January Family-Friendly Events Guide 2020


Goodbye 2019…and hello 2020! The new year brings renewed hope and a fresh start. Unfortunately, it also brings fewer outdoor public events to entertain the family. But never fear, we have found some fun ways to make long-lasting memories with your family this winter. If you know of other fun events in the area, please share them in the comments below!

January 5
Three Kings Day Brunch
11am – 2pm
Bethesda, MD

Jaleo once again will host this annual celebration of Three Kings Day. Bring the family for brunch and enjoy a show by Adventure Theatre in celebration of this special holiday. Kids 10 and under will be able to meet the Three Kings, receive complimentary slices of Roscón de Reyes (King Cake) and Hot Chocolate, do arts and crafts in the “Crown Corner,” and receive a prize if they find the traditional bean in their slice of cake.

January 5
123 Andrés Concert Benefitting DC Diaper Bank
The Miracle Theater
Washington, DC

Do some good for local families in need while treating your family to a fun, engaging, and educational concert. Andrés Salguero (aka 123 Andrés) is a Latin Grammy winner who is sure to get you and your little one singing and dancing. In fact, Billboard Magazine has called him “a rockstar for little language learners.” His first concert of 2020 will benefit the Greater DC Diaper Bank, a local organization that, each month, provides over 4,000 families in our community with over 175,000 diapers and other baby and hygiene items that help keep children healthy in their early years.

January 10 – 12
Motorcycle Show
Times Vary
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

The world’s largest consumer motorcycle show tour, now in its 39th year, aims to connect powersports’ top brands with enthusiasts and buyers by being more experiential and interactive than ever. The show will feature various attractions enabling attendees of all ages and skill sets to interact with the industry, including demo rides and the New Rider Course, as well as DIY workshops, the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show, fresh new lifestyle brand debuts, and exciting new gear and parts in the Marketplace. And don’t miss the Kids Zone which will feature a closed course of battery assisted balance bikes for children to experience riding for the first time. Participants will have the option to ride the balance bikes with or without the addition of a speed limited electric motor. Tickets available online. Kids under 12 are free.

January 11 & 12
Nationals Winterfest
12pm – 4pm
Nationals Park
Washington, DC

Nationals Park is turning into a winter and baseball wonderland for our annual weekend-long fan fest, complete with both indoor and outdoor programs. Come interact with players and coaches, hear updates on the team, and enjoy special behind-the-scenes access to several parts of Nationals Park that are typically closed during the season. Attendees can get autographs of players, photos with the World Series Trophy, take part in a kids press conference, and much more! Tickets are available online.

January 12
Hot Cocoa Party
3pm – 5pm
Riverbend Regional Park
Great Falls, VA

Take a walk through Riverbend Park’s winter wonderland with a naturalist, and then come inside to warm up with a hot cocoa party. Jazz up your cup of cocoa up with goodies, listen to some heartwarming winter stories, and make a wintry craft to take home. The program at Riverbend Park runs from 3 to 5 p.m. It costs $15 per person and you can register online. See the park calendar for a list of other programs and activities offered by the park throughout the month.

January 17 – February 16
Times Vary
The Puppet Co.
Glen Echo, MD

A “bewitching” tale by Duane T. Bowers, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairytale. Witch Wartsmith wants a baby, and after bargaining for little Rapunzel, must go to great lengths to keep her out of the hands of a handsome prince. The Puppet Co. uses “coloring- book” charm and the simplicity of hand puppets in a production designed to delight its younger audiences. This production is recommended for children ages 3 1/2 to 9 years old. The show lasts 40 Minutes.

January 18
MLK Jr. Family Program
11am – 12:30pm
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Washington, DC

Inspired by Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday song, families can celebrate the MLK Jr. holiday by creating hands-on art using King’s familiar theme of the “Beloved Community.” What would your beloved community include? The workshop will be led by art educator, Alma Robinson and use as inspiration King’s principals of dream integration, love, and a non-violent world. Participants can also take part in a second workshop with art educator, Rain Young to create original balloon art of a peace medal or a “I Have a Dream” hat to take home. Both workshops include a guided tour of the exhibition “A Right to the City” with an emphasis on Dr. King’s visit to the Washington, DC Shaw neighborhood. All materials will be provided. The event is free, but please RSVP online.

January 18
Engineering 101
College Park Aviation Museum
College Park, MD

The College Park Aviation Museum hosts various ongoing and special programs to foster innovation, creative learning, and connectivity throughout the year. Its Engineering 101 program teaches kids that an engineer designs and builds things to solve specific problems. It provides kids with an interactive, hands-on challenge through which they learn about the basics of engineering. Participants will construct their own design from plans to prototype. It costs $5 per participant, which includes museum admission and supplies.

January 18 & 19
NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo
9am – 5pm (Sat.) and 9am – 5pm (Sun.)
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

In its 27th year, this is the largest, best-attended Consumer Wellness Expo in the country, attracting 85,000 attendees every year. Hundreds of exhibitors will be Working 4 You at this free, family-friendly event. Highlights include health screenings, workouts, special guests and the chance to meet NBC4 and T44 anchors and reporters. The 2020 event will expand its focus to include keeping our planet healthy via the addition of a sustainability component to the campaign and expo.

January 19
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Live!
2pm and 5:30pm
Warner Theater
Washington, DC

Daniel Tiger and all his friends from the beloved Emmy Award winning PBS Kids television series are hopping back aboard Trolley for Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: Neighbor Day. Daniel Tiger and his family, O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, and more familiar friends will take audiences on an interactive adventure to the Neighborhood of Make Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others and celebrating new experiences. The live show features new songs and fan favorites, including the beloved “Wont You Be My Neighbor?” The live theatrical production is filled with music, dancing, and wonderful surprises.

January 20
MLK Holiday DC Peace Walk & Parade
9am – 2pm
Along Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE 
Washington, DC

Dr. King’s life and legacy is commemorated by a day of service and promoted as “A Day On and Not a Day Off.” This parade, now in its 39th year, symbolizes the need to continue Dr. King’s work and reinforces the idea reflected in his words, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Those who believe in Dr. King’s message are considered members of the Coalition for Peace and are invited to join the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Parade every year. The Peace Walk and Program begin at 9am. The parade runs from 12pm – 2pm.

January 22 – February 2
KC Lunar New Year
Times Vary
Kennedy Center
Washington, DC

The Kennedy Center will celebrate the Lunar New Year and ring in the Year of the Rat with various showcases of Chinese and Korean culture. It is also presenting a special display of Winter Lanterns at the REACH. The REACH will glow with approximately 100 stunning Winter Lanterns crafted by Chinese artisans made up of 10,000 colored LED lights. Along with the beautiful lantern displays, visitors can enjoy performances and artisan demonstrations, food trucks, and more. January 25th is Family Day. From 1:30pm – 4:30pm 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, an internationally acclaimed magician from Shenzhen, and more. The Winter Lanterns display and all events, activities, demonstrations and showcases throughout The REACH are FREE – no tickets are required. Tickets are required for the January 22nd concert in the Concert Hall.

January 24 – February 2
Washington Auto Show
Times Vary
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC

Designated one of the nation’s top five auto shows by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, The Washington Auto Show continues to wow audiences with its cutting-edge exhibits, more than 600 new car models, and displays of historic vehicles. The 2020 show will feature VIP tours led by award-winning automotive writers and a special exhibit area for live painting of “art” cars. Attendees can also experience off-roading at Camp Jeep and ride with a stunt driver at the indoor Jaguar Stunt Track. As a bonus, there will be onsite visits from celebrities and sports personalities. And don’t miss the WHUT/PBS Kids Family Zone. This year’s Family Fun Zone will be bigger than ever, featuring appearances by popular PBS characters including Splash and Bubbles, Daniel Tiger, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Jet Propulsion from Ready Jet Go!, and Luna from Let’s Go Luna! Tickets are available online. Children under 5 are admitted for free.

January 25 & 26
Monster Jam
1pm and 7pm (1/25) and 1pm (1/26)
Capitol One Arena
Washington, DC

The action-packed monster truck show, Monster Jam, is returning to DC this year for three shows. The show combines three separate competitions – racing, two-wheel skills, and freestyle – into one entertaining show that will keep your kids on the edge of their seats. New this year is the opportunity to see the trucks up close and meet the drivers. Attending this post-show “Pit Party” costs extra and you can add this on to your regular ticket purchase. Tickets are available now. It will be loud in the arena so you may want to take along earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.

January 26
Lunar New Year Celebration
11am – 5pm
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art
Washington, DC

Join the museum for its 6th Annual Lunar New Year celebration and ring in the Year of the Rat. At this free event, attendees can 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. And enjoy two special Sackler exhibitions – Resound: Ancient Bells of China and Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece – and the permanent collection of Asian art in the Freer.

January 26
Chinese New Year Parade
Gallery Place/Chinatown
Washington, DC

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) is holding its biggest and most diverse parade ever to ring in the 4718 Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat! This dynamic community-based parade will include traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers, live music and marching bands, beauty pageant winners, VIPs, and other community talents. Check out the event website for a map of the parade route.

January 30
Spy Fest
6pm – 9pm
International Spy Museum
Washington, DC

Could you be a spy? Now’s your chance to find out. Do you have the savvy to beat a lie-detector? The smarts to break a top secret coded message? The wits to create secret writing? The moves of a Ninja? Families are invited to find out how they measure up at the Museum’s annual Spy Fest. 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 for kids age 5 and up. One adult is required for every five KidSpy agents.

Also, the National Archives Sleepover in the Rotunda is on Saturday, February 1st. Please buy tickets now for this memorable night! Each year, they have a theme and this year’s theme is women’s suffrage, which relates to the newest National Archives exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote

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Julie is a proud born and bred Texan, but has called DC home since 2001. She studied at the University of Texas and then moved to DC to get her MPA at the George Washington University. Julie worked for ten years for a Member of Congress, where she loved working to impact public policy. In 2013, her world turned inside out when she gave birth to twins and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Currently Julie lives in the H Street Corridor with her husband, two kids, and their increasingly grouchy senior dog, Presley. Yes, please: movie dates with her husband, trying new restaurants, exploring DC with her kids, last minute road trips, being outdoors, festivals (of any kind), girls’ night out, and a rainy day with “Pride and Prejudice.” No, thank you: hot and humid summers, mistreating animals, Legos (ouch!), public speaking, laundry, raw fish