December is upon us, and though the year may be ending the month is sending it out with a bang and a ton of festive and fun activities and events! As you head into the holiday season—no matter how or what you celebrate—Washington, D.C., is brimming with wonderful ways to get into the spirit and send out the year in style!
The Fever Originals Candlelight series is the perfect way to unwind. You can lose yourself in classical renditions of your favorite tunes amid soft candlelight. With multiple genres and musical themes to choose from, there’s bound to be a concert that’s perfect for you!
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at St. Francis Hall
- Candlelight: Legends of R&B
- Candlelight: Holiday Jazz & Soul Classics
A woodland trail inspired by the Forbidden Forest from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series will be debuted in Morven Park in Leesburg, VA. on Oct. 29. Inspired by the wizarding world, the Forbidden Forest will take guests through a magical woodland trail filled with curious creatures and characters from both popular series? Have you ever wanted to bow to a Hippogriff? This is your chance!
For the first time, the popular Winter Lantern Festival is bringing its stunning display to the DMV, setting it aglow in a sight that’s never been seen before! After dazzling New York City with 150,000 annual guests, 3 years in a row, the Winter Lantern Festival now be in the DMV beginning Friday, December 16. The Lerner Town Square at Tysons II will be decked out in a dazzling array of over 1,000 handcrafted Chinese lanterns by illustrious artists.
Looking for an exciting surprise? What’s more exciting than a blindfolded dinner? Dining in the Dark allows you to pick a surprise three-course meal based on your dietary preferences (green for vegan, blue for seafood, or red for meat) that will stimulate your senses!
5. Immerse yourself in renowned art
What could be more awe-inspiring than immersing yourself in your favorite art? The Immersive Van Gogh Experience allows you to do just that! The exhibits use floor-to-ceiling projections to showcase each artist’s famous works, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in their art. Buy tickets to Van Gogh here!
Step into the shoes of the World’s Best Boss with the interactive The Office Experience! With 17 realistic set representations — including the Dunder Mifflin office and Schrute Farms — you can reenact all of your favorite scenes, from Kevin’s chili spill to the coal walk. You can grab tickets here!
There’s only one weekend left to step into the vibrant universe of D.C.’s ‘Mexican Geniuses: A Frida & Diego Immersive Experience’! This stunning exhibit brings to life the work of the 20th century’s two most renowned Mexican artists through visual projections and innovative VR technology. Guests will be fully immersed in projections of over 300 iconic paintings and portraits by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, exploring their worlds, their lives, their dreams, and everything that influenced them. And, with a rich history in Mexico for over 125 years, Topo Chico mineral water – available on site – was the perfect pairing for the monumental celebration of Mexican culture. While we’re sad to see ‘Mexican Geniuses’ leave D.C. on December 4th, keep the celebration alive by drinking Topo Chico.
Have you ever wished you could interact with dinosaurs? Well, now is your chance! This exhibit features 80 prehistoric specimens and even a virtual aquarium so you can interact with these magnificent creatures from millions of years ago.
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a spy? When you visit the International Spy Museum, you can test your own espionage capabilities while learning about some of the most famous spies who have shaped the world’s history and the tools that helped them along the way!
It isn’t a recreation of “Night at the Museum” but it’s a close second! You and seven others can experience a private or semi-private tour, complete with a private guide, of the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. Over five-and-a-half hours, plus a lunch break, you’ll get to see some of the most renowned works these museums have to offer!
“All the world’s a stage,” and Drunk Shakespeare D.C. is hitting the stage like you’ve never experienced before! Grab a drink yourself and watch five classically-trained (and intoxicated) actors attempt to recreate some of Shakespeare’s most famous works to hilarious results!
So much history lies in the streets of Washington, D.C., that it can be overwhelming trying to take it all in. This fun and knowledge-filled walking tour features a professional guide who will bring you to all the major sites and attractions while teaching you their rich histories!
D.C. is overflowing with history—and with that history come a few frights and spooky legends! This walking ghost tour will show you the haunted side of the District you never knew!
14. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball (Dec. 13)
- The Anthem: Maneskin (Dec. 5), DC101-derland 2022 (Dec. 7), Foals (Dec. 13)
- 9:30 Club: Giant Rooks (Dec. 5), Men I Trust (Dec. 11), The Lemonheads (Dec. 12), Modest Mouse (Dec. 13-14), They Might Be Giants (Dec. 15), Turnover (Dec. 16), Modest Mouse (Dec. 20), Emo Nite L.A. (Dec. 30)
- Echostage: 10 Years of Echostage: PEEKABOO (Dec. 2), 10 Years of Echostage: Vintage Culture (Dec. 3), 10 Years of Echostage: Mersiv, Minnesota, Rusko & More (Dec. 10), 10 Years of Echostage: SOFI TUKKER (Dec. 16), 10 Years of Echostage: Jason Ross + MitiS (Dec. 17), 10 Years of Echostage: Black Tiger Sex Machine (Dec. 23), 10 Years of Echostage: GRIZ (Dec. 27), 10 Years of Echostage: Chris Lake (Dec. 29), 10 Years of Echostage: Louis the Child (Dec. 30), 10 Years of Echostage: Above & Beyond (Dec. 31)
Kick off the holiday season with this stunning light display on the water! The Wharf is hosting its 30th annual District Holiday Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The free event features more than 60 boats, decked to the bow with holiday lights, setting sail down the Washington Channel. You can watch the boats and then head to The Wharf to roast s’mores, get pictures with Santa, have a cocktail (if you’re 21 or older!), and even skate at the ice rink!
