Route One Fun!’s 2016 Holiday Fun Guide!

(Updated 12/15/16) 
 Welcome to your awesomesauce guide for spectacular holiday fun along Route One!  So many great, local events to help you get into the holiday spirit!  Need some more ornaments for your tree?  There a free Paper Ornaments workshop for that!  Want momentary sanity while your kids get entranced by the sound of whirring trains and twinkly lights?  There’s a Holiday Trains & Planes show for that!  Got more folks to check off your shopping list?  There’s Hyattsville for the Holidays, a Procrastinators Market and Riverdale Park’s Holiday Market for that!  All here in your sparkly guide.  (Just imagine it to be so.  Everything’s better with sparkles/sequins/younameit.) 

Make sure to return to Route One Fun! throughout this holiday season as I will be updating this list as I hear of new events (feel free to submit event ideas on RouteOneFun! homepage).  Subscribe to Route One Fun! today and you’ll automatically receive an email whenever a new post has been published.  You can also find Route One Fun! on Facebook and Twitter.   Lastly, after you’ve made your plans, be sure you share Route One Fun! Holiday guide with a few of your friends so they can join you in the fun!

Holiday Events!  

Arts Drop-In – Holiday Fun!
Arts Drop-In with Arts Specialist Aaron Springer is a fun time for kids and parents to get creative with a variety of craft materials and an imaginative facilitator.  Ages 2-10.
When: 10am-12pm
Where: College Park Community Center, 5051 Pierce Ave, College Park
Cost:  Free!

Holiday Campfire, S’mores, Cider, and Ornament Making

Holiday fun for the whole family. Enjoy and make s’mores around a warm campfire! Hot chocolate and cider too. Then inside, we will be making holiday ornaments from various nature and craft materials, to take home with you!  Campfire portion is weather dependent, but event will run either way with hot drinks and indoor ornament making! All ages. 
When: 1pm
Where: Bladensburg Waterfront Park, 4601 Annalpolis Rd, Bladensburg
Cost: $5 Residents/$7 nonresidents

Paper Ornaments Workshop 

Credit: M-NCPPC

This family-friendly workshop provides the opportunity to create paper ornaments for the Holiday season. Materials provided. If you have special paper you would like to use, feel free to bring it the day of the event. No registration required. We look forward to sharing the Holidays with you.
When: December 17th, 2 pm 
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood
Cost: Free!

The Snow Queen 
The Greenbelt Dance Studio presents an original production of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. The inspiration of the movie Frozen, The Snow Queen tells the story of a brave young girl who rescues her best friend from the clutches of the cold-hearted Snow Queen. Features performers ages 5+ performing dance styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and more.
When: December 17th, 3-4 pm
Where: Greenbelt Community Center, 15 Crescent Rd, Greenbelt
Cost: Free!

Mitzvah Day and Family Fun
The Owings Mills JCC will host Mitzvah projects and fun entertainment like moon bounces! Have fun while doing good.  Perfect for children ages 3-10 and their families!
When:  December 25th, 12-3 pm
Where: Owings Mills JCC, 3506 Gwynnbrook Avenue, Owings Mills
Cost:  Free; register here.

Annual Kwanzaa Celebrations
Smithsonian Anacostia is hosting 3 days of Kwanzaa activities, where you can celebrate this holiday honoring family, community and culture. Visit site to learn about each day’s activities!
When: December 27th – 29th
Where: Smithsonian Anacostia, 1901 Fort Place SE, Washington, DC
Cost: Free, registration required & can do so here.


Children’s Holiday Party with Santa at Town Hall – Riverdale Park
When: December 17th, 11am-12:30pm
Where: Town Hall, 5008 Queensbury Road, Riverdale Park
Cost: Free!

Meet Santa at the Firehouse
When: December 18th, 12-30-3:30pm
Where: Hyattsville Fire Dept, 6200 Belcrest Rd, Hyattsville
Cost: Free! 

Annual Children’s Christmas Party
Lots of fun, crafts, games and Santa!
When: December 18th, 1 – 3 pm
Where: American Legion, 2 Main Street, Laurel
Cost: Free!

Holiday Lights!

Credit: M-NCPPC

This spectacular holiday drive-through event features over one million twinkling lights, wonderful themed displays, & one of the tallest tree displays in the state! Don’t forget to bring canned goods/non-perishable items for donation to local food banks.

When: November 25th – January 1, 2017, 5-9:30 pm
Where: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro
Cost: $5/car (Free on 12/25)
College Park Aviation Museum Holiday Trains and Planes
Get ready for the holiday festivities as miniature trains, villages, tunnels, and depots spark the imagination and bring history to life. The National Capital Trackers will bring a fascinating, locomotive display of model railroads to the Museum.
When: December 17th – 23rd
Where: College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park
Admission: Free with museum admission ($5/adult; $2/child)
Head to DC to enjoy the Lighting Ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah!  Music by the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band and the Three Cantors, latkes and donuts, menorah kits and dreidels, games and more. 
When: December 25th, 4 pm; gates open at 3:15 pm. 
Where: Ellipse at the White House 
Cost:  Free, ticket required.  Register here

Holiday Music & Performances! 

Lunchtime Holiday Concerts with PGCPS 
Show our awesome, local PGCPS students some love this holiday season and make an effort to check out one of their many holiday concerts happening conveniently at PG Mall. All ages. 
When: Dates b/w December 2nd – 16th, and times b/w 11 am – 1 pm (best to check site)
Where: PG Mall, Hyattsville
Cost: Free!

Greenbelt Concert Band Holiday Lights Concert
Hear all your holiday favorites, played live by members of your community band.
When: Sunday, December 18th 4-5pm
Where: Greenbelt Youth Center, 99 Centerway, Greenbelt
Cost: Free!

A Christmas Carol 

Credit: Joe’s Movement Emporium

Based on the Charles Dickens classic tale, this unique and moving musical theatre adaptation is like nothing you’ve seen in the hundreds of film, television or stage adaptations available. Starring 2015 DC Metro Theater Arts ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ Tim Jansen as Ebenezer Scrooge this is one production you will not want to miss!
When: Friday, 7 pm (runs through Sunday/check link)
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier
Cost: $20/adult; $10/16 and under

Dynamic Gospel Explosion!
This evening of praise and worship will showcase some of the best artists and liturgical dance ministries in the DC-Metro area. 
When: Saturday, doors at 6pm
Where: Suitland High School, 5200 Silver Hill Road, District Heights
Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at door day of event.

Nutcracker Winter Gala 2016
The ballet tells the story of the young Masha’s love for her first Nutcracker doll, which was given to her as a gift at her family’s annual Christmas party.
When: December 18th, 5 pm
Where: UMD’s The Clarice, Kay Theatre
Cost: $20/adults; Ages 4-12/$10; Ages 3 and under are free!

Community Concert 
Featuring College Park Chorale & Chamber Singers, Youth Choir and more!
When: December 20th, 7:30-8:30pm
Where: College Park United Methodist Church
Cost: Free!

 Holiday Markets & Shopping!

Highlight Hyattsville for the Holidays
Your beloved local businesses are rallying to bring you a fun-filled week of neighborly holiday festivities for the whole family. Green Owl Design, Tanglewood Works, Three Little Birds Sewing Co, Artists & Craftsman Supply, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, DC Glassworks, Franklin’s Restaurant & Brewery and Arrow Bicycle will be extending hours, offering workshops for all ages and hosting receptions to gather and celebrate all the innovative and artistic businesses that are blossoming in the Gateway Arts District.  Get a stamp each time you visit one of the participating “Highlight Hyattsville” businesses represented by a circle on the map. Get all the stamps and be entered to win a prize donated by a local business.
When: December 10th – December 17th
Where: Above locations

Procrastinators Holiday Market
Get all your last minute shopping done in one place!  Friday evening’s ‘sip & shop’ will feature local favorite DJ Native Sun and a ‘happy hour’ cash bar hosted by Eat & Smile Catering. Santa will visit on Saturday from 1-5pm and there will be performances from local groups throughout the afternoon. Bring a new toy to drop off at their Toys for Tots collection box. 
*While this event is wee bit outside of Route One Fun!’s usual coverage area, many of the vendors and a convenor, Recreative Spaces, are from PG so go on and support!   
When: December 16th: 5-9pm, 17th & 18th: 12-6pm
Where: 680 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington DC

Hands on Drums Holiday Bazaar + AKOMA Drummers Reunion
Join us for a full day of holiday shopping with local craft vendors, plus sales on our own Ghana drums, clothing, instruments and craftworks. The day will feature a raffle, a children’s drum class, Ghana fashion show, hands-on drum circle with Katy Gaughan, Family Capoeira demonstration with James Muwonge, and performances including Baba Abasi’s More Than a Drum Percussion Ensemble; Class recitals featuring the students of Dr Yew (Yuma Bellomee) and Kristen Arant; and a special reunion performance of the Akoma Drummers.
When: December 17th, 12-8pm
Where: 600 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington DC
Cost: Free – donations welcome.

Festival of Lights & Holiday Market – Riverdale Park 
Music, unique local craft shopping with dozens of vendors, delicious prepared food from local vendors, Santa visits (approx 2-6pm), caroling trolleys through the neighborhood, and superior live local music.
When: December 17th, 12pm – 8pm
Where: Riverdale Park Farmers Market, 4650 Queensbury Rd, Riverdale Park

Always call or check the event website before heading out;
Event information is subject to change or weather cancellation.

EXPIRED – Nuthin to see here…
(These events already occurred.  Scroll back up for current and future events.)
36th Annual Holiday Hop 
Enjoy toe-tapping music, phenomenal energy, and social engagement at this annual holiday dance event. This program is for individuals with disabilities who reside in Prince George’s County. Registration is required in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.  Ages 13+.
When: December 2nd, 7:30 – 10 pm
Where: Prince George’s Ballroom, 2411 Pinebrook Avenue, Landover
Cost: $25 p/p 

Kwanzaa-themed Early Keepers with Culture Queen 
Join ‘Early Keepers’ for this FREE, bilingual program for children 3-7 years old (parent/guardian supervision required) where young learners will explore the meaning and significance of Kwanzaa through story-telling, music, movement/dance, and arts & crafts.
When: December 3rd 12 – 1:30pm @ Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center, 4519 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood
When: December 10th at 11:30 a.m. @ Hyattsville Public Library, 6530 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville 
Cost: Free! 

University Park Candlelight Holiday House Tour & Boutique
Join us for this festive tour of lovely homes bedecked for the holidays. Maps will be available at individual houses on the tour during event hours and signs will be posted in the front yards of featured homes.  
When: December 9th, 7 – 10 pm
Where: University Park
Cost: Tickets available now for $18, call (301) 864-9264 or (301) 277-0414. Tickets are also available at the door for $20.

Gingerbread House Holiday Hullabaloo 
Drop-in for our fourth annual FREE Gingerbread House Holiday Hullabaloo. With Special Guest Host Host Maureen Umeh of Fox5.  This is a community event, adults, children, and families are all welcome. You may even see Santa Claus! We will be accepting toy donations for local families.
When: December 10th, 12pm-3pm
Where: Art Works Now, 3711 Rhode Island Ave, Mt. Rainier
Admission: Free!

Upcycled Ornaments with Tanglewood & Three Little Birds 
Come check out this family friendly holiday event as part of the Highlight Hyattsville for the Holidays Week. 3 Little Birds is bringing fabric and notions and Tanglewood Works is supplying salvaged materials so we can all make some fantastic DIY ornaments for the season.
When: December 11th, 2 -5pm

Where: Tanglewood Works, 5132 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville
Cost: Free!
** Read our review of Hyattsville’s Tanglewood Works

Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa – Greenbelt 
Holiday lights will adorn the tree in the traditional spirit of the Festival of Lights season. A musical performance by the Greenbelt Concert Band Brass Choir will herald Santa’s grand entrance to help light the tree. Complimentary cookies and hot chocolate will be provided by the Recreation Department. Immediately following the tree lighting, please come inside the Old Greenbelt Theatre and enjoy “How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966).
When: December 2nd, 7 pm
Where: Roosevelt Center, Greenbelt
Cost: Free!
Holiday Tree Lighting & Santa! – Berwyn Heights
Join us for the annual tree lighting at the Town Center. Please consider bringing an unwrapped new toy to support the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. Children’s crafts, Phil Ventura’s musical entertainment, and a visit from Santa are on the program.
When: December 3rd, 6 pm
Where: Town Center, Berwyn Heights
Cost: Free! 

Credit: Field of Firsts

Watch Santa fly into the College Park Airport in a helicopter and have your picture taken. Holiday arts and crafts throughout the museum.
When: December 3rd, 12 – 4 pm
Where: College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl Frank Scott Drive, College Park

Admission: $5 (includes museum admission)

Breakfast & Lunch with Santa – Hyattsville
You are cordially invited to have breakfast or lunch with Santa! Santa photos available for $3.00.  Reservations are required.  To do so, click here.
When: December 3rd, 9 am for breakfast / noon for lunch
Where: City Municipal Bldg, 4310 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville
Cost: $5 p/p for lunch or dinner; children 2 & under are free!

Breakfast with Santa – College Park

Credit: M-NCPPC

Children of all ages are invited to visit with Santa! Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast and bring your camera to capture photos with Santa. May also be a surprise or two!
When: December 10th, 10 am – 12 pm
Where: College Park Community center, 5051 Pierce Ave, College Park
Cost: Free!

Holiday Lights 

Please join us for the lighting of the City’s Holiday Tree! The program will include holiday music and a visit from Santa. Refreshments will be served. Free and open to everyone! This is an outdoor event, so please dress for the weather!
When: December 2, 7 pm
Where: Magruder Park, 40th Ave & Hamilton St

Cost: Free!

Holiday Music 
Sounds of the Season with Rockville Brass Band 

Seasonal concert from the area’s best loved band. The concert will be followed by a reception.
When: December 3rd, 7 pm
Where: St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 4512 College Ave, College Park
Cost: Free!  (Donations graciously accepted.)

Holiday Markets & Shopping 
Carpe Noctem at St. Jerome Academy
Bring your family and friends to the Saint Jerome Academy Carpe Noctem “Seize the Night” Christmas Fair and Boutique! Lots of shopping and food and gift baskets and raffles! Over 2 floors of shopping fun, live music, dinner/drink options.  Children can enjoy face painting, a photo op with St. Nicholas and coloring activities.
When: December 3rd, 5-9 pm
Where: St. Jerome Academy, 5207 42nd Place, Hyattsville
Admission: $5 Adults (includes drink ticket); children under 12 are free!

22nd Annual Mount Rainier Craft Fair 
Shop local! Our 22nd annual craft fair will once again bring together dozens of local artists and artisans offering hand-crafted gifts and decor, baked goods, and home-cooked lunch! 
When: December 3rd, 10 am – 5 pm
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mt. Rainier

Greenbelt Festival of Lights
Juried Art and Craft Fair! Over 70 artists and authors selling their own original wares, plus live music, hands-on crafts, cafe and more. 
When: Saturday 12/3, 10am – 5pm. Sunday 12/4, 10am – 4pm
Where: Greenbelt Community Center, 15 Crescent Rd, Greenbelt   

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Returning for its 15th season, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols tells the Christmas story through lively readings and music that epitomizes hope, goodwill and joy.  
When: December 9th, 8 pm
Where: UMD Memorial Chapel,
Cost: $15 general, $5 students 

Ella Bella Ballerina and The Nutcracker
Enjoy watching ballet dancers performing to this beautiful and familiar music in a casual setting featuring dances from “The Nutcracker” from 3-4pm, followed by an Autism Friendly performance from 4-5 pm. Ideal for ages 3+.  Register here.
When: December 10th, 3 – 5pm
Where: College Park United Methodist Church, 9601 Rhode Island Ave, College Park
Cost: Free!

A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Eric Byrd Trio

Credit: M-NCPPC

The Eric Byrd Trio returns to celebrate the music from the Peanuts’ Charlie Brown Christmas show. By bringing fresh arrangements to these familiar songs, it gets everyone in the holiday mood. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
When: December 11th, 3 & 6 pm performances
Where: Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel
Cost: $15

University Park Candlelight Holiday House Tour & Boutique
Join us for this festive tour of lovely homes bedecked for the holidays. Maps will be available at individual houses on the tour during event hours and signs will be posted in the front yards of featured homes.  
When: December 9th, 7 – 10 pm
Where: University Park
Cost: Tickets available now for $18, call (301) 864-9264 or (301) 277-0414. Tickets are also available at the door for $20.

Brentwood Arts Exchange Craft Fair & Beer Tasting Lounge
Don’t get stuck at crowded malls this season buying generic gift sets for your loved ones… Come to the Brentwood Arts Exchange Holiday Craft Fair and Beer Tasting Lounge! While you finish your holiday shopping, stop by the beer tasting lounge.
When: December 10th, 11 am
Where: Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood

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