Category Archives: Seasonal

The Weekend Round-Up: January 17-20

Our weekend honoree: This cool kid who we all love so much (even Sash). Happy Birthday, O!


Happy Long Weekend!

Celebrate MLK
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies

MLK Day may be on Monday, but there are events and activities that pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the whole weekend. Volunteer opportunities, library activities, the annual Peace Walk & Parade, sports, art adventures, and live entertainment are some of the ways you can celebrate the day. This post has details on all of them.

$2 Family Fun Night
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, 4 – 8pm
Admission: $2/ages 1+

Explore Port Discovery’s BIG new exhibits, The SkyClimber and The Port, and three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits for just $2 per person — presented by Maryland 529. Tickets for this event must be purchased in person at the event; they are not available in advance.

Fortnight Nerf Night
Where: Badlands Play Space | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, 5:50-8pm
Admission:$30/child includes dinner buffet

Badlands invites kids ages 7+ to join them for an evening of team based challenges with a Fortnight theme. Participants are encouraged to bring the blaster of their choosing and protective eye wear. Badlands will provide the foam darts, a complimentary dinner for the kids, and FUN! Read more about Badlands in this KFDC post.

Health & Fitness Expo
Where: Washington Convention Center | Mount Vernon Square, DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

NBC’s annual expo celebrates healthy living at the Washington Convention Center this weekend. Check out hundreds of exhibitors, plus there will be free health screenings, exercise and dance demos, opportunities to try new sports, giveaways, and activities especially for kids. The Convention Center is located at 901 Mount Vernon Place, NW. Metered street parking and garages are nearby, and you can take the Metro’s yellow/green line to the Mount Vernon stop.

Art Investigators: Yayoi Kusama
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 11:30am | Sunday, 11:30 & 12:30pm
Admission: Free

The NGA’s wonderful Art Investigators is back with winter sessions. The drop-in program for kids ages 4-7 will explore works by Yayoi Kusama with a a book reading, a look at her work, then an art project that directly relates to it. Sign-in takes place in the East Building Atrium, starting at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday. Be aware that you may not get an early time slot and will have time to fill before your session, so plan accordingly. Read a KFDC review of the series back when it was called Stories in Art (it’s an older post, but still relevant, as the program is very much the same).

Origami & Bonsai Workshop
Where: US National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 10-11:30am
Admission: $15 (plus service fee)

Learn how to create four origami animals from experienced origami teacher and artist, Jeff Raab. At the start of class, be inspired by the peace and calm of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s treasured trees on your private group tour lead by Museum Curator, Micahel James. Then get cozy for a folding session inside with Jeff. This is the perfect hobby to learn in time for the brisk winter months so you can stay inside and keep those creative juices flowing. Beginners and accompanied children (ages 6 and up) welcome! Plan to spend more time at the wonderfull Arboetum after the workshop — read (and see) more about it here and here.

City of Stories: A Community Book Art Project
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to contribute to the community project City of Stories with artist Sushmita Mazumdar. Inspired by photographs in the exhibit My Iran: Six Women Photographers, explore how artists share their stories and perspectives on a self-guided tour. Then return to the studio to create a house-shaped book and add it to a collaborative installation. For all ages and adult companions.

Future Sketches
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child (find discount)

A new exhibit opens at ARTECHOUSE this weekend. In Future Sketches, artist Zach Lieberman “creates digital poetry through code, technology and theory. He writes his own software to create his artwork, and is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding.” The exhibits at the gallery specializing in digital art always include large scale installations and interactives that all ages can enjoy.

It’s All Downhill…
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies

Between the long weekend and snow in the forecast, it’s a good time to get in some skiing! There are a bunch of resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and experienced swooshers, too). SkiPA is a good resource for finding slopes to suit your crew, and if you have a 4th or 5th grader, be sure to sign up for the SnowPass that offers free skiing opportunities. Some resorts to check out, both with or without the pass: Liberty, Whitetail, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Bryce, Snowshoe, and Wisp.

Inside Action
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

If you want to let the kids burn some energy, but aren’t so keen on cold, take them to an indoor playground. There are lots of places around the area where they can run, jump, slide, roll, and literally bounce off the walls in some cases — all within warm spaces. And many of them have areas for you to stay comfy while they do. This post has info on where to go.

Ginger Beard Mania
Where: Supreme Core Cider | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $20

Supreme Core Cider is throwing this second annual party to celebrate their Ginger Beard Man spiced winter cider — and the whole family is invited! A ticket gets you entrance, a free pint, signature cider cocktail from Green Hat, and a 4-pack to take with you. Awesome BBQ will be provided by the Smoke & Ember BBQ Truck. There will also be a Ginger Beard Competition — whether yours is natural or embellished (you know, fake), you are free to enter. Kids and pets welcome.

The Pied Piper
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: January 18, 11am & 2pm
Tickets: $32/adult, $17/child (find discount)

American Pop Orchestra’s The Pied Piper will add a musical element to the classic story by placing the Piper in a town where music and dancing aren’t allowed. Piper, reimagined as a woman in this production, will have a tricky time convincing the locals that music can solve their rat problem, but if they keep their promise of a hefty reward, things just might work out!

Rapunzel
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Tickets: $12

See a puppet version of the “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring- book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. Recommended for ages 3.5 to 9.

Narnia
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $12/child (find discount)

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre By Kids For Kids… When the four Pevensie children stumble upon an old wardrobe, little do they know they will discover the magical world of Narnia. Full of mystical creatures, talking animals, and great escapes, this action-packed story by C.S. Lewis depicts the triumph of Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, over the White Witch. Join the adventure as four brave kids, one great lion, and an entire kingdom fight for what is right. Recommended for ages 4+.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12

Recommended for ages 1-5, this show is about Nellie and Amelia, two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Opera Starts with Oh!
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy a free afternoon of artistic playtime with your family and immerse yourselves the art of all arts — opera! Unravel the many elements of opera through play and immersive activities à la Opera Lafayette. The second Opera starts with Oh! atelier of the season explores Leonore, a story of bravery, through play-acting and design with OL designers and artists. Led by internationally trained director, choreographer, and teaching artist, Emma Jaster, and featuring musicians, a singer, and a designer, the program Opera starts with Oh! is perfect for families with children aged 3 & up. Sign up here.

NCAA B-Ball
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Catch some college hoops action! With so many universities in the area, there’s always exciting play on area courts. Here where yo can watch it this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Purdue on Saturday at 2pm (Go, Terps!)
* Georgetown men vs. Marquette on Saturday at 2pm
* American men vs. Holy Cross on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs. Richmond on Saturday at 2:30pm
* Howard men vs. Yale on Monday at 1pm
* Maryland women vs. Indiana on Monday at 8pm (Go, Terps!)

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Get outside, be active, and have fun ice skating! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; glide over the Potomac at The Wharf, or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Playbank for Elizabeth Warren
Where: CentroNía | Columbia Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 10-11:30am
Admission: Free

Supporters of Elizabeth Warren are hosting a “Playbank,” a phonebank and playdate rolled into one! From the hosts: “Elizabeth Warren knows from her years as a single mother how hard it is to raise kids, and her campaign office and policy positions reflect it! We’ll have a dedicated room with tables, toys, and books to call and play together with our small children. Laura and I (your neighbors and hosts) will bring snacks, provide phonebank training, and help entertain the kiddos. We’ll be calling critical Iowa voters ahead of the caucuses to ensure that Warren resurges and is positioned well to become our next President Playbanking may not be the most efficient way to phonebank, but it’ll surely be the most fun!” Bring your mobile phone and headphones with microphone. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to join. Please RSVP here, and feel free to join even if you don’t RSVP; and come late rather than not at all. CentroNía is located at 1420 Columbia Rd NW, 4th Floor.

2020 Women’s March
Where: Starts at Freedom Plaza | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

As it says on the website: “Three years of marching, training, organizing, and building power – it’s all been leading up to this. In 2020, we have the chance to strengthen the movement we started three years, and to unite together in the face of continued attacks on our bodies, our rights, our immigrant communities, and our planet. This year, we aren’t just marching. We’re putting our bodies on the line hand in hand with other mass movements. With your help, we can make this the largest day of action the country has ever seen, and demand that our leaders be held accountable, protect our planet, and fight for our rights.”

Complimentary Community Weekend
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

On the weekend of the Women’s March, take this opportunity to join the museum as they celebrate the creative contributions of women and champion women through the arts! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. Currently on view is Judy Chicago—The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction, Live Dangerously, Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits, and Betsabeé Romero: Signals of a Long Road Together, plus many more great works in the permanent collection.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Monday
Admission: Free!

