GardenFest of Lights

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is aglow with the return of Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights on Friday. This year's theme is 'Magic in the Air,' inspired by things that fly.

22 friday

Stage Door Youth: “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.,” Chancellor High School, 6300 Harrison Road. 7 p.m. $13 adults, $9 students.

Christian Youth Theater: “A Christmas Carol,” Spotsylvania High School, 6975 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania. Featuring live orchestra. Nov. 22 to Dec. 1; 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. $13-$17.

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond. Featuring more than 1 million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday activities and more. This year’s theme is “Magic in the Air.” Nov. 22 to Jan. 6, 2020; closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 24-25. 5-10 p.m. $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for children age 3-12. 804/262-9887;

23 saturdayStorytime and Activities: “Anna, Elsa and the Secret River” and “Frozen 2 (Little Golden Book),” Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway. 11 a.m. 540/785-3504.

“Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” exhibit, Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond. Featuring 50 Peanuts daily and Sunday comic strips, over 50 vintage Peanuts-themed seasonal novelties, a Santa letter writing station and photo opportunities for children of all ages. Nov. 23 to Jan. 12, 2020. Included with admission.

WinterFest, Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell. Featuring millions of shimmering lights, a 300-foot tree and lavish displays, live shows and strolling performers, and hands-on holiday activities. Select nights Nov. 23 to Jan. 1, 2020. $26 and up.

Grand opening: “Little Farm,” Children’s Museum, 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond. Newly revamped exhibit for children 3 and under. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Included with admission. 804/474-7000;

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!),” Kennedy Center, Family Theater, Washington, D.C. World premiere from the Kennedy Center’s first-ever Education Artist-in-Residence, author and illustrator Mo Willems. Nov. 23 to Jan. 5, 2020. Most enjoyed by ages 5 and up. $20 and up. 202/467-4600;

Holiday in the Park, Six Flags America, 13710 Central Ave., Bowie, Md. Featuring more than a million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, seasonal treats and visits with Santa. Select days Nov. 23 to Jan. 1, 2020.

Stage Door Youth: “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.,” Chancellor High School. See Friday’s listing.

Christian Youth Theater: “A Christmas Carol,” Spotsylvania High School. See Friday’s listing.

24 sundayBaby & Me Storytime: “Big Bird (Sesame Street Friends),” Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway. For caregivers and children 0-24 months old. 11 a.m. 540/785-3504.

Nutcracker Tea with Clara and Friends, Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas. Presented by Northern Virginia Ballet. Enjoy a light afternoon tea and meet with stars from “The Nutcracker” ballet. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Each person attending the tea will also receive one ticket to the Nov. 23 or Nov. 30 performance. $65.

Christian Youth Theater: “A Christmas Carol,” Spotsylvania High School. See Friday’s listing.

27 wednesdayStorytime and Activities, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway. 11 a.m. 540/785-3504.

28 thursday”Season’s Greenings: America’s Gardens,” U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. Celebrating the diversity and beauty of the more than 600 public gardens in the United States. Enjoy live seasonal music concerts and after-dark holiday exhibit viewing Tuesdays and Thursdays in December. Nov. 28 to Jan. 5, 2020; Free.

ongoingVirginia Repertory Theatre: “Tuck Everlasting: TYA Edition,” Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn, 1601 Willow Lawn Drive, Richmond. Adaptation of Broadway production, based on Natalie Babbitt’s children’s novel. Co-world première with Nashville Children’s Theatre. Through Dec. 1. 804/282-2620;

Animal Discovery Days, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C. A spotlight on different animals around the zoo. Includes special demonstrations, activities and opportunities to learn about wildlife conservation. Upcoming dates: Dec. 4. See schedule at

Christmas on the Potomac: ICE! Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md. Experience favorite scenes from “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” in this walk-through winter wonderland carved from more than 2 million pounds of ice. Entrance inside The Christmas Village at Gaylord National. Through Dec. 30. From $25 child and $33 adult.

“Bionic Me,” Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond. Touring exhibition showcases the ingenious medical, industrial and technological breakthroughs that have helped humans overcome challenges and enhance their lives. Designed for ages 5-12. Through Jan. 5, 2020. $15.50 adults; $13.50 ages 6–12 and seniors ages 60 and older; and $10 ages 3–5. 804/864-1400;

Christmas Town, Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Featuring more than 10 million lights, Christmas Town Express holiday-themed train ride, Santa’s Workshop, and festive food, drinks and holiday shopping. Through Jan. 5, 2020.

Preschool Palette, Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, 224 Washington St., Falmouth. Introduce your child to arts education in a museum setting with this monthly award-winning class. Enjoy hands-on art activities and projects, along with age-appropriate studio tours, garden walks and stories. 10–11 a.m. Ages 2–5 are accompanied by an adult. $12 child/adult pair ($10 Friends of Belmont). Register at

Family Time, Children’s Museum of Richmond, 1275 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Fredericksburg. Every first Thursday of the month. Included with admission. 540/656-2233;

Dungeons & Dragons Game Night, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway. Open to new and old players; no experience necessary. Second Tuesday of each month. 6 p.m. 540/785-3504.

CarMax $1 Family Nights, The Children’s Museum of Richmond, 2626 W. Broad St. Held the second Friday of each month from 5-7:30 p.m. $1 admission per person (adults and children).

ZooLights powered by Pepco, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C. Enjoy live music performances, winter treats and holiday shopping. Nov. 29 to Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31. Free admission; parking is limited.

Onstage with Santa, Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, 95 Riverside Parkway. Enjoy a hot chocolate bar with all the fixings and Christmas carols, have photo taken with former White House Santa, and enter giveaways for ham, turkey and show-only tickets for upcoming productions. Bring your camera. Riverside is a drop-off site for Toys for Tots. Nov. 30, 9 a.m. to noon. Free. 540/370-4300.

Storytime and Activities: “Dear Santa” and “Cookies for Santa,” Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway. Nov. 30, 11 a.m. 540/785-3504.

“Superpower Dogs” sensory screening, National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle. Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to noon. $5. Free.

Richmond Symphony LolliPops 2: “The Snowman,” Carpenter Theatre, 600 E. Grace St., Richmond. $10-$20. Nov. 30, 11 a.m.; free pre-concert festival, featuring instrument petting zoo and interactive activities begins at 10 a.m. 804/592-3330;

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells,” Maryland Theatre Ensemble, 31 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. Based on the children’s books by Barbara Park. Ages 3 and up. Nov. 30-Dec. 29. $14. 301/694-4744;

Caring Santa, Potomac Mills Mall, 2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge. Provides children with all spectrums of special needs and their families with the opportunity to visit with Santa in a sensory-friendly environment. Dec. 1, 9-10:30 a.m. Make an appointment at

”The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas,” George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Featuring Eric Carle’s “Dream Snow.” Dec. 1, 1 and 4 p.m.; enjoy interactive children’s activity 45 minutes before the performance in the Center for the Arts lobby. Recommended for ages 2-7. $10-$15. 703/993-8888;

“PJ Masks Live: Save The Day!” Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel St., Richmond. Based on the Disney Junior animated series, the show features preschoolers’ favorite pre-school superheroes and familiar songs from the popular show along with brand new music and a whole new adventure. Dec. 1.

”Elf on a Shelf: A Christmas Musical,” Carpenter Theatre, 600 E. Grace St., Richmond. A toe-tapping, heartwarming story of one small elf’s big impact on his adoptive family. Dec. 2. $29-$59. 804/592-3330;

Military Families Breakfast with Santa, Potomac Mills Mall, 2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge. Enjoy a special breakfast with Santa and receive an additional military discount on photos with Santa as well as a keepsake item to take home. For active duty, guard and veteran families from all branches of the military. ID and registration are required for this event. Dec. 5, 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Food Court. Register at

Georgetown GLOW, Washington, D.C. Featuring 11 commissioned light art installations located throughout the Georgetown commercial district. Programming includes special promotions and events at many shops and restaurants, including A Book Hill Holiday, plus themed historic, food, photography and curator walking tours. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 6 to Jan. 5. Organized by the Georgetown Business Improvement District. Admission is free.

Yuletides at Agecroft: Christmas Open House, Agecroft Hall, 4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond. Experience the Christmas season at Agecroft Hall from three different eras: England in 1640, London in 1860 and Richmond in 1942. Dec. 8, 12:30-5 p.m. Free. Register at

Youth Orchestra Program Winter Concert, Dominion Energy Center, 600 E. Grace St., Richmond. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Free. 804/592-3330;

“PJ Masks Live: Save The Day!” DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW, Washington, D.C. Based on the Disney Junior animated series, the show features preschoolers’ favorite pre-school superheroes and familiar songs from the popular show along with brand new music and a whole new adventure. Dec. 10.

Children’s Christmas Play and Celebration, Grace United Methodist Church, 13056 Elk Ridge Road. ome dressed as angels, shepherds, animals or kings. Costumes will be provided if needed. A small non-speaking part in the Christmas Story will be assigned to each child. Meet Santa and enjoy cookie decorating, crafts and games, and free pizza and chili. Dec. 14, 3-6 p.m. 540/752-5462;

VRE Santa Trains, departs from five stations (Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Woodbridge, Manassas and Burke Centre). The 75-minute excursions begin as early as 8:09 a.m. and as late as 3:55 p.m. Dec. 14. Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will be on board listening to children’s holiday wishes and handing out goodie bags. Purchase beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 25. Half of the tickets will be sold online and the other half will be available for purchase at the stations. $5 in person and $6 online.

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon. Enjoy family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music; visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, Martha Washington and Aladdin the camel; and watch colonial artisans demonstrate the 18th-century process of creating chocolate. Dec. 20-21, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Rain date: Dec. 28. Adults: $36 with mansion tour, $30 without tour; youth: $26 with mansion tour, $20 without tour.

PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue,” EagleBank Arena, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax. Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2020. $21.50 and up; VIP packages available.

workshops and camps

Petite Patriots, James Monroe Museum, 908 Charles St., Fredericksburg. An engaging historical experience for ages 3-6. Each Petite Patriot will receive free admission, read-aloud story, short and interactive history demonstration and take-home craft. Dec. 12. No cost; spots fill up fast. To reserve a spot, call 540/654-2111 or email 540/654-1043;—Compiled by Gail Choochan

—Compiled by Gail Choochan

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