Tag Archives: Washington Kastles

Washington Kastles Serve Up Fun & Excitement in DC

Riverfront tennis at a Washington Kastles match


Tennis, anyone? The Washington Kastles, the 2011 World Team Tennis Champions, are getting ready to return to the DC court!  The season began on July 9, and their first home match at Kastles Stadium is tomorrow, July 12, against the New York Sportimes.

The Kastles are the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, the professional league that, you might say, is a complete 180 from Wimbledon. WTT breaks from the familiar traditions of tennis — teams play by a unique set of rules, loud music and fun spectacles occur during the match, and the crowd is not just welcome, but encouraged to be a part of it all. It’s a sporting event that focuses on the fans just as much as the stars.

Owen & friend cheer on the team

As they defend their title, it’s guaranteed to be an exciting season.  Not to mention, some of the sport’s biggest stars are on the team, Serena and Venus among them. Tickets are still available for all of the matches (though the cheap seats are gone for the star-studded ones), and this coming Sunday, July 15, is a Family Night with lots of fun activities for kids and adults around the grounds of Kastles Stadium. Owen and I attended last year, and we had a blast, both during the pre-game festivities and watching the match.  The stadium isn’t huge, so you have a good view no matter where you sit and really feel like you’re in on the action.  Plus, the music, mid-match exhibitions, and the players keep the crowd amped up.

With team mascot, Topspin

And I have to mention the location. Kastles Stadium is located at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront.  You get views of the river, a nice summer breeze, and exciting tennis action all at once. If you’re a fan of tennis, it really is a can’t-miss local event.

The Washington Kastles season at home lasts through July 28.  See the full schedule and purchase tickets here.


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It’s a Mixed Bag of Fun this Weekend

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a photo on Faceboook of the contents of her son’s pockets that she’d emptied before doing laundry. The random collection of sticks, bottle caps, coins, Legos, beads, and a AA battery made me laugh and drew a slew of comments and “likes”. Many of us likely have been there, finding odd items among our children’s treasures, wondering what kind of magic they held for our curious kids, and often feeling relieved we found them before the washing machine did.

This weekend’s recommended family fun is kind of like those pocket contents — a hodgepodge of events and activities with their own wonderful potential.  Whether you take the kids to run through fountain sprays, enjoy carnival thrills, savor French culture, rock out at a concert, join an art workshop, or get outdoors for a hike in the woods, a “magical” experience is always a possibility.  Happy Weekend!

Lovin’ Summer  – Free 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.

Tennis, Anyone?See the sport played in a whole new way as the Washington Kastles take on the St. Louis Aces tonight. There will also be a special reception and exhibition by tennis legend Chris Evert. The match starts at 7pm, but gates open at 5pm. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster.

Seize the Beautiful Days – It’s supposed to be a nice weekend weather-wise, so these suggestions for enjoying a beautiful day outdoors with the kids are definitely worth a look.

DC Summer Carnival While I can’t vouch for this fair in the parking lot behind RFK Stadium, I have driven by several times and it looks like it has all the trappings for amusement park fun. The Mega Drop, Merry-Go-Round, a Ferris Wheel and other big carnival rides are all easily visible, and game booths and food vendors round it all out.  Open tonight from 5pm – 10pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 12am. Unlimited ride passes and wristbands are available for $25 and can be purchased at the carnival entrance every day. Individual tickets are 20-for-$20 or 4-for-$5.

Farm to Street PartyCelebrate local food at Washington, DC’s first ever Farm-to-Street Party. On Saturday from 12-3pm, enjoy scrumptious dishes made with ingredients from local farms, local craft beer, and wine. Local entrepreneurs, chefs, and non-profit organizations making local food available in Washington will be in attendance. Guests can enjoy music from local artists, participate in a local pie eating contest, cool off in a dunking booth, take part in children’s activities, and more. Purchase tickets online or pay with credit/cash at the door.

Backyard CampoutThe National Children’s Museum is bringing outdoor adventure to the Launch Zone. In collaboration with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc) Outreach, guests can feel like they’re in the great outdoors by discovering the uses of various camping equipment, maneuvering through tents, and learning the fun aspects of camping in nature. Kids can also take part in hands-on exploration of deer and black bear tracks from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The program has been held various days this week and will also run on Sunday as well as next Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. This is a free event.

Jam with RocknocerosThe local band adored by kids is playing two shows at Jammin’ Java on Saturday.  Families can opt for a mid-morning performance at 11am or rock at for the 7pm happy hour show.  Tickets for each are $10 and available for purchase online.

Hanna Andersson

Show Time – Catch even more live entertainment on local stages this weekend.  This post has the latest on what music, theatre, dance, even snake shows that you can see through the rest of the summer.

French FestivalExperience French culture the way it was 300 years ago at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Children and adults can enjoy lively theatrics presented by the New York Baroque Dance Company and Opera Lafayette as they engage guests in music, dance, and fanciful history. Other activities will include traditional games like jacks and hoop-tossing, an art project where kids can decorate their own miniature furniture, gallery talks about the French collection, a “Kings, Queens, & Soup Tureens” audio tour.  Admission is $18/public, $15/seniors, $12/ Hillwood and Alliance Française Members, $5/kids 6-18, free for children under 6.  The festival runs on from 10am – 7pm and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm.

Good News – Take advantage of the Newseum’s “Kids Free Summer Fun Deal” that offers free admission to kids 18 and under through September 5 with one paid adult admission. It’s a perfect opportunity to visit a museum that you may have put off touring because of the entrance fee (we’re so spoiled by all of DC freebies) as well as a great way to beat the summer heat.

Stories in ArtOn Sunday, the National Gallery of Art’s summer drop-in program welcomes kids ages 4-7 to explore Dutch art through storytelling, gallery tours, and hands-on projects. Sessions are hourly starting at 11:30am. Sign-up begins at 11am in the West Building Rotunda, and space is limited.  Read a review of our experience at a session last summer.  And for more details on this summer’s program and tips on signing up, see this post from last week.

Portrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday 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 baseball player Roberto Clemente.

Family Films –  There are a couple of movie series especially for families that run on the weekends.  The Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts its Family Series on Saturdays at 5pm.  This week’s showing will be “Chicken Run.”  While tickets are free, there is a $2 per ticket booking fee.  For a screening under the stars, head to National Harbor on Sunday for its free Movies on the Potomac series. This week, see “Despicable Me,” starting just after sunset.

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Filed under All ages, Art, DC, Deal, Free, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Weekend

Get in on the Tennis Action with the Washington Kastles

Professional tennis is about to get pretty exciting for fans in DC, and I’m not talking about the next round of Wimbledon matches we’ll be watching on TV.  In less than two weeks, some of the sport’s biggest stars (do the names Venus and Serena ring a bell?) will take court right here in our city, as the Washington Kastles bring world-class tennis — with a twist — to the Southwest Waterfront from July 5 – 21.

The Kastles are the DC franchise of World TeamTennis, the professional league that, you might say, is a complete 180 from Wimbledon. WTT breaks from the familiar traditions of tennis — teams play by a unique set of rules, loud music and fun spectacles occur during the match, and the crowd is not just welcome, but encouraged to be a part of it all. It’s a sporting event that focuses on the fans just as much as the stars.

Kids, especially, will have loads to enjoy with many extras just for them.  Quickstart courts will be set up for a little pre-match play.  There will be racquet giveaways for children 12 and under (and word has it that there will be plenty available, so just about every kid can get one — look for a tent/table with signage). Kids are often included in fun promotion between sets.  And fans 16 and under are invited on court after matches for autograph sessions with all the players (that’s right, opportunities to meet Venus and Serena!).

Kastles mascots Topspin & Slice

And, parents, note this date: July 18, which is Family Night. Not only will there be even more activities for kids, but KidFriendly DC readers can get a 10% discount on tickets to that match by using the code KIDDC when purchasing online through Ticketmaster.  Regular ticket prices for all matches start at $15.

The rest of the Kastles 2011 home schedule is as follows:

DATE                                     OPPONENT           
Tuesday, July 5                          Kansas City                         w/Venus Williams
Thursday, July 7                        Boston                                  w/Serena Williams
Tuesday, July 12                        New York                             vs. John McEnroe
Thursday, July 14                      Springfield
Friday, July 15                            St. Louis                               Chris Evert fan reception
Monday, July 18                        Sacramento                          Family Night
Thursday, July 21                      Philadelphia                         Season Finale

All of the home matches will take place in the team’s brand new venue, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf. The location on the Southwest Waterfront will offer spectators views of the city’s landmarks along with on-court action.  Matches start at 7pm, and gates will open at 5:15pm.  More information about the Washington Kastles is available on the website.  And for a bit more about World TeamTennis, see this post from last year.

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Tennis, Anyone?

For years, my husband and I have had an ongoing debate about tennis and its spectator silence rules. He doesn’t understand why there is no cheering during points, why the crowd can’t yell at the exact moment the server is going to hit the ball in an attempt to break concentration and foil an ace, like fans do during free throws at basketball games. I understand where he’s coming from, but as someone who grew up playing tennis, I feel a loyalty to the sport and its unwritten rules, as important or ridiculous as they may be.

“Tennis requires great concentration,“ I always tell him. “And a quiet stadium is part of the tradition. Besides, it’s cool to hear the sound of the racquets hitting the ball.”

“And shooting a basketball through a hoop from 15 feet away doesn’t require focus?” is the usual retaliation, along with a diatribe about why the “tradition” is B.S. (But he never argues about it sounding cool.)

Okay, I get it. And to be totally honest, sometimes I think it would be kind of fun to hear the crowd go crazy or see how a player handles some good heckling.

Well, apparently we can. Because the World TeamTennis Pro League brings its own set of rules to the court with a different match format (games are no-ad and count toward the overall team score) and different fan rules (cheer as loud and heckle as much as you want).

The WTT Pro League has been around for 35 years (Philadelphia’s team, the Freedoms, actually inspired Elton John’s famous song. Who knew?), but if you haven’t really heard of it, that’s probably because DC didn’t have it’s own team until 2008. The Washington Kastles are the newest franchise to the league, but they are off to a great start as the reigning 2009 champions. That’s not surprising when you hear Serena Williams, one of the most exciting womens players ever, was on the team. And good news: this year Venus is joining her.

The 2010 WTT season begins next week, July 5, and continues for three weeks until July 25. The Washington Kastles’ first home match is July 6 against the Freedoms. All home matches take place at Kastles Stadium at City Center, 11th and H Streets NW. I can’t vouch for it myself, as I haven’t yet been to a match, but according to Yelp reviews, it’s a really good time. And, of course, something the whole family can enjoy. Tickets start at $15, and So What’s the Deal currently has several promotions going on for tickets at various prices.

So, if Wimbledon has you and the kids excited about tennis, or you’re looking for a new sports team to support now that the US is out of the World Cup, or if your family just wants to do something different, go check out the Kastles.

And cheer as loud as you want.


Filed under All ages, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Summer