Join our mailing list and get exclusive giveaways, tips, family friendly events and more.
  Join  
Subscribe to our
E-Newsletter
and get exclusive giveaways!


Holiday Happenings

As the temperatures drop, keep kids busy this holiday season with Thanksgiving events, Nutcracker performances, winter wonderlands, light festivals and breakfast with Santa. There are so many seasonal events for kids, you're guaranteed to find something in this Holiday Happenings calendar whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the start of snow!

Take a look at the calendar below, where we've compiled the best holiday happenings in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for your convenience.


November 8-December 24: Santa Photos. Step into a magical wonderland and enjoy the holiday tradition of meeting Santa Claus! Share your Christmas list and reserve you spot to take photos with Santa. Dulles Town Center, Center Court, Dulles, VA. shopdullestowncenter.com

November 8-January 5: Singin' in the Rain. The greatest movie musical of all time comes to life on the Mainstage and for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Olney Theatre Center, Olney, MD. olneytheatre.org

November 8-March 15: Let the Skating Begin!. RTC offers public skating at the Pavilion daily with extended hours for the holidays. The skate shop is stocked with over 500 pairs of skates ranging from size 8 toddler through men's size 13, in both Figure and Hockey Styles. Open to beginners and experienced skaters! Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion, Reston, VA. restontowncenter.com

November 15-December 30: ICE! featuring Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Gaylord National Resort. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. The must-see holiday attraction is back! ICE! featuring the 1957 Dr. Seuss classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Watch how the Grinch tries to steal Christmas from the Whos of Who-ville through interactive ice sculptures and displays. Everything is hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice! The Gaylord National Resort, Oxon Hill, MD. christmasonthepotomac.com

November 15-January 1: The Velveteen Rabbit. Margery Williams' classic toy story gets a vibrant retelling in this brand new adaptation. When the child gets a Rabbit for Christmas, she is first disappointed, but as the two quest and adventure through her storybooks, they grow and care for each other. Tickets. Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo, MD. adventuretheatre-mtc.org

November 22-December 29: Enchant. Enchant Christmas is an immersive holiday light experience that will transport guests to a world of Christmas wonder, with trees up to 80 feet tall, larger-than-life ornaments, twinkling snowflakes, and of course, Santa in a glittering sleigh. Tickets. Nationals Park, Washington, DC. enchantchristmas.com

November 23-January 1: Kings Dominion Winterfest. Step into a world of holiday fun! The whole park will be transformed into a glittering winter landscape, with ice skating, festive characters, rides, live shows and more. Kings Dominion, Doswell, VA. kingsdominon.com

November 23-January 5: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Leap through the wardrobe and into a winter wonderland in this dance-based adaptation of C.S. Lewis's treasured novel from the Chronicles of Narnia. Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD. imaginationstage.com

November 29-December 1: Festival of Trees. Kennedy Krieger Institute celebrates 30 years of bringing the North Pole to Maryland. The East Coast's largest holiday extravaganza comes complete with decorated trees, a gingerbread town, shopping, holiday activities and entertainment for children of all ages. Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD. festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org

November 29-December 31: Winter Lights Festival. The City's Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for its 24th spectacular season. The wondrous display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park will be open nightly, except closed on December 25. The 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night. Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, MD. gaithersburgmd.gov

November 29-January 1: Annmarie Garden in Lights. 6-9 p.m. A magical holiday light show that takes visitors on a beautiful walk through the glittering woods. As you stroll the protected path, you will be surrounded by spectacular light experiences and magical "light sculptures" depicting sea creatures, wintry wonderlands, princesses, superheroes and much more! Don't forget to ask for a "Holiday I Spy" program. After your walk, warm up inside where you will find nightly entertainment, beautiful exhibits, great shopping and a holiday cafe! Closed December 2, 3, 9, 10, 24 & 25. $$ Download coupon online. Annmarie Gardens, Solomons, MD. annmariegarden.org

November 29-January 1: ZooLights. 5-9 p.m. Free. Live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with two dazzling laser light shows set to music. Closed Dec. 24, 25 & 31. And don't forget to share your #DCZooLights experience on social media! National Zoo, Washington, D.C. nationalzoo.si.edu/events/zoolights

November 30-December 29: The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker. This year, The Washington Ballet celebrates 15 years of its very-DC version of The Nutcracker, through December 28. at the historic Warner Theatre in downtown Washington DC. Set to Tchaikovsky's magical score, this celebrated production set in 1882 Georgetown has become the signature Nutcracker in our nation's capital. Warner Theatre, Washington, DC. washingtonballet.org

December 1: Sensory-Friendly Santa. 9-10:30 a.m. Children within every spectrum of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session. Register through Eventbrite. Dulles Town Center, Dulles, VA. shopdullestowncenter.com

December 1: PJ Masks Save the Day. 2 p.m. See your favorite characters LIVE on stage! DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C. pjmaskslive.com

December 3-29: The Snow Queen. Just in time for the holidays, Synetic presents a whimsical, family-friendly adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's beloved fairy tale. Synetic Theater, Arlington, VA. synetictheater.org

December 3-January 12: Peter Pan. J.M. Barrie's classic "Peter Pan" is reimagined for a new generation of theatergoers by American Theatre's Most Produced Playwright of 2017 Lauren Gunderson. Gunderson places Wendy center stage, a budding scientist breaking free from the constraints of Edwardian traditions. Whisked away by Peter Pan to Neverland, they confront menacing pirates, a formidable crocodile and the dastardly Captain Hook. Sidney Harman Hall, Washington, D.C. shakespearetheatre.org

December 6-8: Bring It On: The Musical. Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30 & 7 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30 p.m. Harmonia School's Main Stage Production is a must-see! Tickets. Harmonia School,Vienna, VA. www.harmoniaschool.org

December 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15: Celestial Fools. Times vary. The Christmas Revels presents A Magical Winter Fable! Tickets and more information online. GW Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC. revelsdc.org

December 8: Gingerbread Decorating. 4-6 p.m. Come join the fun of decorating and designing! Learn some new techniques as we guide your family through building and decorating the ultimate gingerbread house to take home and display! Cookology, Ballston Quarter, Arlington, VA. cookologyonline.com

December 8: MBT's The Nutcracker Suite - Sensory-friendly performance. 10-10:45 a.m. Metropolitan Ballet Theatre has been presenting the full-length traditional staging of The Nutcracker since 1989. Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD. mbtdance.org

December 12: Holiday Candy Making. 7-9 p.m. Do you have a recipe that brings back a flood of nostalgic memories from your childhood? Our amazing Chef Greg will give a hands-on lesson in Christmas candy making that's guaranteed to be a hit at your next Christmas party! Cookology, Dulles Town Center, Sterling, VA. cookologyonline.com

December 13 & 14: Winter Ice Show. Friday, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 3:45 p.m. Ashburn Ice House, Ashburn, VA. ashburnice.com

December 14: A Candlelight Christmas. It's not Christmas without The Washington Chorus! Featuring the National Capital Brass, over 130 singers, organ, sing-alongs and the magnificent candlelight processional, A Candlelight Christmas includes popular songs such as "The Dream Isaiah Saw," "Hallelujah Chorus" and more holiday favorites to fall in love with! The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD. strathmore.org

December 14: Santa Skate. 12:30-2 p.m. Ashburn Ice House, Ashburn, VA. ashburnice.com

December 14: Fairytale Tea time. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Hear ye! Hear ye! Calling all knights, princesses, unicorns, wizards and heroes! Synetic Theater is hosting a magical tea party to celebrate our production of "The Snow Queen." Join us for tea, cocoa, sweet treats and a story time. Be sure to wear your favorite costume. Synetic Theater, Arlington, VA. synetictheater.org

December 15: Concert & Sing-a-long. 2:30 p.m. All ages. Join the students of Barrett Suzuki Music Studio as they share sounds of the season. Ashby Ponds Retirement Community, Ashburn, VA. barrettsuzuki.com/events

December 17-January 19: My Fair Lady. A sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time. Tickets. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, kennedy-center.org

December 20 & 22: Nutcracker In A Nutshell. The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax will present "Nutcracker In A Nutshell" at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. This will be the twenty-seventh season that the BAE has presented this delightful shortened version of E.T.A. Hoffman's "Nutcracker Suite", which has proven over the years to be a holiday favorite for families. Complete with dancing Snowflakes and waltzing Flowers, this production combines the talents of young dancers with professional guest artists. NOVA, Alexandria Campus, Alexandria, VA. thecenterforballetarts.com

December 21: Santa at Synetic. 3-4 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the season alongside Santa Claus himself. Besides visiting with Old Saint Nick, you'll get to play your favorite theater games, learn about our winter classes and eat delicious holiday treats. Synetic Theater, Arlington, VA. synetictheater.org

December 23: A Family Christmas. 1 p.m. Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them! We'll take you on a merry tour of holiday sing-alongs and Christmas favorites that will have your family singing all the way home. Expect a visit from Santa, Frosty and Rudolph! This one-hour concert is perfect for children ages 5 and up. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, Alexandria, VA. choralarts.org

December 24: A Family Christmas 11 a.m. Bring the kids for an unforgettable holiday experience as the Choral Arts Chorus fills the concert hall with holiday classics just for them! We'll take you on a merry tour of sing-alongs and Christmas favorites that will have your family singing all the way home. Expect a visit from Santa, Frosty and Rudolph! This one-hour concert is perfect for children ages 5 and up. Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington, D.C. choralarts.org

2020: Shen Yun. Fairfax, VA: January 16-19 & March 10-11. Baltimore, MD: January 31-February 2. Washington, D.C.: April 7-12. Discover the breathtaking beauty of classical Chinese dance and treat yourself to Shen Yun's unique blend of costuming, high-tech backdrops and live orchestra. Tickets. Early Bird Code: WParent expires 12/15. shenyun.com/dc