Monday – Keep the holiday spirit going at a performance of Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol, on stage at Adventure Theatre through January 1. Showtimes are 11am and 2pm. Tickets are $19.
Tuesday – Make your mark at the National Archives during a special Family Day. Explore the “Making Their Mark” exhibit, then try your hand at make-and-take projects, hands-on activities, games, and more. As a special treat, a representative from Fahrney’s Pens will also be there to help with the most vexing of holiday challenges — how to write a “polite” thank you note! The event runs 10am – 4pm, and admission is free.
Wednesday – Celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of several events around town that not only welcome kids, but in most cases, center around them. See this new post for a list of family-friendly options to ring in 2015.
Friday – Go take a hike! The woods and wetlands of Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria are wonderful to explore any time of year. You won’t see all the turtles you do during the warm months, but there are geese aplenty, the scenery is beautiful, and the trails and boardwalk will easily lead you through it all. Stop by the nature center for neat interactive exhibits. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, and admission is free.
See the fantastic train display at the Botanic Garden through January 4
Monday – Bounce on over to Flight Trampoline Park in Springfield for a super fun jump session. Be sure to check the schedule, as times vary by age. And admission varies by time, but starts at $11. I recommend buying tickets and filling out waivers in advance to avoid lines when you get there.
Tuesday – Make your way up to Baltimore to visit the Maryland Science Center, where your crew can explore a variety of cool hands-on exhibits, play in the Kids Room, see an IMAX movie, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5pm. Admission is $18.95/adults, $15.95/ages 3+, free for 2 and under. (I suggest checking out their membership options — if your family visits just three times in a year, it’s worth it. Plus, there’s reciprocity with other museums around the country.)
Wednesday – Watch Santa have some fun on the water before his big night out. For the 29th year, Santa will water ski his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria at 1pm sharp – the best viewing spots will be between King and Oronoco Streets.
Thursday – Have a very merry Christmas… and enjoy some activities out of the house, too. The Botanic Garden and Mount Vernon are open. You can bundle up and get out for a hike. Or do what’s a tradition for many who don’t celebrate Christmas and go out for Chinese food and a movie.
Friday – Devise a plan to explore the intriguing world of espionage at the International Spy Museum. Since it would best be enjoyed by school-aged kids and older, Winter Break is a great time to go. Hours are 8:30am – 7pm. Admission is $21.95/adult and $15.95/child, but you can get discounted tickets through Goldstar.
Get crafty at the National Portrait Gallery’s Open Studio session on Friday
Monday – Head to DC’s big train station to check out the little trains. Union Station’s annual Holiday Train Show is back in the Main Hall, featuring an elaborate mountain landscape, plus vintage cars, trees and people, even dogs and cats. After (or before), grab a bite to eat or pop over to the Postal Museum next door.
Tuesday – Venture up to Baltimore for Thrifty Tuesday at Port Discovery. From 1-4:30pm, it only costs $8 (regularly $13.95) to enjoy the multiple levels of awesome hands-on exhibits and programs. It opens at 9:30am if you want to enjoy morning hours, too. (Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating!)
Wednesday – Bundle up and hit the trail. Great Falls is a great place to hike and enjoy the outdoors any time of the year. Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side of the park along a breathtaking stretch of the Potomac, you’re guaranteed some of the best vistas in the area. Be sure to stop in the Visitor Center where you can learn about the history and nature of the area. Hours are 7am – dark. The Visitor Centers are open from 10am – 4pm. Admission is $5/vehicle.
Thursday – Catch a performance of Arts on the Horizon’s Snow Day at the Atlas on H Street. Recommended for ages 2-6, the nonverbal world premiere production features live music and lots of wintertime fun. Showtime is 10:30am, and tickets are $8. It’s running at the Atlas through December 22. In the evening from 6-8:30pm, head to Pentagon Row for Chanukah on Ice, a festive celebration with latkes, kosher hot dogs, and ice skating! Admission is $10 in advance, $13 at the door.
Friday – Get creative at a National Portrait Gallery Open Studio Friday session. All ages are welcome to explore a different art medium each week with all kinds of fun projects. Drop in anytime from 1-4pm. Admission is free. Before or after your artsy outing, check out the Downtown Holiday Market, located right outside the museum at 8th & F Streets NW — do some shopping, enjoy tasty treats, and maybe even catch some live entertainment. It’s open 12-8pm daily through December 23.
So many delightful details in Santa’s Workshop on the Ellipse
Monday – Show the kiddos relics from the nation’s past and even some from your childhood at the National Museum of American History, where collections include some of the best toys and games of the old days. Other fun exhibits include the First Ladies’ ball gowns and America on the Move, a history of transportation in the U.S. featuring some of the earliest automobiles, a train car, and an old street car that guests can actually climb aboard. The museum is open from 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
Tuesday – Let little ones bounce, climb, swing, tumble, and slide at the PG Sports & Learning Complex Gymnastics Center. The hour-long open play session begins at 11:30am, and admission is $6/child. (This also takes place on Wednesday at the same time.)
Wednesday – Experience holiday traditions from a global perspective at the 3rd Annual Winternational Celebration. Festivities include a gingerbread cookie station, complimentary cookies, hot cocoa, and apple cider, sample of global bites, cultural performances, and an international bazaar. This will all take place in the atrium at the Ronald Reagan Building from 11am – 2pm, and admission is free. Want some evening entertainment, too? Head to the Kennedy Center for Merry TubaChristmas, the free Millennium Stage performance at 6pm.
Thursday – Bundle up for a hike at Roosevelt Island, where you can get a dose of nature and history in one fell swoop. The trails are easy for little ones to tramp, and you can explore the Memorial Plaza to learn about the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt. The entrance to the park is located right off the GW Parkway, just past the Roosevelt Bridge. It’s accessible only from the northbound lanes. Hours are 6am – 10pm. Admission is free.
Friday – Visit Santa on the Ellipse. His charming little workshop, where guests can take a photo with him, is open 12:30-9:30pm on Fridays (Saturdays & Sundays, too) through December 21. You can read about one of our experiences there in this past KFDC post.
Monday – When the storm gives you snow, make a snowman. But if it’s not a Frosty-building or sledding kind of day, then celebrate the birthday (a day late) of one of the most beloved children’s authors: Get out the Dr. Seuss books — we all have ’em, right? — and enjoy his wildly imaginative rhymes, illustrations, and stories with the kids.
Tuesday – Head out to Chantilly for Air & Space exploration beyond the District. The Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center showcases flight artifacts they can’t fit into the museum on the Mall. See all kinds of air and space crafts, pretend to pilot in a flight simulator, get hands-on in a discovery station, and much more. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free, but parking is $15.
Wednesday – Pop in for open jump time at Pump It Up in Lanham, Md. Children ages 2-8 and accompanying adults are invited to bounce in the giant inflatables from 10am – 12pm. Admission is $8/child. If you can’t get there that early, go for Family Open Jump from 5-7pm or find sessions on different days or at other area Pump It Up locations.
Thursday – Check out the National Geographic Museum’s newest exhibit, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Opening March 4, it promises to be an “engaging destination for space fans.” Admission is free. Hours at the museum are 10am – 6pm.
Friday – Catch a performance of Sleeping Beauty at The Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park. Showtimes are 10am and 11:30am. Tickets are $10. (Shows are at the same times on Thursday, too.)