When it comes to family recreation in Washington, we have plenty to be thankful for, especially as the holiday season gets underway. Here’s what’s happening around town this weekend — including new and ongoing events, holiday-themed and just plain ol’ fun activities – starting with links to previously posted ideas, then some new recommendations.
National Geographic Museum Exhibits (World Animal Day is over, but this post includes a review of the exhibits)
Christmas at Mount Vernon
The special daytime holiday program at George Washington’s homestead includes 12 Christmas trees, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations (and tastings!), and 18th-century dancing. Guests will also have the chance to tour the rarely opened third floor of the mansion to learn how the first First Family celebrated Christmas. And outside, Alladin the camel and the National Thanksgiving Turkey (recently pardoned by President Obama) will be on view as well. Admission is $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, free for children 5 and under. Hours are 9am – 4pm for the daytime program. The event runs throgh January 6.
Mount Vernon by Candlelight
More festivities at Mount Vernon carry on into the evenings; however, they are separate from the daytime Christmas program. Join “Mrs. Washington” for candlelit tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies. Characters from the 18th-century will lead tours through the old house, and music and holiday shopping will take place in the more modern buildings. Admission is $10/adults, $14/kids 11 and under. The regular daytime general admission does not cover the evening event. Hours are 5pm – 8:30pm. The event runs on select evenings through December 19, check the website for the exact schedule.
Alexandria Tree Lighting
Welcome the holiday season in Old Town Alexandria this evening at the city’s 2010 Tree Lighting Ceremony. Mayor Euille will be on hand to help kick off the festivities, Santa’s Frosty Folllies will bring the musical entertainment, and Santa himself will be there for visits with children. The ceremony begins at 7pm at the Market Square – 301 King Street. Be sure to stick aorund after the tree lighting for a community sing-along.
Harbor Lights Festival
Another tree lighting will be happening this evening at the National Harbor, and kids can start getting ready for it at the National Children’s Museum earlier in the day. From 2pm – 7pm today, the museum’s Launch Zone invites children to enjoy holiday art projects to help deck the halls. More festivities – food sampling, shopping, crafts, face painting, music — will begin at 5pm, and the actual treet lighting will take place in the National Habor Plaza at 8pm with a fireworks show following at 8:30pm. Both the Launch Zone activiity and Festival are free.
Snow White, Red Rose (and Fred)
Tickets are still available for the re-imagined Brothers Grimm tale that opens at the Kennedy Center today. Check out this post for more info, though the deal is no longer available. The show runs through December 19. Tickets are $18.