Category Archives: Special Event

The Weekend Round-Up: November 27-29

 

Happy Weekend!

 

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This initiative started by REI a few years ago was so good it became one of the most popular hashtags… Skip the shopping (or do it off-hours online) and get out to enjoy some family QT outdoors. You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Family Bike Ride
Where: National Mall to Kennedy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Here’s a nice family bike ride: Head down the National Mall, around the Lincoln Memorial, down Pkwy Drive to the Rock Creek Trail that runs along the Potomac.  You’ll come to a pedestrian bridge that leads to the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center. There, you can explore the beautiful outdoor area with stretches of green grass and pretty plantings, art sculptures, fountains, and the beautifully designed buildings. Plan to shop the Winter Holiday Market at Victura Park and enjoy a bite and drink from the cafe. You can also take a stroll on the Kennedy Center Terrace and through the Grand Foyer inside.

Victura Park Winter Holiday Market
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, 4-8pm, Saturday 12–9pm, & Sunday 12-8pm.
Admission: Free

Victura Park, the pop-up wine car on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center, transforms into a festive Holiday Market starting this weekend. The outdoor market will feature an amazing line up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up shop. Support small businesses by purchasing gifts, prepackaged treats, and one-of-a-kind artworks for the perfect holiday celebration. Sip on seasonal classics such as spiked cider and hot cocoa or choose from the signature menu of beer and wine, light snacks, and delicious food hot from the grill.

More Two-Wheel Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There are even more great routes to ride all around the area, and this weekend will be a nice one to enjoy them. Take in the fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

Lighting of the Wharf Tree
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as they officially light their Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Bring the family for photos by to the 45-foot pine tree on District Pier, then enjoy dinner together at one of the many restaurants. End your evening by roasting s’mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!

Recreation on Ice
Where: A few locations in the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions this weekend should be great for outdoor ice skating. While some places are not opening for the season, the ice rinks at  Pentagon Row and Reston Town Center  are two that are once again welcoming skaters to glide the day — and night — away. And the Color Burst Ice Rink at the Merriweather District in Columbia, MD, just started its inaugural skating season. All rinks have Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Through December 31, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate. Just as the Washingtons celebrated the holiday with family and friends, visitors can start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon this holiday season. The holidays are full of delight at George Washington’s estate. It’s open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Season’s Greetings
Where: Hillwood Estate | Northwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Suggested donation $18/adult, $5/child, free/under 6

Hillwood remains a safe way to enjoy the holiday splendor with precautionary measures in place. Enjoy time outside as the gardens reveal another aspect of their ever-changing beauty during the holiday season. The gardens, as revealed in the publication A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood, are the inspiration for glamorous Christmas trees and festive décor across the estate.

Holiday Movies at The Wharf: Home Alone
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Srnday, 2pm & 6pm
Admission: $60

Join The Wharf throughout this holiday season for a pop-up outdoor movie theatre on Transit Pier where you can enjoy all the Christmas classics from your private firepit in front of a 20′ LED screen. They’re showing all the best holiday classics — this weekend it’s Home Alone— at 2pm and 6pm showtimes. In advance of the event, reserve your fire pit, which seats up to four people. Drinks (both hard and soft) and snacks are available throughout the movie from Cantina Bambina. Each seating includes a special stocking stuffed full of great offers and holiday treats from Wharf restaurants, merchants, and partners.

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s still some autumn splendor left to enjoy. With pleasant temps and foliage still brightening the landscape, this weekend will be a good time to relish in the season. This post has recommendations for where to savor it around the DMV.

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

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around 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. See a snake a and turtle feeding at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Go on a Turkey Walk at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Enjoy a Family Owl Outing at Huntley Meadows. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DMV
When: Saturday

Admission: Free, but plan to buy & support local
If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend, make a point of going to local, independent stores, both to score great, unique gifts and to support people and places that help make our communities thrive.

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Several parks and gardens in the area have transformed into sparkling wonderlands. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

ZooLights Express
Where: Wards 1 & 2 | WDC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

To play it safe this year, ZooLights Express, powered by Pepco, is bringing the colorful glow of DC’s beloved National Zoo holiday tradition into the community. The 24-foot ZooLights Express truck is hitting the road, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws.” It will visit one District ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6-8pm. This weekend it will be in Ward 1 on Friday and Ward 2 on Saturday. (Click links for the mapped route.)

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Be sure to check the KFDC holiday season guide to plan for upcoming events — some you need to reserve tickets for in advance.
* Don’t forget about the KFDC Gift Guide to help with holiday shopping.
* DC Water published a children’s book: Where Does Our Wastewater Go? takes complex environmental and engineering themes and makes them accessible to children.
* New movies to watch with the kids.
* What Washingtonians are grateful for.
* The Losses We Share, a beautiful essay by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: November 20-22

Family hang time at the National Arboretum

 

Happy Weekend!

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

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

Family Movie Night
Where: Alexandria Drive-In | Alexandria, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $35/car

The drive-in movie season continues, and this one presents family-focused movies this fall. This weekend catch showings of Sea Biscuit on Friday (7:45pm), and How to Train Your Dragon (5:30pm) and 42 (9pm) on Saturday. Food trucks are on site each night providing delish savory and sweet concessions with online ordering through Goodfynd.

