What to Know
- It's a good weekend to get outside
- Saturday will be mostly sunny with highs around 45
- Sunday will start off clear and cold with most areas below freezing. Clouds will move in but it's expected to stay dry
Holiday season is in full swing around D.C. If you're tired of the sun setting before 5 p.m. — never fear. Festive lights are brightening up the skies across the DMV.
— Here's a roundup of holiday markets in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
— The Library of Congress has introduced a Rosa Parks exhibit
— See photos of how the White House is decorated for Christmas
12 Winter Weekend Getaways Within an Easy Drive of DC
Over the Weekend
Through Jan. 5
Stroll through Georgetown alight with glowing artistic displays, from a Cloud Swing on Book Hill to a live dance show at 3206 N Street NW. Delightful spots are all along the waterfront, canal and into the neighborhood. Here's a map.
Aurora: The Spirit of Northern Lights
Dec. 7-Jan. 5
The interactive arts space launches a Northern Lights-themed exhibit featuring an ice forest, frosted forests and dancing skies on Saturday, ATECHOUSE says. You don't need to approach the North Pole to see something spectacular. Adult tickets start at $16 online.
"Season’s Greenings: America’s Gardens"
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The U.S. Botanic Gardens
The U.S. Botanic Garden's annual holiday display debuted on Thanksgiving. It's free to enter this balmy and full-of-life spot all year round.
Winter Walk of Lights
Meadowlark Botanic Gardens, Vienna, Virginia
Nightly admissions from 5:30-9:15 p.m. through Jan. 5
Wind through a dazzling display of lights; then stop by the gift shop and s'mores snack shop. Tickets start at $8.
Nightly through Jan. 1, 5-9 p.m.
The National Zoo
See the zoo come to life with thousands of twinkling lights in displays throughout. You can also get a special late-view of the animals in certain areas.
New attractions this year include "Pandamonium: A Virtual Experience" where you can get up close to pandas and "Entre les Rangs, A Luminous Field of Lights," which the zoo says is highly Instagrammable.
Annual Holiday Card Workshop
Dec. 7-8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The National Postal Museum (2 Massachusetts Ave NE)
Bring the kids to decorate holiday cards with all the trimmings — patterned paper, washi tape, special scissors, stickers and more. You'll be sharing the craft table so it's a great place to meet new friends.
Kwanzaa Celebration 2019
Dec. 7, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
National Museum of African Art Pavilion (950 Independence Ave. SW)
Celebrate Kwanzaa with a day of activities for kids and adults like. The day begins with an interfaith discussion moderated by Nemata Blyden of George Washington University. At 1 p.m., interactive activities begin on the pavilion, followed by arts and crafts workshops and a children's dance workshop.
Holiday Boat Parade in Old Town Alexandria
Festivities kick off at 2 p.m. and the parade will be at 5:30 p.m.
Old Town Alexandria Waterfront
Virginians don't have to cross the river to get in on the action: The Holiday Boat Parade will be celebrated with day-long fun in Old Town. Dockside festivities kick off in Alexandria at 2 p.m. in Waterfront Park, where you can visit Port City Brewing Company's beer garden, listen to holiday music, shop or make crafts with the kids. Food and drink will be for sale.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat to the Alexandria City Marina at 3:30 p.m., allowing kids and families to take pictures and share their wish lists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
The parade starts at 5:30 p.m.
Riverside Taco Company is also hosting a parade day party.
Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf
Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.
Dozens of watercraft decked out in over-the-top holiday cheer will take to the Washington Channel on Saturday to float some festivity. You can catch this tradition on The Wharf in Southwest, where you'll also find a huge Christmas tree, live music, a beer and wine garden — all topped off by a fireworks display.
DC Rollergirls Holiday Exhibition
Dec. 7, doors open at 4 p.m.
It's Yetis vs Snowmen in this special holiday bout. Tickets are $15 in advance and at the door. There are student and military discounts.
Winterfest at Washington Harbour
Dec. 7, 5-8 p.m.
Georgetown Ice Rink
As Georgetown Glow lights up the area, you can also stop by the Washington Harbor ice rink to catch a performance from the Georgetown University figure skating club. There will also be food and drink specials and a DJ.
Photos: Free and Cheap Things to Do in Washington, DC
Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival
Sunday, Dec. 8, noon to 5 p.m.
55 West St, Annapolis, Maryland
For just $5, you can indulge in a day of chocolate-coated fun. Not only can you shop 40 vendors selling giftable (and immediately eatable) sweets including caramels, truffles, fudge and martinis, but there will be music, a gingerbread bounce house for the kids, marshmallow roasting and more. Buy tickets in advance on online. Here's parking information.
Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Finally, a chance to shamelessly shop in your PJs. Takoma stores will be up and early for this cozy shopping day, with many offering discounts. There are spots for coffee and breakfast along Carroll Avenue and through the shopping district. That includes Cielo Rojo, which will offer breakfast tacos from 8 a.m. and a 10% discount for brunchers in pajamas from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon, Virginia
More than 90 vendors selling fine art, decorations and more will be at the Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show. Parking and admission are free.
14th Street Holiday Hop Benefitting Martha's Table
Dec. 8, 2-6 p.m.
Sip a Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktail and snack on a small plate at each of seven restaurants along 14th, R and U Streets NW. You can pass through spots including Bar Pilar, Cafe Saint-Ex, Pearl Drive and more before an after-party at Hawthorne. Tickets cost $50.