Tag Archives: Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Welcome Winter this Weekend

Who's ready for a snowball fight?

So, it’s not yet officially winter (and the photo is actually from last year), but I just couldn’t pass up the alliteration opportunity.  Besides, the weather we’ve put up with lately isn’t exactly the picture of autumn. But many of this weekend’s events embrace the winter spirit – holiday exhibits, Christmas performances, and seasonal celebrations. Here’s where you can find them, plus a few more non-winter pursuits.  Happy Weekend!

Trains, Planes, & Holiday CheerThe College Park Aviation Museum’s annual holiday exhibit opens tomorrow, December 18, showcasing mini locomotives, villages, tunnels, and depots that spark the imagination and bring history to life.  And the museum’s collection of historic aircraft and other flight-related displays will fascinate even more. Admission is $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free/children under 2.  The Aviation Museum is located at 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive in College Park.  For other train and light exhibits in the area, check out this post.

National Christmas Tree – Bundle up and head to the Ellipse to see The National Christmas Tree close up and check out other holiday treats.  Visit Santa’s Workshop, watch model trains zip around the tree, and see the Nativity scene and Yule Log.  Choir performances take place on weekends from 4 – 8:30pm.  The Pathway of Peace around the tree is lit daily until 11pm, but Santa’s workshop has limited hours.

Holiday Classics on the Big ScreenThe AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring is running The Muppet Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story starting today through Thursday, December 23.  Visit the website for showtimes and tickets.

Seasonal Shows on the Stage All of the classics are at our local theatres.  See this post for details on where you and the kids can see your favorites.

Childrens Tea Party & Storytelling – The Textile Museum is hosting its monthly Arts for Families program on Saturday. Guests can enjoy tea and tasty treats as they listen to readings from Tales Told in Tents: Stories from Central Asia by Sally Pomme Clayton. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera to snap photos of their kids trying on Turkmen clothing as they learn about life in the lands of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The progam is free and recommended for kids ages 4 to 12. There are two seatings, at 2pm and 3pm.  The Textile Museum is located at 2320 S Street NW.

Family Christmas ConcertThe Kennedy Center isn’t a bad place to spend a Saturday afternoon.  The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents a Family Christmas Concert: The Night Before Christmas, a theatrical concert for audiences of all ages. For more information, see this post.  (Note: the Goldstar deal has expired, but regular-priced tickets are still available through the Kennedy Center.)

Mount Vernon by Candlelight Sunday evening is your last chance for an evening Christmas tour at George Washington’s estate (the Saturday evening tour is sold out). Join “Mrs. Washington” for candlelit tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies.  Characters from the 18th-century will lead tours through the old house, and music and holiday shopping will take place in the more modern buildings.  Admission is $10/adults, $14/kids 11 and under. Hours are 5pm – 8:30pm.

Elmo’s Healthy HeroesTickets are still available for the Sesame Street Live! show at the Patriot Center this weekend.  For details on times and tickets, check out this post from a few days ago.

Christmas Stories at the American Art MuseumOn Saturday, celebrate “the most wonderful time of year” with dramatic readings from a selection of holiday favorites, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicolas, and Francis P. Church’s Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.  The free activity is related to the exhibit “Telling Stories: Normal Rockwell from the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg,” so be sure to take a tour of it while you’re there. The free program starts at 2pm.  The American Art Museum is located at 8th and F Streets NW.

Winter Solstice Festival – The Winter Solstice is nearly upon us.  Celebrate the days getting longer at Cabin John Regional Park on Sunday, December 19, from 2:30 – 4:30. Guests can make their own luminaries, walk celestial spirals, learn to spin fire, and discover ancient customs and superstitions surrounding this magical time of the solar year.  Festivities will include hot cider and traditional treats around a blazing bonfire under the Great Sycamore and end with families preparing a sky lantern to bring back the light.  All ages are invited, and cost is $5.

National Geographic Exhibits – Take shelter from the cold and check out a couple of great exhibits.  Geckos: Tails to Toepads and Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life are fascinating for all ages. Read a review of both here.  Admission to Geckos is $7/adults, $4/children under 12, and the Wild Music exhibit is free.  The National Geographic Museum is located at 1145 17th Street NW.

Smithsonian Exhibits – Not that you need a reminder about all of the wonderful free museums on the Mall and in few other parts of the city, but if you want a daily schedule to help plan for storytime at Air & Space, tarantula feedings at Natural History, or animal encounters at the Zoo, then check out this calendar listing children’s activities this weekend.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Movies, Museums, Music, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend, Winter

Thankful for the Weekend

Sasha digs the trains at the U.S. Botanic Garden

When it comes to family recreation in Washington, we have plenty to be thankful for, especially as the holiday season gets underway.  Here’s what’s happening around town this weekend — including new and ongoing events, holiday-themed and just plain ol’ fun activities – starting with links to previously posted ideas, then some new recommendations.

Holiday Train and Light Displays

Holiday Performances – If you’re thinking about buying tickets for any shows, I recommend checking Goldstar.com for possible deals first.

Keller Williams Concert for Kids

National Geographic Museum Exhibits (World Animal Day is over, but this post includes a review of the exhibits)

Grand Canyon Adventure IMAX

Christmas at Mount Vernon
The special daytime holiday program at George Washington’s homestead includes 12 Christmas trees, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations (and tastings!), and 18th-century dancing.  Guests will also have the chance to tour the rarely opened third floor of the mansion to learn how the first First Family celebrated Christmas.  And outside, Alladin the camel and the National Thanksgiving Turkey (recently pardoned by President Obama) will be on view as well.  Admission is $15/adults, $7/kids 6-11, free for children 5 and under.  Hours are 9am – 4pm for the daytime program.  The event runs throgh January 6.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight
More festivities at Mount Vernon carry on into the evenings; however, they are separate from the daytime Christmas program.  Join “Mrs. Washington” for candlelit tours, fireside caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies.  Characters from the 18th-century will lead tours through the old house, and music and holiday shopping will take place in the more modern buildings.  Admission is $10/adults, $14/kids 11 and under.  The regular daytime general admission does not cover the evening event. Hours are 5pm – 8:30pm.  The event runs on select evenings through December 19, check the website for the exact schedule.

Alexandria Tree Lighting
Welcome the holiday season in Old Town Alexandria this evening at the city’s 2010 Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Mayor Euille will be on hand to help kick off the festivities, Santa’s Frosty Folllies will bring the musical entertainment, and Santa himself will be there for visits with children.  The ceremony begins at 7pm at the Market Square – 301 King Street.  Be sure to stick aorund after the tree lighting for a community sing-along.

Harbor Lights Festival
Another tree lighting will be happening this evening at the National Harbor, and kids can start getting ready for it at the National Children’s Museum earlier in the day.  From 2pm – 7pm today, the museum’s Launch Zone invites children to enjoy holiday art projects to help deck the halls.  More festivities – food sampling, shopping, crafts, face painting, music — will begin at 5pm, and the actual treet lighting will take place in the National Habor Plaza at 8pm with a fireworks show following at 8:30pm.  Both the Launch Zone activiity and Festival are free.

Snow White, Red Rose (and Fred)
Tickets are still available for the re-imagined Brothers Grimm tale that opens at the Kennedy Center today.  Check out this post for more info, though the deal is no longer available.  The show runs through December 19.  Tickets are $18.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Christmas, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Music, Ongoing, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend, Winter