Christmas in Washington

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Nutcrackers outside Old Ebbitt Grill

Nutcrackers outside Old Ebbitt Grill

Plan your trip now to experience the all the fun holiday events that Washington DC has to offer. There’s plenty to keep you busy all month long starting with the National Tree lighting all the way through New Year’s Day.

The Capitol Christmas tree arrives in town on Monday November 28th and will be lit by the Speaker of the House during a ceremony on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol on December 6th at 5 pm.

The President lights the National Christmas Tree on December 1st. Tickets are required for that event but the  Pageant of Peace continues all month long on the Ellipse with daily musical performances, Santa’s Workshop and a train.

The weekend of December 3rd brings the Alexandria Holiday Tour of Homes and the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Tour some of the historic homes of Alexandria and watch the parade. There’s also a medieval marketplace and holiday pudding competition.

That evening brings the Parade of Lights both in Alexandria and at the 7th Street Harbor in Washington DC. See the boats decorated for the season and on parade.

Every day the Kennedy Center offers free performances on the Millennium Stage at 6 pm (take the free shuttle bus from Foggy Bottom metro). During December a variety of holiday-themed programs are offered – our favorite is always Merry Tuba Christmas on December 7th.

Another annual tradition is Jazz Piano Christmas when the Kennedy Center and National Public Radio bring top jazz pianists to perform their favorite holiday songs.

Washington has wonderful homes that are open to public and decorated for Christmas. A few of our favorites:

It wouldn’t be the holidays without the Nutcracker for many of us. You can take your pick:

  • The Kennedy Center offers the American Ballet Theater December 8 -11th.
  • The Washington Ballet performs the Nutcracker all month long with a local twist – George Washington is the Nutcracker and King George is the Rat King.
  • If you prefer a completely traditional version, West End Cinema will be broadcasting The Nutcracker live from the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow on December 18th and 19th.

If you prefer singing holiday songs to ballet, head over to the National Gallery of Art for Caroling in the Rotunda on weekend afternoons in December. A curator will also offer Gallery Talks with a curator on The Christmas Story in Art (check the schedule for specific dates and times.)

If ice skating and hot chocolate put you in the holiday spirit, then head outside to the Sculpture Garden and Pavilion Café to strap on your skates. The skating season begins in late November and runs all winter.

And of course, for New Year’s plan to join us at 14K Restaurant and Lounge for our New Year’s Eve Casino Gala Night. We’ll have a full open bar, DJ, dancing, table games, seafood and raw bar, and champagne toast at midnight – for all the fun you want to have. Stay with us for the night and enjoy late checkout and full American breakfast buffet on New Year’s Day.

Make your reservations now and enjoy all the holiday fun Washington has to offer.

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