Link up to loads of ideas for ongoing & seasonal fun:
* Autumn Adventures
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places
Tour the Veterans Memorials
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Observe Veterans Day on the actual day, on the day off from school Friday, or anytime 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 Memorial, World 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.
Happy 150th, Eastern Market!
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Bring out the whole family to celebrate Eastern Market’s 150th anniversary this weekend. Accompanying all of the fantastic merchants and vendors of the outdoor and indoor markets will be music, shopping, historic walking tours, classes, giant games, a kid-friendly scavenger hunt, a world-renowned silhouette artist, and more! Make sure you join on Sunday from 1-4pm when The Wheelmen will be giving a demonstration of their giant penny-farthing bicycles and other Victorian peddlers!
Skate Under the Sky
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink
It’s outdoor skating season! Several outdoor rinks have opened the ice, so you can glide the day (or night) away. Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Rockville Town Square, Pentagon Row, and Reston Town Center are all open. And Canal Park opens on Saturday. This post has the scoop on all of them — indoor venues, too — including bonus activities while you’re there.
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.
Where: National parks around the area
It’s 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 Falls, Prince 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.
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Shop a mobile bookstore on Saturday. Browse through thousands of books all under $6 in a nice, outdoor setting. There’s something for everyone — children’s books, teen reads, brand-new bestsellers in amazing condition, classic vintage hardbacks, and more. Look for it in the southern block of the park. While you’re in the area, grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby eateries and enjoy some time by the river right across M Street at The Yards.
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 6pm
Admission: Tickets start at $18
The Wizards are playing at home Friday evening. See them work their magic on the Charlotte Hornets. Plan on a pre-game meal in Penn Quarter — some family-friendly recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Reren, and Shake Shack.
Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday, 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.) In honor of our nation’s veterans, Mount Vernon admits FREE all active duty, former, or retired military personnel on Veterans Day.
Honoring Native Veterans
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Join the museum on Veterans Day to recognize and honor the military service of Native Americans. Events include family activities, a special presentation about the National Native American Veterans Memorial by the designer, Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma), and Curator Rebecca Trautmann, special hospitality for veterans, and a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial, preceded by the presentation of colors by the Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society.
Bull Run Festival of Lights
Where: Bull Run Regional Park | Centreville, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday evenings
Admission: $30/car online, $40/car on site
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 10-19, save $10 with the promo code early23 — valid every day including weekends.
Winter Walk of Lights
Where: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Vienna, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 5-10pm
Admission: $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).
(Geo)Cache in on Fun
Where: Around the Area
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.
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:
* GMU men vs Austin Peay on Friday at 7pm
* GW men vs William & Mary on Saturday at 1pm
* Catholic men vs Stevens on Saturday at 2pm
* Georgetown Men vs Holy Cross on Saturday at 7pm
* Georgetown Women vs Brown on Sunday at 2pm
National Harbor Tree Lighting
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, half hour after sunset
Watch the 60-foot RGB tree come to life 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.
Fiddler on the Roof
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Through December 31
Tradition! The word itself is synonymous with this most classic of American musicals, set in the tiny shtetl of Anatevka. People all over the world continue to find universal truths in the story of Tevye and his headstrong, tradition-bucking daughters. Now Olney Theatre creates a rich and re-imagined Fiddler for a new generation to embrace through unforgettable songs like “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” Like Tevye himself, this Fiddler knows the power of its traditional highlights, but like his daughters Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava – it also may surprise you with new ways of carrying forward its spirit.
Mystery at Shady Acres
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre | Arlington, VA
When: Through November 19
Admission: $12/child, $15/adult
Encore Stage * Studio presents its “by kids for kids” theatre with this fall production… The Shady Acres hotel staff is frantically preparing for the arrival of the prestigious Fairfaxes. Right from the start – everything seems to go awry! Just when the hotel manager Mr. Clifford thinks it’s all back to normal, Mrs. Fairfax’s diamond necklace is stolen! Who could it be? And who is the mysterious man lurking about? Uncover the mystery at Encore’s show!
Where: Strathmore | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 2pm & 5pm
Umbrellas fly, fabrics soar over the audience, balloons swallow people, and snow swirls, filling the stage. With stunning images and gales of laughter, Air Play bounces on the edge of definition: part comedy, part sculpture, part circus, part theater. A circus-style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, Air Play transforms ordinary objects into uncommon beauty. Great for all ages, Air Play creates beauty and inspires laughter across cultures and continents.
National Veterans Parade
Where: Constitution Ave. | Downtown DC
When: Sunday, 12pm
For the first time, DC is hosting a National Veterans Parade. On Sunday, a procession of veterans organizations, floats, specialty vehicles, and marching bands will make its way down Constitution Avenue to celebrate and honor our nation’s veteran community for their duty to defend and protect the United States. The parade steps off at the National Archives and will make its way west.
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.
***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* Be sure to browse the 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC and get tickets for events you know you want to attend as many sell out.
* Need ideas for little kid gifts? Check out Emily’s picks for the 8 & under crowd.
* There’s a new giveaway for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see The Lion, the Witch, and. the Wardrobe at Adventure Theatre!
* Planet Word is hosting Enchanting Pages Community Day on November 18!
* Thankgiving recipes that put a twist on tradition.
* And how great are these pieces for the TG table? Also this.🦃
* Leaf crafts for kids (and adults).
* The perfect thing to spruce up a bathroom.
* A fun family holiday movie coming soon.
* Saturday night.