30 Awesome Things to Do Before Winter Ends

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It may feel like winter will never end, but before you know it the chill will be gone from the air and your kids will be trading in their down coats for board shorts. Our advice: Don’t let this special time of the year go by without crossing some of these quintessential DMV activities off of your to-do list. Can’t get through them all? Well…there’s always next year.

snowball-kids-sledPhoto: Tim Pierce via Flickr

1. Snow ball fight! If D.C. is lucky enough to get a good dusting of snow this winter, the Washington D.C. Snowball Fight Association (yes, it exists) hosts a flashmob-style, family-friendly snowball fight. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for deets.

2. Experience an indoor snowfall at Gaylord National Resort. Free flurries (of real ice flakes) happen nightly at 6 pm, 7 pm, 8 pm, and 9 pm.

3. Cure cabin fever by sliding, swinging, climbing, and jumping around at one of D.C.’s indoor playgrounds.

4. Skate circles around the Pentagon Row Ice Rink, and then thaw off by snuggling up at one of the rinks fire pits.

5. Visit Mount Vernon, the estate once occupied by George Washington, where this time of the year is filled with super fun candlelight tours, chocolate making demos, and camel sightings (really!).

6. Post-holidays, get zen as a family at a kid-friendly yoga studio. Mini yogis increase flexibility, improve self-esteem, and build a love of yoga at these studios.

hot-chocolate-kidsPhoto: Dan_Lazar via Flickr

7. Take a break from the brisk with a spot of warm tea (or hot cocoa) with your teacake-nibbling lady or gent.

8. Bundle up and run a few laps through one of D.C.’s outdoor maze-like labyrinths.

9. Warm up with an ooey, gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese at one of D.C.’s kid-approved restaurants.

10. Defrost by getting your dance on at kid-friendly dance party spots, including Boogie Babes, Bloom Bars, or the National Theater.

11. Grab your coats and some hot chocolate, and head out to spy one of the DMV’s spectacular light displays.

12. Snag a seat at the Adventure Theatre TMC, where the featured winter production is “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol.”

Photo: Ted’s Bulletin via Facebook

13. Get stuffed on handmade pop tarts (think: peppermint fudge) at Ted’s Bulletin. P.S. Don’t worry, there’s still some time before swimsuit season.

14. Let your toddler explore mazes, obstacle courses, tunnels, and slides at Kid Junction, a 10,000 square foot fully-enclosed facility in Chantilly, Va.

15. Want to save some money? Snag a parent-approved free kid’s meal.

16. Take your little Picasso out for an artsy play date at Art Jamz where friendly, creative staff members set kids up with paint, while you sit back in the lounge sipping wine or beer with other parents.

17. Nosh on unlimited pizza at Piola off of U Street. No, that’s not a typo…we did say unlimited.

18. Spend the morning at the National Aquarium. With over 750 species of underwater critters, puffin feedings, a 4D Immersion Theater, and more, the aquarium has something for everyone.

capital-area-food-bankPhoto credit: Capital Area Food Bank via Facebook

19. It’s the season of giving so volunteer at Food and Friends, where you and your minis can prep and deliver hot meals to people living with challenging illnesses.

20. Eat dinner by a toasty fire at one of the DMVs restaurants that keep their fireplaces going all winter long. Chez Billy in Petworth is comfy-cozy and their kid’s menu boasts a delish gruyere grilled cheese with pommes frites.

21. Chase butterflies at the Smithsonian’s indoor Butterfly Habitat Garden. Bonus: The climate-controlled environment is kept at a toasty 80 degrees.

22. Treat your budding foodie to a fancy lunch or dinner date at Härth Restaurant, where their Foodie-in-Training menu features truffled mac and cheese, pork and veal meatballs and other delicacies.

23. Enjoy live music, yummy treats, a choo choo train, ice sculptures, and a brand new light show at Zoo Lights at the National Zoo.

24. Spend the day—watching boaters, exploring historic houses, and noshing on cupcakes—in beautiful Georgetown.

tree-dcPhoto: Manua5 via Flickr

25. Even after Christmas Eve is a distant memory, many of the city’s landmark Christmas trees (The Capitol, National Harbor, The Fairmont) still stands. Snap a photo with the lighted beauty before it, too, takes a 365 day break.

26. Spend the day toy store hopping at the District’s top indie toy stores. The best time to go is post-Christmas, when the sales and discounts are in full force.

27. Ice skate past the National Archives and the Smithsonian at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. Don’t forget your camera!

28. Warm up with a bowl of chili (and/or a half smoke) from D.C.’s iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl.

29. Beat boredom at Make Meaning in Bethesda, where kids (and grown-ups) can create foolproof crafts like soaps, candles, pendants and mugs.

30. This wouldn’t be a bucket list if we didn’t encourage you to go skiing or snowboarding; and the best part is that you don’t even have to travel far to hit the slopes.

What other winter-time activities need to be added to this list? Tell us in the Comments section below. 

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady