Loving the cooler weather? Fall is my favorite season in DC. To help you make the most of it, I’ve rounded up some (mostly) free DC-area global fun to take your family around the world in the comfort of your metro car. After all, isn’t access to free, or mostly free, cultural treasures the reason we love DC in the first place?
Turkish Festival DC: September 30th, 11am to 7pm, Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
This popular annual festival features Turkish food from local restaurants, Turkish coffee and coffee-grind reading fortune tellers, a kid’s tent with hands-on art and other activities, craft exhibits, and over 20 vendors.
Fiesta DC: September 30, 12-7pm, Mt. Pleasant St. NW, DC
Fiesta DC is an annual celebration highlighting the Latino culture with a Parade of Nations, a children’s festival, a science fair, a diplomatic pavilion for embassies and consulates, arts & crafts, and international cuisine. The free festival is huge and takes over the Columbia Heights neighborhood bringing together dozens of non profit organizations, community leaders, and members of the corporate and private sector.
September global highlights on the Millenium Stage
(Free daily performances, 6pm, Kennedy Center)
September 12: Zeb and Haniya (Pakistan) Pakistani singer-songwriter duo.
September 16: Radio Jaracho (Mexico) specializes in son jarocho music of southern Veracruz.
September 17: Sean Keane (Ireland)-master fiddler from the Chieftains and his band.
September 18: Ti-Coca and Wanga-Neges (Haiti) blends Haitian, Cuban, and contradance styles.
September 26: Hanggai (China) blends Chinese folk music and punk rock.
Check website for the rest of the fall line-up.
Platero y Yo: A bilingual children’s play at the Gala Theater – October 15-27
A young poet and his donkey Platero deepen their friendship as they encounter changing seasons, children, eccentrics and gypsies in the Andalusian countryside. A bilingual presentation of a poignant classic by one of the greatest writers of modern Spanish literature, Juan Ramon Jimenez.
Mariachi Madness at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater: Oct. 10th 10:15am and 11:30 am
Mariachi Madness with Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble and Mariachi Los Amigos.
Dazzling Warriors and War Horses at the Freer Gallery’s Imaginasia: Every Saturday and Sunday in October at 2pm.
Dazzling Warriors and War Horses: Tour Nomads and Networks and meet Kazakh warriors and horses decorated with gold plaques. Then create your own gold plaque to attack to red felt headbands. On Sundays, participants sculpt plaques to wear as protection.
Kids Euro Festival, Washington, DC: October 17 – November 13, 2012, various locations
Free performances, workshops and screenings for children: storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic, cinema… presented by the 27 European Union Member States, shown in Embassies, theaters and cultural centers throughout the city.
Alliance Francaise French storytime: Saturdays, 10:45am, and Tuesdays 10:50am
Expose your kids to the French language with this popular story hour. Native speakers will read selections from the Alliance’s extensive collection of children’s books. Each session lasts 30-45 minutes.
Maryland Renaissance Festival: Weekends August 25 – October 21, 10am to 7pm
Each August through October, the Maryland Renaissance Festival recreates a 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances on 8 stages, a jousting arena and lots of games. See a fire-eater, watch jousting in full armor, marvel at jugglers and magicians, and listen to music and choral groups. Enjoy a variety of fare from 42 food outlets. Kids will love the free pony rides, maze, archery games, play area and dozens of games.
1001 inventions: Discover the golden age of Muslim civilization: National Geographic Museum – Through February 2013
Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization” uncovers a thousand years of advances in science and technology that have had a huge but hidden impact on the modern world.