Tag Archives: DC Holiday Events

The Weekend: December 31 – January 2

Kick off 2022 with a nice hike! (Turkey Run Park pictured here)

 

Once again, I’m taking a little break and keeping it simple as we wind down 2021. Not to mention, with Omicron spreading like wildfire, there aren’t many special events and activities happening this weekend.  The links below will still lead you to info and inspo to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want, including holiday happenings and ongoing and seasonal fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra ideas that might arise.

Happy Weekend! And a very Happy New Year to all!

The 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

Chill Time: Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2021

Ice Skating Around the DC Area

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter (Some show may be cancelled.)

Baltimore with Kids

Indoor Outings

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***

The Noon Yards Eve event at Yards Park has been cancelled.

The Washington Post’s annual list of what’s in and what’s out for the year ahead.

New Year’s Eve finger foods, many that sound perfect for an at-home celebration with the fam.

Toast-worthy cocktails to ring in the new year.

New Year’s traditions around the world.

20 best places to travel in 2022, according to Travel + Leisure.

Ten noteworthy books for January.

Some great sales going on right now:  Anthro, Nordstrom, Gap, Everlane.

A fantastic movie available to rent this weekend.

For the whole fam: Best kids’ movies of 2021 that parents will also love.

Omicron is the Beginning of the End (we hope!).

McSweeney’s most read articles of 2021.  (#15 had me in lol tears.)

22 things to look forward to in 2022 🙂

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, 2022, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend: December 24-26

 

This is the time of year I give myself a little break with weekend posts.  So, just like the modified title, I’m keeping this round-up simple — but definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will still lead you to info and inspo galore to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want, including holiday happenings and ongoing and seasonal fun. You can also check KFDC on Instagram and Facebook for any updates or extra ideas that might arise.

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a Happy Weekend!

 

The 2021 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC

Chill Time: Activities Around DC During the Covid Winter

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2021

Ice Skating Around the DC Area

Walks in the Woods

Serenity Now: 10 Places to Find Peace and Calm in DC

Ride On: Bike Routes for Everyone Around the DC Area

The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend A Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Live Entertainment Around the DC Area in Late Fall & Winter

Indoor Outings

 

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***

I can’t say enough… go get vaccinated or boosted if you haven’t yet.  As mentioned earlier this week, walk-up vaccinations for ages 5+ and boosters for ages 16+ are available nearly every day in DC at select libraries and rec centers (not on Christmas Day). You can also go here to search for other locations near you.

Two of our recent orders from Amazon that I recommend for everyone: These and these.

Need some very last minute gift ideas?  The KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has loads of suggestions for local experiences or subscriptions you get in just a few clicks!

Inspiring people:  2021 Washingtonians of the Year.

A very yummy  looking/sounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Menu.

Sasha gives two big thumbs-up to Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The year in sound, from The Daily.

The 22 best podcasts to help you process the end of 2021.

A beautiful tribute to one of the best at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Love the pure joy of this moment.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 17-19

 

Happy Weekend!

Easy links to a mix of ongoing and seasonal DC fun:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Ice Skating
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Winter Breakin’
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

For many of us, our kids’ Winter Break from school begins this weekend. If you’re going to be in town and seeking ways to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes us parents), this KFDC guide has you covered. Find recommendations for the best things to do now, from holiday-inspired happenings to special exhibits to live entertainment to outdoor adventures to indoor action to awesome day trips… and even more.

Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This probably is the weekend to embrace the holiday spirit.  And there’s holiday fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around model farms around the world at the US Botanic Garden. See pretty Christmas trees and enjoy an evening lighting.  Experience Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor. Celebrate the season at Mount Vernon. Take a festive train ride at the B&O Railroad Museum. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and many more are in the 2021 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Rock the Rink with the Caps
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 7-10pm
Admission: $9/child, $12/adult, $6/skate rental

It’s ALL CAPS at The Wharf! Join fellow hockey fans at The Wharf to show your Caps pride and skate at the ice rink with a DJ, Caps gear giveaways, and a visit from Slapshot. At 8pm, they’ll also broadcast the Capitals’ away game against the Winnipeg Jets on a jumbotron located on the Transit Pier floating stage. Throughout the day, fans wearing Capitals gear will receive $5 off admission to The Wharf Ice Rink. After skating, warm up by the fire pit and make Caps s’mores at the Capitals Campfire. For more places to skate throughout the weekend (and winter), see this round-up of local rinks.

Holly Days After Hours
Where: Eastern Market Area | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 4-9pm
Admission: Free

Eastern Market Main Street is getting festive after hours with fun activities for the whole family. The Not-So-Silent Night Market will run around the building 12-8pm. And along the C Street Plaza, there will be crafts for kids, complimentary gift wrapping of any corridor purchases, and a holiday photo booth (7pm). Best of all, the Silent Disco is returning (7-9pm), so get ready to boogie!

Holiday Drive-In: Love Actually
Where: Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free ($20/car donation suggested)
Catch a family holiday movie from the comfort of your car! The Capitol Riverfront BID is presenting a festive flick at the drive-in. See Love Actually and enjoy some holiday treats, too. Kilwins, one of the Wharf restaurants, will be onsite selling hot chocolate, popcorn, candy, and other goodies! The drive-in is free to attend with registration, but movie-goers are encouraged to make a $20 donation to DC Central Kitchen.

Holiday Movie Pajama Party
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 10:15am, 10:30, & 10:45am
Admission: $8

The Boro is teaming up with ShowPlace ICON Theatre for a holiday movie marathon. Grab your coziest pair of pajamas and enjoy your favorite holiday classics. Register in advance to see Elf at 10:15am, The Polar Express at 10:30am, or Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 10:45am. The pajama party continues after the movie with music, crafts, photos, and more in the lobby.

Alif Ba Opening Celebration
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15.95

A new visiting exhibit that explores the Arabic alphabet opens at the Museum on Saturday — and they’re celebrating with special activities. Named for the Arabic term for the “ABCs,” the Alif Ba Exhibition brings the Arabic alphabet and language to life with 28 hands-on letter displays in the Museum’s Creative Corner. At Saturday’s event, there will also be Arabic calligraphy, animal name yoga, story time, an Arba music demonstration, and mosaic tile making. Read more abot the Museum here.

Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

What would the holiday season be without trains? Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. The Polar Express will be running, too! A great family activity for the young and young at heart. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA. Masks required for all visitors age 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Merry TUBACHRISTMAS!
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Watch and listen as hundreds of tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from around DC play traditional Christmas music at the 48th annual Merry Tubachristmas! The Millennium Stage show will take place outside on The REACH plaza.  Make a day of it and visit the Victura Park Winter Holiday Market while you’re there and enjoy the Kennedy Center’s beautiful outdoor areas.

Search for Santa’s Helpers
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday through Tuesday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: $5/child

Go on a scavenger hunt around Potomac Overlook Park to find Santa’s helpers so they can get back to the North Pole in time for the holidays.  No reservations are needed, but check in at the Nature Center  to begin.  The park in Arlington is a great place to hike around, even better when there’s an extra holiday adventure!  Get some background on Potomac Overlook in this KFDC post from awhile back — but pretty much still applicable now.

Market Days
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by market

Add some fun to your holiday shopping! What might be a stressful activity for many this time of year, can actually be good time for you and the kids — if you know where to go. Many local holiday markets offer more than the standard browse-and-buy. Live entertainment, yummy treats, fun activities, and the chance to shop outdoors in a festive atmosphere will keep your inner-Scrooge at bay as you pick out perfect gifts for all. The Downtown Holiday Market, Victura Park Holiday Market,  Eastern Market, and Christmas Village in Baltimore are some running this weekend, and you can find details for all of them in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

Live Holiday Entertainment
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, there is a lot to choose from! Courderoy is on the Imagination Stage.  Adventure Theatre and The Puppet Co. have performances especially for little ones. Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages.  And Cinderella is sweeping across the Synetic Theatre stage. Get details on all of these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in the DC Area.

Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $25-45 

This one deserves its own listing because it’s a fave (and it’s run ends this weekend): Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is the most vibrant holiday celebration in town (and we know from many years’ experience!) This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The internationally renowned percussive dance company has created a contemporary holiday tradition at the Atlas, featuring friendly, furry characters, fun photo ops, and a festive dance party.

Once Upon a One More Time
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 9
Admission: $82-145 | Find Discount

This fantastic show presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company reimagines classic fairytales as it empowers the princesses in them — all to the tune of Britney Spears’ music! It’s a fun and funny, pop-fueled show with entertaining song and dance numbers, stellar performances, and a great message, to boot. And seeing it on the heels of Britney being freed from her conservatorship adds a little extra something. Its run has just been extended to January 9, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out! I’d recommend the show for tween ages and up.

