November is the deep breath you need between the everything-is-Halloween month of October and the be merry month of December. It’s a festive, costume-filled week, but we’re looking forward to a weekend filled with family time and low-key events. If it’s been all about the kids lately, take a much deserved time-out and enjoy a date night (thanks, Bethesda Bakery!) or kick-off the holiday season with a Festival of Lights. Read on for the best ways to unwind from the candy-filled month of October.

photo: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash



Children’s Arts & Crafts Workshop
Roll up your sleeves and get crafty at the House of Sweden. Projects are based on current exhibits to foster a fun, STEAM-based art afternoon. This program is recommended for kids 3-10. Participation is free. Sat. Event details. 

National Mall

Day of the Dead Festival
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the National Museum of the American Indian with two days of free family-friendly music, dance, and hands-on activities. Visitors can honor loved ones by making paper marigolds to decorate the ofrenda. Explore the world of calaveras de cartonería (paper-mache skeleton figure) as shared by the Coronado family (Yaqui/Mayo descent). Sat.-Sun. Event details. 

Infant Investigators: Four Seasons
The changing seasons provides the perfect opportunity for your infant to learn about the world around them. To illustrate the differences in the seasons, this class will use our walk to the museum as well as nineteenth century American paintings. After this class your baby will be ready to learn more about winter in our upcoming sessions. Sat. Event details. 

Family Workshop: Celebrate Diwali
Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in this family workshop. Explore artworks from the Indian subcontinent on an educator-led tour. Then, return to the studio to create your own colorful book featuring a traditional rangoli design. This program, led by teaching artist Sushmita Mazumdar from Studio PAUSE, is designed for children ages 6–12 and adults to enjoy together. Sat.-Sun. Event details. 

Toddler Trailblazers: Autumn Leaves
Explore the breathtaking beauty of autumn! Make sure to dress your toddler in warm clothes: this class includes a hunt for autumnal colors both inside and outside the National Gallery of Art museum. Sun. Event details. 



Kids Night Out
Date night becomes family night out at this event. Drop your kids off at this Bethesda Bakery for a night of fun. Your little chef will make a personal pizza from scratch (gluten-free only), sample the bakery’s desserts and enjoy a movie while you’re out on the town. Siblings get a 50% discount on admission. This event is for children 5 to 12. Fri. Event details. 


Mario the Maker Magician
As seen on Sesame Street and Sprout, Mario “the Maker Magician” Marchese is a New York based, touring children’s performer known for his DIY robotic creations, handmade props, and signature slapstick character. Sat. Event details. 



Healthy First Saturday at Port Discovery
Did you over indulge this Halloween? Hop, skip or jump over to Healthy First Saturday and find ways to get active as a family! Take part in programs that encourage children to get active, make healthy choices, and understand how our bodies work! Develop early childhood literacy in Mother Goose on the Loose®, have Phun with Physics with Mr. Greg, and create works of art in Pop-Up Art! Sat. Event details. 


Pumpkin Chunkin’
Bring your leftover jack-o-lantern to a smashin’ session and let it fly! The Silo Drop and the Zip Wire Sploosh let you do the smashin’ yourself or bring your pumpkin the Pumpkin Drop Zone and add it to an upside down “fireworks display” as the pumpkins are dropped from a 40ft lift. You will be sure to love giving your pumpkin one final ride. What happens to all those smashed pumpkins? The pigs and cows love to eat them and Great Country Farm composts the rest. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

—Meghan Yudes Meyers