Go Take a Hike
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out for a family walk in the woods! Peep the autumn leaves before they’re all gone, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for great places to go with kids. A few recs for right now: National Arboretum in DC, Prince William Forest Park and Pohick Bay Regional Park in NoVa, and Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland.

Victura Park
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: Free

It’s going to be great weather for some hang time at Victura Park, the outdoor family-friendly pop-up wine garden & café on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center. Enjoy delicious drinks and tasty grilled eats, and bring along the kiddos and pets!  Victura Park hours are Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 12-9pm, and Sunday 12-8pm.

Skate with Color
Where: Merriweather District | Columbia, MD
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: $14 (skate & rental)

The Another area place to lace up your ice skates is opening this weekend in Maryland.  Howard County’s first and only public outdoor ice rink is opening at the Merriweather District in Downtown Columbia, MD.  The Color Burst Ice Rink will launch with festive decor and Covid safety measures in place. A limited number of visitors will be admitted to the ice rink every 30-minutes, and all visits must be reserved in advance by purchasing timed ticket online.  Other ice rinks now open: Pentagon Row Ice Center & Reston Town Center Ice Rink

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The trees may be losing their leaves, but there’s still plenty of autumn left in the area — and a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has recommendations for where to savor the season around the DMV.

Donation Drive Benefitting S.O.M.E.
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 12-2pm
Admission: Free (but bring donations!)

Join The Wharf community in donating enough canned goods, non-perishable foods, and winter clothes to fill a Budweiser truck!  The supplies benefit local non-profit So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), which provides essential services to at-risk populations in Washington, DC. This year, more than ever, their services are in high demand.  The Budweiser truck will be parked outside at District Square.  Please fill the truck with canned goods, non-perishable food items, new clothing (including socks, coats, and gloves), and toiletries.

Two-Wheel Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Get in family bike rides before it gets too cold. (Sure, you can ride in all temps, but there’s bound to be less complaining now.) Take in the fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around 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. Do some nature stretching at Green Spring Garden. join a Native American campfire cookout at Riverbend Park. Learn about flying squirrels around the campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience
Where: RFK Stadium Festival Grounds | Southeast DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Starts at $49/vehicle

It’s the final weekend to encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth and eeriest marine creatures to lurk in the ocean’s depths from the safety of your family vehicle. This drive-thru experience features more than 70 true-to-life sized beasts from the land and sea with an audio tour guiding you along.

Crystalline
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 3
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

ARTECHOUSE, known for its visually stunning digital art, has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play.  Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a  dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Gonzo’s Multiverse
Where: National Theatre Online
When: Saturday, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The National is excited to present Gonzo’s Multiverse Episode One: The Tale of Vovo as part of their Saturday Morning Live! at the National virtual program. Join on Saturday for a visit with a vegan shark, a conversation with calligraphic artist Barbara Bash, music by the Good Boat Trio, and more! This programming is best suited for children 4-10 years, but siblings and friends of other ages are always welcome to join the fun.

Digital Quiltmaking Community Art/Coding Project
Where: KID Museum Online
When: Saturday through November 30
Admission: Free
Kids of all ages — adults too! — can learn to code as they design squares for a community digital quilt. Using free, online coding software called TurtleArt, users will design colorful, graphic “tiles” that can be uploaded to form a digital quilt installation. KID Museum will post instructions and helpful videos online to guide participants through the process. The project runs November 21-30, and individuals can join at any time. This is a fun, creative and educational holiday activity for family members to do together.

The Virtual Enchanted Forest
Where: Online
When: November 21
Admission: Varies by activity

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns virtually this year. Activities include storytime with Santa, an online auction, call with Santa, cooking classes, arts and crafts, yoga, and more fun for the family.

Holiday Freedom Market
Where: Online
When: Starting Saturday through December 5
Admission: Free

Looking for ethically and sustainably made holiday gifts this season?  Visit the Holiday Freedom Market, an online pop-up launching on Saturday and running for two weeks. They’ve has partnered with brands that employ fair trade and sustainable practices (including local brand Hon’s Honey), many of which support anti-human trafficking initiatives or employ at-risk individuals or survivors of exploitation, to bring you incredible gifts options that you can shop with a clear conscience.   COVID-19 has made things exponentially worse for those who are vulnerable or currently being trafficked. All net proceeds will go to Justice Ventures International, an organization that fights human trafficking.  Local pick-up options will be available.  Note that the website will not go-live until this Saturday, but you can catch a sneak-peek by visiting their Instagram and Facebook pages.

World Toilet Day Celebration
Where: Adventure Theatre Online
When: Throughout the weekend & Sunday Storytime, 2pm
Admission: Free

Adventure Theatre is commemorating World Toilet Day with a release of a music video titled “Let’s Talk about Poop.” Sunday’s StoryTime will feature Philip Chung, playwright of upcoming production “Poop: The Musical,” and the Fairfax County Wastewater Management team. Adventure Theatre’s Storytimes are Sundays at 2PM, free on Facebook Live.

Lights on the Bay
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: Through January 2
Admission: $20/car (look for discount)

Driving through Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park has become a tradition for many area families for the past decade. The scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay features more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. The holiday light show is sponsored by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.

