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The Weekend Round-Up: December 1-3

Spheres glowing and silhouettes going at Light Yards



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Weekend Round-Up: November 24-26



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s ice skating season, and just about all outdoor rinks (and indoor, too) around the area are welcoming folks to glide the day — and night — away! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink with costumed characters at Washington Harbour on Saturday morning or Rock n Skate at night; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area. And note Washington Harbor is hosting Cartoon Skate on Saturday morning!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 17-19

Walking on swirls of color at ARTECHOUSE



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Start getting into the holiday spirit, rock it at a gem and fossil show or local park, catch some cats on the big screen, see a live show, hit the ice, get outdoors, or hang inside…just a few of many ways to enjoy time with the kids over the next few days. Happy Weekend!

Ice Breaker
Where: Canal Park Ice Rink | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Skating $9/adult, $8/child, $5/rental

Celebrate the season opening of the Canal Park Ice Rink with live music, a skating performance, a light display, concessions from neighborhood retailers, and, obvi, ice skating! Enjoy the rink’s improved ice conditions plus an entire inventory of new skates, too. For more skating around the DMV, see this seasonal post.

Kingdom of Colors
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15-20/adult, $8/12 & under

ARTECHOUSE presents yet another immersive visual experience that plays with color, light, and sound. Lie back on bean bags and watch beautiful, trippy scenes projected on the walls around you. See floors flow like lava lamps as you walk over them. And don’t miss interactives that let you manipulate light and sound with the push of a button, swipe of a touch screen, or wave of the hands — the kids will especially love them! PS: They have evening hours just for ages 21+ (cocktail bar open!) if you want to make it a KidFree outing. This exhibit is only running through November 26, and tickets are likely to sell out, so reserve yours ASAP!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6/adult, $3/ages 13-17, free/ 12 & under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 26th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Where: Silver Plaza | Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The streets are being overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and reindeer! No, the zoo hasn’t opened their gates — it’s the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade! With marching bands an Latin dancing groups, floats, giant characters and balloons, and over 120 units, the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only Thanksgiving Parade in the metro DC area. Held in downtown Silver Spring, the exciting parade traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season. The parade steps off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and proceeds south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.

The Enchanted Forest
Where: Westin Tysons Corner | McLean, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday,
Admission: $15/child, $10/adult (look for a discount)

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns! Stroll through the whimsical forest of theme decorated trees available for silent auction, while enjoying live entertainment, hands on cooking demonstrations, and Kids in the Holiday Kitchen activities, a visit from Santa, a model train display by Capital Trackers, kids crafts, gifts for purchase, premium events for adults and kids, and much more. Proceeds benefit the JLNV’s community initiatives through the Kids in the Kitchen programming.

Museum Opening
Where: Museum of the Bible | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Free

The newest museum to the array of them in DC open this weekend. Exhibits cover the history and significance of the Bible, plus there are restaurants and World Stage Theatre that will present large productions. While timed entry tickets are not available this weekend, you could try for a limited day-of, walk-up pass.

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

* Be enchanted by the wonderful The Adventures of Peter Pan at Synetic Theatre. (Read the KFDC review here.)
* Me… Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall just started running at the Kennedy Center
* InterACT Story Theatre presents Lesole’s Dance Project: Zulu, Gumboot and Street Dances from South Africa in season three of their Wheaton Family Theatre Series
* Reserve free tickets for Pinot & Augustine, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Charlotte’s Web opens at Imagination Stage on Saturday
* Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre
* Enchantment Theatre Company presents My Father’s Dragon for two shows on Saturday at Hylton Performing Arts Center
* See the musical version of Mean Girls at the National Theatre
* Take yourselves out for a grown-up night to see The Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center (final weekend)
* Or make it a grown-up night for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Twelfth Night
* You can also go KidFree to Arena Stage for The Price, The Pajama Game, or Nina Simone: Four Women

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Througout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! 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. Enjoy Madeline’s Christmas by Encore Stage & Studio. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

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

Race to the Moon at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum! The free alternate reality game, offered every Saturday and the second Friday of each month, explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts during the thrilling era of early spaceflight.

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Gaylord National Resort’s annual holiday extravaganza has festivities galore that capture the spirit of the season. And the best part is that there are activities for all ages at varying price points (even free!), from dancing fountains and indoor snowfalls to a tour of a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-themed ice sculptures.

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

Shows and special events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. Start your holiday shopping, attend a tree lighting in Fairfax, stroll through Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, drive through the light show at Sandy point State Park, visit Santa’s HQ at Tyson’s, and much more. The 2017 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

CityJews PopUp: Havdalah
Where: Edlavitch DCJCC | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 5:00‑6:30pm
Cost: $10/family

The traditional Havdalah ceremony marks the end of Shabbat and can only happen when there are three stars visible in the sky.  Join PJ Library and partners to explore the stars and our universe with a live planetarium show, cake-pop treats, and crafts!  End with the Havdalah ceremony, a lovely, multi-sensory experience.  Edlavitch JCC is located at 1529 16th Street NW. Best for ages 3 and up.  Register here.

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

Do you want to get ready for the holidays?  Go to the Vienna Train station to watch model train and trolley activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC).  Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. To satisfy popular demand, expect an occasional sighting of Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia just down the street from the red caboose.

MuSEEum
Where: The Source | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Pay-What-you-Can

CulturalDC’s SPACE4: Performing Arts presents Pocket Change Theatre Company’s MuSEEum! A family gets lost in a museum and is surprised when the exhibits come to life! An original work devised by Pocket Change Theatre Company and its Resident Director, Brittany Martz, MuSEEum is puppet show, art history lesson, and slapstick comedy rolled into one that children will love. For one day only, come see this new, multilingual show with cast members Vivian Allvin, Klenn Harrigan, Paige O’Malley, Andrew Quilpa, and assistant director Rocio Medina. Recommended for ages 4 to 6. RSVPs are not required, but they’d love to know if you’re coming!

CatVideoFest
Where: AFI Silver Theater | Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 5pm
Admission: $13

Calling all cat ladies, cat gents and cat kids! CatVideoFest returns to AFI Silver with a pawsome brand new reel, expertly curated by filmmaker Will Braden (HENRI, LE CHAT NOIR) from the crème de la crème of this year’s popular favorites, plus new and undiscovered cat videos. Come see adorable cat antics on the big screen, meet your fellow feline fanatics, and learn more about how to help cats in DC and beyond, from our friends Alley Cat Allies.

Rockville Tree Lighting
Where: Rockville Town Square | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Join Rockville Town Square for a tree lighting celebration! This free, family-friendly event includes a DJ, strolling entertainment, a performance from Dawn Crafton Dance Company, and a visit with Santa! Enter a drawing for a gift card giveaway and enjoy merchant food and drink specials. Check out the interactive holiday tree scheduled for the first performance at 5:50pm.

Rock (Creek) Stars
Where: Nature Center | Rock Creek Park, DC
When: Saturday, right after sunset & Sunday, 4-4:45pm
Admission: Free

Join Rock Creek Park for Exploring the Sky, an informal monthly program that offering stargazers the chance to see stars and planets through telescopes. This is the last session until the spring, as it meets April through November. Meet in the field just south of the intersection of Military and Glover Roads NW, near the Nature Center (a parking lot is located immediately next to the field). All ages are welcome. And on Sunday, you can see star indoors as the Nature Center Planetarium presents Native America Night Sky!

Teen Night Out
Where: National Museum of Natural History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free

The National Museum of Natural History is throwing a first-ever after-hours Teen Night Out, after the museum is closed! Q?rius will transform into a party for Teens Only, featuring free food, a DJ, musical performances, hands-on science stations, and awesome opportunities to learn more about Youth Programs at the Natural History Museum. For more information on the night’s schedule, specific performances, and great giveaways, email [email protected]

Park it in MoCo
Where: MoCo Parks | Montgomery County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks also presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. See flying squirrels at Brookside Nature Center, talk turkey at Meadowside, take a hike at Black Hill Visitors Center, and more. See the online calendar for details and even more events happening this weekend.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It might be cooling down, but the weather will still be good for getting out, so take advantage with some time on the trail. Peep the autumn leaves, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

To Market, To Market
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Whether you want to get your holiday shopping started or just browse around and enjoy the nice vibe, this outdoor flea market on Capitol Hill is a great place to hang on the weekend. Vendors sell everything from original artwork to fun T-shirts, handmade jewelry to funky accessories, home décor to furniture – and much, much more. Buy fresh produce from farmers’ stalls outside and butchered meats, fancy cheeses, baked goods, pasta, fresh produce, and more inside the actual Eastern Market. Even more, there is often live music courtesy of buskers around the area, and if the kids want some play time afterwards, you can hit one of several parks or playgrounds in the neighborhood (Lincoln Park, at 11th and East Capitol, is the largest and most popular among them).

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Looking for a sweet idea for a birthday celebration? Baked by Yael offers cakepop parties for all ages — and a special discount for KFDC readers!
* There’s a giveaway going on for a chance to win free admission to Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens!
* A great gift for kids that supports a wonderful organization: Rosie Riveters, a non-profit that offers free STEM programs for girls in Arlington, is selling created curated children’s book collections to raise funds for their programs.
* Looking for fitness and wellness inspiration? You can get that and much more from my friend Kathy Pugh! She’s an award-winning running coach and invites all to sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter — and she’ll send you 16 heathy, delicious recipes from her new book, More Than Miles: A Woman’s Guide to Running for the Mind, Body and Sole when you do. (She also welcomes you to try a class in her popular women’s running camp for FREE!)

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

The Weekend Round-Up: November 10-12

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial


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Whether you want to pay tribute to those who have served on Veterans Day weekend or are looking for fun, enriching activities with the kids, these recommendations will have you covered. And if you want even more ideas, particularly for the day off school Friday, the Everyday Play page is full of them. Happy Weekend!

Tour the Memorials
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Observe Veterans Day by visiting the sites that honor those who have served. Make the rounds on the Mall at your leisure or attend a special ceremony — one will take place at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 1pm, and the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Memorial are easy walks from there.

National Veterans Day Ceremony
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

The National Veterans Day Ceremony begins at 11am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. A prelude by the United States Air Force Band starts in the amphitheater at 10:30am. Free and open to the public, attendees are encouraged to get there by 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery in this post about a KFDC experience there.

Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free/military; $18/adult, $9/child, free/under 5

Special activities at George Washington’s former estate include a wreath laying ceremony, a concert by the Harmony Heritage Singers or the United States Air Force Strings before greeting General and Lady Washington. Throughout the day, write a thank you letter to an active duty service member in the Vaughan Lobby. Honored guests are also invited to place a flower at Washington’s Tomb. (Above admission fees are for online; prices are slightly higher on site.)

Museum Tour
Where: U.S. Navy Museum | Navy Yard, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There may not be a special event happening, but it’s an apropos day to visit the museum dedicated to the history of the Navy. The fascinating displays range from replicas to the real thing — model ships, genuine periscopes, images from major exhibitions, and much more. Be sure to read this post about our experience there for more insight and an inside look.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks around the DMV (and nation)
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: FREE

It’s the last fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains covered in autumn colors, visit Harpers Ferry, or see the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry.

Celebrate Diwali
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, in this family workshop. Explore artworks from the Indian subcontinent on an educator-led tour. Then, return to the studio to create your own colorful book featuring a traditional rangoli design with teaching artist Sushmita Mazumdar from Studio PAUSE. This program is designed for children ages 6-12 and adults to enjoy together.

New to You Yard Sale
Where: Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten | Reston, VA
When: Saturday, 7:30am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Score some great items and support a local preschool! Thousands of babies and children’s gear is sold at unbeatable prices, including clothing up to size 10, strollers, bikes, kitchen sets, doll houses, trains, toys of all kinds, high chairs, exercisers, books, DVDs, children’s furniture, bottles, etc. More than 100 families from the LANK community donate the gently used items.  Doors open at 7:30am and everything will be 50% off from 12-1pm. LANK Preschool is located at 12021 North Shore Drive in Reston.

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

Race to the Moon at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum! The free alternate reality game, offered every Saturday and the second Friday of each month, explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts during the thrilling era of early spaceflight.

Kingdom of Colors
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $8/12 & under

ARTECHOUSE presents yet another immersive visual experience that plays with color, light, and sound. Lie back on bean bags and watch trippy, beautiful scenes projected on the walls around. See floors flow like lava lamps as you walk over them. And don’t miss the interactives that let you manipulate light and sound as the push of a button, swipe of a touch screen, or wave of the hands — the kids will especially love them!

A Visit with Miss Manners
Where: Room & Board | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

You’re invited to a kid-friendly morning of table manners and etiquette at Room & Board. Children (and parents) will enjoy a 45-minute session with our own Miss Manners. A long time DC protocol expert will review children’s etiquette just in time for the holidays, from being a good helper to table manners at the grown ups’ table. Great for ages 5-7. RSVP for the 10:15am session here.

WWI Reenactment
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

Take a time trip in honor of Veteran’s Day at the Library of Congress. Actor Douglas Taurel will draw directly from Irving Greenwald’s WWI Diary, held in the collections of the Veterans History Project and currently on display in the exhibition Echoes of the Great War, for a live reenactment performance of life during the First World War at 11 a.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium. Free tickets are available via Eventbrite, but are not required.

Christmas Bazaar
Where: St. Jane de Chantal | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9am -4pm
Admission: Free

Get started on holiday shopping at St. Jane de Chantal’s 12th Annual Christmas Bazaar, a fundraiser to benfit the school Kick off the Christmas season and shop local! Unique items from more than 30 vendors with jewelry, home decor, accessories, personalized gifts ,and much more!  Plus there will be a thrift shop, children’s book fair, food trucks, bake sale, and raffles! Get free pictures with Santa just in time for holiday cards and enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus. Located at 9525 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda.

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

* Be enchanted by The Adventures of Peter Pan at Synetic Theatre – it’s wonderful! (Read the KFDC review here.)
* Get the holiday spirit started as Encore Stage & Studio presents Madeline’s Christmas
* Pinnochio is running at The Puppet Co. (no lie!)
* And Clowning Around is the featured Tiny Tots show at the puppet theater
* It’s opening weekend for kids’ fave Annie at Olney THeatre
* The musical version of Mean Girls is at the National Theatre
* Take yourselves out for a grown-up night to see The Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center
* Enjoy a mix of classical, hip hop, rock, and pop as Strathmore presents Black Violin: Classical Boom Tour
* Go KidFree to Arena Stage for The Price or The Pajama Game
* Jason Didner and The Jungle Gym Jam are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java

Color’s Garden
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 12:30pm; Sunday, 11:30am & 2pm
Tickets: Free

Inspired by the art of Henri Matisse, Color’s Garden is a play that celebrates the joys and discoveries of making a new kind of art. Featuring projections, playful animations, and a lively jazz score, this theatrical fantasy brings the elements of art to life and offers new understandings about their expressive power. Following each performance, families will be invited to make collages in our hands-on artmaking space and will be provided with self-guiding resources to explore the elements of art in the Gallery’s collection. All performances are free and will take place in the East Building Auditorium, which seats 450 people. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Recommended for ages 4+.

Pet Resort Open House
Where: Old Towne Pet Resort | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Olde Towne Pet Resort, the region’s premier pet care, day camp, and boarding facility, is celebrating fall in their Rockville location with a fun-filled day for families and pets. Enjoy face painting, pet sketches by artist Cris Clapp Logan, Georgetown Cupcakes, and meet 94.7 FM’s Tommy McFly. Get your pet ready for the holidays with day camp evaluations, swimming demonstrations, and dog treats while you tour day camp rooms, the cattery, dog suites, lap pool, and playgrounds. RSVP for you and your furry friend.  Proof of vaccinations required for all pet guests!

Tree Lighting & Street Party
Where: Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

The annual tree lighting in Silver Spring always unveiling of a unique holiday tree, and this year’s “Good Energy Tree” is no exception! Focusing on the power and possibilities of the bicycle, visitors can light the tree by peddling bicycles provided by Capital Bikeshare at the tree’s base. The bikes are connected to a 300-watt generator which can provide power to a USB port and also allow visitors to charge their cellphones. There will be a street party, to boot, with food tastings, live entertainment, ice sculptures, games, and more!

Santa HQ
Where: Tyson’s Corner | McLean, VA
When: November 11 – December 24
Admission: Free, but portrait packages start at $30

Get Santa portraits done early and enjoy even more holiday-inspired fun. This immersive and innovative experience includes visual elements that transport you straight to the North Pole. Enter the HQ to be scanned by the digital Naughty or Nice O’Meter, snap an “Elfie Selfie” in Santa’s workshop and star in your own holiday video. Then onto the North Pole Observatory to experience Elf-Ray Vision in a 3D environment…all before meeting Santa himself!

Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Are you ready to glide under the sky? Many outdoor ice skating rinks are welcoming guests to skate the day away. This post has details on all of them (and indoor venues, too), including bonus activities while you’re there.

The Emporiyum
Where: Union Market Dock 5 | Northeast, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $15

Meet, eat, and shop at this two-day market and celebration of everything delicious. Last year over 95 artisans, producers, chefs, and restaurants showcased their wares, works, and culinary creations. It’s a chance to meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and shop for unique edible gifts.

Holiday Season Kick Off
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Get the holiday season started at National Harbor with a full day of fun, topped off by their annual tree lighting. Spend the afternoon with Santa’s Frosty Follies, participate in Card Making for Our Deployed Troops, watch a holiday movie, take dog pictures with Santa, and enjoy chances to meet Santa at the Carousel. The Radio King Orchestra plays at 5:30pm, and the tree lighting ceremony starts at 6:30pm — followed by fireworks!

Gesher Green Day
Where: Gesher Jewish Day School | Fairfax, VA
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Admission: Free

Join Gesher Jewish Day School and PJ Library for an exciting afternoon enjoying the fall, the outdoors, as well as hands on activities for children Ages 0 – 12. Storytelling by Barbara From of Storytime Express, gardening, crafts, cobb oven demonstration, sports, and play. All are welcome to this free, fun event! RSVP here.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* ‘Tis the season to start planning for the holidays! The 2017 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC, posted earlier this week, has info and inspiration galore to help you prep for it all.
* Be sure to enter the latest KFDC giveaway for a chance to win a free hand cut portrait session with renowned silhouette artist Karl Johnson!
* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Family Week, December 10-16, is a wonderful opportunity to introduce kids to the Bard and celebrate the themes, story and artists in Twelfth Night (running November 14 – December 16). Sign up for backstage tours, a sing-along, pre-show workshops, even a Mini-Summer Night’s Dream.
* Great place for date night/grown-up dinner: Sally’s Middle Name on H Street NE.

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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, School Event, Seasonal, Shop, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend