All the Holiday Lights, Markets, & Teas
Photo Credit: Blake Buege
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us - but it is! All the area light shows, skating rinks, holiday markets, teas, and pop-ups are back along with the cinnamon, sugar, and spice of the season specifically here to to tantalize all your senses. Coat optional for the moment:
Let There Be Lights:
Bull Run Festival of Lights: This holiday season, enjoy the Bull Run Festival of Lights, a 2.5 mile drive-through featuring festive light displays, walk-through Christmas Village and Carnival. The show is open through Thursday, January 7th. Tickets available in advance for $30 per vehicle, or $40 per vehicle at the door. To purchase a ticket, click here.
11th Annual Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens: Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is an elegant garden trail decorated with thousands of sparkling lights. The half-mile walk through the enchanting Meadowlark Botanical Gardens features lighted nature themes and animated displays along a paved trail. Stay warm by sipping on a hot beverage (with or without spirits) as you walk and s’mores to finish out the evening. Admission $8 - $16 per person. The Gardens will be open daily from 5:00 - 10:00 p.m. To purchase a ticket, click here.
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon: On Friday, December 15th and Saturday, December 16th, join George Washington's Mount Vernon for a family-friendly celebration of the holiday season with an enchanted evening of Christmas Illuminations. See the lantern-lit Historic Area, the Mansion aglow in beautiful amber light, and the Upper Garden and Greenhouse dazzling in blue and lavender with moving wintry light patterns, while hearing classic holiday music and patriotic inspirational quotes. Tickets start at $50 per person. To purchase a ticket, click here.
Enchant DC at Nationals Park: The world’s largest Christmas light maze and village, Enchant, is returning to DC for a 4th year, filling Nationals Park with millions of lights through Sunday, December 31st. The holiday spectacular returns with an all-new maze adventure, Reindeer Games. This year, Enchant will have special themed nights, including Thursday, December 7th (military night), Sunday, December 10th (ugly holiday sweater night), Friday, December 15th & Thursday, December 28th (college student nights). Tickets begin at $32 per adult and $24 per child. To purchase a ticket, click here.
8th Annual Light Yards at The Yards: Yards Park will be merry and bright with the eighth-annual return of Light Yards, an interactive light installation free to the public every night, this year longer than ever before through Sunday, January 7th. Back by popular demand, Swinging Bells returns to The Yards, allowing guests to become a part of the living artwork. The five, 13-foot tall bells play a jingle as you swing and are the perfect stop for friends and family to play and take photos. For more information, click here.
Grab Your Skates:
ICE! at The Gaylord National: ICE!, the annual holiday tradition at Gaylord Hotels, returns to Gaylord National Resort through Sunday, December 31st. Using more than two million pounds of ice, the classic 1964 Christmas animated television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will be brought to life by a team of 40 ice artisans to create the nearly 20,000 square-foot frozen attraction. For more information, click here.
Sculpture Garden Ice Rink at The National Gallery of Art: A beloved winter tradition returns! The 2023-2024 Sculpture Garden Ice Rink season runs through March 3rd. During the ice rink season, Pavilion Cafe hours are Sunday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Registration for group and private lessons as well as season passes is open. For more information, click here.
Ice Skating Rink at The Washington Harbour: Enjoy scenic views of the Potomac River, Kennedy Center, Key Bridge, and historic Georgetown while ice skating at the Washington Harbour. The ice skating rink is even more magical at night with twinkling snowflakes and decorations lighting up the rink. Enjoy a nice meal or drinks at the surrounding restaurants before or after skating. Georgetown ice skating rink offers skate rentals, lessons, and open skating in 90 minute increments. Tickets cost $11 per adult and $9 per child (12 years old and under). The rink is open through Sunday, February 25th. For more information, click here.
Holiday Extravaganza at The Boro: Here comes Santa Claus, right down Boro Lane! On Saturday, December 9th from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., get into the holiday spirit with a festive and fun morning in Boro Park to kick off the holiday season! You are invited to enjoy a fun filled morning of holiday kids crafts, a DJ dance party, specialty hot chocolate bar with lots of fun fixings from Bluestone Lane, a holiday themed bounce house, and calligrapher on site to customize ornaments. And don't forget to stop by Santa's Workshop in Boro Park, where you can take pictures with Santa. It's the perfect way to get into the fun and festive holiday mood! Santa will be in his workshop from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. To reserve your spot, click here.
Santa Claus at the Fairmont DC: Sleigh bells will be ringing at Fairmont DC on Saturdays and Sundays, through December 17th. When Santa checks into his residence, he brings comfort and joy to all who believe in the magic of the holiday season. All naughty and nice children who stop by Santa’s suite, with their parents, are invited to take photos with Santa, enjoy a gingerbread display created by the hotel’s pastry team, and enjoy holiday treats. Santa’s Suite is available for 15-minute visits for up to 10 people at $10 per person, with 100% of the proceeds going to Horton’s Kids. Families touring his suite can share their Christmas wishes with Santa, and take their own photos with him. To purchase a ticket, click here.
*NEW* First Annual SantaPaws at The Morrow: On Tuesday, December 15th, joing
Breakfast with Santa in Old Town Alexandria: Breakfast with Santa will take place every weekend in December from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. in three fabulous locations in Alexandria: Joe Theismann's Restaurant, Mia's Italian Kitchen, and Ada's on the River. Tickets range from free to $65 and include a hearty and festive breakfast feast and a special visit from Santa Claus himself. Children will take home treats and adults can indulge in some Prosecco, as well as capture a priceless moment of their child. To purchase a ticket, click here.
2nd Annual Re:Her Holiday Market at Cork Wine Bar & Market: On Monday, December 11th, RE:Her, the organization of DMV women and non-binary owned-restaurants, bars and bakeries, will hold its second annual Holiday Market from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. RE:Her invites you to stock up on holiday gifts, food, and beverages from local woman-owned food establishments such as Cork Wine Bar, Hank’s Oyster Bar, La Patrona Market, Pizzeria Paradiso, Sticky Fingers Bakery, We Are Fishscale and others, while sipping wine and bubbly. You are encouraged to bring packaged menstrual products to donate to I Support the Girls, a charity that collects and distributes bras, underwear, and menstrual products to women in homeless shelters, domestic abuse centers, and newly arrived immigrants. To reserve a spot, click here.
19th Annual Holiday Market in Downtown DC: This year’s Downtown Holiday Market, presented by DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID and Diverse Markets Management, returns for its 19th year. Once again, the market will be taking two entire blocks of F Street NW between 7th and 9th Streets NW. The entrance will be located on the sidewalk outside the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This year, visitors can enjoy a new line up of entertainment, over 70 exhibitors, food vendors and festive decor and lights throughout the season. Admission to the Downtown Holiday Market is free and open to the public with daily hours from 12:00 - 8:00 p.m. For more information, click here.
Holiday Market Presented by Urbnmarket at The Mosaic District: On Saturday, December 16th and Sunday, December 17th, join the Mosaic District for two festive weekends. With over 65+ talented makers, their holiday market is the perfect spot to find unique gifts for everyone on your list. And for an extra sprinkle of holiday cheer, don’t miss the chance to snap a memorable selfie with Santa himself. Celebrate the season, support local artisans and wrap up your holiday shopping with the Mosaic. For more information, click
Holiday Markets at Old Town North: Through Saturday, December 9th shop for local gifts while celebrating the Christmas season with dozens of vendors offering an array of baked goods and produce, specialty food items, seasonal decorations and fresh greenery and gifts in Old Town North. For more information, click here.
Christmas Tree Lot at The Salt Line Navy Yard: The Salt Line's annual Christmas tree lot is now open at its Navy Yard location. 100% of the sales benefit the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation. Open daily until sold out, The Salt Line Christmas tree lot will offer Fraser and Balsman firs ranging in sizes from tabletop to 12 feet tall, as well as tree stands, wreaths, garlands, and ornaments. With a purchase, you will receive a complimentary hot cocktail from The Salt Line's Winter Warmers cocktail menu. For more information, click here.
Holiday Season Pop-Up at Salt & Sundry: Founder Amanda McClements and her team at Salt & Sundry have curated a tasteful mix of fun holiday-centric gifts exclusive to the Holiday Shop, including quirky ornaments, holiday candles + scents, furry blankets, gift wrap, sparkly glassware and more. Salt & Sundry’s Holiday Shop will open its doors on Monday, November 25th and will remain open daily throughout the season, with plans to close the first week of January 2024. The pop-up’s inventory will feature beloved Salt & Sundry makers, along with new brands like Otherland and Cody Foster. Guests of the holiday pop up can enjoy personalized shopping experiences as well, including custom gift box curation and wrapping. For more information, click here.
Other Holiday Offerings:
Latin Rhythms & Festive Spirits : Colada Shop's holiday bar is officially here. Step into a festive wonderland with an explosion of decorations and a menu of holiday cocktails that will have you grooving to the rhythm of Latin music. Don't miss out on sipping on festive concoctions like The Havana Boulevard, The Pineapple Tamarind Cider, The Coquito Monaco, and Jingle Bells Tiene Tumbao. All cocktails are $14. 1405 T Street; coladashop.com
*NEW* Holiday Bubbly Blowout at Cork Wine Bar: On Saturday, December 16th from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m., embark on a sparking journey as Cork's favorite connoisseurs will lead you on this guided walk-around tour of all things bubbly from Champagne to Pet Nat. Tickets are priced at $50 per person. To purchase a ticket, click purchase here.
“Dreamland: The Nut-Cracker Inspired Bar" at Duke's Grocery Navy Yard:
Frozen Festive Afternoon Tea at Fairmont DC: Fairmont DC is offering Frozen Festive Afternoon Tea on Saturday December 9th, 16th, and 23rd, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Tea served in the whimsically decorated Loggia, overlooks the holiday lights in the courtyard. Disney's Frozen, performing at the Kennedy Center (December 20th through January 21st) will provide some festive decor to enhance the ambiance. Children are encouraged to wear Frozen-themed attire. Executive chef Jordi Gallardo, Executive Sous Chef Jason Rowley and Executive Pastry Chef Claus Olsen's savory and Frozen-themed holiday delights will please palates of all ages. Each child will receive a Frozen-themed gift. Tickets $90 per adult, including a glass of champagne, or $39 per child; for reservations, please email the hotel directly at [email protected] or call 202.457.5020.
*NEW* 15th Annual DC Holiday Cocktail Seminar at Last Call Bar: On Monday, December 11th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., join Gina Chersevani, Frank Jones, Duane Sylvestre, Todd Thrasher, Mike Saccone, and Phi Greene for an evening of great holiday cocktails at Last Call Bar. Tickets are priced at $65 per person. To purchase a ticket, click here.
“Whoville Hideaway” Pop-Up Bar at Tap99: Tap 99 has transformed into the Whoville Hideaway, a one-of-a-kind immersive holiday pop-up bar experience featuring Christmas beers, holiday cocktails and shooters, a Holly Jolly Happy Hour and other weekly events, over-the-top holiday décor, and the occasional Grinch appearance. You can also enjoy their holiday-themed beverages amidst lavish holiday décor – an abundance of wrapped presents and oversized ornaments, festive garland and lights hanging from the ceiling, allowing patrons to enjoy the holiday season just outside the main gates of the Nationals Park.