16. Head to the theatre for one of these plays, musicals, or ballets
Get in on the drama with these unmissable theatre events:
- Shakespeare Theatre
- Much Ado About Nothing
- Warner Theatre
- The Washington Ballet: The Nutcracker
- Ford’s Theatre
- A Christmas Carol
- Kennedy Center Opera House
The Festival of Lights will arrive in the District next month, and Washington, D.C., will be kicking it off with the lighting of the world’s largest menorah. Head on over to the White House Ellipse on Sunday, Dec. 18, to admire the giant, 30-foot menorah and celebrate the start of Hanukkah!
18. Head to Smithsonian’s National Zoo to experience the fun of ZooLights
ZooLights is back at Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Free admission with a timed entry pass allows you to peruse the zoos beautiful light displays, shop, and take in live performances and tasty treats after dark on select nights between Nov. 25 and Dec. 30. For a full list of dates and to reserve an entry pass, please visit the zoo’s website.
As holiday celebrations are poised to begin, Washington, D.C., is stringing up dazzling holiday light displays all around the city. So put on a scarf and hat, grab a warm beverage, and bask in the cheerful spirit of the holiday season with these stunning displays! Here’s a sneak peak of some of the best displays, and you can find the full list here:
- Holidays at the Harbor—National Harbor
- D.C. Holiday Lights
With the holidays swiftly approaching, lights are up, the city’s holiday trees will soon all be lit, and it’s the perfect time to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. What better place to do so than one of D.C.’s own holiday markets?! Get your holiday spirit on while supporting local vendors and, of course, sipping on some delicious festive beverages while you’re at it! Here’s a sneak peak of some of the most festive holiday markets, and you can find the full list here:
- Downtown Holiday Market
- Nall’s Winter Market at Union Market
Washington, D.C., has a number of different dazzling holiday trees, and Secret D.C. has rounded up three of the best D.C.-area holiday trees for your viewing pleasure!
Cocktails, cozy blankets, and igloos? Yes, please! Winter and cozy season are upon us, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the many awesome winter set ups the city has to offer, including the Watergate Hotel’s enchanting igloos!
23. Step into a magical winter wonderland of lights with Enchant at Nationals Park
Enchant at Nationals Park is true winter wonderland! Held from Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023, Enchant whisks you away with twinkling light tunnels, a Christmas Light Maze, ice skating, a Santa meet-and-greet, a holiday market so you can shop for your loved ones this holiday season, and so much more!
Open through Jan. 2, 2023, this free exhibit features a number of plant-crafted displays of iconic landmarks, such as the U.S. Capitol Building and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Still need to do some holiday shopping? No problem! Grab a botanical gift for the person in your life with a green thumb from the gift shop, made possibly by the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden and Rewild.
For the eighth year, Georgetown will alight with the holiday spirit thanks to Georgetown GLOW. From Nov. 26, 2022-Jan. 22, 2023, the beloved D.C. neighborhood will be illuminated with stunning light art installations!
Fully immerse yourself in art, lights, and holiday cheer with Spectacular Factory: The Holiday Multiverse at Artechouse D.C. From Nov. 19, 2022 through Jan. 8, 2023, can journey through a spectacular and dreamy immersion of “thousands of nutcrackers, thrilling train rides through wreaths, spinning candy cane carousels and more.”
As the weather begins to get colder and we wake to frost layering the ground and cars, we’re officially entering hot chocolate season! A tasty, chocolatey cup of sweet goodness is key to keeping warm during cold D.C. winters and even boosting one’s intelligence! Here’s a sneak peak of some of our favorite D.C. spots to grab a cup of hot chocolate, and you can find the full list here:
- L.A. Burdick
- Colada Shop
- Sticky Fingers Diner
As we enter the holiday season in Washington, D.C., the bar scene has definitely taken notice! From some of D.C.’s favorite bars decking the halls and revamping their menus to holiday pop-up bars magically appearing all over the District, the festive decor and holiday-themed drinks are calling your name! Here’s a sneak peak of some of our favorite D.C. the holiday-themed bars you don’t want to miss, and you can find the full list here:
- Holiday Bar at Colada 14th
- Miracle at Death Punch Bar
- Ciel Chalet at Ciel Social Club
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s nothing quite like a freshly-cut Christmas tree and the scent of pine to help get you into the Christmas spirit. To help you set the holidays into motion, Secret D.C. mapped out a few places where you can find your perfect Christmas tree. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the best spots to shop, and you can find the full list here:
- Dan & Bryan Christmas Trees
- Olde City Farm & Garden
- Clemsonville Christmas Tree Farm