If there was a way to be in several places at once, this weekend would be the time to do it! Here are a multitude of events in DC and Maryland worth the drive out of NoVa:
Maryland Rennaissance Festival
1801 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, MD
Saturday and Sunday 10 am-7 pm
It’s Scottish weekend at the yearly festival that takes place on weekends through Oct. 19, with music and dance from Scotland – and caber toss too! Admission is $18 for visitors 16 and older, $8 for kids 7-15 years, and free for kids 6 and younger.
2008 Irish Festival in Baltimore City
Canton Waterfront Park
3001 Boston St., Baltimore
Friday 6-9 pm and Saturday Noon-9 pm FREE
This year, the Irish Festival in Baltimore City continues the exciting celebration of the Irish music and dance tradition that has been part of our cultural fabric for centuries. Festival attendees will enjoy a beautiful view of the Inner Harbor to the northwest and Fort McHenry to the southwest.
B&O Railroad Museum
901 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore
Saturday and Sunday 10 am-5pm
Enjoy exciting performances by the kid’s band Milkshake, free train rides, free parking and much more! Children can even participate in an “All Aboard” Calling Contest. Enjoy activities, entertainment, and a train load of fun for everyone! Admission is $14 for visitors 13 and older, $8 for ages 2-12, free for kids younger than 2.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races 2008
Inner Harbor, Baltimore 8 am-4 pm FREE
Come down to the Inner Harbor to watch the competition heat up. It’s free! The races go on all day and teams also compete for the best song and hat. Don’t miss the fun!
Animal Alphabet Soup Photo Safari
Smithsonian National Zoological Park 8:30-11 am
Here is a special safari designed by popular photo instructor (and kid-at-heart) Melanie Otto for camera-loving kids ages 6 through 12, accompanied by their parents. After giving them basic camera instruction, Melanie will send the kids and their parents off around the Zoo to “bag” a particular list of critters, that covers several letters of the alphabet, such as “L” for leopard, “Z” for zebra, “E” for elephant, “C” for chimpanzee, and “P” for Panda, or letters which spell a word that Melanie gives out. The winning team gets a prize! Meet at the entrance to the Kids Zoo Section of National Zoo, near the Beach Drive entrance. Cost is $59 per child (no charge for parents)
Ninth Annual Bug Fest
Carrie Murray Nature Center
1901 Ridgetop Road, Baltimore 10 am
Enjoy a day of bugs, cockroach races, insect cuisine and displays. Experts from the Maryland Entomological Society, master gardeners, and more will be there to answer your every question about things that creep and crawl! Recommended for all ages. Please pre-register. Admission is $6 per person. Call (410) 396-0808.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
8800 Greenbelt Road, Maryland 10 am-4:30 pm FREE
On September 13, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will open its gates to the public for a FREE open house. LaunchFest will feature tours of the Center, tons of demonstrations and exhibits, entertainment, and food. This family-friendly event will have lots of fun and educational activities for kids like model rocket launches, moonbounces, spacey story-time, and space robots. There will also be things for the adults — live music, great food, and plenty of fascinating space stuff. Don’t miss the salute to NASA’s 50th anniversary with Food Network star Warren Brown and the Columbia Orchestra! You’ll have the opportunity to meet an astronaut, see actual space hardware and satellites being assembled, learn about current and future NASA missions, hear from a Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist, be entertained and informed by a singing weatherman, go on a scavenger hunt, and so much more. Free admission, parking, and shuttle services.
Arts on Foot Festival 2008
Penn Quarter, 7th and F Streets, NW 11 am-5 pm FREE
Marking its 16th anniversary, Arts on Foot is a one-day, multimedia festival that kicks off the fall arts season in downtown DC’s Penn Quarter. Incorporating visual art, music, theater, dance, film, and creative cuisine, it’s an interactive celebration the whole family will enjoy. With a lively outdoor street festival as its centerpiece, Arts on Foot also invites you to explore the neighborhood’s museums, theaters, galleries, cultural organizations, and shops. The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum will be hosting booths offering hands-on art activities for children and information on upcoming fall programming.
Kennedy Center’s 24th Annual Open House Arts Festival
Intersection of New Hampshire Avenue, Virginia Avenue, and Rock Creek Parkway
Noon-11 pm FREE
The Kennedy Center is kicking off its 37th birthday with a free day of fun for everyone in the family celebrating American innovators and artists carrying on and developing traditions! Free shuttles are available, departing every 15 minutes from 9:45 am until 12 midnight. For a schedule of perfomances, click here.
Carnaval del Corazon!
Kogod Courtyard, Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets, NW 1-5 pm FREE
Bring the whole family to SAAM for an afternoon of celebrating Latino art and culture. Hands-on activities include learning how to compose a plena and creating a traditional mask and poster inspired by Puerto Rican artworks in the Smithsonians collections. Enjoy Latino dance and musical performances, join a bilingual guided tour of Latino art in SAAMs collection, and play an art-inspired Loteria. Del Corazon: Latino Voices in American Art.
Sunday, Sept. 14
Adams Morgan Day Festival 2008
18th Street NW between Columbia Road and Florida Ave in NW
Noon-7 pm FREE
The 2008 Adams Morgan Day 18th Street Festival begins and ends with two headlining music stages and other innovative & dynamic cultural and dance activities. The famous Columbia and Florida stages (located strategically on 18th Street at Columbia Road and at Florida Ave.) feature live music acts from all genres from Central and South America, Latin rock, salsa, jazz, to soul, funk and American rock. Kids of all ages always enjoy the Adams Morgan Day Kids’ Fair! The Kids’ Fair is located off of 18th St. at the field of Marie Reed School. Enter from 18th at Wyoming or from California St. Showtime! Families can sit on bleachers set into the hill near the tennis courts for a day of family entertainment. For more info on family entertainment, click here.
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Takoma Park Middle School
7611 Piney Branch Rd, Takoma Park, MD 11 am-6:30 pm FREE
Enjoy music and dance from around the world on seven stages. Some performances are designed for audience participation, particularly our dance workshops, the Seventh Heaven stage, and the many activities at and surrounding our Children’s stage. Visit the Grassy Nook Stage for activities designed for children of all ages — folksingers, interactive musical games and dancing, storytelling, and participatory music-making. Nearby are children’s homemade games provided by Cub Scout Pack 33 — our thanks for their participation