Synetic Theater’s newest Family Theater show, The Rough-Faced Girl  opens this weekend.  The Rough-Faced Girl is a Cinderella story told through the eyes of a Native American girl cast off by her family.  Through a blend of music, dance, acrobatics, and Native American storytelling traditions, this show helps young theater goers celebrate Native American History Month and understand that beauty lies within.

The official opening performance is this Sunday at 11am , and they are offering you a discount to that show of 50% off for Go Out and Play readers- use the code: GOOUT.  Tickets are regularly price $12, so the price will only be $6!  There will also be complimentary snacks and drinks at the opening performance with a post-show discussion with the actors and director.  The show is appropriate for ages 2 and up.

Click here for tickets for Sunday’s show.




The week leading up to Halloween is always fun in the DC Metro area, so get out and play!

Monday, October 24th    Forest Fledglings 

9:45am @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

New topic each week for parent and child (quiet siblings welcome.) Stories, crafts and nature activities leading to outdoor exploration. Dress for weather. Call nature center for weekly topic.


Tuesday, October 25th    Kids Read to Dogs (Paws to Read)

5:30pm @ Westover Branch Library, Arlington

Children grades K – 5 are invited to read to therapy dogs. Each “Paws to Read” child is given a 15-minute session where they will be paired with a canine listener. Volunteers (both owners and dogs) are part of PAL (People. Animals. Love.), an animal therapy organization. All participating dogs are trained and certified. Studies have shown that reading to a dog (or other non-judgmental audience) can help improve a child’s reading level and increase their enjoyment of reading. Please register for a slot by calling (703) 228-5260.


Tuesday, October 25th    Whoo’s About 

10:30am – 11:30am & 1:30pm – 2:30pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Wondering who’s out at night, lurking just out of sight. Don’t let these creatures give a you a fright, come and learn they do not bite! For ages 3 – 5 years.  Registration is required.  Activity #: 612911

Wednesday, October 26th  Halloween at Whole Foods

5pm – 7pm @ Old Town Whole Foods, Alexandria

Start your night off by experiencing the mystery boxes and then continue to experience Halloween by Trick-or-Treating around the store. A night full of costumes, snacks, and fun! Trick-or-treating starts at 5 pm and goes until 7 pm.


Thursday, October 27th    Harvest Halloween  

10:15am & 11:30am @ Ripley Center, Smithsonian, Washington, DC

Join Oran Sandel at the Discovery Theater pumpkin patch for songs, games, and more. He’ll spin an American Indian harvest story; you will look inside Mr. Jack O’ Lantern (what really makes him tick?); and you will create a pumpkin face for Discovery Theater. Bring in YOUR design, and they will post it on their Facebook page.  For ages 3 – 8.  Also on Friday, 10/28.


Friday, October 28th    OctoberFest @ Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center

4pm – 8pm @ Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, Alexandria

This is an opportunity for the entire family to dress up in their best costume for Halloween Fun! Families will be able to particpate in Halloween Arts & Crafts, Spooky Musical Chairs, Face Painting, Scary Movies, Haunted House Tours and much more!!!



Friday, October 28th    Pippi in America with Sarah Riedel  Swedish Children’s Songs in Playful Jazz Versions  
10am & 12pm @ Dome Theatre, Artishere, Arlington 

Pippi in America is an acoustic performance where the musicians combine well known Swedish children’s songs with beloved characters such as Pippi Longstocking and jazz. Sweden’s Sarah Riedel is a thought-provoking, elegant, and emotional jazz vocalist who was nominated in 2010 and 2011 for the Swedish Radio Corporation’s prestigious Jazzkatten Award.  This event is free!

Wow- is it hot out there!  Here are some ways to stay cool this weekend.

Saturday, July 23rd

Celebrating Dr. Suess’ Wild Animals 

2pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Through activities, stories and crafts, meet some of Dr. Seuss’ curious animals and compare them to several unusual creatures that live in Fairfax County. Children must be accompanied by a registered, paying adult.

Stories ’round the Campfire

7pm – 8:15pm @ Long Branch Amphitheatre, Arlington

The whole family is invited to join in for lots of old fashioned fun. The campfire programs may include stories, songs, games, special animal guests, and of course, S’mores! For more information call the campfire location. Register children and adults; children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $5 fee per person, $20 maximum per immediate family. Family discount with phone registration only.  #642951-L

Dazzling Dragonflies 

10:30am-11:30am @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington
Darting and zipping, you will join these fierce predators on a bug hunt! And you will peer into pond water for a look at a ‘baby’ dragonfly, too. This highly interactive program may include stories, a craft, and a short hike.  642811-Q

Sunday, July 24th

Stream Stomp

2pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Investigate Bugg Creek for salamanders, crayfish and more in this catch-and-release adventure. Learn about erosion and other environmental issues affecting aquatic wildlife. Cancelled in case of severe weather. Wear closed toes shoes that can get wet and clothes that can get dirty because we’re wading in the stream. Use dip nets to collect creatures to examine.

Butterflies of Arlington

2pm – 3pm @ Potomac Overlook, Arlington

Join a park naturalist in an exploration of the bounty of beautiful butterflies that can be found right here in Arlington. Includes a slideshow and show-and-tell followed by a visit to park gardens to look for these amazing insects! Adults and children ages 6 and up. Call 703-528-5406 to make a reservation.

Family Tour Day  

1pm – 4pm @ Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria

Visitors on Family Tour Day will experience the historic tavern through our Junior Docent tours. Junior Docents, volunteers from grades 3 through 7, will be stationed at each stop on the tour, including the taproom, bed chambers, ballroom, assembly room and dining room. Tour at your own pace and let your children learn about history from other kids.

Saturday, July 23rd & Sunday, July 24th

The Wizard of Oz

11:30am & 1pm @ The Puppet Company, Glen Echo, MD

A brand new version of L. Frank Baum’s “Great American Fairy Tale,” this amazing production recreates the characters illustrated by W. W. Denslow in a wide variety of puppet styles.  Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the tale follows closely the original story in Baum’s first, best-known, and best-loved of the classic Oz tales.  Running time is 55 minutes, and it is recommended for ages 5 and older.

The Wizard of Oz

Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday at 2pm @ Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, Arlington

After a tornado whisks her away to the magical land of Oz, Dorothy and her new friends, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, set off to find the powerful Wizard who can send her home.  The cast of performers are ages 15 through college age.  There are family-friendly ticket prices:  $15 for adults and $10 for children, students and seniors.

Plenty of activities going on in the area to get you out of the house with your families.  So grab your red, white, and blue, and get into something fun.  Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

Saturday, July 2nd

10am – 11:30am @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Bows and arrows and fun!  Stop by, rent a bow for 30 minutes, and enjoy some archery practice in the shady woods.  Nature center staff will supervise for safety, and provide a little guidance if needed. For more information call 703-228-3403.  For children ages 6 and up- kids under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. There is a $5 fee per 30 min bow rental.  Register at  Program #: 642821-G


Hunting Herons Hike
4pm – 6pm @ Chain Bridge, Arlington
Search for all three species of these amazing birds, and other denizens of the Potomac Floodplain, as the heat of the day passes. Bring water and a snack, and dress to get muddy for off-trail exploring. Participants will receive directions to the meeting spot near Chain Bridge.  For more information call 703-228-3403.  For ages 8 and up.  Cost is $3 due upon registration.  Register at Program #: 642851-B


Bald Eagles Campfire
7:30pm – 8:45pm @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

The whole family is invited to the Gulf Branch fire ring for lots of old-fashioned fun.  There will be many entertaining activities, to include stories, special animal guests, games, songs and of course, treats like s’mores. Cost is $5 fee per person- $20 max for the whole family.  Register at  Program #: 642851-G


Sunday, July 3rd

Sue Pyatt Book Signing 

10am – 2pm @ Kinder Haus Toys, Arlington

Sue Pyatt will autograph and personalize her books, “Call Me Madame President” and “President Amanda’s Whistle-stop Trip” just for kids.


Meet Me on a Sunday at Potomac Overlook

1:30pm – 3:30pm @ Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington

“Meet me on a Sunday” activities will include refreshments, games and hands-on nature exhibits, and a fun place to meet and enjoy the outdoors.


Snake & Turtle Feeding: Behind the Scenes

2pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Assist the naturalist feeding and caring for the nature center’s live amphibian and reptile exhibits animals. Meet turtles that are not on public view. Children must be accompanied by a registered, paying adult.


Monday, July 4th

Lots going on on the 4th in our area.  Check out this post for details.



Saturday, July 2nd – July 4th

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
11am to 5:30pm @ National Mall, Washington, DC

The Folklife Festival is an international festival of living cultural heritage.  This year, the focus is on Colombian culture, the accomplishments of the Peace Corps, and the history of Rhythm and Blues.  Each day includes music and dance performances on the mall, as well as evening concerts.  Weavers, potters, wood carvers and others will demonstrate their crafts. Others will show the importance of gold mining and coffee in Colombia. Regional foods will be cooked using an oven built on the mall. Dishes for sale include plantains, beef empanadas, chorizo with corn cakes and rice pudding.  The Folklife Festival offers a variety of activities for kids, including crafts and food demonstrations, as well as music and dance performances.  Check out Kid Friendly DC’s post for more info and tips.


Charlotte’s Web

7/2- 2pm & 4:30pm, 7/3- 11am & 2pm, 7/4, 11am @ Adventure Theater, Glen Echo, MD

E.B. White’s popular tale of love and devotion, takes theatergoers to Zuckerman’s Farm, where the delightful runt pig Wilbur appears headed for the dinner table — as main course, not as guest. Yet he is saved by the remarkably crafty spider, Charlotte, and the whole town begins talking about it. Some pig!  For ages 3 and up, and run time is 1 hour 15 minutes.


Wind in the Willows

1:30pm & 4:00pm @ Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD

Mr. Toad, Mole, Ratty and Mr. Badger go on a wild musical ride based on the book by Kenneth Grahame.  Appropriate for ages 4 and older.


Want to see recent kids movies for only a dollar this summer?  Head to Kingstowne Stadium 16 or Ballston Common Stadium 12 for Summer Movie Express 2011.  They will offer two G or PG rated movies for only $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am from June 28th – August 24th.

Kingstowne Stadium 16, Alexandria: 703-719-0784

Ballston Common Stadium 12, Arlington VA: 703-527-9730

June 28th – 29th– Astro Boy & Megamind

July 5th – 6th– Despicable Me & How to Train Your Dragon

July 12th – 13th– Barnyard & Chronicles of Narnia

July 19th – 20th– Marmaduke & Yogi Bear

July 26th – 27th– Ramona & Beezus & Shrek Forever After

August 2nd – 3rd– Alpha and Omega & Nanny McPhee Returns

August 9th – 10th– Karate Kid & Tale of Despereaux

August 16th – 17th– Diary of a Wimpy Kid & Open Season 3

August 23rd – 24th– Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs & Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything

Click here  to enter your zip code to see if there is a participating theater even closer to you.

Every Sunday from June 26th – September 4th there will be free movies every Sunday just after sunset at National Harbor.  Bring a lawn chair, and leave your coolers and food/beverages at home.  There will also be kids activities before the movies!

June 26th – Grown Ups (8:37pm)

July 3rd – Apollo 13 (8:37pm)

July 10th – Mega Mind (8:35pm)

July 17th– Despicable Me (8:32pm)

July 24th – Shrek Forever After (8:27pm)

July 31st – How to Train Your Dragon (8:21pm)

August 7th – Tron Legacy (8:13pm)

August 14th – Jumanji (8:04pm)

August 21st – Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch & Wardrobe (7:55pm)

August 28th – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (7:45pm)

September 4th – Wizard of Oz (7:34pm)

Cooler weather is forecasted for this weekend- looks to be in the mid-80s.  Now if only Sunday’s rain could slip to Sunday night….

Saturday, June 4th

Backyard Fun Fest

10am – 2pm @ Franconia UMC, Alexandria

Come for some old-fashioned fun for a “back yard funfest” to benefit Koinonia, the community mission which is located on the grounds of Franconia UMC.  There will be games & prizes, a moon bounce, crafts, food, live music, and more!

Oh, What a Beautiful Day: Sing Books with Emily

11am @ Tuckahoe Elementary School, Arlington

This cabaret show is for families, created for children and adults to enjoy together.  It is loaded with funny, delightful and inspiring songs, encompassing music from Broadway to pop, written by songwriters like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Billy Joel, and Steve Martin!  All the songs come from the Singable Picture Book catalogue.  Tickets for the performance at Tuckahoe will be $5 per person or “pay what you can” per family.

Saint Clement Family Fun Fair 

11am – 3pm @ Church of Saint Clement, Alexandria

This Fun Fair is open to the public and will include activities like a cake walk, moon bounce, free cartoon shows spin art, carnival games, and a wine wall.  Carnival snacks and lunch will also be available.

Under the Sea Puppet Show.

11am – 3pm @ Lakeshore Learning Store, Alexandria

Kids will be able to create everything from the puppets to the stage, and then put on an actual performance.

Armenian Festival

12pm – 5pm @ Market Square in front of Alexandria City Hall, Alexandria
The free festival will feature entertainment, food, and displays showcasing and celebrating Armenian culture. Beef, lamb and pork kabobs, lahmajun (a Middle Eastern style gourmet pizza), dolma (stuffed vegetable dishes), pitas, baklava, and other food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Carlin Hall Preschool Fun Fair 

12pm – 3pm @ Carlin Hall, Arlington

Entry to the fair is free, and you can purchase tickets to participate in the games and events.  There will be games, a bake sale, a cake walk, moonbounce, and prizes.  There will also be a silent auction- items include theater tickets, ballet lessons, dinner at a local fire station, crafts & jewelry, entertainment tickets, sports packages, restaurant gift cards, and much more.  There will also be gently used toys, puzzles, and games for sale.

Discover the Marsh

2pm – 3:30pm @ Dora Kelley Nature Park, Alexandria

Journey to the freshwater marsh in Dora Kelley Nature Park and learn about its many inhabitants, big and small. Participate in a critter catch and release. Also, create a cool field guide to take home.  For ages 6-12.

Family Fun: Solstice Celebration 

2pm @ Green Springs Gardens Park, Alexandria

Family-friendly workshop to celebrate the coming summer solstice. Learn how to build a sundial of your own and how to tell time by the shadows.  For ages 5 and older.

Click here for more info.

Hidden Oaks’ Treasures Hunt

2pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Prepare for an adventure as kids follow their treasure map to collect clues finding treasures along 1/2 miles of woodland and stream trails.  Some of the treasures include meeting live woodland creatures, others are fun facts about native plants and rocks and some include feats of daring.  For more information call the park at 703-941-1065.

Click here for more info.

Sunday, June 5th

9th Annual Green Home and Garden Tour 

1pm – 5pm @ Arlington

You will be able to tour local green homes and environmentally-friendly gardens.  The tour will include houses, a condo, and a nature center.  It will highlight green renovations, composting, rain barrels, wildlife habitats, rain gardens and more.  Check out the online map for more info.

Family Tour Day

1pm – 4pm @ Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria
Families are invited to tour the historic tavern as Junior Docents (volunteers from grades 3 – 6), share their enthusiasm for history.  Let your kids be inspired by their peers as they tour the tavern where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others made history! Call 703-746-4242 for more info.  No reservations are necessary.

Rocknoceros Performance

4pm @ Agudas Achim Preschool, Alexandria

Bring your family to sing and dance with this fun local musical trio.
Tickets- $12 at the door (under 12 months free).  For more information please contact

Saturday, June 4th & Sunday, June 5th

Bear Awareness Days
10am – 2pm @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

Bear Awareness Days will be two days of fun, family programming all about bears! Join us for special keeper talks and animal demos, learn about the bears of the world, and find out how to stay safe around local bears. Kids can help bear-proof a campsite, share what they love about bears, and even bring their own teddy bear in for a check-up.

Jack and the Bean-Stalk

Saturday at 12pm & 6pm, Sunday at 12pm @ 1st Stage Theater, Tysons Corner, McLean

Come enjoy a brand-new adaptation of the classic fairy tale, “Jack and the Bean-Stalk.”  This play is a fun-for-the-whole-family, funny show.  Aimed at younger audiences, but with lots of laughs built in for adults, it’s a perfect fit for families who want to share the joy of live-performance theater.

On June 4th and June 18th are the only two evening performance.  These Family Night Out Performances are scheduled especially for families looking for an evening activity that the whole family can enjoy.  All tickets are discounted $3 off when the word POSTCARD or DISCOUNT is mentioned at the box office.

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