Last week I posted the Winter Break Guide, a big mix of ideas for activities and adventures with the kids during the winter break from school, so be sure to check it out! Below is a suggested itinerary that you can easily switch up with the recs from the guide. Have fun & Happy Holidays!
Monday – Watch Santa have some fun before his big night out, as he water skis his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all for free from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria starting at 1pm sharp — the best viewing spots will be from the Torpedo Factory to Point Lumley Park.
Later on, celebrate Christmas Eve by viewing some holiday lights! Visit one of the many twinkling displays around the area or go see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (This is something you can do any evening during the week, though check schedules on Christmas night, as some of them are closed.)
Tuesday – Have a very Merry Christmas! And enjoy some activities out of the house, too! The U.S. Botanic Garden and Mount Vernon are open. You can bundle up and get out for a hike (though be aware that National Parks may not be accessible). Or do what’s a tradition for many who don’t celebrate Christmas and go out for Chinese food and a movie.
Wednesday – Get Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. It’s recommended for ages 11 and up, but some younger ages could also enjoy it. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
When the sun goes down, go ice skating! There’s something kind of magical about skating under the stars, and there are several rinks around the area where you can glide on ice at night.
Thursday – Bundle up the kids (and yourself) and take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Winter Break. Their fantastic playground is open to the public when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.
In the evening, experience Georgetown GLOW, the annual exhibition of outdoor public light art installations that makes the neighborhood sparkle. Plan on dinner while you’re there — you’ve got your pick of places in the bustling community.
Friday – Visit the National Gallery of Art while it’s still open during the government shutdown. (It’s been reported that the museum will be open through New Year’s Day and Smithsonian Museums through December 31.) The East Building is full of contemporary works with bold colors and captivating designs. Be sure to stop in the Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes will dazzle, and head to the roof to at least have a peek at the giant blue rooster and some great city views. The West Building houses more classical pieces, including collections featuring many of the masters and the only Leonardo da Vinci painting on public view in the U.S. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free. If weather permits, take a stroll through the Sculpture Garden and maybe even go ice skating at the lovely outdoor rink (open 10am – 11pm, admission is $8/child, $9/adult, $4/rental).