Category Archives: Movies

Wicked Fun (& Safe) Ways to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

It’s still safe to decorate the front yard for Halloween!

 

 

For obvious reasons, Halloween is going to look a little bit LOT different this year, but that doesn’t mean events to celebrate it are going away entirely. Some of the listings from this annual post (that historically includes a looong list of Halloween happenings) have survived the nightmare that is 2020 and will be scaring up fun in safe, socially distanced ways.  This round-up has details on those that are left.  Happy (kind of ) Halloween!

 

Spies in Disguise: Halloween Edition
Where: The Spy Museum’s Virtual Zoom Room
When: October 15, 5:30-6:3-pm
Admission: $20/family

Ditch the Halloween costume and go undercover in disguise! This Halloween take your transformation to the next level by learning the top secret tradecraft used by spies on undercover missions. Meet Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, and learn tips from professional make-up artist, Roger Riggle. Using materials gathered from home or purchased prior to the workshop you will practice creating effects such as old age, glamour, scars, and bruising. The whole family will transform their appearance and identity and then be challenged on a quick change disguise mission. Who knows, they may have the next chief of disguise in our rank! Note: Spies in Disguise is suggested for recruits ages 8-13 and their handlers.

 

Soul Strolls
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: October 16-17 & 23-24
Admission: $25/adult, $12/child

Trespass into the past and discover the secrets of some of Congressional Cemetery’s “residents.” Soul Strolls, the Cemetery’s annual twilight tours, explore the stories of individuals buried there through guided tours and costumed interpreters. Experience the history of this hallowed ground exactly the way it should be experienced in October — in twilight and darkness, happening upon vignettes and individuals under the guidance of one of the “Dozen Decent Docents.” Hour-long tours depart every 15 minutes. Beer, wine, and cider tickets will be for sale on-site to enjoy a drink before your tour, plus there will be  a bar located along the tour route to redeem your drink tickets for a refresher.

 

Air & Scare at Home
Where: Online
When: Through October 31
Admission: Free

The annual Air & Scare event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center isn’t happening in-house this year, so the museum is bringing it to your home. The digital treats include online downloadable activities and challenges, live digital programming, and some sc-air-y business, including a costume and pumpkin decorating contest for sweet prizes. More details, including dates for special virtual events, are on the website!

 

Spooktacular Drive-In Flicks
Where: Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: October 16, 23, & 30
Admission: $20/vehicle

Grab your popcorn and join the Capitol Riverfront BID for a drive-in movie at the Akridge Lot (First and V St. SW) in Buzzard Point next to Audi Field. Each movie is a fun, contact-free experience for all ages with space for 75 vehicles set at an appropriate social distance. Films on these three dates are in celebration of the Halloween season are a festive lineup of spooktacular flicks — Frankenstein & Dracula on October 16, Us on October 23, and Beetlejuice on October 30. All funds will be donated to local charities.

 

Drive-In “Spooky” Movie Nights
Where: DC Party Box | Rockville, MD
When: Many dates through October
Admission: $15/adult, $10/13 & under

Enjoy Sppoktacular theater at this drive-in, featuring an LED screen, FM broadcasting, and spooky surprises. There are two showings each night, a family-friendly film at 7pm and a classic or scary movie 10pm. Different movies are shown every night, so check the website to see what’s playing. Reserve in advance online, one reservation per car.

 

Toddler Time Halloween Parade
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: October 22, 10:30am
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 2-12

Take little ones to a spooktacular Toddler Time to celebrate the end of this year’s program Halloween style. Featuring festive fun, they’ll read Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, before making monster grab bags to fill with all sorts of fun tricks and treats during our costume parade around the Museum’s campus. The program starts promptly at 10:30 am in the Museum’s Roundhouse.

 

Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch
Where: Park Potomac | Potomac, MD
When: October 22, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Free

Join on the plaza to get into the Halloween spirit with the Park Potomac Pumpkin Patch. Decorate pumpkins and enter your pup in their first annual doggie costume contest. Four winners will be chosen and awarded gift cards to neighborhood restaurants. Be sure to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines!

 

Halloween Hayride & Bonfire
Where: Butler’s Orchard | Gaithersburg, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $35-50

Enjoy a tractor driven hayride in the darkness with demons and devils, then gather around a haunted bonfire for to roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, and make s’mores (all provided and included in the ticket). Sing songs, play games, tell frightening stories, or just socialize and enjoy the stars and the open night air. The ghosts of the fallen soldiers from the Civil War might join, too.

 

Halloween in the Garden
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: October 24
Admission: $5/ages 2+

Join Annmarie for a socially-distanced day of Halloween fun and games. Working with the local health department, they have reconfigured their beloved Halloween event into a family-group based celebration of the fall season. A timed-entry system will be uses to spread out the crowd over the day, and activities also will be spread out across the 30-acre property, giving families plenty of space. Dress up, put on your masks, and enjoy an awesome day of socially-distanced trick-or-treating, low-touch/no-touch games, great photo ops, music, and yummy food and drinks!

 

Drive-Thru Trot or Treat
Where: North Star Stables | Delaplane, VA
When: October 25
Admission: By donation

It’s all horsing around at the trick-or-treat for a cause! Support North Star’s equine team and therapeutic riding scholarship fund with a drive-thru trick-or-treat! While Covid restrictions preclude them from hosting their normal Halloween celebration, North Star is excited to offer a drive-thru Halloween! Join to see their awesome horses in costume and collect treats (non-candy treats available) along the facility’s fence line! They ask each car to contribute a small, monetary donation.

 

Halloween Drive Up Movie Night
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: October 30
Admission:
Join this family-friendly, socially distanced Fall & Halloween evening for a night of great fun, all in support of an amazing cause: Helping the Greater DC/Virginia Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation work towards cures for the 3.1 Million Americans fighting IBD. The drive-up movie night onwill feature Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright & Beetlejuice. Car trick-or-treaing, a car costume contest, and an individual costume contest are part of the fun, too!

 

Halloween To Go
Where: Fairmont Hotel | Georgetown, DC
When: October 30, 4-6pm
Admission: None – just buy the goodie box!

Fairmont is offering Halloween Boxes to-go for children and canine companions. Take home the Halloween fun from the Fairmont and be entered to win prizes for best costume. On Friday, October 30th, families who order Halloween Boxes To-Go, will drive through the hotel’s driveway to the pick them up from 4-6pm. Canines and humans who are donning costumes will be entered to win overnight stays, dinners and other prizes. Georgie, Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador will greet you in her own costume. House-made treats by the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef A.J. Thalakkat and Chef Jason Rowley are spooktacular, tasty, and pawsome for people and pooches.

 

Glow in the Park
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: October 30-31
Admission: $52

Kick off your Halloween festivities at the park’s spooky Halloween-themed Glow in the Park. Wear your costume for a chance to spin the prize wheel — you could win free tickets, a t-shirt, or something else special.The event starts at 6pm, with start times available every 10 minutes from 6-8:20pm, and tickets are good for two hours of climbing & ziplining + 40 minutes for a safety briefing and getting geared up. Ages 5 & up are welcome. Reservations are highly encouraged, as the event tends to sell out.

 

Halloween Spooktacular
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: October 31, 5-9pm
Admission: $10/member, $15/non-member, free/under 3

The St. James is offering a fun-filled, safe Halloween evening at this event. Enjoy trick-or-treating, socially-distanced fun and activities, a family-friendly movie, pizza, popcorn and more. Bring your own blanket for socially-distanced family movie night in the Field House.

 

Montgomery Parks Haunted Hustle Fun Run/Walk
Where: Black Hill Regional Park | Boyds, MD
When: October 31, 8am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Monsters, superheroes, and celebrities! Show off your costumes and strut your Halloween spirit at this Haunted Hustle Fun Run and Walk on Halloween day. There will be staggered starting times, and all ages are welcome. Register in advance.

Halloween at the Station
Where: The Station | Riverdale, MD
When: October 31, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Spooky season has finally arrived and The Station, formerly Riverdale Park Station, is ready to celebrate with costumes, candy, contests and more! Visitors will be able to enjoy socially-distanced outdoor activities including mini golf, a self-guided photo scavenger hunt, a prize raffle, and more. The scavenger hunt is designed for the whole family to enjoy with four festive photo stops throughout the development, ending with a special treat delivered by a custom Halloween candy chute. Guests will also be able to purchase additional food items from The Station’s retailers including District Taco, Habit Burger Grill, Denizens, Jersey Mike’s, MOD Pizza, and Burtons as well as a food truck on-site. RSVP to let them know you’re going!

Fall Festivals
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through early November
Admission: Varies by locale

Many of the fall festivals around the area incorporate Halloween fun into their offerings. Pick out potential jack-o-lanterns, enjoy Halloween-themed activities, and more. See a list of seasonal celebrations happening this year here.

 

Halloween Decor
Just because Halloween activities are limited this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still decorate for it. Maybe this is the year to go all out on front yard displays, both to get into the spooky spirit and keep it going for kids (and adults, for that matter), too. Here are quick links to find Halloween supplies to help with that:
Amazon
Michael’s
Target
Home Depot
World Market

 

Do you know of a Halloween event not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

 

Note: KFDC may earn a commission when you click on one of our links and make a purchase. Thanks for the support!

 

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Farm, Halloween, Maryland, Movies, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Five Things for Today: September 16, 2020

Seen on a recent neighborhood walk

 

1. Annmarie Sculpture Garden’s annual ArtsWalk is taking place this weekend, but re-imagined and reconfigured for social distancing.  Enjoy an arts-filled stroll through the garden with artist booths scattered through the woods, a variety of musical moments, no-touch activities for kids, creative experiences and surprises, and delicious food and drink. Admission is $10/person —  reserve timed entry tickets in advance here.  And if you’re looking for an activity with kids during the week, Annmarie is wonderful place to go!  Read more about it here and here.

 

2.  Ballston Exchange is hosting three separate movie nights on the Paseo in between 4201 and 4121 Wilson Blvd.  Space Jam will be shown tomorrow, September 17, Cool Runnings on September 20, and Hook on September 24.  Admission is $40 for a group of 4, and that includes 6’x6′ feet picnic blanket and a $10 gift card to a Ballston Exchange retailer.  Reserve tickets here.

 

3. Do you know about Books from Birth?  DC children enrolled in the program can get a free book every month from birth until the age of five!  The program, part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, helps foster early childhood literacy. All parents have to do to receive the monthly books is register here.

 

4.  New front porch fall decor? They might not get as much notice during these times of less visitors, but some of these fall-themed doormats are really fun.

 

5. Must watch PSA.

 

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Maryland, Movies, Social Distancing, Virginia

Five Things for Today: September 11, 2020

“Murals that Matter” outside the National Building Museum

 

1.  We can’t go in the National Building Museum right now, but you can stop by the west lawn (5th Street NW, between F and G streets) to see Murals That Matter: Activism Through Public Art, an exhibition featuring DC street art created earlier this summer in response to social justice protests in the nation’s capital and elsewhere.  It will be on display from now through November.

 

2. Catch an outdoor flick and pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman at the Union Market Drive-In tonight.  The weekly series is featuring the late actor’s films all month, this week showing the James Brown biopic Get On Up.  The lot opens at 7:15pm, and the movie starts at 8:30pm. Parking fee is $20 — book in advance here.  And see what else is playing at more drive-in movie series around the area this weekend.

 

3. The Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington is hosting its annual Unity Walk on Sunday.  Although virtual this year, the walk will offer an opportunity to visit houses of worship and faith centers from Baha’i to Zoroastrian, participate in meaningful dialogue, learn a new recipe from a local chef, and partake in service projects. Learn more and register for it here.

 

4. In case you missed it yesterday, there’s a new post on the blog with a round-up of places to go in DC if you just want to chill out in a lovely locale: Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC.

 

5. Scenes from San Francisco…  and how you can help victims of the west coast wildfires. (Update:  See the comments below on why I opted to highlight this today.)

 

PS:  As you’re making weekend plans, an easy way to find things to do… hover over the ADVENTURES tab at the top of the blog for a drop down of all kinds of ideas.

 

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Movies, Social Distancing, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Go & What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2019

Skate under the stars (and over the Potomac) at The Wharf



If you’re going to be in town over the Winter Break from school, you’ll likely be looking for activities to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes us parents)! Hence, I’m bringing back this guide once again, but with updated info and some new inspiration.

Many of these ideas are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. Among the recommendations are holiday activities that keep the spirit going a little longer, exhibits and shows that are hot tickets right now, outings that take advantage of the season, adventures to keep your gang active no matter what the weather, and places and experiences that kids who are in school all day can’t get to easily, and movies (an obvious one, but I’ve included quick links).

Of course, the rest of the blog is packed with suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) entertained during the time off — or on, depending how you look at it. 😉 Happy Winter Break!

Holiday-Inspired Happenings

Special Exhibits & Museums

#OptOutside

Show Time

Indoor Action

See Some Sports

Must-See DC

Day Trips

Screen Time

Extra Tips




Holiday-Inspired Happenings

Continue the holiday celebration at Enchant

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through December 29
Admission: Varies by Date, time, and age

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new holiday attraction at Nationals Park — and I think it’s deserving. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays. Purchase tickets here, and read a KFDC review of it, including tips for visiting, if you haven’t already.

Chanukah, Oh Chanukah
Where: Around the DMV
When: Several Dates
Admission: Varies by activity

Chanukah begins during Winter Break this year all of its eight days occur within it, too. There are several activity going on to celebrate the Festival of Lights, many of them menorah lightings — including the National Menorah Lighting on the first night — as well as family programs. View details on all of them in the Holiday Guide here.

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you haven’t yet made it to Season’s Greenings, the annual holiday exhibit at the U.S Botanic Garden, you still have time to go — and it’s one that all ages will love. The Main Garden features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, including a new botanical inspired Union Station. But the highlight is in the East Gallery: The garden railway model train display never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s Gardens of America-themed exhibit features structures from botanic gardens around the U.S. — all made from plant materials, of course. Be sure to tour the rest of the plant collections while you’re there — all are lovely to view, and walking among the flora indoors kind of feels like you pulled a fast one on the weather gods.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Through December 31
Admission: Online – $18/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free/ 5 & under

They do it up for the holidays at George Washington’s old digs. During the day, tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demos, and meet Aladdin the Camel. FYI: Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Year’s Day!

Magical Holiday Express
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: $18/adult, $17/senior, $12/age 2-12, free/B&O members


At a venue dedicated to locomotives, you know the holiday model train exhibit is going to be special. Trains are magical during the holidays, and the museum invites all aboard the B&O’s Magical Holiday Express, a spectacular celebration in the B&O Roundhouse devoted to trains of all sizes and shapes, holiday festivities, and a winter wonderland of family fun and activities. There is something to see and do every day at this annual holiday event!

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through January 1
Admission: Free, though some activities cost extra

National Harbor goes all out during the holidays. ICE! might be the big attraction, but there’s also plenty to do there to warrant a visit without the frozen entertainment. Most of it takes place in the Gaylord National Resort, which is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a spectacular glass Christmas tree, nightly tree lightings, the Potomac Express train offering rides for guests, photo ops with Santa, indoor snowfalls, fountain shows, and more. (Read about a KFDC experience there during a Christmas season past.)

* Find even more holiday happenings in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC!



Special Exhibits & Museums

Visit the Newseum before it closes its doors for good

Newsflash: Museum on Deadline
Where: Newseum | Near Navy Memorial, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $14.95/ages 7-19, free for 6 and under

The deadline is nearing! The museum dedicated to all things news and journalism (and one of my personal favorites in DC) is closing its doors on December 31, so get there while you can — I highly recommend it! Much of the collection is better appreciated and understood by older children, so while they have off from school is a good time to take advantage of an outing there. Read more about the Newseum in this KFDC post. And (look for a deal) on admission!

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

The winter exhibit at ARTECHOUSE celebrates the season with digital art installations inspired by the aurora borealis, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests walk through arctic scenes, including an ice cavern, frosted forest, and dancing lights. They can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Becoming Jane
Where: National Geographic Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $12/seniors & students, free/5 & under

In this hands-on, transportive multimedia exhibition celebrating Jane Goodall’s extraordinary life and work, you’ll explore her early years through iconic images and a multiscreen experience and venture on a 3D exploration of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, where she did her famous behavioral research on chimps. You’ll also see a life-size hologram of Dr. Goodall, enter a replica of her research tent, and learn about her current role as a leader in community-centered conservation and youth empowerment. And before you leave, you will find out what you can do today to make a positive impact in the world.

African American History & Culture
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Daily, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

This phenomenal museum is a must-see on the National Mall. And right now during off-peak season, you can walk right in without tickets. Timed entry passes are still required on weekend, though, and there are none available for awhile. (If that’s when you want to go, you can try for same-day online passes –they are released at 6:30am, Saturday and Sunday.) Before you go to the museum, read this KFDC guide for visiting with kids.

Q?rius
Where: National Museum of Natural History | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The interactive and experiential learning space is designed for kids ages 11 and up (though some younger ages could enjoy it, too). During winter break, it opens earlier at 10am (instead of 2pm). Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. 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. Read the KFDC take on Q?rius.

Mission: Fun
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $24.95/age 13+, $14.95/7-12, free/6 & under

If you haven’t been to the Spy Museum at its new L’Enfant Plaza location, this is a great time to check it out!
Go undercover to explore the intriguing world of espionage. Discover tricks of the trade, view gadgets used to keep secrets and disguises to hide identities, and learn about some of the most famous spies and their missions.



#OptOutside

A lovely, cool-weather hike at Scotts Run Nature Preserve

Ready, Set…Hike!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

If you agree with the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” like I do, there are no excuses for not getting outdoors during winter. And a great, easy way to do so is on a hike. Hit the trail in places with scenic views, tramp and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods and other places with the kids.

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings through
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are are a staple of the season and some continue to shine into January. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. While some you tour by car, others you can walk through for a truly enchanting experience. See where you can see the lights around the area.

Grounds for Play
Where: Playgrounds around the DMV
When: Daily
Admission: Free

Kiddos can burn some energy and get some fresh air at one of many awesome area playgrounds. Beauvoir, Clemyjontri, Watkins Regional Park, Hains Point,Cabin John Regional Park, Wheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in NoVa and Maryland are great places to swing, climb, run, slide, romp, and even more!

Ice It Up
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Enjoy a quintessential winter activity: Ice skating under the sky! Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s cool rink; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.



Show Time

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Peter Pan and Wendy will dazzle the whole fam

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 11
Tickets: $35-120/adult, $35/14 & under (find discounts)

Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers. This beloved tale of adventure and wonder is sure to delight adults and children alike this holiday season. Recommended for ages 5+.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo Park
When: Through January 1
Tickets: $20.50

Margery Williams’s classic toy story gets a vibrant retelling in this brand new adaptation. When the Child gets the Rabbit for Christmas, she is at first disappointed in her gift. But as the two quest and adventure through her storybooks, both Rabbit and Child grow and care for each other. And they discover that love is the greatest force in the Universe and can make impossible things Real. Recommended for all ages.

The Snow Queen
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through December 29
Tickets: $15-35

Just in time for the holidays, Synetic presents a whimsical, family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fairy tale, The Snow Queen. Join Gerda, a little girl with gumption, a magic mirror, and a quest to save her best friend, as she sets out on a life-changing journey that takes her over mountains and across distant lands to the Snow Kingdom. Once there, she harnesses her inner-strength and wit to defeat the coldest threat of all.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $54-$99 (find discounts)

The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” Olney’s biggest production of the year is certain to impress Broadway regulars and enchant kids meeting this musical for the first time. If this were a film it would be rated G.

Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Through December 30
Tickets: $25-45

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a KFDC fave! This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The show features friendly, furry characters, plus there is pre-show instrument-making workshops, photo ops, and even a dance party. It is so much fun for both kids and adults and great entertainment even after the holiday has past!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 5
Tickets: $15-35

Leap through the wardrobe and into a winter wonderland in this dance-based adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s treasured novel from the Chronicles of Narnia. A remount of Imagination Stage’s Helen Hayes award-winning 2012 production, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tells the story of four siblings who journey from war-torn England to a magical land frozen in eternal winter, where the powerful lion Aslan leads them on a journey to discover their destiny. Music, modern dance, and breathtaking puppetry tell a story of love, sacrifice, and redemption. Recommended for ages 5+.

Jersey Boys
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: December 17 – January 5
Tickets: $39-99 (find discounts)

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true. Recommended for ages 12+.

My Fair Lady
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: December 17 – January 19
Tickets: $39-159 (find discounts)

From Lincoln Center Theater comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (The New York Times). Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.” But who is really being transformed?

Squeakers & Mr. Gumdrop
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: December 27-31
Tickets: $12

Arts on the Horizon’s show will be at the Atlas at the end of December and is a perfect activity with littles ones, recommended for ages 2-5… One snowy winter morning, Mr. Gumdrop prepares for his annual holiday party! When an unexpected and curious mouse appears, Mr. Gumdrop’s routine is thrown for a loop. Can these two wildly different characters work together to get the holiday preparations done in time? This nonverbal, imaginative production captures the magic of making new friends and sharing ideas to accomplish big goals.​



Indoor Action

Climb the day away at The St. James

Super, Awesome, and Amazing Fun
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: Daily
Admission: $15-$23 (find discount)

The Super, Awesome, and Amazing (that’s what it’s called) 30,000 square foot activity center in the St. Jame sports complex is filled with all kinds of climbing structures, trampolines, and obstacle courses. Kids can don harnesses and clip onto wires to climb, rappel, and navigate walkways 20 feet above the ground. They can bounce, flip, and execute acrobatic moves. They can swing from bars and on large platforms and crawl through tunnels. Essentially, every element in the space is conducive to active fun, and there is something for kids from toddler to tween ages to enjoy. Admission is $15 Monday – Thursday before 3pm. After 3pm and on Friday & Saturday, they are $23/hour.

Mountains of Fun
Where: Badlands | Rockville, MD
When: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $20/child, $12.50/toddler, $5/adult

Enjoy all kinds of indoor adventures at Badlands Play Space. From active fun to creative explorations to learning experiences to relaxation options, the facility has it all. They also have a cafe to get a bite to eat while you’re there and where adults can hang out while they watch their kids play (if kids are old enough to playon their own). Best for children about preschool age to 10.

Reach New Heights
Where: ClimbZone | Laurel, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Admission: $25/child, $12/toddler (find discount)

The enormous facility is filled literally floor to ceiling with colorful themed climbing walls and moon bounces. Climbers can ascend Mt. Rushmore, reach the Jolly Roger on a pirate ship, conquer a game of Tetris, shimmy up a giant guitar, scale Jack’s bean stalk, negotiate a rope wall, and experience peak fun on a variety of other climbing areas.

Play in the Zone
Where: ZavaZone | Rockville, MD & Sterling, VA
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Starts at $19.50

Guests have their pick of fun at this indoor adventure park for ages 5-105. There are ninja courses, ropes courses, trampolines, climbing challenges, zip lines, and more under one soaring roof. Usually just open in the afternoons during the week, morning time slots will also be available during Winter Break week.

Spring Time
Where: Flight Trampoline Park | Springfield, VA
When: Daily
Admission: Starts at $12

Kids of all ages can jump, play, even flip for joy at Flight Trampoline Park. The huge space resembles a skate park, with an industrial look of exposed pipes and cinder block walls sprayed with graffiti. But where you’d find ramps, rails, and concrete to facilitate skills and tricks, there are trampolines instead. Be sure to check the schedule for any special jumping times, and buy tickets/sign waivers in advance online to avoid a line there.

* Find even more places for active indoor play here!



See Some Sports

Cheer on our local (or visiting) teams!

Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 28 & 30, January 1 & 3
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards have a few home games over the break, so catch some exciting action on the court. They host the New York Knicks on December 28, Miami Heat on December 30, Orlando Magic on January 1, and Portland Trailblazers on January 3.

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 21, 27 & 31
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Hockey fans can see the Caps play a couple games. The Tampa Bay Lightening will be here on December 21, the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 27, and the New York Islanders on December 31.

Hoops, NCAA-Style
Where: Universities around the DMV
When: Throughout the break
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on. Here’s where you can check out schedules and look for tickets:
University of Maryland (Go, Terps!)
George Washington University
Georgetown University
American University
Howard University
George Mason University



Must-See DC

Take in views of DC from the top of the Washington Monument

A Monumental Experience
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Monument recently reopened after being closed for repairs, so you can once again go inside for a tour and to take in DC views. You can order advance reservation tickets online for a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets are also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW.

A Local & National Treasure
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Monday – Saturday
Admission: Free

Explore the largest library in the world and one of DC’s most iconic attractions. Not only does the Library of Congress have a whole great space dedicated to kids, it is a trove of knowledge, art, history, and culture — and the public is welcome to enjoy it all, and for free! Open Monday through Saturday, 9am – 4:30pm.

