Thanksgiving has come and gone. Can’t say the same for those mashed potato-filled bellies? Pull on the parkas and hit the streets for some fun family happenings that involve a little more movement than forks-to-mouths. Find your stride at the stroller-friendly Gingerbread Man Fun Run Mile before Reston’s annual holiday parade, cut a rug to the tunes of the American Military Spouses Choir following the National Harbor tree lighting ceremony, or stroll through the National Zoo’s nightly sparkling lights display. Cabin fever (and love handles), be gone!


Northern Virginia

Work Off the Turkey! A Holiday Dash, Parade and Party
The parade, which features balloons bigger than your 10 year old, festive floats, costumes, and music, is only the tip of the iceberg at this annual town square holiday event. Before the parade, get the blood flowing in the stroller-friendly Gingerbread Man Mile Fun Run. Afterwards, stick around for meet and greets with Santa and horse carriage rides. Fri., 11 am. Reston. Free. All. Event details.

Break Muffins With Santa
This popular holiday breakfast buffet at Wildfire in Tyson’s Galleria gives kids the opportunity to visit with Santa in between bites of pancakes and sausage. They can just say a quick hello or go over their entire Christmas gift list with the man in the red suit. Either way, every little one leaves with a stocked goodie bag and a full tummy. Sun., 9 am-10 am. Tyson’s Corner. $13.95/adults; $10.95/kids. All. Event details.


Countdown to the Most Magical Time of the Year
Ring in the holiday season at the National Harbor with a tree lighting ceremony (ever wonder what 200,000 lights look like strung on a 65-foot tree?) and fireworks. But the spectacular fun doesn’t end there. Check out the American Military Spouses Choir (of America’s Got Talent fame) and linger post-lighting for marketplace shopping. Fri., 7 pm-8:30 pm. National Harbor. Free. All. Event details.

Flock Together for Vultures 101
Meet your vulture guide at the Raptor Walkway for a light and lively discussion about the bird of prey (where they live and sleep, and what they eat). The chat is a quick half-hour, but bigger/braver kids should stick around to view the vulture feedings at noon. Sat., 10 am. Rockville. Free. All. Event details.


The National Zoo Gets Merry and Bright
The National Zoo has powered up for their annual holiday lights display, featuring lit sculptures of giant pandas, Asian elephants, gibbons, sea lions, octopus, and Komodo dragons. There’s festive happenings around every corner—from ice sculpting demos to carolers. And the best part? All of the good cheer is gratis! Pack late night snacks, as the holiday treats on sale at the zoo can get pricey. Fri.-Sun., 5 pm-9 pm. Woodley Park. Free. All. Event details.

Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play!
Based on the award-winning Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems, this musical features best buds Gerald (the elephant) and Piggie who sing and dance their way through silly suspense (what exactly does an elephant wear to a pool costume party?). Kids will dig the unpredictable plot, while you’ll get a kick out of the show’s live band. Fri.-Sun. Foggy Bottom. $25. 4 and up. Event details.

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

–Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running via Flickr