Event Finder: Hanukkah Celebrations

Celebrate the Festival of Lights


Thursday, Dec. 15:

  • Head to the Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb St. NW) for the Celebrate Light! Celebrate Freedom! concert, featuring ancient Sephardic songs, spirituals, dreidels and other Hanukkah-inspired tunes. DC's premier Jewish choir, Zemer Chai, performs with special guests The Soldiers' Chorus and Pentagon Winds. 7:15 p.m. doors; free with registration.

Saturday, Dec. 17:

  • The DC Dreidel Championship at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (3935 Macomb St. NW) features an open bar, raffles, door prizes, live music, and a latke bar with a master chef. "If you can spin, you're in!" they say. 8 p.m.; free with RSVP.

Tuesday, Dec. 20:

  • Move over, National Christmas Tree. The National Ellipse (17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW) makes room for the festival of lights with the world's largest menorah, at the National Menorah Lighting Ceremony. With an estimated 2,000-3,000 expected guests, the celebration, one of the largest annual Jewish events around DC, features performances by the U.S. Marine Band and The Maccabees. With tickets free upon request, be sure to get there early to score photo ops. and to indulge in traditional Hanukkah foods like latkes and donuts. 4 p.m.; free with ticket request.
  • Mark the first night of Hanukkah with a happy hour on the Hill at The Pour House (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) and Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). The event, which draws hundreds of people, offers the chance to do some good while you drink. Donations of gloves, scarves, hand sanitizer and hats will be collected to donate to DC's homeless during a Day of Service, Dec. 25, at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. 6-9 p.m.; $5 cover.

Saturday, Dec. 24:

  • No plans Christmas Eve? In the spirit of the holiday, and the traditional soup favorite, mix and mingle at the Society of Young Jewish Professionals' 25th Annual MatzoBall for a night of networking and matchmaking at Eden Lounge (1716 I St. NW). 8 p.m.-3 a.m.; $30.


Thursday, Dec. 15:

  • Sharpen your skates and head to Chanukah on Ice at Pentagon Row (1201 South Joyce St., Arlington, Va.) for an evening of skating, food and fun. Marvel at the lighting of event's giant Ice Menorah, snack on latkes and kosher hot dogs, and enter a raffle for the chance to win a flip video camera. $10 in advance, $12 at the door (includes skate rental); 6-8:30 p.m. (Pictured above; credit Duy Tran.)

Wednesday, Dec. 21:

  • Join the Jewish Women's Entertainment and Lecture Series for their Chanukah Party and Candle Making event (4301 Seminary Road, Alexandria). Mingle with other women while nibbling on delicious Hanukkah refreshments as you listen to lessons from the ancient story of Hanukkah. Participate in a candle-making workshop, and don't forget to bring a gift for the women's gift exchange. 7:30p.m.; $12.

Sunday, Dec. 25:

  • Visit the Public Menorah Lighting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (901 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va.). Watch as community leaders and dignitaries light a six-foot-tall menorah while guests enjoy fresh hot latkes, lively Hanukkah music and light sticks passed around to every child. 5 p.m.; free.
  • Take in a full day of fun at the Hands-On Chanukah Celebration at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (8900 Little Turnpike, Fairfax, Va.). Bring the whole family for an all-day event of food, arts and crafts, games, face painting, a moon bounce and so much more. 11a.m.-3 p.m; free.


Sunday, Dec. 11:

  • Get crafty and travel back in time to Jerusalem at Back to the Future Chanukah. Create your own dreidels, menorahs and other decorations with the kids at JCC of Greater Washington's (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Md.). Young 'uns can participate in a scavenger hunt, and latkes are available for purchase. 1-3:30 p.m.; $7 per child age 2 and up; $20 family max.

Thursday, Dec. 22:

  • Sirens will be blaring through the streets during the Chabad of Upper Montgomery County's Chanukah Fire Truck Parade (leaving from Rockville Fire Station 3, 380 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Md.). Making pit stops in Fallsgrove and Washingtonian Woods among other locations, kids receive free Hanukkah gift bags. Live music and fire jugglers will also be making their way through the streets. The night caps off with a menorah lighting and Hanukkah party (at Chabad, 11520 Darnestown Road, Rockville, Md.). 6-8 p.m.; free.
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