December Events

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Recurring Holiday Events

  • Bull Run Festival of Lights. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville. November 22 – January 5. 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Two and half mile drive-through light display and walk-around winter

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    carnival and Holiday Village with attractions, s’mores and Santa Claus. $20 – $25 per car; 15 or more passengers, $50. This attraction is open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. Through January 5th. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. $8 kids; $13 adults.
  • National Cathedral Creche Exhibit, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through January 12. Nearly 80 Nativity scenes from around the world are displayed in the Cathedral. A must-see. Paid parking is available in an underground parking lot on the Cathedral grounds.
  • Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington, DC. Model train and amazing flower displays. This attraction is open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Zoo Lights National Zoo, Washington, DC. Nov 29 – January 1. Not open December 24, 25, or 31. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. Lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays.
  • Norwegian Christmas at Union Station. Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m. December 4 – 31. Union Station. Pay parking is available at the station or take metro (Union Station, red line). Washington, DC.  The model trains do not run on Christmas Day. Tip: look for the snow monster!
  • Gingerbread Village exhibit. Made from real gingerbread. It smells and looks delicious. Hyatt Hotel Reston lobby. Reston Town Center.
  • Millenium Stage Concerts at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. 6 p.m. nightly. The holiday concerts are free but tend to be crowded. You can also watch them for free, live, online on the Kennedy Center website. Be sure to catch the Tuba Christmas and handbell concerts.
  • Pageant of Peace on The Ellipse: nightly musical performances, December 5 – January 1. Weeknight performances are 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and weekend performances take place from 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The National Tree and state trees may be viewed until 11 p.m. There is also a Nativity scene and a roaring Yule log fire. Just adjacent is the National Menorah.
  • The Capitol Tree is on display and lit from December 4 through December 31, 2020 in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. There is very little parking, but the Capitol South metro station (Orange, Silver and Blue lines) is nearby.
  • Georgetown GLOW outdoor light display. 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. December 6 – January 5. Georgetown, Washington, DC.
  • Holiday Market. Old Town Fairfax. December 6-8, 13-15, 20-22.
  • Christmas at Mount Vernon runs through December 31. Famous for its camel! Candle-light tours are also available. The gift shop merchandise is worth a look. Enjoy the grounds, house and events, but eat elsewhere.

Sunday, December 1. First Day of Advent.

  • Fairfax Ballet presents The Nutcracker. 2 :30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Woodson High School, Fairfax. $15 – $30.

Monday, December 2. Cyber Monday. Make a Gift Day.

  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947) movie screening with continental breakfast before. 9:30 a.m. Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Reston.
  • Church Holiday Stroll. Santa will arrive on his firetruck to the Freeman Store at 6:15. Tree lighting. 6 p.m – 8:30 p.m. Vienna.

Tuesday, December 3, Giving Tuesday


Wednesday, December 4, Cookie Day


Thursday, December 5


Friday, December 6, St. Nicholas Day

  • Paint Christmas Ornaments (family program). 11 a.m. – 12 noon. Tysons-Pimmit Public Library.
  • DIY Holiday Ornament Making (adults). 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.  Reston Public Library. Reston.
  • URBN Holiday Market and Pop-up; tree lighting. Mosaic District. 3:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Georgetown Glow opens at 5 p.m. and runs nightly for the month of December.
  • One Starry Night in Bethlehem live nativity. 6 p.m. Ashburn Presbyterian Church. Ashburn.
  • Holiday Market. Old Town Fairfax. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes holiday concert. Barns of Wolf Trap, Vienna. $50

Saturday, December 7

  • 74th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade. 10 a.m. Center Street, Historic Downtown Manassas.
  • Jingle on the Lake at Lake Anne Plaza. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Santa arrives at noon. Muisc and more. Reston
  • Holiday Homes Tour of Herndon. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. $15.
  • 30th Annual Model Train Show 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fairfax Railroad Museum.
  • 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade 11 a.m. King Street, Old Town Alexandria.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble Concert 1 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Taste of the Holidays with Chef Cal. 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.. Pohick Regional Library. Burke.
  • Rick Landers holiday performance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • White Christmas screening. 3:30 p.m. National Museum of American History. Washington, DC
  • Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long 4 p.m. Wolf Trap National Park – The Filene Center 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA. This annual musical celebration hosts a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Bring a candle and join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.” There will also be a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” so remember to bring a candle, a bell, and a new, unwrapped toy!
  • Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, 7 p.m. Old Town Alexandria, VA (waterfront).

Sunday, December 8, Second Day of Advent

  • Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Herndon Community Center.
  • 30th Annual Model Train Show 12 Noon – 4 p.m. Fairfax Railroad Museum.
  • Lindsey Hirshfeld, guitar performance. 12 noon and 1 pm. Reston Town Center.
  • Holiday Sparkle opening art reception. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Reston Art Gallery and Studios, Lake Anne Plaza.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life film screening. 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. National Museum of American History.

Monday, December 9. Christmas Card Day.

  • Merry Tuba Christmas. 6 p.m. Kennedy Center Millenium Stage (free concert).
  • Jewelry Making. 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Reston Regional Library. Reston. Free but register in advance.

Tuesday, December 10

  • The Moscow Ballet – Great Russian Nutcracker. 7 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $29 – $130.
  • Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas concert. 8 p.m. The Theater at MGM National Harbor.

Wednesday, December 11

  • The Moscow Ballet – Great Russian Nutcracker. 7 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $29 – $130.

Thursday, December 12. Poinsettia Day. Gingerbread House Day


Friday, December 13. Hot Cocoa Day.

  • Movie: Meet Me in St. Louis (great Christmas scene!) and coffee. 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Richard Byrd Library. Springfield.
  • Christmas Market. Old Town Fairfax. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 14. Gingerbread Decorating Day.

  • Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday packages by standard post.
  • National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries.
  • Make Your Own Wrapping Paper (adults, teens, kids). 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Thomas Jefferson Library. Falls Church.
  • Holiday Open House. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Reston Public Library. Reston.
  • Lindsey Hirshfeld, guitar performance. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  • Herndon Wintrmarkt. German-style Christmas market. 12 noon – 8 p.m. Town Hall Square. Town of Herndon.
  • Caroling Wagon Ride and Campfire. 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. E.C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly. $8.
  • Make Break DIY Christmas T-Shirt (adults). 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Michael’s Pan Am Shopping Center, Fairfax. Call store for availability. Cost of supplies.
  • Holiday Desserts with Chef Cal. 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Chantilly Regional Library, Chantilly (reserve in advance online).
  • Christmas Tea at the Harrisons. 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Historic Huntley, Alexandria. $28
  • Rick Landers, guitar perfomance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Christmas Candlelight Tea. 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Green Spring, Alexandria. $48.

Sunday, December 15, Third Day of Advent

  • Bolshoi Ballet Live: The Nutcracker. 12:50 p.m. AMC Theater. Tysons Corner; also other cinemas. $18.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble Concert 1 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Rick Landers holiday performance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Christmas Candlelight Tea. 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Green Spring, Alexandria. $48.
  • A Very Mason Christmas. 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Historic Huntley, Alexandria. $10.

Monday, December 16

  • Painting Poinsettias craft activity. 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Thomas Jefferson Library. Falls Church. Free, but register in advance.
  • 3D Paper Snowflakes craft activity. (adults, kids 8 and older) 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. City of Fairfax Regional Library. Fairfax. Register in advance.

Wednesday, December 18. Bake Cookies Day.

  • Christmas Caroling Concert in the Willard Hotel Lobby. 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Washington, DC.
  • A Christmas Carol. Little Theatre of Alexandria.

Friday, December 20. Go Caroling Day. Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

  • Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.

Saturday, December 21

  • Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.
  • Northern Virginia Ukulele Society Holiday Concert. 12 noon. Reston Town Center.
  • Rick Landers holiday performance. 3 p.m. Reston Town Center.
  • Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Sunday, December 22, Fourth Day of Advent. First Day of Winter. Winter Solstice.


Monday, December 23. Festivus.

  • Holiday Karaoke. 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Chantilly Regional Library. Chantilly.

Tuesday, December 24, Christmas Eve. National Eggnog Day.


Wednesday, December 25, Merry Christmas! It is also Pumpkin Pie Day.

  • National museums are closed today but Mount Vernon and the U.S. Botanic Garden are open.
  • Christmas Day Brunch, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner Galleria. $120, plus tax and gratuity.
  • Little Women, Cats, the latest Star Wars movie and the animated Spies Like Us are playing in movie theaters.
  • 6 p.m. All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam concert, Kennedy Center
  • Bull Run and Meadowlark light displays are open tonight.

Thursday, December 26. Thank You Note Day. Candy Cane Day.


Friday, December 27. Fruitcake Day. Make Cut-Out Snowflakes Day. Visit the Zoo Day.

  • Nashville actor (“Deacon”) and singer Charles Esten performs at the Birchmere, 7:30 p.m. Alexandria.

Saturday, December 28.


Sunday, December 29.


Monday, December 30.


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Tuesday, December 31, New Year’s Eve. Champagne Day.

  • 25th First Night Alexandria Festival. 6 p.m. – Midnight. King Street, Old Town Alexandria. $30 – $35.
  • New Year’s Eve Party. 6:30 p.m. Cocktails, dinner, band and party. Knights of Columbus, Arlington. $60 per person.
  • 22nd Watch Night Festival. 7 p.m – Midnight. Falls Church City.
  • 80s Dance Party. 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. Jammin’ Java. Vienna. $30 -$40.