The Weekend Round-Up: November 28-30

'Tis officially the season

‘Tis officially the season


Now that the turkey is eaten and we’re easing out of the food comas, it’s time to focus on the weekend. And between seasonal events and general fun around town, there is a lot going on. Here’s the run-down on where to enjoy it all. Happy Weekend!

Season’s Greenings
Where: US Botanic Garden
When: Through the weekend
Admission: Free

Easily one of DC’s most popular holiday attractions, Season’s Greenings is an annual delight for all ages. The conservatory exhibit features Washington landmarks constructed from plant materials and one of the city’s largest Christmas trees. But the highlight, hands-down, is the garden railway, which never fails to impress and enchant with intricate, imaginative designs. This year’s theme “Exploration Along the Seas” features lighthouses to navigate the way through the scenic wonderland. For more about the seasonal favorite, read this post from last year and this one from the year before about some of our Season’s Greenings experiences.

More Holiday Happenings
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

This weekend is the start of even more big holiday events around DC and the continuation of others. If you hope to hit ‘em all during the season, you should get going now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2014 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Nights at the Museums
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the National Mall, save Natural History, American History, and Air & Space for last. The three Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours this weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday.

Downtown Holiday Market
Where: 8th & F Strets, NW
When: Through December 23, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

The seasonal market opens today! This one, to me, is the holiday market in DC. It’s not even so much about the merchandise for sale (though there’s always a great variety of gift items – I never leave empty handed). There’s something about the usually bustling block in the middle of Penn Quarter transforming into an open air market for a few weeks that is so charming and kind of magical, making our big city feel like a small town. A bonus is the free live entertainment along with treats and coffee drinks available for purchase. And after you’ve done your shopping and enjoyed a snack and music, you can pop into the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum that are literally right next to the market.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square
When: Friday, 7-9pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the city’s official start to the holiday season in Old Town’s Market Square this evening. Along with the tree lighting, entertainment will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, musical performances, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

“Yes, Virginia” Family Day
Where: Newseum
When: Saturday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $22.95/adults (find a discount here), free for 18 & under with letter to Santa

Enjoy loads of news- and holiday-themed activities inspired by Francis P. Church’s classic New York Sun editorial “Is There a Santa Claus?” Festivities begin at 11am with complimentary hot chocolate, holiday crafts, and activities. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy screenings of the animated film “Yes, Virginia,” a special “Be a TV Reporter” experience from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and more!. Admission is free for all children (on Sunday, too!) who bring a letter to put in Macy’s Santa Mail letterbox. For every letter collected Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish. Parents pay the regular entrance fee.

Comanche Festival
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: Through Sunday
Admission: Free

Get to know the culture and heritage of the Comanche Nation from Oklahoma as the American Indian Museum presents a festival through the weekend dedicated to the Plains tribe. Enjoy dance performances, singing, films about the Comanche Code Talkers, shawl-making demonstrations, traditional flute playing, and a Comanche language session. Meet with Comanche Nation royalty, then do some holiday shopping — traditional items, including jewelry and art works, will be available for purchase.

Show Time
Where: Local Theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* 101 Dalmations is on the Imagination Stage
* And little ones will enjoy interactive theatre with Wake Up, Brother Bear at the Bethesda theatre
* The Great Zucchini is bringing his unique brand of comedy and magic to Jammin’ Java on Saturday morning
* The Kennedy Center presents The Gift of Nothing through December 28
* Fiddler on the Roof is on the Arena Stage (and it’s fantastic!)
* Date night? I highly recommend the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production of As You Like It (also good for older children who’d enjoy Shakespeare)

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 Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol at Adventure Theatre. Get details on these shows and others in the 2014 Holiday Guide.

Kids Day at Bobby McKeys
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday, 1:30pm

The whole family can enjoy an afternoon of fun at one of Bobby McKey’s dueling piano shows. It’s two hours of all-request live music paired with a lunch buffet, that’s sure to make everyone happy. And this is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats and dance in the aisles.

Big Nate National Tour
Where: Bethesda Blues and Supper Club
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 12:30pm
Admission: $12/students, $15/adults

Adventure Theater heads to the Bethesda Blues and Supper Club to present The Big Nate Show, a comic musical that debuted at the Glen Echo theatre. The show follows the rebellious and energetic adventures of Nate Wright, a detention-riddled sixth grader (and drummer for the greatest garage band in the history of the galaxy, Enslave the Mollusk!) hopes to woo beautiful Jenny away from her boyfriend Arthur by winning “The Nickelodeon,” the first prize in his school’s Battle of the Bands. But when Arthur and Jenny team up with Nate’s arch-rival Gina to form the sap-pop band, Rainbows and Ponies, he’s gotta take his game to an all-star level. What will he do?

Celebration of Indie Bookstores
Where: Barston’s Childs Play locations
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

On Small Business Saturday, the local book chain is hosting a Celebration of Independent Bookstores! Popular Washington area authors Fred Bowen, Carol Kaufman, Jerdine Nolen, Mary Quattlebaum, Julia Sarcone-Roach and Gene Weingarten will read from their children’s books and sign copies at Child’s Play stores in the District and Northern Virginia as part of the national Indies First/Small Business Saturday celebration. See the website for locations and contact info for more details.

Night Lights
Where: Around the area
When: Evenings
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: $7.95/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 about one of our experiences there.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-4pm & Sunday, 2-5pm
Admission: Free

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 Native American activist, teacher, and musician Zitkala-Ša.

Think Outside
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale
Bundle up your brood and enjoy the crisp, sunny weather at your pick of places around the DC-Metro. Take a hike, hit a playground, explore a garden, visit animals, or see what else there is to do al fresco in this post with tons of ideas for outdoor fun.

The Inside Scoop
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale
If you’d prefer to spend the day indoors, or just want to see what else there is to do around town, this post has 60+ ideas for activities.

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