Holiday events are listed in order of start date. Make plans to enjoy your favorites with this printable holiday planner. Events that are crossed out are either confirmed or presumed to be cancelled due to the pandemic of 2020.
Millenium Stage Concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. 6 p.m. nightly in November, December and January. The Millennium Stage holiday concerts are free but certain ones require tickets, which will be distributed two to a person beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of States on the day of the performance. Check the calendar for requirements. You can also watch them for free, live, online on the Kennedy Center website. Holiday highlights include Tuba Christmas, Klezmer music and comedy show, Kwanzaa concert, Christmas Day (Jazz) Jam and New Year’s Eve Celebration. There are also ticketed concert and Nutcracker performances $15 – about $100. Please note: on-site parking is expensive as is the food. There is a free shuttle from Foggy Bottom Metro station.
Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. Begins November 8 and is open daily in November, including Thanksgiving Day. 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. Special theme nights and discounts. $8 kids; $13 adults.
Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. nightly. Begins November 15 and runs through 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.
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 and Holiday Village with attractions, s’mores and Santa Claus. $20 – $25 per car; 15 or more passengers, $50. This attraction is open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens begins November 26. Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. This attraction, close to the U.S. Capitol, is open on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Free admission but finding a parking space can be a challenge. Metro is nearby. Live, free performances will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Zoo Lights National Zoo, Washington, DC. Begins November 27. Hours are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Not open December 24, 25, or 31. Parking is limited and is $25!; take Lyft, Metro, instead etc. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, winter treats, holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland! Attractions for a fee include Panda virtual reality show on select nights, ZooTubes, Carousel and Train.
Gingerbread Village exhibit. Begins November 27. Made from real gingerbread. It smells and looks delicious. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
Christmas at Mount Vernon begins November 27. Famous for its camel! Candle-light tours are also available. The gift shop merchandise is worth a look. Enjoy the grounds, house and events, but eat elsewhere.
Norwegian Christmas at Union Station. begins December 4 and runs through December 31. This model trains do not run on December 25, Christmas Day. Open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m. Metro: Pay parking is available at Union Station or take metro (Union Station, red line). Washington, DC. There is a food court downstairs and a number of quick service restaurants and shops. Tip: look for the snow monster!
City of Fairfax Holiday Market in Old Town Square. Begins on December 4 and runs through December 20. Hours and Days: Fridays: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Saturdays: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sundays: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Shop at the market of craft vendors, enjoy live holiday music, hot drinks, gourmet treats and more. Historic Downtown Fairfax will be bedecked with holiday lights and cheer. 10145 North Street, Fairfax.
The Capitol Tree The tree is lit on December 4 and remains on display until December, 31. 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.
The National Christmas Tree and nightly Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: Begins on December 5 and runs through January 1. The National Christmas tree will be lit on December 5. Nightly musical performances. Weeknight performances are 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and weekend performances take place from 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 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 Christmas Story in Art Take this free, 90-minute guided tour, December dates TBA at 1 p.m. National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall.