This is surely one of the busiest weekends for holiday events! The biggest problem you may face is choosing what to do! If the weather is fine, you’ll definitely want to see one of the parades. The Scottish Walk is all about the bagpipes and the Manassas Parade has a “Christmas Stories” theme this year. If you haven’t seen it before, I’d recommend you take in the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at the Alexandria waterfront Saturday night. I think I’ll check out the model trains on Sunday.
Friday, December 6, St. Nicholas Day
- Make an Ornament (craft activity for Adults). 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Reston Public Library.
- 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. Concert, Santa, toy collection. 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.
- Make Break DIY Gingerbread House (adults). 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Michael’s Pan Am Shopping Center, Fairfax. Call store for availability. Cost of supplies.
- 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.
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 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 Giant Model Train exhibit. Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sundays Noon – 6 p.m. until December 31. Union Station. Pay parking is available at the station or take metro (Union Station, red line). Washington, DC. 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 6 – 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 6 through January 1, 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 1. 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.