Looking for fun stuff to do? Here’s what’s happening in the DMV this weekend!
This week’s weekend roundup features festive activities to enjoy with friends and family, as well as a few low-key options for those of us who feel overwhelmed by holiday overload.
Here’s what’s going on in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia this weekend!
Mayor’s Christmas Parade | Baltimore | Sunday
It wouldn’t be December without a holiday parade, and Baltimore has got one you won’t want to miss. It’s estimated that over 25,000 people will attend the festivities, which will include your favorite classic floats, local vendors, Santa (of course!), and plenty of food and drink options while you watch and enjoy. Learn more about the parade in Baltimore here.
OC Christmas Parade | Ocean City | Saturday
Ocean City is renowned for its parades, and the Christmas parade is no exception! Bundle up and see over 50 units, like high school bands, holiday floats, vintage cars, and others march up everyone’s favorite beach resort town, all decked out with holiday spirit. The parade starts at 11 a.m. Learn more here.
Jingle Bell 5K Run | Northside Park, Ocean City | Sunday
Bust out your warm running clothes and join the Jingle Bell 5K Run — with all the holiday tunes you love! You’ll run right through the iconic Winterfest of Lights and then earn a ride on the Winterfest Express (and some hot chocolate) when it’s all said and done. Register for the race here.
Winterfest of Lights | Ocean City | Every day, through Dec. 31
Grab some hot chocolate and board the Winterfest Express to take a one-mile journey through one million holiday lights and hundreds of animated light displays. Click here for more information!
Lights on the Bay | Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis | Every day, ongoing
Pile everyone into your car for the annual Lights on the Bay! For the 24th year, you can take a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay to see all kinds of light displays — both animated and stationary. Kids can take part in a scavenger hunt, too. Admission begins at 5 p.m. Learn more here!
Elf the Musical | Olney Theatre Center, Olney | Friday–Sunday
Based on the Will Ferrell movie we all know and love, Elf the Musical is playing in Olney this holiday season! The story of Buddy the “elf” has captured hearts all over the world and is a great way to get you into the holiday spirit. Buy tickets here, and then read OCN’s review of Elf the Musical!
Pandora Ice Rink | Baltimore Inner Harbor | Every day, ongoing
Nothing screams winter and the holidays quite like ice skating! Bundle up the kids (or your significant other) and take them down to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the Pandora Ice Rink. Check the ice rink’s website for more information.
Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt | National Zoo | Friday
Whether you’re a D.C. newbie wanting to check some landmarks off your list, or you’re just looking for a fun way to get into the holiday spirit, the Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt is it. Bundle up and meet at the National Zoo to get your list of items to find throughout the city, then spend the next two and a half hours combing the zoo and other D.C. landmarks for clues and secret items.
Georgetown GLOW | Georgetown Neighborhood | Saturday–Sunday
Running along the canal, Georgetown GLOW debuts this Saturday and will run nightly through the holiday season. This absolutely gorgeous outdoor display of lights makes the perfect backdrop for a romantic after-dinner walk or late afternoon family stroll. And it’s free! Check out more details here.
The Swedish Holiday Market | House of Sweden | Saturday
There are going to be so many holiday markets to choose from this month, so why not start off with something a little bit off the traditionally beaten path? The Swedish Holiday Market will feature Swedish-inspired and authentic gifts for everyone on your list, and your ticket (only $5) to the event will also include warm beverages and sweets.
Georgetown Christmas Tree Farm Pop-Up | Ritz Carlton Hotel | Saturday–Sunday
It’s time to pick up the Christmas tree! The Georgetown Christmas Tree Farm will have a nice selection, and after you’ve picked out the perfect one and had someone help you load it into your car, you can come into the cozy lobby of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and enjoy some hot cocoa that’ll warm you right up.
A Christmas Carol | Ford’s Theatre | Friday–Sunday
Catch this classic show to not only get you into the holiday spirit, but to also reflect on everything wonderful in your life. Take your friends, family, kids — everyone will enjoy and relate! Plus, the show is at Ford’s Theatre, which is worth a visit all on its own. Get your tickets for the show here.
ZooLights | National Zoo | Every night, ongoing
Take the fam to see ZooLights at the National Zoo, in all its 500,000 LED light glory. This year, make sure you check out their new attraction, the Symphony of Lights — where an interactive light canopy responds to music! Read more about it here.
Season’s Greetings Holiday Train Show | United States Botanic Gardens | Every day, ongoing
Every year the Botanic Garden puts on a holiday show, and this year they’re showcasing famous train stations around our nation, decorated (of course) with the most stunning holiday-themed details. And the best part? It’s completely free. The show takes place every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out the Botanic Garden’s website for more information.
D.C. Downtown Holiday Market | 8th and F Streets | Every day, ongoing
Looking for a quaint, fun holiday outing with friends and family? Don’t miss the Downtown Holiday Market this season in Penn Quarter/Chinatown. Featuring 150 local and regional vendors, the market will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every single day. Read more information about the D.C. Downtown Holiday Market.
Old Southwest Holiday Parlor Tour | Roanoke | Saturday, Sunday
In its 39th year, the Old Southwest Holiday Parlor Tour is worth the trip out to Roanoke, Virginia (plus, it’s a nice weekend destination in general). You’ll be able to view nine beautiful and historic homes, as well as taste some delicious holiday baked goods and contribute to local charities that help preserve this community. Read all about the tour here. And while you’re in Roanoke, you could have fun at three more holiday-themed local events (see them here).
Scottish Walk Parade | Old Town Alexandria | Saturday
Another parade, this time with a Scottish twist. The 48th Annual Scottish Christmas Parade has all the things you expect from a great holiday parade, but with a lot of cool Scottish cultural extras. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the culture in a fun way, as well as taste the food and drink (which is, in my opinion, the best way to learn about a culture, right?). You can get all the parade details here.
VB Ice | 3640 Dam Neck Road, Virginia Beach | Every day, ongoing
Virginia Beach’s first outdoor ice rink is open! The cost is $15 per person (including skate rental) or $7 per person if you have your own skates. This is bound to be a very popular attraction this holiday season, so expect crowds and be prepared to practice some patience.
Pentagon Row Ice Rink | 1201 S. Joyce Street, Arlington | Every day, ongoing
At over 68,000 square feet, Pentagon Row Ice Rink is the largest outdoor ice skating facility in Northern Virginia. Nestled between the restaurants and shops of Pentagon Row, the ice skating rink is a favorite with locals for a great family outing. Don’t have skates? Not to worry: all sizes are available for rent.
LightUP Fest | One Loudoun, Ashburn | Nightly, ongoing
Featuring traditional Chinese lanterns and state-of-the-art lighting technology, LightUP Fest is a light festival that celebrates a rich cultural heritage. Entertainers of all types, foods from all over the world, and more than 70 light displays are all key to making this event an incredible experience for the whole family.
What did we miss? What are you holiday must-dos in the DMV? Share with us in the comments below!