Sunrise Hiking and 20 Other Things to Do with Smithsonian Associates in July

Sunrise Hiking and 20 Other Things to Do with Smithsonian Associates in July

Smithsonian Associates will offer sunrise hiking tours through Great Falls National Park into Mather Gorge in July and August. (Dennis Govonni)
Smithsonian Associates will offer sunrise hiking tours through Great Falls National Park into Mather Gorge in July and August. (Dennis Govonni)

Friday, July 5

Smithsonian Sleepover at the American History Museum: Imagine rolling out your sleeping bag at the home of the Star Spangled Banner. That's exactly what kids ages 8-14 and their chaperones can do when they attend a Smithsonian Sleepover. Participants will solve a mystery of historic proportions during an interactive exploration of exhibit halls. Along the way, they will take part in games, experiments and craft projects, and even become a presidential candidate. 7 p.m. $100-$120

Monday, July 8

Inside Smithsonian Libraries: Go behind the scenes of the largest and most diverse museum library system in the world: Smithsonian Libraries. Guided by a librarian, take a rare look at some of the treasures of these holdings in the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History. This tour is also offered on July 17. 9:30 a.m. $35-$50

Out and About with an Artist: Take an artist-led tour of the National Gallery of Art. This three-course series is perfect for practicing artists, art lovers and anyone who would like to learn more about art from the viewpoint of a working artist. 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. $75-$95

Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor, Adrienne Wyman, gives insight into Rubens’ painting style. In artist-led tours and talks, Wyman offers a “behind-the-easel” perspective of masterworks exhibited at the National Gallery of Art.

Tuesday, July 9

Dorothy Gilliam on Getting the Story Right: Dorothy Butler Gilliam was the first black female journalist at The Washington Post in 1961. Drawing on her memoir, Trailblazer, Gilliam talks to veteran reporter and freelance journalist Kristin Jensen about her determination to “make the media look more like America.” 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

Discovery Theater Presents Spirit of South Africa: Experience the energy, customs and cultures of South Africa as reflected in three distinctive regional dances with instructor and performer Lesole Maine. This show, geared for ages 5-16, is playing July 9-12. 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. $3-$9

Beginning Drawing: This six-session course teaches the basic skills needed as a strong foundation for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks. 6:30 p.m. $195-$225

Wednesday, July 10

Backstage at Wolf Trap: Spend a day behind the scenes at Wolf Trap, America’s only designated National Park for the performing arts. Highlights include a tour of Wolf Trap’s performances spaces, the nearby Barns of Wolf Trap and an invite to a private rehearsal with singers from the Wolf Trap Opera Company. 10 a.m. $95-$145

Apollo at 50: A History in Artifacts: The material legacy of the Apollo missions is immense—with thousands of artifacts represented in the Smithsonian’s collections. Fifty years after the first lunar landing, Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of Apollo spacecraft at the Air and Space Museum, reassesses the history of Project Apollo through the most evocative objects of the Space Age. 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

Saturday, July 13

Quilting for Beginners: A Small Handmade Quilt: In a two-session weekend workshop, learn the basics of hand-stitched quilt-making by creating an 18-by-24-inch piece as a doll quilt or a wall hanging. Learn the same piecing, applique, quilting and finishing techniques used in larger quilts while working on a small-scale project. 10 a.m. $115-$135

Smithsonian Sleepover at the Udvar-Hazy Center: There’s no more perfect setting for dreams of flight than the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Sleepover guests are on a mission to explore the whole world of flight, from its pioneering days through the era of commercial aviation to the excitement of today’s space program. Kids ages 8-14 and their chaperones will grab a flight checklist and take off for a night that includes plenty of games, art activities, and close-up looks at some of the most historic and fascinating craft ever to take to the skies. 7 p.m. $100-$120

Monday, July 15

Anyone for Peacock? Medieval Feasting, "Game of Thrones" Style: Food historian Francine Segan re-creates the splendor of the medieval era’s feasts and examines the menus, manners and dining customs of the age, as well as foods like pigeon pie and blood melons featured in the novels of George R. R. Martin. 6:45 p.m. $45-$55

Wives, Mothers, and Rescuers: How Unlikely Activists Brought Their POW Husbands Home: Author Heath Hardage discusses her new book, The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home, which draws on archival sources, personal letters, diaries and oral histories to tell the stories of how these women went to extraordinary lengths to facilitate their husbands’ freedom and to account for missing military men. 6:45 p.m. $20-$30

Friday, July 19

Sharks: Mysterious Guardians of the Ocean: From Jaws to “Shark Week,” people have been conditioned to see sharks as terrifying cold-blooded predators. Conservationist William McKeever as presents another view of them: evolutionary marvels that are in the greatest danger of their 450-million-year history. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Saturday, July 20

America's Long-Distance Passenger Trains: On Track for a Renaissance or Extinction?: As America marks the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike that completed the transcontinental railroad and linked the nation, transportation professional Scott Hercik and a panel of experts explore train travel’s romantic past, its present state and uncertain future. 10 a.m. $90-$140

Tuesday, July 23

Discovery Theater presents: Summer VIBEZ: The hip-hop revolution used music as Afrocentric expression, social protest and a celebration of life. Rewind to its golden age in a DJ-spun, 90’s music and high-energy percussive tap and stepping show with SOLE Defined. This performance, recommended for children ages 5-16, will be playing July 23-26 at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. $3-$9

Smithsonian Inspired Floral: Learn the fundamentals of floral design while creating designs based on famous art in the Smithsonian’s collection during a three-session course. Each session focuses on a different work, providing inspiration for the flowers, greens and vases participants use to create beautiful arrangements. No experience is necessary. 6:30 p.m. $115-$165

Christine van Blokland gets curious inside Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, King George IV’s palace by-the-sea, on PBS' "Curious Traveler." Van Blokland will speak at the Smithsonian on July 24.

Wednesday, July 24

A Curious Journey through Britain: Join the host, writer and executive producer of PBS’s “Curious Traveler,” Christine van Blokland, for a virtual exploration of some of the British Isles’ most curious locations and secrets. To make your journey even better, you'll receive a British-themed gift! 6:45 p.m. $30-$45

The National Zoo’s Naked Mole-rats: Living Well, Underground: With their large incisors and nearly hairless bodies, naked mole-rats possess unique traits that make them more than worthy of a second look. Kenton Kerns, assistant curator of the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House, describes the process of building a new exhibit while the naked mole-rats were busy building their new colony. 6:45 p.m. $25-$35

Thursday, July 25

Secrets of the Mediterranean Kitchen: Living and Eating with Pleasure and Health: The cuisine of the Mediterranean is renowned for its delectable flavors and fresh, healthful ingredients. Join cookbook author, culinary tour leader and Mediterranean lifestyle expert Amy Riolo for a journey that winds through the markets, kitchens and tables of the region. The evening concludes with a reception of foods inspired by the Mediterranean region. 6:45 p.m. $75-$90

Saturday, July 27

Introduction to Lightroom: Learn the basics of Adobe Lightroom in a two-session workshop that offers users an overview of the program with a focus on working with a pair of essential modules for organizing and editing files. 9:30 a.m. $225-$245

Monday, July 29

The Music of 1969: Talking 'Bout My Generation: Join Dave Price, D.C.-based author of the upcoming What’s That Sound: Song Lists and Stories to Help You Better Understand the Music of the Baby Boom Era, to explore the music of 1969 and why it endures. 6:45 p.m. $30-$45

For a full calendar of Smithsonian Associates events, visit