The holiday season is upon us and after a year without a lot of Christmas events to enjoy, families everywhere are ready to celebrate big.
If you’re looking for Christmas events the whole family will love in Washington D.C. this year, you are not alone and you also won’t be disappointed.
From basic light displays to holiday festivals and extravaganzas D.C. and the surrounding area will be doing it big this holiday season.
Check out our full list of kid and parent approved Christmas events the whole family will love in Washing D.C. and beyond below!
Christmas Events the Whole Family Will Love in Washington D.C.
Get your shopping done at the Downton Holiday Market.
The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 19 thru Dec. 23 : 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. DAILY (expect for Thanksgiving Day) and is located Downtown Washington, DC, centered at 8th and F Streets, NW.
You can find countless unique gifts, including locally made and handmade items from a host of vendors. There is also live entertainment on the event stage and six food vendors (Pro tip: if the donut guy is there, GET DONUTS!).
View this post on Instagram
Learn more here: Downtown Holiday Market
Go ice skating at the National Gallery.
Outdoor ice skating screams Christmas and with the National Gallery as a back drop it’s a beautiful location to get your skate on. Makes for a nice date night or a family outing.
No ice skating if it rains or there is extreme weather, but you can visit everyday (except Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) starting 11/19 through March 6th.
Learn more here: Ice Skating at the National Gallery
Catch the holiday boat parade at the wharf.
Celebrate the holidays with this iconic DC event that features over sixty beautifully decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel.
They will also have ornament decorating, ice skating, fire works and more. And yes, Santa will be there to make sure you’re on is nice list too!
Event happens December 4th, rain or shine.
Learn more here: DC Holiday Boat Parade
Experience Enchant Christmas.
It’s hard to describe exactly what this magical Christmas experience is exactly. It’s one part holiday bazaar, one part holiday walk through light land, mixed with ice skating, delicious food and fun festivities for the entire family.
We enjoyed it the first time it landed in DC and will 100% be getting tickets for the adventure this year.
Check out our first Enchant Christmas experience and then get your tickets to this year’s event here.
See the national trees on display.
No word yet on if here will be a huge National Tree lighting ceremony this year with COVID still swirling about, but you should still be able to catch the National Tree and the tree at the U.S. Capitol on display in all their glory this holiday season.
You can also check out the trees at the Library of Congress and Union Station in D.C.
Enjoy Christmas at Gaylord National
Explore acres of twinkling lights and decorations and hours of exciting holiday activities, shows, and events, including the Gaylord Hotels Original Experience, I Love Christmas Movies™ featuring five beloved films.
We’re planning to attend this year’s event to enjoy their snow coaster, gingerbread decorating stations, ice bumper cars, ice skating and more.
Learn more about the festivities at Gaylord National here.
Visit Baltimore’s Christmas Village
Not quite D.C., but also not far, Baltimore’s Christmas Village is a great place to experience a traditional German holiday.
The traditional German Christmas village is a combination of an outdoor and indoor holiday market filled with handmade and unique items to gift your loved ones. You can also enjoy live entertainment and authentic German food at the event open daily Nov. 20th through Dec. 24th.
It’s a new, immersive, interactive experience coming to Sterling, Virginia this holiday season.
There’s not a ton to know about the event since it’s new this season, but if you’re a family of Caps fans, I have a feeling you’re going to want to puck this one.
Learn more about the event here.
Head to Holiday in the Park at six Flags America.
Tis the season for glittering lights, delicious treats, and a festive spin on your favorite rides.
Take a stroll through a winter wonderland at Six Flags America, complete with millions of lights, festive music and all the holiday cheer that you can handle! For the entire family, Santa Claus is on hand for pictures and to take their wishes back to the North Pole! With 10 decretive destinations, such as, Candy Cane Lane, Merry Masquerade, or the North Pole in all its glowing glory, there is no shortage of a merry mood to be had!
Get your tickets here.
Visit a Christmas light display.
They have several of these safe and festive events around the D.C. region each year that are either drive thru or walk thru.
You can enjoy beautiful holiday light displays all in one place, often from the comfort of your own car.
Drive thru light displays in the D.C. area:
- Maryland: Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival
- Maryland: Lights on the Bay
- Maryland: Merriweather Symphony of Lights
- Maryland: Festival of Lights
- Maryland: Zoo Lights
- Virginia: Bull Run Festival of Lights
- Virginia: Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights
- Virginia: Cameron Run Ice & Lights
- Virginia: Holiday Lights on the Farm
Walk thru light displays in the D.C. area:
- Maryland: Zoo Lights (you can walk or drive this event)
- Maryland: Sailing Through Winter Solstice
- Virginia: Holiday Road Leesburg
Visit a Christmas House
Lucketts hosts their annual Holiday Design House and decked out Lucketts Store at their antiques village in Leesburg. It’s a magical holiday event filled with Christmas shopping, fun holiday murals + photo vignettes, Vanish wine garden and more!!
This is more of an older teens/adult family adventure. The tight spaces and countless breakable items in the houses makes it a challenging environment for little hands to explore.
Pro tip: Don’t pick the latest arrival time and be sure to visit the kitchen in the Christmas House – there will be treats there!
Get tickets here.