November and December are the perfect time to take in the vibrant sights and sounds of Washington DC. The air is only a little nippy, the lights are festive, and the capital city is alive with the excitement and colors of the season. There is so much to see and do all year long, but the city takes on a special kind of joyful animation when the holidays are near. Here are 3 lively events we encourage you to experience in DC this holiday season:
Downtown Holiday Market
Washington DC’s Downtown Holiday Market is a magical place where shopping feels more like a celebration and smiling faces rule the day. The unique event is in its fourteenth year. It boasts over 180 exhibitors and local artisans – starting November 23rd and continuing up until right before Christmas.
The market vendors are diverse and creative offering everything from homemade soaps and jewelry to whimsical t-shirts and city photography. Music is in the air too with a rotating roster of bands in every genre as well as the standard holiday carols where you are invited to sing along. Local coffee roasters are on hand with a hot brew when the weather gets chilly.
National Christmas Tree
The spectacular National Christmas Tree Lighting is held on November 28th on the White House Ellipse but is followed by nightly tree lighting ceremonies open and free to the public. Each state and territory decorates its own smaller tree with unique handmade ornaments so visitors can find the one that represents their own state. It all makes for an awesome and merry display.
The tradition began over 90 years ago when President Calvin Coolidge lit up a Vermont Balsam Fir with 2500 electric bulbs in the Christmas colors of green, red, and white. The walkway surrounding the tree is dotted with tiny star-like lights and nightly musical entertainment serenades you. It’s a fabulous Washington DC sight you won’t want to miss.
Ford’s Theatre is more than just a venue for performing arts and musical pageantry. It is a monument to history and a tribute to the legacy and life of Abraham Lincoln. It is both a year-round working theater featuring iconic and experimental musicals and plays and an interactive museum. The anticipated holiday season favorite, A Christmas Carol, returns each year with rave reviews.
The play runs from November 15th to the end of December much to the delight of both locals and visitors. Washington DC’s Warner Theatre hosts Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker for a one-of-a-kind experience and memorable performance. You can end the evening with a cozy dinner at the Victorian-styled Old Ebbitt Grill, a bastion of fine DC eating since 1856.
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