Spend the holidays with some furry creatures and scaly critters at ZooLights, which features animal sculptures composed of environmentally friendly lights. Animal houses will stay open during this seasonal event, and gingerbread habitats will also be on display.
The creations will be on display at the National Zoo from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 14-23, 26-30 and New Year's Day. The zoo will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. For more information, call 202-633-2614 or go to nationalzoo.si.edu.
Welcome the new year with the family at this two-day artistic and interactive event. Activities include arts and crafts, live music, s'mores making, a scavenger hunt, a New Year's Eve family party, fireworks and pictures with the marshmallow-candy mascot. There will also be a 5K run on New Year's Eve.
The event is located at the ArtQuest Center and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 31. General admission to the event is free although some activities require a ticket. For more information, call 610-332-1300 or go to artsquest.org.
East Meets West Christmas Parade
See two hemispheres united in the streets of Manhattan at this vibrant and multicultural holiday-themed parade. Decorations from Little Italy and customs from Chinatown blend together in a parade that features floats, singers, dancing dragons and lions, and marching bands. On top of that, the parade will feature Santa Claus.
The parade runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, and begins at Mulberry and Canal streets. It's free and suitable for all ages. For more information, go to timeout.com/newyork.
'A Colonial Christmas'
Experience what Christmas was like in 17th-century Virginia by attending a variety of programs at Jamestown Settlement. Visitors can learn about historic events such as Indian hospitality toward John Smith's trading party and the colonists' first Christmas at sea in 1606, at the outdoor living-history areas. The event will also feature music from the period.
The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 31, and closed on Christmas Day. Admission is $15.50 for adults, $7.50 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for those under 6. For more information, call 757-253-4838 or go to historyisfun.org.
Charles Dickens in Washington
Step into Charles Dickens' shoes in this guided walking tour through D.C.'s Penn Quarter neighborhood. The tour will explore Dickens' two visits to Washington and feature an outdoor adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" performed by Historic Strolls. Proceeds from the tour will go to the community-based organization So Others Might Eat.
The tour will begin at noon Saturday, Dec. 22, and Sunday, Dec. 23, at Cosi at 10th and E streets N.W. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for kids 16 and under. For more information, call 301-588-9255 or go to historicstrolls.com.