Streetlights are adorned in evergreen garlands, houses are glowing with twinkle lights–the holidays are always a magical time around here! We’ve rounded up our best picks for the most joyous holiday activities for the whole family! Let us know if there’s a holiday event or tradition you love that we missed!

Jingle Bell Carriage Rides

Celebrate the season in style with a horse-drawn carriage ride around Old Town Fredericksburg! Festooned with jingle bells, this is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

jingle bell carriage rides

Holiday Lights Trolley Tour

An old-fashioned trolley tour is a Fredericksburg tradition! Make sure you bundle up for this special tour of the best Christmas lights in town!

fredericksburg trolley tour

Home for the Holidays Exhibit at Gari Melcher’s Studio

Enjoy the house decorated for the holidays in the spirit and style of American painter Gari Melchers and his talented artist-wife Corinne.

gari melchers studio christmas

32nd Annual Gingerbread House Contest at Ferry Farm

A long-standing holiday tradition! Adults and children alike will enjoy the sights and smells of the festive creations displayed at George Washington’s Ferry Farm! This year’s theme is “Cartoon Adventures.

gingerbread

WinterFest at Kings Dominion

WinterFest is packed with all the sights, sounds, food and experiences of the holiday season. The park shines bright with millions of shimmering lights, a 300-foot tree and lavish displays. Twelve live shows and up to 34 strolling performers delight guests and spread Christmas cheer for all to hear.

kings dominion winter fest

A Wee Christmas Dollhouse Exhibit at Kenmore

Visit Kenmore this holiday season for an exhibit of highly detailed, replica dollhouses – including the mansion – and miniatures in the Crowninshield Museum Building.

Night Before Christmas Wagon Rides & Story at Calendon State Park

Bring a warm blanket, your singing voice, a sense of humor, and the family – young and old. We will sing holiday songs while taking a wagon ride through the winter woods. After the ride we will return to the Visitor Center for hot chocolate and a reading of the classic holiday story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

calendar state park

The President’s Own Band at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

The Marine Chamber Orchestra will perform a festive program in the Leatherneck Gallery of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, conducted by Capt. Bryan P. Sherlock and featuring baritone vocalist Master Sgt. Kevin Bennear and mezzo-soprano Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield. Free, no tickets required.

marine chamber orchestra

Santa’s Workshop at the Expo Center

Finish up that last minute Christmas shopping all in one place. With room for 170 vendors, crafters & businesses, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. There will be Swag Bags for the first 200 shoppers, a concession stand, face painting, balloon animals, pics with Mrs. Claus & more!!

 

Just Outside Fredericksburg

Waterskiing Santa in Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

Now in its 33rd year, this favorite D.C.-area Christmas Eve event returns to Old Town Alexandria. Gather along historic Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew.

waterskiing santa

The Ice Rink at the National Gallery of Art 

Located on the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, the ice rink remains a favorite DC destination, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Surrounded by national museums, monuments and large-scale sculptures by modern and contemporary artists including Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Tony Smith, Roy Lichtenstein, Roxy Paine and others, skating in the Sculpture Garden is a favorite winter activity.

ice rink

Zoolights

A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with two dazzling laser light shows set to music. And don’t forget to share your #DCZooLights experience on social media!

Season’s Greenings at National Botanical Garden 

This year, explore America by train as our annual holiday show Season’s Greenings showcases historic railroad stations across the country. In our model train show, trains chug around, below, through, and above plant-based recreations of iconic depots from across the United States. View thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties.

national botanical garden

Richmond Ballet’s The Nutcracker

As the beloved characters of this dazzling production come to life to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, children and adults alike will be swept away by the magic of the holidays.

richmond ballet nutcracker