People always say children have the most vivid imaginations. From piloting a cardboard box deep into outer space to turning a tree house into a castle and fighting off dragons, kids work up the grandest creations.
And what if this weekend, a major intersection in a busy D.C. neighborhood morphed from bustling thoroughfare to a wild, kids-only festival?
Talk about using your imagination.
Actually, you won’t need to. Because it’s completely real, as Imagination Bethesda takes place. The event will be held in the Woodmont Triangle in Bethesda, where tents will be set up and local performers will take the stage. And day is geared toward children and using their imaginations.
Imagination Bethesda is this Saturday, June 1st, at the intersection of Norfolk and Auburn Avenues, right in the heart of downtown Bethesda. It runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This is the 19th year of the festival, and organizers are putting forth a plethora of attractions for children to enjoy. The event is aimed at children 12 and under, and this year, 21 local organizations are participating. It’s a very diverse list, and every booth will have something for kids to enjoy, be it crafts to complete or interactive quizzes to take.
Your first stop of the day should be the tent for Round House Theatre, where kids can make their Imagination passport, which they can then get stamped at every tent they go to, cataloging the trip and making for a great memento.
At the Be With Me Playseum tent, kids can glaze ceramic tiles, which can, when finished, be used as refrigerator magnets. At the Huntington Learning Center tent, children will be taught the ancient art of Origami and have the opportunity to fold paper cranes and cubes. Also there will be Beanstalk Montessori. Beanstalk Montessori is a preschool in Bethesda that practices an educational system that emphasizes different procedures (like independence) instead of standard classroom learning. The tent will have activities for kids to perform and give parents the opportunity to see what else there is to offer other than traditional schools.
If you’re interested in instilling an appreciation of the environment in your kids, at Bethesda Green, they can make necklaces using only recycled materials while playing trivia games about the Earth.
Bethesda’s Imagination Stage will also be at the event, and they’ll help kids recreate one of the oldest stories of imagination we know and love. At their tent, children can make their own Peter Pan and pirate hats and play Captain Hook and the Lost Boys on the streets of Bethesda. It may not be Neverland, but when has that stopped little kids before? The Washington Conservatory of Music has a tent too, which will have instruments for kids to test and try.
All throughout the day, performers will be on a live stage, putting on kid-friendly acts. Among the ones you’ll see if you attend are The Funny Guy, a performer who combines humor with juggling, unicycle riding and a little bit of slapstick comedy. He’s starting the day off at 11:00 a.m. Closing down the stage are The Diggity Dudes, who perform youth-friendly hip-hop. In between will be several others, all perfect for children of all ages.
The event is put on by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the downtown Bethesda area. And thanks to them, this wonderful wealth of activities is entirely free for children and families to attend.
Now, that’s something that’s stretches the imagination.
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