Families stargazing together, led by staff of the National Air and Space Museum.
Image via airandspace.si.edu

Family-Friendly Events in NoVa This Week

We’ve curated your list of activities to check out this week around Northern Virginia! Get into the holiday spirit with some of the region’s favorite light shows and holiday markets.

Ellen Howes
Ellen Howes

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We’ve curated your list of activities to check out this week around Northern Virginia! Get into the holiday spirit with some of the region’s favorite light shows and holiday markets, immerse yourself in history at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, or discover something new with the Udvar-Hazy Center.

From holiday strolls to stargazing, and storytimes to arts and crafts, here’s your list of 9 family-friendly things to do now through November 13:

Good Morning Storytime at Ridgetop Coffee & Tea

A young girl sits and reads a Dr. Seuss book.
Photo by Josh Applegate via Unsplash

Ridgetop Coffee is hosting a party to celebrate local children’s authors! Hear local authors read their books and get a balloon creation celebrating your favorite story. Reading Tree Books will be onsite with their mobile bookstore. Ridgetop Coffee & Tea offers a children’s play area, lots of seating, and space to maneuver strollers and wiggly children.

When: Tuesday, 11/8 from 9 am - 11 am
Price: Free
Address: Ridgetop Coffee & Tea, 21631 Ridgetop Cir, Sterling, VA 20166
Find out more here.

Sesame Street Anniversary

Landscape photo of the renovated community center in Sterling, Va.
Image of the Sterling Community Center via theburn.com

Join the Sterling Community Center to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of Sesame Street! This event is great for children ages 5 and under, and will feature games, activities, and crafts based on favorite Sesame Street characters.

When: Tuesday, 11/8 from 11 am - 12 pm
Price: There may be a small fee for this event. Call 703-430-9480 for more information.
Address: Sterling Community Center, 120 Enterprise St, Sterling, VA 20164
Click here to see the event listing.

Movie Night at Barton Park

Rows of movie theater popcorn in red baggies.
Photo by Corina Rainer via Unsplash.

Enjoy a family-friendly evening of movie magic with Disney’s Frozen II (rated PG). Bring a blanket and cuddle under the stars to watch this beloved movie.

When: Thursday, 11/10 at 5 pm
Price: Free, with snacks available for purchase at food trucks
Address: Barton Park, 2401 10th Street North, Arlington, VA 22201
See more here.

29th Annual Northern Virginia Christmas Market

A woman peruses Christmas decorations at a holiday market.
Image via northernvirginiamag.com

Start your holiday shopping with this fan-favorite Christmas Market! This weekend-long market brings in over 200 artisans from all across the United States. Artisans offer a diverse selection of fine arts, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, wood, photography, fiber arts, vintage re-creations, and thousands of one-of-kind Christmas collectibles. Attendees are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank’s food drive.

When: Friday, 11/11 through Sunday, 11/13. Open Friday and Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm, and Sunday from 10 am - 5 pm
Price: Free for children ages 12 and under. $8 for all other guests. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.
Address: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Ctr, Chantilly, VA 20151
See a list of vendors and purchase tickets here.

Bull Run Festival of Lights

A festive light display of Santa and his reindeer.
Image via novaparks.com

Tis the season to enjoy the Bull Run Festival of Lights with friends and family! Drive through 2.5 miles of magical holiday light displays. Enjoy this winter-time activity from the comfort of your car! And when you’re done with the Festival of Lights, guests have the option to hop out of their car to enjoy the Holiday Village. Complete with bonfires, s’mores, holiday merchandise, the Holiday Village is fun for the whole family. (See our full post on the Festival of Lights here!)

When: Begins Friday, 11/11 and available through Sunday, 1/8/2023. Open Mondays through Thursdays from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday nights from 5:30 pm - 10 pm
Price: $30/vehicle when purchased online, $40/vehicle at the door. Save $10 with the discount code early22 when purchasing tickets for 11/11-11/20.
Address: Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121
Find out more on their website.

Winter Walk of Lights

A garden path is illuminated by dozens of festive holiday lights along the fences and trees.
Image via novaparks.com

Another beloved holiday light display starts this weekend! Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights takes visitors on a half-mile stroll through the enchanting Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, featuring lighted nature themes and animated displays along a paved wheelchair and stroller-accessible trail. Guests can warm up with a hot beverage (with or without spirits) and finish out the evening with s’mores.

When: Begins Friday, 11/11 and available through Sunday, 1/8/2023. Open from 5:30 pm - 10 pm
Price: Free for children ages 2 and younger. Everyone else must have a ticket. Ticket prices depend on the day, but range from $5-$18.
Address: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182
See all the details here.

Sensory-Friendly Family Morning at Mount Vernon

Children explore a display of George Washington at Mount Vernon.
Image via mountvernon.org

Mount Vernon invites families to join them for a sensory-friendly morning and tour! Before your visit, you will receive materials to prepare your family for a visit. Upon arrival, guests will receive a sensory bag (while supplies last). Look for the Discovery Station for a hands-on lesson and explore the Historic Area with a special self-guided tour. There will also be a take-a-break room available. Mount Vernon will begin opening for regular operations at 9 am, at which point hand dryers, audio, lights in exhibits, and select interactives will be turned on.

When: Saturday, 11/12 from 8 am - 9 am
Price: Free for members and children ages 5 and under. $11 for all other attendees.
Address: George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Learn more on their website.

Art on the Avenue

A crowd strolls through booths at Art on the Avenue in Alexandria, Va.
Image via artontheavenue.org

Join Art on the Avenue as they celebrate their 27th year and enjoy one of the region’s best multicultural arts and music festivals. Shop a wide variety of goods from artists and craftsmen, enjoy fare from local Alexandria restaurants, and listen to live performers. And kids can also take part in a variety of free arts and crafts!

When: Saturday, 11/12 from 10 am - 5 pm
Price: Free
Address: Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria - Mount Vernon & Hume Avenues Alexandria, VA 22314
See a full list of artists and activities on their website.

Stargaze at the Udvar-Hazy Center

A young child looks into a telescope at night.
Image via airandspace.si.edu

Join the Udvar-Hazy Center staff and members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club for an evening of stargazing! Be an astronomer for the night and observe planets, stars, and more. Telescopes are provided, and it’s recommended to bring warm clothes and a small flashlight.

When: Saturday, 11/12 from 6 pm - 8 pm
Price: Free
Address: 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151
Find out more here.


Ellen Howes

Ellen is a bookworm, runner, and proud auntie. She makes her home in DC and can usually be found somewhere in Rock Creek Park.