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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 01/06/2012

The year ahead with the kids


P.Nokio is a reimagined version of the classic Pinocchio — this one told in rhyme where characters breakdance rather than walk. (Imagination Stage)

My two little guys are 4and 2 years old. I’ve spent the past few years trying to get them to experience all that the Washington area has to offer, but I may have gotten more out of it than they did.

Now that they’re older, particularly the 4-year-old, the events, plays and museums we hit will begin to take on new meaning for them. I can’t wait to watch as they have their “aha” moments.

With that in mind, here are the things that I’m putting on our 2012 must-do list.

Pretty much anything Adventure Theatre at Glen Echo Park has to offer is going to be good. I’m particularly looking forward to “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” coming March 2 through April 9. And it might be time to introduce my toddler to theater with “The Snowy Day,” which is for all ages and runs Jan. 20 through Feb. 12. Perfect for, well, those snowy days when we’re looking for something to do. Come back to Adventure Theatre for a show in late springtime, when Glen Echo Park’s carousel will be open.

To add to the theater experience, Bethesda’s Imagination Stage has an intriguing take on Pinocchio — a hip hop version. “P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical” reimagines the story in Hop-Hopia, where everyone speaks in rhyme and breakdances instead of walks. I can just picture what will happen at my house after seeing this one, yo (Feb. 1 through March 11).

As my older one is getting more and more into building things (a horse house, a truck house, a house house), we need to visit the National Building Museum. When he was younger, we went there many times to play in the block area. But now I think he’ll enjoy the “Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition” exhibit, which has been extended until Sept. 3. I also hope to take in the many family-oriented events the museum offers.

I have two wonderful nieces (9 and 7) with whom I’ve been meaning to do something fun and girlie. They’re always game for anything with the boys, but this year it would be great to spend one-on-one time with them. This version of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Kennedy Center caught my eye. The KenCen alone is a fun experience, but add in a rhymed version of this classic fairytale, complete with live music, multimedia doodads and a funky princess and I think we’ve got a winner, folks (April 14-15).

And then there’s me. What can I do with the kids that will be as much for me (or even a little more so) as for them? One of my favorite things to do since the kids were born is to go to our museums. Calder was a big one for both even when they were still little enough to be carried in the Ergo. Anything at the Corcoran. The Portrait Gallery (Elvis!). Now I’m looking forward to seeing the “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage” exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, from Jan. 20 through May 20, featuring her nature photographs. I can just hear my little one yelping “agua!” at her photos of Niagara Falls. “Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape” at the National Gallery also looks like something that will awaken their little artistic minds (May 6 through Aug. 12).

Yep, 2012 is looking pretty exciting to this momma.

By  |  11:30 AM ET, 01/06/2012

Categories:  Museums, Events, Theater

 
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