Tag Archives: DC Museum Exhibits for Kids

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

Bike around the National Mall and memorials over the break

 

If you’re going to be in town over the Winter Break from school, you’ll likely be looking for activities to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes us parents)! Hence, I’m bringing back this guide once again, but with updated info and some new inspiration that reflects what’s going on now.

Many of these ideas are already on the blog, but sometimes a little guidance for what’s best at certain times helps. Among the recommendations are holiday activities that keep the spirit going a little longer, exhibits and shows that are hot tickets right now, outings that take advantage of the season, adventures to keep your gang active no matter what the weather, and places and experiences that kids who are in school all day can’t get to easily.

Of course, the rest of the blog is packed with suggestions if you want even more options. So, whether you’re enjoying a staycation or visiting from out of town, you should have no problem keeping the kids (and yourself!) entertained during the time off — or on, depending how you look at it. 😉  Happy Winter Break!

 

Holiday-Inspired Happenings

Special Exhibits & Museums

Must-See DC

#OptOutside

Show Time

Indoor Action

See Some Sports

Day Trips

Extra Tips

 

 

Holiday-Inspired Happenings

Model trains are back at the Botanic Garden — outside!

Outdoor Train Display
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Through January 2
Admission: Free
The USBG’s wonderful annual model train exhibit is back after a hiatus last year, though outdoors in the gated National Garden.  Made up of farming scenes, it’s delightful as ever and once again all constructed from plant materials. Along with the model trains,  there are more festive adornments throughout the Garden, plus Patrick Doherty’s amazing stickwork sculpture that was installed in late 2019.

Search for Santa’s Helpers
Where: Potomac Overlook Park | Arlington, VA
When: December 18-22, 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.

Enchant Christmas
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through January 2
Admission: $20-34/adult, $17-27/age 14-17, $15-25/age 4-13

Explore a 90,000 square foot Christmas Light Maze and help Santa find his reindeer before Christmas Eve. Held at Nationals Park, Enchant Christmas also features an ice skating trail, live entertainment, food and drink, a Play Place just for little ones,  a Christmas market and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Read a KFDC review of this DC holiday attraction from its 2019 run. Look for a discount here.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Through December
Admission: $28/adult, $15/age 6-11, free/5 & under 

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate.  During the day, tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations, and meet Aladdin the Camel. On select dates, there are some special evening holiday activities, too. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Year’s. Look for a discount – $21/adult, $11.25/child.

Holiday Festival of Trains
Where: B&O Railroad Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: $18/adult, $17/senior, $12/age 2-12, free/B&O members


At a venue dedicated to locomotives, you know the holiday model train exhibit is going to be special. The whole Museum has been transformed into a wonderland of festive fun including Reindeer Railway train rides, photos ops with Santa and winter friends, Santa’s Village, live entertainment, and more!  And just opened is  a new Model Train Gallery featuring a specially crafted HO Scale model layout of Baltimore in 1997.

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Through January 1
Admission: Free, though some activities cost extra

National Harbor goes all out during the holidays. While there’s no ICE! exhibit this year, there’s still plenty to do there to warrant a visit without the frozen entertainment. Much of it takes place in the Gaylord National Resort, which is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with a spectacular glass Christmas tree, nightly lightings, indoor snowfalls, and more fun,, much of it free. (Read about a KFDC experience there during a Christmas season past.). For extra costs, there are ice slides and ice skating and holiday activities for kids.  There are also nightly tree lightings and lights show in the National Harbor outdoor plaza.

* Find even more holiday happenings in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC!

 

 

Special Exhibits & Museums

 

Interact with language at Planet Word

Word Up
Where: Planet Word | Downtown DC
When: Thursday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The museum all about language is full of fun and interesting exhibits, most of them interactive. There are elements that all ages will love, though tweens and older will get the most out of it, having more grammar lessons under their belts and generally better comprehension. Our whole family loves it! Admission is free, but you need to book tickets in advance. Right now, there are some available for dates over the break. And a limited number of day-of, walk-up passes are available on the half-hour.

FUTURES
Where: Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building recently reopened — with a new, fascinating exhibition, to boot!  FUTURES spans 32,000 square feet inside, and it’s full of large-scale installations, displays, and interactives that are exciting, powerful, and thought-provoking as they offer a glimpse of future possibilities — and prompt us to wonder how we can contribute. It’s an exhibition for everyone and all ages, and one to put on your must-visit list! Get a glimpse of it here.

Laurie Anderson: The Weather
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

This exhibition at the Hirshhorn is fantastic!  Beautiful abstract paintings, captivating stories, interesting photography, original instruments, spoken word video sculptures, and an entire black and white gallery hand painted by Anderson with sketches, quotes, poems, and passages are among the collection of multimedia works. I’d recommend the exhibit for tween ages and up, though younger children could definitely tag along — there are visual elements that would appeal to them, too. (Plus, art can always be presented to them as something that was in someone’s imagination that they have made real… that is what I did, anyway, when my kids were younger and we encountered art that was over their heads.)

Alif Ba Exhibition
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: December 18 – February 22
Admission: $15.95

A new visiting exhibit that explores the Arabic alphabet is coming to the National Children’s Musem. 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. The interactive experience invites Dreamers to touch and explore the letters, and listen to the sounds they make and the words they begin. Dreamers can also spend time practicing tracing and writing the Arabic alphabet. Of course, you can explore the rest of the Museum’s exhibits, too — read more about them here.

Life of a Neuron
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 2
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

Art meets science in this new exhibit at ARTECHOUSE, taking us on an artistic journey inside the brain. Trippy, captivating scenes swirl around the walls and floors, and side galleries have some interactive elements. Read more about it in this recent review.

Mission: Fun
Where: International Spy Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $26.95/age 13+, $16.95/7-12, free/6 & under

If you haven’t been to the Spy Museum at the L’Enfant Plaza location, this is a great time to check it out! Go undercover to explore the intriguing world of espionage. Discover tricks of the trade, view gadgets used to keep secrets and disguises to hide identities, and learn about some of the most famous spies and their missions.

African American History & Culture
Where: National Museum of African American History & Culture
When: Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free with timed-entry passes

This phenomenal museum is a must-visit on the National Mall.  Timed entry passes are still required, and while they aren’t available to reserve in advance, you can try for same-day passes.  They are released daily starting at 8:15am and can be reserved here. Before you go to the museum, be sure to read the KFDC guide for visiting with kids.

* Of course, there are the rest of the Smithsonians — see hours and open days for them here — and more local museums to check out.

 

Must-See DC

A view of the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress

A Local & National Treasure
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Explore the largest library in the world and one of DC’s most iconic attractions. The Library of Congress is a trove of knowledge, art, history, and culture — and the public is welcome to enjoy it all, and for free!  Walk-ins are sometimes welcome, but it’s best to reserve free tickets in advance.

A Monumental Experience
Where: Washington Monument | National Mall, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Washington Monument is super fun to tour — you can go up inside to check out interesting exhibits and take in DC views. Advance reservation tickets for the next day are available online for a nominal processing fee. Same-day, free tickets are also be available on a first-come, first-served basis daily starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW.  Get a peek of the experience from the inside here.

Abe’s Last Days
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Daily, 9am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free – $3

Ford’s isn’t just a place to catch live entertainment. The site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination highlights its historic significance through exhibits about the president, the circumstances surrounding his assassination, and that fateful night at the theatre. The National Historic Site features a museum, theatre walk-throughs and a presentation, and guests are welcome to explore it all. Best for about ages 8 and up. Reserve tickets online in advance for $3 or get them at the Box Office for free.

Tour the Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free

Be a tourist in your hometown (unless you’re visiting, then just be a tourist). Take the opportunity to visit the many memorials on the Mall and around the Tidal Basin. Not only are the structures themselves marvel-worthy, there’s a lot to be gleaned from them, too. Learn about some of our country’s presidents and leaders — George, Abe, Tom, FDR, & MLK — from displays, park rangers, and in the Visitors Centers. And walk or bike among them all to add some exercise (and extra fun) to the venture!

 

 

#OptOutside

Hike right in the city at Rock Creek Park

Ready, Set…Hike!
Where: Around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by locale

If you agree with the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” like I do, there are no excuses for not getting outdoors during winter. And a great, easy way to do so is on a hike. Hit the trail in places with scenic views, tramp 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 and other places with kids.

Ice It
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

Enjoy a quintessential winter activity: Ice skating under the sky! Take in art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; glide over the Potomac on The Wharf’s awesome rink; circle around Washington Harbour as you enjoy river views; meander along the Figure 8 path at Canal Park; or do some shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Fossil Hunting
Where: Calvert & Charles Conties
When: Varies by place
Admission: Varies by place
Just because it takes place along beach areas, that doesn’t mean it’s a warm-weather-only activity. As long as you’re dressed for it — waterproof boots are a must! — searching for millions-of-years-old fossils can be just as fun and compelling in winter as it is in summer. There are several places to go in the region, all about an hour drive from DC. This post has a round-up of spots to check out.

Two-Wheel Time
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Given all the unseasonably warm days we’ve had recently, there’s bound to be one great for a bike ride. (Though cold weather can be fun, too — just bundle up!) Cruise along paths lined with scenic surroundings, ride to destinations that offer even more fun, and get some exercise.  This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this particular route is ideal for the whole crew.

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are a staple of the season. 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.

* Find even more places for outdoor adventures.

 

 

Show Time

Enjoy a Disney classic at Olney Theatre

 

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Where: Olney Theater | Olney, MD
When: Through January 2
Tickets: $42-79

Be their guest this holiday season as the classic animated story comes to life on the Olney Theatre Mainstage. It’s a tale as old as time, but it gets a new look from Tony-nominated director Marcia Milgrom Dodge.  Olney’s biggest show of the year brings the whole family together for a magical and memorable musical about the redemptive power of love. Join Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, 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. Rated G.

Cinderella
Where: Synetic Theatre | Crystal City, VA
When: Through December 26
Tickets: $15-30

Cinderella is joining the Synetic family series repertoire and stepping into her own shoes! Led by an all-female team of Syneticons, this innovative take on the classic fairytale is a perfect fit for audiences of all ages.

Corduroy
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 24
Tickets: $28

We all need a friend, and Lisa is instantly drawn to the perfectly imperfect teddy bear on display at the department store. If only she can convince her stressed-out mother to buy Corduroy for her! Meanwhile, Corduroy is determined to find his missing button and become worthy of going to a real home. After the store has closed, he goes on a hilariously destructive search–with the Night Watchman in comical pursuit. Full of mischief and clowning, this story of unconditional love captures both the humanity and the merriment of the holiday season. Recommended for ages 3-9.

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 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.

* See what else is on stages now (or coming soon), and find holiday-themed entertainment here.

