The Weekend Round-Up: December 6-8

Enchant the fam at Nationals Park

Happy Weekend!

Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through December 29
Admission: Varies by Date, time, and age

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new holiday attraction at Nationals Park — and I think it’s deserving. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays. Purchase tickets here, and read a KFDC review of it, including tips for visiting, if you haven’t already.

Glow with It
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new gorgeous light — literally. Starting Friday, every evening through January 5, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, along the C&O Canal, and more nearby places. Take the family to dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Get a glimpse of a past Glow here.

Museum Story Time
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am
Admission: Free

Join the National Gallery of Art for a morning story time! Together you’ll read a book aloud, move, and play. All ages are welcome, especially the youngest visitors and nursing parents. The featured children’s book will be read in both English and Spanish. Meet in Gallery 39 on the Ground Floor of the West Building. Plan to stay and explore the museum afterward, and while you’re there, check out the museum shop — it’s full of unique items that would make for great holiday gifts!

DIY Holiday Cards
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

What better place to create one-of-a-kind handmade cards to send than the museum all about mail? They provide beautiful holiday stamps from all over the world, along with a variety of crafts supplies to both inspire your creativity and decorate your cards. We’ve been to this event a bunch of times over the years, and it’s always really well-organized and tons of fun. Plan to stay after to tour the exhibits, many of them interactive and interesting for all ages. Read a KFDC write-up about the museum.

Philippines Day
Where: KID Museum | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child (2 adults included)

KID Museum and the Embassy of the Philippines are proud to present the Philippines Day and Ligligan Parul, the Filipino Festival of Light! Bring the entire family to build light-up projects, learn about textiles and woodworking, and enjoy Filipino food and performances. See the website for more details about activities!

Kwaanza Family Day
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but you must register!

Join the National Museum of African American History & Culture to learn about and celebrate Kwanzaa principles like unity, self-determination and creativity through family art projects, joyful music-making and engaging storytelling.  Kids can enjoy a story time with a museum educator, design and make their own quilt patch to tell a story about your family or community, learn the meaning of adinkra symbols and create a colorful adinkra collage, and enjoy music and movement while learning to play a djembe drum! Pre-registration is mandatory for this program.

The Nutcracker Ballet Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays with Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and the Washington Ballet! Join acclaimed Artistic Director Julie Kent as she shares behind-the-scenes stories about how the ballet company puts on their annual performance of The Nutcracker, then enjoy watching dancers perform highlights from this charming Christmas classic. Blending the magical score of Tchaikovsky with scenery that is unmistakably Washington, DC, the Washington Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker has become a must-see tradition. Make a winter-themed craft or go on a scavenger hunt, and indulge in a hot chocolate bar and other tasty treats for purchase from the Courtyard Café. (Note: We attended a similar event a few years ago, and it was such a treat to see the dancers perform literally 10 feet away from us in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard!) See more about the museum here. And after the program, plan to stop by the Downtown Holiday Market for a little browsing and holiday cheer.

Open Studio: Wrap It Up: Holiday Gift Giving
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4
Admission: Free

While you make a furoshiki wrapping cloth, learn how this Japanese tradition can help save money and the environment. Also, enjoy a scavenger hunt to explore our new exhibition Hokusai: Mad about Painting. In the studio, make your own holiday decorations using cloth and woodblock materials. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Gifts That Give Hope Gift Fair
Where: Arlington Science Focus School | Arlington, VA
When: December 7, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

This Fair puts a new spin on gift-giving. The concept is simple: Make a donation to a locally-based nonprofits, personalize a Gifts That Give Hope greeting card for a loved one, and give that act of kindness as a gift. Thanks to generous shoppers, Gifts That Give Hope is supporting acts of kindness around our community and the world this holiday season. Kids can enjoy snacks, coloring, music and activities during the fair while you shop, including interactive demos brought to you by Coder Kids and hands-on cooking provided by Tiny Chefs.

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

ARTECHOUSE will debut this year’s holiday season exhibit on Saturday. Inspired by nature and powered by creative technology, the immersive installation promises to “transform you into a place where the aurora borealis is within reach and winter powers can be found by those who seek them.” At the gallery known for its beautiful interactive digital exhibts, you can shape frost, move light, and let the swirling colors of the northern lights and icy chill of winter spark your imagination. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm. And, FYI: they are offering a 20% discount package for 2 adults + 2 children, Sundays through Thursdays. You can also get a deal through CertifiKid.

Creativity Workshop
Where: The Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child, $15/members ($5/add person)

Let your creativity fly at the Phillips’ new art-making stations — it’s an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! The workshop includes an Artful Wellness Kit for parents and caregivers. Geared toward families with children ages 2 to 8.

Priya and the Lost Girls
Where: Merriweather Arts District | Downtown Columbia, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join the Merriweather Arts District for the premiere of Priya and the Lost Girls, the third installment of Priya’s Shakti, a revolutionary interactive comic book series focusing on gender-equality issues.They’ll have tablets available to interact with Priya as she helps the women of Rahu take their power back. See . the website for details about free workshops for the community and more. Register here to take part in it all. Open to all ages.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting! The Nutcracker at Warner Theatre is DC tradition for audiences of all ages. You can also see one for littles on strings at The Puppet Co. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays
Where: National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $54-114

Ring in the holidays with the mind-blowing spectacular THE ILLUSIONISTS – MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS, showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* See Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy (find discounts)
* The Snow Queen is at Synetic Theatre (find discounts)
* Preposterous! A Happenstance Clown Circus leads this installment of InterAct Story Theatre’s Wheaton Family Theatre Series
* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center (review here, look for tickets here)
* Take the fam to a performance of Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre (find discounts)
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discounts)
* Make it a date night for Dear Jack Dear Louise at Arena Stage (find discounts)

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

For the 49th consecutive year, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will showcase marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert, rain or shine. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

Santa Fly-In
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: December 7, 12-4pm
Admission: $5

This will be an experience to remember as you watch Santa fly into the historic College Park Airport (it’s the world’s oldest continuously operating airport)! Make some holiday arts and crafts, then have your picture taken with Santa Claus after his big flight.

Chanukah Havdalah in Pajamas
Where: Berman Hebrew Academy | Rockville, MD
When: December 7, 6:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Chanukah AND Havdalah in your pajamas with a festive singalong Havdalah service led by Rabbi Uri Topolosky, followed by stories, de-light-ful activities, crafts and snacks. Best for ages 2-8 though all ages are welcome. Please bring good-quality art supplies to be given as holiday gifts to children in shelters. This event is free and brought to you by PJ Library in Greater Washington, Berman Hebrew Academy, Kehilat Pardes and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

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

There’s holiday inspired fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around model train stations at the US Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit. Experience the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2019 Holiday Guide.

Baltimore for a Buck
Where: Around Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $1 or less!

In the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents their annual Dollar or Less Days this weekend when participating attractions will open their doors offering free or $1 admission! The Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery, National Aquarium, Historic Ships of Baltimore, America Visionary Arts Museum, Christmas Village, and more exciting places will be welcoming guests to take advantage. Go here for the full list of participating venues.

Children’s Holiday Wonderland Concert 
Where: Oakton High | 2900 Sutton Road, Oakton, VA
When: Saturday, 10am & 2pm
Admission: $7/advance, $10/at door

The band students of Oakton High want to share their love of music with children throughout the region. Enjoy an interactive holiday concert, specially crafted to keep kids interested and entertained. Listen, clap, and sing along to favorite holiday tunes. Children can create holiday crafts in the Wonderland Workshop. Adults can relax in the Cocoa Cafe and snap that special pic of their child at the Santa Photo Station. Child tickets include one craft and photo op with Santa. Additional crafts will be available for $2 each.  

Tunes 4 Tots
Where: ANXO Cidery | Brightwood, DC
When: Saturday, 10-10:30am
Admission: $10

Bring the kiddos to ANXO Cidery for some musical fun on Saturday morning. Tunes4Tots will be hosting classes there the first Saturday of the month for the next few months. And the restaurant is open to plan to enjoy some Pinxtos and cider, too!

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 4pm (gates open at 3)
Tickets: Free

Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-A-Long is an annual musical celebration hosting a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Parking is free, but limited, so plan on arriving early. Bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a bell for a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” and a candle to join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.”

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays and see the beautifully decorated boats pass by. Get into the spirit as you decorate cookies and craft your own boat. Warm up by the big fire pit and visit the lighted Christmas Tree. Take the kids ice skating, and adults can sample winter drinks at our Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden. Bring the whole fam to meet Santa and make memories during this annual DC tradition!

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

Where: Alexandria City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor will shine as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the 20th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2-8pm in Waterfront Park, including a Letters to Santa postcard station, a holiday craft activity, and a bookmark making station. At 3:30pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Where: Framebridge | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Santa Claus is coming to Framebridge! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the 14th Street store on Sunday. Join them to get a picture taken with Santa and have it framed for Christmas. Kids, adults, and pups are welcome! Your Santa photo can be framed with the purchase of any Framebridge frame, from Instagram-mini and beyond. Sign up to reserve a spot and make sure that Santa knows what’s on your Christmas list. Photos with Santa will be taken in the order guests arrive.

Storytime with Laura Gehl & An Open Book Foundation
Where: Kramerbooks | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

Author Laura Gehl will read her new picture book Except When They Don’t, as well as the first book in her popular Peep and Egg series, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching. There will be games and crafts for kids, as well as the chance to purchase signed books as holiday gifts, or books to donate to An Open Book Foundation. Afterward, stop by the farmers’ market or take advantage of the Christmas tree sale happening just outside.

Great Latke Cookoff!
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: December 8, 2-3pm
Admission: $15/child, $35/family

Join the Hill Center for The Great Latke Cookoff! Mix, peel, cut, and fry (using kid-safe equipment and adult supervision!) to create delicious, sizzling, Chanukah Latkes. Test your cooking skills and have a blast! Space is limited, so make sure to save your spot! For safety, this event is geared for kids ages 6+. Adult admission is included in kid’s ticket.

Kidz Graffiti Party
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30-2pm & 2-3:30pm
Admission: $15

Get messy like a street artist at an Art Jamz Kidz Graffiti Party! Children of all ages are invited to paint their very own masterpieces on the ArtJamz walls. The lounge will be open for accompanying parents and we they’ll be playing jamming tunes to inspire all the little artist. Afterwards, your family can purchase additional studio time and canvas and let your vision come to life off the wall.

Books, Babies and Booze
Where: Pie Shop DC | H Street NE
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

The First Ever (that they know of) national children’s book tour at kid-friendly breweries will be at Pie Shop!
Alex Kack #greenshirtguy will be the special guest doing an advanced reading of “Mommy Didn’t Say That.” (Their upcoming parody book for parents will be released in 2020. Author Allison McGill will read her book, “The Adventures of Duke, The Therapy Dog: Duke Finds A Home.” They’ll also have a Temporary Tattoo Station, Coloring Station, Play Area, and DIY photo booth for kids.Books are available for purchase and signed by the authors. (Wearing a green shirt and save $1.) And you can get pictures with special guest, Alex Kack!

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location

Take a drive or a stroll through one of the many light displays in the area. The twinkling exhibits feature all kinds of delightful, festive scenes –holiday faves, animals, gardens, and the landscape illuminated in brilliant colors. You can find details for all of them in the 2018 Holiday Guide.

Nature’s Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the warm indoors at a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer lots of cool exhibits along with fun programs. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Rock Creek in Northwest DC, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, MD, Potomac Overlook and Long Branch in Arlington, and Brookside in Wheaton all have live creatures, interesting exhibits, and hands-on activities. Check to see if any special programs are going on, too!

Out & About
Where: Around the DMZ
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It looks like there will be sunshine to soak up this weekend, so bundle up and get outside! There are loads of ways to enjoy the outdoors around the area, no matter what the temps (and they won’t even by that bad this weekend). See The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids for ideas on where to have al fresco adventures.

* The 2019 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has ideas for what to give peops of all ages at all price points (even free!), from theatre tickets to kids’ products to unique experiences to gifts that give back.
* If there’s any great time to start using Rakuten (formerly eBates), it’s now when you’re likely doing a lot of online shopping — you can get cash back for just about every purchase you make.
* Our whole family loved this dish.
* Not in the gift guide, but this could be ideal for someone who loves to read.
* My latest IG obsession.
* What an incredible treat this was…and this is awesome, too.
* A decade ❤️


December 5, 2019 · 5:10 pm

2 Responses to The Weekend Round-Up: December 6-8

  1. Tralonne

    We LOVE this site and rely on your weekend list of activities! This weekend we will be busy exploring the NMAAHC Kwanzaa program, Gifts that Give Hope at Arlington, and ending the day the Festival of Lights at Watkins Park.

  2. Andrew Kanarek

    Definitely going to the Chanukah Havdalah in Pajamas tonight — Thank you for being our consistent go-to spot for what to do on the weekends.

    Winning tix to the Fiddler on the Roof would be an awesome Chanukah miracle!

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