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SATURDAY, April 4th

Ellis Paul @ Jammin Java (Vienna, VA)

Ellis Paul, one of the leading voices in American songwriting, performs songs from his children’s album, The Dragonfly Races.

NSO Teddy Bear Concert: Tunes ‘n’ Tales @ The Kennedy Center (DC)

NSO principals Marissa Regni (violin) and Dotian Levalier (harp) perform musical selections that demonstrate how different sounds, melodies, rhythms, and instruments can be used to bring a story to life – including The Waltzing Cat, Ferdinand the Bull, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Kids are invited to bring along a favorite teddy bear or stuffed toy.

Sakura Matsuri / Japanese Street Festival @ National Mall (DC)

Celebrate cherry blossom season with cultural performances from Japan, hands-on arts and crafts demonstrations, a Japanese market, children’s musical ensembles, Japanese cuisine, Taiko drumming and traditional Japanese dances, and a martial arts arena.

Family Day: Jazz Appreciation Month @ Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC)

Storyteller Judith Gravitz lays down a rhythm with a musical tale and the Baltimore Jazz Alliance picks up the beat with a live jazz concert for kids. Families can learn about the various instruments in Hands on Jazz and try out a variety of craft activities.

Dinosaur Egg-xtravaganza @ Riverbend Park (Great Falls, VA)

Children can hunt for dinosaur eggs, dig for dinosaurs in the sand pit, and participate in other dino activities. The egg hunt is divided by age groups; activities are on-going. Advance registration is required.

Faberge Egg Family Festival @ Hillwood Estate, Museum (DC)

Celebrate the arrival of spring in traditional Russian style! Families can step into Faberge’s Workshop to decorate their own Faberge-inspired egg, meet costumed interpreter Tsar Nicholas II, enjoy lively music and storytelling, and take part in a traditional egg-rolling game, played by Russians for centuries.

Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival (DC)

This year’s parade features Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek as Grand Marshal, characters from Sesame Place, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, Grammy award-winning singer Thelma Houston, the casts of Chicago and Mamma Mia!, Disney Radio star Joey Page, Miss America 2009, the All-Star Tap Team and Youth Choir, bands from Ballou and Eastern high schools in DC, character balloons (including Kermit the Frog and Hello Kitty), taiko drummers, floats, horses, antique cars, and dance groups. Grandstand seats (on Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets) can be reserved for $17 through Ticketmaster.

KidSpy Workshop: Discover the Art of Ninjitsu @ International Spy Museum (DC)

Viran Ranasinghe and his troop of martial artists have studied the art of Ninjitsu and are prepared to share the secrets of the ninja with willing “recruits.” From ninja star target practice to listening drills, young ninjas-in-training challenge their physical and mental skills and determine if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the ninja spies.

Dora the Explorer Search for the City of Lost Toys @ Warner Theatre (DC)

Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer stars in her own live adventure in The Search for the City of Lost Toys. Dora, along with Boots, Swiper, and all her friends, needs the help of the audience to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles to find her lost teddy bear. Advance ticket purchase is available online.

Thumbelina @ National Theatre (DC)

Thumbelina, a miniature heroine who emerges from a flower, encounters Toad, Fish, Field Mouse, Mole, and Swallow, in a series of astonishing, delightful, and sometimes perplexing adventures in nature’s tiny, enchanted world. Theatre IV brings Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairytale of heroism and surprise to life in a joyous musical adaptation. Tickets are distributed 30 minutes before show time.

World Pillow Fight Day @ Smithsonian Castle (DC)

Yes, this is just what it sounds like: people gather in cities around the world to let off some steam in a huge, international pillow fight. Participants are asked to bring soft pillows, and to spend a little time helping out with the feather clean-up afterwards. The pandemonium may be a bit much for small kids, but an excellent chance for tweens and teens to have a great big romp. Pillow-wielders are asked not to assault unarmed passers-by. Following the 2pm fight, held in the vicinity of the Smithsonian Castle, a second fight will break out around Dupont Circle at 3pm.

As if Saturdays activities were not enough to choose from, we’ve still got Sunday!


SUNDAY, April 5th

Which Way @ Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens (DC)

Participants learn how to use a compass and a topography map to find their way. A compass and map are provided.

Get Creative with Books @ National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC)

Kids can take a look at some of the artists’ books in the museum’s collection; examine the anatomy of a book, terms, and materials; and then alter paper with paint, ink, crayon, collage, and other techniques, to turn their altered papers into star accordion books.

Drawing from Cherry Blossoms @ Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC)

Using pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor, children and their families are introduced to botanical art by drawing the Yoshino cherry trees and their blossoms around the Tidal Basin. All materials are provided and parents are welcome to observe.

Art a la Cart @ Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC)

Kids can visit four interactive carts throughout the galleries to explore subjects such as sculpture and folk art through hands-on activities. Art a la Cart locations are indicated on maps available at the Information Desks in the F Street and G Street lobbies.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

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