The National Theatre's weekly free entertainment offerings

With the holidays approaching, many families are looking for ways to save money. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that high-quality entertainment and fun events are out of the question. Many cities offer free or inexpensive ways for families to spend time together and enjoy captivating amusement opportunities. Luckily for people who own real estate in Washington, DC, the city is known for its free and open-to-the-public offerings.

One venue in particular has a strong history of providing top-notch entertainment for no cost. The National Theatre has been arranging community events for children and adults for many years, earning a devoted following as a result. Two programs in particular offer a great way for families of all configurations to enjoy free educational and artistic events.

For the kids
On Saturday mornings, the theatre hosts free performances geared toward younger audiences. These events run a wide gamut, so there it is easy to find one for any taste. In the coming weeks, there will be Native American-based puppet shows, a Hanukkah show steeped in comedy and an interactive performance of Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol."

These performances are sure to be a great way for budget-conscious and arts-inclined parents to entertain their children and expose them to a multicultural world full of fun and engaging activities.

For the parents
However, for DC residents who are looking for a less child-centric experience, the National Theatre hosts another free event on Monday nights. At 6:30, the theatre, which is located at 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, hosts screenings of classic films. In the near future, residents of the District will be able to see classics like "Summer Stock" - a famous musical starring Gene Kelly that focuses on the exploits of struggling theater troupe - and Meet Me in St. Louis - another time-tested flick that follows a host of characters on the eve of the 1904 World's Fair.

Washington, DC, is known for its cultural offerings and wealth of live performances. Although many of these events cost money, it is possible for residents to find free alternatives that are no less thrilling. The National Theatre, a bastion of cultural edification and art, is one of the best examples. If you're looking for ways to entertain your family without breaking the bank before the holidays, you may want to check out these two weekly activities.