Make January the month to introduce kids to model-plane building and archaeology.


Robert Aubry Davis (in character as Edna Turnblad) will discuss his role in the Signature Theatre production of "Hairspray" on Jan. 5 (Photo by Christopher Mueller)

Lunch with ‘Hairspray’s’ Edna

Bring your lunch to Signature Theatre on Thursday for a free, informal discussion about “Hairspray,” the current production. Join Robert Aubry Davis, who plays Edna Turnblad, as he discusses his radio career, his acting turn, and the origin of having a man play a female role in this musical. The conversation begins at 1 p.m. in the Mead Lobby.

Learn to build a model airplane

Future engineers and pilots who are 8 and older can learn to build a rubber-band-propelled model airplane at the National Building Museum on Sunday. Members of the model airplane club D.C. Maxecuters will be on hand. The program is $14; $8 for members, and it begins at 9 a.m. Call 202-272-2448 by Thursday to register.

Poems for “30 Americans

“30 Americans” serves as the conversation piece on Monday, when four poets present verse as a response to the popular exhibit at the Corcoran. The poets will recite a 30-word poem created for the occasion, in addition to a work of their choice. The event begins at 9 p.m. at Busboys & Poets. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Plantation tours

Sotterley Plantation is inviting guests to learn about its history — it dates to 1703 — by hosting tours every second Saturday of the month through April. The series begins Jan 14 at 1 and 3 p.m. Tours are $15. Tours require indoor and outdoor walking, and are limited to 16 people. Reservations: 301-373-2280.

Kids create murals

Murals by Kids for Kids hosts a free event on Jan. 14 at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop for youth ages 5-18 to help paint a mural and draw pictures that will be sent to an AIDS orphanage in Mumbai. The event begins at 10 a.m. and is part of CHAW’s 40th anniversary celebration, featuring 40 free events in 40 days. Register at 202-547-6839 or visit chaw.org.

Dig Deeper: A How-to for Junior Archaeologists

Future Indiana Jones-style explorers can get their hands dirty and learn more about archaeology at National Geographic on Jan. 15. Related to the exhibition “Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold From England’s Dark Ages,” the free event (best for ages 8-12, but open to all), teaches youngsters about the basics of archaeology with a hands-on experience. The event begins at 1 p.m.

Mid-Winter Family Festival: Celebrate Africa

The Textile Museum presents its finest linens on Jan. 21 at the third annual family festival. Held in conjunction with the exhibit “Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa,” and hosted in collaboration with the Anacostia Community Museum, the day will be filled dancing, crafts and storytelling. The event is free and begins at noon.