Thanksgiving Weekend in the Washington, D.C. Area

Turkey at the Turkey Pardon in Washington DC

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If you are spending Thanksgiving in the Washington, D.C. area, there are plenty of places you can go to enjoy a great meal, a festive event, or even an afternoon of volunteering for a local community this year.

Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season in the Capital Region with many wonderful seasonal activities and events across Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Here are some fun things to do in the capital region during your holiday trip.

Holiday Dining

  • Thanksgiving Dinner at Restaurants in the Washington, DC AreaLet someone else do the cooking this year! Here are some suggestions of nice restaurants that serve Thanksgiving dinner in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Enjoy a festive holiday meal with all the trimmings.
  • Thanksgiving Dinner To GoPick up delicious dishes professionally prepared and spend the day with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen. Find out where to find turkey, side dishes and desserts specially prepared to go in the Washington, D.C. area.

    Holiday Shopping

    • Black Friday in the Washington, D.C. Area: On the day after Thanksgiving, many Washington, D.C. area retailers open their doors early to attract shoppers with special deals and bargains for the holiday season. Some shopping malls and large retailers even open at midnight, so check their schedule before heading over.
    The Salvation Army Annual Feast Of Sharing Day in DC
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    • Volunteer for ThanksgivingFind a variety of charitable organizations that need volunteers to prepare, serve and clean up holiday meals for the poor. Lend a helping had to your community. 
    • Turkey Trots in the Washington, D.C. AreaA variety of organizations sponsor trots, runs and walks for fun or to raise money for the needy. Enjoy an active jaunt before your holiday feast. 
    White House Christmas Tree, Washington, DC
    L. Toshio Kishiyama/Getty Images 

    Holiday Entertainment

    • Reston Town Center Holiday Parade: The Reston community kicks off the holiday season with a full day celebration including a holiday parade, visits with Santa, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and more on the day after Thanksgiving each year.
    • Six Flags America - Holiday in the ParkThe amusement park offers a holiday celebration featuring millions of glittering lights, holiday entertainment, seasonal treats, Santa’s Village, and many popular rides.
    • Holiday Shows in the Washington, D.C. Area: Throughout the holiday season, you will find a wonderful lineup of live performances in D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Find "A Christmas Carol," "Season's of Light," "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and a variety of unique holiday shows.
    • ICE! – Christmas at the Gaylord National ResortThe award-winning holiday attraction is a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing 2 MILLION POUNDS! hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling nine degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Christmas Light Displays in the Washington, D.C. Area: Celebrate the holiday season with a drive or a stroll through one of the Washington, D.C. area's spectacle of lights at a local park in the suburbs of Maryland. These Christmas light displays are beautiful and a great way to share the magic and joy of a winter wonderland.
    • Mount Vernon Candlelight ToursMartha Washington hosts an 18th-century Christmas with candlelit walks, fireside caroling, and festive décor during Mount Vernon by Candlelight.
    • Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in the Washington, D.C. AreaSee the calendar of community tree lighting events around the capital region. This weekend's events will be held in CityCenter DC, Annapolis, Alexandria, Reston, Leesburg, Tysons, and Fairfax.
    • The NutcrackerThe Washington, D.C. area has a wide range of theaters to enjoy the Christmas classic ballet - the Nutcracker. Many performances start on Thanksgiving weekend.
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