The Weekend Round-Up: December 12-15

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE is one of many cool activities to enjoy this weekend


Happy Weekend!

Holiday Meetup
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Thursday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Join neighbors for an evening at Light Yards made especially for the Capitol Riverfront community! Stroll through the interactive light show, then pick up swag at the Capitol Riverfront BID tent before heading over to Ice Cream Jubilee for complimentary hot cocoa and Steadfast Supply for holiday cookies and a 10% discount on purchases.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

I love this holiday market. 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. Even better, 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 the backdrop to the market.

Wreaths Across America
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, opens 7am, wreath placing 9:15am
Admission: Free

This is a chance for the whole family to volunteer. Help place Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There is no sign-up or age requirement — families are encouraged to volunteer together. Be sure to visit the website for details, including schedule and meeting location. Read about more family-friendly volunteer opportunities around the DC area.

EdFEST
Where: DC Armory| Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the city’s many public school PK3-12 options for your child. Representatives from DC public schools (DCPS) and DC public charter schools will showcase their programs, just in time to help you make informed school selections for the 2019-20 school year common lottery. The event will also feature many free services and fun activities for the whole family, including games and entertainment; sports activities; story time; and flu shots, immunizations, and dental services.

Smithsonian Winter Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian Castle | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Kick off this holiday season with a special Family Day at the Smithsonian Castle, where there will be special holiday-themed activities for visitors of all ages including. Join a Holiday Story Time at 10:30am and 1pm. Create your own air plant seasonal ornaments. Customize a letter to Santa, or a holiday haiku with the help of poets from Ars Poetica. Take a pis at a special photo station with a holiday backdrop and props. Enjoy musical performances by Chord of Appeals A Cappella and the Capitol Hill Chorale, and take a Castle Tour at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

Holiday Movie Classics
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission:

Celebrate the season at the Miracle Theater as they show holiday classics all weekend. And on Saturday you can join the The Polar Express Pajama Party at 11am, when you can catch a screening of the film (in PJ’s), then enjoy a visit from Santa. Visit the website to see times and titles of the rest of the movies playing there.

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout 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, including a new botanical inspired National Museum of African American History & Culture. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s America’s Gardens-themed exhibit features structures from botanical gardens across the US. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this KFDC post.

Enchant
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.

Ice Maze
Where: CityCenterDC | Downtown DC
When: Friday, 4-9pm & Saturday/Sunday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: Free

Get lost in the a-MAZE-ing, magic of the holidays with CityCenterDC’s icy tradition. This year, CityCenterDC is building the largest clear ice maze in the United States built with 110,000 pounds of ice. Washingtonians will not want to escape the towering seven foot walls of this chilly challenge.

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

The winter exhibit at ARTECHOUSE celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the aurora borealis. It consists of one large-scale and several smaller light art installations, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Young Learner Tour
Where: Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Children ages 3 to 6 (and their adults) will get their little bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making, and mouths talking about works of art as they go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection. This “Spotting Shapes and Looking for Lines” themed session will incorporate a variety of fun, hands-on activities for children as they also learn about the museum and how to practice museum manners. FYI: Walk-ins are limited, but you can always stay to tour the museum if it’s full.

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.

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

* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy is a magical experience (find discounts)
* See The Snow Queen at Synetic Theatre (find discounts)
* Take littles to see Art on the Horizon’s Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop
* 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)
* Take t(w)eens and older to see Fiddler on the Roof at National Theatre
* Make it a date night for Dear Jack Dear Louise at Arena Stage (find discounts)

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through the holiday season
Tickets: Vary by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit of the season, there’s plenty of it! Stomp along at Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show at the Atlas. There are several versions of The Nutcracker, including one on strings. storybook classics like The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Catch An Irish Carol opening this weekend at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Winter Open House
Where: Excel Prep Preschool Academy | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Excel Preparatory Preschool Academy, a new STEAM preschool that just opened in Alexandria, is hosting an Open House on Saturday. Along with guided tours of the school, there will be Tunes 4 Tots music sessions, speech screenings, Harambee with Baba Ras D, photos, and more.

Shop the Square Holiday Market
Where: District Square at The Wharf | Southwest DC
When:Saturday & Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Admission: Free

Sip, shop, and get ready for the holidays. For two days, District Square at is being transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with live music, a hot drinks bar, and a great selection of gifts and goods from the merchants in the square. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will also be special hands-on classes like gingerbread decorating, jewelry making, and a terrarium workshop — details and registration here

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Where: Episcopal Church of the Redeemer | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 3:30-5pm
Admission: $25/adult, free for kids

Enjoy the classic Snoopy movie on the big screen with movie food – followed by the Eric Byrd Trio’s own take on the music from the show in a live jazz set. Suitable for all ages. Kids go free.

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at the Park’s annual Winter’s Eve event. Enjoy free activities including holiday crafts, sing-alongs, story-telling, open studios, and a hot chocolate bar. Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show and artist studios.

Christmas is Afoot
Where: Christ Crossman | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

This Christmas season take a walk through historic Bethlehem! On Saturday, December 14 from 4:00-7:00 PM, Christ Crossman United Methodist Church (384 N Washington St, Falls Church) will open its doors to the community. Christmas is Afoot is a family friendly event with a petting zoo and live nativity. Inside, children will enjoy craft stations and can participate in a service project assembling Power Packs for students in need through Food for Others. Live Christmas music and carols from members of the George Mason High School band, warm cider and hot chocolate. This event is free and open to all!

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

Get into the holiday spirit in all kinds of ways at every price point. Enjoy Christmas at Mount Vernon with fireworks and more. Go see the National Christmas Tree and holiday display on the Ellipse. Join the Russian Winter Festival at Hillwood. Enjoy the free WinterFest in Occoquan. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2019 Holiday Season Guide.

Open Studio & Ceramics Sale
Where: Hollow Works Studio | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Shop for one-of-a-kind ceramics in the artist’s studio! Kate Hardy of Hollow Works Ceramics creates and sells beautiful, unique work — bowls, mugs, vases, and more — that would make perfect holiday presents. In addition to showcasing a lot of new work, she’ll be clearing her studio of a year’s worth of seconds. Seconds are pieces with minor flaws, like glaze imperfections or warping. Seconds are also leftovers from commissions or experiments that just don’t fit in with the rest of her work that she sells for heavily discounted prices. There will be some serious deals to be had. The studio is located in the alley right off of 7th and H Streets NE (803 7th St NE). Rain or shine, and kids are welcome!

Jumanjii Virtual Experience
Where: The Void | Tysons Corner, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $34.95/age 10+

The immersive virtual reality experience “Jumanji: Reverse the Curse gives” fans the ability to truly enter another game, taking on the form of its heroes, Dr. Bravestone, Ruby Roundhouse, Professor Oberon and “Mouse” Finbar, to save Jumanji from a new dark and mysterious villain. Fans will be enlisted on a daring quest to rescue the Scepter of Se’payu containing the Red Jewel of Jumanji and return it to the temple from which it was stolen. Pulled into the perils of Jumanji, players face challenges just like those that the avatars face in the movie – evading man-eating wildlife, navigating across treacherous landscape, battling evil henchmen – to survive and return to real life. Watch the trailer and reserve tickets here.

Chalkboard Menorah Workshop
Where: Homedepot
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Get into the Chanukah spirit! Join us at the Home Depot for an exciting workshop — make your very own Chalkboard Menorah! You can also play Dreidel and eat some Chanukah gelt. Free and fun for the whole family. Register in advance here.

Men’s World Squash Team Championship
Where: Squash on Fire | Downtown DC
When: Sunday (through December 21)
Admission: Tickets start at $25

The most renowned men’s squash tournament in the world is coming to U.S. December 15-21, for the first time ever in its 50 year history! This event attracts the top talent from around the world to compete on an international stage. All eyes will be on the nation’s capital when 23 countries from nearly every continent descend upon its host facility, Squash On Fire, the first state-of-the art squash facility in Washington, DC, to compete for the ultimate title. This includes Team USA, who will compete in the championship on their home turf for the first time ever. All are welcome to spectate — this is a great opportunity for kids to be exposed to a fun new sport on the highest level.

Night 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, Mormon Temple, or Georgetown) 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.

Kwanzaa Celebration – Family Series
Where: Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Tickets: $15-30, kids free with adult

Welcome the holiday season with Dance Place’s annual Kwanzaa Celebration! Gather family and friends to join Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Note: This takes place on Saturday, too, but during the Family Series on Sunday, you can get 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult!

DC, Inside & Out

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure


There’s both rain and sunshine in this weekend’s forecast, plus more options for fun things to do with the kids are never a bad thing. If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:

The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids


***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new round-up of live entertainment on local stages this winter — see what’s coming, and reserve your seats. And, remember, these could make for fantastic holiday gifts!
* There are two KFDC Facebook giveaways running through Friday: Enter to win tickets to The Washington Chorus’ Candlelight Christmas family show and walk-thru admission for 4 to Merriweather’s Symphony of Lights.
* We’ve seen a couple of good PG13 movies recently: Ford v Ferrari is interesting and inspirational. Knives Out is a super fun and quirky murder mystery.
* Both of my kids are getting this super cool, very practical, and fairly inexpensive holiday gift.
* Any guesses why I love this artwork so much?
* Go, Greta and USWNT and Lizzo!
* The year in photos.
* For something feel-good, watch this. Ellen is the absolute best.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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