Now that the Holiday Season is officially upon us, I’m sharing my top fun, seasonal things to do in DC this winter. Washington, DC during the holidays is so much fun – I feel like the whole city gets decked out in garlands and bows! I’ll continue to add to it as new events pop up, but I’ve broken it down into my favorite outdoor and indoor activities. I’ve also included many of the concerts held throughout the city – there are so many to choose from that you’ll definitely find one near your home or office. Luckily, there are also tons of free activities (which I’ve marked on this list) so you can fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit without breaking the bank!
- The Downtown Holiday Market runs from November 22–December 23 FREE
- Spend an evening at the Smithsonian National Zoo’s ZooLights – open from November 29 to January 1 FREE
- Enchant at Nationals Park – November 22 to December 29 (tickets range from $15 to $34)
- Visit the National Christmas Tree – Lit up on December 9 FREE
- 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – December 7 FREE
- Stroll through Georgetown GLOW – the region’s only outdoor curated light exhibit, with light art from both local and international artists. Runs from December 6 to January 6. FREE
- City Center Ice Maze installation – December 13-15 FREE
- Santa Bar Crawl– December 14 (tickets are $30)
- Historic Alexandria Yuletide by Candlelight Tours – December 14 (tickets are $30)
- Must-visit Ice Rinks: Washington Harbor, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and Top of the Gate at the Watergate Hotel all winter long!
- Drink Company PUB: Miracle on 7th – November 22 through December 31 my favorite Pop Up Bar is back for the holiday season – great drinks and delightful surroundings are sure to bring in the holiday cheer!
- Passport Program – explore new coffee shops, restaurants, and bars with this buy-one-get-one-free drink passport that runs from November to April. ($15 with code BUDDY)
- The Warner Theater: The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker running from November through December 29
- United States Botanical Gardens Concert Series – concerts performed by various local groups every Tuesday and Thursday from December 4-27 FREE
- Washington National Cathedral is holding seasonal holiday concerts every weekend – Handel’s Messiah (December 6-8), Christmas at the Cathedral (December 15), and the Cathedral Choral Society: Joy of Christmas (December 21-22)
- Artechouse – the latest interactive exhibit, AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights, runs from December 7 to January 5! (tickets start at $13)
- Swedish Holiday Market – December 7
- Renwick Handi-Hour creating handmade gifts – December 10 (tickets are $25 and include two beers, a souvenir glass, crafting supplies, and light snacks)
- Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce at the Kennedy Center – December 12 (tickets starting at $39)
- NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! with Leslie Odom, Jr.at the Kennedy Center – December 13 to 14 (tickets starting at $29)
- The Washington Chorus Presents A Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center – December 15 to 22 (tickets starting at $19)
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra will host a show at Capitol One Arena – December 23
- Embassy Events –Caribbean Holiday Celebration at the Embassy of Haiti (December 6), French Embassy Holiday Gala & Magnificent Viennese Ball (December 13), and the European Holiday Ball at the Embassy of Italy (December 14)
- New Years Eve – parties on December 31: Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party (tickets are $174 – Black Tie Dress) or the Mellon Gala (tickets ate $99)
I hope this rundown of events helps you take full advantage of everything happening in DC this holiday season! Have a blast!