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Count Down to 2015 with the Kids this New Year’s Eve

The colorful balloon drop at last year's Noon Yards Eve

The colorful balloon drop at last year’s 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 2015 around the area that don’t just welcome, but focus on 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 hosting its second annual Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2015! The event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with interactive fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include inflatable moon bounces, game, crafting stations, balloon artists, face painters, temporary tattoo artists, stilt-walkers and magicians, live entertainment, and a count down and balloon drop at 12pm.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, 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 by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, face painting, nail art, balloon sculptures, interactive art activities, and a scavenger hunt through the streets of Old Town. 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 8th year in a row, 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. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $18.95/adult, $15.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s annual New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into a rockin’ and rollin’, science-filled, craft-happy daytime delight. The 7th 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 make glittery snow globes. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

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

Join the children’s museum in Baltimore for a Holiday Hoedown at its annual Noontime New Year Celebration. Dress up in cowboy attire or your favorite costume and help them count down to the New Year at 12 noon with Eric Energy and Curious George! Toast the New Year with milk and cookies and enjoy a fun day of programs and performances! Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.

New Year’s Eve Yoga Party
Where: lil omm
When: 4-7pm
Admission: $30/family

Say “namaste” alog with Happy New Year. lil omm is hosting two parties for families to ring in 2015. The first is for families with children 0-3 years from 4-5pm — enjoy age appropriate family yoga for all levels, music, snacks, and refreshments (cost: $30/family). Then from 5:30-7pm families with children 3 and up are invited to a rockin’ New Year’s Eve class complete with pizza dinner (cost: $50/family)!

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, Md, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Wednesday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more. It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church 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 restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. 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.

First Night Klezmer Concert
Where: Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
When: 3pm
Admission: $15 or $40/family of four

Join the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington for a family-friendly afternoon as they usher in the New Year with a special Klezmer concert with acclaimed band, Machaya. European Jewish immigrants in the late 19th century brought Klezmer, a style of Jewish music that includes Yiddish verses, with them to Washington. Our historic 1876 synagogue, founded by mostly German-Jewish immigrants, once housed services, prayer, and music in Yiddish. Help the Society bring Yiddish back into their building. Refreshments and a sparkling cider toast included. The museum is located at 701 3rd Street NW.

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2014 Independence Day Celebrations

july4

Our lovely city is one of the most exciting places to be this time of year, as people from all over the world to celebrate America’s birthday. And from fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house and the home of the Declaration of Independence to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, they (and you!) won’t be let down. Here are details on the many ways to celebrate July 4th in DC. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, picnics, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:10pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. Patti LaBelle is headlining the show, and there will also be appearances and performances by Frankie Valli, Phillip Phillips, Jordin Sparks, The Muppets, the National Symphony Orchestra and many more exciting acts. And Tom Bergeron of “Dancing with the Stars” is hosting once again. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 4 game against the Chicago Cubs, which is part of the 2014 Patriotic Series which honors members of the military.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance by The Original Moonlights, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it mellow and close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Thrusday or Friday. There, you can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Montgomery College – Rockville Campus
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus located at 51 Mannakee Street. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.


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New Year’s Eve, Family-Style

Yards Park is hosting its first-ever Noon Year's Eve for families

Yards Park is hosting its first-ever Noon Year’s Eve for families



Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2014? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open for your evening celebration.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve at the Yards
Where: Yards Park
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards Park is hosting a family celebration to kick off the New Year. “Noon Year’s Eve” will feature music and activities, including moon bounces, trackless train rides through the park, face painting, stilt walkers, magic, and performances by The Guitar Man, John Henry England, Justin Trawick, and the hula hoop lady, Shannon ShapeShifter. And no New Year’s celebration would be complete with a countdown & ball (or balloon) drop…only this one will take place at 12pm!

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, 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 by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, model sail boat building and sailing, face painting, cookie decorating, nail art, moon bouncing, and interactive carnival games (for ages 10 and under). New this year is the ThinkFun game room and the Fun Hunt, a scavenger hunt through the streets of Old Town where you follow clues. 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 7th year in a row, 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 drink menu while you’re there. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating in on a first come, first served basis.

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The NCM will be ringing in 2014 all day with special activities and programs, including a performance by Culture Kingdom Kids from 12-1pm! Three “official” New Year’s Eve countdowns in the Map Zone will take place at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm, and childen (and parents) will be able to decorate hats and create noisemakers for the festivities all day!

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s annual New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into daytime delight. The 6th annual Midnight Noon will be bursting with fun as families celebrate a very Happy Noon Year! Baltimore’s own Grammy-nominated kid’s band Milkshake will light up the stage starting at 11:30am and will continue rockin’ and rollin’ right into the year “2014,” even leading the ball drop at noon. Visitors will also enjoy hands-on holiday arts & crafts, projects and interactive science activities. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

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

The children’s museum in Baltimore is hosting its annual Noontime New Year Celebration as they celebrate Kings and Queens, Knights and Jokers. Dress up in your favorite costume to decorate numbers and make sound makers for the noon countdown with Eric Energy, complete with a juice and cookie toast! There will also be tons of performances, activities, and more, including mask and fairy wand making, jousting, dancing, theater and music shows, and science spectaculars. Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.

Family New Year’s Eve Yoga Party
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $30/family

Ring in the New Year with family filled fun at lil omm! From 5-7pm, families with children of all ages are invited to dance the night away and explore a variety of playful partner poses. Family Yoga includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone (prenatal welcome). Pizza dinner is included.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, Md, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more. It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church 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 restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. 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.

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New Year’s Eve Events for the Family

Old Town rings in 2012 at last year's First night Alexandria

Old Town Rings in 2012 at last year’s First night Alexandria


Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2013? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open when you get back home.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The brand new museum at National Harbor welcomes the public to ring in 2013 at this event that will include parades led by some of the museum’s favorite characters, as well as theatre performances and programs involving New Year’s-themed crafts. Timed tickets will be issued for 10am-12pm, 12-2pm, and 2-4pm. For guaranteed admission, visitors may purchase timed tickets in advance for the next available admission time (on the same day at the Museum’s box office), and will receive a wristband to return to the Museum at the designated time. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, 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 by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the kids activities will be story time, games, moon bouncing, face painting, magic shows, crafts, and 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: 2pm
Admission: $10

The widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin’ Java, and tickets are still available for the 2pm show. Sing a long to some of your favorite tunes and hear songs from their latest album “Colonel Purple Turtle.”

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

Head to Baltimore for the Maryland Science Center’s 5th annual Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bed time. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. Festivities will continue with the sounds of popular kids band Milkshake as they take the stage at 11:30am. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noon Year’s Eve Jump
Where: Pump it Up in Lanham
When: 10am – 12pm & 12-2pm
Admission: $12/child, free for parents

Celebrate 2013 with some bouncing, sliding, and climbing in Pump it Up’s large rooms full of giant inflatables. Admission also includes two slices of pizza and a drink, plus there will be a big countdown to the new year at noon.

Family Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $40/family

Get a spiritual start to 2013, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm — a Family Yoga class from 4-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Register in advance online.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Broad (Rt. 7) & Washington (Rt. 29) Streets 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 restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within three blocks of the intersection of Broad Street and Washington 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.  

Ceremonial Bell Ringing
Where: National Archives
When: 11:30pm
Admission: Free

Recall times past as we celebrate time passing at the National Archives — if you can make it to the final hours of 2012. Festivities begin at 11:30 with a performance by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, followed by a ceremonial bell ringing by a historical re-enactor portraying Harriet Tubman.

Celebrate at Home – Daily Candy has a bunch of cute ideas to help you and the kids ring in 2013 at home.

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