The Weekend Round-Up: December 10-12

The Downtown Holiday Market sparkles in the evening


Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts for all kinds of ongoing and seasonal local activities:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Autumn Activities
* Ice Skating
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Holiday Drive-In: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Where: Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free ($20/car donation suggested)

Catch a family holiday movie from the comfort of your car! The Capitol Riverfront BID is presenting a festive flick at the drive-in on Friday. See The Muppet Christmas Carol this week, and enjoy some holiday treats, too. (Love Actually next Friday Kilwins, one of the Wharf restaurants, will be onsite selling hot chocolate, popcorn, candy, and other goodies! These drive-in movies are free to attend with registration, but movie-goers are encouraged to make a $20 donation to DC Central Kitchen.

Victura Park Winter Holiday Market
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, 4-9pm | Saturday & Sunday, 12-9pm.
Admission: Free

The grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center are always great for hanging out on weekends. Victura Park, the family-friendly wine and beer garden + cafe on premises, offers snack and sips that you can enjoy at picnic tables in pretty areas. This weekend it gets festive as they bring back the Holiday Market featuring a line-up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up. Make a day of it shopping, noshing, sipping… and enjoying the gorgeous rounds including the KC Terrace and Plaza we well as the scenic river views!

More Market-ing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by market

Add some fun to your holiday shopping! What might be a stressful activity for many this time of year, can actually be good time for you and the kids — if you know where to go. Many local holiday markets offer more than the standard browse-and-buy. Live entertainment, yummy treats, fun activities, and the chance to shop outdoors in a festive atmosphere will keep your inner-Scrooge at bay as you pick out perfect gifts for all. Along with Victura Park, the Downtown Holiday Market, Old Town Christmas Market, and Eastern Market are a few running this weekend (and beyond), and you can find details for all of them in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

Story Time with Santa
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free, but register ahead

Santa Claus is coming to town to spread holiday cheer! He’ll be visiting The Boro to read some of your favorite holiday stories. Join to meet Santa, warm up with a Hot Cocoa Bar, and get in the spirit of the season. While you’re there, stop by the pop-up bookstore hosted by Turning the Page from 10am – 3pm to find perfect gifts for everyone! (PS: The Boro will be collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Guests are invited to bring a toy to this event for donation.)

Happy Trails
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Warmer temps will make it a perfect time to hit the trail with the fam! Savor the time in nature, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a bunch of recommendations for great places to go with kids.  A few specific suggestions for this weekend: Riverbend to Great FallsPatapsco Valley State Park, drive out to Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area, or stay closer to home at Greenbelt Park.

The Polar Express Pajama Party
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $6

Sip some hot chocolate in your PJ’s while watching the holiday classic, The Polar Express. The film is an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

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! Courderoy opens at Imagination Stage.  Adventure Theatre and The Puppet Co. have performances especially for little ones. Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages.  Cinderella is sweeping across the Synetic Theatre stage. 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.

Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Through December 19
Tickets: $25-45 

This one deserves its own listing because it’s a fave: Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is the most vibrant holiday celebration in town (and we know from many years’ experience!) This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The internationally renowned percussive dance company has created a contemporary holiday tradition at the Atlas, featuring friendly, furry characters, fun photo ops, and a festive dance party.

Once Upon a One More Time
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 9
Admission: $82-145 | Find Discount

This fantastic show presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company before it heads to Broadway undoes classic fairytales as it empowers the princesses in them — all to the tune of Britney Spears’ music! It’s a fun and funny, pop-fueled show with entertaining song and dance numbers, stellar performances, and a great message, to boot. And seeing it on the heels of Britney being freed from her conservatorship adds a little extra something. Its run has just been extended to January 9, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out! I’d recommend the show for tween ages and up.

Nursery School Open House
Where: River Park Nursery School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Are you looking for the quintessential nursery school experience for your child? RPNS is a morning program for your 3-5 year old with a small teacher to student ratio. It is a warm and welcoming community. Bring your child to an Open House on Saturday to talk with current families, meet their amazing teacher Ms. Erin, and see the learning space. The RPNS program is designed to encourage individual growth, in a pro-social environment, and to foster exploration, creativity and good work habits through the experience of shared value and citizenship, all under the guidance of highly qualified professional instructors. Sign up in advance for an Open House time slot. (Note: There will also be one on January 15 from 10am – 12pm.)

