Category Archives: Holidays

Valentine’s Day Activities & Events Around DC that Kids (& You) Will Love

 

Do you ❤️ celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little (and big) sweeties? If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the occasion, here are some ideas — with something for everyone to love. Happy V-Day! XOXO

Love, Georgetown
Where: Around the Georgetown neighborhood, DC
When: February 7-14
Admission: Varies by place/activity
During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day (and on the day itself), more than 35 Georgetown restaurants, shops, and services are participating in Love, Georgetown – offering Sweetheart Specials (two-for-one-deals), $14 featured items, and additional Valentine’s Day promotions and events. Some of the lovely specials include heart-shaped pancakes at Martin’s Tavern; love letter ravioli at 1310 Kitchen & Bar, an Officina cooking class; three Escape Game tickets for the price of two; a Crumbs & Whiskers cat party (complete with break-up music playing); hotel packages; discounts on treats, jewelry, and clothing; and more!

Love from the Library
Where: Select DC Public Libraries
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Several DC Public Libraries are giving out take-home Valentine-making kits and activity packets. Stop by Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (Feb 8 only), Takoma Park Library, or Capitol View Neighborhood Library to pick up a set for your kids.

Won’t You Be My Owlentine?
Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park | Arlington, VA
When: February 12, 1-2pm
Admission: $7

Love is in the air, and literally, for the beautiful birds of prey! Join Potomac Overlook staff as they discuss the mating habits of owls during their breeding season and get a picture with a live bird of prey! Register in advance, as space is limited. And be sure to explore the rest of the park while you’re there — it’s great for kids of all ages. Read more about Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post.

Sir Rulean’s Valentine’s Day Card Soiree
Where: The Station at Riverdale | Riverdale, MD
When: February 12, 1-3pm
Admission: Free

Join The Station for this family friendly Valentine’s Day Card Soiree in Bear Square. Decorate and design your own Valentine’s Day cards with glitter pens, gems, and The Station branded Sir Rulean stickers for someone you love. After participating in the event, redeem a complimentary hot cocoa made with love by Starbucks at The Station.

Unshrink My Heart – Shrinky Dinks Workshop
Where: Gateway Arts Center | Brentwood, MD
When: February 12, 2pm
Admission: Free

The DIY arts and crafts icon from the 80’s is back! And nothing says “love” like a hand-made pre-shrunk Valentine. Families are invited to create beautiful jewelry, key chains, and other Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. Children will receive their first 2 sheets of blank Shrinky Dinks free, additional sheets will be available to purchase for 50 cents each.

Valentine Maker’s Market
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: February 12, 9am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Find thoughtful and handmade gifts for all the sweeties in your life at this Valentine Maker’s Market. Shop a variety of options, including small batch chocolates, jewelry, leather goods, pottery, clothing, and much more! You will find vendors offering a wide selection of homemade, handmade or homegrown products, and every vendor is from the DEL-MAR-VA region. Be sue to tour the grounds, check out the Arts Center inside, and take kids to play in the Fairy Lolly while you’re there — it’s all fantastic. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture garden here and here.

Paw-some Treats
Where: Steadfast Supply | The Yards, DC
When: February 12, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Steadfast Supply, the store stocked with items by independent brands and designers from around the world, is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing their love for thei paw-some customers. They’ll be giving out FREE puppuccinos (whipped cream) & dog treats to furry friends! While you’re there, shop for gifts for your human loved ones, too!

Lonely Hearts: White House Scandals (Adult Rec!)
Where: Downtown DC
When: February 12, 5-6:30pm
Admission: Name Your Own Price

Love can suck sometimes. DC by Foot’s Lonely Hearts tour is perfect for a night out with friends to hear the stories of affairs and scandals from around the White House (historic only!). Hear about heartbreak, scandalous love letters, even a president who was married to two different women at the same time. The tour ends near the White House South Lawn, perfect for catching a reservation at one of downtown DC’s restaurants.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Lake Fairfax Park | Reston, VA
When: February 12, 2-3pm
Admission: $10

Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Say ‘Be Mine’ in the Animal World
Where: Hidden Oaks Nature Center | Annandale, VA
When: February 13, 2-3pm
Admission: $7

Same event as above, but a different date and location! Join the Fairfax Park Authority for a Valentine-themed event about ways animals communicate. Learn how to express your affection in chimpanzee, toad, wolf, and more on this outdoor Valentine’s Day walk and talk.

Naked at the Museum Virtual Scavenger Hunt (for adults)
Where: Watson Adventures | Onlines
When: February 12
Admission: $19

Watson Adventures’ wildly popular Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is going virtual for the first time ever! Explore museums all over the country on a fun, flirty quest for beautiful and bizarre nudity in art. You might bump into a bronzed Adonis, encounter an incontinent Cupid, serenade moonlit sirens, walk in on handsy Egyptians, marvel at medieval codpieces, run across randy revelers, and see much more. Note: Participants must be clothed.

Valentine’s Day Cooking Class
Where: Dawson’s Market | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 11-1pm
Admission: $60

Drop your Tiny Chef off at Dawson’s Market (225 N Washington St) for a fun time with Tiny Chefs! They will make Heart Shaped Pizzas for lunch, then Sweetheart Tarts, and while those are baking they will make Valentine’s Cards. At the end of the event Chefs will package up their Tarts and Cards to give to someone they love for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to register in advance – space is limited!

Hike & Seek: I [HEART] Nature
Where: Locust Grove Nature Center | Rockville, MD
When: February 13, 2-5pm
Admission: $3/person

Looking for a little adventure? Work together with (or challenge!) your Valentines to nature trivia in a heart-themed scavenger hunt — it’s this month’s nature-themed Hike & Seek series puzzle. Register by Friday, February 11, to schedule a time slot and to receive a prize for completing the hunt. No drop-ins on the day of the program. Note that natural surface trails are not stroller accessible.

Love Stories Walking Tour
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 4-6pm
Admission: $35

Join DC By Foot for a stroll through the genteel neighborhood of Georgetown, hearing stories of love — from a true Beauty and the Beast story to motherly love to scandalous love affairs. A perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) date night. The tour ends near the main commercial corridor so you can also enjoy a romantic dinner or grab something to go.

Valentine Card Crafternoon
Where: Shop Made in DC | Georgetown, DC
When: February 13, 12-3pm
Admission: Free 

Join Shop Made in DC for a Sunday crafternoon session to make your own Valentines. Bring a project or make one at their classroom table – they’ll have various art supplies available for you to craft in their space at 1353 Wisconsin Avenue. Note that proof of vaccination is required to participate. Register in advance.

Van Gogh & Valentines
Where: Rhode Island Center | Logan Circle, DC
When: February 14, 4-7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $80 

Love is in the air and flowers are so last season. Treat yourself or that certain someone to a one-day special that takes Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience to the next level with a live concert performance. Talented musicians performing beautiful classical pieces live in the Immersive room, including “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. Immersion in Van Gogh’s iconic masterpieces with digital displays, sound effects, interactive video mapping, and more as you enjoy the music. Tickets for February 14 are on sale now, along with a special couples package that includes a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire
Where: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park | Chantilly, VA
When: February 14, 6-7pm
Admission: $8

What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world? Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these techniques and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Register in advance. Recommended for ages 4+ with an adult.

Window Shops
Where: Storefronts around Adams Morgan, DC
When: Through February 14
Admission: Free

Take a walk around Adams Morgan to see all storefront decorated especially for Valentine’s Day! The Adams Morgan Partnership BID is sponsoring a window decorating contest for all businesses facing the street. Enjoy a family outing to the neighborhood to walk around and see them all, then grab at bite at one of the many eateries there. You can also vote on your favorites through an online poll on our website from Friday, February 11, through Sunday, February 13!

Valentine’s Cupcake Boutique
Where: Sprinkles | Georgetown, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on your order

Sprinkle love to people you adore with Sprinkles Cupcakes’ special boxes just for Valentine’s Day. Options include a decorate-at-home kit, red velvet cookies and cupcakes, limited-time raspberry chocolate chip cupcake bundles, and more sweet yumminess. Be sure to pre-order in advance as pick-up and delivery times will fill up fast! From Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14, Sprinkles will have an exclusive Valentine’s Day menu for local orders — check Order.Sprinkles.com or visit locations for further details. Note that curbside pick-up will not be available from Friday 2/11 to Monday 2/14.

The Love Shop
Where: Milk Bar | Logan Circle, DC
When: Through February 14
Cost: Depends on order

Milk Bar, the bakery that makes my favorite Birthday Cake, has special products for the holiday. Mini cakes, soft serve ice cream, and truffles are perfect desserts for an at-home date night or family celebration. Available for pick-up or delivery.

Make-Your-Own Sweet Treats
Where: Take home from Ice Cream Jubilee | DC & VA
When: Pre-order for pick up or local delivery
Cost: $14

Craft some sweeties with your sweetie! Ice Cream Jubilee is offering a make-at-home ice cream cookie kit especially for the holiday. It comes with sugar cookie dough, a heart cookie cutter, dark chocolate, Valentine’s sprinkles, and a pint of Bold Vanilla. Makes around 4 mini-sandwiches.

Ice Skate Date
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Through February 14
Admission: Varies by rink

If you just want to do something fun, active, and sweet with your kids, plan an ice skating date. Go to the Sculpture Garden, then enjoy photo ops by the AMOR sculpture. Glide along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park, then get a bite to eat at one of the many eateries nearby. Skate by the Potomac River at Washington Harbour, or over the Potomac at The Wharf — and both have even more to do beyond skating at their waterfront locations. Get details for all of the DC rinks, plus more in Maryland and Virginia in this post about ice skating around the DC Area.

DIY Valentines
Where: At Home
When: Whenever you have time
Admission: Just the cost of supplies

So, this is just my suggestion. One of my favorite annual programs has been the National Postal Museum’s Valentine’s Day Card Workshop, and we tried to go every year. The museum would provide all kinds of supplies — pretty papers, stamps, washi tape, stickers, markers, and more — for guests to create Valentines. Everyone from families with young children to teens hanging out together to groups of adults attend, and there’s always a great sense of community as you share tables with others there to celebrate love. We’ll miss it again this year, but we can still keep the make-your-own tradition going. So, grab some artsy supplies and get creative at home — and make your loved ones’ Valentine’s Day! And for more about the wonderful yet often overlooked Postal Museum (for when it’s open again; the museum is temporarily closed), see this KFDC post.

 

Do you know of a great Valentine’s Day event or activity not listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2022)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 17
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. And during this Covid time, outdoor volunteer clean-ups are a good option — here are some taking place around the area:
Roaches Run River Cleanup | Arlington, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Jones Point Park Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 2pm
Four Mile Run Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Turkey Run Cleanup | McLean, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Mount Vernon Trail | Alexandria, VA | January 17, 10am – 12pm
Stream & Park Cleanups | MoCo, MD | January 15-22 (several opportunities)
Clean Waterways Cleanup | Southeast DC | January 17, 10am – 1pm
Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC | January 15-17 (several opportunities)

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 17, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

Tickets to the National Museum of African American History & Culture can be some of toughest to get in DC. But this weekend, the museum, which is usually closed on Mondays, will be open an extra day in honor of MLK Day. Currently, there are lots of tickets available for many time slots, but they’ll likely go quickly. Reserve them here.

FUTURES We Dream Family Day
Where: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: January 16, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The recently opened Arts & Industries Building is hosting an in-person, Covid-safe event to honor MLK.  Celebrate the spirit of his dream with a day full of hope, justice seeking, and collaboration. Learn about the Smithsonian’s 175 years of changemaking and reckoning with its history on the SI Story wall. Join family-friendly guided tours exploring social justice and more equitable futures (10:30am and 2pm). Take inspiration from Dr. King’s speeches and many other future thinkers to craft your inspirational messages for the future you dream in drop-in workshops (11am and 1pm). Pop in for hands-on activities for the youngest future makers throughout the day. Get a glimpse of the museum’s fascinating FUTURES exhibit here.

Peace Walk
Where: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge | Southeast DC
When: January 17, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Day Peace Walk is on this year and taking place at the recently opened beautiful Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that spans from Anacostia to the Navy Yard. Notable DC peops are always in attendance — who will it be this year? Register to join the event, and note that the annual parade is NOT taking place due to Covid.
 

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 15-17, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reservations required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Join visiting artist, Sarah Matthews, for a project is inspired by Dr. King’s quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Learn how to create your own stamps to design and print uplifting posters to hang in your community. Make two posters, one to leave here and one to hang in your favorite gathering spot. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 17
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

All Ages Virtual Art Class: I Have a Dream
Where: Art Jamz Online
When: January 16
Admission: $12.50

The whole family can join Art Jamz online for this live painting class.  In honor of MLK Day, they are donating 50% of all proceeds directly to Martha’s Table.  During the Live Virtual Paint Session, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of a talented local artist. Need art materials? Purchase an ArtJamz® At-Home Paint Kit — they’ll even throw in a novelty artist mustache.

 

 

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, 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

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***

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

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.

Merry TUBACHRISTMAS!
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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* 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!

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

15 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Little Ones

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here, hereherehere, and here.]

 

There’s something about digging a little arm down a knitted stocking of unknown. As a kid, celebrating Christmas at my grandparents’ house, mine typically contained scratch off lottery tickets and pretzels — and I loved it. Which is to say, it’s not so much about what’s in the stocking, but the traditions you create.

However, if you’re trying to get more creative than salty treats and gambling games for your little ones, these stocking stuffer picks are for you. A mix of fun and whimsy with practical and developmental.  I hope these inspire new traditions of your own! (PS: Some of these may be the perfect little gift for under the tree, too.)

 

Pop Toy Key Chains
Trendy toy slash backpack adornment. Even if you’re iffy on pop toys, you can’t deny how adorable these ones are.

 

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Mini Building Blocks
These are perfect for the kid that loves to put things together and take them apart, over and over again.

 

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Mini Puzzle Tins
My daughter has a long-standing love of these. They are great for travel, and small storage spaces too.

 

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Clay Snowman Kit
Do you want to build a snowman? You can share this pack with the whole family, or save a few for friends.

 

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Wiki Stix
Family-friendly restaurants often distribute these. Kids and adults alike enjoy the simplistic creating that ensues.

 

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Mini Makeup Palette
My four-year-old requested makeup from Santa 🤦🏻‍♀️. This simple set is innocent enough!

 

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Bath Bombs
Natural ingredients, cutest hidden treasures. I also appreciate how this brand, Two Sisters, was created in the USA by a group of moms.

 

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Playing Cards
Go Fish is the best foray into family gaming. This holiday-themed version is sure to be a winner.

 

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Mini Flashlights
The perfect fort and nighttime walk accessory. This 4-pack may give you a few for the grown-up stockings too.

 

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Farting Snowman
Chances are you have a child who will appreciate this. There is a nice rabbit hole of similar items to browse through as well.

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Mini Figurines
Find a set of your kids’ favorite TV characters, then divide. This 2-pack is perfect for a pair of Bluey fans.

 

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Toothbrushes
The ultimate practical pick. The inadvertent festive colors and suction stands make these a little extra special.

 

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Holiday Note Cards
The cutest cards kids can use to make and send thank you notes for relatives and friends. Santa and your Elf may get one too.

 

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Silly Scents Markers
Refresh your marker supply with this fun set — especially if your child needs some drawing and coloring encouragement.

 

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Pop Ups Lollipops
For kids who like to have their lollipop, and show it off too. These also teach kids that they can always save things for later.

 

What are your favorite stocking stuffers? Tell us in the comments below!

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on it and make a purchase, I may get a small commission, which helps me continue to bring you KFDC. Thanks so much for the support!

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Filed under 2021, Christmas, Holidays, Product, Shop