It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Happy Holidays, Ambitious Fam! I am determined to enjoy the holiday season this year. Whether it is lounging on the couch with eggnog and a cheesy Netflix Christmas movie or out and about experiencing the latest holiday attractions; I have plans to fully engage in the holiday spirit. Luckily, I live in an area that excels in holiday cheer!
Here is my holiday activity guide for the DC area:
Upcoming Local Events
There are so many local events happening this Saturday! Take your pick!
Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
The 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade will be held this weekend in Old Town Alexandria starting at 11 am. Join the crowd in your best tartan! Click Here for More Info on the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade.
Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Gather on the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront for the 20th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights! While the boat parade officially starts at 5:30 pm, there will be dockside activities from 2 pm – 8 pm. Activities include crafts, food, a pop-up beer garden, and Santa sightings; fun for the whole family! Click Here for More Info on the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.
District’s Holiday Boat Parade
The District is also holding its Holiday Boat Parade with similar dockside activities at the Wharf from 6 pm to 9 pm. Click Here for More Info on the District’s Holiday Boat Parade.
Ballston Quarter Holiday Kickoff
Starting at 11 am, Ballston Quarter is having a massive day of holiday activities! There will be arts and crafts, a Polar Express Pj Party (and free screening!), a hot chocolate bar, a holiday performance, and much more! Festivities end at 6 pm, so make sure you stop by! Click Here for More Info on the Ballston Quarter Holiday Kickoff.
November 22 – December 29
Probably the most talked-about holiday attraction this year is Enchant Christmas. It’s first year in DC, Enchant transformed the (world series champion) National’s Park into a winter wonderland. There are no words to express the magic that is Enchant. The light maze (the world’s largest!) is absolutely mesmerizing. There is a Christmas market with items from local merchants, ice skating, food, fun winter drinks, and SANTA! I am so fortunate to be working with them as an Enchant Ambassador this year. I visited the attraction this week and I already can’t wait to go back with my family.
ICE! at the Gaylord
November 15 – December 30
I was fortunate enough to get to preview the installation of ICE! At the Gaylord and it was so cool! (literally haha). I had no idea how much time, effort, and attention to detail goes into making the experience one that people continue to frequent year after year. This year’s theme is How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Visitors don a giant blue parka and get transported to Whoville as soon as they walk through the doors. Pro tip: the price for ICE! can be on the pricer side, but there is usually a deal on Groupon!
Nutcracker at the Warner Theater
November 23 – December 29
Experience the classic story of The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet at the historic Warner Theater. There will be 40 performances so there is plenty of time to catch the beautiful display of agility, grace, and drama on stage.
Hip Hop Nutcracker
December 17 – 19
Looking for a twist on the classic story? Look no further than the Hip Hop Nutcracker! The story is set in New York City to Tchaikovsky’s score and hip hop dance. Experience it for 3 nights at the Strathmore in Bethesda, MD.
ARTECHOUSE: Aurora: The Spirit of Northern Lights
December 7 – January 5
As you all know, I am a big fan of any exhibition that comes to the Artechouse. If you are unfamiliar with the Artechouse, it is a unique, interactive experience that combines art with technology. The latest exhibition lets us experience the northern lights, right here in Washington DC! I definitely have plans to visit this installment before it is gone.
Skating and Tubing
Fun fact: I have never gone ice skating before. However, if ice sports are your thing, here are a few places in this area that offer it
Christmas on the Potomac: Raindeer Rush Tubing
November 15 – December 30
You don’t have to be a guest at the Gaylord to experience tubing on this 2-story hill of ice! More information here.
National Gallery of Art Ice Rink
November 15 – March 15
Ice skate in the Sculpture Garden of the Nation Gallery of Art for just $9. Lessons are also offered. More information here.
Washington Harbour (Georgetown)
November 18 – March 15
Opened on holidays, the ice rink in Georgetown boasts that it is the largest outdoor skating rink in DC. Stop by for great deals such as Two for Tuesday skate. More information here.
Late October – Mid March
At the second-largest outdoor skating rink in Virginia, Pentagon Row also features a large fireplace for skating breaks. More information here.
Looking for unique and local gift ideas? Visit one of the many holiday markets in the DC area!
Downtown Holiday Market
November 22 – December 23
Open Daily from 12 pm to 8 pm and features over 150 artisans. Located in front of the National Portrait Gallery. More Information here.
December 6 – December 8th
Located in Dupont Circle, this German-style market features goods from local artisans and a look into Christian Heurich’s historic home which will be decorated for the holidays. More information here.
Dacha Holiday Market
December 11 – December 12
Shop small at the Dacha Holiday Market this year featuring 15+ local vendors. While you’re there, grab some great food at the restaurant! More information here.
Holiday Market at Del Ray Artisans
First 3 Weekends in December
Perfect place for handmade fine arts such as jewelry, ceramics, and photography. More information here.