From football watching and turkey eating to holiday baking and parties galore, it's officially time to embrace a bit of gluttony. Don't worry, though, as there are plenty of affordable, family-friendly things to do in Washington D.C. to get you off the couch and get in those steps. We've rounded up some fabulous November activities that'll help you and your family to not just survive, but thrive, as we approach the holidays.
Check Out the New + Reimagined National Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.
Although the National Children's Museum is steeped in history, its newest and soon-to-be-open iteration is going to turn the traditional notion of kid's museums on its ear. As a hybrid children's museum and science center, it will introduce kids to science, technology, engineering, art, and math in hands-on, magical and relevant ways. In other words, the learning will be on the sly. And with a new location steps from the National Mall in downtown Washington, D.C. that has onsite parking and public transportation accessibility, this new museum is an ideal stop on a day of sight seeing or other activities. The museum opens to the public on November 1st.
Reach Your Mini Monets With MAKER MORNING at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden - FREE!
Photo Courtesy of The Hirshhorn Museum
Despite the best of intentions in parents, a visit to an art museum can often go over the heads of children. That's why The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has announced a new and expanded season of the kids’ series MAKER MORNING. This innovative program fills the entire museum - including the galleries - with activities that encourage creativity, art-making and play that's tailored to children of a variety of ages and learning types. Starting November 2, the program will occur on the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., and each monthly edition introduces a new theme tied to the museum’s artworks and exhibitions.
Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the National Museum Of the American Indian - FREE!
This is a festival celebrated by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America, and many Latino communities across the United States as a way to honor family and friends who have passed away. Many kids will surely recognize the gorgeous Day of the Dead-inspired artwork that emerged from beloved animated film Coco. Partake in one of these FREE Día de los Muertos celebrations on November 2nd sponsored by the Smithsonian:
From 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the American Indian Museum, make a traditional paper marigold to be placed at the altar in honor of a loved one who has passed on, or simply behold the incredible interactive mural that's created on the spot. The Day of the Dead Festival takes place on Saturday, November 2nd from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 - 8:30 p.m. in their beautiful Kogod Courtyard with live music, Mexican folk dance, artist demonstrations, and art workshops.
Enjoy a Day With Horses and Hounds at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, VA
Photo Courtesy of George Washington's Mount Vernon
Enjoy a fun day of fox hunting and horse history at Mount Vernon that, unlike the days of yore, you and your family can revel in because it's a cruelty-free event. When one hound picks up the scent, the thrill of the hunt is on. You'll also learn about the pivotal roles these animals played in the American Revolution and meet Nelson, a horse similar to George Washington's most beloved warhorse. The event takes place on November 2nd from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and is included with admission.
Celebrate Diwali at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art - FREE!
Diwali is a Hindu festival known for its twinkling lights, wow-inducing fireworks, delicious food, and vibrant colors. Bring your family to celebrate the festival of lights in this family workshop on November 2nd from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Explore artworks from the Indian subcontinent on a tour and then create your own colorful book featuring a traditional rangoli design. This engaging program is designed for children ages 6–12 and adults to enjoy together. The event is free but you must email [email protected] to register with your name, the session, and your number of registrants.
Hold on to Halloween at the National Museum of Natural History
For those in your family who don't want to give up the ghost, so to speak, there is the Smithsonian's post-Halloween special at the National Museum of Natural History. Taking place overnight from Saturday, November 2nd at 7 p.m. to Sunday, November 3rd at 9 a.m., your wee witches and warlocks (ages 8-14) will get a taste of what it'd be like to be a a character in Night at the Museum. They'll go on an interactive exploration of the museum and enjoy crafts and games. Then it's time to break out the sleeping bags and seal the deal on bragging rights after sleeping in the darkened halls of one of the world's most famous museums.
Hip Hop Meets Old School in Kid Prince and Pablo at The Kennedy Center
This entertaining take on a classic will show young ones the power of walking in another person’s shoes. The Mark Twain classic The Prince and the Pauper is reimagined as a digital age American Hip Hop story in Kid Prince and Pablo. In the divided Capital City, the ruling class called The Promised has banned rap and dance after an attempted revolution by the progressive New Wave people. Underground rap battles abound as two worlds collide. Performed in English with some Spanish, this production is recommended for kids ages nine and up. Take advantage soon as the production only runs through November 3rd! Save 25% of tickets for Kid Prince and Pablo with this CertifiKID Deal.
Water and Acrobatics Take Center Stage at Cirque Italia's Water Circus in Fredericksburg, VA
Cirque Italia's unique, enchanting European-style Water Circus is coming to Fredericksburg from November 7th - 10th. Bring the whole family out to be charmed and dazzled by mesmerizing aerial acts, contortionists, futuristic laser acts, acrobatic comedy and more -- all performed on a custom-designed water stage holding 35,000 gallons of water! Save 42% off tickets with this CertifiKID Deal.
The History of Food Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History - FREE!
Enjoy two days of hands-on learning, live demonstrations, talks, and stories exploring how women are singlehandedly building, saving, and empowering communities through food at the American History Museum. Talented chefs, local organizations, experts, museum curators and entrepreneurs are on hand to converse, lead activities, and dig into food history with museum visitors of all ages. Adults will love "food in a pocket", which shows how to make things like empanadas and pierogies, while young ones will have a ball at The Kids Table. The culinary extravaganza takes place on November 8th and 9th, and, although it is free, you should check the website for some ticketed events.
Expose Your Kids to the Classics With Singin' in the Rain at Olney Theatre Center in Olney, Maryland
An upbeat musical that can be enjoyed without breaking the bank? Almost makes you want to sing in the rain, right? Or at least in the shower. In the Heights Director/Choreographer Marcos Santana returns to the Olney Theatre Center with the greatest movie musical of all time comes. He brings Singin' in the Rain to life on the Mainstage from November 8, 2019 - January 5, 2020 and, for once, rain during the holidays is guaranteed to make you smile. Save up to 35% off tickets for select performances of Singin' in the Rain from November 8th - 16th HERE.
Fill the Family's Belly at The Emporiyum Food Market at Union Market - Kids Are Free!
Photo Courtesy of The Emporiyum Food Market
Trade in your pumpkin spice for a much more taste-expanding culinary adventure. A group of talented Mid-Atlantic chefs have joined forces to create a marketplace like no other at Dock 5 of The Emporiyum Food Market. Taking place from November 8th - 10th, this unique event will feature fare from these local chefs and the best national food and drink artisans across the country. Not only do kids get in free, but treats, candy and other confections abound. Adult "treats" come in the form of hand-crafted cocktails, beer and wine. The Emporiyum also offers plenty of other premium products for those who want to get a pre or post-food-and-drink jump on the holiday shopping. Click HERE to save on admission Saturday, November 9th or Sunday, November 10th after 1:30 p.m.
Enjoy Pancakes 'n' Pics With Peppa Pig at the District Wharf
You'd be hard put to find a child who doesn't delight in the misadventures of Peppa...especially when much of the dialog comes from the mouth of a pig with a British accent. Your petite Peppa Pig enthusiasts can enjoy an engaging, all-you-care-to-eat breakfast buffet with Peppa Pig & your Clown N Around Friends. Parents can revel in the panoramic views of the District Wharf, all while your child's favorite TV Character takes photos, signs autographs and periodically leads diners in song and dance. There will also be face painters, balloon artists and more. The Breakfast With Peppa Pig Live! event takes place on November 9th from 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Time Travel With a Tour of the Nao Santa Maria at the District Wharf
The majestic ship will be at the District Wharf in D.C. from November 12th - 15th, with tours of the Nao Santa Maria conducted daily during that time. You'll feel as though you stepped back in time as you explore the five decks of this 200-ton and 100-feet long 16th-century Spanish vessel. A faithful replica of the Spanish galleons used in the era of Columbus, the Nao will surely make your aspiring explorers "ooh" and "ahh" despite the, ahem, academic nature of the tour. Discounts are available for families and school groups. Save 20% off tickets to tour the Nao Santa Maria.
Get Prehistoric With Fossil Fest at the National Museum of Natural History - FREE!
Calling all budding scientists! This fun, fossil-filled day in The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center at the Natural History Museum will teach your wee researchers about the tools and research techniques experts use to unearth the facts about prehistoric ecosystems. Explore the world of paleontology getting a pterodactyls' eye view into their work. Kids will love getting a taste of virtual reality, handling 3D fossil prints, or sifting for and identifying fossils they can uncover at their hands-on learning stations! Fossil Fest takes place on November 16th from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. This bilingual English-Spanish event is free, but registration is requested.
Harness the Holiday Spirit With Grandma's Thanksgiving Visit at The Discovery Center
As part of the Discovery Play Series, Fábulas Fairy Tales are back by popular demand! Grandma has arrived for the holiday—and that means puppet-making, cooking together, washing the car, and learning new things. This musical play brings the audience together with singing, finger play, and call-and-response that'll tickle your grandma-loving littles. Grandma's Thanksgiving Visit takes place at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater in the Ripley Center and is suggested for ages 3-6. Times and dates are: Thurs, Nov. 21 and Fri., Nov. 22 at 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. and Mon., Nov. 25 and Tues., Nov. 26 at 10:15 and 11:30 a.m.
Shop + Shimmy at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Photo Courtesy of Sugarloaf Crafts Festival
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping list at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. Artists, crafters, makers and designers from near and far bring their talents together for an engaging day the whole family will love. The festival features live music and art demonstrations, hands-on workshops, entertainment, and tasty treats to sample. The 200 to 450 emerging and established artisans that make up a Sugarloaf Crafts Festival are carefully curated based on skill, quality, creativity and design, and all items are handmade. The event will take place at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds from November 22nd - 24th. Enjoy HALF-OFF Sugarloaf Crafts Festival Admission with this CertifiKID offer. Bonus - Kids under 12 get in FREE!
Get Lost in the Holiday Spirit at Enchant D.C. at Nationals Park
Photo Courtesy of Enchant Christmas
The highly anticipated Enchant Christmas D.C. opens on November 22nd, bringing a whimsical winter wonderland to Nats Park. This over-the-top, magical holiday display and event features the World's Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market, a stunning ice skating trail, larger-than-life ice sculptures, yummy seasonal foods and drinks - enjoyed all the while snow gently falls all around you. Sounds pretty darn enchanting, right? This event runs through December 29th.
Your Family Foray Into the Falsetto With The Magic Flute at The Kennedy Center
"The Magic Flute" Photo Courtesy of The Kennedy Center
Introduce your wee ones to the Washington National Opera in a whimsical way with this production designed by beloved children’s author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. This Family Look-In: The Magic Flute performance sets you off on an enchanting fairy tale. The Magic Flute performances run between November 2nd - 23rd, but this special "family look-in" - an incredible opportunity to learn about scene changes, costuming, lighting and more - takes place Saturday, November 23rd at 1:30 p.m. Go early for a Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo" and a chance to interact with real props and costumes. Purchase three or more Kennedy Center Performances for Young Audiences shows and save 20% with ticketing fees waived with this CertifiKID deal.
90210oooooomg - Hang With Jennie Garth & Tori Spelling Live! at the MGM National Harbor
In case you haven't heard, VSCO girls have brought scrunchies and Birkenstocks back ...sk sk sk. And with the hit 90210 reunion show under your belts, you're surely ready to join Tori and Jennie for the ultimate girls night. Be prepared for the unexpected, as the audience is as much a part of the totally live show, interacting with their famous hosts. This is the can’t-miss experience that fans who have grown up alongside these BFFs have been waiting for! A night at the Peach Pit is nothing compared to this intimate event. Jennie Garth & Tori Spelling Live! A Night to Remember takes place on November 23 at 8 p.m., and ages three and up need a ticket. Get 25% off various levels of seating with this gnarly, '90s-inspired CertifiKID deal.
Discover the Secrets of Your Own Fingerprints at the National Law Enforcement Museum
Visit the National Law Enforcement Museum on November 23rd for a fun-filled afternoon of science activities in their Learning Center. This month's Science Saturdays theme is Fingerprints & Impressions, engaging kids and family members of all ages in learning about the secrets of fingerprints, the creation of tool mark casts, and more. This event is free with Museum admission. Save 28% off admission to the National Law Enforcement Museum with this CertifiKID Deal.
Get Into the Holiday Groove With The Grinch on the Jumbo Screen at National Harbor - Free!
Hell hath no fury like those who see people celebrating the holidays too early but, by the end of November, you've definitely got the all-clear to embrace the spirit. And what better way to green-light the season than by celebrating everyone's favorite green, grouchy guy? Pack up the chairs and the fam to catch The Grinch (2019) on the Jumbo Screen at National Harbor from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. on November 30th.
Celebrate Native American Heritage Day: Family Fun Day at the National Museum Of the American Indian - FREE!
November is Native American Heritage Month and the National Museum of the American Indian is celebrating the many contributions of Native Americans to all aspects of life in the United States with special events all month long. The signature event for families takes place on Friday, November 29th with the museum's unique family celebration of Native American Heritage Day showcasing Native culture through interactive dancing, games, storytelling, hands-on activities and make-and-takes, as well as music and dance presentations.
There's Nothing Robotic About the Lucid Motion Exhibit at ARTECHOUSE DC
"Lucid Motion" Photo Courtesy of ARTECHOUSE
ARTECHOUSE has done it again with its newest exhibition, Lucid Motion, dedicated to exploring new artistic possibilities at the intersection of technology and body movement through three unique installations. Visitors will get to engage with dance performances, lights and shades as they experience the art of human motion through multiple rooms. Click HERE to experience art in motion at ARTECHOUSE for 20% off through November 29th.
See the Grinch in a Whole New Way - On ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor
ICE!, the National Harbor's signature holiday attraction starring everyone's favorite humbug, is back this year and opens November 15th! Watch how the Grinch tries to steal Christmas from the Whos of Who-ville through ice sculptures and displays. It's not a production but, instead, an awe-inspiring, two million-pound display of colorful ice sculptures kept at a chilly 9°F (dress accordingly!). Your family can walk through to take in these incredible hand-carved creations from 40 different artisans that come together to tell the story of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Kids will gladly brave the temps to experience the four two-story tall ice slides. While there, follow the Grinch as he steals all the presents by partaking in The Grinch's Wonderful Awful Idea Scavenger Hunt. Lucky scavenger hunters will solve the clues and puzzles along the way to win a prize and sway the Grinch to have a change of heart. Click HERE to get 25% off a bundle that includes both the stunning ICE! display and the scavenger hunt through CertifiKID!
Savor the Captivating Views From the Capital Wheel and Carousel at National Harbor
While you're enjoying the holiday festivities at National Harbor, make sure to take your family outing to new heights - literally! - by taking in the panoramic views from your private fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola on the 180-foot Capital Wheel. If heights aren't your cup of tea, opt for a spin on a traditional carousel horse, or go a bit wild on a polar bear, hummingbird, dragon, and more. Save up to 37% off a Family Combo-Package for the Capital Wheel and Carousel OR a Capital Wheel Date Night Package for Two with this CertifiKID deal.
Tis the Season for A Magical Cirque Christmas at The Warner Theatre
The producers of Broadway’s smash hit The Illusionists have brought together the world’s greatest entertainers for this spell-binding and incredible new holiday production. Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get the whole family into the spirit of the season with this performance of A Magical Cirque Christmas on Friday, November 22nd at 7:30 p.m. Save up to 41% off tickets with this CertifiKID deal.
Ogle the Awesomeness of the National Building Museum Before it Temporarily Closes
Photo Courtesy of National Building Museum
The National Building Museum will be closed for renovations from December 2, 2019-March, 2020, so be sure to head here sooner rather than later. Located just four blocks from the National Mall, the Museum occupies a magnificent building with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze. Despite the "look but don't touch" impression you might get when entering this museum, the NBM offers an array of activities that cater to kids all ages. Save up to 50% off admission to the National Building Museum with this CertifiKID deal (expires when they temporarily close on December 2nd)!
Getting Your Whole Family to a Washington Wizards Game is a Slam Dunk - Find Out How
Photo Courtesy of the Washington Wizards
Now that the excitement of Nats baseball has come to an end, it's time to support one of our other home teams as they try to magic their way to their own championship. Take the whole family to Capital One Arena to cheer on the Washington Wizards and save up to 71% off tickets for games throughout November PLUS get a cool Wizards t-shirt with this CertifiKID Deal.
It's Time for Season's Greenings at United States Botanic Garden
Even the Grinch couldn't be grouchy after exploring botanic gardens that feature plants from Hawaii to Maine in this year's Season's Greenings holiday show! Feast your eyes on iconic gardens scenes like Brooklyn Botanic Garden's vibrant red Japanese torii gate, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' flamingo topiaries, Missouri Botanical Garden's famous Climatron conservatory, and Huntsville Botanical Garden's Rocket Garden featuring NASA space nodes and rockets - all in the train room! Plant the seed with your family and then head there starting November 28th. Visit on a Tuesday or Thursday evening in December to enjoy live seasonal music until 8 p.m. Check out our review of last year's Season's Greenings exhibit.
Fly High With 30% Savings at iFLY Indoor Skydiving!
Photo Courtesy of iFLY
This family-friendly adventure will literally blow you away as you enjoy the most thrilling part of skydiving - the freefall. And the best part - there's no need to jump out of a plane to experience it! Flyers as young as age 3 soar like birds in an exhilarating wind tunnel of smooth air. Flight instructors are with you every step of the way to ensure your safety and make the most of your flying adventure. Save 30% off TWO weekday flights for one person with this super fly CertifiKID deal.
For more family fun this month, check out The Best Things to do with Kids in Baltimore in November.
CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!
Explore More Categories
New Year's Eve With Kids: 10 Family-Friendly Ways to Ring in 2022
Clear That Clutter With a Pre-Holiday Toy Clean Out
10 November Event Highlights Not To Miss
Family Halloween Costume Ideas That'll Make 'Em Howl
Creative Ways to Rid the House of Leftover Halloween Candy