Tag Archives: DC Holidays 2014

The Weekend: January 2-4

Winter tree or art at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden?

Winter tree or art at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden?



This first weekend of 2015 is a lot like the last of 2014, still some holiday events going on and more than plenty to do around town, but not too many special one-time happenings. So, again, here are some go-to posts that will provide tons of ideas for fun over the next few days. And be sure to follow KFDC on Facebook in case I share any last minute news. Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

2014 KFDC Holiday Guide

Winter Entertainment

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

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

Play it Cool at These Local Ice Skating Rinks

Walks in the Woods


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend: December 26-28

xmas_capitol

You may have noticed that “Round-Up” was missing from the title of this post. That’s actually intentional, since this isn’t the usual compilation of weekend events. Besides there not being many special one-off happenings over the next few days, I’m taking a little holiday from the usual routine (just a short one, I’ll have some New Year’s and weekday recs for you soon). There’s still plenty to do this weekend, and the links below will lead you to some great ideas for fun. Merry Christmas to all & Happy Weekend!

2014 KFDC Holiday Guide

Winter Entertainment

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

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

Play it Cool at These Local Ice Skating Rinks

Walks in the Woods


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: December 19-21

The view from the Capitol Christmas tree

The view from the Capitol Christmas tree



A few things to note as you peruse this list to plan for the weekend: 1) These final days before Christmas are your last chance to experience some holiday activities in the area, so keep that in mind and be sure to check dates if there’s something you’re really hoping to do this season. 2) This Round-Up is heavy on holiday fun, but you can find loads of non-holiday recs on the Everyday Play page in The Great Indoors post, or this compilation of outdoor ideas. 3) If you’re looking for last minute gift ideas, consider making a donation to a great cause in someone’s name. The GIVE page has a nice list of charities, all suggested by KFDC readers. Happy Weekend!

Holiday…Celebrate
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be activity

This could very well be the only occasion I quote Madonna on this blog as I recommend activities with the kids, but “take some time to celebrate!” With Christmas just days away, Chanukah in full swing, and Kwaanza on the horizon, holiday events are ubiquitous around town. There’s Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic; Garden, Holiday on the Ellipse, markets to shop, the Holly Trolley Fest, Christmas on the Potomac; train displays, and much more. Get the full scoop on them all in the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide. (And forget what I said before, I’m sure I could find reason to use Madonna lyrics again.)

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit the Zoo or 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. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, bring along a thermos of hot chocolate, and settle in for a cozy, illuminated drive.

Later, Skaters
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If the weather is conducive to outdoor ice skating, lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; meander the paths at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Rocknoceros Holiday Singalong
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

Get in the holiday mood and ready to sing as one of the area’s favorite kids bands returns to Jammin’ Java for their eights year of fun holiday songs and Rockno classics. Belt out the tunes along with them, and enjoy a full lunch and drink menu, too.

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

Much of the live entertainment on area stages right now is holiday-inspired. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Get into the rhythm of Step Afrika!’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre. Get details on these shows and others in the 2014 Holiday Guide.

‘O’pen House Shopping
Where: Mansion on O Street
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 7pm
Admission: Starts at $10

This Dupont Circle mansion is one of the coolest, quirkiest places you could tour, shop, party at, dine in, even stay overnight in DC, a mansion, museum, restaurant, and hotel all in one. And it’s literally filled floor to ceiling with all kinds of donated items for sale, from fine china to funky collectibles. There’s a special Open House Shopping event, where you can look for fun, unique items to give as gifts… and have a great time with the kids just exploring it all.

It Take a Christmas Village
Where: Baltimore Inner Harbor
When: Friday & Saturday, 11am – 8pm & Sunday, 11am – 7pm
Admission: Free on Friday; $5/adult, $3/child on Sat/Sun

West Shore Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has been transformed into a Christmas Village this holiday season, and it’s full of fun for all ages. There’s face painting and balloon art for kids, and a children’s reading hour at 1:30pm on Friday (inside a heated festival tent). And everyday there are more than 60 booths to browse for gifts and food, entertainment, and lots of holiday fun to celebrate the season.

