It looks like it is going to be a beautiful weekend.  I’m not sure how this happened, but we are sneaking up on the holiday season.  To help get you in the holiday spirit, check out several events that kick of the season- plus more fun things to do!

Saturday, November 13th

Long Branch’s 38th Birthday Bash

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington.

The Long Branch Nature Center opened in 1972 in a converted 1940s house. In fact, one of the former residents was Mae Hickman, a pioneer in the field of wildlife rehabilitation. The nature center continues to be actively involved in the rehabilitation of injured wildlife, and Long Branch’s naturalists are licensed to treat injured and sick reptiles.

Come help them celebrate their 38th year!  Long Branch party attendees can meet the animals on display, take part in a scavenger hunt, craft making, and help blow out the candles on the cake (cut at 3:00 p.m).  There is no program fee, but $5 donations per participant are encouraged. To register, call 703-228-4747 or go online at: Ages 3 & up.

Special Nutcracker Storytime and Mini-preformance by BalletNOVA

10:30am: Barnes and Noble, Clarendon Market Commons, Arlington

BalletNova Center for Dance is partnering with Barnes & Noble to offer a Nutcracker Storytime hour.  Costumed cast members from BalletNOVA’s Nutcracker will read one-on-one to the children, followed by a special preview performance.

8th Annual Pentagon Row Holiday Festival

5pm – 7pm: Pentagon Row, Arlington

Head down to Pentagon Row this weekend for for a fun start to the holiday season!  There will be hay rides, live music, a visit from Santa, store specials, and ice skating.

Red White, and Blue Holiday Cards

11am – 2pm: Postal Museum, Washington, DC

Hang out at the Postal Museum and create holiday cards for friends and family or donate a card to American military members through Operation Gratitude.  Cost is free, and is appropriate for kids 5 and older.

The Great Zucchini and Barry the Magician

10am: Avalon Theater, Washington, DC

One of DC’s most popular pre-school entertainers,The Great Zucchini will be performing along with the famous Barry The Magician at the Avalon Theater.m.
(202-966-6000). Tickets online at Adults and children, $8.50.

Saturday, November 13 & Sunday, November 14

Tea with Martha

3:00 – 4:30pm: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria
Sound like a little girl’s dream?  A re-enactor playing Martha Washington discusses 18th century tea customs, clothing and dancing.  Drink the museum’s special blend of tea, pound cake, dried fruit, and assortment of cookies. The fun part is, party attire requested!  Recommended for adult groups, mothers and daughters. $25 per person, $20 for groups of 6 or more with reservations.  Reservations (required) to 703-746-4242.

National Children’s Museum Celebrates Family Literacy Month

The Launch Zone, National Harbor, MD

The National Children’s Museum is celebrating Family Literacy Month with “A Celebration of Children’s Literature: The White House on the Waterfront”.  There are three author discussions planned (details below) on November 13-14. The three authors will engage families with an interactive discussion, a Q&A session, and a book signing. The Launch Zone will also involve children by offering a make-and-take craft.

  • Steven Kellogg, Regina Medal recipient, author, and illustrator of over 100 children’s books. (SESSION IS FULL)
  • Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal award winner for Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved – Saturday, Nov. 13, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal award winner for Sarah, Plain and Tall – Sunday, Nov. 14, 1-3 p.m

Advance registration is required. Families must register for individual authors’ sessions online at The event is free to attend and most appropriate for ages 6 to 12.

Sunday, November 14

Family Friendly Sunday Big Screen Brunch

11am: Eat Bar, Arlington

Every week Eat Bar shows a different kid friendly movie, so you and your family can hang out, eat a yummy brunch, and not have to clean up afterwards.  What could be better?  Movies begin at 11am.