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The Weekend Round-Up: December 15-17

Holidays aglow-glow



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This round-up is heavy on holiday-inspired events, but you’ll find other activities sprinkled in, too. For even more, the Everyday Play page is loaded with all kinds of ideas for getting out and about around DC. Happy Weekend!

Wreaths Across America
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, opens 7am, wreath placing 9:15am
Admission: Free

This is a chance for the whole family to volunteer. Help place Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There is no sign-up or age requirement — families are encouraged to volunteer together. Be sure to visit the website for details, including schedule and meeting location. Read about more family-friendly volunteer opportunities around the DC area.

Nationals Winterfest
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: $39/adult, $29/child

The annual festival is full of interactive holiday and baseball activities for fans of all ages. Join clinics with Nationals players and coaches, watch a Homerun Derby featuring the Nationals mascots, make a snow fort, take batting practice, hear a winter or baseball themed story read by a Nationals player, ride down The Slider – a giant slide reminiscent of a sledding hill, and more. Guests can also meet and greet their favorite Nationals players and mascots, take a photo with Santa, strike a pose at the life-size snow globe photo station, and donate a toy to a child in need.

Rocknocerous Holiday Singalong
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

Local kids fave Rocknocerous will be playing two shows on Saturday, and kids (and parents) can jam and sing along with them as they rock the holiday tunes. The full lunch and drink menu will be available, so plan on eating there, too. Doors open at 10:30am, and seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Holiday Ornament-Making Workshop
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Brentwood, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Take advantage of a fun, free opportunity to create paper ornaments for the holiday season at this family-friendly workshop. All materials are provided, but if you have special paper you’d like to use, feel free to bring it the day of the event.

Santa Arrives on 8th Street
Where: Barracks Row | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Santa Claus’ sleigh will be touching down on 8th St SEon Saturday! He’ll be holding court at Taoti Creative at 530 8th St SE . He’s available for photo ops and will answer any questions children have about the North Pole. To keep this event FREE, instead of Barracks Row taking photos and giving them to you, parents and caregivers can use their own cameras to capture the holiday cheer. If you are able, bring an unwrapped toy to donate to TOYS FOR TOTS. Snacks and cocoa will be served throughout the day by Ted’s Bulletin. There will also be free face painting and songs performed by the Capitol Hill Chorale.

Hot Chocolate Happy Hour
Where: Hamilton Hotel | Downtown DC
When: Daily through December 22, 4-6pm
Admission: Free!

Hamilton Hotel hosts happy hour for all ages this holiday season! Savor two special kinds of hot chocolate for free in the evening during the 12 Days of Christmas celebration. Sip on the classically decadent Creamy Hot Chocolate or indulge in a cup of Caribbean Hot Chocolate, inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s hometown of Charlestown.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get into the holiday spirit the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. Enjoy Chiristmas at Mount Vernon with fireworks and more. Ride the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Enjoy an atrium full of activities for little ones at Christmas on the Potomac. View holiday planes and trains at the Aviation Museum. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

From Our Happy Home Holiday Craft
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the American Art Museum and step into the 19th century world of Louisa May Alcott in this craft program for the entire family. Construct paper house lanterns and handmade books as you explore some of the ways people have created feelings of comfort and warmth in the cold winter months. Join Little Women story time to hear how Alcott’s heroines the March sisters celebrated the holidays, bringing literature and music together to light their home. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

A Circus Carol
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $25/adult, $15/child

It’s holiday pageant time at W.T. Dickens High School! Chaos reigns supreme throughout the school halls as teachers, administrators and students try to get it together in time for their annual holiday production. Watch as the circus atmosphere comes to life in A Circus Carol, as incredible aerial performances dazzle and bring our characters together to rise above (sometimes, literally!) the holiday madness. Appropriate for all ages.

Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker    
Where:  Woodrow Wilson High School | Woodley Park, DC
When: Friday, 7:30pm, Saturday, 3pm and 7:30pm, & Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $20-30/adult, $14-18/under 10

Capitol Hill’s Momentum Dance Theatre presents its 19th annual Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker.  The show is a unique, high-energy twist to the typical Nutcracker, set to music from Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite plus contemporary and classic pop, funk, and salsa.  Momentum’s professional performers are joined by students as young as age 5. (Owen & Sasha’s besties will be part of the crew showing off their sweet dance moves!)

More Holiday Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Much of the live entertainment on local stages right now is holiday-inspired.
Enjoy The Little Prince, A Holiday Family Opera at the Kennedy Center. Have fun at Adventure Theatre with Frosty the Snowman. See the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Get details on these shows and others in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

Show Time
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

For live entertainment without all the seasonal trimmings, Hansel & Gretel is a lovely wordless show for all ages at Synetic Theatre. Charlotte’s Web is on the Imagination Stage. Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre. Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage is a moving and powerful show that teens and up will appreciate. And you can make it a grown-up night for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night.

Race to the Moon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon is a FREE alternate reality game at the Chantilly arm of Air & Space. Set in the thrilling era of early spaceflight, the game explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts. Your mission in this installment: Develop a rocket to launch into space, travel over 200,000 miles to the Moon, and land safely. It is 1969 and national pride and prestige are on the line. The United States is in a tight race with the Soviet Union to see who can be the first to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. NASA needs engineers and scientists with real problem-solving skills.

GLOW with It
Where: Around Georgetown, DC
When: Nightly through January 1, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new light — literally. Georgetown GLOW has the neighborhood sparkling with modern light art installations, some of them interactive, on display throughout the bustling community, which is extra lively and festive this time of year. The works are illuminated all around the neighborhood, and finding them is part of the adventure. Take the family to dinner or skating at Washington Harbour, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Read more about Georgetown GLOW and see pics from last year in this KFDC post.

Shakespeare Theatre, Family-Style
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity

Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Family Week offers free and low-cost programs for all ages celebrating the themes, story, and artists of their current production, Twelfth Night. Workshops, events, and a Mini-summer Night’s Dream run through this weekend. And families can also get a special discount on tickets during this time — see the website for details.

Model Train Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). As described in Model Railroader magazine, every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

Holiday Photos with Your Pet
Where: Wet Dog Tavern | Near U Street Corridor, DC
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: $20 donation

The Wet dog Tavern’s annual Holiday Photos with your Pet is back! Be sure to stop by to visit with Santa and have your holiday photo taken with the whole family, fur babies and all!  Photos are by Pooch Portrait Studios, and your $20 donation includes a printed photo in magnet frame and digital copy.

Earth Harp
Where: The Plaza at CityCenter | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 4-6pm
Admission: Free

See the world’s largest harp played right here in DC! William Close, renowned for affixing 1,000-foot strings to skyscrapers, mountain peaks, and canyon walls, will fill CityCenterDC with the magical musical stylings of his Earth Harp. Join for this surreal holiday musical performance in The Plaza at CityCenter.

A Gift For Andrés / Un Regalo Para Andrés
Where: Kreeger Auditorium, Bender JCC | Rockville, MD
When: Sunday, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $20-40

Join 123 Andrés, Christina, and the full band for a magical holiday story! Sing and dance at their last concert of 2017 and support a wonderful, important cause — the Greater DC Diaper Bank. The organization provides over 100,000 free diapers a month to over 3,600 low-income families in the DC metro area. In the past 8 years they have donated nearly 5 million diapers, and the number keeps growing. The goal: Donate $5,000 for diapers (that’s over 40,000 diapers)!

Open Studio & Ceramics Sale
Where: Hollow Works Studio
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Shop for one-of-a-kind ceramics in the artist’s studio! Kate Hardy of Hollow Works Ceramics creates and sells beautiful, unique work — bowls, mugs, vases, and more — that would make perfect holiday presents. In addition to a bunch of new work, she’ll be clearing her studio of a year’s worth of seconds. Seconds are pieces with minor flaws, like glaze imperfections or warping. Seconds are also leftovers from commissions or experiments that just don’t fit in with the rest of her work that she sells for heavily discounted prices. There will be some serious deals to be had! The studio is located in the alley right off of 7th and H Streets NE.

Family Afternoon: From Our Happy Home
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Building Museum to construct paper house lanterns and handmade books as you explore some of the ways people in the past and today create feelings of home in the cold winter months. Investigate objects from the Museum’s House & Home exhibition for examples of interior lighting. Step into the 19th century world of author Louisa May Alcott and discover how music and literature were brought together to light her homes during the winter season. Designed in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, this is a variation of the program taking place there on Saturday.

