With the big feast behind you, it’s time to get out and take advantage of the long weekend. Keep the brood entertained at a theatre — there are several live shows on local stages. Enjoy extended hours at the museums. Embrace the holiday spirit at a seasonal event. Bundle up for an outdoor adventure. Or find a place to hang in the great indoors. I, for one, am thankful for all these great options the DC-Metro has to offer. Happy Weekend!
Nights at the Museums
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the Mall, save Natural History, American History, and Air & Space for last. The three Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours through the weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies be venue
This weekend is the start of many big holiday events around DC — Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Christmas on the Potomac, Christmas at Mount Vernon, wonderful train and light displays. If you hope to hit ’em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all of them, see the 2013 Guide to the Holidays in DC.
Lyle the Crocodile
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
Recommended for ages 4-12, Lyle the Crocodile will run through January 10: When the Primm family moves into their New York City apartment, they are quite surprised to find a crocodile in their bathtub! But Lyle is a rather extraordinary crocodile and quickly becomes part of the family. Unfortunately, a nasty neighbor, Mr. Grumps, has it out for the reptile. He thinks poor Lyle is unfit for the neighborhood simply because he’s different. After a parade, a trip to the department store, and a stint in the zoo, Lyle saves the day and earns his place as a beloved friend and neighbor.
From Here to There
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Saturday & Sunday
This show for ages 2-5 runs through January 5: Two friends build bridges from cardboard boxes and use rhythm and vocal play to create a catchy tune. It’s like jumping inside the world of a child’s imagination! Performances are followed by a “free play” session, allowing the audience to explore some of the props.
Angelina Ballerina, The Very Merry Holiday Musical
Where: BlackRock Center for the Arts
When: Saturday, 1pm
Take a memorable and lively Thanksgiving weekend outing with family and friends! In this charming musical, Angelina and her friends plan an absolutely positively spectacular holiday dance pageant: the best in all of Mouseland! When plans go awry, they work together to save the show and discover the true spirit of the holidays. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Pre-show party before the show, with snacks and arts activities starting at noon. Meet Angelina and her friends after the show!
More Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue
Much of the live entertainment on local stages right now is holiday-inspired. Enjoy the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at THEARC or catch a tot-friendly version at The Puppet Co. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead Scrooge on A Christmas Carol journey at Ford’s Theatre. Enjoy The Twelve Days of Christmas at Adventure Theatre. Get details on these shows and others in the 2013 Holiday Guide.
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 10:30am & Sunday, 11am
Admission: $8, $25/family 4-pack
Get ready for all the excitement and fun that you get at a Kate Moran Band show, shrunk down to size for little rockers! The Rainbow Lady (Kate Moran), Princess Fiddlesticks (Lynn Rovelli), Captain Toe Tappin (Kevin de Souza), and Guitarmony Gus (Derek Evry) will entertain little ones with a combination of classic and original children’s tunes. This crew will keep kids bopping in their socks until they just can’t rock anymore. Always on hand, inside the box of fun, tambourines, shakers and more for your little one to join in the fun, and if they are feeling like completing their rock star appearance, how about a nice little temporary Rainbow tattoo, from none other than Pattycake Patty (Patty Moran) or the lovely Rockin Rox Anna (Anna Goist)!
Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Sunday, 1:30pm & 4pm
Best friends Gerald and Piggie find themselves on an excellent musical adventure in this world premiere stage adaptation of Mo Willems’s award-winning Elephant & Piggie books. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Where: Around the area
Admission: Varies by locale
Twinkling lights forming enchanting displays are easily a holiday season favorite. Visit one of several parks or gardens (or the Zoo!) in the area that has transformed into a sparkling wonderland. 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!
Winter Christmas Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: $6.95/person, free for children under 2
The annual festival includes hayrides to the white pine fields with access to all of the farm attractions — swings, forts, slides, tunnels, and more. Fire pits are inviting to keep you warm and make some s’ mores or roast hot dogs. Cut down your Christmas tree while you’re there or buy one from the lot. Read more about the Festival in this post from last year.
Name that Panda
Where: National Zoo
When: Sunday, 1pm
The National Zoo will finally reveal the name, determined by public vote, of the new panda cub in a ceremony on Sunday. Lion dancers, music, and Chinese treats will apparently be part of the events, too. Get there early if you hope to see it, as space will be limited.
Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Pocahontas, a Virginia Indian chief’s daughter, in celebration of American Indian Heritage Month.
Stormtroopers at the Capitol!
Where: Capitol Reflecting Pool
When: Sunday, 9am
Yep, you read that right. Stormtroopers will be at the Capitol on Sunday morning. Apparently, there are plans for a Museum of Science Fiction to open in DC, and promoters have organized this attention-getting event to help raise awareness and funds for it. Watch as members of the 501st Legion shoot a video by the Reflecting Pool, and look for them in other areas around town. Word has it they’ll be making stops at Gallery Place Metro and the Air & Space Museum, too.