Unless you wrapped up all of your holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving (#impressive!), you’re probably still making lists and checking them twice, braving rush hour mall crowds and staying up late to play cyber Santa. You deserve a break! From watching bedazzled boats float by on the Annapolis Harbor and noshing on cupcakes with a “real” Santa to celebrating the holidays farm-style, these kid-friendly happenings will give you the second wind you need to make it through the tail end of the most wonderful time of the year.



Holiday Lights that Make a Splash
The D.C. area boasts its fair share of holiday lighting ceremonies, but nothing beats a dazzling display of holiday lights floating in water. This annual Parade of Lights features local boat owners showing off their Christmas spirit via intricately decorated vessels. Dress warm and bring the hot chocolate—the kids will be so mesmerized they won’t want to move. Sat., 6 pm-8 pm. Annapolis. Free. All. Event details.

A Farm-tastic Christmas Celebration
There’s nothing like a simple, down home holiday to get you in a festive mood. At this Christmas celebration, families will enjoy turn-of-the-century decorations, live holiday music and caroling, hayrides, age-appropriate arts and crafts, and cider and ginger cookies (which you may get hooked on, but it’s okay because the farm will be selling them along with other fresh baked goods). Sat.-Sun., 12 pm-5 pm. Derwood. Free. All. Event details.


Cupcakes With Santa!
We know Santa has a sweet tooth, but we didn’t know he was a cupcake aficionado. The big man will be hanging out at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown to meet and take pics with kids. And, of course, he’ll be munching on some of the holiday-themed flavored cupcakes like vanilla peppermint and eggnog spice. Sat., 12 pm-2 pm. Georgetown. Free. All. Event details.

Get Moving! A Dance Filled Kwanza Celebration
Baby, it’s dark outside! Let the talented Coyaba Dance Theater fill the night with light during their upbeat dance performance that celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Make sure your kids wear their dancing shoes. Thanks to the infectious drum beats, it will be impossible for them to sit still. Sat., 8 pm. Foggy Bottom. $30/adults; $15/kids under 17. All. Event details.

Story Times, Theater Shows and More…In French
Parlez-vouz francais? Maybe not yet, but the Alliance Francais hopes to change that. The French language school for all ages is hosting an open house for little francophiles to explore the centers kid-friendly programming. They’ll participate in story times, mini classes and a theater performance. Oui, please. Sat., 9:30 am-12:30 pm. Kalorama. Free. 1-18. Event details.

Northern Virginia

Meet the Snow Queen at Winter Wonderland
Santa is cool, but at this holiday festival kids can also get up close and personal with the Snow Queen, Jack Frost (on stilts!), and Ebenezer Scrooge. Upping the joyful ante, carolers will be out in full force and there will be plenty of hot chocolate to go around. Bring cameras to snap pics of Santa arriving by fire truck at 2 pm sharp, and make sure your little one sticks around to makes his very own Reindeer Flying Dust. Sat., 2 pm-5 pm. Arlington. Free. All. Event details.

What are your weekend plans? Tell us in the Comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo courtesy of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau