July 4 Kid Activity Ideas & 2 Reviews of Fab Outings

Here are some other suggestions to fill out your days this long weekend and into next week:

  • Nationals games…only pay a single admission fee (as cheap as $10) to see the Nats take on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday and stay for the second game. Also, there will be fireworks this weekend – so no need to wait til Monday night. Final perk: Mrs. Obama will attend Monday’s evening game against the Chicago Cubs to honor military families – so plan to arrive early that day!
  • Check out the new Kastles stadium on the waterfront – and catch the Williams sisters playing next week
  • Head to Glen Echo Park….where Squeals on Wheels will be setting up a petting zoo out front of Adventure Theatre on July 2 from 2:30-4:30
  • Last chance to spend the night at the Museum of Natural  History– only night left in August – good for kids ages 8 on up – not many spots left!
  • Celebrate Magic at the Discovery Theater, the Smithsonian’s Theatre for Young Audiences, Wednesday July 6 through Friday July 8

Now for the reviews. We had a really exciting week chez moi: we hit the Fancy Nancy Tea Party at Strathmore on Tuesday and the Great Dinosaur Mystery puppet show at The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo Park this morning. We’re all still reeling from the excitement.

In case you missed the specialty tea at Strathmore this week, you  have one more chance to catch one this summer, in late July and reserve your spot soon because these teas book up well in advance. It was my first visit to Strathmore and with three 5-6 year olds in tow, who could resist the chance to be fancy like Fancy Nancy? We arrived at the tea only to find the foyer of the mansion decorated in pink and frills, the girls were invited to decorate crowns before the doors opened and what I particularly loved was noting how many young girls were there with their Grandmothers, and so many of them were dressed up and wearing hats. The tea itself was definitely fancy, as defined by the one-and-only Fancy Nancy.

Who doesn't want to have tea with Fancy Nancy?

Pink table cloths draped over each table, everyone was served tea in china teacups and saucers and small sandwiches were served, along with scones, clotted cream and jelly. If your child is a picky eater, I’d recommend giving them a light lunch before heading to the tea but we had a great time toasting “Cheers Dahhling” with our pinky fingers raised up high. The novelty was beginning to wear off a bit for the girls as they finished their cupcakes (I would say that 5 is the youngest I’d spend the money to bring them to this tea) when suddenly came the big announcement that Fancy Nancy herself would be greeting all the guests, along with her side kick Frilly Millie. You could hear the gasps and shrieks across Rockville Pike. Fancy Nancy and Frilly Millie took pictures with all the kids and gave them all necklaces and pink boas and then invited them to the foyer to read a Fancy Nancy book. The entire outing lasted about 90 minutes and really was a fun treat for all of us. I’d highly recommend you reserve your spot for next month’s Princess and Prince tea.

Next up on our busy summer social calendar was “The Great Dinosaur Mystery” puppet show at the Puppet Co. The show is billed as best suited for those ages pre-K through 4th grade but I brought  my 2.5 year old and she was totally enthralled for the entire 50 minute production. The story is set in the basement of the Natural History Museum where the paleontologist finds a mysterious empty box meant to house a dinosaur. Next we learn that a giant shoe has been discovered by a police detective and the shoe is thought to belong to a mysterious dinosaur named Tootsie. Several beautiful and custom-made Dinosaur puppets appear throughout the show to provide clues on where to find Tootsie, much to the delight of the kids in the audience, and the children are encouraged to sing-along and engage with the performers – which certainly helped keep the interest of my younger one. I also learned some fun facts about dinosaurs along the way.  The baby dinosaurs were the favorite puppets for my girls. In the end, the great mystery is solved.

The mysterious Tootsie and her ping-pong ball necklace

After the show, we were invited backstage to check out the puppets. Ingrid Crepeau hand-made each of the puppets,

Ingrid Crepeau with one of her dinosaur puppets

taking her about 400-500 hours per puppet. We learned that Tootsie’s fancy pearl necklace is made from ping-pong balls that Ms. Crepeau strung together and painted with pearl nail polish. Also noteworthy, Tootsie’s shoes were handmade by Ms. Crepeau herself. Her grandfather was a Swedish shoe maker and he taught her his craft. Again, more fun facts for me on this journey.  You have only a few more weeks to checkout this fabulous and fast-paced show, it runs through July 17 and tickets are $10. It’s a great way to beat the heat and then enjoy the carousel ride and picnic next to the park after the show.

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