Tour the Capitol
Where: U.S. Capitol Building | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Daily, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Take a tour of the U.S. Capitol! You can usually get on a guided tour day of, but even if you can’t there are still plenty of interesting exhibits and statues to see in the Visitor’s Center. A tour lasts about an hour, and includes a short film, walks through the The Rotunda and National Statuary Hall, and a peek into the Old Congress Chamber. Before you go, be sure to read these guidelines on what you can and can’t bring with you. KFDC Tip: You can walk through an underground tunnel to get to the Library of Congress and make it a bigger outing on the Hill.

Abe’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free – $3

Ford’s isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through exhibits about the president, the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and that fateful night at the theatre. The National Historic Site features a museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and guests are welcome to explore it all. Best for about ages 8 and up. Reserve tickets online in advance for $3 or get them at the Box Office for free.

Tour the Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Be a tourist in your hometown (unless you’re visiting, then just be a tourist). Take the opportunity to visit the many memorials on the Mall and around the Tidal Basin. Not only are the structures themselves marvel-worthy, there’s a lot to be gleaned from them, too. Learn about some of our country’s presidents and leaders — George, Abe, Tom, FDR, & MLK — from displays, park rangers, and in the Visitors Centers. And walk or bike among them all to add some exercise (and extra fun) to the venture!



Day Trips

Go big at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

Charm City, Hon!
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: Daily
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are lots of great places to spend a day off. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Tour the historic ships moored at the Inner Harbor. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry.

Hit the Slopes
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies

A fun, active way to take advantage of winter: Skiing! There are a bunch of ski resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and if you have a 4th or 5th grader, be sure to sign up for the SnowPass that offers free skiing opportunities. Some resorts to check out, both with or without the pass: Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Bryce, Snowshoe, and Wisp.

Go Underground
Where: Luray Caverns | Luray, VA
When: Daily, 9am – 7pm
Admission: $27/adults, $23/seniors, $14/ages 6-12, 5 and under free

Behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system at Luray. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Admission does not include attractions beyond the cavern. KFDC Tip: Be sure to make a pit stop before going into the caverns, because it can be a long walk out to a restroom, and once you’re out, you may not be able to go back in.

Art & Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert County, MD
When: Daily, except Christmas
Admission: Varies by locale

Make a day of it in Calvert County, where you can visit a couple of places for fun, fascinating, hands-on adventures. Annmarie Sculpture Garden is full of artistic delights. Tour beautiful works, both indoors and out, play in the Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, and admission is $5/adult, $3/ages 6-17, free/5 & under. Also out that way is the Calvert Marine Museum, where you can see interesting exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. There’s also a play area and a real lighthouse to tour. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under.



Screen Time

Catch cool, often educational films (and wear some rad glasses) at an IMAX movie

(I)MAX Out
Where: Smithsonian IMAX Venues | National Mall, DC/Chantilly, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: $9.50/adult

See a movie on the really big screen. You’ve got your choice of IMAX films playing right now. The Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in the Air & Space Museum on the National Mall, the Airbus IMAX Theater at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, are showing the following films that kids can enjoy: Journey to Space 3D, Aircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Sea 3D, D-Day: Normandy 1944 3D, Secrets of the Universe, Apollo 11: First Steps Edition, Superpower Dogs 3D, Jumanji: The Next Level, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (opens 12/20). Tickets are $9.50/adult, $7/child ($15/adult, $13.50/youth for Star Wars). Of course, plan for some time before or after to explore the museums, too. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm, and admission to both is free.

In Theaters Near You
Where: Cinemas around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by theater

There are a bunch of movies out now (or opening soon) that are good for families with both young children and t(w)eens. Here are quick links for them:
Frozen II
Jumanji: The Next Level
Cats
Knives Out
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Spies in Disguise
Little Women




Extra Tips
* If you’re looking specifically for ideas for foul weather days, see The Great Indoors list or the round-up of Indoor Playgrounds
* And for where to enjoy time outside, check out The Best Places to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
* Sometimes you just need a place to hang out for awhile, so why not make it a stunning one?
* The Smithsonian Event Calendar is always worth checking before you head to the museums or the Zoo
* Look for deals and discounts on CertifiKid, Goldstar, and TodayTix.

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