Top Things to do in December in the Greater Washington Area

by McEnearney on November 28, 2018

Whether it shapes up to be a warm or cold month, the D-M-V always puts on a merry show of holiday events in December. Take a stroll to view beautifully decorated and glowing streets, trees and businesses. Grab a warm or spiced drink to add some cheer along the way!

Visit some favorite public spaces showcase the best holiday finery–one show-stopper is the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building. We also love the U.S. Botanic Garden, which features a model train exhibit and a collection of DC’s iconic landmarks.


Washington DC in Christmas - The Capitol building and the Christ



The National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse will be held on November 28. Entry for the event is by lottery ticket only, but you can visit the Pathway of Peace through January 1, 2019. The National Tree is surrounded by 56 state and territory trees, each with unique handmade ornaments. Chanukah is also celebrated on the Ellipse with the National Menorah Lighting Ceremony on December 2 at 4 p.m. Gates open at 3 p.m. and (free) tickets are required.

Also, be sure not to miss these local communities lighting up their Christmas trees and Menorahs before Thanksgiving:


A woman wearing a winter hat watching a Christmas parade



The weather may be getting colder, but many local communities still gather outdoors to celebrate the holidays. One of the most popular annual events in Old Town Alexandria is the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. This year McEnearney Associates is the Title Sponsor for the Heather and Greens Sales on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Campagna Center.


Christmas Scene. Holiday Greeting Card Design



Nothing will make you feel more like a part of history at this special time of year than touring a historical site or mansion by candlelight–just like the old times. Remember your gloves or hand warmers, and get ready to explore by daylight or moonlight on one of these wintery days.


Happy girl on the background of the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York



If the normal number of twinkles around town isn’t quite cutting it, make it to one of these destinations where the lights take center stage this holiday season.



Little cute kid boy drinking hot children punch or chocolate on German Christmas market. Happy child on traditional family market in Germany, Laughing boy in colorful winter clothes



Outdoor European-style holiday markets and craft shows have become very popular shopping destinations, especially with movements and collectives like Made in DC. These markets offer local artisans, vendors, food and entertainment you definitely won’t find in a shopping mall.


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