1.Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will all be open on Thanksgiving Day — good to keep in mind if you’re looking for things to do while the turkey is cooking and/or have out-of-town guests to entertain. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm at all of them, except for the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery which are open 11:30am – 7pm, and the Zoo from 8am – 4pm (be sure to reserve passes). The National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian, just a neighbor on the Mall) is open, too, from 10am – 5pm. [KFDC Tip: The new FUTURES exhibit at the just reopened Arts & Indutries Building (mentioned last week) is a great one to check out with the fam!]
2. Tell your friend Veronica… it’s (almost) time to celebrate Hanukkah! We start lighting the menorah on Sunday night — giant ones, at some places! If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the holiday around the area, there are a bunch of events happening that are open to all — menorah lightings, theatre performances, ice skating parties, even a Chanukah firetruck parade. Some of them require advance registration and/or offer discounts for early sign-up (though most are free), so check out the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season, where there’s a Chanukah section with info on where and when to celebrate the eight craaaazy nights!
3. The Downtown Holiday Market opened this past weekend, and it always makes for a fun and festive outing during the season, plus you can pair it with a visit to the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (open Weds-Sun) that are right next to the market. Located at 8th & F Streets NW in Penn Quarter, hours are 12-8pm daily through December 23, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and December 6. Admission is free.
1. The Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building is reopening and celebrating the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with a new groundbreaking exhibition! “FUTURES” is the first building-wide exploration of the future on the National Mall, spanning 32,000 square feet inside. It is “your guide to a vast array of interactives, artworks, technologies, and ideas that are glimpses into humanity’s next chapter.” Opening Day is this Saturday, November 20, and there will be a free opening festival that includes live-streamed programs on Friday, in-person activities on Saturday, and a public concert that evening. And on Sunday, November 21, “FUTURES Remixed” will be a day for the littlest future-makers, welcoming families of all types for fun, pop-up, guided activities and bite-size experiences celebrating the everyday magic of futures ahead of everyone. The day includes “FUTURES” Roulette tours, robot races, craft making, and more. It’s all free, but RSVP to let them know you’re going.
3. One of my favorite dishes to make for Thanksgiving — sounds a little different than your traditional holiday fare, but trust me, it’s delicious and always a hit with many palates. (And more TG recipes from a reliable source.)
1. The Tidal Basin may be most popular in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming, but it’s a great DC destination for a fall outing, too (or any season, for that matter). The autumn foliage adds vivid color to the already beautiful views of iconic sites, and all of the memorials along the way — MLK, FDR, and Jefferson — are marvel-worthy and interesting to explore. The whole loop is just over two miles, plus it’s flat and paved, easy for little ones to walk. Just make sure they don’t get too close to the edge; there are no barriers between the path and the water. If we drive there, we always find parking at West Potomac Park pretty easily, then start our stroll at the FDR Memorial. (And speaking of, those of you who said the image in the Where in DC? photo contest was taken there answered correctly — it’s the ear of the sculpture of Fala, FDR’s dog! A winner will be picked and notified soon.)
2. In case you missed it yesterday, there’s a new round-up of live entertainment coming to local stages and other venues in late fall through the winter. (Tickets to shows make excellent holiday gifts!)
3. Last week I linked to a round-up of places offering Thanksgiving take out. Since then, Jen from Kid Up and Go shared her annual Thanksgiving to Go list — and it is amazing!
4. Has anyone done a Stitch Fix lately? It’s been years since I had a box of “surprise” clothes and accessories picked by a stylist sent, but I’m giving it another go. If you’ve never tried the service and are interested in checking it out, this referral link will get you a $25 credit. 🙂
1. The National Arboretum is a superb place to enjoy a fall day in the District. The many trails and paths are especially nice to hike with the surrounding foliage peaking right about now. The crisp, cool air is perfect for hanging in the natural play area, exploring the Washington Youth Garden, and just wandering around the many pretty areas. And the old Capitol columns against the backdrop of autumn hues is about as picturesque as it gets there. Hours at the Arb are 8am – 5pm daily. Admission is free.
3. It’s November, so time to start thinking Thanksgiving! Washingtonian has a round-up of places offering takeout for the big meal, from finer feasts to more casual menus. ‘Cause who says it has to be homemade?
Thank you to Bright Horizons for sponsoring these Five Things!
1. Victura Park, the lovely family-friendly wine and beer (and food) garden on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center, is now open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am – 9pm. I first mentioned it in summer of 2020, and it’s now gone from seasonal pop-up to year-round fixture! We just enjoyed a family hang there a couple of evenings ago, and it was so nice to wind down the weekend with snacks and bevies, then wander around the pretty grassy areas, check out the new Mo Willems art installation on the Plaza, stroll along the KC terrace, and take in the river views. We usually ride bikes to Victura Park, but since we brought Teddy along — it’s pet-friendly, too! — we drove to West Potomac Park, then walked along the river to the pedestrian bridge that takes you right to the Victura Park entrance. Admission is free.
2. ARTECHOUSE is offering a STEAM Family Days promotion every Tuesday and Wednesday all day. Book through this link to receive special pricing and an activity guide inspired by the current exhibit Life of a Neuron. Through this limited offer all tickets are $17 (adults tickets normally start at $24) and Family Packages (two adults, two children) are $60. (Note: The offer is not valid the week of Thanksgiving.)
3. Are you looking for a daycare or early childhood education option for your little one? Bright Horizons at 2 Bethesda Metro just opened its doors last month and is currently enrolling in their Infant – Pre-K programs. Learn more and schedule a visit — spaces are limited!
5. Just caught a sneak preview of The French Dispatch, the new Wes Anderson movie that officially releases this Friday, October 22. If you’re a fan of his films, you’ll love this one as much as the rest. It’s rated R — I’d recommend it for mature tweens (with adult, obvi) and up.