While many Washingtonians head to the beach for Labor Day weekend, there are many activities happening in DC that may make you think twice about sitting in beach traffic for hours. Take advance of the last long weekend of the summer with these family-friendly events.
DC Blues Festival
Carter Barron Amphitheater
4850 Colorado Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20011
Date: Aug. 31, 2013
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the free DC Blues Festival. Held in the gorgeous Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park, this is the perfect place for a family to spend a Saturday afternoon watching blues artist like Albert Castiglia, Big G, Austin Walkin’ Cane, Fast Eddie & the Slowpokes and DC’s own Blues Society Band. With more than 3,000 seats, you’ll be able to sit and watch or get up and dance. If you have younger children that need to walk around, there are trails you can take to give them a break from the music or let them play in the musical instrument petting zoo. There will also be workshops for children to learn more about playing music or singing.
Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival
2700 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20566
Dates: Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, 2013
The Page-to-Stage Festival features more than 30 of DC’s own theater companies in this three-day, free event. Now celebrating its 12th year, you’ll see readings by local playwrights and composers and rehearsals of plays to be performed in the DC area. The Kennedy Center even previews its 2013-2014 season, so you can gauge your child’s interest in the shows before investing in the tickets. This family-friendly event is held all day Saturday through Monday and is on a first-come, first-served basis, so there’s no need for tickets. Come as you please and leave when you want to. Take a break and let the kids get outside on Kennedy’s rooftop restaurant.
Somers Cove Marina
715 Broadway Ave.
Crisfield, MD 21817
Date: Aug. 29 through Sept. 1, 2013
Kids love carnivals. The National Hard Crab Derby features a carnival, contests, music, fireworks and lots of fun for the whole family. Celebrating its 66th year, the festival has fun contests to watch throughout the weekend from crab picking and cooking to arm wrestling and a derby race. Concerts will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday and most of the events are free. On Saturday, the carnival is $3 admission and the boat docking contest is an additional $15 admission. There will be fireworks to cap off the festival on Sunday evening at 9 p.m.
National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Capitol Concert 2013
Washington, DC 20004
Date: Sept. 1, 2013
This annual concert by the National Symphony Orchestra is a free event that is the perfect way to spend a casual Sunday in DC. Pack a picnic and spread out a blanket to enjoy the classic and patriotic sounds of the orchestra against the backdrop of one of DC’s most recognized icons, the Capitol Building. This is a great outdoor event for kids to listen to great music that is sure to keep them entertained. Whether they want to relax and watch or get up and move around, the outdoor space makes for an easy evening.
Virginia’s Scottish Games & Festival
5089 Old Tavern Road
The Plains, VA 20198
Dates: Aug. 31 through Sept. 1, 2013
The Scottish Games are fun for the entire family. Besides watching the athletic competitions or enjoying the car and bike show, there are games that kids can participate in that feature junior versions of the adult games, like caber toss. In between the competitions, there are fun games like a kilt relay and face painting with ribbons for the winners. And what Scottish festival would be complete without bagpipes and Highland dancing. Dogs are welcome, so there’s no need to leave Fido at home. Saturday evening will feature a concert. Admission is $30 for adults and covers both days or $20 for one day. Children ages five to 12 are $5 and under age five are free.