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This Week’s Family-Friendly Events

Check out this week's family-friendly events, from President's Day parades and Paddington, to family dances, nature walks, and more.

Ellen Howes
Ellen Howes

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There’s a lot to celebrate around Northern Virginia this week! If you’re looking for a fresh list of family-friendly activities, here are 10 events happening now through February 26.

Below you’ll find everything from President’s Day celebrations and Paddington, to dances, tabletop games, and stargazing:

George Washington’s Birthday Parade

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Experience the nation’s oldest and largest parade celebrating George Washington’s birth! The 2023 George Washington Birthday Parade, held on February 20, will honor the 100th anniversary of Alexandria’s iconic George Washington Masonic National Memorial. In the heart of Old Town, watch as fraternal organizations, drum corps, color guards, bands, and city dignitaries, as well as parade namesake General Washington and Martha, march along a special one-time-only parade route to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the laying of the Memorial’s cornerstone.

When: Monday, 2/20. The parade begins at 1 p.m., but other events take place all day.
Price: Free
Address: Old Town Alexandria, 221 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Learn more and see the full list of events on their website.

Free Admission at Mount Vernon

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Mount Vernon, the beloved home of the first president of the United States, will celebrate his legacy with free admission on Presidents Day, February 20, and General Washington’s birthday, February 22. From mansion tours and a tactical demonstration by the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard to a children’s craft and the opportunity to meet General Washington himself, each day is packed with fun and the opportunity to connect with a unique time in our nation’s history!

When: Monday, 2/20 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 2/22 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Price: Free
Address:  George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Find out more info here.

The Emperor’s New Clothes Puppet Show

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Enjoy a classic fairy tale performed with puppets! Join the Franklin Performing Arts Center for this fun show, best for children ages 4 and up.

When: Wednesday, 2/22 at 10 a.m.
Price: $5/attendee
Address: Franklin Park Arts Center, 36441 Blueridge View Ln., Purcellville, VA 20132
Click here to purchase tickets.

Sweetheart Parent-Child Dance

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Children of all ages are invited to the McLean Community Center for a fancy evening with their special adult. Activities will include a DJ, a photo booth, craft projects, and light refreshments. Create lasting memories by joining the fun at MCC’s Sweetheart Dance!

When: Friday, 2/24 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Price: $20/participant
Address: McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, VA 22101
Register here.

Wonderful Winter Walk at Potomac Overlook Regional Park

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On February 25, join naturalist Matt Felperin on a short walk around the trails and take in the wonderful winter scenery of the forest! Learn why trees shed their leaves and other adaptations that allow plants and animals to survive winter’s cold. Plus, meet a few of our birds of prey that are able to stay outside all winter! This activity is best for participants ages 7+.

When: Saturday, 2/25 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Price: $8/participant
Address: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 Marcey Rd., Arlington, VA 22207
Find out more here.

Paddington Gets in a Jam at The Alden

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Jonathan Rockefeller Productions presents “Paddington Gets in a Jam.” Paddington, our favorite accident-prone bear, makes his stage debut in this fun-filled family comedy! Paddington is making his favorite marmalade jam with the help of the Brown’s housekeeper Mrs. Bird, but they run out of sugar, so Paddington heads next door to borrow some from Mr. Curry. Adorable mishaps ensue as Paddington interacts with his neighbors.

When: Saturday, 2/25 with showtimes at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Price: Tickets range from $20-$45 depending on membership and VIP access
Address: The Alden, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, VA 22101
Get your tickets here.

Stargaze at the Udvar-Hazy Center

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Join Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center staff and members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club for a family-friendly evening of stargazing! Staff and club members will help you find planets, stars, and the moon.

When: Saturday, 2/25 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Price: Free
Address: Udvar-Hazy Center (National Air & Space Museum), 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly, VA 20151
Find out more here.

Planetarium Program at the Franklin Park Arts Center

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Launch from Earth and take flight among the stars, moons, and planets of our solar system with the Franklin Park Arts Center’s planetarium! Plus, enjoy activities before/after the program in the lobby. The program lasts about 40 minutes and is best for guests ages 4+.

When: Sunday, 2/26, with shows beginning at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Price: $8/person
Address: Franklin Park Arts Center, 36441 Blueridge View Ln., Purcellville, VA 20132
Visit their website to see more.

Vernal Pool Ventures Campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

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Vernal pools are one of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s most fascinating and elusive ecosystems. Join in after-hours on February 26 to hike the trails and search for signs of new amphibian life. Learn about the life cycle and early development of local amphibians, hike the trails at night, and end with roasting s’mores over a campfire. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

When: Sunday, 2/26 from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Price: $10/participant
Address: Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 5040 Walney Rd., Chantilly, VA 20151
Sign up on their website here.

Nature Game Day

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Enjoy a winter’s day trying out some family-friendly, nature-themed tabletop games and puzzles! “Game masters” will be on hand to help explain the rules. A variety of games suitable for children ages 5+ will be provided. All children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Hot cocoa and light snacks will be provided!

When: Sunday, 2/26 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Price: $5 registration fee
Address: Croydon Creek Nature Center, 852 Avery Rd, Rockville, MD 20851
See more info here.

PS: This week from February 20-26, you can get 50% off your tickets to the upcoming DMV Chocolate and Coffee Festival! The festival takes place in May and features the top coffee shops, coffee roasters, chocolatiers, gourmet food purveyors, and unique artisans from the DMV and abroad. Snag your tickets early!


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.