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For many families, the holidays is usually quite busy with little time for planning academic activities to do with the kids. Some parents worry about the impact of time off from school and compare it to the “summer slide,” or loss of skills from being away from classes for a time. According to John Rogers, a professor of education at UCLA, while he doesn’t know any conclusive research on it, short breaks aren’t likely to contribute to the same kind of seasonal academic “slide.” In fact, he notes, “there are potential benefits of being around family and participating in cultural traditions. Learning “can happen in all sorts of ways.”

By including the kids in activities like baking, sharing family stories and history, or even some family friendly holiday activities, kids can continue to stay engaged over the holiday break. Here are some family holiday happenings in the Baltimore/DC area:

Holly Jolly Trolley Lights Tour $28 per person
Dec 4 – Jan 3

From Harbor East to the decorated George Washington monument in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, then Hampden’s 34th street Christmas Festival of Lights, taking a ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley is the perfect way to kick off your Baltimore holiday festivities!

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical’ $29+
Dec 26 & 27

Head to the Lyric opera house for this classic performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The kids are sure to love this faithful retelling which features characters and songs from the original TV special performed by puppets!

12 Days of Science – events are free with paid admission
Dec 20-31

Whether it’s building something unique in “The Shed,” participating in some indoor Olympic games, or constructing a snow fort and igloo, there’s something of interest for everyone at the Maryland Science Center.

More Baltimore area happenings can be found on and

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