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The Best Things to Do With Kids in Washington, D.C. This January

Things to Do DC/MD/VA

With the excitement of the holidays behind us and the cold weather upon us, you may be tempted to hunker down at home with a warm cup of coffee, a good book and your favorite cozy blanket. But, alas, you have kids, and they typically have other ideas . . . 

In case quiet weekends relaxing on the couch are not in the cards, we have your back with the best family fun out and about town this month. Check out our list below to find the best things to do with kids in Washington, D.C. this January.

Aurora: The Spirit of Northern Lights at ARTECHOUSE

ARTECHOUSE Aurora: The Spirit of Northern Lights

If you haven't had the chance to check out ARTECHOUSE's mesmerizing holiday exhibition, head over through January 5th to immerse yourself in the Northern Lights experience - no passport or plane flight required! An ice cavern, frosted forests and dancing skies come to life via ARTECHHOUSE's signature blend of technology, creativity and innovation. Shape frost and move light from the comfort of the indoors as you enjoy a playful take on this beautiful time of year. Save 10% off admission PLUS a cup of hot cocoa. 

NSO Pops: Game ON! at the Kennedy Center

Gamers of all ages should head to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on January 8th to experience this mesmerizing celebration of symphonic music from more than a dozen blockbuster video games. Featuring music from League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, The Witcher 3, and many more, game music legend Andy Brick conducts the NSO and The Washington Chorus in a performance combining symphonic arrangements with stunning in-game HD videos and never-before-seen concept art. 

Nationals Winterfest at Nationals Park

Nationals Winterfest

Hang out with the World Champion Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on January 11th and 12th! This annual weekend-long ultimate FAN-travaganza includes fun indoor and outdoor programs for all ages and special behind-the-scenes access to several parts of Nats Park that are typically closed during the season. Interact and take photos with the players and coaches, hear team updates, participate in baseball clinics and interactive winter- and baseball-themed kids games, and, of course, buy some 2020 Nats merch! Save up to 29% off tickets to Nationals Winterfest. 

Becoming Jane at the National Geographic Museum

Becoming Jane at the National Geographic Museum

Learn all about Dr. Jane Goodall and her groundbreaking research into chimpanzees in this new, temporary exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. Great for both adults and kids, this hands-on exhibit combines multimedia, 3D, iconic images, and immersive experiences to transport you into Jane's world - complete with a talking Jane hologram and an immersive jungle experience! Save 30% off tickets to National Geographic Museum's Becoming Jane exhibition.

Pregame With the Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards

Hoop it up with the Washington Wizards at one of their home games at Capital One Arena this month. With this exclusive offer, you can save up to 57% off tickets for the whole family PLUS get an up-close view of the Wizards during their pregame warm-ups. On Sunday, January 12th, the pregame fun is kicked up a notch for Kids Day. From 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., kids can participate in special pregame activities like LEGO activations, face painting, balloon artistry, and games! Each ticket also comes with a free Wizards T-shirt.

Smithsonian's Discovery Theater Presents Once Upon a Moon at the Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia - FREE

Celebrate the spirit of the Apollo landing on January 16th and 17th at the Udvar-Hazy Center with this exciting, interactive show for young audiences. Performers and exquisite puppets spin new and old stories about the moon’s magic, create a “living exhibit” of its phases, and introduce the amazing science that brought us to its surface. This show is best for ages 3 - 7. Tickets are free but must be reserved HERE.

My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center

My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center

Experience this "sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time" (Entertainment Weekly) at the Kennedy Center through January 17th. My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady". Recommended for ages 7 and up. Save 25% off tickets for My Fair Lady

Get Your Twirl on at an Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

Reston Ice Skating Pavilion
Photo: Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion

Hang on to the magic of the season with a spin on one of the Washington, D.C. area's enchanting outdoor rinks. Check out this article for some of our favorite local spots. Save 50% off ice skating admission and rentals at Washington Harbour Ice Rink HERE and Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion HERE

Commemorate the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20th

Gather the family together to celebrate the life and legacy of this inspiring civil rights icon who lived his life in service to others.

MLK Jr. Memorial
MLK Jr. Memorial Photo by: Rachel Hendrix, National Park Service

Attend the FREE MLK Jr. Family Program at the Anacostia Community Museum on Saturday, January 18th from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Families can create hands-on art using King's familiar theme of the "Beloved Community" and create original balloon art of a peace medal or a "I Have a Dream" hat to take home. All materials will be provided. Register for this free event HERE.

Take part in the 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Walk & Parade on Monday, January 20th. Check-in for the parade will be in Anacostia Park at 10 a.m., staging at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE and Good Hope Rd. SE, and step off at 12 p.m. The parade will conclude at the St. Elizabeth's East campus with a Health and Community Fair. To register for the Parade or for more information click HERE.

Make January 20th a day ON, not a day OFF by participating in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Use this search tool to find volunteer opportunities in your area, or develop your own project with family, friends or neighbors.

Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial or the City of Hope Exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which honors the legacy of MLK, Jr.

Attend the Kennedy Center's annual concert honoring Dr. King's legacy, Let Freedom Ring! on January 20th in the Concert Hall. This year's concert features ten-time Grammy Award® winner Chaka Khan and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. This is part of the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage FREE daily performance series, but tickets are required for this special event and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the entrance to the Hall of Nations beginning at 4:30 p.m. (two tickets max per person). 

Experience We Shall Overcome featuring Damien Sneed at Alden Theatre in McLean on January 30th, a special event showcasing the repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King's recorded speeches. Save 45% off tickets for this very special performance.

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Freer and Sackler

The Kennedy Center continues their annual tradition of celebrating the Lunar New Year with special programs taking place this year from January 22nd - February 2nd.

REACH Winter Lanterns. Beginning January 22nd and running through February 2nd, the Kennedy Center's new REACH campus will glow with approximately 100 stunning Winter Lanterns crafted by Chinese artisans made up of 10,000 colored LED lights, including the Chinese Four Symbols and 12 Zodiac Signs, Panda Grove, and Mushroom Garden display. Along with the beautiful lantern displays, visitors can enjoy performances and artisan demonstrations, food trucks, and more. 

Chinese Family DayThis popular annual event returns to the Kennedy Center on January 25th from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. A number of free activities will be offered for children of all ages including arts and crafts, traditional costume photo booth, zodiac stickers, and demonstrations of calligraphy, plus exciting performances of traditional music, a magician from Shenzhen, the Lion Dance, and more. 

Lunar New Year at the Freer and Sackler. On Sunday, January 26 from 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. enjoy food, performances, and art representing the richness of New Year celebrations in China, Korea, and Mongolia. Experience interactive art demonstrations, live magic and musical performances, and delicious food for sale.

Chinese New Year Family Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. On Saturday, February 1 from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., enjoy Chinese ribbon dancing, acrobatic yo-yo performances, an interactive magic show, ink finger-printing and wood printing demonstrations, and more! There will be scavenger hunts, crafts, and delicious treats available for purchase at the Courtyard Café. 

Jurassic Quest with Ancient Oceans at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia

Jurassic Quest With Ancient Oceans

America's largest and most realistic dinosaur event is coming to Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, January 24th - 26th. Experience over 80 true-to-life-size dinosaurs - some that even roar and move!, check out the dinosaur petting zoo and museum with real dinosaur fossils dating back over 60 million years, and get your play time in on dinosaur-themed rides, inflatable mazes, huge slides and more! Save 20% off Jurassic Quest tickets with promo code KIDS20.

Science Saturday at the National Law Enforcement Museum

National Law Enforcement Museum

Experience a fun-filled afternoon of science activities in the Museum's Learning Center on Saturday, January 25th from 1 - 3 p.m. This month’s theme is Automobiles. Discover the power behind law enforcement automobiles and even build your own car! Automobiles introduce participants to physics and engineering through engaging activities suitable for all types of learners. This event is free with admission to the Museum. Save 28% off admission to the National Law Enforcement Museum. 

Spy Fest at the International Spy Museum

Find out if your family has what it takes to be a spy at the International Spy Museum's annual Spy Fest on Friday, January 31st from 6 - 9 p.m. Mini-missions, tradecraft demonstrations by the experts, and the chance to try spy skill challenges will give KidSpy agents and their handlers an insider’s peek into the shadow world of spying. This event is recommended for ages 5 and up with a parent. Tickets include exclusive after-hours admission, scavenger hunt, and more! 

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Tags: free cheap January events fun kids families Washington, DC


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