The Weekend Round-Up: November 19-21

Fall on the National Mall at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

 

Happy Weekend!

Link up to these KFDC posts with family fun ideas galore:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Autumn Activities
* Ice Skating
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Skate Under the Sky — on the National Mall
Where: National Gallery of Art Ice Rink | National Mall, DC
When: Opens Friday (t
hrough Mid-March)
Admission: $10/age 13+ , $9/under 13 & seniors

The National Gallery of Art Ice Rink located outdoors in the museum’s Sculpture Garden opens on Friday!  If there is one quintessential DC ice skating experience, this is it (imo).  I mean, you’re gliding at a locale right on the National Mall surrounded by big, fantastic art installations with iconic sights and places nearby.  How cool is that?  Even better, all skaters get free hot cocoa during this opening weekend, and admission gets you two 45-minute sessions.  Make a day of it with time on the ice, visit a museum (or two…or more), and stop by the US Botanic Garden to see the delightful holiday train display.  And for more area places to skate the day (and night) away, see this post with all the details you need to get gliding.

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

Do some holiday shopping and enjoy a festive time downtown at what, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always an excellent variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the city 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. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And 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 right next to the market.

FUTURES Opening Festival
Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian’s Arts & Industries Building is reopening with a groundbreaking new museum experience “FUTURES.”   A free opening festival this weekend includes live-streamed activities on Friday,  in-person activities on Saturday, and a public concert that evening.  On Sunday, “FUTURES Remixed” is day for the littlest future-makers, welcoming families of all types for fun, pop-up, guided activities and bite-size experiences celebrating the everyday magic of futures ahead of everyone. The day includes “FUTURES” Roulette tours, robot races, craft making, and more!

DC Holiday Lights
Where: Main Streets Around DC
When: Opens Friday (through January 6)
Admission: Free

During the holiday season, Main Streets throughout the District are joining together to bring DC residents a spectacular holiday experience: DC Holiday Lights! Take a stroll down each of the participating corridors to experience a dazzling array of lights and decor, enjoy holiday promotions, and shop local. Visit the website to see where corridors are located and what to expect at each of them.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Where: Silver Plaza | Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The streets are being overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and reindeer! No, the zoo hasn’t opened their gates — it’s the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade! With marching bands, Latin dancing groups, floats, giant characters and balloons, and more, the procession is the only Thanksgiving Parade in the DC Metro area. Held in downtown Silver Spring, it traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season. The parade steps off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and proceeds south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.

Tinsel!
Where:  Loudoun County, VA
When: Opens Friday (through January 22)
Admission: $28 (look for discount)

It’s a bit of a haul from DC, but if you’re up for a drive, this new holiday attraction in Loudoun County opens this weekend.  The fully interactive winter destination is an outdoor festival with a unique collection of light displays, entertainment, fun activities for all ages, and food and drinks from popular area food trucks and Loudoun County’s wineries and breweries.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: A few local theaters
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices Vary

Several holiday productions for kids are opening this weekend — Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins at The Puppet Co., Winterfest at Adventure Theatre, and Encore Stage and Studio’s Enchanted Bookshop Christmas at Gunston Performing Arts Center. Follow the show links for more details and tickets, and see all of the holiday-themed live entertainment coming to local stages throughout the season here!

Holiday Market & Festive Fun
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts | Germantown, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 10pm
Admission: Free
Join BlackRock Center for the Arts at its all day (and evening) outdoor holiday market plucked right out of a European folktale!  Even better, it will be followed by a live indoor concert of jazzy holiday standards with the Eric Byrd Trio at 8pm. Food, games, photos with Santa, holiday music, crafts, games, and surprises, this festive season kickoff only needs one thing — your family — to complete its winter wonderland magic.

Pickles Fall Consignment Sale
Where: Stoddert Elementary | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Pickles DC, the kids consigment shop inthe city, is having its final sale of the season. Shop outerwear, boots, party dresses, and much more on Saturday morning. Everything must go, so you’ll find great deals! Sizes range fro newborn to 12 years old. Stoddert ES is located at 4001 Calvert St NW.

Go Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out for a family walk in the woods! Peep the autumn leaves before they’re all gone, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for great places to go with kids. A few recs for right now: National Arboretum in DC, Prince William Forest Park and Pohick Bay Regional Park in NoVa, and Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland.

Two-Wheel Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get in family bike rides before it gets too cold. (Sure, you can ride in all temps, but there’s bound to be less complaining now.) Cruise along paths lined with fall foliage, get some exercise, and have a ton of fun. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this particular route is ideal for the whole crew.

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The trees may be starting to lose their leaves, but there’s still plenty of autumn left in the area — and a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has recommendations for where to savor the season around the DMV.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards are playing on home court on Saturday evening, and you can watch them take on the Heat in person. Plan on a pre-game dinner dinner in Penn Quarter, where there are a bunch of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Shake Shack, and Clyde’s. Find tickets here.

(W)Hoop It Up!
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The college basketball season just started, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on — and it’s also a good time for families. Here are some games you can catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Hofstra on Friday at 6:30pm (Go, Terps!)
* GW men vs. UMass Lowell on Friday at 7pm
* Georgetown Men vs Siena on Friday at 6:30pm
* Georgetown Women vs Columbia on Sunday at 2pm
* Maryland women vs Baylor on Sunday at 6:30pm (Go, Terps!)

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite.  A few opened last weekend, and  Brookside’s Garden of Lights, Cameron Run’s Ice & Lights, and Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park  are also now welcoming guests to their sparkling wonderlands.  Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate. Either way, be prepared to be dazzled! (View scenes from one of our visits to Brookside, it’s a KFDC fave!)

Give Thanks Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Through November 30
Admission: $35

Have fun searching for Thanksgiving themed items found only at The Mansion on O Street, one of the quirkiest, coolest places in the city. This includes a self-guided tour of the many themed rooms and secret doors. Bring your own shopping bags — everything is for sale! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

We’ve Got Spirit (in the Finals), Yes We Do!
Where: metrobar DC | Brentwood, DC & National Harbor, MD
When: Saturday, 12pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Spirit are playing in the NWSL championship game in Louisville! There are two official watch party locations for fans to cheer them on from DC (and nearby). Catch the match at metrobar DC in Petworth. Or watch it by the on the jumbo screen located on the plaza at National Harbor.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure


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:
Inside Info
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids


***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The just-posted 2021 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has ideas for presents for all ages at all price points (even free!), from theatre tickets to unique adventures to independent shops to membership ops — just about all of them DC-centric.
* If there’s any great time to start using Rakuten, it’s this time of year when you’re likely doing a lot of online shopping — you can get cash back for just about every purchase you make!
* A few things I should add to the gift guide: This, this, and this.
* Kids’ reactions to getting vaccinated.
* An interesting read.
* Tiny Love Stories
* Haha.

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