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What To Do Around NoVa This Week

If you're looking for activities for now through December 24, then we've got your list of 10 family-friendly events.

Ellen Howes
Ellen Howes

Table of Contents

Most of you, like us, are probably feeling the hectic rush of the holiday season right now. If you’re looking for things to do with family, then look no further. We’ve got your list of 10 family-friendly activities happening now through December 24. You’ll find everything from caroling and movie nights, to scavenger hunts and a waterskiing Santa (yes, waterskiing Santa).    

The Mom ‘n Dad Co weekly newsletter team will be taking a break until the New Year. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season! We can’t wait to see you in 2023!

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Winter Wonder Lab at Children’s Science Center

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The Children’s Science Center offers a wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focused activities for visitors. Their seasonal lab is still going strong! Bring the family and explore all the fun of winter. In addition to the Lab being decorated for the season, families can participate in several special activities. Go on an Arctic Animal Expedition, hunting throughout the Lab for animals adapted to cold weather! Get into the winter spirit by making your own snowy slime at the Experiment Bar, and explore how animals stay cozy in the winter by designing your own habitat at the Bio Zone.

When: Monday, 12/19 - Sunday, 1/1 with time slots from 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm
Price: Free for children under 2, $15 for all other visitors
Address: Children’s Science Center, 11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA 22033
Click here to reserve your time.

Christmas Village at Leesburg Animal Park

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Celebrate the holidays with some snuggly, cozy critters! Visit Leesburg Animal Park this season to see its 21 acres transformed into a magical and mesmerizing Christmas Village. On select evenings now through December 23, families can enjoy holiday-inspired fun under the twinkling glow of thousands of lights strung throughout the park.

When: Now through Friday, 12/23 from 6 pm - 9 pm
Price: $15.95/visitor
Address: Leesburg Animal Park, 19270 James Monroe Hwy., Leesburg, VA 20175
Find out more on their website.

Search for Santa’s Critters at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park

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Santa’s animal friends are lost in the park and need rescuing! Bring family and friends for a scavenger hunt to locate the critters so they can help Santa deliver candy and treats for the holidays!

When: Monday, 12/19-Wednesday, 12/21. Drop in anytime between 11 am - 3 pm
Price: $5/child. This is appropriate for children of all ages, and they must be accompanied by an adult.
Address: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 Marcey Rd., Arlington, VA 22207
See the details here.

Community Menorah Lighting

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It’s Chanukah time – and Mosaic is here to celebrate! Join JCC of Northern Virginia at Mosaic this Tuesday to light the candles, sing songs, enjoy entertainment, spin the dreidel, and more.

When: Tuesday, 12/20 at 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Price: Free
Address: Mosaic District, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax, VA 22031
Click here to learn more.

Santa Experience at Salamander Resort

Photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash

You can still join Salamander Resort for a special holiday experience! On select days this December, board a wagon drawn by Santa’s elves to his workshop where you can have a photo op with Santa, tell him your Christmas wishes, and create a memorable craft. After visiting with Santa, a friendly elf will bring you back to the Equestrian Center where you will be greeted with a special stuffed animal to take home as a gift from Santa. S’mores will be available for roasting as well as plenty of hot cocoa!

When: Tuesday, 12/20, and Thursday, 12/22-Saturday, 12/24. Various times available.
Price: $250 per family of up to 8 guests.
Address: Salamander Resort & Spa, 500 N Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA 20117
Reserve tickets here.

Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker

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There’s only two weeks left to see The Nutcracker performed by The Washington Ballet! This special rendition of the beloved ballet is unique to DC, taking place in 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures. The holiday classic comes to life with intricate, stunning set designs, original period costumes, and over 100 dancers including students and trainees from The Washington School of Ballet. It has become the signature Nutcracker performance of the nation’s capital.

When: Wednesday, 12/21-Friday, 12/30. Different days have different performance times - usually a matinee and an evening show.
Price: Tickets vary depending on section, but range from $48-$135 per seat.
Address: Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004
Find out more about tickets here.

A Candlelight Christmas at the Strathmore

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Celebrate the holidays with The Washington Chorus’ dynamic 150-voice ensemble at A Candlelight Christmas! This enchanting holiday experience features cherished Christmas classics, caroling, and a signature Candlelight processional.

When: Friday, 12/23 at 11 am
Price: Tickets range from $19-$81 per seat.
Address: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, MD 20852
Get your tickets here.

The Polar Express at Purcellville Library

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This Friday, head over to the Purcellville Library with your snacks and blankets and watch a holiday classic movie, The Polar Express!

When: Friday, 12/23 from 1 pm - 3 pm
Price: Free
Address: Purcellville Library, 220 E. Main St., Purcellville, VA 20132
See more info on their website.

The Waterskiing Santa

Photo via the waterskiing Santa Facebook event page.

You’ve probably seen Santa everywhere this holiday season: at the mall, restaurants, the library, special events…but have you seen him on a waterski in Old Town? Join the Waterskiing Santa and his Knee-Boarding Reindeer on Christmas Eve on the waterfront of Old Town Alexandria! This beloved rain-or-shine event will also feature The Flying Elves, The Jet-Skiing Grinch, Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy, and much more.

When: Saturday, 12/24 at 1 pm
Price: Free
Address: Old Town Alexandria, 221 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Click here to find out more.

Drive-Thru Caroling

Photo by David Beale via Unsplash

Enjoy an afternoon of live caroling from the comfort and coziness of your own car! Bring the whole family and enjoy songs of the season during this special drive-thru event on Christmas Eve.

When: Saturday, 12/24 from 3:30 pm - 5 pm
Price: Free
Address: Manassas Church of Christ, 8110 Signal Hill Rd., Manassas, VA 20111
Find out more here.

Light Shows:

Ice Skating

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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.