A small town girl making the big city home. She loves everything DC, and is slowly introducing her one-year-old to the world of Smithsonians, monuments, cherry blossoms and the DMV. A perfect day in town would include breakfast at Eastern Market (or Founding Farmers), checking out the National Gallery of Art, a burger and/or shake at Good Stuff or sandwich from Taylor Made, the two mile walk around the monuments, and cupcakes from Sprinkles (or Georgetown Cupcake if the line isn't forever long) to go.

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DC Festival of Lights: Begins Nov. 30

One of the best things about the holidays has got to be the music. Come day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I actually agree on the radio station. My daughter loves the Chipmunks Song as much as I do; and everywhere you go, the music really sets the mood.

I mean, don’t you just love looking for a parking spot at the grocery store to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock?

This kid loved the lights AND a performance at last year's Festival of Lights. Let's hope we're just as lucky this year.

This year we’ll be heading back up to Kensington, MD, for the 35th annual Festival of Lights at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple Visitor Center to listen to a little more music together as a family.

Musical groups ranging from religious to community based will be performing each night from Nov. 30 – Jan.1. Performances will be held at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the visitor center, with free tickets available 90 minutes beforehand.

I’m still trying to decide whether we should try to go on Friday, November 30, to catch Broadway star Sandra Turley, or catch something like the group Feliz Navidad on Friday, December 28. Or one of the other performances. EEK, so many options!

I love that this is something you can participate in any evening with the whole family. Last year, we went and watched the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area. Not lasting more than 45 minutes, my daughter (who was less than six months at the time), enjoyed listening and watching the flutists. Plus we had her home and in bed before 9 p.m.– a feat at the time.

35th Annual Festival of Lights

  • Where: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Washington DC Temple Visitor Center; 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD, 20895
  • When: November 30- January 1. Holiday lights are turned on at dusk. Performances at the indoor amphitheatre at 7 p.m. & 8 p.m.
  • What: Musical acts from around the area perform nightly at the visitor center. There are also 600,000 outdoor holiday lights, a display of Christmas trees decorated by various groups, a narrated life size nativity, as well as an exhibit of crèches from around the world.
  • Who: Everyone is welcome to attend
  • Cost: FREE; tickets are available beginning 90 minutes before each performance. We are usually able to walk right in for weekday performances.
  • More information about the festival is available here.

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