Ice & Lights
Where: Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Opens Sunday
Admission: See details below(look for discount)

Glide across the ice at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia. The waterpark is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music and more. Visit Slice n’ Ice for hot chocolate, coffee and cold beverages, pizza, hot dogs, and delicious donut holes. Admission to the village is $7.95, with 1-hour skating and skate rental is $19.43, ice skating & rental only is $12.19. Ice skating tickets are available online only.

More Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a seasonal favorite. Visit one of several parks 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.

Tree Light Show
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Evenings at sundown
Admission: Free

Ignite your holiday spirit with the lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. A little snowfall over the tree during the light show will add to fun. The first tree light show is Saturday evening and will takes place every night through the season, every half hour from sundown to 9pm. This year, in order to maintain social distancing, guests will be asked to form a line and follow the directions.

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* In response to rising Covid rates, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close to the public starting November 23.
* The National Gallery of Art will also temporarily close starting November 21.
* Tea Collection is in the midst of 12 Days of Tea with new special offers daily.
* Random, but these sweatshirts are cute, comfy, and such a good deal.
* Mentioned recently in the Five Things, now is a great time to sign up for Rakuten. You can earn cash back on purchases as you’re doing online holiday shopping!
* The 30 Best Comedies on Hulu Right Now because who can’t use more laughter.
* Dolly is just the best.
* Ha.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: November 13-15

 

Happy Weekend!

 

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The trees may be losing their leaves, but there’s still plenty of autumn left in the area — and a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has recommendations for where to savor the season that aren’t farm festivals.

Focus on First Ladies
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through
Admission: Free with timed-entry pass

A new exhibit focusing on first ladies opens at the National Portrait Gallery this weekend. “Every Eye Is Upon Me: First Ladies of the United States” will be the first major exhibition to explore the historical significance of this prominent position through the mode of portraiture. It will span nearly 250 years, from Martha Washington to Melania Trump, and will feature more than 60 portraits of the First Ladies or those who undertook the role of White House hostess, alongside related ephemera, including iconic dresses.

Bull Run Festival of Lights
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: Through January 10
Admission: $20-30/vehicle (look for discount)

Start your holiday fun early!  Experience 2.5 miles of colorful holiday light displays. As you drive the festival route, turn off your headlights and just follow the magical glow. It started early this year and online ticketing were added to provide minimal contact.

Winter Walk of Lights

Where: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Vienna, VA
When: Through January 3
Admission: $15/adult, $9/ages 2-12 (look for discount)

Another brilliant way to enjoy an evening this season:  Bring your family and friends to be dazzled by the magical Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which has been transformed into a half-mile walk of lights. Revisit perennial favorites such as the animated Lakeside Lights, the Fountain of Lights, and the Holiday Nature Walk – and look for new displays. Put on your walking shoes and experience a Northern Virginia festive tradition.

Tree Light Show
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday at sundown
Admission: Free

Ignite your holiday spirit with the lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. A little snowfall over the tree during the light show will add to fun. The first tree light show is Saturday evening and will takes place every night through the season, every half hour from sundown to 9pm. This year, in order to maintain social distancing, guests will be asked to form a line and follow the directions.

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

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions this weekend should be perfect for outdoor ice skating. While some places are not opening for the season, the ice rinks at Pentagon Row and Reston Town Center are two that are welcoming skaters to glide the day — and night — away. Both have Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.

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

It might be cooling down, but the weather will still be good for getting out, so take advantage with some time on the trail. Peep the autumn leaves, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids. And I particularly recommend this hike (and wine stop after) for this time of year.

Flight Fest
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission:

Join the Maryland Science Center for their fifth annual Flight Fest! Bring the whole family to learn about the science of aerodynamics and wings with games, activities, and demonstrations. Participate in aeronautic challenges, an egg drop challenge, and test out your own flying contraptions! If you can’t make it or want to extend the fun after your visit with even more hands-on science, Flight Fest is also online.

New Museum in DMV
Where: National Museum of the US Army | Fairfax, VA
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free with timed tickets

The museum that just opened on Veterans Day celebrates over 245 years of Army history and honors the nation’s soldiers — past, present, and future — the regular Army, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. Artifacts, exhibits, and more programs will help you discover the stories and explore the ways our nation has benefited from the innovation and advancement of its Army.

Celebrate Diwali
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 11:30am
Admission: Free

Join the Freer|Sackler Gallery, Smithsonnian’s National Museum of Asian Art, to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in this family workshop. Honoring the power of hope when times are dark, Diwali reminds us to light the lamp of joyous thoughts within to transform our lives. This program, led by dancer Anila Kumari and artists from the Sutradhar Institute of Dance & Related Arts, will include an interactive workshop on dance and hand gestures, story time, and a special lamp lighting ceremony. It is designed for children of all ages with adult companions.

Ride On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Family bike rides are perfect for right now. It’s a fun, active way to enjoy the fall weather and foliage — while social distancing, too. The DC area has plenty of good routes, with something for every age and rider level. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recommendations, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru Experience
Where: RFK Stadium Festival Grounds | Southeast DC
When: Through November 15
Admission: Starts at $49/vehicle

Encounter some of the largest dinosaurs to ever roam the earth and eeriest marine creatures to lurk in the ocean’s depths from the safety of your family vehicle. This drive-thru experience features more than 70 true-to-life sized beasts from the land and sea with an audio tour guiding you along.

