Northern Virginia is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas as many communities host special holiday events, ranging from small town Christmas tree lighting ceremonies to holiday parades to visits with Santa to lively community sing-alongs. Here is a guide to help you enjoy the season and make this year one to remember!
1. Christmas in Old Town Alexandria
Throughout the holiday season, the City of Alexandria hosts wonderful events including the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Scottish Walk weekend, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, candlelight tours, Christmas in Camp, and a variety of holiday concerts. Alexandria is also a great place to shop for unique Christmas gifts.
2. Christmas at Mount Vernon
November 24, 2017 – January 6, 2018. Christmas at one of Northern Virginia’s top attractions transports visitors back in time to experience the holidays like George Washington did with themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel.
3. Bull Run Festival of Lights
November 22, 2017 – January 7, 2018. Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, VA (703) 359-4633. This festive display of lights features penguins, snowmen, deer, candy canes and Santa. After viewing the lights you can visit the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village that includes amusement rides, an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, contests, food, and more.
4. Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg
Throughout the holiday season, Colonial Williamsburg comes to life with its world-renowned holiday decorations and 18th century seasonal programming. Beating drums, trilling fifes, firework displays, theatrical programs and interpretive characters take visitors back in time to celebrate the holidays as our forefathers did during colonial times.
5. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
November 24, 2017 – January 1, 2018. The Williamsburg, VA amusement park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, combining an immersive holiday experience with one-of-a-kind shopping and dining opportunities, all-new holiday shows and a spectacular light-dancing Christmas tree.
6. Reston Town Center Holiday Parade
November 24, 2017. Enjoy a full day of celebration with the Northern Virginia community with the Annual Race for the Kids, a thanksgiving parade, visits with Santa, the tree lighting and carriage rides.
7. Manassas Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017. Old Town Manassas celebrates the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the “Merry Old Town” celebration. The festivities include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Manassas Christmas Parade, a gingerbread contest and lots of holiday activities for all ages.
8. Middleburg Hunt
December 2, 2017. Middleburg is a wonderful place to celebrate the Christmas holiday in Northern Virginia. Traditional festivities include the Middleburg Hunt where approximately 100 horses, riders in red coats and dozens of hounds parade through the town.
9. Lake Anne Village Center
December 2, 2017, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Village Road, Reston, VA. Welcome the holidays with a Lake Anne tradition of a petting zoo, entertainment, ornament-making for children, Faux Bear, holiday market vendors, and the arrival of Santa by barge. Santa sails in at 12:00 p.m. to visit with children on the plaza. The event is free, presented by Lake Anne Merchants Association.
10. City of Fairfax Festival of Lights & Carols
December 2, 2017, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sherwood Community Center, Historic Downtown Fairfax, VA. Enjoy a day of holiday cheer and festivities including lunch with Santa, s’more’s by the yule log, ice sculpting, hot cider, face painting, Christmas tree lighting and caroling.
11. McLean Winterfest Parade
December 3, 2017, 3:30 p.m. McLean, VA celebrates the holiday season with its one and only community parade. This year the event falls on Pearl Harbor Day and will include a salute to WWII veterans represented by American Legion Post 270 as Grand Marshals. The parade route runs along Chain Bridge Road beginning at Fleetwood Road and ending at Elm Street.
12. Leesburg Christmas Events
Throughout the holiday season, the Historic town of Leesburg celebrates with a variety of community events including a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a holiday craft show, and a holiday parade, festival and concert. Leesburg is also a great place to enjoy shopping, dining, and seasonal cheer.