The Weekend Round-Up:
November 23-26

The wonderful pollinator themed model train display at Season’s Greenings


Happy  Thanksgiving… and, as always, Happy Weekend!

Link up to posts full of ideas for local fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Autumn Adventures
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Thanksgiving Day Play
Where: Around the DC area
When: Thursday (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving meal? If you’re looking for pre- or post-feast activities, this post suggests some ways to complement the main event of the day.

Where: Around the DC area
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.

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Through January 1, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

DC’s most popular holiday attraction just opened for the season. The highlight is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs — all of them constructed of plant materials.  This year’s pollinator theme is adorable , and kids will love seeing model trains chug around  The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks also constructed from plant materials — see if you can find all 22 of them! Get a glimpse of the train, and be sure to make a plan to see it all this holiday season!

Crafting for the Holidays
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

A great activity with the kids over Thanksgiving weekend… Join the Library of Congress for a family crafting program to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. Learn about the Library’s holiday collections while you take part in crafting activities for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more.

Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 5-9pm & Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: $6

For the first time, this beloved light display is not free admission. But it’s the same fun, festive seasonal joy at a favorite DC spot.  Thousands of environmentally-friendly lights and animal lanterns transform the Zoo into a holiday wonderland in the evenings. There are also live music performances, tasty winter treats, and lots of opportunities for holiday shopping.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Even more 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.

Native American Heritage Day: Honoring the Jingle Dress Dance
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Learn about the origin and significance of the jingle dress and Jingle Dress Dance with dancers Misty Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation), Jennifer Night Bird Miller (Red River Métis), and Nathan Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation). The dancers will be accompanied by father-and-son duo Ralph Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian) and Dennis Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian). Performances begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1pm, 3pm, and 4pm.

Caps vs. Oilers
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary 

Watch some sports action on ice. The Caps are hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Friday afternoon. Plan on a pre-game lunch in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood — or some time at the Downtown Holiday Market.

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DC area
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: DC-Inspired has all kinds of suggestions for gifts from many local businesses.

Penguin Ornament Workshop
Where: Home Depot locations around DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Head to Home Depot for their free monthly workshop that welcomes kids to complete a hands-on project, this weekend a penguin ornament to hang on your holiday tree. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin (while supplies last).  Register in advance!

Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Starts Friday 0 December 24
Admission: $32+/adult, $24+/age 3-17

Explore the 90,000-square foot Christmas light maze, this year with a “Santa’s Magic Timepiece” theme. Stroll through lighted tunnels, travel to magical illuminated lands as you search for stars, and find your way to the 100-foot tall Christmas tree.  Held at Nationals Park, Enchant Christmas also features an ice skating trail, live entertainment, food and drink, a Play Place just for little ones, a Christmas market,  and Santa and Mrs. Claus.  View scenes from last year’s event and read a KFDC review (from the first season it was here in 2019) of this newer-to-DC holiday attraction.

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!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $25

In a two-person version of the classic tale, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover a secret portal to a magical world called Narnia. With an evil White Witch ruling the kingdom, can Lucy, her new friend Mr. Tumnus, and her family band together to save this land from the eternal winter?

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, it’s starting!  The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages.  Or take littles to see a version on strings 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 these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Holiday Tree Lighting + Santa Firetruck Parade
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! Join the Mosaic District to welcome the arrival of the holiday season with a merry and bright tree lighting. Bring your family and friends to experience the Jolly Man’s arrival on a firetruck. Visitors can also meet and greet Santa in the Target lobby after the tree lighting and enjoy live entertainment from 6-9pm and a holiday parade from 6:30-6:45pm. The Tree Lighting is at 7:15pm.

10th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Where: CityCenter | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free
Kick off the holiday season and celebrate 10 years of CityCenterDC at their annual holiday tree lighting! The evening will include a joyful music performance by fan favorite, The Revels, balloon artists, face painters, holiday treats, and more. Enjoy the dazzling 75-foot tree, see two resident 25-foot reindeer, and capture the spirit of the holidays with a photo under our Palmer Alley Dream Closet art installation.

Wizards vs Hawks
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary (check for discount)

The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday evening — watch them work some on-court magic against the Atlanta Hawks. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Hill Country BBQ… details on these and more here.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on — and it’s also a great time for families. Here are some games you can catch this weekend:
* Georgetown men vs Jackson State on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs East Carolina on Saturday at 2pm
* Maryland men vs South Alabama on Saturday at 7pm (Go, Terps!)
* American men vs Hood College on Sunday at 4pm

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.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through D2cember 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

Make a plan to visit sometime during the season.  This one, 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 usually bustling 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, making our big city feel like a small town. 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.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

If you want to do some indoor exploring, consider a not-so-well-known place.  Because if you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

* The holiday season is officially in full swing, so the 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC will be good to keep handy.
* Holiday shopping season is also officially in full swing, so be sure to check out all the KFDC gift guides for ideas:  DC-Inspired, Teen Scene, Little Kids, Adults
* Good tips for Thanksgiving.
* One of my favorite instructors at the gym just started a podcast on fitness.
* I don’t usually watch the series, but this season of the show somehow reeled me in — and the long weekend is a golden opportunity to binge it.
* Can’t stress enough how great Rakuten, an online service that gives you cash back on shopping, is during the holiday season.
Anyone else love Farm Rio?  If so, you’ll love 50% off even more.
* Simple and beautiful.❤️


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