Holiday Happenings Abound This Weekend
With only 19 days til Christmas, there’s plenty of holiday events on tap to fill your weekend. If you aren’t out shopping, you can ring in the holiday season as Rosslyn lights up on Friday or Old Town at the Alexandria light up boat parade. There are plenty of bazaars to pick up a special Christmas present or sing along at one of the many holiday concerts.
Now through the holidays, Metro is curtailing weekend track work. This weekend, Red, Silver, Blue, Yellow, Green line trains will operate on a regular weekend schedule with trains every 12 minutes. The Orange Line will operate on a regular weekend schedule on Sunday. On Saturday, trains will run every 16 minutes instead of every 12 minutes.
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
The 15th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights features live music and festive activities. Santa is scheduled to arrive on a fireboat around 4:15 p.m. in the water taxi slip near the Chart House restaurant. He will visit each floor of the Torpedo Factory to welcome guests. Throughout the evening the Torpedo Factory will offer free fresh-baked cookies and drinks, a choir singing and a gourmet hot chocolate bar. Yelp will host a hands-on activity making luminaries. At sundown, Alexandria’s harbor lights up as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria’s fireboat Vigilant and Washington, D.C.’s fireboat John Glenn.The Waterskiing Santa will have a boat in the parade, to celebrate his upcoming show in Alexandria on Christmas Eve. The boats are dressed to impress a panel of judges who will award prizes in a dozen categories including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box and Hardiest Souls.
Dec. 6 from 4-9 p.m. at the Alexandria Marina, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria. Admission is FREE!
Rosslyn Holiday Market and Skyline Lighting Ceremony
Thirty-five vendors will be at the Rosslyn Holiday Market, which will showcase many local and renowned vendors who will be offering a variety of unique and high-quality gifts. It’s the one-stop shop for all your holiday needs. Find something for everyone from your boss to your pets and don’t forget yourself. As a special treat, at the close of Friday’s Market, there will be a ceremony for the lighting up of Rosslyn properties and the skyline. From 4:30-5:30 p.m. there will be a performance by Beltway Brass followed by remarks from 5:30-5:45 p.m. and the rooftop lighting at 5:45 p.m.
Dec. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1500 wilson Blvd., Rosslyn. Admission is FREE!
Thip Khao grand opening
Thip Khao, chef Seng Luangrath’s Laotian restaurant finally opens in Columbia Heights after a few delays including an unexpected trip to Laos to visit her ill father. The D.C. offshoot of Bangkok Golden, the Thai and Laotian restaurant in a Falls Church strip mall, will focus exclusively on Laotian food. Though Thai and Laotian cuisine share many of the same ingredients — lemon grass, shrimp paste, galanga root — the main difference comes in the preparation. In Laos, cooking methods are less advanced, so there’s more stewing, steaming and grilling instead of wok cooking. Following the Vietnam War, Luangrath fled to refugee camps in the Laotian capitol of Vientiane with her family where she learned recipes from the northern and southern regions of Laos. Read our review.
Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. at 3462 14th St. NW. Thip Khao is open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m.
The Washington National Cathedral’s Choir and Baroque Orchestra perform Handel’s Messiah nightly this weekend. The National Cathedral provides the perfect setting for some of the season’s most joyous music, performed by a team of international soloists with the Cathedral’s own combined choirs and Baroque orchestra. There is no better way to start off your holiday season. The concert includes all three parts of Messiah and runs just shy of three hours.
Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 6 and 7 at 4 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25-$85 online or at the door.
Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Celebrate the season with the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Holiday Festival will get you in the holiday spirit with musical performances, films, book signings, trunk shows, crafts for kids and more. Events include a family holiday photo beginning at 10 a.m. at the American History Museum, special holiday foods beginning at 10 a.m. at the American History Museum, freeze dried space food testing beginning at 11 a.m. at the Air and Space Museum and a holiday card workshop at 1 p.m. at the Postal Museum. Check the website for the whole schedule of events.
Dec. 6 and 7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at various Smithsonian museums. Admission is FREE!
Swedish Christmas Bazaar
Shop, eat, and win prizes at the Swedish Christmas Bazaar, the official Swedish Christmas celebration in Washington, D.C., hosted by SWEA Washington D.C., supported by the Swedish Embassy and House of Sweden. Experience Swedish Christmas traditions and enjoy excellent Swedish baked goods! Enjoy a café with home baked goods and Swedish sandwiches, raffle with great prizes including a round-trip ticket from Washington, D.C. to Stockholm, Santa Lucia Procession singing Swedish Christmas carols and Swedish arts and crafts; crystal, textiles, artwork, decorations and much more on sale.
Dec. 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at House of Sweden, 2900 K St. NW. Admission is FREE!
Jingle on Lake Anne holiday event
Lake Anne Plaza invites people of all ages to head down to the lake for some warm merriment and holiday cheer as they host their annual family-friendly holiday event Jingle on Lake Anne. Community organizers and plaza retailers will host a variety of festive activities including a visit from Santa who will arrive at noon on a lake barge, strolling carolers, a petting zoo, music, wine tastings, merchant specials, children’s crafts, cookie & ornament decorating, holiday arts & crafts market, holiday entertainment and much more.
Dec. 6 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza’s waterfront, 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston. Admission is FREE!
Holiday open house and Christkindlmarkt
The Heurich House Museum welcomes the public to celebrate the winter season during its annual holiday open house and Christkindlmarkt. The museum will honor the Heurich family’s German heritage by recreating a traditional German public Christmas market in its garden. This holiday shopping event, Dupont Circle’s only holiday market, will feature goods from local artisans, including jewelers, ceramicists, chocolatiers, coffee roasters and makers of housewares, baby clothes and more. Visitors who enter the open house may stroll through the festively decorated historic mansion on a self-guided tour, enjoy the sounds of live holiday musical performances in the conservatory and bid on traditional Nutcrackers during a silent auction. The museum will be collecting new and gently used children’s books for a local children’s charity book drive and guests can create ornaments to adorn the museum’s holiday tree. Café Berlin will sell Glühwein, sausages, strudel and other authentic German treats.
Dec. 6 and 7 from noon-6 p.m. at the Heurich House Museum, 1307 Connecticut Ave. NW. Admission to the museum and Christkindlmarkt is $15 for adults and $5 for childen in advance or at the door. Tickets for the Christkindlmarkt only are $5 and will only be available at the door.
Once a year, Wolf Trap invites local choirs, the United States Marine Corps Band and you into the Filene Center for a free holiday sing-a-long. Bring a candle and your best ugly sweater and warm up your vocal cords for an evening of songs like Silent Night and Jingle Bells. Wolf Trap will accept donations to Toys for Tots before the event.
Dec. 6 starting at 4 p.m. at Wolf Trap, Filene Center, 1551 Wolf Trap Road, Vienna. Admission is FREE!
Rockin’ the Holiday
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington brings their Christmas show Rockin’ the Holidays to U Street this year. Expect traditional and nontraditional takes on seasonal classics. The show features 220 singers performing signature holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. Songs include Little Drummer Boy, Silent Night, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). The concert will also include dancers, costumes, soloists and an appearance by Santa Claus.
Dec 6 at 8 p.m., Dec. 13 at 3 and 8 p.m., and Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25-$59.
Herndon Holiday Arts & Crafts Show
More than 80 artisans and craftspeople will exhibit and sell their work at the 36th Herndon Holiday Arts & Crafts Show sponsored by the Town of Herndon Department of Parks and Recreation. A variety of handcrafted items and fine art will be on sale including wreaths, quilts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, decorations, original artwork, photography, stained glass and more.
Dec. 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. Admission and parking are FREE!
Release all your stress from the busy work week with this trifecta of art, yoga and brunch. At Bendy Brunch, hosted by Grip The Mat, you can explore yourr doshas while sipping mimosas and admiring the beautiful space at Blind Whino. Think of it as a mixed-level, sensory yoga class featuring art, yoga, food and drinks.
Dec. 7 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW. Cost is $35 online or at the door.
Logan Circle Holiday House Tour
The Logan Circle Community Association will host its 36th annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour. The holiday house tour will take guests through some of Logan Circle’s most memorable and breathtaking interiors and will feature a variety of musicians and singers lending holiday cheer, as well as the always-warming and welcoming Wassail Reception at Studio Theatre. Guests will find block after block of 19th-century Victorian residences restored to their original grandeur amid soaring contemporary condominiums, together creating a community unlike any other in Washington, D.C.
Dec. 7 from 1-5 p.m. at Logan Circle. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. The starting point is the Studio Theater, 1501 14th St. NW at P Street).
The American Art Museum teams up with MAGFest and American University’s Game Lab to transform the Kogod Courtyard into an Indie Arcade complete with such classic games as Pac Man, Tron, Star Wars and Donkey Kong. There will also be indie games from local chapters of the International Game Developers Association and the chance to make games using the Hirshhorn Museum’s ArtLab+.
Dec. 7 from 1-7 p.m. at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, Eight and G Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
A Collection of Funny True Holiday Stories
Story League, Washington D.C.’s home for funny stories, offers you Presents: A Collection of Funny True Holiday Stories about inappropriate gifts. Featuring Andy Christie, Robin Gelfenbien, Leslie Goshko, JiJi Lee, Adam Ruben, Jennifer Tress, D’Arcee Neal, Valentina Stackl and SM Shrake.
Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Theater Lab, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are FREE and will be available beginning at 5:15 p.m.
Join the Ronald Reagan Builidng for its third annual Winternational celebration. Explore the different ways in which the world celebrates the winter season through food, culture, customs and traditions. The event will feature an international bazaar featuring 20 embassy exhibitors and artisans, a gingerbread cookie decorating station, complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and apple cider, a sampling of global bites and cultural performances. Participating embassies include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Fiji, Guinea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, League of Arab States, Nepal, Organization of American States, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Uruguay.
Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Admission is FREE, but preregistration is required.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.