Just Bright! Local Hanukkah Celebrations for the Whole Family

Some spell it with a “C,” some spell it with an “H.” Either way, these Chanukah activities spell fun! You don’t have to celebrate the holiday to enjoy a latke-laden event; whether you are interested in learning more about another religion or just want a festive activity to add to your calendar, these celebrations of the miracle of oil will leave you and your littles glowing. 

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Photo: Ted Eytan via flickr
Latkes, Lights and Legos Chanukah Party
This party adds a new twist to Chanukah staples — there will be food, dreidel games, latkes, lights, crafts and (record scratch)… legos?! What better way to engage kids of all ages (mom and dad, we’re looking at you, too!) in the festivities. Build a Star of David or a multi-colored menorah with bricks, but don’t feel limited to the icons of the holiday. Your imagination is the limit!
When: Dec. 10, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $4 for admission; $12 for Legos
4800 Mattie Moore Ct. (Fairfax, Va)
Online: jccnv.org
Chanukah Family Spectacular
If Willy Wonka hosted a Chanukah party, it might look a lot like the shin-dig that takes place at Bethesda Row. This is, by far, the sweetest event on our list with an oversized chocolate menorah taking center-stage. Attendees will be able to make their own chocolate bar (yum) and enjoy hot cocoa, chocolate gelt coins and other chocolate-themed activities. Entertainment’s are also on hand, including jugglers and balloon artists. 
When: Dec. 17, 5:30 pm
Cost: Free
Bethesda Ave. and Elm St. (Bethesda, Md)
Chanukah Story Time and Crafts
If you have a wee one that enjoys story time, this book-based event (held at seven different library locations across Northern Virginia) is sure to entertain.  In addition to the tale of eight miraculous nights, there will be music, face painting, crafts, dreidel demonstrations and more. Please dress for messy fun! 
When: Various locations, dates and times from Dec. 6-19
Cost: Free
National Menorah Lighting
There are a number of menorah lightings throughout the region (check your local Jewish Community Center’s website for dates and times), but the most famous of all is the one at the President’s Park. Live music includes a special performance by The United States Airforce Band. Hot latkes and donuts will be served. And small children will be treated to free dreidels and menorah kits. 
When: Dec. 12, 4 p.m. (Gates open at 3 p.m.)
The National Ellipse (Washington, D.C.)

Hannukah kids 2

Photo: israel_photo_gallery via flickr

Northern Virginia Latke Fest
A central delicacy of a Chanukah celebration is often a delicious latke  fried in oil it helps celebrate the miracle of oil. If your little tater loves tots and fries, now is the time to introduce them to this Jewish tradition! Take a latke-inspired food tour and visit one of the participating restaurants in a latke fry-off. You’ll find speciality latkes, including potatoes laced with candied walnuts or infused with  salmon and broccoli on the menu. Try all six variations and be sure to let your mini-munchers vote for a winner!
When: Dec. 12-20
Online: jccnv.org
Baltimore Chanukah Celebration 


If you are looking for an event that takes the Chanukah celebration to the next level, head to Baltimore. This Inner Harbor event features velvet art paintings, Magic Scratch dreidels, Chanukah-themed photo booths and more. And, yes, there will be a menorah lighting on the largest candelabra in the region. 
When: Dec. 12, 3:30 pm (Lighting begins at 5 p.m.)
Cost: Free
Pratt and Light St. (Baltimore, Md)
Chanukah Celebration 2017
Hop, jump and bounce your way into eight days of fun. On the Sunday before Chanukah, Edlavitch, DC’s Jewish Community Center, is hosting a rockin’ party with moon bounces, games, hands-on activities and more. 
When: Dec. 10, 10 a.m,-12 pm
Cost: $23 per family (advance purchase), $25 at the door
1529 16th St., NW

How will your family celebrate the Festival of Lights this year? Tell us in the comments section below.

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