Tag Archives: Weekend Activities in Washington DC

The Library of Congress 2013 National Book Festival


Book lovers, mark your calendars! On September 21 & 22, readers of all ages are invited to join some of the country’s most celebrated authors on the National Mall for the 13th Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival.

More than 100 authors, illustrators, and poets will be part of the Festival weekend focusing on “Books That Shaped the World.” Book enthusiasts, young and old, come from all over for presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more reading-related activities. In 2012, over 200,000 people attended over the two days of the event.

If you were following KFDC last year, you might remember this is where Owen got to meet and interview one his favorite authors, Mary Pope Osborne, who writes the oh-so-popular Magic Treehouse series. And while that was a special opportunity, it really is possible to meet many celebs of the book world, even exchange some words with them.

Several pavilions will be set up throughout the Festival where visitors can enjoy a variety of activities and entertainment set up by book category — Children, Teens & Children, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Contemporary Life, Poetry & Prose, Graphic Novels & Science Fiction — as well as special programs. The Pavilion of the States salutes the literary traditions of all 50 states, the Library of Congress Pavilion provides an inside look into the workings of the world’s largest library, and a Book Sales Pavilion gives guests an opportunity to purchase selected reads — and possibly have them signed by the authors. The Let’s Read America Pavilion offers lots of activities for children and families to enjoy, including story time, live entertainment, and arts & crafts.

If your children love books, chances are an author of one of their favorite stories will be there (Owen author Kevin Henkes, creator of the How Do Dinosaurs… series Mark Teague, and Smash Crash author Jon Scieszka are among the children’s book writers). And there’s bound to be a writer — or many — that you parents will be excited about, too. I know there are several on the list that I can’t wait to see. Have a look for yourself and start planning your Festival weekend.

The National Book Festival will will be held on the National Mall between 9th and 14th streets on Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 5:30pm and on Sunday, September 22, from 12pm to 5:30pm, rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Library of Congress, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Weekend

The 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Last week, when I posted a compilation of fall festivals taking place around the DC area, I purposely excluded a big one. That’s because the annual Library of Congress National Book Festival deserves a post all its own. The DC tradition, a celebration of books, reading, and literature, consistently draws hundreds of thousands of people to the National Mall every year, giving book lovers of all ages a rare opportunity to interact with and get their books signed by their favorite authors.

This year’s event will take place September 22-23 with the theme “Books that Shaped America, ” inviting authors and the public to share their favorite books that shaped who they’ve become. More than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators from all literary genres will make presentations on the Mall throughout the weekend.

So, I know at least one 6-year-old who is going to particularly excited about the Festival this year when he finds out the author of his favorite book series is part of the event, and I bet there are lots of kids who will be thrilled along with him. Mary Pope Osborne, creator of the wonderful Magic Treehouse books, is among the children’s authors who will be presenting. (I, too, am pretty psyched to meet the writer whose stories pique Owen’s imagination and help foster his zest for reading.)

Many more celebrated authors of books for young and old will be there — you can view the complete lineup and schedule of presentations on the Festival website. And a KFDC tip: If you really want to get a spot in a pavilion to see an author, plan to arrive to their presentation early, as space fills up fast. And if you want to pick up a copy of their book for signings, there will be a whole pavilion dedicated to book sales.

Super Reader to the rescue at last year's festival

And that’s not all you’ll find at the Festival. There will be family storytelling events and reading-related activities for kids in the Let’s Read America pavilion; popular PBS characters on hand to greet children and pose for photo ops; the Gateway to Knowledge truck, which houses some of the top treasures and information about the millions of resources in the Library of Congress’ collections; the Digital Bookmobile, where visitors can explore download services from community libraries nationwide at interactive learning stations; and a 50th birthday celebration for Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The public is invited to enjoy this all rain or shine on Saturday, September 22, from 10am – 5:30pm and Sunday, September 23, from 12 – 5:30pm. Admission is FREE. For more information, visit the Library of Congress website.



Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Outdoor, Weekend