The DC area has so many fun things to do this time of year. This is just a small list of some of our favorites that we’ve done, or that we would like to do!
11/9-1/6 Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights (Vienna, VA) – Take a walking tour through this festive light display. A half-mile walk makes it easy to enjoy for family members of all ages. Marshmallow roasting and hot beverages are available for purchase at the end of the walk. Tickets $14 adults / $8 2-12. Tickets have timed entrances so purchase in advance!
11/22-1/1 Botanical Gardens Train Exhibit (Washington, DC) – A McIlvaine favorite, this free exhibit is a fun way to spend some time out of the cold during the holidays. The theme his year, “…take a train ride across America as our annual holiday show Season’s Greenings showcases train stations! Explore classic stations like New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, St. Louis’ Union Station, and many more.” This train display is beautiful and enchanting in its attention to detail. Lines can be long at times, we usually go after Christmas when crowds seem to be smaller.
11/23-1/1 Zoolights (Washington, DC) – A classic in the DC area during the holidays. We’ve actually never been but it has always been on our list. “ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with two dazzling laser light shows set to music.” The event is free but parking at the zoo is $25.
12/1-12/30 Nutcracker Performance (DC/MD/VA) – Take in a performance of this holiday classic with your little sugar plum fairies. This is a list of shows throughout the DMV area, so you don’t have to break the bank to see it. We went to the Virginia Ballet Company performance last year and our kids made it through most of the show before getting squirmy. Ticket prices vary based on location.
12/14-12/15 Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon (Alexandria, VA) – Take in a little history, fireworks and holiday fun at the Mount Vernon estate. This a family-friendly evening event, “Before the fireworks begin around 8:15PM, take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides in the Greenhouse. George and Martha Washington will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests.” Tickets without mansion tour $30 adults / $20 youth. Prices increase with mansion tour.
12/24 Waterskiing Santa (Alexandria, VA) – Looking for something to do on Christmas eve? Join the crowds on the Alexandria waterfront at 1pm to watch Santa and his elves put on a waterskiing show before they take off to deliver gifts.
Lastly, we always recommend taking an evening to drive around the area and take in the “amateur” light displays of Northern Virginia homeowners. Many of these are far from amateur! Visit Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights for a great list of locations!