Holiday Sing-Along
Where: The Plaza at CityCenter
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Showcase your chops at holiday sing-a-long for all ages to enjoy. A children’s performer will lead the sing-a-long of children’s holiday classics. Little guests can also get creative with festive coloring pages, stamps, and stickers before and after the performance.

Holiday Arts & Crafts
Where: Anacostia Community Museum
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Artists Camilla Younger, Rain Young, and Alma Robinson lead families in a holiday arts-and crafts making extravaganza. Make tree ornaments and other holiday-inspired objects to give as personal gifts. All art materials will be provided. Vintage Social Dancers and Dance Historians, Briant and Karin Bohleke will perform a Civil War dance performance and engage the audience in a participatory demonstration as part of the program. Register early for this fun family event.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at the Bethesda theatre
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing through December 28
* See Beauty and the Beast at Synetic Theatre
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of The Tempest (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)
* The World Children’s Choir is performing a holiday concert on Saturday (look for free and discount tickets here)

Dueling Pianos and Santa
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1:30pm
Admission: $20, free for under 2

The whole family can enjoy an afternoon of fun at one of Bobby McKey’s dueling piano shows. It’s two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet, and this time there’s a holiday twist: Santa will be there to take photos with guests!

Shakespeare, Family-Style
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

If you want to introduce your kids to the work of The Bard, this is a perfect time to do so. There are still a few more days of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Family Week, where they host a variety of programs and performances of their current production, The Tempest, geared especially to young theatre-goers. This post has a schedule of ways you and your kids can participate.

Contain Your Excitement
Where: DAR Museum
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in for a free “Explore the Past” program from the members of Daughters of the American Revolution: You’ve used plastic bags and cardboard boxes, but what was used before those were invented? People in early America kept their special belongings in all kinds of homemade containers. Try your hand at making a basket or clay pot, and decorate a cloth bag or paper wrappings. Keep them for your own special things, give away as gifts, or use to put gifts in. Register for the free drop-in program here.

Christmas at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under


Mount Vernon decks the halls with themed Christmas trees on the estate and festive greenery in the Mansion. Tour the rarely-open third floor of the Mansion and get a glimpse of how the Washingtons might have decorated and entertained during the holiday season. Other special activities to enjoy: Watch chocolatiers produce chocolate using 18th-century techniques. Learn dances and hear stories about Christmas at Mount Vernon from costumed friends and family of the Washingtons. Meet Aladdin the Camel and see the National Thanksgiving Turkey after its official “presidential pardoning” at the White House.

Kids’ Fête de Noël
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $10
Celebrate the winter holidays with AFDC! With both French and English spoken, the event will feature a special holiday storytime and an activity hour for kids and families, including a fun craft. Snacks will also be served to guests.

Christmas on the Home Front
Where: Long Branch Plantation
When: Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: $5, free for ages 10 and under

Discover what Christmastime was like during the days of World War II. The historic house museum in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is hosting this special event for visitors to explore the home as it’s decorated for a WWII Christmas with artifacts and exhibits on diplay, too. Holiday drinks and treats will also be served in the dining room.

Chanukah Family Spectacular
Where: Bethesda Row
When: Sunday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the seventh night of Chanukah at Bethesda Row’s “Chanukah: Lights & Music.” This year’s annual event will feature a giant techno-Menorah adorned with thousands of colored LED lights that flash and pulsate to music. Festivities will include a musical performance by Hassidic rapping sensation “Mor-To-Life” as well as hot latkes, jelly donuts, and chocolate Chanukah gelt.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 12-14

Bundle up for outdoor fun - the brisk air might put a skip in your step!

Bundle up for outdoor fun – the brisk air might put a skip in your step!



Get into the spirit of both the holidays and DC! With loads of seasonal activities, special events, and the ongoing fun around town, this dynamic city is a great place to be right now (and any time of year, for that matter). Happy Weekend!

Georgetown GLOW
Where: Georgetown neighborhood
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 6-10pm
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new light – literally. Every evening this weekend, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, Washington Harbour, and more nearby places. Take the family dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out.

