Tag Archives: Washington DC

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2019

The Folklife Festival will take place June 29 & 30. 

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival theme is “The Social Power of Music”.

This year will celebrate the power of music to entertain, educate, inspire, preserve history, strengthen identity, and build community. This is one of the largest annual cultural events in the United States.

The 2019 Festival will be a little different, with two days of concerts instead of the usual two weeks of events. Visitors will still be able to enjoy live music and a variety of food and drink options from local food trucks.

The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public transportation. L’Enfant Plaza is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. National Archives, Smithsonian, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning how to get around, visit www.goDCgo.com. For general Smithsonian visitor information, http://www.si.edu/Visit or call 202.633.1000 (voice).

Photo: S Pakhrin (Flickr)

Outdoor Movies in DC Area

If you are looking to enjoy a movie outdoors this summer, there are lots of local options to consider.

DC Outdoor Films website offers a very comprehensive list which includes locations in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Here are a few popular ones:

Golden Cinema Series
Golden Triange BID offers outdoor movies Friday nights through July.

Movies on the Potomac
National Harbor offers movies Thursday and Sunday nights through September 30.

Screen on the Green 
Outdoor movies on the National Mall in DC

Drive-In Movie 
Don’t forget about Bengie’s Drive-in Movie Theater in the Baltimore area. It’s a good hour drive from most of our cluster, but well worth it for the experience if you’ve never been to a drive-in movie. Check out my blog post about Bengie’s Drive-in.

Amazing Cluster Meeting at U.S. Capitol

More than 700 au pairs from 30 DC/MD/VA area Au Pair in America clusters came together on Saturday, March 9 to tour the U.S. Capitol. We were joined by Au Pair in America director, Ruth Ferry. We had a wonderful time and got some great photos.

Au pairs from the DC/MD/VA area, their community counselors and APIA director, Ruth Ferry

If you have never toured the U.S. Capitol, I highly recommend it. The Visitor Center offers free online tickets and a limited number of same day tickets. The tour starts off with a brief yet engaging video with some history on the Capitol Building and the U.S. in general. The tour guides are knowledgeable and you get to some very iconic places in the building. The view looking up at the Capitol dome is breathtaking.

Our cluster in front of the U.S. Capitol

Our cluster being silly on our way to the Capitol Visitor Center

June is Zoo and Aquarium Month

Visit your local zoo or aquarium or set up a pretend zoo with play animals and blocks. Invite the host parents to visit your pretend zoo.

Read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish or If I Ran the Zoo, both by Dr. Seuss. Encourage the children to make up their own animals and draw them.

Think of all the animal sounds you can and play a game guessing what animal you are. You may find that the same animal says one thing in America and something quite different in your own country!

Here are links to our local zoo & aquariums.

National Zoo – Washington, DC

Maryland Zoo – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Aquarium – Maryland

Photo: Joseph Bylund

Spring in DC Area – 3 More Beautiful Spaces to Visit

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 5 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

Azalea_Glenn-Dale-AZ-HS_trail-built-1998_BLB-04-01_300x200Some nature spaces in DC are free, but some require good knowledge of the bus system or a car. The National Arboretum is off Route 50 (New York Avenue) in northeast DC, and is a great place to learn about local trees, but also includes international plantings. There is plenty of space to run around. The Bonsai trees are special – it’s amazing how something so small can be so old! The National Aquatic Gardens are in Southeast and are usually at their peak in May. The National Cathedral in Northwest has a great Bishops Garden. There is also a great view of Washington DC and Montgomery County from the top of the Cathedral, which has just opened up again.

Spring in DC Area – Dunbarton Oaks Gardens

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 4 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

doaks_ggr_cherry_hillDumbarton Oaks Gardens in Georgetown is a special place worth visiting.  They charge a nominal admission fee: http://www.doaks.org/gardens/ (bring your student ID). They are worth a visit at the height of spring. There are a lot of steps, so the gardens are not great for children in strollers. Walk over from Dupont Circle, cross over the P Street Bridge and head up to R street for a chance to see quiet DC side streets and discover just how walkable DC is. Georgetown homes tend to have small gardens, so it’s worth a walk through the side streets to see what people have planted.

Spring in the DC Area – Rock Creek Park

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 3 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

Rock-Creek-ParkFor those of you who enjoy hiking and biking, Rock Creek Park runs north/south from the Canal in Georgetown to the Maryland border. There are bicycle paths and dirt paths through the trees. Beach Drive closes to cars on weekends if you like the idea of a bicycle trek. The C&O Canal runs from Georgetown in DC out to Cumberland, Maryland – over 180 miles away. You don’t have to walk or bike the entire distance to enjoy it on a warm spring day. In addition to entering at Georgetown, Great Falls in Maryland is another place to visit (especially after a rain when the falls become even more impressive). The Billy Goat Trail is great for adults and older kids. The Falls overlook is stroller accessible.

Outdoor Summer Movies – DC Screen on the Green

From About.com

Screen on the Green is a favorite Washington, DC summer tradition. Bring a blanket to the National Mall on a warm night and watch a classic film on a gigantic movie screen. Films are shown on Monday nights beginning at dusk, around 8:30-9:00 p.m. People start to claim their spots on the lawn as early as 5 p.m. Movies play except in extreme weather and there are no rain days.

ScreenontheGreenScreen on the Green 2011

Mondays, July 25 – August 15

Movie Schedule

  • July 25 – In the Heat of the Night
  • August 1 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • August 8 – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • August 15 – Cool Hand Luke

National Mall between 8th and 14th Streets, Washington DC.

Transportation and Parking
The best way to get to the National Mall is by Metro. The closest stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza. Public parking is very limited in this part of the city. On-street parking in Washington, DC is restricted during the evening rush hour. Read more about parking near the National Mall.

Screen on the Green Hotline: 1-877-262-5866