No doubt if you’ve been in a department store in the last few days, you know the Holiday Season has already started. But whether you’re #RespectingtheTurkey or already singing Christmas carols, there are plenty of activities available around town — apart from shopping — to get you in the holiday spirit.
Wrap the kids up warm, grab a few friends and loved ones and head down to the Capital Wheel at The National Harbor. Snap a picture with Jolly Old Saint Nick, ride in a climate controlled gondola on The Capital Wheel or watch the kids spin on The Carousel while you keep warm with festive adult beverages.
Old Town Alexandria has a holiday experience filled with nostalgia available to you as you stroll its centuries-old brick-lined streets under a canopy of sparkling lights, hear caroling along the way, and enjoy pop-up holiday happenings like free massages and toy making. And of course Santa is already available for pictures, presented by the King Street Corridor Initiative and Hooray for Books!
Or plan ahead to join Appointed for its single day pop-up experience in Ivy City on December 15th. There will be vendors, but also workshops for wreath-making, cookie decorating, and a family friendly festive atmosphere.
LightUP Fest, the largest lights festival on the East Coast, is happening nearby in Loudoun County through January 2nd. This culture rich lights exhibit combines traditional Chinese lanterns with modern lighting technology. Marrying the old and new to present a wondrous experience, the exhibition spans 20 acres… so make sure to allow plenty of time to enjoy the displays and partake in daily entertainment, food, and interactive crafts for the whole family.
The Watergate’s rooftop turns into a magical winter wonderland — including skating rink and cozy winter lounge with igloos! — Top of the Gate is an unforgettable experience, with 360-degree views of the nation’s capital, seasonal sips and treats and 12-foot heated Igloos (available by reservation). Or stay indoors and post up by the Hot Toddy Cart in the lobby.
Start getting in the Christmas spirit with five seasonal classics at the Smithsonian Theaters’ Holiday Film Festival. Wonder Women, Meet Me in St. Louis, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and Elf will be playing.
The arrival of holiday window displays is always a time of festive fun. Macy’s Metro Center is unveiling the magic of its holiday season on November 16th. Be sure to check them out through the season!