July 1-5 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. All ages (family-friendly event). Open daily 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Evening events begin at 5:30-6 p.m. Includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of of cultural issues. The theme of the 2015 program will be Peru. $$ National Mall, Washington, DC
July 4 Red, White & Boom Independence Day Celebration. All ages (family-friendly event). Gates open at 5:30 p.m., game at 6:35 p.m. Celebrate Independence Day with the Baysox. There will be a postgame fireworks show. Fans can also enjoy a special 4th of July Barbecue featuring hamburgers, corn on the cob, barbecue baked beans, chips, watermelon and soft drinks. Tickets available online for both BBQ and the game. $$ Prince George's Stadium, Bowie, MD.
July 5 Military Appreciation Night at Bethesda Big Train. All ages (family-friendly event). Gates open at 6 p.m., first pitch 7:30 p.m. Come celebrate America's independence and heroes for our 4th of July and Military Appreciation Night. Free admission for active, retired or reserved military members and their families, and all kids receive firecracker ice pops! Mini American Flags will also be handed out. Sponsors: Washington Parent & Buffalo Wild Wings. $$ Povich Field, Bethesda, MD.
July 1 to 9 Hidden Universe 3D. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. LAn extraordinary journey into deep space, Hidden Universe brings to life the farthest reaches of our universe with unprecedented clarity through real images captured by the world's most powerful telescopes. Stunning, high-resolution images of space allow you to peer deep inside the earliest galaxies and nebulae, watch stars being born in vivid clouds of gas and dust, tour the surface terrain of Mars, and witness images of distant celestial structures including awe-inspiring views of the Sun. Seen for the first time in IMAX, these dramatic new images offer fresh insight into the origins and evolution of the universe. FREE Airbus IMAX Theater, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA.
July 1 to 9 Living in the Age of Airplanes. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. Living in the Age of Airplanes is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Not long ago, traveling between continents was a migration. Now, on any given day, 100,000 flights transport people and things between any two points on Earth in a matter of hours. With stunning visuals, the film renews our appreciation for one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring aspects of the modern world. FREE National Air and Space Museum, Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, Washington, DC.
July 7 through 10 SOLE Defined. Kids ages 5 to 16. Tues. - Fri., July 7 - 10 at 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.; Thurs., July 9 at 1 p.m. Separate your hands from your feet and clap along to a rhythmic beat! SOLE Defined excites the senses in a rhythmic performance that has been called "truly amazing!" This award winning production takes an exciting twist on theater and percussive dance by creating a free flowing conversation through music and movement. $$ Discovery Theater, Ripley Center, Washington, DC.
July 6 Bats & Beavers Pontoon Boat Cruise. Kids ages 6+. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Join us for a sunset cruise aboard the pontoon boat. We'll search for beaver lodges, feeding sites and (hopefully) beavers! As the sun sets, we'll use our bat detector to help us find feeding bats. Preregister. $$ Black Hill Visitor Center, Boyds, MD.
July 8 Pirates!. Kids ages 3 to 6. 10 to 11 a.m. Become a pirate for the day, and storm the Maryland Dove. There might be hidden treasure along the way! Registration required. FREE The Shop at Farthing's Ordinary, St. Mary's City, MD.
July 8 Storytime on Lake Needwood: Signs of a Beaver. Ages 3+. 10 to 10:45 a.m. Take a storytime cruise around the lake aboard the Needwood Queen pontoon boat. We'll read a story onboard then look for what's swimming, soaring and standing nearby. Preregister. $$ Lake Needwood Boathouse, Rockville, MD.
July 9 Backyard Theater for Children: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. All ages (family-friendly event) 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Family funk and half-pint hip-hop is this musical agent's secret talent. Join the Skidoo Crew for music that's "equal parts Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre," and you'll get a kid-centered creative soul experience that's more than just Motown for minors-parents and grandparents love it, too! $$ Strathmore Outdoor Backyard Theater Stage, North Bethesda, MD.