The Nutcracker on the Big Screen
Where: Select Movie Theaters in the DMV
When: Sunday, various time
Admission: Varies by theater

The unparalleled Bolshoi Ballet brings the holiday spirit to audiences with a magical performance of the timeless seasonal tale, “The Nutcracker,” in cinemas nationwide. Captured live from Moscow’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre, it’s a festive treat for the entire family. The fairytale enchants as Marie and her Nutcracker Prince embark on a dreamy adventure full of wonder.

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas
Where: Hooray for Books | Alexandria, VA
When: Sunday, 3:30-5pm
Admission: $25/up to 3 people, $5/additional person

Register online: shalomdc.org/chanukahdosas/
Head to Hooray for Book to meet Pamela Ehrenberg, author of the new PJ Library® book, Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas. A book reading and signing will be followed by crafts and vegetarian Indian snacks from Namaste King Street. Admission includes a signed, hardcover copy of the book, too! Best for ages 3 and up. Register in advance here.

Holiday Bazaar and Ghana Send-Off Party
Where: Hands Off Drums
When: Sunday, 11am – 8pm
Admission: Free, but plan to shop!

Celebrate with Hands On Drums and sed off their Ghana trip crew with style! Enjoy a day of activigties for all ages including entertainment, drumming, and items for sale. They leave January 1 and will venture to Senya Beraku to see the Drumming Up From Poverty program in action, including performances by the DUFP youth drummers and dancers. They will also be seeing, for the first time, the nearly completed Artists Home they’ve been working on for the past 3 years, to serve as a home for our craftworkers whose workshops and homes are being displaced by development in Accra.

Holiday Shop
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Mostly free

If you’re still working through your gift list, there are several special holiday markets around the area, where you can find unique presents by local vendors and then some. Head to Penn Quarter, National Harbor, or Alexandria for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. More info about all of them is available in the 2017 Holiday Guide. And if you need some gift ideas, be sure check out the KFDC Holiday Gift Guide!

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids


***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Want a fun, educational gift idea for kids? Check out Surprise Ride. The DC-based company delivers hands-on, educational activity kits to kids to help them unplug and create in the real world.
* Workafrolic, a coworking space with flexible child care on-site, will be opening in early 2018 in DC’s Eckington neighborhood.
* Imaginary World of the Nutcracker at ARTECHOUSE is sold out for the weekend, but you can get tickets for weekday admission. Snag yours efore those sell out, too!
* There are a few KFDC contests going on right now. Go to the Giveaways Page for chances to win a sewing class with Three Little Birds Sewing Co., a toy from Red Jellies, and a 4-Pack of Tickets to see Michael Carbonaro…Live! on New Year’s Eve.
* Plan for a grown-up night out this week to see The Santaland Diaries! The show, which I hear is hilarious, runs through December 23 at Drafthouse Comedy Theater in DC.
* The New York Times just started publishing “The Week in Good News,” a Friday feature that focuses on positive, uplifting things happening around the world. 🙂

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Hotel, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Inspire Kids to Unplug & Play with Art, Science, & Culture with Surprise Ride!



Getting kids to put down the tablets and phones and actually play is a challenge in this digital age. What if you could inspire them to explore art, science, and culture — and have fun doing it?

Donna and Rosy Khalife wanted to do just that for their nephews one holiday season. They wanted to provide them with a memorable gift that wasn’t a video game. And so Surprise Ride was born.

Learn about planets and the scientific method with the Mars Kit

Surprise Ride delivers hands-on, educational activity kits to kids to help them unplug and create in the real world. For example, Surprise Ride’s Experiment with Mars Sand kit teaches kids about planets and the scientific method through a hands-on science experiment and a Mars book. Their eyes light up when they see the red sand doesn’t absorb water and learn that type of sand is used to clean up oil spills. Other popular kits include the moon model kit, the beeswax candles kit, and the paint a birdhouse kit and learn how birds fly. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles love to gift Surprise Ride to spend quality time and create moments of love with the little ones in their life.

Make your own moon model!

Surprise Ride is located right here in Washington, DC, where all the kits are designed by the Director of Product. Founders and sisters, Donna and Rosy were featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they left without an investment offer, only to receive one three years later on Shark Tank spinoff, Beyond the Tank, from Kevin O’Leary — a first in Shark Tank history!

Since then, they have expanded beyond their monthly subscription service to offer individual kits and bundles. They also launched in retail, and products now can be found on Michaels.com nationwide.

