Places to Go - The Kennedy Center's Nordic Cool (Washington DC)


I love the balconies of the Kennedy Center, esp. with kids. Something about those long uninterrupted vistas makes children run and run. Back and forth for (literally) hours. Best way ever to wear out a toddler. And I just meander behind them, checking out the wonderful views of the city. Almost like the kid version of a dog park (sorry, I feel like I just offended a ton of parents with that analogy). They also have a good (though expensive) cafe on the premises, so you can make an afternoon out of it.

On the downside, the Kennedy Center is rather fancy. And fancy people often don't mix well with children. Plus parking is $10 at a minimum (up to $22 for events). So, unless something kid-friendly is playing on Millennium Stage (always free), we don't frequent the Kennedy Center very often.

Thus, I was quite happy when I read about the Kennedy's Nordic Cool Festival on Kidfriendly DC. The festival includes a giant boat sculpture made out of shirts (really cool), other random art and design exhibits, including a maze-house that my son couldn't stop running through, and LEGOS!! All for free (plus the cost of parking).

The best part about the lego exhibit (all duplo blocks) is that I interpreted it as an open invitation to disregard the fancy and let my child play. Awesomeness. Plus, once blocks started to bore him, a large array of ipads allowed T to check out videogames for awhile (who doesn't love Angry Birds?).

The festival runs through Sunday, March 17 and also includes dozens of reasonably priced ticketed events - plays, music, etc. Most of which are for older kids and adults. Click here for more info.


Seriously, they can do this all day long.


The wooden "maze" house was a HUGE hit with the kids. Despite the maze's lack of complexity or length (the house simply had multiple entrances and exits), both boys were fascinated by all of the possibilities. Well, until T started watching film footage of nordic landscapes. "Can we go there mom? Please!" "Maybe someday", I eagerly replied.


With my 50mm fixed lens, I could not get a good shot of the shirt ship. So you just have to trust me about it's coolness. Or go see it yourself.


  1. Now the shirt boat is more difficult to see. Is that the inside or outside of the bow we're looking at?

  2. Fabulous photos as always! We went on a rainy day so we didn't take full advantage of the terrace. Looks like the boys had fun.

  3. Looks like you had a fantastic time!

  4. Thanks!! We've been meaning to get over there and it's been on the back burner. I think we'll head over tomorrow.

  5. Wow, this is a lot of comments. Thanks everyone!!

    Chris - to answer your question, the picture is of the inside of the boat. I found some more pictures here - http://www.glynlowe.com/nordic_cool_2013, but it is so large that it's almost impossible to get a good photo. Very very cool though.



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