Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 November to December Events

Kid's activities and events focused on kid's play, learning, socialization and confidence building in the Washington DC and Maryland areas. Please feel free to comment on any of these activities you may have participated. We are always open to suggestions for activities we may have missed. Thank you for all your responses.

Calendar Quick Links

Oct 16 Puppet Company's "3 Billy Goats Gruff" Opens
Nov-Dec Polar Express Holiday Train Ride
Nov 11: Imagination Stage- Wake Up, Brother Bear Opens
Nov 13-16
Strathmore Holiday Bazaar
Nov 14-15 Muscogee Creek Festival -National Indian Museum
Nov 14 
Adventure Theatre's Tiny Tim's Christmas Card-Opens
Nov 15: 
National Harbor Tree Lighting/Fireworks

Nov 16 Christmas on the Potomac at the Gaylord Opens
Nov 17-20  Discovery Theatre-Coyote Mischief Tales Company's "3 Billy Goats Gruff" Opens
Nov 17 Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Pavilion Opens
Nov 19: Imagination Stage- 101 Dalmations Opens
Nov 20- Ford's Theater "A Christmas Carol" Opens
Nov 22 Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point Opens

Nov 24-25  Discovery Theatre- Barefoot Puppets show
Nov 27  A Longwood Gardens' Christmas Opens
Nov 28-30
Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees
Nov 30:  Annapolis Grand Illumination

Dec 1 - 19  Discovery Theatre- Seasons of Light
Dec 1 -
NASA Goddard Rocket

Dec 1: Union Station Tree Lighting
Dec 4: Baltimore Monument Lighting

Dec 4 37th Annual Festival of Lights Opens
Dec 5-6 Scottish Holiday Weekend
Dec 6:  Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Dec 6: Annual Swedish Embassy Holiday Bazaar
Dec 6: Torpedo Factory Holiday Open House
Dec 10-12  Discovery Theatre- Baby Rex's Holiday Surprise
Dec 16 National Menorah Lighting

Dec 21:  Alexandria'Chanukah Festival
Dec 24: Water Skiing Santa and Kneeboarding Reindeer

Jan 10 -Liberty Mountain Winter Trails-Free Snowshoeing
Jan 24 - Maryland Polar Bear Plunge



Sunday Kid's activities at the National Indian Museum
Nov -March - Rockville's Town Square Ice Rink
Now - Nov Fall events at the Public Library
Now - Dec Fall art, Drama, Dance and Music classes for children
Oct 16-Nov 21  Puppet Company's "3 Billy Goats Gruff"
Nov 11-30 Imagination Stage's Wake Up, Brother Bear
Nov 14-Jan 1 Adventure Theatre's Tiny Tim's Christmas Card
Nov 19-Jan 11 Imagination Stage's 101 Dalmatians
Nov 20-Jan 1  Ford's Theater "A Christmas Carol"
Nov 27-Jan 11 A Longwood Gardens' Christmas 

2014 Special Holiday Events

Water-Skiing Santa
Kneeboarding Reindeer

December 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm sharp
Near Woodrow Wilson Bridge
-rain, snow or sleet-
FREE Event

National Harbor, Maryland


Norwegian Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 1, 6-7:00 pm
on the West Carriage Porch
Union Station, Washington DC

The Norwegian Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Union Station, which is open to the public, is an annual event. However, Union Station is still undergoing renovations following the earthquake a few years ago. Last year, the event was held at the side entrance. True to tradition, the Royal Norwegian Embassy will give a Christmas tree to the people of Washington, D.C. as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Norway. It also expresses Norway’s gratitude for assistance received from the United States during and after World War II. This year, the tree lighting ceremony will be held outside the West Hall, on the porch facing 1st street by the west exit of the
Union Station Metro station.

Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington2720 34th Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 333-6000

Union Station
West Terrace (facing 1st street)
20002 Washington, D.C.


in Alexandria

Weekend events December 5-6

Christmas Marketplace in the Campagna Center
418 S Washington Street, Alexandria, VA
December 6, 10 am-4:00 pm

Parade on Saturday, December 6, 11:00 am

The annual holiday parade celebrates Alexandria's Scottish heritage and features more than 100 Scottish clans, Scottish dancers, pipe and drum bands, reenactment groups, Scottie dog groups and Santa. Parade begins at Wilkes and South St. Asaph streets and ends at King and Royal streets, in Alexandria.


Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria
Holiday Open House •
Friday •December 6, 4:00-9pm • FREE

The Torpedo Factory Art Center's will host their annual Holiday Open House November 29 with fun festivities and shopping for everyone. Studio and galleries will be open until 9pm for holiday shopping from handmade ornaments and playful hats and scarves to small sculptures, elegant jewelry, and original paintings.

Guests are also invited to enter our free prize drawing for a chance to win a $100 Torpedo Factory Art Center gift certificate, which is good everywhere in the Art Center including all 82 studios, 6 galleries, The Art League, and the gift shop.

Live Music & Refreshments
Sample sparkling wine and holiday treats from the Café by Bread & Chocolate as you get into the spirit with festive music. .

105 N. Union St.
Alexandria, VA 22314


Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
December 6
Dockside festivities begin at 3 pm including
Santa's arrival by boat 4:15 pm
Parade begins at 6 pm

15th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Visit the Torpedo Factory at Old Town Alexandria's harbor side before dark.
Then watch the beautifully decorated boats as they sail down the Potomac River from the docks of the Alexandria Marina.  Hot chocolate and coffee can be purchased within the Torpedo Gallery and at the nearby Starbucks.  Parking garages can be found along King Street and side streets.



Swedish Christmas Bazaar

Saturday December 6, 11:00 am-5:00 pm
First Saturday of December

Hosted by SWEA Washington DC
(Swedish Women’s Educational Association)
and supported by the Embassy of Sweden and House of Sweden

* Lucia procession performing traditional Swedish Holiday songs at 5 pm
*Swedish crystal, textiles, artwork, food and much more on sale
* Raffle with amazing prizes
* Swedish café with home baked goods and traditional Swedish delicacies
* Children’s activity room with Swedish crafts

House of Sweden
2900 K Street NW
Washington DC 20007
(Georgetown Waterfront)

For more information, please contact Suzanne Edam

Tel 202 546 7266


Baltimore's Washington Monument Illumination
The First Obelisk to honor George Washington
Thursday, December 4, 5:30-8:00 pm
Ceremony at 7 pm and Lighting at 7:45

Monument Lighting Family Festival Photo #1

  1. Hosted by MIX 106.5 station beginning at 5:30
  2. Choirs, strolling entertainment,
  3. refreshments available by local vendors
  4. Fireworks following lighting
  5. Baltimore events link
  6. Mt Vernon Place,
  7. Baltimore, MD


Annapolis Grand Illumination
Wednesday, November 30, 5-8:00 pm

Grand Illumination: Annapolis Christmas Tree Lighting

Santa and the Mayor
will light the downtown tree

Street fair with caroling and dancing starts at 4:00


Holiday Light Shows

December 5 - January 3,   6-9:00 pm
CLOSED Dec. 8-10,  24-25
Admission (ages 5 & up): $6.00
Children 4 & under: FREE
Annmarie Members: FREE
No Pets during special events  ....   except during Pet Night! Jan 1

Visitors can begin their light tour in the Arts Building and do some shopping at the Ornament Show & Sale, and gift store. There is nightly entertainment, exhibits, and the Dream Weaver's Holiday Cafe. And don't forget to ask for a "Holiday I Spy" program. This year, the "Holiday I Spy" game will feature a green shamrock hidden in each vignette. Try to find all seven shamrocks! Scroll down to see the complete schedule of nightly entertainment and activities.

13480 Dowell Road
P.O. Box 99
Dowell, Maryland 20629
(410) 326 - 4640


Dirty Blonde 20

Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek above the Spa Creek Bridge
Saturday, December 13,  6:00-8:00 pm

On the second Saturday in December, the Eastport Yacht club parade their magically lit boats down the Annapolis Harbor. A lot of work and creativity go into getting these vessels ready for the light parade, and children are always excited to see them as they float across the water. Free Event.

Homestead Gardens' Grand Illumination
Davidsonville, MD
November 15, 6:00 pm

Every year patrons and employees of Homestead Garden gather for a short ceremony to turn on the thousand's of lights that adorn the garden center and gift store. A short prayer is said and Christmas carols are sung. Then children excitedly prepare for the flipping of the light switch. There are squeals and oooohs and aaaaahs as the children and adults delight in the many colors of twinkling lights. Inside patrons marvels at the many different tree themes and unique christmas ornaments. Children like to gather around the large train display and run from side to side to see their favorites. The garden center has a new exotic cafe that serves pastries, lattes and peppermint cocoa. There are hundreds of plants with multitude of colored blooms, and many different varieties of Poinsettias and Christmas bulbs.

743 West Central Avenue,
Davidsonville, MD 21035
(410) 798-5000

Monday-Friday 9 am - 8 pm
Saturday 8 am - 8 pm,
Sunday 9 am - 6 pm


November  17 - January 4
Hours: Every night, including holidays 6-10 p.m.
$20 per car., Mini bus $45, bus $125.
Benefits for Howard County General Hospital

Dazzle Dash
Runners November 15, 5-7:30 pm
Walkers November 16, 4-7:30 pm

Group Walks (1.4 miles)
$10 per walker; under 3 free
Mondays/Wednesdays November 18-December 30, 4-5:45 pm
Military Appreciation Nights December 1 & 8

Bike the Lights - December 2

Twinkling Tots Stoller Night - December 9

Pet Night December 4

December 31st, 5-8 pm
Midnight at 7 Walk through, bonfire, music, party favors and fireworks!

Ticket link of Lights is a spectacular drive-through display of more than 75 animated and stationary holiday lights.
Visitors can also walk through the park on most Mondays/Wednesdays (check schedule).

All proceeds from the Symphony of Lights benefit the services of
Howard County General Hospital and John Hopkins Hospital.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia, Maryland


Lights on the Bay

Sponsored by Anne Arundel Medical Center
November 17 - January 1,  5-10:00 p.m.

$14 per car, $28 large car/minivan, $50 bus
Military Appreciation Night December 7 ($7 car)
Dashing through the Show
3.1 mile race
November 21 at 6:15 pm
$14 per runner

An annual scenic drive through holiday lights show sponsored by the Anne Arundel Medical Center. Drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and see more than 60 animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. Lights on the Bay has something for everyone in the family. Children can participate in a nightly scavenger hunt, challenging them to find items within the show, answer display-related questions and enter a drawing to win prizes. With special glasses purchased at the door, secret three-dimensional images will appear within the displays. As always, Santa will make an appearance on Thanksgiving Day and every weekend through December 24. For both novice and experienced runners, AAMC and the Annapolis Striders will host its annual 5K fun run, “Dashing Through the Show.” Proceeds benefit continued outpatient and inpatient needs for the underserved.
Lights on the Bay $14 per car. Large passenger vans, mini buses and trolleys are $28.00. Buses are $50.00 Discount coupons are available through local publications and at many retail locations.
Sandy Point State Park
Route 50, Annapolis, Maryland.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Christmas on the Potomac 2014


National Harbor
Tree Lighting and Fireworks
November 15, 6-7:00 pm
Holiday Market 12-5:00 pm
Photos with Santa 12-2:00 pm
Holiday Movie on the Plaza, "The Santa Clause" 12-4:00 pm
and lots more!

National Harbor invites the public to gather around its 65 foot Christmas tree, and count down as over 200,000 decorative lights illuminate the ornately dressed tree. The evening’s finale will be a spectacular light show featuring the lighting of the National Harbor Christmas Tree and fireworks. A great answer for families looking for things to do in DC’s surrounding areas this holiday season

Gaylord National Resort
November 14, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Brunch with Santa
11:00am-2:00pm (last seating 1:00pm)
Call for tickets 301-965-4000
Frosty the Snowman
Ice Show
Price varies $14-34 and times sell out fast!
Check rates for peak and nonpeak days
and Military Discounts (link)
Dates fill up quicklhy

DreamWorks Special Events
Gingy the Gingerbread and Madagascar
Tickets 301-965-4000

The Gaylord National holiday season include thousands of twinkling lights, a 60 foot candy glass tree, dancing lighted fountains, 20 foot ice slides, falling snow and over a million pounds of ice sculptures. Children and adults delight in just strolling through the winter winterland of lights and decorations. Disney characters delight children during the many different activities including the daily lighting of the holiday tree at 6:30 pm, water fountain and light dance and festive holiday concert. The ICE! show exhibit has marvelous sculptures of ice and color and an ice skating rink gives visitors a chance to try out their skills. The "Gingy" House hosts holiday decorating activities for families. There are several cookie kits to select from and prices vary per kit. Each kit contains all materials and staff are happy to assist in building gingerbread houses to cookie tree sculptures. Expect some sweet but messy icing on hands, clothes and faces. All in good fun! Expect crowds since this event is very popular and people travel from all over the northeast to enjoy the holiday celebration. Reservations should be made in advance for any of the restaurants in the Gaylord or surrounding area. Gingy the Gingerbread Cookie is always on hand for photo ops.

Tickets for ICE! (Children under 3 FREE)
Tickets usually sell out quickly for certain days. 
Reserve early and check out non-peak day discounts.
ICE! Parking $10

Christmas on the Potomac
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745

Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees

November 28-30
10 am- 9 pm Friday/Saturday
10 am-6 pm Sunday
Maryland State Fairgrounds 
in Timonium

The primary mission of the Festival of Tree is to raise funds for the children with disabilities served by the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and to continue to increase awareness of the Institute by creating a spectacular event for the greater Baltimore community to enjoy. Kennedy Krieger Institute hosts the Festival of Trees during Thanksgiving week for holiday gift shoppers, people looking for holiday decorations, and families looking for a fun activity to kick off the holiday season. The Festival of Trees has grown significantly over the years, and is now the largest holiday event of its kind on the entire East Coas. The holiday bazaar covers more than 150,000 square feet of holiday fun and now features over 500 trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses decorated by local families, organizations, and businesses. In 2009, over the course of three days, Festival of Trees drew in more than 40,000 attendees and raised nearly $900,000.

Festivities include kids activities, games,
live entertainment, food vendors and lots of great shopping.
Children's activities include train rides, inflatable slide, carnival games, pony rides, petting zoo, carousel (wheelchair accessible) and time with Santa.

Advanced Online Ticket Prices to Thanksgiving:

Adult: $11 (at gate $13)
Senior (65 and older): $6 (at gate $7)
Child (5-12): $6
Child (4 and Under): FREE

After Thanksgiving:
Adults $13; Seniors/Kids $7; Kids under 4 FREE

Coupons and Discounts

Earn FREE Ticket
Online advanced ticket sales are now available online until Friday, November 2
Purchase your Festival of Trees tickets

Festival of Trees
For more information call 443-923-7301, 

Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205
Main Number:(443) 923-9200 

Toll-Free Main Number:(800) 873-3377 
Referral Line:(443) 923-9400 
Toll-Free Referral:(888) 554-2080

Maryland State Fairgrounds
The Cow Palace
2200 York Road
Timonium, Maryland 21093

    Strathmore Holiday Shop Around

    Strathmore - At the Intersection of Art and Life

    Museum Shop Around
    Thursday-Sunday, November 13-16
    Times vary so check schedule

    Strathmore was founded in 1981, and provides diverse programs of art exhibitions, concerts and performing arts programs, and literary lectures and events. The center offers childrens classes in music and the arts. They host wonderful concerts for all ages, and afternoon teas.

    This weekend, Strathmore will become an enormous holiday bazaar with vendors from the area's finest museum gift shops from the Shakespeare Theatre to the Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo Park. The bazaar is a very popular holiday event, and shoppers can find toys, jewelry, one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade items. The event is very popular and space is limited, so Strathmore requests "No strollers, please."
    Free parking is available in the Mansion at Strathmore lot on a space available basis. Metered parking is located on Tuckerman Lane and in the Grosvenor/Strathmore Metro Parking Garage. On Thursday and Friday parking in the Garage is $5, payable by SmarTrip card or major credit card. On Saturday and Sunday the garage is free.

    This year's shops include:
    American University Museum — Katzen Museum Store
    Audubon Naturalist Society
    Herb Cottage at Washington National Cathedral
    Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
    Just Imagine! The Shop at Imagination Stage
    Kennedy Center Gift Shop
    Montgomery County Historical Society
    National Geographic Store
    National Museum of Women in the Arts
    The Phillips Collection
    Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo Park
    President Lincoln’s Cottage
    Shakespeare Theatre Company Shop
    Supreme Court Historical Society
    Textile Museum
    The Shop at Strathmore
    United States Capitol Historical Society
    United States Senate Gift Shop
    Admission $9 (Stars $8)  Ticket link
    Cash/Checks Only At Door


    Other Holiday Events in December

    Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker
    Bohemian Jazz Orchestra 
    Santa Claus Brunch at 10 am and 12:00 pm

    Zoolights at the National Zoo

    lights at zoo in shape of tigers

    November 28-January 1
    Except December 24-25 & 31
    5:00 to 9:00 pm

    The National Zoo transforms the park into a spectacular winter wonderland for the holiday season every year. Millions of twinkling lights in a rainbow of colors will decorate the entire park. Children will giggle at the moving lights like the fly eating lizard and the soaring eagle. One of my daughter's favorite attractions was a snow globe bubble with a dancing panda bear. The panda bear danced to holiday tunes as the children tapped on the bubble for his attention. When the bear would lunge at their side, the children would giggle in delight. She would have stayed much longer, but we had to get into line for snowtubing. The Lion/Tiger Hill is transformed into a snow covered area with two 150 foot long snow tubing tracks for children and adults to slide in round tubes. The Zoo's new carousel with assorted zoo creatures will be available for night time rides which will delight children and adults. Holiday train rides will take visitors for a ride to see the stunning light creations. Costumed characters will meander through the park for photo ops with the children. There is a Gingerbread House competition and this year's theme is the park's newest exhibit, American Trail. Vendors will be open for food, drinks and souvenirs.

    Visitors should take note of winter time temperatures and dress appropriately. A stroller is really necessary for small children given the frigid temperatures, night time darkness and lengthy stroll through the park. A warm blanket is a great idea to help keep children comfortable when they are not running about. Expect lines as this is a very popular event. There is no admission to the park, but ride tickets are $3 each per ride/snowtubing. We waited in line to snowtube for 45 minutes, and were able to slide down the hill twice with two tickets each. My four year old daughter complained for the last 30 minutes of our wait, but ran giggling as soon as she was able to go get her tube. She squealed down the hill, and ran to do it again. Worth the wait and we were happy to hop into the warm restaurant for hot chocolate after our frigid line waiting. The carousel ride was not as long a wait, and the train line was pretty long.  She is already counting down the days to the next Zoolight's event. 
    National Zoological Park Zoolights - ADMISSION IS FREE!

    This is a very popular event, so expect long lines 
    and be prepared for chilly temperatures.
    Arrive early to purchase tickets for carousel and train rides and snow tubing

    Event Parking fee TBA

    6:00-8:00 Summer hours for the Grounds 
    9:00-5:00 year round - Visitor Center, Shops, and Concessions 
    10:00-6:00 Exhibits

    Children's Activity Sheets for Zoo including Scavenger Hunts

    Smithsonian National Zoo
    Free Admission
    3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Metro: Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or the Cleveland Park stop.

    Parking Regular days - 6 for the first three hours, and $22 for more than three hours. 
    Parking is free for FONZ members during regular daytime hours.
    The zoo is very, very popular so arrive early for parking. Otherwise, you will have to find parking outside the zoo area.


    Help save primates, donate your old cell phones at the 

    Great Ape House or at the Panda or Lion/Tiger Information Booths.