Merry Christmas! Fun things to do

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At last, Christmas Day is here! Merry Christmas!

Are you getting cabin fever? Would you like to get out of the house and do something fun today? Here are some ideas.

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. 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.
  • Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. 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.
  • Bull Run Festival of Lights. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Two and half mile drive-through light display and walk-around winter carnival and Holiday Village with attractions, s’mores and Santa Claus. $20 – $25 per car; 15 or more passengers, $50.
  • Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Gingerbread Village exhibit. Made from real gingerbread. It smells and looks delicious. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
  • The National Christmas Tree and nightly Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: The  The National Tree and state trees may be viewed until 11 p.m. There is also a Nativity scene and a roaring Yule log fire. Just adjacent is the National Menorah.
  • The Capitol Tree  West Lawn, U.S. Capitol. Washington, DC. There is very little parking, but the Capitol South metro station (Orange, Silver and Blue lines) is nearby.


  1. Christmas Day Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner Galleria. $120, plus tax and gratuity.
  2. Holy Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral. 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Doors open at 10: 15 a.m. This service features incense, which may bother some people who are sensitive to it. 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). Parking on the grounds and below the Cathedral is free.
  3. Christmas Day Organ Recital at Washington National Cathedral. 1:30 p.m. $10
  4. Holiday Jazz by the Fire at the St. Regis Hotel. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. 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
  5. Luray Caverns and Mount Vernon are open today.
  6. Denny’s, some McDonald’s and some IHOP restaurants are open today. The Chart House, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Morton’s and some Legal Seafoods are open today.

More ideas…

  • Take a walk around Reston Town Center and check out the gingerbread village in the Hyatt Hotel lobby.
  • Take a walk around Old Town Alexandria and window-shop. The decorations are beautiful.
  • Bundle up everyone in the car and take a tour of neighborhoods with the best Christmas light displays. My old neighborhood of Falls Church is a safe bet; the neighborhoods in the town of Vienna also have great lights and decorations.
  • The Unity Club in Falls Church is having a Christmas potluck lunch at noon that is welcome to all, especially those in recovery. You can sign up in advance to bring a dish. There are 12 step meetings scheduled on Christmas, as well.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas full of love, joy, beauty and wonder. Thank you for joining me here on Cool Yule. Please return for daily posts through the New Year’s and the Christmas season until January 6.

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