This weekend kicks of the Year of the Rat with not-to-miss events like the free winter lantern display at The Kennedy Center and the annual Chinese New Year Parade. If the cold weather has your little one revving their engines, there are a number of motor-worthy events happening including the Washington DC Auto Show and the Baltimore Boat Show. Scroll down for more weekend inspiration in the DMV.

photo: The Kennedy Center 

IN THE CITY

Chinatown

Washington DC Auto Show
Designated one of the nation’s top five auto shows by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, The Washington Auto Show®, a world class event, continues to wow audiences with its cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Monster Jam Triple Threat Series
Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series™ is an action-packed, points-based event that showcases athletes as they go head-to-head in six different competitions, driving three different vehicles – Monster Jam Trucks, Speedsters and ATV’s.  These world-class Monster Jam vehicles and athletes bring action-packed, adrenaline-charged family entertainment to fans across the country and deliver what they want to see most… more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more action! Sat.-Sun. Event details. 

National Mall

Winter Blast: A Day of Native Games
This free family-friendly event celebrates Indigenous games from the Arctic to Argentina. Visitors can meet Talibah Begay (Navajo) as she shares a traditional Navajo shoe guessing game, Leihua Stewart (Native Hawaiian) shares traditional Hawaiian games. Participants can learn to play Bolivian games with Julia Garcia (Aymara). The day features hands-on activities and “make-and-takes.” Sat. Event details.

Storytime in Spanish 
Cuenta-Cuentos: Storytime in Spanish explores contemporary art through stories and movement.  Each week storytime features a fresh and fun theme. Bring your littlest art lover for an introduction to an artist on view, interactive read aloud, and a hands-on activity. All audiences are welcome to join this Spanish-language program, led by a multilingual educator. Sat. Event details. 

Capitol View

Let’s Build
Love LEGOs? Love construction? Bring your little engineer to the Let’s Build sessions at the library and let them unleash their ideas (or explore new ones!) on the colorful blocks that are beloved by everyone – except any parent who’s stepped on one in the middle of the night! Sat. Event details.

Foggy Bottom

Music for Young Audiences: Beauty & the Beat
Music is a language all its own and in this performance by Marissa Regni and Eric Shin you’ll enjoy the beautiful sounds of the violin and percussion instruments. Arrive an hour early for some hands-on interaction with the instruments. Ages 3 & up. Sun. Event details.

Chinese New Year Family Day
Kick-off your Saturday with this fun-filled family event sponsored by the Kennedy Center. Full of free activities that all ages can enjoy, it is a great way to celebrate Chinese culture with sugar painting demonstrations, red lantern making and marionette puppets. Sat. Event details. 

IN THE ‘BURBS

Rockville

Parent and Tot Skate
Parent and tot skate is a session dedicated to children under age 4 and their parents. The $5 fee includes skate rental and admission for a child under age 4 and one parent to skate. Pushing skate aids are available on this session only for no additional charge. Other family members may skate by paying the regular admission fees (young siblings or an additional parent). Sat. Event details. 

Kensington

Winter Wonderland Ball
Kensington Town Hall will be transformed into a fairy tale palace, with children invited to march in a Royal Procession before joining the A-Squad DJ on the dance floor. There will be crafts, photo-ops and a special Royal Reading Room with stories and songs. Costumes (of any kind) are encouraged for children and parents. Sun. Event details. 

WORTH-THE-DRIVE

Baltimore

Baltimore Boat Show
Forget Touch-a-Truck: This year’s boat show has a Touch-A-Boat Tour (Scavenger Hunt). Children of all ages can participate in a search for treasure aboard boats throughout the showroom floor while learning the ropes of the high seas. Once the scavenger hunt is complete, players will receive a take-home piece of treasure. Kids 12 & over can also build a boat. Children can create a one-of-a-kind model boat that they are able to take home as a souvenir. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

—Meghan Yudes Meyers