The Washington, DC area and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia host lots of annual festivals and special events. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change, so please check the official website or call to confirm information.
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Day of the Dead
October 31-November 1, 2017. Day of the Dead / Los Días de los Muertos is a Mexican custom honoring and remembering those who have died. Find a few celebrations around the Washington DC area. Note that some will be held the weekend before.
Fall Theater in Washington DC
With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the season.
Kids Euro Festival
Through November 4, 2017. The event staged through the cooperation of the 27 Washington-based European Union embassies and more than a dozen major local cultural institutions will include more than 200 free performances around the city. Geared to children ages 2-12.
DC Beer Festival
November 4, 2017. Nationals Park, Washington, DC. The American craft beer tasting will feature seminars and food and the spring releases from approximately 75 breweries.
Manassas Veterans Day Parade
November 4, 2017, 11 a.m. Manassas, Virginia. The community parade includes military and high school bands, pipe and drum corps teams, military units from the various Armed Services, military vehicles, and members from local veteran organizations.
Museum Shop Around at Strathmore
November 9-12, 2017. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Shop at 16 museum shops under one roof at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Maryland (301) 581-5100.
November 11, 2017. Honor American veterans at this event and/or attend a wreath-laying ceremony at one of the monuments in Washington, DC. See the schedule of this year's events.
November 11-19, 2017. The annual celebration of photography in Washington, DC, will feature programs including a photo contest and juried exhibition, gallery openings, lectures, educational workshops, portfolio reviews, book signings and more.
Holiday Craft Shows
Throughout the month of November, you will find lots of arts and crafts shows ideal for shopping for unique holiday gifts. Find here a variety of craft shows in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.
National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting
November 12, 2017, 5-7 p.m. Waterfront Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland. The waterfront community will kick off the holiday season by lighting up the sky with fireworks and a 65ft Christmas tree decorated with 20,000 lights. Sip some hot chocolate and enjoy story-telling, an ornament-making workshop and holiday music.
DC Cocktail Week
November 13-19, 2017. More than 50 Washington DC area restaurants and bars offer specially priced cocktail and food pairings to entice guests to try something new. This is a great opportunity to check out the local happy hour scene.
Grand Opening Museum of the Bible
November 17, 2017. 300 D St SW, Washington, DC. Check out the new 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum located just three blocks from the Capitol Building.
ICE! – Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort
November 18, 2017 - January 1, 2018. The award-winning holiday attraction is 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. This is an interactive holiday attraction you won't want to miss.
Six Flags America - Holiday in the Park
November 18, 2017-January 1, 2018 Upper Marlboro, MD. The amusement park offers a holiday celebration featuring millions of glittering lights, holiday entertainment, seasonal treats, Santa’s Village, and many popular rides.
Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade and Illumination
November 18-19, 2017. Gettysburg, PA. Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Gettysburg Address” and the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery are commemorated with a special ceremony, a parade and an illumination of the cemetery.
Turkey Trots in the Washington DC Area
Various Dates. A variety of organizations in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia sponsor walks and runs to raise money for charity.
Presidential Turkey Pardon
Each year, the President pardons a turkey and spares its life in celebration of Thanksgiving. See photos!
Attend the annual Thanksgiving parades in Reston, Virginia and Silver Spring Maryland.
Thanksgiving Weekend in the Washington, DC Area
Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season and many wonderful activities and events begin in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Here are some ideas of fun things to do during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Black Friday in Washington DC
November 24, 2017.
The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year. Many stores open early and offer big sales for the holidays. See the schedule of store openings in the DC area.
Christmas at Mount Vernon
November 25, 2017 - January 6, 2018. Learn about the Christmas traditions of George Washington and his family, meet historic characters and tour the Mount Vernon Estate by candlelight.
City of Alexandria Holiday Tree Lighting
November 24, 2017, 7-9 p.m. Musical entertainment with a visit from Santa Claus in Market Square, 301 King St. (703) 838-4844
Small Business Saturday in the Washington DC Area
November 25, 2017. The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated as a day to shop for the holiday season at locally owned businesses to support the economy. See a guide to Washington DC area neighborhoods that have a number of small businesses.
Enjoy the Christmas holiday classic ballet at a theater in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Schedules vary, but many theatres begin their performances in late November.
The National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace
Lighting ceremony - November 30, 2017, 5 p.m. Ellipse near the White House. Visit the National Christmas Tree and enjoy live entertainment through January 1.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia
Find dates and times for Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in the Washington, DC area.
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 in DC, Maryland or Virginia.