5 Things for Families

Headlining this weekend for families are comic books, music (Iron and Wine!), food, and the final days before the impending humidity kills us all.

I’m not a weather expert, but I have lived through many Mays in Richmond, so I know that the water in the recently flooded James River is going to rise up and become the humidity that makes us feel like we’re melting for the next few months. Since this is the last weekend before Labor Day that you won’t spend hoping that a friend with a pool membership invites you as a guest, suck it up and do something with your family (OK, one thing involves a water play area–I’m not a monster).

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1. Iron and Wine

Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam (VCU alum, by the way) is supporting his new record Ghost on Ghost, with opening act the Secret Sisters, and what better a setting for his textured, soulful folk music than an outdoor stage at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden? Sound like a hard sell for the children? Well, 10 and under are free, the music starts early, and when they’re older they’re guaranteed to brag to someone about how they saw Iron and Wine when they were kids.

  • Thursday May 16th, 5:30 PM (music starts at 6:00 PM)
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue
  • $30 to $35 (children 10 and under are free)

2. Lebanese Food Festival

Need to break a quesadilla and pizza rut? Do it by attending the 29th Annual Lebanese Food Festival. Enjoy Mediterranean favorites like meat and cheese pies and various leaves stuffed with meat and rice while listening to music and thinking about a grape leaf stuffed with a meat and cheese pie.

  • Friday May 17th and Saturday May 18th, 10:00 AM — 10:00 PM, and Sunday May 19th, 10 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saint Anthony Maronite Church, 4611 Sadler Road (Glen Allen)
  • Free to attend, food prices vary (check website for menu)

3. CMoR’s Front Yard Season Opening

While the inside of Children’s Museum is a treat for young kids, everyone has just been biding time with all that hands-on learning until SplashMor, the interactive dancing water area, opens for the season. Bathing suit up, little buddies! It’s this Saturday.

  • Saturday May 18th, 9:30 AM — 5:00 PM
  • CMoR Central, 2626 W. Broad Street
  • Free for members and children under 1, $8 for nonmembers

4. Pixar in Concert

This is more than an orchestral tribute to Randy Newman–he’s only one of the four Grammy and Oscar-nominated (and winning) composers who have contributed to the Pixar movies. Watch movie clips and let the familiar scores as played by the Richmond Symphony take you back to summers past and those stories that you have enjoyed and–ARE YOU CRYING? Get it together! You know the toys end up at that good day care.

  • Saturday May 18th at 7:00 PM and Sunday May 19th at 2:00 PM
  • CenterStage, 600 E. Grace Street
  • $26.50 – $56.50

5. Tom DeHaven Reading

I’m not sure why Richmond isn’t as excited by its significant role in the comics world as we are about other accomplishments–probably because we can’t eat comic books and AdHouse isn’t also a brewery. Author (and VCU professor) Tom DeHaven’s work often features comics-related subjects (including his excellent telling of a superhero origin story, It’s Superman!). Tonight he reads a short prose sequel to his 1986 horror novel “Freaks’ Amour,” which accompanies a Dark Horse Comics book collection of the complete series based on his novel.

Due to the story’s mature subject (victims of a nuclear explosion try to raise money for surgeries in unsavory ways), this one might be best for teenaged kids.

  • Tuesday, May 21st at 6:00 PM
  • Chop Suey Books, 2913 W. Cary Street
  • Free

Photo by: largeheartedboy

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Kelly Gerow

Kelly Gerow lives and writes in Richmond. She probably does other stuff in Richmond, too.

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