Holiday Happenings in the Area


Picture was taken in 2017 at Zoo Lights. Photo credit to Ruth Dean.

The holidays are a time to venture out and see the beauty in the things around you that you don’t normally notice. As the holiday season rolls around, there is plenty to do and places to see. Here are a few ideas for adventures in the holiday break in our area. 

On December 5th, the National Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse. The display is free to visit from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m, and is lit starting at 4:30 p.m. every night. There are also musical performances there throughout December leading up to Christmas. This option is free of charge but a beautiful sight to see. 

Another activity is the Zoo lights at the National Zoo. It started on November 29th, the National Zoo is lit up with thousands of light fixtures to guide you through the park and keep you, and the animals, in the holiday spirit. The park is free and located in Woodley Park, just a close walk from the metro stop. 

For all the Nationals fans, you can experience the essence of Enchant at Nationals Park, which includes the world’s largest Christmas light maze, market, ice skating, and Santa. Tickets for general admission range from $20-30 based on age, and get more expensive if you want the season pass or VIP Access pass. This is the first time that DC will host this event, and goes until December 29th.

Georgetown GLOW is now a month long celebration from December 6 to January 5th, after it became more popular. From 5-10 p.m, local artists display light art throughout the historic neighborhoods. There is also ice skating at the Washington Harbour. 

Very close to home, you can visit Mount Vernon for a trip back to a 1787 Christmas at the Washington Estate. You can meet Aladdin the camel and walk through the mansion from until December 31st. 

And lastly, on December 7th, there is a boat parade on the Potomac from the Waterfront of Alexandria to The Wharf in DC. Boats are dressed up in lights and sail down the Potomac for all to watch. The parade starts at 6 p.m., and ends with fireworks starting at 8 p.m. This adventure is free and there are even holiday events to visit on either side of the river while waiting for the boats to pass by. 

Whether you have family coming to town for the holidays, or you just haven’t experienced any of these events in the area, Washington DC and Alexandria are full of festivities to get you in the holiday spirit at free or little cost.