Tag Archives: Weekend Activities

The Weekend Round-Up: March 23-25

Spring view from the Tidal Basin

 

If you’re hoping to see the cherry blossoms, go today!  Not only are they peaking right now, but this weekend’s forecast is looking pretty rainy. But we all know how quickly that can change around here, so keep this list of places to hang outdoors handy, along with this one listing a bunch of indoor ideas.  And, of course, this round-up of special events and activities is a good reference for family fun, too.  Happy Weekend!

A Peek at the Peak
Where: Tidal Basin, National Mall, and a few other areas
When: Best Bet is Friday
Admission: Free

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year when the cherry trees are in bloom, and they are at their best right now. The National Mall and Tidal Basin are sure to be teeming with blossom oglers, but braving the crowds is worth it. Or you can try to see them in some other cherry tree-graced spots in the area — this post has suggestions of where to go, along with other tips for families viewing the cherry blossoms. Try to get out to see them today, as the forecast for this weekend looks pretty wet.

National Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Various Venues
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
If the weather isn’t conducive to walks among the lovely cherry trees in bloom, you can still enjoy some blossom-related fun at the National Cherry Blossom Festival events taking place at a few places. This post highlights the best ones for families, and you can find more on the official NCBF website.

Kites of Asia
Where: National Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Start preparing for the Blossom Kite Festival! You can experience the beauty and artistry of kites from across Asia through all kinds of hands-on fun: make and decorate kites, design a Hacimaki, fold origami carp kites, fashion paper Happi coats, try “wood block” printing, and explore the aerodynamics of falling paper flowers.

Family Fun, Swedish Style
Where: House of Sweden
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
It’s a day of free fun at the Embassy of Sweden! Children and their adults can enjoy mad Science shows, Swedish children’s stories, a Swedish fish pond (wonder if they are small red, and delicious?), scavenger hunt and interactive exhibitions. There will also be opportunities for photo ops with fun Swedish figures. See the schedule for activity times.

Hirshhorn Art on the Outside
Where: Hirshhorn Museum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Suprasensorial isn’t the only cool exhibit that all ages will dig at the Hirshhorn right now. In fact, you don’t even have to go inside the museum for this new one that just opened yesterday: SONG 1 illuminates the building’s entire facade, turning it into a 360-degree convex screen cinema, as various versions of “I Only Have Eyes for You” play. Wow. That is definitely a must-see!

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Verizon Center & Patriot Center
When: March 24-25
Tickets: $19.95-144.50
The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their ridiculous basketball skills and amazing athletes to the Washington, DC-Metro area for three fun family shows! And as a special thank you their fans, the Globetrotters have partnered with the National Children’s Museum on an event at the Launch Zone on March 18 and have also created a $5 off discount code good for each ticket purchased for one of their upcoming games. To take advantage, go to: www.ticketmaster.com/promo/8v2pmu and use the code NCM.

Show Time
Where: Various local theatres
When: Througoutthe weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
See Beauty and the Beast on Ice presented by the Gardens Figure Skating Club. Catch Basil Twists’ Petrushka before it closes after this weekend at the Lansburgh Theatre. The Puppet Co’s version of Rapunzel is delighting young audiences. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is still on stage at Adventure Theatre. The Alden Theatre in McLean presents The Revenge of the Space Pandas. Out of the Box is at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. And Bash the Trash is at BlackRock Center for the Arts. Get details on all of these productions and even a few more on stages this weekend in this post about spring entertainment or this one listing winter shows.

Nano Days
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $11.95/ages 3-12, $14.95/adults
Explore the exciting world of tiny technology at the Science Center’s NanoDay. New nanotechnologies may soon have a huge impact on our lives, and you can discover how and why through hands-on activities. Uncover the mysteries of the super-small science that makes stained glass red, butterfly wings iridescent, and pants stain-proof. Hands-on activities illuminate the mysteries of the too-small-to-see science that is making waves in many areas, from medicine to molecular gastronomy and ecology to ethics. All activities are free with paid admission, while supplies last. And while you’re there, be sure to stop by the bug exhibit – the kids will love it!

Women in Aviation Family Day
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
Learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, a theatrical presentation, book signings, and Flights of Fancy Story Time for our youngest visitors. This event is in partnership with the Girl Scouts and helps commemorate their 100th Anniversary.

Artful Adventures for Families
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 12:30pm & 3pm
Admission: Free, but registration is required
Families can explore portraits from the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions through exciting and educational games that help parents and children discover connections between the artworks. Participants also use their imagination to “step into” works of art with creative activities in the galleries. Recommended for ages 6-12. Go here to register.

Penny the One-of-a-Kind Piano
Where: Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage
When: Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Free
It’s a Target Family Night at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage! That means the public is invited to enjoy a free family show. Join Penny on her musical adventure as she moves from the school band room to the stage of the National Opera. The curtain rises, the crowd hushes, and the spotlight is on Penny as she discovers her true home is within her One of a Kind self! Penny the Piano brings a heart and soul to every piano played by a child. Based on the delightful children’s book Penny the One of a Kind Piano, by Suzanne Jackson, this new musical brings a heart and soul to every piano played by a child.

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The Weekend Round-Up: March 10-11

City kid on the loose

 

The options for recreation with the kiddos this weekend are varied and sundry, for sure.  From a brand new math exhibit to art shows and programs to a St. Patty’s Day parade to a host of outdoor options, and much, much more in between, there’s plenty to indulge all ages and interests.  Whatever picks your family narrows it down to, enjoy!  Happy Weekend!

Math Comes Alive!
Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center
When: March 10 – June 3
Admission: Free
See how math figures in to real life through a brand new exhibit opening at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center on Saturday. MathAlive! features an array of interactive displays that give kids an opportunity to see for themselves — they can a 3D snowboard race, operate NASA robotics simulations, design and play their own video games, control a Mars rover, and experience real math at work in everything from nature to music to dancing to movie-making. The exhibit will run from March 10 to June 3.

St. Patrick’s Parade of Washington, DC
Where: Constitution Ave. from 7th to 17th Streets NW
When: Sunday, 12pm
Admission: Free
Find a spot on the curb along Constitution Ave. between 7th to 17th Streets NW to watch the 41st annual parade roll through the city. Floats, marching bands, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and members of the police and fire departments will be part of the celebratory spectacle.

Cartoons Among the Stars
Where: Rock Creek Park Nature Center
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free
Twenty-five lucky kids are in for a treat this Saturday! Rock Creek Park invites kids ages 4 and up to discover cartoon characters in the night sky. Guests should bring your sleeping bag, pillow, and astronomical mind and be ready for a unique planetarium experience. But here’s the catch: the program is open to only 25 people. Free tickets will be available 30 minutes before start time, so be sure to get there early to get yours (and have a Plan B just in case).

Storytime with Kristi Yamaguchi
Where: Hooray for Books
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free
Join the Olympic gold medalist and world champion figure skater for a reading of her new children’s book, It’s a Big World, Little Pig. The story describes Poppy the Pig’s adventures as she heads to the World Games ice skating championship in Paris. Of course you can purchase a copy of the book while you’re there – 100% of profits benefit early childhood literacy programs supported by Kristi’s Always Dream Foundation.

“Play” with Art
Where: The Torpedo Factory
When: Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12-6pm
Admission: Free

How about an art exhibit that you’re not worried about your kids getting their hands on? The Art League’s new exhibit, Play, actually welcomes visitors to touch, including interactive artwork that can be handled, added to, moved around, and more. The exhibit will be on display at The Torpedo Factory (105 North Union Street in Old Town Alexandria) through April 2. Hours are Mon – Sat 10am-6pm (open ’til 9pm on Thurs), Sun 12-6pm. Admission is free.

Lowe’s Build and Grow
Where: Local Lowe’s Stores
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

The home improvement store hosts free bimonthly workshops for kids, and during this session they can step right up and try their building luck with a carnival hoops kit! Bring the kids into any Lowe’s store to construct a free wooden project (with parent help). Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of their project. Go here to register.

Fishy X-rays
Where: National Museum of Natural History
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free
Get an “inside” look at fish in this session of the Museum’s monthly Second Saturday Arts & Science program. Inspired by the exhibit X-ray Vision: Fish Inside Out, participants can learn about fish evolution and diversity through observation of fish x-rays and photographs, using iPads and digital imagery.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Violins, and Trombones, and Bears, Oh, My!
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, 11am & 1:30pm; Sunday 1:30pm & 4pm
Admission: $18
This brand new show for wee children features NSO violinist Marissa Regni with NSO trombonist Barry Hearn. Violin and trombone, what an unusual instrument combination! Ages 3-5.

Intersections: A New America Arts Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by Performance
It’s the third and final weekend of the Atlas’ celebration of art as a form of connection and communication. Family entertainment on Saturday and Sunday includes Family Folktales with Charles H. Clyburn, the play Locomotion, the Kennedy String Quartet, and the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, and Bridgette and Dawn playing the weekend Boogie Babes show. Visit the Intersections website for show times, descriptions, and ticket info.

Dr. Seuss on the Loose!
Where: National Children’s Museum Launch Zone
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Drop in at the NCM as they wish Dr. Seuss a very happy (belated) birthday. After making their own wacky story characters out of recycled materials, guests learn how to make a book where they can write about all of the character’s adventures. At noon and 1pm, the Cat in the Hat will read classic Dr. Seuss favorites.

The Magic Lamp of Alladin
Where: Kenmore Middle School
When: March 9-18
Admission: $12/adults, $10/children
Encore Stage and Studio, the theatre company that presents shows by kids for kids, brings its newest production to the stage Friday evening for a two-weekend run. In this thrilling tale, the adventurous Aladdin crosses paths with the evil magician Jammal and his wicked sister Halima. Only with the help of his clever monkey, Alakazam, the crafty Princess Jasmine and, not one, but three comical genies, can Aladdin prevent his magic lamp from falling into the wrong hands. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Let Them Entertain You
Where: Various local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
It’s showtime on stages all around the area.  P. Nokio at Imagination Stage and The Magic Flute at The Puppet Co. are both being performed for the final times this weekend. Art on the Horizon’s Out of the Box is delighting young audiences at Landmark Mall. And Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is in its second weekend at Adventure Theatre. See this post on the season’s live entertainment for details and ticket info on all of them.

Story Time with Annie Groovie
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $5/person (adults, too)
It’s a special story time with Annie Groovie, Quebecois author and illustrator for children. Her books feature the quirky Cyclops character Léon. In an interactive workshop with les petits, Annie will explain how she created her mischievous hero, the Cyclops Léon and show kids how to create their own hero, by helping them draw a character. RSVP: 202-234-7911

Basket Weaving
Where: The Textile Museum
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free
Kids can get crafty at the Textile Museum’s monthly Arts for Families program. With fabric strips and a cardboard loom, learn the basic plain weave structure while creating your own colorful placemat. Recommended for ages 5-12, no reservations required.

Paper Tigers and Folding Dinosaurs
Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $40/1 adult, 1 child; $45/1 adult, 2 children ($10 less for members)
Kids and adults can learn how to make dinosaurs, flowers, even chessboards from paper in this origami workshop hosted by the Smithsonian Associates. Origami expert and math teacher John Montroll explains how dividing and folding paper results in recognizable objects, including insects, frogs, and other fun shapes. Workshop participants go home with paper art and instructions for creating more figures. Recommended for kids in 3rd grade and up. Register for the class here.

Super Science Saturday: Space Shuttle
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
This week’s theme of the monthly program at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum is Space Shuttle. 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.

Stories in Art
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm
Admission: Free
Kids ages 4-7 can drop in at the National Gallery to learn how Helen Frankenthaler’s abstract paintings were inspired by landscapes, hear a related reading of A Day Without Crayons, then make a painting without using brushes. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled.

Portrait Story Days: Faith Ringgold
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm; Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery 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 African American artist Faith Ringgold, who is best known for her painted story quilts.

On the Outs – By the looks of this weekend’s forecast, this post with loads of ideas for weekend recreation outdoors should prove useful Go here for outdoor activities and here for indoor suggestions.

Inside TrackThis post has a big list of places to hang indoors with the kids.

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Beauty and the Beast on Ice: Details and a Ticket Giveaway!

I’m always excited to find out about new, unique entertainment for families, even more so when I hear that local kids are part of the production.  I’ve noticed — with my kids, anyway — that watching other children display their talent, hard work, and confidence performing in front of an audience resonates with them in a special way.  I can almost hear them thinking, “Hey, maybe I can do that, too!” and know they’re dreaming of new possibilities.

One of these very productions is coming up at the end of the month.  The Gardens Figure Skating Club in Laurel, Md, is  presenting its eighth annual spring show, Beauty and the Beast on IceThe cast includes local skaters from as young as age 3 to adult, with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. Many of the skaters compete in the U.S. Figure Skating system, including national-level artistic, theater on ice, and synchronized skating competitions. 

A figure skating portrayal of the classic French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast on Ice features over 60 skaters performing to music from the 1991 Disney hit movie and the long running Broadway musical adaptation depicting a prince transformed into a beast who risks staying a beast forever unless he receives reciprocated love from a young woman named Belle. The range of ages and skill levels of the cast creates a visually exciting theatrical experience.

There will be four performances of Beauty and the Beast on Ice: March 24 at 1pm and 3:30pm and March 25 at 1pm and 3:30pm at the Gardens Ice House Patrick Arena (13800 Old Gunpowder Road in Laurel).  General admission tickets can be purchased online for $11 or  at the Gardens Ice House for $10.  A limited number of special reserved seats are available for $15. Groups of 10 or more may purchase general admission tickets for $8 per person by inquiring through gfsctickets@gmail.com. Under age 3 admitted free.

GIVEAWAY: Want a chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to see Beauty and the Beast on Ice?  Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what activity you’re most looking forward to this spring. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. Get an extra entry for following on Twitter (let me know that you did). A winner will be drawn at random next week.  Good luck!

 

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The Weekend Round-Up: February 25-26

Mr. Skip plays for the Boogie Babes crowd at the Atlas

 

This weekend is jam-packed with cool activities for the family — an arts festival at the Atlas, museum programs for a variety of interests, special Dr. Seuss storytimes, an animal showcase at the Zoo, loads of live entertainment, and more.  So many great choices, so little time. But that’s a conundrum I’ll gladly take.  Happy Weekend!

Intersections: A New America Arts Festival
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: Vary by Performance
As part of its celebration of art as a form of connection and communication, the Atlas Performing Art Center presents several family-friendly performances this weekend, including an interactive play featuring performers from Sidwell Friends; Bud, Not Buddy, a production from Adventure Theatre and the Jazz Academy of Music; Mutts Gone Nuts, a canine comedy show; a sign language performance by Quest Visual Theatre, and special weekend Boogie Babes shows (see below). Visit the Intersections website for show times, descriptions, and ticket info.

Boogie Babes
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: Saturday, 12-12:45pm
Tickets: Free
Families who can’t make it to the weekday shows are in for a treat (and so are families who can). The Boogies Babes are partnering with the Atlas Performing Arts Center to bring you the Intersections Festival, and will be presenting a free Mr. Skip show this weekend.  The performance will take place in the Atlas’ Kogod Lobby.

Featured Creature Day
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Get in the swim of things and head to the Zoo for special keeper talks and animal demos in the Amazonia exhibit! Learn all about the amazing diversity of fish in the Amazon River Basin — from the giant arapaima to freshwater stingrays and even the piranha, each species plays a vital role in maintaining the health of this giant ecosystem. Along with the talks and demos, there will be a scavenger hunt, fake tattoos, and fish feedings. See the schedule for activity times. And, of course, you can visit the rest of the Zoo’s residents, too!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Where: Clarendon Barnes & Noble
When: Saturday, 10:30am-12:30pm
Admission: Free
For their annual Fraternity Day of Service, the Nation’s Capital Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club is hosting special storytimes in honor of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2). Join them at the Clarendon Market Commons location of the bookstore.

Read with the Trees, Please!
Where: Target Stores
When: Saturday, 9-11am
Admission: Free
There will be even more Dr. Seuss storytime tributes at Target stores all over the country. The NEA’s Read Across America program is hosting free readings of The Lorax. The celebration also includes free goody bags, fun activities, and more!

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free
Short Stories Brewed from African Pots is this week’s performance from the National’s free program for kids. Long before children heard Mother Goose rhymes, stories were told in Africa about wise lions, wily snakes and how the world began. Storyteller Anna Mwalagho will enchant and delight kids with interactive tales full of spice and merriment that teach important lessons on life and empowerment. Tickets are free, but required, and distributed day-of on first-come, first-served basis.

Charlotte’s Web
Where: Alden Theatre
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: $10/McLean residents, $15/non-residents
See Theatreworks USA’s play based on E. B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free (but parking is $15)
This program at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum honoring Black History focuses on the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen. Visitors can listen to Tuskegee Airmen and their descendents talk about the challenges and triumphs as members of the groundbreaking African American World War II fighter group. The day also includes hands-on activities, book signings, and appearances by current scientists, pilots, and engineers in Aerospace.

Flights of Fancy
Where: National & Air Space Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 1:30pm
Admission: Free
Back at the National Mall, little ones can enjoy storytime at the Air & Space Museum. Staff will host readings of the book Nobody Owns the Sky at two different times. Each session includes the story and a hands-on activity.

Mardi Gras Family Day
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy a day of fun for the family with arts and crafts workshops, Zydeco music, an adornment workshop, storytelling, and more. Attendees of all ages should dress in their best festive attire for a costume constest – winners will receive a prize and receive recognition in the museum’s March newsletter.

Art a la Cart
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm
Admission: Free
During this free family program that takes place regularly at the museum, guests are invited to travel through the galleries and handle brushes, palettes, bison hide, and bottle caps at various interactive carts. Recommended for ages 7-12.

Irish Hooley
Where: St. Aloysius Church
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Donations accepted at the door
Start your St. Patrick’s celebrations a few weeks early (and in family-friendly style) at this fundraiser for the McKenna Center. Shannon Dunne Dancers, children ages 4 to 12, will be performing with Pete Moss and the Bog Band, the Culkin School of Irish Dance, and the Eye Street Boys. The show will take place in the lower level of the church.

Portrait Story Days: Rosa Parks
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery 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 African American civil rights activist, Rosa Parks.

Hot Tickets
Where: Various local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
There’s even more live entertainment hitting stages this weekend than what’s already been noted in this round-up. P.Nokio is a hip-hop hit at Imagination Stage. The Magic Flute is opening at The Puppet Co. And 1st Stage presents an a capella version of Three Bears. Find details and ticket info for all of these shows is in this post.

Stories in Art: Georgia O’Keefe
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Sunday, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm
Admission: Free
This is the final week that the NGA’s drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 will explore the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Guests are encouraged to see the natural world as the artist did as they hear a reading of the book Through Georgia’s Eyes, then create watercolor drawings inspired by plants. Sessions are at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, beginning at 11am, and continues until all spaces are filled. Admission is free. Read a KFDC review of the Stories in Art program here.

In & Out – As always, you can find even more ideas for weekend recreation in a couple more go-to posts: Go here for outdoor activities and here for indoor suggestions.

 

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