Looking to get out and see what the area has to offer in November & December? Take a look at this list and see if anything catches your eye, it is just a start to the options the DC Metro area has!
Looking to give back? Check out some of the following organizations as they typically allow volunteers of all ages & abilities:
- So Others Might Eat
- Any Soldier, Inc
- AFAC: Feeding Our Neighbors in Need
- Capital Area Food Bank
- American Red Cross: Holiday for Heroes
Open nightly November 10 – January 7, 2018; 5:30 – 9:30 pm
A half-mile walk through the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. The garden is transformed into a holiday light wonderland. This activity is great for all ages, strollers are welcomed for younger members of the family. Buy tickets in advance online as once you get into December most nights sell out in advance. At the end of the walk there is a light refreshment concession stand available with a fire pit to roast marshmallows.
Open nightly November 22 – January 7, 2018; 5:30 – 9:30 pm
Similar to Meadowlark, this 2.5 mile drive through the Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA allows you to stay warm in the comfort of your vehicle. The drive is good in any weather but gets much busier on weekends and close to December 25th. This activity is also great for all ages. Entry fee is paid by the vehicle and vary based on day (check website linked to title above). There is also a Holiday Village & Carnival and the end of the drive. This is open on weekends and later in December. Complete with bonfires, s’mores, holiday merchandise and free activities, the Holiday Village is fun for the whole family. Don’t forget to have your photo taken with Santa!
Open November 23 (Thanksgiving Day) – January 1, 2018; 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The amazing staff at the Botanic Garden annual creates a model train display like no other in the area. From their website: “This year, take a trip across America as our annual holiday show Season's Greenings showcases Roadside Attractions! In our model train show, trains will chug around, below, through, and above plant-based recreations of iconic sights from across the United States. Explore classic attractions like Texas' Cadillac Ranch, Colorado's hot-dog-shaped Coney Island Hot Dog Stand, South Dakota's Corn Palace, New Jersey's Lucy the Elephant, and many more. View thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. Our collection of D.C. landmarks made from plant materials will return to fill the Garden Court, this year including a new addition--an inspired botanical version of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Join us as we celebrate the holidays and America's natural and cultural treasures.”
This display can get VERY crowded and lines can be long. Weekdays and within the first 2 weeks of it opening are the best bets to getting through without freezing in the line that often wraps around the building.
Open to the public December 1 – January 1, 2018, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The large National Christmas Tree is lit daily from 4:30 – 10 pm. The walkway surrounding is decorated by 56 trees representing the US States & Territories. Many nights offer live entertainment, as well.
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
From their website: “Thousands of visitors make Christmas in Middleburg an Advent family tradition. A New Jersey visitor fondly recalls “the Christmas feeling you can only get in Middleburg”. Join one of the most fun filled family festivals of the year in Middleburg with activities, special events, and great eats. Breakfast With Santa at the Middleburg Community Charter School from 7:45 AM to 10:30 AM; the famous Middleburg Hunt Review at 11:00 AM; the mile-long Christmas parade at 2:00 PM. Afterwards, experience a Middleburg evening in our bistros, cafes, pubs, and restaurants joining in the Spirits of Middleburg.”
A quick getaway to see the charm of Annapolis during the holidays is well worth the drive. The Eastport Yacht Club’s Light Parade of Boats, December 9th from 6 – 8 pm, is particularly fun!
Saturday & Sundays, December 9 – 17, 10 am & 1 pm
“Delight in a contemporary twist on the beloved holiday classic while you enjoy afternoon tea with festive winter petite sandwiches and pastries. All children will go home with a nutcracker doll and pictures to remember their day.” Great for children who would enjoy the Nutcracker Ballet but may not have the attention span to sit through the whole performance. Reservation required through the Ritz Carlton.
Local Outdoor Skating Rinks
Click below for specific details, as each rink has its own hours, pricing, and special events:
- National Gallery of Art, Sculpture Garden
- The Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink, Georgetown Waterfront
- Canal Park Ice Rink, near The Yards Park
- Pentagon Row Skating Rink
- Tyson’s Corner Ice Rink
- Reston Town Center Skating Rink