The Children's Hour was The ClubHouse staff's annual party for itself and the members. Attending the party became one of the social highlights of the year in Washington, DC.
Although The ClubHouse had a national and international membership, The Children's Hour became a national event that drew African American gay men and lesbians to the city. In fact, the Children's Hour party established Memorial Day weekend in DC as a national event for gays and lesbians who flocked into town to party through the weekend, with the capstone being Memorial Day Sunday's Children's Hour.
Children's Hour was a staff-driven event. The ClubHouse itself was rented by the staff (Aundrea, John Eddy and the other managers inclusive), as though they were any other outside group, to hold Children's Hour.
The first Children's Hour was most likely in May 1976. The first Children's Hour theme was "A Trip to the Ozone," a party whose decor consisted mainly of thousands of white balloons, and the dress for which was all-white' (all the CH parties involved some sort of requested-but-optional themed attire). The following year, the motif was Ancient Egypt. In 1978, the theme was "A Trip to Oz." Then, in 1979, with the "Fantasy World of Uniforms" party, a group of supporters joined in helping organizing the event.
Organizing the event became a major task that drew on the services of a special Children's Hour board which selected the annual theme for the party, recruited guest performers and DJs and ensured that it was indeed the party of the year. Many of the party themes required elaborate decorations and costumes. Among the leaders in organizing the Children's Hour parties, apart from ClubHouse managers, were Juicy Coleman and Russell Better.
In the late 1980s as The ClubHouse struggled to continue in the face of declining membership (due in large part to AIDS), financial stresses, and competition, the owners were determined to reach their 15th anniversary in May and capped the year with the final Children's Hour party on Memorial Day weekend in 1990. The following year, 1991, the void left by the closing of The ClubHouse and
the end of its Children's Hour parties was filled by a new African American LGBT institution, Black Gay Pride, which took place Memorial Day weekend (and has continued ever since on that weekend). The tradition of an African American LGBT celebration in
Washington, DC on that weekend continues unbroken.