So, the December calendar looks pretty…ah…full. What you see below is just a sample! Hopefully, you’ll find something to look forward to doing. Here are the Cool Yule picks for each day in December!
Sunday, December 1. Winter Bird Walk 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly. $6.
Monday, December 2. Church Street Holiday Stroll. Santa will arrive on his firetruck at the Freeman Store (131 Church Street, NE, Vienna) at 6:15. Tree lighting. 6 p.m – 8:30 p.m. Cool Yule Tip: The Freeman Store has unique gifts, candy and stocking stuffers for sale.
Tuesday, December 3. Holiday Extravaganza and 23rd Annual Norwegian Tree Lighting Ceremony. 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Union Station, Washington DC. Cool Yule Tip: Look for the Yeti on the model train display! It’s really hard to find.
Wednesday, December 4. U.S. Capitol Tree Lighting, 5 p.m. West Lawn, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC. Cool Yule Tip: Lighting the tree will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Thursday, December 5. She and Him (Zooey Deschanel) Christmas concert. 8 p.m. The Anthem, Washington, DC. $46 – $76. Cool Yule Tip: You’ll love their Christmas CD! Zooey is the love interest in the movie, “Elf.”
Friday, December 6. One Starry Night in Bethlehem live nativity and interactive activities. 6 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Ashburn Presbyterian Church. Ashburn. “Imagine walking through Bethlehem and smelling fresh baked bread, working in a wood shop, eating from the marketplace . . . then suddenly, shepherds appear to tell you the great news . . . a Savior has been born! You then meet Mary and Joseph and see the Baby Jesus with your own eyes!”
Saturday, December 7. 74th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. 10 a.m. Center Street, Historic Downtown Manassas. (and one more:) Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, 7 p.m. Old Town Alexandria, VA (waterfront). Cool Yule Tip: visit the Torpedo Factory before the event (also the closest bathroom).
Sunday, December 8. Frost Fest. 4 p.m – 7 p.m. Pentagon Row. Live music, ice skating and on-ice fireworks display. 1101 S. Joyce Street, Arlington, VA.
Monday, December 9. Merry Tuba Christmas. 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millenium Stage (Free concert but you must have a ticket. Tickets will be distributed at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of Nations. There is a maximum of 2 tickets per person). Cool Yule Tip: free shuttle bus from Foggy Bottom metro station. Bring a sandwich and water with you because the food at the Kennedy Center is not good and $$$!
Tuesday, December 10. Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. Through January 5th. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. $8 kids; $13 adults. Cool Yule Tip: December 3 is Funny Photos Night!
Wednesday, December 11. Holiday Jazz by the Fire at the St. Regis Hotel. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesdays in December throuh 12/25. Purchase a cocktail or hot cocoa and cookies for the kids and relax to the sounds of holiday jazz by Christopher Linman. 923 16th and K Streets, NW, Washington, DC.
Thursday, December 12. Christmas Candlelight Tea. 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Green Spring, Alexandria. $48.
Friday, December 13. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax covered in holiday lights. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
Saturday, December 14. Yuletide by Candelight Old Town Alexandria Event – 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Your ticket provides you entry to four historic sites, with seasonal refreshments, music, decorations and activities at each site: Gadsby’s Tavern, Carlyle House, Apothecary Museum, Lee-Fendall House, $8/children and $30/adults.
Sunday, December 15. Visit Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. nightly. November 15 – January 5, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Admission to village is $5. Skating is additional $8 plus $4 for rental.55×80’ Real Ice Rink, 20’ Walk thru Tree, 100’ RGB Lighted Tunnel, lit trees and winter displays, Fire Pits, Heated Igloos, Wreath Photo Op, Bling & Things Retail Shop, Slice & Ice – Pizza, donuts & more.
Monday, December 16. Painting Poinsettias Japanese-style craft activity. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Thomas Jefferson Library. Falls Church. Free, but register in advance. Cool Yule Tip: this library has a good selection of used books, CDs and magazines for sale at bargain prices.
Tuesday, December 17. Bull Run Festival of Lights. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville. November 22 – January 5. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Two and half mile drive-through light display and walk-around winter carnival. $20/$25/car
Wednesday, December 18. Christmas Caroling Concert in the elegant Willard Hotel Lobby in Washington, DC. 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Closest metro stop is Metro Center, F Street exit. Walk 2 blocks west to 14th and F Streets. Cool Yule Tip: If you need a quick and inexpensive dinner, there’s a Corner Bakery Cafe close by. After the concert, walk (practically) across the street to the Ellipse and see the National Christmas Tree, state and territory trees and the Yule Log!
Thursday, December 19. No cover at Jimmy’s Old Tavern in Herndon for Dan & Bart’s acoustic rock set plus casino games? Whatever, it’s for charity and there’s a holiday theme. Cool Yule tip: try the Quebec-style winter treat, poutine!
Friday, December 20. It’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Day! Wear it as you Rock the Rink with ice skating to rock music 8 pm – 10 pm Reston Town Center fee + rental.
Saturday, December 21. Winter Solstice Concert. 3:30 p.m. World music group East of the River presents Solstice: Darkness Is Your Candle, National Gallery of Art, West Building, West Garden Court. DC.
Sunday, December 22. Zoo Lights National Zoo, Washington, DC. Nov 29 – January 1. Not open December 24, 25, or 31. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. Lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays. Cool Yule Tip: There is limited on-site parking and the fee is a whopping $25. Unless you have a van-full, consider taking Lyft or Metro.
Monday, December 23. The Christmas Story in Art 90-minute tour, 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall. Cool Yule Tip: the Rotunda is usually directed with beautiful flowers and sometimes trees. It’s a beautiful location for a photograph.
Tuesday, December 24. Songs of the Season. Choral Arts Society of Washington. 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Kennedy Center. Washington, DC. $15 – $72. Cool Yule Tip: the children’s performance is at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, December 25. Merry Christmas! Holy Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral. 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Doors open at 10: 15 a.m. The Cathedral bells will ring out after the service. Passes are not required to attend the service but an admission fee of $12 ($8 seniors and teachers) to enter the Cathedral will be charged. There is no touring on Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve) so I anticipate you will not be able to see the exhibit of creches on the lower level, as in previous years, but there will likely be one to the right of the altar. Parking on the grounds and below the Cathedral is free. Cool Yule Tip: This service features incense, which may bother some people who are sensitive to it.
Thursday, December 26. Everyone is grouchy the day after Christmas. May I suggest you keep them outside (and out of malls) and active?
Saturday, December 28. Holiday Light Spectacular, 45-minute program with light show and concert. 4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Washington National Cathedral. $40
Sunday, December 29. #BESTLife New Year’s Resolution Workshop. 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Reston Public Library, Reston. Free. Facilitated by yours truly! Register here. At night, check out the comedy performance by Joe Zimmerman at the Kennedy Center at 6 p.m. — it’s free!
Monday, December 30. Yes. A lot of togetherness and a busy month, it was. If you have kids, consider enrolling them in one of the many fine winter day camps operating today. You can find a plethora of choices on Facebook.
Tuesday, December 31. 22nd Watch Night Street Festival. 7 p.m – Midnight. West Broad Street. Falls Church City. Free shuttle from East Falls Church Metro station runs every 20 minutes, beginning at 7 p.m. This event is alcohol free and family friendly. A variety of live music at multiple venues on the blocked off street and at other locations nearby. Karaoke, rock-climbing wall, moon bounces. Food and souvenirs are for sale. A star is lowered at midnight from a crane. OR if the weather is not cooperating, then visit the New Year’s Eve Party 6:00 PM for early birds FREE. Ring in the new year (and a new decade) at the Kennedy Center New Year’s Eve Party in the Grand Foyer. Performances by Brianna Thomas and Zach Cutler. Guests can also enjoy champagne bars (not free, ha ha) and a photo booth. For night owls who want to stay up and dance until the new year, Jammin’ Java All Ages Show: 80s Dance Party. 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Do you love the 80’s? If so, put on your best 80’s fashion, grab your dancing shoes, and ring in 2020 with a totally rad 80’s dance party. Prizes for best 80’s outfits and a “Name that Tune” contest, plus Champagne toast at midnight and party favors. Vienna. $30 -$40. Cool Yule Tip: Jammin’ Java is a small venue and it is liable to be crowded for this event. If you feel more comfortable with space around you, select one of the first two events, instead.