Tag Archives: Fall 2023

The Weekend Round-Up:
December 15-17

 

Happy Weekend!

Link up to loads of ongoing, non-holiday DC fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Winter Breakin’
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Winter Break from school begins for some area kids this this weekend. If you’re going to be in town and seeking ways to keep the whole gang happy (and that includes us parents), this annual KFDC guide has you covered. Find recommendations for the best things to do now, from holiday-inspired happenings to special exhibits to live entertainment to outdoor adventures to indoor action to awesome day trips… and even more.

Holiday Spirit
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

We’re in the thick of the season, so embrace the holiday spirit! There’s festive fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. Watch model trains buzz around a delightful display at the US Botanic Garden. See pretty Christmas trees and twinkling lights at many spots. Experience Christmas magic at National Harbor. Celebrate the season at Mount Vernon. Take a festive train ride at the B&O Railroad Museum. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and so many more in the 2023 KFDC Holiday Guide.

The Night Market
Where: Eastern Market | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday, 5-9pm
Admission: Free

Do some shopping under the stars (and indoors)! Eastern Market will be open Friday evening so you can do some holiday shopping, get some food and treats for the evening and weekend, and pick up a Christmas tree if you still need one. Enjoy music and family fun inside, too!

Santa Encounters
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re still hoping to hang with Santa around DC, you can find him at many places, often along with extra fun and treats. This post has a round-up of places he’ll be for the rest of the season, from free gatherings to special brunches to holiday shows to train rides to classic photo stops at the mall.

Hot Wheels Champion Experience
Where: Tysons Corner Center | Tysons, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:

Another exciting immersive experience for kids is opens at Tysons this weekend! The Hot Wheels Champion Experience combines exhilarating digital and hands-on play in a 16,000-square foot interactive environment for all ages. Conquer all kinds of digital challenges, create a car and see in in 3D on a bog screen, immerse in AR fun, and more.  (Look for a review soon!)

Wizards vs Pacers
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary (check for discount)

The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday evening — watch them work some on-court magic against the Indiana Pacers. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Hill Country BBQ… details on these and more here.

Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $10-12/adults /ages 12+, free/11 & under

Train enthusiasts young and old will have plenty to be excited about at the largest traveling expo in the northeast showcasing model trains. There will be intricately crafted model train displays, hundreds of tables with model train paraphernalia, a mini train for kids to ride, and a variety of workshops and demos, and more.

Hill Family Biking: Tiny Streets Ride
Where: Around Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Hill Family Biking on Saturday for their Tiny Streets Ride. What is a Tiny Street? A street that is only one block long, of course! And Capitol Hill is chalk full of these picturesque streets. Not only are these blocks beautiful, but often a safer route while biking. Hit up eight of these tiny streets on the ride and end at P.S. Mercantile for some hot chocolate, coffee, and tasty treats.

Merry Grinchmas: Photo with the Grinch
Where: Truist Bank Plaza | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The Grinch will be leaving Whoville and visiting Adams Morgan on Saturday. You’re invited to meet him and get your holiday photo taken — people and pets are welcome. Guests can also enjoy face painting while listening to classic holiday music by Dickens carolers!

The Dragon King’s Daughter
Where: Kennedy Center | Fogy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday,1:30 & 4pm & Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $20-25

Chinese dragon mythology, martial arts, and stunning voices combine in this world premiere musical. Twelve-year-old Kenny Li is being bullied at school. When he finds a magical tablet, he is transported to the Jade Kingdom where he meets Xing, the Dragon King’s daughter. Together, they go on a quest to save the world, finding courage and friendship along the way.

The Lion, the Witch , and the Wardrobe
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through January 7
Admission: $25

In a two-person version of the classic tale, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover a secret portal to a magical world called Narnia. With an evil White Witch ruling the kingdom, can Lucy, her new friend Mr. Tumnus, and her family band together to save this land from the eternal winter?

A Family Christmas
Where: Kennedy Center  | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $20-45

Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them! They’ll take you on a merry tour of Christmas favorites that will have your family singing all the way home. Expect a visit from Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph!

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Where: MGM National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $32-99

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the stage in this popular and dazzling family holiday spectacular. This annual tradition wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry into the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family!

More Holiday Entertainment
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

There’s so much holiday-inspired entertainment on local stages to celebrate the season. Step Afrika’s Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show is a stomping good time. The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages. Or take littles to see a version on strings at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Go to a Family Edition of Handel’s Messiah at the National Cathedral.  Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Community Christmas Festival
Where: Foundry UMC | Logan Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Join Friends of Stead Park and Foundry fun family gathering at the Community Christmas Festival. There will be crafts, snacks and free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. If you’d like to purchase a gingerbread house-making kit to make at the event or take home, you can do so here: https://bit.ly/SPgingerbread23

Baby-Wearing Dance Class
Where: Dance Exchange | Takoma Park, MD
When: Sunday, 12:30-1:30pm
Admission: $10 with code BestDancingPartner

Get your jingle on with your little one and enjoy some extra holiday cheer at a holiday-themed baby-wearing dance class! Any aged child in a carrier can dance with their mom/dad/caregiver in this fun, easy-to-follow class. Bring your baby-wearing friends or family members — the more, the merrier!

Procrastinators Market
Where: Kraken Kourts & Skate | Northeast DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Discover a wide array of gifts, crafts, and goodies to delight everyone on your holiday list. From handmade jewelry to artisanal treats this market showcases the talents of local artisans and vendors. Peruse items from 50+ local vendors, plus enjoy family friendly entertainment, free holiday train rides and a special art activation from ARTECHOUSE.

Model Trains & Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

What would the holiday season be without trains? Stop by the Historic Vienna Train Station where you can see and hear HO scale model trolleys and trains, including Thomas and some of his friends on display and in operation. The Polar Express will be running, too! A great family activity for the young and young at heart. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, VA. Masks required for all visitors age 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. Hand sanitizer will be available.

Moonshot Studio
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Get creative at this studio within The REACH at the Kennedy Center, where all are groups are welcome and encouraged to partake in various art projects and activities.  Through December 30, celebrate the world premiere of Marcus Yi’s new musical, The Dragon King’s Daughter — the Moonshot Studio has hands-on projects inspired by the tale. It’s normally open on Saturday and Sunday, but will be closed on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Mount Pleasant Holiday Market
Where: Mount Pleasant St & Lamont Plaza | Mount Pleasant, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

The Mt. Pleasant neighborhood will become the DC’s Holiday Village in the City on Sunday. More than four dozen local artisans will line Mount Pleasant Street and Lamont Plaza, selling home décor, paintings, pottery, candles, vintage goods and other items. The event also includes a special visit from Santa — he’ll be be available for pictures and to hand out free toys to children. While you’re there, stop to create a free card with We Are Artistic, a group of local high school kids hosting a card-making table for Cards For Hospitalized Kids.

King Bullfrog Concert
Where: Calvary Episcopal Church | Northeast DC
When: Sunday, 4pm
Admission: $5

Mister Mike’s Music is presenting a King Bullfrog concert this Sunday. The high-energy acoustic act plays folk, rock, and original music for kids and their grownups. Did you know that the origins of King Bullfrog are in a Mister Mike’s class? They’ll tell you the story on Sunday. Tickets are available here. The church is located at 820 6th Street NE.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
If you’re still looking for holiday gifts, the KFDC Gift Guides have loads of ideas!
* How about a festive road trip?  Here are 5 fun ideas.
* Enjoy a free Jingle Jam Holiday Concert at the Capital Turnaround on Monday evening.
* What do you think about the Wizards and Capitals moving to Virginia?
* Apple’s most popular podcasts of 2023.
* Finally watched and loved The Bear.
* And this new family movie is really cute.
* How cute are all of these drink coozies?
* Favorite New Yorker cartoons in 2023.

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Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
December 8-10

Enjoy a family night out at Georgetown GLOW

 

Happy Weekend!

Find tons of ideas for non-holiday fun in these go-to KFDC posts:
* The Great Indoors
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Autumn Adventures
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

If you’re looking for holiday activities, you have your pick of them!  There are all kinds of ways to embrace the spirit of the season, and at every price point. Some are listed in this round-up, and details for SO many more in the 2023 KFDC Holiday Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC.

Lights & Ice: Hanukkah Skate Night
Where: Canal Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: December 8
Admission: Free; skating is $15/12+, $12/under 12
The Festival of Lights is back at the Canal Park Ice Rink with Free Skate Rentals for the first 150 attendees to glide around the outdoor menorah. There will also be live music from DJ Ci Ci, free Hannukah-themed donuts, and hot cider from neighborhood confectionary shop Kilwins courtesy of the Capitol Riverfront BID. Plus, enjoy dreidels, glow sticks, gelt, and an exclusive Capitol Riverfront mug & hot cocoa kit for the first 100 attendees! An official menorah lighting will take place at 7pm.

A “Lit” Family Night Out
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the holiday season
Admission: Free (+ cost of dinner)

The holidays are always a fabulous time of the year in DC, especially in the evenings when twinkling lights make the cityscape sparkle and there is “illuminated” fun to enjoy. Even better, you can make a night of it and experience those lit activities and enjoy a family dinner out, too. This new post has five ideas for doing just that, all of them centered around a main activity with recommendations for places to eat, plus some suggestions for nearby fun to tack on if you want to make a day (or longer night) of it, too.

The Polar Express Pajama Party
Where: Miracle Theater | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $6

Sip some hot chocolate in your PJ’s while watching the holiday classic, The Polar Express. The film is an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. A young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express. During his adventure he learns about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.

Disney Encanto x CAMP
Where: Tysons Corner | Tysons, VA
When: Through March
Admission: Starts at $32

The immersive experience inspired by the beloved movie opens at Tysons this weekend.  Tickets are very limited in December, but you might luck out and get them.  If not, then let this be your heads-up to snag them for a 2024 visit — they would make a great holiday gift!

Step Afrika! Magical, Musical Holiday Step Show
Where: Arena Stage | Southwest DC
When: Through December 17
Tickets: $56-95 (look for discount)

Easily one of the best holiday show’s in town, Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a fantastic, vibrant celebration. (And we know from many years’ experience!) This fun, family-friendly performance will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands to energetic beats from Step Afrika! and special guest, DJ Frosty the Snowman. The internationally-renowned percussive dance company has created a fantastic, contemporary holiday tradition, featuring friendly, furry characters, fun photo ops, and a festive dance party.

Fiddler on the Roof
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $35-101 (look for discount)

A great show  during Hanukkah…  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.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: Through December 31
Tickets: $15/age 2+

And one for little kids…  It’s Hanukkah on strings once again at The Puppet Co. this year! In this puppet play, Hershel just wants to celebrate Hanukkah with the community, but the Queen and King of the Goblins have forbidden the lighting of the candles. Can Hershel save the day and lift the curse for this shtetl (village)?

More Holiday Entertainment
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

There’s so much holiday-inspired entertainment on local stages to celebrate the season. The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages. Or take littles to see a version on strings at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Go to a Family Edition of Handel’s Messiah at the National Cathedral.  Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

A sculpture from the Simone Leigh exhibit

Art Cart: Who? You? Express Yourself!
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | Naional Mall, DC
When: Saturday 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Art Cart days are a great time to bring kiddos to the Hirshhorn because you can enjoy the exhibits, and they have a fun activity to connect to the art. On Saturday, dive into the world of Simone Leigh’s art! Explore her sculptures and make your own one-of-a-kind portraits and sculptures inspired by the things that make you special. Find the Art Cart in the Lerner Room on the Third Level.

Get Out of Dodge DC
Where: Around the region
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

Mix it up  with a quick getaway to a festive destination! If you feel like you’ve seen and done it all around DC, or just want to add a little extra magic to the season, road-trip-it to a location less than three hours away from the DC metro area — and maybe make some fun stops on the way. Your kids will love the thrill of it all (and, for overnighters, your heavily-tinseled hotel)! This post has ideas for places to go.

Go-Go Santa Caravan
Where: Sycamore & Oak | Congress Heights, DC
When: Saturday, 12-5pm
Admission: Free

Local business, community leaders, go-go bands, and “Go-Go Santa,” will spread holiday cheer as they travel through Congress Heights to The Retail Village at Sycamore & Oak for a day of holiday-themed activities and celebration. Around 5,000 curated holiday gifts will be distrinuted from eight local lifestyle businesses. Meal tickets and shopping coupons (up to $14 each) will also be given out while supplies last. Households will also receive complimentary tickets from Capital City Go-Go.

Capital Art & Craft Festival
Where: Dulles Expo Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $10/advance, $12/at door, free/12 & under
Browse the works of over 200 local artisans and crafters and find unique holiday gifts  This festival features art in more than a dozen mediums — jewelry, paintings, prints, glass, leather, photography, pottery, wearable art, and wood, and more.   Visit the website for more details.

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Saturday, 3-6pm
Admission: Free
It’s Glen Echo Park’s annual Winter’s Eve celebration, a holiday event designed with all ages in mind. The Park will be abuzz with activity throughout the event:Open studios, artwork sales, refreshments, and the Puppet Co. will present it’s beloved The Nutcracker at 4pm. There will also be free children’s holiday crafts, and many of the Park’s resident arts organizations will offer holiday activities, including performances by Washington Revels, a hands-on blown glass ornament workshop (pre-registration required), Washington Conservatory of Music student performances, holiday portrait photography (pre-registration encouraged), and more!

Holiday Extravaganza
Where: The Boro | Tysons, DC
When: December 9, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free
Here comes Santa Claus, right down Boro Lane! Get into the holiday spirit with a festive and fun morning in Boro Park to kick off the holiday season! At Santa’s Workshop at The Boro, guests of all ages are invited to enjoy a fun filled morning of holiday kids crafts, a DJ dance party, specialty hot chocolate bar with lots of fun fixings from Bluestone Lane, a holiday themed bounce house, and calligrapher on site to customize ornaments. And don’t forget to stop Santa’s Workshop in Boro Park, where you can take pictures with Santa — he’ll be there from 11:30am to 1pm.

Holiday Lights
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Parks and gardens around the area are brightening up the season with twinkling holiday light displays. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a dazzling good time.  See where you can enjoy them in the KFDC Holiday Guide.

Hike & Aprés Hike
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by place

If al the holiday hoopla is getting overwhelming, the get out for a family hike — then extend (and elevate) the day with some some snacks (or a whole meal) and sips after. Find some great combos to do that in this post about place to hike & aprés Hike.

Second Sunday Barn Dance
Where: Glen Echo Park | Glen Echo, MD
When: Sunday, 1-3pm
Admission: $5 ages 4+

Bring the fam to the Barn Dance! The fun-spirited event is for all ages and ability levels, featuring live music and a caller who teaches all the dances and keeps everyone moving to the music. Expect a variety of circles, squares, longways sets, contras, waltzes, and ceilidhs. Families with pre-school kids, tweens and teens, grandparents, and everyone in-between will have a rollicking good time with Glen Echo’s intergenerational community.

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

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

Day Trip from DC
Where: Around the region
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Get out of dodge for a day to enjoy some fun in areas that require a bit of a drive, but not an overnight stay (though you could consider it). Explore the spectacular underground world of Luray Caverns. Discover the charm and awesome attractions of Baltimore.  Enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Take an ice cream making museum tour at Turkey Hill in Lancaster, PA. Or venture out to the Calvert Marine Museum to experience fascinating exhibits that highlight the history of the Chesapeake Bay.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* There’s a new giveaway for a chance to win a Holiday Stocking filled with a music lessons gift certificate and more from International School of Music!
* It’s peak holiday shopping season, and the KFDC Holiday Gift Guides have loads of ideas for DC-inspired gifts and for specific age groups.
* Looking for an activity especially for little ones on Tuesday morning?  Check out Art in the AM at the American Art Museum!
* National Gallery of Art shares tips for peaceful visits to the museum during the holiday season.
* Aristocrafts, an local mom-owned company that runs after school programs, now has their own studio and will be offering creative workshops for kids and adults.
* Always looking for organizing solutions, and this is a good one. Or this if you have a spare drawer.
* A few sales to check this weekend: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tea Collection, Bose, Pottery Barn, Anthro,
* Vanity Fair’s Best Movies of 2023.
* This Hanukkah, Light the Candles 💙

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
December 1-3

Ice skating on the National Mall…so quintessentially DC

 

Happy Weekend!

Quick links to ideas galore for ongoing DC fun:
* The Great Indoors
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Autumn Adventures
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

‘Tis the Season
Where: Around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity
There’s holiday fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See the delightful model trains and festive decor at the US Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit.Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park.  Experience holiday magic at National Harbor. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest.  Find details on all of these events and more in the 2023 Holiday Guide. (And see some of them listed in this round-up, too.)

Glow with It
Where: Around Georgetown, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free 

See Georgetown in a whole new creative light — literally. Georgetown Glow is back and brightening the neighborhood with modern light art installations on exhibit around the bustling community. Plan to make an evening of it and take the family to dinner at one of the many restaurants there pre- or post-light tour — see some suggestions for kid-friendly dining spots.  Get a glimpse of a past Glow here and a look at last year’s here.

Happy 20th, Udvar-Hazy!
Where: Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free (parking, too!)

It’s been almost 20 years since the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum, opened and they’re celebrating with a day packed full of everything you know and love about the museum. From a behind-the-scenes look at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar to talks with curators about fascinating artifacts to hands-on activitiesfor the whole fam, the event promises to highlight why the museum is a must-visit destination and look forward to what’s next.

Santa Fly-In
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $5

This will be an experience to remember as you watch Santa fly into the historic College Park Airport (it’s the world’s oldest continuously operating airport)! Make some holiday arts and crafts, then have your picture taken with Santa Claus after his big flight. Photos will be scheduled by reserved time slot. To reserve a slot, send an email to collegeparkaviation@pgparks.com. All guests over the age of 2 must have a ticket.

Festival of Lights
Where: Watkins Regional Park | Upper Marlboro, MD
When: ThroughJanuary 2, 5-9:30pm
Admission: $10-15/vehicle

We’ve been doing this one since the kids were babes… Watkins’ sweet holiday drive-through event of more than one million twinkling lights has been dazzling holiday-goers for over 25 years. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit from the comfort of your car — bring a thermos of hot chocolate, put on some holiday music, turn on the seat warmers, and take in the adorably festive illuminated scenes.  Purchase tickets in advance online and pay only $8. Even more, if you can snag a limited spot, they are also offering horse-drawn carriage rides this year (extra cost, and preregistration required). For more about Watkins Regional Park, including all there is to enjoy during the day, see this KFDC post.

More Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Even more parks and gardens in the area are brightening up the season with twinkling holiday light displays. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a dazzling good time.  See where you can enjoy them in the KFDC Holiday Guide.

Holidays on the Ellipse
Where: President’s Park | National Ellipse, DC
When: Starting Saturday
Admission: Free

The National Christmas Tree, the National Menorah, plus trains and displays representing all 50 states will be accessible for viewing starting Saturday.  It’s a staple on many a holiday activity repertoire.  The whole scene lit up at night with the White House and Washington Monument glowing in the distance makes for a brilliant holiday scene. There are often musical performances throughout the season, too.

Old Tyme Christmas
Where: Harpers Ferry, WV
When: Friday – Sunday (& December 8-10)
Admission: Free

Take a little road trip to experience some holiday magic! This two-weekend-only Christmas celebration offers seasonal activities for the whole family. Featuring historic tours, wagon rides, caroling, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, shopping at the Handmade Holiday Market, and much more. View the full schedule of activities here.

Dinosaur Park Open House
Where: Dinosaur Park | Laurel, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Discover an ancient world right in Prince George’s County! On the first and third Saturdays of every month, Dinosaur Park in Laurel welcomes the public to their interpretive programs. Paleontologists and educators will display fossils, casts, and models of Astrodon johnstoni, Maryland’s state dinosaur, along with other 112 million-year-old creatures found there.

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

All of the local ice rinks are open for the season, so get out there for some cold weather recreation!  Skate amid art at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, with river views at Washington Harbour, or above the river at The Wharf.  Or enjoy skating at one of many other area rinks.  See this post for details on all of the places you can glide the day (and night) away.

Heurich Christmas Markt
Where: Heurich House Museum | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: $10-16/ages 15+ and $2/ages 2-15

Heurich House’s annual holiday market, Christkindlmarkt, is back this weekend. Stroll through the festive German-style craft market from the Heurich House garden up New Hampshire Ave towards Dupont Circle to find holiday gifts. The Markt will feature over 50 local small-scale makers, a mcaini exhibit about the historic revival of the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co.’s Senate Beer, children’s ornament making, and more!  Hours are Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 12-8pm, and Sunday 12-6pm.  (PS:  There are some other holiday markets happening this weekend — see them all here.)

Bethesda Winter Wonderland
Where: Norfolk & Cordell Avenues | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season in downtown Bethesda with Santa Claus, live ice sculpting, live music, and more! At this annual outdoor street bazaar, see blocks of ice transformed into wintery works of art before your eyes, enjoy a student concert, and partake in more festive activities.

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: Free

The 52nd annual Scottish Christmas Walk will be a showcase of marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade usually begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and ends at Market Square with a massed band concert – rain or shine.

First Saturday at NGA
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
The NGA’s monthly program will celebrate the winter season with holiday card making, face painting, and more. Free activities for all ages will take over the East Building this weekend. Author and illustrator Susan Stockdale will read her children’s book during a bilingual Storytime program (on Friday morning, too). You can also stop at a station with supplies in the atrium to create a holiday card for loved ones, visit the pop-up library, explore one of  the new exhibitions (the Mark Rothko is wonderful!), and more.

Frosted
Where: Franklin Park | Downtown DC
When: Starting Saturday through December 17
Admission: Free

Step into an illuminated winter extravaganza as Franklin Park is transformed into a glistening Frosted wonderland aglow with thousands of lights. There will be lots of fun holiday festivities to enjoy, too… this weekend witness holiday toys come to life during the Favorite Christmas Toys Parade, watch artists create ice sculptures, see stories illuminated, browse the makers market, and more.  See the schedule of festivities on the website.

Holly Trolley Fest
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $10/adults, $8/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)
Explore a unique DC area museum this holiday season. Visit with Santa down our mile-long woodland railroad, featuring a holiday ride on our historic street cars. In addition, enjoy a holiday model railroad display in collaboration with the Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society, crafts for children, photo opportunities, and more.

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Saturday, 6-9pm

Admission: Free
It’s the 30th anniversary of an iconic DC holiday event:  The District’s Holiday Boat Parade, featuring over 60 festively decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel. On land at The Wharf, spectators can get into the spirit with ornament decorating, roasting s’mores at the Camp Wharf fire pit (for purchase), visiting the lighted 45-ft Christmas Tree, and skating at The Wharf Ice Rink ($10-13).  Plan on pictures with Santa, too!

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights
Where: Alexandria City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor will also shine as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the 21st annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy festivities out on the dock 1-5:30pm and a holiday bazaar and food options 3-7pm. And stop in the Torpedo Factory were there will be a holiday festival, too. The parade begins at 5:30pm.

Holiday Entertainment
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, there is plenty of it!  The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages.  Dorrance Dance is also presenting  a tap dancing version at the Kennedy Center. Or take littles to see a version on strings at The Puppet Co.  Adventure Theatre has a wonderful production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre (review here). Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

(W)Hoop it Up!
Where: Universities around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Tickets prices vary

The college hoops season is happening, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good on court going on. Here’s what you can see this weekend:
American men vs St. Francis on Saturday at 2pm
* Catholic men vs Wilkes on Saturday at 2pm
* Catholic women on Saturday at 4pm
* Georgetown men vs TCU on Saturday at 5pm
* Maryland women vs George Mason on Sunday at 1pm (Go, Terps!)

Season’s Treatings: Holiday Gingerbread Decorating
Where: The Garden at Building Momentum | Alexandria, VA
When: December 3, 10:30am – 12pm & 1-2:30pm
Admission: $35-250

Join UpCycle Creative Reuse Center to unleash your creativity and decorate gingerbread houses . Get into the holiday spirit and indulge in the joy of creating edible masterpieces. Sign up in advance!

Chocolate Binge Festival
Where: Downtown Annapolis, MD
When: December 3, 11am – 4pm
Admission: $5

Everyone loves chocolate and Annapolis will be celebrating by filling West Street with all things chocolate to help chocoholics get through the holiday season. Prepare your sweet tooth with an afternoon of chocolate decadence as over 20 local and regional chocolatiers vend their specialties, plus make s’mores at a bonfire in the street, and enjoy hot cocoa. The Festival will also feature family friendly entertainment, lots of holiday shopping, and the lighting of West Street’s BGE Holiday Light Canopy.

Holiday Market
Where: Congressional Cemetery | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Hit a holiday market in an unexpected place: a cemetery!  For the first time ever the Historic Congressional Cemetery is hosting a holiday market, featuring one-of-a kind gifts, hand crafted treasures, and delectable treats, all made by local makers, bakers, artists, and vendors.  Even better, it a really cool place that is interesting to explore anytime (one of my most frequented spots int he city with Teddy the Aussiedude).  Dogs on leash are welcome to the market, too!

Dreidel Workshop
Where: Home Depot | 901 Rhode Island Ave NE, DC
When: December 3, 1:30-2:30pm
Admission: Free
How about a DYI project to celebrate the upcoming holiday? Kids can make a dreidel game boards using wood, hammers, etc. There will also be chocolate coins, music, and other Chanukah goodies! Be sure to register in advance!

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

Looks like there may be some wet weather this weekend, so if you’re seeking indoor fun or just want ideas for extra activities, there are plenty of options for things to do inside. This post has over 100 suggestions.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* In case you missed it, there’s a new post with 5 festive, kid-friendly destinations for the holiday season, all within 3 hours from DC.
* Hanukkah begins this coming week, and if you’re looking for ways to celebrate, the KFDC Holiday Guide has a whole section of ideas!
Have you seen all the KFDC gift guides?  There are recommendations for little kids, teens, grown ups, and gift that are DC-inspired.
This “Parents Are People” episode of This American Life is a really good listen.
* We saw Dream Scenario last weekend, and it was fantastic. Such an interesting premise, and Nicolas Cage once again shows why he is one of the best actors around (and it all started with this totally awesome gem).
* Has anyone tried the viral butter candle recipe?
* Don’t mess with Dolly 💙

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 23-26

The wonderful pollinator themed model train display at Season’s Greenings

 

Happy  Thanksgiving… and, as always, Happy Weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Through January 1, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

DC’s most popular holiday attraction just opened for the season. The highlight is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs — all of them constructed of plant materials.  This year’s pollinator theme is adorable , and kids will love seeing model trains chug around  The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks also constructed from plant materials — see if you can find all 22 of them! Get a glimpse of the train, and be sure to make a plan to see it all this holiday season!

Crafting for the Holidays
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Admission: Free

A great activity with the kids over Thanksgiving weekend… Join the Library of Congress for a family crafting program to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. Learn about the Library’s holiday collections while you take part in crafting activities for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more.

ZooLights
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Friday & Saturday, 5-9pm & Sunday, 6-9pm
Admission: $6

For the first time, this beloved light display is not free admission. But it’s the same fun, festive seasonal joy at a favorite DC spot.  Thousands of environmentally-friendly lights and animal lanterns transform the Zoo into a holiday wonderland in the evenings. There are also live music performances, tasty winter treats, and lots of opportunities for holiday shopping.

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

Even more twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Several parks and gardens in the area have transformed into sparkling wonderlands. Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate — it doesn’t get much cozier than that.

Native American Heritage Day: Honoring the Jingle Dress Dance
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Learn about the origin and significance of the jingle dress and Jingle Dress Dance with dancers Misty Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation), Jennifer Night Bird Miller (Red River Métis), and Nathan Solorio (Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation/Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation). The dancers will be accompanied by father-and-son duo Ralph Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian) and Dennis Zotigh (Kiowa/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo/Isante Dakota Indian). Performances begin at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1pm, 3pm, and 4pm.

Caps vs. Oilers
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary 

Watch some sports action on ice. The Caps are hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Friday afternoon. Plan on a pre-game lunch in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood — or some time at the Downtown Holiday Market.

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

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

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

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

Enchant
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Starts Friday 0 December 24
Admission: $32+/adult, $24+/age 3-17

Explore the 90,000-square foot Christmas light maze, this year with a “Santa’s Magic Timepiece” theme. Stroll through lighted tunnels, travel to magical illuminated lands as you search for stars, and find your way to the 100-foot tall Christmas tree.  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.  View scenes from last year’s event and read a KFDC review (from the first season it was here in 2019) of this newer-to-DC holiday attraction.

Recreation on Ice
Where: Ice rinks around the DC area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions over the next few days should be great for outdoor ice skating. Many ice rinks have already opened for the season, and Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood will be joining starting Friday.  See this post for details on all of the places you can glide the day (and night) away!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Tickets: $25

In a two-person version of the classic tale, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover a secret portal to a magical world called Narnia. With an evil White Witch ruling the kingdom, can Lucy, her new friend Mr. Tumnus, and her family band together to save this land from the eternal winter?

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment to get into the spirit, it’s starting!  The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre is a classic that will enchant audiences of all ages.  Or take littles to see a version on strings at The Puppet Co.  Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Get details on these shows and see what else is coming up soon in the 2023 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Holiday Tree Lighting + Santa Firetruck Parade
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: Friday, 6-9pm
Admission: Free

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer! Join the Mosaic District to welcome the arrival of the holiday season with a merry and bright tree lighting. Bring your family and friends to experience the Jolly Man’s arrival on a firetruck. Visitors can also meet and greet Santa in the Target lobby after the tree lighting and enjoy live entertainment from 6-9pm and a holiday parade from 6:30-6:45pm. The Tree Lighting is at 7:15pm.

10th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Where: CityCenter | Downtown DC
When: Saturday, 5-7pm
Admission: Free
Kick off the holiday season and celebrate 10 years of CityCenterDC at their annual holiday tree lighting! The evening will include a joyful music performance by fan favorite, The Revels, balloon artists, face painters, holiday treats, and more. Enjoy the dazzling 75-foot tree, see two resident 25-foot reindeer, and capture the spirit of the holidays with a photo under our Palmer Alley Dream Closet art installation.

Wizards vs Hawks
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets prices vary (check for discount)

The Wizards are playing at home on Saturday evening — watch them work some on-court magic against the Atlanta Hawks. Plan on a pre-game dinner in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Daikaya, Shake Shack, and Hill Country BBQ… details on these and more here.

College Hoops
Where: Colleges around the DC Area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

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:
* Georgetown men vs Jackson State on Saturday at 12pm
* George Mason men vs East Carolina on Saturday at 2pm
* Maryland men vs South Alabama on Saturday at 7pm (Go, Terps!)
* American men vs Hood College on Sunday at 4pm

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

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

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Streets NW | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Through D2cember 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

Make a plan to visit sometime during the season.  This one, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always an excellent variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the 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. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market.

Off the Beaten Museum Path
Where: Around DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by museum

If you want to do some indoor exploring, consider a not-so-well-known place.  Because if you don’t veer from the well trodden path of the National Mall now and then, you could miss out on some amazing museum exhibits and experiences. Check out this round-up of some these places in DC that may not be on your museum radar — but should be.

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* The holiday season is officially in full swing, so the 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC will be good to keep handy.
* Holiday shopping season is also officially in full swing, so be sure to check out all the KFDC gift guides for ideas:  DC-Inspired, Teen Scene, Little Kids, Adults
* Good tips for Thanksgiving.
* One of my favorite instructors at the gym just started a podcast on fitness.
* I don’t usually watch the series, but this season of the show somehow reeled me in — and the long weekend is a golden opportunity to binge it.
* Can’t stress enough how great Rakuten, an online service that gives you cash back on shopping, is during the holiday season.
Anyone else love Farm Rio?  If so, you’ll love 50% off even more.
* Simple and beautiful.❤️

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 17-19

The Downtown Holiday Market brings seasonal magic to the city starting this weekend

 

Happy Weekend!

Easy links to jump start your local adventures:
* Best Outdoors in the DC Area
* The Great Indoors
* Off-the-Beaten-Path Museums
Autumn Adventures
* Local Hikes with Kids
* Kid-Friendly Eats
* Bike Rides
* Baltimore with Kids
* Peaceful Places

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

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

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

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

The Lion, the Witch , and the Wardrobe
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through January 7
Tickets: $25

In a two-person version of the classic tale, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover a secret portal to a magical world called Narnia. With an evil White Witch ruling the kingdom, can Lucy, her new friend Mr. Tumnus, and her family band together to save this land from the eternal winter? Read a review of the show from a few years back — the production is the same, just different actors.

Enchanted Pages Community Day
Where: Planet Word
When: Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free

In honor of 25 new interactive books being inducted into Planet Word’s magical, interactive Library, the museum is hosting this free, all-day event featuring book-inspired activities for people of all ages. Drop in for a bit or stay all day. Explore all three floors, connect with some of the authors featured in Planet Word’s magical library, and much more! See more event details here and read more about the wonderful Planet Word in this KFDC post.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday, 7pm
Admission: Tickets start at $32

The Wizards are playing at home Friday evening. Catch the action on the court as they play the New York Knicks.  Plan on a pre-game meal in Penn Quarter — some family-friendly recs: Jaleo, Carmine’s, Reren, and Shake Shack.

DCPL Book Bike Ride
Where: Libraries around Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: Free

Join an extra special edition of Hill Family Biking — the new DC Public Library Book e-Bike will be joining as the honorary grand marshal. Ride around to the libraries on the Hill starting at Eastern Market Metro Plaza to talk about the upcoming SE Library renovations, do a few laps around NE Library, then end at Rosedale Library for story time and letter writing to DDOT to let them know how excited you are for some upcoming street safety projects. Register in advance!

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite.  A few opened last weekend, and several more are starting to welcome guests to their sparkling wonderlands.  A few are listed in this round-up, and you can see other locations here.  Some you can walk through for an up-close experience, others you tour by car. If you opt for the latter, dress the kids in PJ’s, turn up the holiday tunes, and bring along a thermos of hot chocolate. Either way, be prepared to be dazzled!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art & Me Preservation Family Workshop
Where: Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 12:30pm & 2-4pm
Admission: Free

In this family program, visit the special exhibition Palace Life Unfolds: Conserving a Chinese Lacquer Screen and explore how art and science collide when conservators preserve precious works of art. Then, return to the ImaginAsia studio to learn more about the process of repairing a work of art with Smithsonian conservators and educators and make your own creation to take home.  This program is designed for children ages 3–8 with adult participation.

Celebrate Petworth
Where: 800 block of Upshur St. NW | Petworth, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This free neighborhood festival is organized by and for the residents of Petworth, but all are welcome to enjoy. Celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods, festivities include Petworth history storytelling, live music and performers, kids activities, tasty food, and a dog show. View the schedule here.

Family Fun
Where: Freer Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 2-4pm
Admission: Free

Join museum docents in the Peacock Room and in the Japanese art exhibition Rinpa Screens for engaging and collaborative hands-on activities that are geared toward families with children ages 5 and up. Exciting stories, scavenger hunts, sketching, and other activities will bring the whole family together to imagine, create, and learn.

Garden of Lights
Where: Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD
When: Through December 31
Admission: $10/age 5+

One of our faves, Garden of Lights is a magical winter wonderland illuminated with more than one million dazzling colorful lights shaped into hand-crafted, original art forms of flowers, animals, and other natural elements. Stroll from garden to garden enjoying twinkling tree forms, sparkling fountains, and whimsical winter scenes. Afterwards, warm up inside the Visitors Center — sip hot cocoa and listen to one of the nightly musical performances. KFDC Tip: Go on a weekday if you can swing it to avoid crowds. View scenes from one of our past visits there. [Note that it is not open November 20-23 and December 24-25.]

Winter City Lights
Where: 501 Olney Laytonsville Rd | Olney, MD
When: Starting Saturday thru December 30
Admission: Starts at $39/adult, $31/youth, free/4 & under

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

ICE, ICE, Baby
Where: National Harbor, MD
When: Starts Sunday thru December 31
Admission: Starts $27.99/child & $36.99/adult, free/under 3 

The popular holiday spectacle, ICE!, begins on Sunday, and tickets are still available for opening day. This year it’s with a “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” theme, and you walk through frozen holiday scenes depicting the story and slide down small ice slides — all kept at a very chilly 9 degrees. Read more about it, plus other National Harbor holiday activities, in this post form last year.

All Caps
Where: Capital One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 7:30pm
Admission: Start at $25 (check for deals)
The Caps are back on. the ice, and you can see them in action on Saturday evening as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. Plan on a pre-game meal in Penn Quarter — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Camine’s, Shake Shack, and Oyamel.

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

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

A Year with Frog and Toad
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: Through January 7
Tickets: $12-44 (look for discount)

A musical celebration of friendship and holiday fun! In this hit Broadway musical, two best friends with opposite personalities wake up from hibernation and enjoy hilarious adventures through the seasons. Light-hearted, with a sprinkle of nostalgia, this show is inspired by the acclaimed children’s books.

The Winter’s Tale
Where: Folger Theatre | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Through December 17
Tickets: $20-58

After being closed for two years for renovations, the Folger Shakespeare Library is beginning its reopening with the theatre and this Shakespeare play… With the magic and fantastical elements of a fairy tale, Shakespeare’s astonishing romance is a thrilling journey filled with emotional depth, extreme behavior, complex relationships—and a bear in pursuit. A tribute to the magic of storytelling, The Winter’s Tale presents a rich tapestry of love, strife, hope, human folly, and resurrection. A wonderful show for the season!

A Christmas Carol
Where: Ford’s Theatre | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Starting Saturday thru December 31
Tickets: $25-104 (look for discount)
Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to play Ebenezer Scrooge. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Performance is two hours (including a 15-minute intermission). Read a KFDC review of last year’s show.

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

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

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

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

***MORE GOOD STUFF***
* ‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and this KFDC Gift Guide is full of DC-inspired ideas.
* And as we had into the season of giving, it’s a good time to check out ways to give back.
* Just tried Love, Makoto, the new(ish) Japanese food hall, and happy to report I love Love, Makoto.
* A great local IG account to follow, but I’m sharing this particular post for the heartwarming message.
* After some trial and error, I finally found sunglasses that I love.
* Great sales this weekend: J. Crew, West Elm, Anthro, Backcountry.
* Whoa, this one really resonates.
* In honor of my birthday this weekend, I’ll conclude with this. 🙂

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Filed under 2023, DC, Fall, Maryland, Virginia, Weekend