In DC visiting for the holidays? There are plenty of things to do to get you in the holiday spirit, entertain the kids, and even finish off your holiday shopping list.
One of the most well known DC Christmas landmarks is The National Christmas Tree. Since 1923, the US has held a tradition of lighting a National Christmas tree in the Ellipse behind the White House in Washington D.C. While the lighting ceremony occurred on December 3, a holiday visit to DC wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see the tree lit up at night. You can find parking to visit the National Christmas tree here.
If you are looking to finish off your Christmas list, the 11th annual Downtown Holiday Market will be returning from Nov 27th to Dec 23rd. The Market features 150 regional artisans, crafters, and boutique businesses. And they will be selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, and textiles, all perfect for Christmas gifts. With 60 exhibitors rotating each day you could even check out the market more than once! The holiday market is on F st. between 7th and 9th streets NW and you can find parking here.
If you have the kids with you, head over to the National Zoo’s Zoo Lights event. From November 27 to January 2, the National Zoo turns into a sparkling winter wonderland with 500,000 LED lights. The festivities run every evening from 5 to 9PM and include live music performances, snow tubing, and animal exhibits. Dinner will be available at the Zoo’s restaurants and adults can stay warm with spiked hot chocolate, beer, and wine. Parking is available at the Zoo for $20 or you can walk from the Cleveland Park Metro Station by walking South down Connecticut Ave.
Another great event for the kids is ICE! at The Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor. The ICE! event consists of a unique winter world created from 5,000 blocks of ice weighing a total of 2 million pounds! The walk through attraction is in a 15,000 square foot space and is interactive, allowing guests to climb on the attractions and try one of the event’s ice slides. The whole space is kept at chilly 9 degrees and heavy winter jackets are available on loan from the resort, but a warm hat and gloves always help. 4 hour self parking is available at the resort for $13.
If holiday entertainment is your thing, check out the Washington Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the Warner Theater. It is an American version set in Georgetown and contains many historical figures and whimsical touches. This celebrated production is a holiday favorite and tickets often sell out. Find parking for The Nutcracker at the Warner theatre.
Another great option for a night at the theatre is A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. Charles Dicken’s classic tale of Scrooge and the progression of Christmas past, present, and future will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. The production will run at Fords theatre form November 9 to December 31 and parking at the Fords Theatre is available here.
If you are looking for some seasonal music, the Washington National Cathedral hosts the “12 days of Christmas” on December 20. The Cathedral is the 5th largest in the world and is the ideal place to catch some holiday music.
Additionally, the Washington Chorus has concerts Dec 13 – 22 at the Kenney Center and the National Symphony will perform Handel’s “Messiah” Dec 17-20 also at the Kennedy Center. Click for parking at the National Cathedral and Kennedy Center. Click here for Kennedy Center Parking.