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Family New Year’s Eve Celebrations to Ring in 2019

Count down to the 12pm balloon drop at Noon Yard’s Eve!




The countdown to 2019 is on, and if you’re looking for ways to ring it in with young revelers, you have many options! There are a bunch of family-friendly ways to celebrate around the area, from organized events to plan-it-yourself activities. Here are details and inspiration for your gang to get in on the fun — all of them taking place on December 31 unless otherwise noted. Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: December 30, 11:30-12:30pm
Admission: $5/child members, $8/non-members (free for adults)

Ring in the New Year a day early with your little one at this special holiday Tudor Tots! Enjoy a festive counting-themed storytime, then count down together to 12pm. Celebrate the noon-year with noisemakers, confetti, a sparkling craft, and toast 2019 with juice. For ages 2-4 and accompanying adults.

A Fancy (Nancy) Celebration
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm
Admission: $25

Join Fancy Nancy, for a performance of Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas on New Year’s Eve! There are a few showtimes throughout the day, and they’ll all include a sparkling cider toast and a rendition of Ald Lang Syne (that’s fancy for memories). It’s the fanciest way to bring in the New Year with the kiddos!

Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2018! The sixth annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include trackless train rides through the park, inflatable moon bounces, glitter tattoo artists, balloon artistry, music, and a countdown and big balloon drop at noon.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Starting at 6pm
Admission: $30-35/adult, free/age 12 & under

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. There Kids Karnivals in three locations, with loads of activities for young revelers — face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive games, and much more. And more than 100 performances on 30 indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria will feature live entertainment from an amazing variety of genres. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Potomac River at the foot of King Street. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website.

Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

For the 12th straight year, the widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin Java. Sing along to some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the full menu of food and drinks while you’re there. Opt for the lunchtime show at 11am, or go in the afternoon at 2pm. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.

End the Year Medieval-Style
Where: Medieval Times | Hanover, MD
When: 3:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $37.95/adult, $30.95/child

Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2019. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, young guests can experience special activities just for the occasion before the extravaganza begins. Knight training, a queen story time, and free posters will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers. Be sure to use the code NYE18 for the ticket discount!

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $18.95/3-12, free/2 & under

Join the MSC for their annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bedtime. There will be fun New Year’s festivities throughout the day, including a live concert by popular kids band Milkshake — their Grammy-nominated tunes will keep everyone dancing throughout the day. And, of course, the rest of the museum will be open to explore! All activities are free with paid admission (and completely free to members).

Noontime New Year’s Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $15.95 ages 2+

Out with the old, in with the new! Celebrate the wonderful memories, fun, and adventures of 2018 — and the magical new things to come in 2019 — at the children’s museum in Baltimore! Festivities will include a noontime countdown, juice and cookie toast, indoor dance party, special performances from Eric Energy, The Kolonder’s, The Kindersinger, a fairy dancer, and more. Along with the New Years’ themed fun, this event will also be a great opportunity to explore Port Discovery’s much-loved exhibits ahead of the wonderful transformations planned for 2019. Check out the Noontime New Year’s schedule of activities on the website for more details.

Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: 100 Block of West Broad Street | Falls Church, VA
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s 21st annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, and restaurants with special Walking Watch Night Menus at local restaurants. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within a four-block area that begins on the 100 Block of West Broad Street. A free shuttle bus stops at each venue and the East Falls Church Metro throughout the evening, including a shuttle from the East Falls Church Metro station.

Family Fun on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay | Cambridge, MD
When: December 31 – January 1
Admission: See room rates on website

How about an easy getaway to ring in 2019? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special room rates and family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. The fun includes a magician, indoor mini golf, carnival games, bounce houses, a game room, photo booth, indoor pool, s’mores, and more. There will also be several special dining options, live music, and strolling entertainment around the resort.

Swoosh into 2019
Where: Ski Liberty | Carroll Valley, PA
When: 5pm – 1am
Admission: Lift tickets start at $24/child (free/5 & under)

Hit the slopes to ring in the new year! Ski Liberty’s celebration will include late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1am, fireworks at midnight, and a variety of special events happening around the resort. Enjoy a decadent fixe prix dinner at Ike’s Chophouse. There is also a special, by reservations only, party at Boulder Ridge with Snow Tubing from 10pm to 1am. Find something for everyone and every age!

Glide into 2019
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the day & evening
Admission: Varies by rink

Skate under the stars to celebrate the start of the new year. Gliding on ice surrounded by twinkling lights, art sculptures, and/or the hubbub of people in festive spirits is a fun, active way to revel. Join a special event like Rock & Skate at Washington Harbour or just do your own thang. Be sure to check times for each rink, as hours may change for the holiday.

New Year’s Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: After dark
Admission: Varies by locale

Start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition with a seasonal treat: Bundle up for a stroll or take a drive through one of several spectacular light displays! Most of the light shows that dazzle this time of year are open on New Year’s Eve. Combine an outing to see them with dinner out — this guide from Edible DC from last year has suggestions on where to eat nearby all the holiday lights. If you’re enjoying it from the comfort of a car, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, yummy snacks, and prepare a festive playlist for the ride.


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Filed under 2018, 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Maryland, New Years, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Winter

Family New Year’s Eve Celebrations to Ring in 2018

Count down to the balloon drop at Noon Yards Eve!



Are you ready to ring in the new year with the kids? There are a bunch of family-friendly ways to celebrate around the area, from organized events to plan-it-yourself activities. Here are details and inspiration for your crew to get in on the fun (plus, an extra KidFree suggestion 🙂 ). Happy New Year!

Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2017! The fifth annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include music and dancing, balloon artists, bouncy inflatables, trackless train rides, face painters, kids crafts, and a big balloon drop at 12pm.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Starting at 2pm
Admission: $30, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Activities begin in the afternoon, but live from a variety of genres entertainment begins at 7pm with more than 150 performances on 22 indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria. Among the many kids’ activities will be , face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive games, and much more. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Potomac River at the foot of King Street. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website.

Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

For the 11th straight year, the widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin Java. Sing along to some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the full menu of food and drinks while you’re there. Opt for the lunchtime show at 11am, or go in the afternoon at 2pm. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: 11:30-12:30pm
Admission: $5/child (free for adults)

(Note: Only member tickets are still available!) Ring in the New Year with your little one at this special holiday Tudor Tots! Enjoy a festive counting-themed storytime, then count down together to 12pm. Celebrate the noon-year with noisemakers, confetti, a sparkling craft, and toast 2018 with juice. For ages 2-4 and accompanying adults.

End the Year Medieval-Style
Where: Medieval Times | Hanover, MD
When: 3:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $36.95/adult, $30.95/child

Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2018. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, young guests can experience special activities just for the occasion before the extravaganza begins. Knight training, a princess story time, and free posters will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers. Be sure to use the code 36NYE18 for the ticket discount!

Noontime New Year’s Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $13.95

Join the children’s museum in Baltimore for a Snow Ball at its annual Noontime New Year Celebration. Early bedtime or not, partygoers will enjoy a festive day of play inside a Winter Snow Ball Wonderland! Festivities will include performances by Eric Energy and the Kindersinger, plus all kinds of cool activities for kids. A juice and cookie toast will take place at noon amid all the fun. Be surehttp://www.portdiscovery.org/visit/calendar/event/353/noontime-new-years-celebrationhttp://www.portdiscovery.org/calendar/events/4551″ target=”_blank”>check the schedule for timing of specific events.

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into one the kids can enjoy. The 10th annual Midnight Noon will give kids the opportunity to see the ball drop before bedtime. Guests can dance their way into a very happy “Noon” Year — Grammy-nominated Baltimore kids band Milkshake will take to the stage at 11:30am. Visitors can also decorate party hats, construct noise makers, and more. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: 100 Block of West Broad Street | Falls Church, VA
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s 20th annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, and restaurants with special Walking Watch Night Menus at local restaurants. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within a four-block area that begins on the 100 Block of West Broad Street. A free shuttle bus stops at each venue and the East Falls Church Metro throughout the evening, including a shuttle from the East Falls Church Metro station.

Midnight at 7
Where: Merriweather Park | Columbia, MD
When: 5-8pm
Admission: $15/advance, $20/day of, free/4 & under

Enjoy a family-friendly New Year’s Eve, featuring a walk through the Symphony of Lights holiday display and a dazzling fireworks display set to a soundtrack. Festivities also include DJ music, New Year’s party favors, face painting, food truck vendors, and more! The event benefits Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Family Fun on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay | Cambridge, MD
When: Thursday – Friday
Admission: See room rates on website

How about an easy getaway to ring in 2018? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special room rates and family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. All guests have access to special New Year’s Eve activities including a DJ-hosted dance party in the ballroom from 9pm–1am, with a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast; bounce houses; teen room; arcade, and game rooms. In addition, all overnight guests will have access to the resort’s amenities, including the indoor Wintergarden pool, Sago Spa & Salon, and our River Marsh Golf Club.

Swoosh into 2018
Where: Ski Liberty | Carroll Valley, PA
When: 5pm – 1am
Admission: Lift tickets start at $23/child (free/5 & under)

Hit the slopes to ring in the new year! Ski Liberty’s celebration will include late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1am, fireworks at midnight, and a variety of special events happening around the resort. New for this year, enjoy a decadent fixe prix dinner at Ike’s Chophouse. There is also a special, by reservations only, party at Boulder Ridge with Snow Tubing from 10pm to 1am. Find something for everyone and every age!

Glide into 2018
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the day & evening
Admission: Varies by rink

Skate under the stars to celebrate the start of the new year. Gliding on ice surrounded by twinkling lights, art sculptures, and/or the hubbub of people in festive spirits is a fun, active way to revel. Join a special event like Rock & Skate at Washington Harbour or just do your own thang. Be sure to check times for each rink, as hours may change for the holiday.

Michael Carbonaro Live!
Where: DAR Constitution Hall | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: 7pm
Admission: $17-83

Magician Michael Carbonaro of the hit TV series, The Carbonaro Effect on truTV, is taking his comically perplexing and improbable feats of magic on the road and will be in DC for a New Year’s Eve show. Find out what it’s like to be on the other side of the charmingly devious Michael Carbonaro as he works his magic to make people believe the unbelievable. You will not just “sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.” Michael Carbonaro Live! is jam-packed with audience interaction, hilarious videoclips, and a whirlwind of mind-blowing magic performed live on stage.

New Year’s Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: After dark
Admission: Varies by locale

Start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition with a seasonal treat: Bundle up for a stroll or take a drive through one of several spectacular light displays! Most of the light shows that dazzle this time of year are open on New Year’s Eve. Combine an outing to see them with dinner out — this guide from Edible DC has suggestions on where to eat nearby all the holiday lights. If you’re enjoying it from the comfort of a car, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, yummy snacks, and prepare a festive playlist for the ride.

An Evening in Spain Dinner Party (KidFree Rec!)
Where: Joselito Casa de Comidas | Capitol Hill, DC
When: 5-7:30pm & 9-10:30pm
Admission: See pricing below

Spaniards take their “fin de ano” dinner celebrations seriously and the Joselito Casa de Comidas family intends to do the same stateside on December 31. Joselito will transport guests to an “Evening in Spain” dinner party complete with Spanish dishes featuring ingredients known to bring love, luck and good fortune in the new year. The NYE celebration will include two seatings. Reservations for the first seating will be taken between 5-7:30pm for a three course menu ($50 p/person; $80 per/person with wine pairings). The second seating will take reservations from 9-10:30pm and will feature a six course menu ($120 per/person; $170 per/person with wine pairings), live jazz beginning at 10:30pm, party favors, as well as a balloon drop and a champagne toast with the Spanish tradition of 12 grapes for good luck at midnight.

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Filed under 2017, 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, New Years, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Winter

Ring in the New Year, Family-Style

The 12pm ball drop at Noon Yards Eve

The 12pm ball drop at Noon Yards Eve



If you thought New Year’s Eve celebrations were a thing of the pre-kids past, think again! There are several great ways to ring in 2017 around the area that don’t just welcome, but center around the younger set. Here’s where you and your crew can get in on the fun. Happy New Year!

Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2017! The fourth annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include music and dancing, balloon artists, bouncy inflatables, trackless train rides, face painters, kids crafts, and a big balloon drop at 12pm.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $30, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment from a variety of genres. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive art activities, and much more. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Potomac River at the foot of King Street. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website.

Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin Java
When: 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

For the 10th straight year, the widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin Java. Sing along to some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the full menu of food and drinks while you’re there. Opt for lunchtime show at 11am, or go in the afternoon at 2pm. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.

The Celebration of Centuries
Where: Medieval Times
When: 3:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $39.95/adult, $29.95/child (look for discount)

Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2017. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, there will be special activities for the occasion — knight training, face painting, and a princess storytime will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers.

Noontime New Year: Snow Ball!
Where: Port Discovery
When: 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $13.95

Join the children’s museum in Baltimore for a Snow Ball at its annual Noontime New Year Celebration. Kids are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes and count down to the New Year at 12 noon with Eric Energy! Toast 2017 with juice and cookies and enjoy a fun day of programs and performances! Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into one the kids can enjoy. The 9th annual Midnight Noon will give kids the opportunity to see the ball drop before bedtime. Guests can dance their way into a very happy “Noon” Year — Grammy-nominated Baltimore kids band Milkshake will take to the stage at 11:30am. Visitors can also decorate party hats, construct noise makers, and more. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: West Broad Street in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, and restaurants with special Walking Watch Night Menus at local restaurants. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within a four-block area that begins on the 100 Block of West Broad Street. A free shuttle bus stops at each venue and the East Falls Church Metro throughout the evening, including a shuttle from the East Falls Church Metro station.

Family Game Night at Garden in Lights
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden
When: 6-9pm
Admission: $6/ages 5 and up, free for 4 and under

Celebrate the final evening of 2016 in Calvert County! Enjoy Annmarie’s spectacular holiday light show in the gardens, then head inside to play a variety of family-friendly games. Wonderful friends from High Tide Games in Lexington Park, Play-n-Trade Games in Lusby, and PaxSpace in California will all be there with a wide variety of interactive games. Guests can also tour the game exhibit, enjoy a Holiday I Spy game, and a disco ball will be spinning, so you can do some dancing, too! Plus, refreshments will be available from the cafe.

Family Fun Entertainment on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay
When: Thursday – Friday
Admission: See room rates on website

How about an easy getaway to ring in 2017? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. An inflatable fun house, arcade games, a kids’ karaoke and dance party, dive-in movie-watching from the comfort of an indoor pool, and an early ball drop are just some of the festivities hotel guests can enjoy. And there’s even more fun for adults — find details here.

Swoosh into 2017
Where: Ski Liberty
When: 5pm – 1am
Admission: Lift tickets start at

Hit the slopes to ring in the new year! Ski Liberty’s celebration will include late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1am, fireworks at midnight, and a variety of special events happening around the resort. New for this year, enjoy a decadent fixe prix dinner at Ike’s Chophouse. There is also a special, by reservations only, party at Boulder Ridge with Snow Tubing from 10pm to 1am. Find something for everyone and every age!

Glide into 2017
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the day & evening
Admission: Varies by rink

Skate under the stars to celebrate the start of the new year. Gliding on ice surrounded by twinkling lights, art sculptures, and the hubbub of people in festive spirits is a fun, active way to revel. Join a special event like Rock & Skate at Washington Harbour or just do your own thang. Be sure to check times for each rink, as hours may change for the holiday.

New Years Night Lights
Where: Around the area
When: After dark
Admission: Varies by locale

Start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition with a seasonal treat: Bundle up for a stroll or take a drive through one of several spectacular light displays! Most of the light shows that dazzle this time of year are open on New Year’s Eve. Combine an outing to see them with dinner out — this guide from Edible DC has suggestions on where to eat nearby all the holiday lights. If you’re enjoying it from the comfort of a car, pack a thermous of hot chocolate, yummy snacks, and prepare a festive playlist for the ride.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Hotel, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, New Years, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 18-20

8! Where'd the time go?

8! Where’d the time go?



So, the above photo might not scream “DC with kids,” but I had to highlight the special honoree of our weekend who’s turning the big 8 (not too mention, he’s totally a DC kid). He’ll get to choose the fun for the next few days, though with all that’s going on around the area, I think it’ll be a win-win for everyone. Happy Weekend! And a very Happy Birthday to my sweet O.

Children’s Theater Festival
Where: Artisphere
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adults, $10/ages 3-13, free for under 4

Enjoy a full day of theater and much more. Artisphere presents six hours of theater and other activities to delight the entire family. Coloring, reading, drawing, ballet, music, and dance performances will be part of the day’s festivities. And all activities at Festival de Teatro para Ninos are Bilingual.

Wizards Family Fun
Where: Verizon Center
When: Saturday & Monday
Admission: Starting at $59 for 4

Bring your family out to a Wizards game with a Pepsi Family Fun Pack! Available for most Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games starting at just $59, and include 4 game tickets, 4 Wizards hats and 4 24oz Pepsi products on game night. The Wizards host the Pistons on Saturday and the 76ers on Monday.

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities to honor and celebrate it throughout the weekend. If you’re looking for ways to observe the holiday, this post has a few ideas.

Annie Sing-a-long
Where: Old Town Theater
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $12

Sing along to the soundtrack as the classic film about the spunky, endearing red-haired orphan plays on the big screen. Surely, you know all the words to “Tomorrow” and “Hard Knock Life.” And if not, the lyrics will be displayed on the screen, so there will be no excuse for not bellowing out the tunes with Annie and the rest of the audience. Doors open at 10am. The Old Town Theater is located at 815 ½ King Street in Alexandria.

All Aboard for a Model Train Open House
Where: Historic W&OD Train Depot
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

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

Ice Slide!
Where: St. Elizabeths East Gateway
When: Weekends through February 15
Admission: $5/adults, free for kids

We haven’t been yet, but I heard this is a blast. A snow slide apparently has been rented for part of the season, and the public is invited to whiz gleefully down it. Considering we have so few good sledding days, this is a welcome winter treat! St. Elizabeths East Gateway is located at 2700 Martin Luther King Avenue SE, and parking there is free. Update: We visited the ice slide Friday after school, and you can read all about it here.

Show Time
Where: Local theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Live entertainment on area stages abounds this weekend!
-There are a few reasons to applaud the beloved puppet theater at Glen Echo Park: A new Main Stage production, Tales of Beatrix Potter, is opening AND Tiny Tots, shows for the sippy cup set is back with Snow Show on Saturday and Winter Wonderland on Sunday.
-Next door at Adventure Theater, Miss Nelson is Missing, is also beginning its run.
-Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs are playing the 10:30am show on Saturday at Jammin’ Java and Recess Monkey will be there on Sunday.
-Mr. Gabe is playing at Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse on Capitol Hill on Saturday morning.
-You can catch the second and final weekend of Encore Stage & Studio’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.
-Really little ones will enjoy Aquarium at Imagination Stage.
-Theatre on the Run in Arlington presents Mouse in the House, an adaption of the book The Mouse of Amherst.
-Hear the NSO Ensemble Concert Connections: Music Matters at the Kennedy Center.
-Enjoy a special MLK Day performance by the grandsons jr. at Jammin’ Java on Monday.
More details, or links to them, can be found in this post about live entertainment around the DC area this winter.

Later, Skater
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

With sunny days on the way, it’ll be a great time to get gliding at local rinks. Skate amid art at the Sculpture Garden; join Washington Harbour’s Cartoon Skate on Saturday from 10am – 12pm; meander the icy paths at Canal Park; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Hello, Bao Bao!
Where: National Zoo
When: Saturday, 8am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

One of the National Zoo’s newest residents will make her public debut on Saturday. Bao Bao, the five-month old panda cub, will be on view for all visitors (FONZ members got to get a first look last weekend). The panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will have extended hours Saturday through Monday, and visitors will be allowed into the panda house on a first-come-first-served basis.

Are you Q?rius
Where: Natural History Museum
When: Friday 2-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The new interactive and experiential learning space at the Natural History Museum is, in a word, AWESOME. Visitors can view up close – and in many cases handle – real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. Microscopes let young guests feel like real scientists, and drawers full of everything from animals species to cultural relics are accessible for examination. And even though it’s been promoted as a space for teens and tweens, younger children definitely can appreciate it, too.

1964: Civil Rights at 50
Where: Newseum
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $22.95/adult, $13.95/ages 7-18, free for 6 and under

On Friday, the Newseum will open “1964: Civil Rights at 50,” a yearlong exhibit about Freedom Summer, a bold campaign organized by civil rights groups in 1964 to register black voters in Mississippi. “1964” features powerful images of Freedom Summer, from volunteer training sessions in Ohio to clashes with segregationists and the search for three missing civil rights workers who were later found murdered. The photographs were taken by Ted Polumbaum, a freelance photographer working for Time magazine, whose passion for social justice led him to Mississippi in the summer of 1964. The Polumbaum photographs are part of the Newseum’s permanent collection and will be on display in the exhibit through Dec. 28, 2014.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about American clergyman and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

Go Bananas
Where: B’nai Israel Schilit Nursery School
When: Monday, 10:30am (doors open at 10am)
Admission: $8

“BANANAS” is coming to B’nai Israel Schilit Nursery School in Rockville, MD, on Monday off from school. The Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performance is a 45-minute show that includes original “sing-a-long” songs and involves puppets operated above a six-foot tall curtain. Set against the backdrop of a talent contest, themes of healthy living issues are explored in a fun, upbeat, and positive way. The interactive show is designed for preschool, primary and intermediate school-aged children.

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