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Can you believe it’s officially the holiday season?? If you are looking for a few things to do to get you in the spirit, you came to the right place. Today, I will share with you some holiday events that are taking place around town. (Also, a few weeks ago, I shared some new winter fun to check out.)

Tree Lighting

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting
Ceremony takes place on Tuesday, December 4 at 5 p.m. Tree will remain on view until December 26.

National Christmas Tree
Lighting Ceremony takes place on the Ellipse on Wednesday, December 6 (Tickets have already been distributed, though). You can watch on online here or on WETA (for those in the DC Metro Area). Ceremony will feature performances by Colbie Caillat, The Fray, Ledisi, Babyface and more. The tree from December 7 – January 1.

National Menorah Lighting
Celebrate Hanukkah and enjoy the ceremony taking place on the Ellipse on Sunday, December 9 at 4:30 p.m. The Washington Navy Band will provide music selections to enjoy.

A Trip to the Theatre

The Washington Ballet – “The Nutcracker”
Runs from November 29 – December 23 at The Warner Theatre

“A Christmas Carol”
With various times and showings, enjoy this classic Christmas play at Ford’s Theatre.

More Lights and Sites

Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 1 at 4 p.m., watch decorated boats travel from Alexandria to DC. WaPo says a great spot to watch them is around the bonfire at Seventh and Water streets SW, and wait until the boats roll in around 6:30.

Gardens of Lights
Enjoy a half-mile of lit holiday display in your vehicle at Brookside Gardens. Open every evening at 5:30 p.m. from now until January 6. (Closed on December 24, 25 and January 1-3)
Monday – Thursday $20 cash only
Friday – Sunday $25 cash only

Zoo Lights
Each year, The National Zoo puts on a spectacular display of lights. Admission is free. Only cost is $16 for parking. Take a look November 30, December 1-2, 7-9, 14-23, 26-30 and January 1.

Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival
A bit of a hike or trip for some, the Winter Lights Festival features 360 illuminated vignettes and 65 animated displays in a 3.5 mile drive through Seneca Creek State Park. Opens nightly at 6 p.m. from November 30 – December 31.
Monday – Thursday $12 cash only (cars and regular size vans)
Friday – Sunday $15 cash only (cars and regular size vans)
For large vans and buses, please visit the website for additional information.

Holiday Markets

Harbor Holiday Festival
Explore the holiday village at the National Harbor with specialty vendors, crafts and a holiday entertainment stage. Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 2 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Downtown Holiday Market
Located at 8th and F Streets NW, the 8th Annual Downtown Holiday Market returns starting today, November 30 until Sunday, December 23 from noon – 8 p.m. daily. This market features more than 180 regional artisans, crafters and boutique vendors, in addition to musical entertainment and food and drinks.


Anacostia Community Museum features a variety of Kwanzaa activities, including a Kwanzaa art workshop and story telling. Visit the site for more information.

Kwanzaa Celebration at the Alexandria Black History Museum
Saturday, December 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., learn about the history of Kwanzaa and the seven principles. Visit WaPo for more information.

See how much there is to do around town to get into the holiday spirit?? Are there any events that should be added to this list? Let me know…

– G