Best Holiday Celebrations In Washington DC

December 2, 2013 7:00 AM

(Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s the very best time of year—a time to slow down, reflect and to appreciate life, family and friends. It’s also a time to remember kindness and generosity. As the temperatures drop, holiday cheer rises with festive décor, music, foods and, of course, events. From beautiful lights, to carols, to performances and festivals, here are a few of the best upcoming celebrations.

National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
1100 Ohio Drive S.W.
Washington, DC 20242
(202) 208-1631

Date: Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

This year marks the 91st annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Witness this American tradition in person as the nation’s evergreen Christmas tree, always selected from one of the 50 states, is illuminated for the very first time before the entire country. Join the President and first family as they count down the seconds until the lights are switched on and the tree glitters and shines in all of its Christmas splendor. Also enjoy a bevy of musical performances and appearances by some of today’s most popular actors and TV personalities.

 Preview Of The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony In Washington DC

National Harbor Holiday Festival
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745
(800) 627-7468

Date: Dec. 6-8, 2013 at noon and 10 a.m.

This holiday event, held in one of Prince George County’s premier waterfront communities, has every base covered with a wide range of festivities to suit every taste and age. Activities will run the gamut and include holiday crafts, live entertainment, food and drink and activities for children—including visits with Santa. One of the event’s main attractions is the Holiday Village which will feature Christmas ornaments, holiday wreaths and garland, toys, art, pottery, furniture and more set up in a village of individualized boutiques. Cold weather will not be a factor because the event will be held within the cozy confines of the Gaylord National Resort convention facility. All you have to do is show up, taste, touch, listen, linger, lose yourself and revel in the holiday spirit. And just because it is being held inside doesn’t mean you won’t see some snow.

A Christmas Carol

Ford’s Theatre
511 10th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4833

Date: Through Jan. 1, 2014

The great Charles Dickens holiday classic comes to life in the historic Ford’s Theatre. This iconic play follows grumpy, miserable, old Ebenezer Scrooge as he takes a journey of self discovery with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. D.C. acting giant Edward Gero will play Scrooge, a role he has been making his own since 2009.

Related: Best Directors In The Local Theater Scene In Washington DC

Frederick Festival Of Lights
City Hall Courtyard
101 N. Court St.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 600-2844

Date: Dec. 6, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Few things get you into the holiday spirit more than the beauty and simplicity of candlelight at Christmas time. At this event, each attendee will receive a candle to form a sea of glowing light as Christmas carols are sung, including the ever-popular “Silent Night.” Local dignitaries will extend greetings to the crowd and an inspirational message will be shared. It will be a time to greet and mingle with neighbors, friends, as well as perfect strangers to share in a longstanding tradition celebrating the Christmas spirit of goodwill and cheer.

Kevin Don Porter is the author of MISSING — a creepy, yet humorous, mystery novel. Visit his website at

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