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Count Down to 2015 with the Kids this New Year’s Eve

The colorful balloon drop at last year's Noon Yards Eve

The colorful balloon drop at last year’s Noon Yards Eve



If you thought New Year’s Eve celebrations were a thing of the pre-kids past, think again! There are several great ways to ring in 2015 around the area that don’t just welcome, but focus on the younger set. Here’s where you and your crew can get in on the fun. Happy New Year!

Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards is hosting its second annual Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2015! The event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with interactive fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include inflatable moon bounces, game, crafting stations, balloon artists, face painters, temporary tattoo artists, stilt-walkers and magicians, live entertainment, and a count down and balloon drop at 12pm.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, face painting, nail art, balloon sculptures, interactive art activities, and a scavenger hunt through the streets of Old Town. 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
When: 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

For the 8th year in a row, 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. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $18.95/adult, $15.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s annual New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into a rockin’ and rollin’, science-filled, craft-happy daytime delight. The 7th annual Midnight Noon will give kids the opportunity to see the ball drop before bedtime. Guests can dance their way into a very happy “Noon” Year — Grammy-nominated Baltimore kids band Milkshake will take to the stage at 11:30am. Visitors can also decorate party hats, construct noise makers, and make glittery snow globes. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noontime New Year
Where: Port Discovery
When: 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $13.95

Join the children’s museum in Baltimore for a Holiday Hoedown at its annual Noontime New Year Celebration. Dress up in cowboy attire or your favorite costume and help them count down to the New Year at 12 noon with Eric Energy and Curious George! Toast the New Year with milk and cookies and enjoy a fun day of programs and performances! Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.

New Year’s Eve Yoga Party
Where: lil omm
When: 4-7pm
Admission: $30/family

Say “namaste” alog with Happy New Year. lil omm is hosting two parties for families to ring in 2015. The first is for families with children 0-3 years from 4-5pm — enjoy age appropriate family yoga for all levels, music, snacks, and refreshments (cost: $30/family). Then from 5:30-7pm families with children 3 and up are invited to a rockin’ New Year’s Eve class complete with pizza dinner (cost: $50/family)!

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, Md, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Wednesday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more. It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: West Broad Street in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. 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.

First Night Klezmer Concert
Where: Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
When: 3pm
Admission: $15 or $40/family of four

Join the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington for a family-friendly afternoon as they usher in the New Year with a special Klezmer concert with acclaimed band, Machaya. European Jewish immigrants in the late 19th century brought Klezmer, a style of Jewish music that includes Yiddish verses, with them to Washington. Our historic 1876 synagogue, founded by mostly German-Jewish immigrants, once housed services, prayer, and music in Yiddish. Help the Society bring Yiddish back into their building. Refreshments and a sparkling cider toast included. The museum is located at 701 3rd Street NW.

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New Year’s Eve, Family-Style

Yards Park is hosting its first-ever Noon Year's Eve for families

Yards Park is hosting its first-ever Noon Year’s Eve for families



Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2014? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open for your evening celebration.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve at the Yards
Where: Yards Park
When: 10am – 1pm
Admission: Free

The Yards Park is hosting a family celebration to kick off the New Year. “Noon Year’s Eve” will feature music and activities, including moon bounces, trackless train rides through the park, face painting, stilt walkers, magic, and performances by The Guitar Man, John Henry England, Justin Trawick, and the hula hoop lady, Shannon ShapeShifter. And no New Year’s celebration would be complete with a countdown & ball (or balloon) drop…only this one will take place at 12pm!

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, model sail boat building and sailing, face painting, cookie decorating, nail art, moon bouncing, and interactive carnival games (for ages 10 and under). New this year is the ThinkFun game room and the Fun Hunt, a scavenger hunt through the streets of Old Town where you follow clues. 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
When: 11am & 2pm
Admission: $10

For the 7th year in a row, 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 drink menu while you’re there. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating in on a first come, first served basis.

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The NCM will be ringing in 2014 all day with special activities and programs, including a performance by Culture Kingdom Kids from 12-1pm! Three “official” New Year’s Eve countdowns in the Map Zone will take place at 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm, and childen (and parents) will be able to decorate hats and create noisemakers for the festivities all day!

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

The Maryland Science Center’s annual New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into daytime delight. The 6th annual Midnight Noon will be bursting with fun as families celebrate a very Happy Noon Year! Baltimore’s own Grammy-nominated kid’s band Milkshake will light up the stage starting at 11:30am and will continue rockin’ and rollin’ right into the year “2014,” even leading the ball drop at noon. Visitors will also enjoy hands-on holiday arts & crafts, projects and interactive science activities. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noontime New Year
Where: Port Discovery
When: 9:30am – 5pm
Admission: $13.95

The children’s museum in Baltimore is hosting its annual Noontime New Year Celebration as they celebrate Kings and Queens, Knights and Jokers. Dress up in your favorite costume to decorate numbers and make sound makers for the noon countdown with Eric Energy, complete with a juice and cookie toast! There will also be tons of performances, activities, and more, including mask and fairy wand making, jousting, dancing, theater and music shows, and science spectaculars. Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.

Family New Year’s Eve Yoga Party
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $30/family

Ring in the New Year with family filled fun at lil omm! From 5-7pm, families with children of all ages are invited to dance the night away and explore a variety of playful partner poses. Family Yoga includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone (prenatal welcome). Pizza dinner is included.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, Md, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more. It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: West Broad Street in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. 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.

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New Year’s Eve Events for the Family

Old Town rings in 2012 at last year's First night Alexandria

Old Town Rings in 2012 at last year’s First night Alexandria


Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2013? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open when you get back home.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The brand new museum at National Harbor welcomes the public to ring in 2013 at this event that will include parades led by some of the museum’s favorite characters, as well as theatre performances and programs involving New Year’s-themed crafts. Timed tickets will be issued for 10am-12pm, 12-2pm, and 2-4pm. For guaranteed admission, visitors may purchase timed tickets in advance for the next available admission time (on the same day at the Museum’s box office), and will receive a wristband to return to the Museum at the designated time. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the kids activities will be story time, games, moon bouncing, face painting, magic shows, crafts, and more. 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
When: 2pm
Admission: $10

The widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin’ Java, and tickets are still available for the 2pm show. Sing a long to some of your favorite tunes and hear songs from their latest album “Colonel Purple Turtle.”

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

Head to Baltimore for the Maryland Science Center’s 5th annual Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bed time. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. Festivities will continue with the sounds of popular kids band Milkshake as they take the stage at 11:30am. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noon Year’s Eve Jump
Where: Pump it Up in Lanham
When: 10am – 12pm & 12-2pm
Admission: $12/child, free for parents

Celebrate 2013 with some bouncing, sliding, and climbing in Pump it Up’s large rooms full of giant inflatables. Admission also includes two slices of pizza and a drink, plus there will be a big countdown to the new year at noon.

Family Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $40/family

Get a spiritual start to 2013, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm — a Family Yoga class from 4-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Register in advance online.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Broad (Rt. 7) & Washington (Rt. 29) Streets in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within three blocks of the intersection of Broad Street and Washington 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.  

Ceremonial Bell Ringing
Where: National Archives
When: 11:30pm
Admission: Free

Recall times past as we celebrate time passing at the National Archives — if you can make it to the final hours of 2012. Festivities begin at 11:30 with a performance by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, followed by a ceremonial bell ringing by a historical re-enactor portraying Harriet Tubman.

Celebrate at Home – Daily Candy has a bunch of cute ideas to help you and the kids ring in 2013 at home.

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The Last Weekend Round-Up of 2011: December 29-31

Playing at the National Arboretum, one of our tops of 2011...and every year, for that matter.

 

Wow, this year flew by!  It seems like yesterday that I was posting about New Years weekend 2010 (and lamenting how hard it is to find a babysitter on December 31). And here we are again, getting ready to usher in another new year.  If you’re looking for family-friendly ways to celebrate around town, you’ve got a few options, including some events happening during the day.  But this weekend isn’t all about ringing in 2012 — you can still enjoy many DC attractions both Saturday and Sunday (though be sure to check holiday hours).  Happy Weekend!  And a Happy, Healthy New Year to all!

First Night AlexandriaFun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. It all begins at 1pm with a Fun Hunt and art activities for kids. Storytime and a magic show follow at 6 & 6:15pm, respectively. Then it really kicks into high gear at 7pm when live performances will take places at many venues throughout Old Town.  Guests of all ages can enjoy a capella ensembles, blues and jazz shows, storytelling, children’s music, sounds from around the world, dancing, and many, many more performances. Along with the live shows, there will be interactive games, face painting, moon bounces, dancing, and crafts for kids.  The grand finale of the evening will be 6,000 balls dropping at the George Washington Masonic Memorial. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website. Tickets are $20, free for kids 12 and under, and can be purchased at these locations in Alexandria.  Even more information about the event is available on the website.

Watch Night The City of Falls Church is ringing in the New Year with an evening of free festivities for the whole family. From 7pm – midnight, the indoor/outdoor celebration will include live music, dancing, face painting, balloon artists, a caricaturist, a 12-foot dragon, a moon bounce, firepits for warming, free concessions plus some for sale, and a midnight countdown.

Jump for Joy – If Winter Break has the kids (and possibly you) bouncing off the walls by now, let them expend some energy at Pump It Up, where they are hosting a Glow Jump tonight from 6 – 7:30pm. For $12, they get an hour of jump time, plus two slices of pizza and a drink.  This wil take place at the Lanham location.

Midnight NoonThe Maryand Science Center in Baltimore is hosting a New Years celebration especially for little ones from 10am – 2pm on Saturday. Guests can make their own party hats and noisemakers, then boogey down as kids fave Milkshake performs at 11:30am. Interactive musical performance by Now This! Improv will also take place at 10:30am and 1pm. Admission is the regular entrance fee – $16.70/adults, $15.70/seniors, $13.70/ages 3-12, free for 3 and under.  And rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

American Girl Scavenger HuntGirls ages 8 and up can learn about the beloved American Girl historical characters as they go on a scavenger hunt throughout the store at Tyson’s Corner.  They’ll discover what it was like to grow up in America’s past as they collect fun facts about the characters and find hidden clues to solve a puzzle along the way. This event is free and open to the public, and American Girl posters will be given away at the end.

Knuffle Bunny on Stage – See the classic book come to life at the Kennedy Center.  The show runs through January 8, and you can catch it this weekend at 11am or 1:30pm on Saturday.  Tickets are $20 and available for purchase online.

New Year Namaste Get a spiritual start to 2012, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm! Enjoy a Family Yoga class from 5-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Celebrate with refreshments afterwards from 6-7pm. Cost: $40 per family. Click here to register.

Midnight at 7The New Years fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  Enjoy it all from 5pm on when gates open, then watch a fireworks display at 7pm. Registration is $20/individual, $40/group of three, $50/group of four, etc.  Children ages 3 and under are free.  Go here to register.

Smithsonian is OpenDo some New Year’s Day museum hopping.  All of the Smithsonian galleries plus the National Zoo will be open this weekend, and some will even have extended hours.  Check the schedule for specifics. This is also your last chance to catch ZooLights – it’s closed on New Year’s Eve, but will be open for the final evening on Sunday. (Note that the National Gallery of Art is not part of the Smithsonian, despite its location on the Mall next to them, and will be closed on January 1.)

A Sunny StartMake that a sunny end, too.  We’ll be closing out this year and beginning the new one with some fabulous weather (for the season, anyway), so if you want to get out and enjoy it, refer to this post listing great places to spend a nice day outdoors.  (And if the weather should take a cold or rainy turn, see this post for indoor fun.)

Season Finales – This weekend will be your last chance to enjoy many events and performances exclusive to the holiday season. Model trains are winding down instead of around, curtains are getting ready to close on shows, colorful lights are twinkling for the last time.  See this post for details on holiday events and this one for seasonal performances.

 

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The Weekend Round-Up: December 23-25

Happy holidays from our family to yours.

 

The Chinese food and movie combo on Christmas might sound like a cliché, but that was my reality when I was growing up.  Back then, nothing was open on Christmas…except for the theaters and Chinese food restaurants.  So, if you were Jewish and didn’t celebrate the holiday, that’s what you did.

Now that Christmas is part of my holiday repertoire thanks to my husband, I’m a little busier come Christmas Day. (What am I saying?  Christmas brings a whole new meaning to busy for weeks leading up to it, especially with kids in the mix.) But even with my adopted holiday traditions to enjoy every December 25, I still like to get out for some activity, because that’s what the child in me knows.

These days, the world doesn’t shut down for the holiday.  Along with movie theaters and Chinese food restaurants, plenty of other venues keep some hours on Christmas Day. In the vein of DC-area family fun, the Botanic Garden, Mount Vernon, parks hosting light displays, and the ice rink in Silver Spring (for a Chanukah event) will be welcoming visitors, though it’s the one day of the year that the Smithsonian is closed. And just about everything is open on Christmas Eve.

So, if your family is in town this weekend and looking for fun to complement your celebration or seeking activities instead of one, you’ve got some options. Including plenty of children’s movies in the theaters to precede or follow a good Chinese food meal.  Merry Weekend!  And a very happy holiday to all!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town… On Water SkisOn Saturday at National Harbor, you can catch Santa water skiing along the Potomac. And along for the ride will be knee boarding reindeer, the flying elves, the jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy! Now, that’s sure to be a spectacle that will get kids buzzing. While you’re at the Harbor, be sure to check out the rest of the Christmas on the Potomac holiday extravaganza.

Closing Up Shop for the SeasonSaturday is your last chance to get a glimpse of Santa’s operations at his workshop on the Ellipse.  The cute, little cottage where guests can pass through and view the charming facilities, then get a photo with St. Nick himself will be open for the last time this season on Christmas Eve from 11am – 3pm. It’s also open today and tonight, 12:30 – 4:30pm and 5:30-9:30pm.  All of the other exhibits on the Ellipse – the National Christmas Tree, the National Menorah, and other holiday display – will be there to visit through the holidays.

Let There Be Light Shows – After a big holiday meal, take a drive  through one of the many light displays in the area. You can find details for all of them in this post about holiday events, but there are a few things to note this weekend:  ZooLights is closed all weekend, Watkins’ Festival of Lights is open and FREE on Christmas evening, Symphony of  Lights is open, Brookside Garden of Lights is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas evenings, and the Winter Lights Festival at Seneca Creek is closed on Christmas.

Chanukah WonderlandHead to the Civic Center in Downtown Silver Spring for a day full of activities that celebrate the eight crazy nights. There will be Chanukah jewelry, cookie decorating, a coloring station, dreidel making, and more from 10am – 5pm.  You can also enjoy Chanukah on Ice with skating, Jewish music, latkes from 3:30-5pm. Admission is $10.

Go NutsThe Warner Theatre curtains close on The Nutcracker after Saturday.  You can catch the final performances today at 2pm and 7pm or tomorrow at 11am and 3pm. Tickets range from $40-110, but you can check Goldstar for discount.  Read the KFDC review of the Washington Ballet’s version of the holiday classic.

Season’s GreeningsDespite its location next to all of the museums, the U.S. Botanic Garden is not part of the Smithsonian (the Architect of the Capitol serves as the Acting Director).  Hence, it’s not closed along with the rest of the galleries on the National Mall, and will welcome visitors all weekend. See the lovely, whimsical train display and replicas of DC landmarks constructed entirely of natural materials that make up the holiday exhibit, along with the permanent collections. Open 9am – 5pm, admission is free.

Portrait Story Days and Discovery KitsOn Saturday from 2-5pm, guests of all ages can drop at the National Portrait Gallery to hear a tale about Gertrude Stein and do an art project. For a fun DIY adventure at the Gallery, Portrait Discovery Kits are also available on Saturday from 1-4pm. They include “Seek and Find” cards, “Portrait Detective” and “Historian Guides,” and a “Compare and Contrast” activity using a doll. Visitors can check out kits at the education center, room E151, on the first floor.

Christmas at Mount VernonCelebrate the holiday at George Washington’s homestead, which will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The special holiday exhibit includes 12 Christmas trees, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations (and tastings!), and more.  Guests will also have the chance to tour the rarely opened third floor of the mansion to learn how the first First Family celebrated Christmas.  And outside, Alladin the camel will be on view to recall the camel ol’ George himself bought for 18 shillings in 1787 for his guests’ enjoyment at Christmas. Admission is $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The Great Outdoors – Dreams for a white Christmas may be dashed, but I, for one, won’t be complaining about the weather this weekend.  Lots of sunshine and relatively warm temps will give you some more options for things to do.  And this post about the DC area’s best places to spend a nice day outdoors with the kiddos has loads of ideas.

A Flick and Fried Rice – Whether you partake in the ol’ Chinese food and a movie on Christmas Day tradition or just seek an easy outing with the kids, here are several kids films playing this weekend (and note that the links are for 12/25, so be sure to change it if you plan to go on Saturday).
The Muppets
Adventures of Tin Tin
Arthur Christmas
Hugo
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

 

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