Labor Day may be the unofficial time for rest and relaxation (whew!), but until then, get on your feet and go check out these awesome family-friendly activities! Take a look in a book (or two) at the National Book Festival, marvel at some old school Scottish games or get a sneak peek at some of the Kennedy Center’s upcoming performances.


The Plains

Virginia Scottish Games
Your great-great-great grandfather may (or may not) have had ties to Scotland. It doesn’t matter; families with all kinds of cultural backgrounds will appreciate this annual festival that celebrates the Scottish heritage of the Commonwealth. The draw is the highland athletic competitions, which include stone, caber, and sheaf tossing. But, kids will also want to check out the antique car show, the crafters and the live music (hello, bagpipers!). Sat., 9 am-6 pm. Adult/$20; Kids 5-12/$5; Under 5/ Free. All ages. Event details.

Mt. Vernon

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Calling all book worms! The 15th annual Library of Congress book fest is setting up shop on the National Mall. Swing by the Author Pavilion to listen to readings from kids books writers, enjoy reading-related crafts, tell your own stories in the Washington Post Pavilion, and don’t go home empty handed—pick up a new bedtime story at the Scholastic Inc. sales pavilion. Sat., 10 am-10 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Foggy Bottom

Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival
Preview some of the District’s 2015-2016 season in this family-friendly event featuring readings by local playwrights and rehearsals of upcoming performances. It’s a great way to gauge your kiddos’ interest in theater before you shell out for tickets. And the best part? It’s open house-style, so you can come and go as you please (without having to wait through an intermission). Free. All ages. Event details.


The Museum Exhibit LEGO Enthusiasts Will Love
Builders of all ages will want to check out Port Discovery’s newest traveling exhibit, LEGO Castle Adventure. Visitors will be able to explore a giant castle filled with LEGO decor, sit in a king and queen’s thrones, aim a catapult, and joust. Oh, and it goes without saying that there are multiple opportunities to construct your own LEGO castles.
 Fri.-Sun. All ages. Event details.

National Mall

Play, Work, Build at National Building Museum
Don’t miss this incredible interactive exhibit for all ages at the National Building Museum, where kids can tinker with classic architectural toys (think Lincoln Logs and tinker toys), build in a blue foam dedicated room, and even create with digital blocks on a virtual wall. Sat., 12 pm-7:30 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Rock Creek Park

D.C. Blues Festival
Jam out with the family at this free annual festival, which features live music from local and national acts including Sharrie Williams (aka “Princess of Rockin’ Gospel Blues”) and guitarist James Armstrong. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, or find a seat in the 3,700 seat outdoor amphitheater to enjoy just one or two bands. Sat., 12 pm-7:30 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

What’s on your to-do list for this pre-holiday weekend? Tell us in the comments section below. 

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo: David Freeman via flickr