Tag Archives: November 2020

Five Things for Today: November 30, 2020



1. If you’re looking for Chanukah events this year, there still are some happening both virtually and safely in person, including the annual National Menorah Lighting, a virtual carnival, an online story time,  and a Chanukah Drive-Thru Experience.  Tickets/registration are required for some — details/links are in the KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC.


2.  It’s conveniently rainy on this Cyber Monday, which is perfect for hanging inside doing some online shopping.  You can even find deals on some of the items listed in the Holiday Gift Guide. (And, FYI, there are some new/extra options from suggestions I received and where items nearly sold out.)


3. I made a few recs for kids books in the gift guide, but the New York Times has a nice round-up of gift books for children that adults will love, worth checking out.


4. All of The Office Christmas episodes ranked.


5.  News that calls for some special emojis: This and this. 🙌 👏 💪



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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia

The Weekend Round-Up: November 27-29


Happy Weekend!


Where: Around the DMV
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 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 tons of inspiration for fun in the sun.

Family Bike Ride
Where: National Mall to Kennedy Center
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

Here’s a nice family bike ride: Head down the National Mall, around the Lincoln Memorial, down Pkwy Drive to the Rock Creek Trail that runs along the Potomac.  You’ll come to a pedestrian bridge that leads to the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center. There, you can explore the beautiful outdoor area with stretches of green grass and pretty plantings, art sculptures, fountains, and the beautifully designed buildings. Plan to shop the Winter Holiday Market at Victura Park and enjoy a bite and drink from the cafe. You can also take a stroll on the Kennedy Center Terrace and through the Grand Foyer inside.

Victura Park Winter Holiday Market
Where: The REACH | Kennedy Center, DC
When: Friday, 4-8pm, Saturday 12–9pm, & Sunday 12-8pm.
Admission: Free

Victura Park, the pop-up wine car on the grounds of The REACH at the Kennedy Center, transforms into a festive Holiday Market starting this weekend. The outdoor market will feature an amazing line up of local artists, craftspersons, and other specialized vendors, including the Kennedy Center Gift Shop pop-up shop. Support small businesses by purchasing gifts, prepackaged treats, and one-of-a-kind artworks for the perfect holiday celebration. Sip on seasonal classics such as spiked cider and hot cocoa or choose from the signature menu of beer and wine, light snacks, and delicious food hot from the grill.

More Two-Wheel Adventures
Where: Around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

There are even more great routes to ride all around the area, and this weekend will be a nice one to enjoy them. Take in the fall scenery, get some exercise, and have fun — all while easily social distancing. This post has a bunch of pedal-worthy recs, with something for riders of all levels, and this recently posted route is ideal for the whole crew.

Lighting of the Wharf Tree
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Kick off the holiday season at The Wharf as they officially light their Christmas tree and transform the waterfront into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Bring the family for photos by to the 45-foot pine tree on District Pier, then enjoy dinner together at one of the many restaurants. End your evening by roasting s’mores around the firepit at Camp Wharf!

Recreation on Ice
Where: A few locations in the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink

With sunny skies and cool temps in the forecast, conditions this weekend should be great for outdoor ice skating. While some places are not opening for the season, the ice rinks at  Pentagon Row and Reston Town Center  are two that are once again welcoming skaters to glide the day — and night — away. And the Color Burst Ice Rink at the Merriweather District in Columbia, MD, just started its inaugural skating season. All rinks have Covid precautions in place for safe, socially distanced skating.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Where: Mount Vernon Estate, Museum, & Gardens
When: Through December 31, 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. It’s open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Years. There are also Candlelight Tours on select dates, plus even more seasonal activities — visit the website for details.

Season’s Greetings
Where: Hillwood Estate | Northwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Suggested donation $18/adult, $5/child, free/under 6

Hillwood remains a safe way to enjoy the holiday splendor with precautionary measures in place. Enjoy time outside as the gardens reveal another aspect of their ever-changing beauty during the holiday season. The gardens, as revealed in the publication A Garden for All Seasons: Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood, are the inspiration for glamorous Christmas trees and festive décor across the estate.

Holiday Movies at The Wharf: Home Alone
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: Friday, Saturday, & Srnday, 2pm & 6pm
Admission: $60

Join The Wharf throughout this holiday season for a pop-up outdoor movie theatre on Transit Pier where you can enjoy all the Christmas classics from your private firepit in front of a 20′ LED screen. They’re showing all the best holiday classics — this weekend it’s Home Alone— at 2pm and 6pm showtimes. In advance of the event, reserve your fire pit, which seats up to four people. Drinks (both hard and soft) and snacks are available throughout the movie from Cantina Bambina. Each seating includes a special stocking stuffed full of great offers and holiday treats from Wharf restaurants, merchants, and partners.

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 DMV.

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

The DC holiday market (to me, anyway) begins today. It’s a bit different this year as new safety measures are implemented, but the few blocks in the middle of Penn Quarter will still transform into a charming open air market with a great variety of art and wares for sale, treats to savor, and entertainment — though that last part will be presented on video screens instead of live on stage.

Fun at Fairfax Parks
Where: Parks around 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. See a snake a and turtle feeding at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Go on a Turkey Walk at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Enjoy a Family Owl Outing at Huntley Meadows. Details and registration for these and many more nature activities this weekend and beyond are available here.

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.

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. 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.

ZooLights Express
Where: Wards 1 & 2 | WDC
When: Friday & Saturday evenings
Admission: Free

To play it safe this year, ZooLights Express, powered by Pepco, is bringing the colorful glow of DC’s beloved National Zoo holiday tradition into the community. The 24-foot ZooLights Express truck is hitting the road, festively decorated with light displays and featuring “Panda Claws.” It will visit one District ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6-8pm. This weekend it will be in Ward 1 on Friday and Ward 2 on Saturday. (Click links for the mapped route.)

* Be sure to check the KFDC holiday season guide to plan for upcoming events — some you need to reserve tickets for in advance.
* Don’t forget about the KFDC Gift Guide to help with holiday shopping.
* DC Water published a children’s book: Where Does Our Wastewater Go? takes complex environmental and engineering themes and makes them accessible to children.
* New movies to watch with the kids.
* What Washingtonians are grateful for.
* The Losses We Share, a beautiful essay by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend

Five Things for Today: November 26, 2020

So thankful for my three favorite people


1. Happy Thanksgiving! 🧡🦃 Looking for a pre-feast activity? Take a hike, stroll a garden, go for a bike ride. For some post-feast fun, take the fam to one of the holiday light displays around the area.  Many are open on Thanksgiving, and it’s a nice way to wind down the evening and/or walk off the turkey.


2. Of course, you can also skip the activities:  6 Steps to a Great Thanksgiving Nap.


3. In case you missed it, the KFDC 2020 Holiday Gift Guide went up last night. I put a ton of thought into it to make it relevant for this unique time, so I really hope it’s helpful as you head into the holiday season.


4. Food52’s Thanksgiving Cooking Playlist is pretty awesome.


5. Simple and beautiful… What are you thankful for this year?


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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Holidays, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia

Five Things for Today: November 25, 2020

Checking the temporary trail map at Rock Creek Park


1. Kids and families are invited to create art related to Rock Creek Park.  Starting today through December 16, they are hosting Creativity Day with a different theme every week.  Every child who participates will earn a Junior Ranger sticker at least once, and if they participate every week, they’ll win a cool prize.  This week’s theme is fall leaves — draw, paint, sketch, or otherwise create something representing your favorite fall leaf or leaves and post your art in the event.  Be sure to check back every week and post your artwork in the corresponding event!


2.  And speaking of Rock Creek, our local national park is a great place to enjoy outdoor recreation right here in the city.  Layer up and hit the trail — we usually park at the Nature Center lot or by Peirce Mill, then hop on a trail from there.  Some areas might be closed right now, but there are maps on trees indicating where to go. Admission to Rock Creek Park is free. And for more places to hit the trail, the round-up of walks in the woods is full of good recs.   [Note: Links above offer more info about the Nature Center and Peirce Mill, but both are closed right now.]


3. A KFDC reader let me know about this new online resource created by her cousin:  Map Your Holiday is a digital, interactive map that crowdsources holiday lights and other happenings, so folks know where to go to find safe ways to enjoy festive displays (including residential), markets, and more.  The default map is based in Seattle where she lives, but you can add events to any area. (I added the outdoor flea market at Eastern Market as a test!)  


4. Do you know about Acorns? It’s a neat, easy way to invest and save, offering bonuses when you buy certain brands or giving the option to invest “spare change” from credit card purchases. We’ve been signed up for a couple of years now and always designate the fund to something like an upcoming trip or holiday gift shopping.  It’s cool to see how fast it grows! (PS: That’s my referral link that gives you a little starter gift.🙂)


5. The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far — according to the New York Times. (Do you agree?  I hadn’t even heard of some of them, but now am interested to check them out!)



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Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia

Five Things for Today: November 24, 2020

The newest memorial in the National Mall area


1. The National Museum of the American Indian is closed, but you can still enjoy the outdoor areas including the new Native American Veterans Memorial that opened on Veterans Day.  Learn more about it here.  (PS: The museum also shared Thanksgiving recipes from Native American chefs.)


2. CertifiKid currently has deals on a couple of aerial adventure and zipline parks in the region, where you can enjoy a thrilling outdoor activity while social distancing.  Tree Trekkers is in Frederick, MD, and Empower Adventures is in Middleburg, VA.


3. Several authors and reviewers pick the best children’s books of 2020.


4. Is anyone else watching The Undoing on HBO?  If so, any theories about who did it? (Feel free to share in the comments!)


5.  Funny not funny (because it really does feel that long) 😂😭


PS:  Making plans for the holiday season?  Don’t forget the annual KFDC guide has all the info you need on how to enjoy it around the area!


Filed under 2020, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Fall, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia