Guide to Christmas in Georgetown: Events, Lights, and Music

Washington, D.C.’s historic Georgetown neighborhood is a premier destination for holiday shopping, dining, decorations, and festive events.

Georgetown is located in Washington, D.C. north of the Potomac River just across the Francis Scott Key Bridge, and is accessible by the D.C. Circulator bus using the Georgetown/Union Station or Rosslyn/Georgetown/Dupont Circle lines. The main thoroughfares are M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and you can generally find convenient parking garages along this same strip.

During the months of November and December, visitors can stroll along the quiet sidewalks of Georgetown to take a self-guided tour of the uniquely decorated merchant windows or attend the signature winter event, Georgetown Glow, which features outdoor public light-art installations throughout the neighborhood's commercial district.

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Walk Through the Georgetown GLOW Installations

Georgetown will be aglow this holiday season with an innovative exhibition of light-art installations and lighting of major structures. The neighborhood-wide public art exhibition will take place from December 1, 2018, to January 6, 2019, and feature the work of local, regional, and international light artists in public and privately-owned spaces.

The site-specific works will use light in unique ways, transforming spaces along M Street, the Book Hill section on the 1600 block of Wisconsin Avenue, Washington Harbour, and in office building plazas south of M Street. Georgetown GLOW exhibition programs, maps and information booths will be available at Grace Church (1041 Wisconsin Avenue), Jefferson Court (1025 Thomas Jefferson Street at K Street), and Pinstripes (1064 Wisconsin Avenue) Friday through Sunday, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Artists represented in Georgetown GLOW 2017 included Jen Lewin (New York City); Joachim Sługocki and Katarzyna Malejka (Poland); Géraud Périole in collaboration with Light Art Collection and Amsterdam Light Festival (Bordeaux, France); Vikas Patil & Santosh Gujar in collaboration with Light Art Collection and Amsterdam Light Festival (India); Ted Bazydlo & Brandon Newcomer (Washington, DC); alaa minawi in collaboration with Light Art Collection and Amsterdam Light Festival (Beirut, Lebanon); Robin Bell (Washington, DC); OmbréLumen - Arthur Gallice & Herve Orgeas (Shanghai & Houston); and LSM Architects (Washington, DC). Additionally, Philips Color Kinetics up-lit the smokestack at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, as well as the C&O Canal bridge at Georgetown Park.

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Shop, Eat, and Dance at GLOW All Night

As part of the annual GLOW festivities, the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) hosts a night of shopping, dining, and entertainment called GLOW All Night.

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, you can head to this historic neighborhood from 5 to 9 p.m. to browse over 60 retailers and small businesses that will be open late and offering pop-up events, promotions, and free giveaways. During the event, indie holiday musicians will also be performing holiday favorites with a hipster twist at the Old Georgetown Theater and the Dean & DeLuca Plaza (3276 M Street).

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Enjoy Holiday Movies and Events at the National Harbor

Every Saturday in December until Christmas, the National Harbor in Washington, D.C. host a series of holiday movie screenings and music events for families.

Movie afternoons in 2018 include "'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy" (December 1),; "A Pink Panther Christmas" (December 8); "Jack Frost" (December 15); and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (December 22). Screenings start between 4:30 and 5 p.m. each Saturday and take place at the National Harbor Plaza. 

In addition, you can take the whole family to enjoy an afternoon of music and holiday cheer for “Live Music & Santa, Oh My!” Featuring a lunch buffet, visit with Santa Claus, and sing-alongs to popular holiday tracks (including from Disney's "Frozen"), this all-ages event is $22 to attend and takes place at noon and 4 p.m. on December 15 and 22, 2018.

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Take a Ride at the GLOW Ride Your Bike Event

DC Bike Party, an organizing promoting the bicycling community of the city, will host a "GLOW Ride Your Bike" party during the month-long event (date to be announced). The free ride begins at Dupont Circle at 6:30 p.m., ending in Georgetown, with the route covering many of the GLOW installations. Participants are encouraged to decorate their bicycles with glow-in-the-dark paint, LED lights, and other illuminated art for the event.

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Wander Through a Winter Wonderland at Book Hill

The Book Hill section of Georgetown is hosting a Winter Wonderland from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018, in the TD Bank lot (1611 Wisconsin Avenue) with festive music, food, and drinks—including hot chocolate, cookies, and mocktails—plus kids’ activities, a Letters to Santa station, ugly sweater competition, and photos with Santa (beginning at noon).

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