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Top Washington, DC Holiday Activities
The holiday season is very busy in Washington, DC and offers an amazing variety of fun activities throughout the month of December. Many communities around the region host tree lighting ceremonies, tours of decorated historic houses, holiday festivals, live musical performances and special events. Try something new this year and enjoy the spirit of the season with family and friends. Following is a guide to the best holiday events in the capital region.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Visit the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC
The National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace is illuminated daily at dusk until 10 p.m. Each night in December, musical groups from the Washington, DC area entertain visitors on the Ellipse, in front of the White House. This is one of the most memorable ways to enjoy the holiday season in the nation's capital. Although tickets are required for the Lighting Ceremony, the nightly events following are open to the general public. Read more about the National Christmas Tree.Continue to 3 of 12 below.
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See Christmas Light Displays
Celebrate the holiday season with a drive or a stroll through one of the Washington, DC area's spectacle of lights at a local park or along the water in Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia. These Christmas light displays are beautiful and a great way to share the magic and joy of a winter wonderland. For all of the dates and locations around the region, see a guide to the Washington DC Area Christmas Light Displays.Continue to 4 of 12 below.
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Visit Gaylord National Resort's ICE!
Step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 BLOCKS of ice weighing 1.5 MILLION POUNDS! hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling nine degrees Fahrenheit. With a new theme each year, this is an interactive holiday attraction you won't want to miss. Read more about ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Take a Candlelight Tour
Take a candlelight tour and enjoy the festive holiday décor of historic homes in the Washington, DC area. Several house museums in Maryland and Northern Virginia offer candlelight tours, complete with seasonal music and holiday treats. See the schedule of Candlelight Tours in the Washington DC Area.Continue to 6 of 12 below.
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Scottish Walk Weekend and the Boat Parade in Old Town Alexandria
Watch hundreds of Scottish clansmen with their bagpipes gather for the traditional favorite Scottish Walk Parade. Later that evening, see dozens of festively decorated pleasure boats light up the sky along the Potomac River. Alexandria is a magical place during the holiday season with a wide array of events and one of the best shopping districts in the capital region. See the schedule of holiday events in Old Town Alexandria.Continue to 7 of 12 below.
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See Holiday Shows
Washington DC celebrates the season with a wonderful lineup of holiday shows and live entertainment.Take the whole family see the Nutcracker - to marvel over Clara’s Christmas fantasy when the wooden toy soldier comes alive and takes her on a magical tour of wonderful holiday adventures or explore the magic and wonder of the story of Scrooge and the progression to Christmas past in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. See the schedule of Holiday Shows in the Washington DC Area.Continue to 8 of 12 below.
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Attend a Holiday Concert
Get in the spirit of the season as you enjoy a musical performance of Christmas classics, sing-alongs, Hanukkah songs and much more. Live concerts are performed by a wide variety of musicians ranging from national to local talent to community groups to church choirs. See the schedule of concerts in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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See a Holiday Toy Train Exhibit
Toy train displays are a family favorite for the holiday season. See model trains winds through a miniature winter wonderland with farms, a fishing village, churches, a ski jump and more. See a guide to Holiday Train Exhibits in the Washington DC Area.Continue to 10 of 12 below.
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Attend the National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting
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. Read more about the National Hanukkah Menorah.Continue to 11 of 12 below.
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Ring in the New Year at a First Night Event
Ring in the New Year with the kids at a special event with live performances of music, dance, theater, fireworks and more. You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a night of celebration. A variety of family-friendly, low-key and low-cost events are held throughout the capital region. See the schedule of Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Events in the Washington DC AreaContinue to 12 of 12 below.
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More Holiday Events in Washington DC
Looking for more ways to enjoy some holiday cheer? The following are some key roundups that will give you ideas for fun celebrations in the capital region. Have a wonderful season!
- What to Do on Thanksgiving Weekend in Washington DC
- Best Christmas Events for Kids in Washington DC, MD and VA
- Holiday Craft Shows in the Washington DC Area
- Best Places for Holiday Shopping in the Washington DC Area
- Free Holiday Events in the Washington DC Area
- 5 Best Washington DC Hotels for the Holidays
- Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Washington DC, Maryland & Virginia
- 5 Great Holiday Getaways Near Washington DC
- Best Places to See Santa in the Washington, DC Area
- 10 Ways to Celebrate New Years Eve in Washington DC