 

Indoor Action

Climb the day away at The St. James

Super, Awesome, and Amazing Fun
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: Thurs-Fri, 3-8pm | Sat-Sun, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Starting at $15/hour 

The Super, Awesome, and Amazing (that’s what it’s called) 30,000 square foot activity center in the St. Jame sports complex is filled with all kinds of climbing structures, trampolines, and obstacle courses. Kids can don harnesses and clip onto wires to climb, rappel, and navigate walkways 20 feet above the ground. They can bounce, flip, and execute acrobatic moves. They can swing from bars and on large platforms and crawl through tunnels. Essentially, every element in the space is conducive to active fun, and there is something for kids from toddler to tween ages to enjoy. Admission is $15 Monday – Thursday before 3pm. After 3pm and on Friday & Saturday, they are $23/hour.

Reach New Heights
Where: ClimbZone | Laurel, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Admission: $25/child, $12/toddler (find discount)

The enormous facility is filled literally floor to ceiling with colorful themed climbing walls and moon bounces. Climbers can ascend Mt. Rushmore, reach the Jolly Roger on a pirate ship, conquer a game of Tetris, shimmy up a giant guitar, scale Jack’s bean stalk, negotiate a rope wall, and experience peak fun on a variety of other climbing areas.

Play in the Zone
Where: ZavaZone | Rockville, MD & Sterling, VA
When: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Starts at $23.50

Guests have their pick of fun at this indoor adventure park for ages 5-105. There are ninja courses, ropes courses, trampolines, climbing challenges, zip lines, and more under one soaring roof. Usually just open in the afternoons during the week, morning time slots will also be available during Winter Break week.

Spring Time
Where: Flight Trampoline Park | Springfield, VA
When: Daily
Admission: Starts at $14

Kids of all ages can jump, play, even flip for joy at Flight Trampoline Park. The huge space resembles a skate park, with an industrial look of exposed pipes and cinder block walls sprayed with graffiti. But where you’d find ramps, rails, and concrete to facilitate skills and tricks, there are trampolines instead. Be sure to check the schedule for any special jumping times, and buy tickets/sign waivers in advance online to avoid a line there.

Tee Up
Where: Top Golf | National Harbor & Gaithersburg, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Starts at $27/bay
Practice your swing, enjoy a bite, and have some indoor/outdoor fun.  At Top Golf, you drive balls from climate controlled (ie, heated) sheltered bays, so you can still enjoy fresh air and be comfy.   Plus, there ’s a full service restaurant and bar (for parents, obvi) to make a full experience of it.

 

 

See Some Sports

Cheer on our local teams!

Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 26 & 30, January 1
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards have a few home games over the break, so catch some exciting action on the court. They host the  Philadelphia 76ers on December 26, Cleveland Cavaliers on December 30,  and Chicago Bulls on January 1.

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: December 19, 27, & 29
Admission: Ticket prices vary (look for a deal)

Hockey fans can see the Caps play a few games. The Los Angeles Kings will be here on December 19, the Ottawa Senators on December 27, and the Nashville Predators on December 29.

Hoops, NCAA-Style
Where: Universities around the DC Area
When: Throughout the break
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on. Here’s where you can check out schedules and look for tickets:
University of Maryland (Go, Terps!)
George Washington University
Georgetown University
American University
Howard University
George Mason University
Catholic University

 

 

Day Trips

Spend a day on slopes within easy driving distance

 

Hit the Slopes
Where: Around the region
When: Through winter
Admission: Varies

A fun, active way to take advantage of winter: Skiing!  There are a bunch of resorts within a few hours’ drive that are great for young, newbie skiers (and veteran swooshers, too).  Some resorts to check out that are within day trip driving distance: Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop, and Bryce.

Charm City, Hon!
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: Daily
Admission: Varies by locale

Zip up I-95 for some fun in our sister city, where there are lots of great places to spend a day off. Play the day away at Port Discovery. Explore the exhibits and loads of hands-on activities at the Maryland Science Center. See some of the quirkiest, coolest art around at the American Visionary Art Museum. Get an eyeful of the underwater world at the National Aquarium. Tour the historic ships moored at the Inner Harbor. Or learn about Baltimore’s early business days at the Museum of Industry. The KFDC Guide to Exploring Baltimore with Kids has info for all of these adventures, plus dining recs and more to explore!

Go Underground
Where: Luray Caverns | Luray, VA
When: Daily, 9am – 7pm
Admission: $32/adult, $16/ages 6-12, free/5 & under 

Behold the spectacular underground world of stalagmites, stalactites, and other amazing limestone formations in the massive cave system at Luray. Afterward, make your way through the Garden Maze or check out vintage rides in the Carriage and Caravan Museum. Admission does not include attractions beyond the cavern. KFDC Tip: Be sure to make a pit stop before going into the caverns, because it can be a long walk out to a restroom, and once you’re out, you may not be able to go back in.

Go East
Where: Annapolis and Eastern Shore, MD
When: hours vary by place
Admission: Varies by Place

Who says it has be warm to head out toward the Eastern Shore and enjoy adventures by the water? Drive over the Bay Bridge for a great hike at Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area on this side of the bridge at Quiet Waters. And while it’s not the best season for crabs, you can still enjoy yummy meals at places that are known for them. Try Kentmorr or The Jetty after Wye, Cantler’s or Mike’s closer in. Of course, you can also enjoy a day walking around the charming downtown area in Annapolis.

Art & Maritime Explorations
Where: Calvert County, MD
When: Daily, except Christmas
Admission: Varies by locale

Make a day of it in Calvert County, where you can visit a couple of places for fun, fascinating, hands-on adventures. Annmarie Sculpture Garden is full of artistic delights. Tour beautiful works, both indoors and out, play in the Fairy Lolly, and create some of your own art with inspiration from all you see there. Hours are 9am – 5pm in the gardens, and admission is a $5 suggested donation. Also out that way is the Calvert Marine Museum, where you can see interesting exhibits, including display cases full of fossils and artifacts, plus live fish and other creatures. There’s also a play area and a real lighthouse to tour. Hours are 10am – 5pm, and admission is $9/adult, $4/ages 5-12, free/4 & under.

 

 

Extra Tips
* Created especially for last year’s Covid Winter, this post has even more ideas for things to do, all of them outdoors.
* It didn’t fit into the above categories, but this is a great time to sign up for volunteering opportunities with kids.
* If you’re looking specifically for activities for foul weather days, see this list of indoor spots.
* And for where to enjoy time outside, check out The Best Places to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids
* Sometimes you just need a place to hang out for awhile, so why not make it a stunning one?
* Look for deals and discounts on CertifiKid and Goldstar.

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Filed under 2021, 2022, All ages, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: January 3-5

It’s your last chance to play with the “northern lights” of ARETCHOUSE’s Aurora exhibit


Happy First Weekend of 2020!

Wizards Star Wars Night
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission:$29

The Washington Wizards have partnered with Lucasfilm to host a movie night following the game on Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Fans purchasing the movie night ticket will see the Wizards vs. Trail Blazers game and enjoy Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope on the new LED boards following the game. Fans will also be able to watch an episode of Star Wars Resistance before the movie starts. The ticket package also includes a Star Wars-themed popcorn bucket with unlimited refills. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and capture the moment with Star Wars characters throughout the concourse.

Holidaze
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by activity

The holidays may be over, but many activities celebrating them are still running through this weekend. Live entertainment, spectacular light displays, model trains, and seasonal events are some of the ways you can savor the holiday magic just a little bit longer. The 2019 KFDC Holiday Guide will tell you where to find them.

Summer Camp Sampler
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9:45am – 12:45pm
Admission: Free

Warm up on this winter weekend with thoughts of summer! Get an up-close and personal look at what summer camp is like at Imagination Stage. Sample camps are 20 minutes long, with the exception of longer drop-off Musical Production. Parents are encouraged to join the samplers for children in grades 2 or younger. Parents of campers in grades 3 or older are welcome to observe the sampler, but not required. Register for a sample class here. This is geared toward children aged 4 – Grade 9. While some are filled, there are still spots left in several others.

Super MAGFest
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Thursday – Sunday
Admission: $25-95 varies by day (ages 6-12 are 50% off)

This 4-day music and gaming festival is dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming of all types, and the gaming community. Run by fans for fans, there are consoles, arcades, tabletop, LAN, live video game cover bands, chiptunes, vendors, guest speakers, and much much more to discover and enjoy.

Family (Art) Playdate
Where: Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30-11am
Admission: $10/adult, free for kids

The first Saturday of the month, join the Phillips for a family-friendly playdate. Guided by a professional art educator, explore one to two galleries through fun, hands-on activities. Then plan to stay and tour the rest of the museum yourself! Geared for families with children ages 4 to 8.

The Great Zucchini
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 10am
Admission: $5

Take little ones to see The Great Zucchini perform his zany and colorful a colorful magic show where every child is a star and guaranteed to laugh. They also get to learn a magic trick at the end of show! Smoothie, juice, acai bowl, and coffee menu will be available, too.

Peter Pan and Wendy
Where: Sidney Harman Hall | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through January 11(find discounts)

Catch a performance of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of a classic. It’s a fantastic production with one of the most magical sets ever — audiences of all ages will be enchanted! Bold, budding scientist Wendy Darling dreams of earning a Nobel Prize. When Peter Pan arrives at her bedroom window, she takes a leap and leaves finishing school behind, chasing adventure among the stars. Facing down fairies, mermaids, and the dastardly Captain Hook, Wendy, Peter, and their friends discover the power of standing up together for what’s right. J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan is reimagined for a new generation of theatregoers. Recommended for ages 5+.

Singin’ in the Rain
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $54-$99

Bring the whole fam to see this movie musical come to life on the Mainstage. Comden and Green’s ingenious tale of Hollywood’s transition from the silent era is buoyed by the thrill of live singing and dancing to some of the greatest songs in the American canon including “Good Mornin’,” “Make ‘em Laugh,” and “Moses Supposes.” If this were a film it would be rated G.

Weekend Walk-In: Crazy Crowns
Where: American Visionary At Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $5

Join the museum for this month’s Weekend Walk-in, a hands-on, drop-in, art-making workshop in the AVAM classroom! During this session, Create a custom royal headpiece just for YOU using shiny tape, faux flowers & more — because everyone needs a crown. Supplies & boundless inspiration provided. Read more about the wonderful American Visionary Art Museum here.

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

This weekend is your final chance to experience ARETCHOUSE’s winter exhibit that celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the aurora borealis. It consists of one large-scale and several smaller light art installations, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Story Time
Where: Book shops around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Several local bookstores around the area host free story times for children on weekends that often include more than just a reading. At Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, they’ll watch your kiddos while you grab a coffee on Sundays at 11am. Head to Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria on Friday or Saturday for story time from 10:30-11am. Solid State Books hosts readings on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am. You can also join sessions at DC Public Libraries — see where and when they take place this weekend.

(W)Hoop it Up!
Where: Colleges around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* Maryland men vs Indiana on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason women vs GW on Saturday at 2pm
* George Mason men vs. Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday at 12pm
* American men vs. Boston on Sunday at 3pm
* GW men vs. St. Bonaventure on Sunday at 4pm

Walk in the Woods
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Bundle up and get out for some active fun. Enjoy the beauty of nature in winter, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and savor the time outdoors. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for places to walk in the woods with the kids.

Family Stretch and Chill
Where: Yoga District | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 1:30pm
Admission: $11.50

Children ages 8 and up (and accompanying adult) are welcome to join yoga teacher Ari for a 30-minute stretch and chill class. This will be a weekly vinyasa yoga class during which students will warm up with flowing postures, learn a new peak pose each week, cool down with back bends and twists and then relax it out in a final savasana. Register in advance here.

Complimentary Community Day
Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown, DC
When: Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

The first Sunday of every month is a great opportunity explore the National Museum of Women in the Arts when admission is FREE! Works span the centuries, from the 16th to the present in a variety of mediums, highlighting women artists all over the world. Plan for a Fierce Women tour, offered 1-2pm or explore the museum on your own.

Three Kings Day Brunch
Where: Jaleo | Locations in DC, MD & VA
When: Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: The cost of your meal

Jaleo’s annual family-friendly Three Kings Day brunch is back. Guests can enjoy brunch and a complimentary slice of Roscón de Reyes (King Cake) alongside live performances by Adventure Theatre. Kids 10 and under will enjoy meeting the Three Kings, cake and hot chocolate, an arts & crafts “Crown Corner,” and a chance to win a prize for finding the traditional bean in their slice of cake! Jaleo has locations in Penn Quarter, Bethesda, and Crystal City. Make a reservation!

The Ins and Outs of DC
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by adventure

With a mix of weather in the forecast, these posts that are chock full of evergreen pursuits will come in handy:
The Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Technically, lots of local kids are still on break from school, so check the Winter Break Guide for even more things to do.
* You still have a little bit of time (through Friday, 1/3) to enter the giveaway for tickets to American Pops Orchestra’s The Pied Piper!
* Come From Away is finishing its run at the Kennedy Center this weekend. It’s sold out (tickets may be available through other outlets), but if you ever have a chance to see it, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
* Watson Adventures’ next Wizard School Scavenger Hunt is coming up on January 19 and you can get a discount with code JAN2020. (Read a KFDC review of the experience.)
* Planet Word, a soon-to-be new DC museum, will open May 31!
* A Best Podcasts list to bookmark.
* Currently reading Florida, a collection of short stories by Lauren Groff. She’s a fantastic writer.
* My friend Molly, a big reader, shares her favorite books of the past year.
* Season 2 of You (Netflix) is a glorious, off-the-rails binge.
* Movie rec: The Farewell is really good and available on Amazon.
* New Year’s resolutions 😂


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend: December 27-29

Exploring Patrick Doherty’s amazing Stickwork Sculpture Installation at the US Botanic Garden


This is the one weekend each year that I take a break — from compiling a regular Weekend Round-Up, that is. Just like the modified title, I’m keeping it simple, though definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will still lead you to tons of info and inspo to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want. You can also check KFDC on Facebook and Instagram for any updates or extra ideas. Happy Last Weekend of 2019!

Where to Go and What to Do Around DC During Winter Break 2019

The 2019 KFDC Guide to Holiday Season in DC

Live Entertainment for Families this Winter

Everyday Play

The Great Indoors

Indoor Playgrounds

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

Ice Skating Around the DMV

Walks in the Woods

* Be sure to check out the just posted Family Celebrations to Ring in 2020 to make plans for welcoming the new decade!


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Filed under 2019, 2020, All ages, DC, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: December 20-22

Biking the “Lightbattle” at Georgetown Glow


Happy Weekend! And Happy Chanukah to all celebrating on Sunday!

Holiday Entertainment
Where: Theatres around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit of the season, there’s plenty of it! Stomp along at Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show at the Atlas. There are several versions of The Nutcracker, including one on strings. Storybook classics like The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Catch An Irish Carol at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season. (PS: Adventure Theatre has a special promo going on: Use the code 5OFF to save $5 on tickets for select dates, including this Saturday at 11am!)

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, including a new botanical inspired National Museum of African American History & Culture. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s America’s Gardens-themed exhibit features structures from botanical gardens across the US. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this KFDC post.

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through December 29
Admission: Varies by Date, time, and age

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new holiday attraction at Nationals Park — and I think it’s deserving. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays. Purchase tickets here, and read a KFDC review of it, including tips for visiting, if you haven’t already.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Where: MGM | National Harbor, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday (& Monday)
Tickets: $32-99+ (find discount)

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the 2019 holiday season with its popular and electrifying stage spectacular. Over 300 imaginative costumes, 20 world-class astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites celebrate Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s in a 2 hour breathtaking spectacle. Audiences of all ages will marvel at soaring acrobatics, gravity defying feats and extravagant theatrical production numbers.

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

There’s so much holiday fun to be had around DC, and at every price point. Celebrate Christmas at Mount Vernon, Prez George’s old digs. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Ride the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Check out the various activities at National Harbor. Find details on all of these events and many more in the 2019 Holiday Guide.

Georgetown Glow
Where: Around the Georgetown neighborhood, DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new, cool light — literally. Georgetown Glow has the neighborhood sparkling with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists are on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including Georgetown Waterfront Park, on M Street, along the C&O Canal, and more nearby places. Take the family to dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Get a glimpse of a past light show here.

Star Wars Nerf Nights
Where: Badlands Playspace | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, 5:30-8pm
Admission: $30/child includes dinner buffet

Badlands invites kids ages 7+ to join them for an evening of team based challenges. Participants are encouraged to bring the blaster of their choosing and protective eye wear. Badlands will provide the foam darts, a complimentary dinner for the kids, and FUN! PS: Be on the lookout for more weekly themed Nerf nights, including Pokemon, Fortnite, Superheros, and much more.

Miracle on 8th Street
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission:

Celebrate the season at the Miracle Theater (located on 8th Street SE) as they show holiday movie classics all weekend. Among the films they’re screening: The Polar Express, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, and A Christmas Story. Visit the website for showtimes and to purchase tickets online.

Portrait Stories & Discoveries
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Perfectly timed for the movie about to open… Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Little Women author Louisa May Alcott and complete a hands-on activity. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum. For more about the program and the museum, see this post and this one. And before or after your museum visit, plan to stop by the Downtown Holiday Market for some holiday shopping and cheer!

Hirshhorn/DRAW
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 2-3pm
Admission: Free

Join a free gallery sketching session that pairs an artwork with a drawing exercise. Throughout December, look closely and sketch Sieves in Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection. No prior drawing or art experience needed. All ages are welcome. Just drop by, pick up a pencil and a clipboard, and draw!

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Reserve free tickets for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy is a magical experience (find discounts)
* See The Snow Queen at Synetic Theatre (find discounts)
* Take littles to see Art on the Horizon’s Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop
* Spend Saturday morning with the Great Zucchini at Jammin Java
* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center (review here, look for tickets here)
* Take the fam to a performance of Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre (find discounts)
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discounts)
* Make it a date night for Dear Jack Dear Louise at Arena Stage (find discounts)

Fun on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

Celebrate the winter solstice weekend with a quintessential seasonal activity — ice skating! Head outside if weather permits: Glide above the Potomac at The Wharf; enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; skim over the meandering paths at Canal Park; circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or do some shopping along with your skating at Pentagon Row, Tyson’s Corner, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. If it’s raining, take it indoors at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in DC, Cabin John or Herbert Wells Ice Rinks in Maryland, or MedStar Ice Arena in Ballston. This post has details on all these ice skating options in the area.

Light the Way
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 several parks (or the National Zoo, Mormon Temple, or Georgetown) 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.

Hoops-de-doo
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets prices vary

With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college basketball action going on during the season — and it’s always a good time for families. Here are some games to watch this weekend:
* George Washington women vs James Madison on Friday at 7pm
* George Mason women vs Howard on Saturday at 12pm
* George Washington men vs Harvard on Saturday at 12pm
* Georgetown men vs Samford on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs UMBC on Saturday at 4pm
* American women vs GWU on Sunday at 2pm
* Howard men vs Harvard on Sunday at 2pm

Christmas Caroling
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free

Enjoy music from strolling Christmas carolers and a meet-and-greet with Santa and one of his elves! Plan on dinner while you’re there — you have your pick of places (Lupo Marino is our family’s fave).

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

The winter exhibit at ARTECHOUSE celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the aurora borealis. It consists of one large-scale and several smaller light art installations, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Story Time
Where: Kramerbooks | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

Take a break from your day and stop by Story Time at Kramers! Staff will feature a children’s book and host various fun activities for your little ones. They’ll watch your kids while you grab a coffee (or, if you have a cranky two-year-old, a mimosa) from the café. All ages welcome! (And FYI, this occurs every Sunday and Wednesday.)

National Menorah Lighting
Where: President’s Park | The National Ellipse, DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: Free, but you must request tickets

This is the Jewish counterpart to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Every Chanukah, the National Menorah is lit in a ceremony on the Ellipse. Along with the lighting, there will be live entertainment, plus menorah kits and dreidels to take home. And if you don’t mind waiting in line afterward, you can stay for latkes and donuts. Tickets are free, but you need to order them in advance through the website.

Menorah Lighting
Where: Bethesda Row | Bethesda, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm
Admission: Free

Join Bethesda Row to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Chanukah with Chabad of Bethesda and light up the menorah on the first night of the Festival of Lights. Enjoy the annual menorah lighting, plus live music and entertainment, food and drink, giveaways, and fun for the whole family.

Chanukah on Ice
Where: Pentagon Row Ice Rink | Pentagon City, VA
When: Sunday, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $10-$13

Celebrate Chanukah with a giant menorah lighting, holiday treats, raffles, and ice skating! Ice skate rentals are included, but food will be sold separately — hot latkes, Kosher hot dogs, and refreshments will be available.

***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* Planning your Winter Break in DC? Be sure to check out this just posted KFDC Guide.
* If you’re looking for last minute holiday gifts, the KFDC Gift Guide has lots of suggestions for experiences around the area that you can buy with just a few clicks as well as some gift ideas that are totally free!
* And here’s one more. (I got it for my kids and know they’re going to dig it!)
* Heads up: Registration for free Family Workshops (for ages 8-11) at the National Gallery of Art will open January 3.
* Movie rec: Marriage Story on Netflix. It’s real and raw and so terrifically acted.
* And to balance things out, this holiday series, also on Netflix, is funny and sweet (and for adults).
* A really great “Best of 2019.”


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Seasonal, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

The Weekend Round-Up: December 12-15

The newest exhibit at ARTECHOUSE is one of many cool activities to enjoy this weekend


Happy Weekend!

Holiday Meetup
Where: The Yards | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Thursday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Join neighbors for an evening at Light Yards made especially for the Capitol Riverfront community! Stroll through the interactive light show, then pick up swag at the Capitol Riverfront BID tent before heading over to Ice Cream Jubilee for complimentary hot cocoa and Steadfast Supply for holiday cookies and a 10% discount on purchases.

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

I love this holiday market. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling 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, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. Even better, 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 the backdrop to the market.

Wreaths Across America
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, opens 7am, wreath placing 9:15am
Admission: Free

This is a chance for the whole family to volunteer. Help place Veterans’ Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There is no sign-up or age requirement — families are encouraged to volunteer together. Be sure to visit the website for details, including schedule and meeting location. Read about more family-friendly volunteer opportunities around the DC area.

EdFEST
Where: DC Armory| Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the city’s many public school PK3-12 options for your child. Representatives from DC public schools (DCPS) and DC public charter schools will showcase their programs, just in time to help you make informed school selections for the 2019-20 school year common lottery. The event will also feature many free services and fun activities for the whole family, including games and entertainment; sports activities; story time; and flu shots, immunizations, and dental services.

Smithsonian Winter Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian Castle | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Kick off this holiday season with a special Family Day at the Smithsonian Castle, where there will be special holiday-themed activities for visitors of all ages including. Join a Holiday Story Time at 10:30am and 1pm. Create your own air plant seasonal ornaments. Customize a letter to Santa, or a holiday haiku with the help of poets from Ars Poetica. Take a pis at a special photo station with a holiday backdrop and props. Enjoy musical performances by Chord of Appeals A Cappella and the Capitol Hill Chorale, and take a Castle Tour at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

Holiday Movie Classics
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission:

Celebrate the season at the Miracle Theater as they show holiday classics all weekend. And on Saturday you can join the The Polar Express Pajama Party at 11am, when you can catch a screening of the film (in PJ’s), then enjoy a visit from Santa. Visit the website to see times and titles of the rest of the movies playing there.

Season’s Greenings
Where: U.S. Botanic Garden | National Mall area, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials, including a new botanical inspired National Museum of African American History & Culture. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s America’s Gardens-themed exhibit features structures from botanical gardens across the US. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this KFDC post.

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Through December 29
Admission: Varies by Date, time, and age

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new holiday attraction at Nationals Park — and I think it’s deserving. The world’s largest Christmas light maze and market is dazzling and delightful and really captures the spirit of the holidays. Purchase tickets here, and read a KFDC review of it, including tips for visiting, if you haven’t already.

Ice Maze
Where: CityCenterDC | Downtown DC
When: Friday, 4-9pm & Saturday/Sunday, 10am – 9pm
Admission: Free

Get lost in the a-MAZE-ing, magic of the holidays with CityCenterDC’s icy tradition. This year, CityCenterDC is building the largest clear ice maze in the United States built with 110,000 pounds of ice. Washingtonians will not want to escape the towering seven foot walls of this chilly challenge.

AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: $16-20/adult, $13-15/senior, $8-10/child

The winter exhibit at ARTECHOUSE celebrates the season with digital art installations and activations inspired by the aurora borealis. It consists of one large-scale and several smaller light art installations, all of them interactive and beautiful, the icy blue, purple, green, and occasionally soft yellow colors giving everything an ethereal feel. Guests can grow leafless winter trees, guide snowballs, and make snowflakes with their own movements detected by sensors. As Sasha aid, “It makes me feel like I have powers!” Get 20% off 2 adults + 2 children Sundays through Thursdays within bar hours (it includes hot chocolate).

Young Learner Tour
Where: Museum of Women in the Arts | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 10-11am
Admission: Free

Children ages 3 to 6 (and their adults) will get their little bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making, and mouths talking about works of art as they go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection. This “Spotting Shapes and Looking for Lines” themed session will incorporate a variety of fun, hands-on activities for children as they also learn about the museum and how to practice museum manners. FYI: Walk-ins are limited, but you can always stay to tour the museum if it’s full.

Open Studio: Wrap It Up: Holiday Gift Giving
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4
Admission: Free

While you make a furoshiki wrapping cloth, learn how this Japanese tradition can help save money and the environment. Also, enjoy a scavenger hunt to explore our new exhibition Hokusai: Mad about Painting. In the studio, make your own holiday decorations using cloth and woodblock materials. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

More Show Time
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by show

* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy is a magical experience (find discounts)
* See The Snow Queen at Synetic Theatre (find discounts)
* Take littles to see Art on the Horizon’s Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop
* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center (review here, look for tickets here)
* Take the fam to a performance of Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre (find discounts)
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discounts)
* Take t(w)eens and older to see Fiddler on the Roof at National Theatre
* Make it a date night for Dear Jack Dear Louise at Arena Stage (find discounts)

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Around the DMV
When: Through the holiday season
Tickets: Vary by show

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit of the season, there’s plenty of it! Stomp along at Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show at the Atlas. There are several versions of The Nutcracker, including one on strings. storybook classics like The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. Catch An Irish Carol opening this weekend at Keegan Theatre, and enjoy a Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center. Get details on these shows and many, many more in the 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Winter Open House
Where: Excel Prep Preschool Academy | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Excel Preparatory Preschool Academy, a new STEAM preschool that just opened in Alexandria, is hosting an Open House on Saturday. Along with guided tours of the school, there will be Tunes 4 Tots music sessions, speech screenings, Harambee with Baba Ras D, photos, and more.

Shop the Square Holiday Market
Where: District Square at The Wharf | Southwest DC
When:Saturday & Sunday, 12pm – 6pm
Admission: Free

Sip, shop, and get ready for the holidays. For two days, District Square at is being transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with live music, a hot drinks bar, and a great selection of gifts and goods from the merchants in the square. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will also be special hands-on classes like gingerbread decorating, jewelry making, and a terrarium workshop — details and registration here

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Where: Episcopal Church of the Redeemer | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 3:30-5pm
Admission: $25/adult, free for kids

Enjoy the classic Snoopy movie on the big screen with movie food – followed by the Eric Byrd Trio’s own take on the music from the show in a live jazz set. Suitable for all ages. Kids go free.

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at the Park’s annual Winter’s Eve event. Enjoy free activities including holiday crafts, sing-alongs, story-telling, open studios, and a hot chocolate bar. Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show and artist studios.

Christmas is Afoot
Where: Christ Crossman | Falls Church, VA
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

This Christmas season take a walk through historic Bethlehem! On Saturday, December 14 from 4:00-7:00 PM, Christ Crossman United Methodist Church (384 N Washington St, Falls Church) will open its doors to the community. Christmas is Afoot is a family friendly event with a petting zoo and live nativity. Inside, children will enjoy craft stations and can participate in a service project assembling Power Packs for students in need through Food for Others. Live Christmas music and carols from members of the George Mason High School band, warm cider and hot chocolate. This event is free and open to all!

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get into the holiday spirit in all kinds of ways at every price point. Enjoy Christmas at Mount Vernon with fireworks and more. Go see the National Christmas Tree and holiday display on the Ellipse. Join the Russian Winter Festival at Hillwood. Enjoy the free WinterFest in Occoquan. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2019 Holiday Season Guide.

Open Studio & Ceramics Sale
Where: Hollow Works Studio | H Street NE, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Shop for one-of-a-kind ceramics in the artist’s studio! Kate Hardy of Hollow Works Ceramics creates and sells beautiful, unique work — bowls, mugs, vases, and more — that would make perfect holiday presents. In addition to showcasing a lot of new work, she’ll be clearing her studio of a year’s worth of seconds. Seconds are pieces with minor flaws, like glaze imperfections or warping. Seconds are also leftovers from commissions or experiments that just don’t fit in with the rest of her work that she sells for heavily discounted prices. There will be some serious deals to be had. The studio is located in the alley right off of 7th and H Streets NE (803 7th St NE). Rain or shine, and kids are welcome!

Jumanjii Virtual Experience
Where: The Void | Tysons Corner, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $34.95/age 10+

The immersive virtual reality experience “Jumanji: Reverse the Curse gives” fans the ability to truly enter another game, taking on the form of its heroes, Dr. Bravestone, Ruby Roundhouse, Professor Oberon and “Mouse” Finbar, to save Jumanji from a new dark and mysterious villain. Fans will be enlisted on a daring quest to rescue the Scepter of Se’payu containing the Red Jewel of Jumanji and return it to the temple from which it was stolen. Pulled into the perils of Jumanji, players face challenges just like those that the avatars face in the movie – evading man-eating wildlife, navigating across treacherous landscape, battling evil henchmen – to survive and return to real life. Watch the trailer and reserve tickets here.

Chalkboard Menorah Workshop
Where: Homedepot
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Get into the Chanukah spirit! Join us at the Home Depot for an exciting workshop — make your very own Chalkboard Menorah! You can also play Dreidel and eat some Chanukah gelt. Free and fun for the whole family. Register in advance here.

Men’s World Squash Team Championship
Where: Squash on Fire | Downtown DC
When: Sunday (through December 21)
Admission: Tickets start at $25

The most renowned men’s squash tournament in the world is coming to U.S. December 15-21, for the first time ever in its 50 year history! This event attracts the top talent from around the world to compete on an international stage. All eyes will be on the nation’s capital when 23 countries from nearly every continent descend upon its host facility, Squash On Fire, the first state-of-the art squash facility in Washington, DC, to compete for the ultimate title. This includes Team USA, who will compete in the championship on their home turf for the first time ever. All are welcome to spectate — this is a great opportunity for kids to be exposed to a fun new sport on the highest level.

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 several parks (or the National Zoo, Mormon Temple, or Georgetown) 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.

Kwanzaa Celebration – Family Series
Where: Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre | Foggy Bottom DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Tickets: $15-30, kids free with adult

Welcome the holiday season with Dance Place’s annual Kwanzaa Celebration! Gather family and friends to join Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater and special guests celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Note: This takes place on Saturday, too, but during the Family Series on Sunday, you can get 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult!

DC, Inside & Out

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend

Admission: Varies by adventure


There’s both rain and sunshine in this weekend’s forecast, plus more options for fun things to do with the kids are never a bad thing. 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 Great Indoors
The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids


***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new round-up of live entertainment on local stages this winter — see what’s coming, and reserve your seats. And, remember, these could make for fantastic holiday gifts!
* There are two KFDC Facebook giveaways running through Friday: Enter to win tickets to The Washington Chorus’ Candlelight Christmas family show and walk-thru admission for 4 to Merriweather’s Symphony of Lights.
* We’ve seen a couple of good PG13 movies recently: Ford v Ferrari is interesting and inspirational. Knives Out is a super fun and quirky murder mystery.
* Both of my kids are getting this super cool, very practical, and fairly inexpensive holiday gift.
* Any guesses why I love this artwork so much?
* Go, Greta and USWNT and Lizzo!
* The year in photos.
* For something feel-good, watch this. Ellen is the absolute best.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter