Tag Archives: Best Kids Activities in DC

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

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

The Weekend Round-Up: December 1-3

Spheres glowing and silhouettes going at Light Yards



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If you’re up for holiday fun, you can find it in abundance this weekend. Winter wonderlands (three of them!), festive boat parades (two of them!), Santa appearances (lots–he’s quite busy!), holiday shows (sooo many), and holiday markets (shop ’til you drop) are just some of the ways to shift into celebratory mode. And if you’re still not quite ready to embrace the spirit of the season, there are plenty of great activities to sate bah-humbuggers, too. 😉 Happy Weekend!

Light Up the Wharf
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

The Wharf is kicking off the holiday season along the newly redeveloped waterfront with the official lighting of the Christmas tree. Treat the fam to hot chocolate, go ice skating on the rink’s opening day, enjoy s’mores at the fire pit, do some holiday crafts, and listen to live music for a bright and merry experience to start the weekend.

Tyke Time Family Happy Hour
Where: Mellow Mushroom | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free (but plan to spend on food & drinks)

Bring the whole crew to Mellow Mushroom for their monthly Tyke Time. The family focused Happy Hour(s) takes place on the second floor and features all night Happy Hour for the adults + $10 large cheese pizzas for kids. Cheers to that!

Watch the Wizards
Where:Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards will be playing the Pistons at home this weekend with a game Friday night. Catch them on the Capital One Arena court against the Pistons. And a heads-up for future games: Look for a ticket deals through Certifikid — along with the discount seats, you’ll also get a Wizards T-shirt.

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season with the Smithsonian Museums! This Holiday Festival has a lot going on, something for everyone in your crew — concerts by the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sargeants, screenings of Polar Express, a jewelry trunk show, book signings, festive treats, classic kids’ TV episodes, and more. See the schedule for more details.

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!

Sweets with Santa
Where: St. Bartholomew School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $10/person or $40/family

The St. Bartholomew Home & School Association invite families to their annual Sweets with Santa celebration. Cozy up to the hot chocolate bar and indulge in an assortment of festive treats! Dress in your best Christmas PJs and enjoy a morning of fellowship and fun for all ages in the Parish Hall, including pictures with Santa & photo booth fun, make-your-own bird feeders & gingerbread houses, STEM challenges, crafting center, story time, and more.

Labyrinth Anniversary
Where: Labyrinth Games & Puzzles | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Join Labyrinth s they celebrate their 7th anniversary with a day of foo, entertainment, and games, of course! They’ll also have Make your own Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty for the kids (and maybe some adults, too). Plan to do some holiday shopping while you’re there — they have an excellent selection of game sand puzzle, plus insightful staff who always have great recommendations for gifts!

Santa Fly-In
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $5

Santa is making an early appearance this holiday season. It will be an experience to remember as you watch Santa fly into the historic College Park Airport (it’s the world’s oldest continuously operating airport)! Make some holiday arts and crafts, then have your picture taken with Santa Claus after his big flight.

Deck the Halls: A Family at Christmas
Where: Tudor House | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $10/child, $5/adult

Bring the family and celebrate the festive season at Tudor Place! Explore the historic mansion as a History Detective, finding decorations and clues to Christmas celebrations past. Nibble on cookies, write a letter to Santa, sing with carolers, make yuletide crafts, and enjoy refreshments throughout an afternoon of warm merriment.

Holly TrolleyFest
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)

The Trolley Museum’s annual holiday fest begins this weekend. Guests can ride with Santa on the street cars and enjoy the model garden railway and holiday village inside the museum. Don’t miss the rest of the exhibits that offer a glimpse into the history of street cars.

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

For the 47th consecutive year, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will showcase marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert – rain or shine. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

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

*It’s opening weekend for Hansel & Gretel at Synetic Theatre
* Me… Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall is also at the Kennedy Center
* Charlotte’s Web is on the Imagination Stage
* Little ones will enjoy Cajes! Cajes! Cajes! at the Bestheda theatre
* Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre
* Make it a grown-up night for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night
* Rainbow Rock is playing a Saturday morning Holiday Show at Jammin Java

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by production

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! Several productions of The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages this weekend. Have some holiday fun with Frosty the Snowman at Adventure Theatre. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

Nina Simone: Four Women
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through December 24
Admission: Ticket prices vary

This exceptional show gets a stand out listing here. Powerful and incredibly moving, this portrait of songstress Nina Simone takes place during the aftermath of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. With Simone’s songs of protest woven into the stories of four women fighting for social change, the show strikes a heavy, emotional chord in these times. I’d recommend it for teens (or mature tweens) and up.

Burke’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Burke Lake Park | Burke, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $15/advance, $20/at event

Celebrate the season with a train ride on the Holiday Express at Burke Lake’s Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a tour on the U.S.S. Reindeer, then take a spin on the Carolers Carousel, experience the Snowman’s Wagon Ride, play Gingerbread Man’s Golf, or warm yourself by the fire and toast s’mores. Hot chocolate, spiced cider and candy canes will also be available. And don’t miss a visit with Santa!

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Downtown Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but concerts and events cost extra

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland is back, turning Bethesda Row into an outdoor street bazaar. The celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation, and a visit from Santa Claus in Veterans Park.

Brambleton’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Brambleton Town Center | Brambleton, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the beginning of the Holiday season by walking in Brambleton Town Center’s Winter Wonderland. Take a family photo in a giant snow globe, adopt a polar bear, add some sweetness with the Hot Chocolate Bar (free tumblers for adults while supplies last), ride in a Horse-Drawn Carriage and register to win a Yeti Cooler Prize Pack, and enjoy live entertainment by local school groups!

Harry Potter Wizard School Scavenger Hunt
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: $17.50/ages 10-17, $19.50/adult

Join Watson Adventures on a unique Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt that kids and adults will love! Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the National Gallery in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter books and movies. The hunt is not an addition to or variation on Harry’s adventures, but instead references to the books will provide a surprising bridge to many strange and wonderful works of art. This hunt is designed for kids and adults to do together (but all-adult teams are allowed to compete separately) Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Read about this super fun adventure in this KFDC post.

Winter Days and Nights on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $11.95/age 2+

The annual festival includes hayrides to the white pine fields with access to all of the farm attractions — swings, forts, slides, tunnels, and more. Fire pits are inviting to keep you warm and make some s’mores or roast hot dogs. Cut down your Christmas tree while you’re there or buy one from the lot. (Note: No admission fee to purchase trees or greens!) Read more about the winter fun at Ticonderoga in this post about one of our experiences there.

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 4pm
Tickets: Free

Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-A-Long is an annual musical celebration hosting a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Parking is free, but limited, so plan on arriving early. Bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a bell for a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” and a candle to join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.”

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

There are so many more great activities running through the season to celebrate the holidays in DC. Watch model trains buzz around the Roadside Attractions-themed display at the US Botanic Garden Season’s Greetings exhibit. See the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. Enjoy Christmas on the Potomac at National Harbor. Join the Frost Fest at Pentagon Row. Check out the Ice Lounge at CityCenterDC. If you hope to hit ‘em all, you better get on it! A few are highlighted below, but get the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2017 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Wonder
Where: Movie theaters around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by theater

See this movie! Based on the award-winning book, Wonder has allll the feels. Seriously, I sobbed like a baby for two hours straight — happy, sad, angry, inspired, wonder-full tears. It’s a beautiful story about kindness and friendship with so many great lessons for kids (and adults, too). This one yanks hard on the heartstrings in a really gratifying way. I’d recommend for about ages 8 and up.

Elf on the…Big Screen
Where: Uptown Theater | Cleveland Park, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10:30am
Admission: $5.59

Enjoy some holiday cheer in the comfort of a movie theater. (And what’s more cheerful than Will Ferrel as a giant elf?!) The Uptown is screening the funny, heartwarming favorite, Elf, on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If you haven’t seen it and are wondering if your kid should, check out the Common Sense Media review. But I think it’s a great family flick for most ages.

Revolting Rhymes
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

To celebrate the 100th birthday of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, directors Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer offer a retelling of his 1982 poem collection Revolting Rhymes in this animated movie. While each of the rhymes is based on a classic fairy tale, the stories take unexpected twists and turns that shed new light on the adventures of Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Jack Spriggins, and others. Revolting Rhymes is funny, gory, and honors Dahl’s wondrous imagination as a master storyteller. Recommended for ages 8+.

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 4-10pm
Admission: Free

Join The Wharf to celebrate the season and see the beautifully decorated boats pass by. Get into the spirit with the guaranteed first snow of the season and decorate your own boat. Sip hot cocoa and make s’mores at the fire pit. Visit the lighted Christmas Tree and enjoy other fun activities, including live music, skating on the new ice rink, and sampling winter drinks at the Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden.

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

Where: Alexandria City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Experience one of the region’s most beloved holiday traditions! At sundown on the day of the Scottish Christmas Walk parade, Alexandria’s harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, DC’s fireboat John Glenn. Before and after the parade, stop in to the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Holiday Open House between 2-6pm to enjoy performances by the Alexandria Choral Society plus gift shopping in open artist studios.

Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival
Where: Annapolis, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation

A sweet event for Sunday: The third annual Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival to benefit the Annapolis Arts District and We Care and Friends.  Take a chocolate tour along West Street with two dozen vendors selling chocolate specialties like chocolate caramels, cakes, chocolate bars, truffles, fudge, cookies, candies, hot chocolate, fondue, even martinis. Other family-friendly fun includes a gingerbread house moon bounce, a giant snowball run where you can race your friends, balloon animals, and more. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores with the Annapolis Fire Department at a fire pit in the middle of West Street and sip hot coco with the police department. Santa will also be collecting new toys, coats, and hats for the We Care and Friends Holiday Party for local kids in need.

EAST Workshop: Peace Through the Arts
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $8/child

Fly By Light Performance Troupe youth will lead a musical workshop for ages 7-12 in this session of the arts series. Participants will learn the parts of creating a hip hop song using percussion, linguistics, rhythmic writing/poetry, theatrical facial expressions and fun body movement. By the end of the workshop, participants will have learned the basic process of creating a group song that they will perform together! Njembe Drums and instruments will be provided. The price of admission will go directly to support the work of these young performers and the OCU program.

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

Get through your gift list and have a good time! There are several special holiday markets around the area this weekend, where you can find unique presents and then some. Head to Penn Quarter or Dupont Circle or Alexandria for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. More info about them all is available in the 2017 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Chill Out(side)
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take advantage of the mild (for this time of year) temps and sunshine and get outdoors for some fun! Explore a historic site like Fort McHenry, Harpers Ferry, or Fort Washington. Hike the trails at Riverbend, Cunningham Falls, Rock Creek, or other nature packed spots. Explore the National Arboretum or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Hang out at Hains Point. Hit the playground at Watkins, Cabin John, or Clemyjontri Parks. Find even more ideas in this post about great outdoor pursuits with kids.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, like Brookside’s Garden of Lights that we just visited. Others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

Kids & Karoake
Where: Ten Tigers Parlour | Petworth, DC
When: Sunday, 4-7pm
Admission: $10

DC Kids Can! is hosting an awesome afternoon of family fun to benefit Casa Ruby: DC’s only Bilingual Multicultural LGBT Organization providing life saving services and programs to trans, gender queer, and gender non-conforming young people (the most vulnerable in the LGBT community). Join them for family karaoke, games, raffles and contests for kids of all ages, great food, “mocktails” for the under 21 set and cocktails for their adults — all to support Casa Ruby.

**PLAN AHEAD**
Duke Ellington’s Neighborhood
Where: GALA Hispanic Theatre | 3333 14th Street NW, DC
When: December 9, 12:30pm & 2:30pm/December 10am & 1:30pm
Tickets: $25/adult, $15/student, $23/senior
Box office: 202 204-7763

Groove along with the Duke’s jazz combo! Take your kids on an interactive journey through Duke Ellington’s DC and discover how a local hero championed African-American musicians, influenced the Harlem Renaissance, shaped the cultural history of D.C. and became a star. Find secure parking at Giant garage, behind GALA or take Metro to Columbia Heights (Green Line). Mention KidFriendly DC for a SPECIAL FAMILY DEAL – 4 tickets for $50! (Advance sales only while supplies last.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* The Yards presents the third annual Light Yards nightly 6-10pm, November 30 through December 31. Four very cool, 2-story, glowing, interactive spheres are brightening up the grounds (and, I predict, many an Instagram page).
* ARTECHOUSE will debut a new installation The Imaginary World of The Nutcracker on December 7. Their exhibits so far have been phenomenal, and this one should follow suit. It will run through January 7, 2018, and tickets to their exhibits always sell out, so I recommend reserving yours soon!
* The Block, a relatively new Asian street food hall in Annandale, VA, lives up to the hype.
* Want to take the stress out of holiday shopping for your kiddos? Check out Red Jellies! Founded by DC mom, Kimberly Stephens, it’s a fully independent review service that helps you discover the very best books and toys on the market. They scour major toy conventions and test loads of products so you don’t have to. This holiday, focus on the joy!

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: November 24-26



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With the big feast behind you, it’s time to get out and take advantage of the long weekend. Embrace the holiday spirit at a seasonal event. Enjoy an outdoor adventure. Have some CANned fun. Skate under the sun or stars. Keep the kids entertained at the theatre. And much more. Happy Weekend!

#OptOutside
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale

I love this initiative started by REI. Skip the shopping (or do it off hours online) and get out to enjoy the sublime autumn weather and some family QT outdoors! You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Bundle up and take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Post-Thanksgiving Puppets
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join the Library of Congress to for their 5th Annual Puppet Show post-Thanksgiving. Inspired by the stories of Ashley Bryan, shows will take place at 11am and 1:15pm in the Whittall Pavilion, with puppet-making crafts following them in the Young Readers Center. Read more about the Library of Congress in this KFDC post.

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

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, including a new botanical inspired National Museum of African American History & Culture. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s Roadside Attractions-themed exhibit is as pretty and whimsical as it is impressive. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this new post!

Thankszipping
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission:

After all of that turkey, what’s better than a climb? Bring out-of-town relatives or just the fam to the Park for a day in the trees. And on Friday, you can avoid the crowds in the shops and get 20% off of merchandise from their store!. Read about past KFDC experiences at the Adventure Park.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square | Old Town Alexandria, VA
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Alexandria’s official start to the holiday season in Old Town’s Market Square this evening. Along with the tree lighting, entertainment will include a visit from Santa, musical performances, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DMV
When: Saturday!
Admission: Free, but plan to buy & support local!

If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend, make a point of going to local, independent stores, both to score great, unique gifts and to support people and places that help make our communities thrive. Here are some local recs from Washingtonian, and a few of my neighborhood faves for gifts: East City Bookshop, Labyrinth Games & Puzzles, Hill’s Kitchen, and the many local vendors at Eastern Market.

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

* Enjoy a magical evening with the NSO Pops at the Kennedy Center as they perform the score of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while they film plays on a giant screen
* Get Gobsmacked! by a capella superstars at the Kennedy Center
* Me… Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall is also at the Kennedy Center
* Charlotte’s Web is on the Imagination Stage
* Little ones will enjoy Cajes! Cajes! Cajes! at the Bestheda theatre
* Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre
* Make it a grown-up night for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night

Nina Simone: Four Women
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through December 24
Admission: Ticket prices vary

This exceptional show gets a stand out listing here. Powerful and incredibly moving, this portrait of songstress Nina Simone takes place during the aftermath of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. With Simone’s songs of protest woven into the stories of four women fighting for social change, the show strikes a heavy, emotional chord in these times. I’d recommend it for teens (or mature tweens) and up.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! Several productions of The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages this weekend. Have some holiday fun with Frosty the Snowman at Adventure Theatre. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

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

This weekend is the start of even more big holiday events around DC and the continuation of others. If you hope to hit ‘em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2017 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC.

Can You CANstruct?
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Complementing AIA DC’s CANstruction event which runs through November 26 in the Great Hall, this Family Afternoon welcomes all to engineer ycan-tastic creations! Design a plan for an original CANstruction piece using paper mosaics. Explore the engineering challenges on display in the Great Hall as you try your hand at building your own 3-dimensional structure. Don’t forget to bring a canned good to vote for your favorite CANstruction!

Family Fun Day
Where: National Museum of the American Indian | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

This unique family celebration of Native American Heritage Day showcases different ways that Native people give thanks. Interactive programs include dancing, games, short children’s films, and storytelling. PS: The signpost from the Standing Rock protest is now on display at the Museum, and it’s pretty cool — you can see it on the 4th floor.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Strets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

This, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market.

Dueling Pianos, Kiddie-Style
Where: Bobby McKeys | National Harbor, MD
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: Starts at $18

The whole family can enjoy an afternoon of fun at one of Bobby McKey’s dueling piano shows. It’s two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet, that’s sure to make everyone happy. And this is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats and dance in the aisles! Plan on more holiday fun at National Harbor while you’re there.

Drag Story Hour
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Bring kids to the library at the Edlavitch DCJCC when Mrs. Kasha Davis of Rupaul’s Drag Race shows up for a reading of children’s stories that focus on diversity, inclusion, love, and acceptance. Drag storytime fun for kids of all ages!

Get Your Skate On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

It’s ice skating season, and just about all outdoor rinks (and indoor, too) around the area are welcoming folks to glide the day — and night — away! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink with costumed characters at Washington Harbour on Saturday morning or Rock n Skate at night; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some holiday 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. And note Washington Harbor is hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

Insider Info
Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want more options for activities around town, this post lists more than 90 suggestions for things to do!

**PLAN AHEAD**
Around the World in 80 days
Where:  Arena Stage – Kogod Theater | Southwest DC
When: January 6, 2018, 2pm & 5pm
Tickets: $15-30

No one thinks Phileas Fogg can do it. 
He believes he can achieve the unthinkable, setting out on a hilarious race against time!   
Told through songs from the American songbook, this world premiere from The American Pops revisits Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days — a musical adventure for all ages.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* DC Way is kicking off a new futsal program in December and will have evem more indoor soccer prorgams for kids all winter!
* There are many great volunteer opportunities with kids around DC during holiday season — and any time of year, for that matter.
* This photo took my breath away…and led me to check out Global Guardian Project, which is launching a digital magazine subscription especially for kids!
* DC Diaper Bank is hosting a Baby Gear Drive on December 2 in Arlington. If you have gently used or new items to pass on, consider donating them to this wonderful organization!

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Date Night, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Story Time, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend