With the Christmas season arriving, many are wondering where to go for some fun times and to experience the true spirit of Christmas. The truth of the matter is that they are numerous places one can go to, to experience that true Christmas feeling everyone gets excited about. Luckily, a lot of those places can be found in or around Northern VA!
To begin with, just outside of our own soil, Washington D.C. has many exciting events going on for Christmas lovers:
- One of the most traditional and famous events that occur in Washington D.C. during Christmas time is the lighting of the National Christmas tree. This ceremony is a renowned event throughout the country, and will take place this year on Friday, December 6, at 5:00 PM.
- Holiday concerts are also fun to attend in Washington D.C. A full list of all the holiday concerts in D.C. this year can be found on dc.about.com Some of the upcoming holdiay concerts are, “A Candlelight Christmas” at the Kennedy Center , December 15th, 21st, and 22nd. The show will include sing alongs, Christmas carols and other seasonal songs. Another HUGE holiday event coming up is HOT 99.5’s Jingle Ball. This is an ever so popular event, which will be held on December, 16th at 7 PM in the Verizon Center. Some celebrity performers that will be there are, Jason Derulo, Fifth Harmony, Flo Rida, Robin Thicke, Austin Mahone, Miley Cyrus, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Enrique Iglesias, and more.
- If you’re a fan of the classic Christmas ballet performance, “Nutcracker” then you might want to check out the American Ballet Theatre’s production of it at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC
- Another super fun event to go to in DC is the ZooLights at the National Zoo. Extravagant lights will align various figures of animals at the Zoo. This attraction is available to visitors of the zoo every night from November 29th-January 1st. The only days this attraction won’t be available is December 24th, 25th, and 31st from 5:00-9:00 PM. In addition to the lights, the zoo also offers different musical performances by various groups every night. There are also raffles, an artistic contest, shopping, and much more to enjoy at the zoo! Admission is free.
Maryland also has some great Christmas spirited events to offer to locals:
- Of course the Gaylord National Resort has a variety of entertainment to offer. “Christmas on the Potomac” is quite an event which really utilizes the Christmas spirit. This event includes snowfall, (indoors!!) constant Christmas music throughout the resort, more than a million spectacular lights, and a production of ICE! including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Well known DreamWorks from movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and Madagascar will also be there to take part in the fun. “Christmas on the Potomac” will be going on at the Gaylord from November 15th, 2013 – January 5th, 2014. More information on this event is available at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center’s website.
- Adventure Park USA’s Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland Light Show is an annual light show including various LED Christmas lights and music. The extravagant Christmas lights are breathtaking and is said to be a “one-of-a-kind” experience. Guests will be able to drive through a specially designed maze with over thousands and thousands of lights and Christmas music playing throughout it. This event will be held from November 23rd, 2013 – January 5th, 2014 from 6 – 9:30 PM daily at Adventure Park USA located in New Market, Maryland.
- In Bethesda, Maryland a “Winter Wonderland” festival will be taking place. This community event will begin Friday, December 6th. Starting at 8 PM, a winter concert will be put on by various choral and acapella groups such as, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Chamber Singers, The GW Troubadours, and three different acapella groups from George Washington University. On Saturday, December 7th Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland will be held from 1 – 4 PM in Veterans Park. This will include the live making of beautiful ice sculptures in addition to choral performances from many local school groups, one including a fellow WCAC member, Academy of the Holy Cross.
And of course, closest to the most of us, Northern VA has much to offer during the Christmas Season! :
- “The Nutcracker Tea” an event held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in the Tysons Corner location on Saturdays through December 15th and 10 AM and 1 PM which includes a fantastic production of, The Nutcracker put on by the Creative Dance Center. While watching the show, the Ritz Carlton’s pastry team will make a selection of teas, sandwiches, desserts and pastries to enjoy. It is $75 a person to take part in this event.
- A well known event throughout the Northern Virginia area, Bull Run Festival of Lights is also a fun event to attend during Christmas time. This event is available to attend in the evenings through January 6th, 2014. More than 40,000 animated lights are available for viewing by simply driving through with your car. The lights are also set to music and really give off a “Christmas feel” with the Christmas themed music that goes along with the lights.
- At the Cherry Hill Farmhouse in Falls Church, Virginia one can experience Christmas time during the Civil War. Christmas was celebrated by both the United States and the Confederate States of America, although it wasn’t established as an official holiday until 1870. The 1863 Christmas experience includes re-enactors and a different Civil War entertainment. This event will take place on December 8th from 10 AM – 3 PM.
- If you’re one who has always wanted to experience a carriage ride, especially during Christmas time then this is the event for you! Jingle bell carriage rides through Fredericksburg, VA will be available all throughout the month of December. The carriage ride will take you to an incredible Christmas world in downtown Fredericksburg. The cost for a ride is $100 an hour.
- Another famous event throughout Northern Virginia, Christmas at Mount Vernon will be available to visitors from November 23rd – January 6th 9 AM – 4 PM. Many Christmas decorations, including 12 decorated Christmas trees, chocolate-making demonstrations from the past, and 18th century style dancing will be available to visitors. Candlelit tours of the mansion led by re-enactors of people during George Washington’s lifetime will take place November 29th, 30th, December 1st, and Saturdays and Sundays December 7th – December 22nd. During the candlelit tour, one will be able to meet significant individuals during George Washington’s life such as Nelly Custis and Martha Washington. Admission for Christmas at Mount Vernon costs $22 for adults, and $15 for those of the ages 11 and under.