Tag Archives: Kids Activities in Maryland

The Weekend Round-Up: December 11-13

Make a stop at Pollination Station, the model train display at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Make a stop at Pollination Station, the model train display at the U.S. Botanic Garden



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Hanna Andersson


Whether or not you think it’s the most wonderful time of the year, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a wonderful time with so many awesome events and activities going on, both holiday-inspired and not. Happy Weekend!

Building Museum Birthday Bash
Where: National Building Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: FREE

To celebrate 35 years of operation, the National Building Museum welcomes the public to enjoy special activities and visit ALL of their exhibitions free of charge! Enjoy PLAY, WORK, BUILD; explore the Building Zone; tour House & Home; and get new perspectives of DC in Scaling Washington. Join in a LEGO® community build, where families, visitors of all ages, and built environment professionals build and rebuild a collective structure over the day. There will also be a giveaway of special treats (limited quantities) for Museum members to enjoy!

‘Tis the Season
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

There are so many great activities running through the season to celebrate the holidays in DC. Watch model trains buzz around the Pollination Station-themed display at the Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greetings exhibit. ICE! it up and enjoy and atrium full of spectacular decor and neat activities at Christmas on the Potomac. View holiday planes and trains at the Aviation Museum. See the National Menorah and National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. If you hope to hit ‘em all, you better get on it! For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2015 KFDC Holiday Guide.

“Yes, Virginia” Family Day
Where: Newseum, 9am – 4pm
When: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015
Admission: FREE for kids (details below), $19.50/adult

Celebrate the season with the Newseum at its 17th annual “Yes, Virginia” Family. Enjoy holiday treats and crafts, train rides, music by the Figgy Puddings Holiday Carolers, a visit from the One-and-Only Macy’s Santa Claus ,and more on a day inspired by the most reprinted newspaper editorial in history. Youth 18 and under will receive free admission to the Newseum when they bring a “letter for Santa” to put in the Macy’s Believe Mailbox – Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish® for every letter collected. For more about the museum, see this KFDC post.

Holiday Card Workshop
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season by creating one-of-a-kind handmade cards. The National Postal Museum provides beautiful holiday stamps from all over the world, along with a variety of crafts supplies to both inspire your creativity and decorate your cards. We’ve attended this annual event a few times, and its always very well-organized and tons of fun. Plan to stay after to tour the exhibits, many of them interactive and interesting for all ages. Read more about the museum in this KFDC post.

EdFEST
Where: DC Armory
When: Saturday, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Explore the city’s many public school PK3-12 options for your child. Representatives from DC public schools (DCPS) and DC public charter schools will showcase their programs, just in time to help you make informed school selections for the 2016-17 school year common lottery. The event will also feature many free services and fun activities for the whole family, including games and entertainment; sports activities; story time; and flu shots, immunizations, and dental services.

Winter’s Eve
Where: Glen Echo Park
When: December 12, 4-7pm
Admission: Free

Get into the holiday spirit at Glen Echo Park’s annual Winter’s Eve celebration. It’s free, open to the public, and visitors of all ages can enjoy performances, arts & crafts open studios, hot chocolate, and a holiday sing-along. Browse and buy fine artworks at the Holiday Art Show and artist studios. Kids and adults can create gifts to share in the holiday-themed craft rooms.

Nats Winterfest
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: Saturday & Sunday, 11:30am – 4pm
Admission: $30/adult, $20/ages 12 and under (increases at door)

Get your Nats fix during the off-season! The annual Winterfest event features interactive holiday and baseball activities for fans of all ages. Enjoy meet-and-greets with your favorite Nationals players and mascots, get a photo with Santa, join clinics with players and coaches, take a swing at batting practice, and tons more activities throughout the day!

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 A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre or A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. See the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theatre 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. Get details on these shows and others in the 2015 Holiday Guide.

Family Joy!
Where: Washington National Cathedral
When: December 12
Admission: $25

Join the Cathedral Choral Societyat the Washington National Cathedral,for a special Christmas Concert. This one-hour program has something for all ages, including a kids-only sing-along. Bring the whole family and get swept up in the sounds of the season.

Show Time (that isn’t holiday inspired)
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

For shows without the seasonal trimmings, there’s Elephant and Piggies’s We are in a Play at the Kennedy Center (so cute!), Oliver! and Akeelah and the Bee at Arena Stage, and if you’re looking for a date night idea, Kiss Me, Kate is at Sidney Harman Hall and Bright Star is at the Kennedy Center. Read more about all of them in this list of live entertainment through winter.

Family Piano Duel
Where: Bobby McKeys at National Harbor
When: Saturday & Sunday, 1:30-3:30pm (doors open at 1)
Admission: $18/ages 2 and up

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. This is a performance where kids are encouraged to wiggle in their seats and dance in the aisles!

All Aboard for a Model Train Holiday Open House
Where: Historic Vienna Depot of the W&OD Railroad
When: Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

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 just down the street from the red caboose. It is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders. Check out a virtual tour here.

Colonial Wassail
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under

Stand fast, root! Bear well, top! God send us a howling crop! In the dead of winter the Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s apple trees need encouragement to bear well in the coming year. Gather in the Farm’s orchard to wassail the trees with singing, dancing and chants to ensure a “howling crop.” Enjoy hot spiced cider, sugar cakes, a roaring bonfire, and 18th century games. Weather permitting.

Art and Me: Playful Fish Prints
Where: Freer | Sackler Gallery
When: Saturday, 1-2pm, 3-4pm
Admission: Free

Make your own waves as you explore Sōtatsu: Making Waves. Begin with an educator-led tour of the exhibition then use authentic materials to make your own gyotaku (Japanese for “fish print”). This program is designed for children ages 3–5 with adult participation. Registration is required.

Open House
Where: New Mormons on the Hill Chapel
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Head over to Capitol Hill for an open house to celebrate the opening of a new chapel for Mormons on the Hill. Join them to celebrate with food, holiday crafts, carol sing-alongs, building tours (with a scavenger hunt), and to meet and talk with neighbors who will call this new chapel home.

Brunch with Santa
Where: Pinstripes Bistro Bowling and Bocce
When: Sunday, 9:30am – 3pm
Admission: $34/adult, $15/child 6-12, 5 and under eat free

Just in time for the holiday season Santa is stopping by Pinstripes’ brunch that is sure to get the whole family in the holiday spirit! Spread the cheer on Sunday and don’t forget to snap a photo with Santa. And plan for some bowling or bocce while you’re there!

Family Chanukah Celebration
Where: WDCJCC
When: Sunday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $20/family ($18 Discounted Member Rate)

Grab your socks and your yarmulke, it’s time to bounce for Chanukah! The Washington DC JCC welcomes families to celebrate at this year’s rockin’ Chanukah party, which will feature a moon bounce, games, crafts, treats and plenty of fun for all ages.

Family Kwanzaa Celebration
Where: Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre
When: Sunday, 4pm
Tickets: $25/adult in advance, $30/at door, $15/ages 17 and under

Welcome the holiday season with Dance Place’s annual Kwanzaa Celebration! Gather family and friends to join Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater, and special guests to celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa. During this special Family Series performance, reserve 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult!

Pictures with Santa
Where: Courtyard Marriott Navy Yard
When: Sunday, 4-8pm
Admission: Free

Waterfront Church invites you to celebrate the holidays with Santa, Olaf, Sven, and other characters kids adore. Each family will receive a picture with Santa time when they arrive, and then can head upstairs to hang out with his friends, enjoy jumpers, activities, cookies, and hot cocoa. And guests will leave with two 5×7 photos of their picture with Santa. The Courtyard Marriott Navy Yard is located at 140 L Street SE.

Night Sky in Daytime
Where: Rock Creek Park Planetarium
When: Sunday, 1-2pm
Admission: Free

Explore the night sky while the sun shines outside! The Rock Creek Park Planetarium, located witin the Rock Creek Nature Center, uses high-tech Spitz software to project the image of the night sky onto a large, dome-shaped ceiling. Then, Rangers lead you on a journey of exploration into our solar system, galaxy, and beyond. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Read more about the experience in this KFDC post.

Holiday Shop
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Mostly free

Get through your gift list and have a good time! There are several special holiday markets around the area, where you can find unique presents and then some. Head to Penn Quarter, National Harbor, or Alexandria for great seasonal markets or to Capitol Hill for a weekend institution. Or shop a local school’s holiday pop-up. More info about all of them is available in the 2015 Holiday Guide. And if you need gift ideas, be sure to check out the KFDC Gift Guide!

Let There Be Holiday 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. Either way, be prepared to be dazzled!

On the Calendar…
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

Did you know the KFDC Calendar is back? Along with big events, it lists many ongoing activities that might not make it to the Round-Up, so be sure to have a browse to see what else is going on!


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Chanukah, Christmas, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, School Event, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: December 4-6

Headed to a wonderland of ICE! at National Harbor

Headed to a wonderland of ICE! at National Harbor



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Holiday cheer is abundant this weekend with all kinds of events and activities that celebrate the season, from Smithsonian’s big festival to Bethesda’s annual event to Chanukah fun on the first night to lights and trains and markets and more. If you’re doing some holiday shopping, check out the first-ever KFDC Gift Guide for some unique and local ideas. And if you’re still not quite ready to embrace the spirit, head up to Baltimore for Dollar Days or find some ongoing DC fun. Happy Weekend!

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at Smithsonian Museums — Air & Space Museum, Natural History, American History, Freer-Sackler, American Art, American Indian, African American Art, the Postal Museum, the Hirshhorn, and Smithsonian Castle! This Holiday Festival has tons going on, something for everyone in your crew — concerts by the U.S. Air Force’s Max Impact, Silver Wings, and Celtic Aire; Mars Chocolate demons; a Star Wars C-3PO costume exhibit; the world’s largest LEGO American Flag; family holiday photo ops; free film screenings; trunk shows featuring apparel, jewelry and art; book signings; festive food; and hours of additional family-friendly entertainment. See the schedule for more details.

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

There are so great activities running through the season to celebrate the holidays in DC. See model trains and a gorgeous botanic display at Season’s Greetings. ICE! it up and enjoy and atrium full of spectacular decor and cute activities at Christmas on the Potomac. Take a street car ride with Santa at the Holly Trolley Fest. If you hope to hit ‘em all, get on it now. For the complete rundown on all the area’s holiday happenings, see the 2015 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Fun for a Buck — or Free
Where: Baltimore
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free or $1

In the spirit of the holidays, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore presents Dollar or Less Days on this weekend when participating attractions will open their doors offering free or $1 admission! The Maryland Science Center, Babe Ruth Museum, Port Discovery, National Aquarium, Historic Ships of Baltimore, Christmas Village, and more exciting places will be welcoming guests to take advantage. Go here for the full list of participating venues.

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland
Where: Downtown Bethesda
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: Free, but concerts and events cost extra

Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland is back, turning Bethesda Row into an outdoor street bazaar. The celebration features holiday performances, a live ice sculpting presentation, and a visit from Santa Claus in Veterans Park.

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Where: Old Town Alexandria
When: December 5, 11am
Admission: Free

For the 45th consecutive year, the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will showcase marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wilkes Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert. There will also be other festive events throughout the weekend — see the website for details.

Winter Wonderland
Where: Burke Lake Park
When: Saturday
Admission: $15/advance, $20/at event

Celebrate the season with a train ride on the Holiday Express at Burke Lake’s Winter Wonderland. Enjoy a tour on the U.S.S. Reindeer, then take a spin on the Carolers Carousel, experience the Snowman’s Wagon Ride, play Gingerbread Man’s Golf, or warm yourself by the fire and toast s’mores. Hot chocolate, spiced cider and candy canes will also be available. And don’t miss a visit with Santa!

Grand Opening Celebration
Where: Bright Horizons Rockville
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Bright Horizons recently opened its early education center in Rockville, and they are hosting a party to celebrate the launch! On Saturday, parents and children are invited to enjoy all kinds of family fun and get a first look at the new location. Festivities will include carnival style activities, games and prizes, and a ribbon cutting ceremony courtesy of the Rockville Chamber of Commerce.

Italian Holiday Family Festival
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum
When: Saturday, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the wonders of the holiday season and Italian culture at SAAM. Enjoy performances by The Italian Fairy, The Flusso Dance Project, seasonal music by The Capital Hearings, and traditional Italian bagpipers, as well as festive craft activities, face painting, café specials, and more. Mention “Buone Feste” and receive a 10% store discount.

Children’s Holiday Shopping
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Kids can do some of their own gift shopping during the park’s annual Children’s Holiday Shopping. Volunteers help children shop for everybody on their holiday list. The Country Store stocks many unique items in all price ranges. Free wrapping assures surprises for family and friends. No reservations are required. Meet at the Old Floris School House.

Gifts That Give Hope Gift Fair
Where: Key Elementary School in Arlington
When: December 5, 10am – 2pm
Admission: Free

Instead of giving another tie or candle this year, how about boxing up hope and happiness? At a Gifts That Give Hope event, you can support the community and find unique and meaningful gifts for loved ones, co-workers, teachers and holiday hosts. Learn more about 16 locally based nonprofit organizations, enjoy festive holiday music and refreshments, visits with Santa, face painting, and other children’s activities. Shoppers of all ages are making GTGH an annual tradition, and young shoppers in particular come back each year to learn the true meaning of giving by participating in the Children’s Gift Fair.

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 A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre or A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. See the ultimate holiday classic The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theatre 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. Get details on these shows and others in the 2015 Holiday Guide.

Show Time (that isn’t holiday inspired)
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by performance

For shows without the seasonal trimmings, there’s Elephant and Piggies’s We are in a Play at the Kennedy Center (so cute!), Oliver! and Akeelah and the Bee at Arena Stage, and if you’re looking for a date night idea, Kiss Me, Kate is at Sidney Harman Hall. Read more about all of them in this list of live entertainment through winter.

Artfête Weekend
Where: The Art League’s Madison Annex
When: December 4-6
Admission: Free

Join The Art League as they kick-off the holiday season with live music, great artwork, artist demos, and more. Shop for handmade ceramics and jewelry, view artwork, enjoy instructor demos and live music, watch a wearable art runway show, and check out exciting art classes. Food and drinks will also be for sale.

Parcel Market
Where: Canal Park
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

PARCEL Market returns to Canal Park for its 2nd year! Featuring the 1,000 square-foot Canal Park Ice Rink, the Market urbanizes the holiday market with three city blocks of hand-made modern styling, interactive art, musical talents, activities, and a showcase of emerging independent brands, chefs, and retailers.

Tenley WinterFest
Where: Around Tenleytown
When: Through December 5
Admission: Free

The fourth annual Tenley WinterFest offers fun for all ages in Area schools, the library, fire station, shops, and restaurants are working together to create another unique, yeti-themed seasonal celebration for the community. Festivities include a scavenger hunt, a drawing project, historic walking tours, dining specials, story time, a kids movie screening, and more winter fun.

The Measure of Our Lives
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, 12pm & 2pm
Admission: Free

See portraits of significant individuals who have influenced American history and culture brought to life on this special tour. Students from the University of Maryland, College Park’s Theatre Department choose a person from the museum’s collection who inspires them, then develop monologues that tell key moments in the subject’s life.

National Lionel Train Day
Where: Side Track Hobbies – Leonardtown, MD
When: Saturday
Admission: Free

Helping to kick off the holiday season and commemorate its 115th anniversary, Lionel, the iconic model train company, is introducing its first-ever National Lionel Train Day. The public is invited to join Lionel at Side Track Hobbies to help celebrate with a variety of activities for kids and families. Operate model train layouts; collect conductor hats, temporary tattoos, enter raffles, and pre-order a collectible boxcar!

Winter Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95/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.

Holiday Festival & Boat Parade of Lights
Where: Alexandria
When: Saturday, 4-9pm
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, DC’s fireboat John Glenn. Before and after the parade, stop in to the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s Holiday Open House between 4-9pm to enjoy performances by the Alexandria Choral Society plus gift shopping in open artist studios.

Here Comes Chanukah!
Where: Around the area
When: Sunday
Admission: Varies by activity

It’s almost time to light the menorah! The first night of Chanukah begins Sunday at sundown, but you can start the celebration a little early in the day at a couple of area events, including the National Menorah Lighting on the Ellipse. There are also family activities, plus Matisyahu in concert at Strathmore (I highly recommend seeing him live). The 2015 KFDC Holiday Guide has details on all of the Chanukah fun.

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!

Out & About
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Crisp, sunny weather will make it a great time to be outside, so browse the list of The Best Places in the DC Area to Spend a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids and take advantage.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, Chanukah, Christmas, Date Night, DC, Discount, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Fundraiser, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: November 27-29

Outdoors at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Outdoors at the U.S. Botanic Garden


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You can shift your focus from turkey to the holidays — the season kicks into high gear starting this weekend, with loads of events and activities to help you start celebrating. But if you’re not quite ready to embrace the spirit, there’s still plenty to do, including LOTS of great live entertainment, late hours at some of the museums, plus tons of ongoing fun — indoors and out — all around the area. Happy Weekend!

Nights at the Museums
Where: American History and Air & Space Museums
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Free

If you’re making the rounds at the museums on the National Mall, save American History and Air & Space for last. The two Smithsonian favorites will have extended hours this weekend, open until 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday. (And FYI: The American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Penn Quarter are always open that late.)

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 “Pollination Station ” features oversized flowers, bees, and butterflies in a scenic wonderland. For more about the seasonal favorite, read this post and this one about some of our past Season’s Greenings experiences. And while you’re there, be sure to tour the rest of the collections and the outdoor gardens, too.

Christmas on the Potomac
Where: National Harbor
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

The Gaylord National Resort’s annual holiday extravaganza has festivities galore that capture the spirit of the season. And the best part is that there are activities for all ages at varying price points (even free!), from dancing fountains and indoor snowfalls to a tour of amazing “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”-themed ice sculptures. Get details and a glimpse of it all here.

Light Up Old Town
Where: Market Square in Old Town Alexandria
When: Friday, 6-8pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Alexandria’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, musical performances, plus caroling and a community sing-a-long.

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 2015 KFDC Holiday Guide.

Akeelah and the Bee
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through December 27
Admission: $40 and up

Owen and I just saw this show, and we both thought it was fantastic! Based on the beloved film, Akeelah and the Bee tells the story of an independent 11-year-old girl whose razor-sharp mind just might take her all the way from the Chicago projects to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The performances are so good, you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens. School-aged kids and older (including adults) will love it.

Cinderella
Where: National Theatre
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $48 and up (find deals on select seats)

The stage production of the classic fairy tale is just as magical as the original story (Sasha and I know from firsthand experience at a recent performance). With a talented cast, enchanting sets, dashes of grown-up humor, and special effects that are at once spellbinding and delightful, you’ll easily feel transported to a storybook world.

Oliver!
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through January 3
Admission: $64 and up (find deals on select seats)

Charles Dickens’ unforgettable characters burst to life in this Tony Award-winning musical. A spirited and entertaining production on the theater-in-the-round Fichandler Stage offers every audience member a great view. The musical numbers are energetic and emotional, and with kids (including the 9-year-old star of the show) making up part of the cast, young theatre-goers will especially enjoy it.

A Date with Kate
Where: Sidney Harman Hall
When: Through January 3
Admission: $20-118

Planning a date night or an evening out sans kids? Consider catching a performance of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Kiss Me, Kate. As the cast of the show within a show stages a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, you’ll be treated to a spectacular line-up of musical numbers and a performance that is exceptionally clever and entertaining.

Elephant & Piggy on Stage
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Through January 3
Tickets: $20

A musical experience ripped from the pages of children’s favorite books! In Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!, a vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense facing fundamental questions like what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by nutty backup singers, The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Holidays on the Stage
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

If you’re looking for holiday-inspired entertainment, there’s plenty of that, too. 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. See A Lump of Coal for Christmas at Adventure Theatre or A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. Get details on these shows and others in the 2015 Holiday Guide.

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.

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!

Tenley WinterFest
Where: Around Tenleytown
When: November 27 – December 5
Admission: Free

The fourth annual Tenley WinterFest offers fun for all ages in Area schools, the library, fire station, shops, and restaurants are working together to create another unique, yeti-themed seasonal celebration for the community. Festivities include a scavenger hunt, a drawing project, historic walking tours, dining specials, story time, a kids movie screening, and more winter fun.

Winter Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farms
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $9.95/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.

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

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!

Think Outside
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission:Varies by Locale

If weather permits (or even if it doesn’t), you’ve got your pick of places around the DC-Metro for outdoor adventures. 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 70+ ideas for activities.

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The Weekend Round-Up: November 21-22

Start your holiday shopping and enjoy a day on the Hill at Eastern Market

Start your holiday shopping and enjoy a day on the Hill at Eastern Market



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We’ve had such a gorgeous fall, and it looks like that will continue for while (lots of tiny suns shining on the weather app!). These recs include plenty of ways to take advantage of it, both at special events and ongoing DC pursuits. And if the chill in the air starts to get to you, there’s great indoor fun and entertainment to enjoy, too. Happy Weekend!

A Gem of an Event
Where: George Mason University
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $6/adult, $3/ages 13-17, free for 12 and under

Kids (and adults!) who like fossils, rocks, and/or gems are in for a treat. Northern Virginia’s 24th Annual Mineral, Gem, & Fossil show will have all that and then some. More than 20 dealers will be selling collectibles, plus there will be demonstrations, exhibits, door prizes & kids activities, including mini-mines and a fossil dig.

Celebrate the Skating Season
Where: Canal Park
When: Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Admission:

One of the coolest activities of the season is officially on, and the Canal Park Ice Rink is celebrating with a day of extra fun. The grand opening will feature DJ Civil, face painting, performances on the ice every hour including Ashburn Theatre on Ice, and more! And for other places to skate the day away, see this post with details on area ice rinks.

Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Where: Silver Plaza, Downtown Silver Spring
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Turkey Day celebrations are starting early in Downtown Silver Spring. The line-up of over 100 parade units features giant inflatable animals, a portable skating rink, and more colorful dancing groups, glittering floats, marching bands clowns, performing animals, and, of course, an appearance from Santa at the end. And new this year is a place to take your family holiday photos with a Frozen inflatable Elsa, a 10-foot tall turkey, or Hanukkah/Christmas décor.

The Enchanted Forest
Where: Westin Tysons Corner
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm & Sunday, 10am – 1pm
Admission: $15 (some activities are extra)

Stroll through a whimsical forest of more than 100 theme-decorated holiday trees, have Cocoa and Sprinkles Cupcakes with Ice Princesses or Breakfast and Brunch with Santa. These weekend-long festivities, presented by the Junior League of Northern Virginia and featuring Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, include live entertainment from Ukelele Phil, Groovy Nate, and other performers; a model train set from National Capital Trackers; a gingerbread house workshop; arts and crafts; holiday shopping; photos with Santa. And the Junior League’s Kids in the Kitchen will be teaching healthy eating habits, and the Children’s Science Center will be doing fun and exciting experiments with the children.

Holiday Craft Fair
Where: TC Williams High School
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Shop a local school fair and support a great cause! TC Williams High School will be hosting their 6th Annual Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. Over 50 local vendors will sell items such as handmade soaps, jewelry, stationary, and much more. Shoppers can also enjoy, food sales, baked goods, and live music from the TC jazz band. This event raises money for Joining Hearts and Hands, an organization that promotes economic and social improvements in Kenya and Tanzania. Over the past five years, students have helped raise enough money to build a fourth grade classroom in Tanzania!

More Holiday Cheer
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Shows and events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. This weekend, catch A Lump of Coal at Adventure Theatre or A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater, enjoy the holidays on ICE!, shop the Washington Ballet’s Sugar Plum Bazaar, let holiday light displays dazzle you, and more. The 2015 KFDC Guide to the Best of the Holidays in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

Cinderella
Where: National Theatre
When: Through November 29
Admission: $48 and up (find deals on select seats

The stage production of the classic fairy tale is just as magical as the original story (we know from firsthand experience at a performance this week). With a talented cast, enchanting sets, dashes of grown-up humor, and special effects that are at once spellbinding and delightful, you’ll easily feel transported to a storybook world.

Oliver!
Where: Arena Stage
When: Through January 3
Admission: $64 and up (find deals on select seats)

Charles Dickens’ unforgettable characters burst to life in this Tony Award-winning musical. A spirited and entertaining production on the theater-in-the-round Fichandler Stage offers every audience member a great view. The musical numbers are energetic and emotional, and with kids (including the 9-year-old star of the show) making up part of the cast, young theatre-goers will especially enjoy it.

A Lump of Coal for Christmas
Where: Adventure Theatre
When: Through December 31
Admission: $19.50

The theater at Glen Echo debuts its holiday production, A Lump of Coal for Christmas, this weekend. he world premiere holiday comedy will delight audiences young and old with its story of unlikely friendships and holiday miracles. See it this weekend or try to win a 4-pack of tickets to a future performance.

Saturday Morning at the National
Where: National Theatre
When: Saturday, 9:30am & 11am
Admission: Free

Tales as Tall as the Sky is this week’s free performance in the National Theatre’s program for children. This show tells the story of three children in their tree house at the end of the summer, complaining that they have nothing exciting to do.

¡Ratón en Movimiento!
Where: Imagination Stage
When: Through November 29
Tickets: $14

Take litte ones to see the story of Nellie and Amelia, two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mouse-hole. They decide to go to the la luna, since it is cat-free and made entirely of delicious, mouth-watering queso (so they have heard). In this interactive play, the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. And this production is now performed in both Spanish and English.

Colonial Fall Chores
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: Saturday, 1-4pm
Admission: $3/adult, $2/ages 3-12, 2 and under are free

There are always plenty of chores to do around the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, but winter preparations require extra help. Assist the Farm family as they prepare for the colder months ahead by learning to “pitch” the farmhouse, clear brush, split rails for fencing, dip candles, and more. This educational and fun activity is great for families and small groups. Wear warm, comfortable outdoor clothing.

Family Turkey Hunt
Where: Green Spring Gardens
When: Saturday, 1pm
Admission: $6/county residents, $8/non-residents

Learn the history of the wild turkey, its amazing adaptations, and importance to early Americans. Track this wily bird through the gardens and natural spaces of Green Spring then create a turkey-inspired decoration for your Thanksgiving table. Pre-registration is required. Read more about the lovely Green Spring Gardens in this KFDC post.

Experience the WONDER of Art
Where: Renwick Gallery
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Free

The debut exhibition at the Renwick after two years of renovations is nothing short of amazing. Aptly named WONDER, it features a major art installation in each gallery. And the works aren’t just beautiful, they’re breathtaking. The crowds surely have died down since the grand opening last weekend, so go experience it with the kids — they’ll love it, too.

Cool Hikes
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

It’s might be cooling down a bit, but the weather should still be superb, so take advantage with some time on the trail. Peep the last of autumn leaves, tramp in places with scenic views, hike and explore history at interesting locales, and enjoy a day of active fun. This post has a a bunch of recommendations for good walks in the woods with the kids.

To Market, To Market
Where: Eastern Market
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Whether you want to get your holiday shopping started or just browse around and enjoy the nice vibe, this outdoor flea market on Capitol Hill, is a great place to hang on the weekend.Vendors are sell everything from original artwork to fun T-shirts, to handmade jewelry and accessories, to home décor to furniture – and much, much more. Buy fresh produce from farmers’ stalls outside and butchered meats, fancy cheeses, baked goods, pasta, fresh produce, and more inside the actual Eastern Market. Even more, there is often live music courtesy of buskers around the area, and if the kids want some play time afterwards, you can hit one of several parks or playgrounds in the neighborhood (Lincoln Park, at 11th and East Capitol, is the largest and most popular among them).

A Musical Grand Opening
Where: Music on the Hill
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

Music on the Hill is moving locations! To celebrate their beautiful new space at 8th and D NE, they will be offering sale prices on all instruments and lesson registration specials. They’ll also be raffling off products from Kala Ukuleles, Seagull Guitars, Hal Leonard, and much more!

Family Block Party
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: Saturday, 11am
Admission: $12

This dance party that was formerly Baby Loves Disco welcomes families to get their groove on during kid-friendly hours. A DJ spins tunes, while an MC gets the party going, and there are fun activities for for kids to enjoy along with the dance floor action.

Play with Extra Zip
Where: Beauvoir Outdoors
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Free

The National Cathedral Elementary School’s playground is easily one of the best in the city. With lots of climbing and sliding structures and spaces for all ages, plus a super fun zipline(!), your whole crew will have a blast there.

Family Concert: Let’s Make Music
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center
When: November 22, 2:30-3:30pm
Tickets: $25, free for children

The Capitol City Symphony’s annual fun, educational, and participatory family concert is a hit with kids of all ages. Bruce Adolphe’s Three Pieces for Kids and Chamber Orchestra is an interactive journey through the orchestra that is sure to be fun for all the family. The concert also includes an Instrument Petting Zoo for 30 minutes before each performance, where guests might discover their new favorite instrument!


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The Weekend Round-Up: November 14-15

That National Arboretum is a superb place to enjoy a mid-autumn day

That National Arboretum is a superb place to enjoy a mid-autumn day



Experience the WONDER of art, kick off your holiday season, get outdoors, catch some live sports action, enjoy a stage production…these are just some of the ways you can enjoy the weekend with the kids. And be sure to check out the recently returned Calendar for listings of ongoing programs. Happy Weekend!

Renwick Opening Festival
Where: Renwick Gallery
When: Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the re-opening of the Renwick! Experience the Gallery as never before, with craft making, artist demonstrations, musical performances, games, and more. See the new, amazing contemporary art installations of the WONDER exhibition and enjoy a fun-filled day with activities for all ages.

Holiday Cheer
Where: Throughout the area
When: All weekend long
Admission: Varies by locale

If you think it’s too early to start celebrating the holidays, think again! Events that embrace — and emit — the holiday spirit are beginning around the area. Re-Imagine the holidays at a tree lighting in Silver Spring. Kick off the season at National Harbor. Take a holiday tour at at an O so cool mansion. Visit Santa’s HQ at Tysons Corner. Go holiday shopping at an international bazaar, Strathmore, and Mosaic District. Stroll through Meadowlark Garden’s Winter Walk of Lights. The 2015 KFDC Guide to the Best of the Holidays in DC has ALL you need to help make the season bright.

Ice It
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend (& winter)
Admission: Varies by rink

Glide the day away as several area outdoor ice rinks open for the season. Meander your way around Canal Park Ice Rink and stop in the Park Tavern for some hot chocolate and a bite to eat. Skate in Silver Spring at Veteran’s Plaza. Do some shopping and snacking along with your skating at Pentagon Row in Arlington. Practice your axles and triple lutzes at Reston Town Center. Circle the largest outdoor ice skating rink between Baltimore and DC at Rockville Town Square. This post has details on all of our local skating venues.

Hirshhorn Family Day
Where: Hirshorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
When: Saturday, 11am – 3:15pm
Admission: Free

Visitors young and old are invited to a day of family fun inspired by the exhibition Marvelous Objects: Surrealist Sculpture From Paris to New York. Collaborative drawing, exhibit tours, an animation workshop (registration required – sign up here) ,and a screening of Alice in Wonderland will be part of the day’s events.

Show Time
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

* You’ll want some more after seeing Oliver! at Arena Stage
* Watch acrobatic artistry in A Simple Space at BlackRock Center for the Arts
* Take toddlers and preschoolers to see Arts on the Horizon’s Point A to Point B at the Atlas Performing Arts Center
* ¡Ratón en Movimiento!, a bilingual version of Rats on the Move is on the Imagination Stage
* Barynya showcases rich traditions and culture of Russia at this week’s Saturday Morning at the National performance
* Encore Stage & Studio presents the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel
* Catch a classic story on strings as The Puppet Co. present Aladdin (and his wonderful lamp)
* And World on a String is the featured Tiny Tots shows at the Glen Echo venue
* Take the kids to rock out at Signature Theatre’s Girlstar (best for ages 10 and up…look for discount tickets)

Horses & Hounds
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Saturday
Admission: $17/adults, $9/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under

Discover the sporting side of George Washington during this new Mount Vernon new event! Watch a simulated fox hunt on the estate. (Unlike in Washington’s time, no foxes will be hurt.) During the hunt, learn about the sport of foxhunting and why Washington was known as the greatest horseman of his age. Observe a cavalry demonstration and meet animals involved in the event as well as the rest of the animal residents at the estate’s modern livestock. Close the day by watching The Washington Cup, where horses and riders compete in series of judged skill competitions.

Hometown Hoops
Where: Local colleges
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Ticket prices vary

College basketball season begins this weekend, and with so many universities in the area, there’s always some good hoops action going on. The GW men’s team hosts Lafayette Friday evening, while the women welcome Grambling State on Saturday (tickets here). The Hoya men play Radford on Saturday (tickets here). The George Mason Patriots men’s team plays Colgate on Friday (tickets here). And finally, the lady Terps play UMass Lowell on Saturday, and the men play Mount St. Mary’s tonight (tickets here). Fear the Turtle!

Local Pros
Where: Verizon Center
When: Friday & Saturday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

Both the Washington Capitals and Wizards are playing at home this weekend. See the action on the ice and court — the Caps host the Calgary Flames Friday night, and the Wizards and Magic tip off on Saturday evening. Look for a deal on the hockey match here and one on select seats for the basketball game here.

Grand Opening
Where: Mom’s Organic Market Arlington
When: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
Admission: Free

Celebrate the opening of the area’s newest Mom’s Organic Market. The event will include live music on Saturday and Sunday, local tastings, goodie bags, and henna art. And MOM’s will donate 5% of Grand Opening sales to Moms Clean Air Force, a community of moms and dads united against air pollution and climate change. The new location is at 1901 N. Veitch Street in Arlington.

Trash to Treasure Green Craft Fair
Where: Watkins Nature Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Do some eco-friendly shopping while the kids have fun at this special event featuring vendors selling items made from recycled, organic, or sustainable materials. Along with local artists selling their handmade wares, there will be non-profit environmental groups and crafts for kids, a book exchange booth, and more. Don’t miss a chance to win some loot from the multi-item raffle to benefit the nature center. And be sure to make some time to enjoy other Watkins attractions, including the nearby Wizard of Oz themed playground and the animals at Old Maryland Farm.

Holiday Bazaar
Where: First Baptist Church, Alexandria
When: Saturday, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5 suggested donation, $10/family

Get an early start on your holiday shopping at this bazaar benefiting Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter in Northern VA that serves women and children survivors of domestic violence. The bazaar features regional artisans, crafters, and unique businesses. Browse international gift items, such as jewelry, paintings, essential oils, home décor, and more. Get tickets in advance here.

Living, Loving, Laughing
Where: Church of the Epiphany
When: Saturday, 7:30 – 9:30pm
Admission: $33

The 85-voice Congressional Chorus opens its 29th season in DC by joining forces with Joy of Motion Dance Center, Afromoda Dance Theater, Capitol Movement, spoken word artists from American Youth Chorus, and the NorthEast Senior Singers alongside a live 10-piece instrumental ensemble in a unique, multi-sensory performance that celebrates the emotions and the seasons of our lives. From poignant and tender ballads to toe-tappin’ and roof-raisin’ production numbers, it will be a night of pure joy. Experience the energy and the power of an eclectic mix of music and dance in the stunning acoustics of the beautiful and historic The Church of the Epiphany located at 1317 G Street, NW.

The Emporiyum
Where: Union Market
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: $15-40

The Emporiyum, an event designed to introduce people with a passion for food to a curated selection of artisans from across the local Mid-Atlantic region and from around the US, is coming back to DC to Union Market’s Dock5. The two-day marketplace brings together a lineup of food and beverage purveyors you will not find anywhere else. Meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and shop for unique edible gifts.

Leaf Peep on the Trail
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

Take in the brilliant color spectrum of autumn and get a little exercise to boot on a family hike. From right here in the city to country locales, you’ve got your pick of places where you can enjoy the fall foliage and some time on the trail. This post about good area hikes with kids might be from the early KFDC days, but new recommendations have been added and the old ones are still relevant for happy trampers.

Get Out
Where: Around the area
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

With a great forecast for the next few days, it’s going to be a great weekend to be outdoors. The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids has loads of ideas for taking advantage of the glorious autumn weather.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Shop, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend