The Weekend Round-Up: November 27-29

Outdoors at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Outdoors at the U.S. Botanic Garden


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You can shift your focus from turkey to the holidays — the season kicks into high gear starting this weekend, with loads of events and activities to help you start celebrating. But if you’re not quite ready to embrace the spirit, there’s still plenty to do, including LOTS of great live entertainment, late hours at some of the museums, plus tons of ongoing fun — indoors and out — all around the area. Happy Weekend!

Nights at the Museums
Where: American History and Air & Space Museums
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the National Mall, save American History and Air & Space for last. The two Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours this weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday. (And FYI: The American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Penn Quarter are always open that late.)

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Through 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 and one of the city’s largest Christmas trees. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s theme “Pollination Station ” features oversized flowers, bees, and butterflies in a scenic wonderland. For more about the seasonal favorite, read this post and this one about some of our past Season’s Greenings experiences. And while you’re there, be sure to tour the rest of the collections and the outdoor gardens, too.

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor
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 amazing “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”-themed ice sculptures. Get details and a glimpse of it all here.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square in Old Town Alexandria
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.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the area
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 2015 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Akeelah and the Bee
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through December 27
Admission: $40 and up

Owen and I just saw this show, and we both thought it was fantastic! Based on the beloved film, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old girl whose razor-sharp mind just might take her all the way from the Chicago projects to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The performances are so good, you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens. School-aged kids and older (including adults) will love it.

Cinderella
Where: National Theatre
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $48 and up (find deals on select seats)

The stage production of the classic fairy tale is just as magical as the original story (Sasha and I know from firsthand experience at a recent performance). With a talented cast, enchanting sets, dashes of grown-up humor, and special effects that are at once spellbinding and delightful, you’ll easily feel transported to a storybook world.

Oliver!
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through January 3
Admission: $64 and up (find deals on select seats)

Charles Dickens’ unforgettable characters burst to life in this Tony Award-winning musical. A spirited and entertaining production on the theater-in-the-round Fichandler Stage offers every audience member a great view. The musical numbers are energetic and emotional, and with kids (including the 9-year-old star of the show) making up part of the cast, young theatre-goers will especially enjoy it.

A Date with Kate
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through January 3
Admission: $20-118

Planning a date night or an evening out sans kids? Consider catching a performance of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Kiss Me, Kate. As the cast of the show within a show stages a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, you’ll be treated to a spectacular line-up of musical numbers and a performance that is exceptionally clever and entertaining.

Elephant & Piggy on Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 3
Tickets: $20

A musical experience ripped from the pages of children’s favorite books! In Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, a vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense facing fundamental questions like what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by nutty backup singers, The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. Recommended for ages 3 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, there’s plenty of that, too. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at THEARC 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. See A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre or A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. Get details on these shows and others in the 2015 Holiday Guide.

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

The seasonal market opens today! This one, 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.

Night Lights
Where: Around the area
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!

Tenley WinterFest
Where: Around Tenleytown
When: November 27 – December 5
Admission: Free

The fourth annual Tenley WinterFest offers fun for all ages in Area schools, the library, fire station, shops, and restaurants are working together to create another unique, yeti-themed seasonal celebration for the community. Festivities include a scavenger hunt, a drawing project, historic walking tours, dining specials, story time, a kids movie screening, and more winter fun.

Winter Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95/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. Read more about the Festival in this post about one of our experiences there.

Kids Day at Bobby McKeys
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
Admission:

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!

Think Outside
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale

If weather permits (or even if it doesn’t), you’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for outdoor adventures. 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 70+ ideas for activities.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, Date Night, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

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