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Weekend Fun: The Best Family Events Around D.C. (July 23-26) Visit pandas, write a spy novel or tour a rooftop farm

Visit pandas when the Smithsonian National Zoo reopens this weekend with new social distancing guidelines
Photo: Smithsonian National Zoo

Visit Pandas and Spaceships

Add two recently opened attractions to your weekend to-do list: the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum will open this Friday with new social distancing guidelines. Whether you want to gaze upon the Discovery shuttle or simply hang out with the giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, you’ll have fun rediscovering two local family favorites. Zoo: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Udvar-Hazy Center: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Both attractions are free and require timed entry passes.

Write a Spy Novel

Calling all book lovers! Join best-selling authors Stuart Gibbs of the Spy School series, Beth McMullen of the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School For Girl series and James Ponti of “City Spies” as the trio leads a Zoom workshop on writing spy fiction. Your input is necessary to decide the fate of their “on-the-spot” mission, so make sure not to miss! Thursday, July 23, at 4 p.m. Free. Registration required.


Listen to a Book About Voting

It’s never too early for your kids to hear about how important it is to vote. Hop on for an online book reading as Politics & Prose hosts Brandy Colbert reading from her book “The Voting Booth,” which entails the racially-charged voter suppression that two first-time voters face on Election Day. Ages 12 and up. Thursday, July 23, from 7-8p.m. Free. Registration required.

See the Raptors

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is hosting multiple sessions to teach kids about raptors from around here. You’ll meet some of these birds that live in the park, watch a live feeding and have the chance to participate in a paper airplane challenge. Ages 7 and up. Friday, July 24, from 10-11:30 a.m., 12:30-2 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. $7 per participant over 7 years old. Registration required.

Tour a Rooftop Farm

If you’ve ever been curious about how urban farming works, now’s the perfect time to learn. Hear from some farmers from Cultivate the City at H Street Farms to see how you can make a farm out of your own backyard, roof or even your basement. Learn the basics and try some fresh fruits—and maybe some kale chips with hot sauce, too. Sunday, July 26, from noon to 12:30 p.m. $5-$10. Registration required.

Enjoy a Wine Garden

Parents, you deserve a treat. Whether you prefer sauvignon blanc in the shade or a pinot noir overlooking the Potomac, come out for a drink at the Kennedy Center’s pop-up winery Victura Park at the Reach—and bring the kids along for a picnic. Besides, who can turn down a charcuterie board? Fridays from 3-10 p.m. Saturdays from 12-10 p.m. Sundays from 12-8 p.m. $4-$29 for food and drinks.


For more family fun, check out Washington FAMILY’s full event calendar. And if you have an event coming up that you’d like to share with our readership, be sure to add it to our calendar.

About Jason Fontelieu

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