The Weekend Round-Up: November 18-20

The wonderful Downtown Holiday Market opens this weekend!


Happy Weekend!

Link up to all kinds of inspo for ongoing & seasonal fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
 The Great Indoors
 Autumn Adventures
Local Hikes with Kids
Bike Rides
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Peaceful Places
Baltimore with Kids

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

This is, to me, 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.

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DC area
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.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 8
Admission: $25-39
It’s a new, high-energy musical to rock the holiday season! When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Based on Mo Willem’s beloved picture book, the show explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves.

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 several more are starting to welcome guests to their sparkling wonderlands.  A few are listed in this round-up, and you can see other locations here.  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!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6/adult, $4/ages 13-17, $3/12 & under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 30th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. Around 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig. This takes place in Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center at George Mason University.

Kids Workshop
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Lowes is hosting their monthly in-person workshop for kids. This Saturday, celebrate Thanksgiving in a unique way with your mini DIYer as you put together a Dancing Turkey Kit. You’ll leave with a hand-made toy that’s as fun to play with as it is to create. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!

Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide the day away as several area outdoor ice rinks are welcoming skaters for the season. Meander your way around Canal Park Ice Rink. Skate in Georgetown at the Washington Harbour. Do some shopping and snacking along with your skating at Pentagon Row in Arlington. Practice your axles and triple lutzes at Reston Town Center. Or find another rink where you can skate under the sky (or stars) or indoors. This post has details on this season’s ice skating spots.

DC Holiday Lights
Where: Main Streets Around DC
When: Opens Friday (through January 8)
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.

Garden of Lights
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Opens Friday (through January 1)
Admission: $10/age 5+

One of our faves, he Garden of Lights is a magical winter wonderland illuminated with more than one million dazzling colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals, and other natural elements. Stroll from garden to garden enjoying twinkling tree forms, sparkling fountains, and whimsical winter scenes — a few of them new this year. Afterwards, warm up inside the Visitors Center — sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances. KFDC Tip: Go on a weekday if you can swing it to avoid crowds. View scenes from one of our past visits there.

Winter City Lights
Where: 501 Olney Laytonsville Rd | Olney, MD
When: Opens Saturday (through December 31)
Admission: $39-48/adult, $25-37/youth, free/4 & under

New to the area this year, this magical holiday experience consists of one million twinkling lights spread across 18-acres of an outdoor winter wonderland where it is guaranteed to “snow” every night. The largest light show in the DC area and Baltimore area, Winter City Lights claims to be one of the most technologically advanced Christmas light experiences in the country. Complete with 14 bonfires, it includes an enchanted 1.5-mile long trail of Christmas lights and displays through the woods, a 52-foot high programmable Christmas lights tree and light show, a 200-foot diameter canopy of Christmas lights. There’s also an eight lane Snow Tubing Ride, s’mores, funnel cakes, and more!

Ice & Lights
Where: Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9 just village, $22/with skating, free/under 2 

Glide the evening away at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria. The waterpark is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music, and more! Grab a slice of pizza, roast a marshmallow over the fire pits, and enjoy the winter village.

Holiday Tree Lighting
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Friday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Tysons Corner Center will bring the community together to join Santa in kicking off their 2022 Holiday Season. See Santa lighting the holiday tree, enjoy community performances, savor complimentary s’mores and hot chocolate station, check out a giant slow globe, browse the holiday market, listen to festive music, and more!

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

Larger than life inflatable turkeys and penguins, glittering floats, marching bands, dancing groups, and Santa and his elves!  The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only one of its kind in the metro DC 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.

Sensory Friendly Screening
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $7.15

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal Theaters gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Invent the Future
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $26.95/adult, $20.95/age 3-17

The Maryland Science Center is hosting a special activities along with its regular offerings and awesome exhibits. Spend an afternoon full of future-focused hands-on discovery on Saturday. What does the future look like to you? Bioengineered glow–in-the–dark pizza, perfect for late-night snacking? Flying cars and teleportation tubes? De-extinct dinosaur pets? Stretch your creativity and design your future in a recycled materials challenge. Pick your prediction in our future tech showdown. Explore the delicious possibilities of future foods. Engage with local scientists, inventors, and more! Read more about the MSC here.

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free, but fee for activities 

Washington Waldorf School is bringing back its annual holiday market for the first time since 2019! For over 50 years, it has been offering one of the highest quality bazaars in the DC area with unique crafts and activities for children of all ages. They welcome many local artisans and offer an array of beautiful handcrafted items made by parents. There will also be live entertainment and tasty treats Entrance is free, but activities require tickets to be purchased. All are welcome!

Christmas Village
Where: West Shore Park, Inner Harbor | Baltimore, MD
When: Starting Saturday (through December 2)4
Admission: Free weekdays, $5/adult weekends, kids free

Head up to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for its annual Christmas Village, an authentic German holiday market, that is full of fun for all ages. There’s kids entertainment all day long, photo ops with Santa, a carousel and ferris wheel, live performances, and more! Plus, everyday there are more than 50 vendor booths to browse for gifts, food, entertainment, and lots of holiday fun to celebrate the season. (Note that it is closed on select dates — see the website for specifics.) And for more to do in Charm City see the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

S.P.I.E.S. 2: Flight of the Hawk
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through November 20
Admission: $25

Join S.P.I.E.S. in person, where it is more interactive than ever! This follow-up to the online hit S.P.I.E.S. & the Lost Treasure of Atlantis combines live theatre and taped adventure scenes to create a collaborative and exciting experience where each audience gets to be the hero and solve the puzzles–and no two performances are alike. Recommended for ages 5-11.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 1
Admission: $37-74

It’s opening weekend for Olney’s internationally acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Be their guest along with several returning cast members and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Into the Woods
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through  January 29
Admission: $40-109

Signature’s Theatre’s show just opened… Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free. A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds. Weaving a euphoric score with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables. Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including one intermission. Parents should use discretion about what is age appropriate for their children.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 11
Admission: $59-115

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents a unique version of the Bard’s classic… The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare’s cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is promised to be the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and revelatory romance. Recommended for teens and older.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Don’t let the cooler temps stop you from getting out.  Bundle up and  enjoy the sunshine with some time on the trail. Peep the last of autumn leaves, 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 good walks in the woods with the kids.  Some specific recs for right now:  Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, Kingman & Heritage Islands in Northeast DC, Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Nature Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you’re not feeling outdoorsy, you can still get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the indoors at a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer cool exhibits, including live creatures. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, Potomac Overlook in Arlington, Long Branch in Falls Church, and Brookside in Silver Spring all make for a great outing.

World Cup Celebration
Where: 3900 Wisconsin Ave NW | City Ridge, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join Comunikids, a local bilingual preschool, along with City Ridge and DC Soccer Club to celebrate the World Cup! Kids from ages 18 months to 8 years old and their families are invited to enjoy food trucks, a DJ, soccer stations, arts & crafts, and more. Register in advance!

Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

It’s the kick-off of Canstruction, a nationwide program that aims to raise awareness about hunger through a design-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank with donations of canned goods. Teams from architecture and design firms from DC use their skills to build sculptures out of cans of food. You can watch them at work in the Great Hall (and plan to check out some exhibits, too — admission fee for that.) The nutritious shelf-stable food is donated to the Capital Area Food Bank for distribution to those in need after the event.

* The 2022 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide isn’t just full of ideas for presents for all ages, it highlights many of the city’s best places and experiences.
* And in case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s also a little gift guide especially for little kid gifts.
* Don’t feel like cooking the big feast next week? Kid Up and Go shared their annual Thanksgiving To Go round-up!
* There’s going to be a Soccer in the Circle event at Dupont Circle on Monday from 9am – 4pm with fun activities and a live broadcast of USA vs Wales in their first game of the FIFA World Cup.
* And here’s a guide to the World Cup events at spots in the Capitol Riverfront area.
* Think I have one more thing to add to the gift guide!
* Anthro has a great home sale going on right now with so many things that would make fab gifts.
* This made me LOL because it’s spot on!
* So, this happened yesterday 🙂

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