Things to Do in December in the DMV
Wendy Kedzierski
November 14, 2022 — Read in 3.7 mins · 749 words

Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa! DMV holiday activities abound in December! Here’s a sampling of the celebrations!

December 1 – 30

Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker 

Warner Theatre

513 13th Street NW

Washington, DC

Travel to 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures, as you enjoy Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday tradition. Related signature events include a Nutcracker Tea Party, Military Appreciation Night, and Family Day. The Washington Ballet will also present four performances of The Nutcracker at THEARC. 

December 1 – 31

The National Christmas Tree

The Ellipse (the park south of the White House)

Washington, DC

This year marks the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and will feature performances from Shania Twain, the Estefans, Joss Stone, Andy Grammer, and more. The official lighting of the National Christmas Tree takes place right after Thanksgiving, but you can enjoy the tree throughout December — along with mini trees from all the states, a train display, and music. 

December 1 – 31

A Christmas Carol

Ford’s Theatre

511 10th St. NW

Washington, DC

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future take Ebenezer Scrooge on a transformative journey. You, too, will be mesmerized by the past in particular while experiencing the Dickens’ classic at the historic Ford’s Theatre which is forever linked with President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. 

December 2 – 4

Heurich House Museum’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Markt

1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Washington, DC

Built by local artisans in 1894, the historic Heurich House showcases fine craftsmanship through its ornate fireplace mantels, ceiling canvases, sculptures, and more. Brewer Christian Heurich commissioned the work and his entrepreneurship lives on through the annual Heurich Christmas Markt.

December 2 – 18

Christmas at Mount Vernon

Candlelight, Crafts, a Camel, and More

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway

Mount Vernon, Va. 

Wintry lights and sparkling fireworks at Mount Vernon on the Potomac River will kick your holiday into high gear. Or if quiet candlelight tours are more your style, you can learn about holiday traditions in 18th-century Virginia while exploring the mansion’s grounds. There are also craft workshops, holiday fifing, shopping, and a visit from Aladdin the Christmas Camel.

December 2 – 24

Christmas at the Cathedral events

Washington National Cathedral

3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW

Washington, DC 

The National Cathedral’s soaring architecture and magnificent splendor make the perfect backdrop for heart-stirring seasonal performances such as Handel’s Messiah; the Cathedral Choral Society’s Joy of Christmas with trumpets, drums, and voices; Christmas Lessons and Carols; Christmas Family Service with a menagerie of live animals bringing the Nativity to life — and more. Visit the website for specific dates, times, and ticket information.

December 3

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

1 Prince Street

Alexandria, Va.

Dozens of brightly lit boats illuminate the Potomac River’s Alexandria shoreline. The parade starts at 5:30, but don’t miss dockside festivities (beer garden, food, and entertainment) in Waterfront Park starting at 2 p.m. 

December 17 – 18

Kwanzaa: For the Culture 2022

Creative Suitland Arts Center

4719 Silver Hill Road

Suitland-Silver Hill, Md.

In 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga created a Pan African holiday called Kwanzaa which celebrates family, community, and culture from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Kwanzaa: For the Culture 2022 includes an introduction to Kwanzaa, live performance art, a Kemetic yoga workshop, West African dance and drumming performances, a Men’s Health panel, and an artisan marketplace. 

December 18

National Menorah Lighting Ceremony

The Ellipse

Washington, DC

The National Chanukah Menorah on the Ellipse was first lit in 1979 and has become the world’s premier celebration of Chanukah, helping to launch the Festival of Lights in all 50 states and over 100 countries globally. The ceremony features musical performances, prominent guests including the President and Vice President along with other dignitaries, music, food, and more.

Nov. 18 – Dec. 23

Downtown Holiday Market

8th and F Streets, NW

Washington, DC

More than 70 exhibitors will sell their wares including Black- and minority-owned businesses from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development’s (DSLBD) Made in DC program. Six food vendors will provide tasty treats and a live stage will showcase exceptional regional performers. 

December 26

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Capital One Arena

601 F St NW

Washington, DC

The Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO and More! “When Paul O’Neill first conceived Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his goal was as straightforward as it was incredibly ambitious. ‘The whole idea,’ he explains, ‘was to create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries (of the genre) further than any group before … way, way further.’” Choose from a 3 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. show.

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