Tag Archives: National Capitol Trolley Museum

The Weekend Round-Up: November 25-27

A recent frolic at the National Arboretum, one of our very faves


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and has emerged from the food comas unscathed, because this is a weekend to relish.  Not only is it an extra long one, but we get to it enjoy it amid blue skies, sunshine, and unseasonably comfortable temps.  This will bode will for the many events and activities happening at outdoor locales, several holiday-themed ones among them.  And if you’d rather shed the jackets at an indoor venue or you’re not quite in holiday mode, these recommended pursuits cover those preferences, too (just scroll to the end after the first rec).  Here’s where you can find it all over the next three days.  Happy Weekend!

Nights at the MuseumIf you’re making the rounds at the museums on the National Mall, save Natural History and American History for last. The two Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours through the weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Hit the Rink – It’s going to be perfect weather for outdoor ice skating these next couple of says, so lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, or Reston Town Center.  This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.

Harbor Lights FestivalThe kick-off of the National Harbor’s annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Light Show begins this evening at 5pm. Watch as the tree is illuminated in a spectacular display of colorful twinklers, listen to live music in National Harbor Plaza, and enjoy festivities throughout the evening. If you can’t make it tonight, you can catch the gleaming extravaganza every half hour until 10pm nightly through the season .

Alexandria Tree LightingCelebrate the city’s official start to the holiday season in Old Town’s Market Square this evening from 7-9pm. Along with the tree lighting, entertainment will include a visit from Santa, a performance of Santa’s Frosty Follies by the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

Holly Trolley FestThe National Capitol Trolley Museum in Silver Spring is hosting its first weekend of special holiday exhibits on Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm.  Along with the regular museum experience, guests can ride the streetcars with Santa and see the trains display in the Christmas Garden. Admission is $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17 and includes unlimited rides.  Admission without rides is $4.

ZooLightsSee the National Zoo in a whole new light, literally, as thousands of environmentally friendly lights and animal exhibits transform the park into a holiday wonderland. Along with the lights, there will an “iceless” skating rink, train rides for kids, train displays, and more.  Admission is free, but activities cost extra — $5/skate, $2/skate rentals, $3/train rides. Open Friday through Sunday from 5-9pm (and more dates later this season).

Holidays, Oh HolidaysThere’s way more DC holiday fun to be had — Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Christmas on the Potomac, Christmas at Mount Vernon, wonderful train and light displays – and much of it begins this weekend.  For the complete rundown on all of them, see this post about the best holiday events of the season.

‘Twas the Night Before ChristmasAdventure Theatre’s latest production following the wild adventures of a mouse, and elf, and a spunky little girl is a perfect holiday show for the whole family. We caught it last weekend (review on the way), and found it a delight from beginning to end.  Tickets are $18 and still available for shows on Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re night quite ready to usher in the holiday hoopla, check out these posts for tried and true recreation:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

Groupon: Get the Best Deal in Your City Today!

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Filed under Annual, Christmas, DC, Educational, Festival, Free, Gradeschoolers, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Play, Preschoolers, Preteens, Seasonal, Sports, Theatre, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekend

Celebrate Black History Month

Today marks the start of Black History Month, and there are many area programs and events happening over the next few weeks to celebrate it.  Here’s a round-up of them, some starting as soon as today.  Most descriptions are straight from the websites, and I’ll add to the list as I learn about more.

Black History Month at Mount Vernon
There will be several special highlights from February 1 – 28 in observance of Black History Month at Mount Vernon.  Every day from 10am – 12pm at the slave quarters, interpreters will focus on the lives and contributions of the slaves who built and operated the plantation home of George and Martha Washington. A wreathlaying and presentation will occur daily at the slave memorial site at 12pm.  And at 1pm, the Slave Life at Mount Vernon tour will explore the lives and contributions of the slaves who lived at the Estate. Black History Month activities are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/children ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

American I AM: The African American Imprint
At the National Geogrpahic Museum, take a journey through trials and triumphs while exploring nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the economic, political, cultural, and spiritual development of the United States. Bear witness to more than 200 poignant artifacts from the dungeon doors of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana to Prince’s guitar.  The exhibit will run from February 2 – May 1.  Admission is $12/adults, $6/children ages 2-12.  Open daily from 9am – 5pm.

Black History Month 2011 Family Day Celebration
On Saturday, February 5, the whole family is invited to the Smithsonian’s kickoff celebration of Black History Month at the National Museum of American History. The day includes the award-winning interactive theatrical presentation “Join the Student Sit-Ins,” performances by the Washington Performing Arts Society, tours of the exhibition The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey — Where Art and History Intersect, the debut of an American Girl self-guided Civil War family tour (“Addy’s World”), and many interactive activities to celebrate family and heritage.  The event runs from 11:30am – 5pm.

Play Date with Pride
Culture Kingdom Kids, a mobile cultural arts program that produces children’s events with a cultural twist, presents Play Date with Pride on Saturday February 5 at the Alexandria Black History Museum. Celebrate Black History Month at this interactive workshop for children ages 5 to 12. Enjoy hands-on creative arts such as storytelling, crafts, and music and dance activities. Parents must accompany children. The event runs from 1 – 2:30pm. Reservations recommended.

Segragation Aboard Streetcars
The National Capitol Trolley Museum will present this special exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of February in observance of Black History Month.  Located in Colesville, MD, the museum is open weekends from 12 – 5pm.  Admission including unlimited trolley rides is $7/adults, $5/ages 2-17, and  $4/all ages without rides.

African American Pioneers in Aviation
The National Air & Space Museum invites visitors to meet famed African American pilots from World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, who fought discrimination both at home and abroad; talk to Museum experts; and participate in hands-on activities, and story time. This event occurs twice – first at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles on Saturday, February 5, then again at the museum on the National Mall on February 12. Both are free and run from 10am – 3pm.

Black History Month Stamp Collecting
On Saturday, February 12, celebrate Black History Month at the National Postal Museum by making your own stamp collection featuring prominent African Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. After making your collection, be sure to see the Negro Leagues Baseball Stamp exhibition. Drop in between 11am and 2pm to participate in this free program.

Black History at Rock Creek Park
Several days throughout the month, Rock Creek Park is offering programs that explore black history, including “Through a Slave’s Eyes” on February 5 and “Sounds of Black Georgetown” on February 12.  Check the website for complete details.

Portrait Story Days: Rosa Parks
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery’s weekly program to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. in observance of Black history Month, this week guests can learn about Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks. This free program runs from 1 – 4pm.


Filed under All ages, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Museums, Ongoing, Weekend, Winter