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This Week's Family-Friendly Events

Welcome back to The Week Ahead! Here's our recommended events happening around Northern Virginia now through January 15.

Ellen Howes
Ellen Howes

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Happy New Year! The Week Ahead is back with your curated list of family-friendly activities to check out.

Below you’ll find our recommended events happening around Northern Virginia now through January 15. We’ve got basketball competitions, movie brunches, Lunar New Year celebrations, and more!

The St. James 2023 MLK Classic

Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.

Join The St. James for a star-studded schedule of games for one of the nation's premier high school basketball showcases! Watch the next generation of basketball greats as 20+ girls and boys’ high school teams face off in a weekend of instant-classic competition.

When: Friday, 1/13 - Monday, 1/16, various times
Price: $20-$30, depending on the day
Address: The St. James Sports, Wellness and Entertainment Complex 6805 Industrial Road, Springfield, VA 22151
Click here for tickets.

Lunar New Year Lion Dance Performance

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Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a special lion dance performance performed by The Jow Ga Shaolin Institute 周家少林堂 (jau ga shàolín táng), a traditional Chinese martial arts school located in Herndon, VA. They’ll perform at multiple Fairfax County public libraries throughout the day.

When: Saturday, 1/14. Times vary by location, but the performance lasts about 30 minutes. Start times at the libraries range from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: Free, registration required
Address: Multiple Fairfax County libraries
See all the library locations and times here.

E.T. and Brunch at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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Bring the family for brunch and enjoy one of the most imaginative and heartfelt science-fiction films ever made! Steven Spielberg’s beloved film “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (rated PG) is one of those films that’s shaped countless childhoods.

When: Saturday, 1/14 at 11 a.m.
Price: Children’s seat tickets are $5 and adult’s seat tickets are $10. Brunch items may be additional.
Address: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 20575 Easthampton Plz., Ashburn, VA 20147
Get tickets here.

2023 Polar Plunge

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Take the plunge! Break out your swimsuit, gather your friends (and nerves), and take the chilly plunge in support of Special Olympics Virginia. Every penny raised supports 23,000 athletes of all abilities. There will also be a costume contest for fanciest plungers!

When: Saturday, 1/14 from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Price: Free, but each attendee commits to raising $25 by January 15. If the amount isn't reached, attendees cover the remaining amount.
Address: Mosaic District, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax, VA 22031
Sign up for the plunge here.

Frozen and Spiderman Host Winter Family Festival at Shipgarten

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Join Shipgarten this Saturday for their Winter Family Festival. It’s also National “Dress Up Your Dog” Day, and they’re going all out! Try guided sampling from 50+ breweries, compete with your pup for prizes, and stay warm and cozy around the fire pits. Kids can also meet Elsa, Anna, and Spiderman, and explore 2 moon bounces, a full playground, and participate in arts and crafts.

When: Saturday, 1/14 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Price: Free
Address: Shipgarten, 7581 Colshire Drive Mclean, VA 22102
Read more info here.

Tết Grand Festival

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The Tết Grand Festival, the largest Lunar New Year celebration and Asian cultural event in the DMV, is back at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend! This special two-day indoor grand festival features a 100,000 sq. ft. exhibition area with Vietnamese cultural exhibits, performances, arts & crafts, food & drink galore, gifts, and a car raffle!

When: Saturday, 1/14 and Sunday, 1/15 beginning at 10 a.m. each day
Price: Free for children 2 and under, $5 for students and children, $10 for adults
Address: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Chantilly, VA 20151
Click here for more details and tickets.

Reston’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration

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This year’s 38th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration has something for everyone. It’s an inspiring 3 day event, including community service projects, a youth session, a special performance by Mark G. Meadows, and a Keynote Speech by Heather McGhee followed by a community luncheon.

When: Saturday, 1/14 - Monday, 1/16
Price: Varies; tickets are required for certain speakers and performances and seem to range between $5-$20. At this time, the Keynote is sold out but tickets will become available to the waitlist 1 hour before the event.
Address: Various locations in Reston, VA.  
See the full schedule here.

The Snowflake Trail at Cub Run Rec Center

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Snowflake the elf has lost her gifts for the woodland animals and needs your help to find them! Along the Snowflake Trail, kids and their families are invited to help find Snowflake’s hidden treasures in a creative, winter-themed video scavenger hunt. Through the forest behind Cub Run Rec Center, snowflake markers have been set up along a trail with QR codes. Each code will show you a video clue of what’s been lost nearby. Some items may be off-trail, behind trees, or on fallen logs! This is a free, self-paced winter activity.

When: Available now through Tuesday, 1/31
Price: Free
Address: Cub Run Rec Center, 4630 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly, Virginia
Read more about the trail here.

P.S.: Don’t forget that Monday, 1/16 is a Free National Park Entrance Day! Fees are waived in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. See all of Virginia’s National Parks 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.