The holidays are such a magical time in the DC area! Whether you live in the DC area or are visiting, here are 8 things to do in the DC area over Thanksgiving weekend. Some of these events continue into December, but Thanksgiving week is a great time to travel around the DC area and visit some of these Christmas favorites!
Mount Vernon by Candlelight – If you haven’t visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, you won’t want to miss Mount Vernon by Candlelight this holiday season! On this candlelit character-guided tour you will learn more about holiday traditions in 18th-century Virginia, see gorgeous holiday decorations, and pay a visit to Aladdin the Christmas camel! The tour ends with cookies, warm cider, and fireside caroling. Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time online as the ones tours can sell out.
ICE! at National Harbour – Christmas on the Potomac at National Harbor is such a festive celebration. On the grounds of the Harbour each year ICE! brings a magical holiday ice display that you, your kids, and your family won’t want to miss. This year experience Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in this walk-through winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of ice!! This is such a fun outing for the whole family and you can enjoy the Harbour before and after your ICE! adventure.
Winter Lights Festival – The drive thru light’s display in Seneca Creek State Park is absolutely spectacular and a great after dinner event with family this holiday season. The festival officially opens on Friday, November 24 and runs until December 31. The lines can be long getting into the park, but turn up your holiday turns and enjoy the drive into the park for the lights displays! You’ll love it! We go every year!
Zoo Lights – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday lights display officially begins on Friday, November 24. It’s a magical time of year and is perfect for all ages! The zoo is filled with Christmas lights, charming displays, and musical performances.
Turkey Trots – If you’re looking for a way to get one last workout in before Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to look up all of the Turkey Trots in the DC area. For years we have been running the Alexandria 5 Mile Turkey Trot, but this year we opted for the Bethesda Turkey Chase, which offers a 10K, 2 miler, and 50 meter run for kids!
Season’s Greenings at the US Botanical Gardens – November 23 until January 1, the US Botanical Gardens hosts a model train display through the gardens and will show off thousands of blooms. This is a great way to get in from the cold and to enjoy a different holiday celebration.
Smithsonian Museums – Did you know that the Smithsonian Museums located in the Washington, DC area are opened every day except Christmas day? That’s right! All of the Smithsonian Museums are open on Thanksgiving and I share from experience, it’s the perfect day to travel downtown and to make your way through the museums. They are quiet and tend to have lower traffic.
Hillwood Estate – This hidden gem, located in Northwest DC, has an absolutely spectacular Christmas tree display. Hillwood Estate’s “Spectacular Holiday Season” also has various events and workshops scheduled from November 21, 2017-January 7, 2018