Have a few days off during the Christmas break? How about checking out some of these holiday-related and family-fun activities around Washington DC.
1. Since DC doesn’t have great downtown holiday department store windows, check out the window of Madame Tussauds. This year Santa’s special little helper, Beyonce Knowles is there collecting letters for Santa and Whoppi Goldberg is handing out presents. Madame’s is also open on Christmas Day from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Ticket and hours info.
2. Visit the Capitol Christmas Tree at the U.S. Capitol. Since 1970, the tree has been provided by the USDA Forest Service. This year’s tree comes from Vermont and is decorated with over 4,500 ornaments. And personally, I think it’s prettier than the National Tree.
3. Attend one of the music performances at Washington’s National Cathedral.
- Christmas Lessons and Carols – Friday, Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. Free passes required or call 877-537-2228.
- Christmas Pageant – Saturday, Dec. 22, 2:00 p.m. A children’s program with a reenactment of the story of Jesus’ birth including visits from the three wise men, animals and angels. Free, no passes required.
- Meditation for Advent IV Sunday, Dec. 23, 4:00 p.m. Performance of Benjamin Britten’s WW-II era Ceremony of Carols by the Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls. Free, no passes required.
4. Check out the annual Norwegian Holiday Model Train display at DC’s Union Station. Through Jan. 6th, 10:00 – 7:00 daily.
5. Watch as lights twinkle and snowmen wave as you visit one of the area’s many Holiday Light Displays.
6. Attend a free holiday concert at the Millennium Stage at the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
7. Enjoy a hot-spiced cider while conducting some holiday “Lobbying” at The Willard Hotel’s free live music program. Weekday evenings (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.) in the lobby. Features a live chorus or ensembles performing holiday tunes.
8. Get your photo taken in front of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse across from the White House. And walk the “Pathway to Peace” with 56 trees from the the U.S. states and territories.
10. some something a bit different, catch a special performance of the Waterskiing Santa on the Potomac River on Christmas Eve. This year, Santa is joined on the water by his flying elves, the Grinch on a jet-ski and even Frosty the Snowman. Free parking at the Columbia Island Marina, with the best viewing at Lady Bird Johnson Park (map it). December 24th, 1:00 p.m. (rain, snow or shine) Stick around afterwards to get have your photo taken with the gang and sing a few Christmas carols with Santa and Mrs. Clause.
Images – All images from personal collection, except for Waterskiing Santa, courtesy of same.