Thanksgiving 2015 Visitor’s Guide to Washington, D.C.

November 14, 2015 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Thanksgiving is a great time to visit Washington DC because the city isn’t overrun by tourists like it is in the summer and the weather isn’t brutally hot. Plus, there are lots of fun holiday-oriented activities. See below for recommendations on fun Thanksgiving weekend activities. All of them are great for families, but some do require reservations or tickets that need to be booked in advance.
Washington DC Office Of Tourism
901 7th St NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 789-7000

The Washington DC Office of Tourism has all the information you need to plan your trip to DC. Learn about restaurants, theater events, where to stay and what to see. The website is very user-friendly. If you didn’t have time to do any research in advance you can always stop by the office, which is conveniently located in Chinatown. See the website for hours and more information.

Related: Best Weekend Activities For Seniors In Washington DC

Have A Lavish Thanksgiving Dinner 

DC has some great restaurants, and for Thanksgiving some of the best ones are serving a gourmet meal. Head to 701 Restaurant to sample silky squash soup and decadent desserts like pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream or creme brulee with raspberry sorbet. Another option is Ardeo + Bardeo, where you can indulge in a fancy three-course dinner with options like a green salad with roasted apples, sun-dried tomato pasta and decadent desserts such as pumpkin cheesecake or buttermilk doughnuts. For an Italian twist on Thanksgiving, make a reservation at Bibiana, where guests will indulge in dishes such as stuffed artichokes, butternut squash-filled ravioli and ginger cake with candied ginger.

See The Nutcracker 
Thearc Theater
1901 Mississippi Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 889-5901

The beautiful Thearc Theater will be showing The Nutcracker over Thanksgiving weekend. This visually stunning show is the best way to enjoy the holiday season. Plus, you can get a feel for DC as the show will be performed by the incredibly talented Washington Ballet. There will be two shoes on Saturday, Nov. 28 and two shoes on Sunday, Nov. 29.

Observe A Thanksgiving Parade

On Friday, Nov. 27 the Reston Town Center will be hosting a fabulous Thanksgiving Parade. Santa will be there, there will be a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, they will have floats, balloons and a sing-along. See some impressive dance shows as local bands and groups provide the soundtrack. This year’s theme, “Home Sweet Home,” is set to celebrate all things DC. It is a great event for the whole family. No tickets are required for this annual event.

Visit The Holiday Display At The U.S. Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 226-8333

The botanic garden is one of the most beautiful sights in the city, and during the holidays it is particularly memorable. The gardens feature holiday decorations and a remarkable miniature model train. The garden is free, which makes it especially attractive, and it is indoors so you don’t have to worry about the cold temperature outside. The venue is gorgeous and perfect for taking lots of pictures. Be prepared to wait in line to enter, as the garden is super popular around the holiday season amongst locals and tourists alike.

Related: Best Scenic Drives Near Washington DC

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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