Tag Archives: Washington DC Columbus Day Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: October 6-8

Jumping with sheer joy at Great Country Farms last year


Happy Weekend!

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, between the White House & Capitol
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $10, free for ages 12 and under
The annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city will take place through the holiday weekend.  Along with the obvious — samples from more than 50 DC restaurants — there will be cooking demos, a chili eating championship, live entertainment, and a Family Zone with fun especially for kids.

Columbia Heights Day
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary Field
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
Whether or not you live in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of DC, you are invited to help celebrate the community on Saturday.  Columbia Heights Day is bringing together residents and businesses for a day of fun festivities–live music, a KidsZone with games arts & crafts and more activities especially for little ones, moon bounce, food trucks, a cupcake eating contest and much more! The Harriet Tubman Elementary field is located at 11th & Kenyon Streets NW.

Cardboard Play Day
Where: Horace Mann Elementary School
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free
As part of the Global Cardboard Challenge on October 6th, Washington, DC, area residents are welcome join this Global Day of Play event to play (and build) awesome things out of cardboard!  This event is inspired by Caine’s Arcade — check out the video here. If you’ve already made an arcade game, you can bring it with you on Saturday the 6th for everyone to play!  If not, supplies will be available for you to build one there.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples
It’s been said that Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S.  Accurate or not, the city definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and you can do just that this Saturday. Bethesda’s famous food and music festival, in its 23rd year, will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Big, the Musical is at Adventure Theatre. Carnival of Animals and a Tiny Tots show will be on The Puppet Co. stage. BlackRock Center for the Arts brings a Judy Blume fave to life with Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. The Big Apple Circus is wowing audiences for just a couple more days. And Mouse on the Move joins P. Nokio: A Hip Hop Musical among the productions at Imagination Stage. Follow the links above for more details and ticket info.

Happy Anniversary, Artisphere!
Where: Artisphere
When: Sunday, 12:30-4:30pm
Admission: Free
Artisphere is celebrating its 2nd anniversary this weekend, and it all culminates with a Free Family Day Open House – a day of fun and interactive art for the entire family! Festivities will include live entertainment, a mural painting, circus acts, theatrical workshops, and more. Artisphere is located at 1101 Wilson Boulevard.

Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free
Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md, is hosting the 32nd Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October. There will be loads of events and activities to entertain the whole family: clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train.  Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee.  Visit the website for more info and directions.

Fall Fun
Where: Around the DC-Metro
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

Celebrate the season at one of many area festivals or farms. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

The Big Draw
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Join people from all around the globe to declare that “Everyone Can Draw!” at the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. Guests can learn new styles of drawing and discover techniques and materials through artist demos and plenty of hands-on activities.  Add your art sense to a community drawing mural, sketch flowers and leaves from Kogod Courtyard plants, and make a new sketchbook from recycled material to take home.


Autumn Conservation Festival
Where: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: $30/car

It’s the one time every year that the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is open to the public! Head to the fooothills on the Blue Ridge mountains in Front Royal to check it out and enjoy a day of unforgettable day of fun, tours, and activities.Talk to world-famous scientists one-on-one and learn about their fascinating research that spans the globe. Explore the tools and technology used to understand animals and their environments.Get behind-the-scenes looks at some of the SCBI Front Royal’s endangered animals. Lunch and beverages will be available for purchase.

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival.  Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy.  Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Diggin’ Dinos
Where: Dinosaur Park
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

The 41-acre park in Laurel, Md, features a rare deposit of fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago). The public is invited to join paleontologists and and volunteers on-site to interpret fossil deposits on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.

Little Helper Headquarters
Where: Home Depot
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free
Head to your local Home Depot for one of their free kids’ workshops that takes place the first Saturday of every month. This week you can construct firetrucks with help from store staff.  The program is recommended for ages 5-12, but younger kids are welcome, too.

Where: National Harbor
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free
Join the National Children’s Museum for the 5th annual outdoor jump-roping festival at National Harbor. JumpOFF! will take place just steps away from where the National Children’s Museum’s new indoor space will open in December. The block party-style JumpOFF!, which is serving as a satellite partner of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, will feature performances by world-renowned youth precision jump-roping teams, “make your own jump rope” activities, special appearances by the Washington Wizards & Washington Mystics street team, the Popped! Republic food truck, Chidogo’s and other community partners, and live music by Bach 2 Rock.

Redskins, Cupcakes, and a Cause
Where: Sprinkles Cupcakes
When: Saturday, 2-3pm
Admission: Free, but cupcake purchases are encouraged!
Eat a cupcake, meet Washington Redskins star linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, and give back this weekend. Alexander’s appearance at Sprinkles in Georgetown will kick off the sale of the charitable cupcake in his name benefiting the Lorenzo Alexander ACES Foundation, a non-profit organization created to provide enrichment programs for youth in the Greater Washington DC Area. From October 6 to October 12, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of Sprinkles Vanilla cupcakes will be donated to the ACES Foundation.

Honey, Boo! Boo!
Where: Around the DC Metro
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
Halloween may still be weeks away, but its spirit is starting to pervade. Mostly in the form of costume catalogs sliding through the mail slot, but also with cobweb covered front yards and, of course, hauntingly endless conversations with the kids about what/who to dress as this year. Even better, activities and events that celebrate the spirit are starting this weekend. This post has details on where the treats and tricks are happening.

An Out-of-this-World Dance Party
Where: Kensington Town Hall
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $10/person or $25/family
The Noyes Children’s Library Foundation invites families to blast off at a space-themed dance party. DJ Chris Allotey and Dance Leader Aaron Anderson will get the crowd moving and moonwalking. In addition to dancing, there will be crafts, activities, snacks, and a miniature puppet show. Children are invited to come in space helmets made at home, or they can make a star headband at the dance. This dance party is the latest in a series of community events in support of the Noyes Children’s Library in Kensington. The Kensington Town Hall is located at 3710 Mitchell Street. Cash, check, or charge accepted.

Portrait Story Days: Alice Waters
Where: National portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free
Drop in to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. Today, learn about Alice Waters, founder of the restaurant Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard and champion of the Slow Food Movement.

Art a la Cart
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free
Learn the stories behind the artwork with interactive carts in the galleries that engage kids, ages seven to twelve, with brushes and palettes, bison horns and hides, bottle caps, and quilt squares.

Stargazing at Air & Space
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free
Get a close-up of the nighttime sky with staff from the museum that specialize in space. The Public Observatory is open for special nighttime stargazing, so guests can see an array of celestial objects through a powerful professional telescope. The Observatory is located outside on the Southeast Terrace.

Brambleton Fall Festival
Where: Brambleton Town Center
When: Saturday, 12:30-8pm
Admission: Free
Brambleton, an award-winning master-planned community located in Loudoun County, invites the community to support the 8th Annual Fall Fest at the Brambleton Town Center. Guests will enjoy rides and amusements, concerts, kids’ activities, face painters, glitter tattoos, geocaching (a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt), food vendors, beer, vendor marketplace and more.


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DC’s Cardboard Play Day: Fun & Creativity Inspired by Caine’s Arcade


There’s a good chance you know about Caine’s Arcade. The video portraying the story of a nine-year-old East L.A. boy who created an elaborate arcade using cardboard — and his imagination — went massively viral last spring. It not only became an Internet sensation, it also inspired kids around the globe to delve into their own imaginations and build fun cardboard creations. And it helped launch the Imagination Foundation, which aims to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids like Caine.

The Imagination Foundation is celebrating their launch with a Global Cardboard Challenge this Saturday, October 6.  Kids of all ages are invited to get their creative juices flowing at cardboard play events around the world, and there’s one happening right here in our town.

DC’s Cardboard Play Day will take place at Horace Mann Elementary School from 1-4pm, where guests can play and build awesome things out of cardboard just like Caine.  Those who have already made an arcade game are welcome to bring it to add to the mix, and supplies will be on hand for kids to create their own. Light snacks and refreshments will also be available.  And while this is all free of charge, donations will be welcome to help support the Imagination Foundation. RSVP on the website if you plan to join the fun.

And if you haven’t already, I highly recommend watching the Caine’s Arcade video.  Just be sure to keep tissues handy.


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Filed under All ages, Art, Charity, DC, Free, Fundraiser, Indoor Play, Weekend

Savor the Weekend

Enjoying autumn at a Clark's Elioak Farm

Sample fare at the Taste of DC, delight in seasonal fun on a farm or at a festival, connect with your inner artist, take in a performance or special museum program, listen to live music, get out and enjoy the delicious weather… these are just some of the ways you and the kids can relish in the next few days. Read on for details and even more ideas. Happy Weekend!

Taste of DCThe annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city will take place through the holiday weekend – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Along with the obvious, samples from more than 60 DC restaurants, there will be cooking demos, and live entertainment, including performances especially for kids (read: Rocknoceros).  See the schedule to find out who’s playing when.

Fall FunCelebrate the season at one of many area festivals or farms. From pumpkin patches and apple picking to corn mazes and hayrides to giant slides and jumping pillows, there are activities galore to help folks embrace the autumn spirit. This post has details on many fall festivals happening around the region.

Peep the WeekendStart the weekend with Peeps! At 4pm today, the Peeps store at the National Harbor is ushering in the fall season with delicious free treats, mascot appearances, coupons from neighboring retailers and chances for savings on some great new store items.  This all kicks off their DC Monumental Weekend – on Saturday and Sunday, PEEPS & COMPANY® Brand Ambassadors will take the Peepster Chick Car on a tour of D.C. and the monuments, spreading sweetness around town.

Alexandria Arts SafariOn Saturday from 12-4pm, the Torpedo Factory will host a free day of hands-on arts and crafts activities for kids and their families. Kids can get creative with fun new art activities and old favorites, including painting, clay sculpting, paper-mache, origami art, block printing, fabric collage, and much more. The Art League will present the popular Gallery Scavenger Hunt and fiber activities. And the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, located on the third floor of the Torpedo Factory, will present The Potter’s Art, where children can draw or paint patterns on paper inspired by designs on salt-glazed stoneware pottery shards excavated from local archaeological sites.

Dino-Mite Dinosaurs – Have a dino-mite time with prehistoric friends at the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone.  Celebrate International Dinosaur Month with fossil digs, skeleton puzzles, claw printing, and more.  They guarantee a rex-citing time! Admission is free.  Drop in anytime from 11am – 4pm.

Super Science SaturdayHead to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Dulles arm of the National Air & Space Museum, for its monthly program for families on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Through demonstrations and hands-on activities, visitors of all ages will become immersed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics related to aviation and space exploration, this month’s theme being balloons and blimps. Admission is free, though parking is $15.

Saturday Morning at the NationalThis week’s performance will feature beloved children’s author Pamela Duncan Edwards, author of Dinosaur Starts School, Clara Caterpillar, and Roar! A Noisy Counting Book. Edwards will make a special guest appearance and enchant children of all ages with an imaginative “spooky” story. Kids will be encouraged to help tell this morning’s tale, and afterwards Ms. Edwards will answer questions on how she creates her delightful stories. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!

That’s EntertainmentEven more live performances are gracing area stages all weekend.  From plays to puppet shows to live music to a circus, this post has the details on this season’s shows.

Portrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm and Sunday from 2-5pm, to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Eleanor Roosevelt.

Ren Fest – The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 23, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

And for recreation beyond the special events, these posts list tons of recreational mainstays in the DC area:

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

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

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