The Weekend Round-Up:
November 17-19

Walking on swirls of color at ARTECHOUSE


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.

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!

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

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).

* 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

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