Festival of Trees– Nov. 25-27
For the first time since 2019, Festival of Trees returns as an in-person event at the Maryland State Fairgrounds during Thanksgiving weekend, November 25-27. This three-day holiday celebration benefits the patients, students and programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute and kicks off the most wonderful time of the year for families throughout the region.
Georgetown Glow– Nov 26-Jan 22
GLOW returns for its eighth edition, with works lit from 5:00pm – 10:00pm nightly from Saturday, November 26, 2022 – Sunday, January 22, 2023. This year’s GLOW features five national and international artists and their commissioned works that will be on display for 8 weeks throughout the Georgetown commercial district. Click here for 2022 GLOW Artists and Artworks.
Tenley WinterFest– Nov. 26 – Dec. 3
The Winter Market features local makers and creators selling unique gifts, jewelry and accessories, ornaments and holiday décor, greeting cards, international crafts, skincare, home décor, specialty foods, and more! The market will be held on Saturday, December 3, from 11am to 5pm at 4748 Wisconsin Avenue, NW. Tenley WinterFest uses the GooseChase app for the annual Yeti Scavenger Hunt, which allows people of all ages to have fun, learn about our community, and compete for prizes from Tenleytown businesses.
Festival of Lights at the Mormon Temple– Dec 1 – Jan 2
Festival of Lights at the Washington DC Temple and Visitors’ Center is back. Lights will illuminate the grounds from dusk until 9:00 pm every evening December 1st through January 2nd. See beautiful Créche displays featuring nativities from around the world. Enjoy over 400,000 lights, beautifully decorated Christmas Trees, and a wide array of performances.
Candlelight Light Tours at Tudor Place– Dec 1-15
Discover presents, games and food these families enjoyed. Learn how class and ethnicity influenced the ways in which DC residents experienced the holiday season. Partake in light, period-appropriate refreshments and complete a holiday craft. Afterwards, see seasonal decorations and rarely-seen decorative objects inspired by the celebrations of those who lived and worked here during a guided tour of the historic house.
City Ridge’s Tree Lighting Festival– Dec 3
The vibrant neighborhood invites all friends and family to join together for FREE seasonal fun including pictures with Santa, caroling and other live performances, ice carving demonstrations, train rides, festive food and drink, and more!
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Dec 3
Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront will shine for the 22nd Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon as more than 50 boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, food, activities and more. Plus, check out a new family friendly event on the North Waterfront at Canal Center and Oronoco Bay Park featuring artist vendors, music, kids activities and more. Parade starts at 5:30pm & Festivities start at 2pm.
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon– Dec 16 & 17
Kick off the holiday season with sparkling fireworks overlooking the Potomac River.
Holidays on the Harbor– Through Dec 31
Whether you prefer an extravagant holiday display or a cozy experience, there are seasonal activities for every moment. Nightly tree light show, festive fireworks, ICE! and Santa at the Capitol Wheel, Cirque Dreams Holidaze and so much more!
National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse– Through Jan 1
The National Christmas Tree site is free to visit and will be open to the public after the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The National Christmas Tree area opens to the public on Dec 2, 2022. CBS will broadcast the 2022 National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 11 at 8:00pm offering a special opportunity to friends and families across the country to tune in and celebrate this holiday tradition from the comfort of home. Hours are 10:00am-10:00pm, Sunday-Thursday, and 10:00am-11:00pm Friday-Saturday.
Light Yards– Dec 1- Jan 1
This year’s holiday light installation, Swinging Bells, invites guests to become part of the artwork by prompting animated light displays and amplify the cheerful sound of holiday bells through swinging. The five, 13-foot tall bells will illuminate The Yards’ Sun Deck and are the perfect stop for all to take photos and get in the holiday spirit. Don’t miss the chance to cozy up at one of The Yards’ 20+ restaurants and retailers for dinner, drinks or festive treats on your way from 5:00pm-10:00pm!
Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens– Nov 11- Jan 8
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 (Vienna, VA) features lighted nature themes and animated displays along a paved wheelchair and stroller-accessible trail. Stay warm by sipping on a hot beverage (with or without spirits) as you walk and s’mores to finish out the evening. Winter Walk of Lights is illuminating the gardens for the 11th year and serves as many as 110,000 visitors each year.
Outdoor holiday display at The U.S. Botanic Gardens– Nov 24 – Jan 2 (closed on Dec 25)
The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) will offer a garden-wide “Season’s Greenings” holiday display this year. As part of the festivities, G-gauge model trains will run between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day in the gated outdoor gardens and the Conservatory will feature poinsettias, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks made from plants
Holiday Festival of Trains at B&O Railroad Museum– Nov 28 – Dec 2, Dec 5-9, 12-16, 19-31
Get festive on the first mile! This holiday season, you can take a daytime holiday train ride along the nation’s first mile of commercial railroad. The train will be all decked out for the season, and kids will receive their own set of festive reindeer antlers! We’re transforming the Museum into a Winter Wonderland! Hop into our Holiday Festival of Trains, packed with festive fun and merry traditions, both new and old. There will be something to do for kids from 1 to 92! Greet the season this year and begin a family tradition for many more to come.
Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens– Nov 18 – Jan 1 (closed Nov 21-24 & Dec 24-25)
The Garden of Lights display transforms Brookside Gardens into a magical winter wonderland. Stroll through the one-half mile, outdoor, walk-through exhibit and enjoy the twinkling lights and glimmering one-of-a-kind displays adorning the flowerbeds and grounds throughout the 50-acre horticultural gem in Wheaton.
Winter Lights at Seneca Creek State Park– Nov 25 – Dec 31 (closed Dec 25)
The City’s Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for another spectacular season. The 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night. The park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, conveniently accessible from I-270.
Bull Run Festival of Lights- Nov 11- Jan 8 (closed Dec 24, 25, 31, and Jan 1)
Experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route from the comfort of your car; turn out your headlights and just follow the magical glow. After viewing the lights, bring your family and friends to the holiday village to enjoy rides, refreshments, and of course, photos with Santa Claus.
Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park– Nov 25 – Jan 1
The Winter Festival of Lights will shine bright this holiday season with 3 miles of drive-through whimsical lights! Experience dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season from the comfort of your own car. This season, they are offering a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride for the first time. Create unforgettable memories with a unique experience while you sit cozied up with your loved ones through the Winter Festival of Lights. Experience dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season. You can even bike through the lights on Nov. 20!
Merriweather Symphony of Lights– Nov 24 – Jan 2 (ALSO A WALK-THROUGH OPTION)
The Symphony of Lights has been a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition set in historic Merriweather Post Pavilion. Made up of more than 300,000 bulbs, this family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations. With the addition of new lights and a refreshed course, your time through the twinkling, winding path will surely be a night to remember! You can even celebrate New Year’s Eve with the entire family at the Symphony of Lights + a final walk through the light displays!
Old Town Alexandria Christmas Market & Holiday Craft Show– Dec 10
Over 110 artisans, crafters, independent consultants and other local small businesses are looking forward to showcasing you their products, just in time for the holidays! From arts and crafts to jewelry and baked goods, to body and hair care, our vendors have everything you wish to surprise your loved ones with!
Park View Holiday Market at Hook Hall- Dec 4, 11
The market will feature more than 50 local makers, artisans, and producers over the 2-day market series. Mark your calendars to come out, support small & local businesses, and spread some holiday cheer!
Silver Spring Christmas Market & Holiday Craft Show– Dec 4
Over 80 artisans, crafters, independent consultants and other local small businesses are looking forward to showcasing you their products, just in time for the holidays! From arts and crafts to jewelry and baked goods, to body and hair care, our vendors have everything you wish to surprise your loved ones with! Happy Shopping! Happy Holidays!!!
Holiday Market at the Four Seasons– Every Friday-Sunday, through Dec 18
The Holiday Market returns on the front drive of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC with market stalls featuring unique gifts and culinary offerings created by local craftspeople and artisans. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Four Seasons becomes an outdoor holiday shopping destination with musical entertainment, light and snow displays. Guests can enjoy a hot chocolate or coffee from the BOURBON STEAK Hot Chocolate Bar. There is never a better time to indulge as a percentage of each purchase is donated directly to Children’s National. Regale in holiday shopping Fridays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
Downtown Holiday Market– Through Dec 23
The beloved outdoor market continues to support small businesses and entrepreneurs across the region, welcoming shoppers for a safe, secure and enhanced shopping experience in the heart of the District this year. Hours are 12:00pm to 8:00pm.
Enchant Market– Through Jan 1
Spoil yourself with gourmet holiday treats and other local favorites at the Enchant Eatery. Then stroll through the Enchant Market filled with artisan vendors and a magical Christmas spirit.
Related posts (updated soon)-
2022 guide to holiday shows, ballets and concerts in and around Washington, DC
Winter bucket list
Holiday light displays
Holiday gift guide and stocking stuffers
Toys & games that are educational
Indoor & outdoor must-haves
Subscription boxes for children
Stuff the stockings with music lessons
Hanukkah lightings will be updated soon