Leave no sugar plum un-turned this weekend as you venture out for fun with your own gingerbread boys and girls. There’s a new nature-themed light exhibit at Artechouse, train rides, and family-friendly, holiday-specific art and craft classes. Feeling joyful and triumphant, yet?

Photo: Kim Laurenson via flickr

West End

Gingerbread House Class
Come create your own gingerbread house led by the Ritz Carlton hotel’s pastry team! Children will learn the art of decorating gingerbread houses, while having fun creating their own to take home. There will be hot cocoa, holiday cookies and a Ritz-Carlton chef’s hat and apron. Sun. Event Details.

Arlington

New Nature
New Nature allows you to step into a living environment where your movements can awaken creatures and plant life in a colorful kingdom. Here you will be able to explore four rooms, an immersive projection setup, a LED kelp forest, responsive floors, a 24 foot tall evolving creature that responds to your touch, a 3D digital petting zoo with 13 interactive terrarium stations, and Augmented Reality activations. In short, it’s way cool! Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

Bethesda

National Philharmonic Holiday Pops
Experience the joy and magic of the holidays! Hear Ms. Blake sing O Holy Night and other favorite holiday solos and sing along to seasonal classics including White Christmas with your family and friends at Strathmore. Come early to this special concert to view the Polar Express Train, decorate an ornament, and hear young carolers. Members can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate bar. A portion of every ticket purchase supports USO-Metro families. Fri. Event Details.

Manassas

Mistletoe Magic
Throw on your favorite holiday sweater, pack the car, and head to Parkridge Center for Mistletoe Magic. This free, family-friendly festival will feature winter-themed games, crafts, holiday music, a festive train ride, s’mores, hot chocolate bar and a Meet and Greet with Mr. Claus himself! It’s guaranteed to put everyone in a holiday frame of mind! Sat. Event Details.

Chinatown

Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to return to the Washington area with its coolest arena show yet, Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL. This unique arena production showcases synchronized, freestyle and extreme skating alongside circus disciplines such as swinging trapeze, aerial straps and hand to hand. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

National Mall

Drop-In Art Studio
Drop by the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center art studio Sunday afternoons where you can choose from any of our three maker stations. Each station presents a challenge or question based on the afternoon’s theme. Stations are designed for K – 3 graders, but younger siblings are welcome. Sun. Event Details.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady