It may be the middle of winter, but that doesn’t mean you and the fam can’t make a splash this weekend. Take a polar bear dip into Reston’s Lake Anne in the name of fun and charity. Jump into Black History Month with a family day kick-off event at the American History Museum. Or, watch “Jemima Puddle Duck” and other Beatrix Potter tales come to life on the puppet stage.


Northern Virginia

Polar Plunge for Fundraising (and Fun) 
The 7th Annual Virginia Polar Bear Dip features a slew of grown-ups and kids shedding layers to take a dip into Reston’s Lake Anne. But these “polar bears” aren’t hopping into the frigid waters just because—it’s all for a good cause. Dippers are raising money for Camp Sunshine, a summer camp designed for kids with life-threatening illnesses. You or the kids want to go for a super-brief swim? Be our guest. Or, stay warm by bundling up the crew, and bringing them out to cheer on the brave, brave polar bear souls. Sat., 12 pm-4 pm. Reston. All. Event details.

Nom Nom Nom! A Chocolate Festival for Families
Choco-holics won’t want to leave this annual chocolate festival at the end of the day. In addition to tons of samples up for grabs, cocoa-loving kids will find historic re-enactments (that involve chocolate…of course),  a craft show, and an art exhibit featuring work made completely out of chocolate. Sat.-Sun. FairfaxAll. Event details.


Kick Off Black History Month, Museum Style
If you’ve been looking for a good reason to wander the halls of the American History Museum, you’ve found it. To usher in Black History Month (Feb.), the American History Museum is inviting families to visit for a day filled with music, drama performances, and arts and crafts. And there’s also the museum’s exhibit “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamations, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1964″ that’s worth a whirl or two. Sat., 11:30 am-5 pm. National Mall. Free. All. Event details.

Shout Out a Sweet Teacher
Does kiddo have a teacher who is awesome-sauce with a cherry on top? Area K-8 students at schools in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are invited to submit their favorite teachers for consideration in Sprinkles Cupcakes “Sweetest Teacher Contest.” To nominate Mr. or Mrs Best Teacher, kids should pick up a form from Sprinkles and write a short 250 word essay (by Feb. 10) about why their educator rocks. Sprinkles will award the winning teacher with a $250 Sprinkles gift card and a $250 office supplies gift card. There will also be two runners up. Fri.-Sun. Georgetown. Free. k-8th gradeEvent details.


Get An Up Close Look at Groundhogs
With Groundhog Day around the corner, it’s only appropriate to get to know the little guy before he makes his (probably brief) appearance. Stop by this family-friendly workshop where you’ll learn exactly why the groundhog gets his own special day each February. Sat., 11 am-12 pm. Wheaton. Free. All. Event details.

Stretch Your Imagination with ‘Beatrix Potter” Puppet Show
Beatrix Potter is a girl with a huge imagination. Three of her favorite tales– “Two Bad Mice,” “Jemima Puddle-Duck,” and “Jeremy Fisher”–are brought to life by puppeteer Christopher Hudert in this 45-minute, one-man production that’s perfect for the under-four-feet set. Fri.-Sun. Glen Echo. $10. 4-9Event details.

What fun activities do you have planned for the weekend? Tell us in the comments section below.

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo courtesy of Virginia Polar Bear Dip via Facebook