Easy linking to all kinds of ideas for local fun:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Ice Skating
* The Great Indoors
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places
* Bike Rides
Washington Auto Show
Where: Washington Convention Center, DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $15/age 13+, $6/age 6-12, free/5 & under
The annual Washington Auto Show revs up this weekend! And if there’s any “grown-up” event that is equally fun for kids and adults, this is it. The Auto Show is like a Truck Touch, but with automobiles — hundreds of them — on display for guests to check out. Other activities like a driving area for kids, electric vehicle test rides, an exotic car display, a classic car zone, and so much more will give guests even more to do and see. The show will be in town and running every day through January 29. Get a glimpse and an idea of what to expect in KFDC posts about it here and here. Look for a ticket discount here!
Where: Lowes locations around the DC Area
When: Saturday, 9am – 12pm
Lowes is hosting their monthly in-person workshop for kids. This Saturday, create a wooden snowman picture frame that’s perfect for displaying heartwarming memories. Be sure to register in advance before Saturday!
Lunar New Year Celebration
Where: National Museum of Asian Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
The Lunar New Year begins this weekend, and the National Museum of Asian Art is celebrating it with a day full of festivities for all ages. Hop into the Year of the Rabbit with all kinds of fun, including performances, demos, a curator tour, hands-on activities, and more. See a traditional lion dance performance, watch a cooking demo, do some crafts, take a gallery tour, and enjoy Lunar New Year–inspired snacks and beverages (available for purchase).
Winter Lantern Festival
Where: Lerner Town Square | Tysons, VA
When: Friday – Sunday evenings, 5-10pm
Admission: $31.99/age 13+, $19.99/age 3-12 (look for discount)
This event that began during the holiday season continues to glow in Tysons to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The illuminated display transforms Lerner Town Square into a dazzling world of light with over 1000 Chinese lanterns, all handmade by artisans with decades of experience. And you can do more than just look at some of them — interactive elements include light swings, see-saws, and tunnels for added fun.
Wheaton Family Theatre Series
Where: Highland Elementary School | Wheaton, MD
When: Saturday, 11am & Sunday, 2pm
InterAct Story Theatre is presenting another of its Wheaton Family Theatre Series, free performances and events for families. This weekend, celebrate the start of the New Year as Artistic Director, Ali Oliver-Krueger, leads kids and adults in exploring a favorite folk tale together through movement, drama, and song. Everyone’s a part of the story in this Family Arts Workshop! Best for ages 3 and up.
Back to the ’80s Family Dance Party”
Where: Kensington Town Hall | Kensington, MD
When: Saturday, 3-5pm
Admission: $7/ $25 max per family (infants free)
The Noyes Children’s Library Foundation is kicking off 2023 with an ’80s-themed dance party for families. Hit the dance floor pumping with greatest hits from the era, plus crafts and story time. A DJ and a dance leader will help get everyone moving to the music. All ages welcome, but activities are geared to ages 2-8. Costumes or ’80s attire are welcome. Snacks and water will be available. Proceeds will support the activities and programming by the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation. Space is limited and sales are only at the door.
Noyes StoryWalk: Bear Snores On
Where: Downtown Kensington, MD
When: Starts Saturday through February 5
The latest Noyes StoryWalk features my absolute favorite children’s book that I loved reading to the kids when they were little: Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Families can read the well-loved story on posted signs along Antique Row in downtown Kensington, MD. The StoryWalk begins at the Town Kiosk at M&T Bank, located at 10420 Montgomery Ave. and progresses on store windows along Howard Ave., continuing to its end at Frankly, Pizza! (10417 Armory Ave.).
Walks in the Woods
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale
If weather permits, bundle up and get out on the trail for some fresh air. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids. Some specific recs for right now: Riverbend Park to Great Falls is always a hit, loop around Roosevelt Island, explore the wonderful National Arboretum, hike and fossil hunt at Calvert Cliffs State Park.
Fire & Ice Festival
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
While Whiskey will be featured at the Fire & Ice Festival, there will be some famiy-friendly festivties, too. The WAFF Ice House returns to District Pier, and there will be ice games cornhole and shuffleboard, a DJ, fire twirlers, and whiskey sampling stations (for grown ups, obvi). S’mores by the firepit will be available for purchase, too!
XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness
Where: National Children’s Museum | Downtown DC
When: Opens Saturday through May 14
which highlights critical social-emotional learning experiences for a multi-generational audience. On display from January 21 through May 14 in the Museum’s Visiting Exhibit Hall, the interactive exhibit provides children ages 2 to 12 and their caretakers with the opportunity to share, connect, listen, and learn about complex emotions through facial expressions, words, movement, and artmaking.
Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: January 13-22
Tickets: $15/adult, $13/child
Encore Stage & Studio presents this “by kids for kids” show… The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, meeting a Beast, who is the young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson before the last rose petal falls, he and his household including Mrs. Pots, Lumiere and Mr. Cogsworth will be cursed forever. Join us for a tale as old as time in Encore’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr!
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $55-105 (check for discount)
It’s your chance to sing along to Memory, all alone in the moonlight! The Tony Awards winning musical CATS is in town through the weekend, bringing its story to the stage of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn.
Watch the Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary
The Wizards are playing at home again this weekend. See them Saturday night against the Orlando Magic. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo (try to get the Foosball table), Shake Shack, Carmine’s, Hill Country BBQ, and Daikaya.
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by game
Watching college teams play ball is just as exciting, sometieseven more so, than the pros. And tickets are often cheaper. With so many universities in the area, there’s always some good college hoops action going on during the season. Here are some games to catch this weekend:
* GW men vs Dayton on Saturday at 12:30pm
* American women vs Colgate on Saturday at 2pm
* Howard men & women vs Morgan State on Saturday at 2pm
* GW women vs VCU University on Sunday at 12pm
Chinese New Year Parade
Where: Throughout Chinatown, DC
When: Sunday, 2pm
Welcome, Year of the Rabbit! On Sunday, the annual Chinese Lunar New Year Parade (back after a Covid hiatus) brings vibrant tradition to downtown DC. Festivities kick off at 6th & I Streets NW at 2pm and will wind through the streets of Chinatown celebrating Chinese culture in a brilliant procession that includes traditional dance, music, and, of course, the iconic lions and dragons. Kids always love seeing the show and having trinkets and treats given to them by parade participants passing by. The parade lasts about two hours, and spectating is free. Get there a little early to stake out your curbside spot — lots of folks come out for this one, especially if it’s a nice day.
Wheaton Winter Ice Show
Where: Wheaton Ice Arena | Wheaton, MD
When: Sunday, 5:15-6:15pm
Wind down the weekend and celebrate the new year with at Wheaton Ice Arena’s annnual winter ice show. Their resident figure skaters will perform solo and small group performances. It’s free to spectate!
Where: Around DC
Admission: Varies by place
I just (re)shared this post on social media about local places that take your breath away the moment you walk into them — and that are great to visit with kids. It was written a few years ago, but updated for now, and I wouldn’t change any of the recommendations. With some rain in the forecast this weekend, these spots will be good to keep in mind for getting out of the house, but staying indoors.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The Hirshhorn just announced a full slate of free art-making programs for kids, from Art Cart to Maker Mornings to the return of Storytime after a three-year hiatus. See what’s coming up!
* Where to ring in the Lunar New Year with food and drinks.
* Maple Sugaring Days at Brookside Nature Center always fill up fast, but there are some spots left… hurry!
* Just got one of these…extra seating and cute decor.
* Good tips fom Babs. And something potentially yummy to try.
* Everything is on sale at Athleta!
* A fun watch to kick off the weekend.
* An amazing poem, too. 😉