School is in session, your vacation budget’s in the red, and the leaves are falling but that doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling! In fact, this fall is more exciting than ever in the DC area, with global activities ranging from Luxembourgish juggling acts to Day of the Dead mask-making workshops. So go ahead, explore the world on a metro card and a dime cause most of these activities are absolutely free.
Fiesta Musical at the Smithsonian National Zoo
Sept. 29, 2013. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a celebration of Latin American culture and wildlife through a variety of family-oriented activities, live music and dance, special keeper talks, and a Latin American food court.
Sept. 29, 2013, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC. Celebrate Turkish art and culture with a variety of family-friendly activities, food, crafts and more.
The House of Sweden: The Third Room
Though the end of the year. Children enter a playroom that serves as a set on which they will be the leading characters in a theater piece of their own interpretation. Through head phones, the children are instructed to find things in the room, to quiet a talking suitcase, and to fly through space. Exactly how they do this is completely up to the children! The story challenge the children to create a world of their own imagination where they can travel through time, fly, and make things appear out of thin air. (ages 9 and up)
National Gallery of Art: Tales of the Night
Nov. 2 at 10:30 and Nov. 3 at 11:30 in the East Building.The animated film weaves together six exotic fables, each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet to medieval Europe, an Aztec kingdom, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot’s storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers, and enormous talking bees, and each fable ends with its own ironic twist. (ages 10 and up)
October 16 to November 13. It’s like a trip to Europe — sans passport! Kids Euro Festival is a month-long festival of European arts and culture that presents more than 200 free activities to metro-area families. Performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, magic, cinema… and it’s all brought to you by the 28 European Union Member States. Check the website for listings and reserve early—they fill up fast.
Gala Hispanic Theater
Fabulas Mayas, October 21-November 2. A bilingual adaptation of traditional Mayan legends and fables that feature puppets, music and song. Produced in collaboration with Wit’s End Puppets. In the fabulous Tivoli Theater.
Flamenco en Familia, November 9. Free interactive demonstrations in castanets, fans and zapateo for children and the entire family led by members of the Spanish Dance Society and other local flamenco artists.
Day of the Dead Family Festival, National Museum of the American Indian
October 20–21, 2012, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.The family friendly event will feature hands-on activities for adults and children, take-home crafts, demonstrations and performances. Throughout the weekend, visitors can visit and observe four ofrendas on display and learn the history and art of making paper-mache calavera or skull sculptures. Cooking demonstrations will be held in the outdoor fire pit, weather permitting, of Day of the Dead foods, including mole and tortillas. Performances include the Dance of the Jaguars (La Danza de los Tecuanes) by the dynamic dance group Los Tecuanes.
Freer/Sackler Museums of Asian Arts—Imaginasia
Sacred Dancers of Angkor, Sunday, October 6, 2013, 2pm. Young Cambodian dancers and musicians from rural villages around the temple complex of Angkor Wat perform classical Buddhist dances. Dance classes and an opportunity to interact with the musicians and play traditional Cambodian instruments follow the performance
Diwali: India’s Festival of Light, Celebrating the Art of Yoga,Saturday, October 26, 12 – 7:30 pm. Mark the opening of Yoga: The Art of Transformation and Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, with a full day of activities. Visitors can discover exhibition highlights through spotlight tours, play games from across Asia, attempt intricate rangoli (rice powder) drawings, and make their own yoga-inspired art.