Monday – See the city from a new vantage point at the Old Post Office Clock Tower. It’s free to visit and go up to the observation deck of the third tallest building in DC. It’s located in what is now the Trump International Hotel, but the Clock Tower is operated independently by the National Park Service. Open daily from 9am – 5pm Monday – Saturday this time of year (12-6pm on Sunday). Just head to the location at 12th and Pennsylvania NW and follow signs once inside.
Tuesday – Venture out to Solomons, MD, to the Calvert Marine Museum. Discover how the prehistoric past, natural environment, and maritime heritage come together to tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. Fascinating exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, live fish and other creatures, and a real lighthouse to tour are engaging for all ages. There are things to see both indoors and out, including beautiful scenic views. And you can bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy by the water. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under.
Later on, celebrate the first night of Chanukah at the National Menorah Lighting on the Ellipse! Along with the lighting, there will be live entertainment, menorah kits and dreidels to take home, and latkes and donuts. All are welcome to the free event, but you need to register for tickets. Gates open at 3pm, festivities begin at 4pm.
Wednesday – Play, learn, and explore at the National Museum of American History! Wegmans Wonderplace, the activity center designed especially for children 0-6 years old, is full of fun and interesting features that cater to curious young visitors. If you’re with older kids, check out the Spark!Lab right next door. Hours at Wegmans Wonderplace are 10am – 4pm, and free admission is on a first come, first served basis, so there may be a short wait to get in. If that’s the case, there’s a whole museum to explore in the meantime!
Thursday – Take little ones to Nook, an indoor play space in Arlington that gets raves for its sweet, calm space and approach. This week, Open Play features Santa’s Workshop with special holiday-inspired programming. Your little elves can make and wrap gifts for family and friends. There will also be a “photo booth”, where they’ll get to play amidst a mountain of gift boxes and you’ll get a sweet holiday photo op, a great alternative for those of us who find mall Santa a little scary. Open Play hours are 9am – 5pm, and you can tack on a class to your session for some learning, too. Admission is $20 for the day, and classes are extra.
Friday – Experience the Imaginary World of the Nutcracker! The new art installation at ARTECHOUSE, an innovative gallery showcasing digital art, engages and enchants as it celebrates the holiday season. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm (21+ 5:30-10:30pm), and tickets are timed entry. Reserve yours in advance because exhibits there always sell out. It runs through January 7, so plan for later if you can’t make it this week. Admission is $15/adult, $8/child.