1- The District’s Holiday Boat Parade

This is the 30th Anniversary of the District’s Holiday Boat Parade. Celebrate the holidays with this iconic DC event that features over sixty beautifully decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel. Get into the spirit with ornament decorating and face painting by Recreation Pier. Roast s’mores at the Camp Wharf fire pit and visit their lighted 45ft Christmas Tree. Skate at The Wharf Ice Rink on Transit Pier and sample winter drinks at Pacifico Beer Garden. And bring your camera for pictures with Santa!

Dec 3, 2022 6-9pm. District Pier/The Wharf. FREE. No registration required 

2- Zoolights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition is back for 2022!  A free, ticketed, event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping.  Environmentally friendly LED lights and dozens of glowing animal lanterns transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland! Free passes are required this year. A flat-rate parking fee of $30 applies to all ZooLights attendees. Or you can take the metro! The Zoo is accessible via the Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo or Cleveland Park metro station. 

Started November 25 through December 30. Some weeks are just the weekends and others are the whole week, so definitely check before going.

3- Enchant DC

Start your adventure in the spectacular, newest, story-themed Christmas Light Maze.

This year you’ll be transported to the ends of the earth by Santa’s Magic Timepiece. Stroll through lighted tunnels, travel to magical illuminated lands as you search for stars, find your way to our epic 100 foot tall Christmas tree, and look for special surprises along the way. Or you can Lace up your skates and hit the trail on real ice! They provide the skates, you create the memories. And definitely Explore the Village of tiny shops of artisan vendors, specialty crafts, and boutiques. They have live music, storytelling and lots of treats for both kids and adults! 

Tickets for the maze range from $23-$35 depending on your age and military status. Ice Skating is a timed-entry, add-on ticket option with limited availability. Tickets are $18 per person, all ages.


4- US Botanic Garden -DC

Festive adornments, winterberries, lighted trees and shrubs, and conifers and greenery will be placed throughout the Garden from Nov. 24, 2022, through Jan. 2, 2023, closed on Dec. 25. An outdoor train display can be visited in the gated outdoor gardens during these dates between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are not required. 


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens – scavenger hunt! VA

The Winter Walk is more than a half-mile long, one-way route- providing an enchanting and safe evening activity. It is self-guided with a designated, one-way asphalt trail.  Guests may move along the pathways at their own pace. https://www.novaparks.com/events/winter-walk-of-lights

5- Gaylord National Resort- MD https://christmasatgaylordnational.marriott.com/ice

ICE! is back at Gaylord Hotels. Don their signature, blue parka and step into a wonderland carved by expert artisans out of two million pounds of colorful ice. Experience beloved holiday classics with larger-than-life sculptures and even plunge down slides made entirely of ice in this Gaylord Hotels original experience. This year Experience A Christmas Story™ brought to life through magnificent sculptures hand-carved out of more than two million pounds of ice. Starts November 20 through Dec 31st. Tickets range from $29.99-$44.99 depending when you go.

6- Ice skating! National Gallery of Art.  Ice skate amongst art sculptures in the National Mall in DC! Enjoy splendid views of large-scale sculptures from artists in our renowned collection, including Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, and Roy Lichtenstein. The season starts November 26 through March 5th. Admission ranges from $9-$12 depending on your age. Skates are additional. If you can’t get to the Ice rink at the sculpture garden, check out skating at 

Rockville Town Center, DC Wharf or Georgetown Waterfront!



7- The Willard Hotel in DC https://washington.intercontinental.com/food-drink/peacock-alley-tea/

Willard’s Holiday Afternoon Tea is one of the hotel’s most cherished traditions. Seated in the grandeur of Peacock Alley, among the Holiday decor and elegant sounds of the harp, guests can enjoy a tantalizing array of warming teas, sandwiches, and seasonally inspired pastries. The Grand Hotel lobby is decorated elegantly, with it’s 20 foot tree as it’s centerpiece and it’s absolutely beautiful! For the perfect holiday experience in DC, make sure to reserve a spot! Prices range from $65-$125 with seating at 1pm or 3:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting early December.

 8- Winter Lights Festival – Gaithersburg MD https://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/winter-lights-festival

The City’s Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for another spectacular season. The wondrous display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park will be open nightly November 25 through December 31. The festival is closed on December 25.

The 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night. The park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, conveniently accessible from I-270.

9-The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet https://www.washingtonballet.org/events/the-nutcracker-2022/ 

Experience the magic of The Washington Ballet’s charmingly-DC The Nutcracker! This celebrated production is set in historic 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures. Set to Tchaikovsky’s magical score, this celebrated classic comes to life with intricate, stunning set designs, original period costumes, and over 100 dancers including students and trainees from The Washington School of Ballet. It has become the signature Nutcracker of the nation’s capital.

The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker will transport audiences of all ages into a winter wonderland that has become a lasting holiday tradition not to be missed.

Runs from November 25-December 30th at the Warner theatre Tickets range depending on seats and day.

10- Capitol Christmas Tree

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, Every year, a different national forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. The 2022 tree will come from the National Forests in North Carolina. You also have the National Christmas tree which is open to the public Dec 2 -Jan 1, 2023 

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