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, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Family Concert
Where: Temple Emmanuel | Kensington, MD
When: Monday, 11am
Admission: $10/age 12+, free/11& under

Bring the whole family to enjoy a special family concert by the New Orchestra of Washington, a chamber orchestra based in the District. The colorful program will engage listeners both young and young at heart with Eine Kleine Nacht Musik by Mozart for string instruments (2 violins, viola, cello), Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, arranged for woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, and percussion), and a newly written piece Labrinto (Labyrinth) by the NOW Artistic Director, Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, for all instruments listed above plus piano. After the concert, stay to enjoy an instrument petting zoo!

Wizards Matinee
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Monday, 2pm
Admission: Tickets start $10

The Wizards are playing at home on Monday when many have the day off work. See the on-court action against the Detroit Pistons. Plan on a pre-game lunch in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Carmine’s, Jaleo, Pi Pizzeria, Cava Grill, and Shake Shack.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
*Local nonprofit Eliana’s Light has a wonderful way for families to give back together: Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids & Cookies for Caregivers.
* There’s a Young Learner Tour coming up at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on February 15 — a perfect way to introduce little ones to a museum you might usually consider too sophisticated for their ages.
* This book about DC is especially for little ones, and you can get a free shipping on it by emailing the code kid friendly [email protected]
* Have you heard of a Blessing Box? There is now one in our neighborhood, and I think it’s a lovely idea.
* The docuseries Cheer on Netflix is one of the best shows I’ve watched in awhile. WOW. Not only was I was blown away by the sheer athleticism and grit required for the sport (yes, it IS a sport), but I was also incredibly moved and inspired by the cheerleaders, their stories, and the leadership, compassion, and open heart of their coach. Strongly recommend!
* And a movie rec: Parasite. Whoa. So deserving of all the awards and nominations. (It’s now streaming on Amazon.)
* If you’ve already watched Cheer (or after you do), you’ll appreciate this.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: January 13-17

The National Arboetum is a great place to enjoy warmer-than-normal weather


Monday – Go to Story Time at the National Postal Museum. Taking place every Monday, the program includes a book reading and activities for little ones in the museum’s education space. Of course, stay to explore the rest of the museum, which is full of interactive exhibits that appeal to all ages. Story Time is at 10:30am and repeated at 11am. Admission is free. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

Tuesday – Take kiddos to bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center in Landover, MD. The hour-long weekly open play workshop is a great way for kiddos to be active indoors (it was a regular outing for us when the kids were younger)! The session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $7/child. This also takes place on Wednesdays at 11:30am and Fridays at 4:30pm. Read more about the open play sessions here.

Wednesday – Spend what’s forecast to be a warmer-than-normal winter day at one of the prettiest places in DC, the U.S. National Arboretum. Explore the plant collections on nature walks, view the bonsai exhibit, visit the Washington Youth Garden and romp on the natural playground, check out the old Capitol columns, picnic in the Grove of State Trees, and so much more. Hours are 8am – 5pm, and admission is free. Read even more about the Arboretum in the round-up of the best places to spend a day outdoors — it tops the list! — as well as this post and this one.

Thursday – Explore the local environment at Buddie Ford Nature Center. The facility in Alexandria houses fascinating exhibits (including live creatures!), hands-on activities, and a staff of friendly and knowledgeable naturalists that all ages will appreciate. Afterwards, take the fun outdoors with a short hike at the adjacent Dora Kelley Nature Park. Buddie Ford hours are 10am – 5pm (Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday). Admission is free.

Friday – Rock out with local kids’ fave Rocknocerous at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. You can also nosh while you’re there — the smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available. Showtime is 10:30am, doors open at 10am. Tickets are $5.


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Filed under 2020, All ages, DC, Free, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Story Time, Virginia, Weekdays

The Weekend Round-Up: January 10-12

Have a ball at the Wizards Kids Day and a game on Sunday!


Happy Weekend!

Family Happy Hour
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-7pm
Admission: $10/child, $5/adult

Kick off the weekend with a casual happy hour for parents and tots! Local fave band, King Bullfrog, will bring the entertainment with high-energy original folk and blues songs carefully tailored to get children dancing and delight grownups. Meet new friends and gather with old. Complimentary pizza and a water dispenser there, too (but consider donating to the pizza fund!).

Sound Health: Second Saturday
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11:30am
Admission: Free

CityDance POP! will be teaching a Creative Movement class for ages 3-5 at this Second Saturday event. Get ready to explore balance, coordination, and imagination through dance. Parents are welcome to join in on the fun! This is part of Sound Health: Second Saturdays, a series of free workshops designed for families with children under the age of 8 that explore the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. It occurs every second Saturday of the month. Sign up in advance!

Nationals Winterfest
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: $20+/child, $30+/adult (find discount)

The World Series Champion Washington Nationals will return to Nationals Park this weekend for the annual Winterfest!  Nats players, coaches, and front office staff will make appearances throughout the weekend, participating in Q&A sessions and signing autographs for fans. Other activities include photo ops with the World Series Trophy and WGL Energy Bullpen Cart, a snow angel photo station, and the return of the curling station! Single-day and two-day passes are available.

Camp Arena Stage Open House
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Get a preview of Camp Arena Stage at an Open House this weekend! Children ages 8-15 are welcome to participate in sample workshops and classes focusing on theater, musical theater, visual art, singing, and dance — all taught by Camp staff. It’s also a great opportunity to have all of your camp questions answered. (PS: We can tell you from firsthand experience that this camp is great!)

Sensory Friendly Screening: Frozen II
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Frozen II on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal 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.

Think Outside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

When temps reach the high 60’s in January, it kind of feels obligatory to take advantage, even if there is rain. (Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. 😉 ) Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do in the fresh air in this round-up with all kinds of ideas for outdoor fun. (But if you are seeking fun inside, check out The Great Indoors list with over 100 recommendations.)

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks throughout Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Join for a campfire, s’mores, and animals at Hidden Oaks Nature Center on Friday evening. Learn how animals stay safe and snug at Riverbend Park. Build your own time capsule at Eleanor C. Lawrence Park. Details and registration for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Park it in MoCo
Where: MoCo Parks | Montgomery County, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Montgomery Parks also presents loads of special activities for visitors of all ages. Explore Art in the Park at Black Hill Nature Center, join at gnome and fairy tea party at Brookside, enjoy s’mores and more at Clarksburg Neighborhood Park. See the online calendar for details and even more events coming up.

Literacy Fiesta
Where: Wheaton Library | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

In this Literacy Fiesta program, kids and adults are part of the story as you celebrate books and stories through drama, music, movement and dance! Join the fun and leave the winter blues behind! Register online, by calling the library at 240.777.0678, or by visiting in person! Spots will be available up to the program’s start time while spaces remain.

Narnia
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/adult, $12/child (find discount)

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre By Kids For Kids… When the four Pevensie children stumble upon an old wardrobe, little do they know they will discover the magical world of Narnia. Full of mystical creatures, talking animals, and great escapes, this action-packed story by C.S. Lewis depicts the triumph of Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia, over the White Witch. Join the adventure as four brave kids, one great lion, and an entire kingdom fight for what is right. Recommended for ages 4+.

Mouse on the Move
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $12

Recommended for ages 1-5, this show is about Nellie and Amelia, two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the moon, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering cheese (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. Join us as we all try to reach beyond the stars.

Pete the Cat
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admissions: $20

See a show recommended for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade: For Pete the Cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up. So the minute the groovy blue cat meets The Biddles, he gets the whole family rocking. That is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet Earth. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect pal to help him out.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $35-120/adult, $35/14 & under (find discounts)

It’s the final weekend for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of a classic. It’s a fantastic production with one of the most magical sets ever — audiences of all ages will be enchanted! Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers. Recommended for ages 5+.

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Albert Einstein and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program and the museum, see this post and this one.

Drop in at THE REACH
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The Moonshot Studio at The REACH, the Kennedy Center’s expansion offering more ways to experience the arts, welcomes weekend drop-ins. Offering activities especially for families, you can learn to draw like Mo Willems; use hand made technology called a zoetrope to make characters squawk, jump, and dance; have fun at the Mixmaster Station to creating mixes using sounds, rhythms, and beats. The Studio is open every Saturday and Sunday, and you can see what other offerings are coming up on the schedule here.

Story Time
Where: Book shops around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Several local bookstores around the area host free story times for children on weekends that often include more than just a reading. At Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, they’ll watch your kiddos while you grab a coffee on Sundays at 11am. Head to Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria on Friday or Saturday for story time from 10:30-11am. Solid State Books hosts readings on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am. You can also join sessions at DC Public Libraries — see where and when they take place this weekend.

Harbor Point Ice Festival
Where: Harbor Point | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

Central Plaza in Harbor Point will come alive for the Harbor Point Ice Festival with fun for all ages! The plaza will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland with twinkling lights, live ice sculptures lining the walkways, live music, food trucks, drinks, kids’ crafts and more! Watch the excitement as award-winning ice sculptors use chainsaws and chisels to create spectacular mega ice sculptures. (Heads up! The Baltimore Ravens playoff game is Saturday evening, so traffic could be messy in downtown. Something to consider if you’re planning to go there. Thanks to KFDC reader Ali for cluing me in on that!)

More Charm City Fun, Hon!
Where: Various venues in Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Whether you pair something with the Ice Festival or pick just one activity, a visit to our sister city just up I-95 makes for a great family outing. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Tour the historic ships moored at the Inner Harbor. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. (PS: See above listing for note about the Saturday evening Ravens game.)

Teen Night at the USBG
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 6:30-8:30pm
Admission: Free

Kids between the ages of 13 & 17, are invited to the US Botanic Garden for an evening of art and science. Spend the time wandering through the Conservatory, exploring the USBG plant collection, and encountering hands-on art and science stations. Pre-registration is required!

Cap It
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Washington Capitals will be taking over Capital One Arena on Saturday night. Watch the action on the ice as the host the New Jersey Devils. If you want to plan on a pre-match dinner in Penn Quarteo, there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.

Washington Wizards Kids Day
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Bring the kids to a day full of Wizards fun! This year it’s LEGO-themed, and the first 200 kids in the arena receive a pretty awesome gift. As a bonus, special paid Kids Club Members will be chosen to hit the court to join the Wizard players during the National Anthem or for a postgame autograph session. They’re also very excited for the Cradle Club baby race during halftime when the tiniest fans crawl-race to the finish line — they’re looking for a few contestants for that, too. Stick around for the game against the Utah Jazz at 3:30pm!

Step Afrika! Step Xplosion
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: $35-75

Enjoy a showcase of the region’s finest step squads featuring lightning-fast footwork, percussive chants, and incredible synchronicity. In addition to Step Xplosion, Step Afrika! showcases a portion of their new work, Drumfolk, commissioned by Strathmore. Drumfolk honors the heritage of step and places the evolution of this vibrant art form in its historical context. Tracing step’s roots to the African American percussive traditions of patting juba, hambone, ring shout, and tap, Drumfolk reflects on the harsh realities of the American South and celebrates the fortitude of enslaved Africans who practiced these transcendent musical forms.

Ice It
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

If the high temps don’t cause melty conditions, ice skating outdoors will be a great way spend some time. Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s cool rink; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* How you can help Australia.
* 10 awesome things families can look forward to in 2020.
* Kids can sign up for an origami & bonsai workshop at the National Arborteum on January 18 — use code CHILDREN10 for 10% off.
* Acorns is a neat, easy way to invest and save money — we’ve been signed up for a couple of years now. (Full disclosure: Sharing via my referral link, but it really is a great app!)
* Humans of NY changes lives… maybe it’ll help this one, too.
* If, like me, you’re trying to make eco-conscious changes, I recommended these.
* A heartwarming story that will also make you LOL.
* Amy Schumer wins Instagram this week 😂


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 3-5

It’s your last chance to play with the “northern lights” of ARETCHOUSE’s Aurora exhibit


Happy First Weekend of 2020!

Wizards Star Wars Night
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission:$29

The Washington Wizards have partnered with Lucasfilm to host a movie night following the game on Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Fans purchasing the movie night ticket will see the Wizards vs. Trail Blazers game and enjoy Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope on the new LED boards following the game. Fans will also be able to watch an episode of Star Wars Resistance before the movie starts. The ticket package also includes a Star Wars-themed popcorn bucket with unlimited refills. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and capture the moment with Star Wars characters throughout the concourse.

Holidaze
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

The holidays may be over, but many activities celebrating them are still running through this weekend. Live entertainment, spectacular light displays, model trains, and seasonal events are some of the ways you can savor the holiday magic just a little bit longer. The 2019 KFDC Holiday Guide will tell you where to find them.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 12:45pm
Admission: Free

Warm up on this winter weekend with thoughts of summer! Get an up-close and personal look at what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage. Sample camps are 20 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production. Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here. This is geared toward children aged 4 – Grade 9. While some are filled, there are still spots left in several others.

Super MAGFest
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Thursday – Sunday
Admission: $25-95 varies by day (ages 6-12 are 50% off)

This 4-day music and gaming festival is dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming of all types, and the gaming community. Run by fans for fans, there are consoles, arcades, tabletop, LAN, live video game cover bands, chiptunes, vendors, guest speakers, and much much more to discover and enjoy.

Family (Art) Playdate
Where: Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30-11am
Admission: $10/adult, free for kids

The first Saturday of the month, join the Phillips for a family-friendly playdate. Guided by a professional art educator, explore one to two galleries through fun, hands-on activities. Then plan to stay and tour the rest of the museum yourself! Geared for families with children ages 4 to 8.

The Great Zucchini
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $5

Take little ones to see The Great Zucchini perform his zany and colorful a colorful magic show where every child is a star and guaranteed to laugh. They also get to learn a magic trick at the end of show! Smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available, too.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 11(find discounts)

Catch a performance of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of a classic. It’s a fantastic production with one of the most magical sets ever — audiences of all ages will be enchanted! Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers. Recommended for ages 5+.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $54-$99

Bring the whole fam to see this movie musical come to life on the Mainstage. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” If this were a film it would be rated G.

Weekend Walk-In: Crazy Crowns
Where: American Visionary At Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5

Join the museum for this month’s Weekend Walk-in, a hands-on, drop-in, art-making workshop in the AVAM classroom! During this session, Create a custom royal headpiece just for YOU using shiny tape, faux flowers & more — because everyone needs a crown. Supplies & boundless inspiration provided. Read more about the wonderful American Visionary Art Museum here.

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

This weekend is your final chance to experience ARETCHOUSE’s winter exhibit that celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the aurora borealis. It consists of one large-scale and several smaller light art installations, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Story Time
Where: Book shops around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Several local bookstores around the area host free story times for children on weekends that often include more than just a reading. At Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, they’ll watch your kiddos while you grab a coffee on Sundays at 11am. Head to Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria on Friday or Saturday for story time from 10:30-11am. Solid State Books hosts readings on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am. You can also join sessions at DC Public Libraries — see where and when they take place this weekend.

(W)Hoop it Up!
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Indiana on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason women vs GW on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs. Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday at 12pm
* American men vs. Boston on Sunday at 3pm
* GW men vs. St. Bonaventure on Sunday at 4pm

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Bundle up and get out for some active fun. Enjoy the beauty of nature in winter, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor the time outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids.

Family Stretch and Chill
Where: Yoga District | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 1:30pm
Admission: $11.50

Children ages 8 and up (and accompanying adult) are welcome to join yoga teacher Ari for a 30-minute stretch and chill class. This will be a weekly vinyasa yoga class during which students will warm up with flowing postures, learn a new peak pose each week, cool down with back bends and twists and then relax it out in a final savasana. Register in advance here.

Complimentary Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own.

Three Kings Day Brunch
Where: Jaleo | Locations in DC, MD & VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: The cost of your meal

Jaleo’s annual family-friendly Three Kings Day brunch is back. Guests can enjoy brunch and a complimentary slice of Roscón de Reyes (King Cake) alongside live performances by Adventure Theatre. Kids 10 and under will enjoy meeting the Three Kings, cake and hot chocolate, an arts & crafts “Crown Corner,” and a chance to win a prize for finding the traditional bean in their slice of cake! Jaleo has locations in Penn Quarter, Bethesda, and Crystal City. Make a reservation!

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

With a mix of weather in the forecast, these posts that are chock full of evergreen pursuits will come in handy:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Technically, lots of local kids are still on break from school, so check the Winter Break Guide for even more things to do.
* You still have a little bit of time (through Friday, 1/3) to enter the giveaway for tickets to American Pops Orchestra’s The Pied Piper!
* Come From Away is finishing its run at the Kennedy Center this weekend. It’s sold out (tickets may be available through other outlets), but if you ever have a chance to see it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
* Watson Adventures’ next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is coming up on January 19 and you can get a discount with code JAN2020. (Read a KFDC review of the experience.)
* Planet Word, a soon-to-be new DC museum, will open May 31!
* A Best Podcasts list to bookmark.
* Currently reading Florida, a collection of short stories by Lauren Groff. She’s a fantastic writer.
* My friend Molly, a big reader, shares her favorite books of the past year.
* Season 2 of You (Netflix) is a glorious, off-the-rails binge.
* Movie rec: The Farewell is really good and available on Amazon.
* New Year’s resolutions 😂


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter