December is an ideal time of year for many things, such as drinking hot chocolate, sitting by a warm fire and watching your favorite holiday films. In addition to activities that make you happy, December is also a great month to spend quality time with your kids, no matter their age, as the school semester is winding down.
Whether you choose to get crafty in the kitchen or take in a little history this weekend, do it all with family by your side at these local events happening throughout Northern Virginia.
Family Swim at Goldfish Swim School
Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8, times vary
Whether you have a toddler who is just getting her toes wet or a tween who can’t stay away from the water, all are welcome at Goldfish Swim School’s weekend family swim. While lessons at Goldfish are typically membership-based, this recurring event gives families the chance to try out the space, either in Reston, Ashburn or one of the business’ other Northern Virginia locations. The one-hour sessions are great for practicing your strokes or simply splashing around as a family. // Goldfish Swim School: locations vary; $5 per swimmer, $15 for a family
Miracle on 23rd Street
Friday, Dec. 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Gather around the Christmas Tree with more than 400 Arlington residents in celebration of the holiday season. At this year’s event, hosted by local nonprofit Melwood, Saint Nick will be escorted to the scene by the Arlington police and fire departments, bringing joy to little ones and teens alike. Plus, you and your family can participate in face painting, treat tastings and more while taking in the sight of the 2019 traditional tree lighting. // Melwood: 750 23rd St. S., Arlington; free
Want to be the first to know about the best family-friendly events coming to Northern Virginia? Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter.
Kids DIY Workshop at Home Depot
Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-noon
At the beginning of each month, local Home Depot locations open their doors to parents and children alike for unique DIY workshops. This weekend, you and your youngsters can create a one-of-a-kind countdown to the holidays using hands-on skills like sanding, nailing and applying stickers. While you make a calendar worth keeping, you’re bound to have fun too. // Home Depot: 43675 Greenway Corp Drive, Ashburn; free
Lorton Holiday Extravaganza & Craft Show
Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Keeping your kids amused while you shop for the holiday season can be tough. Lucky for you, the teens and staff members of South County High School have combined shopping with entertainment for a day-long, family-friendly affair you won’t want to miss. More than 170 craft vendors will be on the grounds selling seasonal products like hand-painted ornaments, clothing and artwork. Plus, there will be a kids’ fun run in the early morning, student-led performances, a book emporium and sweet treats throughout the day. // South County High School: 8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton; $3-$15
Yoga for Kids & Wine Tasting for Parents
Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
This Saturday, it’s time to relax and unwind as an entire family at Woodlawn Press Winery. While your kids take in the benefits of yoga, you and your partner have the opportunity to try one of the winery’s latest vintages. The ticket includes both sips for you and exercise for children ages 2 through 12, making for an ideal morning that everyone can enjoy. Reservations are recommended. // Woodlawn Press Winery: 8733-B Cooper Road, Alexandria; $20
Children’s Day at Weems-Botts Museum
Saturday, Dec. 7, 1-3 p.m.
In honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day this Saturday, the Weems-Botts Museum is giving you the opportunity to shed a light on history for little ones and teens alike. No matter how old your kids are, all will be in awe after learning and discussing the events of Pearl Harbor. Throughout the day, you and the kids will hear lectures from historians, craft a memorial wreath and enjoy delicious snacks, all while diving deep into the history of World War II. // Weems-Botts Museum: 3944 Cameron St., Dumfries; free
20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m.
Very few things are as eye-catching as a waterfront view and a light display. This Saturday, you and your kids can enjoy both, thanks to the annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. While the boats make their way down the Potomac with Santa at the helm at 5:30 p.m., there are numerous other activities to take part in on the nearby dock prior to the parade. Whether your kids want to write a letter to Santa at the postcard station or indulge in hot cider at Riverside Taco Company, there’s something for individuals of all ages. // Waterfront Park: 1 King St., Alexandria; free
“Bake me a Cake …” Mommy/Daddy and Me Class
Sunday, Dec. 8, 9-10:30 a.m.
Does your kiddo have an interest in baking? If so, head over to Cookology in Ballston Quarter for a fun and exciting treat-focused lesson. This class is designed for kids ages 3 to 5, as it helps them build essential motor skills, try new food and experience a new memory with you by their side. As for what’s on the menu? Expect cinnamon vanilla cupcakes and mini chocolate chip cookie cake with edible chocolate paint. // Cookology Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd., Suite 3110, Arlington; $45 per child, parents cook for free
Annual Latkes and Lights Chanukah Party!
Sunday, Dec. 8, 10-11:30 a.m.
The annual festival of lights may not start for another two weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to celebrate with the local Jewish community. This Sunday, bring family members and neighbors alike to the annual Latkes and Lights Chanukah Party hosted by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. The fun-filled morning will consist of traditional food like latkes, dreidel spinning, crafting and so much more. // Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia: 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax; $0-$8
A Wee Christmas – Dollhouses and Miniatures Show
Sunday, Dec. 8, noon
Children and grandparents alike will be in awe as they walk through the Historic Kenmore building and observe the opening day of A Wee Christmas, an intricate showcase of highly detailed replica dollhouses and miniatures. From tiny bedrooms to even tinier people within them, there’s a lot for your eyes to see in the Crowninshield Museum Building’s newest exhibit. // Historic Kenmore: 1201 Washington Ave., Fredericksburg; $0-$12