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Holiday Happenings

As the temperatures drop, keep kids busy this holiday season with Thanksgiving events, Nutcracker performances, winter wonderlands, light festivals and breakfast with Santa. There are so many seasonal events for kids, you're guaranteed to find something in our 2013 Holiday Happenings calendar whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the start of snow!

Take a look at the calendar below, where we've compiled more than 100 of the best holiday happenings in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. for your convenience. If you notice we're missing one of your favorite holiday activities, please email us at calendar@washingtonparent.com to let us know.


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JAN   2   Thursday


Christmas at Mount Vernon. All ages (family-friendly event). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls! Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees) and historical chocolate-making demonstrations will be offered. The popular tradition continues of opening the rarely-seen third floor of the Mansion and inviting visitors to meet the charming "Mrs. Washington." Buy tickets online. $$ Mount Vernon Estate, Mount Vernon, VA.
Elf, The Musical. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. One of Hollywood's most beloved holiday hits is born again--on stage! Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, an orphan who leaves the North Pole to find his true identity. This modern Christmas classic will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Buy tickets online. $$ Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
ICE! featuring `Twas the Night Before Christmas. All ages (family-friendly event). 1 to 8 p.m.. You'll marvel at colorful, life-size ice sculptures depicting the classic holiday poem. Take a ride down a two-story-tall ice slide. Buy tickets online. $$ Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD.
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D Experience. All ages (family-friendly event). Dates and times vary. Can a handful of prehistoric misfits really save the holiday? Find out in this hilarious adventure featured in 3-D with added in-theater effects that will transport you back to the Ice Age. Purchase tickets online. $$ National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD.
National Harbor Light Show. All ages (family-friendly event). Come watch a spectacular show at the 65-foot National Harbor tree every 30 minutes after sunset until 10pm! It is a must-see for the holidays! FREE National Harbor, National Harbor, MD.

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JAN   3   Friday


Christmas at Mount Vernon. All ages (family-friendly event). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls! Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees) and historical chocolate-making demonstrations will be offered. The popular tradition continues of opening the rarely-seen third floor of the Mansion and inviting visitors to meet the charming "Mrs. Washington." Buy tickets online. $$ Mount Vernon Estate, Mount Vernon, VA.
Elf, The Musical. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. One of Hollywood's most beloved holiday hits is born again--on stage! Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, an orphan who leaves the North Pole to find his true identity. This modern Christmas classic will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Buy tickets online. $$ Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
Garden of Lights. All ages (family-friendly event). 5:30 to 10 p.m. Walk through a winter wonderland illuminated with one million twinkling lights shaped like flowers, animals and more. Also enjoy a miniature train display, and musical performances nightly. $$ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD.
ICE! featuring `Twas the Night Before Christmas. All ages (family-friendly event). 1 to 8 p.m.. You'll marvel at colorful, life-size ice sculptures depicting the classic holiday poem. Take a ride down a two-story-tall ice slide. Buy tickets online. $$ Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD.
National Harbor Light Show. All ages (family-friendly event). Come watch a spectacular show at the 65-foot National Harbor tree every 30 minutes after sunset until 10pm! It is a must-see for the holidays! FREE National Harbor, National Harbor, MD.

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JAN   4   Saturday


Christmas at Mount Vernon. All ages (family-friendly event). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls! Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees) and historical chocolate-making demonstrations will be offered. The popular tradition continues of opening the rarely-seen third floor of the Mansion and inviting visitors to meet the charming "Mrs. Washington." Buy tickets online. $$ Mount Vernon Estate, Mount Vernon, VA.
Elf, The Musical. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. One of Hollywood's most beloved holiday hits is born again--on stage! Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, an orphan who leaves the North Pole to find his true identity. This modern Christmas classic will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Buy tickets online. $$ Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
Garden of Lights. All ages (family-friendly event). 5:30 to 10 p.m. Walk through a winter wonderland illuminated with one million twinkling lights shaped like flowers, animals and more. Also enjoy a miniature train display, and musical performances nightly. $$ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD.
ICE! featuring `Twas the Night Before Christmas. All ages (family-friendly event). 10 to 9 p.m. You'll marvel at colorful, life-size ice sculptures depicting the classic holiday poem. Take a ride down a two-story-tall ice slide. Buy tickets online. $$ Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD.
National Harbor Light Show. All ages (family-friendly event). Come watch a spectacular show at the 65-foot National Harbor tree every 30 minutes after sunset until 10pm! It is a must-see for the holidays! FREE National Harbor, National Harbor, MD.

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JAN   5   Sunday


Christmas at Mount Vernon. All ages (family-friendly event). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls! Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees) and historical chocolate-making demonstrations will be offered. The popular tradition continues of opening the rarely-seen third floor of the Mansion and inviting visitors to meet the charming "Mrs. Washington." Buy tickets online. $$ Mount Vernon Estate, Mount Vernon, VA.
Elf, The Musical. All ages (family-friendly event). Times vary. One of Hollywood's most beloved holiday hits is born again--on stage! Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, an orphan who leaves the North Pole to find his true identity. This modern Christmas classic will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Buy tickets online. $$ Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
ICE! featuring `Twas the Night Before Christmas. All ages (family-friendly event). Noon to 5 p.m. You'll marvel at colorful, life-size ice sculptures depicting the classic holiday poem. Take a ride down a two-story-tall ice slide. Buy tickets online. $$ Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD.
National Harbor Light Show. All ages (family-friendly event). Come watch a spectacular show at the 65-foot National Harbor tree every 30 minutes after sunset until 10pm! It is a must-see for the holidays! FREE National Harbor, National Harbor, MD.