Category Archives: Events and Things to Do

Fill your 2021 calendar with these self-care dates

Happy New Year! Are we having fun yet?

If you read my post on January self-care, then you know that today is the day for filling up your new 2021 calendar with events and special days. Planning happy times to look forward to is a wonderful form of self-care!

Make sure you don’t miss thse self-care days in 2021…

Jan. 8
National
Bubble Bath
Day
Jan. 9
Vision Board Day
Jan. 24
Compliment Day
Feb. 28
Intl. Hygge Day
Mar. 6
National Day of Unplugging
Mar. 15
National
Napping Day
Mar. 19 World Sleep DayMar. 20
Intl. Day of Happiness
Mar. 26
Self-Confidence Day
 Apr. 7
National
Walking Day
Apr. 9
ASMR Day
Apr. 21
World Creativity Day
Apr. 25
Crystal Day and National Mani Pedi Day
May 1
World Laughter Day and
National Fitness Day and Therapeutic Massage Day
May 21
Meditation Day and
UN Intl. Tea Day
Jun. 21
Intl. Day of
Yoga
Jul. 24 Intl. Self-Care DayAug. 1
National Planner Day
Aug 2
Coloring Book Day
 Aug. 15
National Relaxation Day
Sep. 6 National Read a Book DaySep. 12 Mindfulness DaySep. 13
Positive Thinking Day
Sep. 14
Coloring Day
Sep. 19
Intl. Declutter Day
Sep. 21 World Gratitude DayOct. 10
World Mental Health Day
Nov. 3
Stress Awareness Day
Nov. 13
World Kindness
Day
Nov. 27
Aura Awareness
Day
Dec. 4
Candle Day

Fun dates for your 2021 calendar

Photo by Marta Branco on Pexels.com

Happy New Year! Are you ready to delve into your new calendar, datebook or planner? Here are some fun dates to look forward to while we remain safer at home, for the present. There are always days to celebrate, even if you are at home alone. Check in tomorrow for a list of the year’s self-care days! And the day after that for foodie days!

January

Jan. 2 National Introverts Day (hello!)

Jan 2 – 3 Quadranids Meteor Shower is tonight!

Jan. 4 Trivia Day. Here is a trivia question: what is the January birthstone?

Jan. 6 Epiphany. Eat a King Cake!

Jan. 23 Poirier and McGregor face off in a UFC match. I hope McGregor loses, that son of a bitch. Oh, sorry. Quarter in the cuss jar.

Jan 28 Lego Day! I have never played with legos so I don’t have anything funny to say about it. But I have stepped on them. Soooo painful.

Jan 31 Grammy Awards. Trevor Noah is hosting, how cool is that?

February

Feb. 2 Groundhog Day. You’re going to watch the movie, aren’t you? Again!

Feb. 7 Superbowl 50! The Weekend is performing for the half-time show!

Feb. 12 Chinese New Year! It is the Year of the Ox. A good year to be strong!

Feb. 13 Celebrate pre-Valentine’s Day with your girlfriends on Galentine’s Day!

Feb. 15 It’s New York Fashion week. What wild ensembles will we see?

Feb. 16 Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Feb 25 Pokemon Day and the 25th Anniversary!

Feb 28 Golden Globes are on tonight. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting.

March

There’s going to be a Friends reunion! Could I BE any more excited about it?

Mar. 6 National Day of Unplugging! Can you go a WHOLE day without electronics? I’m not sure I can but I’m going to try.

Mar. 12 The 1 year anniversary of the Covid-19 Pandemic (as declared by WHO). The good news: if you are reading this, you are alive and not on a ventilator. Count those blessings and stay safe!

Mar. 14 Pi Day! What does it mean? I don’t know, I’m a blogger, not a mathematician.

Mar. 16 Yay, it’s my birthday! Happy Birthday to meeeeeeee! Last year, we went on lockdown so the bar is pretty low, I mean, almost anything this year will top last year’s birthday.

Mar 20 The Cherry Blossom Festival begins. I hope we can go see the cherry blossoms this year.

Mar 22. World Figure Skating Championships start!

April

Apr. 1 Major League Baseball opening day! No fooling! Go Nats!

Apr. 9 Unicorn Day! Are unicorns still in?

Apr 18. Country Music Awards are today!

Apr. 21 Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th Birthday! And look for the Lyrids Meteor Showers!

Apr. 23 The Apple Blossom Festival kicks off in Winchester, God willing.

Apr. 25 The Academy Awards are on! Why not have an Oscars party at home? Taye Diggs is hosting.

May

May 1 Today is the Kentucky Derby! Wear a big hat and drink a julep. Oh and horses run really fast.

May 2 It’s International Harry Potter Day, wizards, muggles and witches!

May 4 It’s Stars Wars Day so may the Fourth be with you! And uh oh, more meteor showers tonight!

May 5 Aye, caramba, it’s Cinco de Mayo!

May 7 Marvel’s Black Widow premieres!

May 8 Yay, it’s National Train Day! Also Miniature Golf Day!

Mid May I’m sorry to tell you this but we are going to be invaded by swarms of cicadas (Brood X) so bad, you’ll think it’s 2020 or something.

May 15 It’s the Preakness! Bet on your favorite horse!

May 16 Today is National Classic Movie Day! Have you seen Bringing Up Baby? (hint: there is no baby in the movie)

May 21 Talk Like Yoda Day it is.

May 25 Today is Geek Pride Day! Let your Geek Flag fly!

May 26 Ooh there is a lunar eclipse today and it’s a full moon, a super moon and a blood moon. Dang. Hang up some garlic.

May 29 Oh, joy, it’s a Mercury Retrograde!

June

June 1 Atlantic Hurricane season begins. Is it me, or are these hurricanes coming earlier and earlier?

June 3 Happy Birthday, First Lady Jill Biden!

June 30 Today is National Beach Day! Hopefully, there will not be a hurricane!

July

July 2 Today is World UFO Day! Maybe the aliens will save us.

July 3 Today is Drop a (painted) Rock Day. Maybe paint an alien on it!

July 10 Today is Teddy Bear Picnic Day. No matter how old you are, pack up and head out.

July 17 Today is World Emoji Day. What did we do before emojis? Oh, I remember. We drew little smiley faces.

July 23 The Summer Olympics start in Tokyo today!

July 28 Even more meteor showers! Delta Aquarids

August

Aug. 5 Oooh it is Blogger Day! That means you are supposed to send me flowers and gifts 🙂

Aug 8 Even better, today is National Tiki Day! Let’s have a luau!

Aug. 11 Well, yes, even more meteor showers! Thse are the Perseids and if you lie on your back late at night, you will see them. Ants will also crawl in your shirt and bite you, but you can’t have everything.

Aug. 14 It is National Bowling Day! I am astoundingly good at bowling which is weird, considering how much I bump into walls and doors.

Aug. 16 It is National Roller Coaster Day. You can cut in front of me. ALL of you can cut in front of me.

Aug. 21 It is Hawaiian Shirt Day! Aloha!

September

Sept. 8 It is Star Trek Day. Live well and prosper.

Sept. 9 It is National Teddy Bear Day. That means you take your teddy bear to work and on the Metro and everything.

Sept. 19 Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrr!

Sept. 20 The lovely Harvest Moon shines tonight.

October

Oct. 1 Guess what? Walt Disney World is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary today!

Oct. 2 Today is Name Your Car Day. My car is almost 15 years old. Her name is “Atta, Girl.” Every time she starts up, I pat her on the dashboard and murmur, “Atta, Girl” affectionately.

Oct. 4 Today is the Day the Church Blesses the Animals.

Oct. 20 Happy Birthday, VP Kamala Harris! Oh, it also International Sloth Day.

Oct. 30 Tonight is Her-o-ween, a holiday I made up. It’s like Galentine’s Day, only for Halloween.

November

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions are this month! I think it’s going to the B52s!

Nov. 5 Marvel’s “The Eternals” premieres. Are they like the Avengers? I don’t know.

Nov. 10 Today is Sesame Street Day! I grew up on Sesame Street which explains so many things.

Nov. 20 Happy Birthday, President Biden!

December

Dec. 4 There is a total solar eclipse today!

Dec. 18 Today is Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day! What’s your favorite color?

Dec. 23 Today is Festivus, a time for feats of strength and airing of grievances.

Dec. 24 Happy Birthday, Dr. Fauci, and God bless you

And it’s almost 2022!

Festive and fun events for your holiday calendar

Happy Holidays! Here’s a round-up of safe and festive events and classes for adults and for all ages. All are free, unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19

Cool Yule Tip: Would you like to serve a traditional Buche de Noel / Yule Log cake for the Winter Solstice on Monday, December 21st? Order your cake today from your local La Madeleine ($34.99) for pickup on Monday.

National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries. Click the link to volunteer.

Reston Town Center live, outdoor  entertainment. Roving Holiday Performers, Market Street  12PM-4PM Holiday characters, stilt walkers, and jugglers. Carolers Town Square Park  1PM-3PM Acapella quartet performing holiday favorites.

ONLINE Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long 4 p.m. STREAMING LIVE ONLINE.  This annual musical celebration reprises this evening with an all-new performance of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Sing along while remaining safer at home.

Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Mansion House Christmas Candlelight Tour – Carlyle House, Alexandria. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets required.

Sunday, December 20. Fourth Day of Advent

Today is Go Caroling Day

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.

Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble plays holiday favorites next to the Reston Town Center Tree (outdoors) Noon – 2 pm.

Beltway Brass quintet performs holiday favorites 2 pm – 4 pm in Town Square Park, Reston Town Center.

National Online Class: Setting Up a Wellness Mindset (with planners) 2 p.m. Make wellness a priority. The key to success is building a plan to guide you to the best practices that’ll work for you. Learn the tips and tricks with Nita from @neatlyplanned as she guides you through setting up your Happy Planner to target inner peace and mental wellness, mindfulness, gratitude, etc. Free.

Washington National Cathedral Joy of Christmas Concert. 3 pm – 4 pm. Online. The Cathedral Choral Society performs carols in this cinemantic production. This concert is available on the Cathedral Choral Society’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Michael’s National Online Class: Budget Building: Using your Happy Planner to Achieve your 2021 Finance Goal. 4 pm The new year is the perfect time to get your finances in order. We’re recovering from post-holiday spending and need that fresh start to manifest financial goals, manage budgeting, and start saving. The Happy Planner has planners and accessories to help you organized and track expenses while motivating you to reach your savings goals. Get tips on how to use these tools to your advantage and learn the best practices with Christine from @twinkleplansherday.

Washington National Cathedral Advent Service (live, online). 6 p.m. Contemplative and inspirational service of prayer and music shaped by the words of the prophet Isaiah. Live each Sunday evening in Advent, on website or YouTube channel.


Monday, December 21. Winter Solstice

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in Aquarius, a significant astrological event, also known as the “Christmas Star.”


Tuesday, December 22. 

Today is National Christmas Cookie Exchange Day

ZOOM ONLINE Class: Holiday Trivia Happy Hour!  5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Reston Public Library and featuring special holiday categories. Free but you must register. Registration opens on December 8. An invitation to join this online Zoom event will be sent to registered participants 24 hours before the event.

ZOOM Online Family Holiday Karaoke. 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Chantilly Public Library. Grab a pretend microphone and get ready to show off your singing skills during our holiday karaoke. A Zoom link to this event will be emailed to registrants. Registration is required (R). All ages are welcome, one registration per family. Register now; limited space.


Wednesday, December 23. Festivus.

Today is National Pfferneusse Day!

Make a Winter Sensory Bottle and Snowball Pom Pom online crafts class 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. All ages. Free. Register on Michaels Crafts website.
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Lessons & Carols Service. 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Through readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns, instrumental music, we move from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, telling the ancient story of God’s continued love as shown in Christ in this online service.

Thursday, December 24. Christmas Eve.

Today is National Egg Nog Day and it is also Dr Fauci’s Birthday!

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Decadent Desserts. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link.

Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Family Christmas Service. 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. This joyful online service of carols, prayers, and the Nativity story is told from the Bishop’s Garden—and includes live animals!
ONLINE Manassas Ballet presents The Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m. $25. Purchase advance, on-demand tickets from Vimeo; 30-day viewing period. Note: from the trailer, this looks really good!
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist. 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. One of the Cathedral’s most beautiful services of the year is presented online. Readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns and seasonal choral and instrumental music all herald the birth of Christ.

Friday, December 25. Merry Christmas!

Today is also National Pumpkin Pie Day!

ONLINE Washington National Cathedral Christmas Day Organ Recital 12 Noon – 1 p.m. Program of festive music.


Saturday, December 26. Kwanzaa.

Today is Thank You Note Day and Candy Cane Day.


Sunday, December 27.

National Fruitcake Day. Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day. 

Washington National Cathedral Online Retreat: Moving Mindfully Into the New Year. 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Explore ways to take stock of the old year while looking forward to the new through guided meditations, individual reflections and shared ritual. Remember and release 2020 and set our intentions for 2021. A Zoom link and password along with any relevant materials for the program will be sent to you before the program. Advanced registration is required; registration closes at 5 pm EDT on December 26

Michael’s National Online Class: Setting and Tracking your Intentions for 2021 Using your Happy Planner. 4 p.m. 2021 is going to be our year, we can feel it! Let’s put the past behind us and set new intentions for a fresh start. Take this opportunity to reset and put your goals back in motion with Mary Ellen from @planningwithbumble. Use your Happy Planner to keep you on track while also giving you space to reflect and overcome any challenges that lies ahead. We don’t know what’s in store but we can manage how we will feel about it, so learn the best practices to becoming your best self! Free but registration required. 


Monday, December 28. 

Today is National Call a Friend Day

Michael’s National Online Class: Ready Set, Reset, Go! Using Your Happy Planner Gear to set your New Year, Accessories and Extension Packs. Free. 4 pm – 5 pm. New year, new you! Always wanted to get into planning? Hoping for some more organization tips for a clear mind? This is the perfect time to get into gear and learn how to use your Happy Planner, accessories, and extension packs to suit you the best. With endless customization options and accessories to elevate your game, learn the best practices with Heather Kell from @kellofaplan. It can be overwhelming to get started so get a crash course from an expert!


Tuesday, December 29

Michaels Crafts National Online Class: Wellness Wins! Building and Tracking a Healthy Lifestyle Using your Happy Planner. 2 p.m. Learn the building blocks to wellness and find the best practices that work for you. Track progress and keep your mind in check using The Happy Planner to bring wellness into your life. For beginners and advanced planner users.

Washington National Cathedral online presentation: Christmastide. 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Christmas is not just a day, but an entire season—the Twelve Days of Christmas—that lasts until January 6. Docent Lori Amos explores Christmas images and symbolism, both inside and outside the Cathedral, which can help us to experience the familiar Christmas story in new ways. Registrants will be sent information with a Zoom login.


Wednesday, December 30 Cold Moon Full Moon.

Today is Bacon Day

 


Thursday, December 31. New Year’s Eve.

Today is Champagne Day

Cool Yule Tip: The long-range weather forecast for New Year’s Eve 2020 predicts a cold night with possible inclement weather. Please make your plans accordingly and if possible, remain safer at home.

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the last day to register for the First Day Hike Contest sponsored by Virginia State Parks.

Today is the LAST day to walk through the Pathway of Peace and see the National Christmas Tree on the mall, Washington, DC.

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Brilliant Brunch. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link to watch.

Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $8 – $13. Vienna.

Bull Run Festival of Lights (drive-through) is open 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. $20 – $25/car. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville.

Ice and Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. $5 for the village, plus $8 for optional skating and $4 skate rental. Alexandria.

Busch Gardens “Christmas Celebration” is open, as of this writing, until 10 p.m.

25th First Night Alexandria Festival. The street festival, mutliple venue expereince will not be offered this year. Instead, customers can choose from a drive-in experience with no live performances or a live stream link ($20) of the event. Even the fireworks will be pre-recorded.

December online classes, concerts and workshops

So much has been cancelled for Christmas…but there are still a few wonderful events happening. You can still see The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol...and even the National Tree Lighting…but it will be all online this year. Good news: all of it is free or low cost! You can find the registration links and more information about these events and others on the December Calendar.

Continue reading

A Cozy New Year’s Eve In

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

It happens. You had planned to go out for New Year’s Eve…but the weather turned out to be too dreadful. Or you or someone in the family isn’t feeling well. Whatever the reason, you’re home this year for New Year’s Eve and it’s going to be a quiet evening. But you still want to celebrate! How to make the best of it?

Continue reading

Register for free New Year’s Resolutions Workshop

pexels-photo-3401900.jpeg

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It’s almost time! Today and tomorrow are the final days to register for my free BEST LIFE New Year’s Resolution Workshop. The workshop is open to adults and takes place on Sunday, December 29 from 1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. at the Reston Public Library in Reston, Virginia. Free parking onsite.

The workshop includes

  • An introductory ice breaker about New Year’s resolutions to help us get to know each other.
  • A group discussion about New Year’s resolutions and how to make them stick.
  • Time and space to work on a take-home workbook designed to help you get in touch with your dreams and set goals that are personally meaningful for you.
  • A Vision Board station featuring crafts supplies, poster board, images of affirmations and quotes, special papers, stickers, markers and more.
  • A New Year’s selfie station with fun New Year’s Eve and resolutions props.
  • A group circle of positive affirmations for the New Year.
  • A closing meditation about positivity in the New Year.

Feel free to bring your own photos or inspirational cut-outs for your New Year’s collage or vision board! Please register by 5 p.m. on Friday so I can make enough materials for everyone at the workshop. See you then!

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

happy new year text

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Cool Yule Tip: free New Year’s Resolution Workshop registration open now.

Need some ideas for New Year’s Eve? Celebrate the last day of the year and the decade at one of these events happening in Northern Virginia.

Daytime Fun

  1. The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria is celebrating Olde Year’s Day with free hands-on, creative art activities for every member of the family 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Meet working artists in their studios and get inspired for 2020. Tickets for First Night Alexandria will be available for sale.
  2. Ice and Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. $5 for the village, plus $8 for optional skating and $4 skate rental. Alexandria.
  3. Outdoor ice skating is open at Reston Town Center.
  4. The Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery of Art and U.S. Botanic Garden (Seasons Greenings) are open today 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Light Displays

  1. Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $8 – $13. Vienna.
  2. Bull Run Festival of Lights (drive-through) is open 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. $20 – $25/car. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville.

Free Concerts

  1. Samovar (Russian folk music) performance 6 pm – 8 pm. U.S. Botanic Gardens, Washington, DC.
  2. New Year’s Eve Party 6 p.m. FREE Ring in the new year (and a new decade) at the Kennedy Center New Year’s Eve Party/Millenium Stage Concert in the Grand Foyer. Performances by Brianna Thomas and Zach Cutler. Guests can also enjoy champagne bars (not free, ha ha) and a photo booth. Washington, DC (remember there is a free shuttle from Foggy Bottom Metro station; pay parking is also available on site).

Spiritual Gatherings

Burning Bowl 2019 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Participants will have time to reflect and meditate on what they wish to release, and then symbolically burn those limitations in the burning bowl. Next, they will envision the new year and write a letter to themselves that will be mailed back to each participant the following November. Unity of Fairfax, 2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA.

Family-Friendly Celebrations

  1. 25th First Night Alexandria Festival. 6 p.m. – Midnight. King Street, Old Town Alexandria. $30 – $35. This event is alcohol free and family friendly. 100+ live music performers/bands, food, fireworks at midnight.
  2. Jammin’ Java All Ages Show: 80s Dance Party. 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Do you love the 80’s? If so, put on your best 80’s fashion, grab your dancing shoes, and ring in 2020 with your 80’s favorite hits. Prizes for best 80’s outfits and “Name that Tune” contest. Champagne toast at midnight; NYE party favors and glowsticks for everyone. Vienna. $30 -$40.
  3. 22nd Watch Night Street Festival. 7 p.m – Midnight. West Broad Street. Falls Church City. Free shuttle from East Falls Church Metro station runs every 20 minutes, beginning at 7 p.m. This community, volunteer-run event is alcohol-free and family-friendly. A variety of live music at multiple venues on the blocked off street and at other locations nearby. Karaoke, rock-climbing wall, moon bounces. Food and souvenirs are for sale. A star is lowered at midnight from a crane.

Adult Celebrations and Parties

  1. New Year’s Eve Party. 6:30 p.m. Cocktails, dinner, band and party. Knights of Columbus, Arlington. $60 per person.
  2. The Legwarmers NYE Party (80s tribute band) Doors open at 7 pm. The State Theater, Falls Church. $50.
  3. New Year’s Eve Party with Collective Accord. 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Clyde’s Restaurant, 1700 Beauregard Street (Mark Center), Alexandria. Band plays hits from 80s, 90s and today. Meal specials and Midnight champagne toast. NO COVER!
  4. Prohibition-Themed New Year’s Eve at The Bungalow Lakehouse. 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. 46116 Lake Center Plaza, Sterling, VA. Meal specials, DJ, favors, New York City countdown, and complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
  5. New Year’s Eve Party at Passionfish, Reston (Reston Town Center) 10:30 p.m. -1:45 a.m. NO COVER  Party in the bar/lounge with DJ, special bar menu, photo booth and a balloon drop at midnight.

Merry Christmas! Fun things to do

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At last, Christmas Day is here! Merry Christmas!

Are you getting cabin fever? Would you like to get out of the house and do something fun today? Here are some ideas.

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. $8 kids; $13 adults.
  • Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Admission to village is $5. Skating is additional $8 plus $4 for rental. 55×80’ Real Ice Rink, 20’ Walk thru Tree, 100’ RGB Lighted Tunnel, lit trees and winter displays, Fire Pits, Heated Igloos, Wreath Photo Op, Bling & Things Retail Shop, Slice & Ice- Pizza, donuts & more.
  • Bull Run Festival of Lights. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Two and half mile drive-through light display and walk-around winter carnival and Holiday Village with attractions, s’mores and Santa Claus. $20 – $25 per car; 15 or more passengers, $50.
  • Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Gingerbread Village exhibit. Made from real gingerbread. It smells and looks delicious. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
  • The National Christmas Tree and nightly Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: The  The National Tree and state trees may be viewed until 11 p.m. There is also a Nativity scene and a roaring Yule log fire. Just adjacent is the National Menorah.
  • The Capitol Tree  West Lawn, U.S. Capitol. Washington, DC. There is very little parking, but the Capitol South metro station (Orange, Silver and Blue lines) is nearby.

Also…

  1. Christmas Day Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner Galleria. $120, plus tax and gratuity.
  2. Holy Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral. 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Doors open at 10: 15 a.m. This service features incense, which may bother some people who are sensitive to it. The Cathedral bells will ring out after the service. Passes are not required to attend the service but an admission fee of $12 ($8 seniors and teachers) to enter the Cathedral will be charged. There is no touring on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve). Parking on the grounds and below the Cathedral is free.
  3. Christmas Day Organ Recital at Washington National Cathedral. 1:30 p.m. $10
  4. Holiday Jazz by the Fire at the St. Regis Hotel. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Purchase a cocktail or hot cocoa and cookies for the kids and relax to the sounds of holiday jazz by Christopher Linman. 923 16th and K Streets, NW, Washington, DC
  5. Luray Caverns and Mount Vernon are open today.
  6. Denny’s, some McDonald’s and some IHOP restaurants are open today. The Chart House, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Morton’s and some Legal Seafoods are open today.

More ideas…

  • Take a walk around Reston Town Center and check out the gingerbread village in the Hyatt Hotel lobby.
  • Take a walk around Old Town Alexandria and window-shop. The decorations are beautiful.
  • Bundle up everyone in the car and take a tour of neighborhoods with the best Christmas light displays. My old neighborhood of Falls Church is a safe bet; the neighborhoods in the town of Vienna also have great lights and decorations.
  • The Unity Club in Falls Church is having a Christmas potluck lunch at noon that is welcome to all, especially those in recovery. You can sign up in advance to bring a dish. There are 12 step meetings scheduled on Christmas, as well.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas full of love, joy, beauty and wonder. Thank you for joining me here on Cool Yule. Please return for daily posts through the New Year’s and the Christmas season until January 6.

Happy Ugly Christmas Sweater Day! Here’s your weekend of events

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As we coast toward Christmas Day, the holiday events just keep on happening! Here are some ideas of fun things to do this weekend that will keep you in the Christmas spirit and out of the malls!

Friday, December 20. Go Caroling Day. Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

  • Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.
  • Holiday Market, Old Town Fairfax. Also the 21st and 22nd.

Saturday, December 21

  • Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  • Rick Landers holiday performance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Sunday, December 22, Fourth Day of Advent. First Day of Winter. Winter Solstice.

And don’t forget these ongoing events…

  • National Cathedral Creche Exhibit, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through January 12.
  • Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC
  • Zoo Lights National Zoo, Washington, DC. Nov 29 – January 1. Not open December 24, 25, or 31. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. Lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays, and a new garden scene light sculpture.
  • Norwegian Giant Model Train exhibit. Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m. until December 31. Union Station. Washington, DC
  • Gingerbread Village exhibit. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
  • Millenium Stage Concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. 6 p.m. nightly. The holiday concerts are free but tend to be crowded. You can also watch them for free, live, online on the Kennedy Center website.
  • Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: nightly musical performances, through January 1. Weeknight performances are 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and weekend performances take place from 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The National Tree and state trees may be viewed until 11 p.m.
  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. Through January 5th. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. $8 kids; $13 adults.
  • Bull Run
  • Georgetown GLOW outdoor light display. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through January 1. Georgetown, Washington, DC.
  • Holiday Market. Old Town Fairfax. December 6-8, 13-15, 20-22.
  • Christmas at Mount Vernon runs through December 31.

Listen to Carol of the Bells…

 

Caroling wagon rides, Christmas teas and more this weekend

Photo by Ana Rocha on Pexels.com

You won’t run out of ideas to do this weekend! There are free concerts, holiday celebrations, workshops and special teas. You’re bound to find something you love to do. Who has time for shopping? Have some fun, instead! 🙂

Friday, December 13. Hot Cocoa Day.

  1. Movie: Meet Me in St. Louis (great Christmas scene!) and coffee. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Richard Byrd Library. Springfield.
  2. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax covered in holiday lights. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
  3. Millenium Stage free performance: Handel, Hamilton and Holiday Songs. 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
  4. CSI: Christmas Scene Investigators children’s play, 4 and older. Encore Stage. Gunston Arts Center, Arlington, VA. 7:30 p.m. $12/$15.
  5. Rock the Rink ice skating to rock music 8 pm – 10 pm Reston Town Center. Fee + rental.

Saturday, December 14. Gingerbread Decorating Day.

  1. National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries.
  2. Make Your Own Wrapping Paper (adults, teens, kids). 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Thomas Jefferson Library. Falls Church.
  3. Holiday Open House. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Reston Public Library. Reston.
  4. CSI: Christmas Scene Investigators children’s play, 4 and older. Encore Stage. Gunston Arts Center, Arlington, VA. 11 a.m. $12/$15.
  5. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 6 pm. Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax covered in holiday lights. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
  6. Lindsey Hirshfeld, guitar performance. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  7. Herndon Wintrmarkt. German-style Christmas market. 12 noon – 8 p.m. Town Hall Square. Town of Herndon.
  8. Caroling Wagon Ride and Campfire. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. E.C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly. $8.
  9. Make Break DIY Christmas T-Shirt. 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Michael’s Pan Am Shopping Center, Fairfax. Call store for availability. Cost of supplies.
  10. Xaverian High School presents Caroling in the Rotunda, 1:30 and 2:30, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
  11. Holiday Desserts with Chef Cal. 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Chantilly Regional Library, Chantilly (reserve in advance online).
  12. Christmas Tea at the Harrisons. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Historic Huntley, Alexandria. $28
  13. CSI: Christmas Scene Investigators children’s play, 4 and older. Encore Stage. Gunston Arts Center, Arlington, VA. $12/$15. 3 p.m.
  14. Rick Landers, guitar perfomance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  15. Christmas Candlelight Tea. 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Green Spring, Alexandria. $48.
  16. Yuletide by Candelight Old Town Alexandria Event – 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Your ticket provides you entry to four historic sites, with seasonal refreshments, music, decorations and activities at each site: Gadsby’s Tavern, Carlyle House, Apothecary Museum, Lee-Fendall House, $8/children and $30/adults.
  17. Millenium Stage free performance: Sweet Heaven Kings (gospel) Holiday concert. 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

Sunday, December 15, Third Day of Advent

  1. Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker (encore recording of a previous live performance) 12:50 p.m. AMC Theater. Tysons Corner; also other movie theaters throughout the area. $18.
  2. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 4 pm. Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax covered in holiday lights. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
  3. Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  4. Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble Concert 1 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  5. Calmus Vocal Ensemble presents Carols from around the World 3:30 p.m.West Building, West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
  6. DIY Bubbles and Bath Salts with essential oils. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Hambrock Holistic Healing Center. Herndon.
  7. CSI: Christmas Scene Investigators children’s play, 4 and older. Encore Stage. Gunston Arts Center, Arlington, VA. $12/$15. 3 p.m.
  8. Rick Landers holiday performance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  9. Christmas Candlelight Tea. 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Green Spring, Alexandria. $48.
  10. A Very Mason Christmas. 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Huntley, Alexandria. $10.

Recurring Holiday Events

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. November 8 – January 5th, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. $8 kids; $13 adults.
  • Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. nightly. November 15 – January 5, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Admission to village is $5. Skating is additional $8 plus $4 for rental.55×80’ Real Ice Rink, 20’ Walk thru Tree, 100’ RGB Lighted Tunnel, lit trees and winter displays, Fire Pits, Heated Igloos, Wreath Photo Op, Bling & Things Retail Shop, Slice & Ice- Pizza, donuts & more.
  • Bull Run Festival of Lights. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville. November 22 – January 5. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Two and half mile drive-through light display and walk-around winter carnival and Holiday Village with attractions, s’mores and Santa Claus. $20 – $25 per car; 15 or more passengers, $50. This attraction is open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. November 28 – January 5, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Concerts and Conservatory (only) open extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays in December 6 pm – 8 pm.
  • Zoo Lights National Zoo, Washington, DC. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Nov 29 – January 1. Not open December 24, 25, or 31. Parking is limited and is $25!; take Lyft, Metro, instead etc. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, winter treats, holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland! New in 2019: enjoy dozens of large, glowing animal lanterns and stroll through thousands of reflecting lights as part of the interactive art exhibit called “Entre Les Rangs.” Attractions for a fee include Panda virtual reality show on select nights, ZooTubes, Carousel and Train.
  • Norwegian Christmas at Union Station. Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m. December 4 – 31. Union Station. Pay parking is available at the station or take metro (Union Station, red line). Washington, DC.  The model trains do not run on Christmas Day. Tip: look for the snow monster!
  • Gingerbread Village exhibit. Made from real gingerbread. It smells and looks delicious. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
  • Millenium Stage Concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. 6 p.m. nightly. The holiday concerts are free but certain ones require tickets, which will be distributed beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of States. Check the calendar for requirements. You can also watch them for free, live, online on the Kennedy Center website.
  • The National Christmas Tree and nightly Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: The National Christmas tree will be lit on December 5. Nightly musical performances, December 5 – January 1. Weeknight performances are 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and weekend performances take place from 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The National Tree and state trees may be viewed until 11 p.m. There is also a Nativity scene and a roaring Yule log fire. Just adjacent is the National Menorah.
  • The Capitol Tree December 4 – 31. West Lawn, U.S. Capitol. Washington, DC. There is very little parking, but the Capitol South metro station (Orange, Silver and Blue lines) is nearby.
  • City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. Fridays: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    Saturdays: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sundays: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. December 6 – 22. Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax covered in holiday lights. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
  • The Christmas Story in Art 90 minute tour, December 17, 19, 20, 23, 24 at 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.