The Christmas Holiday Starts Now
Thanksgiving is over and the DMV is getting in the holiday spirit. From tree lightings to holiday shopping to Christmas light displays, there plenty of holiday events on the calendar this weekend.
Metro is taking a holiday break from a holiday track work this weekend. All six lines will operate on regular weekend schedules.
Visit Alexandria and the Old Town Boutique District are encouraging people to shop local this holiday season. Shoppers are encouraged to share what they crave about Alexandria using the hashtag #CraveYourLocal on Twitter and Instagram. On Black Friday, more than 50 independent boutiques will open at 6 a.m. and offer 30 percent discounts until 8 a.m., 20 percent off from 8-10 a.m. and 10 percent off after 10 a.m. Also, the City of Alexandria is offering free parking at meters and city-owned garages and the free King Street Trolley will begin at 6 a.m. At 6 p.m., the city will hold its annual tree lighting ceremony on historic Market Square with live entertainment, caroling and a visit from Santa Claus. On Small Business Saturday, the Elf Prize Patrol will hit the streets giving out prizes throughout Old Town and Del Ray along with busker-style caroling by the Alexandria Singers throughout the streets of Old Town. The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce will hand out about 250 bags filled with gift cards and goodies at Market Square from 9 a.m.-noon and in from of the Holy Cow restaurant from noon-1 p.m. Shoppers in the Old Town Boutique District who are spotted toting shopping back from one of the boutiques can win special prizes.
Nov. 27-28 in Old Town and Del Ray sections of Alexandria. Events are FREE!
For Season’s Greenings, the U.S. Botanic Garden goes green and red for the holidays, decorating trees, filling the space with seasonal poinsettias, setting up the train display and creating iconic D.C. landmarks from plants. The big greenhouse also works as a good place to warm up if you’re out and about on the Mall. The conservatory will stay open late on select Tuesdays and Thursday for holiday music programs.
Through Jan. 3 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at the U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
Downtown Holiday Market
Unique gifts, outdoor shopping, music, entertainment, food and more return to Downtown beginning Friday for 27 days at the 11th annual Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter outside the National Portrait Gallery. Shoppers will find more than 150 exhibitors and artisans at this year’s outdoor marketplace selling items such as fine art, crafts, glass, jewelry, pottery, photography and clothing. In addition to gifts, shoppers will find tasty treats, hot beverages and live musical entertainment at this year’s market including acoustic rock from Billy Coulter, jazz from Denyse Pearson, updated classics from Ian Walters & Friends, vintage hits from Hot Buttered Nuggets, upbeat holiday and contemporary from DuPont Brass and many more.
Nov. 27-Dec. 23 from noon-8 p.m. daily on F Street between Seventh and Ninth Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Walking through the illuminated paths created for ZooLights at the National Zoo is a holiday tradition in Washington. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. This year, the experience gets a few new touches: a light show set to music and a chance to ride the Conservation Carousel for $3. There’s also the Zoo-magination Station with trains, trains and more trains that journey through a land of Legos and an alphabet country side, zoo tubing on lion/tiger hill for $3 and $3 tours through the zoon on the National Zoo Choo-Choo There will be live music performances and tasty winter treats.
Daily through Jan 2 except Dec. 24, 25 and 31 from 5-9 p.m. at the National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Home Alone 25th Anniverary
John Hughes’s Christmas classic, Home Alone showing at the Kennedy Center this weekend, turns 25 this fall. To celebrate, the Kennedy Center is getting into the holiday spirit by presenting the movie with the National Symphony Orchestra playing John Williams’s score joined by the Choral Arts Society of Washington. The concession stands will even have popcorn for sale, which you can take into the concert hall.
Nov. 27 and 28 starting at 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $54-$114.
Made in D.C. Holiday Marketplace
The Made in D.C. Holiday Marketplace at D.C. Brau will feature beers from the host in the tasting room, food trucks and music. That should help fuel a keep-it-local shopping experience, featuring items from 24 District-based artists and crafts workers such as Crunshing Apparel, DeNada, Crunchcakes, Junius cold Brew Coffee Co., Jon Wye, Kuzeh Pottery, Kelly Towles and more.
Nov. 28 from 1-7 p.m. at D.C. Brau, 3178 Bladensburg Road NE. Admission is FREE!
Cathedral Commons Tree Lighting
Cathedral Commons, a mixed-use development located on Wisconsin Avenue will kick off the holiday season a community tree lighting. The event will feature live performances of holiday music by chamber coral ensemble Thomas Circle Singers from 5-6 p.m., a cappella group Clear Harmonies from 6-7 p.m., free photos with Santa for children and pets, festive giveaways for children and food and drink from restaurants in Cathedral Commons. The tree, in front of Giant Foods, will be lit at 7 p.m.
Nov. 28 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Cathedral Commons on Newark Avenue near the Giant Foods. Admission is FREE!
CityCenterDC Tree Lighting
The second annual CityCenterDC Tree Lighting will include special performances by the a cappella group the Vanderbuilt Melodores, winner of season five of NBC’s The Sing Office, treats from Rare Sweets and Mango Tree and the lighting of the 75-foot tall treed decorated with more than 150,000 light and 4,500 ornaments.
Nov. 28 from 6-7 p.m. at the part at CityCenterDC, 825 10th St. NW (10th Street and New York Avenue). Admission is FREE!
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.