It may be cold and dark in December, but there are still many things to look forward to in D.C. this coming month. Some of our favorites:
The Holiday Market on F Street has great crafts and gift items, performances, and the enticing smell of the famous doughnuts. Free, open every day until Dec. 23rd (except Dec. 4th), noon to 8pm.
Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America will be placing wreaths on the graves at Arlington on December 16th, and the wreaths will remain there for a few days. There are volunteer opportunities to help on the 16th.
The holiday boat parade is at The Wharf on Dec. 2nd. Free, no tickets required.
Santarchy is an informal gathering of Santas and other festive celebrants on the Mall. Look for the Santas this year on December 9th.
There’s still a lot of awesome nature to see outdoors, despite the cold.
This year’s Light Yards features giant swings which set the bells ringing, at Yards Park. Free every night through Jan. 7th, no tickets required.
Capitol Christmas Tree
National Christmas Tree
The National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse had a disaster on Tuesday when the wind blew it over. By the next day, it had been raised up and hopefully will be stabilized. Opens on Dec. 2nd, free and unticketed.
Here’s what it has looked like before, and hopefully will again this year:
Library of Congress
The tree at Union Station is a gift from Norway. This year’s tree will be lit in a ceremony on December 7th.
Washington Harbour in Georgetown
The National Menorah on the Ellipse is open every night of Hannukah. The ceremony on the first night requires free tickets.
Georgetown Glow opens tonight, so we haven’t yet see this version of it, but judging by past years, it should be wonderful. Free every night, no tickets required.
ZooLights, a perennial favorite, is requiring tickets this year and charging $6 – but still a bargain even though it is no longer free.
The holiday displays are wonderful at the Botanic Garden. Free, no tickets required, often crowded.
Murmurations of starlings are common this time of year in the late afternoons, and a great place to see them is on the Ellipse by the National Christmas Tree or the National Menorah.
The DAR has an open house on December 6th – free, no tickets required, great cookies.
The period rooms are decorated for Christmases of past years. We’re especially fond of the children’s Christmas toy displays on the attic floor.
Just a few miles outside D.C., the Mormon Temple lights are a fairyland. Free every night, no tickets required, through Jan. 1st.
So much more:
The Drum Circle at Malcolm X Park continues throughout the year – and many people are happy to come dance to the mesmerizing rhythms despite the cold:
You can spot happy Santas throughout the city:
The Barbie Pond on Q St. is likely to have a special holiday display, although this year’s is not yet out. Last year they did Hannukah proud: