As Holiday season is approaching, I wanted to share some fun events that you can do with as a family. Washington DC is a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays with children to create special memories that will last a lifetime.
Every year, we visit National zoo for “Zoolights” which runs from November 28 – January 1 (http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/ZooLights/ ). This is an entertaining event for the whole family. National Zoo presents displays for sparkling lights featuring the Zoo’s animals. There are live music performances, good food and even a light show set to music. The whole family will feel happiness and festivity as you walk in. The best part – it’s free! If you have little ones, do not forget to take their strollers or wagon as you will be walking for a couple of hours. If you get cold, you can go to into the inside animal exhibits to warm up.
The National Christmas tree (http://thenationaltree.org/) in front of the White House is a sight for all to see. The winter is cold in DC so snuggle up the little ones! There are other exhibits there as well with Santa’s Workshop open on Fridays – Sundays through December 21st; nightly music performances; and one-of-kind ornaments representing every US state, territory and District of Columbia.
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden transforms into ice skating ring from mid-November through mid march (http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/visit/ice-rink.html). There is a small fee for the rink and if you need rental skates but what a great location on the national mall!
If the outside is too cold or you want to stay warm, there are many indoor fun activities for kids as well. The 17 Smithsonian museums (http://www.si.edu/Museums) are free in DC. The kids will love seeing the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal fossils and skeletons at Natural History; the airplanes, space shuttles and astronauts at Air and Space Museum; and don’t forget the 3 IMAX® theaters (Museum of Natural History, Air & Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum near Dulles Airport) have the largest screens in the Washington, DC region and measure up to 6 stories tall! If outerspace is what you like, the Planetarium’s 77-foot digital dome is the only full-dome cinema in DC. Audiences can journey through time and space to view some of the most extraordinary images not viewable to the naked eye. The National Cathedral (http://www.nationalcathedral.org/) is also great place to hear some Christmas carols.
Finally, as the year comes to a close, don’t forget to partake in live performances of music, dance, theater and fireworks at DC’s first night. Several communities near Washington, DC in Maryland and Virginia host First Night events and other family friendly events to welcome the New Year!