As the days turn longer and colder, it can be hard to find activities to keep the kids from becoming bored or stir-crazy. Luckily, the Baltimore-Washington region has several child- and family-friendly events going on through the end of this year and into the next. From holiday displays to museum exhibits, here’s a few of the best events to keep your kids from boredom this winter.
Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure
What kid (or adult) doesn’t love pirates? Through the end of January, the world of pirates comes to life at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center with Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure exhibit. The exhibit allows children to explore the intrigue of real historical shipwrecks and pirates hands-on. Visit http://www.mdsci.org/visit/Pricing.html for ticket prices and information.
Wild Side Stage
In winter of 2011 the National Zoo will once again welcome Wild Side Stage, an educational performance series geared to children under 10. Singers, dancers, puppeteers, and storytellers will enthrall and entertain as they put on wildlife-inspired performances. Each performance will also given children a chance to meet zoo-keepers as they visit one of the zoo’s animal houses.
ICE! at the Gaylord National
Children will delight in the wonder of Christmas at ICE! This year’s ICE! brings to life characters from the beloved Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” using two million pounds of sculpted and colored ice! With two-story tall slides made completely of ice, the showcase is also something of a frozen playground. ICE! is open daily from November 18, 2010 through January 9th, 2011; tickets Visit http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-national/christmas-on-the-potomac/ice-experience/index.html for ticket prices and more information about ICE! and the Gaylord National’s other holiday events.
Festival of Trees
Another holiday event sure to please the young and the young-at-heart is Festival of Trees, held at the Timonium, MD fairgrounds. The Festival will transport your kids to the North Pole with hundreds of decorated trees, gingerbread villages, and toy trains, as well as craft booths, delicious holiday treats, and live entertainment. The Festival of Trees is held the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving; tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12 and senior citizens. All proceeds benefit the Kennedy Krieger Institutes’s programs for children with disabilities. For more information visit http://festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org/.
Forget the hastle finding a baby-sitter this New Year’s Eve. Cities throughout suburban Maryland and Virginia, including Annapolis, Alexandria, and Leesburg are hosting family-friendly First Night celebrations that the kids can enjoy with you. These free celebrations feature a variety of live musical, dance, and theatrical performances and culminate in fireworks displays at midnight.