Tag Archives: Weekend July 30-31

Weekend in Washington

Peachy keen on the farm

The title of this post might seem obvious, but the distinction makes sense from my vacationing perspective. I must note that we’re missing out on some fun stuff while we’re out of town.  Hope those of you at home enjoy it.  Happy Weekend!

Swim in Nature’s MidstAdd some adventure to your next swimming experience by seeking out a natural spot to submerge. The Natural Capital blog has a fantastic list of places where you can take a dip and enjoy the great outdoors in one fell swoop.

The Wizard of Oz x 2You can catch two different productions of the classic show this weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the last chances to see the play performed by the talented young cast of the Act III Theatre Company. And The Puppet Co. presents their own fun version through September 4 with several show times over the weekend. Tickets are still available for all of performances. Read the KFDC review of both productions.

Shark Weekend On Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm, celebrate Shark Weekend at DC’s National Aquarium by getting up-close and personal with several shark species. Learn from leading experts on the history, lives, and habits of one of the world’s most fascinating ocean dwellers. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt, touch an actual shark tooth and other artifacts, make arts and crafts, and more.  Admission to the Aquarium is $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for children 2 and under. There is no fee beyond that for the event.

Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches – It’s peach picking time at many local farms; the summer fruits are at their ripest from late July to early August. If you want to get them at their peak, check out this list of local farms that offer pick-your-owns.  (Note: the post is about blueberry picking, but many of the same places are harvesting peaches now. But it’s always a good idea to check the website for updates.)

Classic TennisSee some exciting sports action served up at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. The annual tournament begins on Saturday at 10am , and continues through August 7.  Tickets for the first round of matches this weekend are still available ranging from $10-45. 

Art for Families: Design a Button BraceletBe your own jewelry designer at the Textile Museum on Saturday while recycling grandma’s buttons into something fashionably hip.  Participants will create a bracelet with buttons of all sizes, colors and textures and walk away wearing their new work of art.  The free activity takes place from 2-4pm.

Family Fest at the Postal Museum Hop on board for a rail-riding good time with Owney the dog, the subject of one of the Postal Museum’s most popular exhibits.  This celebration includes such fun activities as designing an Owney tag, sorting mail in the Railway Post Office, making a stamp collection, and more. Enjoy the free event on Friday and Saturday from 12-3pm.

Livin’ Large Kids ArtOn Saturday from 11am – 1pm, children are invited to render their own abstractions influenced by artist Tory Cowles’ work, which is currently on exhibit at the Torpedo Factory. With inspiration her imagery, kids have an opportunity to experience the same thrill from the act of painting that Cowles’ herself does and has portrayed in her own bold canvases.

Jump on the Park Wagon  – I’ve recommended Riverbend Park in Fairfax as a great place to spend a day outdoors with the kids, and now there’s one more reason why:  Visitors can board a tractor-pulled wagon for a naturalist-led tour of the park. Rides are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:30pm. Cost is $4/person, children 2 and under ride free. Rides run approximately 30-45 minutes.

Get Up and Go! –  On Friday and Saturday at 11am, the National Children’s Museum Launch Zone invites families to discover fun summer activities to make them healthy and strong. Activities like spoon and “egg” relays, freeze dancing, Simon Says, and jumping jack contests will take place throughout the day. And, weather permitting, guests can also enjoy a Hippity Hop Course. This free event runs from 11am – 6pm.

For even more ideas for fun with the kids, check out these popular KFDC posts:

Joys of Summer

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

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

Stay Entertained Through Summer

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

A Tale of Two Wizards (of Oz)

Dorothy and crew from The Puppet Co.'s "The Wizard of Oz"


It might seem kind of odd to see the same story performed on stage twice in one weekend. But with two productions of “The Wizard of Oz” opening simultaneously and a family vacation looming, it was my only chance to catch both to post timely reviews.

Turns out, it couldn’t have worked out better.  The hot weekend was a great time to be in the cool AC of the theatres. And the productions, a play by Encore Stage’s Act III division and The Puppet Co.’s handmade version, were vastly different, which actually added a neat twist to the theatre experience for both Owen, my trusty theatre review partner, and me.

Viewing two versions of the tale so close together was a rare opportunity to compare the unique interpretations and performances of the story.  (Sasha tried to join us for the puppet show, but at two and a half, she was more focused on having a snack — a no-no in the theater — than on the stage, so my husband took her to the Glen Echo playground instead.)

First up was Encore Stage’s performance on Saturday afternoon. I won’t beat around the bush:  This play was fantastic!  Performed mostly by young actors, some possibly as young as five-year-old Owen, the production showcased some truly wonderful talent.  The acting, singing, and dancing of the cast was remarkably impressive, commanding the attention of the audience for the entire show.

On the way there, I’d given Owen some background on the story just in case it was hard to follow on stage. It only took minutes into the show to realize that wasn’t necessary, as Encore Stage lived up to its “Theatre by kids, for kids of all ages” motto. The show catered to the audience of both children and adults with fun musical numbers (Dorothy’s welcome to Emerald City was a brilliant start), a creative set, and fun (and funny) “theatre magic” to pull off some of the special effects (the melting witch was a riot). And I have to give a virtual standing ovation to the Cowardly Lion, who gave an outstanding performance.

The entire production is about two hours long, with two approximately 50-minute acts and a 20-minute intermission in between.  The show only runs for one more weekend, July 29-31, with performances Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Kids ages four and up would probably enjoy it most. Tickets are $15/adult, $10/children and can be purchased online.

Preparing for The Puppet Co.’s show on Sunday was a little different than the day before.  Now a veteran viewer of “The Wizard of Oz,” Owen was excited to bring his  expert perspective to the show.  We’ve seen many productions at the Glen Echo theatre, and I always appreciate their quirky way of presenting classic stories (though I guess any show that includes characters who are part puppet-part person can’t be anything but). This time they do it with live actors “telling a story within a story” using an array of mediums–table top puppets, masks, marionettes, and moving-mouth puppets.  And those puppet-human hybrids make appearances, too, with terrifically amusing renditions of the much adored munchkins.

While I found the production easy to follow, Owen needed a quick explanation about the “story within a story.”  In this version, Dorothy and Toto visit the Kansas State Fair, but Dorothy gets lost amidst the crowd. While her parents are being located, a few festival workers care for her and tell a fascinating story about a girl, a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion venturing together to see the wizard — the story of The Wizard of Oz.  Once Owen understood the roles of the narrators, he was able to follow along fine, and was thoroughly engaged in the singing, puppet dancing, and imaginatively presented cast of characters. After the show when I asked him if he liked it, I got a very enthusiastic, “Yes!” And when I asked what he like best, he told me, “When the lion jumped across the stage!”  Sounds like the lion stole the show once again.

“The Wizard of Oz” will be at The Puppet Co. through September 4, with showtimes on Thursdays and Fridays at 10am & 11:30am and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am & 1pm. It’s recommended for kids of Kindergarten age and up, and running time is 55 minutes.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.


Filed under Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Preschoolers, Preteens, Teens, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend