Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival
As part of the weeklong celebration leading up to the Preakness, the Howard County fairgrounds will serve as the “Centerpiece Venue” for the annual Balloon Festival. In addition to the obvious (balloon-watching, and rides both tethered and non-tethered), the free festival offers plenty of arts and crafts, live entertainment and good food.
May 18-20 at Howard County Fairgrounds.
Feet on the Street
Towson’s weekly summer celebration returns with live music, food, drinks, a moonbounce, facepainting and more. This week’s band: Crushing Day.
6:30-9:30 p.m. on Alleghany Avenue.
School’s Out Shakespeare Program
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company welcomes kids and teens for a day of theatrical Shakespearean fun like monologue practice, scene study and theater-oriented games.
At the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. $40 registration fee, chesapeakeshakespeare.com
Wine in the Woods
The local festival favorite returns for its 25th year with a jam-packed lineup on its two stages, samples from 35 different wineries, 20-plus food vendors and, as always, an excellent selection of work from local artisans—all in the gorgeous woods of Howard County. (Consider it Maryland’s casual, classy, kid-friendly take on Coachella.)
May 20-21 at Symphony Woods Park.
Dragon Boat Festival
Commemorating the 2,300-year-old legend of Qu Yuan, D.C.’s Dragon Boat Festival is a spectacular cultural event featuring dragon boat racing (of course), lion dances, arts and crafts, authentic Chinese food (including zhong zi, the official food of such festivals) and other events and demonstrations.
May 20-21 at Thompsons Boat Center in Washington, D.C.
Baltimore Antique and Vintage Expo
The expo returns with all things vintage—clothing, accessories, furniture, decor and more.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Ideal Arts Space.
When Children Dance
Sing and dance with Maria Broom at this special sensory-friendly performance for children with disabilities and other challenges.
May 20 at Baltimore’s Center Stage’s Jay Andrus Rehearsal Hall, 10:30 a.m., $15 tickets. centerstage.org
The Magnificent Mouse Detective Agency
Meet Milo Mouse, a tiny investigator who has just been given the case of a lifetime! He needs your child’s help to discover clues and solve the case.
Runs from May 20 to June 18 every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. $14 tickets. marylandensemble.org
Family Nature Explorers: Feathered Friends
Bring the whole family and learn about your favorite flying feathered friends, from wrens to raptors.
At Ladew Gardens. 10:30 – 12:00p.m., free with admission. Ladewgardens.com
Astro Adventure Spaceships
Have you ever wondered how spaceships fly? Come learn about lift and drag and all the other aspects of flying with Kids Room staff at the Maryland Science Center. Develop special skills to build your very own ship that will soar through the air.
At the Maryland Science Center. 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., free with admission. Mdsci.org
The Boys of Dunbar: A Story of Love, Hope, and Basketball
Learn the inspiring true story of a Baltimore high school basketball team that launched four NBA players in the 1980s.
At the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. 1:00 p.m., free with admission. Lewismuseum.org
E.T. in Concert
The BSO presents an orchestral accompaniment to Stephen King’s classic.
3 p.m. at the Meyerhoff.
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR
Presented by the JCC’s Children’s Theatre, this performance of Roald Dahl’s magically delicious tale is the perfect entertainment for all families. Buy your own golden ticket, grab your favorite candy bar, and step into Willy Wonka’s world of sweets.
May 21 at the Gordon Center, tickets required.
Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood
What is a “Petting Zoo” without animals? How do musical instruments really work? Come find out before the show, and then sit back and enjoy a twist on the classic tale of Peter and the Wolf. This performance by the National Symphony Orchestra is sensory-friendly and has a run-time of approximately one hour, making it the perfect choice for an afternoon of music and adventure. Stick around after the curtain closes, and participate in a Kid’s Chat!
May 21 at the Kennedy Center. 1:30 p.m., tickets $15-18. Kennedy-center.org
Nature Fairy Exploration and House Design
This fairy-fabulous day will include story readings and a walk through the Irvine Nature Center’s enchanting trails to collect materials for a take-home arts and crafts project. Enjoy some tasty fairy snacks while creating and decorating your very own fairy home. All materials will be provided, for children age 3 and up.
At the Irvine Nature Center. 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. $25 for members, $30 for non-members. explorenature.org
Free Family Sunday: Celebrate Asian-Pacific Heritage Month
Stop by the BMA and sculpt ceramic figures with the whole family.
At the BMA. 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., free. Artbma.org