December 15 is the last day to sign up for a subscription with Surprise Ride and receive your first kit by Christmas! Get free shipping on Free Ship Friday (December 15th) with code: FREESHIP17DC. December 19 is the last day for all other orders.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Surprise Ride, however, I only promote products, programs, and places, that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.

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Filed under 2017, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Discount, Educational, Holidays, Product, Professional Service, Shop, Sponsored Post

Guest Post & Giveaway! Toy Recs by Age from Red Jellies Founder, Kimberly Stephens

[Note: This is a guest post written by Kimberly Stephens, founder of Red Jellies, a fully independent review service that helps you discover the very best books and toys on the market.]

Everyone wants to give thoughtful children’s gifts, but many of us don’t have time to spend wading through product reviews or shuffling their kids through the mall.

That’s where Red Jellies comes in! We provide truly independent, easily accessible advice on knockout children’s items based on our rigorous product research and testing.

Our mission is to help you find quality gifts without spending a gazillion hours typing “best toys for X-year-olds” in Internet search engines or losing hours of time reading online product reviews. We scour the market so you don’t have to.

To get you started, we selected a few of our very favorite toys by age. For even more gift ideas sorted by age, category, or product type, check out the Red Jellies website.

All kinds of easels, reviewed!

Best Toys for New Babies
Teddy Bear
Gund
MSRP: $25
Why We Love It: Ultra soft, super cute, 18-inch teddy bear. This Gund plush makes for an adorable nursery decoration and eventual first lovey.

Pirate Rattle & Teething Set
Yookidoo
MSRP: $16.95
Why We Love It: With a crinkly pirate’s hat, interesting stripe pattern, and (pleasantly!) musical parrot, this rattle and teething set is stimulating and engaging.

Interactive Books
Varied
Why We Love It: High contrast books like My Dreams stimulate infants. I-spy and cause-and effect books like Each Peach Pear Plum and Touch the Brightest Star engage older babies and toddlers. Also recommended: Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?, I Kissed the Baby!, and That’s Not My Duck.

Best Toys for 1-Year-Olds
Spinagain
Fat Brain Toys
MSRP: $29.95
Why We Love It: This crowd-pleasing stacking toy helps develop eye-hand coordination. The fast spin is an extra (mesmerizing) bonus!

Baby Stella
Manhattan Toy Co.
MSRP: $20
Why We Love It: 15-inch, super soft doll with embroidered features, removable clothes and diaper, and a magnetized pacifier. Perfect first doll.

Ultimate Alphabet Train
vTech
MSRP: Around $50
Why We Love It: Great for riding or pushing, this colorful toy train is perfect for little ones one the verge of walking. Includes alphabet blocks, a walkie-talkie, and a storybook that teaches singalong songs.

Best Toys for 2-Year-Olds
Wooden Farm Magnets
Djeco
MSRP: Around $24
Why We Love It: Adorable magnets spark creative play and develop gross motor skills as little ones move them around to create farm scenes. Highly durable.

Tea Set
Green Toys
MSRP: $29.99
Why We Love It: Durable, lightweight tea set for four encourages pretend play. Made from recycled materials. Dishwasher safe.

Camper Van Playset
Indigo Jamm
MSRP: $50
Why We Love It: Camper van, interior table, and detachable surfboard offer a variety of pretend play possibilities. Four peg figures and a dog. Pricey but high quality.

Best Toys for 3-Year-Olds
Day at the Beach
Build & Imagine
MSRP: $39.99
Why We Love It: Awesome building and pretend play combo. Use illustrated magnetic pieces to design the surf shop and cafe. Comes with two characters and 42 magnetized accessories.

Mini Deluxe Scooter
Micro
MSRP: $89.99
Why We Love It: Let’s get moving! Littles steer this well-made scooter by leaning in the direction they want to go. Smooth ride. Adjustable T-bar height. Develops balance and coordination.

Fire Chief Costume
Melissa & Doug
MSRP: $29.99
Why We Love It: Cute costume inspires independent and cooperative play. Well-made, durable, and machine washable.

Best Toys for 4-Year-Olds
Color-a-Cape
Great Pretenders
MSRP: $21.99
Why We Love It: A great art project that leads to dramatic play.

Castle Logix
Smart Games
MSRP: $26.99
Why We Love It: A beautiful 3D wooden puzzle that promotes problem solving and spatial reasoning. With 48 challenges of varying difficulty, it continues to engage kids as they grow.

Hisss
Gamewright
MSRP: $13.99
Why We Love It: Draw cards and match colors to complete the most snakes. Boosts matching, spatial logic, and turn-taking. Great first game.

Best Toys for 5-Year-Olds
Quadrella Xcellerator
Hape
MSRP: $149.99
Why We Love It: Different colored blocks have different functions, encouraging spatial reasoning and logic as little engineers construct marble runs. Includes model design suggestions.

Gobblet Gobblers
Blue Orange Games
MSRP: $24.99
Why We Love It: A twist on the classic tic-tac-toe game: larger pieces can “gobble” smaller ones! Builds memory and strategic thinking. Quick play.

Fossil Hunter Lottie
Arklu
MSRP: $24.95
Why We Love It: Calling all paleontologists! This high quality doll is ready for the dig. Small size convenient for travel. Bonus that Lottie looks like a kid (no makeup, jewelry, or high heels).

Best Toys for 6-Year-Olds
Go Go Gelato
Blue Orange Games
MSRP: $19.99
Why We Love It: Little shop owners must plan ahead to match their customers’ gelato orders by passing scoops between cones. Great beginning logic game with sweet components.

Rollerblades
Phoenix
MSRP: $64.99
Why We Love It: High quality inline skates for youth rollerbladers. Adjustable length allows skate to grow with your little one’s feet.

Fort Building Kit
Fort Magic
MSRP: $129.99
Why We Love It: Little adventurers build the forts they’ve always imagined with this high quality kit. Excellent for planning and motor skills. Note: Fabric not included. Use blankets or sheets.

* * * * *

Giveaway: For a chance to win your choice of one toy from a selection provided by Red Jellies, simply leave a comment below telling me what item tops your child’s holiday gift wish list. (Easels, marble runs, math games, and more are among the selection from which the winner can choose for a prize that’s age appropriate for their child.) Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through December, 17, 2017, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

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Filed under 2017, Chanukah, Christmas, Giveaway, Guest Post, Holidays, Product, Product Review, Professional Service, Shop

The Weekend Round-Up: December 8-10

Georgetown all aGLOW last year



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It’s really going to start looking a lot like Christmas if the predicted snow actually does fall. Luckily, the next few days are loaded with holiday activities that fit right in with that scenario. Happy Weekend!

GLOW with It
Where: Around the neighborhood | Georgetown, DC
When: Nightly through January 7, 5-10pm
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new light – literally. Every evening through January 7, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, along the C&O Canal, and more nearby places. Take the family dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Read a KFDC write-up about last year’s GLOW.

Winter Wonderland Party
Where: Surprise Ride Office | Downtown DC
When: Friday, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

Join a local start-up that makes activity kits for kids (they were featured on Shark Tank) for a celebration at their offices. Kids and their families will enter the space decked out in fake snow and holiday lights to be transported into a magical Winter Wonderland! You can craft, snack, drink, and meet their Shark Tank sisters, Donna & Rosy.  The offices are located a 1146 19th Street Northwest, Suite 800. RSVP here – required for front desk security.

Imaginary World of the Nutcracker
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 7
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

Since ARTECHOUSE opened this past June, the gallery has been bringing us art experiences that are beautiful, innovative, immersive through the fusion of art and technology. The newest holiday season exhibition, “Imaginary World of the Nutcracker,” follows suit with an installation that engages and enchants. You can view Nutcracker scenery projects on walls, manipulate light and color with your own movements, and look for magical surprises throughout. Bring the kids during daytime hours 10am – 5pm, but I also recommend this for an adult outing 5:30-10:30pm or 11:30pm when special cocktails (and some extra magic) are served, too!

Christmas is Afoot
Where: Christ Crossman United Methodist Church | Falls Church, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

This Christmas season take a walk through historic Bethlehem! Christ Crossman United Methodist Church will open its doors to the community for a journey that begins with a live nativity and petting zoo, Christmas music from members of the George Mason High School band, warm cider, and snacks. Once inside, enjoy making crafts resembling historical Bethlehem market goods and participate in a service project assembling health kits for the Falls Church Homeless Shelter. This event is free and open to all ages.

Sound Health: Second Saturdays
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30m & 11:30am
Admission: Free

This new series of free workshops designed for families with children under the age of 8* explores the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. Every second Saturday of the month, local arts organizations offer two 45-minute workshops in the Kennedy Center Grand Foyer.

DIY Holiday Cards
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Create one-of-a-kind handmade cards at the museum all about mail. They provide beautiful holiday stamps from all over the world, along with a variety of crafts supplies to both inspire your creativity and decorate your cards. We’ve been to this event a bunch of times over the years, and it’s always really well-organized and tons of fun. Plan to stay after to tour the exhibits, many of them interactive and interesting for all ages. Read a KFDC write-up about the museum.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s holiday inspired fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around the Roadside Attractions-themed display at the US Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit. Or take the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Enjoy an atrium full of activities for little ones at Christmas on the Potomac. View holiday planes and trains at the Aviation Museum. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Go on a holiday scavenger hunt (and shop for gifts) at the Mansion on O Street. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

Celebration of Buddhist Journeys
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the museum dedicated to Asian art and culture for a rich day of activities for all ages, exploring aspects of Buddhist art and practice as we celebrate the new exhibitions “Encountering the Buddha” and “Secrets of the Lacquer Buddha.” Be transported on a journey across the Buddhist world, from India to China, Japan, Sri Lanka, and beyond. Experience timeless artworks, hear inspiring musical performances by members of the Silkroad Ensemble, listen to stories from the life of the Buddha, and trace the paths of Buddhist journeys past and present.

“Shop” & Gift Hope
Where: Discovery Elementary School | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Put a new spin on gift-giving and philanthropy. At this Gifts That Give Hope Fair, you can support the community and give a meaningful gift by making a donation to one of 17 locally-based nonprofits featured at the fair. Personalize the card to a loved one, then give that act of kindness in their name. Shoppers of all ages are making GTGH an annual tradition, and there are some special touches this year just for them, including a wintery performance from the Yorktown Dance Team, holiday crafts, face painting, sensory activities at the new Skill Builders pop-up shop, and Coder Kids’ Mac workstations to code a Minecraft Mod.

EdFEST
Where: DC Armory| Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the city’s many public school PK3-12 options for your child. Representatives from DC public schools (DCPS) and DC public charter schools will showcase their programs, just in time to help you make informed school selections for the 2017-18 school year common lottery. The event will also feature many free services and fun activities for the whole family, including games and entertainment; sports activities; story time; and flu shots, immunizations, and dental services.

Magical Mirrors Children’ Book Fair
Where: Sankofa Video & Books | Shaw, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Sankofa Video & Books will be celebrating black literature for all ages and grade levels with its 6th annual Magical Mirrors Book Fair. Children and families are welcome inside the largest collection of African American children’s literature in the District for a weekend of storytelling, crafts, kids yoga, African dance class, a creative writing workshop and more. 

Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood
Where: GALA Theatre | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 12:30pm & 2:30pm & Sunday, 1:30pm
Admission: $25/adult, $15/child

Groove along with the Duke’s jazz piano! Take the kids on an interactive journey through Duke Ellington’s DC and discover how a local hero championed African-American musicians, influenced the Harlem Renaissance and became an international star in this production from The In Series Opera & More.

Holiday Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment, there’s plenty of that now. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre. Join the Christmas Revel for a French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice. Take little ones to Art’s on the Horizon’s Snow Day. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up in the 2017 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Show Time
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

For live entertainment without all the seasonal trimmings, Hansel & Gretel is a lovely wordless show for all ages at Synetic Theatre. Me… Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall is at the Kennedy Center. Charlotte’s Web is on the Imagination Stage. Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre. Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage is a moving and powerful show that teens and up will appreciate. And you can make it a grown-up night for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night.

Winter Woods Weekend
Where: Brookside Gardens
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The Wheaton Woods are calling, “Wake up to winter!” Walk the trails with a naturalist, make a special family craft & warm up at the marshmallow campfire. There will be a woodsy mix of indoor and outdoor games and activities for kids, adults and families all weekend long to celebrate the coming of winter. Check out the Sunday schedule. A few activities and treats cost a small fee. See the Sunday schedule here.

Russian Winter Festival
Where: Hillwood Estate | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $18/adults, $12/members, $5/ages 6-18, free/under 6

Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden are on hand at Sviatki, a Russian-style celebration of the holidays. Winsome characters will surprise and delight visitors across the estate, create and wear your own headpiece, listen to festive music, and enjoy a variety of live cultural entertainment.

Maker Morning: Trace
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn, builders and makers of all ages are welcome to join the Hirshhorn on Saturday mornings in December for hands-on activities related to the exhibit. Check out a kit and create portraits in the Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn galleries. Bring your youngest artists for a special Saturday edition of STORYTIME (then stay and play). Complete a 2D portrait of selected subjects featured in Trace using LEGOS® as a medium. Join in a collaborative 3D portrait challenge. And so you don’t go home empty-handed, jump in a photobooth, and create your own portrait to take home!

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Get into the holiday spirit at Glen Echo Park’s annual Winter’s Eve celebration. It’s free, open to the public, and visitors of all ages can enjoy performances, arts & crafts open studios, hot chocolate, and a holiday sing-along. Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show and artist studios. Kids and adults can create gifts to share in the holiday-themed craft rooms.

Santa Claus is Coming… to Park View
Where: Walls of Books | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4
Admission: Free (photos with Santa are $20)

See Santa at Walls of Books on Saturday. He’ll be there laughing, listening, and refining his list. Enjoy coffee & hot chocolate from Heat Da Spot Cafe. Professional photo shoot with Santa are available for $20. Spots are filling up fast, so register soon!

Silent Disco (POSTPONED to December 14 due to weather!)
Where: Washington Harbour | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 7-10pm
Admission: Free

Dance your heart out among a crowd of glowing headsets! As part of Georgetown GLOW 2017, Silent Dance Society is hosting a Silent Disco on Saturday evening. Free and open to all ages, just put on head sets pumping music from three different genres and get down!

Shakespeare, Family-Style
Where: Sidney Harmon Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Want to introduce your kids to Shakespeare? The Shakespeare Theatre Company is kicking off their annual Family Week, which includes a Mini-Summer Night’s Dream, discount tickets to their current production Twelfth Night, and all kinds of programming especially for young theatre-goers through December 17. Read a KFDC write-up about our first experience with STC’s Family Week!

Chanukah Celebration
Where: Edlavitch JCC | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $23/family by 12/8, $25/family after 12/8

Grab your socks and your yarmulke, it’s time to bounce for Chanukah! 
This year’s rockin’ Chanukah party will feature a moon bounce, games, crafts, treats, and plenty of fun for the whole family.

Christmas on the Big Screen
Where: Arlington Cinema Draft House | Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 12:30-9pm
Admission: $10

Catch a merry flick — or eight — and get into the holiday spirit. This Christmas-themed movie marathon welcomes you to join for as many films as you’d like. You can even pop in for one early, leave, then return for evening entertainment. All for one very reasonable admission price!

Colonial Wassail
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission:

Gather in the 18th Century Farm’s orchard to wassail (wish good health to) the apple trees with singing, dancing, and chants to ensure a “howling crop.” Hot spiced cider, ginger biscuits, a bonfire, and 18th century games will be among the festivities to round out the fun.

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

Take a drive or a stroll through one of the many light displays in the area. The twinkling exhibits feature all kinds of delightful scenes — holiday faves, animals, gardens, and the landscape illuminated in brilliant colors. You can find details for all of them in the 2017 Holiday Guide and view photos of Brookside’s Garden of Lights, which we recently visited, here.

Insider Info
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

According to the latest weather forecast, we’ll likely be getting the first snow of the season. So, if you’re looking for extra ideas for things to do indoors, this ever-growing list of 90 suggestions of activities that take place inside will have you literally covered.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* If you’re doing some holiday shopping this weekend, be sure to check out the 2017 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide, full of ideas and inspiration for presents for peops of all ages at all price points (even free!), from kids’ products to theatre tickets to unique experiences to gifts that give back!
* Don’t forget to enter the giveaway running right now for a chance to win a sewing class with Three Little Birds Sewing Co.!
* The National Menorah Lighting is this coming Tuesday, December 12, at 5:30. Free tickets to attend are still available, just go to the website and register for the event.
* I love getting feedback from you guys both about your adventures around DC and my blog in general, and I think other KFDC readers would benefit from it, too — what you especially liked (or didn’t) about a particular place, whether or not you agree with my reviews, tips you might have for others. So I wanted to take a second to encourage comments on the blog. Leave them on posts about the places you visit, or in the Weekday and Weekend Round-Ups or wherever you see fit. We’re always interested to hear you thoughts! 🙂

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