December Events

December 2020 Holiday Events

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to print it, email or share. Get organized and make holiday plans with this printable holiday planner. Can’t decide? Read the Cool Yule picks for 31 days of holiday fun in December

Tuesday, December 1. National Christmas Lights Day. Giving Tuesday.


Wednesday, December 2. Make a Gift Day

  1. Capitol Tree Lighting, 5 p.m. West Lawn, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
  2. 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.

Thursday, December 3

  1. National Christmas Tree lighting, 5 p.m. The Ellipse, Washington, DC.

Friday, December 4

  1. URBN Holiday Market and Pop-up; tree lighting. Mosaic District. 3:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  2. Georgetown Glow opens at 5 p.m. and runs nightly for the month of December.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 5

  1. 75th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. 10 a.m. Center Street, Historic Downtown Manassas.
  2. Jingle on the Lake at Lake Anne Plaza. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Santa arrives at noon by boat! Muisc and more. Reston
  3. Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. $15.
  4. Make Holiday Cards 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
  5. 31st Annual Model Train Show 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fairfax Railroad Museum.
  6. 50th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade 11 a.m. King Street, Old Town Alexandria.
  7. Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  8. Santa Fly In 12 p.m, – 4 p.m. Watch Santa fly into historic College Park Airport with some help from local aviators! Make holiday arts and crafts and enjoy holiday activities before having your picture taken with Santa. Santa arrives at approximately 12:30 pm. College Park Aviation Museum, MD $5.
  9. City of Fairfax Festival of Lights and Carols. Noon – 6 p.m. Live holiday music, crafts, s’mores and hot cider at Old Town Square. Caroling and the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 5:30 p.m. Fairfax.
  10. Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble Concert 1 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  11. Capitol Hill Chorale presents Caroling in the Rotunda. 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. National Gallery of Art. Washington, DC.
  12. White Christmas screening. 3:30 p.m. National Museum of American History. Washington, DC
  13. Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long 4 p.m. Wolf Trap National Park – The Filene Center 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA. This annual musical celebration hosts a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Bring a candle and join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.” There will also be a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” so remember to bring a candle, a bell, and a new, unwrapped toy!
  14. 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!”
  15. Best Christmas Pageant Ever comedy play 7 p.m. City of Fairfax Theatre Company. $10/$15.
  16. Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, 7 p.m. Old Town Alexandria, VA (waterfront).

Sunday, December 6. Second Day of Advent. St. Nicholas Day

  1. Museum Store Sunday, National Gallery of Art. 11 am – 6 p.m. Greeting card demonstrations and hands-on art activities for children.
  2. Fairfax Ballet presents The Nutcracker. 2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Woodson High School, Fairfax. $15 – $30 (Also on Saturday, November 30).
  3. Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Herndon Community Center.
  4. Make Holiday Cards 10 am – 4 pm Smithsonian National Postal Museum
  5. 30th Annual Model Train Show 12 Noon – 4 p.m. Fairfax Railroad Museum.
  6. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 4 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.
  7. Holiday Sparkle opening art reception. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Reston Art Gallery and Studios, Lake Anne Plaza.
  8. It’s a Wonderful Life film screening. 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. National Museum of American History. $10
  9. 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 7

  1. Church Street Holiday Stroll. Santa will arrive on his firetruck to the Freeman Store at 6:15. Tree lighting. 6 p.m – 8:30 p.m. Vienna.
  2. 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).
  3. Arlington Chorale “Happy Holidays” Concert. 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Westover Baptist Church, 1125 Patrick Henry Drive, Arlington.

Tuesday, December 8

  1. Holiday Extravaganza and 23rd Annual Norwegian Tree Lighting Ceremony. 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Union Station, Washington DC.

Wednesday, December 9. Christmas Card Day.

  1. 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.

Thursday, December 10


Friday, December 11. Hanukkah

  1. 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.
  2. Rock the Rink ice skating to rock music 8 pm – 10 pm Reston Town Center. Fee + rental.

Saturday, December 12. Poinsettia Day. Gingerbread House Day

Cool Yule Tip: Learn how to select and care for a poinsettia.

  1. National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries.

Sunday, December 13. Third Day of Advent. Hot Cocoa Day.


Monday, December 14. Roast Chestnuts Day. Gingerbread Decorating Day.

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday packages by standard post.


Tuesday, December 15

  1. The Christmas Story in Art 90 minute tour, 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.

Wednesday, December 16

  1. 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.
  2. Christmas Caroling Concert in the Willard Hotel Lobby. 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Washington, DC.

Thursday, December 17

  1. The Christmas Story in Art 90 minute tour, 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.

Friday, December 18. Bake Cookies Day. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

  1. The Christmas Story in Art 90 minute tour, 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.
  2. Holiday Trains and Planes 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The National Capital Trackers return with their constantly moving display of model trains. College Park Aviation Museum, MD. $5
  3. 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.
  4. Rock the Rink ice skating to rock music 8 pm – 10 pm Reston Town Center fee + rental.

Saturday, December 19

  1. Holiday Trains and Planes 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The National Capital Trackers return with their constantly moving display of model trains. College Park Aviation Museum, MD. $5
  2. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 6 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.
  3. Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Sunday, December 20. Fourth Day of Advent. Go Caroling Day

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.

  1. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 4 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.
  2. Holiday Trains and Planes 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The National Capital Trackers return with their constantly moving display of model trains. College Park Aviation Museum, MD. $5
  3. City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. 12 pm – 4 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.

Monday, December 21. Winter Solstice

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.  

  1. The Christmas Story in Art 90-minute tour, 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.

Tuesday, December 22

Cool Yule Tip: If you are planning to go to the movies between now and the end of December, purchase your tickets in advance, because they sell out quickly!

Wednesday, December 23. Festivus

Thursday, December 24. Christmas Eve. National Egg Nog Day

Cool Yule Tip: While Zoolights is not on tonight, you can visit the National Zoo today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to wish the animals a Merry Christmas. There is an old legend that animals can talk and understand each other at Midnight on Christmas Eve. All Smithsonian Museums, the National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Botanic Garden are open to visitors today.

Friday, December 25. Merry Christmas! National Pumpkin Pie Day

Cool Yule tip: The Smithsonian Museums are closed today. Mount Vernon is open but not recommended as it is very crowded on Christmas Day. The U.S. Botanic Garden is also open. It will be crowded but usually it’s not too bad (parking will be hard to find).

  1. Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  2. Christmas Day Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner Galleria. $120, plus tax and gratuity.
  3. 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.
  4. Christmas Day Organ Recital at Washington National Cathedral. 1:30 p.m. $10
  5. 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.
  6. Millenium Stage: All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam concert. Tickets (maximum 2 per person) will be distributed in the Hall of States beginning at 4:30 p.m. and the music begins at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
  7. Dial 251 for Jazz concert. 6 pm – 8 pm. U.S. Botanic Garden

Saturday, December 26. Kwanzaa. Thank You Note Day. Candy Cane Day.


Sunday, December 27. National Fruitcake Day. Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day.


Monday, December 28


Tuesday, December 29


Wednesday, December 30  Cold Moon Full Moon


Thursday, December 31. New Year’s Eve. Champagne Day.

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the last day to register for the First Day Hike Contest sponsored by Virginia State Parks.

  1. Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $8 – $13. Vienna.
  2. Bull Run Festival of Lights (drive-through) is open 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. $20 – $25/car. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville.
  3. Ice and Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. $5 for the village, plus $8 for optional skating and $4 skate rental. Alexandria.
  4. The Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery of Art and U.S. Botanic Garden (Seasons Greenings) are open today.
  5. Samovar (Russian folk music) performance 6 pm – 8 pm. U.S. Botanic Gardens – plus Seasons Greenings exhibit.
  6. New Year’s Eve Party 6:00 PM 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.
  7. 25th First Night Alexandria Festival. 6 p.m. – Midnight. King Street, Old Town Alexandria. $30 – $35. This event is alcohol free and family friendly. 100+ live music performers/bands, food, fireworks at midnight.
  8. New Year’s Eve Party. 6:30 p.m. Cocktails, dinner, band and party. Knights of Columbus, Arlington. $60 per person.
  9. The Legwarmers NYE Party (80s tribute band) Doors open at 7 pm. The State Theater, Falls Church. $50.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 let’s ring in 2020 with a fresh, totally rad 80’s dance party: The Cure, Prince, Madonna, MJ, Wham, Run DMC, The Go Go’s, Rob Base, Bananarama, Human League, INXS, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Poison, The Outfield – all of your 80’s favorites and many, many more!!! Prizes will be given out for totally gnarly 80’s outfits and “Name that Tune” winners. Champagne toast at midnight, drink specials….plus….NYE party favors and glowsticks for everyone. Vienna. $30 -$40.