To go, or not to go to the Folger Shakespeare Library with the kids, is that the question? Go. The Bard's 418th birthday will be celebrated Friday and Saturday from 10 to 4, and the little ones are invited.
They can, for instance, sign their names the way Shakespeare did. By dipping a quill pen in ink, that is. Before you mentally yank them away from the inkwells, heed Janet Griffin who assures "We've got washable ink." Presuming the weather's nice, it's all, wisely, outdoors. However, if the rain it raineth, washable or no, the ink and the activity aren't necessarily coming indoors ("Our floors. . . !" Griffin moans).
Aye, and there's the rub: The brass rubbings, that is, which Griffin says even two- year olds can enjoy. The children can grab the charcoal and go at medieval and Renaissance etchings both days.
"We haven't decided if the kids'll be interested in this," Griffin says of the next idea: Given a crayon, what child could resist coloring in the banners on the walls? They're line drawings of Renaissance people playing games. If yours can resist, perhaps he'd prefer to be colored on instead. A make-up artist is practicing his trade on anyone who wants to be Romeo or Juliet.
There will be a Punch and Judy show Saturday at 11, jugglers, magic shows and balloons, and a sword show Saturday at 11:30. And, of course, the Elizabethan foods and entertainment are there for everyone. The food's for sale, but all other activities are free.