandria, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activity
A new blog post from Visit Alexandria discusses their renewed commitment to racial equity that pre-dated the surge in the Black Lives Matter movement. There are new major projects and programs that highlight Black history experiences throughout the city, including the Duke Street Black History Trail, Courageous Journey: Alexandria’s Black History Driving Tour, a waterfront African American Heritage Trail and an Underground Railroad-themed tour from Manumission Tour Company.

Black History in MoCo Parks
Where: Parks around Montgomery County, MD
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies

Several sites within the Montgomery Parks system have connections to Black history. See Civil War ruins, visit a place named for the man who inspired Uncle Tom’s Cabin, explore the site of a 19th century African American roadside community, and more. Get more details here.

Black History with PG Parks
Where: Parks around PG County, MD
When: Through February
Admission:

Celebrate and honor African American heritage with the PG County park system during Black History Month in February. From performances to history lessons to tours, there are a lot of exciting events and activities planned throughout Prince George’s County, both virtual and in person.

The Slave Memorial & Exhibits
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $20/adult, $12/ages 6-11, free/5 & under

Make a point to see these on a visit to George Washington’s estate in Northern Virginia. The memorial is located approximately 50 yards southwest of George and Martha Washington’s tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. A gray, truncated, granite column which represents “life unfinished” is the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed, respectively, “Faith,” “Hope” and “Love” — the virtues that sustained those living in bondage. The exhibit Lives Bound Together explores the personal stories of the people enslaved at Mount Vernon while providing insight into George Washington’s evolving opposition to slavery.

Introducing…
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Online
When: February 3, 10, 17, and 24
Admission:

The National Portrait Gallery’s program for children ages 3+ shines a light on Black historymakers and their portraits this month. Kids will learn more about art, hear the stories behind the portraits, and even hear some new vocabulary.

Royal Fun with Culture Queen
Where: Online
When: February 6, 2-2:30pm & February 21, 1:30-2pm
Admission: Free

Culture Queen, the children’s author, entertainer, and educator known for presenting empowering entertainment — music, movement, and storytelling — for kids, has a couple of online events this month. Join for Black History Live on February 6 and for a Virtual Dance Party on February 21.

Library Programs
Where: DC Public Library | Online
When: Throughout February
Admission: Free

The DC Public Library proudly celebrates Black History Month during February with all kinds of online programs — story times, book discussions, crafts, and more. Visit the website to see when they are taking place.

Let It Shine
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: February 6 & 13
Admission: $17.95

At the wonderful children’s museum in Baltimore, celebrate Black History Month by reading festive stories inside The Oasis at the Reading Corner. Of course, plan to enjoy the multiple levels of fun and educational exhibits while you’re there.

Black History Month at the Tiny Desk
Where: NPR Music | Online
When: Through February
Admission: Free

NPR Music’s awesome Tiny Desk Concert series is celebrating Black History Month by featuring 13 Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Black artists across genres and highlighting performances by Black artists from the archives with weekly curated playlists. The celebration will spotlight different genres and generations each week.

 

*Do you know of a Black History Month event or activity that you don’t see listed here?  Feel free to share in the comments!

 

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