Last summer’s list of local family activities was so popular that I will be running a series of posts again, throughout the month of May. Many of them will have giveaways to go along with them to make them even more exciting, so be sure to check back frequently!
One of my favorite family-friendly venues is Wolf Trap – their music programs are phenomenal, and I love all the guest artists they bring into town! And, since any music sets my four year old’s feet tapping and arms waving, I’m thrilled that she’s finally old enough to enjoy Wolf Trap’s summer theatre this year!
Every summer, Wolf Trap hosts “Children’s Theatre-in-the Woods“, a beloved outdoor theatre for children, which has been a tradition for generations. This annual series of over 30 performances kicks off on June 26th and continues through early August, and is set in a picturesque grove amidst 117 wooded acres. These family-friendly shows last approximately 45-60 minutes, and begin at 10:30 AM on Tuesdays through Saturdays. It’s a place where your children will enjoy lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. All performances are recommended for children between Pre-Kindergarten (age 4) and 6th grade.
The 2012 season will offer a diverse array of performance genres including kindie rock, Latin, Afro-Caribbean, country, folk, jazz, bluegrass, and pop-rock, as well as Irish dance, ballet, puppetry, and musical theatre. Thirteen new artists will grace the outdoor stage including Justin Roberts,German puppeteer Matthias Kuchta, jazz group Coal Train Railroad, and the drama ensemble Pushcart Players. Three audience favorites will also return this year: the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance, DinoRock, and pop-rock singer Robbie Schaefer, the guitarist for the popular Virginia-based pop band Eddie from Ohio and host of Sirus XM Radio’s Kids Place Live.
To make these shows more affordable for families, Wolf Trap is offering tickets to performances, ranging in price from $8-$10. (Children 2 and under are free.) Tickets may be purchased online, by calling 1(877) WOLFTRAP, or at the Filene Center Box Office. Pre-purchased tickets may be picked up at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods kiosk, located in the meadow. Performances do sell out! Day of show tickets – if available – may be purchased at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods kiosk.
If you decide to attend one of these shows, plan to make a day of it! Bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy before or after the show – there are ice cream carts that sell treats and beverages to augment your meal. (No food and drink is allowed in the theatre area.) Also, Park Rangers lead programs about nature, theatre, and the performing arts most days, and Junior Ranger Activity Guides are available at the kiosk to assist children in becoming Wolf Trap Junior Rangers.
Wondering who will be performing? Check out this list of all the visiting artists:
June 26 & 27
10:30 a.m.: Hot Peas and Butter
Come explore the rhythms of the world by taking a trip around the world with this sizzling hot multicultural group!
10:30 a.m.: Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance
Don’t miss this breathtaking display of rapid fire footwork accompanied by the energetic rhythms of Celtic music.
June 29 & 30
10:30 a.m.: Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
Drawing inspiration from the tranquility and beauty of nature, this Nashville duo presents gentle country melodies and charming lyrics.
10:30 a.m.: DinoRock
Travel back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the land with this Grammy-nominated audience favorite.
July 5, 6 & 7
10:30 a.m.: Elizabeth Mitchell
Celebrate the simple joys of nature as this folk singer performs classic melodies alongside her husband and young daughter.
July 10 & 11
10:30 a.m.: Coal Train Railroad
All aboard! Pulling in from Nashville, Tennessee, this hip ensemble takes children and families into the delightful and playful world of jazz.
10:30 a.m.: Aaron Nigel Smith
This award-winning reggae-rock artist infuses a fresh sound into children’s classics such as “Muffin Man” and “Simon Says.”
July 13 & 14
10:30 a.m.: The Jimmies
Kindie-rock queen and her band bring edge, sophistication, humor, and style to the kingdom of kid’s music.
July 17 & 18
10:30 a.m.: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Join this dynamic quartet for a unique blend of blues, swing, and country that incorporates everything from a ukulele and banjo to a cardboard box and suitcase.
10:30 a.m.: Robbie Schaefer
Guitarist from Eddie From Ohio delivers “catchy, clever, and slightly cheeky tunes that take the listener on a romp through musical styles and colorful arrangements” (CD Baby).
July 20 & 21
10:30 a.m.: Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC
Through a series of beautifully designed vignettes, this ballet academy reveals the secrets, techniques, and history of one of the world’s most elegant art forms.
July 24 – 28
10:30 a.m.: Matthias Kuchta: German Master Puppeteer
Enchanting hand-made puppets come to life in this magical rendition of a Brothers Grimm fairytale.
July 31 – August 2
10:30 a.m.: The Okee Dokee Brothers
This modern-day Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer travel down the Mississippi River looking for adventure and writing songs along the way.
August 3 & 4
10:30 a.m.: The Pushcart Players
Dreams really do come true as the classic story of Cinderella comes to life onstage.
August 7, 8, & 9
10:30 a.m.: Before the People Came
Discover the importance of sharing and friendship as this musical narrative unfolds.
August 10 & 11
10:30 a.m.: Justin Roberts
This Grammy-nominated pop-rock star has been hailed by USA Today as “the Paul McCartney of kids’ music.”
:: Giveaway Details ::
We have a family four pack of tickets to Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods (you can choose your show) to give to one of my lucky readers. To enter, just let me know which performance you would like to see! This contest is open to the US and will close at 11:59 PM on May 31, 2012. I will draw the winner by Random.org, and they will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification that they won. I will then put them in touch with my contact at Wolf Trap, and they will be able to coordinate ticket pick-up, show of choice, and date.