Some movie classics are as much a part of the holiday season as twinkling lights and generously spiked eggnog. For many, watching Flick’s tongue get stuck to the flag pole is practically inked on the Christmas calendar. Rather than catch it at home on a cable channel, how about making it a little more magical this year — for both you and the kids?
The AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring presents their annual Holiday Classics series, and it looks like they’ve added some flicks (and Flicks) to the mix . A variety of seasonal big screen favorites will play at various times throughout the week: A Christmas Story, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, and Gremlins are a few that can be enjoyed by the whole family at both matinee and evening showings. You can view the full line-up of movies and schedule here.
Tickets are $7/kids 12 and under, $8.50/adult matinee, $11.50/adult general admission and can be purchased in advance online or at the box office.
The AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Road, at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue, in downtown Silver Spring.
You don’t have to cross an ocean to introduce your kids to European art and culture. Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures.
From October 14 through November 10, the festival will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts on the schedule. Public libraries, DC embassies, National Geographic Live, the Kennedy Center, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, the National Childrens Museum, Shakespeare Theatre, Strathmore, and AFI are among the many performance venues.
The festival, designed for children ages 2-12, is the largest of its kind in the country. More than 27 countries in the European Union are represented in the shows that highlight national cultural traditions and art.
I just learned that E Street Cinema eliminated the Rattle & Reel program, the weekly film screening geared toward parents with small babies. Word has it that low attendance and strollers becoming a fire hazard were the reasons.
But it’s not the end of baby-friendly movies altogether. Several local cinemas host weekly and bi-weekly showings for film-goers with babes in tow. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, these are screenings where parents can watch a flick without worrying that their crying infant is disturbing other guests, because, chances are, those other movie patrons are concentrating on their own wailing child. Also, the lights are dim, not dark, and the volume is lower than normal. (For more about the concept, see this post.) And while there are no hard-and-fast rules, these programs generally seem to be for babies around 6 months and under.
Those of us with older kids are in luck as well. Special summer movie series for families have begun or are about to begin at local theaters and a couple of outdoor venues. These weekly programs invite guests to view films on the very cheap and sometimes even for free!
Here’s a list of local theaters offering baby-friendly and summer family screenings. If you know of any others, feel free to mention them in the comments section, and I’ll add them to the list.
Regal Cinemas Potomac Yards
What: Mommy & Me (don’t let the name fool ya — all caregivers welcome)
When: Every other Tuesday at 10am (next up is Hangover II on June 14)
Tickets: $9 regular matinee price
So, it’s not yet officially winter (and the photo is actually from last year), but I just couldn’t pass up the alliteration opportunity. Besides, the weather we’ve put up with lately isn’t exactly the picture of autumn. But many of this weekend’s events embrace the winter spirit – holiday exhibits, Christmas performances, and seasonal celebrations. Here’s where you can find them, plus a few more non-winter pursuits. Happy Weekend!
Trains, Planes, & Holiday Cheer – The College Park Aviation Museum’s annual holiday exhibit opens tomorrow, December 18, showcasing mini locomotives, villages, tunnels, and depots that spark the imagination and bring history to life. And the museum’s collection of historic aircraft and other flight-related displays will fascinate even more. Admission is $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free/children under 2. The Aviation Museum is located at 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive in College Park. For other train and light exhibits in the area, check out this post.
National Christmas Tree – Bundle up and head to the Ellipse to see The National Christmas Tree close up and check out other holiday treats. Visit Santa’s Workshop, watch model trains zip around the tree, and see the Nativity scene and Yule Log. Choir performances take place on weekends from 4 – 8:30pm. The Pathway of Peace around the tree is lit daily until 11pm, but Santa’s workshop has limited hours.
Childrens Tea Party & Storytelling– The Textile Museum is hosting its monthly Arts for Families program on Saturday. Guests can enjoy tea and tasty treats as they listen to readings from Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia by Sally Pomme Clayton. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera to snap photos of their kids trying on Turkmen clothing as they learn about life in the lands of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The progam is free and recommended for kids ages 4 to 12. There are two seatings, at 2pm and 3pm. The Textile Museum is located at 2320 S Street NW.
Family Christmas Concert – The Kennedy Center isn’t a bad place to spend a Saturday afternoon. The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents a Family Christmas Concert: The Night Before Christmas, a theatrical concert for audiences of all ages. For more information, see this post. (Note: the Goldstar deal has expired, but regular-priced tickets are still available through the Kennedy Center.)
Mount Vernon by Candlelight – Sunday evening is your last chance for an evening Christmas tour at George Washington’s estate (the Saturday evening tour is sold out). Join “Mrs. Washington” for candlelit tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies. Characters from the 18th-century will lead tours through the old house, and music and holiday shopping will take place in the more modern buildings. Admission is $10/adults, $14/kids 11 and under. Hours are 5pm – 8:30pm.
Elmo’s Healthy Heroes – Tickets are still available for the Sesame Street Live! show at the Patriot Center this weekend. For details on times and tickets, check out this post from a few days ago.
Christmas Stories at the American Art Museum – On Saturday, celebrate “the most wonderful time of year” with dramatic readings from a selection of holiday favorites, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicolas, and Francis P. Church’s Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. The free activity is related to the exhibit “Telling Stories: Normal Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg,” so be sure to take a tour of it while you’re there. The free program starts at 2pm. The American Art Museum is located at 8th and F Streets NW.
Winter Solstice Festival – The Winter Solstice is nearly upon us. Celebrate the days getting longer at Cabin John Regional Park on Sunday, December 19, from 2:30 – 4:30. Guests can make their own luminaries, walk celestial spirals, learn to spin fire, and discover ancient customs and superstitions surrounding this magical time of the solar year. Festivities will include hot cider and traditional treats around a blazing bonfire under the Great Sycamore and end with families preparing a sky lantern to bring back the light. All ages are invited, and cost is $5.
Smithsonian Exhibits – Not that you need a reminder about all of the wonderful free museums on the Mall and in few other parts of the city, but if you want a daily schedule to help plan for storytime at Air & Space, tarantula feedings at Natural History, or animal encounters at the Zoo, then check out this calendar listing children’s activities this weekend.
Some big screen classics are as much a part of the holiday season as gingerbread houses and generously spiked eggnog. I mean, watching Flick’s tongue get stuck to the flag pole is practically inked on the Christmas calendar. You’re probably used to catching the seasonal cinema at home on a cable channel as you fold laundry or take care of some other house chore. Well, how about making it a little more magical this year — for both you and the kids?
The AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring will present their Holiday Classics series starting tomorrow, December 17, through next Thursday, December 23. Three Yuletide movie favorites will play at various times throughout the week: A Christmas Story, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life can be enjoyed by the family at both matinee and evening showings.
Timing is perfect as the frigid temps prompt us to seek indoor activities, parents are looking for things to do during Winter Break, and we’re jones-ing for a little Jimmy Stewart at the holidays.
Tickets are $6/children 12 and under, $7.50/adult matinee, $10/adult general and can be purchased in advance online or at the box office. The AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Road, at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue, in downtown Silver Spring.