KidFriendly DC | where to go & what to do with kids in the nation’s capital


Happy Weekend!

Quick links to posts full of ideas for ongoing fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Active Pursuits Inside
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Ice Skating
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Feel the Love
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Love is in the air — and at places all around DC this weekend! Events and activities to celebrate and prep for Valentine’s Day range from art making to nature programs to cookie decorating. And they’re sure to be especially sweet. This post has details on all of them.

Celebrate Black History
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout February (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

February is Black History Month, and there are many great events and activities throughout the DC area to celebrate it. Museum programs, guided and self-guided tours, visits to significant sites, story time sessions, special exhibits, and more will be enlightening, enriching, and entertaining for all.

Kid Workshop: Chalkboard Message Center
Where: Lowes locations aroud the area
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Your mini-DIYer will love this special Valentine’s workshop as the build a chalkboard that doubles as a vase. It’s the perfect way to say I Love You all year long.

Saturday Morning Live!
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free

See the Visionaries of the Creative Arts ensemble perform the children’s story, I Don’t Want to Be Me, by Patricia Lee Davis and Jocelyn Mack. This story about self-acceptance and embracing imperfections features a young African-American girl named Michelle, who is struggling to accept her natural beauty. Encounters with nature and animals remind her that she is beautiful the way she is. Children can also participate in an interactive drama about the story. Register for a show to ensure admission!

The World & Me: Exhibit Takeover – Deep Time Edition
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join the World and Me team in the Deep Time museum exhibit museum for a special fossil-focused adventure! Smithsonian scientists and educators will be on hand to welcome families and anyone interested in exploring Earth’s deep past. Touch and hold real fossils, observe experts at work in the FossiLab, engage with educators and experts throughout the exhibit at different carts and stations, and more. No registration required; just pop in.

Family Day: Make a Mini Magazine
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

Visit the Library of Congress for a family activity and to learn more about the Library’s collections. In honor of Black History Month, they’ll be discussing and finding inspiration in W.E.B. DuBois’ “The Brownies’ Book”, the first magazine for African American children. There will also be a special appearance from honored guest Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden at 1pm. Plan for time to explore the whole LOC — it’s amazing! See more about it in this KFDC post.

The Great Zucchini and Abracadabra Alex
Where: Avalon Theatre | Chevy Chase, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $11.38/ages 2+

Start the day laughing and clapping with your family! The Great Zucchini and Abracadabra Alex are teaming up for an unforgettable, belly laughing show. Two of the DC area’s favorite children’s entertainers are teaming up for a not-to-be-missed show at the historic Avalon Theatre!

Black History Month Family Day
Where: Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

For a bonus to Underground Railroad Experience Trail hike, go on February 10for a special Family Day celebrating Black History Month. Drop in the Visitors Center to enjoy story times and hands-on activities celebrating African American heritage and accomplishments as told through this year’s theme: The Arts. Contribute to an “I Have a Dream Canvas”, create your own compass, and follow the path of Harriet Tubman.

Lunar New Year Family Festival
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The National Postal Museum is ringing in the Year of the Dragon with a Lunar New Year Family Festival this weekend! Join the museum for a day full of free fun and enriching activities for all ages, including crafts, live dance performances, games, and more!

Lunar New Year Family Celebration
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at this annual celebration that is always a blast for families! The American Art Museum’s event showcases the ways different Asian cultures ring in the Lunar New Year. Enjoy dance and music performances, crafts, traditional Chinese and Korean art demonstrations, photo booths, face painting (for kids 12 & under, while supplies last), family-friendly activities, and the show stopping lion dance. The Courtyard Café will also offer special holiday treats to celebrate the occasion.

Family Workshop: Snowflake Shadows
Where: Asian Art Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm, 1:30-3pm
Admission: Free
Cold weather is crafting weather! Explore how art conservators prevent colors from fading in this hands-on educational program designed for children ages 6-11 and their caregivers. Take a guided tour of Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change, create snowflake art, and then bring your snowflake home and watch as it transforms in the sunlight! Sign up for the 11am – 12:30 session here, and for the 1:30-3pm session here.

African Americans at Congressional Cemetery
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $5 donation

Join an expert docent for an exploration of African American history in Congressional Cemetery in honor of Black History Month. African Americans, across history, have left their mark on the US, and this story of tragedy, endurance, and triumph are echoed in the graves of many individuals who are interred at the cemetery, from the formerly enslaved, to philosophers, to DC’s Mayor for Life. Reservations required. Rain or shine.

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration
Where: THEARC | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Black History Month and the 206th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth. Join Ranger staff at THEARC for pre-program activities at 12:30pm and in the lobby and at 2pm for the main program. Hear Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest winners recite Douglass’s most famous speeches. Learn about Douglass through a lively, interactive Jeopardy-style game about his life. Enjoy music by the Jubliee Voices of the Washington Revels.  Watch performance by students from the Washington Ballet School from THEARC.

Mardi Gras Celebration
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 3-7pm
Admission: Free

Let the good times roll at The Wharf’s Mardi Gras celebration. Watch the parade on Wharf Street, check out activity stations with the kids, dance to live music, grab a hurricane (for parents) from the District Pier Bar, and party on!

Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Ring in the Year of the Dragon as you get at the studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center, where all are groups are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities.  This weekend work on Lunar New Year-inspired projects, including shadow puppets, paper lanterns, and zodiac prints. Recommended for ages 5+.

Dancing Our Way Through Books
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Tickets: Free

Join Kelly King, InterAct Story Theatre teaching artist and founder of Contradiction Dance Theatre and The Movement Movement, as you explore a kid-friendly folk tale through creative movement and dance. Kids get to practice reading skills while moving, dancing, and sharing stories with families and friends. No prior dance training needed…just bring your body and get ready to move. Best for ages 3+.

The Art of Storytelling: According to Coyote
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-3:30pm
Admission: Free

Bring the whole family to see According to Coyote, an entertaining play about the antics of the trickster Coyote, an important figure in the stories of the Great Plains, Southwest, and Plateau Native nations. Originally written and performed by playwright and actor John Kauffman (Nez Perce), Kellen Trenal (Black and Niimíipuu [Nez Perce]) takes on the title role, as well as several other supporting characters, in this one-person play.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Fri, 7pm  | Sat & Sun, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $25

It is Junie B.’s first day of first grade, and a lot of things have changed for her: Junie’s friend, Lucille, does not want to be her best pal anymore and, on the bus, Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. Also, Junie has trouble reading the blackboard and her teacher, Mr. Scary, thinks she may need glasses. Throw in a friendly cafeteria lady, a kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting. Featuring a tremendously loveable character and fun-filled songs, Junie B. Jones will capture your audience members’ hearts just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

The Girl Who Became Legend
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Fri, 7pm | Sat, 1:30pm & 4pm | Sun, 11am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $20

It’s the final weekend of this show for young audiences at the Kennedy Center…  The town of Dustbin is known for two things: rules and dust. But one day, Raina spies a cloud in the sky—and adventure ensues with Calamity Jane, Johnny Appleseed… and a thunderstorm! Coming to the Center from ZACH Theatre in Austin, TX, this charming new folktale takes the stage, packed with spirited tunes. Recommended for ages 8+.

Hansel & Gretel
Where: The Puppet Co.
When: Fri, 10:30am  | Sat & Sun, 11:30am & 1pm
Tickets: $15

Join the Puppet Co. this classic German fairy tale about two kids who get lost in the woods and encounter a witch. Written by Len, Patricia, and Chrisopher Piper, this version of Hansel and Gretel is over 50 years old. Our musical tale, performed using marionettes, is sure to charm you and your little ones. Recommended for ages 4+. Run time approximately 45 minutes.

Romeo & Juliet
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through March 24
Tickets: $35-65

It’s probably hard to imagine a wordless Shakespeare production, but Synetic Theater’s version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, and it’s phenomenal. (I saw a performance of it a few years ago.) Innovative, fluid choreography set against dramatic scenery of gears in a clock, all to a unique soundtrack of ticks, tocks, and chimes makes for a gorgeous, mesmerizing production. Words aren’t necessary when a familiar story is told in such a beautifully expressive way. If you’re a fan of the bard or just appreciate superb theatre, I highly recommend this show. Teens and older could enjoy it, but it makes for a great grown-up night out.

Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through March 3
Tickets: $41-95 (check for discount)

Mind tricks, anyone? Mentalist Vinny DePonto delivers a performance full of them in this one-man (+ a few audience members) show. It’s a fascinating, delightful, and poignant trip down memory lane as he explores the mind’s inner workings and what we hold onto in our heads. Highly recommend for a fun evening out — for teens and older!

Local Lacrosse
Where: University of Maryland | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: $15-25/adult, $10-25/youth

How about catching a different sporting event this weekend? It’s the home opener for Maryland men’s lacrosse, and they’re playing another local team, Loyola. And ranked at #4 (UMD) and #12 (Loyola), it should be an exciting game to watch!

Wizards vs 76ers
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary (check for discount)

The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday evening — watch them work some on-court magic against the Philadelphia 76ers. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood.

Caps vs. Canucks
Where: Capital One Arena
When: Sunday, 1:30pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary (check for discount)

While you’re waiting for the big football game to start, get in some other sports spectating at a Caps game. They’re hosting the Vancouver Canucks at home on Sunday afternoon. Make a longer outing of it in Penn Quarter — grab a meal (recommendations here) or pop in to the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum before or after the hockey match.

Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Around Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Welcome, Year of the Dragon! On Sunday, the annual Chinese Lunar New Year Parade brings vibrant tradition to downtown DC. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic lions and dragons. Kids always love seeing the show and having trinkets and treats given to them by parade participants passing by. The parade lasts about two hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot — lots of folks come out for this one, especially if it’s a nice day.

Museums Beyond DC
Where: Museums in MD & VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

There’s a lot going on in the District this weekend, but if you want to get out of the city in spite of this (or because of it), head to a museum in Maryland or Virginia! There are a bunch of great places to explore in the ‘burbs and beyond, and this post has a round-up of them.

* Whether for this weekend, weekdays, or future dates, these regularly occurring museum programs for kids are great to keep on your radar.
* Where to find food for the Lunar New Year around DC.
* Where to watch the Super Bowl around DC, including at least one family-friendly spot.
* 8 of the DC area’s most romantic restaurants, according to Washington Post.
* 5 children’s movies to stream now.
* Soooo many recipes for Sunday.
* This handy little item has given new life to my sweaters
* Have you ever shopped here for kids clothes?
* Every print of this dress is so pretty! (Also, this less expensive mini.)
* 10 Happy Things for February 💜

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