School is finally out for the summer; and, while your children are rejoicing, you’re probably wondering how you’ll entertain them for the next two months! Even though we homeschool and I’m with mine year-round, summer is difficult because we have no set schedule and I very quickly hear, “Mom, I’m so bored!” Thankfully, one of the perks of living in the Nation’s Capital is being surrounded by tons of theater options! Today, we’re sharing just a few inexpensive options that we’ve found!
Every summer, across the meadow from Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, their Theatre-in-the-Woods offers performances ranging from music and dance to puppetry to storytelling. All shows are approximately an hour long and are perfect for children, ages 4 and up. Tickets are very reasonably priced, starting at $8/person (children 2 and under are free!). You can find their schedule and purchase tickets here.
Does your child love Junie B. Jones? Adventure Theatre is doing a theatrical interpretation of “Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook,” from June 16 – August 14, 2017. Here is a short summary of what to expect: When Junie B. Jones, with her two bestest friends in the world, loses her new furry mittens to some “stealers,” she has to investigate. But Junie B. might have something she forgot to return, too. Tickets are $19.50/person. Children under the age of one (1) are admitted free of charge, but must sit in a family member’s lap.
In Glen Echo Park, the Puppet Co. has been dazzling children with their puppet shows for many years. They have different performances to accommodate a huge range of ages: the Main Stage is for older children (5 and up), usually 45 minutes in length, and is dark. The Tiny Tots performances are for your little ones (ages 0-4), lights stay on, are 30 minutes in length, and your tots can squirm a little more. Right now, their award-winning production, The Wizard of Oz, is back. Tickets start at $6.
Discovery Theater, on the National Mall, has been presenting DC-area children with live educational performances for more than 30 years. As a program of the Smithsonian Associates, Discovery Theater serves as a child’s gateway to the exhibitions, collections, and cultures contained in the museums on the National Mall and beyond. You can find a list of programs here. Tickets start at $6.
Imagination Stage, in Bethesda, Maryland, started in 1979 to educate young people in the arts. They have two stages: the Lerner Family Theatre houses performances designed for children 5 years and older, while the Reeve Studio Theatre typically houses their professional theatre productions for ages 1-5. Personally, I love that the Lerner Family Theatre is equipped with a soundproof room where you can take an upset child so that s/he may settle down and still hear the show from speakers inside the room. Right now, you can see Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure and a bilingual version of Mouse on the Move.
On Saturday mornings, the National Theatre offers a series of free programs best suited for children 4-10 years, but siblings and friends of other ages are always welcome. Performances take place each Saturday of the season at 9:30 and 11:00am in the historic Helen Hayes Gallery at The National Theatre.
The National Philharmonic at Strathmore in Maryland is very family-friendly. Young people age 7-17 attend all National Philharmonic concerts at the Music Center at Strathmore free of charge, making it easy for families to go to concerts together and for young adults to attend a live classical music performance with friends. Throughout the year, KIDS FREE tickets may be obtained in person at the Strathmore Ticket Office or by phone at 301-637-2608.
Every day, Kennedy Center hosts a fun free concert or show on their Millennium Stage. You can find a complete list of their concerts here. Be sure to check out their Target Family Nights – their next one is this Sunday, June 25th and features UniverSoul Circus, a combination of circus arts, theater, music, and audience interaction.