Tag Archives: DC Kids Activities

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 25-27

The beloved holiday season train display is back at the Botanic Garden

 

At this time of giving thanks, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to the KFDC community.  Whether you’re a longtime reader or just discovered my blog, follow regularly or just stop by from time to time, I am so grateful for all of you — your interest and support.  I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for your curiosity, desire for quality family time, and enthusiasm for new adventures around our beloved city. Happy Thanksgiving!  And, as always…

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to go-to posts full of ideas for local fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
*
 The Great Indoors
*
 Autumn Adventures
Local Hikes with Kids
Bike Rides
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Peaceful Places
Baltimore with Kids

Thanksgiving Day Play
Where: Around the Dc area
When: Thursday (and beyond)
Admission: Varies by activity

How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving meal? If you’re looking for pre- or post-feast activities, this post suggests some ways to complement the main event of the day.

#OptOutside
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This initiative started by REI a few years ago was so good it became one of the most popular hashtags… Skip the Black Friday shopping (or do it off-hours online) and get out to enjoy some family QT outdoors. You’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for adventures in the fresh air. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with loads of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

What is easily DC’s most popular holiday attraction is back inside the the Botanic Garden this year! The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials and one of the city’s largest Christmas trees. But the highlight is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year it has a farming theme with agricultural scenes fro around the US. Even better (imo), it’s back outdoors in the National Garden!  For even more holiday magic at the USBG, see it all twinkle as it stays open until 8pm on Tuesday evenings.  Get a glimpse of a past exhibit in this post with scenes from the exhibit. For more on the seasonal favorite, see this post and this one about some of our Season’s Greenings experiences.

Animation Fest
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Experience the wonderful world of animation in a daylong program for all ages. Pop into a wide variety of films, make animations of your own, and explore the many connections between animation and artistic expression in a special performance with artist Eric Dyer. No registration required, but all events are first come, first served.

Skate Under the Sky — on the National Mall
Where: National Gallery of Art Ice Rink | National Mall, DC
When: Opens Friday (t
hrough Mid-March)
Admission: $10/age 13+ , $9/under 13 & seniors

It’s opening weekend for the NGA ice rink.  And if there is one quintessential DC ice skating experience, this is it (imo).  I mean, you’re gliding at a locale right on the National Mall surrounded by big, fantastic art installations with iconic sights and places nearby.  How cool is that? Make a day of it with time on the ice, visit a museum (or two…or more), and stop by the US Botanic Garden to see the delightful Season’s Greenings.  And for more area places to skate the day (and night) away, see this post with all the details you need to get gliding.

World Cup Pizza Specials
Where: Pizza Paradiso | Georgetown, DC
When: Friday, 1:30
Admission: The cost of your meal

Pizzeria Paradiso is hosting “Games in the Game Room” for the opening US World Cup games. For $20 get a nine-inch pizza and a draft beer, or take advantage of the $35 “All You Can Eat Pizza” deal that include limitless pizza plus up to 4 select drafts. You can also compete in arcade games, pinball, and more while teams compete. The game room will open 30 minutes before kick-off at 1:30pm as the US vs England game starts at 2pm.

Canstruction
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Friday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10/adult, $7/child, free/members

See the results of Canstruction, the creative design-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank as teams from DC architecture and design firms use their skills to build sculptures out of cans of food; this year, it’s based on the theme “Sports: Score One Against Hunger.” The sculptures are all complete, and you can vote for your favorite with the donation of a canned good. Of course, plan to view the exhibits while you’re there!

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DC area
When: Saturday
Admission: Free, but plan to buy & support local

If you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend, make a point of going to local, independent stores, both to score great, unique gifts and to support people and places that help make our communities thrive. The KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has all kinds of suggestions for gifts from many local businesses.

Train Ornament Workshop
Where: Home Depot locations around DC
When: Saturday, 9am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Head to Home Depot for their free monthly workshop that welcomes kids to complete a hands-on project, this weekend a train ornament to hang on your holiday tree. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All supplies are provided, including a little apron, and kids get to keep their craft along with a certificate of achievement and collectible pin (while supplies last).  Register in advance!

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through January 1
Admission: $29-39/adult, $29/child, free 2 & under

The bedazzling holiday attraction is back at Nationals Park starting this weekend!  There was a ton of buzz about it during its inaugural run in 2019, and I thought it was deserving. The sprawling Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays.  Read a KFDC review of it from back then, including tips for visiting (that still apply this year). Purchase tickets here, and note there are some discounts for seniors, military, and EMS.

The Day You Begin
Where: The Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20-25

This new musical is based on the bestselling children’s book by author Jacqueline Woodson. The plot: the first day at a new school with diverse new people; the setting: a familiar, yet more vividly modern elementary school classroom. The message? The day you truly “begin” is when you discover what makes you unique, but also the same as people who may seem so different.  Read a full review of the show by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise.

Holiday Magic at Gaylord National
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free, though some activities cost extra

The Gaylord National Hotel at National Harbor goes all out during the holidays. The atrium of the resort is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a spectacular glass Christmas tree, nightly tree lightings, the Potomac Express train offering rides for guests, photo ops with Santa, indoor snowfalls, fountain shows, and more. This year there will also be Ice Bumper Cars, a Snow Factory “Snowball Build & Blast,” The Greatest Story Stage Show, Ice Slides, and of course, the popular ICE! exhibition of A Christmas Story themed ice sculptures.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 8
Admission: $25-39
It’s a new, high-energy musical to rock the holiday season! When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Based on Mo Willem’s beloved picture book, the show explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves.

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, it’s starting!  The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages.  Or take littles to see a version on strings 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. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2022 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Holiday Tree Lighting
Where: The Park | CityCenter, DC
When: Saturday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the holiday season with CityCenter’s annual tree lighting celebration. The 75-foot tree, one of the largest in the city, is decorated with more than 150,000 lights and 4,500 ornaments that will be a brilliant sight when its lit. More festivities face painting and balloon art, sweet and savory treats from CityCenter favorites, and a few surprises will have everyone dreaming of a whimsical snow-filled holiday.

The Queen’s Cartoonists Holiday Hurrah!
Where: George Mason University Center for the Arts
When: Sunday, 4-6 PM
Admission: Tickets 

The Queen’s Cartoonists perform music from cartoons! Pulling from over 100 years of animation, TQC’s performances are perfectly synchronized to the films projected on stage. The band matches the energy of the cartoons, leading the audience through a world of virtuosic musicianship, multi-instrumental mayhem, and comedy. The Holiday Hurrah will feature a vocalist and plenty of silliness.

Fallin’
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

There’s still some autumn splendor left to enjoy. With pleasant temps and foliage still brightening the landscape, this weekend will be a good time to relish in the season. This post has recommendations for where to savor it around the area.

Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Evenings throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Several parks and gardens in the area have transformed into sparkling wonderlands. 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.

ZooLights
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Friday – Sunday, 5-9pm
Admission: Free, but passes are required

Highlighting this beloved light display because it’s back for the first time since Covid.  Thousands of environmentally-friendly lights and animal lanterns transform the Zoo into a holiday wonderland in the evenings. There are also live music performances, tasty winter treats. and lots of opportunities for holiday shopping. Note that you must have passes to visit, and whl eit looks like they might be  sold out for this weekend, I’m still including this here in case they release more.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

If you’re specifically seeking indoor fun or just want ideas for extra activities, there are plenty of options for things to do inside. This post has over 100 suggestions.  Some specific recs for this weekend: Explore the STEAM inspired exhibits at the National Children’s Museum, wander among the works at the National Gallery of Art, scale the colorful walls at ClimbZone, go bowling and enjoy a family meal at Pinstripes.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Now that we’ve hit Thanksgiving, the holiday season is really in full swing, so be sure to keep the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season handy to help make the time merry and bright.
* Chess, anyone? Magnus Chess Academy, which runs chess programs for kids, has a special Cyber Monday offer going on now through November 29!
* There’s going to be a new immersive light display here…learn more about the area’s first Winter Lantern Festival!
* A great (long) list of holiday movies to watch with kids.
* NPR’s 2022 Books We Love.
* Anthro’s Black Friday Sale is so good: 30% off regular priced items, 50% off sale. (Just bought and wore this… it’s so pretty and comfy, but still a little bit sexy with that neckline, and will work for lots of occasions and seasons.)
* At Hanna Andersson, get 50% off sitewide + extra 20% off clearance + free shipping!
* J. Crew is offering a whopping 50% off purchases. (FYI, the kids crewcuts section is adorable.)
* Nordstrom has tons of great deals, too.
* Ha, I remember this phase.
* How awesome is this?
* Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

Where to Play on Thanksgiving Day (2022)

A plant material replica of the US Botanic Garden at the wonderful Season’s Greenings

 

How about a side of recreation to go with your Thanksgiving meal? If you’re going to be in town for the holiday and are looking for pre- or post-feast activities, here are some ways to complement the main event of the day. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

1) Hit the ice to enjoy some active fun. You can ice skate under the sky at one of several outdoor rinks in the area that are open on the holiday.  Most of our faves, all DC rinks, will be welcoming skaters, so you can glide with beautiful Potomac views at Washington Harbour, right over the river at The Wharf, and amid the city bustle at Canal Park.  Find info on those and more in Virginia and Maryland.  And be sure to check ice rink websites for Thanksgiving Day hours!

 

2) Visit a Smithsonian museum or the National Zoo. They are all open on Thanksgiving from 10am – 5:30pm, except for the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery which are open 11:30am – 7pm and the National Zoo 8am – 4pm. The National Gallery of Art (which is not part of the Smithsonian, just a neighbor on the Mall) is open, too, from 10am – 5pm.

 

3) Experience Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The always delightful model train exhibit, constructed from plant materials, is back outside in the National Garden again. And the Conservatory will be filled with its signature holiday decor, including sculptures of iconic DC sites, also made from plant materials.  Open 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.

 

4) Enjoy a holiday hike.  Looks like it should be a pleasant Turkey Day this year, great for some time on the trail.  In honor of the day, I suggest going to Turkey Run. 🦃😉  Rock Creek, Great Falls, Roosevelt Island, Huntley Meadows, and Riverbend are all nice parks for family tramping. This post has details on all of them along with even more recs for local walks in the woods.

 

5) Hang out at a playground.  BeauvoirHains PointClemyjontri, Cabin John Regional ParkWheaton Regional Park, plus loads of DC Parks and Rec locations, and many more in the DC Metro are good places to take littles to play while you’re waiting for the feast.

 

6) Get into the holiday spirit at National Harbor.  There is a nightly tree lighting and light show in the Waterfront District that runs every half hour from sunset until 9pm. Plus, there’s much more holiday magic at the Gaylord National.

 

7) Take an evening drive or stroll through a holiday light display— several around the area have started dazzling visitors with twinkling wonderlands.

 

8) Catch a flick.  Just about all of our local movie theaters will be open, and there are so many good films to see! (On my list:  Glass Onion, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, TÁR, She Said, The Menu.)  See what’s playing at a theater near you.

 

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: November 18-20

The wonderful Downtown Holiday Market opens this weekend!

 

Happy Weekend!

Link up to all kinds of inspo for ongoing & seasonal fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
*
 The Great Indoors
*
 Autumn Adventures
Local Hikes with Kids
Bike Rides
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Peaceful Places
Baltimore with Kids

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Opens Friday (through December 23), 12-8pm
Admission: Free

This is, to me, the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always an excellent variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the city block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market.

Savor Autumn
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The trees may be starting to lose their leaves, but there’s still plenty of autumn left in the area — and a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has recommendations for where to savor the season around the DMV.

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 8
Admission: $25-39
It’s a new, high-energy musical to rock the holiday season! When clothing suddenly falls from the sky, Wilbur J. Mole Rat stuns the colony with his decision to get dressed! In a community where baring is caring and skin is in, can Wilbur find the courage to rock to the rhythm of his own electric guitar? Based on Mo Willem’s beloved picture book, the show explores what can happen when we have the courage to be ourselves.

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.  A few opened last weekend, and several more are starting to welcome guests to their sparkling wonderlands.  A few are listed in this round-up, and you can see other locations here.  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. Either way, be prepared to be dazzled!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University | Fairfax, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6/adult, $4/ages 13-17, $3/12 & under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 30th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. Around 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig. This takes place in Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center at George Mason University.

Kids Workshop
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Lowes is hosting their monthly in-person workshop for kids. This Saturday, celebrate Thanksgiving in a unique way with your mini DIYer as you put together a Dancing Turkey Kit. You’ll leave with a hand-made toy that’s as fun to play with as it is to create. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!

Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide the day away as several area outdoor ice rinks are welcoming skaters for the season. Meander your way around Canal Park Ice Rink. Skate in Georgetown at the Washington Harbour. Do some shopping and snacking along with your skating at Pentagon Row in Arlington. Practice your axles and triple lutzes at Reston Town Center. Or find another rink where you can skate under the sky (or stars) or indoors. This post has details on this season’s ice skating spots.

DC Holiday Lights
Where: Main Streets Around DC
When: Opens Friday (through January 8)
Admission: Free

During the holiday season, Main Streets throughout the District are joining together to bring DC residents a spectacular holiday experience: DC Holiday Lights! Take a stroll down each of the participating corridors to experience a dazzling array of lights and decor, enjoy holiday promotions, and shop local. Visit the website to see where corridors are located and what to expect at each of them.

Garden of Lights
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Opens Friday (through January 1)
Admission: $10/age 5+

One of our faves, he Garden of Lights is a magical winter wonderland illuminated with more than one million dazzling colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals, and other natural elements. Stroll from garden to garden enjoying twinkling tree forms, sparkling fountains, and whimsical winter scenes — a few of them new this year. Afterwards, warm up inside the Visitors Center — sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances. KFDC Tip: Go on a weekday if you can swing it to avoid crowds. View scenes from one of our past visits there.

Winter City Lights
Where: 501 Olney Laytonsville Rd | Olney, MD
When: Opens Saturday (through December 31)
Admission: $39-48/adult, $25-37/youth, free/4 & under

New to the area this year, this magical holiday experience consists of one million twinkling lights spread across 18-acres of an outdoor winter wonderland where it is guaranteed to “snow” every night. The largest light show in the DC area and Baltimore area, Winter City Lights claims to be one of the most technologically advanced Christmas light experiences in the country. Complete with 14 bonfires, it includes an enchanted 1.5-mile long trail of Christmas lights and displays through the woods, a 52-foot high programmable Christmas lights tree and light show, a 200-foot diameter canopy of Christmas lights. There’s also an eight lane Snow Tubing Ride, s’mores, funnel cakes, and more!

Ice & Lights
Where: Cameron Run Park | Alexandria, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $9 just village, $22/with skating, free/under 2 

Glide the evening away at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria. The waterpark is transformed into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music, and more! Grab a slice of pizza, roast a marshmallow over the fire pits, and enjoy the winter village.

Holiday Tree Lighting
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Friday, 6pm
Admission: Free

Tysons Corner Center will bring the community together to join Santa in kicking off their 2022 Holiday Season. See Santa lighting the holiday tree, enjoy community performances, savor complimentary s’mores and hot chocolate station, check out a giant slow globe, browse the holiday market, listen to festive music, and more!

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Where: Silver Plaza | Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Larger than life inflatable turkeys and penguins, glittering floats, marching bands, dancing groups, and Santa and his elves!  The Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only one of its kind in the metro DC area.  Held in downtown Silver Spring, it traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season. The parade steps off from Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street and proceeds south on Georgia Avenue, ending at Silver Spring Avenue.

Sensory Friendly Screening
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $7.15

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal Theaters gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Invent the Future
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: $26.95/adult, $20.95/age 3-17

The Maryland Science Center is hosting a special activities along with its regular offerings and awesome exhibits. Spend an afternoon full of future-focused hands-on discovery on Saturday. What does the future look like to you? Bioengineered glow–in-the–dark pizza, perfect for late-night snacking? Flying cars and teleportation tubes? De-extinct dinosaur pets? Stretch your creativity and design your future in a recycled materials challenge. Pick your prediction in our future tech showdown. Explore the delicious possibilities of future foods. Engage with local scientists, inventors, and more! Read more about the MSC here.

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free, but fee for activities 

Washington Waldorf School is bringing back its annual holiday market for the first time since 2019! For over 50 years, it has been offering one of the highest quality bazaars in the DC area with unique crafts and activities for children of all ages. They welcome many local artisans and offer an array of beautiful handcrafted items made by parents. There will also be live entertainment and tasty treats Entrance is free, but activities require tickets to be purchased. All are welcome!

Christmas Village
Where: West Shore Park, Inner Harbor | Baltimore, MD
When: Starting Saturday (through December 2)4
Admission: Free weekdays, $5/adult weekends, kids free

Head up to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for its annual Christmas Village, an authentic German holiday market, that is full of fun for all ages. There’s kids entertainment all day long, photo ops with Santa, a carousel and ferris wheel, live performances, and more! Plus, everyday there are more than 50 vendor booths to browse for gifts, food, entertainment, and lots of holiday fun to celebrate the season. (Note that it is closed on select dates — see the website for specifics.) And for more to do in Charm City see the KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids.

S.P.I.E.S. 2: Flight of the Hawk
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through November 20
Admission: $25

Join S.P.I.E.S. in person, where it is more interactive than ever! This follow-up to the online hit S.P.I.E.S. & the Lost Treasure of Atlantis combines live theatre and taped adventure scenes to create a collaborative and exciting experience where each audience gets to be the hero and solve the puzzles–and no two performances are alike. Recommended for ages 5-11.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 1
Admission: $37-74

It’s opening weekend for Olney’s internationally acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Be their guest along with several returning cast members and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Into the Woods
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through  January 29
Admission: $40-109

Signature’s Theatre’s show just opened… Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free. A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds. Weaving a euphoric score with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables. Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including one intermission. Parents should use discretion about what is age appropriate for their children.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 11
Admission: $59-115

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents a unique version of the Bard’s classic… The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare’s cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is promised to be the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and revelatory romance. Recommended for teens and older.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Don’t let the cooler temps stop you from getting out.  Bundle up and  enjoy the sunshine with some time on the trail. Peep the last of autumn leaves, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.  Some specific recs for right now:  Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean, Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax, Kingman & Heritage Islands in Northeast DC, Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

Nature Calling
Where: Nature centers around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

If you’re not feeling outdoorsy, you can still get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the indoors at a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer cool exhibits, including live creatures. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, Potomac Overlook in Arlington, Long Branch in Falls Church, and Brookside in Silver Spring all make for a great outing.

World Cup Celebration
Where: 3900 Wisconsin Ave NW | City Ridge, DC
When: Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Join Comunikids, a local bilingual preschool, along with City Ridge and DC Soccer Club to celebrate the World Cup! Kids from ages 18 months to 8 years old and their families are invited to enjoy food trucks, a DJ, soccer stations, arts & crafts, and more. Register in advance!

Canstruction
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Sunday, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

It’s the kick-off of Canstruction, a nationwide program that aims to raise awareness about hunger through a design-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank with donations of canned goods. Teams from architecture and design firms from DC use their skills to build sculptures out of cans of food. You can watch them at work in the Great Hall (and plan to check out some exhibits, too — admission fee for that.) The nutritious shelf-stable food is donated to the Capital Area Food Bank for distribution to those in need after the event.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The 2022 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide isn’t just full of ideas for presents for all ages, it highlights many of the city’s best places and experiences.
* And in case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s also a little gift guide especially for little kid gifts.
* Don’t feel like cooking the big feast next week? Kid Up and Go shared their annual Thanksgiving To Go round-up!
* There’s going to be a Soccer in the Circle event at Dupont Circle on Monday from 9am – 4pm with fun activities and a live broadcast of USA vs Wales in their first game of the FIFA World Cup.
* And here’s a guide to the World Cup events at spots in the Capitol Riverfront area.
* Think I have one more thing to add to the gift guide!
* Anthro has a great home sale going on right now with so many things that would make fab gifts.
* This made me LOL because it’s spot on!
* So, this happened yesterday 🙂

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Filed under 2022, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 11-13

It’s always free to visit Rock Creek Park

 

Happy Weekend!  And thank you to all the veterans who have served and sacrificed.

Quick links to loads of ideas for ongoing & seasonal fun:
Best Outdoors in the DC Area
*
 The Great Indoors
*
 Autumn Off the Farm
Local Hikes with Kids
Bike Rides
Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Peaceful Places
Baltimore with Kids

Free Parking
Where: National parks around the area
When: Friday
Admission: FREE

It’s a day off from school for most students and the last fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and hit the trail at Great FallsPrince William Forest, Harpers Ferry, Shenandoah; take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains covered in autumn colors; or head up to Baltimore to explore Fort McHenry. And our own very local national park, Rock Creek, is always free.  Find even more parks to visit here.

Celebration for Native Veterans
Where: NMAI | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting this weekend-long celebration that includes the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial on Friday (more here) along with more festivities for all ages on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy performances by musical artists, a presentation of colors by the Native American Women Warriors, hands-on activities for all ages, films, and a veterans hospitality suite.  Of course, the rest of the museum — particularly the imagiNATIONS activity space for kids — is wonderful to explore, too!

Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Monday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free/military, $28/age 12+, $15/6-11, free/0-6

Special activities at George Washington’s former estate include a wreath laying ceremony, performances by the Harmony Heritage Singers and the United States Air Force Strings, music and history on the Bowling Green, and a chance to meet General Washington. Throughout the day, write a thank you letter to an active duty service member in the Vaughan Lobby. Honored guests are also invited to place a flower at Washington’s Tomb. (Above admission fees are for online; prices are slightly higher on site.)

Ready, Set, Stencil
Where: Kreeger Museum | Foxhall/Palisades, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $15

Recommended for young artists ages 8-12, this workshop explores Artist Frank Stella’s Protractor Series. Many artists use stencils as tools in creating their artwork, and Stella used the protractor as a tool. A painting from this series, Flin-Flon VIII, is a part of the permanent collection now on view at the museum. Teaching artist Susan Hostetler will lead participants through a Stella-inspired workshop exploring and creating intriguing designs using a single tool, the protractor. No experience necessary, but participants should come prepared for a fun, colorful challenge! Parents and guardians are encouraged to remain onsite and explore the museum — read more about it in this KFDC post.

Tour the Memorials
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Observe Veterans Day on the actual day or over the weekend by visiting the sites that honor those who have served. Make the rounds on the Mall at your leisure — the Vietnam Veterans MemorialWorld War II Memorial, and  Korean War Memorial are all within easy walking distance.  And while not on the National Mall, another obvious place for a Veterans Day Weekend outing (or a visit anytime) is Arlington Cemetery.

It’s Outdoor Ice Skating Season!
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Want to glide under the sky? Several outdoor ice skating rinks in the area are welcoming guests to skate the day away. Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Rockville Town Square, Pentagon Row, and Reston Town Center are all open.  This post has the scoop on all of them and more details (indoor venues, too), including bonus activities while you’re there.

Art on the Avenue
Where: Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Rescheduled from October…celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Numerous artists — jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians — will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival — there will be crafts especially for young festival-goers to enjoy and take home. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

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

One of my favorite KFDC Tips to impart because it’s one of my favorite places in DC:  From November through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the beautiful, enchanting gardens at Dumbarton Oaks.  Stroll among the various plats, find lovely tucked away places to sit, and get ready for delights as you turn every corner. Hours are limited, but you can make a longer day of it with play time at Montrose Park next door, a hike at Dumbarton Oaks Park right behind the gardens, or a bite to eat at one of of the many options in Georgetown. This KFDC post about Dumbarton also has some food recs and this one from earlier KFDC days has more info and scenes.

Bull Run Festival of Lights
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday evenings
Admission: $30/car 

The early in the season opening offers more opprotunity to experience the Festival’s 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. As you drive the festival route, turn off your headlights and just follow the magical glow. And what elevates this light display is the holiday village and carnival that’s included in admission.  Even more, from November 11-20, save $10 with the promo code early22 — valid every day including weekends.  And from November 21- December 15 save $5 by going Monday through Thursday with the code lights22.

Winter Walk of Lights
Where: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Vienna, VA
When: Friday, Saturday,  & Sunday, 5-10pm
Admission: $16-18/online, $20/on site, free/2 & under

The Winter Walk of Lights start dazzling in mid November, as the beautiful garden is transformed into a half-mile, walk of lights in the evenings. Revisit perennial favorites such as the animated Lakeside Lights, the Fountain of Lights, and the Holiday Nature Walk – and look for new displays each year. Put on your walking shoes and bring the family to experience a Northern Virginia festive tradition. Round out your visit by roasting marshmallows and sipping on hot beverages by the fire. (Available for purchase at S’more Snacks Shop).

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Cooler weather is coming, making the air crisp and activity a little more exhilarating, so take advantage with some time on the trail. Peep the autumn leaves, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids. Some hikes I particularly recommend right now:  Roosevelt IslandSky Meadows State ParkSugarloaf Mountain, and Turkey Run Park.

(Geo)Cache in on Fun
Where: Around the Area
When: Anytime
Admission: Free

Take kids on a “treasure” hunt and have a little adventure along the way. Geocaching is a perfect way to be active and enjoy a day outdoors. Whether you search in the city or seek out a destination that requires a hike in the woods, locating the hidden cache will be a thrill for everyone. See this post about our first foray into the pursuit awhile back.

Hoops Time!
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The college basketball season just started, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on — and it’s also a great time for families. Here are some games you can catch this weekend:
* Maryland women vs South Carolina on Friday at 6pm (Go, Terps!)
* GW men vs. Howard on Friday at 6pm
* GMU men vs Longwood U on Friday at 7pm
* Georgetown Men vs Green Bay on Saturday at 11am
Georgetown Women vs Columbia on Sunday at 2pm
* GMU men vs American on Sunday at 4pm

Caps vs Lightning
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $45

For sports action on ice, watch the Capitals on Friday evening as they host Tampa Bay. See the restaurant recs in the Wizards listing for a fam-friendly bite before the match. Plan on a pre-game meal in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Reren, and Shake Shack.

Wizards this Weekend
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards are playing two games at home this weekend on Saturday and Sunday evenings. See them work their magic on the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzliess. Plan on a pre-game meal in Penn Quarter — see the above restaurant recs for a few options.

Market Days on the Hill
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

Start your holiday shopping and enjoy a nice day out at Eastern Market’s outdoor weekend flea market. It’s a personal neighborhood fave any time of year, but especially pleasant to browse and stroll during the fall. Vendors sell a variety of wares — art, apparel, jewelry, home goods, and food.  Inside the actual Eastern Market, food stalls offer all kinds of fresh fare, from meats and cheese to produce and baked goods to fish and flowers.  Visit the market, grab a bite at one of many eateries (either right there or nearby), and take kiddos to the nearby Eastern Market Metro Park playground (Pennsylvania & 8th SE).

Museum Shop Holiday Market
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: Friday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Suggested donation of $10
Start your holiday gift shopping with DC’s museums. Strathmore’s Museum Shop Holiday Market brings together the area’s best museum and cultural shops for three festive days. Every present is part of a larger purpose as your purchase supports nonprofit museums and arts organizations in our community. Find unique gifts from the shops at Strathmore, Brookside Gardens, the Supreme Court Historical Society, Hillwood, The Phillips Collection, GWU Museum & The Textile Museum, President Lincoln’s Cottage, and Woodend Nature Shop.

Autumn Bonsai
Where: U.S. National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: Through Monday
Admission: Free

Take your little people to see the little trees in their brilliant autumnal colors before the leaves fall away to reveal bare winter silhouettes. See red maples, yellow ginkgos, fruited trees, and more in the Bonsai Museum located within the National Arboretum — it’s a fantastic exhibition. Be sure to tour the big trees around the rest of the Arb while you’re there, too. It’s easily one of the best places in the city to do some leaf peeping. Get a glimpse in these scenes from one of our fall visits there.

Grupo Rompe Cajón!
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
Admission: Free

Interact Story Theatre’s Wheaton Family Theatre Series returns with new FREE performances for kids and families. Sing, clap, dance, and learn new rhythms and songs as Grupo Rompe Cajón brings the rich folkloric traditions of Peru’s coast to the DC community. Showcasing a variety of genres, including Festejo, Landó, and Zamacueca, their music features songs about celebration as well as the struggle for Afro-Peruvian freedom before slavery and equality since. Best for ages 4 and up.

S.P.I.E.S. 2: Flight of the Hawk
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through November 20
Tickets: $25

Join S.P.I.E.S. in person, where it is more interactive than ever! This follow-up to the online hit S.P.I.E.S. & the Lost Treasure of Atlantis combines live theatre and taped adventure scenes to create a collaborative and exciting experience where each audience gets to be the hero and solve the puzzles–and no two performances are alike. Recommended for ages 5-11.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through January 1
Tickets: $37-74

It’s opening weekend for Olney’s internationally acclaimed production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Be their guest along with several returning cast members and the rest of the gang in the Beast’s cursed castle for an escape to a world where beauty is more than skin deep and happily ever after is just a rose petal away.

Into the Woods
Where: Signature Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through  January 29
Tickets: $40-109

Signature’s Theatre’s show just opened… Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free. A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds. Weaving a euphoric score with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables. Running time is approximately 2 hours 45 minutes, including one intermission. Parents should use discretion about what is age appropriate for their children.

Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through December 11
Tickets: $59-115

Shakespeare Theatre Company presents a unique version of the Bard’s classic… The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when the ON AIR sign is lit. Shakespeare’s cherished romantic comedy lands in a cable newsroom, where sparring co-anchors Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs behind the news desk. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is promised to be the perfect blend of sparkling screwball comedy and revelatory romance. Recommended for teens and older.

National Harbor Nightly Tree Lighting
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, half hour after sunset
Admission: Free

Watch the brand new 60-foot tree come to life nightly with a breathtaking light show in the heart of the Waterfront District. Saturday is the first tree lighting, and it will take place every evening after that through December 31. The show runs on the half an hour from sunset to 9pm. The Stars and Stripes Fair will also take place on the first night.

The Nutcracker @ TheARC
Where: THEARC Theater | Anacostia, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $30-60
This modified version of Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker is perfect for little theatre goers with a scaled-down and shorter performances. Like the bigger production, it’s set in historic Georgetown with historical figures and whimsical touches. There are only four performances available, so snag your tickets!

Lucketts Holiday Open House<
Where: Lucketts Store | Leesburg, VA
When: Through December 11
Admission: $20-25

Join Lucketts for their fabulous Holiday Design House and decked out Store. A magical holiday event filled with Christmas shopping, fun holiday murals + photo vignettes, Vanish wine garden and more. Your ticket gets you entry to the Design House, a 19th century farmhouse that Lucketts transforms into a winter wonderland. All decor inside is available for purchase and additional surprises will take place throughout each weekend. [Note:  Admission to the store and ground are free, just the Holiday house requires a ticket!]

Awesome Autumn Ideas
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Fall festival time has wound down, but there are plenty of other fantastic ways to enjoy the season around the area. This KFDC post has 10 suggestions for great places to go for fall adventures.

DC, Inside & Out
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

With an extra day to play, you might be looking for even more options for fun things to do with the kids this weekend. If you’re looking for activities outdoors or inside, depending on the weather or simply your preference, these posts are chock full of evergreen pursuits:
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
The Great Indoors

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Be sure to check out the 2022 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC and get tickets for events you know you want to attend as many sell out!
* Late season apples are still available for picking at some area farms.
* November/December book recs for kids.
* Speaking of books, this collection of poetry was released this week, and I can’t wait to read it. (Her first one is so good).
* This got a laugh on our family text thread.
* Oh my word, this HONY story is priceless!

 

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

Five Things: November 9, 2022

 

1. Have you been to the National Museum of the American Indian lately?  This weekend will be a great time to go!  On Veteran’s Day, this Friday, November 11, the NMAI is dedicating the National Native American Veterans Memorial, the first national landmark in DC to focus on the contributions of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians who have served in the military.  Events begin at 2pm with a Native veterans procession that will begin at the museum then make its way along the National Mall (via Jefferson Drive SW, 3rd Street SW, and Madison Drive SW) to the dedication ceremony stage in front of the U.S. Capitol, which will begin at 4pm. Supporters can gather at viewing areas along the procession route. The museum also will be staying open until 8pm on Friday  and hosting a full weekend of activities on Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, in celebration of the event.  so, keep the NMAI in mind for your weekend plans — festivals there are always lively with activities for all ages, not to mention the imagiNATIONS activity center is a fantastic space to hang out with kids!

 

2.  The annual KFDC guide to the holiday season around DC was posted on Monday!  You’ve likely already seen it, but check it out a again as there have been a few great additions, including Winter City Lights, a brand new area light display; holiday parties at the American Art Museum and DAR; and a holiday show in Annapolis.

 

3. If you haven’t yet experienced Yayoi Kusama’s One with Eternity at the Hirshhorn, it’s about to get a little easier to do so.  Starting today at 12pm, free next-day passes to the exhibit will be released daily at noon on the Hirshhorn website.  (Until now, passes have been distributed same day in person, making it tricky to plan,since getting them is not a guarantee.)  And in case you hadn’t heard, the exhibit’s run has been extended though spring 2023!

 

4. This kids movie out on Netflix today sounds like a perfect watch ahead of the World Cup!

 

5. Something fun from the Washington Post (that might come in handy as election results roll in).

 

 

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Filed under 2022, Fall, Five Things