Tag Archives: Fall 2017

Ice It at These Skating Rinks Around the DMV

Skating under the stars at Washington Harbour in Georgetown



As the weather cools down, ice skating rinks throughout the DC area open up! A few start welcoming skaters in October, and the rest will follow suit by mid-November. Going for a glide on ice is a quintessential way to enjoy some active fun outdoors during the cold months. Of course, it can be a great activity indoors, too! So, lace up your skates and get out there — this list has the scoop on where and when to ice skate around the DMV!

Outdoor

DC

Canal Park Ice Rink
Where: 220 M Street SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
Open: November 6 – mid-March
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child, $5/rental
Bonus: They offer skating aids for beginners to push around the rink. And after you work up an appetite from all the skating, you’ve got your pick of eateries in the Navy Yard neighborhood where you can grab a bite and warm up.

Washington Harbour Ice Rink
Where: 3050 K Street NW | Georgetown, DC
Open: November 18 – March 15
Hours: Mon–Tues 12-7pm, Weds-Thurs 12-9pm, Fri 12-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-7pm
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, seniors, military, $6/skate rental
Bonus: Location, location, location. Not only do you get a lovely view of the Potomac, you’re right in Georgetown, where there’s great shopping and places to eat, so you can really make a day and/or night of it. Also, with push penguins available, it’s a good rink for newbie skaters. Be sure to check the website for special on certain days/times! Look for an admission discount here.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
Where: 7th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
Open: November 15 – March 15
Hours: Mon–Thurs 10am–9pm, Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am–9pm
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child, $4/skate rental (ID required)
Bonus: You can check out some art on your outing — the rink is literally in the middle of the Sculpture Garden that showcases many big, bold works of art. You can also plan to visit a museum before or after your skating session; it’s easy enough to pop in to one of the free Smithsonian galleries. For some fuel, the Pavilion Cafe is also located within the Sculpture Garden and offers light fare, including warm beverages. (NOTE: This location is closed during the government shutdown.)

Enchant Ice Skating Trail
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: November 22 – December 29
Admission: $20-34/adult, $17-27/age 14-17, $15-25/4-13

Find enchantment at every bend as you glide on a river of silvery ice through spectacular, larger-than-life light displays. (Ice skate rentals are available on-site and come in all sizes – elf to adult.) Then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine, watch a film at the Enchant Cinema, take in some live music or a show, then meet the jolliest elf of them all, Santa.
Bonus: The Ice Skating Trail is part of the larger Enchant holiday attraction, which includes the world’s largest Christmas light maze and market.

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District Wharf Ice Rink
Where: Transit Pier, Water Street Southwest
When: November 26 – Late February
Hours: Mon-Tues 12–7pm, Weds-Thursday 12–9pm, Fri 12–11pm, Sat 11am–11pm, Sunday: 11am–7pm
Cost: $10/adult, $8/12 & under, $6/skate rental
Bonus: The rink at The Wharf is located on the Transit Pier, so you’re practically skating over the water. When you’re done zipping around on blades, warm up by the cozy fire pit, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants, browse the shops, or hang out and enjoy the views of the Anacostia River.

Maryland

Silver Spring Veteran’s Plaza Ice Rink
Where: 8523 Fenton Street | Silver Spring, MD
When: Mid-October – Mid-March
Hours: Mon–Thurs 12am–10pm, Fri 12pm-12am, Sat 10am–12am, Sun 10am–10pm
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child, $5/skate rental
Bonus: The rink is right in downtown Silver Spring, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and plenty of parking. It’s also an easy walk from the Metro.

Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
Where: 131 Gibbs Street | Rockville, MD
When: November – Mid-March
Hours: Mon-Thur 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-7pm or 10pm
Cost: $9/age 13 and up, $8/age 12 and under, $4/skate rentals
Bonus: Skate in the largest outdoor ice skating rink — 7,200 square feet! — between Baltimore and Washington DC. While you’re at the Town Square, take advantage of the selection of restaurants and shops, or spend some downtime at the Rockville Library or VisArts Center.

Pandora Ice Rink
Where: 201 E. Pratt Street | Baltimore, MD
When: November 1 – January 20
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12-10pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 10am – 11pm, Sun 10am – 8pm
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, $4/skate rentals
Bonus: Located at the Inner Harbor, where there are several great attractions for kiddos — Port Discovery, Maryland Science Center National Aquarium, and more — you could easily add this to a whole day or even weekend spent in Charm City. Head to the Little Italy area, too, for a delicious post-skate meal!

Virginia

Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
Where: 1201 South Joyce Street | Arlington,VA
When: Late October – Mid-March
Cost: $10/age 13+, $9/$12 & under, $5/skate rental
Hours: Mon–Thurs 12–10pm, Fri 12–11pm, Sat 10am–11pm, Sun 10am–10pm
Bonus: Recently renovated and expanded, it’s a good choice for kiddos learning to skate — Penguin Skating aids are available at the rink kiosk. Also located amid many shopping and dining options. Skate in the snow December 7 – January 1, when “snow” falls nightly on the ice rink. And be sure to check the calendar for occasional special events.

Reston Town Center Ice Skating
Where: 11900 Market Street | Reston, VA
Cost: $10/age 12+, $9/11 & under, $7/skate rentals
Hours: Sun-Tues 11am-7pm, Weds-Thurs 11am – 10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Open: November 8 – March 15
Bonus: The Town Center is like a mini downtown, so you can do some shopping, have a bite to eat, check off some errands, even see a movie along with your skating excursion. Look for an admission discount here.

Making the rounds at Fort Dupont Ice Arena

Indoor

DC

Fort Dupont Ice Arena
Where: 3779 Ely Place SE | Anacostia, DC
Cost: $5/adults, $4/children, $3/skate rental
Hours: Fri 12-2pm, Sat 1-3pm, Sun 2:30-4:30pm

Maryland

Herbert Wells Ice Rink
Where: 5211 Paint Branch Parkway | College Park, MD
Cost: $6/adult, $5/child ($1 off for PG County Residents), $2/skate rental
Hours: Weds 12-2pm, Fri 3:15-5:15pm, Sat 2:30-4:30pm & 8-10pm, Sun 2-4pm
Open: Late October through mid-March

Cabin John Ice Rink
Where: 10610 Westlake Drive | Rockville, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, view the current schedule here
Open: Daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas

The Gardens Ice House
Where: 13800 Old Gunpowder Road | Laurel, MD
Cost: $7.70/adult, $6.60/student, $4.15/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, see the schedule here

Wheaton Ice Arena
Where: 11717 Orebaugh Avenue | Wheaton, MD
Cost: $8/age 11+, $5/age 3-4, $7/age 5-10 $4/skate rental
Hours: Vary, see calendars here

Virginia

MedStar Capitals Iceplex
Where: 627 N. Glebe Road | Arlington, VA (8th Level of Ballston Parking Garage)
Cost: $9/adults, $8/children, $5/skate rental
Hours: Vary by day, view the current public skate schedule here.

The St. James Ice House
Where: 6805 Industrial Road | Springfield, VA
When: September 2 – January 5
Cost: $10/members, $12/non-members, $5-6/rentals
Hours: Vary by day, so view online and see special holiday hours here.


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Filed under 2018, 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Indoor Play, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, 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

Where to Play on the Weekdays: November 27 – December 1

Hike (and hide) amid the pretty foliage at Pohick Bay Regional Park



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Monday – Hang out at Hains Point! Play, picnic, and enjoy the surrounding scenery where the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers converge. Head all the way down, almost to the tip of the park, to reach the playgrounds. They’re set amid a large grassy area with picnic tables and restrooms right there, too. And the spot offers great views of the rivers and airplanes taking off and landing at DCA. You could even make a longer day of it, and visit the nearby Tidal Basin to explore the Jefferson, Roosevelt, and MLK Memorials. Admission to all of it is free.

Tuesday – Relish in the beautiful fall day at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA. Hike the easy trails through the woods vibrant with foliage, take in views of the water, let kiddos swing and climb on the playground, and play some disc golf if that’s your thing. Bring along a picnic — there are lots of tables in gorgeous spots for lunch al fresco. Hours are sunrise to sunset, and admission is $7 (though the gate house was closed when we recently visited, so entry was free).

And don’t forget to take part in Giving Tuesday! If you want some ideas of where to donate, the GIVE page has a long list of charities and causes, all of them shared by KFDC readers. (And if you have one you’d like to highlight, leave a comment on that page, and I’ll add it.)

Wednesday – Enjoy a little time trip back to the 18th century at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The living history locale welcomes visitors to explore the grounds, where there is a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, and animals. Guests can also interact with a family portraying life as it was back then. Hours are 10am – 4:30pm Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $5/adults, $3/children ages 3 and up, free/2 & under. Read about our first experience there in this post.

Thursday – Bring little ones to the National Museum of American History for a special Sesame Street Celebration. Festivities include a “Create Your Own Character” craft, a music making station, Sesame Street story times, and a rare opportunity to see Sesame Street characters from the Museum’s storage. Plus, families will be able to meet Julia, one of Sesame Street’s newest residents who lives with autism, during meet and greet sessions. This will all take place 10am – 12pm. Admission is free.

Friday – Zip over to DC’s big train station to check out the little trains. Union Station’s annual Holiday Train Show is back in the West Hall, featuring an elaborate Norwegian mountain landscape. Plan to grab a bite to eat at one of many options there or pop over to the National Postal Museum next door for more fun. Admission is free to both the train exhibit and the museum.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Animals, Cause, Charity, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Trains, Virginia, Weekdays

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