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New Year’s Eve Events for the Family

Old Town rings in 2012 at last year's First night Alexandria

Old Town Rings in 2012 at last year’s First night Alexandria

Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2013? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open when you get back home.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The brand new museum at National Harbor welcomes the public to ring in 2013 at this event that will include parades led by some of the museum’s favorite characters, as well as theatre performances and programs involving New Year’s-themed crafts. Timed tickets will be issued for 10am-12pm, 12-2pm, and 2-4pm. For guaranteed admission, visitors may purchase timed tickets in advance for the next available admission time (on the same day at the Museum’s box office), and will receive a wristband to return to the Museum at the designated time. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the kids activities will be story time, games, moon bouncing, face painting, magic shows, crafts, and more. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Potomac River at the foot of King Street. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website.

Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: 2pm
Admission: $10

The widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin’ Java, and tickets are still available for the 2pm show. Sing a long to some of your favorite tunes and hear songs from their latest album “Colonel Purple Turtle.”

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

Head to Baltimore for the Maryland Science Center’s 5th annual Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bed time. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. Festivities will continue with the sounds of popular kids band Milkshake as they take the stage at 11:30am. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noon Year’s Eve Jump
Where: Pump it Up in Lanham
When: 10am – 12pm & 12-2pm
Admission: $12/child, free for parents

Celebrate 2013 with some bouncing, sliding, and climbing in Pump it Up’s large rooms full of giant inflatables. Admission also includes two slices of pizza and a drink, plus there will be a big countdown to the new year at noon.

Family Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $40/family

Get a spiritual start to 2013, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm — a Family Yoga class from 4-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Register in advance online.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Broad (Rt. 7) & Washington (Rt. 29) Streets in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within three blocks of the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Street. A free shuttle bus stops at each venue and the East Falls Church Metro throughout the evening, including a shuttle from the East Falls Church Metro station.  

Ceremonial Bell Ringing
Where: National Archives
When: 11:30pm
Admission: Free

Recall times past as we celebrate time passing at the National Archives — if you can make it to the final hours of 2012. Festivities begin at 11:30 with a performance by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, followed by a ceremonial bell ringing by a historical re-enactor portraying Harriet Tubman.

Celebrate at Home – Daily Candy has a bunch of cute ideas to help you and the kids ring in 2013 at home.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, New Years, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

Let the Halloween Festivities Begin!

Boba Fett walking to school... just one of many reasons why Halloween rules


Halloween may still be weeks away, but its spirit has been pervading for awhile. Mostly in the form of costume catalogs sliding through the mail slot, but also with cobweb covered front yards and, of course, hauntingly endless conversations with the kids about what/who to dress as this year. And we can take that even further with activities and events that celebrate the spirit, some starting as soon as this weekend. Here’s where the treats, tricks, scares, and kicks will be happening, listed in order of start date. Be sure to note that even though some may be weeks away, you can get your tickets now, and some require advance registration. And if there’s anything good that I’ve missed, feel free to mention it in the comments.

“Eye Spy” Halloween Train
Where: Cabin John Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation, free for kids 2 and under

Hop on board the Halloween Train! Cabin John’s “Eye Spy” features just enough “boo” power for kids age 8 and under. Along the ride through the woods on the train, kids can try to find Halloween friends hiding along the way and mark them off their “Eye Spy” game cards that they receive with admission. Guests can also enjoy Halloween movies every night, face painting on Saturdays and Sundays, and light refreshments for sale. The train runs 3-pm on weekdays and 1-8pm on weekends.

Haunted Train & Creepy Carousel
Where: Wheaton Regional Park
When: October 6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31
Admission: $6/person, $5 with canned food donation

Wheaton Regional Park’s Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel are back and scarier than ever! This annual Halloween attraction is best for guests ages 8 and up, because they do their best to make it VERY SCARY (and this is the website description, so take their word for it). Admission includes one ride each on the train and carousel, plus entrance to the Hall of Jack o’ Lanterns movie theater presenting scary films every night. The train runs 6-9pm each night.

Where: Kings Dominion
When: Weekends October 6-28, 12-5pm
Admission: Free with park admission
It’s frightful fun for little ones at the Virginia amusement park with all sorts of treats at daytime during Howl-O-Fest’s Boo Blast. Families can enjoy a Halloween treasure hunt, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Kings Dominion is located in Doswell, about 90 minutes from DC. Admission to the park starts at $37.99 and you can usually find discounts online.

Nightmare Screamplex Family Night
Where: Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md
When: October 7 & November 2, 5-9pm
Admission: $20
Family Night at the haunted venue is a fun and interactive Halloween experience suitable for all ages. Kids going through the haunt will be given magical rings that ward off all forms of ghosts and monsters in case they get too scared. The show will be a “lights on” tour, but guests are welcome to bring flashlights. And on Family Nights only, regular admission gives you free access to tons of games and activities. Certifikid currently has a $12 admission deal.

Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 18, 6-8pm
Admission: $8/child

Children ages 3-8 are invited to come to the Indoor Arena Barn dressed in their favorite costumes anytime between from 6-8pm. Enjoy fun, games, and a wagon ride. Finish the evening with treats and a small pumpkin. Reservations are required, and space is limited, so go here to sign up (use code #2824862701).

Dia de los Muertos
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: October 20-21
Admission: Free
Some consider Day of the Dead the native version of Halloween. At the museum, follow the monarch butterflies home and celebrate the return of the ancestors at the museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos program. This colorful celebration of life includes food demonstrations by the museum’s Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe and a cultural presentation by La Danza de los Tecuanes. Learn how papel picado, sugar skulls and paper mache figures are created.

Operation Undercover: Secrets of Disguise Workshop
Where: International Spy Museum
When: October 20, 10am – 12:30pm
Admission: $30

Ditch your Halloween costume and change your whole identity! Go deep undercover for a mission too secret to divulge in print. The intricacies of creating a cover identity complete with “pocket litter,” documentation, and disguise will be shared in this workshop where recruits will be transformed—you’ll learn to look like a different person, and think like one too. A cadre of professional make-up artists, hair stylists, and spy experts will be on hand as recruits prepare to take on the ultimate challenge: a mission to retrieve top secret intelligence while undercover. Will your cover be blown? Will your disguise withstand the test? For kids ages 8-11.

lil omm Halloween Party
Where: lil omm Yoga Studio
When: October 25, 3:15-4pm
Admission: Free
Put the BOO into Buddha! Tenley/Friendship children’s librarian Katie Fitzgerald and lil omm’s Pleasance Silicki invite you to a ghoulish good story time and Halloween inspired yoga. Come wearing costumes and get special treat. This free event is for families with children up to 5 years old.

Boo at the Zoo
Where: National Zoo
When: October 26-28, 5:30-8:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $30/non-members
This annual event is the wildest trick-or-treat in town. Kids ages 2 – 12 can get costumed up for after-hours Halloween fun at the Zoo. Get ready for tasty candy, delicious snack foods, and other goodies from more than 40 treat stations. Plus, animal encounters, keeper talks, and festive decorations are yours to enjoy. Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine. Buy tickets through Ticketmaster or in the Zoo’s gift shop between 9am and 4:30pm.

Glow Night – A Magical Evening on the Farm
Where: Great Country Farms
When: October 26-27
Admission: $10/child, $12/adult, free for ages 2 and under

See a spectacular display of over 3,000 lighted jack-o-lanterns carved by local school children. The magical moment when they cut the lights (7pm) will take your breath away. Bring your carved Jack-o-lantern to enter in a carving competitions — Jack-o-lanterns are judged for Best in Glow, Scariest and Funniest. Along with the light show, warm yourself by the bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy apple cider. The farm is open daily 9am – 9pm.

Air and Scare
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum
When: October 27, 2-8pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15 until 7pm

Discover the spooky side of air and space at the Udvar-Hazy Center’s 8th Annual Air & Scare! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating. Participate in creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Bring the tiniest visitors by the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Be sure to pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars character!

Haunted Hangar
Where: College Park Aviation Museum
When: October 27, 12-4pm
Admission: $4/adults, $3/seniors, $2/ages 2-18, free for under 2

Wear your costume and enjoy fun fall themed activities. Explore the museum’s gallery and all of its hidden haunts. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families.

Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: October 27, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but small cost for some activities
It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, and performances at Glen Echo’s annual celebration. There will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-2 for face painting) and other craft activities, including decorating trick-or-treat bags to use in the Park. Don’t miss the Pumpkin Promenade, a simple maze that children may walk through to pick up special prizes.

Where: Market Common Clarendon
When: October 27, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

It’s a day of fall fun at the shopping center, including trick or treating, a costume parade (for people and pets), a Rocknoceros performance, a petting zoo, face painting, a kids circus, strolling entertainment, balloon creations and much more. Visit the website for the schedule of festivities.

The Spooky Magic of Joe Romero
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: October 27, 1pm
Admission: $14
BlackRock celebrates the Halloween season with Joe Romano providing tricks that are a real treat. This skilled and exciting magician will perform jaw-dropping illusions for the whole family. Joe will float on a broom, turn a child into Harry Potter, make a friendly ghost appear, and more! Go early to join the free pre-show party, with arts & craft and a snack. The one-hour performance is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Halloween Monster Jump
Where: Pump It Up in Lanham, Md
When: October 27, 29, & 31, various times (See below)
Admission: $13/child, $5/adult
Calling all witches, goblins, princesses and superheroes ages 2 and up! You are invited to join Pump It Up in Lanham, Md, for their 4th Annual Pump It Up Monster Jump! Dress in costume for Halloween Jumping. (No makeup, swords or sharp objects allowed). The admission fee includes jumping, goodie bags, fun games, prizes, and more. Jump times are 7:30-9:30pm on 10/27, 5-7pm on 10/29, and 7-9pm on 10/31.

Where: DC National Aquarium
When: October 27, 12-4pm
Admission: $9.95/ages 11 and up, $4.95/ages 3-11, free for 2 and under
Ahoy! There be pirates at the National Aquarium! Enjoy live music from a real band of swashbucklers as Pirates for Sail sets the mood for the Hallowmarine celebration. Plus, participate in fun activities like face painting and a costume contest for kids; explore the mysteries lurking in our waters with a spooky scavenger hunt; and put your knowledge of animals to the test to win prizes.

Trick or Treat with the Boutiques
Where: Old Town Boutique District in Alexandria
When: October 27 during store hours
Admission: FREE

Bring your ghosts and goblins for a day of trick or treat in the Old Town Boutique District. The OTBD’s annual Trick or Treat with the Boutiques event is a great way for families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween day in Old Town Alexandria. All of the participating OTBD stores will offer treats, and some may also offer family-friendly tricks. Halloween costumes are encouraged. Tricks and treats will be available during the day and during store hours.

Haunted… Chocolate House Workshop & Tea
Where: Tudor Place
When: October 27, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $20/members, $25/no-members, $7/accompanying adults

How do you build a chocolate house? Start with some tea – early America’s favorite pick-me-up – accompanied by lovely sandwiches, snacks and sweets and a costumed interpreter full of stories about tea-drinking history and lore. Next, out come delicious ingredients for your individual “haunted home-building” project (one per child), and you will learn how to construct your own three-dimensional chocolate house, decorated with edible wonders.

Westfield Family Spooktacular
Where: Westfield Wheaton Mall
When: October 27
Admission: Free
Have a wicked good time at Westfield Wheaton this Halloween season! Join the Westfield Family for some safe exciting fun as they host the annual Family Spooktacular event. Stores throughout the mall will provide treats for all of the ghouls and goblins that attend, so be sure to wear your costume. In addition to a safe trick-or-treating experience around the mall, there will be tons of free activities for families and children of all ages to enjoy, including arts & crafts and more.

NSO Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Kennedy Center
When: October 28
Admission: $15-18
Is it ever cool to “boo” the orchestra? It is on Halloween! And during their Halloween Spooktacular, NSO musicians dressed up as ghosts, ghouls, and goblins just might peek out from behind their instruments to go “BOO” back at you! Go early outfitted in your spookiest ‘ween wear for pre-concert trick-or-treating and a special Haunted Hall Musical Instrument “Petting Zoo.” Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 28, 1-3pm
Admission: $10/members, $15/non-members, adults are free

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you design your very own pop-up haunted house. Learn the pop-up architecture technique from guest artist Carol Barton. Decorate a spooky haunted house scene to take place on your window sill. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Prepaid registration required. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Crime Museum Halloween – Just for Kids!
Where: National Museum of Crime & Punishment
When: October 28, 1-5pm
Admission: $10/costumes child, $10/adults accompanying children

Batman, Wonder Woman, police officers, and all other costumed characters can enjoy a day of Halloween fun at this Penn Quarter museum. Festivities include a regular museum tour, Police Academy Jr. Activity Sheet, McGruff the Crime Dog appearances, finger print identification cards, candy, and more.

Halloween Party Smiles for Shira
Where: Potomac Community Center
When: October 28, 3-4:30pm
Admission: $25

Dress up in costumes and have some fun…it’s Halloween time, everyone! Join Mamas Link and Mizmarni and the JJs for a crazy party and concert featuring a special musical performance, sweet treats, costume photos, interactive games and activities, a parade and more. Proceeds from this fun for the whole family benefit the Smiles for Shira Foundation.

The Great Zucchini’s Halloween Party
Where: Discovery Theater
When: October 30-31, 10:15am & 11:30am
Admission: $5-8

You’ve heard of the Great Pumpkin. Now meet the Great Zucchini, a vegetable of a very different color—and one of the area’s most entertaining and in-demand kids’ magicians and comedians. There’s a yummy mix of amazing feats, interactive fun, and plenty of laughs waiting in his bag of Halloween tricks. Come in costume!

Where: 7th Street SE in front of Eastern Market
When: October 31, 5:30-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Capitol Hill’s annual event is a legendary neighborhood event for little ones. The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic for one of the best community Halloween celebrations in the city. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel add to the excitement. The best part is seeing the masses of jubilant kids in all kinds of costumes indulging in the extravaganza.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Fall, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Last Weekend Round-Up of 2011: December 29-31

Playing at the National Arboretum, one of our tops of 2011...and every year, for that matter.


Wow, this year flew by!  It seems like yesterday that I was posting about New Years weekend 2010 (and lamenting how hard it is to find a babysitter on December 31). And here we are again, getting ready to usher in another new year.  If you’re looking for family-friendly ways to celebrate around town, you’ve got a few options, including some events happening during the day.  But this weekend isn’t all about ringing in 2012 — you can still enjoy many DC attractions both Saturday and Sunday (though be sure to check holiday hours).  Happy Weekend!  And a Happy, Healthy New Year to all!

First Night AlexandriaFun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. It all begins at 1pm with a Fun Hunt and art activities for kids. Storytime and a magic show follow at 6 & 6:15pm, respectively. Then it really kicks into high gear at 7pm when live performances will take places at many venues throughout Old Town.  Guests of all ages can enjoy a capella ensembles, blues and jazz shows, storytelling, children’s music, sounds from around the world, dancing, and many, many more performances. Along with the live shows, there will be interactive games, face painting, moon bounces, dancing, and crafts for kids.  The grand finale of the evening will be 6,000 balls dropping at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website. Tickets are $20, free for kids 12 and under, and can be purchased at these locations in Alexandria.  Even more information about the event is available on the website.

Watch Night The City of Falls Church is ringing in the New Year with an evening of free festivities for the whole family. From 7pm – midnight, the indoor/outdoor celebration will include live music, dancing, face painting, balloon artists, a caricaturist, a 12-foot dragon, a moon bounce, firepits for warming, free concessions plus some for sale, and a midnight countdown.

Jump for Joy – If Winter Break has the kids (and possibly you) bouncing off the walls by now, let them expend some energy at Pump It Up, where they are hosting a Glow Jump tonight from 6 – 7:30pm. For $12, they get an hour of jump time, plus two slices of pizza and a drink.  This wil take place at the Lanham location.

Midnight NoonThe Maryand Science Center in Baltimore is hosting a New Years celebration especially for little ones from 10am – 2pm on Saturday. Guests can make their own party hats and noisemakers, then boogey down as kids fave Milkshake performs at 11:30am. Interactive musical performance by Now This! Improv will also take place at 10:30am and 1pm. Admission is the regular entrance fee – $16.70/adults, $15.70/seniors, $13.70/ages 3-12, free for 3 and under.  And rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

American Girl Scavenger HuntGirls ages 8 and up can learn about the beloved American Girl historical characters as they go on a scavenger hunt throughout the store at Tyson’s Corner.  They’ll discover what it was like to grow up in America’s past as they collect fun facts about the characters and find hidden clues to solve a puzzle along the way. This event is free and open to the public, and American Girl posters will be given away at the end.

Knuffle Bunny on Stage – See the classic book come to life at the Kennedy Center.  The show runs through January 8, and you can catch it this weekend at 11am or 1:30pm on Saturday.  Tickets are $20 and available for purchase online.

New Year Namaste Get a spiritual start to 2012, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm! Enjoy a Family Yoga class from 5-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Celebrate with refreshments afterwards from 6-7pm. Cost: $40 per family. Click here to register.

Midnight at 7The New Years fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  Enjoy it all from 5pm on when gates open, then watch a fireworks display at 7pm. Registration is $20/individual, $40/group of three, $50/group of four, etc.  Children ages 3 and under are free.  Go here to register.

Smithsonian is OpenDo some New Year’s Day museum hopping.  All of the Smithsonian galleries plus the National Zoo will be open this weekend, and some will even have extended hours.  Check the schedule for specifics. This is also your last chance to catch ZooLights – it’s closed on New Year’s Eve, but will be open for the final evening on Sunday. (Note that the National Gallery of Art is not part of the Smithsonian, despite its location on the Mall next to them, and will be closed on January 1.)

A Sunny StartMake that a sunny end, too.  We’ll be closing out this year and beginning the new one with some fabulous weather (for the season, anyway), so if you want to get out and enjoy it, refer to this post listing great places to spend a nice day outdoors.  (And if the weather should take a cold or rainy turn, see this post for indoor fun.)

Season Finales – This weekend will be your last chance to enjoy many events and performances exclusive to the holiday season. Model trains are winding down instead of around, curtains are getting ready to close on shows, colorful lights are twinkling for the last time.  See this post for details on holiday events and this one for seasonal performances.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, New Years, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Seize the Day off from School

Several people have asked me for ideas of things to do with the kids this Friday when they’re off from school for Veterans Day.  Surely, those several aren’t the only ones in need of activities to keep their broods entertained.  And while the latest Where to Play on the Weekdays post recommends the Boogie Babes show at the Atlas, that’s really more for the sippy cup set than the grade school and older crew. With that in mind, I’ve a compiled some suggestions to help you make the most of the day, including pursuits that acknowledge its significance.

Tour the Memorials – Observe the holiday by visiting the sites that honor our nation’s veterans. Make the rounds on the National Mall — wreath laying ceremonies will take place at the World War II Memorial at 9am and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 1pm, and the Korean War Memorial is a short walk from both.

Arlington National Cemetery – The National Veterans Day Ceremony begins at 11am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries.

Mount Vernon Salutes VeteransSpecial activities at George Washington’s former estate include a wreath laying ceremony and patriotic community concerts along with the regular tours and programs.  All active duty, former, and retired military personnel will be admitted free-of-charge. Otherwise, admission is $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under.

imagiNATIONSExplore the new activity center at the National Museum of the American Indian.  Kids of all ages can enjoy activities that include igloo building, basket weaving, Wii skateboarding, and interactive games. Read more about it in this KFDC post.

International Spy MuseumKids about ages 8 and up will likely enjoy exploring the intriguing world of espionage.  Many interactive exhibits that require a good amount of reading might be too much for younger children. Admission is $18/adults, $15/ages 5-11, but Goldstar is currently offering tickets for just $9.

Family Jump Time – Get your bounce on at Pump it Up in Lanham, where they are hosting two hours of open play on their giant, soft, interactive inflatables from 12-2pm.  The $10.95/child includes admission, two slices of pizza, and a drink.  Parents play for free.

Go Glen Echo – Catch a performance of The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co. then stay for lunch and to romp on the playground. Showtimes are 10am and 11:30am.  Tickets are $10.

Take it Outside – You might have to bundle up a bit, but you should be able to enjoy some fun under the sun on Friday. Take a water taxi ride from National Harbor to Old Town (or vice versa), roam the ground at Brookside Gardens, look for turtles and frogs at Huntley Meadows, or enjoy free admission to a National Park during the last fee-free weekend 2011. Read about all of these outdoor pursuits and many more here.


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Filed under DC, Deal, Educational, Free, Gradeschoolers, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Preschoolers, Theatre, Toddlers, Tweens, Virginia, Weekdays