Tag Archives: Fall 2018

The Weekend Round-Up:
December 14-16

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




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.

15th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, DC
When: Saturday
Admission: Free (parking is $15)

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened to public on December 15, 2003, and since then have welcomed nearly 20 million people through their doors. Join them to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Udvar-Hazy Center with a day packed full of everything you know and love about the museum. From talks with curators about your favorite artifacts to concerts, the event will highlight why the northern Virginia community has embraced the Udvar-Hazy Center as a must-visit destination.

Photos with Santa
Where: The Community Center | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Join Waterfront Church DC for their annual Pictures with Santa event. Each child will take home 2 free 5×7 photos of themselves with Santa Chuck. Mrs. Claus will also be present reading Christmas stories.

NMAAHC Family Day
Where: African American Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Museum of African American History and Culture for this Family Day inspired by James Baldwin’s only children’s book, Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood. Drop-in activities available throughout the afternoon for children ages 0-8 will include collaborative art-making, story times, Little Leaders Library, and hands-on fun. Following the family day activities there will be a panel discussing the book and a book signing.

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 All Aboard-themed exhibit features train stations across the US. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this KFDC post!

Ice It
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Enjoy a quintessential winter activity — ice skating! Head outside if weather permits: Glide above the Potomac at The Wharf; enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or do some shopping along with your skating at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. If it’s raining, take it indoors at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in DC, Cabin John or Herbert Wells Ice Rinks in Maryland, or MedStar Ice Arena in Ballston. This post has details on all these ice skating options in the area.

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

Local kids fave Rocknocerous will be playing their annual holiday show on Saturday, and kids (and parents) can jam and sing along with them as they rock the holiday tunes. The early show already sold out, so get your tickets soon! Doors open at 1:30pm, and seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me is a family opera at the Kennedy Center this weekend only
* My Father’s Dragon is the newest production at Synetic Theatre
* It’s the final weekend for How to Catch a Star at the Kennedy Center
* Reserve free tickets for Virginia Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* See a fairytale come to life with Cinderella at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy a performance of Billy Elliot: The Musical at Signature Theatre
* Anything Goes is on the Arena Stage
* Tween ages up can enjoy Miss Saigon at the Kennedy Center
* Be sure to check for ticket discounts to these and more productions!

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! Tickets are still available for the Friday performance of Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show. Several productions of The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages this weekend. Have some holiday fun at Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre or Elf the Musical at Olney Theatre. Celebrate the season with A Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy Madeleine’s Christmas with Creative Cauldron. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2018 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Maker Morning: Illuminate
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

During the darkest month of the year, brighten up your weekends at the Hirshhorn! Every Saturday in December, makers of all ages are welcome to to explore the exhibition Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse through hands-on activities. Create and take home an illustration of your family’s heartbeat using biometric technology. Play with light and shadows. Make a paper luminary to take home or give as a gift. Explore a library of art-themed books. Read more about the exhibit in this KFDC post.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks (or the National Zoo, Mormon Temple, or Georgetown) 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. Either way, expect to be dazzled.

Holiday Train Rides
Where: Ballston Quarter
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission:

Take a ride through Ballston Quarter on their holiday trains. Families can also enjoy children’s crafts and activities while riding on the winter train. Plan to grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, do some holiday shopping, or even go ice skating at MedStar Ice Rink while you’re there!

Holiday Ornament-Making Workshop
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange | Brentwood, MD
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
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.

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 2018 Holiday Guide.

Artful Adventures
Where: The Phillips Collection
When: Saturday, 10:30-11am
Admission: $12/adult, $7/child

Every Saturday, the Phillips hosts this family-friendly Artful Adventure, geared toward those with children ages 4-8. Guided by a professional art educator, explore one to two galleries through fun, hands-on activities. Of course, stay longer to enjoy the rest of the museum! See more about the Phillips Collection here and here.

Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker
Where: Deal Middle School/Wilson High School | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 3pm & 7:30pm & Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $23/adult, $14/child

Momentum Dance Theatre, a Capitol-Hill based dance studio is presenting its nineteenth annual holiday show – the Jazz Hip Hop Nutcracker.  Momentum’s professional performers are joined by students as young as age 5 for this contemporary interpretation of the classic Nutcracker, set to music from Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, plus hip hop, contemporary and classic pop, funk, and salsa. Not your mother’s nutcracker! (Note: Shows will take place at Deal Middle School on Saturday and Wilson High School on Sunday.)

Story Time with the Authors
Where: Georgetown Neighborhood Library | Georgetown , DC
When: Saturday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: Free

Hosted by the DC Public Library Georgetown Branch, brothers and author/illustrator team Mark and David Shannon will offer a reading of their book, The Acrobat and the Angel. This beautifully written and illustrated story will delight young audience members, who will also be able to engage with the Shannons and participate in other fun activities after the reading.

Santa Photo Ops
Where: Top Dollar Pawn & Jewelry | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Take the kiddos to get a photo with Santa — and do some shopping or selling. When you go, plan to bring a donation for Toys for Tots, s the location is a drop site for donations to the charity.

All Aboard for Model Trains
Where: Historic Depot of the W&OD Railroad | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

What would the holiday season be without trains! Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. It’s great family activity for the young and young at heart.  The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA.

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 showcasing a lot 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.

Prelude to the Holidays with the DC Youth Orchestra
Where: Theater of the Arts, UDC | Van Ness, DC
When: Saturday, 4-6:30pm
Admission: Free

Kids can see a concert by their musical peers! The Youth Orchestra will perform works such as Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Overture and Strauss’s Die Fledermaus Overture, as well as other repertoire by Strauss and the holiday medley A Christmas Festival. Before the show, DCYOP faculty will host a musical instrument petting zoo in the lobby. Prospective young musicians ages 4-18 can try out different orchestral instruments with the help of professional musicians. The concert will begin at 5:00pm and last about an hour. 

Art and Me: Preserving Ancient Cultures
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 10-11:30am
Admission: Free

Bring your little ones ages 3-5 to learn about the preservation of ancient artifacts from South Arabia with Freer|Sackler conservator Ellen Chase. Take a guided tour of A Glimpse of Ancient Yemen and experiment with using professional tools to examine objects. Then, return to the studio to build your own archaeological goody bag to take home.

Brunch and Kids Cooking Class with Santa
Where: SER | Arlington, VA
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: $25/child, $50/adult

SER, a neighborhood restaurant in Ballston, is offering a special holiday brunch the next two Sundays! Enjoy delicious fare starting at 11:30am along with a visit from Santa and a cooking class for kids. At 12:30pm. During this brunch they’ll be offering a prix fix menu.

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 and Baltimore for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. More info about all of them is available in the 2018 Holiday Guide. And if you need some gift ideas, be sure check out the KFDC Holiday Gift Guide!

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

Rain is in the weekend forecast, so you might need extra ideas for indoor outings. Burn some energy at an indoor playground, visit a museum, go bowling, check out a nature center… This post has over 100 suggestions for adventures that take place inside, many of them mainstays around DC, and just about all of them tried and tested by Team KFDC.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Sittercity.com is offering KFDC readers 25% off a one-month subscription. Use promo code KIDFRIENDLYDC to save and find your family’s next favorite sitter!
* The Second City’s She the People at Woolly Mammoth is a fantastic, hilarious show! Catch it on a grown-up night out or even with teen kids.
* Save on admission to New Nature at ARETCHOUSE through Certifikid. You can also score a bunch of other great discounts on activities around the area through the deal site.
* The latest book I’m reading is completely absorbing and timely (and included on some lists of the top non-fiction books of 2018).
* Mark your calendar for 2022 — this sounds amazing!


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Christmas, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: December 7-9

Kick up some some fun with the interactive art installations at Light Yards






Happy Weekend!

Light Yards
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday through January 4, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The Yards is brightening up the holiday season with innovative light art once again with two fun, interactive installations! The Pool welcomes visitors to hop, skip, and jump across 106 circular pads of light, and as multiple visitors play in it, their movements come together to create a giant canvas of shifting and fading colors in mesmerizing patterns. And Angels of Freedom aims to reveal the inner beauties of everyone by visually turning visitors angels, letting them pose with five giant, neon-colored wings and white halos — and it makes for great photos ops. Plan on dining before and/or after you play with the light at one of the nearby eateries. (I highly recommend Whaley’s, where the seafood towers brings a nice feeling of summer to a cold winter night.)

DIY Holiday Cards
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 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.

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

This Christmas season take a walk through historic Bethlehem as Christ Crossman United Methodist Church opens its doors to the community. The journey begins with a live nativity and petting zoo.  Once inside, children will enjoy making crafts resembling historical Bethlehem market goods and participate in a service project assembling power pack kits for students in need through Food for Others. Live Christmas music from members of the George Mason High School band, warm cider, and hot chocolate will make it even more festive.

Winter in Washington
Where: CityCenterDC | Downtown DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

CityCenterDC is excited to bring to life the DC landscape in a dreamy winter wonderland! The installation features monuments towering over 12 feet high, built with over 50,000 pounds of ice. Washingtonians can fulfill their subzero dreams for a weekend. Follow along on social media with @CityCenterDC #CCDCHolidays for weather updates and more.

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 2018-19 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.

Baltimore for a Buck
Where: Around Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $1 or less!

In the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents Dollar or Less Days this weekend when participating attractions will open their doors offering free or $1 admission! The Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery, National Aquarium, Historic Ships of Baltimore, Jewish Museum of Maryland, Christmas Village, and more exciting places will be welcoming guests to take advantage. Go here for the full list of participating venues.

Holiday Family Day
Where: National Air & Space Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join a festive Holiday Family Day at the National Air and Space Museum. Take a look at the winter night sky for unique constellations you can only see during the winter solstice and learn how air and space technology make holiday travel, communication, and shopping possible. The event will also feature hands-on activities, a scavenger hunt, and special performances.

Winter Wonderland Sing-Along
Where: Balducci’s | Reston, VA 20190
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free, but plan to dine there!

Winter Wonderland is a free, fun and interactive sing-along for your 0-6 year olds, sponsored by Balducci’s in Reston. Enjoy live music for kids, a hot chocolate bar, a cookie decorating station, and more! Limited capacity, first come, first serve. Get a coupon here for $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more at Balducci’s in Reston (valid 12/8-12/15).

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 model train stations 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 2018 Holiday Guide.

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

The Hirshhorn’s favorite kids’ series is back and brighter than ever, this time inspired by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s use of light and technology in his participatory Pulse installations. MAKER MORNINGS: Illuminate offers fun and festive hands-on activities for curious creators of all ages. It will be offered every Saturday through December!

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* It’s the first weekend of My Father’s Dragon at Synetic Theatre
* Interact with Cri Cri: The Mexican Singing Cricket at Source Theater
* Little ones can find out How to Catch a Star at the Kennedy Center
* Reserve free tickets for Virginia Ballet Company & School’s The Nutcracker, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* See a fairytale come to life with Cinderella at Imagination Stage
* Enjoy a performance of Billy Elliot: The Musical at Signature Theatre
* Anything Goes is on the Arena Stage
* Tween ages up can enjoy Miss Saigon at the Kennedy Center
* Be sure to check for ticket discounts to these and more productions!

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 at Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre or Elf the Musical at Olney Theatre. Celebrate the season with A Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy Madeleine’s Christmas with Creative Cauldron. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2018 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Holiday Pajama Party
Where: Ballston Quarter | Ballston, VA
When: Saturday, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Pull out your holiday jammies for a fun afternoon at Ballston Quarter’s Holiday Pajama Party. While the special showing of the Grinch has sold out, there will be an afternoon celebration from 1-3pm with complimentary holiday sips and bites.

Chanukah on Ice
Where: Pentagon Row Ice Rink | Pentagon City, VA
When: December 8, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $10-$13

Celebrate Chanukah with a giant menorah lighting, holiday treats, raffles, and ice skating! Ice skate rentals are included, but food will be sold separately — hot latkes, Kosher hot dogs, and refreshments will be available.

Sock Monkey Saturday
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Don’t let the holidays drive you BANANAS! Relax by making your very own Sock Monkey—a great last-minute gift, and just something fun to do with the family. AVAM’s huge sock monkey making extravaganza is free to attend, but you must bring your own socks: 2 pair, clean & colorful (1 for your monkey and 1 to donate), and scissors to participate. Instructions, stuffing, sewing needles, thread, visionary baubles and camaraderie will be provided. The entire museum is open 10am-6pm — regular admission applies for that. Read more about the AVAM in this KFDC post.

Cirque on Ice
Where: Capitol One Arena, Penn Quarter, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to return to the Washington area with its coolest arena show yet – Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL. This unique arena production showcases synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand. Watch world-class ice skaters and acrobats explore their new frozen playground with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics. Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL fuses circus arts and the world of ice skating in a stunning new production that will take the audience on a journey into a surreal world where figure skating blends with acrobatics and aerial feats.

Christmas on Wheels
Where: Around DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $34-64

Enjoy the holidays in DC in a new, active way! Bike and Roll DC is offering ”Christmas on Wheels” Bicycle and Segway Tours. Led by professionally trained guides, these adventures are filled with historical anecdotes, of the festive variety, as riders arrive at each tour stop.Tour highlights include the Holiday Showcase at the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Christmas tree, hotel and Embassy decorations, a hot chocolate stop, the White House Christmas tree, and more! Families and children of all ages are welcome with special kids equipment for young riders ages 2 and up. Tours are offered Wednesdays through Sundays from through December 22.

Breakfast with Santa
Where: Clyde’s Restaurants around the DMV
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Cost of your meal

Usher in the holiday season with Breakfast with Santa at Clyde’s! Visit the websites to see when locations are hosting brunch and enjoy a visit with Santa. Reservations are suggested, and the regular a la carte brunch menu and kids menu will be available. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

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.

18th Century Christmas in the Country
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm | McLean, VA
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/child, $5/adult

Have you ever wondered how 18th century Virginians celebrated Christmas? Join the colonial farm to find out! Enjoy colonial music, dancing, games, singing, and much merrymaking. Hot spiced apple cider and ginger cookies will be available for you to try. And FYI: This may be the last event conducted by the Claude Moore Colonial Farm unless the Senate introduces legislation to save the living history museum before it recesses for the year. 🙁

Santa on the Firetruck
Where: Whitehall Farm Store | Clifton, VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: $10/family

Join Whitehall’s Farm Store to meet Santa and check out a firetruck from the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue. This is a FREE family friendly event. Take a wagon ride around the farm (weather permitting) complete with hot coco and apple cider!

Brunch and Kids Cooking Class with Santa
Where: SER | Ballston, VA
When: Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: $25/child, $50/adult

SER, a neighborhood restaurant in Ballston, is offering a special holiday brunch the next two Sundays! Enjoy delicious fare starting at 11:30am along with a visit from Santa and a cooking class for kids. At 12:30pm. During this brunch they’ll be offering a prix fix menu.

Kidz Graffiti Party
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30-2:30pm
Admission: $10
Get messy like a street artist at our Art Jamz! Children of all ages are invited to paint their very own master pieces on the ArtJamz walls.The lounge will be open for accompanying parents, and they’ll be playing jamming tunes to inspire all the little artists. Tickets include 1-hour Graffiti Pass with unlimited access to paints and art materials. Afterwards, families can purchase additional studio time and canvas and let your visions come to life off the wall!

Giant Lego Menorah Build
Where: Northeast Neighborhood Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: December 9, 3-4pm
Admission: Free

Join American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) for some Chanukah fun! Along with helping build a giant Lego menorah, guests can enjoy even more festivities, including Chanukah crafts, a photo booth, hot latkes and doughnuts, and a Lego dreidel to take home. RSVP to let them know you’re coming.

**PLAN AHEAD!**
Prospective Families Camp
Where: Capitol Learning Academy | Capitol Hill, DC
When: December 22-23, 9am – 3pm
Admission: $40/day

Capitol Learning Academy, a new elementary school opening on Capitol Hill in fall 2019, is hosting a weekend camp for families who plan to apply, are thinking of applying, or even still undecided but would like to learn more. Kids ages 6-9 can experience a two-day trial of the school, find out what it’s all about, and see if it’s the right fit. The weekend program will include coding, reading, writing, virtual reality, and hands-on leaning, and kids can go for one or both days! RSVP to [email protected]

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* The 2018 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has present suggestions 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.
* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Family Week is December 10-17. The family-friendly celebration of Twelfth Night is a perfect way to introduce kids to The Bard.
* If there’s any great time to start using eBates, it’s now when you’re likely doing a lot of online shopping — you can get cash back for just about every purchase you make.
* The line-up of local live entertainment this winter was just posted, so you can start saving your seats (and possibly get some holiday gift ideas)!
* You can still get 50-60% off cards + free shipping with code SHIPCARDS at Shutterfly — valid through 12/8.
* 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. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts! 🙂


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 30 – December 2

Play with light in the New Nature exhibit at ARTECHOUSE



Happy Weekend!

Hamilton Sing-Along
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Friday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the weekend singing some your favorite show tunes! The evening’s Millennium Stage performance is a Target Family Night: Honors Week Tribute featuring a Hamilton Sing-Along. Join noted DC musical theater performers in saluting the creators of Hamilton. It’s a celebration of the upcoming 41st Kennedy Center Honors, in which the co-creators of Hamilton – writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire—will receive special recognition for their groundbreaking work.

Nationals Winterfest
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: December 1-2
Admission: $23-39/adult (look for a discount)

The annual weekend-long festival featuring Nationals players, coaches, and front office staff returns to Nationals Park as a celebration of baseball and the holidays. Indoor and outdoor activities will include autograph sessions, curling stations, interactive games, clubhouse tours, batting cages, and of course photo opportunities with your favorite Nationals mascots, the Bullpen Cart, and Santa! Enjoy these activities and more with s’mores, adult hot chocolate, and other specialty food items at the home of your Washington Nationals!

Story Time with Santa
Where: Kramerbooks | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $30/child

Make it a storybook holiday season this year and join Kramerbooks for Story Time with Santa! Gather ‘round to hear Santa tell your favorite festive holiday tales AND receive: Two Polaroid Instax mini photos of your child with Santa, a double-sided holiday ornament frame for each child, cider and hot chocolate for the kids (and nice parents), and spiked cider (for the naughty parents). This will take place every Saturday through December, and only 20 children’s tickets are available for each Saturday, so secure your spot soon!

Holiday Ballet Family Day
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays with SAAM and The Washington Ballet. Acclaimed Artistic Director Julie Kent will give an introduction of how the ballet of the nation’s capital puts on their annual performance of The Nutcracker, then dancers will perform excerpts from the charming holiday classic. You can also enjoy holiday crafts, a scavenger hunt, and tasty winter treats from the Courtyard Cafe. 

Wonder & Wander
Where: Woodend Nature Sanctuary | Chevy Chase, MD
When: Saturday, 9:30-11am
Admission: $10/family

Join Audubon Nature Preschool for story hikes, tours of their classrooms and grounds, and a Q&A with staff. There will also be a bake sale, including your morning coffee and hot cider, and a gently used children’s book sale – every child leaves with a free book!  Register in advance here.

Open Studio: Nature-Inspired Holiday Decorations
Where: Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday,12–4 pm
Admission: Free

As the days get shorter and colder, take time to appreciate the beauty of nature in Asian art. Drop by the ImaginAsia Studio in the Sackler for a family-friendly open workshop. Take a tour (offered 12:30pm & 2:30pm) to explore how artists depict the natural world in the permanent collections, then return to the studio to make your own nature-inspired holiday decorations. All ages welcome with adult companions.

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.

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

For the 48th 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.

New Nature
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE invites you to experience nature in a whole new way — through a colorful digital menagerie of nature-inspired creatures and plant life. It’s full of stunning imagery and fun interactives that all ages will find delightful. Even if you don’t plan to go this weekend, plan a visit for later, and snag tickets now. And FYI: IF you go Sunday through Thursday you can get a family package — 20% off an adult and child ticket.

Creativity Workshop
Where: The Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child, $15/members ($5/extra person)

Let your creativity fly at the Phillips’ new art-making stations — it’s an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! The workshop includes an Artful Wellness Kit for parents and caregivers. Geared toward families with children ages 2 to 8.

Show Time
Where: Venues around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Little ones can find out How to Catch a Star at the Kennedy Center
* Wheaton Family Theatre Series Saturday presents Happenstance Theater’s Pinot & Augustine on Saturday
* Fairfax City Theatre presents The Little Princess
* See a fairytale come to life with Cinderella at Imagination Stage
* The Nutcracker opens at The Puppet Co., and Nutcracker Fantasy is the featured Tiny Tots show all weekend
* Enjoy a performance of Billy Elliot: The Musical at Signature Theatre
* Anything Goes is on the Arena Stage

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 at Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre or Elf the Musical at Olney 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 2018 Guide to the Holiday Season.

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.

Photos with Santa
Where: Bean Bar Loudoun | Leesburg, VA
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to see Santa, share a Christmas list, and snap a photo for your Christmas cards! Every year, local realtor hosts this free event for clients and the community network. In addition to a professional Santa and photographer, there will also be goody bags for the first 100 attendees and opportunities to
win door prizes, including gift cards to area businesses!

King Bullfrog Concert
Where: BloomBars | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 4pm
Admission: Free

Jam out with the local kindie rock fave at BloomBars on Saturday afternoon! Not only will there be great music, the venue has loads of instruments for the kids (and grown-ups!) to groove along with the band.

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.”

Holiday Craft Show
Where: Falls Church Community Center | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: See below

Deck the halls during the holiday season with special gifts from the annual Holiday Gift and Craft Show. More than 50 crafters and merchants show their wares selling unique handmade items, baked goods, and more during the first weekend in December. There will also be special activities for kids, including a Children’s Holiday Shoppe, a show by Louis the Magician, and Lunch with Santa. Admission is $1 for the Craft Show, but kids’ activities cost extra — see the website for details.

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.

Healthy First Saturday & Super Sunday
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15.95/age 2+

There’s special fun going on at Port Discovery all weekend. On Saturday, get the wiggles out as you learn about healthy activities and habits for your little one — and your entire family! Dance, sing and get active with Faza Fam Family Jam. Learn about science at our STEM Station, and help Port Discovery kick-off birthday celebrations in birthday-themed Pop-Up Art stations and Mother Goose on the Loose(r) programs. Plus, join in a fun holiday tradition as you decorate gingerbricks with the fantastic chefs from McCormick! On Sunday, experience Port Discovery’s indoor magic designed just for kids.  Explore movement and music together as you bop along to Tiny Tots Music Time.  Join interactive story times, and work together to create art or science projects during Pop-Up Art or at STEM Stations. Plus, build early literacy skills for infants and toddlers in Mother Goose on the Loose(r).

Glow with It
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday (& through January 6)
Admission:

See Georgetown in a whole new gorgeous light — literally. Every evening through January 6, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community, the region’s only curated outdoor public light art experience. 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 to dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Get a glimpse of a past light show here.

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location

Take a drive or a stroll through one of the many light displays in the area. The twinkling exhibits feature all kinds of delightful, festive scenes –holiday faves, animals, gardens, and the landscape illuminated in brilliant colors. You can find details for all of them in the 2018 Holiday Guide.

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays and see the beautifully decorated boats pass by. Get into the spirit as you decorate cookies and craft your own boat. Warm up by the big fire pit and visit the lighted Christmas Tree. Take the kids ice skating, and adults can sample winter drinks at our Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden. Bring the whole fam to meet Santa and make memories during this annual DC tradition!

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

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

Alexandria’s harbor will shine as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the 19th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy festivities out on the dock 4-7pm, including a Letters to Santa postcard pop-up, a DIY holiday wood ornament craft activity from AR Workshop Alexandria, and a hot chocolate bar from Dolci Gelati. Parade-goers are invited to step into the Torpedo Factory Art Center, located at the Alexandria City Marina, for their annual holiday festivities from 2-8pm.

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating
Where: Van Ness Main Street | Van Ness, DC
When: Sunday
Admission: Free

Head to this Holiday Pop-UP and enjoy shopping with local makers, Christmas tree sales from Olde City Farm and on Sunday, a gingerbread cookie decorating event with Bread Furst! Al children will receive one gingerbread cookie, freshly baked by Bread Furst, and a table full of decorative candies and icing. The best part? The kids take home the cookie to hang on the tree (or to eat:). They’ll have tables and about 12 chairs set-up for the kids, rotating spots about every 20 minutes (to give lots of kids a chance to decorate!). For kids 13 and under while supplies last.

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 models of U.S. train stations at the U.S. Botanic Garden Season’s Greetings exhibit. See the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. Enjoy Christmas on the Potomac at National Harbor. Deck the Halls at Tudor Place. Join the Frost Fest at Pentagon Row. 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 2018 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

Make Room for Latkes!
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: $10/family in advance, $15 at door

Chanukah is coming and with it, eight nights of family fun! Join PJ Library, the Edlavitch DCJCC, the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital, Federation’s Jewish Food Experience and the interfaith program, Love and Religion, for hands-on Chanukah activities including crafts, cooking, singing, candle lighting, latkes, a mitzvah (good deed) project and take-home goodies. It’s a perfect morning for Jewish and interfaith families with children ages 2 and older.

Come Light the National Menorah
Where: President’s Park | The National Ellipse, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free, but you must request tickets

This is the Jewish counterpart to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Every Chanukah, the National Menorah is lit in a ceremony on the Ellipse. Along with the lighting, there will be live entertainment, plus menorah kits and dreidels to take home. And if you don’t mind waiting in line afterward, you can stay for latkes and donuts. Tickets are free, but you need to sign up for them through the website.

More Chanukah Events
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There are even more ways to celebrate the start of the Chanukah around the area. So if you want to spin the dreidle, enjoy crafts and snacks, and have a fun start to the Festival of Lights, check out the Chanukah section of the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC.

Chocolate Binge Festival
Where: Downtown Annapolis, MD
When: December 2, 12-5pm
Admission: $5

Everyone loves chocolate and Annapolis will be celebrating by filling West Street with local chocolatiers ready to help chocoholics get through the holiday season. Prepare your sweet tooth with an afternoon of chocolate decadence as over 20 local and regional chocolatiers vend their specialies, plus make s’mores at a bonfire in the street, and enjoy hot cocoa from the popo. The Festival will also feature family friendly entertainment, holiday shopping, and the lighting of West Street’s BGE Holiday Light Canopy.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* There’s a giveaway going on — you can win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Elf the Musical at Olney Theatre!
* The Washington Post On Parenting blog has a nice article on raising generous children.
* Union Market will be open on Mondays in December! (That’s the one day of the week it’s usually closed.)
* Need a cocktail party convo starter? See this Instagram post by the National Zoo. 🙂
* A new season of one of the best TV shows (imo) begins this coming week, December 5!


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Fall, Free, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

{Giveaway!} Elf the Musical Brings Holiday Fun & Magic to Olney Theatre



Olney Theatre Center has earned a reputation for pulling out all the stops on its big holiday musicals and this year’s production of Elf the Musical is no exception. Even better, it’s one that the whole family can enjoy. With plenty of sparklejollytwinklejingley singing, dancing, laughter, and theatre magic, you’re all guaranteed to walk out filled with Christmas spirit and smiles on your faces.

Based on the hit Will Ferrell movie, Elf the Musical has quickly entered the pantheon of holiday classics, and for good reason. The warm-hearted family musical tells the story of Buddy, a human accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby who grows up believing himself to be an elf, despite his large size and sub-par toy-making. Upon learning the truth from Santa, Buddy journeys to New York to find his father and help the jaded city folk rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christmas season.

Elf the Musical is now running at Olney Theatre Center through January 6, 2019. Tickets are $54-$99 and can be purchased online or through the Box Office. You can also try winning a Family 4-Pack to the performance on December 30 at 2pm through the giveaway below!



When you go, bring a new pair of pajamas to donate!
We learn pretty quickly that Buddy the Elf started life in an orphanage before accidentally hitching a ride in Santa’s sleigh to the North Pole. While that works well for narrative purposes, the fact is that there are still many children in our community without permanent, loving homes who can’t rely on Santa to whisk them away to be raised by elves. That’s why for the second year in-a-row, Olney Theatre Center is partnering with Comfort Cases, a Rockville-based organization with a mission to provide comfort and support to children entering the foster care system. They have done this by providing kids with their own Comfort Case.

A Comfort Case is a small duffel bag or backpack that holds essential items and a few special things. Its purpose is to provide comfort for children as they enter the foster care system. The case provides the essentials for the first few days in a new place as well as some comfort items to help ease a scary transition. They want these children to know that their community cares about them and wants them to have something of their very own.

You can make a difference in the life of a child in need by donating a new pair of pajamas (they especially need larger sizes) to be included in a Comfort Case. Learn more about this wonderful program on the Olney Theatre Center website.

* * * * *

GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Elf the Musical at Olney Theatre Center on December 30 at 2pm, simply leave a comment below naming your favorite holiday movie. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through December 6, 2018, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Olney Theatre Center, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2018, All ages, Christmas, DC, Giveaway, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Theatre, Ticket Giveaway, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter