The Weekend Round-Up: December 1-2

Bear candle holders in the Botanic Garden conservatory... wonder how can I get one for my house.


Holiday activities dominate this weekend round-up, but there are a few non-seasonal recommendations for all the Scrooge types, too. Enjoy special programs at museums, create your own holiday cards, skate under the sky, have some fun on the farm, sing along to holiday songs.  That’s just a small sample of all there is to do; read on for the rest. And be sure to check out the brand new Calendar feature for a quick and easy glance at what’s happening daily. Happy Weekend!

‘Tis the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity
The holiday season is in full swing, and DC is chock full of fun ways to celebrate it. A few special events are mentioned below, and the 2012 Holiday Guide has even more recommendations. Think holiday train displays, festive exhibits, seasonal activities, twinkling lights, and much more.

Holiday Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday 11am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free
Kids can exercise their creativity and get into the holiday spirit at this special and fun (we loved it last year!) workshop hosted by the National Postal Museum every year. Artist Thalia Doukas will provide stamp-centric inspiration and mailable ornaments that guests can use as they create two holiday cards. Be sure to make time before or after to explore the museum, which is full of interesting exhibits, many of them interactive.

Boat Parade of Lights
Where: Alexandria City Marina & 7th Street Landing
When: December 1
Admission: FREE
Alexandria’s harbor lights up when dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. Festivities begin at 3pm at the Alexandria City Marina behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center, with free photos with Santa for kids and canines, plus free hot cocoa and cider. The boat parade begins at 5:15pm. The Marina is located at Cameron Street in Old Town. Festivities will also take place on the other end of the parade at the 7th Street Landing (7th and Water Streets, SW) starting at 5:30pm.

Cut Your Own
Where: Area farms
When: All weekend long
Admission: Usually free with tree purchase
Not only can you pick your own produce at local farms, you can also pick out your Christmas tree — and cut it down yourself.  It’s holiday spirit that requires a little more work, but it’s probably a lot of fun, too (I can’t say for sure, as we have yet to chop down our own).  The Washington Post recently published a list of places where you can select your tree — and do the cutting honors — while it’s still in the ground.

Skate Under the Sky
Where: Ice rinks around the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by venue
There seem to be so many outdoor ice rinks in the area now — I just learned that yet another new one opened recently at the Washington Harbour — and it looks like this weekend will be a good time to take advantage.  Loop the Georgetown venue (which is said to be larger than the rink at Rockefeller Center), skate along the meandering paths at the new Canal Park, glide amid art at the NGA Sculpture Garden, or skate then shop at Pentagon Row.  Get details on local rinks, both outdoor and inside, here.

Family Day at Air & Space
Where: Air & Space Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first successful planetary mission by learning about the planets in our solar system. Talk to planetary scientists, help build a Mars station, make a solar system bracelet, and enjoy many more hands-on activities at this free Family Day.

Winter Christmas Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5.95/person, free for children under 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. Oh, and rumor has it Santa will be making appearances at 11am and 1pm both days.

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, 4pm
Admission: Free
Belt out the season’s most popular tunes at Wolf Trap’s annual gathering. Along with the opportunity to sing Christmas Carols and Hannukah songs along with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area, you can enjoy a performance by the United States Marine Band. While admission to the event if free, Wolf Trap will be participating in Toys for Tots by collecting new, unwrapped toys at the entrance to the Filene Center before the Sing-A-Long. Donations are strictly voluntary and not a requirement. Parking is also free, though limited, so plan on arriving early.

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Downtown Bethesda
When: December 1-2
Admission: Free, but concerts and events cost extra
Celebrate the season in downtown Bethesda with a variety of performances, an ice sculpting presentation,  a visit from Santa Claus, and more. See the website for the schedule of events over the two-day festival.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Just about all of the live entertainment on local stages right now is holiday-inspired. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy A Little House Christmas with the Ingalls at Adventure Theatre. Get details on these shows and others at local theaters this season here.

Santa Fly-in
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: Saturday, 12-3pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2
Who needs Rudolph when you have an airplane? Watch Santa fly into historic College Park Airport, and then have your picture taken with him. Before and/or after, enjoy holiday arts & crafts in the museum and tour the exhibits showcasing many relics of early flight.

Movie at the Museum
Where: National Gallery of Art
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11:30am
Admission: Free
Kids can explore art through film at the NGA’s monthly film program. This weekend they’ll present a series of iconic American shorts by designers Charles and Ray Eames and computer programmer and mathematician Al Jarnow. The Eames’ Powers of Ten (1977) depicts the relative scale of the universe in factors of 10. Other Eames titles in this program include Toccata for Toy Trains (1959) and Tops (1969). Screened by episode on early childhood television series such as Sesame Street and 3, 2, 1 Contact, Jarnow’s animations are as familiar as his name is unknown. Classic titles from the 1970s include Cosmic Clock, Autosong, and Paper Origami. Recommended for ages 6 and up.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

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