Smithsonian Holiday Festival 2017 in Washington DC

Celebrate the Season Along the National Mall

Photo © Smithsonian Institution

Each December, the Smithsonian hosts a two-day holiday festival with special events  in Washington DC. The 2017 event will be held at the National Museum of American History on the National Mall and will feature family-friendly entertainment including a wide selection of festive events, exhibits, movie screenings and activities as well as seasonal décor and festive food. Musical performances by U.S. Air Force Band High Flight. Other highlights include chocolate sampling during a demonstration by Mars Heritage Chocolate and explore the Children’s Television Holiday display showcasing popular childhood characters such as the Howdy Doody marionette, and more.

Dates and Times:  December 2-3, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC. The best way to get to the National Mall is to use Metro.  The closest stations to the Mall include Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, and Archives-Navy Memorial. Parking is very limited near the National Mall. For suggestions of places to park, see a guide to parking near the National Mall.

Smithsonian Holiday Festival Highlights

  • Children’s Television Holiday Display – During the holiday season, the museum will exhibit memorabilia from popular childhood characters seen on TV including the Mickey Mouse Club,  Howdy Doody, Bozo the Clown,Doo Bee, Romper Room Captain Kangaroo, Oscar the Grouch, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Bill Nye, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. 
  • Live Music - USAF Band Singing Sergeants- noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Flag Hall. The United States Air Force's premier musical organization is a reflection of the excellence carried out 24 hours a day by Airmen stationed around the globe. Each member is proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America. Since its formation in 1941, this world-class organization has inspired billions of listeners through its exhilarating music, engaging concerts and masterful recordings and continues to positively impact the global community.
  • Cooking Up History - Enjoy a demonstration of Caribbean Holiday Traditions with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Guest Chef Jennifer Selman of Crown Bakery, December 2 at 1 p.m., Coulter Plaza, 1 West
  • Mars Chocolate Demonstrations - "From Bean to Bar" program includes a demonstration and chocolate sampling. 
  • Sounds of Faith Musical Performances - December 3, 3 p.m. Coulter Stage. A free special holiday installment of the Sounds of Faith music series. Local Cantor and singer Arianne Brown will perform traditional Hanukkah songs and share stories about the origins and traditions of the holiday. Hanukkah music recalls the holiday’s traditional lighting of the menorah in commemoration of the dedication of the Jewish temple in 165 B.C. Arianne Brown is the Cantor, a Jewish musician trained to lead a congregation in songful prayer, at local synagogue Adas Israel. Fluent in Hebrew and Yiddish, Cantor Brown is also an expert Torah and Megilah reader, pianist,composer, and theater director.