Category Archives: 2021

The Weekend: December 31 – January 2

Kick off 2022 with a nice hike! (Turkey Run Park pictured here)


Once again, I’m taking a little break and keeping it simple as we wind down 2021. Not to mention, with Omicron spreading like wildfire, there aren’t many special events and activities happening this weekend.  The links below will still lead you to info and inspo to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want, including holiday happenings and ongoing and seasonal fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra ideas that might arise.

Happy Weekend! And a very Happy New Year to all!

The 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

Chill Time: Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2021

Ice Skating Around the DC Area

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter (Some show may be cancelled.)

Baltimore with Kids

Indoor Outings



The Noon Yards Eve event at Yards Park has been cancelled.

The Washington Post’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out for the year ahead.

New Year’s Eve finger foods, many that sound perfect for an at-home celebration with the fam.

Toast-worthy cocktails to ring in the new year.

New Year’s traditions around the world.

20 best places to travel in 2022, according to Travel + Leisure.

Ten noteworthy books for January.

Some great sales going on right now:  Anthro, Nordstrom, Gap, Everlane.

A fantastic movie available to rent this weekend.

For the whole fam: Best kids’ movies of 2021 that parents will also love.

Omicron is the Beginning of the End (we hope!).

McSweeney’s most read articles of 2021.  (#15 had me in lol tears.)

22 things to look forward to in 2022 🙂


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Filed under 2021, 2022, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things for Today: December 29, 2021


1. Not that you haven’t heard, but Covid is everywhere.  Our family had our own bout with it, which resulted in a canceled trip to see family, a winter break quarantine, and a Christmas celebration over the basement stairwell, since two of us were negative, two were positive at the time. (There is more to it, which you can read about here.)  The CDC just shortened the recommended isolation time for Covid-infected people without symptoms.  It’s now only five days instead of 10, then five days of wearing a mask around others.  Also, it is now being reported that rapid antigen tests are not picking up Omicron as reliably as PCR.


2.  If you’re looking for family New Year’s Eve celebrations, Noon Yards Eve is returning to Yards Park on Friday.  The free, outdoor annual event features a magician, live music, carnival games, glitter tattoos, crafts, 2022 giveaways, a giant blow up slide, and more!  Catering to kids of all ages, it will all culminate in a countdown to noon for young ones who might not make it to midnight. UPDATE: This even has been canceled.

Metrobar in NE is also hosting a family-friendly NYE sesh.  Starting at 4pm, there will be festive cocktails  for adults along with kids activities and games. Countdown the New Year with a 7pm toast (bubbly for adults, sparkling cider for kids) and watch the ball drop at midnight in London on a 20-foot screen. Firepits, patio heaters, a heated tent, deck heat lamp, and hot cocktails will keep everyone cozy outdoors. Free admission, but plan to purchase food and drinks, of course.

And a couple of other annual events that are still on this year, though indoors, are Midnight Noon at Maryland Science Center and Noontime New Year at Port Discovery, both in Baltimore.  (The popular First Night Alexandria event has been canceled.)


3. Washingtonian has a round-up of local restaurants offering fun and festive takeout for New Year’s Eve.


4. DC Public Library’s most checked out, streamed, and downloaded books (and more) in 2021.


5.  21 Things That Made the World a Better Place in 2021 ❤️


Bonus: Who else is going to play Powerball this week?


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Filed under 2021, DC, Five Things for Today, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend: December 24-26


This is the time of year I give myself a little break with weekend posts.  So, just like the modified title, I’m keeping this round-up simple — but definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will still lead you to info and inspo galore to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want, including holiday happenings and ongoing and seasonal fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra ideas that might arise.

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a Happy Weekend!


The 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

Chill Time: Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2021

Ice Skating Around the DC Area

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter

Indoor Outings



I can’t say enough… go get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t yet.  As mentioned earlier this week, walk-up vaccinations for ages 5+ and boosters for ages 16+ are available nearly every day in DC at select libraries and rec centers (not on Christmas Day). You can also go here to search for other locations near you.

Two of our recent orders from Amazon that I recommend for everyone: These and these.

Need some very last minute gift ideas?  The KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has loads of suggestions for local experiences or subscriptions you get in just a few clicks!

Inspiring people:  2021 Washingtonians of the Year.

A very yummy  looking/sounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Menu.

Sasha gives two big thumbs-up to Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The year in sound, from The Daily.

The 22 best podcasts to help you process the end of 2021.

A beautiful tribute to one of the best at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Love the pure joy of this moment.

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Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things for Today: December 21, 2021

Mask up , DC!


1. In case you missed it over the weekend…  In light of Omicron and the rising rates in Covid cases everywhere, I (re)shared on social media the post about Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter. It was originally published last December, but unfortunately (and frustratingly) seems necessary to highlight once again, with all activities mentioned being outdoors.  And if you have seen the post, it’s worth checking out again, as a few new ideas have been added.


2. Did you know that walk-up vaccinations are available just about everyday in DC?  Several libraries and rec centers around the city are among the sites in Mayor Bower’s Take the Shot, DC program.  The sites change daily, so be sure to check which are open and hours before you go.  No appointment is necessary, and they offer vaccinations for ages 5+ and boosters for ages 16+.

And starting tomorrow, December 22, DC Health will launch the Test Yourself Express program.  Residents will be able to pick up free at-home Covid testing kits, two per day, at eight locations around the city.  (More details available tomorrow through the link.)


3. DC’s indoor mask mandate was reinstated yesterday, and masks are now required at indoor public places in the District. There currently are no statewide mandates in Virginia or Maryland (though masks are encouraged indoors),  but there is one in Montgomery County. (Update: Prince George’s County has a mask mandate, too.)


4. A few “Best of” lists from someone with great taste: Books, Movies, Music. (I’ve found some of my favorites on these lists over the years!)


5. It’s beginning to look at lot like…



Filed under 2021, COVID-19, COVID-19 DC Area, DC, Five Things for Today, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: December 17-19


Happy Weekend!

Easy links to a mix of ongoing and seasonal DC fun:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Ice Skating
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Winter Breakin’
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

For many of us, our kids’ Winter Break from school begins this weekend. If you’re going to be in town and seeking ways to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes us parents), this KFDC guide has you covered. Find recommendations for the best things to do now, from holiday-inspired happenings to special exhibits to live entertainment to outdoor adventures to indoor action to awesome day trips… and even more.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This probably is the weekend to embrace the holiday spirit.  And there’s holiday 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. See pretty Christmas trees and enjoy an evening lighting.  Experience Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor. Celebrate the season at Mount Vernon. Take a festive train ride at the B&O Railroad Museum. 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.

Rock the Rink with the Caps
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 7-10pm
Admission: $9/child, $12/adult, $6/skate rental

It’s ALL CAPS at The Wharf! Join fellow hockey fans at The Wharf to show your Caps pride and skate at the ice rink with a DJ, Caps gear giveaways, and a visit from Slapshot. At 8pm, they’ll also broadcast the Capitals’ away game against the Winnipeg Jets on a jumbotron located on the Transit Pier floating stage. Throughout the day, fans wearing Capitals gear will receive $5 off admission to The Wharf Ice Rink. After skating, warm up by the fire pit and make Caps s’mores at the Capitals Campfire. For more places to skate throughout the weekend (and winter), see this round-up of local rinks.

Holly Days After Hours
Where: Eastern Market Area | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 4-9pm
Admission: Free

Eastern Market Main Street is getting festive after hours with fun activities for the whole family. The Not-So-Silent Night Market will run around the building 12-8pm. And along the C Street Plaza, there will be crafts for kids, complimentary gift wrapping of any corridor purchases, and a holiday photo booth (7pm). Best of all, the Silent Disco is returning (7-9pm), so get ready to boogie!

Holiday Drive-In: Love Actually
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. See Love Actually and enjoy some holiday treats, too. Kilwins, one of the Wharf restaurants, will be onsite selling hot chocolate, popcorn, candy, and other goodies! The drive-in is free to attend with registration, but movie-goers are encouraged to make a $20 donation to DC Central Kitchen.

Holiday Movie Pajama Party
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 10:15am, 10:30, & 10:45am
Admission: $8

The Boro is teaming up with ShowPlace ICON Theatre for a holiday movie marathon. Grab your coziest pair of pajamas and enjoy your favorite holiday classics. Register in advance to see Elf at 10:15am, The Polar Express at 10:30am, or Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 10:45am. The pajama party continues after the movie with music, crafts, photos, and more in the lobby.

Alif Ba Opening Celebration
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15.95

A new visiting exhibit that explores the Arabic alphabet opens at the Museum on Saturday — and they’re celebrating with special activities. Named for the Arabic term for the “ABCs,” the Alif Ba Exhibition brings the Arabic alphabet and language to life with 28 hands-on letter displays in the Museum’s Creative Corner. At Saturday’s event, there will also be Arabic calligraphy, animal name yoga, story time, an Arba music demonstration, and mosaic tile making. Read more abot the Museum here.

Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

What would the holiday season be without trains? Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. The Polar Express will be running, too! A great family activity for the young and young at heart. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA. Masks required for all visitors age 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Watch and listen as hundreds of tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from around DC play traditional Christmas music at the 48th annual Merry Tubachristmas! The Millennium Stage show will take place outside on The REACH plaza.  Make a day of it and visit the Victura Park Winter Holiday Market while you’re there and enjoy the Kennedy Center’s beautiful outdoor areas.

Search for Santa’s Helpers
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday through Tuesday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: $5/child

Go on a scavenger hunt around Potomac Overlook Park to find Santa’s helpers so they can get back to the North Pole in time for the holidays.  No reservations are needed, but check in at the Nature Center  to begin.  The park in Arlington is a great place to hike around, even better when there’s an extra holiday adventure!  Get some background on Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post from awhile back — but pretty much still applicable now.

Market Days
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. The Downtown Holiday Market, Victura Park Holiday Market,  Eastern Market, and Christmas Village in Baltimore are some running this weekend, and you can find details for all of them in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

Live Holiday Entertainment
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 is on the 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.  And 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 Sunday
Tickets: $25-45 

This one deserves its own listing because it’s a fave (and it’s run ends this weekend): 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 reimagines 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.

Holly TrolleyFest
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)
Visit a unique DC area museum and enjoy some holiday cheer! Take a ride on a street car; check out Winter in Washington, a special exhibit celebrating the season with street cars in the Nation’s Capital; see the Winter Garden Railway and Street Car Hall… and, who knows, maybe Santa will make an appearance, too.

Christmas Illuminations
Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $48-60/adult, $26-38/child

Kick off the holidays with an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music, with fireworks beginning around 8:30pm. Take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides. George and Martha Washington will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests. Tickets: $35 adult/$25 youth with Mansion tour, $30 adult/$20 youth.

A Family Christmas
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Tickets: $20-45 (look for discount)

Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them!

Jingle Jam
Where: Capital Turnaround | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

“Mix and a-mingle” with friends, family, and neighbors at this special Christmas concert in the newly opened Capital Turnaround. See the space decked out for Christmas, and enjoy crafts, holiday portraits, hot beverages, and a special performance by the U.S. Marine Band clarinet ensemble. Tickets are free, but register in advance.

Photos with Santa
Where: The Salt Line | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $10

The Big Man himself is visiting Capitol Riverfront a few days early for Photos with Santa. Kids, kids at heart, and pets are all welcome to register for a photo which comes with a complimentary warm beverage from The Salt Line. All ticket proceeds will be donated to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Get your tickets ASAP — they’re almost sold out!

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

One of my favorite KFDC Tips to impart because it’s on of my favorite places in DC:  During this time of year (from November through mid-March), there is no fee to roam the beautiful, enchanting garden at Dumbarton Oaks.  Stroll among the various plats, find lovely tucked away places to sit, and enjoy a delightful, relaxing wander around the grounds. Hours are limited, but you can make a longer day of it with play time at Montrose Park next door, some holiday shopping along M Street, and/or a bite to eat at one of of the many options in Georgetown. This KFDC post about Dumbarton also has some nearby food recs and this one from earlier KFDC days has more info and scenes.

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.

* In case you missed it earlier this week, KFDC writer Emily shared some excellent stocking stuffer ideas for little ones.
* And if you’re in need of last minute present ideas for all ages, don’t forget about the KFDC Gift Guide.  Many of the suggestions are experiences that can be purchased easily online and emailed or printed to give.
* Another one to note: Arena Stage has a great holiday sale going on — 3 plays for $99!
* Practical gift for your house?  This is the best of its kind that we’ve ever owned, and totally worth it (imo).
* Extra festive restaurants for Christmas dining around DC, from Washingtonian.
* NY Times Cooking’s 50 most popular recipes of the year.
* We hope Teddy the pup will like this gift as much as we will.
* A great round-up of bingeable movies, TV shows, and podcasts.
* Top cartoons on IG in 2021 (New Yorker).
* May the holiday spirit make us all feel like this!


Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend