Tag Archives: Fall Activities with Kids in DC

The Weekend Round-Up: December 6-8

Enchant the fam at Nationals Park

Happy Weekend!

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

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

Glow with It
Where: Georgetown, DC
When: Through January 5
Admission: Free

See Georgetown in a whole new gorgeous light — literally. Starting Friday, every evening through January 5, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, along the C&O Canal, and more nearby places. Take the family to dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out. Get a glimpse of a past Glow here.

Museum Story Time
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am
Admission: Free

Join the National Gallery of Art for a morning story time! Together you’ll read a book aloud, move, and play. All ages are welcome, especially the youngest visitors and nursing parents. The featured children’s book will be read in both English and Spanish. Meet in Gallery 39 on the Ground Floor of the West Building. Plan to stay and explore the museum afterward, and while you’re there, check out the museum shop — it’s full of unique items that would make for great holiday gifts!

DIY Holiday Cards
Where: National Postal Museum | Union Station Area, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

What better place to create one-of-a-kind handmade cards to send than the museum all about mail? They provide beautiful holiday stamps from all over the world, along with a variety of crafts supplies to both inspire your creativity and decorate your cards. We’ve been to this event a bunch of times over the years, and it’s always really well-organized and tons of fun. Plan to stay after to tour the exhibits, many of them interactive and interesting for all ages. Read a KFDC write-up about the museum.

Philippines Day
Where: KID Museum | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $12/child (2 adults included)

KID Museum and the Embassy of the Philippines are proud to present the Philippines Day and Ligligan Parul, the Filipino Festival of Light! Bring the entire family to build light-up projects, learn about textiles and woodworking, and enjoy Filipino food and performances. See the website for more details about activities!

Kwaanza Family Day
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free, but you must register!

Join the National Museum of African American History & Culture to learn about and celebrate Kwanzaa principles like unity, self-determination and creativity through family art projects, joyful music-making and engaging storytelling.  Kids can enjoy a story time with a museum educator, design and make their own quilt patch to tell a story about your family or community, learn the meaning of adinkra symbols and create a colorful adinkra collage, and enjoy music and movement while learning to play a djembe drum! Pre-registration is mandatory for this program.

The Nutcracker Ballet Family Day
Where: American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holidays with Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and the Washington Ballet! Join acclaimed Artistic Director Julie Kent as she shares behind-the-scenes stories about how the ballet company puts on their annual performance of The Nutcracker, then enjoy watching dancers perform highlights from this charming Christmas classic. Blending the magical score of Tchaikovsky with scenery that is unmistakably Washington, DC, the Washington Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker has become a must-see tradition. Make a winter-themed craft or go on a scavenger hunt, and indulge in a hot chocolate bar and other tasty treats for purchase from the Courtyard Café. (Note: We attended a similar event a few years ago, and it was such a treat to see the dancers perform literally 10 feet away from us in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard!) See more about the museum here. And after the program, plan to stop by the Downtown Holiday Market for a little browsing and holiday cheer.

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

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

Gifts That Give Hope Gift Fair
Where: Arlington Science Focus School | Arlington, VA
When: December 7, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

This Fair puts a new spin on gift-giving. The concept is simple: Make a donation to a locally-based nonprofits, personalize a Gifts That Give Hope greeting card for a loved one, and give that act of kindness as a gift. Thanks to generous shoppers, Gifts That Give Hope is supporting acts of kindness around our community and the world this holiday season. Kids can enjoy snacks, coloring, music and activities during the fair while you shop, including interactive demos brought to you by Coder Kids and hands-on cooking provided by Tiny Chefs.

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

ARTECHOUSE will debut this year’s holiday season exhibit on Saturday. Inspired by nature and powered by creative technology, the immersive installation promises to “transform you into a place where the aurora borealis is within reach and winter powers can be found by those who seek them.” At the gallery known for its beautiful interactive digital exhibts, you can shape frost, move light, and let the swirling colors of the northern lights and icy chill of winter spark your imagination. Family-friendly hours are 10am – 5pm. And, FYI: they are offering a 20% discount package for 2 adults + 2 children, Sundays through Thursdays. You can also get a deal through CertifiKid.

Creativity Workshop
Where: The Phillips Collection | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Admission: $18/adult & child, $15/members ($5/add person)

Let your creativity fly at the Phillips’ new art-making stations — it’s an art materials “petting zoo” for the whole family! The workshop includes an Artful Wellness Kit for parents and caregivers. Geared toward families with children ages 2 to 8.

Priya and the Lost Girls
Where: Merriweather Arts District | Downtown Columbia, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Join the Merriweather Arts District for the premiere of Priya and the Lost Girls, the third installment of Priya’s Shakti, a revolutionary interactive comic book series focusing on gender-equality issues.They’ll have tablets available to interact with Priya as she helps the women of Rahu take their power back. See . the website for details about free workshops for the community and more. Register here to take part in it all. Open to all ages.

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 Warner Theatre is DC tradition for audiences of all ages. You can also see one for littles on strings at The Puppet Co. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. 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 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays
Where: National Theatre | Downtown, DC
When: Through Sunday
Tickets: $54-114

Ring in the holidays with the mind-blowing spectacular THE ILLUSIONISTS – MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS, showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

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

* See Shakespeare Theatre Company’s version of Peter Pan and Wendy (find discounts)
* The Snow Queen is at Synetic Theatre (find discounts)
* Preposterous! A Happenstance Clown Circus leads this installment of InterAct Story Theatre’s Wheaton Family Theatre Series
* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center (review here, look for tickets here)
* Take the fam to a performance of Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre (find discounts)
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discounts)
* Make it a date night for Dear Jack Dear Louise at Arena Stage (find discounts)

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

For the 49th consecutive year, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will showcase 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 begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert, rain or shine. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

Santa Fly-In
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: December 7, 12-4pm
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.

Chanukah Havdalah in Pajamas
Where: Berman Hebrew Academy | Rockville, MD
When: December 7, 6:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Chanukah AND Havdalah in your pajamas with a festive singalong Havdalah service led by Rabbi Uri Topolosky, followed by stories, de-light-ful activities, crafts and snacks. Best for ages 2-8 though all ages are welcome. Please bring good-quality art supplies to be given as holiday gifts to children in shelters. This event is free and brought to you by PJ Library in Greater Washington, Berman Hebrew Academy, Kehilat Pardes and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

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

There’s holiday inspired fun to be had all over the area in all kinds of ways at every price point. See model trains buzz around model train stations at the US Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit. Experience the Magical Holiday Express at the B&O Railroad Museum. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. Check out Light Yards, the annual illuminated installation at Yards Park. Find details on all of these events and more are in the 2019 Holiday Guide.

Baltimore for a Buck
Where: Around Baltimore, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $1 or less!

In the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents their annual Dollar or Less Days this weekend when participating attractions will open their doors offering free or $1 admission! The Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery, National Aquarium, Historic Ships of Baltimore, America Visionary Arts Museum, Christmas Village, and more exciting places will be welcoming guests to take advantage. Go here for the full list of participating venues.

Children’s Holiday Wonderland Concert 
Where: Oakton High | 2900 Sutton Road, Oakton, VA
When: Saturday, 10am & 2pm
Admission: $7/advance, $10/at door

The band students of Oakton High want to share their love of music with children throughout the region. Enjoy an interactive holiday concert, specially crafted to keep kids interested and entertained. Listen, clap, and sing along to favorite holiday tunes. Children can create holiday crafts in the Wonderland Workshop. Adults can relax in the Cocoa Cafe and snap that special pic of their child at the Santa Photo Station. Child tickets include one craft and photo op with Santa. Additional crafts will be available for $2 each.  

Tunes 4 Tots
Where: ANXO Cidery | Brightwood, DC
When: Saturday, 10-10:30am
Admission: $10

Bring the kiddos to ANXO Cidery for some musical fun on Saturday morning. Tunes4Tots will be hosting classes there the first Saturday of the month for the next few months. And the restaurant is open to plan to enjoy some Pinxtos and cider, too!

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday, 4pm (gates open at 3)
Tickets: Free

Wolf Trap’s Holiday Sing-A-Long is an annual musical celebration hosting a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Parking is free, but limited, so plan on arriving early. Bring along a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots, a bell for a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” and a candle to join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.”

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

Celebrate the holidays and see the beautifully decorated boats pass by. Get into the spirit as you decorate cookies and craft your own boat. Warm up by the big fire pit and visit the lighted Christmas Tree. Take the kids ice skating, and adults can sample winter drinks at our Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden. Bring the whole fam to meet Santa and make memories during this annual DC tradition!

Alexandria Boat Parade of Lights

Where: Alexandria City Marina | Alexandria, VA
When: Saturday, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor will shine as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront for the 20th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2-8pm in Waterfront Park, including a Letters to Santa postcard station, a holiday craft activity, and a bookmark making station. At 3:30pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Where: Framebridge | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Santa Claus is coming to Framebridge! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the 14th Street store on Sunday. Join them to get a picture taken with Santa and have it framed for Christmas. Kids, adults, and pups are welcome! Your Santa photo can be framed with the purchase of any Framebridge frame, from Instagram-mini and beyond. Sign up to reserve a spot and make sure that Santa knows what’s on your Christmas list. Photos with Santa will be taken in the order guests arrive.

Storytime with Laura Gehl & An Open Book Foundation
Where: Kramerbooks | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 11am
Admission: Free

Author Laura Gehl will read her new picture book Except When They Don’t, as well as the first book in her popular Peep and Egg series, Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching. There will be games and crafts for kids, as well as the chance to purchase signed books as holiday gifts, or books to donate to An Open Book Foundation. Afterward, stop by the farmers’ market or take advantage of the Christmas tree sale happening just outside.

Great Latke Cookoff!
Where: Hill Center | Capitol Hill, DC
When: December 8, 2-3pm
Admission: $15/child, $35/family

Join the Hill Center for The Great Latke Cookoff! Mix, peel, cut, and fry (using kid-safe equipment and adult supervision!) to create delicious, sizzling, Chanukah Latkes. Test your cooking skills and have a blast! Space is limited, so make sure to save your spot! For safety, this event is geared for kids ages 6+. Adult admission is included in kid’s ticket.

Kidz Graffiti Party
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: Sunday, 12:30-2pm & 2-3:30pm
Admission: $15

Get messy like a street artist at an Art Jamz Kidz Graffiti Party! Children of all ages are invited to paint their very own masterpieces on the ArtJamz walls. The lounge will be open for accompanying parents and we they’ll be playing jamming tunes to inspire all the little artist. Afterwards, your family can purchase additional studio time and canvas and let your vision come to life off the wall.

Books, Babies and Booze
Where: Pie Shop DC | H Street NE
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

The First Ever (that they know of) national children’s book tour at kid-friendly breweries will be at Pie Shop!
Alex Kack #greenshirtguy will be the special guest doing an advanced reading of “Mommy Didn’t Say That.” (Their upcoming parody book for parents will be released in 2020. Author Allison McGill will read her book, “The Adventures of Duke, The Therapy Dog: Duke Finds A Home.” They’ll also have a Temporary Tattoo Station, Coloring Station, Play Area, and DIY photo booth for kids.Books are available for purchase and signed by the authors. (Wearing a green shirt and save $1.) And you can get pictures with special guest, Alex Kack!

Let There Be Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by location

Take a drive or a stroll through one of the many light displays in the area. The twinkling exhibits feature all kinds of delightful, festive scenes –holiday faves, animals, gardens, and the landscape illuminated in brilliant colors. You can find details for all of them in the 2018 Holiday Guide.

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

Get a dose of the outside world in the comfort of the warm indoors at a nature center. There are several great ones around the area that offer lots of cool exhibits along with fun programs. Buddie Ford Nature Center in Alexandria, Rock Creek in Northwest DC, Watkins in Upper Marlboro, MD, Potomac Overlook and Long Branch in Arlington, and Brookside in Wheaton all have live creatures, interesting exhibits, and hands-on activities. Check to see if any special programs are going on, too!

Out & About
Where: Around the DMZ
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

It looks like there will be sunshine to soak up this weekend, so bundle up and get outside! There are loads of ways to enjoy the outdoors around the area, no matter what the temps (and they won’t even by that bad this weekend). See The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids for ideas on where to have al fresco adventures.

* The 2019 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide has ideas for what to give peops of all ages at all price points (even free!), from theatre tickets to kids’ products to unique experiences to gifts that give back.
* If there’s any great time to start using Rakuten (formerly eBates), it’s now when you’re likely doing a lot of online shopping — you can get cash back for just about every purchase you make.
* Our whole family loved this dish.
* Not in the gift guide, but this could be ideal for someone who loves to read.
* My latest IG obsession.
* What an incredible treat this was…and this is awesome, too.
* A decade ❤️


December 5, 2019 · 5:10 pm

The Weekend Round-Up: November 29 – December 1

‘Tis the season at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Happy Weekend!

Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission:Varies by Locale

I love this initiative started by REI a few years ago. Skip the 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, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of inspiration for fun (hopefully) in the sun.

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

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s America’s Gardens exhibit is as lovely and whimsical as it is impressive. Get a glimpse of it before you go in this new post.

Native American Heritage Day: Family Fun Day
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Friday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

The museum’s unique family celebration of Native American Heritage Day showcases Native culture through interactive dancing, games, storytelling, hands-on activities and make-and-takes, as well as music and dance presentations. Join in recognizing the many contributions of Native Americans to all aspects of life in the United States. The program features the Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers throughout the day. (And if you haven’t seen a performance in the NMAI’s beautiful atrium (or even if you have), I highly recommend going — they are always so interesting and entertaining for all ages.)

Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $29-56

After all of that turkey, what’s better than a climb in the trees? Bring out-of-town relatives or just the fam to the Adventure Park for a day of navigating the ropes courses. There are 13 trails, 29 zip lines, 6 difficulty levels, and almost 200 challenge bridges — something for everyone! Read about one of our past experiences at the Adventure Park.

Visit While You Can
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $10/adult, $7/child for exhibits

Whether you explore the exhibits or hang out in the stunning Great Hall, this weekend is your last chance to spend time at the National Building Museum for a few months. It will close temporarily from December 2, 2019 to March 2020 while it undergoes repairs.

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 will enchant audiences of all ages. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. 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 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

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

* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) is at the Kennedy Center
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discount tix)
* The Great Zucchini is performing at Jammin Java on Saturday morning
* See Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* Source Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is recommended for tweens and up.
* Enjoy a performance of Amadeus at The Folger

The Muppet Christmas Carol Screening
Where: National Museum of American History | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 3:45pm
Admission: $10

The Muppet Christmas Carol, part of Smithsonian Theater’s Holiday Film Series, is guaranteed to put you in a holiday spirit that will stay with you forever. Enjoy the incredible spectacle of Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as Emily Crachit and Michael Caine as Scrooge.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $20/adult, $12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate. Just as the Washingtons celebrated the holiday with family and friends, visitors can start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon this holiday season.
The holidays are full of delight at George Washington’s estate. During the day, tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations, and meet Aladdin the Camel. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. So bring the entire family to the home of George and Martha Washington this holiday season. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Holly Trolley Holidays
Where: National Capitol Trolley Museum | Colesville, MD
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 (includes unlimited rides)

There are a few happenings at the Trolley Museum this winter. At the Winter Wonder Garden, see toy trains and street cars in an indoor winter village. Then on weekend from December 7-22, guests can ride with Santa on the street cars as well. And Winter in Washington, a special exhibit celebrating the season with street cars in the Nation’s Capital, will run through January 26.

Festival of Trees
Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds | Timonium, MD
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: $14/adult, $6/child, free/4 & under

Kick off the holiday season by welcoming Santa Claus to a winter wonderland at the annual Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees! The East Coast’s largest holiday-themed festival will return to the Maryland State Fairgrounds with decorated trees, a gingerbread town, shopping, breakfast with Santa, endless holiday activities, and non-stop entertainment for children of all ages!

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

This weekend is the start of even more big holiday events around DC and the continuation of others. If you hope to hit ‘em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC.

Small Business Saturday
Where: Around the DMV
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.

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

Join the museum for this month’s Weekend Walk-in, a hands-on, drop-in, art-making workshop in the AVAM classroom! During this session, bring new life to recycled and found objects and create a reclaimed robot! Supplies & boundless inspiration provided. Read more about the wonderful American Visionary Art Museum here.

Story Time on Kindness
Where: Hirshhorn Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Sunday, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

This weekend’s Story Time at the Hirshhorn explores kindness. Look at the work For Freedoms by Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, a reimagining of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms. After a reading of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, kids can stay and make their own artwork to take home. Of course, plan for time to tour the museum, too!

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

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

Book Signing and Drawing Demo
Where: Politics & Prose | Rockville, MD
When: Sunday, 5pm (doors open 4:30pm)
Admission: Free

Jan Brett, one of America’s most beloved children’s author/artists, will be at Politics and Prose at Johns Hopkins University Gilchrist Hall in Montgomery County for a drawing demonstration and signing of her new book, The Tale of the Tiger Slippers. Brett is a master of bringing the wonders of nature and culture to generations of children, parents, and teachers.  Her meticulous, whimsical art is inspired by her thorough research of the flora, fauna, and local cultures throughout the Americas, the Arctic, Europe, Africa  and Asia. Join her for this event and help celebrate her 70th birthday!

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

Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. The popular and free ZooLights begins this weekend (FYI: the DC Circulator is offering special weekend shuttle service to ZooLights from the Woodley Park Metro for just $1/ride! Several parks and gardens in the area have also transformed into a 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.

* There’s still time to enter the giveaways for tickets to The Illusionists at National Theatre and Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre.
* Go, Sascha Baron Cohen.
* TodayTix Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have started, and they’re offering up to 60% off theater tickets for a variety of show in DC!
* KiwiCo has a great sale right now on their ever-popular activity boxes for kids.
* Everyone should read this book.

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

The Weekend Round-Up: November 22-24

Enjoying the season at Huntley Meadows Park

Happy Weekend!

Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20-34/adult, $17-27/age 14-17, $15-25/age 4-13

This highly anticipated 90,000 square foot Christmas Light Maze opens on Friday and will run through the holiday season. There’s an adventure to it: As you explore the illuminated wonderland, you’ll help Santa find his reindeer before Christmas Eve. Held at Nationals Park, Enchant Christmas will also feature an ice skating trail, live entertainment, food and drink, a Christmas market and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Look for a discount on admission here.

Becoming Jane
Where: National Geographic Museum | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $12/seniors & students, free/5 & under

This exhibit about Dr. Jane Goodall that I first mentioned last month opens on Friday and will run through the summer. In this hands-on, transportive multimedia exhibition celebrating her extraordinary life and work, you’ll explore her early years through iconic images and a multiscreen experience and venture on a 3D exploration of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park, where she did her famous behavioral research on chimps. You’ll also see a life-size hologram of Dr. Goodall, enter a replica of her research tent, and learn about her current role as a leader in community-centered conservation and youth empowerment. And before you leave, you will find out what you can do today to make a positive impact in the world.

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

To me, this is the holiday market in DC, and it opens for the season on Friday. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items — I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. 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 the backdrop to the market.

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

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 27th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

Autumn Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Fall is still bringing splendid colors and crisp, cool weather, so get out and enjoy it while you can! There are a bunch of great ways to do just that around the area. This post has 10 awesome recommendations for where to go.

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

The streets are being overrun with turkeys, dinosaurs, penguins, and reindeer! No, the zoo hasn’t opened their gates — it’s the Annual Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade! With marching bands an Latin dancing groups, floats, giant characters and balloons, and over 120 units, the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade is the only Thanksgiving Parade in the metro DC area. Held in downtown Silver Spring, the exciting parade 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.

Sensory Friendly Screening: Frozen II
Where: Regal Rockville Center Stadium | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10:30am
Admission: $6.50

Catch a Sensory-Friendly Screening of Frozen II on Saturday morning. The newest My Way Matinee from Regal gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie once a month with the sound turned down and the lights turned up. Watch the trailer for the movie here.

Open Studio: Make Your Own Japanese Scroll
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Join the Museum of Asian Art for the opening weekend of Hokusai: Mad about Painting with free family-friendly activities. Drop-in anytime to learn the basics of painting on a scroll. A teaching artist then helps you to make your own colorful scroll. Follow a scavenger hunt to explore artworks large and small by Hokusai. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Fall Bazaar
Where: Washington Waldorf School | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

For 50 years, the Washington Waldorf School has been offering one of the highest quality bazaars in the DC area. The Bazaar has unique crafts and activities for children of all ages, including woodcraft, felt craft, candle making, plus and many fun games. They welcome many local artisans and offer an array of beautiful handcrafted items made by parents. There will also be live entertainment, coffee, delicious baked goods to munch on while you shop, and a delicious organic lunch for you to sit and enjoy. Entrance is free, but activities require tickets to be purchased. All are welcome!

Boolean Girl Workshop
Where: Ritz-Carlton | Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday, 3-6pm
Admission: $20/student

Is your daughter aged 8-13 interested in STEM, or maybe you’re looking to inspire them? Then sign them up for this coding and electronics workshop. It’s hosted by Boolean Girl, an Arlington-based nonprofit whose mission is bringing diversity to tech by teaching girls, non-binary individuals, and under-represented groups to code and build electronics. Along with hands-on learning (and fun), participants will have the opportunity to meet female role models working in the tech and engineering industries. An adult is required to stay with the child in attendance.

The Enchanted Forest
Where: Sheraton Hotel | Pentagon City, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15/child, $10/adult

The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual Enchanted Forest returns! Stroll through the whimsical forest of theme decorated trees available for silent auction, while enjoying live entertainment, holiday crafts, breakfast and photos with Santa, Holiday tea, plus a cocktail reception and dancing.

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

With so many ways to celebrate the holidays around the area, you may as well get started early, so you can enjoy all those you want. Shows and special events that embrace — and emit — holiday cheer have begun. Start your holiday shopping, stroll or drive through a light display, visit Santa, and much, much more. The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC has ALL you need to help make the season merry and bright.

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

Drop in at the Portrait Gallery to listen to a story and create art inspired by someone in the collection — this weekend features Sitting Bull. When you’re done there, pick up a Portrait Discovery Kit to explore the museum (and the American Art Museum housed in the same building). For more about the program and gallery, see this post about a past experience and this one with scenes from another visit.

Watch the Wizards
Where: Capitol One Arena | Penn Quarter, DC
When: Friday & Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Wizards are playing on home court on Friday and Sunday evenings. See them work their magic on the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings. Plan on dinner in Penn Quarter before or after — there are plenty of family-friendly places to go in the neighborhood. Some recs: Jaleo, Camine’s, Oyamel, Shake Shack, and Pi Pizzeria.

Family Look-In: The Magic Flute
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Tickets: $15-50

In this introduction to opera designed for children and families, audience members will experience excerpts from The Magic Flute along with insight into the behind-the-scenes aspects such as lighting, scene changes, costuming, and more that go into creating stage magic. A whimsical production designed by children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak sets a playful landscape for this enchanting fairy tale. Join handsome prince Tamino and his silly sidekick Papageno as they set out on a fantastic journey to rescue the kidnapped Pamina in this special opera exploration. Recommended for ages 5+.

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

* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical) opens at the Kennedy Center this weekend
* Reserve free tickets for Pinot and Augustine, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Enjoy NSO Music for Young Audiences: Peter and Friends at the Kennedy Center
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage (find discount tix)
* See Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* Little theatre-goers will love Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* The Great Zucchinin is performing at Jammin Java on Saturday morning
* Source Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is recommended for tweens and up.
* Enjoy a performance of Amadeus at The Folger
* Make it a date night for John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons at National Theatre

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! A production of The Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages this weekend. Enjoy a classic with The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage. 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 2019 Guide to the Holiday Season.

Superhero Family Yoga
Where: Yoga District | Bloomingdale, DC
When: Sunday, 3pm
Admission: $22.69

Join yoga teacher and mom, Ari through a fun filled 45- minute yoga class with your child/children! The class is appropriate for children ages 4 and up and will include all levels of vinyasa poses, opportunities for partner yoga, and a relaxing savasana meditation at the end. All children must attend with at least one parent or guardian. Adults pay at the workshop rate and children may attend for free with at least one accompanying caregiver. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins. Save your spot here and watch the video here to learn more about the family yoga practice.

Get Your Skate On
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

It’s ice skating season, and just about all outdoor rinks (and indoor, too) around the area are welcoming folks to glide the day — and night — away! Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; circle the rink at Washington Harbor; meander the frozen path at Canal Park; or do some holiday shopping then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on alfresco (and indoor) ice skating options in the area.

Insider Info
Where: Around the DMV
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors because of weather, or you just want more options for activities around town, this list has over 100 suggestions for things to do!

* Immigrant Food sounds pretty great.
* Which candidate agrees with you most?
* In case you need something to feed your ” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>wanderlust.
* Who says you have to leave the city to go camping?
* The latest KFDC giveaway offers a chance to win admission to the Merriweather Symphony of Lights!
* Levi and the kids just got me this for my birthday, and it is AH-mazing!


Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Fall, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up:
November 15-17

Happy Weekend!

Harry Potter Nerf Night
Where: Badlands | Rockville, MD
When: Friday, 5:30-8pm
Admission: $30/kid

Accio all Wizards and Witches: It’s a magical night for the Quidditch World Cup as the Houses of Gryffindor and Slytherin compete for victory! You bring your robe and wand, and they’ll bring the snitch.
Costumes and wands encouraged! Kids tickets include a pizza party. Muggles (adults) are free and even get a complimentary beer tasting.

Bye Bye, Bei Bei
Where: National Zoo | Woodley Park, DC
When: Through November 18
Admission: Free

Say goodbye to Bei Bei, the beloved giant panda, before his move to China. There are special events and activities at the zoo to help wish him a fond farewell. Write a postcard with your well-wishes, make a friendship + good luck bracelet, watch zoo staff give him special Smithsonian-themed enrichment and treats, and join a Q&A with a keeper. Of course, you can visit even more animals while you’re there.

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

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions this weekend should be perfect for outdoor ice skating. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, Canal Park, and Washington Harbor Ice Rinks are open or opening for the season, and most other local rinks are welcoming skaters to glide the day — and night — away. This post has details on all of them (and indoor venues, too), including bonus activities while you’re there.

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

The cold weather this week may have had you thinking fall is over. But there’s still some autumn left in the area, and there are a bunch of great ways to enjoy it. This post has 10 great recommendations for where to go (that aren’t farm festivals.)

Fossil Fest
Where: Natural History Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Gather your friends and family and get ready for a fun, fossil-filled day in Q?rius! Learn about the tools and research techniques experts use to unearth the facts about prehistoric ecosystems and life long ago. Explore the world of paleontology by meeting scientists and paleontology staff to get a behind-the-scenes look into their work. Experience the field yourself through virtual reality, handling 3D fossil prints, or by sifting for and identifying fossils YOU can uncover at our hands-on learning stations! Find something for everyone in your family to enjoy, from arts and crafts and mask making to film shorts, and much more. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

Family Art Day
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the museum for a variety of activities, including storytelling, sketching, exploring materials, and fun for all ages! This program will take place in the East Building. FYI: from 9-10am, programming is available for children with sensory processing disorders and their families. To sign up for early entry, contact [email protected] or (202) 842-6905.

Nao Santa María
Where: The Wharf – Market Pier | Southwest DC
When: Through November 17, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child, $25/family (up to 5)

Take a trip back in time with The Wharf! Board the historic Santa María, a faithful replica of the Spanish galleons used in the time of Columbus, docking at Market Pier from through Sunday, November 17. Learn the fascinating history of these ocean crossing vessels. Built in Spain in the tradition of the nao ships of the 16th century, the vessel weighs 200 tons and is nearly 100 feet long. Tours will be conducted daily, and discounts are available for school groups and families.

Blackfeet Nation Tribal Festival
Where: American Indian Museum | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday,
Admission: Free

Learn about the Blackfeet Nation and the many aspects unique to Blackfeet culture through this two-day festival. The Blackfeet Reservation, located in northwestern Montana along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, is home one of the 10 largest tribes in the United States, with more than 17,000 enrolled members. Blackfeet artists, performers, historians and culture bearers will share demonstrations and performances throughout the festival weekend.

The Velveteen Rabbit
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $20.50

It’s opening weekend for the classic tale being brought to life on the Adventure Theatre stage. Margery Williams’s beloved toy story gets a vibrant retelling in this brand new adaptation. When the Child gets the Rabbit for Christmas, she is at first disappointed in her gift. But as the two quest and adventure through her storybooks, both Rabbit and Child grow and care for each other. And they discover that love is the greatest force in the Universe and can make impossible things Real. (Psst: Get tickets for $5 for the 11/15 show through TodayTix!)

Rent 20th Anniversary Tour
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $54 – $117 (look for discounts)

The Broadway hit is in DC on its 20th Annoversary Tour. And if you’re wondering whether it holds up after all these years, I think that Rent is at an all time high. The performances are brilliant, delivered with passion and grit; the music is still stirring; and its themes of life and love and friendship resonate as deeply as ever. Recommended for ages 13+.

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

* Reserve free tickets the Thumbelina, this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Join the Disney Junior Holiday Party at the Warner Theatre on Sunday (find discount tix)
* Groove to Baby Beats with Max and Root, two beat boxing dads at The Atlas
* Let Newsies entertain you at Arena Stage
* Circo Comedia brings thrills, comedy, stunts, magic, and eccentricity to the Hylton Performing Arts Center
* Creative Cauldron presents The Jungle Book (find discount tix)
* See Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* Little theatre-goers will love Inside Out at Imagination Stage
* No lie, Pinocchio is at The Puppet Co.
* And Baby Bear’s Birthday is the featured Tiny Tots show there on Sunday
* Oran Etkin is playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin Java
* Source Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is recommended for tweens and up.
* Enjoy a performance of Amadeus at The Folger

Nibble+Squeak Tykesgiving Feast
Where: The Line Hotel | Adams Morgan, DC
When: Saturday, 11:30 am – 1:30pm
Admission: $20/child, $95-125/adult

Join Nibble+Squeak DC, the community “parents with pipsqueaks” who love to eat, at A Rake’s Progress for a festive and autumnal “Tykesgiving” feast! The family-style meal of local and seasonal flavors will kick off your Thanksgiving festivities as James Beard Award–winning chef Spike Gjerde cooks what he sources from Mid-Atlantic farms and waters. Sip on an expertly paired wine while your pipsqueaks partake in a post-meal turkey day singalong by local children’s musician, Corrine Zmoos.

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

With so many ways to celebrate the holidays around the area, you may as well get started early, so you can enjoy all those you want. Shows and special events that embrace — and emit — holiday cheer have begun. Start your holiday shopping, stroll or drive through a light display, visit Santa, and much, much more. The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC has ALL you need to help make the season merry and bright.

Flight Fest
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: Saturday, 12-4
Admission: $25.95/adult, $19.95/age 3-12

Let imaginations soar at the Maryland Science Center during Flight Fest! Get up close with airplanes and birds and learn about the science of aerodynamics and wings. Participate in aeronautic challenges and test out your own flying contraptions. Enjoy all of the ongoing exhibits and offerings while you’re there — museum hours are 10am – 6pm. Read more about the Maryland Science Center in this KFDC post.

Arts & Crafts & Storytime
Where: House of Sweden | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Bring children ages 3-10 to the House of Sweden for activities just for them! From 12-3pm, they can express themselves through art in special workshops — attendees are set up with everything they need to participate. (Note: This will also take place on October 12, November 2, and November 16). Then at 3pm, experience Swedish children’s literature (in English). And while you’re there, tour the photo exhibition ‘Swedish Dads,’ portraits 45 fathers who have chosen to stay at home with their children for at least six months.

Model Trains and Thomas
Where: Historic Vienna Train Station | Vienna, VA
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free (donations accepted)

Chug on down to 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. It’s a great family fun and activity for the young and young at heart. The Station is at 231 Dominion Road NE, Vienna, VA along the W&OD trail just past the Caboose.

Groovy Nate & Cider
Where: Capitol Cider House | Brookland, DC
When: Sunday, 10:30-11:30am
Admission: $5

Catch some entertainment especially for kids at a place that usually caters to adults! Capitol Cider House is a family friendly cider that presents children’s shows every Sunday, and this weekend its Groovy Nate, a children’s entertainer and Wolf Trap Teaching Artist who creates fun and educational shows using exotic musical instruments and puppet skits— a la Sesame Street meets Parliament/Funkadelic, meshed with The Electric Company, Kraftwerk, and Dub Reggae. Doors open at 10am. Tickets required for all ages. All adult ticket holders will be able to enjoy our normal weekday happy hour — $4 pours of house cider, $5 craft beer, $6 local wine & $7 cocktails – from 10am-noon.

Park It in Fairfax
Where: Parks in Fairfax County, VA
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Fairfax County Park Authority hosts all kinds of events on weekends for guests of all ages. Ride the Turkey Train at Lake Fairfax. Join a Princess tea party. Take an early evening tour of Burke Lake. Details and registration links for these and more activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

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

It might be cooling down, but the weather will still be good for getting out, so take advantage with some time on the trail. Peep the 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.

* The 2019 KFDC Holiday Guide was just posted, so you can start planning for a merry and bright holiday season!
* There’s still a few days to enter the giveaway for a chance to win tickets to The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre!
* If you have a daughter age 8-13 who is interested in STEM, check out this upcoming workshop from Boolean Girl.
* Looking for thinsg to read, listen to, and watch? My friend, Darcy, always has the best recommendations. (PS: She’s also an amazing photographer.)
* We’re in the market for a new mattress, and I am so curious about the Casper. Has anyone tried it?
* Kind of random, but I love this show on Netflix.


Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Maryland, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend