The Weekend Round-Up: November 26-28

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick & easy links to ideas for all kinds of family activities:
* 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

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This initiative started by REI a few years ago was so good it became one of the most popular hashtags… Skip the Black Friday shopping (or do it off-hours online) and get out to enjoy some family QT outdoors. You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with loads of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through December 29
Admission: $29-39/adult, $29/child, free 2 & under

The bedazzling holiday attraction is back at Nationals Park starting this weekend!  There was a ton of buzz about it during its inaugural run in 2019, and I thought it was deserving. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays.  Read a KFDC review of it, including tips for visiting (that still apply this year). Purchase tickets here, and note there are some discounts for seniors, military, and EMS.

FUTURES
Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building just reopened with a new fascinating exhibition, to boot!  FUTURES spans 32,000 square feet inside, and it’s full of large-scale installations, displays, and interactives that are exciting, powerful, and thought-provoking as they offer a glimpse of future possibilities — and prompt us to wonder how we can contribute. It’s an exhibition for everyone and all ages, and one to put on your must-visit list! Get a glimpse of it here.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $15/age 2+

It’s Hanukkah on strings at The Puppet Co.! Hershel just wants to celebrate Hanukkah with the community, but the Queen and King of the Goblins have forbidden the lighting of the candles. Can Hershel save the day and lift the curse for this shtetl (village)? (Note that there will be a special 7pm performance on Sunday for the first night of Hanukkah!)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: Through December 5
Tickets: $54-114 (look for discount)

In this holiday musical, sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville for the timeless story of the true meaning of Christmas. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday-loving Whos. It’s been a Broadway hit hailed as an “extraordinary performance” by the New York Times!

More 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, there is a lot to choose from! Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages. And you can catch a puppet version at The Puppet Co.   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 all of these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in the DC Area.

Science Adventures
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $29.95/adult, $19.95/child

The Maryland Science Center recently unveiled its new human body exhibit, You — The Inside Story. The 12,000-square-foot experience includes 35 hands-on activities that are the hallmark of the Science Center’s brand of informal science education. There are even more fascinating exhibits to check out — read all about the museum in this KFDC post. And for more Baltimore attraction, including food recs, that are great for families, see this guide to exploring Charm City.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

If you’re specifically seeking indoor fun or just want ideas for extra activities, there are plenty of options for things to do inside. This post has info on what’s open when, along with links for more about the places and Covid policies. Some specific recs for this weekend: Explore the STEAM inspired exhibits at the National Children’s Museum, wander among the works at the National Gallery of Art, scale the colorful walls at ClimbZone, go bowling and enjoy a family meal at Pinstripes.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Through December 31, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $26/adult, $13/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate, where the holidays are full of delight  It’s open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. There are also Candlelight Tours on Saturday & Sunday, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Christmas at Gaylord National
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free, though some activities cost extra

The Gaylord National Hotel at National Harbor goes all out during the holidays — and it all starts this weekend. The atrium of the resort is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a spectacular glass Christmas tree, nightly tree lightings, the Potomac Express train offering rides for guests, photo ops with Santa, indoor snowfalls, fountain shows, and more. (Read about a KFDC experience there during a Christmas season past.) This year there will also be Ice Bumper Cars, a Snow Factory “Snowball Build & Blast,” The Greatest Story Stage Show, and the #LIT Holiday Light Show.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions over the next few days should be great for outdoor ice skating. Many ice rinks have already opened for the season, and Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood will be joining starting Friday.  See this post for details on all of the places you can glide the day (and night) away!

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DMV
When: Saturday
Admission: Free, but plan to buy & support local

If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend, make a point of going to local, independent stores, both to score great, unique gifts and to support people and places that help make our communities thrive. The KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has all kinds of suggestions for gifts from many local businesses.

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s still some autumn splendor left to enjoy. With pleasant temps and foliage still brightening the landscape, this weekend will be a good time to relish in the season. This post has recommendations for where to savor it around the area.

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Several parks and gardens in the area have transformed into 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 — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

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

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

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

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, there are also latkes and donuts. Tickets are free, but you need to reserve them in advance through the website.

Chanukah, Oh Chanukah…
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There are even more Chanukah happenings starting on Sunday, the first night of the holiday. From menorah lightings to theatre productions to a firetruck parade, there are all kinds of community events to celebrate the Festival of Lights. See them all in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* As we head into the giving season, you may be looking for ways for your family to give back, too. The KFDC post about volunteer opportunities around the area for kids has info on where and how to do that.
* The National Building Museum is hosting Gingerbread Workshops on December 4. Space is limited, so register soon!
* Chess, anyone? Silver Knights, which runs chess programs for kids, has a special Cyber Monday offer going on now through November 29!
* Starting in March 2022, the National Air & Space Museum will close for about six months for renovations, so get a visit in before then!
* Recipes for Hanukkah (PS: I highly recommend a subscription to NY Times Cooking as a gift — for yourself or someone else!)
* My favorite family board game… planning to get another version of it this year!
* Black Friday shopping tips. 😉

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