Inside Out(ings)
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With some wet weather in the forecast, you might be seeking adventures inside.  Lots of indoor places have reopened with extra precautions to ensure safety during COVID. This post has a list of where you can hang out inside, and this one has suggestions especially for little kids.

Give Thanks Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Through November 30
Admission: $35

Get ready for Turkey Day as you give thanks and learn a bit about Thanksgiving traditions on this heartfelt treasure hunt. Have fun searching for Thanksgiving themed items found only at The Mansion. This includes a self-guided tour of the many themed rooms and secret doors. Bring your own shopping bags — everything is for sale! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

Crystalline
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 3
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

ARTECHOUSE, known for its visually stunning digital art, has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play.  Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a  dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

Free Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | WDC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free, but must reserve

The first and third Sundays of every month are a great opportunity to 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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* In case you missed it, the 2020 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC was just posted!
* Not good stuff, but something to be aware of and avoid: The Million MAGA March will bring right-wing extremist groups to downtown DC on Saturday.
* Big Frank’s BBQ is a new, massive BBQ trailer now parked on Barrack Row on weekends.
* Need a new family game? This one looks fun!
* Who else watching The Undoing on HBO? So suspenseful! (And not for kids.)
* Andy Borowitz has been on fire lately 🔥
* Private Eyes or Rich Girl? 😉
* Cannot stop watching this 🙌  (HT to Sasha for this one!)

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The 2020 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

The 2020 DC holiday season is a little bit off this year 😉

 

Like most things in 2020, the holiday season in DC will look a lot different this year.  Many beloved annual events and shows that so many of us look forward to have been cancelled,  favorite family traditions interrupted. But there still are enough happening to make the season bright (literally, at some places).  Holiday light displays, that you drive or walk through outdoors, are as dazzling as they are great for social distancing.  In-person celebrations have extra safety precautions in place. Holiday shows are going virtual, many of them for free.  Christmas trees and menorahs are lit through the season, so you can visit at your leisure.  Seasonal markets are prepped for safety or bringing the shopping online. ‘Tis not the season we’re used to, but it still can be a wonderful time of the year.  This annual KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC will help you plan for it all.

Light Displays

Trees & Lightings

Chanukah

Special Events & Activities

Holiday Shows

Holiday Markets

 

Drive or walk through the festive Symphony of Lights

LIGHT DISPLAYS

Bull Run Festival of Lights
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: November 6 – January 10
Admission: $20-30/vehicle (look for discount)

Experience 2.5 miles of colorful holiday light displays. As you drive the festival route, turn off your headlights and just follow the magical glow. It started early this year and online ticketing were added to provide minimal contact. Take advantage of a discount for purchasing online — use promo code WEB20 for $5 off the Monday-Thursday rate.

Winter Walk of Lights

Where: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Vienna, VA
When: November 11 – January 3
Admission: $15/adult, $9/ages 2-12 (look for discount)

Bring your family and friends to be dazzled by the magical Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. Every year from mid-November until just after New Year’s Day, the garden is transformed into a half-mile, walk of lights. Revisit perennial favorites such as the animated Lakeside Lights, the Fountain of Lights, and the Holiday Nature Walk – and look for new displays each year. Put on your walking shoes and bring the family to experience a Northern Virginia festive tradition.

Winter Wine-derland
Where: Bluemont Vineyard | Bluemont, VA
When: November 19 – January 3
Admission: $12-30

Enjoy a family friendly outing at the whimsical Winter Wine-derland, located at Bluemont Vineyard’s The Stable event venue, nestled among the vines half way up the mountain. At the exclusive holiday pop-up, families can decorate gingerbread while sipping hot cocoa, roast marshmallows fireside and craft inimitable cork ornaments. Adults can enjoy indulging in a cup of mulled wine or exploring a Wine and Cookie pairing of Christmas cookies, crafted by local Knead It Bakery, paired with their favorite Bluemont Vineyard wines. Check out the website for even more ways for adults to celebrate there!

Ice & Lights
Where: Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
When: November 20 – January 3
Admission: See details below(look for discount)

Glide across the ice at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia. The waterpark is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music and more. Visit Slice n’ Ice for hot chocolate, coffee and cold beverages, pizza, hot dogs, and delicious donut holes. Admission to the village is $7.95, with 1-hour skating and skate rental is $19.43, ice skating & rental only is $12.19. Ice skating tickets are available online only.

Lights on the Bay
Where: Sandy Point State Park | Annapolis, MD
When: November 20 – January 2
Admission: $20/car (look for discount)

Driving through Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park has become a tradition for many area families for the past decade. The scenic drive along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay features more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. The holiday light show is sponsored by the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.

Symphony of Lights
Where: Symphony Woods at Merriweather | Columbia, MD
When: November 25 – January 1
Admission: $20/vehicle

Called a “woodland wonderland,” this beautiful display of more than 100 all new larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations is a local holiday tradition for many. Cruise along the 1.4-mile route through the Symphony Woods in downtown Columbia and enjoy the twinkling lights as you go. On November 29, the Family Festival welcomes visitors to walk through the lights + enjoy activities for the whole family ($12/guest).

ZooLights Express
Where: Around DC
When: See dates below
Admission: Free

ZooLights Express, powered by Pepco, is bringing the colorful glow of DC’s beloved National Zoo holiday tradition into the community. The 24-foot ZooLights Express truck will hit the road, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws,” and visit one District ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6-8pm:
Friday, 11/27 | Ward 1
Saturday, 11/28 | Ward 2
Friday, 12/4 | Ward 3
Saturday, 12/5 | Ward 4
Friday, 12/11| Ward 5
Saturday, 12/12 | Ward 6
Friday, 12/18 | Ward 7
Saturday, 12/19 | Ward 8

Festival of Lights
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: November 27 – January 1,
Admission: $8-10/vehicle

This spectacular holiday drive-through event of more than one million twinkling lights has been dazzling holiday-goers for over 25 years. This is great way to get into the holiday spirit from the comfort of your car — bring a thermos of hot chocolate, put on some holiday music, turn on the seat warmers, and take in the adorably festive illuminated scenes. Purchase tickets in advance online and pay only $8.

Winter Lights Festival

Where: Seneca Creek State Park | Gathersburg, MD
When: November 27 – December 31
Admission: $12-15/car Mon-Thurs, $17-20/car Fri-Sun

The 25th Annual Winter Lights Festival is a glowing 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park. The route takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night.  Note that it’s closed on Christmas.

Garden in Lights
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Solomons, MD
When: November 27 – January 1 (closed 12/1, 7, 8, 24, 25)
Admission: $10-12/person, free/3 & under

This annual holiday light show is getting a makeover in light of COVID-19 guidelines with everything outside to keep everyone safe, so bundle up a magical holiday experience. The grounds of Annmarie are transformed into an outdoor twinkling wonderland that will transport your family to an enchanted world where they will discover glowing “light sculptures” and wondrous light installations. Discover wild animals, wintery wonderlands, musical holiday scenes, deep sea treasures, magical creatures, glowing trees, and more.  New this year: An outdoor Holiday Market with shopping, music, fun holiday photo opps, and food and drink.

DC Holiday Lights
Where: Around DC
When: December 1-31
Admission: Free

During December, Main Streets throughout the District are joining together to bring DC residents a spectacular holiday experience: DC Holiday Lights! Residents are invited to take a stroll down each of the participating corridors to experience a dazzling array of lights and decor, enjoy holiday promotions, and shop local. Visit the website to see where corridors are located and what to expect at each of them. You can also take a guided tour of the lights with Free Tours By Foot!

 


Stop and see the Capitol tree

TREES & LIGHTINGS

Nightly Holiday Tree Light Show
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: November 14 – January 3
Admission: Free

Ignite your holiday spirit with the nightly lighting of the 56-foot tree and two million twinkling lights in the National Harbor Waterfront District. The tree light show takes place every evening, every half hour from sundown to 9pm. On weekends — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show. This year, in order to maintain social distancing, guests will be asked to form a line and follow the directions.

Lighting of the Wharf Tree
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as they officially light their Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Bring the family for photos by to the 45-foot pine tree on District Pier, then enjoy dinner together at one of the many restaurants. End your evening by roasting s’mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!

National Christmas Tree & Holiday Trees
Where: President’s Park | The Ellipse, DC
When: December 5-31
Admission: Free, but you must have won tickets via lottery

The lighting of the National Christmas Tree on December 5 will not include a live audience this year, but the illumination and performances can be viewed virtually.  After that, the tree will be lit nightly, and visitors are welcome to see it on the Ellipse along with trees representing each state and territory and the District though December.

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting
Where: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: December 2, 5pm
Admission: Free

A great alternative to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Technically, the lighting  will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, but you could view festivities from right across the street by the Reflecting Pool (be sure to social distance). I recommend going on another evening, though, when you can view the tree from a closer vantage point.  After the lighting, the tree will be lit every evening for all to enjoy until January 1.


The National Menorah Lighting on the Ellipse

CHANUKAH

Chanukah in a Box
Where: Online/Zoom
When: December 6 (order by 12/3)
Admission: $15/box

Join Chabad for virtual Chanukah fun for the whole family! You will receive a box of supplies before the online carnival, and then log in to create Chanukah masterpieces together on Zoom! (Or if you prefer, you can do it all on your own — instructions included in the box.) Receive an action-packed box with Chanukah activities, including a menorah kit, Chamukah cookie cutters, a dreidel craft, a foil card, and popcorn for snacking. you need to order by 12/3 to join the Zoom on 12/6!

National Menorah Lighting
Where: President’s Park | The National Ellipse, DC
When: December 10, 4pm
Admission: Free, but you must request tickets

This is the Jewish counterpart to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Every Chanukah, the National Menorah is lit in a ceremony on the Ellipse. Usually, along with the lighting, there is live entertainment, menorah kits and dreidels to take home, and latkes and donuts. This year, details about those festivities are TBD.  Tickets are free, but you need to order them in advance through the website starting November 16.

Lighting of the Menorah
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: December 10-18, 5-6pm
Admission: Free

The Wharf is continuing their annual tradition of lighting the menorah in District Square for each night of Hanukkah — join them to celebrate the Festival of Lights! Plan to dine out while you’re there and enjoy an evening stroll along the beautiful waterfront.

Where: Zoom with Hurray for Books 
When: December 6, 1pm
Admission: Free
Join author Laura Gehl for an interactive Hanukkah storytime via Zoom featuring her new book HAPPY LLAMAKKAH! Laura will read the story, followed by Hanukkah and llama trivia and other interactive fun for ages 0-8.  Register here to receive the Zoom link.

The Drive-thru Chanukah Experience
Where: 6011 Executive Blvd | Rockville, MD
When: December 12-13
Admission: $25/vehicle + $2/person

The Chanukah Story comes to life with an epic audio-visual presentation in a Covid-safe manner, thank to Chabad Centers of Montgomery County. From the safety of their cars, families will literally drive-thru the Chanukah story as multiple illustrations, props, and actors bring the 2500-year-old Chanukah story to life. Guided by a professionally created soundtrack, they will experience the Chanukah events as it would be happening in real-time. Participants will meet, at a distance, the Chanukah characters and pick up souvenirs and treats as they move through the Chanukah story.The Chanukah Drive-thru Experience will bring the joy and excitement of Chanukah at a time when it is most needed.

 


Crystalline at ARTECHOUSE evokes a winter vibe

SPECIAL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

Give Thanks Hunt
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Through November 30
Admission: $35

Give thanks and learn a bit about Thanksgiving traditions on this heartfelt treasure hunt. Have fun searching for Thanksgiving themed items found only at The Mansion. This includes a self-guided tour of the many themed rooms and secret doors. Bring your own shopping bags — everything is for sale! Read more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

Crystalline
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 3
Admission: $12-17/child, $19-24/adult

ARTECHOUSE, known for its visually stunning digital art, has transformed the gallery into a blue-hued haven intended to evoke calm and peace during a turbulent time. Like all of the exhibitions there, just about all of it is interactive, as the images change with viewers’ motions, encouraging play.  Immersing into the depths of the color, even just for a little while, is a  dazzling and delightful escape from the bizarre Covid world outside.

The Virtual Enchanted Forest
Where: Online
When: November 21
Admission: Varies by activity

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns virtually this year. Activities include storytime with Santa, an online auction, call with Santa, cooking classes, arts and crafts, yoga, and more fun for the family.

Season’s Greetings
Where: Hillwood Estate | Northwest DC
When: November 24 – January 10
Admission: Suggested donation $18/adult, $5/child, free/under 6

Hillwood remains a safe way to enjoy the holiday splendor with precautionary measures in place. Enjoy time outside as the gardens reveal another aspect of their ever-changing beauty during the holiday season. The gardens, as revealed in the publication A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood, are the inspiration for glamorous Christmas trees and festive décor across the estate. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.

The Grinch’s Grotto
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: November 27 – December 31
Admission: $50

If taking traditional cheerful holiday photos with the family is exactly what you don’t feel like doing, check out The Grinch’s Grotto, an imaginative take on holiday photo shoots that will give guests a fun way to show off a bit of their grumpiness during what is still the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: November 27 – December 31, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate. Just as the Washingtons celebrated the holiday with family and friends, visitors can start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon this holiday season. The holidays are full of delight at George Washington’s estate. It’s open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Tenley WinterFest
Where: Throughout Tenleytown, DC
When: November 27 – December 5
Admission: Free

This eight-day celebration of the holiday season is designed to showcase local businesses, community groups, and the neighborhood — all with a unique Tenleytown flair and lots of yetis. Get special deals at restaurants, join a Yeti Scavenger Hunt, checkout festive storefronts, and take a self-guided walking tour.

Holiday Movies at The Wharf
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Weekends
Admission: $60

Join The Wharf throughout this holiday season for a pop-up outdoor movie theatre on Transit Pier where you can enjoy all the Christmas classics from your private firepit in front of a 20′ LED screen. They’re showing all the best holiday classics, including Home Alone, The Grinch, A Christmas Story, Elf, and more at 2pm and 6pm showtimes. In advance of the event, reserve your fire pit, which seats up to four people. Drinks (both hard and soft) and snacks are available throughout the movie from Cantina Bambina. Each seating includes a special stocking stuffed full of great offers and holiday treats from Wharf restaurants, merchants, and partners.

Occoquan HolidayFest
Where: Online & Historic Occoquan, VA
When: November 30 – December 13
Admission: Free

Enjoy the upcoming festive season with virtual and socially distanced celebrations in historic Occoquan! The Town of Occoquan and the Occoquan Merchants Guild are pleased to present a three-week event including in-person and online activities, including a virtual tree lighting, family fireside night, in-person market, a gingerbread contest, and trivia night. See the website for dates and details.

Christmas Village
Where: Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg, VA
When: December 4/5/6, 11/12/13, 18/19/20, 22/23, 6-9pm
Admission: $10.95 9$12.95 at door)

Celebrate Christmas with the Critters at the Animal Park’s evening holiday event! Activities include photos with Santa Claus, themed arts & crafts, live animal encounters + holiday photos with them, a kids’ indoor play zone, bonfire & marshmallow roasting, pony rides, nativity scene, animal petting & feeding, and thousands of holiday lights. Christmas trees & wreaths will be available for purchase at the Farm Market, too.

Georgetown History & Holiday Lights Tour
Where: Throughout Georgetown DC
When: Starting early December
Admission: Pay what you want

Join Free Tours by Foot for a special evening Historic Georgetown tour that brings you the history through the holiday window displays of Georgetown businesses and restaurants. It’s a unique way to learn about the art and the neighborhood itself. Explore the industrial and some of the oldest residential parts of the neighborhood by the water and along the canal. Note: All sites and homes will be viewed from the street.

Christmas Eve Tours
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle, DC
When: December 24
Admission: $39

They’ve decked the halls and walls and filled The O with season’s greetings & holiday cheer to create lasting memories for all. On the Breakfast Tour, enjoy a delicious continental breakfast (sweet breads, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate) then tour through the themed rooms and search for secret doors. On the Dessert Tour, tour the mansion, then take home an assortment of tortes, cakes, and sweets — includes hot coffee, hot tea, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate (cash bar). See more about this wonderfully unique DC attraction in this KFDC post.

Joy Around the World: Virtual Holiday Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Where: Watson Adventures Online
When: December 28
Admission: $19

Wishing you could find a way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family? Join Watson Adventures on a virtual sleigh ride across the internet! This virtual scavenger hunt takes you to holiday markets and festivals, amazing museums and many scenic places around the world, in search of answers to fun, holiday-related questions. Whether it’s for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even Boxing Day, it’s a fun game to unite families and friends. Guaranteed to delight any Grinch! For ages 10 and up. Teams of up to six can play together or remotely. Advance booking is required.

Holiday Train Show
Where: Union Station | Capitol Hill Area, DC
When: TBD
Admission: Free

Every year, DC’s grand train station hosts a wonderful Holiday Train Display, on view in the West Hall. Featuring a Norwegian landscape, the displays are intricate and fun to stop by and see if you’re at the station during the holiday season.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: December 31
Admission: $25 ’til 11/30, $30 12/1-30, $35 12/31, free/12 & under
The largest family-focused and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve event in the region is ON for 2020. Organizers are planning a hybrid experience that will include both online and live performances around Alexandria. More details to come soon!

 


Catch Step Afrika’s magnificent Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show online for free!

VIRTUAL HOLIDAY SHOWS

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap Online
When: December 5 & 19, 4pm (gates open 2:30pm)
Tickets: Free

Wolf Trap continues their wonderful community tradition of the Holiday Sing-A-Long, this year with a virtual twist! Traditionally, this event combined a festive instrumental performance by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band (USMB) and a sing-a-long of traditional holiday carols led by more than 500 local singers. This year’s event will be presented in a digital format and we hope that you join us from the comfort of your home. These pre-recorded performances by the USMB at The Barns at Wolf Trap, will each begin with a short prelude of festive instrumentals followed by a series of favorite holiday sing-a-longs. Two nights. Two different virtual performances. Tons of holiday cheer!

The Snow Queen
Where: Imagination Stage Online
When: December 12 – February 28
Admission: $25-29/household

In this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous winter fairy tale, a powerful friendship is put to the test as four narrators bring to life the story of Gerda and Kai, life-long best friends whose relationship is broken by the unfeeling Snow Queen. Can Gerda save Kai before his heart is frozen solid? Imagination abounds in this magical story of courage, wit, and unshakable resilience! Recommended for ages 5+.

The Nutcracker
Where: The Washington Ballet Online
When: TBD
Tickets: TBD

Experience moments of joy and magic from The Washington Ballet’s charmingly-DC The Nutcracker – virtually! While we can’t be in the theatre to celebrate the joy of The Nutcracker and the holiday season, The Washington Ballet is working on putting together a delightful virtual Nutcracker experience with behind-the-scenes content, interviews, special performances, and more.

A Season of Reveling
Where: Washington Revels Online
When: Through December 20
Admission: Varies

This December’s Christmas Revels will not take place on a stage… but Washington Revels will celebrate nonetheless! They’ve been hard at work imagining the possibilities of a virtual Christmas Revels. Much more information is coming soon! Right now we are excited to share that we will not only present a virtual Winter Solstice Revels, but also we are also planning an ongoing “suite” of Fall programming — “A Season of Reveling.“

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Step Afrika! Online
When: December 16, 7:30pm
Admission: Free
As the world’s first holiday show highlighting the African American tradition of stepping, the Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a feast for the eyes and ears. Fabulous and furry friends from the Arctic Kingdom – Popper the Penguin along with polar bear twins, Pinky and Polo-ensure a fun and exciting experience for the entire family! Recognizing the challenges faced by so many families due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Step Afrika! is offering this year’s holiday show free of charge. Tune in as the celebrated performers of Step Afrika! spread holiday cheer to audiences all over the world. Register in advance.

ASO Live! Holiday Classics
Where: Strathmore Online
When: December 18
Admission: $49

The holidays are a time spent with friends and family, both near and far, celebrating togetherness. Enjoy a concert that will warm your heart on a cold winter’s night with holiday favorites and classical others. This concert is sure to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night. selections by Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Strauss, Scott Joplin, and Leroy Anderson, among others. This concert is sure to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night.

The Nutcracker Storybook
Where: Maryland Youth Ballet Online
When: Starting December 19
Admission: $10 to rent, $20 to purchase

Given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Youth Ballet is excited to announce a reimagined production of its traditional holiday favorite, The Nutcracker, with a NEW video production. The Nutcracker Storybook follows the storyline of the timeless holiday classic with “Uncle Drosselmeyer” narrating and guiding viewers through a storybook come to life. The performance will be pre-recorded with a broadcast premiere on December 19.

Coyaba Dance Theater: In Spirit of Kwanzaa
Where: Dance Place Online
When: December 29, 6:30pm
Tickets: Free

Join Coyaba Dance Theater West African Dance Company in celebrating 15 years! This high-energy virtual presentation is based on the 7 Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa: Umoja, Kuchjichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, Imani. Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday from December 26 – January 1. In gathering, we commemorate and recommit to our families, community economics, and Faith. This show will lift your spirits and warm your hearts.

 


Strolling the Downtown Holiday Market

HOLIDAY MARKETS

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: November 20 – December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

This one, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. Treats and coffee drinks are available for purchase, too.   KFDC Tip: Plan to visit the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market after you’ve done your shopping.  Reserve timed-entry tickets here. (The museums are currently closed due to rising Covid-19 rates.)

Victura Park Winter Holiday Market
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: November 27 – December 20
Admission: Free

This winter, Victura Park, the pop-up wine car on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center, transforms into a festive Holiday Market! The outdoor market will feature an amazing line up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up shop. Support small businesses by purchasing gifts, prepackaged treats, and one-of-a-kind artworks for the perfect holiday celebration! Sip on seasonal classics such as spiked cider and hot cocoa or choose from the signature menu of beer and wine, light snacks, and delicious food hot from the grill. Holiday hours will be Friday 4 – 8pm, Saturday 12– 9pm, & Sunday 12 – 8pm.

Eastern Market
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Year-round Saturdays & Sundays
Admission: Free

The outdoor flea market at the centerpiece of the Capitol Hill community is practically a year-round weekend institution for locals. And during the holiday season, it’s a go-to for shoppers seeking unique gifts along with a fun outing. Over 100 vendors are there, selling everything from original artwork to fun T-shirts, to handmade jewelry and accessories, to home décor to custom-made and used furniture – and much, much more. If you’re cooking up a holiday meal, you can get fresh produce from farmers’ stalls outside and butchered meats, fancy cheeses, baked goods, pasta, fresh produce, and more inside the actual Eastern Market. Even more, there is often live music courtesy of buskers around the area, and if the kids want some play time afterwards, you can hit one of several parks or playgrounds in the neighborhood (Lincoln Park, at 11th and East Capitol, is the largest and most popular among them).

Gifts That Give Hope Gift Fair
Where: Online
When: November 23 – December 18
Admission: Free

This Fair puts a new spin on gift-giving. The concept is simple: Make a donation to a locally-based nonprofits, personalize a Gifts That Give Hope greeting card for a loved one, and give that act of kindness as a gift. Thanks to generous shoppers, Gifts That Give Hope is supporting acts of kindness around our community and the world this holiday season.

Holiday Freedom Market
Where: Online
When: November 22 – December 5
Admission: Free

Looking for ethically and sustainably made holiday gifts this season?  Visit the Holiday Freedom Market, an online pop-up launching on Saturday and running for two weeks. They’ve has partnered with brands that employ fair trade and sustainable practices (including local brand Hon’s Honey), many of which support anti-human trafficking initiatives or employ at-risk individuals or survivors of exploitation, to bring you incredible gifts options that you can shop with a clear conscience.   COVID-19 has made things exponentially worse for those who are vulnerable or currently being trafficked. All net proceeds will go to Justice Ventures International, an organization that fights human trafficking.  Local pick-up options will be available.  Note that the website will not go-live until this Saturday, but you can catch a sneak-peek by visiting their Instagram and Facebook pages.

First Sunday Arts Festival Holiday Edition
Where: Calvert & West Streets | Annapolis, MD
When: December 6, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Shop an array of items in person from 50 artists in downtown Annapolis (or shop online from over 200 vendors). Booths will be spread out to make social distancing easier. They ask that masks are worn when inside a vendors tent and that only one household enter a tent at a time. Bring hand sanitizer for convenient hand washing.

Virtual Markets
Where: Online
When: Throughout the season
Admission: What you spend!

Most annual markets have moved online due to Covid-19, which might even make shopping easier. So many of them offer unique finds that make for perfect holiday gifts, plus they often support wonderful organizations, places, and people in the community. Here are some to browse from the comfort of your couch:
Smithsonian Holiday Market
Strathmore Shop Around
Heurich House Christkindlmarkt
Sideshow at the American Visionary Art Museum
Waldorf School Fall Bazaar

 

Know of a great DC holiday event that you don’t see here? Let us know in the comments below!

 

3 Comments

Filed under 2020, 2021, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter