Christmas Activities for Families in the Washington, DC Area
Here’s our go-to list of fun outings to keep us from staying in and eating too many See’s candies and Christmas cookies.
- Walk through Brookside Gardens’ Seasons of Lights – evenings until January 3rd. Don’t miss the electric trains displays in the South Conservatory (this is open 10am – 4pm for free) and be sure to pick up an I-Spy style scavenger hunt for kids at the train exhibit.
- Get tickets to a holiday arts performance, choosing from one of the fabulous offerings on the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County’s Do and Go Calendar.
- View how the stable in Bethlehem may really have looked on the Holy Land tour at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC. Click here for info on tours led by the Brothers. From Christmas Eve day through New Year’s view hundreds of luminaria lights in the Seven Nights of Lights displays.
- Take in holiday films like It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring…and then dance to the light of the moon.
- Check out the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival through December 31 or Zoolights at the National Zoo (it’s totally FREE!) through January 1st. At Zoolights the awesome new “iceless” skating rink in the Picnic Pavilion, an eco-friendly synthetic ice skating surface is just $5 for 30 minutes and $2 for skate rental. You may bring your own skates if you wish.
- Be a Christmas in Washington cliche and view the National Christmas tree and then go ice skating in the Sculpture Garden ice rink on the Mall (be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time or you’ll spend your “skating evening” like we did one year drinking Guinness at the Dubliner with our skates unused under the table…so go early, buy tickets, then head to see the tree and come back to skate!)
- Move it, move it to National Habor to view Ice! Merry Madagascar and all of the other holiday revelry at the Gaylord.
- Enjoy holiday lights from your warm cozy car and drive through Howard County’s Symphony of Lights (here’s a $5 off your admission coupon) or Prince Georges County’s Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights displays.
- If Grandma/nana/aunts/any willing family are town, get thee to date night. Scroll down at this link for some admittedly very dated date night venue ideas…since baby arrived we haven’t been out much to check out new places. However, all these venues are still open and according to my cooler and younger friends, still good bets.
And thanks to Grandma, we’re heading out ourselves right now, woo-hoo!, so I have to end the list here due to foot-tapping husband.