Your Comprehensive 2021 Holiday-Season Calendar of Things to Do in DC

Holiday Markets

  • Nov 19-Dec 23 Downtown Holiday Market (outside, free entry, closed Nov 25, Dec 6)
  • Nov 26-Dec 4 Tenley Winterfest (inside, free entry, outside) 
  • Nov 27 Flea DC Streetwear Holiday Market (outside, free entry)
  • Nov 27-Dec 19 Holiday Market at Four Seasons (inside, free entry, every Fri, Sat, & Sun)
  • Nov 28 Open House at Anacostia Arts Center (inside, free entry) 
  • Dec 2, 5 Outdoor Hanukkah Bazaar (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 3-5 Heurich Christkindlmarkt (outside, $10 entry online) 
  • Dec 4 Dupont Holiday Market (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 4 Dupont Undergound Holiday Market (inside) 
  • Dec 4, 11, 18 Park View Holiday Market (inside, free entry) 
  • Dec 5 Pajamarama Holiday Market (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 10 Takoma Gift(ing) Night Market (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 10 Victura Park Holiday Market (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 11 Holiday Pop-Up at Van Ness Main Street (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 11 Procrastinator’s Holiday Market at National Arboretum (outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 11, 12 Holiday Market at the Ven  (inside, free entry)
  • Dec 18 Takoma Cocoa Crawl (inside, outside) 
  • Dec 18 SAMSAMA at Shopkeepers  (inside, outside) 
  • Dec 18 Jackie Lee’s Holiday Market (inside, outside) 

 

Trees, Menorahs, Lights & Decorations

  • Nov 19-Jan 6 DC Holiday Lights citywide scavenger hunt and storefront decorations (outside, free) 
  • Nov 20 Capitol Hill Community Tree Lighting at 5:30pm (outside, free) 
  • Nov 20-Jan 4 Interactive Holiday Light Display in BB&T Bank Plaza
  • Nov 24- Jan 2 US Botanical Gardens Outdoor Holiday Display (outside, free, closed Dec 25) 
  • Nov 26-Jan 2 Enchanted Christmas in Nationals Park various times
  • (outside, $29-39) 
  • Nov 26 Light Up The Wharf from 6:00-8:00pm (outside, free)
  • Nov 27 City Center Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:00pm (outside, free)
  • Nov 28 National Menorah Lighting at 3:15pm (outside, free)
  • Nov 29 Capitol Hill Community Menorah Lighting at 5:30pm (outside, free)
  • Nov 28-Dec 6 Lighting of the Wharf Menorah daily from 5:00-6:00pm (outside, free)
  • Dec 1-Jan 1 Light Yards every night from 6:00-10:00pm (outside, free)
  • Dec 3 Christmas at Dumbarton House from 5:30- 8:30pm (inside, $22) 
  • Dec 3, 10, 17 Friday Night Lights Light Show activities from 5:00 onwards, light show at 7:00pm (outside, free)
  • Dec 4 Holiday Boat Parade at the Wharf from 6:00-9:00pm (outside, free) 
  • Dec 4 Holiday Celebration at the Parks Menorah and Tree Lighting from 5:00-6:30pm (outside, free)

 

Pop-Up Bars + Decorated Bars

 

Get Togethers + Parties

  • Nov 28 First Night of Hanukkah at Metro Bar (outside, free)
  • Nov 28, Dec 3 Oy to the World – Hanukkah Basket with Union Market (food pop-up, $75)
  • Dec 1  Lighten Up: A Chanukah Hang-out with Sixth & I (inside, $12)
  • Dec 2 Chanukah Happy Hour: Brews & Beats at City State Brewing (inside, $5)
  • Dec 2 LGBTQ Jewish Chanukah Happy Hour at Pitchers DC (inside, free)
  • Dec 3 80’s Holiday Extravaganza Dance Party at Black Cat (inside, $15+)
  • Dec 3 A Booze-Free Holiday Event at Femme Fatale (inside, $85)
  • Dec 3 Shabbanukah at Union Market (inside, free)
  • Dec 4 Hanukkah Party at The Lane Social Club (inside, $18 per family)
  • Dec 9 Locals Holiday Party at Free State Bar (inside, free)
  • Dec 10 Ugly Sweater Dance Party at Hook Hall (inside, $5)
  • Dec 11 Santa DC Bar Crawl (inside, $15)
  • Dec 11 Abbondanza! A Holiday Natural Wine Party at Sonny’s Pizza (outside, $55+)
  • Dec 14, 28 Ugly Sweater Drag Bingo at Red Bear Brewing (inside, free)

 

Festive Crafts + Workshops

Drinks, Cookies, & Treats 

  • Nov 24 Making Holiday Drinks  with Columbia Room (inside, $80)
  • Dec 1 Making Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks with Columbia Room (inside, $80)
  • Dec 1, 8, 15 Holiday Wreath Building with Cocktails (inside, $60)
  • Dec 4 Holiday Cookie Baking with Hill Center (inside, $79)
  • Dec 4 Gingerbread Workshop with National Building Museum (inside, $85)
  • Dec 4 “Holiday Edition” Spice Techniques with The Spice is Right (inside, $35)
  • Dec 8 The Spirits of the Holidays: Rum, Aquavit, and Brandy with Columbia Room (inside, $80)
  • Dec 9 Party Cheese with Each Peach Market (virtual, $50)
  • Dec 11 Holiday Cookie Baking with Hill Center (inside, $79)
  • Dec 15 Making Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks with Columbia Room (inside, $80)
  • Dec 22  Making Holiday Drinks with Columbia Room (inside, $80)

Wreaths, Decor, & Ornaments

  • Dec 1-5 Holiday Wreath Making with Hillwood Museum (inside , sold out but waitlist available $75)
  • Dec 2 Modern Holiday Hoop Wreaths with PLNTR(inside, $85)
  • Dec 2 Beaded Christmas Spider with DC Library (inside, free)
  • Dec 5 Felted Poinsettia Ornaments with Rock Paper Plant(inside, $55)
  • Dec 12 DIY Holiday Farm Wreath Making with Cultivate the City (outside, $25)
  • Dec 12 Wreaths and Whiskey with Blue Ribbon Floral (inside, $50)
  • Dec 12 Living Ornaments and Terrarium Building with Cultivate the City (inside, $15)
  • Dec 9 Holiday Blooms with Hillwood (virtual, $12, $65 optional materials fee)
  • Dec 12 Make Your Own Ornaments with Shop Made in DC (inside, $25)

Paper Goods

Self-Care

The Performing Arts

Theater, Ballet, & Comedy

Film

  • Nov 28- Dec 5 2021 Hanukkah Film Festival with Edlavitch DCJCC (inside, $10 per film)
  • Dec 3, 5 & Jan 1 A Christmas Story at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 10 Home Alone at Suns Cinema (inside, $10)
  • Dec 11 Die Hard at Suns Cinema (inside, $10)
  • Dec 11, 12 Polar Express at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 17, 19, 31 Elf at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 17, 18, 23 It’s A Wonderful Life at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 18, 19 White Christmas at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 23 The Star at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)
  • Dec 23 Holiday Movie Marathon with DC Library (inside, free)
  • Dec 31 National Lampoon’s Christmas Miracle at Miracle Theatre (inside, $8 for adults)

Music + Radio

  • Dec 4 NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas at the Kennedy Center (inside, $59+)
  • Dec 4 A Jazz-tacular Holiday Event at Capitol Cider House(inside, free)
  • Dec 8 National Symphony Orchestra at The Anthem (inside, $15+)
  • Dec 10, 11 A Holiday Pops with Ingrid Michaelson at Kennedy Center (inside, $49+)
  • Dec 11, 12 Joy of Christmas at National Cathedral (inside, $25+)
  • Dec 16-19 Handel’s Messiah and Magnificat at National Cathedral (inside, $39+)
  • Dec 18, 24 A Family Christmas at Kennedy Center (inside, $20+)
  • Dec 19-22 A Candelight Christmas at Kennedy Center(inside, $15+)
  • Dec 23 Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Capitol One Arena (inside, $49+)

Caroling & A Capella

  • Nov 20 & Dec 6, 10, 17, 19 Singing Loud for All to Hear in Adams Morgan (outside, free)
  • Dec 2, 19 Clear Harmonies Carolers at Union Market (outside, free)
  • Dec 4, 11, 12 Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. Holiday Show at Lincoln Theatre (inside, $25+)
  • Dec 11 The Singing Capital Chorus in Van Ness (outside, free)
  • Dec 11 HOLIDIME at Union Market 
  • Dec 18 Holiday Choir of The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC  at Union Market  (outside, free)

Lectures & Museums

  • Nov 29 – Jan 7Warmth & Light Exhibit”  at Daughters of the American Revolution Museum (inside, free)
  • Dec 2, 5Darkness to Light” Experiential Walkthrough” with Adas Israel Congregation (inside, free) 
  • Dec 5Nightmares Before Christmas” at DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern (inside, $13)
  • Dec 7 Slavic Solstice Magic at Church Hall (inside, $13)
  • Dec 10 Merry Christmas from the Norton Family Art Chat with National Museum of Women in the Arts (virtual, free)
  • Dec 11 Christmas with the First Ladies: Holiday Celebrations at the White House with Smithsonian Associates (virtual, $35)
  • Dec 12 How Nativity Scenes Were Born at DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern (inside, $13)
  • Dec 15 Italy’s Holiday Traditions with Smithsonian Associates (virtual, $25)
  • Dec 15 All I Want for Chanukah is a Christmas Tree with Sixth & I (virtual, $12)
  • Dec 20 America’s Favorite Holiday Movie: The Story of It’s a Wonderful Life with Smithsonian Associates (virtual, $20)

 

Santa, I know him!

 (For a more complete guide, see this article

 

Buy A Tree

 

Ice Rinks

 

Things to Do in Maryland

  • Nov 19-Jan 2 Zoo Lights (outside, $28 adult walk-through, wine and beer festival “Brrr Fest” is Nov 26-27)
  • Nov 19-Jan 2 Garden of Lights (outside, $10, closed Nov 22-25 & Dec 24, 25) 
  • Nov 25-Dec 24 Baltimore Christmas Village (outside, free entry, closed Nov 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & Dec 6, 7, 13, 14)
  • Nov 26-Dec 31 Winter Lights Festival (outside, $15+ per vehicle, closed Dec 25)
  • Nov 26-Dec 31 Christmas at Gaylord National (learn more about festivities here
  • Dec 5 Silver Spring Christmas Market and Holiday Craft Fair (outside, free entry)
  • Dec 16 Gingerbread Doghouse Making (inside, outside, $35)
  • Dec 16 Deck the Halls with Denizens (inside, free)
  • Dec 28 Kwanzaa Celebration (inside, free)

Things to Do in Virginia

  • Nov 11-Jan 2 Festival of Lights at Bull Run (outside, $30 per vehicle, closed Nov. 25)
  • Nov 11-Dec 9 Winter Walk of Lights (outside, $16, dog-friendly nights Nov 17, 18 & Jan 2)
  • Nov 28 Chanukah Festival at Old Town Alexandria (outside, free)
  • Nov 28 A Very Electric Christmas  (inside, $19+)
  • Dec 1 Ornament Wreath Workshop (inside, $55)
  • Dec 3, 4 Scottish Christmas Walk (outside, free) 
  • Dec 4, 11, 18 Candlelight Holiday Tours (inside, $10 adult) 
  • Dec 4 Washington and Liberty High School (inside, outside, free entry) 
  • Dec 5, 12 Holiday Kissing Ball Workshops (outside, $25) 
  • Dec 8 Fabric Ornament Workshop (inside, $35)
  • Dec 10, 11 Colonial Holiday Nights at Carlyle House (inside, $10 adults)
  • Dec 11 Old Town Alexandria Christmas Market & Holiday Craft Show (outside, free entry)
  • Dec 11 A Victorian Christmas (inside, $10 adults)
  • Dec 14 Herndon WinterMarkt (outside, free entry)
  • Dec 14 Christmas Cookie Decorating class (inside, $47)
  • Dec 17, 18 Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon (inside, outside $50 adults with mansion tour)
  • Dec 17, 18 Civil War Christmas (inside, $10 adults)
  • Dec 18 National Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery (outside, free)

Jade Womack is an energy economist by day, and an events blogger by night. She started her blog, Clockout DC, when she was moonlighting as a bartender in 2019. She grew up in Arlington, and currently lives in Adams Morgan with her dog.

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