The Weekend Round-Up: November 23-25

Riding the Polar Express at Christmas on the Potomac


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and has emerged from the food comas unscathed, because this is a weekend to relish. Not only is it an extra long one, but it also come with blue skies and lots of sunshine, perfect for the many events and activities happening at outdoor locales, several holiday-themed ones among them. If you’d rather shed the jackets at an indoor venue or you’re not quite in holiday mode, these recommended pursuits cover those preferences, too. Here’s where you can find it all over the next three days. Happy Weekend!

Nights at the Museums
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free
If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the Mall, save Natural History, American History, and Air & Space for last. The three Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours through the weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And the Udvar Hazy Center in Dulles will also be open later, until 6:30.

Where: National Zoo
When: Friday-Sunday, 5-9pm
Admission: Free, but parking and activities cost extra
See the National Zoo in a whole new light, literally, as thousands of environmentally friendly lights and animal exhibits transform the park into a holiday wonderland. Along with the lights, there will “snow” tubing, train rides for kids, train displays, and more.

Harbor Lights & Fireworks
Where: National Harbor
When: Friday, 6-11pm
Admission: Free

The kick-off of the National Harbor’s annual tree lighting and fireworks show begins this evening. Watch as the 65-foot tree is illuminated in a spectacular display of 200,000 colorful twinklers with some more fun festivities until evening culmintates with a fireworks show. If you can’t make it tonight, you can catch the lighting extravaganza every half hour until 10pm nightly through the season.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the city’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, a performance of Santa’s Frosty Follies by the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

More Holiday Fun
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be venue
There’s way more DC holiday fun to be had — Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Christmas on the Potomac, Christmas at Mount Vernon, wonderful train and light displays – and much of it begins this weekend.  For the complete rundown on all of them, see this post about the best holiday events of the season.

“Yes, Virginia” Family Day
Where: Newseum
When: Saturday
Admission: $21.95/adults, free for kids with Toys for Tots donation
Enjoy loads of news- and holiday-themed activities inspired by Francis P. Church’s classic New York Sun editorial “Is There a Santa Claus?”  Go on a scavenger hunt, report on a story about Santa sightings, send a telegraph to St Nick, get photography tips, and enjoy a special racing of the famous editorial amon the day’s events — see the schedule here.Admission is free for all children who bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.  Parents pay the regular entrance fee.

Play Work Build
Where: National Building Museum
When: All weekend long
Admission: $8/adults, $5/youth, free for members
The newest exhibit at the National Building Museum is, in a word, awesome.  All ages will love viewing the museum’s vintage toy collection, playing and building with giant foam blocks, creating table top structures with smaller ones, and pretending to knock some down on a digital interactive that takes up a whole wall.  Plan on hanging out awhile — the kids (and you) will dig it.

Show Time
Where: Local theatres
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by venue
Around this time of year, live entertainment abounds on local stages. For holiday-themed productions, go here. And for the rest, check out this post about shows to see in the late fall.

Think Outside
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale
Bundle up your brood and enjoy the crisp, sunny weather at your pick of places around the DC-Metro.  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 ideas for outdoor fun.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want to see what else there is to do around town, this post has 50+ ideas for activities.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

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