Each week, there are hundreds of free or low-cost events for families and kids in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. We've done the hard work for you, sifting through our extensive kids' event calendar to let you know which events are sure to please. Have fun, make memories and go on an adventure with your family!
Oct. 3. Wildlife Wednesdays: Fall. Meet live animals, explore the great outdoors and participate in fun activities. Today's topic: Rocks and Minerals. Ages 3 to 10. Preregister. $$ Hidden Pond Nature Center, Springfield, VA. fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes
Oct. 4. Smithsonian Seeds and Sprouts. 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Meet in the Moongate Garden to hear a story and explore the elements that make a garden grow. Go on a seed safari, then plant your own seeds to take home. Ages 4 to 10. $$ S. Dillon Ripley Center, Washington, DC. si.edu/events
Oct. 4 - 10. Big, the Musical. Times vary. (Note: No show on Oct. 8. Show continues through Oct. 28.) Based on the movie "Big," this musical for young audiences tells the story of adolescent Josh Baskin who gets his wish of being "big" and discovers it's much more than he bargained for. Ages 5+. $$ Adventure Theatre MTC, Glen Echo, MD. adventuretheatre-mtc.org
Oct. 5. Campfire. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Roast marshmallows, listen to stories and meet live animals. Ages 2+. Preregister. $$ Watkins Nature Center, Upper Marlboro, MD. pgparks.com
Oct. 6. Columbia Heights Day. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This free community event's lineup includes live music, a petting zoo, moon bounce, cupcake-eating contest and food trucks. FREE. Harriet Tubman Elementary School, Washington, DC. columbiaheightsday.org
Oct. 6. Harvest Festival. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Delight in old-time crafts, activities, music and food on the farm. Highlights include pumpkin fun, candle-making, a corn maze, archaeology dig and potato scramble. $$ Agricultural History Farm Park, Derwood. aghistoryfarm.com
Oct. 6. Taste of Bethesda. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Held in conjunction with Best of Bethesda Day, this taste-all-you-want fest lets you sample Bethesda restaurants. You'll also enjoy live entertainment, face painting and kids crafts. Fee for tasting tickets. FREE. Woodmont Triangle, Bethesda, MD. bethesda.org
Oct. 6. SterlingFest. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Now in its 25th year, SterlingFest offers live entertainment, kids' games, food, local craft vendors, a library book sale and a raffle. FREE. Sterling Community Center, Sterling, VA. http://sterlingfoundation.org/SterlingFest.html
Oct. 7. Artisphere Family Day Open House. 1 to 4 p.m. Artisphere is turning two and throwing a birthday bash complete with storytelling, mural painting, magic and theatrics. FREE. Artisphere, Arlington, VA. artisphere.com
Oct. 10. Fairy Path. 4 p.m. Help make a home for forest fairies by creating art and music. Ages 3 to 12. Preregister. $$ Brookside Nature Center, Wheaton, MD. parkpass.org
Looking for something that's not listed here? Visit our kids' event calendar for lots more ideas for fun family activities in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Jeanette Der Bedrosian