News & Politics

Kid-Friendly Inauguration: Events for Youth

Inaugural events geared toward youth get young people in on the celebration.

For Tykes
The Children’s Inaugural Ball, being held at the Historical Society of Washington, DC, on January 18, is a kid-oriented event from start to finish. It’ll feature live music, arts and crafts, interactive exhibits, play areas, games, a story-time stage, and more. Hosted by the Every Child Matters Education Fund and more than two dozen national children’s organizations, the open-house event will allow attendees to come and go as they please from noon to 5 PM. The best part: The event is free. (An invitation is required.) To request an invitation, click here.

For Teens
MTV and ServiceNation, an organization that campaigns to increase support for expanding national service programs like the Peace Corps, have teamed up for the January 20 Be The Change Inaugural Ball, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Though few details have been released, expect lots of star power—the event will be broadcast on all MTV channels and Web sites. This teen-centric bash, which will play host to hundreds of young people, is by invitation-only. Attendees will be selected by the host organizations “based on their demonstrated volunteerism.”

For Young Professionals
Post-college young professionals should head to the Young and Powerful for Obama parties happening over the course of three days during the inauguration. Festivities start on Saturday, January 17, with a networking reception and end on Tuesday, January 20, with a $100-a-person semi-formal event. Monday, January 19, is the most jam-packed day, featuring a breakfast, a roundtable forum on policy initiatives, and a black-tie gala with an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and live entertainment. Tickets to all or some of the events are available here.

For (Almost) All Ages
The Honoring Our President-Elect (HOPE) Inaugural Youth Ball at Trinity University is a family-friendly event open to ages four and up. Hosted by The Wire actor 16-year-old Jermaine Crawford—with the help of his advocacy organization, Code Blue, and his production company, J Star Productions—the event will take place on Saturday, January 17. It will include live entertainment by the off-Broadway dance and percussion performers the Street Beats Group. Food stations will be set up with cuisine ranging from kid-friendly options (hot dogs) to adult fare (sushi). Though it’s not required, guests are invited to wear formal attire, which means tuxedos or dark suits for young men and party and cocktail dresses or ball gowns for young ladies. The first 200 tickets are $77.50; all other tickets are $102.50. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

For the Underprivileged
Virginia-based philanthropist Earl Stafford will host a private youth ball at the JW Marriott during the inauguration. Stafford recently bought the hotel’s $1 million package—which comes with 300 rooms, four suites, $200,000 in food and beverages, and a heated rooftop tent to watch the inaugural parade—and has announced that he’ll give it away to more than 100 veterans, disadvantaged people, terminally ill patients, and others. On top of his giveaway, he’s chipping in an additional $600,000 to host an Inauguration Day youth ball, among other things. Stafford hasn’t released details yet about who might be invited to the ball, but he said he wants at least 30 percent of those participating to be disadvantaged in some way. The remaining guests will be from partnering organizations and businesses he hopes to recruit to contribute financially to his effort.

Want to attend an inaugural event? Check out our list of galas, balls, and more happening around town.

>> All inauguration coverage

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