Filed under 2023, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Theatre, Weekdays, Winter
We first experienced Enchant, the holiday light extravaganza at Nationals Park, when it debuted in DC in 2019. As I relayed in this review, we all loved it then, finding the 90,000 square foot light maze beautiful, dazzling, and a really fun way to get into the spirit of the season. When we were invited to visit again this year, I was excited to return, though I wondered how my kids would like it now. Three years makes a big difference at their ages, 16 and 13, and what they liked at 13 and 10 could easily change.
I finally found out last night as we spent the early part of Christmas evening there. (I had hoped to get there sooner in the holiday season, but we’ve had a really busy few weeks, then weather thwarted our plans to go last week). Turns out both kids still really enjoyed it, just a bit differently than last time. This year, there was a story book theme that had you searching for stars to put a broken Santa’s Magic Timepiece back together. While Sasha was gungho about the scavenger hunt a few years ago, she wasn’t so interested this time.
But we all had a fantastic time exploring the sprawling maze of illuminated areas on the ballpark field. There’s something about the twinkling scenes, some of them interactive, with delightful music playing, all where the Nats play that really is, well, enchanting.
Along with the maze, there is also ice skating (extra cost), concessions including yummy warm beverages, a “village” with shops to browse, areas for warming up, and plenty of photo ops. There are other experiences like photos with Santa, though they are no longer being offered.
You can get a better idea of what Enchant is all about in my post from a few years ago — I still think it’s a great holiday season activity if you’re up for a splurge. And just because Christmas is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some holiday magic.
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through January 1
Admission: $25+/adult, $23+/age 3-17
Specials to Note:
* On Wednesday, admission is FREE for children!
* A Family-4 Pack is available that gets you 20% off admission
* Night Owl tickets for admission from 8:30pm on start at $25
More scenes from our from our visit there…
Winter break is starting! Have you made plans?
Imagination Stage will have weekday matinees throughout the whole week, December 26-30! Bring the kids, bring the neighbor’s kids, bring the cousins from out of town and their kids. Make it a play-date!
Mo Willems’ hilarious musical, based on the book, is a fantastic addition to your holiday plans. Tickets start at $12 — that’s less than a ticket to see a movie!
Filed under 2022, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Weekdays, Winter
[Note: This is a guest post contributed by Canden Arciniega from DC by Foot.]
Every year, Georgetown takes on a new GLOW with temporary light installations designed by visual artists from all over the world. DC by Foot offers a walking tour that explores both the Georgetown Glow art and permanent street art and murals in the neighborhood.
* Runs Wednesday – Sunday through January 22, 2023, including on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
* Select dates are pay-what-you-want while others are ticketed. Tickets are $35/adult, $20/youth (4-16), and kids under 4 are FREE. Ticketed groups are smaller and come with your own glow sticks!
* Starts outside Four Season’s Hotel and ends at Potomac & M Streets NW.
Four reasons why the Georgetown Glow Tour is great for kids:
1. It’s interactive! DC by Foot’s guides don’t lecture memorized facts, so the tours are engaging and fun, even for the youngest visitors. And with small groups on the tour, you’ll have time to interact with the different light installations. For 2022, the tour ends at the Cloud Swing, a set of actual swings that light up clouds above when you swing high enough! You’ll also see Picto Sender Machine, a low-resolution screen where you can record a video message.
2. It’s only 1.5 hours and 1 mile. As much fun as the tour is, kids’ attention spans are only so long. The tour is a highlight 1.5 hours with only one mile of walking. [NOTE: It is NOT stroller friendly due to stairs and Georgetown sidewalks.]
3. It starts at 5:30pm. There isn’t a lot to enjoy about early sunsets (except maybe sneaking bedtime a bit earlier than usual). But with early nightfall, DC by Foot starts the tour at 5:30pm, making it a great family activity that won’t keep everyone out too late!
4. It ends outside the best macron shop in Georgetown. We’re all okay with bribes, right? Stop at Olivia Macaron shop for a tasty (but small and non-messy) colorful treat after the tour.
See more about DC by Foot’s Georgetown Glow Tour and reserve your tickets here!
[Note: This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of two young children. She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ activities around the DC area. See some of them here, here, here,]
An oasis of Christmas magic awaits you at National Harbor’s Gaylord Resort & Convention Center. If you’ve never been, you’ve likely still heard of ICE!, the resort’s annual holiday season event boasting incredible, themed ice sculptures. But the ad on your social media feed doesn’t illustrate the extent of the elaborate, immersive experience, in addition to the world-class Christmas Village and overall holiday joy carried throughout the resort.
My family spent the night at Gaylord prior to attending the holiday events, and it may be our new tradition. We arrived at sundown when the magic is really at its best. The balcony to our room overlooked the entire atrium, aglow with a Christmas tree and twinkling lights overhead. The core memories being created were 1000% worth a night of sharing a room with two over-excited kids. We also spied the amazing Christmas Dream Suites from our room.
The next morning, the Christmas Village and ICE! – themed around A Christmas Story – were officially open. Plan to start your experience with ICE! – an outdoor, tented exhibit space chilled to an unimaginable 9 degrees. Think ice bar or walk-in freezer if you’ve ever been in one, and bundle up in your warmest gear. Parkas are also provided but are not warm enough on their own, though cute for a family photo op.
No words can fully describe ICE! and the mind-blowing, multi-colored ice creations that a team of ice carvers from Harbin, China, are brought in to build. On your way in, there is a small display showing the process and tools used – try to pause and explain things to your kids beforehand – they may be too cold to chat in the exhibit. And if they have yet to see A Christmas Story, watch some of the classic scenes ahead of time to make it more meaningful as well.
Hopefully your kids aren’t too cold in ICE! to take advantage of the coolest (pun intended) ice slides ever. Otherwise, you should head directly to Snow Flow Mountain indoors and plan to park it there for awhile. This four-lane tubing slide does not mess around! The height requirement is 42” and it makes total sense once you see how fast the tubes careen down the slope. The smiles and laughter are priceless.
Next, we checked out Snow Factory, where you can build and toss real snowballs, but it wasn’t quite ready for our visit. Temporary disappointment until we saw the next stop was a visit with Santa – the real one according to my 5-year-old (I’m more discerning with my Santas). After the prerequisite photo-op, we spotted a gingerbread girl named “Cinnamon” and followed her to the Gingerbread Decorating Corner. My kids chose the pre-constructed houses over cookies.
On our way out of the Christmas Village, we said hi to Mrs. Claus, who leads 25-minute Christmas Traditions experiences featuring story readings, sing-a-longs, and cookies with milk. (Tickets must be purchased in advance.) We got bundled up to head back outdoors to the Ice Skating and Ice Bumper Cars area (but not really on ice), but my kids were a bit holidazed so we decided to call it a day – and a very memorable one at that.
Christmas at Gaylord National runs daily from November 20 – December 31. ICE! is back after a two-year hiatus, so expect it to be a popular event, especially on weekends. Tickets start at $25/child and $37/adult; ages 3 and under are free.
More Tips & Info
* There are professional photo-ops at ICE! and with Santa. Be prepared to pay $25 per photo or take your own photos where photo-taking is allowed.
* Have a place to store your cold weather gear after ICE! or make a run to your car to drop things off once you are settling indoors.
* Cirque: Spirit of Christmas and The Greatest Story Stage Show begin November 25, both shown in the Gaylord National atrium.
* Harbor Social is a super kid-friendly option for dinner at the resort. There are games everywhere, including duckpin bowling (call to reserve a lane in advance).
* Stop by The Holiday Sweet Shoppe at the resort for some treats and nostalgia.
* Holidays at National Harbor includes a nightly tree light show, as well as fireworks Saturday nights November 12 – December 17 at 5:30pm.
Christmas at Gaylord National
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: Varies by activity