Have you noticed? Turkeys are being bought, wreaths are being hung, and it smells like cinnamon and pine everywhere you go. The holiday season is in full swing! If you’re still working on getting into the spirit, this weekend’s festive happenings might help give you the boost you need. Bundle up and head to the indoor ice world at the National Harbor, divvy out allowance early so kiddos can score one-of-a-kind gifts at the Fairfax Holiday Craft Show, or grab a front row seat at the classic holiday theater show The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you’re still not there after all of that, a visit (or two) with Santa may be in order.



Ice! at the Gaylord National Resort
Two million pounds of hand-carved ice (not even exaggerating) are used to create this popular family attraction at the National Harbor that features everything from ice sculptures to benches and slides. The set-up is completely interactive, and since the atrium where the ice palace is housed stays set to a chilly nine degrees, puffy winter coats are loaned out. Bring hats and gloves so that you can get even cozier with the ice art. This year’s theme is “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Fri.-Sun. National Harbor. Adults, $27/ kids (ages 3-11), $19/ 2 and under, free. All. Event details.

Museum Shop Around
After lugging kids, strollers, diaper bags, cameras, etc. through a tourist-heavy museum, the last thing you want to do is check out the gift shop. But at this fun shopping event, the museum shop is the focus. Nearly 20 museums, including kid favorites like the National Building Museum and the Audobon Sanctuary, are bringing their gift shops to the Mansion at Strathmore. Score unique giftables—toys, paper goods, books—or just browse around with the bebes. Fri.-Sun., 10:00 am. North Bethesda. $9. All. Event details.


Ultimate Megafort!
Dig out all of your old boxes and bring them to the National Building Museum where the kids can add them to the ginormous fort-in-progress being built in the museum’s Great Hall. Your little builder will learn about basic fort structures, and they’ll then be able to put their newfound skills to the test. Already gave up all of your old boxes? No problem, there will be plenty of extras on hand. Sat., 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. Judiciary Square. $25. 7 and up. Event details.

Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum
Talk about flower power! This huge floral centerpiece is on display through Nov. 17. What makes it so jaw-dropping is that it was created using an old school Japanese technique called ozukuri, where a single plant is manipulated to bloom hundreds of flowers in a dome shape. You have to see it to believe it. Don’t forget your camera! Fri.-Sun. Capitol Hill. Free. All. Event details.

Northern  Virginia

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
You may know the story already—four children stumble upon an old wardrobe that, when opened, reveals the magical world of Narnia. You know about the mystical creatures, talking animals and great escapes. But, your little guy probably doesn’t. Show him what he’s been missing with this stage performance, appropriate for kids ages 4 and up. Fri.-Sun. Arlington. Adults $12; kids $10. All. Event details.

Fairfax Holiday Craft Show
This has grown from a relatively small show in 1987 to one of the must-check out craft fairs in the region. Artisans from across the country come to show off their handy work and help you find a one-of-a-kind gift that you won’t be able to find at the mall (think Coke can mobiles, spiced chai triple milled soap, and hand carved toy trucks). Sat.-Sun., 10:00 am. Fairfax. Adults, $5/ Kids under 18, free. All. Event details.

How does your family get into the holiday spirit? Tell us in the Comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort