The Weekend Round-Up: December 20-22

Biking the “Lightbattle” at Georgetown Glow


Happy Weekend! And Happy Chanukah to all celebrating on Sunday!

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

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 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. (PS: Adventure Theatre has a special promo going on: Use the code 5OFF to save $5 on tickets for select dates, including this Saturday at 11am!)

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.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Where: MGM | National Harbor, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday (& Monday)
Tickets: $32-99+ (find discount)

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2019 holiday season with its popular and electrifying stage spectacular. Over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s in a 2 hour breathtaking spectacle. Audiences of all ages will marvel at soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats and extravagant theatrical production numbers.

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

There’s so much holiday fun to be had around DC, and at every price point. Celebrate Christmas at Mount Vernon, Prez George’s old digs. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Ride the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Check out the various activities at National Harbor. Find details on all of these events and many more in the 2019 Holiday Guide.

Georgetown Glow
Where: Around the Georgetown neighborhood, DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new, cool light — literally. Georgetown Glow has the neighborhood sparkling with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists are on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including Georgetown Waterfront Park, on 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 light show here.

Star Wars Nerf Nights
Where: Badlands Playspace | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, 5:30-8pm
Admission: $30/child includes dinner buffet

Badlands invites kids ages 7+ to join them for an evening of team based challenges. Participants are encouraged to bring the blaster of their choosing and protective eye wear. Badlands will provide the foam darts, a complimentary dinner for the kids, and FUN! PS: Be on the lookout for more weekly themed Nerf nights, including Pokemon, Fortnite, Superheros, and much more.

Miracle on 8th Street
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission:

Celebrate the season at the Miracle Theater (located on 8th Street SE) as they show holiday movie classics all weekend. Among the films they’re screening: The Polar Express, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, and A Christmas Story. Visit the website for showtimes and to purchase tickets online.

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

Perfectly timed for the movie about to open… Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Little Women author Louisa May Alcott 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 and the museum, see this post and this one. And before or after your museum visit, plan to stop by the Downtown Holiday Market for some holiday shopping and cheer!

Hirshhorn/DRAW
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-3pm
Admission: Free

Join a free gallery sketching session that pairs an artwork with a drawing exercise. Throughout December, look closely and sketch Sieves in Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection. No prior drawing or art experience needed. All ages are welcome. Just drop by, pick up a pencil and a clipboard, and draw!

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

* Reserve free tickets for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* 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
* Spend Saturday morning with the Great Zucchini at Jammin Java
* 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)

Fun on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Celebrate the winter solstice weekend with a quintessential seasonal activity — ice skating! Head outside if weather permits: Glide above the Potomac at The Wharf; enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or do some shopping along with your skating at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. If it’s raining, take it indoors at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in DC, Cabin John or Herbert Wells Ice Rinks in Maryland, or MedStar Ice Arena in Ballston. This post has details on all these ice skating options in the area.

Light the Way
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.

Hoops-de-doo
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college basketball action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to watch this weekend:
* George Washington women vs James Madison on Friday at 7pm
* George Mason women vs Howard on Saturday at 12pm
* George Washington men vs Harvard on Saturday at 12pm
* Georgetown men vs Samford on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs UMBC on Saturday at 4pm
* American women vs GWU on Sunday at 2pm
* Howard men vs Harvard on Sunday at 2pm

Christmas Caroling
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy music from strolling Christmas carolers and a meet-and-greet with Santa and one of his elves! Plan on dinner while you’re there — you have your pick of places (Lupo Marino is our family’s fave).

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).

Story Time
Where: Kramerbooks | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

Take a break from your day and stop by Story Time at Kramers! Staff will feature a children’s book and host various fun activities for your little ones. They’ll watch your kids while you grab a coffee (or, if you have a cranky two-year-old, a mimosa) from the café. All ages welcome! (And FYI, this occurs every Sunday and Wednesday.)

National Menorah Lighting
Where: President’s Park | The National Ellipse, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free, but you must request tickets

This is the Jewish counterpart to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Every Chanukah, the National Menorah is lit in a ceremony on the Ellipse. Along with the lighting, there will be live entertainment, plus menorah kits and dreidels to take home. And if you don’t mind waiting in line afterward, you can stay for latkes and donuts. Tickets are free, but you need to order them in advance through the website.

Menorah Lighting
Where: Bethesda Row | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Join Bethesda Row to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah with Chabad of Bethesda and light up the menorah on the first night of the Festival of Lights. Enjoy the annual menorah lighting, plus live music and entertainment, food and drink, giveaways, and fun for the whole family.

Chanukah on Ice
Where: Pentagon Row Ice Rink | Pentagon City, VA
When: Sunday, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $10-$13

Celebrate Chanukah with a giant menorah lighting, holiday treats, raffles, and ice skating! Ice skate rentals are included, but food will be sold separately — hot latkes, Kosher hot dogs, and refreshments will be available.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Planning your Winter Break in DC? Be sure to check out this just posted KFDC Guide.
* If you’re looking for last minute holiday gifts, the KFDC Gift Guide has lots of suggestions for experiences around the area that you can buy with just a few clicks as well as some gift ideas that are totally free!
* And here’s one more. (I got it for my kids and know they’re going to dig it!)
* Heads up: Registration for free Family Workshops (for ages 8-11) at the National Gallery of Art will open January 3.
* Movie rec: Marriage Story on Netflix. It’s real and raw and so terrifically acted.
* And to balance things out, this holiday series, also on Netflix, is funny and sweet (and for adults).
* A really great “Best of 2019.”


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

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