Christmas 2017 in Old Town Alexandria, VA

Feel the Magic of the Winter Holidays in Historic Alexandria

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••• Photo © R. Kennedy/ACVA

The holiday season in Old Town Alexandria is magical with historic streets brightly decorated, entertainers on street corners drawing a crowd, and festive events that create lasting memories. Explore the holiday festivities from King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Del Ray's nostalgic Mount Vernon Avenue.

Schedule of Christmas Events in Old Town Alexandria

  • City of Alexandria's Tree Lighting Ceremony - Historic Market Square in Old Town, 301 King Street. Friday, November 24, 2017, 6 p.m. Rain or shine. Enjoy musical entertainment, caroling with a community sing along, and greetings from the Mayor and Santa Claus.
  • Christmas at Mount Vernon - November 24, 2017 - January 6, 2018, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. Themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, and 18th-century dancing will be offered. Visit Aladdin, George Washington's Christmas Camel, take special Mansion tours, and make a Chocolate Toast to Christmas.
  • Alexandria’s Holiday Market - 2017 Dates to Be Announced. John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA. While shopping for unique art and craft items for loved ones, at this unique holiday market, visitors can enjoy live entertainment, traditional European food and sweets, wine and beer. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Scottish Walk Weekend - December 1-2, 2017. The Campagna Center hosts a weekend holiday celebration. Hundreds of Scottish clansmen with their bagpipes gather for the traditional favorite Scottish Walk Parade on Saturday, December 3 at 11 a.m., in Old Town. See photos of the parade. The weekend includes a tour of historic homes and a Christmas Marketplace and Café.
  • Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights - December 2, 2017, 5:30 p.m. At sundown, following the full day of events of the Scottish Christmas Walk parade, Alexandria's harbor lights up as more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic Potomac waterfront. Entertainment runs from 4-9 p.m.
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center Open House - December 2, 2016, 4-7 p.m. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and celebrate the holiday season with live jazz, an art raffle, door prizes, wine, and refreshments. Artists will keep their studios open late for visitors to find special handmade gifts. Adding to the festive atmosphere, the Alexandria Choral Society will perform seasonal favorites throughout the evening. Stop in before and after the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights,
  • Old Town Candlelight Tours - 2017 Dates to Be Announced. Historic Alexandria will host candlelight tours at four festively decorated historic sites in Old Town. George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Gunston Hall, and Woodlawn Plantation will also host festive events in historic settings throughout the month. This year’s theme is “History and Chocolate.” Free shuttle service between sites is available.
  • Christmas in Camp at the Fort Ward Museum - 2017 Dates to Be Announced. noon to 4 p.m. Experience the festive sights and sounds of Christmas during the Civil War at this popular family event that features living history, music of the period, decorations, refreshments and guided tours of the fort, weather permitting. Suggested donations are $2/adults and $1/children.
  • Colonial Ringers Handbell Ensemble at the Lyceum Museum - 2017 Dates to Be Announced, 2 and 4 p.m. The Colonial English Handbell Ringers present "Suite Dreams" this holiday season featuring an 80-plus handbell performance of several beloved Nutcracker  Suite selections. This year's holiday concert will also include some new arrangements of popular classics, and of course, the ever-popular audience participation sing along. Seating capacity is limited, reservations required.
  • Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon - December 3, 2017, 5:30-9 p.m. For the first time ever, Mount Vernon will open its doors for an evening of holiday-themed fireworks and special programs. Before the fireworks show begins at 8:45 p.m., watch colonial artisans make chocolate, meet re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, enjoy cider by a bonfire, and learn 18th century dance moves from costumed guides.
  • Waterskiing Santa Claus - December 24, 2017, 1 p.m. New in Alexandria this year! Gather at the waterfront for a spectacular show by the Waterskiing Santa and his wakeboarding reindeer, plus flying elves, the Grinch and his friends, Frosty the Snowman, and Jack Frost. And this year's show will feature a new, never-seen-before act in the Washington, DC area.

Transportation and Parking in Old Town

The City of the Alexandria makes getting to and around Old Town easy with the free trolley that travels from the King Street Metro to the Ramsay House Visitors Center at 221 King Street, returning to the Metro with stops along the way. Passes for free parking at 2-hour meters are also available for out-of-town visitors at the Visitors Center. See more about parking in Alexandria.

See a map of Alexandria

For updates on holiday events, call the Ramsay House Visitors Center at 703-838-5005.

See also, Best 10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Washington DC.