A Little Christmas in The Little City
Where: Christ Crossman Church | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Christ Crossman Church is once again hosting its annual holiday event that is fun for all and helps others. Family-friendly and outdoors, it features a live petting zoo, holiday craft stations, food trucks, and hot chocolate around fire pits.  Kids can participate in a service project assembling Power Packs for local students in need through Food for Others. Free and open to all! Christ Crossman Church is located at 384 N Washington Street in Falls Church.

Lantern Walks
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

For nearly a decade, Tinkergarten families and friends have walked with homemade lanterns to welcome winter’s darkness. This inspiring and beloved tradition helps children learn to embrace change and remember that, when they are in community with the natural world and with one another, they have the strength and light to overcome any challenges. DC area Lantern Walk events are taking place this Saturday and Sunday. Register to attend your local Lantern Walk, find out how to make their own lanterns, or even order sweet lantern-making kits here.

Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Fourteen commercial corridors in the city have teamed up to add a little extra holiday cheer to this holiday season! You can visit them to see all kinds of dazzling lights and participate in a citywide DC Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt. Earn entries for each participating corridor you visit during December, as well as by completing other scavenger hunt tasks such as visiting murals on the corridors and finding secret codes at businesses across DC. The more entries you earn, the more chances to win one of the $5,000 in prizes available from local businesses all across the District!

Caroling Christmas Trees
Where: N & Half Streets SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Day 4 (& 5) of Capitol Riverfront’s “12 Days of Capriv” with festive fun. Head to Half Street on Saturdayfor Caroling Christmas Trees, featuring live carolers performing holiday classics and a can’t-miss “Letters to Santa” mailbox for kids and kids-at-heart to drop off their wishes. Post a photo in front of the illuminated trees on Instagram, and tag @capitolriverfront for the chance to win a $50 gift card to a neighborhood restaurant!

Capital Art & Craft Festival
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $10/advance, $12/at door, free/12 & under
Browse the works of over 200 local artisans and crafters and find unique holiday gifts  This festival features art in more than a dozen mediums — jewelry, paintings, prints, glass, leather, photography, pottery, wearable art, and wood, and more.  For safety, aisles are wider and masks required.  Visit the website for more details.

Holidays on the Ellipse
Where: President’s Park | National Ellipse, DC
When: Through January 1
Admission: Free

This has a permanent spot on many a DC holiday repertoire. The National Christmas Tree, the National Menorah, plus displays representing all 50 states are a staple during the season. And the rest of it lit up at night with the White House and Washington Monument glowing in the distance makes for a brilliant holiday scene.

Day Trip from DC
Where: Around the region
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out of dodge  for a day for some cool fun in areas that require a bit of a drive, but not an overnight stay (though you could consider it). Explore the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns. Discover charm and awesome attractions of Baltimore.  Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Take an ice cream making museum tour at Turkey Hill in Lancaster, PA. Or venture out to the Calvert Marine Museum to experience fascinating exhibits that highlight the history of the Chesapeake Bay.

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 many parks or corridors 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.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
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 farms around the world at the US Botanic Garden. Experience Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor. Celebrate the season at Mount Vernon. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and many more are in the 2021 KFDC Holiday Guide.

* Looking for a great way to give back with kids? KFDC contributor Emily just shared about her experience volunteering at Comfort Cases with her 4-year-old daughter.
* If you’re still in need of holiday gift ideas, the KFDC guide has lots of good, DC-centric recommendations.
* The National Cherry Blossom Parade will be back this year, and seated grandstand tickets are now on sale. ( FYI, you can also stand along the route for free.)
* Washingtonian’s 6 Festive Holiday Destinations Within an Easy Drive of DC.
* Currently reading and really enjoying this book.
* How fun are these slippers? (We love the socks, too!)
* Best of 2021 – a bunch of ’em.


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