Will you have a houseful of guests this holiday season? Let us help keep them entertained!
This week’s blog is the ultimate holiday guide to family fun in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.
Reston Town Center Holiday Parade
November 29th, 11am
Enjoy a full day of celebration with the Reston community. The festivities begin with the Annual Race for the Kids at Fountain Square. The Thanksgiving parade includes Santa and Mrs. Claus joined by Macy’s style balloons, musical groups, dancers and antique cars making their way down Market Street. Other festivities include visits with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, a Holiday Tree Lighting & Sing Along with a chorus of traditional holiday music.
Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger
November 28th, 8:30am
Sponsored by SOME (So Others Might Eat), this popular 5K, fun run and family walk benefits programs for the homeless and helps SOME to serve more than 800 meals to the hungry every day of the year.
November 28th, 8:30am
Every Thanksgiving for the past 25 years, thousands of runners have gathered in Bethesda to run in the Turkey Chase in support of the YMCA’s Youth and Family Services, YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club Foundation.
Alexandria Turkey Trot
November 28th, 9am
DC Road Runners Club, a local group affiliated with USA Track & Field, sponsors an annual race on Thanksgiving Day. Food donations support ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization serving Alexandria’s needy.
Virginia Run Turkey Trot
November 28th, 8am
Proceeds benefit Life with Cancer, a non-profit organization that enhances the quality of life of those affected by cancer by providing education, information and support.
November 30th, 9am
Fairfax Station, VA
The event includes a challenging 8K race plus a family-friendly fun run and walk to benefit Housing & Community Services of Northern Virginia, a non-profit association that works to rescue people from foreclosure and eviction by offering services that include budget counseling, affordable housing search, crisis intervention, and emergency financial assistance. Prizes will be awarded to top runners overall and also to the top three men and women in various age groups.
Lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah
November 27th, 4pm
White House Ellipse, Washington, DC
A National Hanukkah Menorah is lit on the White House grounds at the Ellipse during the eight day Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish Maccabees’ military victory over Syrian oppression more than 2,000 years ago. Festivities at the lighting ceremony include musical performances and hot latkes and donuts. This year’s celebration will feature the US Air Force Band. The menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.
Alexandria Chanukah Festival
December 1st, 5pm
The Crowne Plaza Hotel , Alexandria, VA
Lighting of a giant Menorah by Community Leaders and Dignitaries, free raffle for a NOOK HD Tablet, free light stick for every child, enjoy delicious hot Potato Latkes, Chocolate Gelt and Dreidels for all with lively Chanukah music.
SPECIAL EVENTS, PARADES & FESTIVALS:
Christmas at Mount Vernon
November 29th – January 6th, 9am-4pm
Mount Vernon, VA
Mount Vernon decks the halls throughout the estate with themed Christmas trees and festive holiday touches. Traditional boughs of hand-cut greenery will adorn doorways in the Mansion, which will be staged with an elaborate holiday course in the formal dining room. Highlights include: 18th century chocolate making demonstrations, tours of the rarely opened 3rd floor, meet “Lady Washington” and viewing GW’s Christmas camel!
ICE! 2013 at the Gaylord National
Now – January 5th
National Harbor, MD
As part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! is a special holiday event in the Washington, DC area you won’t want to miss! This holiday season, Gaylord National Resort’s smash-hit holiday attraction returns with a brand-new theme. The 2013 edition of Gaylord National’s ICE! will feature ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, which will bring the classic holiday poem to life in TWO-MILLION POUNDS of hand-carved ice. ICE! will be larger than ever before featuring an all-new bonus scene: “Christmas in New York City.” The attraction moves to a new location this year with access from inside the hotel’s 19-story atrium.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
Now – December 31st
A Busch Gardens Celebration will transform the Williamsburg, Virginia amusement park into a Christmas wonderland, combining an immersive holiday experience with one-of-a-kind shopping and dining opportunities, all-new holiday shows and a spectacular light-dancing Christmas tree.
Downtown Holiday Market
November 29th – December 23rd, 12pm-8pm
Downtown Washington, DC
Find gift items by more than 180 exhibitors and artisans including fine art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, photography, clothing, prepared food and more. A wide range of live, local musicians and bands will entertain shoppers. Jazz, swing, blues, reggae, bluegrass, klezmer, a cappella, brass and more create a fun, energetic atmosphere.
McLean Holiday Craft Show
December 6th – 8th
Enjoy a wide variety of arts & crafts and holiday music by local school groups. This show features fiber arts, wood, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, glass, holiday decor, items for children, gourmet foods, paper art, photography, soft sculpture, paintings and drawings and more!
December 7th, 10am & 2pm
National Building Museum, Washington, DC
Build your own edible house using gingerbread and royal icing, and decorate it using an assortment of materials. Imagine a home with candy trim, a cookie roof, and icing-covered caves—fun for all! Each gingerbread house is a big enough project for a family of four.
Swedish Christmas Bazaar
December 7th, 11am-5pm
The bazaar will feature Swedish arts & crafts; crystal, textiles, artwork, books, decorations and much more. Enjoy Swedish Christmas carols performed by the Santa Lucia Procession. The Café will offer home baked goods and Swedish sandwiches. Free admission.
City of Falls Church Arts & Craft Show
December 7th & 8th
Falls Church, VA
See more than 60 crafters who sell unique handmade items and baked goods. Children’s activities include a craft corner, face painting and breakfast with Santa.
Leesburg Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Show
December 7th & 8th
The show features over 90 local and regional artisans selling hand made items from candles, stained glass, carved wood, jewelry, leather products, table linens and much more.
Tyson’s Corner Center Christmas Market
Tyson’s Corner, VA
Inspired by the traditional German Christmas Markets, the event will include 30 vendors plus a spectacular Christmas tree, entertainment, beer garden and other festive activities.
Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying Ceremony
December 14th, 12pm
Each year Worcester Wreath makes and decorates holiday wreaths and places them on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery.
Leesburg’s holiday rock n’ roll concert features many local and regional artists playing traditional holiday tunes- with a little edge.
There will be three shows this year – Jr Jam for kids at 11am and two Jingle Jam sessions: 2:30pm and 8pm.
Leesburg Annual Christmas & Holiday Parade
December 14th, 10am
Catch your Christmas spirit and bring the whole family to see Santa and his friends parade down King Street, through the heart of historic Leesburg.
December 24th, 1pm
National Harbor, MD
This unusual annual event features a water-skiing Santa, flying elves, the Jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman performing on the Potomac River. Join in the Sing-along.
LIGHT SHOWS, DISPLAYS & TOURS:
Logan Circle Holiday House Tour
December 8th, 1pm-5pm
An annual event sponsored by the Logan Circle Community Association that provides a walking tour of ten historic and contemporary homes in the neighborhood. Participants get an up close view of the architecture, interior design and art in some of Washington DC’s most interesting properties. The tour is self-paced and participants are given a map of the area so that they can choose to visit the properties in any order.
Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
December 14th & 15th
Old Town Alexandria, VA
This traditional holiday event features period music, seasonal decorations and special costumed tours. This year’s tour will include Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Lee-Fendall House and Old Presbyterian Meeting House.
DC Historic Home Tours
December 14th, 4pm-8pm
Four Washington, DC historic homes will open their doors together for the first time to celebrate the season with a special “Holidays through History!” Tour. Guests are invited to visit the Anderson House and Woodrow Wilson House in Dupont Circle and Dumbarton House and Tudor Place Historic House and Garden in Georgetown.