Tuesday, May 22 Shade-grown Coffee
Ever wonder where your morning cup comes from? Some coffee is “shade-grown,” meaning the coffee farms double as a sanctuary for migratory birds in winter. These coffee farms, which grow their plants under a canopy of trees, are often in areas that have suffered deforestation, making them all the more vital as refuges for these birds. Scientists at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) have developed the only 100 percent organic shade-grown certification to encourage the expansion of this kind of agriculture. Try a cup of shade-grown coffee while Robert Rice, research scientist at the SMBC, and Andy Sprenger, head roaster at Ceremony Coffee Roasters, explain its importance to biodiversity and sustainability. $40 for general admission, $30 for members. 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. S. Dillon Ripley Center.
Wednesday, May 23 Public Observatory Project
As the weather gets warmer, the Public Observatory staff heads outside most Wednesday afternoons through June. Look through the portable 16-inch telescope to discover craters on the moon, spots on the sun (using safe solar filters), and other wonders of the universe in broad daylight. The sun is approaching the active portion of its 11-year cycle, so visitors these days are now more likely to catch a glimpse of an interesting feature. Free. 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Air and Space Museum.
Thursday, May 24 Tot Rock
Get your kids up and moving to the beat with singer-songwriter Shawana Kemp and guitarist John Heagle. Together they are Shine and the Moonbeams, a soulful, groove-happy R&B musical team perfect for children ages 2 to 6. The dance party has something for grown-ups, too: the Virginia coffee shop Jammin’ Java will be slinging complimentary joe and snacks. $6, or $3 for children under 2. 10:15 a.m. Discovery Theater.