Holly TrolleyFest
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)
Visit a unique DC area museum and enjoy some holiday cheer! Take a ride on a street car; check out Winter in Washington, a special exhibit celebrating the season with street cars in the Nation’s Capital; see the Winter Garden Railway and Street Car Hall… and, who knows, maybe Santa will make an appearance, too.

Christmas Illuminations
Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: $48-60/adult, $26-38/child

Kick off the holidays with an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music, with fireworks beginning around 8:30pm. Take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides. George and Martha Washington will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests. Tickets: $35 adult/$25 youth with Mansion tour, $30 adult/$20 youth.

A Family Christmas
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 2pm
Tickets: $20-45 (look for discount)

Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them!

Jingle Jam
Where: Capital Turnaround | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

“Mix and a-mingle” with friends, family, and neighbors at this special Christmas concert in the newly opened Capital Turnaround. See the space decked out for Christmas, and enjoy crafts, holiday portraits, hot beverages, and a special performance by the U.S. Marine Band clarinet ensemble. Tickets are free, but register in advance.

Photos with Santa
Where: The Salt Line | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Sunday, 3-5pm
Admission: $10

The Big Man himself is visiting Capitol Riverfront a few days early for Photos with Santa. Kids, kids at heart, and pets are all welcome to register for a photo which comes with a complimentary warm beverage from The Salt Line. All ticket proceeds will be donated to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Get your tickets ASAP — they’re almost sold out!

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens | Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout the weekend, 3-5pm
Admission: Free

One of my favorite KFDC Tips to impart because it’s on of my favorite places in DC:  During this time of year (from November through mid-March), there is no fee to roam the beautiful, enchanting garden at Dumbarton Oaks.  Stroll among the various plats, find lovely tucked away places to sit, and enjoy a delightful, relaxing wander around the grounds. Hours are limited, but you can make a longer day of it with play time at Montrose Park next door, some holiday shopping along M Street, and/or a bite to eat at one of of the many options in Georgetown. This KFDC post about Dumbarton also has some nearby food recs and this one from earlier KFDC days has more info and scenes.

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of many parks or corridors 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.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* In case you missed it earlier this week, KFDC writer Emily shared some excellent stocking stuffer ideas for little ones.
* And if you’re in need of last minute present ideas for all ages, don’t forget about the KFDC Gift Guide.  Many of the suggestions are experiences that can be purchased easily online and emailed or printed to give.
* Another one to note: Arena Stage has a great holiday sale going on — 3 plays for $99!
* Practical gift for your house?  This is the best of its kind that we’ve ever owned, and totally worth it (imo).
* Extra festive restaurants for Christmas dining around DC, from Washingtonian.
* NY Times Cooking’s 50 most popular recipes of the year.
* We hope Teddy the pup will like this gift as much as we will.
* A great round-up of bingeable movies, TV shows, and podcasts.
* Top cartoons on IG in 2021 (New Yorker).
* May the holiday spirit make us all feel like this!

2 Comments

Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 10-12

The Downtown Holiday Market sparkles in the evening

 

Happy Weekend!

Go-to posts for all kinds of ongoing and seasonal local activities:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Indoor Outings
* Autumn Activities
* Ice Skating
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Holiday Drive-In: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Where: Buzzard Point | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Friday, 6:30-9pm
Admission: Free ($20/car donation suggested)

Catch a family holiday movie from the comfort of your car! The Capitol Riverfront BID is presenting a festive flick at the drive-in on Friday. See The Muppet Christmas Carol this week, and enjoy some holiday treats, too. (Love Actually next Friday Kilwins, one of the Wharf restaurants, will be onsite selling hot chocolate, popcorn, candy, and other goodies! These drive-in movies are free to attend with registration, but movie-goers are encouraged to make a $20 donation to DC Central Kitchen.

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

The grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center are always great for hanging out on weekends. Victura Park, the family-friendly wine and beer garden + cafe on premises, offers snack and sips that you can enjoy at picnic tables in pretty areas. This weekend it gets festive as they bring back the Holiday Market featuring a line-up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up. Make a day of it shopping, noshing, sipping… and enjoying the gorgeous rounds including the KC Terrace and Plaza we well as the scenic river views!

More Market-ing
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by market

Add some fun to your holiday shopping! What might be a stressful activity for many this time of year, can actually be good time for you and the kids — if you know where to go. Many local holiday markets offer more than the standard browse-and-buy. Live entertainment, yummy treats, fun activities, and the chance to shop outdoors in a festive atmosphere will keep your inner-Scrooge at bay as you pick out perfect gifts for all. Along with Victura Park, the Downtown Holiday Market, Old Town Christmas Market, and Eastern Market are a few running this weekend (and beyond), and you can find details for all of them in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season.

Story Time with Santa
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free, but register ahead

Santa Claus is coming to town to spread holiday cheer! He’ll be visiting The Boro to read some of your favorite holiday stories. Join to meet Santa, warm up with a Hot Cocoa Bar, and get in the spirit of the season. While you’re there, stop by the pop-up bookstore hosted by Turning the Page from 10am – 3pm to find perfect gifts for everyone! (PS: The Boro will be collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Guests are invited to bring a toy to this event for donation.)

Happy Trails
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Warmer temps will make it a perfect time to hit the trail with the fam! Savor the time in nature, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a bunch of recommendations for great places to go with kids.  A few specific suggestions for this weekend: Riverbend to Great FallsPatapsco Valley State Park, drive out to Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area, or stay closer to home at Greenbelt Park.

The Polar Express Pajama Party
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $6

Sip some hot chocolate in your PJ’s while watching the holiday classic, The Polar Express. The film is an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, there is a lot to choose from! Courderoy opens at Imagination Stage.  Adventure Theatre and The Puppet Co. have performances especially for little ones. Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages.  Cinderella is sweeping across the Synetic Theatre stage. Get details on all of these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in the DC Area.

Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center | H Street NE, DC
When: Through December 19
Tickets: $25-45 

This one deserves its own listing because it’s a fave: Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is the most vibrant holiday celebration in town (and we know from many years’ experience!) This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The internationally renowned percussive dance company has created a contemporary holiday tradition at the Atlas, featuring friendly, furry characters, fun photo ops, and a festive dance party.

Once Upon a One More Time
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 9
Admission: $82-145 | Find Discount

This fantastic show presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company before it heads to Broadway undoes classic fairytales as it empowers the princesses in them — all to the tune of Britney Spears’ music! It’s a fun and funny, pop-fueled show with entertaining song and dance numbers, stellar performances, and a great message, to boot. And seeing it on the heels of Britney being freed from her conservatorship adds a little extra something. Its run has just been extended to January 9, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it sells out! I’d recommend the show for tween ages and up.

Nursery School Open House
Where: River Park Nursery School | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Are you looking for the quintessential nursery school experience for your child? RPNS is a morning program for your 3-5 year old with a small teacher to student ratio. It is a warm and welcoming community. Bring your child to an Open House on Saturday to talk with current families, meet their amazing teacher Ms. Erin, and see the learning space. The RPNS program is designed to encourage individual growth, in a pro-social environment, and to foster exploration, creativity and good work habits through the experience of shared value and citizenship, all under the guidance of highly qualified professional instructors. Sign up in advance for an Open House time slot. (Note: There will also be one on January 15 from 10am – 12pm.)

A Little Christmas in The Little City
Where: Christ Crossman Church | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Christ Crossman Church is once again hosting its annual holiday event that is fun for all and helps others. Family-friendly and outdoors, it features a live petting zoo, holiday craft stations, food trucks, and hot chocolate around fire pits.  Kids can participate in a service project assembling Power Packs for local students in need through Food for Others. Free and open to all! Christ Crossman Church is located at 384 N Washington Street in Falls Church.

Lantern Walks
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

For nearly a decade, Tinkergarten families and friends have walked with homemade lanterns to welcome winter’s darkness. This inspiring and beloved tradition helps children learn to embrace change and remember that, when they are in community with the natural world and with one another, they have the strength and light to overcome any challenges. DC area Lantern Walk events are taking place this Saturday and Sunday. Register to attend your local Lantern Walk, find out how to make their own lanterns, or even order sweet lantern-making kits here.

Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Fourteen commercial corridors in the city have teamed up to add a little extra holiday cheer to this holiday season! You can visit them to see all kinds of dazzling lights and participate in a citywide DC Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt. Earn entries for each participating corridor you visit during December, as well as by completing other scavenger hunt tasks such as visiting murals on the corridors and finding secret codes at businesses across DC. The more entries you earn, the more chances to win one of the $5,000 in prizes available from local businesses all across the District!

Caroling Christmas Trees
Where: N & Half Streets SE | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Day 4 (& 5) of Capitol Riverfront’s “12 Days of Capriv” with festive fun. Head to Half Street on Saturdayfor Caroling Christmas Trees, featuring live carolers performing holiday classics and a can’t-miss “Letters to Santa” mailbox for kids and kids-at-heart to drop off their wishes. Post a photo in front of the illuminated trees on Instagram, and tag @capitolriverfront for the chance to win a $50 gift card to a neighborhood restaurant!

Capital Art & Craft Festival
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $10/advance, $12/at door, free/12 & under
Browse the works of over 200 local artisans and crafters and find unique holiday gifts  This festival features art in more than a dozen mediums — jewelry, paintings, prints, glass, leather, photography, pottery, wearable art, and wood, and more.  For safety, aisles are wider and masks required.  Visit the website for more details.

Holidays on the Ellipse
Where: President’s Park | National Ellipse, DC
When: Through January 1
Admission: Free


This has a permanent spot on many a DC holiday repertoire. The National Christmas Tree, the National Menorah, plus displays representing all 50 states are a staple during the season. And the rest of it lit up at night with the White House and Washington Monument glowing in the distance makes for a brilliant holiday scene.

Day Trip from DC
Where: Around the region
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out of dodge  for a day for some cool fun in areas that require a bit of a drive, but not an overnight stay (though you could consider it). Explore the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns. Discover charm and awesome attractions of Baltimore.  Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Take an ice cream making museum tour at Turkey Hill in Lancaster, PA. Or venture out to the Calvert Marine Museum to experience fascinating exhibits that highlight the history of the Chesapeake Bay.

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of many parks or corridors 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.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s holiday inspired fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around model farms around the world at the US Botanic Garden. Experience Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor. Celebrate the season at Mount Vernon. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and many more are in the 2021 KFDC Holiday Guide.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Looking for a great way to give back with kids? KFDC contributor Emily just shared about her experience volunteering at Comfort Cases with her 4-year-old daughter.
* If you’re still in need of holiday gift ideas, the KFDC guide has lots of good, DC-centric recommendations.
* The National Cherry Blossom Parade will be back this year, and seated grandstand tickets are now on sale. ( FYI, you can also stand along the route for free.)
* Washingtonian’s 6 Festive Holiday Destinations Within an Easy Drive of DC.
* Currently reading and really enjoying this book.
* How fun are these slippers? (We love the socks, too!)
* Best of 2021 – a bunch of ’em.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 3-5

Brighten up the weekend at Light Yards

 

Happy Weekend!

Find ideas for all kinds of family activities with these quick links:
* KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Autumn Activities
* Ice Skating
* Indoor Outings
* Bike Rides
* Peaceful Places
* Baltimore with Kids

Light Yards
Where: Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Nightly through January 1, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The annual holiday light art installation is back at Yards Park! It’s free to see this year’s 22-foot illuminated tree sculptures and enjoy some festive holiday cheer at the park’s sun deck. Plan for dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants then stay to play and enjoy the lights (or vice versa) along with views of the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. A few good family dining recs: Due South, Osteria Morini, and Agua 301 are right there, and All Purpose Pizza, The Salt Line, and El Bebe are closer to Nats Park. And, of course, Ice Cream Jubilee for sweet treats! Get a glimpse of Light Yards here.

Festival of Lights
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Throughout January 2, 5-9:30pm
Admission: $8-10/vehicle

We’ve been doing this one since the kids were babes… Watkins’ sweet holiday drive-through event of more than one million twinkling lights has been dazzling holiday-goers for over 25 years. It’s a 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. Even more, if you can snag a limited spot, they are also offering horse-drawn carriage rides for the first time ever this year. Extra cost, and preregistration required!  Also note the new entrance across the street from Riverdale Baptist School at 1133 Largo Rd.

Let There Be (Even More) Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Even more parks and gardens in the area are brightening up the season with twinkling holiday light displays. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a dazzling good time.  See where you can enjoy them in the KFDC Holiday Guide.

Christkindlmarkt
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Friday, Saturday,  & Sunday
Admission: $10-16/ages 15+ and $2/ages 2-15

Huerich House’s annual holiday market and festive house tour is back in person this year.  Christkindlmarkt honors the Heurich family’s German heritage by recreating a traditional outdoor German Christmas market in its Castle Garden. Dupont Circle’s only holiday market will feature goods from over 40 local artisans, including jewelers, ceramicists, chocolatiers, and makers of housewares, clothing, and more. You can also take a self-guided tour of the mansion, which will be festively decorated for the season.

Winter Festival
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: $30/adult, $15/child

Join the National Children’s Museum for a special holiday event with small bites, warm drinks, fun exhibits, and a photo opportunity with some holiday friends: a magical Snow Queen and Santa! Read more about the Museum and all of its STEAM-inspired exhibits in this KFDC post.

Scottish Christmas Walk
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

The Scottish Christmas Walk will be back this holiday season! Once again, the parade will be a showcase of marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert – rain or shine. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, there is a lot to choose from!  Adventure Theatre and The Puppet Co. have performances especially for little ones, including Chanukah-themed shows. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is at National Theatre.  Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages.  Cinderella is sweeping across the Synetic Theatre stage. Get details on all of these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in the DC Area.

Hike in the City
Where: Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

This isn’t a new suggestion, but there is a brand new post from our most recent hike in Rock Creek Park. Our urban national park is a go-to anytime of year, but it’s especially lovely in the fall. And this weekend looks like it’ll be a great time to hit the trail there. See more about it here. And for more great walks in the woods with kids, see this popular KFDC post.

Check out an air taxi at FUTURES

Exhibit A… and B, C, D, & E
Where: Museums around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free
There are several great exhibits to experience right now at our local museum. The whole family will be fascinated by FUTURES at the Arts & Industries Building.  Laurie Anderson: The Weather at the Hirshhorn is a great one for tween ages and up.  The Gun Violence Memorial Project at the National Building Museum is powerful and ever-timely.  ARTECHOUSE just extended its immersive Life of a Neuron.  The Fossil Hall at the National Museum of Natural History is always an interesting one to explore.  And, of course, the rest of our Smithsonians have permanent collections that we never get tired of seeing.

Sock Monkey Saturday
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $5

Don’t let the holidays drive you BANANAS! Relax by making your very own Sock Monkey—a great last-minute gift, and just something fun to do with the family. AVAM’s huge sock monkey making extravaganza is smaller this year, and all materials — stuffing, sewing needles, thread, visionary baubles — will be provided. Bring a pair of fun, colorful socks if you’d like, but they’ll also have some available for you.  Plan to explore the whole wonderful American Visionary Art Museum — read all about it here.  And for more to do in Charm City, including resturant recs and other attractions, see this Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

The Miraculous Magical Balloon
Where: Highland Elementary | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Tickets: Free!

InterAct Story Theatre presents this free performance for kids and families as part of the Wheaton Family Theatre Series! Synetic Theater’s The Miraculous Magical Balloon tells a wonderful story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk of tricks and toys. Recommended for all ages. Highland Elementary School is located at 3100 Medway Street, in Wheaton, MD.

Virtual Nutcracker Celebration
Where: Online
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Celebrate the magical winter wonderland of The Nutcracker with the Smithsonian American Art Museum and The Washington Ballet! This virtual ballet experience is designed for fun at home with the whole family. Join former Radio City Rockette DeMoya Watson Brown for a story time reading of the beloved holiday classic. Follow along with Clara, her Nutcracker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy on their remarkable adventures. Then, jeté into an interactive ballet master class led by The Washington Ballet School instructor Margaret Williamson

Christmas Village
Where: Capital Turnaround | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Usher in the Christmas season with this free event for kids and their families in a newly-renovated historic space in DC! National Community Church is hosting a few hours of festive activities including a Santa train, a skate-less indoor rink, Christmas movies, picture with Santa, craft stations, and a hot cocoa and cider bar. Open to everyone — invite your friends and neighbors! Te Capital Turnaround is located at 770 M St SE.

Follies Winter Workshop
Where: Halcyon Arts Lab | Northwest DC
When: Saturday, 3-6pm
Admission: Free

Bring your family to a free special holiday event featuring STEM activities and festive crafts with the award winning Follies toy. It’s family fun and holiday cheer at the beautiful studio space in Georgetown as you get creative with a holiday inspired STEM workshop, snacks and music. Featuring the DC made, award winning (and Toy of The Year nominated) Follies Playset, guests can also enjoy exclusive discounts, Follies fan packs, and giveaways. Spots are limited so RSVP before it’s too late. Note: Those over 12 should bring proof of vaccination and all should wear masks.

Winter Boroland
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: Saturday, 4-6pm
Admission: Free (registration requested)

Get in the spirit of the season at a snow day party! At this Après Ski-themed event, The Boro will be snow in the air (yes, REAL snow!), light its giant snow globe installation, and welcome guests to an afternoon of crafts and fun holiday cocktails. Plus, get in the spirit of giving with a toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots!

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays at The Wharf and see the beautifully decorated boats cruise by on the Potomac along with more activities. Decorate ornaments to get into the spirit, go ice skating (the rink will be back!), plus warm up by the big fire pit and visit the lighted Christmas Tree. Bring the whole fam to meet Santa and make memories during this annual DC tradition!

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

Where: Alexandria City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday | Parade, 5:30pm; Dockside Festivities, 2-8pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor will shine as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the 20h annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy festivities out on the dock 2-7pm, including a Letters to Santa postcard pop-up, a hot chocolate bar from Dolci Gelati, and a beer garden from Port City Brewing Company.

Family Chanukah Party
Where: EDCJCC | Northwest DC
When: December 5, 10-11am
Admission: $25/family

Join the EDCJCC for a fun morning celebrating Hanukkah. We will have arts and crafts, music, science and a community service opportunity. This program will take place in the JCC parking lot and inside the building. All visitors over the age of 12 entering the EDCJCC’s building are required to show proof of vaccination.

Chanukah at Glen Echo
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Sunday, 2:30-5:30pm
Admission: Varies — see below

Glen Echo Partnership is teaming up with Adventure Theatre, the Puppet Co. and the Chabad of Bethesda for a Chanukah Celebration on Sunday. Both theaters are presenting Chanukah themed shows, and between showings of the two productions, there will be a Chanukah Party with refreshments, festive music, and arts & crafts for all ages, and the lighting of the menorah. It will be held outside in the Park’s Cuddle Up Pavilion.  Families can enjoy both shows and the Chanukah Party for $30/person, just one show for $15-20/person, or just the party, which is free with a suggested donation of $5.

Chocolate Binge Festival
Where: Downtown Annapolis, MD
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $5

Everyone loves chocolate and Annapolis will be celebrating by filling West Street with local chocolatiers ready to help chocoholics get through the holiday season. Prepare your sweet tooth with an afternoon of chocolate decadence as local and regional chocolatiers vend their specialties. The Festival will also feature family friendly entertainment, holiday shopping, and the lighting of West Street’s BGE Holiday Light Canopy – have your cameras ready for that at 5pm! Purchase tickets in advance; only a limited number will be sold at the event.

Holiday Craft Workshop & Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt
Where: Tanger Outlets | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 2-2:45pm
Admission: $10

Join Tanger Outlets National Harbor and Kidcreate Studio Alexandria for an afternoon of holiday crafting plus a magical scavenger hunt featuring The Elf on the Shelf! Bring little explorers and imaginations to a workshop for a special craft, then head out into the shopping center to look for the Scout Elves and receive a Holiday Pop It! For just $10, they’ll provide each child with a craft and refreshments plus The Elf on the Shelf activity and clue book for the scavenger hunt. Space is limited so reserve a spot soon! (Note: This also takes place 12/11-12 and 12/18-19.)

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s holiday inspired fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around model farms around the world at the US Botanic Garden. Visit the National Menorah and Christmas Tree on the Ellipse or the one at the US Capitol. Experience Christmas on the Potomac at the National Harbor. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2021 KFDC Holiday Guide.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new giveaway for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Olney Theatre!
* Don’t forget about the KFDC Holiday Gift Guide if you’re looking for ideas for presents, especially local adventures and experiences.
* The 100 best songs of 2021 (NPR)
* Where to go in 2022, according to AFAR.
* This would be a nice stocking stuffer (ie, I want one).
* McSweeney’s pretty much nails it.
* Get ready to smile: Darcy’s 10 Happy Things for December!

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend