Rain or Shine! All activities will move indoors if it rains.
Free; charge for some food and drink
Birthday Photos by Lloyd Wolf
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Enjoy jugglers and jesters, music, song and dance, stage combat workshops, and more. It’s the one day of the year when the Folger reading rooms are open to all—plus, birthday cake for everyone!
Other Birthday festivities include:
A cake-cutting ceremony in honor of Shakespeare presided over by Queen Elizabeth I at 3:30pm on the front lawn of the Folger.
Renaissance music, song, and dance throughout the Folger.
Shakespeare Portrait Contest for children with winners announced at the day's end.
Free children's activities and Elizabethan crafts, including:
quill pen writing;
Stories of life in 16th-century England.
"Spontaneous Shakespeare" where you take the stage to share your favorite lines, hosted by our very own Mistress of the Revels, Cam Magee.
Conversations and Q & As with Folger staff and scholars.
Poetry readings by the winners of this year's student Sonnet Contest.
Kid-friendly poetry readings for those in grades K-4 and 5-8 by U.S. Children's Poet, J. Patrick Lewis.
Performances by area elementary and secondary schools from the Folger's Student Shakespeare Festivals.
Tours of the reading rooms—this is the one day of the year the Reading Rooms are open to the public. View Flemish tapestries from the 16th Century, paintings from scenes of the Bard’s plays, and the famed "Seven Ages of Man" stained glass window.
Docent-led walks through our Elizabethan Garden filled with plants popular in Shakespeare’s time and mentioned in his plays and Shakespeare-inspired statues by American artist Greg Wyatt. Plus a plant sale!
Scavenger Hunt available for the current exhibition in the Great Hall.