Bundle up for outdoor fun – the brisk air might put a skip in your step!
Get into the spirit of both the holidays and DC! With loads of seasonal activities, special events, and the ongoing fun around town
, this dynamic city is a great place to be right now (and any time of year, for that matter). Happy Weekend!
Where: Georgetown neighborhood
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday 6-10pm
See Georgetown in a whole new light – literally. Every evening this weekend, the neighborhood will sparkle with modern light art installations on exhibit throughout the bustling community. Works of local, regional, and international artists will be on display in both public and privately-owned spaces, including M Street, Washington Harbour, and more nearby places. Take the family dinner, then go for a stroll to check them all out.
Where: Canal Park
When: Friday – Sunday
Admission: Free, but be ready to buy!
Parcel Market will transform Canal Park in the Capitol Riverfront into a festive winter wonderland with the best independent retailers, craftsmen, and cuisine in DC. There will be ice skating at the Canal Park Ice Rink, plus creative retail showcasing local small businesses, artists, and designers. Vendors will include Be Clean, DeNada, Matine, Mutiny, Native Danger, TCI Letter Press, Winthrop Clothing Co. for pets, and more! The Parcel Market dining lounge will feature DC foodie favorites and warm drinks in a relaxed atmosphere complete with fire pits as lve music from local DJ’s and performers also fills the air.
Italian Holiday Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 4pm
“Buon Natale!” Join American Art, the Embassy of Italy, and the Italian Cultural Institute Saturday for seasonal fun inspired by Italian holiday traditions! Among the Italo-fun: dancers from the Washington Ballet performing original choreography by Mimmo Miccolis, “OperaPop”, Simona Rodano, “The Italian Fairy,” stilt walkers from Italy’s famed Teatro Tascabile, and Zampogna (Italian bagpipes) players performing traditional holiday songs. There will also be craft tables featuring decoration and card making activities, face painting, a photo-op station, and a book signing and meet-and-greet with Shannon Jones, author of KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Rome, Italy. Sounds molto buona to me!
‘Tis the Season
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be venue
The area’s big holiday events and activities are in full swing! Enjoy Holiday on the Ellipse, including Santa’s Workshop; Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden; Holly Trolley Fest at the National Capitol Trolley Museum; Christmas on the Potomac; Christmas at Mount Vernon; train and light displays, and much more. Get the full rundown on all of them in the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide.
Gifts that Give Hope
Where: Calvary United Methodist Church
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Instead of giving another tie or candle this year, how about boxing up hope and happiness? Gifts That Give Hope Arlington is holding their 3rd annual Gift Fair, capturing the holiday spirit in a way that redefines the notion of meaningful, alternative gift giving. This year’s fair will feature 15 local and global nonprofit organizations, many of them based in Arlington. Shoppers will have the opportunity to peruse the tables hosted by each organization and purchase alternative gifts that will directly benefit the mission of those organizations. There will also be refreshments, face painting, and kids activities.
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
* Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend is in town through the weekend at the Patriot Center
* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Inside Out at the Bethesda theatre
* Bright Star Theatre presents Christmas with Santa as this week’s Saturday Morning at the National show
* Rainbow Rock will be rockin in a rainbow wonderland at Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing through December 28
* See Beauty and the Beast at Synetic Theatre
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest productions of As you Like It in its final weekend, and The Tempest (both are also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)
* There are holiday shows GALORE on stages right now. Check out the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide for the full list of them.
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Admission: $25/adult, $10/child
Nats fans can get a baseball fix at this annual prelude to the season. Join more than 20 Washington Nationals players, coaches, and team personnel for a day full of fun activities for all ages, including photo ops with players and mascots, player story times, caricature art, live batting cages and demos, Nationals merchandise and authenticated memorabilia, interactive games, autographs, and much more.
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by event
If you want to introduce your kids to the work of The Bard, this is a perfect time to do so. Starting this weekend through December 22, during the five-week run of The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company will be hosting a variety of programs and performances geared especially to young theatre-goers. This post has a schedule of ways you and your kids can participate.
All Aboard for a Model Train Holiday Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Chug on down to Vienna this holiday season to watch model train activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s, the Western North Carolina (WNC). Every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry in this layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything. Since the holidays are here, the Polar Express makes an appearance, and Thomas the Tank Engine (and a few of his friends) can also be seen chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives. The Vienna Depot is located at 231 Dominion Road NE in Vienna, Virginia. It is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Check out the virtual tour on the website.
2nd Annual Cozy Christmas
Where: St. Elizabeths Gateway Pavilion
When: Saturday, 4-7pm
Join the folks at Gateway DC (they hosted the awesome ice slide last winter) for Christmas crafts, games, and treats.
They’ll even have a special guest in attendance — SANTA! They are also debuting the new cafe at Gateway during the Cozy Christmas Celebration — taste the delectable treats from
The Mustard Seed Cafe by Chef Nadine.
In addition, there will be a memorial ceremony for former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.
Children’s Open House
Where: Alliance Francaise
When: Saturday, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Bienvenue! Discover the programs at The Alliance Française is hosting an open house, where you can learn about their programs for children 1 to 18 years old. Visit the beautiful building and classrooms dedicated to babies and toddlers.Meet the experienced teachers, who are native speakers trained to teach French at all levels. Listen to a few stories in the warm and welcoming library, and introduce your child to French and francophone culture through comic books, novels, and movies. Children can also attend a mini-class to get a taste for French language at the Alliance. See the website for the day’s schedule.
Recreation on Ice
Where: Local ice rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
If the weather is conducive to outdoor ice skating, lace up the skates and get gliding. Enjoy art as you skate at the Sculpture Garden; join a Cartoon Skate at Canal Park on Saturday morning, circle the rink at Washington Harbour; or shop then skate at Pentagon Row, Veteran’s Plaza, Rockville Town Square, or Reston Town Center. This post has details on both alfresco and indoor ice skating options in the area.
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Sunday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/child, free for children under 3
In the winter apple trees need encouragement to bear fruit in the coming year. Gather in the Farm’s orchard to wassail or toast the trees with singing, dancing and chants to ensure a “howling crop.” Enjoy hot spiced cider, ginger biscuits, a roaring bonfire, and 18th century games at this fun and educational holiday event.
Go Nat Geo
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: 10am – 6pm
Admission: $11/adult, $7/ages 5-12, free for 4 and under
Experience two interactive exhibits recommended for all ages. “Spinosaurus” and “Food: Our Global Kitchen” are currently at the National Geograhic Museum, and right now adults can get a discount on admission to visit them.
Where: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens
When: Throughout the weekend, 2-5pm
Enjoy free admission along with the lovely gardens at Dumbarton Oaks. Through mid-March, there is no fee to roam the grounds of the Georgetown locale. Bundle up for a walk among the various plats — it’s a beautiful place to explore any time of year. After, head up to M Street and exprience Georgetwon GLOW. Read more about about Dumbarton and get a glimpse in this post from last fall.