Parcel Market
Where: Canal Park
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free, but be ready to buy!

Parcel Market will transform Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront into a festive winter wonderland with the best independent retailers, craftsmen, and cuisine in DC. There will be ice skating at the Canal Park Ice Rink, plus creative retail showcasing local small businesses, artists, and designers. Vendors will include Be Clean, DeNada, Matine, Mutiny, Native Danger, TCI Letter Press, Winthrop Clothing Co. for pets, and more! The Parcel Market dining lounge will feature DC foodie favorites and warm drinks in a relaxed atmosphere complete with fire pits as lve music from local DJ’s and performers also fills the air.

Italian Holiday Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free

“Buon Natale!” Join American Art, the Embassy of Italy, and the Italian Cultural Institute Saturday for seasonal fun inspired by Italian holiday traditions! Among the Italo-fun: dancers from the Washington Ballet performing original choreography by Mimmo Miccolis, “OperaPop”, Simona Rodano, “The Italian Fairy,” stilt walkers from Italy’s famed Teatro Tascabile, and Zampogna (Italian bagpipes) players performing traditional holiday songs. There will also be craft tables featuring decoration and card making activities, face painting, a photo-op station, and a book signing and meet-and-greet with Shannon Jones, author of KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome, Italy. Sounds molto buona to me!

‘Tis the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be venue

The area’s big holiday events and activities are in full swing! Enjoy Holiday on the Ellipse, including Santa’s Workshop; Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden; Holly Trolley Fest at the National Capitol Trolley Museum; Christmas on the Potomac; Christmas at Mount Vernon; train and light displays, and much more. Get the full rundown on all of them in the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Gifts that Give Hope
Where: Calvary United Methodist Church
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Instead of giving another tie or candle this year, how about boxing up hope and happiness? Gifts That Give Hope Arlington is holding their 3rd annual Gift Fair, capturing the holiday spirit in a way that redefines the notion of meaningful, alternative gift giving. This year’s fair will feature 15 local and global nonprofit organizations, many of them based in Arlington. Shoppers will have the opportunity to peruse the tables hosted by each organization and purchase alternative gifts that will directly benefit the mission of those organizations. There will also be refreshments, face painting, and kids activities.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend is in town through the weekend at the Patriot Center
* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at the Bethesda theatre
* Bright Star Theatre presents Christmas with Santa as this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Rainbow Rock will be rockin in a rainbow wonderland at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing through December 28
* See Beauty and the Beast at Synetic Theatre
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest productions of As you Like It in its final weekend, and The Tempest (both are also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)
* There are holiday shows GALORE on stages right now. Check out the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide for the full list of them.

NatsFest
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $25/adult, $10/child

Nats fans can get a baseball fix at this annual prelude to the season. Join more than 20 Washington Nationals players, coaches, and team personnel for a day full of fun activities for all ages, including photo ops with players and mascots, player story times, caricature art, live batting cages and demos, Nationals merchandise and authenticated memorabilia, interactive games, autographs, and much more.

Shakespeare, Family-Style
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event

If you want to introduce your kids to the work of The Bard, this is a perfect time to do so. Starting this weekend through December 22, during the five-week run of The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company will be hosting a variety of programs and performances geared especially to young theatre-goers. This post has a schedule of ways you and your kids can participate.

All Aboard for a Model Train Holiday Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

Chug on down to Vienna this holiday season to watch model train activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. Since the holidays are here, the Polar Express makes an appearance, and Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) can also be seen chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia. It is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Check out the virtual tour on the website.

2nd Annual Cozy Christmas
Where: St. Elizabeths Gateway Pavilion
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Join the folks at Gateway DC (they hosted the awesome ice slide last winter) for Christmas crafts, games, and treats.
 They’ll even have a special guest in attendance — SANTA! They are also debuting the new cafe at Gateway during the Cozy Christmas Celebration — taste the delectable treats from 
The Mustard Seed Cafe by Chef Nadine.

 In addition, there will be a memorial ceremony for former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.

Children’s Open House
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Bienvenue! Discover the programs at The Alliance Française is hosting an open house, where you can learn about their programs for children 1 to 18 years old. Visit the beautiful building and classrooms dedicated to babies and toddlers.Meet the experienced teachers, who are native speakers trained to teach French at all levels. Listen to a few stories in the warm and welcoming library, and introduce your child to French and francophone culture through comic books, novels, and movies. Children can also attend a mini-class to get a taste for French language at the Alliance. See the website for the day’s schedule.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If the weather is conducive to outdoor ice skating, lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; join a Cartoon Skate at Canal Park on Saturday morning, circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Colonial Wassail
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child, free for children under 3

In the winter apple trees need encouragement to bear fruit in the coming year. Gather in the Farm’s orchard to wassail or toast the trees with singing, dancing and chants to ensure a “howling crop.” Enjoy hot spiced cider, ginger biscuits, a roaring bonfire, and 18th century games at this fun and educational holiday event.

Go Nat Geo
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: 10am – 6pm
Admission: $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under

Experience two interactive exhibits recommended for all ages. “Spinosaurus” and “Food: Our Global Kitchen” are currently at the National Geograhic Museum, and right now adults can get a discount on admission to visit them.

Roam Free
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
When: Throughout the weekend, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy free admission along with the lovely gardens at Dumbarton Oaks. Through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the grounds of the Georgetown locale. Bundle up for a walk among the various plats — it’s a beautiful place to explore any time of year. After, head up to M Street and exprience Georgetwon GLOW. Read more about about Dumbarton and get a glimpse in this post from last fall.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 5-7

Celebrate the season at the Smithsonian Holiday Festival this weekend

Celebrate the season at the Smithsonian Holiday Festival this weekend



If you’re up for seasonal celebrations, you’ve got it made this weekend. There are oodles of holiday events and activities going on, from a huge holiday festival to a card making workshop to beloved stage productions. There’s plenty of fun beyond the holidays, too — a pop-up video arcade on Sunday, lots of children’s entertainment, a Frozen sing-along, and, of course, DC’s mainstays, where a great time can be had any time of year. Happy Weekend!

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Where: Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, and Smithsonian Castle! This Holiday Festival has tons going on, something for everyone in your crew — concerts by the U.S. Air Force’s Max Impact, Silver Wings, and Celtic Aire; seasonal films, including The Muppet Christmas Carol; Mars Chocolate demonstrations; family holiday photo ops; trunk shows showcasing apparel, jewelry and art; book signings; festive food; and hours of family-friendly entertainment.

Winter Wonderland
Where: Bethesda Row
When: Friday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The first-annual holiday festival, Winter Wonderland on Bethesda Lane, will turn Bethesda Row into an outdoor street bazaar. Shop the pop-up holiday market along the lane, complete with festive tents to carry unprecedented deals on fashion, food, housewares, beauty items, and more. The whole fam can enjoy even more on-site festivities, including live entertainment, ice carvers, face painters, balloon artists, food tastings and a photo booth. It’s a weekend of excitement to celebrate the holiday season! NOTE: This was originally scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but Saturday has been cancelled due to expected inclement weather.

Tree Lighting & Skating Spectacular
Where: Tysons Corner Center
When: Friday, 5pm
Admission: Free

The Plaza at Tysons Corner will be bright with holiday cheer Friday evening as the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and skating spectacular kicks off Winterfest at the shopping center. 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly and 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier will emcee the ceremony that will feature Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan and Santa Claus, with a special guest appearance from Congressman Gerry Connolly. The ice show will immediately follow and open with Santa’s elves performing “We Need a Little Christmas” and continue with U.S. national competitor Emilia Murdock, skating live to “Where Are You Christmas”, performed by Samantha Digiorgio. The U.S. National Team Ice Dancers will skate a special performance before Olympian Elene Gedavanashvili takes the ice to perform “Burlesque”. The show will conclude with a grand finale by the entire cast, featuring Nancy Kerrigan.

DIY Holiday Cards
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 1-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Kick-off the holiday season by creating heartfelt, one-of-a-kind handmade cards at the National Postal Museum. Use beautiful holiday stamps from all over the world both to inspire your creativity and decorate your greetings. In addition to stamps, a variety of craft supplies await you at the workshop. This fun event offers something for everyone who loves arts & craft activities. We’ve attended several of the museum’s card workshops, and they’re always very well-organized and tons of fun. Plan to stay after to tour the exhibits, many of them interactive and interesting for all ages.

O Christmas Tree Sale!
Where: Brent Elementary School
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Get your Christmas tree and support a DC Public School! The Brent Elementary PTA is holding its 4th Annual Christmas Tree & Holiday Sale this weekend. It will be a fun and festive atmosphere with lively holiday music and a full selection of holiday decorating items, including trees, wreaths, garland, and poinsettias. The trees, wreaths, and garland are from an award-winning, family-owned nursery in the mountains of North Carolina. This nursery has won the grand prize for best North Carolina Christmas Tree and first prize in the National Christmas Tree Growers Association competition. By virtue of these awards, this farm has provided the Christmas tree for Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory and his personal residence. The grower takes great pride in ensuring that the trees are delivered fresh and in premium condition, within 2-3 days of being cut. All of the proceeds from your purchase will benefit the Brent PTA. The school is located at 301 North Carolina Ave SE on Capitol Hill.

Abracadabra, it’s Captain All-Star!
Where: Room & Board
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bring your family to the home design store for a lively morning with Captain All-Star, who claims to be DC’s funniest and clumsiest magician. Accompanied by his reindeer sidekick, Captain All-Star will entertain children with two 30-minute shows (10:30am and 11:30am), perfect for ages 2-8, featuring holiday music, dancing, and of course – magic! Throughout the morning, kids can also enjoy sips and snacks, while they create their own holiday themed craft to take home. RSVP at www.roomandboard.com/captainallstar

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at the Bethesda theatre
* The Virginia Ballet Company and School will be performing selections from The Nutcracker as this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Mr. Gabe is playing a holiday concert at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning
* GRAMMY Award Winners Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer and kids music star Justin Roberts are performing at Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in Rockville on Saturday.
* Head up to Baltimore for Disney Junior Live! Pirate & Princess Adventure: Jake & Sofia Live at the Lyric
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing through December 28
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of As You Like It (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)

Frozen Sing Along
Where: City Center
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: Free

Let it go, let it go… at this Frozen sing along for all ages to enjoy! Join the folks at CityCenterDC as Elsa leads everyone in song. Along with the music, they’ll have coloring stations and a Frozen temporary tattoo station for children to enjoy before and after the performance.

Holly Trolley Fest

Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum
When: Saturdays & Sundays
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)

The National Capitol Trolley Museum’s seasonal fest begins this weekend! Ride with Santa on street cars and enjoy the model garden railway and holiday village inside the Museum, a special treat during the holiday season. And take a tour of the the rest of the venue, which offers a glimpse into the history of street cars, including a Hall displaying different cars from around the region and Europe.

Great Adventures
Where: Freer Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Embark on a voyage of fantastic adventures and new discoveries across China, Japan, India, and the Middle East. This workshop introduces participants to the Galleries through stories, books, and art materials, highlighting the exhibition The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia. Recommended for children ages 8 to 14 and adult companions.

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: December 6, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

Get into the holiday spirit at Glen Echo Park’s annual Winter’s Eve celebration. It’s free, open to the public, and visitors of all ages can enjoy performances, arts & crafts open studios, and a hot chocolate bar before strolling through the Park or joining the swing dance in the Spanish Ballroom. Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show and artist studios. Kids and adults can create gifts to share in the holiday-themed craft rooms.

Stead Park Santa Day
Where: Whole Foods P Street
When: Saturday, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Visit and take photos with Santa at Whole Foods (1440 P Street NW) on Saturday. Friends of Stead Park are hosting this event for the community, moving it from the park to the store in anticipation of rainy weather. Guests are welcome to bring cameras, and there will be a photographer onsite as well. A donation of mittens or socks (adult-­‐size) or a monetary contribution to support Bread for the City is suggested.

Holiday Open House
Where: Torpedo Factory
When: Saturday, 4-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Alexandria’s biggest holiday weekend at the Holiday Open House. Artists from the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association will be keeping their studios open late to accommodate shoppers who want to buy unique, handmade jewelry, ceramics, paintings and other original works of art as gifts for the holidays. It will also be a festive destination for visitors before and after the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac. The Alexandria Choral Society will sing seasonal favorites at 5pm and 6:15pm with the Braddock Brass Quintet performing at 8 pm. Following the close of the Boat Parade, Santa will visit with shoppers and assist in handing out door prizes at 7pm.

Indie Arcade
Where: American Art Museum
When: Sunday, 1-7pm
Admission: Free

Remember getting dropped off at the mall with a pocketful of quarters and a feeling of determined optimism that today would be the day you’d finally make it to Baby Board? (Ooorrr, was that was just me?) You (I) have a chance to relive that feeling — and share it with your kids — at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Sunday as MAGFest and American University’s Game Lab turn the Kogod Courtyard into an indie arcade! Stop in to play video game favorites from your childhood — classics like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Tron, Star Wars, Arkanoid, and Donkey Kong will be available. You can also make games with the Hirshhorn Museum’s ArtLab+ and try new indie games from local chapters of the International Game Developers Association.

Holiday Open House & Christkindl Market
Where: Heurich House Museum
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: $15/adults, $5/children

The Heurich House Museum welcomes the public to celebrate the winter season during its annual Holiday Open House and Christkindlmarkt this weekend, honoring the Heurich family’s German heritage by recreating a traditional German public Christmas market in its garden. This holiday shopping event, Dupont Circle’s only holiday market, will feature goods from local artisans, including jewelers, ceramicists, chocolatiers, coffee roasters, and makers of housewares, baby clothes, and more. Visitors who enter the Open House may stroll through the festively decorated historic mansion on a self-guided tour, enjoy the sounds of live holiday musical performances in the Conservatory, and bid on traditional Nutcrackers during a silent auction. The museum will be collecting new and gently used children’s books for a local children’s charity book drive, and guests will have the opportunity to create ornaments to adorn the museum’s holiday tree. Café Berlin will sell Glühwein, sausages, strudel, and other authentic German treats. Tickets for just the Christkindlmarkt are $5 and will only be available at the door.

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, 4pm
Tickets: Free

Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-A-Long is an annual musical celebration hosting a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Parking is free, but limited, so plan on arriving early. Bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a bell for a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” and a candle to join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.”

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

Much of the live entertainment on area stages right now is holiday-inspired. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre. Descriptions and details for all these shows are in the 2014 Holiday Guide.

German-American Christmas Village
Where: West Shore Park, Inner Harbor
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $1

Christmas Village in Baltimore will celebrate German-American heritage this weekend, showcasing authentic German culture to Baltimoreans and visitors alike. Guests can enjoy German dance groups and singers, decorations, games, and much more alongside the waterfront. Christmas Village is also taking part in the Dollar or Less days, by offering a $1 holiday pass on December 6 and December 7. With the $1 holiday pass, visitors can return to the Christmas Village on following weekends for free admission into the Village tent. (Weekday admission will continue to be free for all visitors throughout the month.) Dozens of surrounding attractions such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center will also participate in the “Dollar-or-Less” weekend, making it the perfect time to visit the Inner Harbor.

Night Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) 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. 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!

A Soldier’s Christmas at Carlyle House
Where: Carlyle house
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Head to the Carlyle House for an annual holiday tradition: Step back in time to enjoy colonial life in Alexandria during the holidays at the time of the American Revolution. The Soldier’s Christmas program features re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, and guests can also take part in festive activities, including live music, demonstrations of military drills, fife and drum, gaming, and cooking. Be sure to sample historic beverages and meet the men and women of the American Revolution.

‘Tis the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be venue

Most of the area’s big holiday events and activities will be on by this weekend. Holidays on the Ellipse, Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Christmas on the Potomac, Boat Parade of Lights, the Magical Holiday Express, and more. Get the full rundown on all of them in the 2014 Holiday Guide.


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