What better way to get into the holiday spirit than exploring the many fun and festive things going on in Washington, D.C., this year?! From fun winter cocktails to igloo dining and dazzling displays, here are 10 fantastically festive things to do in D.C. this holiday season!
1. Enjoy a magical, candlelit holiday concert in a stunning D.C. setting
Step into the District’s most exquisite spaces to experience some of the most treasured holiday classics. The beloved Candlelight series is bringing talented musicians to perform at venues, illuminated with hundreds of candles this December. This holiday season you’ll be able to enjoy three different special concerts series including:
- Candlelight: Best Hits and Christmas Favorites Performed by Vitamin String Quartet
- Candlelight Holiday Special Featuring “The Nutcracker” and More
2. Check out D.C.’s Winter Lantern Festival
If you want to experience a unique holiday light show in the Washington D.C. area, then the Winter Lantern Festival is the option for you. It’s safe family fun for all ages and it’ll get you in the holiday spirit with its wide range of colors and visual displays.
You’ll want to experience this event sooner than later, as it will only be in Tysons Corner until February 2024.
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 peek of some of the best displays, and you can find the full list here:
- Holidays at the Harbor—National Harbor
- Enchant at Nationals Park
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 peek 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 many 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 setups the city has to offer, including the Watergate Hotel’s enchanting igloos!
7. Step into the magical winter wonderland of 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. 1, 2024, 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.
9. Go ice skating at one of D.C.’s public ice rinks.
The weather is getting colder, the holiday lights are glimmering all around, and what better way to take it all in than with a favorite winter pastime: ice skating! Luckily, there are several easily accessible ice rinks around the Washington D.C. area.
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 are 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
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 our take on some of the best spots to shop for your tree, and you can find the full list here:
- Dan & Bryan Christmas Trees
- Olde City Farm & Garden
- Clemsonville Christmas Tree Farm
12. Experience the wonder of the LuminoCity Winter Light Festival
Only in town until January 15th, 2024, this holiday light show is one to remember. A 40-minute drive away or 1.5 hours by public transit this experience is well worth the travel, with over 20 unique attractions and numerous photo-ops set up to make sure you capture the memory with a perfect photo!
Location: Montgomery County Fair. 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
13. Make a seasonal meal a memorable one at Dining in the Dark
If you’re looking for a unique holiday date night idea or something fun to do with your foodie friend around the holidays, then Dining in the Dark is the perfect experience for you! The unique experience heightens your senses of smell and taste making for a completely unmatched culinary experience.
Currently, two locations in D.C. are offering Dining in the Dark event:
14. Step into history at Titanic The Experience
Learn about the true history of the “unsinkable” ship that tragically went down after striking an iceberg back in 1912, as well as the personal stories and background of the actual passengers that were passengers on the Titanic. The experience is informational, immersive, and engaging, making it the perfect holiday plan for the family or even a unique date idea if you’re looking to gift an experience to someone you care about!
Location: 254 Mariner Passage at National Harbor