The “Round-Up” part of this post title is missing for a reason, and that’s because this is not a regular Weekend Round-Up. I’m keeping it simple for this last weekend of the year — but I’m definitely not leaving you hanging. The links below will lead you to plenty of info and inspo to fill the next few days with as much (or little) activity as you want. You can also check KFDC on Facebook and Instagram for any updates or extra ideas. Happy Last Weekend of 2018!
Count down to the 12pm balloon drop at Noon Yard’s Eve!
The countdown to 2019 is on, and if you’re looking for ways to ring it in with young revelers, you have many options! There are a bunch of family-friendly ways to celebrate around the area, from organized events to plan-it-yourself activities. Here are details and inspiration for your gang to get in on the fun — all of them taking place on December 31 unless otherwise noted. Happy New Year!
Noon Year’s Eve
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: December 30, 11:30-12:30pm
Admission: $5/child members, $8/non-members (free for adults)
Ring in the New Year a day early with your little one at this special holiday Tudor Tots! Enjoy a festive counting-themed storytime, then count down together to 12pm. Celebrate the noon-year with noisemakers, confetti, a sparkling craft, and toast 2019 with juice. For ages 2-4 and accompanying adults.
A Fancy (Nancy) Celebration
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm
Join Fancy Nancy, for a performance of Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas on New Year’s Eve! There are a few showtimes throughout the day, and they’ll all include a sparkling cider toast and a rendition of Ald Lang Syne (that’s fancy for memories). It’s the fanciest way to bring in the New Year with the kiddos!
Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: 10am – 1pm
The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2018! The sixth annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include trackless train rides through the park, inflatable moon bounces, glitter tattoo artists, balloon artistry, music, and a countdown and big balloon drop at noon.
First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Starting at 6pm
Admission: $30-35/adult, free/age 12 & under
Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. There Kids Karnivals in three locations, with loads of activities for young revelers — face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive games, and much more. And more than 100 performances on 30 indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria will feature live entertainment from an amazing variety of genres. 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 | Vienna, VA
When: 11am & 2pm
For the 12th straight year, the widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin Java. Sing along to some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the full menu of food and drinks while you’re there. Opt for the lunchtime show at 11am, or go in the afternoon at 2pm. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.
End the Year Medieval-Style
Where: Medieval Times | Hanover, MD
When: 3:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $37.95/adult, $30.95/child
Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2019. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, young guests can experience special activities just for the occasion before the extravaganza begins. Knight training, a queen story time, and free posters will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers. Be sure to use the code NYE18 for the ticket discount!
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $18.95/3-12, free/2 & under
Join the MSC for their annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bedtime. There will be fun New Year’s festivities throughout the day, including a live concert by popular kids band Milkshake — their Grammy-nominated tunes will keep everyone dancing throughout the day. And, of course, the rest of the museum will be open to explore! All activities are free with paid admission (and completely free to members).
Noontime New Year’s Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $15.95 ages 2+
Out with the old, in with the new! Celebrate the wonderful memories, fun, and adventures of 2018 — and the magical new things to come in 2019 — at the children’s museum in Baltimore! Festivities will include a noontime countdown, juice and cookie toast, indoor dance party, special performances from Eric Energy, The Kolonder’s, The Kindersinger, a fairy dancer, and more. Along with the New Years’ themed fun, this event will also be a great opportunity to explore Port Discovery’s much-loved exhibits ahead of the wonderful transformations planned for 2019. Check out the Noontime New Year’s schedule of activities on the website for more details.
Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: 100 Block of West Broad Street | Falls Church, VA
When: 7pm – Midnight
Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s 21st annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, and restaurants with special Walking Watch Night Menus at local restaurants. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within a four-block area that begins on the 100 Block of West Broad 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.
Family Fun on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay | Cambridge, MD
When: December 31 – January 1
Admission: See room rates on website
How about an easy getaway to ring in 2019? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special room rates and family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. The fun includes a magician, indoor mini golf, carnival games, bounce houses, a game room, photo booth, indoor pool, s’mores, and more. There will also be several special dining options, live music, and strolling entertainment around the resort.
Swoosh into 2019
Where: Ski Liberty | Carroll Valley, PA
When: 5pm – 1am
Admission: Lift tickets start at $24/child (free/5 & under)
Hit the slopes to ring in the new year! Ski Liberty’s celebration will include late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1am, fireworks at midnight, and a variety of special events happening around the resort. Enjoy a decadent fixe prix dinner at Ike’s Chophouse. There is also a special, by reservations only, party at Boulder Ridge with Snow Tubing from 10pm to 1am. Find something for everyone and every age!
Glide into 2019
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the day & evening
Admission: Varies by rink
Skate under the stars to celebrate the start of the new year. Gliding on ice surrounded by twinkling lights, art sculptures, and/or the hubbub of people in festive spirits is a fun, active way to revel. Join a special event like Rock & Skate at Washington Harbour or just do your own thang. Be sure to check times for each rink, as hours may change for the holiday.
New Year’s Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: After dark
Admission: Varies by locale
Start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition with a seasonal treat: Bundle up for a stroll or take a drive through one of several spectacular light displays! Most of the light shows that dazzle this time of year are open on New Year’s Eve. Combine an outing to see them with dinner out — this guide from Edible DC from last year has suggestions on where to eat nearby all the holiday lights. If you’re enjoying it from the comfort of a car, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, yummy snacks, and prepare a festive playlist for the ride.
Last week I posted the Winter Break Guide, a big mix of ideas for activities and adventures with the kids during the winter break from school, so be sure to check it out! Below is a suggested itinerary that you can easily switch up with the recs from the guide. Have fun & Happy Holidays!
Monday – Watch Santa have some fun before his big night out, as he water skis his way up the Potomac along with knee boarding reindeer, flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! You can view it all for free from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria starting at 1pm sharp — the best viewing spots will be from the Torpedo Factory to Point Lumley Park.
Later on, celebrate Christmas Eve by viewing some holiday lights! Visit one of the many twinkling displays around the area or go see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (This is something you can do any evening during the week, though check schedules on Christmas night, as some of them are closed.)
Tuesday – Have a very Merry Christmas! And enjoy some activities out of the house, too! The U.S. Botanic Garden and Mount Vernon are open. You can bundle up and get out for a hike (though be aware that National Parks may not be accessible). Or do what’s a tradition for many who don’t celebrate Christmas and go out for Chinese food and a movie.
Wednesday – Get Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors can view up close — and in many cases handle — real artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collections. It’s recommended for ages 11 and up, but some younger ages could also enjoy it. For really little ones, there is Q?rius Jr: A Discovery Room for more age-appropriate exploring. And, of course, there’s the whole rest of the museum for everyone. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free.
When the sun goes down, go ice skating! There’s something kind of magical about skating under the stars, and there are several rinks around the area where you can glide on ice at night.
Thursday – Bundle up the kids (and yourself) and take advantage of The Beauvoir School’s Winter Break. Their fantastic playground is open to the public when class is not in session. Open all day. Admission is free.
In the evening, experience Georgetown GLOW, the annual exhibition of outdoor public light art installations that makes the neighborhood sparkle. Plan on dinner while you’re there — you’ve got your pick of places in the bustling community.
Friday – Visit the National Gallery of Art while it’s still open during the government shutdown. (It’s been reported that the museum will be open through New Year’s Day and Smithsonian Museums through December 31.) The East Building is full of contemporary works with bold colors and captivating designs. Be sure to stop in the Alexander Calder room on the 4th floor, where mobiles of all shapes and sizes will dazzle, and head to the roof to at least have a peek at the giant blue rooster and some great city views. The West Building houses more classical pieces, including collections featuring many of the masters and the only Leonardo da Vinci painting on public view in the U.S. Hours are 10am – 5:30pm. Admission is free. If weather permits, take a stroll through the Sculpture Garden and maybe even go ice skating at the lovely outdoor rink (open 10am – 11pm, admission is $8/child, $9/adult, $4/rental).
The National Gallery of Art will remain open during the shutdown at least through January 1
Olney Theatre Center has earned a reputation for pulling out all the stops on its big holiday musicals and this year’s production of Elf the Musical is no exception. Even better, it’s one that the whole family can enjoy. With plenty of sparklejollytwinklejingley singing, dancing, laughter, and theatre magic, you’re all guaranteed to walk out filled with Christmas spirit and smiles on your faces.
Based on the hit Will Ferrell movie, Elf the Musical has quickly entered the pantheon of holiday classics, and for good reason. The warm-hearted family musical tells the story of Buddy, a human accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby who grows up believing himself to be an elf, despite his large size and sub-par toy-making. Upon learning the truth from Santa, Buddy journeys to New York to find his father and help the jaded city folk rediscover the wonder and joy of the Christmas season.
Elf the Musical is now running at Olney Theatre Center through January 6, 2019. Tickets are $54-$99 and can be purchased online or through the Box Office. You can also try winning a Family 4-Pack to the performance on December 30 at 2pm through the giveaway below!
When you go, bring a new pair of pajamas to donate!
We learn pretty quickly that Buddy the Elf started life in an orphanage before accidentally hitching a ride in Santa’s sleigh to the North Pole. While that works well for narrative purposes, the fact is that there are still many children in our community without permanent, loving homes who can’t rely on Santa to whisk them away to be raised by elves. That’s why for the second year in-a-row, Olney Theatre Center is partnering with Comfort Cases, a Rockville-based organization with a mission to provide comfort and support to children entering the foster care system. They have done this by providing kids with their own Comfort Case.
A Comfort Case is a small duffel bag or backpack that holds essential items and a few special things. Its purpose is to provide comfort for children as they enter the foster care system. The case provides the essentials for the first few days in a new place as well as some comfort items to help ease a scary transition. They want these children to know that their community cares about them and wants them to have something of their very own.
You can make a difference in the life of a child in need by donating a new pair of pajamas (they especially need larger sizes) to be included in a Comfort Case. Learn more about this wonderful program on the Olney Theatre Center website.
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GIVEAWAY: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to Elf the Musical at Olney Theatre Center on December 30 at 2pm, simply leave a comment below naming your favorite holiday movie. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too! This giveaway will run through December 6, 2018, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Olney Theatre Center, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.
It’s almost the holiday season, and Adventure Theatre is getting into the spirit with a new show that brings an adored children’s book character to life on stage. Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas will be a perfect holiday entertainment for the whole family — and you have a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see it!
What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles-and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Oohlala! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?
Want to make your theatre outing extra special? On December 8, Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas Festival will include a bunch of fun activities along a performance of the show:
* Make your own extraordinary Tree Topper (just like the heirloom in the book)
* Create the most dazzling holiday-licious headband you’ve ever seen
* Craft a glamorous glitter ornament with your name on it
* Enjoy caroling with friends from Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas
* Decorate delicious Christmas sugar cookies with delectable frosting
* Have your holiday family photo taken
Plus, there will be hor d’oeuvres, a hot chocolate bar, games, music, and plenty of splendiferous holiday cheer. Tickets are $100 dollars, or $350 for a family-four pack.
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Giveaway: For a chance to win a Family 4-Pack of tickets to see Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas at Adventure Theatre, simply leave a comment below with your preferred date and time to see the show. Get an extra chance to win by entering on the KidFriendly DC Facebook Page, too. This giveaway will run through Thursday, November 15, 2018, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Adventure Theatre, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.