Lots of interactive fun at the National Geographic Museum's Animal Grossology exhibit
Hellooo, 2012! May this year bring lots of new adventures and good times, starting with these suggestions for activities with the kids this Monday through Friday…
Monday – You only have one more week to learn about some of the ickiest parts of the animal world at the National Geographic Museum’s Animal Grossology exhibit. Through several creative, interactive installments, kids can discover all they’ll ever need to now about animal poop and other, um, natural processes. It’s presented along with Weird But True, a collection of odd facts about the wild world. Admission to both exhibits is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under.
Tuesday – Enjoy storytime for little ones. The National Building Museum is hosting its Book of the Month Program with readings of Snowflake Bentley at 10:30am and 11:30am in the Building Zone ($3/person). Barnes & Noble regularly welcomes guests for free storytime programs — go here for days/times at a location near you. And check out this old post for my personal take on the activity and for links to local libraries that offer it.
Wednesday – Have a laugh on Old Man Winter’s behalf and indulge in a most unseasonal activity: Swimming! At least six public indoor pools in DC are currently open. And there’s year-round swimming in Maryland and Virgina, too — follow these county and city links to find an aquatic facility near you: Montgomery County, PG County, Arlington, Alexandria. Be sure to check open swim hours, as they vary from pool to pool.
Thursday – Join the Boogie Babes for their first show of the year at Eastern Market. Bridgette with Dawn on Conga will get the 2012 fun started at 10:30am in the North Hall. Admission is $5/child, free for siblings months and under.
Friday – It’s show time! Be among the first audiences to see one of several children’s productions opening in theatres this week or catch one that’s getting ready to end its run. See this post about live entertainment this winter to see what’s on stages now.
Capitol replica made entirely of natural materials at Season's Greening
We’re in the throes of the holiday season. Lights are twinkling, mini trains are chugging, sugar plum fairies are dancing, and suckers like me are spending. Here’s a quick list of where your family can enjoy the festivities, plus some non-holiday activities, too. Happy Weekend!
Celebrate the Season – Experience a frozen wonderland, visit Santa in his workshop, view nature and DC-inspired holiday exhibits, drive or stroll through holiday lights, see intricately constructed model train displays. There’s no shortage of activities that celebrate the season; the tough part is deciding which to do. To help choose, check out this guide to DC’s best holiday events.
Holidays on Stage– All of the classics are at our local theatres. This post has details on where you and the kids can see your favorites.
Merriment in Georgetown – The neighborhood is always bustling, but it will be even more so on Saturday as the Merriment in Georgetown Kick-Off Party celebrates 12 days (December 9-20) of holiday shopping events and promotions at over 50 stores. Festivities will include special sales, pedicab rides, a gingerbread house making contest, musical performances, culinary treats, and more. This will all take place from 1-4pm in the PNC Bank Lot at Wisconsin & M Streets. Admission is free, and parking is just $2.
Christmas Dreams at the National – Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Sweets are in the air as the Virginia Ballet Company and School present selections for their magical, glittering Nutcracker at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance. Familiar music, lively dances, lovely costumes and charming characters from Tchaikovsky’s classic confection will bring elegant holiday cheer. 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.
Jingle All the Way to Georgetown – This fun family event taking place on Sunday from 4-8pm is an opportunity to support a wonderful cause and help make the holiday season brighter for children and families coping with cancer. The 6th Annual Georgetown Jingle is includes a silent auction, tastings by leading DC area chefs, kids activities, and live entertainment, including a visit from Santa and his friends. Themed holiday trees and vignettes created by the Washington area’s top designers will also be showcased for guests to view. And especially for young attendees is the Children’s Workshop, where they can enjoy holiday crafts, decorate cookies, watch movies, and dance. See this post for more information about the event and purchasing tickets.
Scribble, Dot, Pop! – Kids have another weekend to explore art through film at The National Gallery of Art’s monthly film program. This weekend they’ll present a series of animated shorts that celebrate the qualities that make artists. Guests can get a glimpse into the life and art of Andy Warhol in the fun and gentle film Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol, a family-friendly biography of Warhol and an introduction to pop art, along with a few other animated shorts about art, all of the kid-friendly variety. Sessions are at 10:30am on Saturday and 11:30am on Sunday in the East Building Auditorium. The program is free, and seating is offered on a first-come, first-seated basis. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Caroling at the Gallery – If you want to put some holiday spirit into your National Gallery visit, go in the afternoon for caroling in the seasonally decorated West Building Rotunda. Guest choirs will lead afternoon sing-alongs that all ages are welcome to join. Carol along with The Mandoleers on Saturday, and the Alexandria Choral Society on Sunday. Performances are at 1:30pm and 2:30pm both days.
Colonial Wassail – Gather in the orchard ofClaude Moore Colonial Farm on Sunday from 1-4pm to toast the winter apple trees with singing, dancing, and chants to ensure a “howling crop” next year. Enjoy hot spiced cider, sugar cakes, a roaring bonfire, and 18th-century games along with the wassailing festivities. Admission is $3/adults, $2/children.
Nat Geo Exhibits – Take shelter from the cold and check out a couple of fun kids’ exhibits at the National Geographic Museum. Animal Grossology and Weird But True are fun and fascinating for kids of all ages. Admission is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children under 5. The National Geographic Museum is located at 1145 17th Street NW.
Puppet Fun at Discovery Theater – There are a couple of programs for kids to enjoy at the Ripley Center on Saturday. At 12pm, join master artist Bob Brown for Winter Wonderland, a jolly romp with delightful trick marionettes who are out frolicking in the cold. The friendly little critters—bunny, penguin and snowman—perform feats of skill and daring that will leave your young audience holiday-happy. Enjoy the fun and fantasy, mirth and merriment, giggles and amazement—and the sound of favorite holiday music. Recommended for kids ages 2-8. Tickets are $3-8. Children ages 3 and up can join Michele and Ingrid from the popular puppet theatre, Dinorock, for a Puppet Workshop, where they’ll make their own puppets inspired by the little characters from the show. The workshop runs from 10am – 1pm. Tickets are $5/Smithsonian Resident Associate members, $10/non-members. Get your tickets today, as they will not be available the day of the workshop.
Alternative Gifting – If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend and are looking for unique presents, then check out Gifts That Give Hope: Arlington’s Alternative Gift Fair this Saturday, where shoppers make donations in honor of friends and family as holiday presents. You’ll have an opportunity to learn about and support 13 local non-profits. And if you can’t make the fair, you can still shop online through December 20.
Recreation on Ice – Enjoy a cold-weather outdoor activity and impressive works of art all at once at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. For details and even more places to do your best Boitano or Kerrigan, check out this post about area ice skating venues, both outdoors and in.
The Wright Stuff – It’s Second Saturday at the Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center from 10am -3pm. With a new theme every month, the program engages visitors of all ages in topics related to aviation and space exploration. This weekend will celebrate the world’s first aviators, the Wright Brothers. While admission is free, parking is $15 /car.
Bieber Fever Builds in DC – This is not an activity recommendation; rather it’s a heads-up that the Building Zone at the National Building Museum will be closed from Saturday through Monday, and the entire Museum will be closed on Sunday as the holiday special “Christmas in Washington” takes place there. Justin Bieber will be part of the show, and word has it they are expecting a mob scene because if it, hence the closing of the Building Zone.
Halloween has already begun, as far as Boba Fett is concerned
So, it’s not officially Halloween this weekend, but given all the events going on — and the fact that my kids are practically living in costumes — for all intents and purposes, it’s Halloween. So, I’m going with the theme. If you’re spooked by the idea of celebrating early, there’s still plenty more to do: a family day at the Newseum, theatre performances on local stages, museum exhibits, book readings, and more. And I’m not even going to mention the “s” word that’s supposedly on it’s way tomorrow (ignore it and it’ll go away, right?), but cooler weather is coming. Fingers crossed that it’s of the crisp, sunny fall day variety. Happy Weekend!
Halloween Happenings – You don’t have to wait until Monday to get the Halloween festivities started. Catch a concert in costume at National Geographic Live; design a pop-up haunted house at the Building Museum; trick or treat at Old Town Boutiques; put some air in your scare at the Udvar-Hazy Center or College Park Aviation Museum; enjoy kids festivities at the MLK Library, Discovery Theater, GW University, and the Crime Museum. Find details for all of these events in this KFDC post about the many Halloween happenings around town.
Go “Around the World” at the Newseum – Saturday is a special Family Day at the museum dedicated to all things news and media. Take a trip across the globe with journalist Nelly Bly through a variety of activities geared especially toward kids, a scavenger hunt, front page news games, a historical enactment of Bly, and a 3-D short film among them. This all starts at 11am – see the schedule for activity times. Admission to the museum is still the regular price (21.95/adults, $12.95/ages 7-18, free for ages 6 and under), but you’ll get to experience the special activities along with all the permanent collections. And, as mention in this KFDC post about the Newseum a couple of weeks ago, tickets are good for two consecutive days, so you can go back Sunday for even more.
Fall Frolic– Glen Echo Park’s annual Halloween-themed event is a seasonal fave for all ages. The public is invited to explore the park through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances. Decorate trick-or-treat bags, make a spooky spider or a friendly ghost, and color Halloween pictures for free. Pay a small fee $1-2) for pumpkin decorating and face painting. The Park’s studios and galleries will also be open for visitors to view the works of resident artists. And a costume parade will conclude the fun at the end of the day. This all happens on Saturday from 1-4pm.
Hansel & Gretel at the National – The free Saturday morning theatre fun continues. First up is Barrymore Eagle’s Costume Parade, so bring the kids in their charming or wild Halloween get-ups. Afterwards, kids will revel in the not-too-scary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel, which is brought magically to life by the enchanting marionettes from Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater. These performances at National Theatre 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!
Go Nat Geo – Families can enjoy more than just the aforementioned Halloween concert going on at the National Geographic Museum this weekend. On Sunday at 1pm, join Dig Deeper, a free archaeology workshop being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages. Email NatGeoMuseum@ngs.org to register. And while you’re there, don’t miss Animal Grossology, a new exhibit for kids featuring some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth. Admission to the exhibit is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that will captivate any photography buff or wildlife lover.
Take the Fall – This is the last weekend for many area fall festivals, so if you still have yet to pick out pumpkins, zip down lofty slides, bounce on giant pillows, and have fun down on the farm, see this KFDC post to find out where you can go to squeeze it all in. And if you have been.. hey, go back for more!
Book it to the JCC – Enjoy a morning of crafts, folktales, and fun with children’s book author Vicki Weber. Her award-winning book, It’s Too Crowded in Here!, is a collection of Jewsish folktales and midrashic stories enlivened by colorful illustrations. The event starts at 10am and is part of the Jewish Literary Festival that runs through November 2. Admission to this Sunday’s family program is $10 and includes a copy of the book.
Potrait Story Days – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday 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 Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
And as always, these posts are worth checking out once the forecast is firm:
Talk about a crappy photo... a lesson in animal poop at Nat Geo's latest exhibit for kids
Another weekend has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Here’s where kiddos (and parents!) can stay entertained all week long.
Monday – If you still haven’t made it to a fall festival, weekdays are a great time to go, when crowds thin out and admission prices are often lower. Take a hayride, pick out a pumpkin, jump and slide, visit farm animals, and more. This KFDC post has details on where you can find the seasonal fun.
Tuesday – Journey “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with the National Children’s Museum as they host Toddler Tuesday, a free weekly drop-in program for children ages 2-4. Guests can take a make-believe jaunt to the land of Oz and discover real and imaginary parts of The Wizard of Oz through stories, games, art, and movement. Drop in anytime from 10:30am – 2:30pm.
Wednesday – Take the kids to one of DC’s most tried and true for family fun: The National Museum of Natural History (or Dinosaur Museum, as my kids like to call it). Tour roomfuls of skeletons of prehistoric beasts, visit the Hall of Mammals, and head upstairs to the Insect Zoo, where guests often have the opportunity to hold giant caterpillars, cockroaches, beetles, and other creepy crawlies. Later in the day, enjoy Halloween Happy Hour with the Boogie Babes as they host BB2 Boo!, a costume and dance party at the Atlas Performing Arts Center ($10/family).
Thursday – The forecast isn’t looking too hot for this part of the week, so explore nature indoors at a nature center. Most have live animals to visit, interactive exhibits, and hands-on activities for kids. And if weather does permit, there are miles of outdoor areas to roam, too. The Natural Capital blog has a list of area nature centers along with a map depicting their locations.
Friday – Have fun learning about some of the ickiest parts of the animal world at the National Geographic Museum’s latest exhibit for kids, “Animal Grossology.” Through several creative, interactive installments, the exhibit explains all you’ll ever need to now about animal poop and their other, um, natural processes. It’s presented along with “Weird But True,” a collection of odd facts about the wild world. Admission to both exhibits is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under.
Forgive the corny, cliché title of this post – it’s hard to come up with something clever week after week (not that they ever were that clever…). But trite or not, the reference to autumn is apropos for this roundup of weekend events, as so many of them salute the season. Of course, there are also recommendations that make no allusion to the time of year. No matter what you and the kids decide to pursue, fall-themed or not, have a great time doing it. Happy Weekend!
Kids Euro Festival –Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues from October 14 – November 10. See what’s on the schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Autumn Colonial Market Fair – Claude Moore Colonial Farm is holding its annual fair on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4pm both days. Tradesmen and artisans — blacksmiths, potters, silversmiths, candle makers, and more —from all over the country will be there to demo their work and sell their wares. Guests can also enjoy all kinds of colonial fare and watch as food cooks right over a fire pit, just like olden times. Along with the fair, you can also tour the farm, which is straight out of the 18th-century. Admission to the farm on the Autumn Market Fair weekend is $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for children 2 and under.
Rock Creek Fall Heritage Day at Peirce Mill – Step back in time somewhere else on Saturday for a day-long celebration marking the re-opening of historic Peirce Mill during Rock Creek Park Heritage Day. Artists, craftspeople, and historians will line the mill yard and grounds, restored to their 1800’s appearance, to bring history alive. Visitors can join them for hands-on demonstrations, while park rangers and historian shed light on what life was like in the 19th century. There will also be tours of the restored mill, which will be grinding grain, as it did more than a century ago. A schedule of the day’s events and more info is available of the NPS website.
Truck Touch – Kids can pretend to drive a school bus, explore construction rigs, learn about EMS & recycling trucks, and many more vehicles at Suburban Nursery School’s annual Truck Touch. Along with the cool rides, guests can enjoy homemade baked goods and lunch from some favorite local vendors (pizza, ice cream, & hotdogs). It will all take place in the school’s parking lot on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Admission is $5/person, free for children under 2. All programs benefit Suburban Nursery School, a non-profit, parent-run cooperative nursery school for over 50 years.
Pinkalicous and the Pink Pumpkin – Room & Board is hosting a special event featuring award-winning author and illustrator Victoria Kann, reading from her latest book Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin. Bring the kids, decorate pumpkins, and enter for a chance to win our kid-sized Jill table and four Little Jake chairs. Books are available for purchase at the event. It all takes place from 11am – 1pm, and the reading begins at noon. The event is free, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taste of Georgetown – In its 18th year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of 30 of the neighborhood’s finest eateries, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring nearly 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings, the jazz talents of Blues Alley artists, and children’s activities such as caricatures, jugglers, and balloon artists. Wisconsin and M Streets NW is where this will all go down on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.
What’s Grosser than Gross? – The National Geographic Museum’s latest exhibit for kids, “Animal Grossology,” features some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth…and their natural bodily functions. Yes, there’s plenty about poop, puke, and other icky processes all presented through many cool, creative, interactive installments. Kids will love it (and so will adults). Admission is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that any photography buff or wildlife lover will find mesmerizing.
Family Day in the White House ‘Hood – The Neighbors to the President’s Consortium, a group of historic sites and museums in the White House neighborhood, is hosting a day of activities for families. Activities will include a scavenger hunt at the Renwick Gallery, an art safari at the Corcoran, candle making at the DAR Museum, and more. Detailed activity descriptions are available on the NTPC website.
Hop on the Halloween Train – The “Eye Spy” Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park rides again! Get on board this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – tickets sales begin at 2pm, and rides are every half hour from 3-8pm. Tickets are $6 person and include “Eye Spy” game card and other activities for kids.
Family Fun Literacy Day – The Play With Words Children’s Museum in Vienna, in partnership with the Vienna Whole Foods Market and PBS Kids, is hosting a Family Fun Literacy Day on Saturday from 12-3pm. Join them, along with the characters from PBS Kids “Super Why” TV show, for a fun afternoon of literacy-related activities, including hands-on activities and a treasure hunt throughout the Vienna Whole Foods store, with prizes for the first 200 children. More information is available on the Play With Words website.
And the forecast is looking great for this weekend, so this post will come in handy if you want to take advantage of the weather: