The Weekend Round-Up: December 22-24

It’s a holiday weekend, and most of the special events and activities happening around town reflect that. But if you’re looking for more ways to enjoy the next few days, check out the Everyday Play page with details on all kinds of ongoing fun around DC. Merry Weekend!

Winter Days & Nights on the Farm
Where: Ticonderoga Farm | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday & Saturday, 10am – 4pm & 5-9pm
Admission: $11.95/age 2+

The annual winter festival at Ticonderoga Farm 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. Stay into the evening to enjoy a special hay ride to view holiday lights . Read more about the winter fun at Ticonderoga in this post about one of our experiences there.

Christmas Eve Breakfast Tour
Where: The Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday
Admission: $39

They deck the halls and fill the stockings with seasons greetings and holiday cheer that will create lasting memories for the entire family at the Mansion on O Street! Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast (sweet breads, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate) then tour the wonderful themed rooms and search for secret doors. Be sure to bring your own shopping bags — everything is for sale! See more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction this KFDC post.

Christmas Caroling
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy the sounds of the season, featuring the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, and join in as they sing holiday songs to spread the Christmas spirit all along the waterfront. While you’re there, treat yourself to s’mores at the fire pit, visit the lighted Christmas Tree, and go for a spin in the ice rink.

Waterskiing Santa
Where: Old Town Alexandria, VA
Admission: Free

Watch Santa have some fun before his big night out, as he water skis his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all for free from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria starting at 1pm sharp – the best viewing spots will be Founders to Waterfront Parks.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Get into the holiday spirit the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. Enjoy Christmas at Mount Vernon with fireworks and more festivities. Ride the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Enjoy an atrium full of activities for little ones at Christmas on the Potomac. View holiday planes and trains at the Aviation Museum. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

Imaginary World of the Nutcracker
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 7
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child

Since ARTECHOUSE opened this past June, the gallery has been bringing us art experiences that are beautiful, innovative, immersive through the fusion of art and technology. The newest holiday season exhibition, “Imaginary World of the Nutcracker,” follows suit with an installation that engages and enchants. You can view Nutcracker scenery projects on walls, manipulate light and color with your own movements, and look for magical surprises throughout. Bring the kids during daytime hours 10am – 5pm, but I also recommend this for an adult outing 5:30-10:30pm or 11:30pm when special cocktails (and some extra magic) are served, too!

Portrait Story Days & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Susan B. Anthony and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program, see this post about one of our experiences there.

Make Morning: Trace
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In celebration of Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn, builders and makers of all ages are welcome to join the Hirshhorn on Saturday mornings in December for hands-on activities related to the exhibit. Check out a kit and create portraits in the exhibit galleries. Bring your youngest artists for a special Saturday edition of STORYTIME (then stay and play). Complete a 2D portrait of selected subjects featured in Trace using LEGOS® as a medium. Join in a collaborative 3D portrait challenge. And so you don’t go home empty-handed, jump in a photobooth, and create your own portrait to take home!

Race to the Moon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15

Smithsonian TechQuest: Race to the Moon is a FREE alternate reality game at the Chantilly arm of Air & Space. Set in the thrilling era of early spaceflight, the game explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts. Your mission in this installment: Develop a rocket to launch into space, travel over 200,000 miles to the Moon, and land safely. It is 1969 and national pride and prestige are on the line. The United States is in a tight race with the Soviet Union to see who can be the first to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. NASA needs engineers and scientists with real problem-solving skills.

Holiday Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Much of the live entertainment on local stages right now is holiday-inspired.
Have fun at Adventure Theatre with Frosty the Snowman. See the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. SantaLand Diaries at Drafthouse Comedy Theater makes for a great and hilarious KidFree outing. Get details on these shows and others in the 2017 Holiday Guide.

Show Time
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

For live entertainment without all the seasonal trimmings, there are a variety of productions running right now.
* Hansel & Gretel is a lovely wordless show for all ages at Synetic Theatre and closes after Saturday.
* Charlotte’s Web is on the Imagination Stage.
* Kids’ fave Annie is at Olney Theatre.
* Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage is a moving and powerful show that teens and up will appreciate.
* An American in Paris is here in DC at the Kennedy Center
* Les Misérables just opened at National Theatre
* Theatre J presents The Last Night of Ballyhoo

See the Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks (or the National Zoo or Mormon Temple) 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. Either way, expect to be dazzled.

* Trying to plan your Winter Break in DC? This just posted KFDC Guide should have you covered.
* There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a 4-Pack of Tickets to see Michael Carbonaro perform his family-friendly show at DAR Constitution Hall on New Year’s Eve!
* Looking for live entertainment with kiddos in the new year? Go Around the World in 80 Days with The American Pops!
* Still finishing up holiday shopping? Check out the KFDC Gift Guide for all kinds of ideas, many that you can easily buy with the click of your mouse!
* No Monsters in My Bed also has some great suggestions for last minute presents.

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